UPDATE: The D&D Carnival Round-Up contains details of all the articles and blogs taking part in this carnival.

The topic for this month’s carnival is D&D.

The game that launched it all has had its fair share of ups and downs over the last 35 years. From early success to bankruptcy to attacks from the Christian right to being a household name. There is no limit on what can be said about Dungeons & Dragons but I’m sticking to four broad themes.

Everything I Know, I Learnt From playing D&D

A lot gets written about the rules and the mechanics of the game but what really interests me is the social side of the game. As players, we tend to be geeks and nerds, on the fringe of other social groups. In playing D&D (and nearly all of start us with D&D) we find a social group in which we are accepted, often for the first time in our lives.

What has D&D given you socially – friends, lovers or enemies? Has playing taught you anything useful such as social skill or approaches to problem solving. What would your life be like if D&D never existed?

Edition Wars IV: A New Hope

It is impossible to talk about D&D without ending up talking about the edition wars. Ever since Dave Arneson forked the D&D product line with the D&D Basic set, there have been arguments about which version of D&D is best. For the last 12 months or more, 4e has been in a pitched battle with, well, everything that has gone before. Trying to do a carnival on Dungeons & Dragons without the subject coming up is like expecting the sun to rise in the west or teenagers to abstain from sex. It is simply not going to happen.

So if you are going to indulge in Edition Wars, I ask that you do it by trying something new. Find an edition of D&D that you have never played before, give it a go and then write about it. It can be any edition including all the D20 variants like Microlite20 or Pathfinder and you can be as rude about it as you like. But bring something new to the debate.

“You want to do what?”

The moment around the gaming table I live for, is that the moment when a player does something unexpected and brilliant. Completely blind-siding the GM with an clever use of a spell or using a magic item in a way it was never intend. I love this moment even when I’m GMing because suddenly I have to think in whole new ways.

What are your favourite D&D tricks? What clever uses of spells (or even normal uses of undervalued spells) and twisted but brilliant use of the rules can you pass on?

D&D: The Future

Where will Dungeons & Dragons be in five, ten or twenty years? Do you expect to still be playing it? Will anyone be playing it? After 35 years, does the game have any life left in it or will computer games finally devour it?

D&D Month at 6d6 Fireball

Each week during the carnival, I will writing about one of these subjects. If you are blogger, I hope you will join me in paying tribute to the granddaddy of our entire hobby. If you are reader, you can have your say in the comments either here or on the hundred or so other blogs in the network.

Let the carnival begin!