Want to set the world record for the world’s biggest DnD game? You’ll just need some D20s, a sprinkle of creativity, and 1,228 of your pals. That’s because on April 22, 2023 an awe-inspiring game with 1,227 players was certified by Guinness World Records as the largest DnD game ever to have occurred.
The record for the most people playing Dungeons and Dragons was set at the We Geek Together store in Provo Towne Centre mall, Utah. It was awarded to the event’s organiser Andrew Ashby, as well as co-owners Everett and Fawn Ashby. Ashby told the Herald Extra that only 500 people were required to smash the record, in Guinness’ view. But word soon spread through the local RPG-playing community, and on the day of the attempt, more than double that number showed up to play. We Geek Together is a DnD store with dedicated space for games, but with so many new recruits, geeks took over a large chunk of the mall.
Of course, handling a DnD game of five or six lively players can be quite the challenge for even the most experienced DM, so with more than 1000, a clever ‘reporting’ system was required to make everything tick. Players had a shared goal of defeating a classic DnD villain, an undead wizard we all know and love – that’s right, Vecna! Each group was given different tasks to perform in one city under siege. So for instance, while one group of tables played ‘cavalry’, another section ran the ‘gatekeeper packet’.
Meanwhile, runners went between tables sharing new information with each of the 200 DMs, while also relaying info back to a ‘head DM’ who oversaw it all, like some sort of DnD umpire/mad genius.
The author of the adventures, and the guidebook that made the record break logistically possible was Johnny Jensen, who did the whole thing as a volunteer. Now he plans to publish the adventures used in the event through DriveThruRPG, under the title ‘The Dead Wars’. He’ll also share info on the system that made it all function.
Andrew Ashby hopes for a repeat of the event, telling Herald Extra he wants to make the giant D&D game an annual occurrence.
Want to get in on the next big DnD event that pops up near you? Better have a character ready! Here’s all the DnD classes and DnD races to choose from, with everything from skills to 5e character builds, so you can prepare.