Dungeons and Dragons for Game Grrls (and Women)


The New (2014) Starter Set

Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set: Fantasy Roleplaying Game Starter Set (D&D Boxed Game)
Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set: Fantasy Roleplaying Game Starter Set (D&D Boxed Game)

I miss the old red box. A cosmetic thing but still... it was such a great shade of red. But, it is great to have an update to the starter set. I wouldn't pass it up.


I started playing Dungeons and Dragons in the late 70's with my Dad as the Dungeon Master and myself, brother and sisters as the players. Now and then a friend would be over and join in the game. But, it was a lot more complicated to join in than a game of cards or Monopoly or any other board game. So, usually having people join in wasn't so great. By the time we explained the game and set up new characters for them, it would be about time for them to go home to their own family.

By the early 80's my Dad was no longer playing and I was the Dungeon Master. I loved drawing and creating maps. I'd never admit it to my brother and sisters but I did rearrange the original map as they wandered along through it. How can you not give in to the temptation to move things around when the players seem to blunder along and miss the best stuff you had put there for them to find? Not all of it was bad. Most of it they could have survived.

I never knew Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) was supposed to be for boys. It never occurred to me that being a female Dungeon Master was unusual. It was a lot of fun. I was glad when I could take over from my Dad. He was far too strict about following all the rules. We never seemed to get the game off the ground while he was in charge. I was less rule abiding. We skipped several steps from the player guide but we all got into the game. Not just the game play but really enjoying the adventure and using our imagination.

D & D Ladies Night Event

D & D Ladies Night

Thursday, October 23 at 6:00pm - 9:00pm

New Hampshire, USA.

Dungeon Master Gurls

These Days...

In writing about women playing Dungeons and Dragons I've found that we don't really stand out so much as we once would have. Women are mixing in like any other game player. There aren't many resources geared to women playing D&D because that kind of exclusivity just isn't important any more. Except, it is still nice to be a girl and feel different from the other grunting, sword carrying, usually taller and less curvier players.

I wonder if women playing D&D dress up for it in costumes. It would be fun but could bring out more of the differences between players rather than keeping the spirit of the game and just having a lot of fun as part of a group of adventurers risking life and limb at the whim of the Dungeon Master.

Dungeons and Dragons Dragon Scale Dice Bag
Dungeons and Dragons Dragon Scale Dice Bag | Source
Custom Cotton Candy Pink Dice
Custom Cotton Candy Pink Dice | Source

Yes, Girls Play D&D

Yes, Girls (Still) Play D&D

© 2012 Laura Brown

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Comments 11 comments

Becca 2 years ago

Ladies! Looking to check out Dungeons and Dragons? Did you know D&D helps improve creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork and math skills?

Join us October 23rd for a ladies night, all levels welcome, especially those of you who have NEVER played! It will be a super fun night, we hope to see you there! https://www.facebook.com/events/532862820177890

That Grrl profile image

That Grrl 2 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada Author

There is a new version of D and D coming out this year. I wish I still had a group I could get together with to try it out.

CassandraCae profile image

CassandraCae 2 years ago from Ohio

I am solid proof that girls play D and D. I need to just get the DM part down.

That Grrl profile image

That Grrl 4 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada Author

The shirt is great. I was looking for something about women Dungeon Masters. I would have thought someone would have come up with something clever about that, but I didn't find one. So far.

bethperry profile image

bethperry 4 years ago from Tennesee

I was among several girls in my school who enjoyed D&D back in the 80's, and maybe I was lucky, but no one I played with ever seemed to think it was a gender-based game.

Interesting article, and I love that tee shirt!

That Grrl profile image

That Grrl 4 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada Author

You probably had a lot more fun with the homemade Star Trek version than you would have sticking to learning the rules in the Dungeons and Dragons. It's fun when you don't feel pressured. My Dad was a grump but at least we got the basics figured out while he played. We had a lot more fun without him. :)

Sarah Christina profile image

Sarah Christina 4 years ago from Fresno, CA

I'm a girl gamer (another rare breed that isn't as rare as it used to be) and have always been a fan of RPG's in particular, but the few times I tried to play D&D I had a hard time understanding everything and it always felt awkward to me because everyone else seemed to know what they were doing. So, I gave up and went back to video games. However, for a while in the 90's a group of my friends and I, who were big fans of Star Trek the Next Gen, created our own Dungeons and Dragons type game but in the Star Trek universe. It was really fun, and the DM of course was a girl too--in fact I think there was only 1 boy involved, my friend's little brother.

Come to think of it, the friend who started it was the same one who tried to previously get me into D&D, but I spent my time being mostly confused and intimidated by everyone else playing that seemed to know so much. I wish I had had a parent to teach me, I probably would have played better and stuck with it. Anyway, great article, it's always comforting to know there are other girl nerds still out there!! :)

That Grrl profile image

That Grrl 4 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada Author

I never thought to draw maps of the neighbourhood THAT would have been fun. But, probably not practical when my little sisters were playing. Couldn't really send them wandering around.

Patty Kenyon profile image

Patty Kenyon 4 years ago from Ledyard, Connecticut

I haven't played D & D since the late 80's. For the longest time, none of my friends nor I had the actual game or game rules. What we used to do is draw tiled maps of our neighborhood and roll regular dice...and yes on occasion we would dress up, but regardless of our garb, we were always in our roles...many of our older neighbors must of thought we were crazy, but we had a blast!!

That Grrl profile image

That Grrl 4 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada Author

I really loved being the DM. It was hard to go back to being a player when my brother or one of the sisters insisted on switching around. I'd enjoy playing again but none of my friends are gamer geeks. I play someone online RPG fantasy games but it's not the same as making the maps and trying to get people to fall into things yourself.

Jason Marovich profile image

Jason Marovich 4 years ago from United States

I was a DM in the 80s, too, albeit a male one. D&D co-creator, E. Gary Gygax, believed his rules to be loose guidelines rather than strict rules, so I think you were right on the mark with your views of how Dungeons and Dragons should be moderated.

In the late 80s I was a player in a group that included a young woman. She brought positive attributes to our group, and she joined us for other gaming, too. I agree, today, that probably wouldn't be much to mention, but back then it was something.

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