Beware The Smiling DM As A 'Definitive' Dungeons & Dragons Documentary Is On The Way

Just when you though you'd run out of "Dungeons & Dragons" documentaries, they pull you right back in with a bag of shiny new dice. If you can't get enough of watching people talk about everyone's favorite tabletop roleplaying game (or at least, the most famous one) and you're tired of listening to "Let's Play" podcasts (aren't we all?), don't fret — the documentary studio XTR has your back. Their latest project, which is already in production, promises to be the "definitive" documentary on the game. 

Although I can't help but wonder, can anything be more definitive than a 3-hour video essay on YouTube? Or just countless Twitch channels? I guess you'll have to be the judge of that. 

Succinctly titled "Role Players," the documentary combines a mixture of "D&D" celebrity interviews with never-before-seen archival footage and plenty of historical context about the game's rise to popularity. It's unclear whether the celebrity footage means "D&D" celebrities or real celebrities that just happen to be into "D&D," but either way, you'll get your fill of people talking about something they're passionate about and some sick archival footage to boot. Good documentaries have been made with less.

Let's hope it's a critical hit

Speaking of other documentaries, "Role Players" comes straight from the team behind the other upcoming XTR documentary "The Hobby," which chronicles the history of trading cards and the people who love to collect them, including a man with a Pokémon collection worth more than $20 million. Both "The Hobby" and "Role Players" are directed by Morgan Jon Fox ("This Is What Love in Action Looks Like") and produced by Ted Speaker ("Sword of Trust"). Plus there's Bryn Mooser, Kathryn Everett, Justin Lacob, and Abazar Khayami who are all on the executive producer team for "Role Players."

In a statement published by The Wrap, Fox digs into some of the history his doc explores, and in general, he sounds pretty excited to be telling this story:

"As a director, I am excited to tell the story of 'D&D,' which at its heart is about the true power of learning to work as teams, consuming and creating inclusive narratives ... There's nothing more exciting than a legendary game that rose to fame with a little help from the era of Satanic Panic."

You definitely can't tell the "D&D" story without digging into the Satanic Panic, but as someone who has already listened to 666 different podcasts about the era, it will be interesting to see that societal panic told through the lens of "D&D," instead of it being presented as one of the quirkier casualties. There's no news on when "Role Players" or "The Hobby" will premiere, but it's definitely gearing up to be a passionate hobby summer.