Dungeons & Dragons

"All of these things [Ouija boards, Dungeons & Dragons, fortune telling] are sins against God, forbidden by the Bible. They are also potential sources of demon possession."
-- Pat Robertson, Pat Robertson Answers p. 123

add_intellivision A fantasy role-playing game alleged to be Satanic by the born-again Christians. In the 1980s, teenaged D&D players were believed to be killing themselves left and right because of the damn game.

d12 Bothered About Dungeons and Dragons (BADD)

A set of dice, some graph paper, and a few lead figures. That's all we're really talking about.

d10 A lot of nerds who graduated from AD&D and couldn't get their fix probably moved on to Scientology. It provides a lot of the same attractions. Geekiness, advancement levels, psionics, continued financial investment.

When I left the insurance field in 1970 I was determined to make a career in games and fiction writing. I worked hard, wrote and designed a lot for nothing more than name credit and recognition, for about seven years before that. So I starved for a lot of years, then did okay, then really good, and am back to subsistence living again sorta?So what? I am doing what I really love (^_^).

I had been working with a small game publisher, Guidon Games, from 1970 on. I was determined to be involved in the creation and publication of games from around 1965, in fact. So when I drafted the initial manuscript for the D&D game in 1972 it was indeed an effort to get a publishable game product to market?.eventually. I sent out about 20 or 30 copies of the initial draft ms, to gamer friends all over the USA, and their incredibly enthusiastic response made me certain that what I was doing was on target. So later on, in 1973 when I did the draft that became the original three booklets of the D&D game, I was planning to publish as soon as possible. Don Kaye and I formed Tactical Studies Rules company in October of 1973, and the D&D game was published at the end of January 1974.

I began writing the game in 1972 at the age of 34. Of course I had designed games before that. My first attempts were chess variants way back in the 1950s, then wargames and military miniatures rules and the like in the 1960s. There are still one or two of my DIPLOMACY Game variants from the 1960s somewhere online, BTW.

How did it influence the D&D game? Whoa, plenty, of course. Just about all the players were huge JRRT fans, and so they insisted that I put as much Tolkien-influence material into the game as possible. Anyone reading this that recalls the original D&D game will know that there were Balrogs, Ents, and Hobbits in it. Later those were removed, and new, non-JRRT things substituted -- Balor demons, Treants, and Halflings.

notable D&D enthusiasts


Jan 1974 Gary Gygax publishes the fantasty role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons.
15 Aug 1979 16-year-old child prodigy and avid Dungeons & Dragons player James Dallas Egbert III disappears from the campus of Michigan State University.
28 Dec 1982 The made-for-TV adaptation of Rona Jaffe's novel Mazes & Monsters debuts on CBS, starring Tom Hanks as Robbie Wheeling.

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