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.

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