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History of DnD

Time Line

  • 1966~ International Federation of Wargamers formed by Gary Gygax and other wargamers.

  • 1969~ Chainmail, written by Gary Gygax and Jeff Perren, is published by Guidon Games.

  • 1970 Dave Arneson creates a battle scenario involving a castle sewer.

  • 1971~ Dave Arneson began Dungeons and Dragons at the Unversity of Minnesota. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson collaborate to create "The Fantasy Game."

  • 1972 Gary Gygax and Don Kaye form a partnership called Tactical Studies Rules.

  • 1973~ Gary Gygax joins Dave Arneson to form Tactical studies Rules(TSR) to make DnD.

  • 1974~ Brian Blume joins Tactical Studies Rules and brings financing to publish the Dungeons & Dragons® game, orginally called "The Fantasy Game." In one year, the entire hand-assembled print run of 1,000 games sells out.

  • 1975~ TSR becomes TSR Hobbies, Inc. DnD becomes the grandfather of RPG games. Empire of the Petal Throne becomes the first game product published. Two supplements follow to the D&D® game, Greyhawk and Blackmoor. The Dungeon!® boardgame is published. A third roleplaying game-the Boot Hill® game, set in the Wild West-is introduced.

  • 1976~ The first professional magazine devoted to fantasy and science fiction is published: The Dragon® magazine. TSR Hobbies hosts the Gen Con® Game Fair for the first time. The first Dungeons & Dragons® tournament is held-a tradition continued to this day. D&D supplements 3 and 4-Eldritch Wizardry and Gods, Demi-Gods, and Heroes - are introduced.

  • 1977~ The D&D Basic Set is published. TSR Hobbies publishes the Monster Manual, the first hardbound book ever published by a game company. It contains more than 350 monsters to challenge players. The first playing aids for the D&D game are produced, Dungeon Geomorphs and Monster and Treasure Assortments.

  • 1978 ~ A new version of the D&D game is released, the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons® game. The first product for the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game is released, the Player's Handbook. TSR Hobbies produces a series of six adventures that had previously only been used in tournaments. TSR Hobbies moves to downtown Lake Geneva above the Dungeon Hobby Shop from the old gray house that was Gary Gygax's home.

  • 1979~ The second AD&D® manual, the Dungeon Master® Guide, is published. Radio ads introduced Morley the Wizard for the first time.

  • 1980 To meet growing international demand, TSR, Ltd. is formed in England. The first fantasy setting for the AD&D game is introduced, the World of Greyhawk® setting. Another genre for the roleplaying game is introduced, the Top Secret® espionage game. A note written on TSR stationery about a fictitious assassination plot (part of a playtest for the Top Secret espionage game) brings the FBI to the offices of TSR Hobbies. The Role Playing Game Association™ is formed to promote quality roleplaying and unite gamers across the nation.

  • 1981~ TSR Hobbies switches from typewriters to computers. Inc. magazine lists TSR Hobbies as one of the hundred fastest- growing, privately held companies in the United States. TSR Hobbies again moves offices, this time to aformer medical supply building with attached warehouse. The RPGA® Network publishes the first edition of Polyhedron® newszine, a 16-page, black-and-white newsletter.

  • 1982~ TSR Hobbies breaks the 20 million mark in sales. Two new roleplaying games are introduced-the GangBusters® game of the roaring '20s and the Star Frontiers® science fiction game. Exclusive distribution of the D&D game is established in 22 countries. French is the first language adaptation for the D&D game and many other translations follow: Danish, Finnish, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Swedish, and more. An Educational department is established to develop curriculum programs for reading, math, history, and problem-solving-the greatest success being the Endless Quest® book series.

  • 1983~ TSR Hobbies seeks diversification and acquires or starts several new business ventures: a needlecraft business, miniatures manufacturing, toy and gift ventures, and an Entertainment division pursuing motion picture and television opportunities. TSR Hobbies acquires the trademarks and copyrights of SPI and Amazing® Stories magazine. The company changes its name to TSR, Inc. The Dungeons & Dragons cartoon series premieres on September 17. This series spawns more than 100 different licenses and leads its time slot for two years before going into syndication.

  • 1984~ TSR, Inc. releases the Dragonlance® saga after two years of development. The Dragonlance saga makes TSR the number-one publisher of fantasy and science fiction novels in the nation. TSR, Inc. signs license agreements to publish the Marvel Super Heroes® game, the Adventures of Indiana Jones™ game, and the Conan™ game.

  • 1985~ The Gen Con Game Fair moves to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, due to the need for additional space. Oriental Adventures, a new hardbound book, is the biggest seller. TSR introduces the All My Children™ game, based on the number-one ABC daytime drama; more than 150,000 copies are sold.

  • 1986~ TSR introduces Dungeon® Adventures magazine, an all-adventure bimonthly magazine. New management buys all the stock in the company.

  • 1987~ The immense Forgotten Realms® campaign setting is released. A small team of designers starts work on the second edition of the AD&D game. It is the most massive coordinated task ever undertaken by the company and would take nearly two years to complete.

  • 1988~ The Bullwinkle & Rocky™ roleplaying game-with a spinner and hand puppets-is released. TSR surprises most of the industry by publishing one of the bestselling wargames of all time-The Hunt for Red October™ game, based on the hit novel by Tom Clancy. The Gen Con Game Fair joins forces with its major competitor, Origins™.

  • 1989~ Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition releases. Releases for 2nd Edition include Dungeon Master Guide; Player's Handbook; Monstrous Compendiums® Volumes 1, 2, and 3; The Complete Fighter's Handbook; and The Complete Thief's Handbook. AD&D 2nd Edition launches into space with the release of the Spelljammer® space fantasy supplement. The RPGA Network branches out into Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the U.K., Israel, and Australia. The focus of the game begins to shift to a point-based system.

  • 1990~ Count Strahd Von Zarovich becomes one of the most popular and enduring villains of the AD&D game with the release of the Ravenloft® campaign setting. After a three-year hiatus, a Dragonlance calendar is released - which sells out within a month and is one of the top ten calendars of the year. The West Coast division of TSR, Inc. is opened to develop entertainment projects and a series of science-fiction, horror, and action/adventure comic books.

  • 1991~ The savage world of Athas is introduced to fans through the Dark Sun® campaign setting An introductory Dungeons and Dragons game aimed at beginners is released. TSR enters the collector card market with the first of three annual sets of collectable cards, featuring the fantastic art of TSR's incredible illustrators.

  • 1992~ The first Al Qadim® product is released, Arabian Adventures. This product sets a new standard in graphics design and shows how versatile and sophisticated the AD&D rules are. TSR's first hardcover novel is published. Legacy, by R.A. Salvatore, leaps to the top of The New York Times bestseller list within weeks of it's release. The Gen Con Game Fair breaks all previous attendance records for any U.S. gaming convention; more than 18,000 people attend.

  • 1993~ The Forgotten Realms campaign setting receives a new graphic look. The Monstrous Compendiums are repackaged as the Monstrous Manual™ tome. A new approach to gaining new players is tried with the release of the Dragon Strike® Entertainment product, which includes a revolutionary 30-minute video explaining the concepts of role-playing.

  • 1994~ In response to the success of trading card games, TSR publishes Spellfire®: Master the Magic, a trading card game featuring the well-known names and settings of the AD&D game. Heads turn as the graphics-and attitude-heavy Planescape® world is introduced. The first products including an audio compact disc are introduced.

  • 1995~ TSR develop some Player's Option rule books.TSR marks it's 20th anniversary with new versions of the Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master Guide, the Blood Wars® card game, the Player's Option® and Dungeon Master Option rulebooks, the Dragon Dice® game, and dozens of other games and supplements. The Birthright® campaign expands roleplaying games in a revolutionary manner, introducing blood magic, the power of the land, and the divine right of kings.

  • 1996~ TSR releases the first ever CD-ROM for the AD&D game - the AD&D Core Rules CD-ROM. The Wizard Spell Compendiums, a new series, is launched, compiling all wizards' spells into four volumes. The award-winning Dragonlance: Fifth Age® roleplaying game is released. The game uses cards instead of dice and emphasizes storyline development.

  • 1997~A new era in gaming commences as Wizards of the Coast, Inc. - the Seattle based leader in the fantasy gaming arena, known worldwide for it's Magic: The Gathering® trading card game - purchases TSR. The Alternity® roleplaying game, a space opera roleplaying game, is released. Lots thought this would be the end of DnD.

  • 1998 ~The first campaign setting for the Alternity® game, the Star*Drive® setting, is introduced. Players everywhere rejoice in the Return of Greyhawk.

  • 1999~ TSR celebrates it's 25th birthday with the Silver Anniversary Tour of game stores throughout the United States. The Alternity game's second campaign setting is introduced at the Gen Con game Fair. The Dark Matter® setting depicts a near-future world full of the paranormal and occult

  • 2000~ Wizards release the 3rd edition of DnD. This is the simplified version of the 2nd edition.

  • 2003~ 3.5 comes out. More addons were added, and more books came out.

  • What is role playing. Role playing is when you act as something or someone you are not. The term roleplaying used to be reserved for the psycology textbooks. Now roleplaying means to put yourself into the shoes of an imaginary character and try to think act like that character. This doesn't mean to stand up and give a speech as if your character was. it means to act and think in your imagination. You think of the action you are doing. you do not act it out.There is one game that defines roleplaying the most. It is called
    Dungeons and Dragons.

    Some times reality can be a bit too much to take from bullies, school, and work to just pure boredom. Dungeons and Dragons introduced the people to an answer that would help them escape reality for an hour or two a week. Even the shy and the most awkward could become the fearless fighter, cunning thiefor a powerful magic-user in the world of DnD where elves, basilisks, giants, and even dragons still roam the land. DnD gave meaning to role playing. For DnD role playing means ypu create a unique fictional character that lives in your imagination and in the imaginations of your friends.

    DnD started from a strategic war game the military used. It started in Prussia. The military used a map and metal miniture pieces to recreate military conflicts. It was also used as a training aid for Prussia officers. Wargaming slowly became popular not as a tool for the military but as an underground hobby for fans in all corners of the world. This led to the formation of the IFW(International Federation of Wargaming). Here many groups formed based on different historical periods.

    Gygax was mostly interested in medieval battles. He founded his own group called Castle and Crusade Society. Here one piece on the map or board represented 20 men. Then they represented one person. Then a set of rules were published called Lake Geneva Tactical Studies Association Medieval Military Minitures Rules. These rules were quickly embraced. Later more rules were added and fantasy rules were added. These rules took wargaming out of the realm of histoy. Archers and pikemen gave way to orcs and elves, heroes and wizards, faeries and dragons. In 1971 the rules were republished and called
    Chainmail: Rules of Medieval Minitures.Chainmail was about commanding troops. It still was a wargame but with a twist of fantasy.

    Dave Arneson wasthe founder of the wargaming group~ the Midwest Military Simulation Association~ at the University of Minnesota. He was also a member of the IFW.Dave didn't know Gygax until they met at the 1970 Gen Con. Gen Con, Short for Geneva Convention, started as a small weekend gaming event organized by Gygax and other wargamers from the Geneva Lake area. Arneson created a scenario using the 1:1 variant of the Chainmail rules to shift in focus from past wargaming to heroic adventuring rather than military conquest. After this, the games became less about commanding armies and more about enacting the role of a single character on heroic quests.

    Allowing characters to develop and grow in power made players be more attached to the game and their characters. This affected how Chainmail was ran. In Chainmail you were either alive or dead. No one like the idea of a sudden death system. Arneson changed that to having armor class, hit points, and hit dice system. All this lead to Gygax and Arneson comparing and joining notes. This lead to the creation of The Fantasy Game. Not only did they this based on their notes, but they had Dave Megarry, who created Dungeon and Rob Kuntz who created Greyhawk, had also helped.

    There was only one problem. No one wanted to publish The Fantasy Game. In 1973 they determined if they want to publish it that the were calling it Dungeons and Dragons and they had to publish it themselves. The name was suggested by Gygax's wife. TSR(Tactical Studies Rules), a company formed by Gygax, published DnD in 1974. The game came in a box and consisted of three rulebooks. Dice didn't come with the game until 1981. The idea of the dice came from a school supply catelog. Compared to later versions of DnD, the original version rules were rudimentary, open-ended, and more than a little confusing.

    In January 1975, a Employee that shared partnership for TSR, Inc died. His wife inherited his share of the company. They later shut down TSR, Inc. and bought the share of the company she owned. It was later reopened as TSR Hobbies, Inc. In the same year, Gygax and Arneson had complications between each other.

    Arneson ended up leaving the company. They were fighting about who should have the credit of the game. The original version credited both of them as co-creators. Others after his departure did not mention him. TSR also refused to pay royalties to Arneson. He ended up taking the company to court. The matters were settled 2 years later. Details were agreed not to be discussed about as part of the settlement.

    While Arneson was gone, Gygax worked on an advanced version of DnD. He called it Advance Dungeons and Dragons. In 1977, Monster Manual was release as the first hardcover rulebook followed by Player's Handbookin 1978 and then Dugeon Master's Guide in 1979. Now there is two magazines called Dungeon and Dragon, many books and versions of the game. The latest version is 3.5.