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How Dungeons & Dragons Influenced a Generation of Writers (SLNYT)

For certain writers, especially those raised in the 1970s and ’80s, all that time spent in basements has paid off. D&D helped jump-start their creative lives. When he was an immigrant boy growing up in New Jersey, the writer Junot Díaz said he felt marginalized. But that feeling was dispelled somewhat in 1981 when he was in sixth grade. He and his buddies, adventuring pals with roots in distant realms — Egypt, Ireland, Cuba and the Dominican Republic — became “totally sucked in,” he said, by a “completely radical concept: role-playing,” in the form of Dungeons & Dragons. [more inside]
posted by magstheaxe on Jul 20, 2014 - 35 comments

Storytelling in worlds of swords & sorcery

After two years of public playtest and discussion, the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons makes its debut today. The Basic Rules are now available as a free PDF. [more inside]
posted by graymouser on Jul 3, 2014 - 119 comments

You don’t understand fun. Not really.

You don’t sit down to write a game and “add fun” or “make fun.” You make things. You design encounters. You plan plot points. You build NPCs. And you also put together and run campaigns. You hope that somehow, out of the campaigns and the decisions and encounters and plot points and NPCs, fun is a thing that will happen. But you don’t actually try to quantify fun. You don’t think about why fun things are fun. Until today.
In The Eight Kinds of Fun The Angry DM explores the nature of fun in tabletop roleplaying games, guided by scholarly research on the subject.
posted by Skorgu on Jan 28, 2014 - 43 comments

40 Years in the Dungeons

January 26, 2014 will mark the 40th anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons, and the anniversary will culminate with an event called Tyranny of Dragons. The playtest of the forthcoming D&D Next has been ongoing since 2012, and the final playtest version is available. Alternatively, the original game (complete with its supplements) is available as a boxed set. [more inside]
posted by graymouser on Jan 24, 2014 - 139 comments

Untitled Ancient Miniature Rules

Playing at the World is a blog about the early days of tabletop RPGs. Select articles include "How Gaming Got Its Dice" (and the followup "The Origins of Dice Notation,") "The Early Works of Gary Gygax, " "A Playtesting Edition of Dungeons & Dragons (1973)" (and the followup "The Dalluhn Manuscript: In Detail and On Display") and "Character Sheets in 1975."
posted by griphus on Sep 13, 2013 - 36 comments

The original golden age of fantasy role playing games.

Old School FRP is a tumblr blog with a ton of illustrations and art from the golden age of Dungeons and Dragons and games that were totally not Dungeons and Dragons.
posted by Pope Guilty on Aug 31, 2013 - 33 comments

What Kind of D&D Character Would You Be?

"This [129 question] survey will determine your ability scores, fantasy race, class, alignment, and character level describing what you would be if you were transformed into a Dungeons and Dragons character."
posted by jedicus on Aug 13, 2013 - 303 comments

15 ways to waste your day online with Tim Holman

tholman.com is the playground and folio of interactive developer Tim Holman, where he has posted 15 different projects, both interactive (fizzy cam [info/demo]; ZenPen; Texter; and Image Nodes) and passive (Meet the Ipsums, more than 30 text generators, from corporate to batman; the useless web; dripping paint). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 7, 2013 - 8 comments

Simon and the rat both feel it's best to just ignore each other

"The very first single-player dungeoncrawl game was not a video game. It was a series of charts printed in the first edition of Dungeons & Dragons, back in 1979. By rolling dice according to the instructions, you could generate a dungeon which was illogical, arbitrary, super-lethal, and which often didn't even produce useable results.
THIS GAME USES THOSE CHARTS."

Dungeon Robber is a flash text game that simulates playing AD&D by the AD&D Appendix A dungeon generation rules. You'll probably die a lot, but the game saves every time you head to town. Blog of the creator.
Dungeon Robber comics![more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 6, 2013 - 127 comments

"Cruel, but most entertaining for the DM."

Some wonderfully enterprising nerd has created a mod for the real-time grid-based 3D dungeon crawler Legend of Grimrock (twice previously) based on the the Dungeons & Dragons module Tomb of Horrors (previously, funny SA rundown here). It's available via nexusmods and Steam Workshop. Have a nice weekend.
posted by cog_nate on Jul 12, 2013 - 58 comments

I killed my first D&D monster, and it was a Klan rally!

Mapping D&D combat mechanics to the world of 60s activism is remarkably effective and lots of fun.
posted by 23 on May 4, 2013 - 34 comments

Cleric walks through misty gateway; never seen again.

The fateful peregrinations of the explorers of the horrific tomb of Acererak
posted by Sebmojo on Apr 2, 2013 - 108 comments

Send to: TSR Hobbies Inc.

Explore exciting worlds of fun, fantasy and adventure with Dungeons & Dragons... [more inside]
posted by griphus on Mar 20, 2013 - 47 comments

Critical hit vs. productivity

Brian Posehn has started a new podcast where he plays Dungeons and Dragons with his friends: Nerd Poker. [more inside]
posted by Shepherd on Jan 17, 2013 - 34 comments

Go for our eyes, Boo!

The party has been gathered and you will soon venture forth.
posted by griphus on Nov 26, 2012 - 44 comments

I'm a Dungeon Master! I deserve this promotion!

Can playing Dungeons & Dragons make you a more confident and successful person? The PBS Idea Channel posits that playing pen-and-paper role-playing games helps to develop valuable life skills such as problem solving, people management, and abstract thinking.
posted by asnider on Oct 16, 2012 - 77 comments

I've traveled to the floor of the pit of my own free will.

The trailer for Dungeons and Dragons 3: The Book of Vile Darkness has been released onto the Internet. [more inside]
posted by Mezentian on Jun 26, 2012 - 123 comments

Treasure Type D(ave)

D&D co-creator Dave Arneson's lost personal collection of gaming material -- 114 boxes worth -- was found last year in an abandoned storage locker. Fortunate for geeks everywhere, everything was not just tossed into a dumpster. The collection is now scheduled to be auctioned off on eBay. (previously)
posted by fings on May 4, 2012 - 42 comments

On the Campaign

Herman Cain: Rogue, Rick Santorum: Cleric, Ron Paul: Wizard, Mitt Romney: Bard and Newt Gingrich: HROTHGAR! The GOP and Obama finally sit down and discuss the important things in life, like THAC0 and encumbrance. [more inside]
posted by concreteforest on Apr 29, 2012 - 25 comments

Save vs nostalgia.

Mountain Dew, Gamma World - and cake! GeekDad's Ethan Gilsdorf uncovers a long-lost pile of loot - silent Super 8 footage of a 1981 Friday night D&D session. JJ Abrams couldn't have faked it this good. (SLYT-sorta)
posted by obiwanwasabi on Feb 3, 2012 - 35 comments

The Tome of Awesome

If you enjoy playing Dungeons & Dragons or similar fantasy RPGs, or if you just like reading in-depth analysis of fictional worlds, then the Tome of Awesome [pdf] is for you. [more inside]
posted by jedicus on Jan 12, 2012 - 50 comments

The feat list hurts my brain

Here is Incursion: Halls of the Goblin King, a computer game that adapts the 3rd Edition rules of the Dungeons & Dragons game to roguelikes.
posted by JHarris on Dec 22, 2011 - 25 comments

Here at the Green Dragon...

The Official Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Coloring Book
posted by griphus on Oct 19, 2011 - 49 comments

Live action promo video for Shadowrun from 1990

The cyberpunk/magic roleplaying game Shadowrun was launched in 1990 with the help of this live-action promo video. Previously.
posted by bq on Jul 1, 2011 - 92 comments

You set a magic missile on my heart and charm person on my brain...

Yes I like playing Dungeons and Dragons with you... "This Fantasy World" by the Doubleclicks, with animation by Brad Jonas. [SLYT]
posted by Gator on Mar 11, 2011 - 49 comments

Did Mike Mearls ruin everything?

"With 4th Edition, there were good intentions." Escapist Magazine's "Check for Traps" columnist Alexander Macris interviews Dungeons & Dragons Manager Mike Mearls about 4th Edition Essentials, Ryan Dancey's "death spiral" comment, Justin Alexander's "Disassociated Mechanics", and the new Red Box.
posted by Avenger50 on Nov 5, 2010 - 44 comments

" Orcs are mammals and therefore do not spawn."

Got a question about old-school Dungeons and Dragons? Perhaps you should consult this database of questions and answers from Dragon Magazine's "Sage Advice" column.
posted by Pope Guilty on Oct 12, 2010 - 144 comments

Play like it's 1974!

In 1974, a pair of wargame enthusiasts from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin transformed the nascent hobby gaming world by publishing three little brown booklets. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson's Dungeons & Dragons has become an important part of the lives of generations of young gamers. Along the way, D&D went through numerous editions, each with increasingly complex rules. [more inside]
posted by paulg on Jul 13, 2010 - 157 comments

The Lair of Kazoth

"This map was drawn by my cousin, Tim, who introduced me to gaming back in the earlier '80s."
posted by Artw on May 3, 2010 - 97 comments

You will never vanquish the Lizard People, Monsieur Debonaire! Mwahahaha!

Maybe D&D has disappointed you. Too complicated*, too slow, too restrictive? Spirit of the Century (free version, blurbs/store) is a Fate game designed for fast-paced, pulpy adventures. And we should thank Fudge, too. [more inside]
posted by ersatz on Jan 23, 2010 - 57 comments

Dave Arneson, co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons, dead at 61

Dave Arneson joins Gary Gygax in the Happy Hunting Grounds. Arneson helped develop the original Dungeons and Dragons and was the man who introduced Gygax to the concept of roleplaying. Surely, it's a sad day in Blackmoor.
posted by robocop is bleeding on Apr 9, 2009 - 138 comments

"just numbers on a piece of paper"

I do not want to spend too much time beating a dead war-horse, but your average D&D game consists of a group of white players acting out how their white characters encounter and destroy orcs and goblins, who are, as a race evil, uncivilized, and dark-skinned. To quote Steve Sumner’s essay again, “Unless played very carefully, Dungeons & Dragons could easily become a proxy race war, with your group filling the shoes of the noble white power crusaders seeking to extinguish any orc war bands or goblin villages they happened across.” I would argue with Sumner’s use of the phrase “could become,” and say that unless played very carefully, D&D usually becomes a proxy race war. Any adventurer knows that if you see an orc, you kill it. You don’t talk to it, you don’t ask what it’s doing there - you kill it, since it’s life is worth less than the treasure it carries and the experience points you’ll get from the kill. If filmed, your average D&D campaign would look something like Birth of a Nation set in Greyhawk.
- Race in Dungeons & Dragons by Chris van Dyke, a powerpoint talk given at Nerd Nite. Via Ta-Nehisi Coates' blog where there's a smart discussion going on about the essay.
posted by Kattullus on Nov 19, 2008 - 195 comments

Hack and slash

Remember old D&D? What, 3rd edition? Pah! Not 2nd edition AD&D either, nor 1st edition. Not even "original" Basic/Expert/Companion/Master/Immortal. I'm talking really original D&D, based off of Chainmail wargaming rules. OD&D! Read about it at Delta's D&D Hotspot, which discusses the development of a game system that is almost 35 years old. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 11, 2008 - 23 comments

Some Digital Doritos for a lazy Thursday afternoon.

IM IN UR MANGER KILLING UR SAVIOR. And for those who finish watching that video thinking "A lawful evil Paladin? WTF?", here's a video response. And, just because it's too good not to share... honor! [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 on Dec 20, 2007 - 26 comments

4th Edition of D&D Announced

4th Edition is Coming... Eight years after the release of Dungeons and Dragons 3rd Edition (and only four years after the release of 3.5), Wizards of the Coast announced today that 4th Edition will be on the shelves in May of 2008. Back in 2000, the release of 3rd Edition launched a boom (and bust) of secondary adventures published under the Open Gaming License. Back then, a gamer couldn't swing their boffer sword without hitting a start-up game company with d20 content. Contrast that to this month when the very last issues of venerable Dragon and Dungeon magazines hit the shelves.
posted by robocop is bleeding on Aug 16, 2007 - 106 comments

Hoody Hoo! Fireball coming online here!

Fans of Knights of the Dinner Table, a badly drawn cult comic book that a great many of table top gamers have taken dearly to their hearts, will probably be very happy to know that some of the series best ever strips have been turned into a series of pretty cool flash videos.
posted by Effigy2000 on Jul 2, 2006 - 11 comments

"I know--that's redundant."

Colbertfilter: Stephen waxes nostalgic with the release of Stormreach: DnD Online. Need a glossary? Len Lakofka. Lawful Good. Displacer Beasts. Beholders. GenCon. Mindflayer. Need some new dice? What DnD character are you? Grognards rejoice! You are not alone!
posted by bardic on Mar 5, 2006 - 165 comments

Dungeons and Dragons Turns 30

Hear D and D players roll the dice in a fantasy battle with nefarious foes.
posted by sudama on Aug 18, 2004 - 21 comments

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