TSR Why I still love the Real TSR


I totally agree with you. from 1974 to about 1993 TSR was magic and after some parts of it were still great like Planescape. AD&D 1e was just such a wonderful game and experience all around, a genre defining watershed for fantasy in general that today's fantasy seeks to emulate and borrows from very freely and a standard reference point in general culture without even understanding the source material. We've all seen the alignment memes for example and the debates on which superhero is which (I stand by Cable as Lawful Good). I consider it the pinnacle of AD&D with 1986, just before UA came out being the nadir of the game before 3e was released and then 5e.

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Al- Qadim. Planescape. Spacejammer. Menzoberranzen.

In other words: boxed sets.

Yes, there was a lot to love.
100%. 2e might have broken the company by diversifying too much but the range and creativity on display where amazing.

Ravenloft, Dark Sun, Spelljammer, Planescape: they all felt very distinct and vivid, and were worlds I was excited (in very different ways) to explore.


Even thought I liked Basic Molday and AD&D, 2e was the pinnacle for me. A great era with so many interesting and unique settings. We played it for ten years. I knew the pages of each rules, monsters and spells by heart.

Unfortunately, the quality declined towards the end of TSR. I would buy splat books and be disapointed by the gaming material.


A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
As a kid in the late 70s and early 80s, before I had access to the internet, there was something mysterious about Tactical Studies Research" and Lake Geneva. The name and logos were as inspiring to my young imagination as the rules themselves.

Also, something about the communication in the articles and letters in the early dragon magazines made it feal like they were talking to you and you were part of this special community. I mean the company and game were long past the period where you could call up Gary Gygax in the middle of the night and he would actually engage in discussions about rule interpretations with you, but still, I felt connected to the company in a way that I never have been since.


Moldvay Basic sticks in my head most.
1e DMG is something I still find myself rereading sections of.

But Dragon magazine showing up was always great to middle and high school me - games, new classes, history of campaigns I never played in, short fiction, things about games I didn't play. I started reading at issue 64, got my subscription shortly after, and kept going until maybe the 120s.


Thanks @Snarf Zagyg for this post. Much-needed after the poison of LaNasa and his cabal.
TSR meant magic to me as a teen, and still carries so much positive nostalgia. It is important to celebrate this and I really hope WOTC will take the opportunity of the 50th Anniversary to do so.
All of us who remember the battle in Nosnra's Steading, looking down from the cave mouth onto the vine-choked Forbidden City and foiling the plans of Lareth say thank you for this thread.

Tim Kask made a clear point a couple days ago: "There will never be another TSR. Most of them are dead. It was lightning in a bottle that will never be repeated."
sadly, yes. For me, D&D was a 10 year thing, roughly 1980 (when I discovered it in college) to 1990 (when my job at the time started moving me around from town to town and I fell out of my last gaming group), spanning a big chunk of the 1E years and a couple of 2E. It was a wild and fun ride and all so new and creative. But it's not going to be recreated....


full nostalgia trip...

16yo me (30 years ago...), I remember a friend of mine had the Planescape boxed set, but it was so precious to him that he wouldn't borrow it to me, so I had to go to his home and read it there. I was also taking notes with a pen and a piece of paper (!). While I was reading and taking notes, my friend would listen to the album Ten from Pearl Jam.

The combination of that wonderful music, the art of DiTerlizzi, and the mind-blowing creativity of the setting was something that affected me profoundly.

Today still, every time I hear Even Flow, I'm back in that room and endless doors opening in front of me.

thoughts arrive like butterflies...


How inconvenient
The carbuncle is misunderstood.

[pedant]And has suffered quite a bit from its inclusion in the FF.




BECMI (Aleena!) and the boxed sets with the various settings. The joy each time I discovered a new one: Spelljammer, Darksun, Ruins of Undermountain.


I came in the dying days 1993/94.

Got some good deals 1997 or so. Didn't realize they were probably dumping old stock on that rube from a small town in love with D&D.

In effect TSR didn't really die for me until 2000 or so as they used the TSR name on new products and we were mostly buying old product anyway.

And no internet as such. Well I didn't have it anyway.

He'll my first games were old stuff raided from the closets of various friends older brothers etc. I think one guy had the Rules Cyclopedia.

the Jester

....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?

For your edification, my C monsters, including the aforementioned gemadillo, er, carbuncle.


  • Monsters - C.pdf
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