Dungeons & Dragons

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This article is about the role-playing game. For other uses, see Dungeons & Dragons (disambiguation) and D&D (disambiguation).
Dungeons & Dragons
Dungeons & Dragons logo.jpg
4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons logo
Designer(s) Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson
Publisher(s) TSR, Wizards of the Coast
Publication date 1974 (original)
1977 (D&D Basic Set 1st revision)
1977–1979 (AD&D)
1981 (D&D Basic Set 2nd revision)
1983–1986 (D&D Basic Set 3rd revision)
1989 (AD&D 2nd Edition)
1991 (D&D Rules Cyclopedia 4th revision)
2000 (D&D 3rd edition)[1]
2003 (D&D v3.5)
2008 (D&D 4th edition)
2014 (D&D 5th edition)
Years active 1974–present
Genre(s) Fantasy
System(s) Dungeons & Dragons
d20 System (3rd Edition)
Playing time Varies
Random chance Dice rolling
Skill(s) required Role-playing, improvisation, tactics, arithmetic
Website wizards.com/dnd

Dungeons & Dragons (abbreviated as D&D[2] or DnD) is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game (RPG) originally designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, and first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. (TSR). The game has been published by Wizards of the Coast (now a subsidiary of Hasbro) since 1997. It was derived from miniature wargames with a variation of the Chainmail game serving as the initial rule system.[3] D&D '​s publication is widely regarded as the beginning of modern role-playing games and the role-playing game industry.[4]

D&D departs from traditional wargaming and assigns each player a specific character to play instead of a military formation. These characters embark upon imaginary adventures within a fantasy setting. A Dungeon Master serves as the game's referee and storyteller, while also maintaining the setting in which the adventures occur and playing the role of the inhabitants. The characters form a party that interacts with the setting's inhabitants (and each other). Together they solve dilemmas, engage in battles and gather treasure and knowledge.[4] In the process the characters earn experience points to become increasingly powerful over a series of sessions.

The early success of Dungeons & Dragons led to a proliferation of similar game systems. Despite this competition, D&D remains the market leader in the role-playing game industry.[5] In 1977, the game was split into two branches: the relatively rules-light game system of Dungeons & Dragons and the more structured, rules-heavy game system of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (abbreviated as AD&D or ADnD).[1][2][6] AD&D 2nd Edition was published in 1989. In 2000, the original line of the game was discontinued and the AD&D version was renamed Dungeons & Dragons with the release of its 3rd edition with a new system. These rules formed the basis of the d20 System which is available under the Open Game License (OGL) for use by other publishers. Dungeons & Dragons version 3.5 was released in June 2003, with a (non-OGL) 4th edition in June 2008.[7][8] A 5th edition is scheduled for a staggered release during the second half of 2014.[9]

As of 2006, Dungeons & Dragons remained the best-known[10] and best-selling[11] role-playing game, with an estimated 20 million people having played the game and more than US$1 billion in book and equipment sales.[12] The game has been supplemented by many pre-made adventures as well as commercial campaign settings suitable for use by regular gaming groups. Dungeons & Dragons is known beyond the game for other D&D-branded products, references in popular culture and some of the controversies that have surrounded it, particularly a moral panic in the 1980s falsely linking it to Satanism and suicide.[13] The game has won multiple awards and has been translated into many languages beyond the original English.

Play overview[edit]

A D&D game session in progress

Dungeons & Dragons is a structured yet open-ended role-playing game. It is normally played indoors with the participants seated around a tabletop. Typically, each player controls only a single character, which represents an individual in a fictional setting.[14] When working together as a group, these player characters (PCs) are often described as a 'party' of adventurers, with each member often having his or her own areas of specialty that contributes to the success of the whole.[15][16] During the course of play, each player directs the actions of his or her character and its interactions with other characters in the game.[17][18] This activity is performed through the verbal impersonation of the characters by the players, while also employing a variety of social and other useful cognitive skills, such as logic, basic mathematics and imagination.[19] A game often continues over a series of meetings to complete a single adventure, and longer into a series of related gaming adventures, called a 'campaign'.[20][21]

The results of the party's choices and the overall storyline for the game are determined by the Dungeon Master (DM) according to the rules of the game and the DM's interpretation of those rules.[22][23] The DM selects and describes the various non-player characters (NPCs) that the party encounters, the settings in which these interactions occur, and the outcomes of those encounters based on the players' choices and actions.[18][24] Encounters often take the form of battles with 'monsters' – a generic term used in D&D to describe potentially hostile beings such as animals, aberrant beings, or mythical creatures.[25] The game's extensive rules – which cover diverse subjects such as social interactions,[26] magic use,[27] combat,[28] and the effect of the environment on PCs[29] – help the DM to make these decisions. The DM may choose to deviate from the published rules[22] or make up new ones if they feel it is necessary.[30]

Release 3.5 of the three core rulebooks

The most recent versions of the game's rules are detailed in three core rulebooks: The Player's Handbook, the Dungeon Master's Guide and the Monster Manual. A Basic Game boxed set contains abbreviated rules to help beginners learn the game.[31]

The only items required to play the game are the rulebooks, a character sheet for each player and a number of polyhedral dice. The current editions also assume, but do not require, the use of miniature figures or markers on a gridded surface. Earlier editions did not make this assumption.[32] Many optional accessories are available to enhance the game, such as expansion rulebooks, pre-designed adventures and various campaign settings.[33]

Game mechanics[edit]

D&D uses polyhedral dice to resolve random events. These are abbreviated by a 'd' followed by the number of sides. Shown counter-clockwise from the bottom are: d4, d6, d8, d10, d12 and d20 dice. A pair of nonidentical d10 can be used together to represent percentile dice, or d100.

Before the game begins, each player creates his or her player character and records the details (described below) on a character sheet. First, a player determines his or her character's ability scores,[34] which consist of Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. Each edition of the game has offered differing methods of determining these statistics; as of 4th Edition, players generally assign their ability scores from a list or use points to "buy" them.[35] The player then chooses a race (species) such as Human or Elf, a character class (occupation) such as Fighter or Wizard, an alignment (a moral and ethical outlook), and a number of powers, skills and feats to enhance the character's basic abilities.[36] Additional background history, usually not covered by specific rules, is often also used to further develop the character.[37]

During the game, players describe their PC's intended actions, such as punching an opponent or picking a lock, and converse with the DM in character – who then describes the result or response.[38] Trivial actions, such as picking up a letter or opening an unlocked door, are usually automatically successful. The outcomes of more complex or risky actions are determined by rolling dice.[18] Factors contributing to the outcome include the character's ability scores, skills and the difficulty of the task.[39] In circumstances where a character does not have control of an event, such as when a trap or magical effect is triggered or a spell is cast, a saving throw can be used to determine whether the resulting damage is reduced or avoided.[40][41] In this case the odds of success are influenced by the character's class, levels and (with the 3rd and later editions) ability scores.[40][42]

As the game is played, each PC changes over time and generally increases in capability. Characters gain (or sometimes lose) experience, skills[43] and wealth, and may even alter their alignment[44] or add additional character classes.[45] The key way characters progress is by earning experience points (XP/EXP), which happens when they defeat an enemy or accomplish a difficult task.[46] Acquiring enough XP allows a PC to advance a level, which grants the character improved class features, abilities and skills.[47] Up through the 3rd edition, XP can also be lost in some circumstances, such as encounters with creatures that drain life energy, or by use of certain magical powers that require payment of an XP cost.[48]

Hit points (HP) are a measure of a character's vitality and health and are determined by the class, level and constitution of each character. They can be temporarily lost when a character sustains wounds in combat or otherwise comes to harm, and loss of HP is the most common way for a character to die in the game.[49] Death can also result from the loss of key ability scores[50] or character levels.[51] When a PC dies, it is often possible for the dead character to be resurrected through magic, although some penalties may be imposed as a result. If resurrection is not possible or not desired, the player may instead create a new PC to resume playing the game.[52]

Adventures, campaigns, and modules[edit]

A typical Dungeons & Dragons game consists of an 'adventure', which is roughly equivalent to a single story.[53] The DM can either design an adventure on his or her own, or follow one of the many additional pre-made adventures (previously known as "modules") that have been published throughout the history of Dungeons & Dragons. Published adventures typically include a background story, illustrations, maps and goals for PCs to achieve. Some also include location descriptions and handouts. Although a small adventure entitled 'Temple of the Frog' was included in the Blackmoor rules supplement in 1975, the first stand-alone D&D module published by TSR was 1978's Steading of the Hill Giant Chief, written by Gygax.

A linked series of adventures is commonly referred to as a 'campaign'.[54] The locations where these adventures occur, such as a city, country, planet or an entire fictional universe, are also sometimes called 'campaigns' but are more correctly referred to as 'worlds' or 'campaign settings'.[55] D&D settings are based in various fantasy subgenres and feature varying levels of magic and technology.[56] Popular commercially published campaign settings for Dungeons & Dragons include Greyhawk, Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, Mystara, Spelljammer, Ravenloft, Dark Sun, Planescape, Birthright, and Eberron.[57] Alternatively, DMs may develop their own fictional worlds to use as campaign settings.

Dungeons & Dragons miniature figures. The grid mat underneath uses one-inch squares.

Miniature figures[edit]

The wargames from which Dungeons & Dragons evolved used miniature figures to represent combatants. D&D initially continued the use of miniatures in a fashion similar to its direct precursors. The original D&D set of 1974 required the use of the Chainmail miniatures game for combat resolution.[58] By the publication of the 1977 game editions, combat was mostly resolved verbally. Thus miniatures were no longer required for game play, although some players continued to use them as a visual reference.[59]

In the 1970s, numerous companies began to sell miniature figures specifically for Dungeons & Dragons and similar games. Licensed miniature manufacturers who produced official figures include Grenadier Miniatures (1980–1983),[60] Citadel Miniatures (1984–1986),[61] Ral Partha,[62] and TSR itself.[63] Most of these miniatures used the 25 mm scale, with the exception of Ral Partha's 15 mm scale miniatures for the 1st edition Battlesystem.[64][65]

Periodically, Dungeons & Dragons has returned to its wargaming roots with supplementary rules systems for miniatures-based wargaming. Supplements such as Battlesystem (1985 & 1989) and a new edition of Chainmail (2001)[66] provided rule systems to handle battles between armies by using miniatures.

Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition (2000) assumes the use of miniatures to represent combat situations in play, an aspect of the game that was further emphasized in the v3.5 revision. The Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures Game (2003) is sold as sets of plastic, randomly assorted, pre-painted miniatures, and can be used as either part of a standard Dungeons & Dragons game or as a stand-alone collectible miniatures game.[67]

Game history[edit]

Sources and influences[edit]

An immediate predecessor of Dungeons & Dragons was a set of medieval miniature rules written by Jeff Perren. These were expanded by Gary Gygax, whose additions included a fantasy supplement, before the game was published as Chainmail. When Dave Wesely entered the Army in 1970, his friend and fellow Napoleonics wargamer Dave Arneson began a medieval variation of Wesely's Braunstein games, where players control individuals instead of armies.[68] Arneson used Chainmail to resolve combats.[3] As play progressed, Arneson added such innovations as character classes, experience points, level advancement, armor class, and others.[68] Having partnered previously with Gygax on Don't Give Up the Ship!, Arneson introduced Gygax to his Blackmoor game and the two then collaborated on developing "The Fantasy Game", the role-playing game (RPG) that became Dungeons & Dragons, with the final writing and preparation of the text being done by Gygax.[2][69][70]

Many Dungeons & Dragons elements appear in hobbies of the mid-to-late 20th century. For example, character-based role playing can be seen in improvisational theatre.[71] Game-world simulations were well developed in wargaming. Fantasy milieus specifically designed for gaming could be seen in Glorantha's board games among others.[72] Ultimately, however, Dungeons & Dragons represents a unique blending of these elements.

The world of D&D was influenced by world mythology, history, pulp fiction, and contemporary fantasy novels. The importance of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit as an influence on D&D is controversial. The presence in the game of halflings, elves, half-elves, dwarves, orcs, rangers, and the like, draw comparisons to these works. The resemblance was even closer before the threat of copyright action from Tolkien Enterprises prompted the name changes of hobbit to 'halfling', ent to 'treant', and balrog to 'balor'. For many years Gygax played down the influence of Tolkien on the development of the game.[73][74][75] However, in an interview in 2000, he acknowledged that Tolkien's work had a "strong impact".[76]

The D&D magic system, in which wizards memorize spells that are used up once cast and must be re-memorized the next day, was heavily influenced by the Dying Earth stories and novels of Jack Vance.[77] The original alignment system (which grouped all characters and creatures into 'Law', 'Neutrality' and 'Chaos') was derived from the novel Three Hearts and Three Lions by Poul Anderson.[78] A troll described in this work also influenced the D&D definition of that monster.[74]

Other influences include the works of Robert E. Howard, Edgar Rice Burroughs, A. Merritt, H. P. Lovecraft, Fritz Leiber, L. Sprague de Camp, Fletcher Pratt, Roger Zelazny, and Michael Moorcock.[79] Monsters, spells, and magic items used in the game have been inspired by hundreds of individual works such as A. E. van Vogt's "Black Destroyer", Coeurl (the Displacer Beast), Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky" (vorpal sword) and the Book of Genesis (the clerical spell 'Blade Barrier' was inspired by the "flaming sword which turned every way" at the gates of Eden).[78]

Edition history[edit]

Dungeons & Dragons has gone through several revisions. Parallel versions and inconsistent naming practices can make it difficult to distinguish between the different editions.

Original game[edit]

The original Dungeons & Dragons set.

The original Dungeons & Dragons, now referred to as OD&D,[80] was a small box set of three booklets published in 1974. It was amateurish in production and written from a perspective that assumed the reader was familiar with wargaming. Nevertheless it grew rapidly in popularity, first among wargamers and then expanding to a more general audience of college and high school students. Roughly 1,000 copies of the game were sold in the first year followed by 3,000 in 1975, with sales increasing thereafter.[81] This first set went through many printings and was supplemented with several official additions, such as the original Greyhawk and Blackmoor supplements (both 1975),[82] as well as magazine articles in TSR's official publications and countless fanzines.

Two-pronged strategy[edit]

First edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Masters Guide.

In 1977, TSR created the first element of a two-pronged strategy that would divide the D&D game for over two decades. A Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set boxed edition was introduced[70] that cleaned up the presentation of the essential rules, made the system understandable to the general public, and was sold in a package that could be stocked in toy stores. In 1977, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) was published,[70] which brought together the various published rules, options and corrections, then expanded them into a definitive, unified game for hobbyist gamers. The basic set directed players who exhausted the possibilities of that game to switch to the advanced rules.

As a result of this dual marketing approach, the basic game included many rules and concepts which contradicted comparable ones in the advanced game. Gygax, who wrote the advanced game, wanted an expansive game with rulings on almost any conceivable situation which might come up during play. J. Eric Holmes, the editor of the basic game, preferred a lighter tone with more room for personal improvisation. Confusing matters further, the original D&D boxed set remained in publication until 1979, since it remained a healthy seller for TSR.[72]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons was designed to create a tighter, more structured game system than the loose framework of the original game.[6] While seen by many as a revision of the original D&D,[8] AD&D was at the time declared to be "neither an expansion nor a revision of the old game, it is a new game".[6] The AD&D game was not intended to be directly compatible with D&D and it required some conversion to play between the rule sets.[83] The term Advanced described the more complex rules and did not imply "for higher-level gaming abilities". Between 1977 and 1979, three hardcover rulebooks, commonly referred to as the "core rulebooks", were released: the Player's Handbook (PHB), the Dungeon Master's Guide (DMG), and the Monster Manual (MM). Several supplementary books were published throughout the 1980s, notably Unearthed Arcana (1985) that included a large number of new rules.[70]

Revised editions[edit]

In the 1980s, the rules for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and "basic" Dungeons & Dragons remained separate, each developing along different paths.

In 1981, the "basic" version of Dungeons & Dragons was revised by Tom Moldvay and split into several versions. This game was promoted as a continuation of the original D&D tone, whereas AD&D was promoted as advancement of the mechanics.[6] Although simpler overall than the Advanced game, it included rules for some situations not covered in AD&D. There were five sets: Basic (1977, revised in 1981 and again in 1983, 1991 and 1994), Expert (1981, revised in 1983), Companion (1983), Master (1985), and Immortals (1986, revised in 1991). Revisions of 1983 and expansions like Master Rules and Immortals were introduced by Frank Mentzer.[84][85] Each set covered game play for more powerful characters than the previous.[86] The first four sets were later compiled as a single hardcover book, the Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (1991).

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition, was published in 1989,[70] again as three core rulebooks; the primary designer was David "Zeb" Cook. The Monster Manual was replaced by the Monstrous Compendium, a loose-leaf binder that was subsequently replaced by the hardcover Monstrous Manual in 1993. In 1995, the core rulebooks were slightly revised, although still referred to by TSR as the 2nd Edition,[87] and a series of Player's Option manuals were released as optional rulebooks.[70]

The release of AD&D2 deliberately excluded some aspects of the game that had attracted negative publicity. References to demons and devils, sexually suggestive artwork, and playable, evil-aligned character types – such as assassins and half-orcs – were removed.[88] The edition moved away from a theme of 1960s and 1970s "sword and sorcery" fantasy fiction to a mixture of medieval history and mythology.[89] The rules underwent minor changes, including the addition of non-weapon proficiencies – skill-like abilities that originally appeared in 1st Edition supplements. The game's magic spells were divided into schools and spheres.[2] A major difference was the promotion of various game settings beyond that of traditional fantasy. This included blending fantasy with other genres, such as horror (Ravenloft), science fiction (Spelljammer), and apocalyptic (Dark Sun), as well as alternative historical and non-European mythological settings.[90]

Wizards of the Coast[edit]

In 1997, a near-bankrupt TSR was purchased by Wizards of the Coast.[91] Following three years of development, Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition was released in 2000.[92] The new release folded the Basic and Advanced lines back into a single unified game. It was the largest revision of the D&D rules to date, and also served as the basis for a multi-genre role-playing system designed around 20-sided dice, called the d20 System.[93] The 3rd Edition rules were designed to be internally consistent and less restrictive than previous editions of the game, allowing players more flexibility to create the characters they wanted to play.[94] Skills and feats were introduced into the core rules to encourage further customization of characters.[95] The new rules also standardized the mechanics of action resolution and combat.[96]

In 2003, Dungeons & Dragons v.3.5 was released as a revision of the 3rd Edition rules. This release incorporated hundreds of rule changes, mostly minor, and expanded the core rulebooks.[96]

In early 2005, Wizards of the Coast's R&D team started to develop Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition, prompted mainly by the feedback obtained from the D&D playing community and a desire to make the game faster, more intuitive, and with a better play experience than under the 3rd Edition. The new game was developed through a number of design phases spanning from May 2005 until its release.[97]

Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition was announced at Gen Con in August 2007, and the initial three core books were released June 6, 2008.[7] 4th Edition streamlined the game into a simplified form and introduced numerous rules changes. Many character abilities were restructured into "Powers". These altered the spell-using classes by adding abilities that could be used at will, per encounter, or per day. Likewise, non-magic-using classes were provided with parallel sets of options. Wizards of the Coast is releasing other supplementary material virtually through their website,[98][99] including player character and monster building programs.[100]

On January 9, 2012, Wizards of the Coast announced that it was working on a 5th edition of the game.[101] The company planned to take suggestions from players and let them playtest the rules.[102][103] Public playtesting began on May 24, 2012.[104] At Gen Con 2012 in August, Mike Mearls said that Wizards of the Coast had received feedback from more than 75,000 playtesters, but that the entire development process would take two years, adding, "I can't emphasize this enough ... we're very serious about taking the time we need to get this right."[105] The staggered release of the 5th Edition, coinciding with D&D '​s 40th anniversary, is scheduled for the second half of 2014.[106]

Acclaim and influence[edit]

The game had more than 3 million players around the world by 1981,[107] and copies of the rules were selling at a rate of about 750,000 per year by 1984.[108] Beginning with a French language edition in 1982, Dungeons & Dragons has been translated into many languages beyond the original English.[2][70] By 2004, consumers had spent more than US$1 billion on Dungeons & Dragons products and the game had been played by more than 20 million people.[12] As many as 6 million people played the game in 2007.[100]

The various editions of Dungeons & Dragons have won many Origins Awards, including All Time Best Roleplaying Rules of 1977, Best Roleplaying Rules of 1989, and Best Roleplaying Game of 2000 for the three flagship editions of the game.[109] Both Dungeons & Dragons and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons are Origins Hall of Fame Games inductees as they were deemed sufficiently distinct to merit separate inclusion on different occasions.[110] The independent Games magazine placed Dungeons & Dragons on their Games 100 list from 1980 through 1983, then entered the game into the magazine's Hall of Fame in 1984.[111][112]

Dungeons & Dragons was the first modern role-playing game and it established many of the conventions that have dominated the genre.[113] Particularly notable are the use of dice as a game mechanic, character record sheets, use of numerical attributes and gamemaster-centered group dynamics.[114] Within months of Dungeons & Dragons's release, new role-playing game writers and publishers began releasing their own role-playing games, with most of these being in the fantasy genre. Some of the earliest other role-playing games inspired by D&D include Tunnels & Trolls (1975),[115] Empire of the Petal Throne (1975), and Chivalry & Sorcery (1976).[116]

The role-playing movement initiated by D&D would lead to release of the science fiction game Traveller (1977), the fantasy game RuneQuest (1978), and subsequent game systems such as Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu (1981), Champions (1982), GURPS (1986),[117] and Vampire: The Masquerade (1991).[72][118] Dungeons & Dragons and the games it influenced fed back into the genre's origin – miniatures wargames – with combat strategy games like Warhammer Fantasy Battles.[119] D&D also had a large impact on modern video games.[120]

Director Jon Favreau credits Dungeons & Dragons with giving him "... a really strong background in imagination, storytelling, understanding how to create tone and a sense of balance."[121]

Licensing[edit]

Early in the game's history, TSR took no action against small publishers' production of D&D compatible material, and even licensed Judges Guild to produce D&D materials for several years, such as City State of the Invincible Overlord.[122] This attitude changed in the mid-1980s when TSR took legal action to try to prevent others from publishing compatible material. This angered many fans and led to resentment by the other gaming companies.[72] Although TSR took legal action against several publishers in an attempt to restrict third-party usage, it never brought any court cases to completion, instead settling out of court in every instance.[123] TSR itself ran afoul of intellectual property law in several cases.[124]

With the launch of Dungeons & Dragons's 3rd Edition, Wizards of the Coast made the d20 System available under the Open Game License (OGL) and d20 trademark license. Under these licenses, authors are free to use the d20 System when writing games and game supplements.[125] The OGL and d20 Trademark License made possible new games, some based on licensed products like Star Wars, and new versions of older games, such as Call of Cthulhu.

During the 2000s, there has been a trend towards recreating older editions of D&D. Necromancer Games, with its slogan "Third Edition Rules, First Edition Feel"[126] and Goodman Games Dungeon Crawl Classics range[127] are both examples of this in material for d20 System. Other companies have created complete game systems based on earlier editions of D&D. An example is HackMaster (2001) by Kenzer and Company, a licensed, non-OGL, semi-satirical follow-on to 1st and 2nd Edition.[128] Castles & Crusades (2005), by Troll Lord Games, is a reimagining of early editions by streamlining rules from OGL[129] that was supported by Gary Gygax prior to his death.[130]

With the release of the fourth edition, Wizards of the Coast has introduced its Game System License, which represents a significant restriction compared to the very open policies embodied by the OGL. In part as a response to this, some publishers (such as Paizo Publishing with its Pathfinder Roleplaying Game) who previously produced materials in support of the D&D product line, have decided to continue supporting the 3rd Edition rules, thereby competing directly with Wizards of the Coast.[131][132] Others, such as Kenzer & Company, are returning to the practice of publishing unlicensed supplements and arguing that copyright law does not allow Wizards of the Coast to restrict third-party usage.[133]

Controversy and notoriety[edit]

At various times in its history, Dungeons & Dragons has received negative publicity, in particular from some Christian groups, for alleged promotion of such practices as devil worship, witchcraft, suicide, and murder, and for the presence of naked breasts in drawings of female humanoids in the original AD&D manuals (mainly monsters such as Harpies, Succubi, etc.).[13][134] These controversies led TSR to remove many potentially controversial references and artwork when releasing the 2nd Edition of AD&D.[88] Many of these references, including the use of the names "devils" and "demons", were reintroduced in the 3rd edition.[135] The moral panic over the game also led to problems for fans of D&D who faced social ostracism, unfair treatment, and false association with the occult and Satanism, regardless of an individual fan's actual religious affiliation and beliefs.[136]

Dungeons & Dragons has also been the subject of rumors regarding players having difficulty separating fantasy from reality, even leading to psychotic episodes.[137] The most notable of these was the saga of James Dallas Egbert III,[138] the facts of which were fictionalized in the novel Mazes and Monsters and later made into a TV movie.[134][139] The game was also blamed for some of the actions of Chris Pritchard, who was convicted in 1990 of murdering his stepfather. Research by various psychologists,[140] the first being that of Armando Simon, has concluded that no harmful effects are related to the playing of D&D.[141]

The game's commercial success was a factor that led to lawsuits regarding distribution of royalties between original creators Gygax and Arneson.[142][143] Gygax later became embroiled in a political struggle for control of TSR which culminated in a court battle and Gygax's decision to sell his ownership interest in the company in 1985.[144]

Related products[edit]

An example of an elaborate D&D game in progress. Among the gaming aids shown are dice, a variety of miniatures and a dungeon diorama.

D&D's commercial success has led to many other related products, including Dragon Magazine, Dungeon Magazine, an animated television series, a film series, an official role-playing soundtrack, novels, and computer games such as the MMORPG Dungeons & Dragons Online. Hobby and toy stores sell dice, miniatures, adventures, and other game aids related to D&D and its game offspring.

In popular culture[edit]

D&D grew in popularity through the late 1970s and 1980s. Numerous games, films, and cultural references based on D&D or D&D-like fantasies, characters or adventures have been ubiquitous since the end of the 1970s. D&D players are (sometimes pejoratively) portrayed as the epitome of geekdom,[145] and have become the basis of much geek and gamer humor and satire.[146][147] Famous D&D players include professional basketball player Tim Duncan, comedian Stephen Colbert, and actors Vin Diesel and Robin Williams.[148][149][150][151][152] D&D and its fans have been the subject of spoof films, including Fear of Girls[153] and The Gamers: Dorkness Rising.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "D&D Basic Set". Rulebooks and Sets. acaeum.com. Retrieved 16 May 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Mead, Malcomson; Dungeons & Dragons FAQ
  3. ^ a b Birnbaum 2004
  4. ^ a b Williams, Hendricks & Winkler 2006 introduction
  5. ^ "Frankly, the difference in sales between Wizards and all other producers of roleplaying games is so staggering that even saying there is an 'RPG industry' at all may be generous." Cook; "The Open Game License as I see it".
  6. ^ a b c d Gygax; "From the Sorcerer's Scroll" in The Dragon #26.
  7. ^ a b Slavicsek; Ampersand: Exciting News!
  8. ^ a b Johnson, et al.; 30 Years of Adventure, p. 253.
  9. ^ "Dungeons & Dragons Enters a Pivotal Year with Tyranny of Dragons". Wizards.com. 2014-05-19. Retrieved 2013-05-20. 
  10. ^ According to a 1999 survey in the United States, 6% of 12- to 35-year-olds have played role-playing games. Of those who play regularly, two thirds play D&D. (Dancey; Adventure Game Industry Market Research Summary)
  11. ^ Products branded Dungeons & Dragons made up over fifty percent of the RPG products sold in 2005. (Hite; State of the Industry 2005)
  12. ^ a b Waters; What happened to Dungeons and Dragons?
  13. ^ a b Waldron; Role-Playing Games and the Christian Right
  14. ^ Waskul, Lust; "Role-Playing and Playing Roles" in Caliber 27 (3)
  15. ^ Slavicsek, Baker; Dungeons & Dragons for Dummies p. 268
  16. ^ Bethke, Erik (2003). Game development and production. Wordware Game Developer's Library (Wordware Publishing, Inc.). p. 12. ISBN 1-55622-951-8. 
  17. ^ Tweet, Cook, Williams; Player's Handbook v3.5, p. 5
  18. ^ a b c Williams, Hendricks & Winkler 2006 "The Role-Playing Game and the Game of Role-Playing"
  19. ^ Spade, Joan Z.; Ballantine, Jeanne H. (2011). "Meso-Level Agents of Gender Socialization". Schools and Society: A Sociological Approach to Education (4 ed.). Pine Forge Press. p. 294. ISBN 1-4129-7924-2. 
  20. ^ "Encounters are to adventures what adventures are to campaigns" (Cook, Williams, Tweet; Dungeon Master's Guide v3.5., p. 129)
  21. ^ Rouchart & Aylett 2003, p. 245.
  22. ^ a b Cook, Williams, Tweet; Dungeon Master's Guide v3.5., p. 4
  23. ^ Rouchart & Aylett 2003, p. 245–46.
  24. ^ Slavicsek, Baker; Dungeons & Dragons for Dummies p. 293
  25. ^ Rouchart & Aylett 2003, p. 246.
  26. ^ Cook, Williams, Tweet; Dungeon Master's Guide v3.5., p. 98
  27. ^ Gygax; Dungeon Masters Guide p. 114
  28. ^ Tweet, Cook, Williams; Player's Handbook v3.5, p. 114
  29. ^ Mohan; Wilderness Survival Guide
  30. ^ Tweet; Dungeons & Dragons Basic game p. 32
  31. ^ As of 2007 there have been two version of the basic game. Both contained a cut down, introductory version of the D&D v.3.5 rules, miniatures, dice and dungeon map tiles with a 1" grid (Tweet; Dungeons & Dragons Basic Game and Slavicsek, Sernett, Dungeons & Dragons Basic Game
  32. ^ Wizards of the Coast; What is D&D?
  33. ^ Slavicsek, Baker; Dungeons & Dragons for Dummies p. 363
  34. ^ The original game used 3d6 in the order rolled (Gygax, Arneson; Dungeons & Dragons). Variants have since been included (Gygax; Dungeon Masters Guide, p. 11) and the standard for 3rd edition is "rolling four six-sided dice, ignoring the lowest die, and totaling the other three" (Tweet, Cook, Williams; Player's Handbook [3.0], p. 4), arranging the results in any order desired.
  35. ^ Given is the current standard order for ability scores, with the three physical scores before the three mental scores. Prior to the first edition of AD&D they were ordered: Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Constitution, Dexterity, Charisma. In the first edition they were ordered: Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Dexterity, Constitution, and Charisma.
  36. ^ Heinsoo, Collins, Wyatt; Player's Handbook p. 4
  37. ^ Gygax; Player's Handbook, p. 34
  38. ^ Tweet; Dungeons & Dragons Basic Game p. 24
  39. ^ Tweet, Cook, Williams; Player's Handbook v3.5, p. 62
  40. ^ a b Tweet, Cook, Williams; Player's Handbook v3.5, p. 136
  41. ^ "Generally, when you are subject to an unusual or magical attack, you get a saving throw to avoid or reduce the effect." There is identical language in sections titled 'Saving Throws' in (Tweet 2000:119).
  42. ^ Tweet, Cook, Williams; Player's Handbook (3.0), pp. 119–120
  43. ^ Cook, Williams, Tweet; Dungeon Master's Guide v3.5., p. 197
  44. ^ Early editions did not allow or had severe penalties for changing alignment (Gygax; Dungeon Masters Guide, p. 24) but more recent versions are more allowing of change. (Cook, Williams, Tweet; Dungeon Master's Guide v3.5., p. 134)
  45. ^ Tweet, Cook, Williams; Player's Handbook v3.5, p. 59
  46. ^ Gygax; Dungeon Masters Guide, p. 84
  47. ^ Tweet, Cook, Williams; Player's Handbook v3.5, p. 58
  48. ^ Cook, Williams, Tweet; Dungeon Master's Guide v3.5., p. 46
  49. ^ Tweet, Cook, Williams; Player's Handbook v3.5, p. 145
  50. ^ Cook, Williams, Tweet; Dungeon Master's Guide v3.5., p. 289
  51. ^ Cook, Williams, Tweet; Dungeon Master's Guide v3.5., p. 296
  52. ^ Cook, Williams, Tweet; Dungeon Master's Guide v3.5., p. 41
  53. ^ Cook, Williams, Tweet; Dungeon Master's Guide v3.5., p. 43
  54. ^ "A D&D campaign is an organized framework ... to provide a realistic setting for a series of fantastic adventures." (Schend, Pickens, Warty; Rules Cyclopedia, p. 256)
  55. ^ "It is important to distinguish between a campaign and a world, since the terms often seem to be used interchangeably ... A world is a fictional place in which a campaign is set. It's also often called a campaign setting." (Cook, Williams, Tweet; Dungeon Master's Guide v3.5., p. 129)
  56. ^ Williams ; Dungeon Master Option: High Level Campaigns, p. 45
  57. ^ Greyhawk, Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, Mystara, Spelljammer, Ravenloft, Dark Sun and Planescape are the campaign settings given their own chapter in Johnson, et al.; 30 Years of Adventure. Eberron was only released in 2004 and, as of 2007, is one of two campaign settings, the other being Forgotten Realms, still actively supported with new releases by Wizards of the Coast.
  58. ^ Johnson, et al.; 30 Years of Adventure, p. 23
  59. ^ The first Dungeon Masters Guide gave only a quarter of a page out of a total 240 pages to discussing the option use of miniatures. (Gygax; Dungeon Masters Guide, p. 10)
  60. ^ Pope; Grenadier Models
  61. ^ Scott; Otherworld
  62. ^ Pope; Ral Partha
  63. ^ Pope; TSR
  64. ^ Moore; 15mm Scale Fantasy Figures has a list of the 15 mm Ral Parthat Battlesystem figures.
  65. ^ McCuen; 15mm Battlesystem Paladin 1994 has a photographic example of a 15 mm Ral Partha Battlesystem figure.
  66. ^ Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design; List of Winners (2002)
  67. ^ Tweet; What Are D&D Miniatures?
  68. ^ a b Arneson; "My Life and Role Playing" in Different Worlds #3
  69. ^ Kushner; Dungeon Master: The Life and Legacy of Gary Gygax
  70. ^ a b c d e f g Wizards of the Coast; The History of TSR
  71. ^ Grigg; Albert Goes Narrative Contracting
  72. ^ a b c d Schick; Heroic Worlds, pp. 17–34
  73. ^ Kuntz; "Tolkien in Dungeons & Dragons" in Dragon #13
  74. ^ a b Gygax; "On the Influence of J.R.R. Tolkien on the D&D and AD&D games" in Dragon #95
  75. ^ Drout; "J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia", p 229
  76. ^ "Gary Gygax - Creator of Dungeons & Dragons". TheOneRing. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  77. ^ Gygax; "The Dungeons and Dragons Magic System" in The Strategic Review, Vol. 2, No. 2
  78. ^ a b DeVarque; Literary Sources of D&D
  79. ^ The first seven listed here are the "most immediate influences". (Gygax; Dungeon Masters Guide, p. 224)
  80. ^ Carroll, Bart; Winter, Steve (2009-02-06). "Name Level". Dragon (372) (Wizards of the Coast). 
  81. ^ Peterson, Jon (2012). Playing at the World. Unreason. p. 496. ISBN 978-0-615-64204-8. 
  82. ^ Schick; Heroic Worlds, pp. 132–153
  83. ^ Schend, Pickens, Warty; Rules Cyclopedia, p. 291
  84. ^ http://www.acaeum.com/ddindexes/setpages/basic.html | Acaeum.com
  85. ^ Schick; Heroic Worlds, p. 133
  86. ^ Gygax; "Dungeons & Dragons: What Is It and Where Is It Going" in The Dragon #21
  87. ^ "This is not AD&D 3rd edition" Winter, Steven (in the forward to Cook; Player's Handbook).
  88. ^ a b Ward; "The Games Wizards: Angry Mothers From Heck (And what we do about them)" in Dragon #154
  89. ^ Cook; Player's Handbook (1989), pp. 25–41
  90. ^ Pryor, Herring, Tweet, Richie; Creative Campaigning
  91. ^ Appelcline, Shannon (August 3, 2006). "Wizards of the Coast: 1990 – present". A Brief History of Game. RPGnet. Retrieved September 1, 2006. 
  92. ^ "After ... the idea of acquiring TSR began to swim in my mind it took me maybe thirty seconds to decide, We've got to do a third edition of Dungeons & Dragons." (Adkison, Peter in Johnson, et al.; 30 Years of Adventure, p. 250).
  93. ^ Johnson, et al.; 30 Years of Adventure, p. 273
  94. ^ Johnson, et al.; 30 Years of Adventure, pp. 255–263
  95. ^ "Countdown to 3rd Edition: Feats and Fighters" in Dragon #270
  96. ^ a b Tweet, Cook, Williams; Player's Handbook v3.5, p. 4
  97. ^ Carter, et al.; Wizards Presents: Races and Classes, pp. 6–9
  98. ^ Wizards of the Coast; Dungeons & Dragons Flashes 4-ward at Gen Con
  99. ^ Wizards of the Coast; Wizards of the Coast at Gen Con!
  100. ^ a b Svensson; Dungeons & Dragons reborn
  101. ^ Harnish, MJ (January 9, 2012). "5th Edition D&D Is in Development — Should We Care?". Wired. Retrieved January 9, 2012. 
  102. ^ Gilsdorf, Ethan (January 9, 2012). "Players Roll the Dice for Dungeons & Dragons Remake". New York Times. p. 2. Retrieved January 9, 2012. 
  103. ^ Mearls, Mike (January 9, 2012). "Charting the Course for D&D: Your Voice, Your Game". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved January 9, 2012. 
  104. ^ Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game Official Home Page - Article (News on D&D Next)
  105. ^ Ewalt, David M. (August 20, 2012). "What's Next With Dungeons And Dragons?". Forbes. Retrieved August 26, 2012. 
  106. ^ http://edition.cnn.com/2014/05/19/tech/gaming-gadgets/dungeons-and-dragons-5th-edition/index.html
  107. ^ Stewart Alsop II (1982-02-01). "TSR Hobbies Mixes Fact and Fantasy". 
  108. ^ Gilligan, Eugene (May 1, 1984). "Keeping Pace with Packaging". Playthings. Retrieved September 6, 2012.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  109. ^ Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design; Archive of List of Origins Award Winners
  110. ^ Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design; Hall of Fame
  111. ^ Schick; Heroic Worlds, pp. 414–418
  112. ^ Games Magazine Online; Hall of Fame
  113. ^ "Although we have come a long way since D&D, the essential concept is still the same, and is one that will endure." (Darlington; "A History of Role-Playing Part IX").
  114. ^ Rilstone; Role-Playing Games: An Overview
  115. ^ Schick; Heroic Worlds, pp. 223–244
  116. ^ Fine; Shared Fantasy, pp. 16–19
  117. ^ Darlington; A History of Role-Playing Part V
  118. ^ Darlington; A History of Role-Playing Part VIII
  119. ^ Grady; In Genre
  120. ^ PC Gamer; How Dungeons & Dragons shaped the modern videogame
  121. ^ Boucher; Jon Favreau is the action figure behind 'Iron Man'.
  122. ^ Sacco, Ciro Alessandro. "The Ultimate Interview with Gary Gygax". thekyngdoms.com. Retrieved 2014-09-02. 
  123. ^ Appelcline, Shannon (July 16, 2008). "Games & The Law, Part Seven: The D&D Dilemma". Retrieved July 7, 2009. 
  124. ^ Copyright conflicts with Tolkien Enterpises led to removal of references to Hobbits, Ents and others. (Hallford, Hallford; Swords & Circuitry)
  125. ^ Wizards of the Coast; The d20 System
  126. ^ Necromancer Games; D20 Products with 3rd Edition Rules, 1st Edition Feel
  127. ^ Goodman Games; Dungeon Crawl Classics
  128. ^ Thorn; Review of Hackmaster 4th Edition
  129. ^ "Castles & Crusades is a fantasy RPG, clearly based upon the first edition of AD&D but with streamlined d20-like rules." (Mythmere; Castles & Crusades Players Handbook (4.6 stars))
  130. ^ Gary Gygax was writing an entire line of Castle Zagyg products for Castles & Crusades. (Troll Lord games; Castle Zagyg Product Page)
  131. ^ Paizo Publishing; Paizo Publishing Announces the Pathfinder RPG
  132. ^ Pramas; Green Ronin and Fourth Edition D&D
  133. ^ Anonymous (July 9, 2008). "Kenzer & Co, D&D, and Trademarks". Robertson Games. Retrieved July 7, 2009. [dead link]
  134. ^ a b Cardwell; "The Attacks on Role-Playing Games"
  135. ^ Williams, Tweet, Cook; Monster Manual, pp. 41,47)
  136. ^ Gagne; Moral Panics Over Youth Culture and Video Games
  137. ^ Darlington; A History of Role-Playing Part IV
  138. ^ Hately; The Disappearance of James Dallas Egbert III (Part I)
  139. ^ O'Connor; TV: 'Mazes and Monsters,' Fantasy
  140. ^ Svitavsky; "Geek Culture" in The Bulletin of Bibliography 58 2
  141. ^ Armando; "Emotional Stability Pertaining to Dungeons and Dragons" in Psychology in the Schools 84 (4)
  142. ^ Judges Guild; "Interview with Dave Arneson" in Pegasus #1
  143. ^ Rausch; Dave Arneson Interview
  144. ^ Gygax; Gygax FAQ
  145. ^ Curell; Dungeons & Dragons-30 Years and Going Strong
  146. ^ Onion; "Bill Gates Grants Self 18 Dexterity, 20 Charisma" in The Onion 31 (21)
  147. ^ Cohen, Keler, Rogers; Anthology of Interest I
  148. ^ Manson, Marilyn; Strauss, Neil (1999). The Long Hard Road Out of Hell. HarperCollins. p. 26. ISBN 0-06-098746-4. 
  149. ^ Diesel, Colbert, Lillard: Tonjes; Interview with Charles Ryan on the 2005 Worldwide Dungeons & Dragons Game Day
  150. ^ Diesel, Williams, Moby, Lillard, Colbert: Shanafelt; The growing chic of geek
  151. ^ Briggs; Duncan's unusual hobby and more unusual request
  152. ^ Diesel contributed the introduction, and both Colbert and Wheaton page personal reflections to Johnson, et al.; 30 Years of Adventure
  153. ^ Lees, Jennie. "Fear of Girls." Joystiq

References[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]