Dungeons and Dragons

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Dungeons and Dragons
Author (s) Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson
Original publisher Tactical Studies Rules

Wizards of the Coast

Original publication 1974
original language English
German publisher Feder & Schwert (until the end of 2008), now: Ulisses games
German publication 1983
World and system
genre Fantasy
Game world several
Ascent Tier system
cube W20, W12, W10, W8, W6, W4
D&D with plan and figures
D&D cubes

Dungeons & Dragons (English for dungeons and dragons , short D&D or DnD ) by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson is considered the first pen & paper role-playing game . In 1974 D&D was first successfully marketed in the United States by the company Tactical Studies Rules, which was founded for this purpose . In November 1983 Fantasy Spiele Verlags-GmbH brought the first German translation onto the market. The game is now manufactured and distributed by the company Wizards of the Coast . The German version, which does not include all the products of the original, was initially produced by TSR itself, then by Amigo Spiele by July 1, 2004 and finally by Feder & Schwert by the end of 2008 . Ulisses Spiele is currently selling the 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons under a license from Gale Force Nine in Germany.

A further development of D&D is the set of rules Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (English for advanced dungeons and dragons , AD&D or ADnD for short ), which was also developed by Gary Gygax and exceeded its predecessor in complexity. A first edition appeared in 1977, a second followed in 1989. The D&D and AD&D rules existed side by side for decades, with the latter increasingly overshadowing the original version. Finally, in 2000, D&D ceased sales entirely. AD&D was revised and continued under the more common name D&D Version 3.0 and its revision 3.5. In June 2008, version 4.0, a profound further development of the control system, appeared. Version 5 was released in 2014.

At the beginning, D&D only played in large underground labyrinths , the eponymous dungeons . Rules for wilderness adventures were later drafted, which ultimately resulted in the introduction of new game worlds.

Set of rules

With version 3.0 of D&D, the previously very strict license conditions have been greatly relaxed. The basic rules are freely available under the so-called Open Game License . This enabled numerous manufacturers to publish additional products (game worlds, supplementary rules, etc.) that were completely compatible with D&D 3.0 and D&D 3.5. Many game world lines that Wizards of the Coast itself no longer maintain are now being supplied with D&D-compatible new products by other providers (for example Ravenloft and Dragonlance ). Such D&D-compatible products from third-party manufacturers are usually marked with a d20 logo (d20 = dice 20 = the twenty- sided dice , the name of the D&D game system). Some of these products are also sold in German.

The basic rule set consists of Player's Handbook (Player's Handbook), GM manual (Dungeon Master's Guide) and Monster Manual (Monster Manual).

Occasionally, Dungeons & Dragons is said to be a pure hack & slay game system. Indeed, the procedures during a fight are worked out in great detail. On the other hand, the set of rules offers the inexperienced game master a random table for practically everything. Everything from the weather to the frequency and strength of chance encounters to the nature of the door in front of the players can be determined by chance. The game master practically “only” has to think about the plot. This offers a lot of support, especially for beginners. However, if you use these tables too intensively, the game very quickly turns into a hack-and-slay experience.

Players can choose between different races (in the basic game human, half-elf, elf , half- orc , dwarf , halfling and gnome ) and character classes (fighter, magician, villain, cleric, ranger , monk, warlock, barbarian, druid, bard and paladin ). Different skills and talents as well as a further class specialization in the advanced game (so-called prestige classes ) allow players to design their own personal taste. Furthermore possess all the characters a conviction in a combination of orientations righteous, neutral and chaotic, good, neutral, evil. It should be noted here that these attitudes at D&D are not only philosophical values, but are also represented by gods and primal forces in most worlds. For example, in the Forgotten Realms there is a balance between the good and bad gods, which is maintained by Ao, the "super god".

Characters start the game usually on the first level ( Level ) and get on with time due to accumulation of experience points, thus their power extremely strong increases. The basic rules provide for 20 levels, there is also an expansion for "epic" characters beyond the 20th level, who thereby acquire almost godlike properties.

The player characters do not have in a given Fantasy - game world will be played: in addition to self-created by the GM D game worlds manufacturers were of the D & published numerous highly detailed game worlds.

Version 4.0 of the Dungeons & Dragons set of rules has been available since June 2008, which differs from version 3.0 in many ways. For example, the level range has been expanded to 30 levels. The most significant change, however, affects certain skills. These are classified as at-will , encounter , daily or utility skills. This mechanism is used to realize the spells, but also special attacks for fighters and so on.


Two DnD players on the floor playing with rule books, character sheets, dice and a map.
D&D miniature game with terrain

In general, there are “throws” for all probability-dependent actions to determine success, which are only rolled with a d20 . These are e.g. B. Attack rolls, saving throws (against spells and other harmful effects), and skill tests. The die result can be increased or decreased by modifiers ( bonuses and penalties ). These result u. a. from characteristics and skills of character as well as external circumstances; often several modifiers are applied at the same time. Of particular importance in D&D are "buffs", which are spells that temporarily improve a character's stats. The overall result of the throw and modifiers is compared with a situation-dependent target value (level of difficulty, SG), which must be achieved at least.

During the attack bonus continuously rises above the level, the relevance to the defense value that changes Armor Class (Armor Class Engl.) In principle, no. Only the choice of certain character classes as well as increasing certain attributes can bring inherent armor class bonuses, but these are usually rather small. To compensate for this, the characters need magical items such as armor, amulets and the like, which raise the armor class above the worldly level. This quirk is typical of D&D and rarely occurs in any other role-playing game. This naturally goes hand in hand with an extremely strong dependence on magical objects.

On the other hand, this peculiarity ensures that fights do not become a full-length occupation even at higher levels. Because the monsters (usually) only have one armor class and an attack bonus in the area of ​​the player characters. The steadily increasing attack bonus leads to more hits in the other direction. On the other hand, the hit points for the player characters are also increased with each level, just as stronger monsters also have more hit points. Overall, the higher attack bonus and the more hit points lead to a steady course of the game even at higher levels, where in other systems battles at high levels can actually drag on for hours.


In D&D games, players can choose from a variety of races, depending on the campaign world used. Basically, the rulebook divides these into playable and non-playable ones, but the respective game master can also remove these restrictions.

At AD&D you could choose between humanoids (people), dwarves, elves, gnomes and halflings, the background of which was then also explained in game aids.

The peoples from the standard set of rules 3.5 were then humans, elves, half-elves, gnomes, halflings, dwarves and half-orcs. In the 4th edition, gnomes and half-orcs are no longer playable races in the standard set of rules, but Tieflings, Eladrin (fairy-like primordial elves) and dragon-born are added.

In the monster manuals and other rule expansions, further playable races are described in both editions, which the game master may or may not allow in his game.


Ocher jelly, English Ocher Jelly (fan drawing)

The publications contain appropriate descriptions and statistic blocks for practically all creatures from mythologies around the world; Many of them are based on the models only in terms of their names, others are completely new. In July 2006, the fifth book was published, which deals exclusively with new creatures. Each volume is about 300 pages.

In Dungeons & Dragons, dragons are giant winged reptiles. Winged kites can fly, and most types of kites are more intelligent than humans. In addition, each type of dragon has a special breath . Dungeons & Dragons divides dragons into the group of chromatic, evil dragons and the group of metallic, good dragons. Furthermore, each type of dragon is assigned to one of the five elements (cold, fire, earth, water and air). Many other dragon species have been added to these ten original dragon species over the years. Due to their magical nature, dragons can mate with almost any other creature, so many half-dragons also exist.

One of the three logos of the Monstrous Arcana series, here with a Beholder (TSR, 1996)

The Beholder , also known as the viewer or eye tyrant , is a well-known monster from the AD&D world. It is spherical, floats in the air and is equipped with a large, tooth-reinforced mouth and a large main eye. This main eye serves as a magical protective shield as it overrides magic in a cone-shaped area in front of you. Typical magical attacks such as fireball and the like therefore have no effect against a beholder if they are cast from the front, even magical objects fail. In addition, the creature has ten smaller eyes, which are attached to movable stems at the top of the body and are responsible for different forms of magical attacks. The creature lives in underground vaults and caves and usually appears solitary. She sees herself as the most beautiful of all creatures and hates everything else - including other beholders. The Beholder represents a great danger even for an experienced adventure group, since in addition to its magic-dissolving protective shield it also has a multitude of attacks that can be carried out simultaneously, some of which are fatal. There are several variants, e.g. B. Undead viewers. Terry Kuntz is named as the inventor of the monster.

Other important monsters that, like the Beholder, are the company's figureheads and are not under the Open Game License , are: Mind Flayer, Gauth, Aaskriecher, Versetzerbiest, Githyanki, Githzerai, Kuo-Toa, Slaad, Erdkoloss and Yuan-ti.

Game worlds

Over the years, numerous game worlds have been published that allow different types of role-playing games.


Gary Gygax (1938–2008), one of the two inventors of the fantasy role-playing game D&D

The original campaign by Gary Gygax takes place on the world Oerde (English: Oerth) and started even before the first publication of the D&D rules. With the appearance of the first editions of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons in 1980, this became the standard background world of this set of rules, but was somewhat forgotten from the mid-1990s. Greyhawk has a particularly loyal following, which is certainly also due to the fact that some of the most famous adventure classics of the golden early D&D period are set in Greyhawk.

The original campaign was called World of Greyhawk (WoG) and only described a small part of the world. This was only described with a certain level of detail in order to enable game masters to make adjustments to their own campaign and to start other campaigns in this world that could have a different flair (such as Far Eastern adventures).

Originally, some of the things and campaigns that are now assigned to other worlds were developed for the Greyhawk campaign or also connected with it, for example for Ravenloft, Spelljammer, Planescape or Oriental Adventures.

With the appearance of the third edition in 2000, Greyhawk became D & D's standard game world again, which means that player characters created with the basic set of rules can be used immediately in Greyhawk - other game worlds often have so-called campaign volumes with additional rules that are useful when creating characters suitable for the game world are to be considered.

In a further step, Greyhawk was handed over to the RPGA (short for Rolle Playing Gamers' Association Network), and this started the Living Greyhawk campaign. Since then, new adventures can be experienced in Greyhawk at role-playing tournaments, game fairs or in private circles. Since the results of the adventures of RPGA players are evaluated centrally, an RPGA member can always experience new adventures with his character worldwide.

In the fifth edition, a publication was primarily linked to the Greyhawk world.

Forgotten Realms

The Forgotten Realms ( Forgotten Realms ) are one of the most important D & D worlds and have currently the most followers. Various PC games, such as Neverwinter Nights and Baldur's Gate , act in this world. She gained additional fame through the series of novels The Saga of the Dark Elf by RA Salvatore .

With the release of the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons in 2014, Greyhawk was replaced as the standard world by the Forgotten Realms .


The game world of the dragon lance (originally Dragonlance ) was created together with the series of novels by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman , which was on the New York Times bestseller lists in the early 1980s .

Dragonlance is epic fantasy, meaning the players are heroes, on whose success the fate of the whole world of Krynn depends. Dragons play a special, central role, representing overpowering beings and, in the distant past, could only be defeated with the help of the dragon lances that gave them their name. The attitudes (good, neutral or bad) also play an important role, since in this world very clearly defined factions are in a constant dispute for supremacy: at their head the respective good, neutral and bad pantheons of Krynn.

Since the first release of the game world in the 1980s, some world-shaking events took place, so now that after the war the Dragonlance Age of Mortals occurred (Age of Mortals).

The campaign launch volume has been published by Wizards of the Coast, a monster bestiary and additional volumes for the Age of Mortals and the War of the Dragon Lance have been published by Sovereign Press.

The main characters known from the novels are Tanis Halb-Elf (Half-Elven), Raistlin Majere, Caramon Majere, Tika Waylan, Tolpan Barfuß (Tasselhoff Burrfoot), Flint Feuerschmied (Fireforge), Sturm Feuerklinge (Brightblade), Flusswind (Riverwind), Goldmoon (Goldmoon), Laurana (Lauralanthalasa), Gilthanas, Lord Soth and Kitiara. Locations described are Solace, Neraka, Treibgut and Tarsis.


Ravenloft (in German: Rabenhorst ) is a dark fantasy and horror game world. It includes different countries ( domains ) with different levels of culture, from the Stone Age to the Renaissance . The game world is the basis for a number of novels, in particular PN Elrods I, Strahd: The Memoirs of a Vampire .

It was created at the time of AD&D and was reissued in 2001 by Sword & Sorcery for D&D 3 and 3.5. However, Sword & Sorcery has since returned the license to Wizards of the Coast. An intensive continuation of the world is unlikely if no new licensee can be found, even if a single Ravenloft adventure was published by Wizards of the Coast, but which is not in the continuity of the previous game world.

The specialty of Ravenloft is that the world of Ravenloft has a life of its own or has its own will, collectively referred to as the Mists of Ravenloft or The Dark Powers. Ravenloft selects the most interesting villains from all AD&D worlds, provides them with a realm / domain, gives them almost god-like power and confronts them forever with their own nemesis; however, they can never leave this domain again. But being angry alone is usually not enough, because often great feelings, desires and dramas have to run in the background for Ravenloft to consider someone "worthy" to offer them a domain.

Another quirk of Ravenloft is that it tries to gradually convince good characters of the bad. They should be convinced of the other side through dreams, offers, blows of fate and further manipulations. Gradually they should receive skills, and in the end finally their own domain - provided that they have then performed a correspondingly terrible deed (or several).


The Birthright campaign (Rich Baker and Colin McComb ) is about the Cerilia game world, in which players take on the role of powerful rulers. The campaign appeared in 1995 and contained a rule system for a political role-playing game. The players are owners of a bloodline, which gives them the birthright to rule a kingdom or to lead a national guild or church. It won an Origins Award in 1995 for the best RPG expansion.

An additional set of rules supplements the AD&D standard rules with rules that affect the household of a kingdom, regulate diplomacy or sabotage or enable military disputes at a high level of abstraction. The map of Cerilia is divided into hundreds of small political units and each is provided with game statistics.

At the end of the 1990s, the series was discontinued because the demand for classic role-playing games had dropped sharply after the advent of fantasy trading card games and TSR wanted to concentrate on the most profitable game worlds. The PC game Birthright: The Gorgon's Alliance was released for this game world .


The game world Eberron is based on a campaign concept by Keith Baker, who was selected from over 11,000 entries in a competition at Wizards of the Coast .

Due to various new elements such as the war-forged player race, an overall high technological progress in the arcane arts and the dragon painting houses, the game world with its possibilities is a very modern world with many possibilities for political or economic campaign backgrounds. This game world is used in the computer game Dungeons & Dragons Online .

Eberron is one of the three worlds for which background knowledge has been published in separate volumes.

Dark Sun

In the 1990s, the desire for a non-classic fantasy setting arose. The result was Dark Sun (dt. Under the dark sun ), one of the hardest game worlds that have been published to date: This game world is different in some important respects from the other worlds as they like does not provide epic RPG so good. Dark Sun plays on Athas, a world that has become a desert through the use of magic. Cruel sorcerer kings have usurped power for millennia and rule with an iron hand. Adventure on Athas often revolves around survival.

The charm of the world lies in its strangeness and brutality. The usual races of players have changed significantly, and there are also new races: Mule, a cross between human and dwarf; Half giants, a magical race made up of giants and humans, and thri-kreen, semi-humanoid praying mantises (also known from the Forgotten Realms ). The known races human, elf and halfling have changed so much that they only have one name in common; There are no gnomes on Athas. Furthermore, the magic system has been greatly changed and combined with the psi powers. All magical abilities, regardless of their effect, also cause severe damage to the environment, which limits their use.

This game world is only for experienced game leaders and groups. Since the players are very powerful very early on, the game master has to use a lot of imagination to keep the game interesting - provided the characters survive long enough, as Athas is also designed from the outset as an extremely deadly game world and the (A) D&D -Typical methods for resuscitation of fallen companions are less reliable or available.

In summer 2010 the campaign set and other publications appeared, so that Dark Sun became one of the official campaign worlds of the 4th edition.

For Dark Sun computer games, see also Dark Sun: Shattered Lands , Dark Sun: Wake of the Ravager , Dark Sun Online: Crimson Sands .


The original D & D invented by Gary Gygax tried to invent its own cosmology around the (at that time still only) game world. The result was the so-called multiverse , the totality of the possible levels of existence that exist parallel to the game world (the so-called main level ) and from which gods, demons and elemental rulers exert their influence on the human world.

At the beginning of the 1990s, the second edition of (A) D&D created a completely unique game world that did not replace the existing campaigns, but placed it in the larger context of the multiverse: Planescape. All levels of the multiverse - from Hell to Arborea (the world of the Olympic gods) to Elysium - revolve in a ring around the foreign countries , the world of neutrality. In its center: Sigil, the city of gates, which cannot be entered by any god - because the "Lady of Sorrows" rules there, a being of great power and unknown intentions.

Here it is part of everyday life that you bump into a demon on the street, are invited by a devil to a game of dice or find yourself in animated conversation with an elemental being. There is nothing here that does not exist - because everything that creeps and flies on the planes of existence collects in sigil.

The Planescape campaign world was officially discontinued by the manufacturer for the D&D 3 set of rules, only the "Manual of the Planes" offers a short summary of the "Multiverse" according to D&D 3 rules. However, with “Planewalker” (see links below) an active community is trying to keep the campaign going and adapt it to the D&D 3 rules. The in-house magazine Dragon occasionally picks up details from the setting and adapts them to the current rules: Dragon 287, 315 and 339 update the factions, 351 the Gatetown Ecstasy, etc.

The source books published for this system were mostly only available in English, even if a few of the books assigned to "AD&D" in terms of technical rules were also published in German.

Planescape thus plays in an extremely complex and multi-layered world full of obviously philosophical aspects, but despite or perhaps because of its high level of difficulty and the game world, which is not particularly suitable for role-playing beginners, it enjoys lasting popularity with older and more experienced players.

The PC role-playing game Planescape: Torment is also based on this game world.


Ravnica is the standard world of the card game Magic - the Gathering , which is also distributed by the Wizards of the Coast . It is the second world that was supported in the fifth edition.

More game worlds

Since the invention of D&D in the 1970s, numerous other game worlds have been created, not all of which have been further developed to this day:

  • The expansion regions of the Forgotten Realms presented in the second edition of (A) D&D:
    • Maztica (based on the Central and South American empires of the Incas and Aztecs )
    • Kara-Tur (Far East)
    • Al-Qadim (Arabic)
    • The Horde (Mongolian)
    • Arcane Age (The same area as the Forgotten Realms, just a few thousand years ago)
  • Spelljammer: One of the first ways to change worlds, where magic-powered ships (the Spelljammer) could be used to travel between planets, especially between the Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk and Dragon Lance.
  • Mystara (The AD&D implementation of the old game world by D&D)
    • Hohlwelt (The world of Mystara is hollow and there are also inhabitants inside. These extensions were only available for D&D.)
    • Red Steel
  • Lankhmar (The city is an invention of the author Fritz Leiber and has been licensed by TSR.)
  • Council of Wyrms (A region called Io's Blood Iles that is ruled by dragons.)
  • Ghostwalk (In the center of the setting is the 'City of Manifest', which is located at the entrance to the underworld, the land of the dead. In Manifest, the living and the dead have everyday interactions.)
  • Rokugan (Far Eastern, the land was developed for Legend of the 5 Rings and is included in the D&D 3 version of Oriental Adventures)
  • D20 Modern (There are a few settings for this, but the “Urban Arcana” setting is likely to be of greatest interest; more and more shadow beings are seeping into modern everyday life. Shadow beings are known many times from the D&D works: elves, dwarfs etc., but also Drow, Tieflinge, and Yuan-Ti.)
  • D20 Cthulhu (D20 implementation of the Cthulhu myth by Lovecraft )
  • In various editions of Dragon magazine, existing literary fantasy worlds are adapted for D&D (Dragon 286: Terry Brooks ' "Shannara"; Dragon 307: George RR Martins "Westeros"; Dragon 352: China Miéville's "Bas-Lag").


Dungeons & Dragons 1

1st Edition Dungeons and Dragons logo; alternatively also used as a single line
AD&D Logo (1st / 2nd edition)
Logo of the 3rd edition Dungeons and Dragons (simplified, black and white)

Gary Gygax , an American of Swiss descent, founded a club called the Tactical Studies Association in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin in 1965 , which dealt with conflict simulation games. In 1970, Dave Wesely developed the idea of ​​the strategic role-playing game from a KoSim for the training of American officers, which was called Braunstein after its version . In 1971 Dave Arneson developed the medieval background Blackmoor for the game Twin City Wargame by Dave Wesely. He went on to draw maps of the vast underground labyrinths beneath Blackmoor Castle as game boards. This is how the first dungeons were created.

1972 Gary Gygax wrote the first rules medieval chain mail for tabletop games, taken from Dave Arnesons Blackmoor background. A revised version of Chainmail was published in 1974 by the publishing house Tactical Studies Rules (TSR), founded by Gary Gygax only for this purpose, under the name Dungeons & Dragons (D&D).

In 1975 Gygax came across a small British magazine called Owl and Weasel and contacted the editors. He sent them a version of his game and two of the UK writers ( Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson ) loved it immediately. They started selling D&D in England with their newly formed company Games Workshop with great success. In November 1983 Fantasy Spiele Verlags-GmbH brought the first German translation by D&D onto the market under the title of the same name.

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons

In the meantime TSR had revised D&D and created the fantasy role-playing game Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) in 1980 . AD&D was originally intended as a set of rules for advanced D&D players. However, since AD&D was very popular, the first source books were published exclusively for AD&D and the first complete game worlds were also developed for AD&D. For a while, D&D was clearly behind the sales figures of AD&D, which is why the manufacturer TSR D&D more and more neglected.

Dungeons & Dragons 3

Wizards of the Coast acquired TSR, AD & D's manufacturing company, in 1997. However, since the brand name Dungeons & Dragons was far better known than the word creation AD&D , Wizards of the Coast decided after the takeover to publish the new edition of the game under the title Dungeons & Dragons (3rd edition) (D&D 3.0).

Dungeons & Dragons 3.5

After a lot of feedback from the role-playing community, a slightly revised version of the game was released in 2003 as Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 to document that it is only an optimized version of the very successful D&D 3.0.

In 1999, Amigo Spiel + Freizeit GmbH took over the license and distribution of TSR products in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Amigo published the new edition of D&D there under license in 2001. On July 1, 2004, the license passed to Feder & Schwert with the release of the German version of Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 . The pen and paper role-playing game Pathfinder was developed based on the rules of Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 .

Dungeons & Dragons 4

In August 2007, Wizards of the Coast announced the fourth edition of the role-playing game. The delivery of the first rule books began in early July 2008. In the meantime, both the player manual, the monster manual and the game master's manual for the fourth edition have been published in German (the game is fully playable with the three basic books player manual, monster manual and game master's manual). However, the German publisher Feder und Schwert stopped the translations on January 1, 2009, as there was no agreement with Hasbro on an extension of the license. The Monster Handbuch is the last German D&D book of the fourth edition to be realized by pen and sword and Hasbro has not been able to find a new licensing partner for the fourth edition of Dungeons & Dragons in Germany.

Dungeons & Dragons 5

On January 9, 2012, Wizards of the Coast announced the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons, which for the first time also involves players in the conception. The Player's Handbook was published on August 19, 2014, followed by the fifth version of Monster Manual on September 30, 2014, and finally the Dungeon Master's Guide was published on December 9, 2014 . A German translation of the player handbook was published on April 13, 2017. The license for the German translation was given to Gale Force Nine, who also have the license for other languages, and the player's manual was translated into German by Ulisses Spiele.

Film adaptations

Mazes and Monsters (. English maze "Labyrinth, Maze"), the original title of the movie Mazes and Monsters in 1982, is a direct allusion to the pen - & - paper role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons . The film is based on the novel of the same name by Rona Jaffe. With reference to the James Dallas Egbert III case, LARP aspects of D&D as well as the dangers of loss of reality and escapism are discussed . In a series of research papers published since then, no harmful effects of playing D&D have been found. Labyrinth of the Monsters is one of the first films starring the later famous actor Tom Hanks , who was 26 years old at the time of filming.

In 1983, the animated series Dungeons and Dragons was produced based on the game . The series has three seasons and was broadcast until 1985.

In 2000, the real- life film Dungeons & Dragons was made . In the main roles were u. a. See Justin Whalin , Thora Birch and Jeremy Irons . This was followed in 2005 by Dungeons & Dragons - The Power of the Elements , a direct-to-DVD production directed by Gerry Lively . With Dungeons & Dragons 3: The Book of Dark Shadows in 2012 was a continuation of the television series, again Gerry Lively took over the directing of.

Computer games

Shortly after its publication, D&D inspired amateur programmers in the university environment to develop computer game variants. The earliest known titles included dnd (1974 for PLATO ) and Dungeon (1975 for PDP-10 ). The first officially licensed games came from Mattel between 1980 and 1982 .

With the exclusive license agreement concluded in 1987 between TSR and game publisher SSI , several successful and in some cases formative titles were released, beginning with the Gold Box series (including Pool of Radiance ) and intermittent highlights such as the Eye of the Beholder trilogy or, developed with real-time game mechanics the first graphical MMORPG Neverwinter Nights . However, with increasing duration, the releases fell short of expectations in terms of both sales and reviews. When the contract with SSI expired in mid-1995, TSR divided the rights for the various campaign worlds among several manufacturers. However, only Interplay Entertainment , which had secured the licenses for the Forgotten Realms and Planescape, could achieve greater sales and valuation successes . With the help of the Infinity engine developed by BioWare , PC games such as Baldur's Gate and Planescape: Torment and Icewind Dale developed by Black Isle Studios were created . Above all, Baldur's Gate was attested to have played a large part in the resurgence of the role-playing genre in the computer game sector. The action role-playing game Dark Alliance , which is tailored to the PlayStation 2 game console , was also able to convince both critics and sales.

With the gradual expiry of the individual licenses and the reduction in the number of campaigns under Wizards of the Coast, the computer game license was again fully and exclusively granted to the French publisher Atari . All games published by Atari were based on the new Edition 3 or 3.5 from D&D. With the PC game developed by BioWare and also named Neverwinter Nights , a title successfully designed for modding and multiplayer play was released in 2003 . Other publications, such as the real-time strategy game Dragonshard , which is part of the new Eberron campaign world, or the MMORPG Dungeons & Dragons Online (Stormreach), on the other hand, fell short of expectations. Only BioWare was able to build on its successes with Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights with the Star Wars role-playing game Knights of the Old Republic , but did not use a D&D license, but the open d20 rules based on the D&D system . The MMORPG Neverwinter , which was still initiated under Atari , switched to Perfect World Entertainment in 2011 with the sale of the developer Cryptic Studios , which operated it with a free-to-play business model and later also had it ported to consoles.

Atari's license also ended in 2011 and rights holder Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro granted several rights to various smaller developers. Beamdog, founded by former Bioware employees, launched revised and expanded versions of the Infinity games and Neverwinter Nights for PC, smartphones and tablets between 2012 and 2018 , while n-Space tried unsuccessfully with Sword Coast Legends to follow the principle of Neverwinter Nights to connect. This was followed by smaller productions for smartphones / tablets and porting of board games, including Lords of Waterdeep ported by Playdek and Tales from Candlekeep: Tomb of Annihilation by BKOM Studios.


  • 2017: Induction into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame

Web links

Commons : Dungeons & Dragons  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Overview of AD&D softcover playing aids
  2. From today in outposts and the F-Shop: D&D player manual and DSA solo adventure The conspiracy of the magicians. Retrieved May 31, 2017 .
  3. Announcing Localized D&D Fifth Edition Product. Retrieved May 31, 2017 .
  4. Dungeons & Dragons 5: German version will be published by Ulisses this year. Retrieved October 18, 2019 .
  5. ^ Svitavsky: Geek Culture . In: The Bulletin of Bibliography . tape 58 , no. 2 .
  6. Armando: Emotional Stability Pertaining to Dungeons and Dragons . In: Psychology in the Schools . tape 84 , no. 4 .
  7. Science Fiction Hall of Fame 2017. Retrieved November 25, 2017 .