The source of the Dungeons & Dragons monsters


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In a way that’s actually clever. He wasn’t sophisticated enough to produce his own miniatures so he used monsters that GMs could buy for a few cents at your local K-Mart.


I could swear I had both of the monsters pictured or had seen them before in person.


I remember coming across the rust monster figure, and being pissed off that the manufacturer had ripped off D&D without any attribution.

to bring it full circle, as a kid we had those exact monsters, and we used them when we played D&D to take the place of the monsters we didn’t have lead figures for. : )

Yep, I had these two. I believe I noticed they were in D&D, but that may have escaped me, as I would have probably had the figures before ever getting into RPGs.

Or maybe he used stuff he had lying about as miniatures before D&D was a thing, then just wrote them into the game later on.

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Look into your 1st edition copy of d&d. You’ll find a spiral bound copy of Chainmail.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure I still have the “bulette” and “rust monster” figures, and other people have specifically mentioned having had those as well. (Most of the other critters that were adopted into D&D, however, I never saw.) I think those two were particularly common for some reason.

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So, the gigantic copy-spawning commercial enterprise which is Dungeons and Dragons began with a copyright violation?

Tell me more.

This is true of a lot of properties back in the 80s. The hyper enforcement of copyright is a fairly recent phenomenon. It’s largely an American phenomenon as well, most other countries are still fairly Laissez-faire about copyright, although the media cartels are paying off politicians as fast as they can to change it.

Most great works were built on the backs of giants, but we’re erecting barriers around our giants now and still expecting people to put out great works.


which were themselves Ultra Men knock offs.

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