Are there any other sources?
posted by Anything at 1:25 PM on March 4
Dave Arneson was a very enthusiastic gamer. He was already tweaking and changing things. Many of the rules in D&D came from rules he had created years before. However, it was Gary Gygax who put those ideas in writing, adding some of his own along the way. Gygax became the face of the game, and Arneson wanted more credit. Gygax was not about to give Arneson that wish. Don Kaye died of a stroke in 1975, spelling the end of Tactical Studies Rules. Gygax and Brian Blume dissolved the company and formed a new one, TSR, Inc. The notable person missing from this new company was Arneson, whose disagreement with Gygax had become a full-blown feud. In 1977, the D&D game underwent a revision. In an effort to cut Arneson out of the royalties he was owed as a co-creator of the game, Gygax produced the new edition under the name of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. A series of lawsuits from Arneson followed, and another, more basic and less supported line was formed to appease him. This secondary line was known simply as Dungeons & Dragons, and featured a much simplified version of the game. Basic D&D, as it became known, was supposed to be an introductory platform from which new gamers would jump to the AD&D game. But the two systems were not compatible, and the product lines eventually developed separately, effectively splitting the market. Arneson faded into obscurity in the industry, while Gygax continued producing massive amounts of material for AD&D while delegating D&D to other authors.
Robilar commented as they mounted: "It seems that you have a spell for almost every occasion."
Mordenkainen laughed: "And when I don't, I have you!"
They both laughed heartily; and spurring their horses they rode south.
The first edition Monster Manual is also famous for the topless portrayals of its female monsters, such as the succubus and Type V demons, the lamia, the sylph, among others. The casual depiction of female nudity is a hallmark of first edition Dungeons and Dragons art.
Today millions of people are slaves to Gary Gygax. They play EverQuest and World of Warcraft, and someone must still be hanging out in Second Life. (That “massively multiplayer” computer traffic, by the way, also helped drive the development of the sort of huge server clouds that power Google.)
But that’s just gaming culture, more pervasive than it was in 1974 when Dungeons & Dragons was created and certainly more profitable — today it’s estimated to be a $40 billion-a-year business — but still a little bit nerdy. Delete the dragon-slaying, though, and you’re left with something much more mainstream: Facebook, a vast, interconnected universe populated by avatars.
Facebook and other social networks ask people to create a character — one based on the user, sure, but still a distinct entity. Your character then builds relationships by connecting to other characters. Like Dungeons & Dragons, this is not a competitive game. There’s no way to win. You just play.
As a creative endeavour, Mr Gygax's invented world was deeply unoriginal: he borrowed shamelessly from authors such as Jack Vance, Robert E. Howard and J. R. R. Tolkien. But rather than merely describing these worlds, as their authors had done, his invention—a blend of mathematics, theatre and imagination—allowed his players to live in them. Players built their alter egos by using numbers to represent characteristics such as strength, toughness and intelligence. A “games master” or “dungeon master” would create adventures and provide the opposition—an evil wizard, say, or a manipulative king. A complicated but flexible set of rules allowed players to do almost anything they liked, provided their characters were competent. The crucial element of chance was provided by rolling the game's iconic 20-sided dice.
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