D&D General What *is* D&D? (mild movie spoilers)


log in or register to remove this ad

I will always remember Xena because when it was on one of my friends was just starting a writing degree (or whatever you call that), and we were watching it, and he's watching Xena and Gabrielle splash around in the surf laughing and he's like "Water equals sex in a lot of fiction", and I'm like "Oh my god" and I never saw the show the same way again (it improved it).

The lesbian subtext between Xena and Gabrielle was another way the show broke ground during the 1990s. They helped pave the way for couples like Jesper and Wylan on Shadow and Bone. The queer subtext might seem passe to young LGBT today, but as a young gay man in the 1990s I definitely noticed it. We were there in this fantasy world.
 

Going back to the original post, I thought the really interesting point was that D&D is in a way its own genre these days. I’ve been thinking about that a lot, and It’s a hard thing to put one’s finger on what it is that makes D&D it’s own fantasy sub-genre, but the film manages to capture it.

The other interesting question for me is, when was the tipping point where D&D went from being a sum of influences to having its own identity that influences other media?

D&D certainly influenced a lot of elements in video games, and I think we’re starting to see video game story telling influence movies and TV (with The Last of Us, and now Mario Bros doing well I’m sure we’ll start seeing even more in the future*).

The bigger the success of the film, the more influence it will have on shaping what is considered to be D&D as a genre in itself. Which is why I’m thankful and happy they did such an amazing job.



*I saw a discussion where people were talking about other video games with a strong story that might be adaptable to either big or small screen, and someone mentioned Red Dead Redemption, which I thought was a pretty solid choice.
 

The other interesting question for me is, when was the tipping point where D&D went from being a sum of influences to having its own identity that influences other media?

I think a large factor was generational. The children and teens who grew up playing D&D in the 1980s and 1990s because middle-aged adults working in media. They advanced professionally to the point where they could create and authorize media projects. And their long experience playing D&D informed their work. This became clear to me around 2015-16 with the success of Stranger Things and Critical Role. Even Guardians of the Galaxy had a D&D campaign-like structure. That's also around when 5E was really blossoming into a hit. Since then the trend has accelerated.
 


Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
The other interesting question for me is, when was the tipping point where D&D went from being a sum of influences to having its own identity that influences other media?
When D&D seriously attempted to combine all its influences into a narrative and simulation. When D&D got big on settings.

It's kinda how the comic version of the comic characters and different in the MCU.

It's like when I tell people a magicless ranger makes less sense in D&D than magic using ranger. "Aragorn doesn't cast spells". Well Aragorn isn't from a world with full of spellcasting wizards, clerics, druids, fey, demons, devils, angels, undeads, djinn.... If Aragorn was in Greyhawk or FR, he or another ranger seek someone to teach them magic.

As the inspirations combine and mix under assumption not from their origins, they changed.
 
Last edited:

Going back to the original post, I thought the really interesting point was that D&D is in a way its own genre these days. I’ve been thinking about that a lot, and It’s a hard thing to put one’s finger on what it is that makes D&D it’s own fantasy sub-genre, but the film manages to capture it.
If you look at early D&D, it pastiched a great many genres, rather than being it's own genre. Keep on the Borderlands, Caves of Chaos where very Beowulf; Castle Amber, Dungeonland, Land Beyond the Magic Mirror where based on novels; Isle of Dread was based on King Kong/the pulps; Expedition to the Barrier Peaks was a sci-fi crossover, etc.

The earliest "is it own thing" modules where probably the puzzle dungeons, such as White Plume Mountain.

I would say it was with the rise of "campaign settings", around the end of 1st edition, that D&D started to slip into a rut, or ruts - if you saw a module was for a specific setting, you would know pretty much what to expect of it. The highly experimental modules disappeared, although we did see some experimental settings like Dark Sun, Spelljammer, Planescape etc. And so "D&D style" dates from this period - the early-mid 80s.
 

If you look at early D&D, it pastiched a great many genres, rather than being it's own genre. Keep on the Borderlands, Caves of Chaos where very Beowulf; Castle Amber, Dungeonland, Land Beyond the Magic Mirror where based on novels; Isle of Dread was based on King Kong/the pulps; Expedition to the Barrier Peaks was a sci-fi crossover, etc.

The earliest "is it own thing" modules where probably the puzzle dungeons, such as White Plume Mountain.

I would say it was with the rise of "campaign settings", around the end of 1st edition, that D&D started to slip into a rut, or ruts - if you saw a module was for a specific setting, you would know pretty much what to expect of it. The highly experimental modules disappeared, although we did see some experimental settings like Dark Sun, Spelljammer, Planescape etc. And so "D&D style" dates from this period - the early-mid 80s.

Yeah, Barrier Peaks and White Plume are great examples of becoming its own genre.

When I think of something modern that wears its D&D influences on it‘s sleeve, like say ‘Adventure Time’ it’s easy to see a vibe from those early modules.
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top