Way back in the ancient days of the late 60ies and beginning of the 70ies…
David Lance Arneson and Gary Gygax were fanatical players of medieval war games. A game played on a large table with figurines, dice and strategic rules to make the game resemble a fantastic medieval battle.
Gary was involved founding the “Lake Geneva Wargames Convention”, which evolved into the more easily pronounceable “Gen Con” gaming convention soon.
It was at the Gen Con conventions that Gary met Dave Arneson who was also particularly interested in playing tabletop oriented medieval war games.
The amount of interest in playing medieval warfare between these visionary individuals sparked a substantial volume of fantasy between Dave and Gary to create a vast new world of gaming possibilities.
Being such inquisitive game enthusiasts the creation of a new game was a gradually, but also a quite inevitable result of their boundless imagination.
The first version of Dungeons and Dragons was made by inspired by tactical wargames. Especially the war games set in the Middle Ages.
But their love for narrative and escalating the medieval theme in to the fantastical realm of myths, the creation of a new game got way out of hand!
Being geeks with strange ideas, no game publisher dared to release their game.
Dave being the one who believed in steering the game into more individual elements.
While Gary was deep into mechanics and organisation.
Gary Gygax got together with Don Kaye and founded with him TSR and the released their wil first game under this company.
The first Dungeons and Dragons, now known as Original Dungeons and Dragons, was brought out as a limited edition box set.
The first sign of success was that this box set was sold out surprisingly fast and therefore the idea of “limited” was soon turned into making more boxes.
And much later, into new revisions and even editions!
This fanatic creating of a new adventure led to the new game developing into the phenomenon of table top role playing game that we know today.
A game that has inspired many more in the decades following.
But the one we still know best is the role playing game it all started with.
Despite it’s success and wide influence on popculture, D&D struggled with a reputation either as a game for nerds or being an easy target for religious zealots.
TSR struggled to survive these not so tolerant times.
Nearing bankruptcy, TSR was bought by the game giant Wizard of the Coast.
Ever since we experienced the magic of advertisement on a large budget.
Having acquired a higher armour class against bibles being thrown at it and way more advertisement allowed the game to grow like never before.
Not even the increased nerd factor by releasing even more (expensive) expansions could stop the grow of Dungeons and Dragons.
Despite not being the puzzling game it was when it was first brought out as the original boxed set, D&D is still a hard game to start with.
But if you know a group in your neighbourhood, you probably find people who can easily help you get into the game.
What really helps is the first rule of any role playing game is to use your imagination, play like that character and most of all: play it together!
The best additional rule is to use the so called house rules, the rules that appear in no book, the rules that ensure that everyone at the table has a great time together.
The magic of using imagination together, is the magic that is the real game.