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From living room to castle dungeon

One of the perks of being born into a nerdy family happens when your brother gets married, asks you to be his best man and lets you go nuts when it comes to designing a bachelor party with a Dungeons & Dragons theme. The classic role-playing game offers many possibilities when it comes to decor and activities. Here's how I turned a stag night into an immersive monster-fighting adventure.

Ambience is key when it comes to hosting a Dungeons & Dragons-theme party. A professional artist helped to paint these massive murals and banners, which are held up with two-sided stickums on the wall. The dungeon wall features creeping vines and bloody hand prints to add to the dark and dangerous feel of the scene. The wolf banner is both a classic image and a reference to House Stark in "Game of Thrones."

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Skeleton and dragon

A hand-painted castle dungeon theme covered my entire living room for my brother's Dungeons & Dragons-theme bachelor party. A dragon banner sits on one wall while a skeleton pops out from between stones on another. An artist and I created the murals on canvas drop cloths over the course of two epic painting sessions.

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Photo by: Amanda Kooser/CNET

Roll the dice

Dungeons & Dragons wouldn't be nearly as much fun without the dice. These pink sparkle rollers came from eBay and feature a complete set from a four-sided die on up to the iconic d20. These are my personal set, but I also picked up dice for every guest at my brother's gaming-theme bachelor party.

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Light-up sword

It can be hard to find castle and knight-themed decor when it's not close to Halloween. Toys"R"Us managed to deliver with this light-up, sound-enabled sword that took a place of honor on the mantle during the Dungeons & Dragons-theme bachelor party. Flickering LED candles added to the medieval look for the evening festivities.

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Watchful dragon

A Dungeons & Dragons party just works better when you have some dragons around. Since dragons are fictional, this plastic toy works as a stand-in.

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Chocolate dragon's egg

Albuquerque chocolatier Joliesse Chocolates made this custom dragon's egg entirely out of edible dark chocolate. The egg has a metallic sheen and is full of truffles of different flavors. It was the centerpiece dessert for the Dungeons & Dragons bachelor party. It took a light tap of a hammer to break the egg apart and access the treasure inside.

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Dice for everyone

Not everyone who attended the Dungeons & Dragons bachelor party was an avid role-playing gamer, but all the partygoers embraced the custom Dungeon Crawl Classics scenario involving a prison ship, an attack by deadly underwater creatures and a strange monster cult on a far-off island. Each player was given a colorful set of dice.

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Indoor archery

There's no better way to kick off a Dungeons & Dragons bachelor party than with a test of real-life skills at an indoor archery range. The range didn't have any dragons, but it did have 3D foam dinosaurs that acted as targets. Bachelor Ara Winter takes aim with a much more modern bow than normally features in a D&D adventure.

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Not quite a dragon

This isn't a dragon, but it's close enough for the purposes of a Dungeons & Dragons-theme party. The evening's festivities started out at an indoor archery range. In a funny twist, only one of the characters generated for the role-playing game later had bow skills.

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Find a Dungeon Master

To properly pull off a Dungeons & Dragons party, you need a Dungeon Master who is prepared to take you on an adventure and guide your group through trials, battles and tribulations. John Myers stepped into this role for the bachelor party. He designed a custom story using the rules and character systems for Dungeon Crawl Classics, a style of game that is very similar to the iconic Advanced Dungeons & Dragons introduced in the late 1970s.

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Battling monsters

Bachelor partygoers sit in a castle-themed room playing Dungeon Crawl Classics after having successfully conquered an indoor archery range. The role-playing game heavily relies on the use of 20-sided dice and a skilled Dungeon Master leading the adventure. The characters ranged from an elven navigator to a woodcutter.

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"Dungeons & Dragons" on TV

Back in the early 1980s, an animated show called "Dungeons & Dragons" ran for a mere 27 episodes across three seasons. It featured a group of friends who took a magic roller coaster into a realm full of frog people, multi-headed dragons and monsters. The entire DVD set is available and made for a perfect background show on mute during the Dungeons & Dragons bachelor party. This screenshot shows the villain Venger.

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Inside the dragon's egg

The chocolate dragon egg reveals the secrets inside. The custom-made egg was the centerpiece dessert for a Dungeons & Dragons-theme party. Even the base of the egg was edible. It was a good way to celebrate fighting off murderous fish monsters during the evening's gaming adventure.

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Photo by: Amanda Kooser/CNET

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