Friday, 29 April 2011

Y is for Year: Digging for Gems in the Dungeoneer's Survival Guide

The Year is 1986, and the Dungeoneer's Survival Guide was released by TSR.

A lot was happening in TSR in 1986, none of it good.

But first the good news, in 1985 Unearthed Arcana was released, and weren't we all excited. It was fantastic, new character classes, new horizons, written by EGG.

But 1986...

"In 1986, Brian Blume decided to leave TSR and sell his shares to Lorraine Williams.  Gygax tried to prevent this move and took the matter to court - and lost. Tired of the battles in business and his private life (he was in the middle of a divorce), Gygax gave up and sold his shares and other interests to TSR. The Blume-Williams deal was closed, and Lorraine Williams, grand-daughter of the man who introduced the world to Buck Rogers, until then a complete outsider to the RPG game industry controlled the majority of the TSR shares and thus owned the company for the next twelve years."

This is old ground in the blogosphere, that I won't dig through. I'm digging for gems in the DSG and I want to put the DSG into it's publishing context.

"In 1986, a small design team (Steve WinterJames M. Ward and Jon Pickens) under the lead of David "Zeb" Cook started work on that massive project. The idea was to write an advanced version of the game based on the 1st Edition core rules including the Unearthed Arcana, enriched with the experience and knowledge that the years have brought."

2nd Edition AD&D, released in 1989.

What were the final 1st Edition TSR products. Forgotten Realms - which proved very popular for TSR. Wilderness Survival Guide (also 1986)

This were the best links I could find on the publication history.


The Acaeum let me down as well. As did Dragonsfoot. Even D&D Wiki.

Disappointing someone hasn't compiled a chronological list...

Penultimate gem we should take
1. The Dungeoneer's Survival Guide, mid-silver age according to Grognardia 1984-1989.

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