In “Advanced Dungeons and Dragons,” the study group comes together to try to save one of Greendale’s side characters, Neil (Charley Koontz), after they become concerned about his mental state. The group decides to engage with Neil by playing his favorite roleplaying game but doesn’t invite Pierce, considering his general lack of sensitivity. The game and episode are immersive and fantastical, shot as a high fantasy “Lord of the Rings”-style epic, with Abed leading the group as dungeon master and Neil slowly regaining his confidence.
Yet, when Pierce discovers they’ve left him out, he stages a vengeful coup and shadow game to defeat Neil. The episode firmly (and rightly) cements Pierce as the villain of the study group, generating tension that would last for the remainder of Chevy Chase’s tenure on the series. However, “Community” doesn’t take the easy route. They also expose the flaws of the other study group members, Jeff in particular, making it an emotional episode in the midst of the incredibly funny and high stakes game.