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A semi-brief history of D&D and some other RPGs: 1967-1979

Now substantially revised. Thanks to everyone for their input.

1967

Braunstein is developed and refereed by David Wesely. A war game scenario of an assault on a European town in which each player would play a single charecter and some players would not command troops but have other roles; this would inadvertently become what some consider the first RPG. Dave Arneson would participate, including in a Latin America version of the game.

1968

Gary Gygax and the Lake Geneva Tactical Studies Association host the first “Gen Con”, a war-gaming convention, in Lake Geneva Wisconsin.

Gygax launches the Doomesday Book newsletter for the Castle and Crusaders Society, a division of the International Federation of Wargaming, to discuss medieval miniature wargames. Arneson would be an early subscriber.

1970

Dave Arneson creates the first fantasy role playing campaign: Blackmoor.

1971

Chainmail Rules for Medieval Miniatures by Gygax and Perren published by Guidon Games. Includes rules for man to man combat and a fantasy supplement that would be expanded in a 1972 second edition. The fantasy supplement allows monsters, magic use, and heroic and Tolkienesque characters to be added to the battle. Previewed in the Doomsday Book, Arneson would use these rules for his fantasy campaign.




Arneson and Gygax meet at Gen Con and collaborate on the “Fantasy Game”.

1972

With the help of youngest daughter Cindy, Gygax names the Fantasy Game “Dungeons and Dragons”. He fails to find a publisher.

1973

Gygax quits his job as an insurance salesmen to focus on game design, and repairs shoes in his basement to supplement his income. He continues to try to find publishers for the Fantasy Game.

Tactical Studies Rules founded by Gygax and Don Kaye.


1974

Brian Blume becomes a partner in Tactical Studies Rules.

Dungeons & Dragons by Gygax and Arneson published by Tactical Studies Rules. This game, the first RPG, is nominally meant to be used with Chainmail. It includes six abilities, classes (fighting man, magic-user, and cleric), races (human, elf, dwarf, and halfling), levels, hit points, (daily fire and forget) spells, AC (Defense as damage avoidance), saving throws, alignment, monsters, treasure and dungeon and wilderness based adventure. In addition to Tolkien and wargamming—spells as artillery—the game and its supplements would draw on decades of fantasy fiction, ancient and medieval history, mythology and even movies and television. The work of Robert E Howard, Jack Vance, Poul Anderson, Fritz Lieber, and Edgar Rice Burroughs would be particularly influential.



1975

Don Kaye, 37, suffers a fatal heart attack and his widow dissolves Tactical Studies Rules. Gygax and Blume found TSR Hobbies inc.

Dungeon! by Megarry et al. published by TSR. Megarry was one of Arneson’s players and had already started work on this board game before D&D was published. In it the elf, wizard, hero, and superhero would move about the dungeon fighting monsters and finding treasure. It would remain in print for many years.

En Garde! by Hanny and Chadwick published by Games Designer Workshop. Rules for dueling with score tracked through social rank and some non-combat content that could be construed as making it the second RPG. However, this honor is sometimes reserved for…

Tunnels and Trolls by St. Andre is published by Flying Buffalo. The other second RPG, it had many common elements with D&D, but adds opposed rolls and armor as damage reduction. Was notable for a significantly lighter tone and would eventually allow for solo play and play by mail.

Empire of the Petal Throne by Barker published by TSR. Based on D&D, but with a distinctive and unique sci-fi fantasy setting, the first in an RPG.

Greyhawk, D&D Supplement I, by Gygax and Kuntz published by TSR. Its adds variable damage by weapon type, the paladin and thief classes, and the first percentile die based skill system in an RPG. A number of iconic spells and monsters also included.

Blackmoor, D&D Supplement II, by Arneson, published by TSR. Includes the monk and assassin classes, rules for underwater play, the first published adventure (Temple of the Frog) but also some additions that would not last in D&D, including an elaborate hit location system.

Boothill by Blume and Gygax published by TSR games. Focused on gun fighting, the game did have rules for advancement and can be considered the first non-fantasy RPG. It would also be one of the first to use primarily d10s and percentile based skills. The 1979 2nd edition would include counters and an early battle mat.




The Strategic Review, which covers both D&D and other games, is launched by TSR.

Alarums and Excursions is started by Gold. The first fanzine (or technically collection of zines) and first periodical focused exclusively on RPG. It would reflect a “West Coast” sensibility and freely deviate from D&D rules and conventions, with articles from Hargrave, Perrin, Simbalist's, and Backhaus developing into new games in the coming years. A&E--still in print by Lee Gold--would be followed by the Dungeoneer in 76 a multitude of other semi-amateur publications.

1976

Bunnies and Burrows by Sustare and Robinson produced by Fantasy Games Unlimited. Players play intelligent rabbits. Inspired by Watership Down, B&B Included rules for a number of non-combat activities. Considered innovative and playable, it was still looked down on by many gamers. FGU would go on to produce a number of RPGs, and eventually have over a dozen in print at one time. Most were notably more complex and serious in tone then B&B.



Fantasy Line miniatures by Mier produced by Ral Partha. Ral Partha would grow from a hobbyist to a professional operation by 1979 and produce vast numbers of fantasy miniatures. Grenadier and Minifigs (which would briefly have the license to produce D&D miniatures) would soon follow with their own lines of fantasy miniatures.

Eldritch Wizardry, D&D Supplement III, by Gygax and Blume, published by TSR. Includes the druid as a player class, demons—including Demogorgon and Orcus—artifacts, and psionics.

Gods, Demigods, and Heroes, D&D Supplement IV, by Kuntz and Ward, published by TSR. A first attempt to add divine and legendary beings to the game. Draws from Greek, Norse, Egyptian and other mythology but also Michael Moorcocks Melnibonéan Mythos.



Swords and Spells by Gygax and Sutherland published by TSR. The last “little brown book” for D&D, this set of miniature rules was not particularly successful, and would be out of print before Chainmail, now being published by TSR.

Metamorphosis Alpha by Ward published by TSR. The first science fiction RPG (albeit of a soft sort). Players are mutants or humans exploring a massive space ship many years after some distant catastrophe cut it off from civilization.

The Dragon magazine, edited by Kask, launched by TSR. Replacing the Strategic Review, The Dragon focuses mostly on D&D but also covers other games and will include fiction and game and book reviews. While it will have “official” material and regular contributors, the great majority of the content is from independent submissions.

City State of the Invincible Overlord by Bledsaw and Owen (self) published by Judges Guild. For use with D&D and first published by an informal agreement, Judges Guild would later receive a license from TSR and its massively detailed and supported (by the standards of the time) Wilderlands of High Fantasy would be the first published campaign setting for D&D.

The first free standing adventures: Palace of the Vampire Queen, published by Wee Warriors and distributed by TSR, and an early Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth by Gygax, published by Metro Detroit Games for Wintercon V.

TSR takes over management of Gen Con.

Arneson Leaves TSR.

Brian and Kevin Blume gain majority control of TSR.

1977

Dungeons and Dragons Basic Set by Holmes published by TSR. This box set contains a single rule book, dice (except in 79, when the oil shortage led chits to be used instead) and and the Dungeon Geomorphs and Monster and Treasure Assortment (which would also be sold separately). . Later printings would instead include an adventure (first B1 then B2 as noted below). It focuses on levels 1-3 and is meant to lead into the forthcoming Advanced Dungeons and Dragons game.

Traveller by Miller published by Game Designers Workshop. A skill based game set in the far future with star ships and other sci-fi elements mixed with almost anachronistic weapons and other equipment. Notable for a character generation system that would map out the character’s career to date—if they lived that long.

Chivalry and Sorcery by Simbalist and Backhaus published by Fantasy Games Unlimited. One of the first of many games created in response to D&Ds lack of realism, C&S was more complex and more closely tied to its medieval and Arthurian source material, while still retaining elements of Tolkien’s familiar fantasy (so much so that some had to be removed in latter printings for copy right reasons).

White Dwarf magazine launched by Games Workshop. Games Workshop, founded by John Peake, Ian Livingstone, and Steve Jackson (of the UK) in 75. GW also received the license to produce D&D in the UK and for many years White Dwarf would have articles for that and other role playing game. It would open its first retail shop the following year and receive licenses for Call of Cthulhu, Runequest, and other games.


The Arduin Grimoire is self-published by Hargrave. The first of three (then 9) in the series, this was clearly a supplement to D&D, and TSR would sue to have direct references removed (which Hargrave whited-out in early editions). It would introduce new races, classes, spells, monsters, magic items, game mechanics, cross-genre elements, many, many random tables and of course its own Arduin setting.



Monster Manual by Gygax published by TSR. The first hard back RPG book and the first book for the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons game. This compendium of 350 monsters would mix original D&D conventions with AD&D ones, like the 9-point alignment system (introduced in Dragon). It would remain in print for 12 years.

1978

Runequest by Perrin and Stafford is published by Chaosium. A fantasy RPG notable for its original setting of Glorantha, the game was built around percentile based skills with a detailed combat system that included (workable) critical hits and hit locations.

Players Handbook by Gygax published by TSR. The second AD&D hardback, this would compile the classes, races, spells, armor and weapons from the original game, the supplements, and Dragon and the Strategic Review, and also included new material. while excluding some of the more unusual bits (like all the references to human sacrifice in Eldritch Wizardry). It would also be presented as more authoritative then freewheeling (original) D&D, in part to support tournament play. AD&D would also be considered a "distinct" game, created by Gygax and TSR. Appendices included the dual class only bard, psionics, and a brief descriptions of the 22 known planes of existence.



First adventures published by TSR. These include B1: In Search of the Unknown by Carr (included in the Basic Set) and 7 by Gygax: G1 Steading of the Hill Giant Chief, G2 Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl, G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King, D1 Descent into the Depths of the Earth, D2 Shrine of the Kuo-Toa, D3 Vault of the Drow and S1 Tomb of Horrors. The D series would of course introduce the influential drow, evil dark skined, light haired elves living deep beneath the dearth.

Gamma World by Ward and Jaquet published by TSR. Set in the 25th century 100 years after a devastating nuclear holocaust, players would play humans and various mutants with strange powers and, if they were lucky, hi-tech weapons looking for artifacts (treasure) and fighting strange mutated races (monsters). Gamma World does not have classes, but does have six abilities, race, many matrices and tables (including for random mutations) and an XP system, albeit of less import then in D&D.

TSR’s sales grow exponentially, staff doubles, and the company moves into a much bigger headquarters in downtown Lake Geneva.


1979

Dungeon Masters Guide by Gygax published by TSR. This mammoth third AD&D hardback would include rules and guidance on running the game supplemented with a plethora of charts and supporting material. This included the famous appendix N, listing inspirational reading, and table to determine the particular member of the oldest profession one might encounter.

B2 Keep on the Borderlands & T1 Village of Hommlet by Gygax and S2 White Plume Mountain by Schick published by TSR. B2 would be included in the D&D Basic Set.

Villains and Vigilantes by Herman and Dee published by Fantasy Games Unlimited. The first supers RPG to be—relatively—widely played, the character was to be similar to the player, but with random super powers. Jeff Dee is also an artist who would do the illustrations for this and other games, including D&D.

Bushido by Hume and Charrette (self) published by Tyr Games. Set in a semi-mythical feudal Japan, for years this would be the main game for “Oriental” adventures. Appropriately, honor and social status are key measures of success. FGU would reprint in 1981, when they would also publish the other RPG covering the same genre, Land of the Rising Sun.

Adventures in Fantasy by Arneson and Snider published by Excalibre games. A possible alternative D&D that may have been closer to Dave Arneson’s own Blackmoor game (Snider was one of his long time players), this three book set would have two classes: warriors or magic users, and a spell point based magic system. The six stats/ability scores would be percentile based and the games combat would be more complex then D&D and include hit locations—seen in the Blackmoor supplement. It would also introduce the setting of “Bleakwood”. In spite of its authors pedigree, the game would have little impact on the market place.

TSR employes over 100 people and looking yet again for new office space.

Dave Arneson files a series of lawsuits against Gygax and TSR over AD&D, which TSR claims is significantly different from D&D and for which no royalties are owed to Arneson.

James Dallas Egbert III, a 16 year old prodigy with a history of depression, attempts to commit suicide under the steam tunnels of Michigan State University. When the attempt fails, he goes into hiding and the subsequent investigation erroneously links his disappearance to D&D. Controversy, and massive publicity, follow.
 
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Primal

First Post
Thanks. Mostly wikipedia and own knowledge, but I will try to do so some footnotes. And suggest some other sources. There is a lot of great info out there.

My thesis dealt -- in part -- with the history of RPGs. As I'm Finnish, I used a lot of sources published in my native language, but Gary Alan Fine's 'Shared Fantasy' was one of the books in English I used (despite being published in 1983, it's a very relevant source). Anyway, I just thought that if anyone else on this board wants to find reliable sources (printed or digital) they could use this thread to identify them. :)
 

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Stormonu

Legend
Do you have a source, I saw conflicting things on this, one saying 79 (when I think they incorporated) another saying 81.

This was what I found from Wikipedia on Grenadier Miniatures

Basically, founded in '72, and started producing official D&D minis in '79 until '82. From box backs I have seen on sites, they had boxed miniatures as early as 1980, if not before. It looks like in '79 they started with a line of gamma world minis.[1]
 
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grodog

Adventurer
Dave---

A few corrections and other sources for you:

- Chainmail always had the fantasy supplement within it; see Chainmail vs. Tome of Treasures - D&D

- White Dwarf magazine was predated by the GW fanzine/newsletter Owl & Weasel (which was predated by Dungeoneer, which was predated by Alarums & Excursions; all of which were preceded by the Domesday Book and many other Dippy and wargames zines)

- Ral Partha was founded in 1974 per Tom Meier; Grenadier was founded in 1975 by Andrew Chernak and Ray Rubin, (per Terrence Gunn's Fantastic Worlds of Grenadier)

Other stuff to consider adding:

- 1976 the S4 module is titled Lost Caverns of Tsojconth (not Tsojcanth); for some additional background/comparisons, see my S4 page @ Greyhawk's "Lost" Dungeon Levels::) S4 The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth
- 1975 I've also heard En Garde billed as the 2nd RPG, FWIW
- 1974 TSR publication of Warriors of Mars, unlicensed by the Burroughs estate
- 1973 TSR's first publication, Cavaliers & Roundheads

Some more sources:

- [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Heroic-Worlds-History-Guide-Playing/dp/0879756535/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1271477692&sr=8-1"]Heroic Worlds by Lawrence Schick[/ame]

- Tome of Treasures :: Index is a good source to supplement the Acaeum with (and it supercedes the Acaeum in several areas, notably non-TSR D&D, minis, non-D&D rpgs, wargames, and fanzines)

- www.afterglow2.com for non-TSR D&D stuff (has some stuff not in ToT above), as well as the original Afterglo, now only in the internet archive @ http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.stud.uni-hamburg.de/users/afterglo/rpg/nontsr.html

- all D&D licensed minis are detailed at Ernst Wilhelm's The Miniature Art of Dungeons and Dragons
 
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Ariosto

First Post
Ooh, yes, on En Garde! Definitely an RPG, but very different from the D&D model.

- 1976 Bunnies & Burrows (FGU) depicted rabbits like those in Richard Adams' besteller Watership Down.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I had a few cavils in the early part:
- in the Braunstein games, all players were not commanding troops (some were generals, but separated from their men); one of the things that made it a proto-RPG was the one player = one character focus ...
I can vouch for this.

At last year's GenCon Col. Wesely ran a Braunstein session as an off-the-grid event; I was fortunate enough to participate, and it is very definitely one player ==> one character.

However, I came away thinking that while it might well have been the first RPG, it was without a doubt the first LARP. (assuming it was run in 2009 the way it was in 1967, we were certainly given the impression that it was)

Lanefan
 

Mircoles

First Post
"(except in 79, when the oil shortage led chits to be used instead)"

So that's why I didn't get dice with my BD&D set.

Stupid oil embargo.
 

darjr

I crit!
And as far as I know Alarums & Excursions is still available for subscription. It's a photocopied zine and you can only subscribe via snail mail.

Oops, scratch that, I guess you can get a word or pdf file. And they take paypal. OMG!

Son of a gun, pdf and paypal? Wow, the end is nigh.
 

TerraDave

5ever
All, please keep the comments coming.

Note that I will not mention everything, by design. This becomes more important as we move into the next bit, and the stuff out there just explodes.


No, that would be Superhero 2044. I used to own it, but I never understood it. I didn't start playing superhero RPGs until Champions.

So you are the one. I will edit the entry...but am deeming SH2044 to "not be noteworthy"

My thesis dealt -- in part -- with the history of RPGs. As I'm Finnish, I used a lot of sources published in my native language, but Gary Alan Fine's 'Shared Fantasy' was one of the books in English I used (despite being published in 1983, it's a very relevant source). Anyway, I just thought that if anyone else on this board wants to find reliable sources (printed or digital) they could use this thread to identify them. :)

Heroic Worlds by Lawrence Shick--also mentioned by Grodog--is probably the one go to book out there. It even covers Braunstein in some detail. My edition was from 91, so it does sort of stop in the middle.

WotC included a history of TSR in the 25th aniversary boxed set (greatest most awesome RPG thingy of all time, but that is another story). This, or something close to it, may still be on their website. Their is also the 30th aniversary D&D book. I highly recomend both.


Its one I own, and I left it off on purpose. It was not touted as "Supplement V" and was a minis product, not an RPG, or ur-RPG. And it was sort of a flop. I am pretty sure Chainmail was in print after it.

Fun Question!: What other 70's D&D stuff from TSR is not included?

Dave---

A few corrections and other sources for you:

- Chainmail always had the fantasy supplement within it; see Chainmail vs. Tome of Treasures - D&D
I have multiple sources saying--including WotCs history--that 69 had man to man and 72 had the supplement. Have you seen the 69 printing, and did it have lighting bolt and treants in it?

- 1975 I've also heard En Garde billed as the 2nd RPG, FWIW

There is a bunch of these, arguably including Boothill, of essentially man to man table top war games with a bare, bare minimum of additional material that might lead it to be construed to be an RPG. I am not including most of them.

Fun Question: What other almost RPGs were left of the list? What about the two from Steve Jackson (of Texas)?

- all D&D licensed minis are detailed at Ernst Wilhelm's The Miniature Art of Dungeons and Dragons

Grodog, thanks for this and everything else!
 

Mark

CreativeMountainGames.com
Its one I own, and I left it off on purpose. It was not touted as "Supplement V" and was a minis product, not an RPG, or ur-RPG. And it was sort of a flop. I am pretty sure Chainmail was in print after it.


It's a mistake, IMO, to leave it off a history of D&D precisely because it was not well received. It signaled both an end to the (O)D&D supplements (of which it is indeed comsidered Supplement V) and its reception made it clear that Chainmail (active/in print until 1985, IIRC) was not going to be dethroned as the underlying Mass Combat rules for the game. It may have been pivotal in the decision making process that led toward focusing on RPGs, away from wargames, and in moving forward with the dual lines of Basic D&D and AD&D. Sometimes the failures can tell you more than the successes. Anyway, that's my analysis as someone who was gaming (wargames and RPGs) since the early seventies and watched what was happening, though admittedly not as an industry person. If you could get Tim Kask to comment on it, he might have keener insight on the matter, since he did the editing and layout.
 
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Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Mark, from what I can tell, despite how The Acaeum has grouped it, Swords & Spells doesn't seem to ever have had "Supplement V" on its cover (maybe it was on an interior page?).

That said, I still think it should be included in this listing.
 

Mark

CreativeMountainGames.com
Mark, from what I can tell, despite how The Acaeum has grouped it, Swords & Spells doesn't seem to ever have had "Supplement V" on its cover (maybe it was on an interior page?).


Yup, not on the cover, nor interior, though the introductions by Kask and Gygax make it clear that this is to be used with D&D and that it cannot be used without the D&D booklets that led up to it and that it is very much a D&D booklet in its own right.
 

grodog

Adventurer
So you are the one. I will edit the entry...but am deeming SH2044 to "not be noteworthy"

I'm not sure I'd go quite that far, but I do agree that it remains pretty obscure. It did have some supplements and adventures published for it, so it's not like it was a '90s one-book wonder :D

Heroic Worlds by Lawrence Shick--also mentioned by Grodog--is probably the one go to book out there. It even covers Braunstein in some detail. My edition was from 91, so it does sort of stop in the middle.

Yeah, and unfortunately it seems like we won't see an updated HW in the future.

WotC included a history of TSR in the 25th aniversary boxed set (greatest most awesome RPG thingy of all time, but that is another story). This, or something close to it, may still be on their website. Their is also the 30th aniversary D&D book. I highly recomend both.

There are numerous errors in the 30th anniversary book, so I'd be very cautious about relying on it it too heavily; the 25th anniversary book was based on an in-house-only 20th anniversary book, and is a better source.

Another good source: Robin Laws' and Michelle Nephew's [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Years-Gen-Con-Robin-Laws/dp/1589780973/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1271559241&sr=1-11"]40 Years of Gencon[/ame] retrospective.

Its one I own, and I left it off on purpose. It was not touted as "Supplement V" and was a minis product, not an RPG, or ur-RPG. And it was sort of a flop. I am pretty sure Chainmail was in print after it.

Chainmail and OD&D were printed through the early '80s, so I'm pretty sure they outlasted Swords & Spells, at least in terms of sales/popularity.

Fun Question!: What other 70's D&D stuff from TSR is not included?

Quite a bit, actually. TSR published many boardgames and wargames through ~1980, among them:

- 1974: BioOne (a booklet of hit location charts)
- 1975: Dungeon! boardgame, Fight in the Skies (aka, Dawn Patrol)
- 1976: Lankhmar boardgame, Battle of the Five Armies (another unlicensed Tolkien game...)
- 1978: Tom Wham's short-box versions of Awful Green Things from Outer Space and Snits Revenge
- 1979: Divine Right, one of TSR's best non-D&D titles ever published

A good source for more info here is ToT @ Tome of Treasures :: View Forum - TSR Games as well as the Acaeum wiki @ Main Page - Acaeum (in particular the TSR entry)

I have multiple sources saying--including WotCs history--that 69 had man to man and 72 had the supplement. Have you seen the 69 printing, and did it have lighting bolt and treants in it?

I own a contemporary photocopy of a Guidon Chainmail's Fantasy Supplement (from a 2nd printing in 1972), but I don't own a 1st edition Guidon Chainmail, which as far as I know dates from 1971, not 1969: where's the '69 coming from Dave?---is that based on the rules appearing in The Domesday Book at some point?? All that said, Paul "The_Collectors_Trove" Stormberg has done extensive (and expensive!) research on the printings of Chainmail, so I'll double-check these facts with him too.

There is a bunch of these, arguably including Boothill, of essentially man to man table top war games with a bare, bare minimum of additional material that might lead it to be construed to be an RPG. I am not including most of them.

Very reasonable :D

Grodog, thanks for this and everything else!

Happy to help!
 

Ariosto

First Post
There is a bunch of these, arguably including Boothill, of essentially man to man table top war games with a bare, bare minimum of additional material that might lead it to be construed to be an RPG. I am not including most of them.
If even BH is only "arguably" included in that category, then I don't see how EG should be.

Heck, if a rules set for "miniatures wargames campaigns" such as Dungeons & Dragons has more than "a bare, bare minimum of additional material that might lead it to be construed to be an RPG", then certainly En Garde -- which is not at all a "table top wargame" -- should qualify!

It has a purely paper-and-pencil method for resolving duels, which is a very small (if very significant) part of a game taken up mainly with rules for:

status and social level (the object of the game!)
disgrace
carousing, gambling and toadying
courting or visiting a mistress
proposing to and marrying a mistress
conducting a liaison with another's mistress or wife
indiscretion
pregnancies
wives
bribery
assassination
being a cad
adultery
births
support
debt
joining a club
going to a bawdy house, club or party
holding a party
attending church or theater
renting, purchasing or moving residence
joining a regiment
going on campaign (abstracted, concern being mainly with mention in dispatches, promotion in rank, etc.)
investments
lackeys
applying for a position
titles
trials
using influence

(I don't have my old GDW book any more, so I may have included some bits from house rules -- but the majority are certainly representative of the tenor of the game as I encountered it in its "little brown book" in the '70s.)

It's your own judgment call, but that characterization struck me as so bizarre that I could only wonder whether you had any actual acquaintance with the game.
 
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TerraDave

5ever
If even BH is only "arguably" included in that category, then I don't see how EG should be.

Heck, if a rules set for "miniatures wargames campaigns" such as Dungeons & Dragons has more than "a bare, bare minimum of additional material that might lead it to be construed to be an RPG", then certainly En Garde -- which is not at all a "table top wargame" -- should qualify!

It has a purely paper-and-pencil method for resolving duels, which is a very small (if very significant) part of a game taken up mainly with rules for:

status and social level (the object of the game!)
disgrace
carousing, gambling and toadying
courting or visiting a mistress
proposing to and marrying a mistress
conducting a liaison with another's mistress or wife
indiscretion
pregnancies
wives
bribery
assassination
being a cad
adultery
births
support
debt
joining a club
going to a bawdy house, club or party
holding a party
attending church or theater
renting, purchasing or moving residence
joining a regiment
going on campaign (abstracted, concern being mainly with mention in dispatches, promotion in rank, etc.)
investments
lackeys
applying for a position
titles
trials
using influence

(I don't have my old GDW book any more, so I may have included some bits from house rules -- but the majority are certainly representative of the tenor of the game as I encountered it in its "little brown book" in the '70s.)

It's your own judgment call, but that characterization struck me as so bizarre that I could only wonder whether you had any actual acquaintance with the game.

Acquaintance, of course not! There are so many of these (we are just getting started in Part I here). Just rellying on second hand accounts, and the old adds I saw in Dragon.

Your list goes beyond what I have seen recounted elsewhere, but you feel confident on it? In any case, over the weekend, I was leaning towards putting it in. There are a few of these marginal cases (including some that haven't come up yet in the thread) that I am still waffling on.
 

TerraDave

5ever
There are numerous errors in the 30th anniversary book, so I'd be very cautious about relying on it it too heavily;

Its a great book to look at, but it has very annoying slanty writting and is pretty week on this era. As it moves into the late 80's, and rellies more on first hand accounts, it gets better.



Chainmail and OD&D were printed through the early '80s, so I'm pretty sure they outlasted Swords & Spells, at least in terms of sales/popularity.



Quite a bit, actually. TSR published many boardgames and wargames through ~1980, among them:

- 1974: BioOne (a booklet of hit location charts)
- 1975: Dungeon! boardgame, Fight in the Skies (aka, Dawn Patrol)
- 1976: Lankhmar boardgame, Battle of the Five Armies (another unlicensed Tolkien game...)
- 1978: Tom Wham's short-box versions of Awful Green Things from Outer Space and Snits Revenge
- 1979: Divine Right, one of TSR's best non-D&D titles ever published

Ya, the 3 editions at once thing is something I will point out in part II.

As for the missing stuff, what other D&D specific items did I leave off? There is at least one more.

I own a contemporary photocopy of a Guidon Chainmail's Fantasy Supplement (from a 2nd printing in 1972), but I don't own a 1st edition Guidon Chainmail, which as far as I know dates from 1971, not 1969: where's the '69 coming from Dave?---is that based on the rules appearing in The Domesday Book at some point?? All that said, Paul "The_Collectors_Trove" Stormberg has done extensive (and expensive!) research on the printings of Chainmail, so I'll double-check these facts with him too.

Ok, Heroic Worlds has 71 for first edition, 72 for a revised edition with the fantasy supplement. WotCs TSR history has 1969 for the first edition, 72 with the fantasy supplement. Wikipedia mentions the doomsday book, then implies one edition printed in 71.

This is a problem. Anything more you can tell me would be appreciated.
 

TerraDave

5ever
And 69 is mentioned a few places on the net, but does not quite fit with other dates.

The acaeum says 71, and says there was a partial fantasy supplement, so I may have to go with that.

Chainmail
 

The Shaman

First Post
I'm going to second Ariosto: both En Garde! and Boot Hill are roleplaying games. EN! skews toward the strategic side of gaming, but Boot Hill's rules provide the same kinds of opportunities for roleplaying and character development as OD&D, Metamorphosis Alpha, and other games of the period.

Then there's Dawn Patrol, which is billed as a roleplaying game but is a real marginal case. Characters (pilots) advance in skill as they survive missions and make kills, and they receive medals for conduct and valor, and that's it for character definition. Roleplaying is very personal and informal, and given that the players are expected to avoid talking to each other about tactics during the game (no radios in the cockpits of a Fokker DVII or SPAD XIII), what passes for roleplaying takes place really before and after the game.
 

Mark

CreativeMountainGames.com
Revisionist histories always seem less valuable than more complete versions.


Geomorphs, two kinds, Dungeon and Outdoor, are both missing, and they are both for use with Dungeons & Dragons.
 

TerraDave

5ever
Mark, no idea what that means. (the first bit). All "histories" (if this can even be called that) includes some things and not others, by design. In any case, there is no way I can inlude all publications for TSR in the following parts, and why would I?

But you are right on the Geomorphs. The closely related Monster and Treasure Assortment is another one I cut.

Edit: of course, now the time-line is expanded. But I still need to reject "completism" as it will be impossible for the next part.
 
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