Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Bad Old Days at TSR

So, a while back I was interviewed for a piece by Ben Riggs of GEEK AND SUNDRY, an rpg website  whose focus seems to range from the era of Gygax days through Third Edition. They were putting together a piece on the TSR buyout and contacting various people who'd been there at the time. My perspective is a slightly unusual one, given that I was there before and after but not during. However, I gave them my uncensored opinion and waited to see the results. And here it is: an article that ranges from the creation of D&D through the collapse of TSR, the buyout by WotC, the 'Open Gaming' license, and the rise of Paizo. I'm not directly quoted but it's nice to see my name among the acknowledgments at the end.

Here are the links to the three parts that make up the piece:




--John R.
current reading: a life of A. A. Milne by Ann Thwaite (1990)


Paul W said...

Those articles are bit light on the details and content, and they blow right past WOTC being bought by Hasbro.

That was the real death of D&D, once it was bought by a big company like that it was doomed, it wasn't enough to make a profit, it had to make more profit then the company could make with those resources elsewhere. And for a niche marketing like roleplaying games that was impossible.

John D. Rateliff said...

Hi Paul

Re. 'the real death of D&D', you'd think this wd be the case. But if we leave aside 4th edition (a misguided attempt to be all things to all people), I'm told that D&D is now more popular than it's ever been before. My loyalty belongs to 1st edition AD&D above and beyond all others, but 5th edition has enough of the old spark to be worth playing. And the 'old school revival' movement of recent years is an encouraging development.

--John R.

Paul W said...

I have no trouble talking with ODS&D, 1e, or 2e players about the game. Even 3e to some extant. But Trying to speak with 4e or 5e players is like talking to a World of Warcraft player, similar concepts but inherently different. Your view may vary, but I feel that D&d is dead, even if RPGs are still going strong.

I'm not overly bitter, people should have fun how they wish. :) But I just don't have the same feeling of being in a living game movement that I had in the '80s and '90s.

Possibly its all just me. :D