Dungeons & Dragons, the granddaddy of roleplaying games, was introduced 40 years ago this month. Even if you've never played a game, you've probably appreciated at least a few of the ripples it generated in the cultural pond over the last four decades.
I've run down a few of D&D's greatest contributions here, Buzzfeed style. (Buzzfeed is our master now. We're helpless in the face of its listicles.) Many of these cultural highlights are universal; a few are more personal. But they're all reasons why I'm grateful for the game.
So here we go, in no particular order:
This episode of Community
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons has a permanent place on my TiVo hard drive because it so perfectly skewers D&D and the Community characters themselves. It's a brilliant 22 minutes of television and also a nice peek at game play for those who aren't familiar with how it works.
These cool dice
|These were sitting like this on my basement bookshelf. Seriously. No posing.|
Unless, of course, they don't allow you to score a critical hit. Then they're dirty betrayers.
The gelatinous cube
This lyric in the Weezer song
If you're looking your next game shop purchase, consider Lords of Waterdeep. It's one of my very favorites, a light worker placement-based strategy game that's built around a D&D theme. It's easy to learn and quick to addict. Veteran campaigners will even find some recognizable artwork on the cards.
This game is also a fantastic mobile app from Playdek, one of the masters at converting tabletop games to smooth online play. If you download it, let me know and I'll gladly set up a game for us online.
Meet my cat, Gygax. He's named for Gary Gygax, the co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons. When my husband and I were trying to decide whether to adopt him from the local animal shelter, the argument that won us over was that we'd get to name him Gygax. He's been fat and happy on our sofa ever since.
Possibly the most likable part of Vin Diesel
according to this interview. This increases my affection for Diesel by at least 275 percent. Don't you kind of want to see his dice collection? I bet he keeps them in a special bag.
One of the worst movies I've ever seen
This high school story about my husband
My husband and I met in high school, and although we didn't start dating until we were in our 20s, he nursed a crush on my back in the day. He and his friends got together one Saturday night in high school to play the time travel role playing game Timelords, in which your character is based on yourself. The dungeon master, knowing about Jason's crush, built me into the story as a buxom tavern wench whom Jason must charm and seduce to advance in his quest. But the DM, knowing that the course of true love never did run smooth, made me a treacherous opponent who betrayed Jason's questing party. I didn't know about this until years later, after Jason and I had been dating for a few months.
Anyway, all's well that ends well, and that DM was a guest at our wedding. But sometimes I worry that Jason harbors a secret resentment because wench-me bollixed up his quest from two decades ago.
This episode of Freaks and Geeks
Discos and Dragons is the first time I remember actually liking James Franco's F&G character. Actually, it may be the first time I remember actually liking James Franco.
I don't want to live in a world where that's not the coolest thing in the room. (It would also be the angriest, most lethal thing in the room, but let's not dwell on that.)
This D&D urban legend
Good times. Big laughs.
What about you, dear readers? Any tender Dungeons & Dragons memories to share for the good of the group?