History

Theon's Underwear Experience
  • 5
First, let me say, that every word of this is fact and I am not exaggerating one word of it.
From the Freelancing Frontline: Struggling For Experience
  • 11
In 1997, I attended the TSR RPG Writer’s Workshop, in Seattle, WA. In 2000, I applied for job at Wizards of the Coast, and was hired to be part of the RPG R&D team, working on Licensed Products. The three years between those two momentous events in my early career were.... frustrating. I knew I wanted to do more than magazine articles, to prove to game companies I was a good candidate for a...
Ed Greenwood Sold The Forgotten Realms For $5,000
  • 18
This week in Ben Riggs' podcast, he interviews Ed Greenwood, father of the Forgotten Realms, about his 1987 agreement with TSR wherein he sold the rights to the Realms for $5,000. "We also discuss the origin and publication of the Realms, and I am able to tell Ed, officially, how many units his game work sold decades after the fact. (You can check out the numbers below!)" Click here to listen!
BURMANIA! Part 1: Check Your Sanity at the Door
  • 9
Every game club or group has one. A person who stands out from the rest mostly due to some recurring oddity, a facet of their unchanging personality if you will, and their sublime belief in their own invincibility in life as well as at the game table. Add to this a penchant for vocalizing the above as well as an energy reserve bordering on the superhuman and you have what others could view...
In Forgotten Lawsuit, TSR Sued Wizards of the Coast
  • 22
In 1996, TSR, the company that birthed Dungeons & Dragons, was in trouble. TSR was millions of dollars in debt to Random House. Budgets were so tight that employees were being told that they had to produce products with literally no money. In December, right before Christmas, dozens of employees would be laid off. (That night, fired employee Steve Miller was accidentally set on fire at a party...
April 4th, 1984: TSR's 3rd Purge
  • 22
Life at TSR was very good and very bad. It started out in 1983. TSR had 386 employees and nepotism had raised its ugly head. You couldn’t throw a rock anywhere in the TSR offices without hitting a cousin, daughter, son, uncle, wife or husbands of any of those, or aunt of the Blume brothers and the Gygaxs working or barely working at TSR. Off topic for a second, the person that replaced me...
From the Freelancing Frontline – Meeting Giants
  • 4
Like so many TTRPG writers, I got where I am now by standing on the backs of giants. But it’s easier to stand on a giant’s back after you meet them, and I am a depressive socially-awkward introvert with self-confidence issues. Instinctively I don’t want to meet anyone, much less giants. In this regard, the 1997 TSR Writer’s Workshop (held in the Wizards of the Coast Game Center in Seattle)...
GENCON IX: When Many Sought Adventure
  • 27
GECON IX, Baby! It was happening. TSR was on a roll. The last supplement for OD&D had just been released, Empire of the Petal Throne was a reality, and Fritz Leiber’s board game, Lankhmar (based off his original cork board-game that he and Harry O. Fischer had designed and played far back in the day), was being released at the convention. As I had helped co-design the latter (see 1st link...
Diversity in D&D Third Edition
  • 683
With 3rd Ed, our main goal was to return D&D to its roots, such as with Greyhawk deities and the return of half-orcs. By staying true to the feel of D&D, we helped the gaming audience accept the sweeping changes that we made to the rules system.
Luke Gygax Shares Old Magazine Features
  • 2
Amongst some more personal pieces, Luke Gygax has shared some items acquired from his mother, Mary Gygax Walker, including a 1980 People Magazine article, and one from Milwaukee Magazine in 1982. Head on over to his Facebook page, where they've been posted publicly. "My mom sent me a few treasures including Milwaukee Magazine from November 1982. I remember how unhappy he was with the title...
TSR's "Designeritus"
  • 22
We had a lot of design talent in the heyday of TSR. Zeb Cook and Jeff Grubb strode the world like giants and put together some amazing million dollar profit centers. There were other designers and editors and supervisors that also generated great stuff. However, I often had to get after those designers for something I called "Designeritus." Jeff Grubb bless his heart was the worst, but Troy...
From the Freelancing Frontline – From Hobby to Career
  • 7
Originally, all I wanted from my game writing was to sell enough RPG game articles to afford a subscription to Dragon Magazine. But once I had done that, I found I wanted to write more. Much more. So, I kept sending pitches to Dave Gross, at Dragon, and began looking for other venues.
Gary’s Immersion in Castle El Raja Key: The Four-Way Footsteps
  • 42
(Very early 1973, 1st level of my Castle El Raja Key) -- In November of 1972 four stalwarts of the LGTSA (Lake Geneva Tactical Studies Association; of which I was then its current president)--namely Gary Gygax, myself, Ernie Gygax and my brother Terry Kuntz--experienced our first, and also comprehensive, RPG adventure via Dave Arneson’s Blackmoor setting. During it we also experienced the...
3E and the Feel of D&D
  • 270
For 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons, the big picture was to return the game to its roots, reversing the direction that 2nd Edition had taken in making the game more generic. The plan was to strongly support the idea that the characters were D&D characters in a D&D world. We emphasized adventuring and in particular dungeoneering, both with the rules and with the adventure path modules. We...
The Sales of D&D vs. AD&D vs. AD&D 2nd Edition
  • 166
The 2nd edition of AD&D sold well when it was released. Combined, the Dungeon Master’s Guide and Player’s Handbook sold over 400,000 copies in their first year. That’s a lot of books. Not the most ever sold by TSR, but a lot. To give some historical comparison, the 1981 D&D Basic Rules Set sold over 650,000 copies in its first year. To compare to previous editions of AD&D, the 1st edition DMG and PHB together sold over 146,000 copies in 1979. Putting those numbers together makes AD&D 2nd edition look like a solid hit. But it hides a deeper problem.
RETHMAR, Rathole of the Shaar
  • 4
So how to turn a name on a map of the Realms into a place that “feels real”? Well, I start with an idea in my head of what’s there—and regardless of whether I’m developing a locale for a story or for gaming adventures, from that base idea I leap straight into what gamers now call “adventure hooks.”
Ed Greenwood's Original Forgotten Realms Map
  • 34
Alex Kammer, the director of Gamehole Con, has shared some photos of the original map of the Forgotten Realms as drawn by Ed Greenwood himself, with Sage Advice D&D. More images at the link!
Jim Ward: Demons & Devils, NOT!
  • 144
In the very early to mid '80s religious nongamer people discovered AD&D had magical spells and demons and devils in its rules. The problems started with Sears and Penny's retail stores. TSR was selling thousands of Player Handbooks and Dungeon Master's Guides every month to both of those companies. I know this because I was in sales and inventory control at the time.
From the Freelancing Frontline: The Beginning
  • 21
Welcome to a new column from veteran game designer Owen K.C. Stephens! He's worked at Green Ronin, Paizo, and Wizards of the Coast, as well has his own company, and was co-author of the Star Wars Saga Edition RPG and Design Lead for the Starfinder Roleplaying Game. This first instalment covers his beginnings as a freelancer.
Greyhawk Theatrics, Comments and Quips in Play: Snippets, Funny Lines and Outbursts from the Lake Geneva Gamers
  • 32
What follows are some dear and treasured memories—snippets, funny lines, and outbursts recalled from play. Many eluded both myself and Gary over the years. But these few should serve to indicate how the majority of us gamed in those days, and especially how we gamed while the original D&D game was still in the midst of being play-tested.

In Our Store!

Press Releases

Advertisement

Most Liked Threads

Top