With the semester having ended, I get to spend time with one of my favorite creative pass-times: Dungeons and Dragons. As I was sitting around crafting a new adventures for my players, I had a very sudden revelation–Ares has to be responsible for creating D&D.
Now, of course this should all sound very silly. I mean, a war-god, arguably the Olympian equivalent of a high school all-star jock, creating the nerdiest of games ever? Well, yes, actually. Ironically, it was a line from Aeschylus’ Seven Against Thebes that drew me to this conclusion:
Ares, with his dice, determines the outcome of battle.
For those of you who never played the game, it’s important to know a few facts. First, D&D evolved from table-top war-gaming in the 1970s, in order to bring more of a fun, role-playing element to currently available games. Secondly, the most important mechanic of D&D is rolling dice to determine the outcome of certain actions, most notably combat. Add in the fact that Ares is one of the most prolific progenitors of dragons, and bam! A perfect storm of chance, war, and dragons, and a multi-million dollar franchise. The illustration below was in fact prepared for the D&D v.3.5 Deities and Demigods supplement, which you can see here on page 107 (oh, and before you get your knickers in a twist, read the first paragraph on page 99).