The History of D&D (and G&G)

Rise of the Dungeon Master is above all else a history of Dungeons and Dragons in graphic novel/comic book form. But it is also a biography of Gary Gygax, and includes important moments in the history of Gen Con – although I am shocked that it did not mention Indianapolis! The book includes the true story behind the anti-D&D movement that was part of the broader “satanic panic” in the 1980s. The ending will surprise many people – but I won’t give spoilers about that.

It took me very little time to read, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in gaming in general, starting your own business, the influence of early role playing games on computer games, or D&D or Gen Con more specifically.

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  • I first played D&D in 1976. We were introduced by a new graduate student, Mike Migalski, who just gradated from the U. of Chicago in ’75.

    His account was that the game started at the computer science dept. at U of Michigan (I don’t recall which campus). The war gaming folks doing Battle of Gettysburg, Battle of the Bulge etc… added a Tolkien flavored fantasy version. They used the same movement and combat tables, and the same dice but filled the new game with the now familiar D&D characters.

    As people graduated and moved out into the world the game spread. Gygax started a news letter where former friends could report the usual marriage, birth, etc… But, they also sent newly created character class tables, revisions of attack martix or movement matrix data, reports on test play of variant rules, etc…

    In fact, Mike was a contributor, and we tried out various new idea as well.

    It turned out that Gygax was copyrighting the news letter, and then the game.

    Was that in the “official” version?

  • Brandon Roberts

    i love that people actually fell for d and d being satanic