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Group sets record for world’s largest Dungeons & Dragons game at Provo mall

By Christi Babbitt - Special to the Daily Herald | Apr 22, 2023

Christi Babbitt, Special to the Daily Herald

A total of 1,227 players participated in a giant Dungeons & Dragons game at the Provo Towne Centre mall on Saturday, April 22, 2023. The game was declared the largest ever played by Guinness World Records.

More than 1,000 people fought an intense battle to achieve worldwide status at the Provo Towne Centre mall Saturday. In the end, they were victorious. The 1,227 participants took part in the largest game of Dungeons & Dragons ever played, according to Guinness World Records.

“You can’t play a game like this anywhere else. This is a one-of-a-kind historic game,” said Andrew Ashby, owner of Geek Together and organizer of the event.

Ashby long dreamed of hosting the world’s biggest Dungeons & Dragons game. Shortly after opening his store in the mall, he decided to make that dream a reality and contacted Guinness World Records.

To break the record, “Guinness told us we needed over 500 people,” Ashby said.

The crowd on Saturday more than doubled what they needed. Tables and chairs crowded with people filled the hallways and open spaces on both levels of the mall throughout the day with many participants dressed in costumes.

“Any sort of D&D event I would want to be a part of, but especially one where they’re trying to break a world record – it’s like, I wouldn’t miss this,” said Arissa Huffcutt, a Brigham Young University student from who participated in Saturday’s event.

According to http://dndbeyond.com, Dungeons & Dragons is the world’s most popular tabletop roleplaying game. First released in 1974, the game rose to prominence in the 1980s and has seen a resurgence in recent years for its integral role in the Netflix series “Stranger Things.”

For the game, players take on different characters within a shared story, led by the table’s “dungeon master.” The imagination of the players is key to the game as they complete various quests. While scoring points and winning is important, D&D’s ultimate goal is to tell a story.

Ashby said he and members of his family opened Geek Together last November with the purpose of providing a central location where people could gather and play D&D. The store has tables set up for the game and players on site who can serve as dungeon masters. They also sell all materials needed to play the game.

The store spent very little on advertising for Saturday’s record-breaking game, but D&D players are a tight-knit community, Ashby said, and word quickly spread of the goal. One thousand people pre-registered to participate and even more showed up in the morning hoping to join.

“This is just people who are passionate about D&D, who love D&D, and they wanted to be a part of that,” Ashby said.

Johnny Jensen, a volunteer who wrote the guidebook for Saturday’s game, said the players were given different situations to deal with inside and around an imaginary city. Their ultimate objective was defeating an evil wizard.

As the game was played, a system of runners communicated information between each table and its dungeon master along with the game’s overall dungeon master.

“When I heard about this, I knew I had to be a part of it because this brings the community together in a way that nothing else really does,” Jensen said. “Telling a story is creation, and so we’re not, like, building a house … but we do tell stories, we do build worlds, we do build characters and we do explore ourselves through those things, and so it’s very, very beautiful to see this massive community kind of come together to tell one big story because it’s something that brings us together like nothing else does.”

Ashby said his store’s intent is to host a giant D&D game annually.


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