Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and The People Who Play It

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Simon and Schuster, Aug 20, 2013 - Games & Activities - 276 pages
11 Reviews
The Hobbit meets Moneyball in this definitive book on Dungeons & Dragons—from its origins and rise to cultural prominence to the continued effects on popular culture today.


Ancient red dragons with 527 hit points, +44 to attack, and a 20d10 breath weapon, to be specific. In the world of fantasy role-playing, those numbers describe a winged serpent with immense strength and the ability to spit fire. There are few beasts more powerful—just like there are few games more important than Dungeons & Dragons.

Even if you’ve never played Dungeons & Dragons, you probably know someone who has: the game has had a profound influence on our culture. Released in 1974—decades before the Internet and social media—Dungeons & Dragons inspired one of the original nerd subcultures, and is still revered by millions of fans around the world. Now the authoritative history and magic of the game are revealed by an award-winning journalist and lifelong D&D player.

In Of Dice and Men, David Ewalt recounts the development of Dungeons & Dragons from the game’s roots on the battlefields of ancient Europe, through the hysteria that linked it to satanic rituals and teen suicides, to its apotheosis as father of the modern video-game industry. As he chronicles the surprising history of the game’s origins (a history largely unknown even to hardcore players) and examines D&D’s profound impact, Ewalt weaves laser-sharp subculture analysis with his own present-day gaming experiences. An enticing blend of history, journalism, narrative, and memoir, Of Dice and Men sheds light on America’s most popular (and widely misunderstood) form of collaborative entertainment.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bibliosk8er - www.librarything.com

Really great book. Total enjoyment. This isn't a totally comprehensive history of role playing games -- it is more of a personal journey with history of RPGs and D&D intertwined. Well written. Given ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Razinha - LibraryThing

Seems at times more of a personal journey than a chronology of the game. Still, it's an interesting read. I first became aware of D&D in the late 1970s when I heard of friends playing and one of them ... Read full review


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About the author (2013)

David M. Ewalt began playing Dungeons & Dragons when he was ten years old. Now an award-winning journalist, he writes about games for outlets like Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, talks about games on television and radio, and plays games in and around his Brooklyn, New York, home. Join him or find out more at DavidMEwalt.com.

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