Posted on Leave a comment

How To Get the Most Out of Dungeons & Dragons With Personality Psychology

Dungeons and Dragons, the tabletop game that inspired the RPG industry as well as countless books, movies, and shows, is meant to be played orally in the imaginations of you and your friends. In this game, the personalities and play-styles of your characters are key to the game’s enjoyment.

A technique to quickly design such characters, used by many veteran authors, screenwriters, and yes, even Dungeon Masters, is to utilize pre-existing personality archetypes based on the psychology framework commonly known as the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, Jungian Typology, and the 16 Types. You can read here to learn more about this psychology and to discover your personality type.

What many don’t realize is that, in D&D, you can enhance a game by applying this psychology directly to yourself and the actual players in the game. In this article, we explore the races and classes people with similar personalities to you enjoy playing most, as well as the ways to Dungeon Master a game to maximize its enjoyment for your players.

 

Four Categories of Players


Explorers

People who are are highly practical and spend a lot of their time in their senses are known as Explorers. As a Dungeon Master for this down-to-earth type, you should expect them to remember small details like retrieving a rope, using a potion when it’s needed most, and so on, and to also reward them accordingly. Keep them in situations where they can succeed in the allocation of limited resources, such as rations and arrows, and require of them keen observations and quick thinking. As survivalists, they will seek self-preservation over good and evil. Explorer types are known to be highly into character design aesthetics, putting time and effort into the creation process while also describing everything their character does in all of its gore and glory. Make them happy by bringing to life a vivid and detailed world in similar terms.
     
Preferred Races & Classes
Since Explorers relish immersing in their senses and want to be prepared at any moment, they are often seen playing as the following:


ESTP – The Dynamic Maverick

Races: Half-orc, Goliath, Human, Dwarf

Classes: Barbarian, Monk, Fighter


ISTP – Capable Pragmatist

Races: Gnome, Human, Dwarf, Kenku

Classes: Ranger, Fighter, Rogue


ESFP – Enthusiastic Improviser

Races: Elf, Human, Tiefling, Tabaxi

Classes: Bard, Rogue, Barbarian


ISFP – Sensuous Protector

Races: Elf, Halfling, Gnome, Tabaxi

Classes: Rogue, Ranger, Monk

 

Guardians

Ready to protect, Guardians are known to be lawful, virtuous, and traditional. Play with themes of law and justice, chaos versus order, tribe vs the greater good, and tradition versus progress to maximize their fun. Do make sure there are always clear goals though. You can make things interesting by bringing in divine beings while fighting for the holy missions of gods, serving as their hands of judgment and always ready to take an ultimate sacrifice for the well-being of the team. Every DM should know that they draw lessons and inspiration from familiar tropes as starting points, so begin campaigns and sessions in more vanilla ways before descending deeper into the occult. Beware that this type has a strong memory for details, so use consistency in your game mechanics, plot, characters, and world design.

Preferred Races & Classes
Since Guardians are a shield of any party, they are most frequently seen playing one of the following:

ESTJ – Efficient Driver

Races: Aasimar, Triton, Human, Hobgoblin

Classes: Paladin, Fighter, Monk


ISTJ – Responsible Executor

Races: Aasimar, Triton, Human, Dwarf

Classes: Paladin, Fighter, Monk


ESFJ – The Committed Altruist

Races: Aasimar, Human, Dragonborn, Dwarf

Classes: Bard, Cleric, Paladin


ISFJ – Compassionate Steward

Races: Aasimar, Human, Merfolk, Halfling

Classes: Cleric, Paladin, Monk

 

Diplomats

These players enjoy abstract puzzles, especially with personal and large-scale moral implications; that’s why they are known as the Diplomats. They will tell you the most important part of an adventure is the mission. These players want to feel like their cause is super important and can be counted on to help a bunch of people along the way, so make sure to place many opportunities for this into your game and show gratitude for their help. They will come alive most in non-linear plots with a lot of roleplaying and unpredictable tangents. As a game master – don’t expect them to take as many harsh and cruel actions, since they will often solve a problem with minimal to no fighting, or utilize their powerful magic or guerilla tactics to come up with unexpected solutions. They are as likely to feed and befriend those wolves in the forest, as slay them.

Preferred Races & Classes

Since Diplomats like to have many ways of overcoming obstacles besides direct conflict, they are most frequently seen playing one of the following:

ENFJ – Engaging Mobilizer

Races: Half-elf, Dragonborn, Human, Tiefling

Classes: Bard, Cleric, Fighter


INFJ – Insightful Supporter

Races: Half-elf, Elf, Gnome, Merfolk

Classes: Bard, Cleric, Wizard


ENFP – Impassioned Evangelist

Races: Elf, Tabaxi, Anything but Human

Classes: Bard, Druid, Sorcerer


INFP – Inspired Idealist

Races: Human, Elf, Genasi, Drow

Classes: Rogue, Druid, Cleric

 

Rationals

Don’t be afraid to get technical if you are playing with Rationals, because they definitely will. Representatives of this group adore having their limits pushed with puzzles and encounters, just make sure no two are the same. They love strategically combining things, so give them a lot of utility they can use. Let them taste extreme levels of power, but only as a reward for being clever. Even though they may forget to do these things in real life, streamline the game by assuming they will do potentially obvious actions like refilling water at a stream. This part of D&D isn’t fun for them unless you explicitly push it to an extreme. Rationals may fight for either good or bad, without pledging too much of an allegiance to any side of the conflict, so keep an open and flexible mind when preparing your sessions.

Preferred Races & Classes

Since Rationals delight in designing powerful, but fragile, characters with a lot of utility, they are frequently seen playing one of the following:

ENTP – Innovative Explorer

Races: Halfling, Human, Gnome, Tiefling

Classes: Fighter, Wizard, Sorcerer


INTP – The Expansive Analyzer

Races: Kenku, Drow, Human, Elf

Classes: Warlock, Wizard, Rogue


ENTJ – Strategic Director

Races: Dragonborn, Human, Half-elf, Goliath

Classes: Bard, Fighter, Paladin


INTJ – The Visionary Mastermind

Races: Human, Elf, Tiefling, Drow

Classes: Wizard, Warlock, Sorcerer


Playing Outside the Box

Despite all these tendencies, for many players the beauty of roleplaying games is to try new perspectives and ways of thinking. As such, you may very well enjoy playing races and classes quite the opposite of your personality — and that’s great! Living life as an alternative version of yourself in a vibrant fantasy, or as a tool of exploring new sides to yourself and pushing the flexibility of your thinking, are both great ways to enjoy D&D and other roleplaying games.

Remember while playing that you are in a tribe, and to appreciate the diversity and new experiences that different people bring to the table. An Explorer may bring more vivid imagery and immersion to the game, a Guardian may sacrifice themselves for you in a sentimentally beautiful way, a Diplomat may deliver a speech so rousing that a skill check isn’t even needed, and a Rationalist may give you tips to get the most out of your equipment and abilities to survive the toughest situations.

If you are looking to create an awesome party and find teammates for your upcoming D&D adventures – you can find your tribe at GameTree

Posted on Leave a comment

Personality Psychology and RPGs: Interview with GeekPsychology

Recently we’ve had an incredible experience talking to Matt from GeekPsychology, a YouTube channel where he is combining gaming and personality psychology in an interesting way for years already while living in Japan.

We’ve used this time to ask Matt about how he got to where he is and keeps developing the projects he’s working on, including his YouTube channel, a book, that’s going to help beginners in psychology and a game made to be suitable for the real world.

He says, that knowing your type and other’s people type gives you permission to be yourself, embrace who you are, and grow as a personality. For Matt himself, the journey into psychology has given motivations, freedom to be who he really is, and open up to new possibilities. One of his brightest achievements is a framework comparing types to races, classes, and monsters in games (RPG’s in his case). It actually changes the way how one thinks, perceives, sees the world.

Matt is comparing life to a questing raid, with obstacles, trials and bosses – and that’s where personality psychology really shines. Not everybody is the same “class” as you, and it goes a long way to bring together other people’s skills and use those to help yourself and others. The point is, that only through specializing, putting all your “points” and effort into one field a person can achieve success.

As well as that, Matt is working on a game, that’s going to take those classes and bring them to a tangled world with decision making, changes, and evolving them. He believes, that his game is going to be great for anyone trying to explore himself, because it gives real-life lessons, that hold incredible value.

You are welcome to watch our latest video and join us for some awesome time with GeekPsychology!

Posted on Leave a comment

What Your Personality Says About You as a Gamer

Playing TableTop Game

Personality typing has acquired popularity in many spheres of life due to its huge practical use. What does your personality type say about you as a gamer? According to the MBTI theory, you either have a preference for Extroversion or Introversion, iNtuition or Sensing , Feeling or Thinking, Perception or Judging.

preferencepairsfeb16502

Briefly about each type

  • Extrovert (E) focusing on the outside world: other people, actions, events
  • Introvert (I) focusing on the internal world: thoughts, emotions, experiences
  • Sensing (S) focuses on the present: current events and facts
  • iNtuition (N) focuses on the future: new opportunities and ideas
  • Thinking (T) makes decision objectively, using logic
  • Feeling (F) makes decision subjectively, using emotions
  • Judging (J) acts according to a plan, consistent
  • Perceiving (P) acts according to a situation, flexible and impulsive

More detailed explanation

Personality types

Find out which is your personality type (from 16 varieties) by picking the category that matches you best in each of the four pairs. The types are also referenced within four “quadras” (NF, NT, SP, SJ) based on similar characteristics of types.

quadras

 It’s actually very interesting and exciting to learn about yourself this way – your tastes, the reasons why you have to do X and not Y. And even more interesting to understand the other people and how you relate to them.

Briefly about each quadra

persuasiontable16

 

 

What about gamers?

We carried out the research examining each of the 16 personality types, grouping them by functions (extroversion, introversion, intuition, sensing, feeling, thinking, perception, judgment) and quadras (NF, NT, SP, SJ). We asked gamers who knew their personality types:

  • what types of platforms they game on?
  • how much they trust and use different review sources when choosing a game?
  • what are their gaming desires?

Game Platforms

Preferences vary most between extroverts and introverts, intuitives and sensors.

board games infographic

As you see extroverts prefer board games more because it’s a social activity. It has a natural preference among extroverts. It’s a source of energy for them, unlike introverts whose source of energy is their inner world, emotions, and experiences. Also, extroverts have a strong desire for console games.

playstation infographic

As for mobile games, it’s interesting that intuitives give them much more benefits than sensorsIt can be explained by the opportunity to have a rest and spend some time in their personal space and “world”.

mobile games infographic
How We Choose Games?

 

games in brain level up

We were curious how do people make a decision, whom they trust before buying a game. So we asked which of these do they use as a marker of how good the game is:

  • Aggregated ratings
  • Large gaming news companies
  • Independent gaming blogs
  • YouTube vloggers
  • Friend referrals
  • Community forums
  • Game stores

As we can see Thinkers trust aggregated ratings more, because they are more inclined to analyze, compare, and criticize than Feelers. They care less about an individual’s taste and prefer to look at data.

agrrt

And Perceivers are more likely to believe that there are many ways to approach something.

arp

Here’s a quadra breakdown of the aggregated rating preference:

agrtq

As we can see NT quadra reveals the most trust but this situation was also observed to some other sources:

lgncq

igbq

Why do we see such a dominance of NT? Answering the question why it is worth mentioning that NT has many “should knows” combined with the desire and great ability to see the “big picture”.

Now let’s reveal the brightest secrets trust to YouTube vloggers!

youtvp

Perceivers have the urge to keep on looking for new information and new opportunities. And also they like flexible and spontaneous approach more than Judgers.

It’s curious that SJ quadra as we see trusts them most of all:

youtvsj

Which can not be said about Game stores (like Steam):

gssj

Representatives of SJ quadra are realists who study everything carefully and make decisions quickly. Because of this vloggers satisfy their needs in the best way, unlike Game stores source which they need to study in details for a long time.

As to the community forums here are again interesting facts between the dichotomy pairs:

cft

Forums are exactly the source where Thinkers can get information about the emotions of people who have used something which usually lacks this type. They usually attend several forums then analyze information and draw conclusions.

cfp

Perceivers prefer to keep things open and seek openness to issues and forums give such opportunity as well as freedom of thought which is important for them too.

Quadras surprised us with their variegated results:

cfq

As you can see SP quadra prefer this source by a wide margin from others. This is caused by the predisposition to freedom in making decisions, a tendency to live fully in the present and due to their practicality take practical results into account.

Gaming desires

It was also interesting to find out what gamers want from the games. That turned out that all quadras have a strong desire for discovering new games and genres.

Gamers desires tables infoUnlike dividing by quadras, division by function is less variegated. Here are some of the brightest moments:

gprrf

 

That’s it for this post, but we have way more data to share with you.
Follow us for more research articles on MBTI and gaming.

And as always, please share your opinion on the topic in the comment section!