Rise of the Dungeon Master: Gary Gygax and the Creation of D&D

Rise of the Dungeon Master: Gary Gygax and the Creation of D&D

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Rise of the Dungeon Master tells, in graphic form, the story of Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons, one of the most influential games ever made. Like the game itself, the narrative casts the reader into the adventure from a first person point of view, taking on the roles of the different characters in the story.


Gygax was the son of immigrants who grew up in Lake Geneva, WI, in the 1950s. An imaginative misfit, he escaped into a virtual world based on science fiction novels, military history and strategic games like chess. In the mid-1970s, he co-created the wildly popular Dungeons & Dragons game. Starting out in the basement of his home, he was soon struggling to keep up with the demand. Gygax was a purist, in the sense that he was adamant that players use their imaginations and that the rules of the game remain flexible. A creative mind with no real knowledge of business, he made some strategic errors and had a falling out with the game's co-creator, his close friend and partner, David Arneson.


By the late 1970s the game had become so popular among kids that parents started to worry -- so much so that a mom's group was formed to alert parents to the dangers of role play and fantasy. The backlash only fueled the fires of the young fans who continued to play the game, escaping into imaginary worlds. Before long, D&D conventions were set up around the country and the game inspired everything from movies to the first video games. With D&D, Gygax created the kind of role playing fantasy that would fuel the multibillion dollar video game industry, and become a foundation of contemporary geek culture.

Title:Rise of the Dungeon Master: Gary Gygax and the Creation of D&D
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781568585598
Format Type:

    Rise of the Dungeon Master: Gary Gygax and the Creation of D&D Reviews

  • Shannon Appelcline

    Despite the name, this is not a biography of Gary Gygax. Instead, it's look at the history of the D&D game, that gives some strong attention to Dave Arneson as well.The artwork is attractive and often...

  • Katie

    Interesting enough for me to read in a sitting. I learned some stuff.Edit: I did like the info on how Gygax dropped out of school, liked exploring tunnels under the local empty sanatorium, and came to...

  • honeybean

    This book was cute. I appreciated the story; the draw for people to learn what D&D is exactly; the details from the creators' lives. The story at times was a bit repetitive and written in an unusual f...

  • Peter Derk

    This is a really good, brief primer on what D&D is and how it came about. It's definitely more a biography of the game than the guy.I think I'd be willing to take a deeper dive on this one, provided t...

  • ??????? ??????????

    This one is a solid 3.5, but I gave away that half-star because of sentimental reasons (I have been an RPG gamer for more than 20 years and this deals with the history of one of my favorite hobbies); ...

  • Eric Piotrowski

    This is an excellent look at the life of Gary Gygax and the classic game system he created with Dave Arneson. The art is clean and engaging, and the storytelling is lively without being rushed. We get...

  • Connor Lucas

    As my love for Dungeons and Dragons grows, it's only appropriate that I read a little more about where it all came from. This book was a nice foray into what was murky territory for me.My favourite th...

  • Anna Goldberg

    There will be a review forthcoming on my YouTube channel. Really enjoyed this one. ...

  • Robert

    Fine for what it is, but it feels like there is a lot of story being left out. ...

  • Justin

    An enjoyable read. ...