Adaptations: “Dungeons & Dragons”


Aubrianna Martinez, Senior Digital Editor

“Dungeons and Dragons” the tabletop role-playing game has experienced a resurgence of sorts over the last five or so years. Arguably its name being brought more into the pop culture lexicon again could be attributed to “Stranger Things” (2016), which used the medium of “Dungeons and Dragons” to set up the expanded world beyond which the main characters resided within. 

The renewal of popularity both sparked and built off of the revived excitement in the medium as it reached new audiences and reached unfounded heights. 

In January of 2022, Amazon Studios released the animated adaptation of Critical Role’s first campaign that was streamed back in 2015, “The Legend of Vox Machina.” The first season was a streamlined version of the original story told within the hours-long livestreams seven years ago and has already been renewed for a second season. The series tells an interesting story that balances the humor and the devastating elements well, as the medium of “D&D” is like to do, mixing tragic backstories, serious adult themes, and even juvenile humor that creates a fantastic amalgamation of emotion for experiencing the story.

The worlds of “D&D” have even been explored in newer mediums such as podcasts. There is a wide array of “Dungeons & Dragons” podcasts and the various elements the player characters will incorporate to distinguish their podcast from that of all of the others.

One notable example, “Dinner n Dungeons n Dragons” uses dungeon master James Graessle’s skill at cooking to integrate the unique food he is serving his comedian and artist friends into each episode’s story arc and is a hilarious addition to one’s podcast subscriptions. As all “D&D” series should be, “DnDnD” uses the long-form medium of multiple seasons of a podcast to tell an overarching story rife with mystery, references, and bits that will put a stitch in the side of the listeners.

Even YouTube has its fair share of charismatic campaigns; the channel Dimension 20 incorporates comedians from College Humor and other well-known YouTube channels. The dynamic Brennan Lee Mulligan expertly runs the campaigns available to watch on YouTube, the first season “Fantasy High” is an excellent entrance into the world of “D&D” if one is interested but doesn’t overload the audience with complicated world mechanics.

as well as the majority of the campaigns that are all uploaded onto the College Humor streaming service, DropOutTV.

In 2023, Paramount Pictures Studios and Entertainment One plan to release their adaptation of a story in the world of “D&D”, “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” which will star actors such as Chris Pine, Hugh Grant, Regé-Jean Page, and Michelle Rodriguez. Many are interested in seeing how this film will affect the medium of film adaptations of “Dungeons and Dragons,” or the audience’s expectations for it.