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Dungeons & Dragons (often abbreviated as D&D or DnD) is a fantasy role-playing game (RPG) originally designed by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, and first published in 1974 by the Gygax-owned company Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. (TSR). The game is currently published by Wizards of the Coast, a division of Hasbro. It was derived from miniature wargames, with a variation of the Chainmail game serving as the initial rule system. D&D's publication is widely regarded as the beginning of modern role-playing games and, by extension, the entire role-playing game industry.
Players of D&D create characters that embark upon imaginary adventures within a fantasy setting. A Dungeon Master (abbreviated as DM, also known as a Game Master or GM) serves as the game's referee and storyteller, while also maintaining the setting in which the adventures occur. During each game session, the players listen to descriptions of their character's surroundings, as well as additional information and potential choices from the DM, then describe their actions in response. The characters form a party that interacts with the setting's inhabitants (and each other). Together they solve dilemmas, engage in battles and gather treasure and knowledge. In the process the characters earn experience points to become increasingly powerful over a series of sessions. D&D departs from traditional wargaming and assigns each player a specific character to play instead of a military formation.