Roll for History: A Brief (but Comical) Look at the Evolution of Dungeons and Dragons 

Hey there, fellow dungeon crawlers! Today, we’re taking a journey through time to explore the history of one of our favorite pastimes – Dungeons and Dragons. From humble beginnings in the 1970s to the modern era of online gaming, let’s roll for initiative and dive into the history of D&D.

Origins of D&D: A Game of Wizards and Warriors

Back in the early 1970s, a group of friends in Wisconsin started playing a game called Chainmail, which was a tabletop wargame. But instead of just playing with armies, they began to add in individual characters, each with their own unique abilities and skills. And thus, the concept of Dungeons and Dragons was born.

The game was created by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson and first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules (TSR). The first edition of the game was called “Dungeons and Dragons: Rules for Fantastic Medieval Wargames Campaigns Playable with Paper and Pencil and Miniature Figures.” A mouthful, right?

The game took off and was picked up by a larger company, Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. They released its first edition in 1977.

D&D in the 80s: The Satanic Panic (Womp Womp)

In the 1980s, D&D faced some serious controversy. The game was accused of promoting Satanism and witchcraft. Some religious groups even called for it to be banned. This led to what is now known as the “Satanic Panic”… a mass hysteria that swept the country and caused many parents to forbid their children from playing the game. OURS INCLUDED, damn it. We could still weep for all those campaigns that never were…

But D&D persevered, and even spawned a Saturday morning cartoon show in 1983 called “Dungeons and Dragons,” which ran for three seasons.

D&D in the 90s: The Rise of Online Gaming

In the 1990s, D&D began to shift towards online gaming. The game’s publisher, TSR, released a series of computer games based on the D&D universe, including the popular “Baldur’s Gate” series.

But it wasn’t just computer games that were taking off – online roleplaying games (RPGs) were also becoming increasingly popular. D&D players could now connect with other players from around the world and explore new worlds and adventures together.

D&D in the 2000s and Beyond: A Resurgence in Popularity

In the 2000s and beyond, D&D saw a resurgence. The game’s publisher was acquired by Wizards of the Coast, which released the 3rd edition of the game in 2000. A 4th edition followed in 2008.

However, the biggest factor in the game’s renewed popularity was the rise of streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube. People could now watch others play D&D live. Peeking in on others added something new and special to the experience.

Streamers like Critical Role and The Adventure Zone have gained massive followings from D&D content.

In recent years, D&D has also seen a surge in popularity among younger players, with many schools and libraries even hosting D&D clubs and events.

How D&D Is Taking Over the World

Today, Dungeons & Dragons remains one of the most popular tabletop games in the world. It has influenced countless other roleplaying games, leaving an indelible mark on the world of fantasy and pop culture. 

From its humble beginnings in a basement in Wisconsin to #iconstatus the history of Dungeons & Dragons is a testament to the power of imagination and creativity.

With the release of the (INCREDIBLE) new film, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, the game is set to bewitch a legion of new fans. Do yourself a favor. Go see the movie. It’s hilarious. 

The movie’s killer performance at the box office is stirring up talk about creating a franchise. Who knows… maybe D&D is the new Marvel?

Watch the theatrical trailer for Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves:

Tips for Getting Started with Dungeons & Dragons

If you’re interested in getting started with Dungeons & Dragons, here are a few tips to help you on your journey:

  • Find a group to play with: Dungeons & Dragons is a social game, and it’s best played with a group of friends. Look for local gaming stores or online communities to find other players.
  • Get the right equipment: You’ll need a set of dice, a character sheet, and a Player’s Handbook to get started. You can find these online or at your local gaming store.
  • Create a character: One of the most exciting parts of Dungeons & Dragons is creating your own character. Think about their backstory, personality, and abilities to make them unique and memorable.
  • Embrace the storytelling: Dungeons & Dragons is all about creating a shared story with your group. Don’t be afraid to get creative and let your imagination run wild.
  • Have fun: At the end of the day, Dungeons & Dragons is all about having a good time. Don’t take it too seriously and enjoy the ride.



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