When one is asked to think of a fantasy tabletop RPG (role-playing game), nine gamers out of ten immediately think of Dungeons & Dragons.The one stand-alone was probably just daydreaming. Since its publication in 1974, D&D has completely changed the gaming realm and has influenced countless other games, movies, books, and more. The scope of D&D’s impact spreads globally and millions upon millions of fans have escaped into an adventure of their (and of course the Dungeon Master’s) creation.
Over the years, there has been a lot of advancements with the game, some rules have changed and the art and storylines have evolved, but D&D has always remained closely tied to its roots. Requiring imagination, strategy, and more than a bit of cunning, the game is hands down the most well-known and highest selling role-playing game in history. With the newest adventure, Waterdeep Dragon Heist, having just been released and available at our game shop now, we felt that we had to have a blog dedicated to D&D. And here it is!
Continue reading to learn a little bit more about the beginning of Dungeons & Dragons, how it’s changed over the past 40 years, and some interesting facts. And if you’re ready to dive back in to a world of halflings, orcs, monsters, elves, and so much more, then come in to our game store in Wallingford, CT today for the newest adventure or simply order online now!
In the Beginning
The origin and beginning stages of Dungeons & Dragons is a bit complex, so much so that there have been books written about the history of the RPG, so we’re just going to provide you with the most basic history of how the game began.
While the first copies of the boxed three-book set first became available to the public in early 1974, the idea of D&D first came into fruition in 1969. Following the lead of current “wargaming” strategy games, soon-to-be creators of D&D, Gary Gygax and Dave Anderson, met at Gen Con and decided that they’d like to work together to build out the fledgling idea of an RPG and begin figuring out the game’s rules and layouts. Soon after this, Gygax created Chainmail and Anderson used this to first introduce players to a world of fascinating beasts, magic, treasure, and, of course, adventure.
Although it was a bit risky to assume that players would be associated with wargaming strategies, it didn’t take long for OD&D (original Dungeons & Dragons) to find a fan base. The first year saw around 1,000 copies of the game, 3,000 the following year, and then sales skyrocketed. It’s estimated that over 20 million people have played D&D. This includes people of all ages, interests, financial statuses, sexes, and more. D&D became a big part of countless fans’ childhoods, leading into adulthood. From the friends that they’ve made, the characters they’ve been, and the adventures they’ve been on, there’s a reason that Dungeons & Dragons is still popular, 40 years after its origination.
- Well-Known Fans - With millions of fans, many celebrities have come out in support of the game and say that it was influential in their lives. While there are too many to list here, a few of these well-known players include Vin Diesel, Nathan Fillion, Chris Hardwick, Matt Groening, Karl Urban, and many, many more.
- Gary Gygax’ Other Jobs - Prior to the success of D&D, Gary Gygax worked as an insurance underwriter. After being let go from this job, he paid the bills cobbling, not knowing that his life was about to change and he would become a legend in the gaming community.
- Stays on Top - Although there have been countless imitators and competing RPG’s over the years, no game has come close to knocking D&D off the mountain. It always has been and likely will always be the premiere role-playing game.
Waterdeep Dragon Heist
So if you’re a fan, and have been itching for a new adventure, visit our store or order online the new D&D adventure titled Waterdeep Dragon Heist where you will reveal an evil plot, compete against new and exciting villains, and begin your dragon hunt! For any more information, don’t hesitate to contact our game store today!