Rolling the dice on race in Dungeons & Dragons : Code Switch Dungeons & Dragons is one of the most popular tabletop roleplaying games of all time. But it has also helped cement some ideas about how we create and define race in fantasy — and in the tangible world. We take a deep dive into that game, and what we find about racial stereotypes and colonialist supremacy is illuminating.

Rolling the dice on race in Dungeons & Dragons

Rolling the dice on race in Dungeons & Dragons

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Thumy Phan for NPR
A large hand in a darker skin town rolls a many-sided dice. On the same tabletop: piece of paper with diverse fantastical characters, rainbow flag, shield, dragon play-piece.
Thumy Phan for NPR

Dungeons & Dragons is one of the most popular tabletop roleplaying games of all time. But it has also helped cement some ideas about how we create and define race in fantasy — and in the tangible world. We take a deep dive into that game, and what we find about racial stereotypes and colonialist supremacy is illuminating.