A popular streaming production company has announced a new competitive Dungeons & Dragons tournament as a way to merge competitive esports with tabletop gaming.
Encounter Roleplay, a streaming channel that frequently partners with Dungeons & Dragons, has announced DnDSports - a new online D&D tournament. The tournament is billed as a way for competitive games to get comfortable with trying out Dungeons & Dragons as well as a unique way to depict the versatility of D&D's fifth edition combat system.
The rules are relatively simple - two teams of four characters will be placed in a dungeon and will battle to the death. Players will choose from a collection of 15 pre-generated characters, each with their own unique abilities and traits. In addition, the tournament will utilize a Pick/Ban system similar to some existing MOBA tournaments.
Each game will still have a dungeon master and some opportunities for roleplaying, but obviously most of the games will be focused on combat. The tournament is also sponsored by D&D Beyond, the popular digital character builder and rules resource.
The tournament will feature four teams duking it out in a single elimination format, with winners determined by a best of three battle. The winner of the tournament will win $5,000 and money raised during the tournament will also go to the 826LA charity.
Competitive Dungeons & Dragons is a controversial topic, especially after the CEO of Hasbro, Wizards of the Coast's parent company, mentioned that D&D could expand into the esports sphere. While most assumed that he was speaking about Magic: The Gathering and D&D's mobile and video game offerings, some believed that he was talking about traditional D&D with an emphasis on combat and a de-emphasis on roleplaying.
While many D&D fans feel that competitive Dungeons & Dragons is against the spirit of the game as it focuses more on mechanics than actual roleplaying, creator Gary Gygax did create several competitive D&D modules to use at gaming conventions. Famous encounters like "Tomb of Horrors" and "Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan" all started off as modules made for competitive play. While Dungeons & Dragons was an entirely different game than it is today, the game is rooted in a bit of competitive play.
The tournament will start on November 10th and end on December 1st. Obviously, a lot of eyes will be on this experiment to see if competitive D&D really is a thing, and we could see a lot more D&D tournaments in the future if this turns out successful. You can find out more information about the tournament here.