This fantasy tabletop role-playing game has been around since the 70s. Decades later, it’s still going strong — and growing more inclusive.
"Dungeons & Dragons" Lead Rules Developer Jeremy Crawford has confirmed that their upcoming playable adventure books will feature LGBT characters, mentioning a storyline parallel to his life with his own husband.
“Ever since we brought our adventure design fully back in-house, all of our new adventures contain LGBT characters,” he told Kotaku at Indianapolis’s Gen Con this year. “This is true of our next adventure, ‘Tomb of Annihilation,’ and it will be true of our stories after that.”
Crawford wanted LGBT inclusion from the start, referencing the first (and one of the most essential) book of D&D’s fifth edition, the ‘Player’s Handbook.’
“I wasn’t about to have this book go out and not acknowledge that people like me exist.”
The handbook references the player’s free choice in their character creation, pointing out that they have the free reign to go beyond typical choices of gender and sexuality. The handbook states: “Think about how your character does or does not conform to the broader culture’s expectations of sex, gender, and sexual behavior.”
“You don’t want a party where everyone’s the same,” Crawford said. “It’s a game where you’re always better off working together, working through your differences and achieving victory together, even when you sometimes disagree. So in so many ways a lot of what we’re doing are lessons from D&D itself.”
D&D fifth edition already has adventures with LGBT characters. Spoilers ahead.
“Storm King’s Thunder,” published last year with Crawford’s help, includes a family with gay parents and an adopted nephew.
“That was a nod specifically to our household,” Crawford said. He is married and lived with his husband and nephew at the time of the adventure’s publication. “Although the two men are older than my husband and I are,” he joked.
The adventure book “Curse of Strahd” is also riddled with LGBT characters within each sub-adventure. Also published in 2016, players can encounter a spellcaster and, later on, his former lover. If the two reunite, they may have a special moment together.