D&D 5E What genre is D&D?

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
And by genre I mean a few things -- what time period (dark ages, medieval, renaissance?), tone, etc. do you generally associate with D&D as it is portrayed in official products?

Yes, I realize you can do bronze age horror or Victorian comedy or whatever you want; I'm not asking what it can do, but what you usually associate it with. And I'm referring to WotC's material, not your home-brew campaign, which can of course be anything.

For me I'd say it's not medieval at all -- more Renaissance through Victorian through an American lens. I mean, really it has created its own genre, and kinda gets to define the genre.
 

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I don’t really think about it. I don’t try to place it any particular age and I don’t really have the history knowledge to accurately differentiate them. I guess pre firearms?
 


Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
"Classic" D&D (and I use the term loosely) is an American mythic western transposed into a vaguely pan-European historical setting that never existed, but largely mirroring a time period of roughly 500 A.D. through 1760 A.D., but inclusive of other elements.

Further Snarf sayeth naught.
 

payn

Legend
For me I'd say it's not medieval at all -- more Renaissance through Victorian through an American lens. I mean, really it has created its own genre, and kinda gets to define the genre.
This.
"Classic" D&D (and I use the term loosely) is an American mythic western transposed into a vaguely pan-European historical setting that never existed, but largely mirroring a time period of roughly 500 A.D. through 1760 A.D., but inclusive of other elements.
Also this.
 

S'mon

Legend
And by genre I mean a few things -- what time period (dark ages, medieval, renaissance?), tone, etc. do you generally associate with D&D as it is portrayed in official products?

'Heroic Fantasy'. It doesn't really have a time period but uses a fair number of late-medieval elements, ca 1400-1550, and a slightly lesser amount of 1550-1800 stuff.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
"Classic" D&D (and I use the term loosely) is an American mythic western transposed into a vaguely pan-European historical setting that never existed, but largely mirroring a time period of roughly 500 A.D. through 1760 A.D., but inclusive of other elements.

Further Snarf sayeth naught.
Has Snarf been hacked? that is unusually brief.

I only partially agree. D&D (and especially "Classic") is an American mythic western transposed to a hybrid of European folklore and myth with some medieval/renaissance trappings and set dressing.
 






Some D&D settings fall within an existing genre, but the default assumptions of D&D (which haven't really changed much over the decades) are its own thing. It does not fall within a particular genre, or rather it is its own genre I suppose.
 


Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
I've always (always = since 1993 or so) viewed D&D as a framework of rules, on which anything can be hung. So when I think D&D, I think of a rule structure, not so much a genre.

My campaigns have mostly leaned toward science fantasy/weird fiction - like Masters of the Universe meets Conan. But that's almost coincidental, and it's not necessarily what I think when I think "D&D."
 

Jacob Lewis

Ye Olde GM
It's hard to pinpoint a singular term to describe a system that tries to incorporate all styles and genres of fantasy. So I guess it's whatever genre you think it is or want it to be. 🤷‍♂️
 



GreyLord

Legend
It depends on the game I'm running.

Currently running two games (an AD&D one and a 5e one).

One of them is definitely more of a eleventh to twelfth century setting with magic (and a focus on Knighthood, titles, and church conflicts) while the other is more of your standard High Fantasy with no real historical precedent but sort of imitating an American West with modern mores in Fantasy European clothing (ala...Forgotten Realms).
 

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