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Dungeons & Dragons (abbreviated as D&D or DnD) is a fantasy role-playing game (RPG) originally designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, and first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. (TSR). The game is currently published by Wizards of the Coastmarker, a subsidiary of Hasbro. It was derived from miniature wargames with a variation of the Chainmail game serving as the initial rule system. D&D's publication is widely regarded as the beginning of modern role-playing games and the role-playing game industry.

D&D departs from traditional wargaming and assigns each player a specific character to play instead of a military formation. These characters embark upon imaginary adventures within a fantasy setting. A Dungeon Master serves as the game's referee and storyteller, while also maintaining the setting in which the adventures occur. The characters form a party that interacts with the setting's inhabitants (and each other). Together they solve dilemmas, engage in battles and gather treasure and knowledge. In the process the characters earn experience points to become increasingly powerful over a series of sessions.

The early success of Dungeons & Dragons led to a proliferation of similar game systems. Despite this competition, D&D enjoys a nearly unassailable market position in the role-playing game industry. In 1977, the game was split into two versions: the more loose, open framework game system of Dungeons & Dragons and the much tighter and more structured game system of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (abbreviated as AD&D or ADnD). AD&D 2nd Edition was published in 1989. In 2000, the original version of the game was discontinued and the AD&D version was renamed simply Dungeons & Dragons with the release of its 3rd edition. These rules formed the basis of the d20 System that is available under the Open Game License for use by other publishers. Dungeons & Dragons version 3.5 was released in June 2003, with a 4th edition in June 2008.

As of 2006, Dungeons & Dragons remains the best-known and best-selling role-playing game, with an estimated 20 million people having played the game and more than US$1 billion in book and equipment sales. The game has been supplemented by many pre-made adventures as well as commercial campaign settings suitable for use by regular gaming groups. Dungeons & Dragons is known beyond the game for other D&D-branded products, references in popular culture and some of the controversies that have surrounded it, particularly a moral panic in the 1980s falsely linking it to Satanism and suicide. The game has won multiple awards and has been translated into many languages beyond the original English.

Play overview

A D&D game session in progress
Dungeons & Dragons is a structured yet open-ended role-playing game. It is normally played indoors with the participants seated around a table-top. Typically, each player controls only a single character, which represents an individual in a fictional setting. As a group, these player characters (PCs) are often described as a ‘party’ of adventurers, with each member often having his or her own areas of specialty. During the course of play, each player directs the actions of his or her character and its interactions with the other characters in the game. A game often continues over a series of meetings to complete a single adventure, and longer into a series of related gaming adventures, called a ‘campaign’.

The results of the party's choices and the overall storyline for the game are determined by the Dungeon Master (DM) according to the rules of the game and the DM's interpretation of those rules. The DM selects and describes the various non-player characters (NPCs) the party encounters, the settings in which these interactions occur, and the outcomes of those encounters based on the players' choices and actions. Encounters often take the form of battles with 'monsters' – a generic term used in D&D to describe potentially hostile beings such as animals or mythical creatures. The game's extensive rules – which cover diverse subjects such as social interactions, magic use, combat, and the effect of the environment on PCs – help the DM to make these decisions. The Dungeon Master may choose to deviate from the published rules or make up new ones as he or she feels necessary.

Release 3.5 of the three core rulebooks
The most recent versions of the game's rules are detailed in three core rulebooks: The Player's Handbook, the Dungeon Master's Guide and the Monster Manual. A Basic Game boxed set contains abbreviated rules to help beginners learn the game.

The only items required to play the game are the rulebooks, a character sheet for each player and a number of polyhedral dice. The current editions also assume, but do not require, the use of miniature figures or markers on a gridded surface. Earlier editions did not make this assumption. Many optional accessories are available to enhance the game, such as expansion rulebooks, pre-designed adventures and various campaign settings.

Game mechanics

Before the game begins, each player creates his or her player character and records the details (described below) on a character sheet. First, a player determines his or her character's ability scores, which consist of Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. Each edition of the game has offered differing methods of determining these statistics; as of 4th Edition, players generally assign their ability scores from a list or use points to "buy" them. The player then chooses a race (species) such as Human or Elf, a character class (occupation) such as Fighter or Wizard, an alignment (a moral and ethical outlook which may have a Good or Evil component, a Lawful or Chaotic component, or something in between), and a number of powers, skills and feats to enhance the character's basic abilities. Additional background history, usually not covered by specific rules, is often also used to further develop the character.

During the game, players describe their PC's intended actions, such as punching an opponent or picking a lock, and converse with the DM in character – who then describes the result or response. Trivial actions, such as picking up a letter or opening an unlocked door, are usually automatically successful. The outcomes of more complex or risky actions are determined by rolling dice. Factors contributing to the outcome include the character's ability scores, skills and the difficulty of the task. In circumstances where a character does not have control of an event, such as when a trap or magical effect is triggered or a spell is cast, a saving throw can be used to determine whether the resulting damage is reduced or avoided. In this case the odds of success are influenced by the character's class, levels and (with the 3rd and later editions) ability scores.

As the game is played, each PC changes over time and generally increases in capability. Characters gain (or sometimes lose) experience, skills and wealth, and may even alter their alignment or add additional character classes. The key way characters progress is by earning experience points (XP/EXP), which happens when they defeat an enemy or accomplish a difficult task. Acquiring enough XP allows a PC to advance a level, which grants the character improved class features, abilities and skills. XP can also be lost in some circumstances, such as encounters with creatures that drain life energy, or by use of certain magical powers that require payment of an XP cost.

Hit points (HP) are a measure of a character's vitality and health and are determined by the class, level and constitution of each character. They can be temporarily lost when a character sustains wounds in combat or otherwise comes to harm, and loss of HP is the most common way for a character to die in the game. Death can also result from the loss of key ability scores or character levels. When a PC dies, it is often possible for the dead character to be resurrected through magic, although some penalties may be imposed as a result. If resurrection is not possible or not desired, the player may instead create a new PC to resume playing the game.

Adventures, campaigns, and modules

A typical Dungeons & Dragons game consists of an 'adventure', which is roughly equivalent to a single story. The DM can either design an adventure on his or her own, or follow one of the many additional pre-made adventures (previously known as "modules") that have been published throughout the history of Dungeons & Dragons. Published adventures typically include a background story, illustrations, maps and goals for PCs to achieve. Some also include location descriptions and handouts. Although a small adventure entitled 'Temple of the Frog' was included in the Blackmoor rules supplement in 1975, the first stand-alone D&D module published by TSR was 1978’s Steading of the Hill Giant Chief, written by Gygax.

A linked series of adventures is commonly referred to as a 'campaign'. The locations where these adventures occur, such as a city, country, planet or an entire fictional universe, are also sometimes called 'campaigns' but are more correctly referred to as 'worlds' or 'campaign settings'. D&D settings are based in various fantasy subgenres and feature varying levels of magic and technology. Popular commercially published campaign settings for Dungeons & Dragons include Greyhawk, Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, Mystara, Spelljammer, Ravenloft, Dark Sun, Planescape, Birthright and Eberron. Alternatively, DMs may develop their own fictional worlds to use as campaign settings.

Several Dungeons & Dragons miniature figures.
The grid mat underneath uses one-inch squares.

Miniature figures

The wargames from which Dungeons & Dragons evolved used miniature figures to represent combatants. D&D initially continued the use of miniatures in a fashion similar to its direct precursors. The original D&D set of 1974 required the use of the Chainmail miniatures game for combat resolution. By the publication of the 1977 game editions, combat was mostly resolved verbally. Thus miniatures were no longer required for game play, although some players continued to use them as a visual reference.

In the 1970s, numerous companies began to sell miniature figures specifically for Dungeons & Dragons and similar games. Licensed miniature manufacturers who produced official figures include Grenadier Miniatures (1980–1983), Citadel Miniatures (1984–1986), Ral Partha, and TSR itself. Most of these miniatures used the 25 mm scale, with the exception of Ral Partha’s 15 mm scale miniatures for the 1st edition Battlesystem.

Periodically, Dungeons & Dragons has returned to its wargaming roots with supplementary rules systems for miniatures-based wargaming. Supplements such as Battlesystem (1985 & 1989) and a new edition of Chainmail (2001) provided rule systems to handle battles between armies by using miniatures.

Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition (2000) assumes the use of miniatures to represent combat situations in play, an aspect of the game that was further emphasized in the v3.5 revision. The Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures Game (2003) is sold as sets of plastic, randomly assorted, pre-painted miniatures, and can be used as either part of a standard Dungeons & Dragons game or as a stand-alone collectible miniatures game.

Game history

Sources and influences

The immediate predecessor of Dungeons & Dragons was a set of medieval miniature rules written by Jeff Perren. These were expanded by Gary Gygax, whose additions included a fantasy supplement, before the game was published as Chainmail. Dave Arneson used Chainmail to run games where players controlled a single character instead of an army, an innovation that inspired D&D. Developed with Arneson's help from his modified version of Chainmail for his Blackmoor campaign, Gygax wrote "The Fantasy Game", the role-playing game (RPG) that became Dungeons & Dragons (D&D).

Many Dungeons & Dragons elements also appear in hobbies of the mid- to late twentieth century (though these elements also existed previously). Character-based role playing, for example, can be seen in improvisational theatre. Game-world simulations were well-developed in wargaming. Fantasy milieus specifically designed for gaming could be seen in Glorantha’s board games among others. Ultimately, however, Dungeons & Dragons represents a unique blending of these elements.

The theme of D&D was influenced by mythology, pulp fiction, and contemporary fantasy authors of the 1960s and 1970s. The presence of halflings, elves, dwarves, half-elves, orcs, dragons, and the like, often draw comparisons to the work of J.R.R. Tolkien. Gygax maintained that he was influenced very little by The Lord of the Rings (although the owners of that work’s copyright forced the name changes of hobbit to 'halfling', ent to 'treant', and balrog to 'Type VI demon [balor]'), stating that he included these elements as a marketing move to draw on the popularity of the work.

The magic system, in which wizards memorize spells that are used up once cast (and must be re-memorized the next day), was heavily influenced by the Dying Earth stories and novels of Jack Vance. The original alignment system (which grouped all players and creatures into ‘Law’, ‘Neutrality’ and ‘Chaos’) was derived from the novel Three Hearts and Three Lions by Poul Anderson. A troll described in this work also influenced the D&D definition of that monster.

Other influences include the works of Robert E. Howard, Edgar Rice Burroughs, A. Merritt, H. P. Lovecraft, Fritz Leiber, L. Sprague de Camp, Fletcher Pratt, Roger Zelazny, and Michael Moorcock. Monsters, spells, and magic items used in the game have been inspired by hundreds of individual works ranging from A. E. van Vogt’s “Black Destroyer”, Coeurl (the Displacer Beast), Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky” (vorpal sword) to the Book of Genesis (the clerical spell ‘Blade Barrier’ was inspired by the “flaming sword which turned every way” at the gates of Eden).

Edition history

Dungeons & Dragons has gone through several revisions. Parallel versions and inconsistent naming practices can make it difficult to distinguish between the different editions.

The original Dungeons & Dragons set.
The original Dungeons & Dragons, now referred to as OD&D, was a small box set of three booklets published in 1974. It was amateurish in production and written from a perspective that assumed the reader was familiar with wargaming. Nevertheless it exploded in popularity, first among wargamers and then expanding to a more general audience of college and high school students. This first set went through many printings and was supplemented with several official additions, such as the original Greyhawk and Blackmoor supplements (both 1975), as well as magazine articles in TSR’s official publications and countless fanzines.

Two-pronged strategy

In 1977, TSR created the first element of a two-pronged strategy that would divide the D&D game for over two decades. A Basic Dungeons & Dragons boxed set was introduced to clean up the presentation of the essential rules, make the system understandable to the general public, and placed in a package that could be stocked in toy stores. In 1978, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) was published, which brought together the various published rules, options and corrections, then expanded them into a definitive, unified game for hobbyist gamers. The basic set directed players who exhausted the possibilities of that game to switch to the advanced rules.

Unfortunately, almost from its inception, differences of design philosophy caused this dual marketing approach to go awry. Gygax, who wrote the advanced game, wanted an expansive game with rulings on any conceivable situation which might come up during play. J. Eric Holmes, the editor of the basic game, preferred a lighter tone with more room for personal improvisation. As a result, the basic game included many rules and concepts which contradicted comparable ones in the advanced game. Confusing matters further, the original D&D boxed set remained in publication until 1979, since it remained a healthy seller for TSR.

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons was designed to create a tighter, more structured game system than the loose framework of the original game. While seen by many as a revision of D&D, AD&D was at the time declared to be "neither an expansion nor a revision of the old game, it is a new game". The AD&D game was not intended to be directly compatible with D&D and it required some conversion to play between the rule sets. The term Advanced described the more complex rules and did not imply "for higher-level gaming abilities". Between 1977 and 1979, three hardcover rulebooks, commonly referred to as the "core rulebooks", were released: the Player’s Handbook (PHB), the Dungeon Master’s Guide (DMG), and the Monster Manual (MM). Several supplementary books were published throughout the 1980s, notably Unearthed Arcana (1985) that included a large number of new rules.

Revised editions

In 1981, Basic Dungeons & Dragons was revised by Tom Moldvay. However, the rules for the Dungeons & Dragons game continued to diverge and it became a separate and distinct product from TSR’s flagship game, AD&D. This game was promoted as a continuation of the original D&D tone, whereas AD&D was an advancement of the mechanics. Although simpler overall than the Advanced game, it included rules for some situations not covered in AD&D. There were five sets: Basic (1977, revised in 1981 and again in 1983), Expert (1981, revised in 1983), Companion (1983), Master (1985), and Immortals (1986, revised in 1991). Each set covered game play for more powerful characters than the previous. The first four sets were later compiled as a single hardcover book, the Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (1991).

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition, sometimes referred to as AD&D2 or 2nd Ed, was published in 1989, again as three core rulebooks; the primary designer was David "Zeb" Cook. The Monster Manual was replaced by the Monstrous Compendium, a loose-leaf binder that was subsequently replaced by the hardcover Monstrous Manual in 1993. In 1995, the core rulebooks were slightly revised, although still referred to by TSR as the 2nd Edition, and a series of Player’s Option manuals were released as optional core rulebooks.

The release of AD&D2 deliberately excluded some aspects of the game that had attracted negative publicity. References to demons and devils, sexually suggestive artwork, and playable, evil-aligned character types – such as assassins and half-orcs – were removed. The edition moved away from a theme of 1960's and 1970's "sword and sorcery" fantasy fiction to a mixture of medieval history and mythology. The rules underwent minor changes, including the addition of non-weapon proficiencies – skill-like abilities that originally appeared in 1st Edition supplements. The game's magic spells were divided into schools and spheres. A major difference was the promotion of various game settings beyond that of traditional fantasy. This included blending fantasy with other genres, such as horror (Ravenloft), science fiction (Spelljammer), and apocalyptic (Dark Sun), as well as alternative historical and non-European mythological settings.

Wizards of the Coast

In 1997, a near-bankrupt TSR was purchased by Wizards of the Coastmarker. Following three years of development, Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition was released in 2000. This game is referred to as D&D3 or 3E and is not to be confused with the 1983 edition of the basic D&D game. The new release folded the Basic and Advanced lines back into a single unified game. It was the largest revision of the D&D rules to date, and also served as the basis for a multi-genre role-playing system designed around 20-sided dice, called the d20 System. The 3rd Edition rules were designed to be internally consistent and less restrictive than previous editions of the game, allowing players more flexibility to create the characters they wanted to play. Skills and feats were introduced into the core rules to encourage further customization of characters. The new rules also standardized the mechanics of action resolution and combat.

In 2003, Dungeons & Dragons v.3.5, also known as Revised 3rd Edition or D&D3.5, was released as a revision of the 3rd Edition rules. This release incorporated hundreds of rule changes, mostly minor, and expanded the core rulebooks.

In early 2005, Wizards of the Coast's R&D team started to develop Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition, prompted mainly by the feedback obtained from the D&D playing community and a desire to make the game faster, more intuitive, and with a better play experience than under the 3rd Edition. The new game was developed through a number of design phases spanning from May 2005 until its release.

Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition was announced at Gen Con in August 2007, and the initial three core books were released June 6, 2008. 4th Edition streamlined the game into a simplified form and introduced numerous rules changes. Many character abilities were restructured into "Powers". These altered the spell-using classes by adding abilities that could be used at will, per encounter, or per day. Likewise, non-magic-using classes were provided with parallel sets of options. Wizards of the Coast is releasing other supplementary material virtually through their website, including the capability for online play via a virtual 3-D tabletop.

Acclaim and influence

Beginning with a French language edition in 1982, Dungeons & Dragons has been translated into many languages beyond the original English. By 2004, consumers had spent more than US$1 billion on Dungeons & Dragons products and the game had been played by more than 20 million people. As many as 6 million people played the game in 2007.

The various editions of Dungeons & Dragons have won many Origins Awards, including All Time Best Roleplaying Rules of 1977, Best Roleplaying Rules of 1989, and Best Roleplaying Game of 2000 for the three flagship editions of the game. Both Dungeons & Dragons and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons are Origins Hall of Fame Games inductees as they were deemed sufficiently distinct to merit separate inclusion on different occasions. The independent Games magazine placed Dungeons & Dragons on their Games 100 list from 1980 through 1983, then entered the game into the magazine’s Hall of Fame in 1984.

Dungeons & Dragons was the first modern role-playing game and it established many of the conventions that have dominated the genre. Particularly notable are the use of dice as a game mechanic, character record sheets, use of numerical attributes and gamemaster-centered group dynamics. Within months of Dungeons & Dragons’s release, new role-playing game writers and publishers began releasing their own role-playing games, with most of these being in the fantasy genre. Some of the earliest other role-playing games inspired by D&D include Tunnels and Trolls (1975), Empire of the Petal Throne (1975), and Chivalry and Sorcery (1976).

The role-playing movement initiated by D&D would lead to release of the science fiction game Traveller (1977) and fantasy game RuneQuest (1978), and subsequent game systems such as Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu (1981), Champions (1982), GURPS (1986), and Vampire: The Masquerade (1992). Dungeons & Dragons and the games it influenced fed back into the genre’s origin – miniatures wargames – with combat strategy games like Warhammer Fantasy Battles. D&D also had a large impact on modern video games.

Director Jon Favreau credits Dungeons & Dragons with giving him "...a really strong background in imagination, storytelling, understanding how to create tone and a sense of balance."


Early in the game’s history, TSR took no action against small publishers' production of D&D compatible material. This attitude changed in the mid 1980s when TSR revoked these rights (even from publishers they had earlier officially licensed, such as Judges Guild), and took legal action to prevent others from publishing compatible material. This angered many fans and led to resentment by the other gaming companies. Although TSR took legal action against several publishers in an attempt to restrict third-party usage, it never brought any court cases to completion, instead settling out of court in every instance. TSR itself also ran afoul of intellectual property law in several cases.

With the launch of Dungeons & Dragons’s 3rd Edition, Wizards of the Coast made the d20 System available under the Open Game License (OGL) and d20 trademark license. Under these licenses, authors are free to use the d20 System when writing games and game supplements. The OGL and d20 Trademark License also made possible new games, some based on licensed products like Star Wars, and also new versions of older games, such as Call of Cthulhu.

During the 2000s, there has been a trend towards recreating older editions of D&D. Necromancer Games, with its slogan "Third Edition Rules, First Edition Feel" and Goodman Games Dungeon Crawl Classics range are both examples of this in material for d20 System. Other companies have created complete game systems based on earlier editions of D&D. An example is HackMaster (2001) by Kenzer and Company, a licensed, non-OGL, semi-satirical follow-on to 1st and 2nd Edition. Castles & Crusades (2005), by Troll Lord Games, is a reimagining of early editions by streamlining rules from OGL that was supported by Gary Gygax prior to his death.

With the release of the fourth edition, Wizards of the Coast has introduced its Game System License, which represents a significant restriction compared with the very open policies embodied by the OGL. In part as a response to this, some publishers (such as Paizo Publishing with its Pathfinder Roleplaying Game) who previously produced materials in support of the D&D product line, have made the decision to continue supporting the 3rd Edition rules, thereby competing directly with Wizards of the Coast. Others, such as Kenzer & Company, are returning to the practice of publishing unlicensed supplements, stressing that copyright law does not allow Wizards of the Coast to restrict third-party usage.

Controversy and notoriety

At various times in its history, Dungeons & Dragons has received negative publicity, in particular from some Christian groups, for alleged promotion of such practices as devil worship, witchcraft, suicide, and murder, and for naked breasts in drawings of female humanoids in the original AD&D manuals (mainly monsters such as Harpies, Succubi, etc.). These controversies led TSR to remove many potentially controversial references and artwork when releasing the 2nd Edition of AD&D. Many of these references, including the use of the names "devils" and "demons", were reintroduced in the 3rd edition. The moral panic over the game also led to problems for fans of D&D who faced social ostracism, unfair treatment, and false association with the occult and Satanism, regardless of an individual fan's actual religious affiliation and beliefs.

Dungeons & Dragons has also been the subject of rumors regarding players having difficulty separating fantasy and reality, even leading to psychotic episodes. The most notable of these was the saga of James Dallas Egbert III, which was fictionalized in the novel Mazes and Monsters and later made into a TV movie. The game was also blamed for some of the actions of Chris Pritchard, who was convicted in 1990 of murdering his stepfather. Research by various psychologists, the first being that of Armando Simon, have concluded that no harmful effects are related to the playing of D&D.

The game’s commercial success was a factor that led to lawsuits regarding distribution of royalties between original creators Gygax and Arneson. Gygax later became embroiled in a political struggle for control of TSR which culminated in a court battle and Gygax’s decision to sell his ownership interest in the company in 1985.

Related products

An elaborate example of a D&D game in progress.
Among the gaming aids shown are dice, a variety of miniatures and some miniature scenery.

D&D’s commercial success has led to many other related products, including Dragon Magazine, Dungeon Magazine, an animated television series, a film series, an official role-playing soundtrack, and computer games such as the MMORPG Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach. Hobby and toy stores sell dice, miniatures, adventures, and other game aids related to D&D and its game offspring.

In popular culture

As the popularity of D&D grew throughout the late 1970s and 1980s, the game was referenced more and more in popular culture. Numerous games, films, and cultural references based on D&D or D&D-like fantasies, characters or adventures have been ubiquitous since the end of the 1970s. Typically, though by no means exclusively, D&D players are portrayed derogatively as the epitome of geekdom. References to the game are used as shorthand to establish characterization or provide the punch line of a joke. Famous D&D players include professional basketball player Tim Duncan, comedian Stephen Colbert, musician Moby, and actors Vin Diesel, Matthew Lillard, Mike Myers, Patton Oswalt, Wil Wheaton, and Robin Williams.

See also


  1. Mead, Malcomson; Dungeons & Dragons FAQ
  2. introduction
  3. "Frankly, the difference in sales between Wizards and all other producers of roleplaying games is so staggering that even saying there is an 'RPG industry' at all may be generous." (Cook; The Open Game License as I see it)
  4. Gygax; "From the Sorcerer's Scroll" in The Dragon #26
  5. Johnson, et al.; 30 Years of Adventure, p. 253
  6. According to a 1999 survey in the United States, 6% of 12- to 35-year-olds have played role-playing games. Of those who play regularly, two thirds play D&D. (Dancey; Adventure Game Industry Market Research Summary)
  7. Products branded Dungeons & Dragons made up over fifty percent of the RPG products sold in 2005. (Hite; State of the Industry 2005)
  8. Waters; What happened to Dungeons and Dragons?
  9. Sometimes, if there are not enough players, one may control multiple characters. The Basic Game suggests, “If there are characters left over, some players may play more than one (but they don't have to)”. (Tweet; Dungeons & Dragons Basic Game).
  10. Waskul, Lust; "Role-Playing and Playing Roles" in Caliber 27 (3)
  11. Slavicsek, Baker; Dungeons & Dragons for Dummies p. 268
  12. Tweet, Cook, Williams; Player's Handbook v3.5, p. 5
  13. "The Role-Playing Game and the Game of Role-Playing"
  14. "Encounters are to adventures what adventures are to campaigns" (Cook, Williams, Tweet; Dungeon Master's Guide v3.5., p. 129)
  15. Cook, Williams, Tweet; Dungeon Master's Guide v3.5., p. 4
  16. Slavicsek, Baker; Dungeons & Dragons for Dummies p. 293
  17. Cook, Williams, Tweet; Dungeon Master's Guide v3.5., p. 98
  18. Gygax; Dungeon Masters Guide p. 114
  19. Tweet, Cook, Williams; Player's Handbook v3.5, p. 114
  20. Mohan; Wilderness Survival Guide
  21. Tweet; Dungeons & Dragons Basic game p. 32
  22. As of 2007 there have been two version of the basic game. Both contained a cut down, introductory version of the D&D v.3.5 rules, miniatures, dice and dungeon map tiles with a 1" grid (Tweet; Dungeons & Dragons Basic Game and Slavicsek, Sernett, Dungeons & Dragons Basic Game
  23. Wizards of the Coast; What is D&D?
  24. Slavicsek, Baker; Dungeons & Dragons for Dummies p. 363
  25. The original game used 3d6 in the order rolled (Gygax, Arneson; Dungeons & Dragons). Variants have since been included (Gygax; Dungeon Masters Guide, p. 11) and the standard for 3rd edition is "rolling four six-sided dice, ignoring the lowest die, and totaling the other three" (Tweet, Cook, Williams; Player's Handbook [3.0], p. 4), arranging the results in any order desired.
  26. Given is the current standard order for ability scores, with the three physical scores before the three mental scores. Prior to the first edition of AD&D they were ordered: Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Constitution, Dexterity, Charisma. In the first edition they were ordered: Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Dexterity, Constitution, and Charisma.
  27. Heinsoo, Collins, Wyatt; Player's Handbook p. 4
  28. Gygax; Player's Handbook, p. 34
  29. Tweet; Dungeons & Dragons Basic Game p. 24
  30. Tweet, Cook, Williams; Player's Handbook v3.5, p. 62
  31. Tweet, Cook, Williams; Player's Handbook v3.5, p. 136
  32. “Generally, when you are subject to an unusual or magical attack, you get a saving throw to avoid or reduce the effect.” There is identical language in sections titled ‘Saving Throws’ in (Tweet 2000:119).
  33. Tweet, Cook, Williams; Player's Handbook (3.0), pp. 119–120
  34. Cook, Williams, Tweet; Dungeon Master's Guide v3.5., p. 197
  35. Early editions did not allow or had severe penalties for changing alignment (Gygax; Dungeon Masters Guide, p. 24) but more recent versions are more allowing of change. (Cook, Williams, Tweet; Dungeon Master's Guide v3.5., p. 134)
  36. Tweet, Cook, Williams; Player's Handbook v3.5, p. 59
  37. Gygax; Dungeon Masters Guide, p. 84
  38. Tweet, Cook, Williams; Player's Handbook v3.5, p. 58
  39. Cook, Williams, Tweet; Dungeon Master's Guide v3.5., p. 46
  40. Tweet, Cook, Williams; Player's Handbook v3.5, p. 145
  41. Cook, Williams, Tweet; Dungeon Master's Guide v3.5., p. 289
  42. Cook, Williams, Tweet; Dungeon Master's Guide v3.5., p. 296
  43. Cook, Williams, Tweet; Dungeon Master's Guide v3.5., p. 41
  44. Cook, Williams, Tweet; Dungeon Master's Guide v3.5., p. 43
  45. “A D&D campaign is an organized framework ... to provide a realistic setting for a series of fantastic adventures.” (Schend, Pickens, Warty; Rules Cyclopedia, p. 256)
  46. "It is important to distinguish between a campaign and a world, since the terms often seem to be used interchangeably ... A world is a fictional place in which a campaign is set. It's also often called a campaign setting." (Cook, Williams, Tweet; Dungeon Master's Guide v3.5., p. 129)
  47. Williams ; Dungeon Master Option: High Level Campaigns, p. 45
  48. Greyhawk, Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, Mystara, Spelljammer, Ravenloft, Dark Sun and Planescape are the campaign settings given their own chapter in Johnson, et al.; 30 Years of Adventure. Eberron was only released in 2004 and, as of 2007, is one of two campaign settings, the other being Forgotten Realms, still actively supported with new releases by Wizards of the Coast.
  49. Johnson, et al.; 30 Years of Adventure, p. 23
  50. The first Dungeon Masters Guide gave only a quarter of a page out of a total 240 pages to discussing the option use of miniatures. (Gygax; Dungeon Masters Guide, p. 10)
  51. Pope; Grenadier Models
  52. Scott; Otherworld
  53. Pope; Ral Partha
  54. Pope; TSR
  55. Moore; 15mm Scale Fantasy Figures has a list of the 15 mm Ral Parthat Battlesystem figures.
  56. McCuen; 15mm Battlesystem Paladin 1994 has a photographic example of a 15 mm Ral Partha Battlesystem figure.
  57. Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design; List of Winners (2002)
  58. Tweet; What Are D&D Miniatures?
  59. Kushner; Dungeon Master: The Life and Legacy of Gary Gygax
  60. Wizards of the Coast; The History of TSR
  61. Grigg; Albert Goes Narrative Contracting
  62. Schick; Heroic Worlds, pp. 17–34
  63. Kuntz; "Tolkien in Dungeons & Dragons" in Dragon #13
  64. Gygax; "On the Influence of J.R.R. Tolkien on the D&D and AD&D games" in Dragon #95
  65. Gygax; "The Dungeons and Dragons Magic System" in The Strategic Review, Vol. 2, No. 2
  66. The first seven listed here are the “most immediate influences”. (Gygax; Dungeon Masters Guide, p. 224)
  67. DeVarque; Literary Sources of D&D
  68. Schick; Heroic Worlds, pp. 132-153
  69. Schend, Pickens, Warty; Rules Cyclopedia, p. 291
  70. Gygax; "Dungeons & Dragons: What Is It and Where Is It Going" in The Dragon #21
  71. "This is not AD&D 3rd edition" Winter, Steven (in the forward to Cook; Player's Handbook).
  72. Ward; "The Games Wizards: Angry Mothers From Heck (And what we do about them)" in Dragon #154
  73. Cook; Player's Handbook (1989), pp. 25-41
  74. Pryor, Herring, Tweet, Richie; Creative Campaigning
  75. "After ... the idea of acquiring TSR began to swim in my mind it took me maybe thirty seconds to decide, We’ve got to do a third edition of Dungeons & Dragons." (Adkison, Peter in Johnson, et al.; 30 Years of Adventure, p. 250).
  76. Johnson, et al.; 30 Years of Adventure, p. 273
  77. Johnson, et al.; 30 Years of Adventure, pp. 255-263
  78. "Countdown to 3rd Edition: Feats and Fighters" in Dragon #270
  79. Tweet, Cook, Williams; Player's Handbook v3.5, p. 4
  80. Carter, et al.; Wizards presents races and classes, pp. 6-9
  81. Slavicsek; Ampersand: Exciting News!
  82. Wizards of the Coast; Dungeons & Dragons Flashes 4-ward at Gen Con
  83. Wizards of the Coast; Wizards of the Coast at Gen Con!
  84. Svensson; Dungeons & Dragons reborn
  85. Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design; Archive of List of Origins Award Winners
  86. Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design; Hall of Fame
  87. Schick; Heroic Worlds, pp. 414-418
  88. Games Magazine Online; Hall of Fame
  89. "Although we have come a long way since D&D, the essential concept is still the same, and is one that will endure." (Darlington; "A History of Role-Playing Part IX").
  90. Rilstone; Role-Playing Games: An Overview
  91. Schick; Heroic Worlds, pp. 223–244
  92. Fine; Shared Fantasy, pp. 16-19
  93. Darlington; A History of Role-Playing Part V
  94. Darlington; A History of Role-Playing Part VIII
  95. Grady; In Genre
  96. PC Gamer; How Dungeons & Dragons shaped the modern videogame
  97. Boucher; Jon Favreau is the action figure behind 'Iron Man'.
  98. Bledsaw; "From the Sorcerer's Scroll" in Dragon #27
  99. Copyright conflicts with the Tolkien Estate lead to removal of references to Hobbits, Ents and others. (Hallford, Hallford; Swords & Circuitry)
  100. Disputes over licenses led to an agreement for Chaosium to use the Thieves' World license in exchange for allowing TSR to legally publish the Cthulhu and Melniboné mythoi in Deities & Demigods. (Appelcline; Chaosium: 1975–Present)
  101. Wizards of the Coast; The d20 System
  102. Necromancer Games; D20 Products with 3rd Edition Rules, 1st Edition Feel
  103. Goodman Games; Dungeon Crawl Classics
  104. Thorn; Review of Hackmaster 4th Edition
  105. "Castles & Crusades is a fantasy RPG, clearly based upon the first edition of AD&D but with streamlined d20-like rules." (Mythmere; Castles & Crusades Players Handbook (4.6 stars))
  106. Gary Gygax was writing an entire line of Castle Zagyg products for Castles & Crusades. (Troll Lord games; Castle Zagyg Product Page)
  107. Paizo Publishing; Paizo Publishing Announces the Pathfinder RPG
  108. Pramas; Green Ronin and Fourth Edition D&D
  109. Waldron; Role-Playing Games and the Christian Right
  110. Cardwell; "The Attacks on Role-Playing Games"
  111. Williams, Tweet, Cook; Monster Manual, pp. 41,47)
  112. Gagne; Moral Panics Over Youth Culture and Video Games
  113. Darlington; A History of Role-Playing Part IV
  114. Hately; The Disappearance of James Dallas Egbert III (Part I)
  115. O'Connor; TV: 'Mazes and Monsters,' Fantasy
  116. Svitavsky; "Geek Culture" in The Bulletin of Bibliography 58 2
  117. Armando; "Emotional Stability Pertaining to Dungeons and Dragons" in Psychology in the Schools 84 (4)
  118. Judges Guild; "Interview with Dave Arneson" in Pegasus #1
  119. Rausch; Dave Arneson Interview
  120. Gygax; Gygax FAQ
  121. Curell; Dungeons & Dragons-30 Years and Going Strong
  122. Onion; "Bill Gates Grants Self 18 Dexterity, 20 Charisma" in The Onion 31 (21)
  123. Cohen, Keler, Rogers; Anthology of Interest I
  124. Briggs; Duncan's unusual hobby and more unusual request
  125. Diesel contributed the introduction, and both Colbert and Wheaton page personal reflections to Johnson, et al.; 30 Years of Adventure
  126. Diesel, Williams, Moby, Lillard, Colbert: Shanafelt; The growing chic of geek
  127. Diesel, Colbert, Lillard: Tonjes; Interview with Charles Ryan on the 2005 Worldwide Dungeons & Dragons Game Day
  128. Oswalt: Leckart; Ratatouille Star Patton Oswalt on Geeks vs. Nerds
  129. Myers: Inside the Actors' Studio; Mike Myers


  • Archived copy of the article, taken 2009-07-13: page 1, page 2

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Further reading

External links

  • The Hypertext d20 SRD: D&D rules online.
  • D&D Wiki: A Wiki dedicated to 3.5/4e and Modern DnD.
  • The Acaeum: Site with detailed information on all 1st edition Dungeons & Dragons items produced by TSR up through roughly 1989.

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