D&D and Its Revival

Dungeons & Dragons is a beast with a belly full of fire as it continues to become ever more present in modern pop culture. The master of all tabletop roleplaying games was first created in 1974. It allowed people to be a warrior or wizard for the day, going on epic adventures with friends and rolling some dice to determine the success of your actions. In 2017 more and more people are finding this role-playing game and a lot of them are millennial girls too.

This positive change might have come from seeing D&D thrust back into our lives on shows like Stranger Things. I actually think a lot of this revival is due to companies like Geek & Sundry, who run a weekly stream of D&D featuring prominent voice actors. Whatever the reason, this role-playing beast has been gathering pace and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be slowing down anytime soon.

In Fashion

I hate to use the term, but it seems like being a geek or a dork is ‘in fashion’ these days. It’s no surprise that the quintessential game for geeks is resurging with said social change. What once seemed like a guilty pleasure is now highly popular amongst 25-34-year-olds. There’s a good chance that if you haven’t rolled a D20 to make a wisdom check, you’re the odd one out amongst your friends.

There have also been some notably high-profile celebrities that are avid D&D players. People like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Vin Diesel, Mike Myers & Stephen Colbert have all confessed to playing D&D and they’re not the only ones. Since D&D went somewhat mainstream, there has been a number of closet D&D players come out of the woodwork. Rather unsurprisingly George RR Martin, the author of A Song of Ice & Fire loves being a dungeon master.

Critical Role

Other platforms like Geek & Sundry and their show Critical Role have had a huge impact on the D&D revival. Their weekly D&D game on their Twitch channel has become their most popular show. Critical Role really showcases just how inventive D&D can really be. The excellent dungeon master Matthew Mercer has crafted his own world filled with chromatic Dragons and Beholders is the thing that actually got me interested in playing D&D.

Critical Cole features a cast of voice actors who have created their own characters to inhabit Mercer’s world. The show has both tense and hilarious moments, which are only enhanced by the cast’s genuine friendship.

I think this is what appealed to me most about D&D. When I saw how much fun you could have with your friends, all telling a story collectively I knew I just had to play. Critical Role made me feel like there was nothing to be embarrassed about and that if the successful people can play in front of thousands of people, then why couldn’t I with my friends? The answer is that I could.

I’m pleased to say that since discovering Critical Role, I have played Dungeons & Dragons and I loved every moment of it.

Changing Times

Social actives are so different to how they were in 1974 when D&D first released. The Internet has made spending time with people virtually the norm. I remember having to ride my bike to my friends to check if they were home when I was younger. Now I just see the younger generation checking their phones.

When we think of playing games with friends nowadays, most of us probably think of some kind of MMO or other online game. That physical interaction that used to be the only way to play together is no longer there. Now, I’m not saying that I think playing MMOs or online games are bad, far from it. I do believe, however, that there is something more gained from genuine human interaction and this is where D&D comes into place.

D&D not only gives you an excuse to order a bunch of pizzas and get some alcoholic beverages in, but it gives you the opportunity to play with friends, face to face. Not only that, but you’re forced to interact with one another, to collaborate and problem solves and above all else, tell one collective story. This is something you can’t get by playing Call of Duty with your friends.

Roll20.net

Of course, you do still have the option to play D&D online if you wish. Website Roll20.net allows you to create or join an online D&D game with people you’ve possibly never met before. Roll20.net is complete with easy to use digital tools, including character sheet and dice that allow you to play this tabletop classic online.

I discovered Roll20.net a few weeks ago and so far I can give nothing but praise for this platform. It’s another example of how accessible D&D has become and that the community who support it are both helpful and pleasant.

If you’ve never played a role-playing game before, there’s no better time than now to start. Grab a bunch of friends and try out one of the many starter scenarios online, I guarantee you’ll be hooked before long.

Role-playing is a fun and fantastic hobby to have, that only bring you and your friends closer together and that’s why I think it’s having such a revival. Gone are the days where D&D players are banished to the basement in embarrassment. There’s a new dawn coming to gaming and you only need a 20-sided dice to be involved.

Constantly threatening to write a book, but always with a story to tell. Tom has a typical northern English soul. He may sound as mundane as Jon Snow, but at least he tries to articulate. Lover of video games, comics, geek pop culture and wishing he could play Dungeons & Dragons.
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