A Preview of The Making of Original Dungeons & Dragons: 1970-1977

With The Making of Original Dungeons & Dragons: 1970-1977, Wizards is going back to the roots of the game, presenting material other histories have not.

It's not surprising that Wizards' releases for 2024 largely center around the 50th anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons. In Vecna: Eve of Ruin, Wizards' goal was the biggest adventure 5E has seen, with one of the game's oldest villains. With The Making of Original Dungeons & Dragons: 1970-1977, Wizards is going back to the roots of the game, presenting material other histories have not.

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“There are a lot of books that tell people how D&D was made, but [what] we wanted to do with this was show it to you instead,” said senior game designer Jason Tondro. “So what this book does is... it includes everything from before D&D existed. Games were being made that influenced D&D, and then the first draft of D&D that Gary Gygax typed out in Lake Geneva, then the first printing of the Brown Box, the first version of D&D that ever hit the world.”

“And all of this, all this stuff,” Tondro continued, “is interspersed with letters and correspondence between Dave [Arneson] and Gary, or all kinds of ephemera and unusual documents from the period. So you get this overall historical view where you can see the materials that were being created that went into Dungeons & Dragons, and you can see the game being evolved and come to creation. And then you can see how it changed and it altered in the years leading up to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.”

“This is what really makes this book different from every other history of D&D book. It's not a history. This is the making of original Dungeons & Dragons. You get to see the game being made in front of your eyes,” said Tondro.

To do that, the book is big – so big that they joked about using it for exercise during the press preview. At 576 pages, it's even bigger than Dungeons & Dragons: Lore & Legends, which is 416 pages.

The book is divided into four sections, each of which has its own color-coded ribbon. Part 1 is about the precursors to D&D. Part 2 focuses on the 1973 draft of D&D. Part 3 is about Original Dungeons & Dragons, looking at the draft version versus the published one, the Brown Box and White Box. Part 4 is “Articles & Additions,” including Greyhawk, Blackmoor, Eldritch Wizardry, and The Dragon, among others.
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Digging Into Historic Documents

Working with Tondro and the D&D team on this massive work is D&D historian Jon Peterson. Wizards reached out to Peterson in 2021, asking if he had any ideas for a look at D&D's history that hadn't been sufficiently addressed.

“Having worked on books like Playing at the World, The Elusive Shift, Game Wizards, and so on, and I have looked through multiple admirations [sic] of kind of how D&D came together,” said Peterson, “and I thought, wouldn't it just be amazing to be able to go back to all the originals? Unfortunately, some of the material that tells the story, it's kind of hard to get these days.”

Not only does the fact that 50 years has passed since D&D was created present a challenge for historians. Availability and condition are also key factors.

A lot of these fanzines were printed in absolutely minuscule numbers,” said Peterson. “They now command prodigious sums at auction, and getting access to some of the even more detailed, kind of in-house development documents is perhaps even more difficult still. And so really, just having the opportunity to put those tools out there in front of people, and to be able to say, D&D has this conceptual history.”

The book has a wealth of documentation from club newsletters and the like that show how OD&D evolved and changed. They're also hard to read at times as materials aged and faded. The team did their best to present those documents as they exist. However, because of the initial poor quality and how time and storage affected them, some clean up was necessary in a few places. Overall though, documents are presented as they were found, even if it makes certain words hard to read here and there.

Another thing of note in some of these early documents is off-color language and language that would not be used today. They didn't change it because it's history. They did, however, placing it in historical context, so the readers can read it for themselves and decide what they think of it. For example, there is a parenthetical comment on one page from around 1973/1974 that's a dig at the women's lib movement (ED: not pictured). It's still there in the reproduction of the page.

The Making of Original D&D - Page 65.png

The Precursors to D&D

D&D did not spring fully formed from the mind of Gary Gygax. TMoOD&D starts with significant look at the forces and influences that led to the game we know.

“A real focus of my own work has been showing that D&D didn't happen in a vacuum, right?” said Peterson. There were cultural conditions, there were sociological interactions that were kind of necessary... For me, this book would be twice as long. We'd be talking about [a] 1,200 page version of this. But, you know, we did our best to be able to include what we could that we thought was kind of the most essential to telling the story.”

Before D&D, there was Braunstein. During the press conference, however, Tondro mistakenly referred to it as “Brownstein”, which is corrected where appropriate.

“Braunstein is a fascinating and often forgotten element of the evolution of D&D,” said Tondro. “It's a kind of war game. It was developed by a fellow named David Wesely, who's still running these games, by the way. He was running them at GaryCon just a few months ago. Braunstein was a war game of Napoleonic armies invading this little Austrian town, but what made it unusual is that the players were assigned characters in town, and Dave Arneson, for example, was assigned the role of a student. And they had their own sort of side objectives that they could pursue [and] that they could still win even if Napoleon conquered the town. And this idea, what made it unusual, was that the players could kind of try anything like the players playing the student could try any kind of risk or gamble that they could think of and then the referee had to think up an impromptu kind of 'what happens next' consequence and how does that work, and you know, does your strategy succeed?”

Tondro continued, “This was really unusual and the players in this Twin Cities gaming club. They loved it, and they continue to innovate and iterate on this idea. They ran a Western version of this called 'Brownstone,' in which Dave Arneson played a bandit named 'El Pancho,' and then Arneson decides to create his own, what he called 'medieval Braunstein,' and that's what you're looking at right here is the announcement in his newsletter than his medieval Braunstein is gonna be starting, and this “Braunstein” became “Blackmoor.”

Arneson's zine was called “Corner of the Table” and went out to his local group as well as to people in other cities, including Gygax in Lake Geneva. It shows how much of a hobby this was. It was all done so casually with no thought that this could evolve into something like what the RPG industry and what D&D has been like in the 50 years that followed.

The Making of Original D&D - Page 85.png

Chainmail

TMoOD&D includes the second printing of Chainmail, which contains terms still used in the D&D today. Both versions of Chainmail had ideas Gygax encountered elsewhere.

“Gygax was a great recycler and developer of ideas. I wouldn't describe him 'an idea man.'” said Peterson. “He was someone who kind of would pull from all these different sources and put things together. There's a fellow named Jeff Perren who had developed some mass combat medieval rules, and Gary kind of borrowed those.” Peterson

“Yeah, Arneson was the idea man,” agreed Tondro.

“Gary did his work in public. I mean, his greatest talent perhaps was that he was a consensus builder. He was someone who found clubs, got people organized, socialized rule, and he worked best interacting with other people's proposals. That's what really got him fired up, is seeing somebody else has a way of doing this. 'I could turn that into a system that would have like this quality and this quality and it would be really cool, and ultimately even something we might be able to turn into a product and sell 'em.” Peterson explained. “I would say ultimately Arneson was perhaps a bit more ambivalent overall about the prospects of commercializing a hobby,” Peterson added.

And before there was a D&D, Arneson and Gygax collaborated on a game called Don't Give Up the Ship, which was released by Guidon Games. However, Guidon Games didn't pay Arneson anything for it, which made Arneson swear he'd never submit anything else to them again, but Gygax did, and Guidon Games rejected it, setting the stage for them to do it themselves.

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Giving Contributors Their Due

Research for this book brought home for Tondro how much of an impact Arneson had. He knew the name, but not what he did, especially since Tondro began playing after the Chainmail days. Gygax had plans for a third edition of Chainmail but in the meantime had been reading Arneson's zine. Blackmoor brought the concept of hit dice.

Tondro discovered that Arneson is the one who said, there has to be a better way to handle damage in combat and added hit dice. Arneson loved the drama and uncertainty of meeting an ogre and not knowing how much it would take to beat it because it wasn't a static number. The book also documents the work of Leonard Pat, who is a name the average D&D player won't recognize yet contributed to the evolution of the game.

“Leonard Pat had produced a set of rules in 1970 that Gary Gygax effectively cribbed from,” said Peterson. “These are rules that had wizards and anti-heroes and heroes and dragons. It was very Tolkien scoped, which is not as true of Chainmail. You see a lot of elements in Chainmail that go against the way Middle Earth actually was structured, and Gary complained all the time about people telling him that Chainmail was wrong because it wasn't faithful to Tolkien.... The evidence is overwhelming from my perspective that that was an article that was known to the creators of Chainmail, but this was again who Gary was. He would see something like this two-page set of rules that Leonard Pat put in a fanzine late in 1970 and be like, 'oh my god, I can take this and build it out into, you know, this much larger thing and it'll add more monsters, will add more spells, and we'll kind of build this whole thing out of that. All the best things he [Gary] did, he did in reaction to something like that.”

The Making of Original D&D - Page 66.png

The Dungeon

Before Dungeons & Dragons the RPG, there was Dungeon the game, and it's less the role-playing game we know today or a module than something Peterson describes as similar to the ancillary board games D&D has put out over the years that approximate play.

“There's no hidden dungeon, right? And there's no collaboration in the parties, and, you know, combat systems in it are fairly rudimentary... You get to a room and Monopoly-style, you're drawing a card, like from the community chest to determine what it is going to happen when you get there. So it's not strictly speaking an adventure like we would understand a module now,” said Peterson.

Dungeon feels to me more like an ancestor of games like Talisman and Hero Quest than it is of adventure modules,” added Tondro.

TMoOD&D ends with the realization that a new edition of D&D will be needed, the edition that will become Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. And the rest, as they say, is history.

The Making of Original Dungeons & Dragons: 1970-1977 does not have an early release date. It will be available for purchase on June 18 for $99.99.
 

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Beth Rimmels

Beth Rimmels

robertsconley

Adventurer
why would that feel bad anyway? It is a historic document in the TTRPG space, but beyond that it has little intrinsic value. I see no one recommending we should go back to planes of the Wrights brothers.

There is something to be said about being first, but it also means there is a lot of room for improvement left…
It is a game, not a piece of technology. It remains as fun to play (or not) today as it was back in the day. OD&D's major issue is that it relied too much on Gygax's assumptions of who would be reading it. An audience with assumptions that were not held by those outside of the community of miniature wargamers of the early 70s. Thus causing issues when OD&D proved unexpectedly popular.

But once a person understands those assumptions, then it is quite playable and holds its own against any other minimalist system available today. Plus, there are several products out there that present a version of OD&D with those assumptions spelled out, so it is more approachable for somebody with limited time for a hobby.
 

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mamba

Legend
It is a game, not a piece of technology. It remains as fun to play (or not) today as it was back in the day.
but the trajectory is the same, we get better with experience whether that is in designing planes, board games or TTRPGs

Can it be fun to try it out? I guess, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t better games (at a minimum from a writing and organization perspective, but imo also from a design one) out there that are more fun to play.

To me the text is more of historical value, for the likes of Jon Peterson, much like there are scholars for other ancient literature (I am using that word loosely for OD&D…) that very few people are otherwise interested in reading today

Plus, there are several products out there that present a version of OD&D with those assumptions spelled out, so it is more approachable for somebody with limited time for a hobby.
then go with those instead of the one in the book, sound like they are already improvements over the original, even if ever so slightly
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
But once a person understands those assumptions, then it is quite playable and holds its own against any other minimalist system available today. Plus, there are several products out there that present a version of OD&D with those assumptions spelled out, so it is more approachable for somebody with limited time for a hobby.
Any in particular you have in mind that spell out those assumptions?
 

robertsconley

Adventurer
but the trajectory is the same, we get better with experience whether that is in designing planes, board games or TTRPGs
Yes experience matters but it applies differently to things meant for our entertainment as opposed to functional things like planes. We know how to present RPGs better. We have developed a kaldioscope of creative design tools to choose from when making a system. Whether the RPG is entertaining or not is a matter of taste. Some works get it right from the start, while others done by authors with a lot of experience are duds.

Now that I have worked with it for some time now, my opinion is that OD&D is an example similar to that of chess. A system that took one more iteration to nail down its essential elements (The Greyhawk supplement) and turned into a timeless classic. One that still holds up today definitely would benefit from a better presentation than the original.

Can it be fun to try it out? I guess, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t better games (at a minimum from a writing and organization perspective, but imo also from a design one) out there that are more fun to play.
As for writing and organization, yes, I agree that OD&D needed (and now has) a better presentation. The popularity of Swords & Wizardry, Labyrinth Lord, and Old School Essentials shows what can happen with OD&D with a good presentation. As for design the fact that OSR been going on now for nearly 20 years settles that question.



To me the text is more of historical value, for the likes of Jon Peterson, much like there are scholars for other ancient literature (I am using that word loosely for OD&D…) that very few people are otherwise interested in reading today
As a OSR publisher and given the feedback and sales I get, it not a few. But it not burning down the RPG industry either. After 20 years of interest and support, OD&D 'as is' is equal to any other mid-tier system that is being played today.

then go with those instead of the one in the book, sound like they are already improvements over the original, even if ever so slightly
Folks revisit OD&D because one assumption that got left out is how folks ran campaigns in the early 70s. See they didn't have shelves of published products to choose from. So if they thought of something fun they wanted to try what they had to come up with their own rules.

But they didn't start from scratch. They had a bunch of techniques from zines, word of mouth, actually playing, and some from the few published games that they could mix and match from to play whatever campaign or scenario they wanted to try.

OD&D is basically Gygax and Arneson advice to this audience on how to play out a fantasy medieval campaign. And it was written for an audience that had experience in wargaming and running campaigns. So it focused on the stuff that was unique to fantasy medieval campaigns.

OSE, Swords & Wizardry, and so on are not carbon copies of the original rules. Mechanically they are really close, but they are written with the voice of the author. Just as I write my own take in my own way. So people in the OSR have an interest in reading the original precisely because it advice written in the author's voice. It may be similar to what I wrote, what Matt Finch wrote, but it also not the same. Hence its value to the modern gamer.
 

mamba

Legend
Yes experience matters but it applies differently to things meant for our entertainment as opposed to functional things like planes. We know how to present RPGs better. We have developed a kaldioscope of creative design tools to choose from when making a system. Whether the RPG is entertaining or not is a matter of taste. Some works get it right from the start, while others done by authors with a lot of experience are duds.
agreed, since taste is involved, it is not purely a matter of experience

As for writing and organization, yes, I agree that OD&D needed (and now has) a better presentation. The popularity of Swords & Wizardry, Labyrinth Lord, and Old School Essentials shows what can happen with OD&D with a good presentation. As for design the fact that OSR been going on now for nearly 20 years settles that question.
not sure what you consider settled here, that there is a relatively small community that likes the original style of BX (which already is not OD&D) while the vast majority shows little interest?

I have nothing against the style, but I would not run eg 1e again regardless, I would use a different system. You can probably also replicate that style without being strictly a retroclone.

As a OSR publisher and given the feedback and sales I get, it not a few. But it not burning down the RPG industry either. After 20 years of interest and support, OD&D 'as is' is equal to any other mid-tier system that is being played today.
the rough draft of OD&D, maybe even OD&D itself? Not so sure about that. When you come to OSE, you are already some iterations past that, and by OSE also in writing style and organization over its original form.

I don’t think the actual OD&D has much market share today, if you have any information on that, I would be interested in it. From my understanding the OSR is mostly BX plus maybe select 1e additions than true OD&D

OD&D is basically Gygax and Arneson advice to this audience on how to play out a fantasy medieval campaign. And it was written for an audience that had experience in wargaming and running campaigns. So it focused on the stuff that was unique to fantasy medieval campaigns.

OSE, Swords & Wizardry, and so on are not carbon copies of the original rules. Mechanically they are really close, but they are written with the voice of the author. Just as I write my own take in my own way. So people in the OSR have an interest in reading the original precisely because it advice written in the author's voice.
that is what I meant when I said it is more for the Jon Petersons, it is more an intellectual curiosity in the history / origins of D&D and discussions about details among those interested than to run it as is.

I am not sure there is much interest in going back to Gygax’s voice for another reason, e.g. as a writing style for a new TTRPG
 

robertsconley

Adventurer
Any in particular you have in mind that spell out those assumptions?
I wish it was a cut-and-dry answer, but it is not. Why?

In my post replying to @mamba, I said that Gygax and Arneson wrote OD&D as advice to their fellow wargamers as to how to run what they called "Fantastic fantasy medieval campaigns."

This advice was based on Gygax's experience running the Greyhawk campaign and Arneson's experience running the Blackmoor campaign.

Nearly all the OSR RPGs I can give links for similarly reflect the advice of their respective authors. This is useful for running an OD&D campaign but it may not wind up answering your question. Because it will ultimately reflect their sensibilities not those of Gygax or Arneson.

For those two (and others) you will need to read the various historical works that are now avaliable like Hawk & Moor or Peterson's upcoming new edition of Playing at the World. Plus the stuff put out by Secrets of Blackmoor.
Hawk & Moor

Playing at the World 2e

Secrets of Blackmoor

If you have limited time, currently I would go with the Lost Dungeon of Tonisberg. But for the full picture Hawk & Moor and Playing at the World are you ticket. Hawk & Moor is more about the people. Playing at the World, if it is like its first edition, will be hard-core academic work.

As for the OSR I recommend (all free downloads)
Swords & Wizardry Quick Start

Matt Finch's Old School Primer

My own When to make a Ruling
although to be clear it addresses only that issue.

But keep in mind they are written from their author's point of view (including mine) based on their (and my) experience running campaigns with the OD&D rules.

After you read everything, you will find the essential principle is that the premise of your campaign and the setting you use will determine the rules you need. The level and kind of detail you get into will be subject to your personal taste.

You will find after reading all this, that back in the day (and sometimes in the present) these rules tends to be minimalist because everybody just wants to get stuff started. But sometimes, it gets detailed and complex depending on taste. Also that it evolves over time as they tweak things or find a more fun way of doing stuff.

The secret to OD&D is not the rules, but the process of using the rules. And that was only barely touched on in the original.

Sorry it isn't a clear cut answer. But I hope this helps.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I wish it was a cut-and-dry answer, but it is not. Why?

In my post replying to @mamba, I said that Gygax and Arneson wrote OD&D as advice to their fellow wargamers as to how to run what they called "Fantastic fantasy medieval campaigns."

This advice was based on Gygax's experience running the Greyhawk campaign and Arneson's experience running the Blackmoor campaign.

Nearly all the OSR RPGs I can give links for similarly reflect the advice of their respective authors. This is useful for running an OD&D campaign but it may not wind up answering your question. Because it will ultimately reflect their sensibilities not those of Gygax or Arneson.

For those two (and others) you will need to read the various historical works that are now avaliable like Hawk & Moor or Peterson's upcoming new edition of Playing at the World. Plus the stuff put out by Secrets of Blackmoor.
Hawk & Moor

Playing at the World 2e

Secrets of Blackmoor

If you have limited time, currently I would go with the Lost Dungeon of Tonisberg. But for the full picture Hawk & Moor and Playing at the World are you ticket. Hawk & Moor is more about the people. Playing at the World, if it is like its first edition, will be hard-core academic work.

As for the OSR I recommend (all free downloads)
Swords & Wizardry Quick Start

Matt Finch's Old School Primer

My own When to make a Ruling
although to be clear it addresses only that issue.

But keep in mind they are written from their author's point of view (including mine) based on their (and my) experience running campaigns with the OD&D rules.

After you read everything, you will find the essential principle is that the premise of your campaign and the setting you use will determine the rules you need. The level and kind of detail you get into will be subject to your personal taste.

You will find after reading all this, that back in the day (and sometimes in the present) these rules tends to be minimalist because everybody just wants to get stuff started. But sometimes, it gets detailed and complex depending on taste. Also that it evolves over time as they tweak things or find a more fun way of doing stuff.

The secret to OD&D is not the rules, but the process of using the rules. And that was only barely touched on in the original.

Sorry it isn't a clear cut answer. But I hope this helps.
Ah. I've read or watched almost all of that. Except Hawk & Moor and your PDF. Thanks for those.

When you said...
It is a game, not a piece of technology. It remains as fun to play (or not) today as it was back in the day. OD&D's major issue is that it relied too much on Gygax's assumptions of who would be reading it. An audience with assumptions that were not held by those outside of the community of miniature wargamers of the early 70s. Thus causing issues when OD&D proved unexpectedly popular.

But once a person understands those assumptions, then it is quite playable and holds its own against any other minimalist system available today. Plus, there are several products out there that present a version of OD&D with those assumptions spelled out, so it is more approachable for somebody with limited time for a hobby.
I thought you meant a specific game or games that were OD&D rules with those assumptions spelled out. Not a general note to go read up on the history of the game and check out the OSR.
 

Clint_L

Legend
Tondro's introduction doesn't sound like someone who's proud to have his name on this project. Peterson is much more measured, but even he sounds worried about backlash at the end. (He may be right, to be fair; there were certainly unwelcome surprises when I read 0e earlier this year. Though I think they're underselling the good about the original game by quite a bit.)
This is not how the introductions read to me.

Republishing this material in such a public way does present WotC and these scholars with a bit of a conundrum. They are clearly celebrating the material by giving it the ultimate deluxe treatment and presentation. They have also put in the effort to make this a serious and significant work of scholarship. However, it is being marketed to and will reach an audience far beyond scholarly norms.

If you are writing a history book primarily for scholars and students of history, then there are certain assumptions you can make. Namely, that your audience will mostly understand that potentially objectionable primary documents are not being endorsed. Instead, they are being preserved and presented for assessment and analysis. So that is what is being spelt out here, to make doubly sure that someone picking up this book because, say, they love D&D and want to experience it in its original glory, doesn't take the deluxe presentation of these early documents as WotC's endorsement of all of the attitudes expressed therein.

That is probably obvious to most of us here, so we see these disclaimers as kind of overblown and defensive. But we're not really who is being addressed.

So to me, these introductions strike me as expressing a love for the game in general and for these original documents in particular. I mean, Jon Peterson has basically made this subject his life's work. He loves this stuff. And also as an acknowledgement that, yup, some of the thoughts expressed therein reflect a different cultural moment, so take them in that context.

Edit: I'm reminded a bit of the introductions that Chaosium now adds to all of their Call of Cthulhu stuff. Basically, "Hey, we know this dude was horribly racist and that comes across in his work. But his mythos is amazing and we're doing our best to be faithful to that part of his art without promoting the bad stuff." Not that the early creators of D&D were anything like Lovecraft, but some of these materials do have jokes and assumptions that have aged badly, so WotC needs to be very up front about that. Again, especially given that everything is being presented in such a deluxe package that is an endorsement in itself.
 
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robertsconley

Adventurer
not sure what you consider settled here, that there is a relatively small community that likes the original style of BX (which already is not OD&D) while the vast majority shows little interest?
Any particular group of hobbyists is relatively small compared to the D&D 5e hobby. My point is that today, OD&D hobbyists are equal to that of any other mid-tier RPG. The vast majority of folks are not interested in Shadowdark, Fate, The Fantasy Trip, Savage World, or the 2d20 system. But so what? Each of those has a dedicated community of hobbyists and a niche of the industry providing support.

Based on your thesis, am I to conclude that it is your advice to consider those niches to have little intrinsic value? Especially the ones that are little changed from how they were first presented in the late 70s and early 80s and still are actively supported.


I have nothing against the style, but I would not run eg 1e again regardless, I would use a different system.
That your choice and a reasonable one for you given your interests.

You can probably also replicate that style without being strictly a retroclone.
Again entertainment and leisure are subjective. There is enough interest in OD&D 'as is' to form a mid-tier hobby niche. They have the most fun using the original rules not something that replicates the style.

As a side note what generally happens to RPGs that attempt to do this and are successful they form their own niche that co-exists with the hobbyist who are fans of the original.

The only thing that makes OD&D different from most RPGs is the IP situation. OD&D is out of print, but thanks to a clever hack of various SRDs under open licenses, people found that they can support these editions as if they are still in print, including making close clones. This is why OD&D hobby is the size of mid-tier RPG today.



the rough draft of OD&D, maybe even OD&D itself? Not so sure about that. When you come to OSE, you are already some iterations past that, and by OSE also in writing style and organization over its original form.
In terms of mechanics, OD&D 3 LBBs have several differences compared to subsequent editions. But OD&D+Greyhawk, Holmes Basic, B/X Basic/Expert, and D&D BEMCI are effectively the same system and interchangeable. Likewise, AD&D 1e has a difference but is still a hop and a skip from OD&D + Greyhawk.

Each of the major iterations of classic editions, including OD&D 3 LBBs, has a mid-tier hobby niche as their fans, along with a supporting industry niche. In fact, has grown faster in the past five years than in the previous 15 because minimalist RPGs are a "thing" now.

For example
Swords & Wizardry White Box, Platinum seller.

However, of all the classic editions, the Moldavy/Cook B/X edition enjoys the most support. Given how closely related they are, it is not a zero-sum situation either.

that is what I meant when I said it is more for the Jon Petersons, it is more an intellectual curiosity in the history / origins of D&D and discussions about details among those interested than to run it as is.

I am not sure there is much interest in going back to Gygax’s voice for another reason, e.g. as a writing style for a new TTRPG
Anytime there is a discussion on how relevant OD&D or any of the classic editions is, people have doubts. Yet here we are 20 years later, and the OSR is what it is, with more stuff being written all the time for one of the classic editions, including OD&D. There are More accounts of people playing the various classic editions, including OD&D. There is More streaming, and so on. And this is in addition to all the other near clones, a systems that focuses on emulating the feel with different mechanics. Systems that do very different genres or settings with the original mechanics, and so on.

As for figuring it out, go look at the metal levels on DriveThru. Click on the various OSR related categories and track their total number of titles.

Also I will add one thing that is NOT special about OD&D or the OSR. The fact that technology and the internet dropped the barrier to entry for people interested in sharing or publishing their stuff for the RPG industry. This has a resulted in a boom in actual players and support for system across the board. The OSR is just one example of many in 2024.
 

robertsconley

Adventurer
I thought you meant a specific game or games that were OD&D rules with those assumptions spelled out. Not a general note to go read up on the history of the game and check out the OSR.
Yeah, I understood that; again, I apologize that the actual answer is nuanced, amounting to "sort of." One more thing to point out is the fact research is still ongoing. Often primary sources are difficult to look at. For example, Tonisberg wasn't around a few years back.
 

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