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D&D’s Also-Rans – The Other Fantasy Games At The Dawn Of RPGs

12 Minute Read
Sep 9 2020

Dungeons & Dragons may have been the first roleplaying game, but it inspired a whole industry full of Things & Other Things, as you'll see.

Dungeons & Dragons is the most popular roleplaying game in the world. And it has a lot going for it--for one, it got there first and it struck a chord that was waiting to resound into the world. Getting there first meant a lot of things, it had the time to reach an audience, it had the time to set some ground rules. It was the proof in the pudding as well as the pudding itself. In the early years of RPGs, everything was a reaction to D&D, whether as a D&D-alike (which was definitely a genre at the time), or cast as D&D but with/without X, the world of Fantasy Roleplaying for the first few years was dominated by games that were Thing & Other Thing, thanks to D&D's influence.

We're going to take a look at the games that grew up in the shadow of D&D. From the earliest days, they tried to emulate or iterate on the genre-defining game that brought its blend of character and wargaming to the tables of people around the world. It all started back in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Back in those early days, D&a...

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