D&D General Does D&D Have an Identity Crisis?

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CR 1/8
"D&D" is just a subgenre of fantasy, so it's no surprise to see it presented in different tones aimed at different audiences, just like all different types of westerns, sci-fi, or romance. The word "D&D" has that unfortunate brand consideration attached, but that's the company's problem, not mine.


Not your screen monkey (he/him)
Who the hell is D&D for?
Everyone who wants to play D&D. That's a pretty diverse group with diverse interests, preferences, and tolerances.
Because the movie, the computer game, and TTRPG seem to be aimed at different audiences.
Yes. And...?
Don't they have some sort of IP manager who figures out what kidn of tone a D&D product should have?
For their own products, yes. For related products by other companies or for home games, enforcing a tone or maturity level would be pretty intrusive. Not that I expect Hasbro wouldn't necessarily try something like that (we've certainly seen it from other IP licenses) if they thought they could or it was worth it. But, at this point, they don't and the open licensing prevents them from doing so for anything using it. We'll see if that changes, but I guarantee, as a whole, we'll be poorer for it if they do.


Mod Squad
Staff member
For the audience, there aren't consenting adult elves or tieflings or dragonborn either. And "healthy" is somewhat subjective.

Please limit the distance you are willing to go to defend depictions of bestiality, or Eric's Grandma will be invoked.

For the newer crowd, "Eric's Grandma" aka "the Grandma Rule" is an old measure we have used to give folks an idea of how "adult" conversations could be in what is supposed to be a family-friendly place - don't say anything you wouldn't say in front of Eric Noah's grandmother. Eric Noah was the founder of this site, and his grandmother was a sweet old lady, but not up on the lingo. Some double-entendres would get by her, if otherwise innocent and clever enough.

Folks have generally been wise enough that we haven't needed to invoke her for some time, but we will here if necessary.
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Jedi Master
For all the complaints of corporate overlordship regarding D&D, I think it's clear that D&D has been, is and will be a game for it's players and content developers to tell stories that interest them where the random roll of dice help to determine uncertain outcomes in a fantasy medieval/renaissance setting. DaDHAT, BG3, CR, Dimension20, Adventure Zone, your table, and my table can all be different things yet remain D&D.

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