What Age Rating Is Dungeons And Dragons?

Is D&D a kids game, a game for adults, or both? What age rating is Dungeons and Dragons?

Dungeons and Dragons does not have an explicit age rating, and the game is suitable for both children and adults. Because the game is run by a dungeon master, whether or not the content is appropriate is entirely up to the dungeon master.

As a general rule, I would recommend that someone only join public D&D games when they are over 13 years old, as they will be able to understand all of the rules and interact well with others. However, it is possible to run a family game or a game with content appropriate for any age audience with even young children.

Be aware that in this article we are talking about the tabletop RPG game Dungeons and Dragons, not the Board Game or Dark Alliance video game.

What Age Rating Is D&D?

If you are looking for an age rating like G, PG, or M for Dungeons & Dragons then unfortunately you won’t find one.  As D&D is a role-playing game, it is run by a dungeon master telling the story, and what the story involves is really up to the dungeon master.  You really can’t put an age rating on the dungeon master’s imagination.

For me, I’d say the official campaigns are suitable for age 10+, maybe 13+ if your child is on the more sensitive side.  They often involve violence, death, bad guys who are driven by greed and power, and complex storylines that require the ability to follow a plot and understand motivations.  

But there’s no reason you can’t run different adventures that are suitable for younger children.  There are products like Humblewood or Animal Adventures, that use D&D rules but are adapted to be suitable stories for children, and you get to play as animals so they are really cute!

Is Dungeons And Dragons Kid Appropriate?

Dungeons and Dragons as a tabletop role-playing game is kid-appropriate, there is nothing in the game itself or in the rules that is not suitable for children. In fact, playing D&D can even help with child development, and it’s starting to become used as a therapy or educational option.

The part of D&D that can become inappropriate for children is the adventure content.  Many of the official adventure sourcebooks have quite dark and violent themes, and wouldn’t be suitable for a younger audience.  I would suggest you err on the side of caution and read through an adventure first to decide if it is suitable for your child.

Also, D&D does involve combat and killing monsters.  Killing the bad guys is a theme that is used in a lot of children’s TV shows these days.  In D&D there are no graphics for them to watch as you are playing a tabletop game so using your imagination (unless you count being verbally descriptive as graphical), but very young or sensitive children may still not be ready for any violence.

When Can Kids Start Playing D&D?

I hear people often asking can a 6 year old play Dungeons and Dragons, what about 9, 11 or 12?  My answer is most children can play D&D if they can read their character sheet and do some basic maths such as adding numbers to dice in order to be able to use their character abilities.

There are various ways you can simplify D&D to be suitable for a younger audience, such as using kid friendly character sheets, simplifying the rules, and running adventures designed specifically for kids.  See our article on how to play Dungeons and Dragons with kids for more information.

Is D&D Online Kid Friendly?

Noooooo…. well maybe.  Is online anything kid friendly is the real question here.

D&D is an open-world game, really limited by the dungeon master and player’s imagination.  There is nothing inherently adult about D&D, it doesn’t need to contain any adult content.  But when adults are left to use their imagination, well, it can turn into themes inappropriate for children pretty quickly.

If you can find a dungeon master running games online specifically designed to be facilitated for children then they are probably good, they won’t bring up inappropriate topics and will likely reign in any older children if they start to go off the rails. 

But I definitely would not let my kids get into an online game on Roll20 or similar and just play with strangers, that could be a recipe for disaster.

Is Dungeons And Dragons A Good Family Game?

Yes, absolutely. In fact, I think it’s a great way for a family to spend time together as well as involving their children in a lifelong hobby that will have a positive impact on their lives.

The best thing about D&D is that it’s a game that anyone can pick up and play, and if one of the parents acts as dungeon master and directs the kids (or other adults if your family doesn’t have kids) it’s pretty easy to learn.

The whole point of playing D&D is to use your imagination and have lots of fun, and having fun together is a big part of being a family (well, at least the type of family I want to be a part of).

Can Adults Play Dungeons And Dragons?

Adults can play D&D, and even better, they should give D&D a go to see if it’s a hobby they enjoy. D&D is actually a game designed for adults to play, with the majority of content in the tabletop RPG industry being targeted at adults.  It’s a fantastic way to spend time together, and it’s a lot more interactive than going out to see a movie or eating dinner at a restaurant. Plus it’s cheaper!

You’re never too old to use your imagination, and as an adult, it’s a great way to keep being social, actively use your imagination, and improve your problem-solving abilities, and it can even help to develop teamwork, communication and leadership skills.  But most importantly, it’s just a great way to have fun with your friends.

As an adult, you can also participate in games that have much more complicated storylines than children or teenagers usually do.  Most younger people’s games that I’ve seen often reduce down to a hack and slash of monsters in a dungeon.  But as an adult, you can really get into the roleplaying, the political intrigue, and understand complex storylines and morally grey characters, which gives the game a lot more depth.

So yes, adults can play D&D and it’s a great experience. 

Why Dungeons and Dragons Was Banned

In the 1980s D&D went through an era of “The Satanic Panic”, basically because the game involves themes such as witchcraft, demons and other gods, some more extreme Christians spoke out against D&D.  While the game wasn’t outright banned, this did get D&D a lot of negative press.

Children nowadays play a lot of violent video games and watch a lot of TV and movies with magical themes like Harry Potter and supernatural themes like the Marvel movies, so in comparison, D&D is not really considered bad content.

If you’re the type of family who doesn’t let their kids watch these types of things then D&D may not be for you, but for the average child these days they won’t see anything different to what they experience in video games or on TV.

Conclusion

Grab your grandparents, grab your kids, grab your friends, and start playing D&D.  Dungeons and Dragons is really suitable for any age, from 6 years old right up to adults. It’s a great way to spend time together, either for a group of friends or for family time with kids.

It doesn’t matter what age you are, all you need is some time to learn the basics and a lot of imagination, and you’ll be ready to roll.

Share

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn

Related Posts

10 Best Cute Board Games

Want cute games that everyone (even serious gamers) can enjoy?  Here are my 10 favorite charming board games for those who like adorable characters and artwork.