History

At TSR: Walking Around The Building
  • 21
Let me give you a little background. I became the Director of Creative Services at TSR. Upper management wanted me to have that title so when I tried to manage the editors and designers my words...
Multiclassing in D&D 3rd Edition
  • 198
My best friend Rob Heinsoo was the lead designer on 4th Ed, and one of his jobs was to fix things that 3rd Ed hadn’t fixed. Multiclassing was on that list of systems that needed work. At one point when playing 3rd Ed, Rob was running a 3rd level barbarian-fighter-ranger. Given the way multiclassing worked, why not?
The Naming of Names: Metamorphosis Alpha, Boot Hill, & Gangbusters
  • 17
First, let me correct a mistake I made when I wrote that Zeb Cook thought up the 'Baatezu' & 'Tanar'ri' demon and devil new names. My friend Jim LaFountain quite rightly pointed out that he was...
Jonathan Tweet: Third Edition and Per-Day Spells
  • 105
On the Third Edition design team, we were tasked with rationalizing the game system, but there were some big elements of the system that we didn’t question. We inherited a system in which...
Gary Gygax Things
  • 20
Let me start by saying that I believe Gary Gygax was a gaming genius. That genius included a lot of skills in crafting D&D designs. I have experienced literally hundreds of DM styles. Gary's style...
BURMANIA! Part 2: "Keep on Going!"
  • 7
As the neutral DM I was positioned to see how the opposition to Bob Burman had manifested, especially among two primary players in my campaigns and games, James Goodfellow and Eric Shook. Where does this animus derive from?
D&D 3E Design: The Unbalanced Cleric
  • 115
What do you call a D&D cleric who can’t heal? A 1st-level 1970s cleric. The original first-level cleric could turn undead but had no spells. Skip Williams says that the original conception of the...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...

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