Happy Birthday, Dungeons & Dragons

This year is the 40th anniversary of the release of Dungeons and Dragons, the big daddy of the RPG industry, and rumor has it that this weekend is the actual release date anniversary. It’s been a heck of a ride, lots of editions, the deaths of its creators Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson in 2008 and 2009 respectively, the formation and ultimate dissolution of Tactical Studies Rules, etc. Lots of water under the bridge, and the river is still flowing strong.

Somewhere I have the original white box release of the game, unfortunately I’m missing one of the three books.

And now for some public sacrilege: I really don’t care much for the game. For me, it was much more complex than it needed to be. I don’t mind complexity in games occasionally, it’s just my personal style is more towards simpler games. And this is especially weird considering that Champions is perhaps my favorite RPG. But to each their own.

I have put in a lot of hours playing D&D in various incarnations, and I have had fun doing it. I think, for me, it really boils down to the GM, or DM if that’s your preference. As in so many games, the GM can make or break the game, and my earliest encounters were with GMs that really broke it for me. My favorite GM is an old friend of over 30 years, and as a rule I will enjoy anything he runs, and he ran a D&D campaign for a while for a small group of us. And we had fun. But you’re not going to find a lot of D&D products in my collections.

Still, Happy Birthday, D&D! Thank you for being instrumental in creating an industry that has brought a lot of fun to millions of people around the world!

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