Business and pleasure?

Is this the world’s stupidest idea, or not?

I work for a big company, and I have a direct team of 10 people managers. I have pretty much free rein on team building activities, and I’m responsible for training and developing their management skills. I have very little budget, though I do have access to great facilities.

Do I run a D&D game for them?



Filed under RPG

3 responses to “Business and pleasure?

  1. Arbanax

    Well it sounds odd at first but depending on the set-up the idea of using their resources, cooperatively, having a clear goal and working out how to achieve it does have links and parallels with what they do in work.

    I guess the main thing is that the game world is far more black and white about means and ends and the real world is a bit more grey and complicated. I think its a great idea as long as you make sure that the objectives of the game have clear links or obvious parallels to the things you do in work then I see that there is no reason why you can’t draw on this.

    Role playing is an established part of business training as is team building.


    • Aaron

      Roleplaying in business training, yes. D&D in the workplace, not so much.

      The manager in me thinks this is a mixed idea — unique, innovative, and fun but also potentially divisive, offensive, and just plain weird. The gamer in me is terrified at the thought of a 10-person party of new players, fresh onto a rules set they’ve never seen before.

      Solutions: Use Microlite-20 or some very simple system. As Arbanax suggested, make the story relevant to them, though, it will ultimately depend on the workplace and staff in question and whether they buy in to the idea.

      Ideas: The ArchManager Baz the Unmerciful who has ruled the floor for these past 3 years, inflicting unspeakable punishments for the most trivial trespasses. A stalwart group of team leads have had enough and with the guidance of a mysterious Exec-wizard depart on a short “department crawl” through the fiendish offices, wielding their Quarterly Performance Reviews +1, to arrive at the All-Hands Temple and confront Baz and his Intern minions.

      Also… love the blog.

  2. Tim

    I do training and coaching for Talent Management in a large organisation and I run a D&D kids group (12 year olds) in the weekends. I profoundly believe that RPGs teach teamwork, creativity and thinking on your feet. In my experience, much as teenagers sometimes have to get over being “cool”to have fun and find value, so younger employees (21-25) have to deal with their “seriousness” to participate in role-plays. Preface anything you do with a motivational presentation.

    I would take it right out of the business context (ie not Arch-manager Baz) to avoid “meta-gaming” and problems with “realism” and I would use a system that has a relationship mechanic (Apocalypse World from Lumpley is excellent, though the content is often NSFW). Try running a mystery, sifting through a deluge of information for real clues and then force them to roleplay some verbal confrontations to uncover clues and make progress. Make it intellectually challenging, but force them to take account of feelings.

    It is a off-beat idea, but not a bad one. People from outside the medium will have some thresholds to cross, but they cross those in Talent Management trainings too, and we DO make them role-play. It is a fun idea and I think I will now go and create a business training Red Box….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s