Dungeons & Dragons
Don’t you love it when nerdy things you love collide? Sometimes they collide in the most fun ways. The kids from Stranger Things start their first season of the show by playing Dungeons & Dragons, coming across an evil Demogorgon in their periless adventure. Fans of the table-top roleplaying game (TTRPG) always love seeing their hobby featured in TV shows. Especially when they become as wildly popular as Stranger Things has become. Well, now the tables have turned. Where once they got our TTRPG in their TV, now we’re getting their TV in our TTRPG as Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro brings us the very adventure that Mike, Dustin, Lucas, and Will go on that heralds the foreshadowing of their real-life misadventure.
So you’ve played D&D, Dungeons and Dragons, a couple of times. You’re fairly familiar with the rules, but the setting doesn’t really appeal to you. The knights in armor, medieval-thing just ain’t your bag, man. And learning a whole new system seems daunting, and what if you don’t like that either? Learn a third system for a third kind of game you may or may not like either? We say thee, nay! There are numerous third party settings for the Fifth Edition D&D system. Sci-Fi, fantasy, future, noir, hack and slash, political thriller, you only need to know where to look to find something that suits your interests. Then branching out to other systems within the settings you enjoy is less stressful of an idea. So here are 5 D&D Fifth Edition settings for your TTRPG group to try out!
Dungeons & Dragons has been a mainstay of nerd culture since it was first published by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. (TSR). Since 1997, the game was taken over by Wizards of the Coast and has gone through several revisions currently placing it in its 5th Edition. For decades, the game seemed to be associated with little more than young boys throwing dice in their basements while talking about girls and eating pizza (watch Stranger Things, season 1, episode 1 for a great depiction of this), but many of those young boys… and girls, the ladies love some D&D too, have grown up. Some of them have even become celebrities and one such person happens to be Hollywood’s Magic Mike himself, Joe Manganiello (True Blood, Magic Mike XXL, and One Tree Hill).
You’ve heard of it whispered in the darkest corners of your high school experience, perhaps images of a defamatory news segments or a dorky cartoon flash through your head. You’ve seen the books, lining that section of your comic book store you never go to, dice of strange and unfamiliar shapes shoved into a free-for-all somewhere near the counter. You had a friend or a cousin who wouldn’t shut up about it, maybe made it sound appealing, but it still felt too weird for you. You remember catching the last quarter of a terrible movie about it on television during a mid-day time filler slot. Now, you’re starting to see it everywhere in your Facebook feed. You watched Vin Diesel play it, you saw Dan Harmon‘s HarmonQuest, and of course, people won’t shut up about the Demogorgon after watching Stranger Things. Now you feel like maybe you want to try out Dungeons and & Dragons, but you have no idea where to begin. Well keep reading, because now you’re going to be taken through how to start playing “D&D”. (more…)
Are you a fan of Magic the Gathering who’s been looking to get their feet wet in Dungeons & Dragons or vice versa? Well it seems Wizards of the Coast has heard your pleas, because back in April they released a free guide called Plane Shift: Zendikar, which let D&D players traverse the Magic realm, and brought those two worlds just a little bit closer together for the tabletop community at large. Perhaps wishing to expand on those themes with a new setting, the master craftsmen at the helm of Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition have taken another crack at Magic the Gathering, and today marks the release of a new setting. (more…)
It can’t be easy to lose a dream role like playing a young Han Solo in his own pre-Star Wars adventure to be directed by Chris Miller and Phil Lord, but so far as consolation prizes go, getting to lead a new Dungeons and Dragons movie isn’t terrible. The movie maybe terrible, that is to say, but the idea is not. Ansel Elgort, star of The Fault in Our Stars and the Divergent series, was on the short list for a solo Solo, but now he’ll just have to settle on leading the cast of an all new movie based on the beloved role-playing game. (more…)
Some of us are old enough to remember the eye-rolling turkey of a Dungeons and Dragons film made back in 2000. Fans of the RPG had long awaited a live-action incarnation which brought our favorite mythical worlds and creatures to life, but this was not the film we were waiting for. Later, some other god-awful D&D films were made, yet still nothing worth watching. But the future will, perhaps, finally provide us with a fantasy flick that can hold its own, as director Rob Letterman has been signed to act as director to the newest attempt at D&D on the big screen. (more…)
In what maybe the perfect sythesis of director and material, it seems that Steven Spielberg has claimed the right to make the film version of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, a novel that Hollywood’s been very eager to adapt since even before it was published. The book takes place in a virtual reality environment where various “players” search out the one Easter egg that will let them take control of said world. So why is Spielberg the perfect man for the job? The book includes several mentions of the master’s work and references to his 70s/80s heyday with hits like the Indiana Jones trilogy, E.T.: The Extraterrestrial, and The Goonies. (more…)
If you’re a Dungeons & Dragons geek like I am, then you probably remember the horrible pain that struck your chest when you watched that god-awful movie that was produced around the title back in the year 2000. Even though the property provides tons of material to work with, the makers of the film managed to screw it up so bad that it literally left people with a bad case of the runs. Now, however, D&D may be getting a chance to redeem itself, as Warner Bros. has just purchase the rights and plans to make a new Gary Gygax-inspired flick.
Of course, if you look at the details, your hopes may be crushed.
A man by the name of David Leslie Johnson is currently in charge of the script. Some of you may know him for his work on the action-splat dud, Wrath of the Titans. Others may know him as the writer of some mediocre episodes of The Walking Dead. He’s not the worst, but he’s not exactly a creative genius. To add to the doubt, one of the producers has a history of being involved in that 2000 D&D movie fiasco.
So the project, while it definitely looks to be in the works, is up in the air creatively. It may come down to who wants to take on the role of director of the film. Can we get someone as passionate as those who have been jumping onboard the super hero movies as of late? Or will this just end up being yet another Lord of the Rings copycat flick with zero brains behind it?
I remain optimistic, because there’s seriously a lot you can do with D&D if you put your mind to it. The success really depends on whether or not they can find people that are willing to put themselves into it. Btw, if anyone at Warner Bros. is reading this, I’d write a D&D script in a heartbeat and it would be way better than that shit movie made in 2000. Feel free to message me.
Thanks to /film for the heads-up.
Welcome to another freaky edition of Ask the Bastards, the weekly feature where you the readers get to ask us, the writers of Nerd Bastards, what we think about everything in the world of geek. This week we tackle classic tabletop gaming, Wolverine’s racism, the genius of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and the difficulty of making a good Superman game.