Sunday, December 11, 2022

Trivial Pursuit: Dungeons & Dragons Ultimate Edition


Of all the things that I never imagined I would end up working on, I was asked to help put together the Trivial Pursuit D&D edition, which has just been released. It is, well, Trivial Pursuit, but with D&D-specific questions: on monsters, spells, campaigns, characters, and of course the game's fifty-year history. If that sounds like something you'd be interested in, you can find it at the usual places online and in person -- my FLGS just got it in this weekend.

Although the "special thanks" on the rules page credits only me for the questions and answers, in fact I had a lot of help -- including from Trivial Pursuit fans on Wizards of the Coast staff, and certain unsung heroes, though I'll leave it to any of those folks to out themselves about their contributions. You can play as the mind flayer, beholder, mimic, gelatinous cube, owlbear, or demilich. I think that sets about the right tone.

Just to give a sense of what's inside, the six categories of questions are:

  • Magic & Miscellany: This is mostly about spells, though some questions related to magic items ended up here as well. Brush up on things like spell components and schools of magic before venturing into this one...
  • History: That is game history, from 1974 to the present, not in-world history. A copy of Art & Arcana might be a good refresher for this.
  • Monsters: From matters of ecology to physiology to powers to diet, this one draws on the immense bestiary of D&D to cover some iconic, and some obscure, critters of the multiverse.
  • Dungeons & Adventures: This covers everything from the earliest tournament adventures up to the present (well, at least the beginning of this year). You may find a few general questions in here about adventuring and dungeoneering too.
  • Characters: Throughout the modules, campaign books, novels, shows, coloring books, and computer games, there are no shortage of characters to pose questions about. Again, you may find some general questions about the character system (classes, stats, and so on) here as well.
  • Cosmology: From the nature of the planes to geographical details about Faerûn, Krynn, Greyhawk, and other settings, this category leaves a lot of opportunities for deep cuts into D&D lore.
... though of course there's a lot of overlap between these categories, and a lot of questions really could have appeared in more than one. I don't want to drop any spoilers, but I hope it succeeds in the goal of having a mix of easy, medium, and hard questions. It also tries to give a fair balance of questions about the present and past of the game, so it is hopefully as accessible to those started decades ago as to relative newcomers. Obviously, you'll have an advantage if you are well versed in all eras of D&D.

This is not the first D&D trivia game by any means. Long-time fans may recall the AD&D 2E Trivia Game (1991), a board game that certainly taps into the successful market Trivial Pursuit created in the mid-1980s. And you would occasionally see trivia questions published in the Dragon, as with the AD&D trivia in the January 1986 issue, or the more sprawling Triviathlon: The Arcane Challenge (1996) competition that shipped with issue #227. But a lot has happened since then, and it was definitely a fun project to work on as we get ever closer to D&D's fiftieth anniversary.

Best of luck to those who play it!


  1. I remember the 1991 game. It was quite unplayable, as I recall ;-) The questions were sometimes so detailed only GM's were supposed to know the answer - at elast if players refrained themselvs from having read all sorts of source material. My memory might be wrong though, it's a long time ago ...

  2. I had the pleasure of playing the D&D edition this past Saturday with my gaming group. I *adored* it. The questions were challenging but fair. Our Faerun guru and our 5e expert were both very close behind me, but after four turns in a row of History questions in the final circle, I finally squeaked to victory. Yellow was definitely the category most humbling to our group of grognards.

    Super fun, can't wait to play again.

  3. Holy moly! I loved the original Trivial Pursuit (back in the day), but I don't own a copy at the moment (because, to be honest, the trivia has passed me by). But I might just have to pick this one up.

    Holy moly! Good job!
    : )