Magic Ampersand

Ampersand Law #1. Early RPGs always had names in this format: [Something] & [Something Else That Usually Begins With The Same Letter]. (Dungeons & Dragons, Tunnels & Trolls, Villains & Vigilantes, Chivalry & Sorcery, etc.)

Any fictional roleplaying game can be recognized as such, because it will have a title consisting of two alliterative plural nouns suggestive of its genre separated by an ampersand. A writer in need of a fictitious parallel to Vampire: The Masquerade, for instance, would probably dub it something like "Cloaks & Coffins". Bonus points if the two nouns are a place name and a monster name.

The Magic Ampersand form serves the same instant-identification purpose for ad hoc roleplaying games that the Chest Insignia does for ad hoc superheroes. It's also frequently used to make jokes about fictional creatures playing a roleplaying game based on our own mundane lives.

(Note: Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility are aversions of this trope, being Jane Austen novels.)

Compare The Noun and the Noun and The Titling.


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    Comics & Books 
  • Wizards & Warriors in both DC Comics' Robin and an episode of Quantum Leap.
  • Smax: In a Tolkien/D&D-esque Standard Fantasy Setting, part of the adventuring party is waiting outside the cave for Smax and Robyn to return, and to pass the time they play a game set in mundane reality called Malls & Muggers.

    Comic & Strips 

    Films & Live-Action 

    Literature & Books 
  • Rona Jaffe's Mazes and Monsters.
  • Neal Stephenson's The Big U explicitly compares the LARP Sewers and Serpents, played by characters in the novel, to Dungeons & Dragons.
  • Esther Friesner's fantasy novel Majyk by Hook or Crook has a brief mention of a game called "Palaces & Puppies".
  • In Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Greg plays Magick & Monsters (Dungeons and Dragons in the webcomic of the same name).

    Live-Action & Television 
  • A fictional roleplaying game/laser tag hybrid called "Aliens & Asteroids" appeared in an episode of War of the Worlds.
  • Wizards And Warriors was also the name of a summer replacement TV series in the early 80s. It parodied many themes and tropes from fantasy stories and FRP games. One episode even featured the hero gathering a Dungeons & Dragons-style party of specialists to go on a quest.

    Print Media & Magazines 
  • An early issue of Dragon (the official Dungeons & Dragons magazine) actually parodied itself, with an insert cartoon showing several fantasy characters playing a "mundane life" RPG titled Papers & Paychecks.
    "We're pretending we are workers and students in an industrialized and technological society."
  • One college comedy magazine in the US had another "mundane life" RPG called Driveways and Desk Jobs.

    Radio & Audioplays 

    Tabletop & Games 

    Video & Games 
  • Kingdom of Loathing has "Cubicles and Conference Calls".
  • "Grottos and Gremlins" from the video game Bully.
  • There's yet another Wizards And Warriors series out there... a trilogy of video games developed by Rareware for the NES.
  • In Spellcasting 101: Sorcerers Get All the Girls, a group of students at Sorcerer University is always playing "Malls & Muggers". And they're still playing — with no evidence of having stopped at any point in the year between games — in the next game. One of the tasks that your would-be fratmates have to accomplish in order to get through hazing week (which you can watch) is to make them stop.
  • The computer RPG Might and Magic.
  • Simon the Sorcerer II features a group of characters interested in a game called "Apartments and Accountants". Since Simon the Sorcerer is a fantasy series, A&A simulates real life.
  • Two unrelated video games titled Swords & Serpents: one by Imagic for the Intellivision, another by Interplay for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
  • Fables & Fiends: The Legend of Kyrandia
  • Magic & Mayhem
  • Tombs & Treasure

    Web & Comics 

    Web & Original 
  • From the web series Gold: "Goblins & Gold".

    Western & Animation 
  • Robot Chicken has a similar parody as in The Dragon in one of its small in-between scenes.
  • An episode of Dexter's Laboratory, (itself called "D & DD") features the title character running a game of "Monsters & Mazes". DeeDee replaces him as the Game Master, with amusing consequences.
  • Crypts & Creepers in the Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated episode "Web of the Dreamweaver".