14 fun and interesting facts about the history and culture of the popular tabletop role-playing game, Dungeons & Dragons

Originally published at: 14 fun and interesting facts about the history and culture of the popular tabletop role-playing game, Dungeons & Dragons | Boing Boing


Link to the article.


If you like D&D history, I found this book to be super interesting and loved looking at the old artwork.


Thanks, citizen


Gary Gygax being pushed out of his own company doesn’t feel like a “fun and interesting” fact.


Thank you for that link! From which we see the other 13 “fun and interesting facts” to be brutally listed as:

  1. Gygax was a war game fan first.
  2. D&D started as an afterthought to Chainmail, an earlier game created by Gygax.
  3. Using Gygax’s fantasy rules, Arneson created the first D&D prototype, Blackmoor.
  4. Gygax’s children were among the game’s first test audiences.
  5. The first publishing run of D&D was assembled in Gygax’s basement.
  6. Gygax and Arneson’s relationship was rocky.
  7. Initially, Gygax and TSR enjoyed huge financial success.
  8. In its heyday, D&D sparked a moral panic.
  9. TSR found itself in real trouble in the 1980s.
  10. Financial woes led Gygax to hire the woman who would eventually push him out of his own company.
  11. Efforts to profit from D&D’s popularity spawned products like a successful series of novels.
  12. The most recent version of the game is the fifth edition, published in 2014. A new edition is on the way.
  13. Honor Among Thieves isn’t the first time D&D has appeared onscreen.
  14. D&D may be in a new golden age.

A piece of history I only learned about recently (and played last weekend at Gary Con) is Braunstein.

It was made by David Wesely (who ran the game I played!), and was played and run by Dave Arneson before his pre-D&D Blackmoor game. It had a lot of the elements of D&D that Chainmail didn’t, like each player being one character, and the open rules for characters to try whatever creative solution the player can think of.

I also played a Chainmail game, but it was the first miniatures wargame I’ve ever played, so it was a bit overwhelming.


And if you really want to get into a deep scholarly dive into the origins of roleplaying games, there’s always Playing at the World:


The list format for this article seems to not really be important, they could have easily dropped the numbering and just presented it all in the same order as it’s roughly chronological.

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Gygax was evidently a terrible cobbler.


Chainmail rules were how I started so many years ago. Opened quite the door in my life.


I know a few folks who worked at TSR, one story I heard was there was a lot of effort put into the Buck Rogers tabletop game, because Williams wanted to bring honor and lucre the Buck Rogers estate. The game never really took off.

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Because it was not good

Also, while Gygax gets all the press, Dave Arneson’s work was the thing that made it the game that it was.

I want a Dave Arneson retrospective!


Have you checked out Secrets of Blackmoor

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Obviously not, since I only willed it into existence 9 minutes ago.

I will go do that now though, since it’s on Prime


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