12 December 2014

What's In The Box?

So, I get this cool box home and open it up. What did I find? Three digest-sized booklets, in this case formed by folding a standard 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper in half, in tan covers. There was also a similarly sized pamphlet (no cover) sheet of reference tables taken from the booklets.

  • Volume I: Men & Magic 
  • Volume II: Monsters & Treasure
  • Volume III: The Underworld & Wilderness Adventures

First of all, you might be wondering where the game got its name. In Gary's own words:

When I wrote the initial and second drafts of the D&D game [manuscript]. I had it's title as "The Fantasy Game." This was for two reasons: One, I hadn't settled on a name yet. Two, when I did choose a name, I didn't want it known [until] a product was out. During this period I made up a two-column list of names. All in column one could stand alone or go with one in the second column to form a longer title. I read the lists to my regular players, and my family, asking what they thought best. Of course the list had both "Dungeons" and "Dragons" on it. Those two in combination were the favorites, and when my (then) little daughter Cindy clapped her hands and said the really liked that name, I agreed. It was my favorite too--after all, I had formed the Castle & Crusade Society as a part of the International Federation of Wargaming about three years before that.

Volume I dealt mainly with all aspects of player-character creation, their classes, equipment, and descriptions of all the spells.

Volume II was a listing of some now familiar monsters and lists of magic items.

Volume III described movement and exploration. It included information on how to design a dungeon and included a sample floorplan and example of play. There were also rules for wilderness exploration, aerial combat, and waterborne adventures.

The reference sheets included all the tables needed for running the game and were a forerunner for a later product, the Referee (or Dungeon Master's) Screen.

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