Dungeons & Dragons: All You Need To Know About The Game Before Watching The Movie

Dungeons & Dragons is renowned for its epic quests and captivating storylines.

Everyone and their mom is talking about what seems to be the blockbuster of the year: Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. And it’s totally with a solid reason.

Some fans and critics out there have theories that the popularity of the game and its further development into a movie was inspired by Stranger Things. If you have lived under a rock these past several years, it’s a Netflix science fiction show set in the 80s where the main characters are, well, geeky kids who play tons of D&D and actually base every season off a D&D game.

The show has had such a massive impact on pop culture that it brought about a certain revival of the 80s as well as a wave of nostalgia and pseudo-nostalgia (for those born after those years).  So, as the highly anticipated D&D movie hits theaters, it’s essential to have a solid understanding of the game’s universe. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or a curious newcomer, we think that going back to the basics can only do you good and be a nice preparation for the silver screen release.

Let’s roll. Pun intended.

The Basics of Dungeons & Dragons

Every game is best learned and understood while either watching someone play or playing yourself while picking up rules on the way. For example, if you’re new at D&D but you’ve already played a ThunderPick Crash game, you’ll notice some similarities. They might seem different, but for both games, you’ll have to build your strategy and plan. Otherwise, the consequences might not be ideal for you.

Still, we’ll do our best to explain the basics. D&D is a collaborative tabletop role-playing game where players assume the roles of adventurers in a fantasy world. Character creation involves selecting a race, such as humans, elves, dwarves, or orcs, and a class, like a fighter, wizard, rogue, or cleric. 

The Dungeon Master (DM) acts as the storyteller, describing the world and guiding the narrative, while the players make decisions and resolve actions through dice rolls. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

The Origins of Dungeons & Dragons

Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) traces its roots back to the 1970s when Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson created the game. Inspired by their love for fantasy literature and war games, they combined elements of storytelling and strategy to develop a groundbreaking role-playing experience. 

The influence of works like J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories can be seen in the game’s themes and aesthetics. Essentially, it’s a solid epic fantasy made into a board game. When you see how it’s played, you’ll probably understand the hype and want to try it for yourself.

The Forgotten Realms Setting

To help you understand the connection, the Dungeons & Dragons movie is set in the Forgotten Realms, one of the most beloved campaign settings in the game. Forgotten Realms is a huge and detailed fantasy world filled with diverse cultures, iconic cities, and legendary heroes. 

Locations like Waterdeep, Baldur’s Gate, and Icewind Dale are well-known to fans of the game and may play a significant role in the movie’s plot.

Classes and Races

As we said, D&D offers a wide array of character classes. Each of the classes comes with its unique abilities, skills, and playstyles. For example – fighters excel in combat, wizards harness arcane magic, rogues specialize in stealth and thievery, and clerics have divine powers. 

Your choice of race determines not only physical attributes but also cultural backgrounds, granting additional abilities and shaping interactions with other characters and the world.

The Role of Dice (or Should We Say, the ROLL)

Dice rolls are a fundamental mechanic in Dungeons & Dragons, introducing an element of chance and unpredictability. The most iconic die is the 20-sided die, or d20, used for determining the success or failure of actions. 

Different dice are used for various purposes, including damage rolls, skill checks, and saving throws. The results of these rolls add excitement and tension to the game, as well as unexpected twists and turns.

Monsters and Creatures

As you probably picked up by now, the world of D&D is filled with a vast array of creatures and monsters, ranging from legendary dragons to mischievous goblins. These creatures not only pose challenges to the players but also contribute to the rich lore and mythology of the game. 

Familiarize yourself with iconic monsters like mind flayers, beholders, and dragons, as they might make appearances in the movie, thrilling fans and introducing newcomers to the wonders of D&D’s bestiary.

Epic Quests and Storylines

Dungeons & Dragons is renowned for its epic quests and captivating storylines. Throughout the game’s history, numerous pre-designed campaigns and modules have been created, providing players with thrilling adventures to embark on. You can also make up your own.

The movie’s plot might draw inspiration from some more famous and iconic storylines, showcasing the grandeur and excitement that have captivated players for decades.

We tried our best to make you a short but sweet comprehensive guide through the D&D universe. We think that you are now equipped with the knowledge necessary to fully appreciate the Dungeons & Dragons movie. If not, you can just see it as a fun movie, but understanding the game’s origins, mechanics, settings, and iconic elements will enhance your viewing experience, allowing you to recognize references and immerse yourself.