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Dungeons and Dragons

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Updated Feb 19, 2020 at 10:31AM EST by andcallmeshirley.

Added Mar 21, 2016 at 05:57PM EDT by Don.

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Dungeons & Dragons (DnD or D&D) is a tabletop role-playing game (RPG) published by Wizards of the Coast, in which players create characters to undertake adventures in a variety of fantasy settings run by a game organizer known as a Dungeon Master. The brand is known as the most popular and commercially successful tabletop RPG of all time, and has inspired novels, television series, films and computer games.


The game is typically played with several people seated at a table, with each player assuming the role of a given character created according to the rules of a "Player's Handbook." Each character must choose a race, class, ability scores. and one of nine "alignments," which indicate their general moral and ethical outlook. Players guide their character and perform actions by rolling polyhedral dice, with each encounter guided by a single Dungeon Master (DM). DMs consult a rulebook titled "Dungeon Master's Guide" for general game organization and the "Monster Manual" for NPC encounters.


In January 1974, the original Dungeons & Dragons game was designed and published by the Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. (TSR) founders Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, based on Gygax's medieval miniature wargame Chainmail. In 1977, a children's variation of the game titled Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set was released, followed by the first edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. In 1989, an updated version of Dungeons & Dragons titled Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition was released. In 1997, TSR was acquired by the game publisher Wizards of the Coast, who released Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition three years later in 2000. The company went on to published a 4th edition in 2008 and a 5th edition in 2014.


In 1978, the novel Quag Keep by Andre Norton was released as the first novel based on Dungeons & Dragons. In the 1990s, a series of books based in the Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance settings were released to commercial success, launching the writing careers of Margaret Weiss, Tracy Hickman and New York Times best-selling author of R.A. Salvatore.[9]

Video Games

The original tabletop game has inspired the creation many video games in Dungeons & Dragons settings and using similar rules. In 1988, the first licensed Dungeons & Dragons game Pool of Radiance based on the tabletop's rules were released by Strategic Simulations, Inc for the MS-DOS operating system (shown below, left). In 1990, the RPG Eye of the Beholder was published by Strategic Simulations, Inc for MS-DOS, in which the player is sent on a quest to kill a multi-eyed "Beholder" monster (shown below, right).

In 1998, the game Baldur's Gate was released for Windows and Mac systems, set in the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting Forgotten Realms and running on the Infinity Engine for 2-D role-playing games (shown below, left). Over the next several years, an additional seven Dungeons & Dragons-based games were released using the Infinity Engine, including the critically acclaimed Planescape Torment in 1999 (shown below, right) and Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn.

In 2002, the Forgotten Realms game Neverwinter Nights was released by Bioware for Windows, Mac and Linux systems (shown below, left). Over the next two years, the game received several expansion packs, including Hordes of the Unterdark (2003, Witch's Wake (2004) and Kingmaker (2004). On October 31st, 2006, Neverwinter Nights 2 was released for Windows and Mac platforms (shown below, right).

Television Show

In 1983, the animated television series Dungeons & Dragons was launched on CBS, which revolved around the adventures of six friends magically teleported to DnD realm. The show ran for three seasons until it was canceled in 1985.


On December 8th, 2000, the film Dungeons & Dragons was released, in which two thieves embark on a quest to acquire a magic sceptre to control red dragons. The film received mostly negative reviews, with many claiming the actor's delivered poor performances and that Marlon Wayans' character promoted racial stereotypes. On October 5th, 2005, a made-for-TV sequel to the film was released, which also received negative reviews.

Online Presence

The official homepage Dnd.Wizards.com[10] contains information about the games and various products, events, media and a community forum. On Reddit, numerous subreddits for various discussions about the tabletop RPG have been created, including/r/dnd,[1] /r/DnDGreentext,[2] /r/dndmemes,[3] /r/DnDnext[4] and /r/DungeonMasters.[5] Many wiki sites dedicated to the game have been launched including the DandDWiki,[6] the Dungeons & Dragons Wikia[7] and the Dnd-Wiki.[8]

On YouTube

On September 11th, 2006, YouTuber Kareem Harper uploaded an interview in which he discusses how he would handle a pack of orc in a Dungeons & Dragons game (shown below, left). On February 2nd, 2011, The Nostalgia Critic posted a video about the film Dungeons & Dragons (shown below, right).

On November 18th, 2014, the BuzzFeedVideo YouTube channel uploaded a reaction video titled "Girls Play Dungeons And Dragons For The First Time" (shown below, left). On January 3rd, 2015, CollegeHumor uploaded a video in which a dominatrix is invited as a Dungeon Master to a Dungeons & Dragons game (shown below, right). Over the next two years, the videos gained over 1.3 million and 2.6 million views respectively.

"It’s Magic. I Ain’t Gotta Explain Shit"

“It’s Magic. I Ain’t Gotta Explain Shit” is an expression associated with a reaction image used in response to a request for an explanation. Variations of the phrase are often posted online as well, using the phrasal template “It’s X. I ain’t gotta explain shit.”


Character Alignment Charts

Character Alignment Charts are graphs representing a character's general ethical and moral stance. The alignments are typically taken from the Dungeons & Dragons system, consisting of nine alignment types.

LAWFUL GOOD "Ze Healing leaves little time for ze killing" NEUTRAL GOOD CHAOTIC GOOD "WE MAKE GOOD TEAM!" "BONK!'" LAWFUL NEUTRAL TRUE NEUTRAL CHAOTIC NEUTRAL Standin' around like a bloody idiot!" "I'm drunk- you don't have an excuse!" “I built that" LAWFULEVIL NEUTRAL EVIL CHAOTIC EVIL "If God had wanted you to live he would not have created me!" Gentlemen"


#GOPDnD is a hashtag that spread on Twitter in March of 2017 that spoofs the American Republican Party by imagining how it would react in a game of Dungeons and Dragons. On March 17th, James D'Amato[11] of the ONE SHOT podcast tweeted the first example, gaining over 260 retweets and 650 likes (shown below).

James D'Amato Follow v OneShotRPG GM: A villager approaches your paladin, asking you to heal his child GOP: Does he look weathly? GM: No GOP: He hasn't earned it. #GOPDnD

After D'Amato tweeted a few more examples, other Twitter users began jumping in on the hashtag with jokes of their own. Several jokes acquired upwards of a thousand retweets, leading to media coverage from DailyKos[12] and Gizmodo.[13]

DM: 8 yrs you've complained, so you're the DNM now GOP: AWESOME! 90 days later* GOPDM: What's "initiative" mean? old DM: *sigh* #GOPDnD GOP: The healing potion is 5,000 gold pieces. PC: But we don't have that much gold. GOP: No, but you have ACCESS to health potions #GOPDnD

DM: City is under attack from flying enemies to the East GOP: I cast "Great Wall" to the South DM: But that's not GOP: "GREAT WALL!" #GOPDnD GOP: I cast 'Repeal Obamacare. (rolls natural 1) GM: Suffer 392 morale damage. GOP: I evade, cast 'Blame the Democrats.' GM: Dude. #GOPDnD

GOP: I cast Repeal at ACA. DM: For that 50th time, you have to wait until the barrier falls. "barrier falls* GOP: I forfeit my turn #GOPDnD PC:l cast fireball! It'll be huge, biggest ever! DM: You're 1st lvl you can't cast fireball. PC:l never said I was casting fireball. #GOPDnD

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Top Comments


in reply to Blue Yoshi

I hope they do it in the meta style of the Lego movies where the plot twist is that the whole story has just been a normal D&D session and the main characters were just the group playing. They could even make it animated using the same stop motion style CGI they used in the Lego movies but make the characters look like the miniatures while the environments are made out of a mixture of paper, plastic, and high-quality metal.


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