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Of Dice and Men

The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and The People Who

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


The Lord of the Rings meets Moneyball in this unique and authoritative book on Dungeons & Dragons—from the game’s origins through its rise to cultural prominence, and its ripple effect on popular culture today.

Even if you’ve never played Dungeons & Dragons, you probably know someone who has (whether or not they’re willing to admit it). Released in 1974—decades before video games and the Internet took over the gaming world—Dungeons & Dragons became one of the original nerd subcultures, and is still revered by over thirty million fans today. Now Forbes senior editor David M. Ewalt explores the rich history of the game, revealing the magic that enlivened his youth, and has since re-entered his adult life in a whole new way.

From its roots on the battlefields of ancient Europe, through the hysteria that linked it to satanic rituals and teen suicides, and to its apotheosis as father of the modern video game industry, Of Dice and Men recounts the development of a game played by some of most fascinating people in the world. Chronicling the surprising history of D&D’s origins (one largely unknown even to hardcore players) while examining the game’s profound impact, Ewalt weaves laser-sharp cultural 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.

From Publishers Weekly

Jun 03, 2013 – Forbes editor David Ewalt offers a genial history of Dungeon & Dragons and its impact on his own geek life. In the early1970s, two Midwesterners a college student and a cobbler drew elements from war games and fantasy novels to create the world s most influential role-playing game. Within a few years of its genesis, D&D had become a flashpoint in the culture wars, as practitioners were accused of leading young men to murder, suicide and the church of Satan. D&D s star soon faded due to corporate mismanagement and the rise of video game consoles, but recent years have seen a renaissance, which Ewalt charts, along with his own guilt-ridden return to the game. He follows a number of storylines, tracing the official history of D&D, his own introduction to the game, and his adult experiences as a player and reporter. Weaving the strands together are charming tales of his cleric character in a postapocalyptic America ruled by vampires. Oddly enough, the weakest sections of the book involve Ewalt s descriptions of his life outside the imaginary dungeons. Nevertheless, this is a highly readable account of a game that seized the imagination of a generation and maintains its grip three decades later.

Customer Reviews

Great history w/ game play interspersed throughout!

As a child of the late 70s / early 80s this book took me back to my geek youth in a good way! After laying down my dice 35 yrs ago I've recollected them from the dusty box where they've traveled with me through adulthood and re-engaged w/ D&D 5E, and this book has been a primary cause! In addition to offering some appropriately dramatic recounting of the author's game play interspersed throughout the main body of the text, the author adroitly retells the history of D&D. From its origins in the '74-'76 time frame in Wisconsin through its heyday in the 80s and into its varied iterations before and since its purchase by Wizards of the Coast. This book tells us not only what happened, but offers some sense of the nerd/geek zeitgeist that gave the world Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and the rest of us who didn't make it quite so big. A thoroughly enjoyable read! I highly recommend it!!

Pleasantly Surprised

I went in expecting a record of a persons D&D campaign. Most campaigns are entertaining enough, I thought, thus it would make sense to write one down and sell it for the entertainment of others. I was wrong, and I am glad.

This book, while it does chronicle the authors travels in his DM's world of choice, weaves said tale in with a comprehensive history of D&D. I came out of it having learned things I never knew about D&D, and I'm glad I chose to read this book rather than just read the Wikipedia article for D&D. This has left me a bit quizzical, however — why doesn't Wizards of the. Coast publish D&D manuals in e-book format?

Of Dice and Men

What a fantastic read! Anyone who has ever played D&D must read this book. Anyone who has ever heard of D&D must read this book. Oh heck. Everyone should read this book. Thanks Dave. Not only have you brought back many great memories of my own youth, but I think I'm going to go dust off a few old game manuals. While I await the 5th edition rules!

Of Dice and Men
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  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Social Science
  • Published: Aug 20, 2013
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • Print Length: 288 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings

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