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Alliteration & Adventurers
aka: Magic Ampersand

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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, as with the real-world game usually referenced by these fictional titles, Dungeons & Dragons.

The Alliterative & Adventurers naming scheme 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.

Subtrope of Bland-Name Product and Alliterative Title. Compare The Noun and the Noun and The Titling. Don't confuse with Capital Letters Are Magic, where the letters are used in-universe. Also see Adjective Animal Alehouse for common theme naming of ad hoc places of ebriety, where many such adventures begin.


Examples:

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    Comics & Books 
  • Champions: The Champions (2016) Weirdworld storyline ends with Ms Marvel suggesting they play Mansions & Manticores as a team-building exercise.
  • Death Vigil: In chapter 2, Clara mentions having played Wizards and Warriors when she was a kid, and had a magic feather that could open doors to other worlds. Bernadette's scythe seems to have latched onto that memory to create her Veilripper, which similarly takes the form of a portal-creating quill.
  • Maps in Gotham Academy sometimes dragoons her friends into playing Serpents & Spells.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW) has teenage Shining Armor and his friends play the role-playing game Oubliettes & Ogres.
  • Robin (1993): Wizards & Warriors is a fictional tabletop RPG.
  • 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.
  • In Ultimate Hangout and Lucy Rolls the Dice from The Loud House, Lynn Sr., Flip, Mr. Grouse, Kotaro, and the McBride fathers all play a game called Orcs, Horks, Wizards, and Porks, which has elements of both tabletop roleplaying and LARPing.

    Comics & Strips 

    Fans & Works 
  • Invader Zim: A Bad Thing Never Ends: Fizzmitz mentions a game called "Wizards & Warrens" as a comparison while trying to convince Dib to get more excited about learning the Vancian Magic-style rules of Poopmancy.
  • Anne, Sasha and Marcy in The Owl and The Frog regularly play a game called "Creatures and Caverns." While Sasha complains about playing it, she's actually very good at it.
  • In Roommates: Memoirs of the Hairless Ape, there's a D&D pastiche called Sapiens & Strongholds, which ties into this setting being a World of Funny Animals where humans are completely fictitious. Naturally, the local Furry Fandom equivalent character is a big fan, and another character actively game master's for it.
  • Ruby Pair: Gaols & Ghouls, from the chapter of the same name, is a blatant parody of D&D.
  • Two of Six contains a bit where Dick misremembers the name of the RPG Wizards & Warriors Tim and Ives play as Wizards & Warlocks. Tim quickly corrects him, saying Wizards & Warlocks is the 4.0 edition.
  • We Are All Pokémon Trainers: Caverns & Charizards is the WAAPTverse equivalent of D&D.

    Films & Live-Action 
  • Rona Jaffe's Mazes and Monsters, in which a group of college classmates do an early LARP version of a Dungeons & Dragons derivative and one of the classmates gets so caught up in the adventure that the line between fantasy and reality for him has been blurred. Spoony talks about his idea of doing a scary D&D movie right in his commentary. His version of the game would be called Creatures and Caverns.
  • A sketch in The Onion Movie features the game Wizards & Warbeasts.

    Literature & Books 
  • Creating Adventure Games for Your Computer, a guide from the 1980s on how to design and code Text Adventure games in BASIC, named its first example program "Werewolves and Wanderer". Ironically, it's not an RPG at all, nor does the genre get any real coverage aside from the last two examples incorporating The Six Stats in a very convoluted way.
  • Neal Stephenson's The Big U explicitly compares the LARP Sewers and Serpents, played by characters in the novel, to Dungeons & Dragons.
  • In Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Greg plays Magick & Monsters (Dungeons and Dragons in the webcomic of the same name).
  • The Gamearth Trilogy is about four teens playing the titular homemade game for years. Then The Game Come to Life...
  • Legends & Lattes uses the D&D-style title to instantly convey that the story is a cheeky take on that sort of fantasy world, concerning an orc barbarian who does nothing more momentous than... retire from adventuring and open a coffee shop.
  • The Majyk by Accident novel Majyk by Hook or Crook has a brief mention of a game called Palaces & Puppies.
  • A The Octonauts picture book has Professor Inkling GMing a game called Oceans & Ogres. With a pretty good emulation of a 1st edition D&D module cover.

    Live-Action & Television 
  • Riverdale: A major plotline in Season Three revolves around some old RPG called Gryphons & Gargoyles, whose cover is definitely meant to call back to the old White Box set of Dungeons & Dragons released back in 1974. The storyline itself reads like an Afterschool Special straight from the height of the Satanic Panic, with occultism and ritualistic suicides galore.
  • In the Quantum Leap episode "Another Mother", the teenage son of the woman Sam's leaped into is, in Al's words, "A Demon & Dragon freak".
  • A fictional roleplaying game/laser tag hybrid called Aliens & Asteroids appears in an episode of War of the Worlds.
  • Wizards & 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.

    Radios & Audioplays 

    Tabletops & Games 

    Videos & Games 
  • Borderlands 2: The "Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep" DLC has the vault hunters sitting down at a table and playing a game of "Bunkers & Badasses", with Tina as the Game Master. Bunkers & Badasses was later made into an actual board game and the DLC would later inspire a full-on spin off: Tiny Tina's Wonderlands.
  • Ghostbusters: The Video Game gives us Ghosts & Gargoyles, which Ray played while he studied at a seminary.
    Peter: "Ghosts. And Gargoyles." What dink game didn't you play? Still got your 8-sided dice?
  • Grounded has a game of Minotaurs & Myrmidons set up on the picnic table. The gameboard has a maze on it, which the Lilliputian players must navigate to find the Minotaur Chest.
  • Kingdom of Loathing has the Fantastic Fantasy Is Mundane, "Cubicles and Conference Calls".
  • In Life Is Strange: Before the Storm, Steph Gingrich and Mikey North are found playing a game roughly similar to D&D. The player has the option to join their game as a barbarian elf, an act that is appreciated by both.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Wasteland 3: In the quest "Buzzkill", you can encounter a group of Colorado Springs teens playing Robots and Rangers, a post-apocalyptic tabletop RPG inspired by the Desert Rangers' adventures in the previous games.
  • Zombies, Run!: Dr. Myers and Sam Yao are fans of Demons and Darkness, though Sam initially pretends he's never been into tabletop gaming. Five learns this when they're sent on a run to pick up recreational supplies for Abel Township in season 1, mission 15. If the title wasn't enough of a giveaway that it's a Dungeons & Dragons homage, the discussions about fourth edition versus third edition, painting minifigs, and modules certainly hammer the point in.

    Web & Comics 

    Web & Original 

    Western & Animations 
  • Amphibia: Marcy is fond of the tabletop RPG Creatures & Caverns.
  • Big City Greens features the game Mazes & Mages which Remy invites the other kids over to play.
  • Bob's Burgers: "Loft in Bedslation" has a sub-plot of Bob hosting a session of Mages & Monsters in the restaurant.
  • Craig of the Creek: The Elders of the Creek play the tabletop RPG Goblins & Grottos, of which Elder Mark is a Killer Game Master.
  • An episode of Dexter's Laboratory, (itself called "D & DD") features the title character running a game of Monsters & Mazes.note  DeeDee replaces him as the Game Master, with amusing consequences.
  • A later episode of Gravity Falls features "Dungeons, Dungeons, & More Dungeons".
  • In the Hilda episode "Strange Frequencies", in the nowhere space connected to Frida's room, among the items her Nisse "borrowed" from her includes a game box labeled as "Courage & Contracts" with elves and a lindworm on the cover.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In some episodes in the later seasons, Spike, Big Mac and Discord get together to play a Dungeons & Dragons expy called Ogres & Oubliettes. This debuted in the tie-in comics, where Shining Armor used to play it with his friends during his high school days.
  • Crypts & Creepers in the Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated episode "Web of the Dreamweaver".
  • At the start of the Star Trek: Lower Decks episode "The Least Dangerous Game", the main characters are playing a Klingon-themed tabletop/computer hybrid RPG called Bat'leths & BiHnuchs.
  • In the Trolls: The Beat Goes On!! episode "Troll Playing Game", Branch invents a D&D clone known as "Cupcakes and Caverns", which he plays with Poppy, Biggie, Smidge and Dennis.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender has the Altean D&D equivalent, Monsters & Mana, which features in the RPG Episode.

Alternative Title(s): Magic Ampersand

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