Tag Archives: Tolkien

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

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The best of D&D’s Appendix N: The Broken Sword by Poul Anderson

In the original Dungeon Master’s Guide, Appendix N lists the books that inspired Gary Gygax in the creation of Dungeons & Dragons. Gary cites three books by Poul Anderson. Of the titles, D&D fans tend to give Three Hearts and Three Lions the most … Continue reading

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The surprising benefits of giving an adventuring party a guide

When I started gaming, people tended to play Dungeons & Dragons with larger parties than now. When game session fell short of 8 or more players, dungeon masters often added their own character to fill the group. To me, the practice … 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 best of Appendix N: The Broken Sword

Among Dungeons & Dragons fans, Poul Anderson’s Three Hearts and Three Lions gets the most attention, as it contains Gary Gygax’s models for the paladin and the troll. But as a read, Three Hearts and Three Lions pales next to … Continue reading

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Chivalry & Sorcery: What if Gary and Dave had not found the fun?

Back in “What does D&D have to do with ironclad ships,” I wrote about how, in the wake of Dungeons & Dragons release, a mania for realism consumed role-playing game design. In Dragon issue 16 from 1978, Gary Gygax wrote “‘Realism’ has become a … Continue reading

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