Dungeons & Dragons

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Dungeons & Dragons (abbreviated as D&D or DnD), is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game (RPG) originally designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, and first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. (TSR).


  • Wozen or so of my wargaming associated around the USA for their play-testing and feedback. The reception was overwhelming and all positive. In the spring of 1973 I revised the material to 150 page length - essentially what was printed as the D&D game's three rules booklets in January 1974. This draft of the game was sent out to about 30 people and the reaction was so intense that I was sure we had a winning game. As an aside, at that point I thought we would sell at least 50,000 copies to wargamers and fantasy fans. I underestimated the audience a little. It wasn't until the middle of 1975 that the true scope of the appeal of the 'Dungeons & Dragons' game was understood by me.
    As to how I conceived and wrote the game in the first place, that would take many pages to explain, so I won't go into it other than to say it was the culmination of more than 30 years of living and doing that enabled the process.
  • While it is possible to play a single game, unrelated to any other game events past or future, it is the campaign for which these rules are designed. It is relatively simple to set up a fantasy campaign, and better still, it will cost almost nothing. In fact you will not even need miniature figures, although their occasional employment is recommended for real spectacle when battles are fought. A quick glance at the Equipment section of this booklet will reveal just how little is required. The most extensive requirement is time. The campaign referee will have to have sufficient time to meet the demands of his players, he will have to devote a number of hours to laying out the maps of his "dungeons" and upper terrain before the affair begins.
    • Gary Gygax, Preface of the Original Dungeons & Dragons, (1 November 1973)
  • In many ways I still resent the wretched yellow journalism that was clearly evident in (the media's) treatment of the game — 60 Minutes in particular. I've never watched that show after Ed Bradley's interview with me because they rearranged my answers. When I sent some copies of letters from mothers of those two children who had committed suicide who said the game had nothing to do with it, they refused to do a retraction or even mention it on air. What bothered me is that I was getting death threats, telephone calls, and letters. I was a little nervous. I had a bodyguard for a while.
    • Gary Gygax, GameSpy interview, Pt. I (15 August 2004)
  • The new D&D is too rule intensive. It's relegated the Dungeon Master to being an entertainer rather than master of the game. It's done away with the archetypes, focused on nothing but combat and character power, lost the group cooperative aspect, bastardized the class-based system, and resembles a comic-book superheroes game more than a fantasy RPG where a player can play any alignment desired, not just lawful good.
  • One more thing: don’t spend too much time merely reading. The best part of this work is the play, so play and enjoy!