Dungeons and Dragons
at the Lone Cone Library
By Evan Allen, Lone Cone Library Circulation Assistant and resident Dungeon Master
Dungeons and Dragons has been a game that I’ve played since high school in the late 90s and has been a life-long passion of mine since then. In the beginning, the allure of D&D was being able to play a game that didn’t just revolve around a set of rules or dice rolls, and was not limited by the constraints of a physical game board. Instead, D&D is about the players, and the characters and stories that they want to create. The world you played in could be as big and complicated or as small and simple as you wanted! The friends I made 20 years ago playing D&D are still in touch and we still play! The overall community that has grown around our passion to play has been an integral part of my life and my growth as an individual. My capability to listen, learn, collaborate, and cooperate are probably thanks to many D&D sessions.
In creating the program for the Library, my only initial intention was to have a place for people who wanted to play. It wasn’t long after we started that I began to see the group grow closer and my players quickly learn how to communicate with each other to solve problems, act compassionately with others’ feelings, and adapt the situation for anyone who was feeling left out.
Here is a list of literature and movies I’ve used as inspiration (and sometimes I straight up “stole it”) for D&D and my players:
(Click on the images to be directed to our catalog)
Dungeon Master’s Guide
Settings, society, and story: great for creating believable worlds to play in and generating the game mechanics and stories therein.
The Lone Drow series by R. A. Salvatore
A great place to understand the details of magic, fantasy settings, and the complexity of societies in the D&D world also known as “The Forgotten Realms”
Anything written or edited by Ed Greenwood
A current professional D&D enthusiast who is an authority and content creator on anything D&D, the Forgotten Realms, and more.
Game of Thrones series by G. R. R. Martin
Great examples of political intrigue, betrayal, victories and tragedy. As well as great inspiration for generational stories spanning hundreds of years.
The River of Doubt by Candice Millard
A true story about Teddy Roosevelt exploring a section of the Amazon river never traveled by outsiders before. This story has inspired countless movies, books, and my own role-play gaming sessions!
The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
This book is the quintessential inspiration for the creation of any D&D group: An unexpected party of individuals set on an adventure to accomplish an impossible task. The greatest of heroes can come from the most unexpected places!
This movie is a great inspiration for any D&D campaign! The characters in the movie are tasked with finding answers to a fantastical situation and find out what happened to those who went before them. Every character has an agenda, and/or a reason to be there that becomes revealed throughout a terrifying and well written story.
Onward by Disney and Pixar
Another great example of the depth of character and emotion involved in being a player and character in a D&D game. A perfect adventure story connecting fantasy to reality. The importance of patience, family, community, and compassion are evident throughout this tale. This story is an idyllic example of a complete adventure for any D&D group!
Tangled by Disney
I love how the damsel in distress becomes the hero of this story! This story offers great villains, unexpected alliances, and situational comedy that is a great inspiration for D&D character development.
The Princess Bride
A more perfect movie doesn’t exist… Except for maybe Willow. Adventure, romance, intrigue, and wonderful characters! The comedy and characters involved with every encounter and scene is exactly how fun D&D can and should be!
Another great example of how a hero can arise from anywhere, at the perfect time to overcome incredible odds! Wonderful inspiration for character development. Overcoming stereotypes and expectations to become better people is always a great story!
There are so many creative and fantastic characters throughout the Marvel universe, that this book can be a great inspiration for creating fun and complex characters to play in D&D. I’ve used many examples from this book to help players find an interesting connection to story elements, other characters, and backstories to use in role-play.
The Dark Tower series by Stephen King
King isn’t even close to being one of my favorite authors, but the creation of familiar character types, time settings, and combining the history of the Wild West and it’s characters into a fantasy world is great for inspiration and creation in D&D.
Dune by Frank Herbert
A great example of how our heroes and leaders can easily become corrupt villains over time. I have used this book many times to gain inspiration for creating complex villains, politics, planetary ecology, and telling a story that spans worlds, solar systems, and thousands of years! It also has some great examples of the caveats, victories, and pitfalls in a hero’s journey.
Inspired to join Dungeons and Dragons at the Lone Cone Library? You can sign up here!
You can also hear our Dungeon Master, Evan Allen, talk more about the program in this brief video.