As ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ movie hits theaters, ‘thrilled’ fans share thoughts on beloved role-playing game

America’s most popular tabletop role-playing game sprung onto the big screen this spring as the highly-anticipated “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” released in theaters March 31.   

The action comedy’s official synopsis describes it as following a band of adventurers on a quest to recover a lost relic, but their plans go awry when they encounter the wrong people.   

According to the film’s star Chris Pine, the movie is a tonal mix of “Spinal Tap,” “The Princess Bride,” and “Game of Thrones” with a touch of “Goonies.” Directed by the men behind the popular action-comedy “Game Night,” the film is sure to have its fair share of clever humor and meta-references.   

“Honor Among Thieves” is the first Dungeons & Dragons film to be released since the third installment of the original trilogy landed in theaters more than a decade ago, and naturally, fans were excited about its release.   

Carolyn Rohr, a sophomore studio art major and long time D&D player, had been following the movie since its announcement and was “thrilled” to see it in theaters opening night.  

“I’m most excited about the creatures that they are putting in, the practical effects,” Rohr told The Exponent in an interview before the film’s release. “They have shown off some of the more famous Dungeons & Dragons monsters, the Gelatinous Cube, the Mimic, the Owl Bear, but there are also less well known things and playable races that are getting screen time, and that’s just so exciting.”  

Rohr has been playing D&D for the past five years, and has been heading up games with other BW students since the beginning of the academic year. As a fan of the older D&D stories, Rohr said she is excited that the new film will give the D&D characters and lore adequate representation in mainstream media.   

“They’ve done a really good job of sort of finding the essence of D&D, the feeling of being at a table without isolating it to only people who have D&D experience,” Rohr said. “They’re doing it in a way that is enjoyable for both people who have played it before and those who haven’t. I’m just really excited for it.”  

Emma Goliat, a sophomore middle childhood education major, said she was most eager to see the movie portray the difficulty of teamwork that comes with playing D&D.  

“You have so many people that have so many ideas, but you can only do so much, and it can get very chaotic, but it’s also very fun and engaging,” Goliat said.   

Goliat started playing D&D when her cousin was running a campaign during her freshman year at BW. According to Goliat, the best part of playing D&D is its adaptability, and that it can be altered to fit any age or group.  

“You can really do anything with it, there’s no boundaries,” Goliat said.   

D&D has been getting a lot more mainstream exposure in recent years with shows and movies such as “Stranger Things,” “Gravity Falls” and “Onward.” It’s exciting seeing more people interested in D&D, Rohr said, as it shows that the game is more than “just dice and nerdy confusing lingo.”  

“Dungeons & Dragons is such a not only immersive storytelling experience but is also a communal one,” Rohr said. “It is a story you are building with the people around you.”  

According to Rohr, D&D fosters creativity and individuality. The different players make the game a unique experience each time it is played regardless of whether the party is using prewritten stories or making them up from scratch.  

Playing D&D also helps people learn communication and empathy, Rohr said, as it allows party members to bond and form deep connections with each other.  

“There is something so innately human about some of the things you can learn and experience that, especially after the pandemic, is kind of hard to find that sort of connection anywhere,” Rohr said.