Books about RPGS
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Post Posted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:27 pm 
 

Interested in suggestions for good RPG history type books. Anything like Heroic Worlds, Dicing with Dragons, Fantasy Wargaming.

Along those lines, or biographies about game developers, etc


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Post Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:09 am 
 

webrik33 wrote in Books about RPGS:Interested in suggestions for good RPG history type books. Anything like Heroic Worlds, Dicing with Dragons, Fantasy Wargaming.

Along those lines, or biographies about game developers, etc


The Complete Guide to Roleplaying Games by Rick Swan

Playing at the World by Jon Peterson (obviously)

Through Dungeons Deep by Robert Plamondon

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Post Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 11:25 pm 
 

I heartily second Mike's suggestion of Playing at the World by Jon Peterson.  Another one that's not necessarily role-playing game specific, but gives some details on when certain RPG's had their launch and heyday as well as a good history primer I would recommend Robin Laws' 40 Years of GenCon.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:04 am 
 

mrmanowar wrote in Books about RPGS:I heartily second Mike's suggestion of Playing at the World by Jon Peterson.  Another one that's not necessarily role-playing game specific, but gives some details on when certain RPG's had their launch and heyday as well as a good history primer I would recommend Robin Laws' 40 Years of GenCon.


Agreed.  A tough read from cover to cover but an incredible amount of information.  I learned more in 1 chapter than I knew from collecting in the last 5 years.

Also, what about 'Of Dice and Men'?  I have it but haven't started reading it yet.

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Post Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:10 am 
 

Agreed.  A tough read from cover to cover but an incredible amount of information.  I learned more in 1 chapter than I knew from collecting in the last 5 years.

Also, what about 'Of Dice and Men'?  I have it but haven't started reading it yet.

~throwi[/quote]


Of Dice and Men is a good fast read.  Not nearly as in depth as Playing at the World and it also has "in game/campaign" elements in it.  I would recommend that book for people who have more of a casual interest in D&D, the game it primarily focuses on.  That would be the "mainstream" book that provides a good overview of D&D in particular but does address other games and LARP's, etc.  If you are reading and posting on this website, then Playing at the World will probably have more interest for you as that covers QUITE a lot of ground and is an indispensable resource to have.  From the things that influenced Gygax and Arneson to the types of games that were gleaned from to create Dungeons and Dragons to role playing in general to the offshoots that came after Dungeons & Dragons (within the first few years); this book is flat out awesome.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:00 pm 
 

If you are also interested in how Dungeons & Dragons helped inspire the creators of computer games (especially computer role-playing games) you should check out these two books:

Dungeons & Desktops:  Dungeons and Desktops: The History of Computer Role-Playing Games: Matt Barton: 9781568814117: Amazon.com: Books

Dungeons & Dreamers:  Dungeons and Dreamers: The Rise of Computer Game Culture from Geek to Chic: Brad King, John Borland: 9780072228885: Amazon.com: Books


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Post Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:25 pm 
 

mrmanowar wrote in Books about RPGS:I would recommend Robin Laws' 40 Years of GenCon.


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Post Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:15 pm 
 

Arrgghhh!  About all the things to be reminded of about that book and you chose the short shorts!

  

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Post Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:17 am 
 

mrmanowar wrote in Books about RPGS:Agreed.  A tough read from cover to cover but an incredible amount of information.  I learned more in 1 chapter than I knew from collecting in the last 5 years.

Also, what about 'Of Dice and Men'?  I have it but haven't started reading it yet.

~throwi



Of Dice and Men is a good fast read.  Not nearly as in depth as Playing at the World and it also has "in game/campaign" elements in it.  I would recommend that book for people who have more of a casual interest in D&D, the game it primarily focuses on.  That would be the "mainstream" book that provides a good overview of D&D in particular but does address other games and LARP's, etc.  If you are reading and posting on this website, then Playing at the World will probably have more interest for you as that covers QUITE a lot of ground and is an indispensable resource to have.  From the things that influenced Gygax and Arneson to the types of games that were gleaned from to create Dungeons and Dragons to role playing in general to the offshoots that came after Dungeons & Dragons (within the first few years); this book is flat out awesome.[/quote]

Yeah, after reading the first couple of chapters of PatW, I sent an email to Jon thanking hime for his hard work putting that tome together!

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Post Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:55 pm 
 

webrik33 wrote in Books about RPGS:Interested in suggestions for good RPG history type books. Anything like Heroic Worlds, Dicing with Dragons, Fantasy Wargaming.
Along those lines, or biographies about game developers, etc


In addition to those mentioned thus far, from most to least interesting---to me anyway :D

- Fantasy Role Playing Games by J. Eric Holmes
- Designers & Dragons by Shannon Appelcline (I have the original Mongoose edition, and this is being published in a revised and expanded format by Evil Hat quite soon:  Designers & Dragons )
- HAWK & MOOR - The Golden Age of Fantasy Role-Playing Games: Book 1 - The Dragon Rises by Kent David Kelly (our own darkseraphim; he's got at least 3 books done in this series, and more in the works; see Amazon.com: Kent David Kelly: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle )
- Judges Guild's Bob & Bill: A Cautionary Tale by Bill Owen
- Cheers Gary edited by Paul Hughes
- What is Dungeons & Dragons by John Butterfield, Philip Parker, and Daving Honigmann*
-  The Fantasy Roleplaying Gamer's Bible 2nd Edition by Sean Patrick Fannon*
-  Science Fiction Hobby Games: A First Survey by Neal Tringham* (reviews aren't good on this one, perhaps best avoided)
- Adventure Gaming by Jack C. Harris* (very thin, not a lot of content but lots of pics)

These books are about stuff related to RPGs but not RPGs:

- The Fantastic Worlds of Grenadier by Terence Gunn (focused on just Grenadier Models and their history)
- Elastolin: Miniature Figures and Groups from the Hausser firm of Germany Vol 1 and Vol 2*

These books are more gaming memoirs:

- The Elfish Gene by Mark Barrowcliffe*

These books are more literary criticism for games, or, if you will, gaming criticism; they're in alphabetic author order since I've not read most of them yet:

- Shared Fantasy by Gary Alan Fine
- Master of the Game and Role-Playing Mastery by Gary Gygax
- First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, and Game by Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Pat Harrigan*
- Second Person: Role-Playing and Story in Games and Playable Media by Pat Harrigan and Noah Wardrip-Fruin*
- Third Person: Authoring and Exploring Vast Narratives by Pat Harrigan and Noah Wardrip-Fruin*
- Things We Think About Games by Wil Hindmarch and Jeff Tidball
- Warlocks and Warpdrive: Contemporary Fantasy Entertainments with Interactive and Virtual Environments by Kurt Lancaster*
- Hamlet's Hit Poins by Robin D. Laws*
- The Fantasy Role Playing Game: A New Performing Art by Daniel MacKay
- Interactive Fantasy #1-4 (with #1 technically entitled Inter*Action) edited by Andrew Rhilstone

*For the record, I haven't read this book yet:  it looks good though :D


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Post Posted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:28 pm 
 

Has anyone read Level Up!?---it sounds like it could be interesting, but RPGs seem like they're probably a side-line at best in it:  Level Up! The Guide to Great Video Game Design: Scott Rogers: 9781118877166: Amazon.com: Books


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