Joe Manganiello's tips for being a better D&D Player | D&D Beyond

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  • Published: 03 December 2019
  • Joe Manganiello gives advice and tips for Dungeons and Dragons Players. From telling the story and crafting exciting moments, to planning and tactics.

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Comments • 152

  • D&D Beyond
    D&D Beyond   2 months back

    Do you have an advice for fellow D&D Players? Share it in the comments!

    • PACE AUTO SALES-AUBURN
      PACE AUTO SALES-AUBURN  1 months back

      Brilliant! So much can be learned from the old school approach.
      Gotta pass the 45+ yrs of D&D history on to the new generation.
      As with music, art, etc; nothing exists in a vacuum, and everything has been built on the experience of previous efforts. Respect.

    • MARSHOMEWORLD
      MARSHOMEWORLD  1 months back

      TIP: Find a gaming group that plays an OSR game such as Dungeon Crawl Classics, Swords & Wizardry OR (gasp) howabout 1st ed D&D. Once away from the spoon-feeding of passive perception checks, endless death saves, and the general mindset of player characters being unstoppable tanks that only engage in combats that are "Fair" due to the ridiculous concept of challenge ratings (The greatest adventure stories were NEVER about "fair & balanced". Ex: sending Hobbits into Mordor, David up against Goliath, or a farm boy, old man & a smuggler into the Death Star). Once these video-game inspired game mechanics are removed and players have to think much more carefully about their decisions...they will BECOME better players. They will understand how their character's actions affect the party as a whole; how they are indeed part of a living world the DM has crafted that doesn't exist only in bonus stats and endless arrays of stackable feats. Their characters will face the possibility of death as permanent. They will have to think about HOW & WHERE they are searching as opposed to making random perception checks out of the blue. Advancement will be earned only by facing truly formidable challenges that they may indeed not survive. Magic will not be a go-to problem solver; instead it will be a dangerous mystery with potentially dire consequences if misused. While these ideas may seem harsh, the upside is that by old school guidelines; characters can do ANYTHING they set their mind to without needing the permission of a skill rating, and this is powerful when shaping the way a player engages with the game. This is how characters BUILD backstories;one adventure at a time. Once a player understands that they can decide upon a task, and resolve it thru GM RULINGS instead of RULES alone, they will be engaging in one of the oldest and greatest covenants of the tabletop RPG table. And it will change the way they play. These concepts can be brought back to the 5e table and a more powerful; enjoyable, and skillful game may indeed be the result for all involved.

    • crodd92
      crodd92  2 months back

      Review your spells and class abilities before you play. This will make for a more fluid and potentially better session to know all your options and how they work.

    • Luke Poplawski
      Luke Poplawski  2 months back

      Play your character’s faults, even to their deaths and if you die, reroll. The beauty and magnificence of a great and epic story lies in the simple fact that it’s has an ending. DnD capitalizes on this with the randomness of dice rolling, even a barbarian with 30 strength can still roll a “1.” Don’t be afraid to take risks. And lastly, don’t be afraid to talk with your DM, just don’t argue with him or her.

    • Graham Baxter
      Graham Baxter  2 months back

      Never be afraid to fail (this goes for DMs, too), and _most importantly_ fail well/graciously.
      The best D&D memories I have are of spectacular failures, not successes.

      Oh yeah, ALWAYS talk to your DM before or after a session if something’s bugging you, the game’s not going well, or you need to step away from the game for a bit. They’ll appreciate the notice and you’ll feel better for having addressed the issue.

  • M.T.N. Entertainment
    M.T.N. Entertainment  2 weeks back

    Been following this guy's workout and diet advice for a while now, now he has gaming tips too? Does this guy know everything?

    • Educational DM
      Educational DM  1 months back

      I love that this shows that Manganiello is a real D&D nerd, with a long history of being a D&D nerd. I do doubt some of those who have said that they have been playing D&D since they were kids. Sure, they might have played once or twice, but you can see how much Manganiello invests in the game and has for a long time. He's also unlike the many steamers - who I love too. I love to see good roleplay and investment in the characters - who can't strategise for crap. Manganiello puts real thought into his character and tactics. I'd love to play or DM him some day.

      • theGhoulman
        theGhoulman  1 months back

        Thanks Joe. I haven't played since 1993(?). Hell, I played as a teen with the original books in the 80s. Now, I've been asked to DM! Bought the 5e books (I LIKE them!). And hey, you made me like playing again, watching your previous vids (took the Hand of Vecna, wtf!), watched that Critical Role webisode!).

        Back when we played in the 80s, well, players would LOVE to mess up the game and cut their own path. YOU remind me of those days. Because, Hand of Vecna. :)

        • Tree Forrest
          Tree Forrest  1 months back

          Joe is one of the celebs I would love yo play with.

          • Mike Grant
            Mike Grant  1 months back

            Best advice, Play 2E. So it begins.

            • ShurikenSean
              ShurikenSean  1 months back

              Joe describes exactly how I'm constantly thinking about different character builds to pull off crazy combinations and how much care I put into a character's backstory (sometimes way too much)

              • morgan miser
                morgan miser  1 months back

                I'm starting my first dnd campaign I'm not gonna lie I'm scared I'm so new to the whole dnd world

                • omega311888
                  omega311888  1 months back

                  joe does like i do lol

                  • MARSHOMEWORLD
                    MARSHOMEWORLD  1 months back

                    TIP: Find a gaming group that plays an OSR game such as Dungeon Crawl Classics, Swords & Wizardry OR (gasp) howabout 1st ed D&D. Once away from the spoon-feeding of passive perception checks, endless death saves, and the general mindset of player characters being unstoppable tanks that only engage in combats that are "Fair" due to the ridiculous concept of challenge ratings (The greatest adventure stories were NEVER about "fair & balanced". Ex: sending Hobbits into Mordor, David up against Goliath, or a farm boy, old man & a smuggler into the Death Star). Once these video-game inspired game mechanics are removed and players have to think much more carefully about their decisions...they will BECOME better players. They will understand how their character's actions affect the party as a whole; how they are indeed part of a living world the DM has crafted that doesn't exist only in bonus stats and endless arrays of stackable feats. Their characters will face the possibility of death as permanent. They will have to think about HOW & WHERE they are searching as opposed to making random perception checks out of the blue. Advancement will be earned only by facing truly formidable challenges that they may indeed not survive. Magic will not be a go-to problem solver; instead it will be a dangerous mystery with potentially dire consequences if misused. While these ideas may seem harsh, the upside is that by old school guidelines; characters can do ANYTHING they set their mind to without needing the permission of a skill rating, and this is powerful when shaping the way a player engages with the game. This is how characters BUILD backstories;one adventure at a time. Once a player understands that they can decide upon a task, and resolve it thru GM RULINGS instead of RULES alone, they will be engaging in one of the oldest and greatest covenants of the tabletop RPG table. And it will change the way they play. These concepts can be brought back to the 5e table and a more powerful; enjoyable, and skillful game may indeed be the result for all involved.

                    • MrTime2Spare
                      MrTime2Spare  1 months back

                      Todd you creep me out, have a nice night.

                      • lordeppiothe1
                        lordeppiothe1  1 months back

                        so in our dnd group (we play online over a virtual tabletop) we have one person who recently began playing other games on the side on steam. we have asked him not to do that many times and it really getting to a point where he often doesn't know whats going on in combat or he just zones out in between. it's really starting to get frustrating, and we talked about it a few times where he says he won't do it and still he goes on playing other games.... does anyone have a tip on how to approach this as a fellow player. i really feel bad for the DM that he is missing half the game at times. and i can tell the DM doesn't like it either...

                        • Gabriel Matheus
                          Gabriel Matheus  1 months back

                          II also preepare dialogue lines and answer for my character, creating dialogues in my head, so I understand better how I should act in every situation, helps me get in the right mindset with the character

                          • Gabriel Matheus
                            Gabriel Matheus  1 months back

                            I play D&D almost totally because of RP, I don't even like math.the mechanics to me are just a flavor to serve as a guide so you don't are lost and make the games kinda balanced

                          • Matthew Brown
                            Matthew Brown  1 months back

                            I like the variety that D&D provides from a roleplayinng perspective, as well as much of the available lore that people can draw from. I know a lot of people who prefer to treat it as simply a numbers game and others who prefer to keep their roleplay to a minimum, but those who really dig into their characters can get something extra from it. I love it when people sit there and say, “I would do it this way, but my character isn’t like that.” It really adds to the experience it my opinion.

                        • timtheasianinc
                          timtheasianinc  1 months back

                          Every time I see Joe. I always think, that's the guy from How I Met Your Mother!!! Lol =op

                          • Znapaznarf
                            Znapaznarf  1 months back

                            Recently I exploded a Froghemoth by getting swallowed and then Polymorphing into a Brontosaurus, which is a move I've been holding onto ever since Scanlan's, uhh, digestive adventures.

                            • Alan Smith-Emerson
                              Alan Smith-Emerson  1 months back

                              2:33 Um, that's not the real reason for RPGs, but whatever floats yer boat, Joe.

                              • TLhikan
                                TLhikan  1 months back

                                I would let Joe Manganiello cut off *my* hand to play D&D with his group.

                                • kriddius
                                  kriddius  1 months back

                                  Biggest tip I can give for players is to talk to your party, in game and out, to learn about each other. A character can be powerful, a team can be unstoppable

                                  • Cussundria Kneal
                                    Cussundria Kneal  1 months back

                                    I will NEVER get over Arkhan stealing the hand of Veccna. Never. That was one of the greatest character moments i have ever, to this day, witnessed. And it made me respect the man tenfold for going for it.

                                    • DarkLordKage
                                      DarkLordKage  1 months back

                                      Tip number 1: Use D&D Beyond

                                      • Sanna Öhlund
                                        Sanna Öhlund  1 months back

                                        Joe is so inspiring!

                                        • Adam Wood
                                          Adam Wood  1 months back

                                          Lol the 10% in the car ride home...so Real!

                                          • Tyler Boyce
                                            Tyler Boyce  1 months back

                                            Any person who can say "my friend Joe Manganiello" has a pretty happy and successful life. That's just science.

                                            • omega311888
                                              omega311888  1 months back

                                              i would LOVE to play a campaign with him!

                                          • Erasmas Expeditions
                                            Erasmas Expeditions  1 months back

                                            The best piece of advice that I can think of to tell players is - listen. Listen and then react. If you simply pay attention (to the GM and to other players), you will know what feels like the right call the majority of the time.

                                            • Ragnar Hill
                                              Ragnar Hill  1 months back

                                              Here's a tip: Before investing in ANY rpg look into what type of game you want to run and why. D&D 5e is a decent game, but then so is Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying 4e. Or Swords & Wizardry/Labyrinth Lord/OSR games. Or The Fantasy Trip. Or Symbaroum, Trudvang Chronicles, Judge Dredd and the Worlds of 2000AD or any of dozens and dozens of other games. Which is the best of these? The one that everyone enjoys the most. I have found that starting with this tip and sometimes looking beyond D&D or to its simpler retroclones is a great fit too. Nothing against 5e, I am in a game of it, but it isn't the be all, end all of gaming experiences either.

                                            • Daniel Gunther
                                              Daniel Gunther  1 months back

                                              I cannot stand player’s constantly looking for ways to exploit rules. If it is something that happens incidentally, spontaneously, during the course of play at the table - great! But when it’s something that occurs because how Mangenella describes it - phooey!

                                              • sirachxi
                                                sirachxi  1 months back

                                                i cannot tell yall how many times i realize later if i did something different an encounter would have been better. often it is because i forgot i had a power or skill.

                                                • iceykid2
                                                  iceykid2  1 months back

                                                  I legit thought this was the guy that plays Jaime Lannister the whole time

                                                  • Galactic Warlock
                                                    Galactic Warlock  1 months back

                                                    Joe has player tips 😂
                                                    He is actually really insightful too!

                                                    • Tal Moore
                                                      Tal Moore  1 months back

                                                      Since Joe was the only one crazy enough to lop off his own hand and attach the hand of Vecna, then it's fair to say he didn't so much steal the hand as burden himself with it.

                                                      • 1memer
                                                        1memer  1 months back

                                                        My nat20 hitting your BBEG, that's the accident!

                                                        • Nick Mozzicato
                                                          Nick Mozzicato  1 months back

                                                          I thought he only got paid to pretend to play it on the big bang theory? Also gotta say.. Magic Mike!!!

                                                          • NaitoNii
                                                            NaitoNii  1 months back

                                                            Speaking as a DM some points for all players, veterans and new ones;
                                                            - Listen to your DM. (Obviously)
                                                            - Listen to your fellow players and work with them as a team. We all get our moment to shine. If it's not your time now, it will be in the future.
                                                            - Be attentive and take notes. Just because your character isn't there, doesn't mean you can't take notes about the thing that is happening. Because the player who is IN the moment will be so into it that they will forget to take notes. Be the Life Saver of the party by taking notes and share these with your party after the game. You as the player will know what happened, but be mindful that the character you play does not.
                                                            - Respect the Roleplay when it is happening. If RP is happening and you(r character) are not a part of the conversation, do not start a conversation on the side with another player. This disrupts the RP happening and is distracting both players involved and the DM.
                                                            - Respect your Character. Characters can grow and change over time. But if you make a Paladin who wants to spread good in the world and make people happy, do not play them the next session as a Murder Hobo without proper In-Game reason. Do not constantly change something about your character based on the "Flavor of the Month"-show you've been watching. That is what rolling different characters are for.

                                                            • Pentech2u
                                                              Pentech2u  1 months back

                                                              He betrayed Vox Machina, he can't be trusted!

                                                              • RaF KiNs
                                                                RaF KiNs  1 months back

                                                                Flash Thompson plays dnd?!?!?!?!?!?

                                                                • Omega Blk5
                                                                  Omega Blk5  1 months back

                                                                  when that SOB stole Vecnas hand . . . and he's bragging about it!!! Such a baller move . . .

                                                                  • Chris K
                                                                    Chris K  1 months back

                                                                    Big flex

                                                                  • Fyrmer
                                                                    Fyrmer  1 months back

                                                                    It didn't belong to anybody at that point. It was just lying there.

                                                                • Mads Fløche
                                                                  Mads Fløche  2 months back

                                                                  dm's dream

                                                                  • colter johnson
                                                                    colter johnson  2 months back

                                                                    I've been trying to focus more on telling my characters story rather than just thinking about mechanics. It's made me enjoy D&D more fully.

                                                                    • Kenneth Gentry Powder Keg

                                                                      I feel the same way as a player. Great advice Joe!

                                                                      • Loka
                                                                        Loka  2 months back

                                                                        New and old players should not worry if they get reminded about this bonus or to use that die or whatever. In my group (some of whom have been playing for 30+ years together) will regularly chime in with "did you remember the bless modifier" or flanking or whatever. For us it's not a thinking so and so is forgetful, it's more of "holy crap, this fight is really intense! We've got to put EVERY effort into winning!"

                                                                        • Jon Doe
                                                                          Jon Doe  2 months back

                                                                          Unless your players are just humoring you :'(

                                                                          • Blandco
                                                                            Blandco  2 months back

                                                                            Also, I just gotta say D&D 5E requires teamwork to win. No matter how "good" you are at min maxing and power gaming the numbers aren't going to help you if your team isn't on the same page.

                                                                            • DetectiveBarricade
                                                                              DetectiveBarricade  1 months back

                                                                              The DM is also part of your team. Everyone at the table is working together to tell an epic story they'll be talking about for a long time to come. Forget that, and the game stops being fun.

                                                                            • chony93
                                                                              chony93  1 months back

                                                                              That is something most players should understand, is all about teamwork. Your character may be chaotic but work it out so it can cooperate, stick to your alignment but cooperate, it is hard to explain but you can always make an excuse for your character to want to cooperate.

                                                                          • Non Ya
                                                                            Non Ya  2 months back

                                                                            Geezer here.....
                                                                            Good vid.
                                                                            My advice for any noobs would have to be.....
                                                                            Have fun. It is a game. Do NOT let anyone tell you your doing it wrong by not having an exhaustive back story. Or not talking and so on in character. Learn the rules concerning your character and basic combat tactics.
                                                                            Above all, if the first group you play with is not a good fit find another.
                                                                            Game on.

                                                                            • Trushil Harduth
                                                                              Trushil Harduth  2 months back

                                                                              todd talks with joe manganello?

                                                                              • Vinícius Gottschall
                                                                                Vinícius Gottschall  2 months back

                                                                                Joe is awesome dndwise, I wish this guy was my friend.

                                                                                • Dragonian Xylak
                                                                                  Dragonian Xylak  2 months back

                                                                                  Pay attention to what happens and make note of things you see/hear that would stand out to your character.


                                                                                  Separate your character from yourself. Think about them in terms of "Okay, this is *not* me, so what would I expect to see them do/react to?"


                                                                                  Create story hooks when making your character, with the DM's help. Characters with motivations, goals, and long term plans are much easier to roleplay, and tend to be more interesting.


                                                                                  Read the rules! Know how your abilities and any spells you know work! Your character would know and so should you!


                                                                                  Engage with your DM/GM. They have a whole world at their disposal to tell you about, and any DM worth their salt will want to give you information to intrigue you but not spoil you. And they might can help give you an idea of someone else's perspective on your character.


                                                                                  Understand evil. For starters, alignment can be pretty subjective so ignore that for now and just think about good villain characters. Sure, some are loners that just want to inflict pain on others, but many may have their own allies and ties, their own motivations that justify their views, etc. Usually, evil isn't bad for the sake of it, there is a reason and logic to their actions. The Joker, for example, no matter how "Chaotic Evil" you might consider him, still has people work for and with him to achieve his goals, often through manipulation. Evil =/= no teamwork, even possibly with a paladin.


                                                                                  Most importantly, have fun with it and don't inhibit others' ability to have fun playing. If you want an edgy rogue with a tortured past, go for it. Just don't be the guy doing edgy and dumb crap at the table for the sake of it. If you love combat, don't just check out when there's no fighting, try having your character and you pick up a hobby or additional interest, perhaps in pursuit of more fighting. And don't do things that will make the other people at the table not want to play with you. Want an anime-like character? Fine, but don't get tentacles into the mix, etc.

                                                                                  • patrick fackler
                                                                                    patrick fackler  2 months back

                                                                                    Spoiler warning lol

                                                                                    • Master the Game
                                                                                      Master the Game  2 months back

                                                                                      Joe is a power gamer! I love it. My wife is a power gamer too. He would be fun to hang out with and discuss this stuff.