(Mongoose) Designers & Dragons - The History of the RPG Industry
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  1. #1

    (Mongoose) Designers & Dragons - The History of the RPG Industry

    Designers & Dragons, a comprehensive history of the RPG industry, has just arrived at our warehouse and is now shipping.

    Designers & Dragons - Other Games and Accessories - RPGs

    Compiled over many years from hundreds of interviews and research projects, this book is a history of the roleplaying game industry, and forms the most complete record of all the games, companies and talented individuals that have propelled roleplaying games to where they are today.

    Rather than being a simple, linear history, this book takes a unique perspective on the roleplaying industry. Reflecting the creation of thousands of talented individuals and scores of talented companies, this book instead devotes individual sections to describing the histories and products of almost 60 different companies that have published roleplaying games from 1974 to the present day. The companies are laid out in a chronology based upon when each began publishing in the roleplaying field.

    Designers & Dragons comes in a quality black leather finish, ensuring its collectibility for years to come. Less than a thousand have been printed, so grab your piece of history while you can!

  2. #2
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    I wrote this "live" as I read the 7 page preview for this book.

    I'm reading the review now.

    The spelled Dave Wesely's name wrong. That's setting off alarm bells; very loud alarm bells.

    My second concern is; who is Shannon Appelcline and what are (her?) credentials?

    Wow, I'm seeing more inaccurate facts. Braunstien was set in a number of different settings by Wesely, mostly banana republics, not just the Napoleonic period.

    and this

    "Various sources describe Arneson visiting Gygax, Gygax visiting Arneson, or the two meeting at GenCon IV (1971)."

    is pure non-sense. All the sources involved have told exactly the same story - including, Gygax, Arneson, Kuntz, and Megarry. Megarry and Arneson went to L. Geneva in late fall of 1972. (November, according to rob). Megarry went to shocase his Dungeon game and Dave went to help him and run a Blackmoor for Gary. "other sources" have no credibility in the matter. Come to think of it, its even mentioned in the court transcripts.

    This is really basic reasearch 101 stuff and dead easy to find out.

    continuing to read....

    "Whatever the case, in that 1971 meeting Gygax and Arneson decided to jointly design a game that incorporated their ideas of fantasy realms and individual player characters. They called it The Fantasy Game."

    OH MY GOD!

    There is exactly nothing true in that statement. Gygax asked Arneson for his rules so they could "jointly design" Dungeons and Dragons in the tail end of 1972. They did not decide to design a fantasy game together in 1971. Further Gygax has emphatically denied that "The Fantasy Game" was ever an actual name they called the game.

    I'm done. This book doesn't even meet the most basic standards of journalism, let alone historical inquiry.

    (I want to add that up till now I've had nothing against Mongoose. I have two of their Conan books and like them very much. But its pretty dang clear they didn't hire a fact checker, and that too is basic SOP to the publication any historical narrative. They should pull this book ASAP, have it gone over with a fine tooth comb, and provide reference sources to all supposed facts being presented.)
    Last edited by Aldarron; Sunday, 6th November, 2011 at 04:12 AM. Reason: removed link

  3. #3
    Shannon Appelcline is chief admin for RPG.net. You could drop him a note there if you like?

    Hopefully any inaccuracies would be corrected in an updated PDF version (which is why I'll likely get the PDF edition rather than the print edition).

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulofCthulhu View Post
    Shannon Appelcline is chief admin for RPG.net. You could drop him a note there if you like?

    Hopefully any inaccuracies would be corrected in an updated PDF version (which is why I'll likely get the PDF edition rather than the print edition).
    Interesting. RPG.net is a great site. I can't speak to the accuracy of the rest of the book, only what is shown in the preview, however its really inexcuasable. It is also baffling that there are no references for the assertions. Even fantasy histories (of middle earth for ex) are usually footnoted and referenced. The lack of any superscript numbers indicates there are no such references in this book. I think its a great idea to do a history of the industry, but if they want to have a book with any credibility at all they need to pull this and have it gone over by people who know what they are doing.
    Last edited by Aldarron; Saturday, 5th November, 2011 at 10:13 PM.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Aldarron View Post
    I think its a great idea to do a history of the industry, but if they want to have a book with any credibility at all they need to pull this and have it gone over by people who know what they are doing.
    Over 100 fact-checkers, mostly people who worked at or ran the companies, went over the book. Fact checkers for the TSR article included Allan Grohe, Jeff Grubb, Scott Haring, Jim Lowder, Kim Mohan, Dori Olmesdahl, Steven Schend, Stephen D. Sullivan, James M. Ward, Steve Winter, and David Witts. Mistakes remain my own.

    I responded to your substantive comments at one of the other places you posted this same spiel to:

    Original D&D Discussion - New Book - Designers & Dragons from Mongoose

    Generally, I think you oversimplify the confused mass of recollections that exist for TSR in the early '70s, that you misstate what the book says in some places, and that correctly point out one (embarassing) typo and a statement that could lead to a misapprehension.

  6. #6
    I had a chance to read much of this after Gen Con. Its a fantastic read and the best book I picked up at the show.

    As the main cat behind Troll Lord Games, I must say that the recounting of TLG history was really accurate and I'm really not sure how the Mongoose crew got that info!

    Fantastic read. Well worth the money!

    Steve

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