D&D General What is D&D? A Universal Definition

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
If we had enough versions of D&D, we could breed them together!

Then, instead of arguing about it, I could just raise 'em, like a rancher.

Yeah. But breeding is not easy.. It often requires... artificial assistance. Taking samples. And sometimes you have to reach your arm up in there and... well, the whole thing can be very messy.

Maybe, married to a veterinarian, I am taking the analogy a bit too far.
 

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Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Yeah. But breeding is not easy.. It often requires... artificial assistance. Taking samples. And sometimes you have to reach your arm up in there and... well, the whole thing can be very messy.

Maybe, married to a veterinarian, I am taking the analogy a bit too far.

my wifes a farmers daughter so yeah I’ve done that - and yes thats way too far :p
 


Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
I do not think it is very fruitful to nail down a specific definition. I tend to think of games in terms of lineages. There are a lot of games that are descendants (official and not so official) of D&D. Like if your reference is the original game Torchbearer probably has as much legitimacy as Fifth Edition. However I find easier just to take each game as it is.
 


GSHamster

Adventurer
Monopoly allows you to have more than 2 players and I've played Euchre with 20 people. Neither of those are DnD either. It also brings up the issue is the DnD boardgames D&D?

No, you misunderstand my point. D&D is the combination of all the elements that cannot be removed. Other games can share elements, but unless they have all the elements, they're not D&D.

For example, both Monopoly and Euchre don't have a DM. Therefore, they are not D&D. I don't think the D&D boardgames have DM, so they're not D&D, just based on D&D. Like if a friend said, "Let's play D&D", and then they pull out Lords of Waterdeep, it would not match expectations.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
No, you misunderstand my point. D&D is the combination of all the elements that cannot be removed. Other games can share elements, but unless they have all the elements, they're not D&D.

Almost, but not quite, IMHO.

D&D is, in effect, a sub-genre of RPGs. Genre definitions are best handled by inclusion.

Pretty much everyone knows what a movie Western is, right? And they know it when they see it. But it isn't that each western has all of the core tropes. It is that there's a set of core tropes, an if the movie has enough of them (for some value of "enough"), then it is included in the genre.

You then get things like Firefly - which arguably has enough Western tropes to be a Western, and enough Sci-fi tropes to be Sci-fi. So... it is both, and that's okay. Being a member of one genre does not prohibit you from also being in another - this is the nature of categorizing by inclusion, rather than exclusion.
 


Khelon Testudo

Cleric of Stronmaus
Almost, but not quite, IMHO.

D&D is, in effect, a sub-genre of RPGs. Genre definitions are best handled by inclusion.

Pretty much everyone knows what a movie Western is, right? And they know it when they see it. But it isn't that each western has all of the core tropes. It is that there's a set of core tropes, an if the movie has enough of them (for some value of "enough"), then it is included in the genre.

You then get things like Firefly - which arguably has enough Western tropes to be a Western, and enough Sci-fi tropes to be Sci-fi. So... it is both, and that's okay. Being a member of one genre does not prohibit you from also being in another - this is the nature of categorizing by inclusion, rather than exclusion.
See also: The Mandelorian
 


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