Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and The People Who Play It by David M. Ewalt
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Of Dice and Men is the story of Dungeons and Dragons and David M. Ewalt's lifetime of being a player.
I got this book from Netgalley. Thank you, Netgalley.
David M. Ewalt and I have several things in common. Both of our first names start with the letter D. He writes for Forbes and I was in an infographic Forbes did about Goodreads. And both of us are tremendous nerds in that we've both been avid Dungeons and Dragons players.
Ewalt explores the history of Dungeons and Dragons, starting from its humble beginnings in Gary Gygax's basement, to becoming a million dollar a year company, to Gygax getting forced out and the company being sold out from under him. Ewalt also covers the evolution of the game itself, from the original edition all the way to its current incarnation, D&D Next.
More interesting to me, however, is David's account of his own gaming experiences, until he drifted away from the game only to come back as adult and find the old fires still burned, culminating in a pilgrimage to Lake Geneva and Gary Con, the memorial/convention dedicated to Gary Gygax. Separating the sections are material from his gaming sessions, frequently paralleling what topic is being discussed.
It's not all bags of holding and cloaks of displacement, however. Too much time is spent covering LARPing and not enough is told of D&D from 3.0 on. Other than that, I have no complaints. It was a pretty entertaining read and even a grognard like me learned a few things from the early days of Dungeons and Dragons. It brought back some fond memories of evenings drenched in nerd sweat, trying to slay some beast or other. 3.5 out of 5.
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