Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and The People Who Play It
David M. Ewalt
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
A fascinating and personal look at Dungeons & Dragons that "tracks D&D's turbulent rise, fall, and survival, from its heyday in the 1980s...to the twenty-first century" (The Wall Street Journal).
Even if you've never played Dungeons & Dragons, you probably know someone who has: the game has had a profound influence on our culture, and 2014 marks the intriguing role-playing phenomenon's 40th anniversary. Released decades before the Internet and social media, Dungeons & Dragons inspired one of the original nerd subcultures and is still revered by more than 30 million fans. Now, the authoritative history and magic of the game are revealed by an award-winning journalist and lifelong D&D player.
In Of Dice and Men, David Ewalt describes the development of Dungeons & Dragons from the game's origins on the battlefields of ancient Europe through the hysteria that linked it to satanic rituals and teen suicides to its apotheosis as father of the modern video-game industry. As he chronicles the surprising history of the game's origins (a history largely unknown even to hardcore players) and examines D&D's lasting impact, Ewalt weaves laser-sharp subculture analysis with his own present-day gaming experiences, "writing about the world of fantasy role-playing junkies with intelligence, dexterity, and even wisdom" (Ken Jennings). An enticing blend of history, journalism, narrative, and memoir, Of Dice and Men sheds light on America's most popular (and widely misunderstood) form of collaborative entertainment.
might attain substantial size. While we must make a profit in order to remain in business, TSR is not around solely to make money. The members of TSR are longtime gamers who have found that there is a great deal of satisfaction in creating and/or publishing a good set of game rules.” Part of the tension over “keeping it real” was due to the continued involvement of Don Kaye’s widow, Donna. Don had grown up playing games with Gary and shared his passions, but Donna wasn’t part of the war-gaming
in the twisty passages of a Gygax adventure. By the time I found my table it was nearly full, and most of the pregenerated characters were taken. Dallas and Angela, a cute young couple, both wore identical blue T-shirts depicting Doctor Who’s time machine, the TARDIS. Dallas had chosen to play a halfling rogue, Angela a half-orc fighter. John, a pale middle-aged midwestern dad, was playing an elf wizard. Mike, another fiftysomething dad, was one of the few black people at the convention. He’d
D&D campaign—my D&D campaign, the one I’d run for my friends using fifth-edition rules. My first campaign, my first serious attempt at being a Dungeon Master, the apex of my art. It was time. I was ready. I flipped the page and wrote “TOWER MAP” across the top line, and then “FLOOR ONE” below. An attempt to sketch a circle freehand failed miserably, so I jumped from the tatty hotel couch and ransacked the room looking for something to trace. A plastic coffee cup lid and an empty can of
of the tapestry I drew a circle with a star in it, the symbol for a statue. Maybe they were previous “guests,” turned to stone by the mad wizard? Behind the wall, I sketched in a tiny guardroom, two squares by three, and a storeroom with a locked door. Inside that, a rectangle marked with a letter C, to indicate a locked chest: treasure, perhaps . . . or better yet, a trap. A box full of poisoned darts ready to pincushion a careless thief. Steps led to the second floor: a lounge area, with
New Performing Art. McFarland, 2001. Schick, Lawrence. Heroic Fantasy: A History and Guide to Roleplaying Games. Prometheus Books, 1991. Tresca, Michael J. The Evolution of Fantasy Role-Playing Games. McFarland, 2011. Williams, J. Patrick, Sean O. Hendricks, and W. Keith Winkler, eds. Gaming as Culture. McFarland, 2006. The sources for unique facts or uncited quotes are as follows: 2: Little Wars archaeologist Gary O. Rollefson: “A Neolithic Game Board from ‘Ain Ghazal, Jordan,” Bulletin of