A Walk in the Dark A look in to the mind of an RPG designer


15Apr/11Off

DnD-opoly a Possibility?

Sometimes even the most nonsensical of conversations grows in to something quite unexpected.

A few days ago, and I don't even remember how the conversation started, we began to joke about a Dungeons and Dragons themed version of Monopoly. After all, both Monopoly and Wizards of the Coast are owned by the same company - Hasbro - so it doesn't seem all that far fetched.

On a whim, I decided to try something ludicrous, and I send a message to Hasbro through their site:

This might seem like an odd question... I am part of a rather strong community of followers of Dungeons and Dragons, which we know is indirectly another Hasbro property (through Wizards of the Coast).

Recently, on Twitter, they brought up the question about why there wasn't a D&D themed Monopoly game, using some of the locations and themes from D&D laid out on the board game, in the same style as Star Wars and numerous other properties.

First question is, obviously, why not?

Secondly, and here is where I'm taking a bold step, I and several other associates (who have DECADES of experience with D&D) would be very interested in creating such a game ourselves, and have both the technical and artistic talent to do so, but we fear any potential legal repercussions from Hasbro when we try to do that. We are aware of the legal guidelines with Wizards of the Coast and D&D properties (we are very familiar with the 4e Game System License and what we can and cannot do), but we're not quite sure about how Hasbro itself feels about us using the Monopoly theme, mechanic and elements (board layout, cards, dice, tokens, etc...).

So who would I be able to contact about the possibility of getting authorization to do that as an independent project?

Thank you for any assistance you can provide.

David Flor
President, Darklight Interactive
"Omne ignotum pro magnifico"

Sounds insane, doesn't it? I never expected to be taken seriously, but sometimes you have to try something crazy.

Today I got the following response:

Hi David,

Thank you for contacting Hasbro, Inc.

We would love to try and help with your request. Please submit your request via fax on company letterhead to 1-401-XXX-XXXX, attention: [Name Omitted]. Make sure you include in your fax, you are requesting permission to use Monopoly and Dungeons and Dragons and details on how it will be used.

Thank you for your understanding. We look forward to hearing from you.

Wait... What? Seriously?

First off, in the past I joked about having to send a letter by mail to the Wizards of the Coast legal department. Now they're asking me to FAX something... I haven't faxed anything in five years. I guess using archaic technologies is commonplace in an "old school" company like Hasbro.

Secondly, what exactly am I getting myself in to here? If I sit down I'm sure I can come up with a full blown design, and I'm sure I can get the artists and designers I need in order to make this both aesthetically pleasing and fun for everyone. But is this something that I can really do?

So I now have to formulate a pitch to Hasbro, one that would be convincing enough. I'm considering tying this in to a Kickstarter project of some sort, where the public can fun the physical creation of it (I can get people to create it virtually, but that's very different than creating the board, cards, tokens and box).

If anyone out there has suggestions on this, please speak up. I think I'm going to get in way over my head right quick on this one.

Filed under: Design, DnD, RPG Comments Off
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  1. Nice. That’s a great thought and way to follow through. I hope it works out for you… and me too, I want D&D-opoly!

    Your best bet is probably to jump on this old school bandwagon and incite nostalgic memories of the days of gaming past. The board can easily be filled with classic adventures and locales. Cards can be monsters and magic items, for negative or positive effects respectively. Jail is a dungeon. Utilities are items repairs. Railroads… hmm… mounts maybe?

    I think WotC has a strict “books only” policy in their OGL, but you went strait to Hasbro, so I’m not sure how that works.

    Once again, good luck. Keep us posted.


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