10 Awesome Things About Dungeons & Dragons in Edmonton

Have you noticed a lot of Dungeons & Dragons coverage on the news lately? It’s likely due to Marc Schubert and D&D For YEG Kids. It’s a project that is already helping to run games in schools locally and hopes to help get into more in the near future. You can see some of the news coverage on CBC’s Radioactive, CityNews, Sonic 102.9 and most recently CTV.

His GoFundMe page crushed its’ initial goal of $1000 and has been supported by Dungeons & Dragons developers Wizards of the Coast and even received a large donation from GoFundMe itself.

In recognition of the support he’s gotten, here’s a list of of other awesome Dungeons & Dragons tidbits in the Edmonton area.

10. We’ve Got History.

We can’t reliably place the first game of D&D ever played in Edmonton (I’d love to hear about it if you were there) but Edmonton’s first modern gaming store, Hobbit’s Fantasy Shoppe, opened in 1976 and D&D was being played there very early on. It even inspired a locally-created contemporary game, Chivalry & Sorcery, that was first published in 1977 and had four editions over 30+ years.

9. Game Stores

Hobbit’s Fantasy Shopped folded in the mid-80s but we’ve had an unbroken run of Local Gaming Stores thanks to places like Warp Comics & Games (Three stores, 30+ years and countless memories). At last count, we’ve got over 20 local stores & cafés where D&D is supported (either sold or played).

8. D&D in a Castle

Have you heard of Edmonton’s Regency Encounters? They might be best know for their Pride & Prejudice Ball but about a month from now they’ll be hosting games of Dungeons & Dragons in France with some of the team behind the latest incarnation of D&D (like lead rules designer Jeremy Crawford and Community Manager Satine Phoenix) behind the DM screens. Interested? It’s SOLD OUT.

7. Level Up Gaming League Ltd.

Level Up has been supporting local kids though RPGs for a while now and they post regular updates about the kids’ exploits in their ongoing campaigns. Check them out and follow the work they’re doing with YESS (Youth Empowerment Support Services).

6. Improv

Edmonton’s always been a hotbed for improv (anyone at the Fringe Festival can vouch for that) but where we shine is our Improvised Dungeons & Dragons shows courtesy of YEG DND: Improv Edition and Rapid Fire Theatre. Catch YEG DND’s next show on June 2 and Rapid Fire’s D&D show at their Improvaganza event.

5. The Canadian Library of Role-Playing Games

Ok, so this one’s not exclusively Dungeons & Dragons but it certainly plays a huge part. Seriously, how cool is it that there’s going to be an RPG museum in town? It’s also still in the setup phase but you can follow their progress online as they get going.

4. The Pathfinder Society

Anyone who follows Dungeons & Dragons is likely aware of Paizo’s Pathfinder game. A spiritual successor to D&D’s 3.5 edition, Pathfinder has at times been the most popular RPG on the planet. That’s been pretty evident in Edmonton with the Pathfinder Society holding multiple events every week and their own annual 3 day gaming event (GLYPHCON).

3. IntrigueCon

Edmonton is home to the only multi-RPG convention in Western Canada and it’s so popular that IntrigueCon has recently expanded to two events per year (one in the spring and the main event in October). Dungeons & Dragons is only one component but there’s always a full schedule of D&D-inspired game systems as well.

2. BioWare

Founded by fans of RPGs, Edmonton’s BioWare released Dungeons & Dragons-licensed game Baldur’s Gate 20 years ago in 1998. Founded by fans of the genre, they released a series of follow-ups including a direct sequel two years later. While not an official D&D game series, their Dragon Age games are definitely a spiritual successor to their previous work.

1. Beamdog

This wasn’t meant to be in ascending order of importance but even if it was; Beamdog would take the number one ranking for the city of Edmonton. They’re founded by one of the co-founders of BioWare and released enhanced editions of D&D games like the Baldur’s Gate series, Neverwinter Nights, Icewind Dale, Planescape: Torment and even an all new adventure Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear.

If that wasn’t enough, they enjoy a particularly close relationship with Wizards of the Coast and some of their team featured prominently in the Dungeons & Dragons stream event this past weekend. They also have a brand new project in the works. Full details haven’t been released but the words “next-generation strategy game” are being used in job postings. Considering the close relationship with the D&D rights holders, I’m very interested to see what it is.

-Did you enjoy reading about a list of Nerdy things in Edmonton? Want to hear more? Did we miss anything? Comment below or send a request to info@edmontonnerdlist.com and we’ll put together one for you.