Happy 40th Anniversary to DUNGEONS & DRAGONS!

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  • Happy 40th Anniversary to DUNGEONS & DRAGONS!

    Click for more about D&DTomorrow, January 26th, is researcher Jon Peterson's best-guess for the 40th anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons. "For all the reasons listed above, it's probably impossible to narrow in on one date and say with any certainty that this is when the game was released. But if we need to celebrate somewhere in the neighborhood of late January, then the last Sunday of the month (this year, the 26th) seems like the best candidate. As the El Conquistador advertisement above notes, Sunday was the day when Gary invited the world to drop by his house, at 1:30 PM, to have a first experience of Dungeons & Dragons. Since it's a weekend, many of us can clear our schedules to revisit some classic tabletop. So this coming January 26th, 2014, do take the time to celebrate the birth of Dungeons & Dragons and role-playing games."

    I started playing D&D nearly 30 years ago. I was about 12 years old, and played the B of BECMI at lunchtime with my friends at school. One day somebody turned up with some hardcover books called "Advanced" Dungeons & Dragons, which we promptly switched to. The following years were filled with avid consumption of Weis & Hickman's Dragonlance Chronicles (and later, the Legends). I had a bit of a break round about the time I went off to university, but soon fell in with a new gaming crowd and AD&D 2nd Edition. I remember one rules dispute which had me look up the phone number of TSR UK to ask them a question - it was about a lion's claw attacks and offhand weapons or somesuch. A nice lady took my phone number, saying everyone was at lunch. Half an hour later, my phone rang and a chap from TSR UK (I wish I knew his name) called to help us with the rules.

    In 1999-ish I stumbled across a website called Eric Noah's Unofficial D&D 3rd Edition News. It transpired that a new edition of D&D was in the works, and I devoured every snippet of information coming from a remarkably candid development team at WotC. Since then I've played 3E, 3.5, 4E, and Pathfinder; and later this year we'll see the advent of D&D Next (or whatever name they go with).

    D&D has been an enormous part of my life for nearly 30 years, and I suspect it will be for many years to come.

    Plenty of news organizations have mentioned this occasion, including the Guardian and USA Today. This year, Community (the TV show) will have a D&D 40th-anniversary episode.

    Happy birthday, Dungeons & Dragons! [64 comments]