D&D General Which movie rating would you use to describe your D&D campaigns?

Which MPAA movie rating would you use to warn folks about what to expect in your D&D campaigns?

  • Rated G - General Audiences

    Votes: 2 1.8%
  • Rated PG - Parental Guidance suggested

    Votes: 3 2.6%
  • Rated PG-13 - Parents strongly cautioned – Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13

    Votes: 63 55.3%
  • Rated R - Restricted – Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian

    Votes: 33 28.9%
  • Rated NC-17 - Adults Only

    Votes: 13 11.4%


Lord of the Hidden Layer
Since almost all of my D&D has involved teens, or parent / child pairs, among the group ... I tend to PG, with PG-13 on occasion to establish the Evilness of BBEG's organization, and only R in unusual circumstances (such as cleansing evil lairs).

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A lot of people going R must find a way to get like 2-3 hours of excessive violence into a single gaming session.
I still haven't figured out how to feature that much combat
It is not necessarily quantity - it is quality in my case. When I was very young and DMing I was extra gory in my descriptions because I was a young nitwit. As I grew older, the violence remained - but only where useful. I now use the violence to differentiate creatures, situations, etc... to give them a specific feel.

Times I'll use very violent descriptions of combat:

  • When the bad guy needs to be hated, I make sure his blows sound wicked, especially when launched against someone innocent.
  • When I have a barbarian or other 'brutal' PC, I describe their blows as more violent.
  • Critical hits, sneak attacks and killing blows that do a lot of overkill.
  • Wild creatures (hungry wolves, for example) and chaotic evil monsters (demons, gnolls, white dragons, etc...) tend to get violent descriptions.
  • A killing blow on a PC.

So, a powerful Cavalier might be described as neatly slicing, elegantly parrying, etc... while a barbarian's blows will be described in a fashion I will not repeat on these boards.


Limit Break Dancing
If I'm being honest, my D&D games should receive the NC-17 rating for all of the same reasons that Saving Private Ryan should have: graphic violence, blood and gore, and disturbing subject matter (particularly the horrors of war.)

But since Hollywood (and a lot of moviegoers) automatically associate that rating with softcore pornography, they would probably give it an R-rating so as to avoid confusion.


In Canada our rating system is more lenient.

A lot of American R movies are 14A here.

After that we have 18A which is the adult recommended. Then we have R which is adult only like NC-17 (Freddy Got Fingered and I think Dredd were R. Not much is).

I would put my game in the 14A rating. I like running horror games but it is mostly in the tension and the horrific bits are short lived.

Probably an American R though I don't agree with that rating system.

Magister Ludorum

I went with PG-13, but there can be a lot of f-bombs (especially when my youngest is playing).

We have mature themes but no graphic descriptions of violence. Not really our thing. Slavery exists for the bad guys. I remember a merchant trying to hire our ship to transport some enslaved people and my character shot him in the face with a flintlock pistol. The description was graphic, but I did a lot of hit points. (This was 3.5/Pathfinder and we were very high level.)

Sexual themes are common, but action happens after a fade to black. Unlike the MPAA we don't rate gay themes more strictly than hetero themes.

Villains sometimes use bigoted language, but not excessively. Bigotry of any kind is villain coding in our games.

References to drugs could get us pushed into an R-rating.

I could have said soft R.


Pretty solidly an R, for all of the above reasons, but usually falls into NC 17 after a few drinks have been had.


Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
When my high-born sheltered character fell into a cesspool, it was definitely R. Using a string of cuss words was what my character would do, and I think in this case it was 100% justified.


Between PG-13 and a soft R - a UK 15. :)

edit: often lots of partial nudity, like early '80s straight to video swords & sorcery - I guess that's R in the USA? Might even be NC-17 for 'implied themes' I guess. Probably the darkest thing is when the PCs occasionally fail to rescue prisoners, some of my more evil villains will kill captives out of spite.
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PG-13 to R, probably, somewhere in that range. I avoid "sexual" anything in the game, especially as we have mixed genders, and one teenager at the table, but combat is violent, and I don't shirk opportunities of violence. No risk, no reward - things can get bloody. PC death happens. Now large parts of the intro portion of a module might be quite tame, but then the tension is going to build from there...


I describe mine as PG13 with F bombs leaning towards R16.

In practice it's R18 as I don't play with under 18s. No explicit torture or rape anything else is probably fair game.


Mine is PG-13.

Think Army of Darkness in many, many ways. Horror themed but not Evil Dead Gore. Pulpy protagonist action and combat. Humor. Jerk protagonists are OK but not Jack Bauer or Reservoir Dogs torture. Mishaps. Give me some Sugar Baby is a kiss then fade to black.

I have made this explicit using both PG-13 and Army of Darkness in describing desired tone with my current group in the planning stages when I took over DMing.

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