Dungeons & Dragons

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Make believe for men who know childhood never really ends. ~ Mike Duffy
One more thing: don’t spend too much time merely reading. The best part of this work is the play, so play and enjoy! ~ Gary Gygax

Dungeons & Dragons (abbreviated as D&D or DnD), is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game (RPG) originally designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, and first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. (TSR).


  • Weirdly, D&D didn't encourage my leanings towards trying magic of my own at all. In fact, it frustrated them. Even the most pompous and ambitious historical magicians, from the Zaroastrian Magi through John Dee, Francis Barrett and Aleister Crowley, never claimed to be able to throw fireballs or lightning bolts like D&D wizards can. So D&D was never going to feed the fantasies of practising magic in the real world. That is all about gaining secret knowledge, a higher level of perception or inflicting misfortune or a boon on someone rather than causing a poisonous cloud of vapor to pour from your fingers (Cloudkill, deadly to creatures with less than 5 hit dice, for those who are interested). The game, as we played it, just doesn't support the occult idea of magic.
    In fact, it might even be argued that, by giving such a powerful prop to my imagination, D&D stopped me from going deeper into the occult in real life. I certainly had all the qualifications—bullied power-hungry twerp with no discernable skill in conventional fields and no immediate hope of a girlfriend who wasn't mentally ill. It's amazing I'm not out sacrificing goats to this day.
    • Mark Barrowcliffe, The Elfish Gene: Dungeons, Dragons And Growing Up Strange
  • “It's like Dungeons and Dragons, but real."
    Jace was looking at Simon as if he were some bizarre species of insect. "It's like what?"
    "It's a game," Clary explained. She felt vaguely embarrassed. "People pretend to be wizards and elves, and they kill monsters and stuff."
    Jace looked stupefied.
    Simon grinned. "you've never hear of Dungeon and Dragons?"
    "I've heard of dungeons," Jace said. "Also dragons. Although they're mostly extinct."
    Simon looked disappointed. "You've never killed a dragon?"
    "He's probably never met a six-foot-tall hot elf-woman in a fur bikini, either," Clary said irritably. "Lay off, Simon."
    "Real elves are about eight inches tall," Jace pointed out. "Also, they bite.”
  • Cassandra Clare, City of Bones
  • I was motivated to play Dungeons & Dragons. I mean highly, highly motivated to play it. Every day, if I could find someone to play with me. If I couldn't find someone to play with me, I would work on my player character.
  • I started playing Dungeons & Dragons the first week it was introduced to the market &#Array; at least the first week it was introduced down here. Before Dungeons & Dragons, there was a game called [[w:Metamorphosis Alpha|, which was also created by Gary Gygax, the guy who created Dungeons & Dragons. I played that, and then we heard this other thing was going to be coming out, called Dungeons & Dragons. The first week it was out, we played it and we were hooked. That was in 1977, I think.
  • I wrote a 50 page manuscript that I titled 'The Fantasy Game' late in 1972. Much of the content of the game was drawn straight from 'Chainmail - Rules for Medieval Military Miniatures', the 'Man-to-Man' and 'Fantasy Supplement' portions that I had authored, to be exact. This manuscript was sent in the mail to a dozen or so of my wargaming associated around the USA for their play-testing and feedback. The reception was overwhelming and all positive. In the spring of 1973 I revised the material to 150 page length - essentially what was printed as the D&D game's three rules booklets in January 1974. This draft of the game was sent out to about 30 people and the reaction was so intense that I was sure we had a winning game. As an aside, at that point I thought we would sell at least 50,000 copies to wargamers and fantasy fans. I underestimated the audience a little. It wasn't until the middle of 1975 that the true scope of the appeal of the 'Dungeons & Dragons' game was understood by me.
    As to how I conceived and wrote the game in the first place, that would take many pages to explain, so I won't go into it other than to say it was the culmination of more than 30 years of living and doing that enabled the process.
  • While it is possible to play a single game, unrelated to any other game events past or future, it is the campaign for which these rules are designed. It is relatively simple to set up a fantasy campaign, and better still, it will cost almost nothing. In fact you will not even need miniature figures, although their occasional employment is recommended for real spectacle when battles are fought. A quick glance at the Equipment section of this booklet will reveal just how little is required. The most extensive requirement is time. The campaign referee will have to have sufficient time to meet the demands of his players, he will have to devote a number of hours to laying out the maps of his "dungeons" and upper terrain before the affair begins.
    • Gary Gygax, Preface of the Original Dungeons & Dragons, (1 November 1973)
  • In many ways I still resent the wretched yellow journalism that was clearly evident in (the media's) treatment of the game — 60 Minutes in particular. I've never watched that show after Ed Bradley's interview with me because they rearranged my answers. When I sent some copies of letters from mothers of those two children who had committed suicide who said the game had nothing to do with it, they refused to do a retraction or even mention it on air. What bothered me is that I was getting death threats, telephone calls, and letters. I was a little nervous. I had a bodyguard for a while.
    • Gary Gygax, GameSpy interview, Pt. I (15 August 2004)
  • The new D&D is too rule intensive. It's relegated the Dungeon Master to being an entertainer rather than master of the game. It's done away with the archetypes, focused on nothing but combat and character power, lost the group cooperative aspect, bastardized the class-based system, and resembles a comic-book superheroes game more than a fantasy RPG where a player can play any alignment desired, not just lawful good.
  • One more thing: don’t spend too much time merely reading. The best part of this work is the play, so play and enjoy!

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