Once upon a time, in the dark and timeless past (you know, the 1970s), Dungeons & Dragons was frequently played by slightly strange, slightly antisocial teens who gathered in dimly lit basements stinking with incense. Over the years, however, the premier role-playing game has become much more mainstream. Those aforementioned teens grew up, got married and had families of their own. Instead of hiding their favorite pastime, they involved those around them.
If you play Dungeons & Dragons, or D&D, you can see why it's great for families. D&D is a fantasy game that encourages those who play to use their imagination and sharpen their storytelling skills. Participants create characters and then assume the roles of those characters in elaborate adventures. One player is the Dungeon Master, who sets up and controls the narrative experience. As you can imagine, a D&D adventure can take hours to complete. Many families establish a weekly D&D Game Night -- much like a weekly poker game -- so they can spend quality time together while they're battling hideous, deadly monsters.
No real weapons are used in a D&D game. That's not a good thing to some people, who want to hold steel in their hand and hear the clang of blades as they fight their opponents. As we're about to see, even this can be a family tradition.