What is Dungeons and Dragons?

What is Dungeons and Dragons?

Dungeons & Dragons also known as D&D is the longest running, and one of the first Role Playing Games in existence.  Originally created by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson in the basement of his house in 1974, and has been going strong ever since.

The game itself is a varied version of an open world role playing game, where characters are able to go on adventures, kill monsters, story tell, and (most importantly) obtain loot.  To put it simply, D&D is focused around group storytelling.  There are two parts of this particular group; the players, also known as Player Characters or PC’s, and the Dungeon Master, or the DM.

It is the Dungeon Master’s job to develop and create a world for the players to adventure in.  Be it purchasing a premade adventure from a number of sources, or creating his own from scratch.  The Dungeon Master is the narrator to the player’s story, from telling players how a room smells, to explaining how exactly to cut that goblin in half,it is all up to the Dungeon Master.  It is through the Dungeon Master that the players will experience the world.  It is the Dungeon Master who will create, and act as the Non-Player Characters(NPC’s) that the players will encounter through their adventures.

On the reverse side, the Player Characters are responsible for being the main characters in the story prepared by the Dungeon Master. They will be wandering the streets of the cities, and will be interacting with the NPC’s that the Dungeon Master creates. The players will select a race and  a class, along with some other options, and be responsible for developing their character’s backstory to better integrate into the world.  However, it is possible to begin playing with very little information, and instead let the interactions with the Dungeon Master develop and deepen your character.

The Dungeon Master is not only the narrator of the story, he is also all of the villains as well.  He decides what kind of creatures you will fight, and what kind of conflicts that players will be facing.  Though it is important to note that this does not mean that the DM is trying to kill the players nor should the players be trying to “beat” the Dungeon Master.  That isn’t how this is suppose to work, and in almost all instances of this, results in a failure of a campaign.


To play the game itself, you will need the source books, as well as the most important thing, dice. Everything else is optional.  The dice are the tools that you will use to interact with the world itself.  So for an example, if you want to look for a particular book in a library, the Dungeon Master may want you to make what is known as a check.  A check is when you roll one of the dice, and add a number called a modifier,  which you calculate once you make your character.  Now the total of the roll and the modifier has to be higher than the difficulty set by the Dungeon Master. If it is a rare book, or the library does not have it, you have a slim to no chance of success, If it is more common and you roll well, chances are you will find it.  You will perform these types of checks to do almost everything in the game; from attempting to pickpocket the bar-keep, to trying to smash the skull of that Goblin in.  The dice control everything.

D&D has had its good times and bad throughout the years. But recently it is has become more mainstream and is now becoming extremely popular.  More people are speaking about playing games in the open,longer a sort of taboo topic, which only helps the industry.

We here at Mammoth Gamers have decided to begin to tackle the giant that is tabletop and we are looking for YOUR HELP! Consider this a wanted flyer.

If you would be interested in becoming a contributor to the site, head over to this link, where we have all the information.

David Bahle

Former competitive Halo Coach, and former Microsoft Fan Boy. He is also a self proclaimed Star Wars Guru. He can be reached either on twitter at @OhMyApollo or [email protected]