TSR Why I still love the Real TSR

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Early Dragon magazine with ads for companies large and small that totally sparked imagination. I could read those ads over and over.

OMG Yes! Those ads. It's hard to explain to people that grew up with the internet .. but the world was truly more mysterious back then. And it wasn't the big ads ... it was the small ads, for the games and products that you didn't see in stores ... sure, most of them undoubtedly sucked ... but those ads conjured the idea of these incredible games, just out of reach.

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the Jester

I'll chime in with mad love for all those early modules and Dragon and Dungeon Mags (and Polyhedron- anyone remember the adventure where you had to hold out against a demon prince's forces while protecting someone with his true name or something like that?)! And Top Secret, and Gamma World, and Star Frontiers- and Knight Hawks!

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Snarf, I just wanted you to know that I have converted the carbuncle to 5e.

....there's always one person, always one.

So, what's this monster?

It's an armadillo.

Okay, an armadillo. Um and?

Oh, you don't understand. It's an armadillo ... WITH A GIANT GEM IN ITS HEAD.

Awesome? So, you're going to call it a ... gemadillo?

No. A carbuncle!

Oh, um, like that boil that Grandma keeps complaining about?

No! What's that? I mean the same definition that you, I, and Gygax use. You know, a bright red gem! Everyone knows that one, right?

I even enjoy the distinctive smell of my old gaming books!

I've read and re read BE... To a lesser extent CMI many times. Then I got my first AD&D book, then the FR box set... Just glorious days


Sometime around 1990, TSR lost its magic. By that time, its products were not driven by the former passion of its staff, but greed and the need to stay on top by its management - no matter how much it harmed the company or its image.

Before then, things were mostly grand! I was in over my head when I got the Holmes basic set, but I was gleestruck when I got my hands on the B/X set (only to be a little dismayed when instead of Companion we got BECMI). For my 8th grade graduation present, I was able to get myself the PHB, DMG & UA* from Toys'R'Us - along with an unhealthy amount of LJN D&D action figures... My friends introduced me to the looniness of Gamma World, the (disappointing because it wasn't anything like Star Wars, but hey - it was sci-fi) Star Frontiers games and the awesomeness of Marvel (which replaced our V&V games for the short term).

Greyhawk, Dragonlance, Ravenloft, Forgotten Realms, Dark Sun, Spelljammer - all were campaign worlds that wormed their way into my mind as they knocked the doors down for what you could do with this little game.

The 90's weren't good for TSR, and looking back, its easy to track their downfall - along with so many others that would suffer a similar fate - Sears, Toys'R'Us, K-Mart, Radio Shack, just to name a few. But for a short, brilliant time in my life, all was good with the world, and it was damn fun.

*Note: I didn't get the MM until about 3 years later, until then I used the FF & the monster stat section in the DMG.

Voidrunner's Codex

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