Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What is D&D?

I want to kick off a short series on, What is D&D anyway? I am continually amazed about the number of message boards, blogs, and 3rd parties that are involved in our hobby that did not exist prior to the 1970’s. Some folks call this a fad, as its popularity is down from its peak, but there are still a large number of folks that are still in the hobby in one form or another, so I can hardly call it a fad. GenCon continues to attract a large number of folks every year, and it does not show signs of slowing down. So back to my opening question, so what is D&D, and why do we engage in edition wars, and argue passionately for one style of play over another?

Over on the Necromancer boards, the question was asked, what is the D&D brand, and that question morphed a bit in the comments that followed. I am enclosing a modified version of what I wrote about a year ago on this topic.

I personally think its about the shared experience and the creation process, so the question is, “what is the D&D experience?"

To me it’s the chance to be a part of the adventure. When reading a book, you are enjoying reading about someone else's adventure. But with D&D you are the hero, and you have people around you that:

1) Recognize your heroic nature
2) Become bards to your heroic journey
3) Provide a unique shared experience

In a sense D&D gives you a chance to answer the call to adventure. When a game hits on these elements, it is very powerful, and that is why I play D&D.

There are a couple of follow on topics that I want to hit on, to address style, setting, playing, and creating, but I will save that for tomorrow’s blog.


Hamlet said...


If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go find my asbestos cloak. May need it in the days to come . . .

Ryan said...

Looking forward to this series of posts.

Sham aka Dave said...

To quote Arnold Horshack:


I know the answer!

Mr Baron said...

I have a number of ideas that I have been kicking around, hopefully it will make good discussion!