In the early 1970s, Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson collaborated on the role-playing game of all time: Dungeons & Dragons . The iconic game did not always have an iconic name, however. Dungeons & Dragons bore the spectacularly dull name of The Fantasy Game .
In the 1960s, both Gygax and Arneson were avid wargamers-as a hobby and passion, and they both played extensively tabletop simulations of historical and imagined battles. In late 1
In 1970, Dave Arneson started a medieval variation on Wesely's Braunstein games, where players controlled individuals instead of armies and used Chainmail to resolve the combat. This is the game that went on, Arneson added innovations like character classes, experience points, level advancement, armor class, etc. This is the home-brewed variation of Chainmail Gygax and Arneson started a collaborative relationship focused on building a game around a more personalized Chainmail experience. Between 1971 and 1974, the two of them hashed out the rules and playtested The Fantasy Game . In 1974, they partnered with Brian Blume, whose father Melvin provided the much needed funding to get the game published and distributed across America.
Somewhere along the line between playtesting, financing, and preparing the game for publication, they The Fantasy Game What the child of title would inspire anyone to pull off a shelf or cough up $ 10 ($ 45 when adjusted for inflation) -and the name was changed to Dungeons & Dragons .
The entire print run of 1,000 copies sold out within the year. From that early start with a limited print run, the game went on to undergo many revisions and expansions. Dungeons & Dragons merchandise sales at one billion dollars a bad showing for a paper-based tabletop game created by two fantasy-obsessed wargamers.
Image courtesy of Gary Gygax / Dave Arneson.