Is Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves Accurate to the Game?

Now that Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is out, many are wondering if it's an accurate representation of the game. And the answer to the question is....both yes and no. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is very much a Dungeons & Dragons story – the movie is set in the iconic Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting of the Forgotten Realms, it's filled with various monsters and spells pulled straight out of the D&D rulebook, and the characters all fall neatly into various player character classes. However, there are at least a few Dungeons & Dragons enthusiasts who will point out some of the little inconsistencies within the film. After all, one of the movie's first "controversies" was players pointing out that the movie's druid could transform into an owlbear when that class is barred from transforming into monstrosities. 

One of the things to keep in mind is that Dungeons & Dragons isn't a game in the same sense as something like The Last of Us. It's a game system, a way for players to tell a specific kind of story (of heroic characters defeating monsters and enemies while becoming more and more powerful over a condensed period of time) with their friends. And while there are plenty of pre-written Dungeons & Dragons adventures made for players to enjoy, Honor Among Thieves isn't an adaptation of any of those stories. 

Even beyond that, there are little differences between what characters in the Dungeons & Dragons game can do and what the characters do in the movie. A single character, even a barbarian like Holga, is going to have a hard time against a dozen or more soldiers, especially with the game's current rulesets. A displacer beast can't project an image of themselves in quite the same manner like what we see in the movie. But these little differences are mostly due to the fundamental differences that comes from Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves being a movie and the Dungeons & Dragons game being a turn-based tabletop game that uses a grid to represent combat. 

Perhaps the biggest inconsistency between the movie and the games is that player characters (the Bards, the Rogues, and Sorcerers of the world) can do a lot more than what's shown in the movie. Druids can do a lot more than shapeshift in D&D, while a barbarian's rage often comes with supernatural abilities (especially if Holga is indeed a Storm Barbarian, like her lightning scars would indicate). And while Bards can inspire their companions (it's their core trait in the current Dungeons & Dragons ruleset), they can also cast spells and use swords or generally be a jack-of-all-trades. 

While Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves isn't a perfect facsimile of a Dungeons & Dragons game, it does do a wonderful job of capturing the spirit and feel of many D&D games. Getting frantically chased by a chonky dragon or figuring out a way to break into a guarded caravan or having to burn through a whole lot of speak with dead spells to solve a mystery are all very D&D-esque things. And the best parts of the movie capture the sort of mischievous fantasy that Dungeons & Dragons and other fantasy games excel at. In that way, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is a perfect representation of the Dungeons & Dragon game.

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is out now.