Written by Stephanie Sagolj.
The year is 1974, a year that brought many films such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Chinatown and The Godfather Part II to the eyes of the public. Some caused controversy, others brought forth compelling narratives that hadn’t been explored before. Where some succeeded, others, in hindsight, weren’t as great at their predecessors.
The year of 1974 also brought something that was never seen before, something that let people explore the world of fiction in brand new way.
The year of 1974 brought the existence of one game, one game to rule them all.
One game that has continually defined generation after generation of role-players of all ages, genders, and backgrounds.
A game that allows you to paint fantastical landscapes of any flavour and journey through them. Letting you bring peace and havoc alike to this fantastical existence, alongside your friends, as whoever and whatever you want.
Welcome to Dungeons and Dragons.
Want to play as a Merfolk who worships a deity of fire and death? Done.
Want to play as a bird guy who channels their power through Cthulhu? Easy
Want to play as a fallen angel who has a giant snake for a battle companion? No problem. Oh, you don’t want to play a fantasy game? Make it sci-fi. Don’t like that either? Set it in the 1930’s, and throw in vampires while you’re at it so your character won’t have to suffer through the Great Depression. You don’t want a heavy narrative focus and just want combat? Dungeon delving games are all you need. Who needs a story when you can just punch all your problems?
The point is, Dungeons and Dragons can be anything you want it to be along with an additional reason to goof off with your friends. It creates moments that you will remember for years to come. Like that hilarious time you almost got killed by a goat, or how you were genuinely emotional when you finally met your character’s long-lost sibling.
The most amazing thing about D&D is that you don’t have to be the best role-player, or even have the best written world to play in. You just have to be with people who you are comfortable doing these stupid and brilliant things with. You see, it’s a game that is as good as the people you play it with.
Yes, there are rules to learn, and yes that may be a little daunting, but who said anything about playing the most convoluted edition? Go fifth edition, so simple, so beautiful, so majestically wonderful. Just grab a friend who likes to be creative and tell stories and dump all those rules on them instead, it’s a recipe for success, trust me.
If you are said friend though, welcome to the world of the Dungeon Master.
If you don’t have a writer lurking nearby, don’t worry, the internet is your creative oyster. There are plenty of resources for you to draw from, and in this day and age, playing D&D has never been easier.
D&D is a game that openly embraces experimentations. There may be mistakes every now and then from the players and Dungeon Master alike, both comical and rage inducing but this just gives you a reason to learn from your actions and improve the game together; meaning those epic moments really do shine through. These moments can range from when you finally defeat the great evil, to just successfully securing a deal from an uptight merchant.
Anything can be epic in this game, making both you and your friends feel like true heroes and legends within this reality. Or you can become the bad guy and rule the world with an iron fist. That’s up to you in the end.
Why do you think Dungeons and Dragons is included in Stranger Things? A show full of nostalgia for the 80s as people played it back then and loved it. D&D as a game has massively grown in popularity in recent years.
Dungeons and Dragons is a game that when first released, brought on controversy.
However, it pulled through and many players around the world made compelling narratives that forever captured their hearts.
Sometimes these games ended in resounding success or left everyone disappointed, but that’s ok.
This is a game that lets you express yourself in ways that aren’t possible with other media types. A game that unites friends and creates even stronger bonds, through interactions with made-up characters that you grow to love and care for.
Welcome to Dungeons and Dragons.