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RISE OF THE DUNGEON MASTER - Gygax's Story In A Graphic Novel

For those who are interested in the history of Dungeons & Dragons, this graphic novel tells the story of Gary Gygax, co-creator of the game. By David Kushner, incorporating information from interviews with both Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, and will be available on May 9th. I haven't seen it myself (I'm pre-ordering it though). "Rise of the Dungeon Master tells, in graphic form, the story of Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons, one of the most influential games ever made. Like the game itself, the narrative casts the reader into the adventure from a first person point of view, taking on the roles of the different characters in the story."

Gary Gygax's son Ernie Gygax said this about it:

"Well I just received a treat in today's mail the graphic novel: Rise of the Dungeon Master. Well 90 minutes later with the story read and an overall good feeling it is time to share something about this. David Kushner interviewed both my father and Dave Arneson in the twilight of both of them when they had both mostly moved on from perhaps the greatest game creation after the advent of Monopoly. The quality of the art is fantastic as done by a true professional Koren Shadmi. As a member of the family and someone who was involved in all levels of the activities described in this work, you can feel the stories as they were told to David come to the fore. As many of the players in the story have passed and the rest of us are aging, stories such as this based on memories of the day are golden. This is an easy read and quite entertaining while based on fact. Of course I have a few qualms with some of the details but overall this is a must have for those interested in the History of the RPG. A few minor things that jumped out at me was the original D20 being numbered 1-20 instead of 0-9 twice, the Chaimail game was released by Guidon Games first, not TSR and certainly without the spiral binding. 1980 was the year TSR quaded not 1982 and other such nitpicking that occur to me BUT those are nothing to the overall storytelling and detail that this beautifully illustrated work bring to the table. I personally place this book as my 2nd favorite work on my families life right behind Empire of Imagination."
Russ Morrissey



1980 was the year TSR quaded not 1982
Does anyone know what is meant here? I looked up possible definitions, got sent to Urban Dictionary, and became even more confused (and possibly disturbed) than when I started...


So, maybe both the book and Ernie are wrong?

Then again, I trust Ernie because Gary by his admission was in Hollywood organizing sandtable wargaming with writers, etc. by 1982, and the D&D cartoon's first season was 1982, so TSR Entertainment was in business a while by then.

EDIT - nope, my mistake, 1983 was the first season of D&D.
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chibi graz'zt

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Could someone who has read it post a brief review here, or a link to the review? Im considering picking this up. I just find it odd that the paperback price is cheaper than the kindle price.


A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I bought the book. There was nothing new here for me, but I'm still glad to have it in my collection.

I've already read Empire of Imagination, Playing at the World, and Of Dice and Men—all of them excellent books. I would recommend Of Dice and Men for a lighter read and Playing at the World for those who like to read footnotes. Empire of the Imagination sits somewhere in between. I have not bought the Designers & Dragons series yet.

As for Rise of the Dungeon Master, it provides a nice, high-level overview of the dawn of Dungeons and Dragon's as told through Gary Gygax's life. The artwork didn't blow me away, but it does a good job at capturing the people and times covered. I especially like how they tie D&D to the video-game industry, by including some early video-game history into the story. My nephew will be visiting from Mexico this summer. He's really into anime and video games. A budding geek. But I don't think TTRPGs are prevalent where he lives. I'm going to lend him this book and hopefully pique his interest in the TTRPGs. I think the book does an excellent job of imparting the history of TTRPG and its place in gaming history overall to young adults who may not have had exposure to TTRPGs.

They do cover the Gygax / Arneson disputes. It is a slim book, so they can't go into much detail, and I wouldn't want the broad strokes of the mens' lives and the game's social impact to be sidetracked by to much of that drama. I will say that the way they cover it is done with great tact. They will have an in era series of panels illustrating a disagreement. Then they cut to panels with Gary telling his side and Dave telling his side, but as old men looking back. I kinda mellows out the whole dispute.

It ends covering both men's deaths in a way that I have to believe that the writer was truly a fan of both men, even though the book is primarily Gary focused.

For many old grognards who were fortunate to have met both men, I think it will be a moving read in a way that other published materials are not.


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