How Dungeons & Dragons Shaped PC Gaming

While Dungeons & Dragons was originally inspired by a great deal of pulp literature, the pen and paper RPG then in turn inspired a lot of video game designers we know and love today. And this massive PC Gamer article, featuring numerous quotes from Warren Spector, Trent Oster, and John Romero, highlights just how deep some of those inspirations go.

Here’s a few sample paragraphs and you take it from there:

“Yeah, that was my fault,” says Doom designer John Romero. “I was greedy and underestimated the power of demons.” When the party came across a pentagram in its adventures, the summoned demon trapped inside tempted Romero with powerful items in return for its freedom: a +5 sword, a ring of regeneration, and a ring of invisibility. “I wanted that stuff badly,” Romero says. Once freed, the demon made good on the deal, but offered a few ominous words, “It won’t matter anyway. We’re taking over this world.

“We all spent the next month battling demons, hiding, watching powerful heroes lose the fight, and eventually the world was wiped out. That was the last time we played D&D together.”

It may have been a cruel conclusion to the party’s journey, but Romero insists that Carmack was a “very fair DM” who was “true to his own rules”. “He was always rolling secret dice because there were so many ways that things could go wrong or be revealed,” he says. “A random chance encounter could happen. There was never a dull moment.”

It was Carmack who lost most in the demonic fire—a huge, personalised world of at least 100 NPCs operating their own schemes. Yet his loss was our world’s gain, since those D&D sessions inspired the premise for Doom, a game about a Martian base overrun by invaders from hell.

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