Photo from Nerdist.com
Who would have ever thought celebrities are just like us? Wait! They play Dungeons and Dragons too! Long time player Joe Manganiello, the actor from True Blood and Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, has been playing D&D since he was a kid. He also credits the game for helping with his acting career and writing creatively in his gaming campaigns. Currently, he is the ambassador of the highly esteemed gaming company Wizards of the Coast, which put such games on the map as Magic: The Gathering.
So what is Dungeons and Dragons, you ask? Well, it is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson in 1974. The basis of the game is storytelling. You and seven or more friends tell a story together that guides your characters along dangerous and epic journeys into the unknown or whatever world you choose to create. The game is lead by a Dungeon Master or narrator of the role-playing game. This game consists of teamwork, critical thinking skills, some math, pencil and paper, a 20 sided die, and your imagination. Anyone can play this game no matter what your age, sex, race, and creed are. Dungeons and Dragons is for everyone! Currently, I play in an all-girls D&D group and have done various one-shot campaigns as well.
Now that you are all caught up with the background information, let’s get to the real reason you are reading this article. Recently Nerdist.Com reported on Joe Manganiello’s current two-year gaming campaign ” The War of the Dragons.” Manganiello hosts his celebrity D&D campaign as Dungeon Master with some big-name celebrities like musician Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), actor Vince Vaughan (Wedding Crashers), director James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy), and WWE wrestler Paul Wight (The Big Show).
When he is not gaming in his basement, Joe Manganiello partners with Nerdist.Com for his Celebri D&D campaign. Here is one of Joe’s 2017 campaigns on the Nerdist youtube channel be sure to subscribe for more cool stuff:
Manganiello and his friends continue to play despite the COVID-19 restrictions by using Zoom. Joe Manganiello hosts these campaigns from his home basement that is filled with D&D memorabilia, maps, miniature figurines, and gothic furniture. This basement is every gamer’s dream of running an epic campaign. Other celebrities who have played with Joe are Vin Diesel (Fast and Furious), Terry Crews (Brooklyn nine-nine), and host Stephen Colbert (The Late Show). Check out Manganiello giving a tour of his basement ” The Gary Gygax Memorial Dungeon” to D&D Beyond:
Besides hosting gaming campaigns, Manganiello has managed to turn his love of gaming into a business empire with his streetwear clothing line called Death Saves. This clothing line features artwork inspired by the Dungeons and Dragons game with influences from heavy metal music. In a 2019 article by Comicbook.Com, Manganiello talks about his new merchandise company and the inspiration behind it :
When I was a kid, I listened to Metallica, and I loved the artwork of Iron Maiden, and listened to Led Zeppelin as well as hung out in arcades reading comic books and Steven King novels. Also, I was influenced by horror and fantasy movies. I know where all the artwork comes from that inspired me, and I thought, who better than me to start my own clothing line.
Death Saves is just one of the many passion projects Manganiello has. He is very active in commissioning the artwork for his clothing line and promoting it at popular conventions such as SanDiego Comic-Con, Gen Con, and New York Comic-Con. According to Manganiello, this clothing line is more than just D&D clothing. It incorporate all genres of music, books, and movies that have been apart of his childhood. The clothing line is a chance to connect with his fans on a personal level as a gamer, who grew up as an oddball and was told that he is different. More and more gamers have worn the Death Saves brand t-shirts at gaming conventions and stores. Death Saves continues to be popular to this day! Joe Manganiello is proof that you can turn a hobby into a business that you can be proud of. You can view the website for his clothing line Death Saves here: https://death-saves.com/
Lastly, Joe Manganiello’ has partner with Omaze.Com and the Make A Wish Foundation for one lucky winner to have a one on one gaming session with Manganiello and tour the Wizards of the Cost company. Although this contest is temporarily on hold because of the COVID-19 restrictions, it does not mean you cannot enter for a chance to win an epic experience! More details can be found here: https://www.omaze.com/products/dungeons-and-dragons-joe-manganiello
( Librarian Ninja Girl )