Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook
I’ve long professed my love of D&D at Ensuing Chapters, and it’s been a hell of a summer for gamers. Wizards of the Coast, the game’s publisher, is releasing the 5th edition of the table-top role-playing game—and they’re spreading the love around.
The Basic Rules and Starter Set were released in July, and this week, Wizards published the Player’s Handbook. The fan favorite Monster Manual will hit shelves in September, and the essential Dungeon Master’s Guide will follow in November.
In honor of the new edition, here is a collection of our articles about D&D, from Ensuing Chapters and beyond. Enjoy.
D&D is a cultural phenomenon that has lasted decades, survived the sophistication of video games and artificial intelligence, rival RPGs and even the Satanic Panic. It’s gone from nerd pastime to geek chic to sociological interest, and now its history has been documented in the wonderful Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and the People Who Play It, a nostalgic romp through the author’s (and my) childhood.
Ewalt, a senior editor at Forbes and self-described “writer, gamer, geek,” has done a great service to anyone who, with sweaty palms, has had to make a campaign-defining saving throw (or at least knows what that means). His smooth writing style and flair for narrative pacing makes the story of this greatest of games one of general interest, even if you’ve never tossed the 20-sided die. Read full article
Remember the first time you crawled a dungeon, slayed the dragon and stuffed as much treasure as you could into your “bag of holding”? Felt good, right? But the true prize wasn’t the booty. Sure, I enjoyed counting the gold and platinum coins, drooling over the prospects of upgraded armor, a magic-enhanced broad sword and whatever mischief I could scare up with a few copper pieces at the local tavern.
But what intrigued me most were the tattered spell scrolls, mysterious tomes and the secrets of the ancients.
It shouldn’t be much of a surprise. A rabid imagination is the primary tool that all fans of role-playing games bring to the table, and a trove of yellowed parchment and faded maps makes us froth at the mouth. Just how powerful is that fireball incantation? What wisdom could be discovered in that old paladin’s codex?
That’s what it feels like digging into Jon Peterson’s Playing at the World: A History of Simulating Wars, People and Fantastic Adventures, from Chess to Role-Playing Games. For any experienced gamer, this is a hoard worthy of any dungeon campaign. Read full article
Keith Baker’s Boulder home is a fantasy geek’s paradise. An oversized bookshelf serves as an archive of role-playing game (RPG) modules, player’s handbooks and monster manuals. Posters of fantasy artwork grace the walls. Intricately designed miniatures of majestic dragons, mythical creatures and timeless warriors stand guard over counter space. Two broadswords hang over a mantle, and if you ask nicely Baker will give you a lesson in swordplay. After all, prior to becoming a novelist and game designer, he studied fencing and worked at Renaissance fairs.
If you knew Baker as a child, you probably wouldn’t be surprised.
“Instead of playing Cowboys and Indians, I ran around with friends playing Egyptian and Norse gods,” he says.
After showing an early interest in mythology, fantasy, the horror/sci-fi fiction of H.P. Lovecraft and the eerie artwork of Edward Gorey, it was no surprise that in 4th grade Baker became interested in a game called Dungeons & Dragons. Read full article