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  1. JamesWard

    OD&D Gaming With Gary Gygax

    I met Gary Gygax at a book store. He told me he had a game where I could play Conan and fight Set. Just like that I was hooked. I went over to his house and rolled up a wizard character in D&D. For the first adventure we went to Kong Island. Gary wanted to play test that adventure. I was first...
  2. JamesWard

    TSR Jim Ward: Interplanetary War (TSR)

    You won't be surprised to know that the highly creative people at TSR often did amazing things in their game playing. I can distinctly remember having a fun lunch with Gary Gygax and he told me that he was very jealous of a few of the designer types at TSR because they ran their own home games...
  3. JamesWard

    TSR At TSR: Walking Around The Building

    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 carried a bit of weight. I had edited, designed, and worked on many types of production projects at...
  4. JamesWard

    TSR The Naming of Names: Metamorphosis Alpha, Boot Hill, & Gangbusters

    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 the creator of those terms. Sorry Jim. My blunder transitions perfectly into this article. When I...
  5. JamesWard

    TSR Gary Gygax Things

    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 was head and shoulders better than the best of those. He was able to make the adventuring...
  6. JamesWard

    TSR Theon's Underwear Experience

    First, let me say, that every word of this is fact and I am not exaggerating one word of it. I have three wonderful sons that are grown and with families of their own. At the time of this deeply disturbing experience Theon, my youngest was 8 years old. We/TSR had offices in Lake Geneva...
  7. JamesWard

    TSR April 4th, 1984: TSR's 3rd Purge

    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...
  8. JamesWard

    TSR TSR's "Designeritus"

    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...
  9. JamesWard

    TSR Jim Ward: Demons & Devils, NOT!

    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...
  10. JamesWard

    TSR Jim Ward: SSI, Dungeons & Dragons and the Computer Industry

    The time is about 1987. I had played Ultima and thought a computer game license could be great for TSR; besides I wanted to play a D&D computer game. I was surfing the net on a Commodore 64 and that was interesting and that effort gave me a little insight into the computer game industry. I went...
  11. JamesWard

    TSR Jim Ward: Laser Tag and TSR

    In the '70s and early '80s the United States military used a system of infrared beams called the MILES system. The beams would hit sensors on a chest set of units and start beeping. This would cause the hit soldier to know they took a deadly strike. Training with these systems was an effective...
  12. JamesWard

    TSR The Origin of Monty Haul

    The time is 1975. I'm a substitute teacher and I've learned how to play D&D at Gary Gygax's house. He and his family are wonderful hosts. Every Saturday in warm weather we are playing on his side porch. The group is Gary's son Ernie in 9th grade; some of Ernie's friends, and some of Gary's adult...
  13. JamesWard

    TSR Elf Stranded on the Warden: A Short Gary Gygax Story

    One of the great joys of working at TSR was being part of the group that played in Gary Gygax's weekly game. Over the years we had been the test subjects for many of the now classic Gygax adventures. All of Gary's players had several characters. When Gary wanted to playtest a lower level...
  14. JamesWard

    TSR Elf Stranded on the Warden: A Short Gary Gygax Story

    One of the great joys of working at TSR was being part of the group that played in Gary Gygax's weekly game. Over the years we had been the test subjects for many of the now classic Gygax adventures. All of Gary's players had several characters. When Gary wanted to playtest a lower level...
  15. JamesWard

    TSR TSR's Amazing Accounting Department

    The time is 1987 and I was the Vice President of the design and editors. It was a great job because TSR had amazing people doing the design and editing of product. I wasn't liked much by upper management at TSR after Gary left the company. I don't do well with authority figures that I do not...
  16. JamesWard

    TSR TSR's Amazing Accounting Department

    The time is 1987 and I was the Vice President of the design and editors. It was a great job because TSR had amazing people doing the design and editing of product. I wasn't liked much by upper management at TSR after Gary left the company. I don't do well with authority figures that I do not...
  17. JamesWard

    TSR The Making and Breaking of Deities & Demigods

    Gods, Demigods, & Heroes was a D&D supplement that I suggested to Gary [Gygax] and it was published in 1976. It presented gods and heroes for D&D. In those days there was no google or internet research features and so I had to do a great deal of library research to get the book done. I used the...
  18. JamesWard

    TSR The Making and Breaking of Deities & Demigods

    Gods, Demigods, & Heroes was a D&D supplement that I suggested to Gary [Gygax] and it was published in 1976. It presented gods and heroes for D&D. In those days there was no google or internet research features and so I had to do a great deal of library research to get the book done. I used the...
  19. JamesWard

    TSR Young Jim Ward and the Dice Monster

    As “Young Jim Ward” I started out in the sales department as the inventory controller. It was my job to order the boxes and parts for the games and especially the D&D box set. That game was selling 100,000 units a month. One of “Young Jim Ward’s” jobs was to make sure the Hong Kong dice came in...
  20. JamesWard

    TSR James M Ward: Meeting Gary Gygax and Learning D&D

    Thank you all for the very kind welcome onto the EN World pages. A writer always glories in the kind words of his readers. Also I want you to know I will be very responsive to the interests of the EN World group. From the notes already left for me [in the first article, Who In The World is James...
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