When Dungeons & Dragons was first released in the late 70s, it set off a moral panic in America with some churches claiming that it was tied to satanic worship. Fast forward nearly 50 years and it’s one of the most popular hobbies in all age groups. Adults who played it as kids are still creating fantasy worlds with their friends or families. Schools have after hours clubs dedicated to cooperative story-telling and even Hollywood is getting in on the action.
Joe Manganiello, who scored his first big on-screen role as Flash Thompson in Sam Rami’s Spider-Man and who you may know more recently as Deathstroke from the Justice League, hosts a not-so-secret Dungeons & Dragons club out of his basement.
Even with the surging popularity of Dungeons & Dragons and other Tabletop RPGS (TTRPG), there’s a stigma around it, much like gaming, that it’s only for nerds. While that stigma is slowly dying out, it’s thanks to big names and big biceps like Joe Manganiello or Vin Diesel (another D&D fan) that are helping to break it.
Once on twitter, in a now deleted tweet, a pro wrestler posted a big of him at the gym claiming he doesn’t play D&D. Manganiello tweeted back with him on the cover Muscle & Fitness magazine saying, “I do.”
In fact, Manganiello has turned his basement into a haven for Dungeons & Dragons and the adventurer’s that would brave the fantasy world. Manganiello has had a wide range of celebrities join him at the table including Game of Thrones co-show runners David Benniof and D.B. Weiss, actor Vince Vaugh and WWE legend The Big Show. Other’s include Rage Against the Machine’s lead guitarist Tom Morello and Guardians of the Galaxy super-star director, James Gunn.
Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images