Customer Reviews for

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

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

David Ewalt has written this history of Dungeons & Dragons f

David Ewalt has written this history of Dungeons & Dragons for a mainstream audience - a point he explains with humor at the start of the book, to ward off any nitpicking by hardcore fans. He stresses the fun of cooperative (as opposed to competitive) gaming, the al...
David Ewalt has written this history of Dungeons & Dragons for a mainstream audience - a point he explains with humor at the start of the book, to ward off any nitpicking by hardcore fans. He stresses the fun of cooperative (as opposed to competitive) gaming, the allure of tapping into the collective imagination and having an open-ended and unlimited experience, and shows how RPGs can be a great way to make friends.

Ewalt also debunks some of the myths that keep people away from the game (for many years, myself included). He gives examples showing how D&D is not playacting, how gameplay is fairly normal with players taking turns, and how you aren't "constrained to a standard medieval setting."

Of Dice and Men is more than a history of D&D. It explores why people play games in the first place, their purpose, and what RPGs have in common with board or playground games. The book talks about how D&D influenced the evolution of future games, including video games. In many sections, the book reads like a memoir as Ewalt reminisces about his own gaming adventures.

I did feel bogged down by the historical miniatures war games and felt those sections could have been abbreviated a bit, but I realize it was important in order to show how RPGs have evolved, and how D&D came about.

Throughout the book Ewalt intersperses storylines of past games, as well as a sketch for a future game. Here he completely embraces his nerd side and displays it without embarrassment. I loved that.

I'm a fairly new RPGer. I was glad to see a shout-out to Traveller (the "most complete and most epic" sci-fi RPG), since MegaTraveller has been my introduction to the RPG world. I finished Of Dice and Men with a better understanding of role-playing games overall, as well as a deeper appreciation and respect for the work of our GM (game master).

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.

posted by lovelybookshelf on September 20, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

I don't usually write reviews especially when it's not about the

I don't usually write reviews especially when it's not about the book itself! But I have started to feel the need to submit complaints regarding why B&N eBooks are more expensive, even than the paperback, and more expensive, sometimes by twice as much, than other eb...
I don't usually write reviews especially when it's not about the book itself! But I have started to feel the need to submit complaints regarding why B&N eBooks are more expensive, even than the paperback, and more expensive, sometimes by twice as much, than other ebook readers.

B&N - this is not good business practice!

posted by NookJoe on December 17, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2013

    I work at a bookstore in Los Angeles, a smaller bookstore than t

    I work at a bookstore in Los Angeles, a smaller bookstore than the usual one for this large chain of stores. Consequently we don't have a RPG section and I lament this fact every week (I'm not completely crazy...) We received Of Dice & Men into our store and found ourselves with no placement, no 'home' for this book and thus had to create a section in the store for it to go.
    I think that if David Ewalt knew his book caused the birth of an RPG section in a bookstore he would be very pleased.
    At first I was dubious about this book. I've seen & read many histories of Dungeons & Dragons, roleplaying and the culture that surrounds it. Most are not that good. So it was with extreme skepticism I picked up this title and started reading. I was pleasantly surprised by what I found inside. The book is well written and interesting and does not bog you down with minutia of jargon or endless lists of definitions that veteran gamers find tedious and newbies find perplexing. Mr. Ewalt’s writing reads like a proper D&D game should (in the opinion of this humble level 10 dwarven fighter): Interesting, fast paced and with some small digretions before getting right back to the main bulk of the story. It is clear that Mr. Ewalt has a deep love & understanding of roleplaying games. It’s also clear he’s a big nerd, but this is something the author points out himself on several occasions. 
    What I found most compelling about the book was Mr. Ewalt’s own personal experiences as a gamer and writer. He describes several gaming sessions with his main group in both the language of real world ‘mechanics’, the rules that propel the game forward, but also in little snippets of story that make his character and his friends come to life. I don’t know Mr. Ewalt or his friends but at the same time I think I do because I see them every week across the gaming table during my own exploits in far away lands. 
    And ultimately thats what’s so refreshing about this book. It shows the core precept behind D&D, and at its heart all roleplaying games. That there is more that unites us than sets us apart and if we work together towards a common goal we can overcome any obstacle and slay dragons. Or at least agree on going halfies on the snacks.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2013

    Richie

    ...

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2013

    Firai

    Total Drama Nook. It's at cross over res 1-11, and you can be whatever you want to be.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2013

    Blaze

    What rp Fariri (sorry if i didnt spell it right

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2013

    Guaru

    Eat fire freak!!!! *she takes 3 flaming arrows and shoots them at the dm all at the same time* *one he dodges one he blocks, but one gets shot into his stomach*

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2013

    Rosalyn OOC

    ((Nord is a human race, just like Asian or African Amercan, if a Nord were a real race.))

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2013

    Elenia

    Me i am

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2013

    Pierce

    No I'm Good guy. These guys was robbing the bartender

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2013

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2013

    Bryce

    Kk.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2013

    The dm

    Both land center mass on each man. They fall and the bar goes quiet.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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