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Couple’s Dungeons & Dragons business adventure after rolling the dice on career change

PUBLISHED: 16:58 04 April 2018 | UPDATED: 17:43 04 April 2018

Dungeons and Dragons game making company Critit. Company owner Dominic Marriott.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Dungeons and Dragons game making company Critit. Company owner Dominic Marriott. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

When Dominic Marriott found himself unemployed he decided to roll the dice.

Dungeons and Dragons game making company Critit.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYDungeons and Dragons game making company Critit. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Setting up in a garden shed with the help of a £750 grant the carpenter started out making wooden toys.

But his business began to really take off when he combined it with his passion for role-playing games and now he is set to open his own RPG accessories store.

It all came about after Mr Marriott’s wife Katie used a laser tool to etch a gaming message on a hand-carved dice box he had made.

After posting it on the internet it became popular and couple decided to change the business to focus on accessories for Dungeons & Dragons, a tabletop role-playing game Mr Marriott has played since the 1980s.

Dungeons and Dragons game making company Critit.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYDungeons and Dragons game making company Critit. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Mr Marriot, who lives in Cawston, said: “I was unemployed for quite some time and the job centre was struggling to find me anything so it was then that I decided self-employment was the way to go so I started out.

“I had no cash so I got a grant from Broadland District Council and used it to buy what was basically a garden shed, and that is how I started the business making toys.”

After buying a laser cutter five months in to the venture things took off and the husband and wife duo decided to rebrand as Critit.

Now the company produces a range of dice boxes, screens and even chopping boards with gaming messages and images on them with sales as far and wide as Congo, Japan and America.

Dungeons and Dragons game making company Critit.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYDungeons and Dragons game making company Critit. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

On Saturday Critit will open its brand new showroom at Salle Moore Hall Farm where the Marriotts will showcase their products and the games they are used for.

Board games and tabletop games have gone through a resurgence in recent years with an increase in sales of “Euro games” such as Settles of Catan – which has sold 22 million copies since its release in 1995.

The industry is forecast to grow by 9pc globally by 2022, according to market research firm Research and Markets, and was worth estimated to be worth $9.45bn in 2016, according to analysts Euromonitor.

Mr Marriott said: “Dungeons & Dragons has always been popular but every now and then you get a program like The IT Crowd or Stranger Things which shows people playing it and it takes off again.”

What is Dungeons & Dragons?

Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) is the best known of a host of tabletop role-playing games which see players create characters and take part in adventures in fantastical worlds.

One player usually takes on the role of the “Dungeon Master”, who tells the story and leads the players through the open-ended game.

Participants tend to work together to tell a story rather than competing against each other, although this depends on their characters’ motivations.

Decisions and actions are determined by the roll of various dice, which range in size from four to 100 sides.

Netflix hit show Stranger Things has helped to revive interest in the game with the main characters understanding the unusual goings on in their town through the game which they play.

D&D caused controversy in America in the 1980s with Christian groups alleging it promoted devil worship and witchcraft.

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