Portal:Dungeons & Dragons/Selected article

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A list of all current Selected Articles for the D&D Portal. All articles must be B-Class or higher. If there is a B-class or higher D&D article not shown here and which is not a rulebook, feel free to add it or, if you need help, mention it at Portal talk:Dungeons & Dragons.

1: Dragonlance[edit]

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Dragonlance is a shared universe created by Laura and Tracy Hickman, and expanded by Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis under the direction of TSR, Inc. into a series of popular fantasy novels. The Hickmans devised the concept that became Dragonlance while driving in their car on the way to TSR for a job application. At TSR, Tracy met his future writing partner Margaret Weis, and they gathered a group of associates to play the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. The adventures during that game inspired a series of gaming modules, and a series of novels, as well as licensed products such as board games, and lead miniature figures.

In 1984, TSR published the first Dragonlance novel, Dragons of Autumn Twilight. It began the Chronicles Trilogy, a core element of Dragonlance. While the authoring team of Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis wrote the setting's central books, numerous other authors contributed novels and short stories to the setting. Over 190 novels have used the Dragonlance setting, and have been accompanied by a supplemental campaign setting in the Dungeons & Dragons – style for over a decade. In 1997, Wizards of the Coast LLC purchased TSR, and licensed Dragonlance to Sovereign Press, Inc in 2001 to produce game materials; this licensing agreement expired in 2007.

The fictional Dragonlance world of Krynn contains numerous characters, an extensive timeline, and a detailed geography. The history of Krynn consists of six ages. The novels and related game products are primarily set in the fifth age, The Age of Despair. Since February 2009, the sixth age, the Age of Mortals, has been used. The Heroes of the Lance, created by Weis and Hickman, are the popular protagonists of the Chronicles trilogy, the first books set in the Dragonlance universe. Along with D&D's world of the Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance is one of the most popular shared worlds in fiction.

2: Dragons of Autumn Twilight[edit]

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Dragons of Autumn Twilight is a fantasy novel by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, based on a Dungeons & Dragons game session. It was the first Dragonlance novel, beginning the series in 1984. It is the first in the Chronicles trilogy, which, along with the Dragonlance Legends trilogy, are generally regarded as the core novels of the Dragonlance world. The Chronicles trilogy came about because the designers wanted novels to tell the story of the game world they were creating, something to which TSR only reluctantly agreed. Dragons of Autumn Twilight details the meeting of the Companions and the early days of The War of the Lance. It corresponds with the first two Dragonlance game modules, DL1 Dragons of Despair and DL2 Dragons of Flame, but the novel has a different ending from the modules. It introduces many of the characters that are the subject of many other novels and short stories.

Dragons of Autumn Twilight follows a pattern with the other novels in its series, Dragons of Winter Night and Dragons of Spring Dawning, as they all start with Dragons, followed by the a series of seasons, Autumn, Winter, and Spring, as well as a series of time, Twilight, Night, and Dawning.

Margaret Weis includes allusions to A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, one of her favorite stories. References include But there was something disquieting about him—secret, silent, self-contained, and solitary as an oyster and The fate of mankind is my business, turning the quote from meaning good to meaning harm.

3: Planescape: Torment[edit]

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Planescape: Torment is a role-playing video game developed for Windows by Black Isle Studios and released on December 12, 1999 by Interplay Entertainment. It takes place in Planescape, an Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) fantasy campaign setting. The game's engine is a modified version of the Infinity Engine, which was also used for BioWare's Baldur's Gate, a previous AD&D game set in the Forgotten Realms.

Planescape: Torment is primarily story-driven; combat is given less prominence than in most contemporary role-playing games. The protagonist, an immortal who has lost his name, lived many lives, and forgotten them. The game focuses on The Nameless One's journey throughout the city of Sigil and other planes to reclaim his memories of these previous lives. Several characters in the game may join The Nameless One on his journey, most of whom have encountered him in the past.

The game was not a significant commercial success but received widespread critical praise and has since become a cult classic. It was lauded for its immersive dialog, for the dark and relatively obscure Planescape setting, and for the protagonist's unique persona, which shirked many characteristics of traditional role-playing games. It was considered by many video game journalists to be the best role-playing game (RPG) of 1999, and continues to receive attention long after its release.

4: Forgotten Realms[edit]

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The Forgotten Realms is a campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) fantasy role-playing game, created by game designer Ed Greenwood. Commonly referred to by players and game designers alike as simply "The Realms", it is one of the most popular D&D settings, brought about largely due to the success of novels by authors such as R. A. Salvatore and numerous role-playing video games such as Pool of Radiance, Baldur's Gate, and Neverwinter Nights.

According to the setting's creators, the "Forgotten Realms" is the name of an imaginary fantasy world that exists somewhere beyond our own world. It is described as a world of strange lands, dangerous creatures, and mighty deities, where magic and seemingly supernatural phenomena are quite real. Ostensibly, once upon a time, our Earth and the world of the Forgotten Realms were somehow more closely connected. As time passed, we, the inhabitants of planet Earth, have mostly forgotten about the existence of that other world -- hence the term "Forgotten Realms". On the original Forgotten Realms logo, the little runic letters in it read "Herein lie the lost lands". This is another allusion to this connection between the two worlds.

5: Dungeons & Dragons (album)[edit]

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Dungeons & Dragons is a studio album by Midnight Syndicate, released August 12, 2003 by Entity Productions. The album is designed as a soundtrack to the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons and was produced by Midnight Syndicate at the request of Wizards of the Coast, the company which owns the rights to the Dungeons & Dragons franchise. Midnight Syndicate were approached by game designers at a gaming convention where they had set up stall, and they agreed to produce the album.

After an initial meeting with Wizards of the Coast, the two members of Midnight Syndicate—Edward Douglas and Gavin Goszka—were left to write and produce the album themselves. They went their separate ways and produced tracks independently of one another, but came back together to arrange the album and master the tracks. The album was a change in style for Midnight Syndicate because it was mostly based around a fantasy feel, whereas their earlier works had been almost entirely horror-based. Artwork within the album booklet came from Dungeons & Dragons sourcebooks including works from prominent game designers such as Skip Williams. The album was well received by Wizards of the Coast with positive reviews from music critics and the gaming community. It is reputedly the only official Dungeons & Dragons soundtrack.

6: Drizzt Do'Urden[edit]

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Drizzt Do'Urden /drɪst dˈʊɜːrdɪn/ is a fictional character in the Forgotten Realms setting based on the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game. Drizzt was originally created by author R. A. Salvatore as a supporting character in the Icewind Dale Trilogy. Salavatore created him on a whim when his publisher needed to replace another character in Salvatore's first novel, The Crystal Shard. Drizzt has since become a popular heroic character of the Forgotten Realms setting, featured as the main character of a long series of books, starting chronologically with The Dark Elf Trilogy. As a non-archetypal drow, Drizzt has forsaken both the evil ways of his people and their home (in the Underdark, in the drow city of Menzoberranzan).

Drizzt's story is told in Salvatore's fantasy novels: The Icewind Dale Trilogy, The Dark Elf Trilogy, the Legacy of the Drow series, the Paths of Darkness series, The Hunter's Blades Trilogy, and the short stories "The Dowry" and "Dark Mirror." All of the novels featuring Drizzt have made the New York Times Best Seller list. A number of the novels have been adapted as graphic novels by Devils Due Publishing. Drizzt has also been featured in some D&D-based role-playing video games, including the Baldur's Gate Series and Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone.

7: Gary Gygax[edit]

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Ernest Gary Gygax (July 27, 1938 – March 4, 2008) (GY-gaks) was an American writer and game designer, best known for co-creating the pioneering role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) with Dave Arneson. Gygax is generally acknowledged as one of the fathers of the tabletop role-playing game.

In the 1960s, Gygax created an organization of wargaming clubs and founded the Gen Con gaming convention. In 1971, he helped develop the Chainmail miniatures wargame, which was based on medieval warfare. He co-founded the company Tactical Studies Rules (TSR, Inc.) with childhood friend Don Kaye in 1973. The following year, he created Dungeons & Dragons with Dave Arneson, expanding on his work on Chainmail and including elements of the fantasy stories he loved as a child. He also founded the magazine The Dragon in the same year, to support the new game. In 1977, Gygax began work on a more comprehensive version of the game, called Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. Gygax designed numerous manuals for the game system, as well as several pre-packaged adventures called "modules" that gave a person running a D&D game (the "Dungeon Master") a rough script and ideas on how to run a particular gaming scenario. In 1983, he worked to license the D&D product line into the successful Dungeons & Dragons cartoon series.

After leaving TSR in 1985 over issues with its new majority owner, Gygax continued to author role-playing game titles independently, beginning with the multi-genre Dangerous Journeys in 1992. He designed another gaming system called Lejendary Adventure, released in 1999. In 2005, Gygax was involved in the Castles & Crusades role-playing game, which was conceived as a hybrid between the game's third edition rules and the classic version of the game created by Gygax.

Gygax was married twice and had six children. In 2004, he suffered two strokes, narrowly avoided a subsequent heart attack, and was then diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm, from which he died in March 2008.

8: Wizards of the Coast[edit]

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Wizards of the Coast (often referred to as WotC or simply Wizards) is an American publisher of games, primarily based on fantasy and science fiction themes. Originally a basement-run role-playing game publisher, the company popularized the collectible card game genre with Magic: The Gathering in the mid-1990s, acquired the popular Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game by purchasing the failing company TSR, and experienced tremendous success by publishing the licensed Pokémon Trading Card Game.

Today, Wizards publishes role-playing games, board games, and collectible card games. They have received numerous awards, including several Origins Awards. The company has been a subsidiary of Hasbro since 1999.