Tag Archives: Chainmail

The difficult origin of Blackmoor, Dungeon & Dragons Supplement II

In my last post, I explained how Temple of the Frog, the first published dungeon, failed as a dungeon crawl and baffled the first Dungeons & Dragons players. To unlock Temple of the Frog, players needed to treat it as … Continue reading

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Why the Temple of the Frog, Dungeons & Dragons’ first printed dungeon, seemed unplayable

In the winter of 1977, the Dungeons & Dragons basic set introduced me to the game. Hooked, I sought everything I could find for the game. The new Monster Manual delivered a treasury of creatures—with pictures! The white box gave … Continue reading

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In fifth-edition D&D, what is gold for? The game within a game

The baseline Dungeons & Dragons game offers player characters plenty of chances to gain treasure and few chances to spend it. When Dave Arneson opened the dungeons beneath Castle Blackmoor, Chainmail miniature battles served as a game within his game … Continue reading

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Why D&D characters get tons of gold and nowhere to spend it

The original Dungeons & Dragons game awarded characters an experience point for each gold piece they claimed from the dungeon. See “The fun and realism of unrealistically awarding experience points for gold.” This provided a simple method of awarding non-combat … Continue reading

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From Blackmoor to Dungeons & Dragons: the invention of the dungeon crawl

In my post, “How the dungeon crawl’s advantages propelled Dungeons & Dragons to success,” I argued that the invention of the dungeon crawl contributed as much to the initial popularity of Dungeons & Dragons as the invention of the role-playing … Continue reading

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The brilliance of unrealistic hit points

(This post continues a discussion I started in “What does D&D have to do with ironclad ships?”) After the role-playing game hobby’s first 10 years, designers turned from strict realism and began to design rules that both supported a game’s … Continue reading

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What does D&D have to do with ironclad ships?

When Dave Arneson set out to create the combat system that would become a pillar of Dungeons & Dragons, he did not aim to create a realistic simulation.  In a 2004 interview, he describes the system’s genesis from Gary Gygax’s … Continue reading

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