Who Plays Tabletop RPGs?

“Dungeons and Dragons has become a safe haven for me. I’ll never stop.” — Deborah Ann Woll

Celebrities Who Have Played D&D and Other Tabletop RPGs

When Dungeons & Dragons burst out of gaming circles and into mainstream popular culture in the late ’70s and early ’80s, high school and college students gravitated to it, as did bright kids and curious adults. Its popularity eventually waned, but lots of people kept playing. These games continue to attract a wide range of enthusiasts young and old.

I’ve played tabletop RPGs with soldiers, real estate agents, CEOs, auditors, software developers, retail employees, artists, grad students, managers, and people from all walks of life. Who plays tabletop RPGs? For starters, here a few well-known people who have thrown the dice a time or two:

  • Joe Abercrombie – The author of The First Law fantasy series played D&D, Middle Earth Role-Playing, RuneQuest, and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay in his youth. – source
  • Ta-Nehisi Coates – He writes for The Atlantic, has authored three books, is writing the Black Panther comic, and he credits D&D with opening up a world of possibilities. – source
  • Tim Duncan – Perhaps the greatest power forward in NBA history, the recently-retired Duncan has never hidden his love of D&D. – source
  • Reid Hoffman – The co-founder of LinkedIn not only played RuneQuest as a kid, he contributed to one of the game’s supplements. Whether he still plays or not, he recently supported a RuneQuest Kickstarter. – source
  • George RR Martin – Everyone’s favorite ruthless fantasy writer used to run a SuperWorld campaign for a band of other authors, which led to the Wild Cards books. He’s a big GURPS fan. – source
  • Thomas Middleditch – It’s appropriate that the Silicon Valley star plays GURPS, since so many actual Silicon Valley folks are into tabletop RPGs. – source
  • China Miéville – He’s a writer and activist now, but in his middle school days he played everything from D&D, to RuneQuest, Call of Cthulhu, Middle Earth Role-Playing, Star Frontiers, Traveller, Villains and Vigilantes, Paranoia, and Bushido. – source
  • David Mitchell – The acclaimed author of Cloud Atlas and Slade House played a lot of D&D in his youth, and he talks at length about its influence on him and other authors. – source
  • Elon Musk – Apparently the enormously successful founder of Tesla and SpaceX still manages to sneak in a game of D&D every once in a while. – source
  • Brenda Romero – This video game industry legend played D&D back in the day and plays it (and other RPGs) now. – source
  • Deborah Ann Woll – The True Blood and Daredevil star loves being a D&D Dungeon Master. – source

And yes, there are lots of other famous people who have rolled the dice a time or two, from Vin Diesel to Wil Wheaton.