Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Luke. Luke Wonders, “What is the History of Dungeons and Dragons?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Luke!

Do you have a strong imagination? Do you ever dream of setting out on a grand adventure with your closest friends? Maybe you picture a world where elves, goblins, and wizards really exist. If this sounds like you, then we think you’ll enjoy today’s Wonder of the Day. It’s all about Dungeons & Dragons!

Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) is a very popular role-playing game. People of all ages can have fun creating their own character. These are often fantastic creatures, like sorcerers and wizards. Then, they play as the character they created and explore an imaginary world. Best of all, players can customize the game. Many decisions are up to the dungeon master, the person who builds and guides the adventure.

How did Dungeons & Dragons begin? It all started with two people named Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. Together, they wrote the first 50-page D&D rule book in 1973. It grew from two other games Arneson and Gygax had previously created. These were called Chainmail and Blackmoor.

To print and sell the D&D rule book, Gygax started a company called Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. (TSR). Over the next decade, TSR saw great success. It distributed D&D all over the world. TSR even worked with Marvel to create a D&D television show.

Soon, however, things went south. Others in TSR pushed Gygax out of the company. Then, they made a string of bad business decisions. In the late-1990s, it looked like D&D may have reached the end of its road. Luckily, another gaming company called Wizards of the Coast bought TSR in 1997.

Quickly, Wizards of the Coast started publishing new and revamped D&D materials. It also gave the game’s third edition an Open Gaming License (OGL). That meant that anyone could create new adventures and settings based on the D&D rules. This led to the creation of a number of games based on Dungeons & Dragons, including Pathfinder and Starfinder. Today, D&D is on its fifth edition, which players call 5e. It includes many pre-written games and characters, which are great for beginners and D&D experts alike. 

Are you interested in playing D&D? If you’re new to the game, the best place to start is by finding a group of friends to play with you. You’ll need a dungeon master to guide the game as well as a few people to go on the campaign. Once you have a group together, create your characters.

Each player will need to fill out a character sheet to choose their name, characteristics, and motivation. Then, it’s time to grab some dice, sit down together around a table, and get started! Nowadays, many people also play D&D together online. This gives friends who live far apart a chance to play together. 

Why do so many people love to play Dungeons & Dragons? Many say it’s a great way to give your imagination a workout. They enjoy exploring a new world as a made-up character. The game also helps players build problem-solving, teamwork, and math skills. Plus, it’s a way to spend time having fun with friends and family members. Maybe you can suggest D&D for your next family game night!

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.SL.2, CCRA.W.3, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2

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