The first step in evaluating a new era of roleplaying games.

The fifth edition of Dungeons and Dragons was just released. Why does that matter? Well, to start with, it’s supposed to. This edition is designed as an entry point for people who haven’t tried the series before. A preview of the new rules coming later this year, this “Starter Set” has everything needed to get a game of D&D going: a book with 32 pages of base rules, another book with an adventure, some characters ready to be played, and a set of dice to use at the table. It is a simple beginning for the new version of an old game.

Dungeons and Dragons began over 40 years ago in 1974 when a pair of writers, Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax, began customizing rules for a miniature war game that applied them not to an army, but an individual warrior. Soon parties of adventurers were questing in dungeons and living the kind of epics only previously seen in fantasy books. This new game would have all of the strategy of war games, but also the limitless imagination of storytelling.

Throughout the decades, millions of people have played some version of D&D. As a player you could create a character as detailed and as unique as you wanted, assuming the Dungeon Master running the game allowed it. And you and your friends could do just about anything you wanted. This was a game of imaginative storytelling and clever combat. And it began in the ’70s.

Read the full article at Kill Screen.