Dungeons & Dragons is the first name that many people think of when the word "tabletop RPG" is mentioned, as it is easily the most famous game of its type. The name of Dungeons & Dragons may be known across the world, but the exact nature of the game can be difficult to explain to those who aren't familiar with tabletop RPGs. There have been many occasions where Dungeons & Dragons players have had to try and explain the game without making it sound bad, which is a difficult feat when the game involves gathering a group of your friends together and pretend to be fantasy heroes who slay monsters for a living.
The unclear nature of Dungeons & Dragons has led to a lot of misinformation over the years, which has been exploited by interest groups and lawyers in order to further different agendas. Those who were introduced to Dungeons & Dragons through sources like the Internet have also been fed a lot of misinformation about the game, due to various prejudices and fan biases towards certain parts of the lore.
We are here today to clear up the misinformation that has built up around the Dungeons & Dragons series over the years - from the accusations of it being a male-dominated hobby to claims that playing D&D will turn you into a devil worshiper.
Here are the 20 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About Dungeons & Dragons!
20 Dungeons & Dragons Is Enjoyed Exclusively By Men
Playing Dungeons & Dragons is considered by many people to be the geekiest hobby around, which is why D&D players have often been presented in the media as socially-inept men, whose love for a tabletop RPG is meant to signify what a loser they are. The real truth is that there are many women who play Dungeons & Dragons, as well as other popular RPGs, such as Vampire: The Masquerade.
The number of women who enjoy games like D&D has only increased over the years, due in no small part to the Internet making it easier to acquire information about the game and become part of a group. The ability to play games like D&D over video messaging services has also played a huge part in increasing the number of female players in the fanbase to forty percent, which is a huge jump from only a few years ago when that number was twenty percent.
19 Spellcasters Are The Most Powerful Characters & Are Untouchable
The fans of Dungeons & Dragons have spent a lot of time breaking down the strengths and weaknesses of every class, magic item, monster, and spell in the game, in order to rank them in tier lists of power. The average Dungeons & Dragons class tier list will inevitably put the spellcasting classes (cleric, druid, sorcerer, and wizard) near the top, due to the sheer range of options that magic can provide, such as summoning hordes of monsters, throwing balls of fire, or vanishing in a moment's notice.
The truth is that spellcasters are easy to deal with, so long as you have the correct tools to hand. We have written entire articles on the methods of dispatching spellcasters, such as smokesticks that remove their line-of-sight, thunderstones that can cause deafness and force spell failure checks, and summoning animals with grappling capabilities to bind them.
18 The Dungeons & Dragons Cartoon Ended With The Characters In Hell
The Dungeons & Dragons cartoon series involved a group of kids going on a magical amusement park ride that sent them to a fantasy realm and their adventures involved them trying to find a portal back to the real world. The last episode of the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon was just a standard story that didn't resolve any plotlines, which birthed a strange urban legend about the original plan for the final episode, which supposedly involved the revelation that the characters had been sent to Hell.
It turns out that there was an unproduced script for a final episode, but there was no mention of the characters being trapped in the afterlife and it ended on a cliffhanger that opened the door for more episodes.
17 The Tarrasque Is Difficult To Destroy
The tarrasque has consistently been one of the most powerful creatures in Dungeons & Dragons, with its appearance in a campaign world being treated as if the apocalypse has come, as a tarrasque is an unstoppable engine of destruction. The version of the tarrasque in the third edition of Dungeons & Dragons is a fearsome creature, due to its high number of hit points, a regeneration ability that heals forty points of damage per round, and the fact that a miracle or wish spell is required to finish it off.
There is an infamous document online that outlines seven ways in which a mid-level party can take the tarrasque down, including a huge pit full of water, a group of flying warriors that can outpace its regeneration, or summoning some allips to bypass its natural armor.
16 Goblins & Kobolds Are Pushovers
The average party of first-level adventurers will cleave their way through groups of goblins and kobolds, due to the fact that the dungeon master will use them improperly, as the enemy will usually run straight at the party. The entire premise of the Goblin Slayer anime series is that goblins can be a frightening threat if they use their cunning and prepare the environment around them, which is just as true in Dungeons & Dragons.
There was an infamous article written in Dragon magazine by Roger E. Moore that detailed the tactics of "Tucker's Kobolds" who were named after the dungeon master that spawned them. The reason why Tucker's Kobolds were so feared was that they relied on tight corridors and flammable weapons to dispose of adventuring parties that were much more powerful than they were, all by using basic tactics and items.
15 Player Actions In Baldur's Gate Made A Difference
The storyline of the Baldur's Gate series involves the deceased deity known as Bhaal attempting to revive himself through mortals that he sired, one of which is the protagonist. Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal had three endings - one where the protagonist became a good god, one where you take Bhaal's place as an evil god, and one where you remain a mortal.
The recent editions of Dungeons & Dragons and their associated novels have retconned any possible outcome from the Baldur's Gate series, as Bhaal is revived regardless of the events of the game and has reclaimed his former divine spheres of influence from Cyric.
14 There Are No Movies Based On Dungeons & Dragons Campaigns
There are currently three terrible Dungeons & Dragons movies in existence, and none of them used one of the settings from the game. You would think that there is enough Dungeons & Dragons material out there to be used as the basis of a movie, but there is only one person who has had the guts to adapt a Dungeons & Dragons character for the big screen, and that person is Vin Diesel, who is an outspoken fan of the game.
Vin Diesel starred in a movie called The Last Witch Hunter and he revealed in an interview with Screen Rant that the story was based on one of his old Dungeons & Dragons characters, who was a witch hunter named Melkor.
13 Players Have To Defeat A Darklord To Escape From Ravenloft
The Ravenloft campaign setting is made up of several different demiplanes that are each ruled by a being known as a Darklord, who committed some terrible crime during their life and was imprisoned in a hellish realm as punishment. The Ravenloft adventures have offered several loopholes for outsiders to escape a demiplane, but there is only one guaranteed method of breaking free and that involves slaying a Darklord, which is far easier said than done.
There is another way to escape from Ravenloft, however, and it simply involves not engaging with the world. Lord Soth managed to escape from his realm by accepting his punishment, which caused the dark powers that rule over Ravenloft to let him go free. (The real reason why Lord Soth was freed from Ravenloft was due to legal issues involving ownership of his character, but he still proved that it could be done.)
12 There Have Only Ever Been Six Ability Scores
One of the first things that every player does when creating their Dungeons & Dragons character is roll the numbers for their six ability scores, which determine the benefits and penalties the character will have when attempting certain tasks. Dungeons & Dragons uses six stats to define a character - Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma.
Charisma is meant to reflect a character's personality, but some players also use it to determine their physical beauty. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons briefly introduced a seventh stat called Comeliness, which was meant to reflect a character's physical appearance. Comeliness was dropped from the third edition of the game and has not been seen since.
11 There Are No Science Fiction Elements In Dungeons & Dragons
Dungeons & Dragons is a fantasy game that mostly uses settings based on medieval Europe, which means that you are more likely to see magic and monsters over anything related to science fiction. The third edition of Dungeons & Dragons did include rules for advanced weaponry (such as laser rifles) in the Dungeon Master's Guide, but most dungeon masters would never consider adding them to their game.
There is one early Dungeons & Dragons adventure called Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, which was centered around a crashed alien spaceship that contained advanced technology, but the players had to survive the ship's defenses in order to claim them. There was also a campaign setting in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons called Spelljammer that included spaceships that were powered by magic, but that setting has long since been discontinued.
10 Celebrities Won't Play Or Endorse The Game
The recent trend of celebrities playing games of Dungeons & Dragons has helped to dispel the myth that no one famous will admit to playing D&D, even though there are many who suspect that people only play the game online as a means of seeking publicity.
There were actually plenty of celebrities who admitted to being fans of Dungeons & Dragons in the days before online streaming was possible, with people like Chester Bennington, Stephen Colbert, Jon Favreau, Matt Groening, Stephen King, George R. R. Martin, Mike Myers, Marilyn Manson, Trey Parker, Kevin Smith, Steven Spielberg, Joss Whedon, and Robin Williams all admitting to being fans of the game throughout their life.
9 Only Women Can Become Worshipers Of Eilistraee
The pantheon of drow gods in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting is made up of evil deities, with the exception of Eilistraee, who acts as the guiding light and redeemer of the drow people. The clergy of Eilistraee has almost always been depicted as female, which was mainly an excuse for the creators of Dungeons & Dragons to include pictures of scantily-clad drow warrior women in their books.
The female-led clergy of Eilistraee led many fans to believe that males could not join her church, but this rule was relaxed over time so that both men and non-drow could worship Eilistraee and receive spells. Male clerics of Eilistraee were once expected to spend time in a female form through the use of a ritual called the Changedance, but this has also been written out over time.
8 Bards Are Weaklings
The second and third editions of Dungeons & Dragons have a lot to answer for when it comes to ruining the reputation of bards in the eyes of the fans, as their jack-of-all-trades style often left them wanting compared to characters who specialized in one field. Bards were the original prestige class in the first edition of Dungeons & Dragons and it took several levels of multi-classing between fighter, thief, and druid before you could even take levels in the class, as it was just that powerful.
The current edition of Dungeons & Dragons has done a great deal in terms of making bards seem powerful, due to their amazing special powers and full spellcasting capabilities, but the joke about bards being useless still persists to this day.
7 Dragonborn Were Created For The Fourth Edition Of Dungeons & Dragons
The fourth edition of Dungeons & Dragons was harshly criticized by fans due to the many changes that made everything feel like a video game. One of the most criticized aspects of the fourth edition was the introduction of the dragonborn as a playable race.
Dragonborn were humanoid dragons that were criticized for taking the place of gnomes in the Player's Handbook and for the females having bossoms, despite being lizards. The dragonborn were actually an invention of the third edition of Dungeons & Dragons, where they were introduced as an optional playable race in Races of the Dragon.
6 There Are No Guns In Dungeons & Dragons
The vast majority of Dungeons & Dragons campaigns use medieval settings, which means that gunpowder has either yet to be discovered or doesn't work due to differences in how charcoal & sulfur function in a magical setting.
It would seem like a terrible idea for guns to be introduced in a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, due to how powerful they would be compared to all of the other weapons available, but several versions of the Dungeon Master's Guide have included rules for early firearms (such as flintlock pistols) and modern firearms (like automatic rifles.) Firearms have also snuck into a few adventures, including the musket that is hidden in a very dangerous place in Curse of Strahd.
5 There Has Never Been Any M-Rated Dungeons & Dragons Material
The various controversies that have hounded Dungeons & Dragons since its creation have resulted in some strange examples of censorship, most notably in the form of changing the name of demons and devils to tanar'ri and baatezu. The owners of the Dungeons & Dragons property have done their best to try and keep the game in stores without fear of running afoul of family interest groups, but there have been a few official Dungeons & Dragons books that were only meant for adults.
The Book of Exalted Deeds and Book of Vile Darkness were released with a warning label on the cover, as they dealt with subject matter that some people might find offensive, with religious iconography appearing in the former and descriptions of horrific acts (and benefitting from them) in the latter.
4 There Have Never Been Any Dungeons & Dragons & Video Game Crossovers
The biggest competitor to Dungeons & Dragons has always been video games, due to how it's simpler to arrange online games than it is to schedule a group of friends to be able to meet in one place. There have been many Dungeons & Dragons video games released over the years that are based in the various campaign settings of the game, but there have also been a few instances when video game worlds have collided with the tabletop RPG.
There was an official Diablo II campaign book released for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons that included character kits, monster stats, and dungeons from the game. You can also use a chocobo from the Final Fantasy series as a mount in the third edition of Dungeons & Dragons, as the #323 issue of Dragon magazine had official stats for the creature that you could use.
3 Greyhawk Was The First Dungeons & Dragons Setting
The most popular Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting is the Forgotten Realms, which has been the inspiration for numerous novels and video games over the years. The Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting that is often credited with being the first is Greyhawk, which was Gary Gygax's personal campaign world.
The first true Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting was actually Blackmoor, which was created by Dave Arneson and was detailed in a book called First Fantasy Campaign that was released in 1977, with the World of Greyhawk not being released until 1980.
2 Spells End At Level Nine
The current edition of Dungeons & Dragons has yet to include any rules for characters who want to progress above level twenty as of the time of writing, which means that the maximum spell level that they can reach is nine. The third edition of Dungeons & Dragons had rules for allowing spell slots above level nine, but these could only be used when enhancing high-level spells with Metamagic feats. There were also rules for Epic Spells, but these were dependant on your skill ranks.
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons did have a few spells above level nine, with the most powerful being the twelfth level spell called Karsus' avatar, which allowed the user to become a god. Karsus managed to accidentally destroy Netheril by misusing this spell. The Karsus incident prompted a ban from the goddess of magic, which prevented mortals from being able to use such powerful spells again.
1 Dungeons & Dragons Was Involved With Devil Worship & Witchcraft
The first major controversy that dogged Dungeons & Dragons involved accusations that the game somehow promoted devil worship and that the Dungeon Master's Guide contained the information to cast black magic spells. Dungeons & Dragons has been accused of being associated with Satanism on many occasions, with religious groups trying to get the game banned throughout the early years of its release.
There were entire media projects based on portraying Dungeons & Dragons-style games as indoctrinating young people into worshiping the devil, such as the infamous Dark Dungeons comic strip by Jack Chick or Mazes & Monsters, which was an early Tom Hanks movie that portrayed a young man losing his mind over a fictional tabletop RPG. The demonizing of Dungeons & Dragons was just a scare campaign that was trying to vilify a strange new hobby that was taking the world by storm.
Are there any other common misconceptions about Dungeons & Dragons? Let us know in the comments!