Did you know that rock and metal musician Andy Hurley, best known as the drummer for Fall Out Boy, is majorly into DnD? Earlier this year he spoke to fellow percussionist Craig Reynolds on the Downbeat podcast, and when Reynolds lamented his lack of hobbies, they soon got onto talking about Hurley’s love of Dungeons and Dragons and other tabletop roleplaying games.
Reynolds was working from little to no knowledge, so it’s fun to see Hurley explain what D&D is. He gives his take on what’s so great about playing tabletop RPGs to a very confused, but also extremely open and enthusiastic, Reynolds – and it makes for wholesome listening.
“It’s basically just getting together with friends and telling a story,” Hurley says. “Some people play just to play a character, tell a story; some people play because they love the numbers, they love crunching numbers and figuring out how to min-max – is what it’s called – your character to be as strong as it possibly can – which is the same for RPGs and video games.”
Highlights include when Reynolds invents some kind of “big fucking BDSM dragon man” sex orgy, as a hypothetical final boss. Another great moment is when he triumphantly grasps the concept of DnD, then suggests Magic: The Gathering is probably kind of the same thing, and Hurley has to let him down gently: “Not really”. It’s very much worth checking out in the video above – from about the 23 minute mark onwards.
Hurley played D&D online through the social platform Discord during the pandemic – at first using Roll20 and then just in the ‘theatre of the mind’. He says thanks to his love of nature and his veganism, his favourite class is the Ranger 5e.
Hurley also says he plays D&D for the funny moments, rather than for serious, intense roleplaying. “My gaming group dicked around so much, we took forever to do stupid shit – because we’re just joking around, and laughing – so it took forever and we’d oftentimes have to cut it before the DM planned,” he says. “But the DM’s adaptive, they’re good at working with the personalities of their players.”
During the podcast, Reynolds seems taken with the concept of DnD, and announces he’s going to give it a go. Though Hurley may have then made that classic nerd mistake of diving in too deep too fast – after explaining the concept of Dungeons and Dragons and tabletop RPGs in general, he then starts bringing other systems into the mix.
“Mothership is my favourite. It’s super easy to play. It’s super rules light, so it’s not super clunky. You don’t have to learn a ton, you can just pick it up and play. And then there’s stuff like Pathfinder which is pretty rules-heavy, there’s a lot to learn.”
One of the best RPG experiences Hurley’s had was at a GenCon session playing one of the Star Wars RPGs, which he says “felt like a movie”.
“If you get someone who’s good at running a game, it’s amazing. Because you’re just picturing it in your mind’s eye, as you’re playing,” he tells Reynolds.