Dungeon Master: The troll hits you with his +2 battle
axe causing 4 hit points of damage to Nestar the half-elf thief.
Nestar: I pull out my Cloak of Invisibility from my Bag of
Although many may choose to forget or deny, Dungeons & Dragons was once an immensely popular pastime with over 20 million players and over $1 billion dollars in sales. The role playing game inspired video games, a Saturday morning cartoon and countless other media such as comic books, paperbacks and magazines. It couldn't possibly have been just a fringe of nerdy guys rolling the 20 sided die, right? As evidence, we have Jamie Gertz in a D&D commercial.
I will confess that I jumped on the D&D bandwagon in the early '80s, and purchased the TSR Basic D&D kit which came with the module "Keep on the Borderlands". It wasn't long before I bought a few more modules, some books (The Monster Manual, The Dungeon Master's Guide, and The Player's Handbook) and some fancy dice. Of course, you know where all this ultimately leads...a murderous delusional psychosis - Mazes and Monsters taught us that. The Tom Hanks film disturbed parents across the country warning the public about the harmful effects of D&D, and thus, many a set of oddly shaped dice ended up in the trash.
Predictably, the movie did nothing but heighten D&D's popularity, and TSR and the game's creator, Gary Gygax, enjoyed many more years of high profits. A perfect recreation of a typical D&D session has to be the "Discos and Dragons" episode of "Freaks and Geeks".
However, these days, role playing is just a shell of its former "glory". What happened you ask? The basements that were once full of pimply faced kids pretending to be paladins and magic-users downing Mountain Dew by the gallon, are now populated with kids playing video games.
Sure, D&D may not have been as healthy a pastime as, say tennis or even chess, but it did involve a good amount of creativity and imagination. What's more, there was a certain amount of socializing and communication that is lacking in video games. Oh well, trends come and go, and I can't resist but to say that D&D's hit points now equal zero.