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interests / rec.games.frp.dnd / [The Guardian] Dungeons & Dragons at 50: the collaborative fantasy role-playing game that builds you up

SubjectAuthor
* [The Guardian] Dungeons & Dragons at 50: the collaborative fantasy role-playing kyonshi
`* Re: [The Guardian] Dungeons & Dragons at 50: the collaborative fantasy role-playSpalls Hurgenson
 `- Re: [The Guardian] Dungeons & Dragons at 50: the collaborative fantasy role-playkyonshi

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[The Guardian] Dungeons & Dragons at 50: the collaborative fantasy role-playing game that builds you up

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From: gmke...@gmail.com (kyonshi)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.advocacy
Subject: [The Guardian] Dungeons & Dragons at 50: the collaborative fantasy
role-playing game that builds you up
Date: Sun, 10 Mar 2024 19:28:50 +0100
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 by: kyonshi - Sun, 10 Mar 2024 18:28 UTC

Source:
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2024/mar/10/dungeons-and-dragons-at-50-the-collaborative-fantasy-roleplaying-game-that-builds-you-up

Dungeons & Dragons at 50: the collaborative fantasy role-playing game
that builds you up

Once the centre of fear campaigns, the classic tabletop experience is
now more popular than ever – and even Australian educators are rolling
with it

by Jordyn Beazley and Rafqa Touma
Sat 9 Mar 2024 20.00 CET
Last modified on Sun 10 Mar 2024 03.52 CET

Brock the barbarian is a 2-metre (6ft 6in) tall loveable gruff. “He’s an
idiot, but he wants to do well,” explains 25-year-old Zach Anderson, who
is 12cm (5in) shorter than Brock. “He’s very extroverted and I’m very
introverted.”

Via Brock, Anderson has broken out of his shy nature to go on all manner
of adventures. Once, he slew a dragon.

Brock is not real, of course. He is a character Anderson – who lives in
Sydney – made up six months ago to roleplay in the tabletop game
Dungeons & Dragons. “It’s been a way to think … if I could be this
character, how would I act? And by doing that, it’s weird, I’ve noticed
I’m a lot more outgoing than I used to be. I’m a lot more confident.”
Luke Breen is the owner ond founder of Dungeon Master for Hire out of
Melbourne, posing behind a figure of a dragon and a 20-sided dice
‘It is very freeform and allows people to be creative,’ says Luke Breen,
a professional DM (dungeon master or game runner). Photograph:
Christopher Hopkins/The Guardian

Dungeons & Dragons – affectionately known as D&D – is celebrating its
50th anniversary in 2024. Dragged through the mud in the 1980s, when
critics argued it was a gateway to devil worshipping and the media
connected it to murders and suicides, the game has surged back into
popularity and popular culture in recent years.

Its appeal is perhaps best captured by one of its creators, Gary Gygax ,
who once said: “All of us at times feel a little inadequate at dealing
with the modern world – it would feel much better if we knew we were a
superhero or a mighty wizard.”
Freeform creativity

American game designers Gygax and David Arneson released the tabletop
game Dungeons & Dragons in 1974. But its life began earlier, in 1970,
when Gygax lost his insurance job and began creating war games based on
famous battles to play with friends. That evolved into the medieval game
D&D, which drew on Tolkien’s Middle-earth.

The aim of the role-playing game is not necessarily to win, but rather
for players to immerse themselves in an imagined fantasy world with
their friends and work together to solve quests. The storyteller,
referred to as the dungeon master (DM), sets the loose parameters of the
adventure, choosing from an already set adventure or making up their own.

Unlike a video game, where rules dictate a limited range of choices from
a set of options, each player contributes to the flow and shape of the
game based on a character they create or choose – from a sneak thief, a
sorcerer or, in Anderson’s case, a barbarian. Players essentially act as
their characters, speaking as them, making decisions, all while
referring to their “character sheet” – a set of attributes and
statistics that informs how the character will respond to the situations
laid out before them. The roll of a dice – modified by those stats –
determines the success of that choice.

“It is very freeform and really encourages people to be creative,” says
Luke Breen, who began playing D&D in 2014 on a whim and four years later
started a business connecting groups of players to professional DMs.
“Playing together, sitting around a table and just having fun, allows
you to escape for a couple of hours.”
Overhead shot of multiple die lit moodily from above on top of a map
Roll for initiative … players and DMs say D&D stretches creative muscles
and encourages socialising. Photograph: Christopher Hopkins/The Guardian

D&D’s reach over the past 50 years is immense. American games publisher
Wizards of the Coast, which acquired the game in 1997, estimates 50
million people have played worldwide.

The game is usually played in private homes but the number of public
events for D&D fans has been growing. In Australia last year, 5,000
people attended an event listed on Eventbrite – five times more than in
2019.

On a recent Sunday in Sydney, 60 people spend the day inside a mock
medieval tavern, with iron chandeliers hanging overhead and melodic
lutes playing on speakers. The game is run at gaming centre Fortress in
Chippendale which has held weekly D&D sessions since April 2023 that are
growing in popularity.

Nearly every week one of the many D&D tables has been overseen by
dungeon master Rose Herden, 34, who began playing during lockdown in
2020 and found it was the perfect way to connect socially during the
pandemic. It also stretches creative muscles that often aren’t exercised
in her job as a cyber security expert.

Herden works with an artist who creates figurines using 3D printing. She
then paints them herself to fit each new storyline.

“Every week my husband and I are up late hand-painting everything ready
for the game,” she says. “It’s collaborative escapism, so the world I’ve
built goes where the characters want to take it.”

In the middle of the table is a miniature set depicting a medieval
tavern (a tavern within a tavern). Today’s story revolves around a
magical mariachi band that makes people fall in love, performing a
sold-out show on Valentine’s Day.

“I’m an elk hunter-ranger,” says one player at Herden’s table,
introducing their D&D character. “I’m a sucker for myths and legends and
trying to divulge whether they’re true or not, and I’ve heard a rumour
about this band making people fall in love so I’ve come to find out if
it’s true or not.”

Will DM for rent

The first release of Dungeons & Dragons was a cardboard box with three
stapled pamphlets and some reference sheets. It was developed on a
US$2,000 budget but has since grown into a global empire. More
sophisticated and intricate editions have been released over the decades.

The game was adapted for the big screen in 2023, with John Francis Daley
and Jonathan Goldstein’s Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves, with
the Guardian calling the film a “riotously enjoyable fantasy adventure”.
An earlier 2000 movie was less well received, while the 80s D&D animated
series was also, well, of its era.

In the game’s early days, the average D&D player was a “young white man
of a certain age”, says Prof Lisa Given, an RMIT expert in information
science. But the realm of D&D fans has now expanded.
A hand holding a small model snowman-yeti creature with other minitures
out-of-focus in the foreground

Part of the pull, Given says, has been the fantasy genre expanding its
audiences through tentpole releases like the Lord of the Rings movies or
HBO’s Game of Thrones adaption. D&D is also front and centre in
Netflix’s Stranger Things, where fan-favourite characters use monsters
and theories from the game to understand mysterious forces at play in
their hometown.

Given says D&D’s increasing popularity is also linked to the mainstream
now viewing previously outcast nerds as cool. “We’ve got so many in the
younger generations who are embracing different ways of being and
neurodivergency,” she says.

“I think there’s a real inclusiveness in this where people are free to
express themselves in a whole range of ways,” the academic adds,
pointing at the game’s communal nature. “Escaping is so often escaping
into our own heads – reading a book, watching a movie, playing a video
game – so this is different.”

As the game has grown, so has professional dungeon mastering. Matt
Brown, who lives in Melbourne, started playing D&D a decade ago with a
group of friends when he was 21. Later he discovered the allure of being
a DM, drawn in by the ability to create worlds and narratives.
Matt Brown in Melbourne sitting behind a Dungeon Master’s board with a
microphone

Brown now works full-time as a DM – both online and table-top – after
making D&D content on YouTube and Twitch since 2017. Brown says there
was a shift to playing online during Covid when dedicated progams like
Forge and Roll20 emerged to facilitate virtual tabletops.

His DM work started snowballing and it is “paying the rent now,” Brown
says. “It is very surreal.”
Therapy with orcs

The game hasn’t avoided controversy. In 1982, US woman Patricia Pulling
failed in an attempt to sue D&D’s makers after her son, a D&D player,
killed himself. She later formed the campaign group Bothered About
Dungeons and Dragons (BADD), believing the game was connected to
suicides and devil worshipping.

Nick Issa, who started playing D&D when he was 10 and is now a high
school English teacher in Australia’s capital, Canberra, recalls the
moral panic in the 1990s when he used to play the game for entire weekends.

“I remember we were planning to have this session, and one guy called me
and said ‘My mum won’t let me go … she thinks it’s a form of devil
worshiping.”


Click here to read the complete article
Re: [The Guardian] Dungeons & Dragons at 50: the collaborative fantasy role-playing game that builds you up

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From: spallshu...@gmail.com (Spalls Hurgenson)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd
Subject: Re: [The Guardian] Dungeons & Dragons at 50: the collaborative fantasy role-playing game that builds you up
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 by: Spalls Hurgenson - Mon, 11 Mar 2024 23:26 UTC

On Sun, 10 Mar 2024 19:28:50 +0100, kyonshi <gmkeros@gmail.com> wrote:

>Source:
>https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2024/mar/10/dungeons-and-dragons-at-50-the-collaborative-fantasy-roleplaying-game-that-builds-you-up
>
>Dungeons & Dragons at 50: the collaborative fantasy role-playing game
>that builds you up

So much hype about the 50th anniversary. You have to start wondering
how much of it is actual journalism, and how much of it is really just
paid advertorial. Especially given recent rumors about Hasbro selling
D&D to Tencent; are they just seeding the news to make it look like
D&D is bigger (and thus, a more valuable property) than it really is?

Or maybe it is that popular, and is really worthy of all the
reporting? Am I just being too cynical? Perhaps I'm just unconsciously
gate-keeping, trying to keep the 'plebian' masses from playing my
geeky, forbidden hobby?

I don't have a hard time believing D&D is fifty years old (I have a
much harder time accepting that Star Wars is nearly of the same age,
though! There's no way Luke Skywalker can be pushing 70!!!;-). In many
ways, it /still/ feels like a game born in the 1970s. I think one of
the reasons all this news reporting on its popularity and longevity is
so triggering to me is that it ignores all the work done by OTHER
tabletop game publishers to help keep the hobby alive. I'm not sure
tabletop gaming would still be a thing had it just been up to
TSR/WOTC/Hasbro alone...

Re: [The Guardian] Dungeons & Dragons at 50: the collaborative fantasy role-playing game that builds you up

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From: gmke...@gmail.com (kyonshi)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd
Subject: Re: [The Guardian] Dungeons & Dragons at 50: the collaborative
fantasy role-playing game that builds you up
Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2024 09:58:54 +0100
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 by: kyonshi - Tue, 12 Mar 2024 08:58 UTC

On 3/12/2024 12:26 AM, Spalls Hurgenson wrote:
> On Sun, 10 Mar 2024 19:28:50 +0100, kyonshi <gmkeros@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Source:
>> https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2024/mar/10/dungeons-and-dragons-at-50-the-collaborative-fantasy-roleplaying-game-that-builds-you-up
>>
>> Dungeons & Dragons at 50: the collaborative fantasy role-playing game
>> that builds you up
>
> So much hype about the 50th anniversary. You have to start wondering
> how much of it is actual journalism, and how much of it is really just
> paid advertorial. Especially given recent rumors about Hasbro selling
> D&D to Tencent; are they just seeding the news to make it look like
> D&D is bigger (and thus, a more valuable property) than it really is?

I think part of it is also that there now are people in charge of the
newspapers that have fond memories of playing the game. it's exactly the
kind of job DnD or TTRPG players would end up in. Also, the people
reading the newspapers now also include a lot of old players. This isn't
the times where newspapers only were read by the parents of players
anymore.
Not that I am saying it's not also some campaign by Hasbro, but editors
most likely have noticed the popularity of Dnd lately (see Critical
Role), the popularity of DnD properties (Baldur's Gate 3), and are not
averse to spotlighting a geeky hobby they used to enjoy.

>
> Or maybe it is that popular, and is really worthy of all the
> reporting? Am I just being too cynical? Perhaps I'm just unconsciously
> gate-keeping, trying to keep the 'plebian' masses from playing my
> geeky, forbidden hobby?

It might be a bit of that. Especially as our preferred style of play
does not quite fit with what the rest of the world is playing.
In general I am of the opinion that all kinds of TTRPG play is valid,
BUT I just am not that interested in a few of them. It's not like I
think they are bad, but they are just not for me. PbtA for example is
something I see as an absolutely valid expression of roleplaying, but I
don't want to play it. And unfortunately DnD 5e also has moved into a
direction where I don't feel like I am getting what I enjoy about RPGs
from it.
Which is, as I've discovered lately, a heavy dose of simulationism.

>
> I don't have a hard time believing D&D is fifty years old (I have a
> much harder time accepting that Star Wars is nearly of the same age,
> though! There's no way Luke Skywalker can be pushing 70!!!;-). In many
> ways, it /still/ feels like a game born in the 1970s. I think one of
> the reasons all this news reporting on its popularity and longevity is
> so triggering to me is that it ignores all the work done by OTHER
> tabletop game publishers to help keep the hobby alive. I'm not sure
> tabletop gaming would still be a thing had it just been up to
> TSR/WOTC/Hasbro alone...
>

DnD for a long time has been a two-sided coin to the hobby. on the one
hand it gets people into the hobby, but on the other side it also makes
them burn out on it if people just keep playing the stuff the publisher
puts out. Because really, there's always a certain style of play in
vogue at a certain point, and it excludes a lot of people in one way or
another. I doubt many people are that fond of DnD 5e as such, many most
likely would love moving to other rule or play styles that are much
better suited to what they want to play, but they keep playing 5e
because that's what everyone does.


interests / rec.games.frp.dnd / [The Guardian] Dungeons & Dragons at 50: the collaborative fantasy role-playing game that builds you up

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