Dungeons & Dragons, abbreviated to "D&D," is a tabletop roleplaying game (TRPG) that has been published since 1974. Its original game designers were Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. It was originally own by TSR, Inc. until 2nd edition, then Wizards of the Coast acquired the license in the late 1990s. Since then, Wizards of the Coast has continued to support the game and its communities with further developing the game with additional editions, lore, and options for both Dungeon Masters and players alike. The current edition of the game is 5th Edition.
Typically, Dungeons & Dragons games will span one-to-many play sessions, and must involve at least two participants to play. In each session, one or more participants take on the role of Dungeon Master (Storyteller and plays the Realm, monsters, and non-player characters (NPCs)), and the rest of the participants take on the roles of player characters, usually becoming a party of adventurers. The playgroup may run as little as a single encounter together, tackle a complete adventure, or even conduct a long-term campaign over many sessions. Wizards of the Coast has provided pre-written adventures and developed campaign settings to use for one's game.
Dungeons & Dragons is designed for play in swords and sorcery fantasy settings, but it has been adapted to other settings. It is not uncommon for playgroups to create house rules or homebrewed content to tailor the game to the story and game they wish to play.
Editions since Wikia Creation
Main article: 4th edition
Wizards of the Coast began publishing previews for the 4th edition of Dungeons & Dragons in 2007. The finalized core rulebooks were published in June 2008. 4th edition's original designers were Rob Heinsoo, Andy Collins, and James Wyatt. This is the edition of the game this wikia is basing its information on.
Main article: 5th edition
The 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons, called D&D Next in early marketing materials, began home playtesting in May of 2012, and launched in August of 2014. Its lead game designers are Jeremy Crawford and Mike Mearls. It has since become the most popular edition of the game to date.