The weird relationship between D&D and TikTok

Here be dungeons, dragons and thirsty bards.

Wizards of the Coast LLC – Illustration by Unit Image/Larian Studios

Here’s a weird thought. Dungeons and Dragons becoming massively popular (again) because of a video sharing app. Dungeons and Dragons (or D&D for the sake of my keyboard) is a tabletop fantasy role-playing game developed in the early 70s and published in 1974. It is published by Wizards of The Coast (it was first published by Tactical Studies Rules, INC) and was made by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. D&D has been around for a while and has many ups and downs in popularity. In the mid 70s it was accused of Satanism and written off by many as a “nerd game”. It grew in popularity in it’s nerdy demographic and by the 90s it was massive. Multiple revisions and rules had been added and changed and it grew into a phenomenon. This caused another round of Satanism accusations but it didn’t hurt the game. Now in 2020 D&D hasn’t been bigger. We have popular and mainstream podcasts and livestreams of people playing (The Adventure Zone and Critical Role), a massive fandom of players, writers, cosplayers and….TikTokkers?

Everyone knows about TikTok by now, especially with the news of the potential USA ban of the app, but not everyone knows about the “sides” of TikTok. I didn’t. According to various TikTokkers, depending on what videos you watch you find yourself in different “sides” of TikTok. You have the lip-syncing side, the cosplay side, the eGirl side, the eBoy side, the dancing challenge side, the trend side, and to my surprise the D&D side. I do not claim to know much about TikTok, I found the D&D side of TikTok through Reddit.

Several D&D players use TikTok as an output for their creativity. It gives them a platform to express quick opinions, skits, rule breakdowns and stories from their campaigns. D&D is such an open and accepting platform that all these people find it an outlet to be themselves. The gatekeepers will tell you that D&D is strict and must conform to certain stereotypes and out-dated views but modern D&D is pure chaos. Modern sensibilities bring so much more flavour and spice to the role-playing. And this is exactly where TikTok D&D thrives.

TikTok is filled with people from every point from every spectrum. Gender, race, religion, nationality, sexual identity and players bring that to D&D. The creators I follow on the app are all over the place, but they are all amazing. We have Val (@thenerdyniffler) who is a cosplayer and skit maker. There is one of my favourites the offbeat outlaw (@offbeatoutlaw) who makes skits and rags on horny bards. Now the next two have helped myself and my friends get back into D&D, rowtok (@rowtok) and Parker Dean (@forever_dm). Rowtok makes videos on how to bend the rules about classes to absolute breaking, Parker though makes videos explaining the different class archetypes and how to use them. And the final two I want to highlight are two of the funniest creators on the platform, not just the D&D side. Michael (@case_d20) and One Shot Questers (@oneshotquesters). These two make comedy skits based on class stereotypes and the general insanity that comes from D&D.

These are all amazing creators and amazing people. These are just a few of them, TikTok is filled with amazing D&D content and creators and I would highly recommend people have a peek and this (the best) side of TikTok.

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