Illustration by team illustrator Sakura Siegel.
Today we’ll be rolling into the world of Dungeons and Dragons, or DnD as some may know it.
DnD is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game (RPG) created by Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax. Though the game is now published by Wizards of the Coast, and has been since 1997, it was first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules Inc.
The game is played in a group — whether virtually or in person — and the person who has been appointed the Dungeon Master, or DM, controls the game, the group will then create characters of various species, such as Elf, human, Tiefling and much more.
The group will then have to decide their character’s class — Warlock, Druid, Rogue, etc — and continue to build their character from there, choosing everything from hair color to their Alignment; Good vs Evil, Lawful vs Chaotic or even Neutral.
After the group creates their characters they are ready to embark on a vast array of quests and adventures in any world, time, plane or dimension they decide.
During our foray into DnD, we set out to discover more about how the players felt about the game, by putting out a questionnaire that got various responses.
What does DnD mean to you?
Anne from the UK: Collaborative storytelling with improvisation and problem solving
Nes from Canada: For me DnD is a creative outlet that allows me to express my ideas and connect with friends in a way not many other games can replicate. It has allowed me to reconnect with so many people I previously fell out of touch with, while also giving me a creative outlet to explore more fantastical ideas using an easy to understand playing system.
Research shows that there are more than 13 million active DnD players worldwide, and according to Wizards of the Coast, there’s over 50 million people have played DnD to date, with 2020 being the seventh consecutive year of growth for DnD.
In 2020, Forbes went so far as to call it the game’s best year.
According to our questionnaire, most responders had been playing for roughly 1-3 years, and 5-10 years coming in at a close second with just one response difference.
Three of our responders, Matthew and Perrin — both from California — and Ross from Colorado all said they have been playing for over 20 years. Naturally, with such a wide range of experience we wanted to know if any of them had ever led the charge.
Did you like being a DM?
Semo from Utah: Yes. I have ADHD, so being able to change characters repeatedly throughout engages me more.
Vinícius from Brazil: Yes, but I’m not very strict with the rules, I follow more the rule of cool.
Like any other game, DnD does have its rules, however many players set out their own guidelines to playing. Following rules isn’t needed to have a fun DnD experience.
All but one responder said that they do not play by the rules.
We also wondered what draws people to DnD — but clearly it’s not the rules.
What do you like about DnD? Is it special to you? Why or why not?
Courtney from Australia: I love being able to become a badass and flaunt it. I can be anyone I want to be, and I love it. It’s special to me because I get to spend hours with friends I wouldn’t otherwise have seen for years. We get to laugh and have so much fun that we couldn’t have without DnD.
While looking into the game I wondered whether there would be a trend in what people chose as their alignments, while there wasn’t a particular alignment that stuck out against the rest, Courtney’s answer did, as it was surprisingly detailed. Her answer’s to her other questions (amusingly) detailed her dedication to Evil.
What Alignment do you usually choose for your characters?
Courtney: Anything evil haha. My current fav character is Lawful Evil (but she’s more evil than the actual demon in our party.)
Overall, DnD seems to be a fun interactive game that all responders enjoy and actively participate in.
It gives friends and strangers an adventurous activity to play together even when they’re miles apart.