Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Risus Monkey has reposted an awesome bit of gaming history: the Ryth Chronicle. If anyone has come to this site from somewhere other than the Monkey's page, I encourage you to run and check it out. The story goes like this:

A few years back, I was working a cool job where I got to watch a lot of TV. My boss, a fellow named Len, mentioned off-handedly that he once a chance to make a career in gaming, having known a guy back in the day who had made millions of dollars from role playing games. I thought of all the people in the world who had made shit tons of money from role playing games. Only one came to mind.

"Len," I asked, "Did you know Gary Gygax?"

That is how I learned that my boss had been an avid gamer back in the early 1970s. He told me a tale:
Once upon a time, a poor and unknown guy named Gary invented a game called "Dungeons and Dragons." He traveled the world (well, the upper Midwest) selling this new and innovative game at "conventions." You see, many centuries ago in the early 1970s, there were so few gamers in the world, they had to travel to meet up with one another.
Len met this brilliant young geek and purchased his wares. With a friend, they made up a place called Rythlondar, and proceeded to have adventures. Along the way, they had to invent some things like combat tables and 20-sided dice to facilitate their gaming. Sometimes they had to call Gary long distance and ask him what was up with the rules. Their characters grew in power and majesty until one day everyone was slain by something big and nasty. LOL!
Since this first generation of gamers had no internets to connect them, they had to record everything on paper. These papers were then sent by "post" to places all across Michigan! Some time later, Jimmy Carter was elected President of the United States.

At least, that's how I remember it.

In any case, Len passed me Xeroxed copies of his old gaming notes, which are an amazing history of an early, first-generation D&D campaign. One night, I brought them to a gaming session and showed them to Risus Monkey, who (appropriately) went bananas. He scanned them, posted them to his blog, and got in touch with Len and his co-creator John to do interviews and everything. The result is now fully available for the world to explore and study. 

If you haven't already seen them, I highly encourage you to head over and take a look. It's freakin amazing.

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