Tag Archives: Gary Gygax

For 25 Years, D&D Put Saving Throws In Groups Made For Just 3 Creatures and 2 Spells

Today, Dungeons & Dragons of matches saving throws to ability scores. But for most of the game’s history, D&D grouped saving throws by 5 sources: spell or staff, wand, death ray or poison, turned to stone, and dragon breath. These … Continue reading

Posted in Role-playing game history | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Dungeons & Dragons and the Dream of the Grand Campaign

The original Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master’s Guide included an instruction that seemed pointless to most readers, even though Gary Gygax shouted it in caps. In AD&D, he explained, “YOU CAN NOT HAVE A MEANINGFUL CAMPAIGN IF STRICT TIME … Continue reading

Posted in Role-playing game history | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Rules vs. Immersion, Assistance, Aurania and More From the Comment Section

When I launched DMDavid.com, I considered disabling the comments. I worried that the comment section would fill will stupid and insulting responses. I’ve heard that can happen on the Internet. Still, I left comments on, and they proved one of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

The Thief’s Strange Trip from Non-Combatant to Battlefield Domination

Of the 4 iconic classes in Dungeons & Dragons, only 3 appeared in the game’s original rules. Just a few months after D&D’s initial release, in the May 1974 issue of a fanzine called the Great Plains Games Players Newsletter, … Continue reading

Posted in Role-playing game history | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Mixing Threats from Weak to Lethal in a Dungeons & Dragons Game

When megadungeons ruled Dungeons & Dragons, adventurers selected a difficulty level by deciding how deep they dared to go. As the game matured, DMs started to design or select adventures for a party’s level. Players grew to expect that their … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, Role-playing game history | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Story of the Impossible Luck that Leads D&D Parties to Keep Facing Threats They Can Beat

In the sprawling dungeons of the 70s, Dungeons & Dragons players enjoyed an agency they rarely see now. They could choose their difficulty level. Plus, the game world offered a logical reason for that freedom. By fourth edition, players grew … Continue reading

Posted in Role-playing game history | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Filling a map with Dungeons & Dragons adventure

When the first Dungeons & Dragons players wanted a break from the dungeon, their characters could explore the wilderness “in search of some legendary treasure.” In original D&D, a quarter of finds on the magical treasure tables consisted of treasure … Continue reading

Posted in Advice | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

D&D Adds Psionics: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

While editing the third Dungeons & Dragons supplement, Eldrich Wizardry, Tim Kask developed D&D’s first rules for psionics. He loved psionic combat and threw his enthusiasm into the task. His rules answered D&D’s biggest critics. First, they stood separate from unrealistic … Continue reading

Posted in Role-playing game design, Role-playing game history | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How Psionics Accommodated D&D’s Critics

In 1966, Gary Gygax fielded a personal ad in the General seeking gaming opponents. He included the line, “Will cooperate on game design.” In the years to follow, Gygax proved a zealous collaborator. Aside from teaming with other designers, he … Continue reading

Posted in Role-playing game history | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Gary Gygax Loved Science Fantasy, So Why Did He Want Psionics Out of D&D?

In the fall of 1985, just as Gary Gygax left TSR, Dragon magazine issue 103 revealed his suddenly obsolete plans for second-edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. Not all his plans featured additions and enhancements. He aimed to remove two parts … Continue reading

Posted in Role-playing game history | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments