& Dragons FAQ
- What is D&D?
- D&D is an abbreviation for the Dungeons & Dragons game, a fantasy roleplaying game. First published by TSR, Inc., as the Dungeons & Dragons game in 1974, the game has been played by millions worldwide. It also led to the creation of the billion-dollar roleplaying game industry -- both on paper and in electronic form. The Dungeons & Dragons game received its first rules and game mechanics facelift (second edition) in 1989, and its third edition was released in 2000.
- Is the game popular outside the U.S.?
- The Dungeons & Dragons game is the most widely recognized and played of all roleplaying games. It has been translated into more than a dozen languages and sold in 50 countries.
- What's D&D all about?
- The game provides rules for creating and playing heroes in a fantasy world filled with unbelievable magic, fierce dragons, and brave knights. One player assumes the role of the Dungeon Master, directing and guiding the action. Like all of our roleplaying games, the D&Dgame allows players to participate in an interactive and group-driven storytelling experience. You can read more about the concepts of roleplaying and the D&D game elsewhere on our site.
- Are there published worlds to play in?
- The classic system supports favorite D&Dsettings such as the Forgotten Realms campaign, which features classic sword-and-sorcery adventures in a medieval world rich in history and full of magical lore. It's the most detailed fantasy world ever created, inhabited by popular figures such as Drizzt the dark elf and Elminster the mage. The Dungeons & Dragons game has also inspired numerous New York Times bestselling novels written by R.A. Salvatore, Margaret Weis, and Tracy Hickman.
- What is Third Edition?
- In August, at the Gen Con Game Fair 2000, more than a year of research and development culminated with the debut of the Player's Handbook, the first component released for the third edition of the Dungeons & Dragons game. Following the release of the Player's Handbook is the Dungeon Master's Guide in September and the Monster Manual in October. New features for the Dungeons & Dragons game include an integrated skill system; a standard resolution mechanic; the reintroduction of half-orcs, assassins, and monks; and the removal of demi-human level limits.
- Who was involved in the creation of the new edition?
- The designers of the Dungeons & Dragons game -- Monte Cook, Jonathan Tweet, and Skip Williams -- tapped into the creativity of D&Dfans by incorporating comments from more than a thousand playtesters. This extensive process will make the third edition of the game designed partly by fans, for fans. Familiar iconic characters and monsters receive a new and appealing look from award-winning artists Todd Lockwood, Sam Wood, Lars Grant-West, Scott Fischer, John Foster, David Martin, and Arnie Swekel.
is the history of the game now called AD&D?
HISTORY OF Dungeons & Dragons
1970-Dave Arneson creates a game that involves medieval adventurers exploring the dungeons of a besieged castle that houses fantastic monsters, including a menacing dragon.
1971-Gary Gygax plays Arneson's game at Gen Con® and develops supplemental rules, adding elves, dwarves, wizards, monsters, and other fantasy elements. Gygax suggests that he and Arneson work together to create a new set of rules for fantastic adventures-they call the game "The Fantasy Game."
1974-After a couple of attempts to get "The Fantasy Game" published, Gygax and Arneson receive financing from Brian Blume to publish the game, now renamed the Dungeons & Dragons® (D&D®) game. The game's entire print run sells out in one year.
1975-Gygax and Blume pool their resources to create TSR Hobbies, Inc. TSR continues to publish the Dungeons & Dragons game and its supplements, as well as publish other roleplaying games.
1976-TSR begins hosting the Gen Con Game Fair, which features the first-ever D&D open tournament.
1977-The complex rules of the D&D game are rewritten so that beginners and younger players can learn the game more easily. The Monster Manual, with information on how to create more than 350 monsters that could be used in game campaigns, is released.
1978-The Advanced Dungeons & Dragons® version is released and the Player's Handbook is the first product to be released. The new rules are so open-ended that game campaigns require a referee or Dungeon Master (DM).
1979-TSR publishes the Dungeon Master's Guide, giving DMs everything they need to run a game campaign.
1980-The RPGA® (Roleplaying Game Association) is created to promote quality roleplaying and to bring fans of roleplaying games together.
1982-With an increasing number of international fans, a demand for the translation of the D&D game into other languages arises. The D&D game is first translated into French and eventually it is translated into more than a dozen languages and sold in 50 countries.
1983-The Dungeons & Dragons animated series debuts and leads its time slot for two years.
1984-The Dragonlance® saga is released, spawning an enormous line of ancillary products including novels, calendars, computer games, and art books.
1987-The Forgotten Realms® campaign is released and becomes an instant hit.
1989-TSR introduces the long-awaited Second Edition AD&D products, which feature new rules and characters.
1997-The D&D game comes under new management as TSR is purchased by Wizards of the Coast®, Inc., creators of the popular Magic: the Gathering® trading card game.
1999-The D&D game celebrates its 25th anniversary. At Gen Con, Wizards of the Coast announces plans to update the game for the first time in more than ten years with the release of the third edition of the game.
August/September 2000-The first, newly updated products from the highly anticipated third edition Dungeons & Dragons game are released and include:
- Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Game: includes introductory rules, adventure material for beginning a D&D campaign, and everything needed to play-rules, dice, dice bag, miniatures, character sheets, and more.
- Player's Handbook: contains complete rules for the third edition Dungeons & Dragons game. Each book also features a CD-ROM character generator.
- Dungeon Master's Guide: contains rules and advice for running a successful game campaign, as well as guidelines, tables, and charts to assist DMs in creating their own unique fantasy worlds. Also contains a comprehensive list of magical items for the D&D game.
found a mistake in the latest Wizards of the Coast module. Where can I report
you discover a major typographical error in a Wizards of the Coast publication
(such as the infamous "damage/dawizard" search-and-replace
error), a reversed or missing map or table, or any other
mistake, feel free to write to Wizards of the Coast and report it. The contact
person for errata reports is Keith
Strohm. He will see to it that the appropriate people
at Wizards of the Coast are notified of the error.
is not much need to post reports of typos or errata for
all to see unless they actually affect game play in some
way, such as the Fighter/Ranger/Paladin experience table
heading problem in the first printing of the 2nd edition
AD&D Player's Handbook or mislabeled maps in
do those letter/number combinations on older modules and
handbooks stand for?
until late 1994, TSR gave every product an alphanumeric
code as well as a numeric product code. The letter codes
were based in some way on the product, and the number following
the letter designated what number a product was in the series.
For example, Against the Giants was G1-3,
the Vault of the Drow was D1-3, and Queen
of the Demonweb Pits was Q1. Some codes were based on
other factors; for example, competition modules for
tournament use were given a "C" designation, and
the special series was labeled with an "S."
use carried over into 2nd edition, with the Player's
Handbook reference series (PHBR), Dungeon Master
Guide reference series (DMGR), and historic reference
series (HR), as well as the GA/R (general adventure/reference),
RA/R (Ravenloft® adventure/reference), WGA/R
(World of Greyhawk adventure/reference), FA/R (Forgotten
Realms adventure/reference) series. Late in 1994, TSR
decided that this system was getting out of hand and dropped
it. Now products are only coded by product number, a four-
or five-digit code that TSR uses to track its products.
there a Saturday morning cartoon about D&D?
there was. Dungeons & Dragons premiered on September
17, 1983 on CBS and ran for two seasons. The main characters
were real-world people who rode the new D&D roller
coaster at the local theme park and somehow got transported
by the Dungeon Master to a fantasy world. Each of the main
characters had a personal magic item, and a vast majority
of the show's plots revolved around the evil Venger trying
(and failing) to get their items so that he could become
all-powerful. The heroes spent most of their time trying
to find portals back to the real world and failing to use
every one they found for one reason or another. All of the
episodes were available on video at one point, though they
are currently without a distributor, so it may be possible
to find them at conventions, in video stores, for sale on
the Web, or elsewhere.
main characters were:
(Ranger): The leader. His bow shot magic arrows that never
(Cavalier): The scaredy-cat (which wasn't much like a cavalier
should behave, but that's another matter). His shield projected
a force field.
(Wizard): The comedian. He could pull items out of his hat,
but rarely, if ever, got what he wanted.
(Thief): The second in command. Her cloak made her invisible
when she put on the hood.
(Acrobat): Her 10-foot pole could extend 10 feet on command.
(Barbarian): Sheila's kid brother. His club caused a miniature
earthquake when he struck the ground with it and struck
powerful blows against any enemies he hit with it.
(Unicorn): Token cute creature. How can you hate a show
that features a baby unicorn with big, blue eyes and a plaintive
Master (DM): The DM, of course. He was a short, bald guy
who talked in riddles and sent the party into the face of
certain doom. They always managed to solve his riddles and
survive, yet always failed to get home.
(Fiend): The bad guy. He had one horn, fangs, and rode a
winged nightmare (a black horse with bat wings). He always
had some scheme to take over the world, and it usually involved
stealing the heroes' weapons first.
(Dragon): The ultra-evil girl. What's big, has five heads
and a nasty temper, is mindlessly evil, and wants revenge
on Venger for something that happened in the first episode?
I don't know, but it's standing right behind you. . . .
D&D-specific comic books have been published?
have been a number of comic series over the years that have
dealt with various TSR worlds. DC published most in conjunction
with TSR. Here is a list of known D&D comic
Dungeons & Dragons (DC) #1-36, Annual #1
The Serpent's Eye (TSR freebie)
Saga (TSR) #1-3
Saga (DC) #4-5
Strike® (Marvel) #1
Fingers collection (TSR)
Realms (DC) #1-25, Annual #1
Realms: The Grand Tour (TSR freebie)
of Madness (TSR freebie)
(TSR freebie) [finished, but never printed]
Worlds (DC) Annual #1
happened to SnarfQuest, What's New?, Wormy, and Yamara?
those who don't recognize those names, all four were very
popular, long-running sequential art features (comic strips)
magazine at one time or another, and references to and
queries about these regularly crop up. (Other regular features
have been Fineous Fingers, Pinsom, Tal'n'Alan, The Twilight
Empire (Robinson's War), Floyd, and Knights of the
Dinner Table.) In alphabetical order:
by Larry Elmore began in issue #75 and ran for several
years. The episodes were collected together into a single
book in the late 1980s (long since out of print, unfortunately),
and a special one-shot episode appeared in Dragon #200.
Larry currently works freelance, and his material graces
the pages of many TSR products.
New? with Phil & Dixie by Phil Foglio first appeared
shortly before issue #50 and ran until issue #84, when Phil
went on to work on other projects. One of those projects
was the comic book adaptation of Robert Asprin's Another
Fine Myth; Phil, Dixie, and the dragon made a special
guest appearance in issue #5. The entirety of the Dragon
run of What's New? and two new episodes ("How
They Met" and the long-threatened "Sex and D&D")
were published in two parts in 1991 and 1994 by Palliard
Press. After a hiatus from regular publication of some years,
new episodes of What's New? themed around trading
card games appeared in the pages of the Duelist magazine.
With the Duelist ceasing publication to become Top
Deck magazine, the location of future What's New?
episodes is still up in the air.
by Dave Trampier, ran concurrently with What's New?
and SnarfQuest. Its run ended suddenly in the middle
of a story, and this has been the center of no small amount
of confusion and consternation on the part of its fans.
However, Dave Trampier is still alive and well. He does
not currently work in gaming or comics, however.
was the most recent strip of these four. It ended its several-year
run in 1996. A Yamara collection (up through at least
the episode from Dragon #202 and including descriptions
of each of the characters) was released around 1994. It
was originally published by Steve Jackson Games and is currently
available on the Yamara website. Yamara is
now available as a web strip at www.yamara.com.
The creators of Yamara can be reached at Yamara@earthlink.net.
there a TSR module that was banned?
there have not been any banned modules. There was, however,
one that was recalled and re-released in a different form,
thus making the original a rare find.
1980, an adventure entitled Palace of the Silver Princess
was written for TSR. It was published in 1981 for basic
D&D characters as module B3. It had an orange
cover. Shortly after publication, TSR discovered several
serious flaws in the content and presentation of the module.
It was recalled. Every copy of B3 that TSR could locate
was returned and destroyed. The module was then heavily
revised, fixing the errors and inserting new art. It was
re-released shortly thereafter with a green cover.
not every copy of the original version was returned. The
first time this was revealed was at the auction at the 1984
Gen Con game
fair, where one came up for sale and went for $300.
A couple of other copies have come up for sale since, but
none have sold for quite that much. You can now download the original adventure from our website.
was removed from Deities & Demigods?
first printing of Deities & Demigods included
the mythoi of Cthulhu (based on the works of H. P. Lovecraft
and others) and Melnibone (based on the work of Michael
Moorcock). TSR was later asked to remove them from the book
for legal reasons. When the book went into its second printing,
they were removed. Later the book was republished under
the name Legends & Lore. The two mythoi remained
Legends & Lore was updated to 2nd edition AD&D,
several more mythoi were removed to allow space for the
new format of the product and expanded content on the mythoi
included. The Babylonian, Finnish, nonhuman, and Sumerian
mythoi were omitted. The Central American mythos was renamed
the Aztec mythos. Contrary to rumor, the Newhon mythos was
never removed and, in fact, was included in 2nd edition
Legends & Lore. Nonhuman deities were reintroduced
in Monster Mythology. Other products with notable
discussions of deities include Faiths & Avatars,
Powers & Pantheons, and Demihuman Deities
(the three large Forgotten Realms campaign setting
deity lorebooks), and the Player's Guide to Greyhawk
and the Scarlet Brotherhood (for the Greyhawk
Legends & Lore really originally a 1st edition
Legends & Lore was originally a reprinting of
Deities & Demigods with a new title and cover.
It was later recast into a 2nd edition book. The 2nd edition
version contains new content.
were the major changes in AD&D 2nd edition from 1st edition?
follows is a list of the major differences between 1st edition
AD&D and 2nd edition AD&D. Because
some of the changes actually occurred within later 1st edition
books (such as Unearthed Arcana and the Dungeoneer's
Survival Guide) or in the pages of Dragon
magazine, players who adopted the rules presented in
those books saw fewer changes to the core rules when 2nd
edition came out.
and assassin were removed as standard character classes.
The four basic classes have been reshaped into the warrior,
wizard, priest, and rogue groups into which all classes
fall. The fighter, mage, cleric, and thief are classes that
are the equals of the ranger, druid, bard, and other classes.
can now progress up to 20th level and have a new progression
abilities now have a degree of player choice in their improvement.
have been reworked. They now get a d10 for Hit Dice, no
mage spells, and so on. They also are able to use two weapons
at once in combat in certain situations with no attack penalties.
may now have specialties (for example, illusionist, necromancer,
and so on) based on the wizard spell schools. A specialist
has enhanced spell capabilities within his or her specialty.
The mage class is but one member of the wizard group, as
is each of the specialist wizards.
Hit Dice extend only to 10d4 instead of 11d4.
spells are now mixed in with clerical spells to form a single
priest spell list.
spells are now mixed in with mage spells to form a single
wizard spell list.
proficiencies have been added to the core rules as an option.
are no longer a standard player character race.
ability score tables (for example, the Dexterity table in
the instance of Dexterity bonuses) have been changed.
now have spheres of influence into which all clerical spells
have been divided instead of automatically having access
to every spell on the list. Clerics have access to one set
of spheres and druids have access to another overlapping
(but not identical) set of spheres.
priests are new priest classes that have their own unique
sets of spheres of influence and may have different granted
powers, combat abilities, class weapon and armor restrictions,
and ability score or racial requirements.
have been totally reworked and are now in the rogue group
points given per gold piece of treasure acquired is now
an optional method for assigning experience.
experience bonuses may be given for actions that reinforce
the nature of one's class (for example, spellcasting) and
for roleplaying. The majority of experience is given for
throws no longer always fail on a roll of 1.
no longer exist. That is, casting times are given, but the
casting time number represent an arbitrary short period
that is not directly a measure of time but instead optionally
modifies the initiative roll. See below for how this affects
- A d10
is rolled for initiative instead of a d6. To the roll are
added optional modifiers (casting time, weapon speed factors,
and so on).
THAC0 system is now standard. Combat charts with six 20s
no longer exist. A natural 20 always hits; a natural 1 always
combat has been greatly simplified.
size and length effects have been deleted from standard
Weapon specialization is possible for the cost of a certain
number of weapon proficiency slots. For example, a 1st-level
fighter could specialize in the longsword, giving him three
attacks per 2 rounds at +1 to attack/+2 to damage bonus.
spells (for example, fireball, lightning bolt, and
so on) are limited to a maximum number of dice of damage
(10, for fireball and lightning bolt).
all spells common to both 1st edition and 2nd edition have
had minor details changed or added (for example, identify
has different percentage chances to determine the powers
of the item identified). Sometimes even the level of the
spell has changed. This is especially true (by necessity)
for any spell that existed at different levels for different
now do temporary damage instead of real damage if they are
believed. They can kill by system shock or cause their victims
to faint under certain circumstances.
spells that cause aging in the caster now age by different
amounts (for example, the aging caused by casting wish
has changed from 3 years to 5 years). A system shock roll
is required for all magical aging, whether it is part of
the casting or a result of the spell. (For example, if you
are hasted, age 1 year and roll a system shock survival
roll to see if death ensues.)
must now be 9th level rather than 7th level before they
can scribe scrolls.
number of wizard spells omitted from 1st edition to 2nd
number of wizard spells added in 2nd edition: 89.
number of priest spells omitted from 1st edition to 2nd
number of priest spells added in 2nd edition: 43.
times of less than a round are now optional initiative modifiers
and not the actual time a spell takes to cast. Spells with
casting times of a round or more go into effect at the end
of the last round, turn, or other time period of casting
monsters have had some details changed, if only the number
of experience points awarded for their defeat. Experience
points awarded are somewhat higher in 2nd edition than in
1st edition. Some changes include a strengthening of the
creatures' combat abilities. For example, the balor (formerly
known as the Type VI demon) now has a vorpal sword.
The changes are often minimal in nature, and the reader
will recognize an orc as an orc. Only giants, dragons, and
Outer Planar creatures have had major reworking (see below).
monsters from 1st edition were removed from the core collections
of monsters (either the Monstrous Compendium, Volumes
1 and 2, or the Monstrous Manual tome).
Others were added from books and scenarios other than the
1st edition core monster books (the Monster Manual
and the Monster Manual II). Outer Planar creatures
(demons, devils, and so on) were originally solely detailed
in supplementary 2nd edition texts. Some have been added
to the core Monstrous Manual book.
have been completely reworked. In general, they are much
more powerful than their 1st edition counterparts. They
are also rolled up differently than in 1st edition, have
magic resistance, cannot be subdued, have physical attack
forms other than just their claws and bites, and so on.
other small changes were made, such as to open doors rolls,
to surprise rolls, to monetary exchange values and coin
weights. A death due to massive damage rule was added, and
artifact descriptions were removed from the Dungeon Master
Guide. Most changes were minor, and there are too
many to list here.
do those weird abbreviations mean?
is a guide to the most common abbreviations and acronyms
found in online discussions of TSR products.
version of the D&D game
Dungeons & Dragons
Dungeons & Dragons, 1st edition
Dungeons & Dragons, 2nd edition
Dungeons & Dragons, revised 2nd edition
Dungeons & Dragons, revised 2nd edition
Dungeons & Dragons, as opposed to Advanced
Dungeons & Dragons
[class] Handbook series; Fighter's, Priest's,
Thief's, Wizard's, Psionics, Ranger's, Bard's, Druid's,
Paladin's, Barbarian's, Necromancer's, Ninja's
Book of [race] series; Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes
& Halflings, Humanoids
Option®: Combat & Tactics
& Dragons, any version except Advanced Dungeons
Master Guide, any edition
Master's Guide, 1st edition
Master Guide, 2nd edition
Master Guide, revised 2nd edition
Master Option book(s)
Sun® campaign setting
Realms campaign setting
Master Option: High Level Campaigns
World® campaign setting
Compendium® tome (usually followed by the appendix
Manual/Monstrous ManualTM tome
of the Planes
D&D, as opposed to the later Advanced
Dungeons & Dragons
by World Wide Web
Handbook, any edition
Handbook, 1st edition
Handbook, 2nd edition
Handbook, revised 2nd edition
Game AssociationTM network
Option: Skills & Powers
Option: Spells & Magic
of the Coast; also referred to as Wizards
do you pronounce...?
are some commonly mispronounced words and their dictionary
pronunciations where they are available and common-practice
pronunciations or TSR rulings where they not. For more general
pronunciation help, see the article "Ay pronunseeAYshun
gyd" by Frank Mentzer in Dragon #93 (Jan. 1985). For
help pronouncing words and names specific to the Forgotten
Realms setting, see the Forgotten Realms box
and the trilogy of Forgotten Realms deity books.
For help pronouncing the names of the various tanar'ri and
baatezu types, see MC8 Outer Planes Appendix.
Baatezu: bay-AH-teh-zu or BAH-teh-zu
Catoblepus: kuht-OH-bleh-puhs, also kah-TA-ble-pus
Chatkcha: CHAT-k-cha (thri-kreen throwing weapon)
Chimera: ky-MAEE-ruh, or ky-MAIR-ruh (rhymes with "care
Drow: DRAU (as in drowsy; rhymes with now and how)
Dweomer: DWEH-mer (rhymes with "hem her"), or
DWIH-mer; sometimes DWEE-mer
Geas: GEE-ass, or GYASS (both with a hard "g")
Halberd: HAL-berd, (not HAL-bread)
Iuz: YOOZ or EE-uz
Ixitxachitl: iks-it-ZATCH-i-til or ik-zit-zah-chih-tull
Lich: LITCH (as in ditch), *not* LIKE or LICK
Lycanthrope: LY-kun-throhp, LY-kan-throhp (like lichen rope/my
Mage: MAGE (as in age), *not* MADGE (as in badger)
Scythe: syth (rhymes with tithe)
THAC0: either THAK-oh, or THAKE-oh
Wyvern: WIH-vern (as in did learn), or WHY-vern
magazine resources are there for D&D?
- Wizards of the Coast
publishes two magazines. They are aptly named Dungeon
and Dragon, both of which are commonly available
at most stores where roleplaying games are sold and by subscription.
Dragon magazine concentrates on the roleplaying industry,
with news, previews, and new rules and additions to various
games, especially D&D. Dungeon
magazine includes new adventures and modules, usually
for use with D&D, but adventures for other games
are often included as well.
of the Roleplaying Game Association network (the
also receive a copy of Polyhedron® newszine as
part of their subscription. The magazine is by RPGA
members (some of whom are professionals in the game industry)
for RPGA members. It contains a variety of interesting
articles, some of which fit into a number of campaign settings,
some of which are geared toward transmitting member information.
information for Dungeon magazine, Dragon magazine,
and the RPGA network can be found at their specific
pages on the website.
books do I need in order to play D&D?
you need absolutely nothing to play. A pencil, paper, and
dice certainly are useful, but they can easily be borrowed.
The rules can be explained by the Dungeon Master (DM) or
more experienced players. In addition, you might want to
pick up the Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Game,
which introduces new players to roleplaying and to the
Dungeons & Dragons game. It's available in most
is usually most convenient to have a personal copy of the
rules to read and reference during and outside of gaming
sessions. Because of this, most players purchase the Player's
Handbook. Beyond that,
which books you use or purchase are a matter of personal
books do I need in order to be a Dungeon Master (DM)?
players, for whom it is possible to play with just pencil
and paper, a DM generally needs a bit more in the way of
rulebooks. The minimum needed by most people to DM a satisfying
D&D game is the Dungeon Master Guide,
the Player's Handbook, and the Monster ManualTM
tome. These three references are the core of the game. Everything
else adds more options and further detail.
happened to my favorite Wizards of the Coast campaign world?
campaign worlds start off with very strong sales and then
slowly dwindle down to the point where the sale of new products
can't support continued line development of the world. This
doesn't mean that no one is playing in the world any more,
only that many players and Dungeon Masters purchased the
original campaign setting box or hardcover and then went
their own way with the setting. Because they didn't need
more supplemental products, they didn't buy them. TSR views
such drops in sales as consumers voting with their dollars
and uses this information in its decisions about when to
drop a line in favor of something new. In any event, as
a business, Wizards of the Coast cant continue to produce products
if the products dont at least break even. However,
with various electronic venues becoming more popular and
cost-effective, Wizards of the Coast is looking into a number of options
that would allow it to support many of its presently inactive
lines on some level.
addition, some campaign worlds are designed to be limited
in scope. They are published for a certain number of years,
after which they are no longer actively supported. The Al-Qadim®
setting was one of these. It was conceived as a two-year
project, but due to its popularity, it was extended
an extra year.
only new material for inactive worlds appears in Dragon
magazine, and Polyhedron newszine. It's always possible that Wizards of the Coast will
resurrect one of these worlds for a relaunch, but there
are no plans to do so right now. See the following question
for a list of which campaign worlds are currently active
and which are inactive.
many campaign worlds are there?
has produced quite a number of campaign worlds over the
years. The campaign setting you choose to play in is largely
a matter of personal taste. Wizards of the Coast continues to develop a number
of active campaign settings. A large number of inactive
campaign settings also exist that you might find in for
sale at places like E-Bay, rec.games.frp.marketplace, in
hobby stores, at convention auctions, and through other
campaign settings are those for which you'll see a steady
flow of new products. In addition, you'll see more articles
in our magazines (Dragon,
and Polyhedron) for these settings than for
Dragonlance setting takes place on the world of Krynn.
The epic saga of Dragonlance and is well known through
the series of novels and modules that have told it. On Krynn,
gold has little or no value, as the world is on a steel
standard. Clerics are relatively unheard of. The focus for
the world is the ongoing battle between the deities Takhisis
(evil; a chromatic dragon) and Paladine (good; a platinum
dragon). Dragons are more active on Krynn than elsewhere,
as they are strongly polarized by the Takhisis-Paladine
battle. Dragonlance: Fifth Age takes place long after
the War of the Lance, and uses the SAGA® system
rather than the AD&D game. The Dragonlance
line is primarily supported through novels, not game products.
has recently released the Dragonlance Classics
volume, which collects all of the original 15 classic adventures
into a single volume and provides both AD&D and
SAGA rules to play them by. It's available at the
Forgotten Realms campaign setting is the classic
world of sword and sorcery. The most exhaustively detailed
fantasy world ever developed, the Forgotten Realms
campaign offers something for every player, regardless of
his or her tastes. Whether your interests lie with the subtle
political machinations of the city of Waterdeep or stretch
into the dangerous dungeon delves that populate this land,
you'll find what you're looking for in the Realms.
the main continent of the Realms, is intended to be a generic
D&D campaign setting. It has many similarities
to medieval Earth. It also has enormous cities, many countries
with a foreign and exotic flavor, hordes of nonplayer characters
for a DM to use or not (as desired), and more room to maneuver
than anyone could ever need. Wild magic and dead magic zones,
where magic can surge in power or not work at all, spice
up the use of magic when the DM thinks things may have become
too predictable. Many supplements, including adventures,
campaign expansions, lorebooks, and sourcebooks have been
published for the Forgotten Realms setting, and a
lot more are on the way.
Greyhawk campaign setting is the default setting
you're using when you're playing the Dungeons & Dragons game. Many of the spells,
magical items, artifacts, and other references in the game
all relate back to this setting and its nonplayer characters,
history, and geography. The Greyhawk setting was
the first widely known campaign world and was originally
published in the early 1980s. Most of the classic adventures,
such as Tomb of Horrors, White Plume Mountain,
Against the Giants, and others, were set in the world
goal of the Greyhawk campaign is to allow players
and Dungeon Masters to explore a world largely of their
own creation. Adventures and other supplements produced
by TSR provide a very general framework for the world, but
much of the source material (stories, politics, and so on)
is provided by each individual DM.
D&D core material you see (starting in late
1999) uses the Greyhawk campaign setting as the default.
This means we'll be giving you fantastic adventures, spells,
magical items, and other treasures that can be used in any
D&D campaign world. But, the products they appear
in will use Greyhawk references and names that allow
you to locate them within the Greyhawk setting rather
than purely generic names and references.
our 25-year history, TSR has produced a large number of
campaign settings. As customer interests have changed, these
campaign settings have been retired to allow us to concentrate
on future products. It's possible that you might see a product
or two released from Wizards of the Coast in the future that deals with these
settings, but the primary sources for new material about
them are Dragon magazine, Dungeon magazine,
and Polyhedron newszine.
This setting is located far to the south of Faerûn,
the core of the Forgotten Realms setting, but it
can easily be placed on any campaign world or exist as a
setting in its own right. It encompasses the genre of the
exotic tales of the Arabian Nights, with djinn, magic
lamps, Sinbad-like sailors, emirs, and the ever-present
Hand of Fate. It is intended that players in the Al-Qadim
setting use Al-Qadim characters, but it is possible
to take outsider (regular D&D) characters into
the Al-Qadim setting.
In this setting, the players are characters of noble birth.
They must deal with intrigue, spying, wars, the occasional
adventure, and succession to the throne. Special powerful
magic spells whose power is drawn from the land one controls
as well as the possibility of magical traits caused by royal
bloodlines are also thrown into the mix.
Sun: Athas, the world of the Dark Sun setting,
is a metal-poor desert world, which by itself makes life
quite a challenge. Add to that the fact that almost everyone
on the planet has some degree of psionic ability, and you
get a pretty lethal environment. Clerics are different in
that they are either templars, who are granted spells by
their sorcerer-kings, or clerics, who gain spells by worshiping
the elements around them. Mages, too, are changed. All magic
is powered directly by the life force of the world around
them, which tends to be a detriment to the continued existence
of any plants and animals in the area of a mage casting
This setting is located far to the east of Faerûn,
the core of the Forgotten Realms setting, but like
the Al-Qadim setting, it can be located anywhere
a DM wants to put it or run as a setting in its own right.
It is an Asianlike setting, with much of the flavor of ancient
China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, and even accents of Malaysia
and India. The setting features the use of martial arts,
lots of intrigue, highly civilized empires and courts, family
honor, and "barbaric" horse riders. It is intended
for use with oriental characters, but regular characters
can easily be worked in.
of the Red Death: This setting is based on the Ravenloft
setting but with a twist. It's set in the equivalent of
the Victorian era, but in a world where magic has existed
since the very dawn of time. There is a much higher technology
level in this setting than in most D&D worlds,
but like in the Ravenloft gothic horror setting,
terror is everywhere, though here it is aided by the aftereffects
of the Industrial Revolution. Every time a character casts
a spell, that character is drawn a step closer to the Red
Death, a powerful force of evil in this world. However,
Masque is technically and thematically a separate
game from D&D that happens to use the Ravenloft
setting's fear and horror rules.
This setting is located far to the west of Faerûn,
the core of the Forgotten Realms setting. It is meant
to represent the Americas during the time of the Spanish
conquistadors, and its flavor is a heavy mixture of fantasy
and pseudo-Native American culture (especially Aztec, Incan,
and Mayan). While it is possible to play a conqueror from
Faerûn, it is intended that native characters be created.
This setting has its own unique magic variant (hishna and
pluma) that not only changes the way priests and wizards
operate, but also the way many warriors do as well.
This is the world that used to be the setting for basic
D&D altered to fit the AD&D rules.
Like the Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk settings,
it is a high fantasy world with its own individual flair.
It is distinct from the other worlds in that several of
its supplements also come with audio CDs for sound effects
and storytelling. The Red Steel® and Savage
Coast lines are also part of the world of Mystara.
In a nutshell, the Spelljammer setting is D&D
in outer space, but in more of the swashbuckler pirate vein
than a hard science fiction one. It is intriguing in that
it presents its own system of fantasy physics to explain
the behavior of spelljamming vessels in space and the way
that D&D solar systems (called crystal spheres)
work. Many of the typical D&D player character
and monster races are present, but they may act very differently
in the Spelljammer setting from the way that you
may have become accustomed to them behaving. In addition,
the Spelljammer setting can accommodate adventuring
in many of the other published game settings, since spelljamming
ships visit almost all of them from time to time.
Many Dungeons & Dragons players feel
that a trip to the planes is an exotic monster safari or
a death sentence, depending on the whim of the Dungeon Master.
This campaign setting shows that the planes are complex
places with unique cultures of their own where adventures
and intrigue of cosmic importance can be experienced by
characters both native to the Outer and Inner Planes and
to the Prime Material. In the Planescape setting,
characters can interact with tanar'ri, baatezu, modrons,
deities and their proxy representatives, and the many legendary
inhabitants of these infinite places where belief determines
reality. The city of Sigil provides a meeting ground from
representatives of the many factions that try to make sense
of planar existence to meet and butt heads.
Planescape setting has not so much been discontinued
as absorbed into the core D&D product
line. Planar campaigning has been a part of the D&D
game since the early days, and demons, githyanki, slaadi,
and other planar creatures are familiar elements in many
campaigns. The Planescape setting explored the multiverse
in stunning (both in a good and a bad sense) detail, but
many players were put off by the amount of material required
to fully understand the setting, and they began to think
that planar campaigning was strictly for Planescape
fans. In order to continue to produce materials for planar
gaming, TSR decided that it was necessary to pull Planescape
back into the core line to keep it accessible to everyone.
The Ravenloft campaign setting draws on the elements
of fear and terror that have fascinated folk throughout
the ages. Isolated from traditional aid, heroes must struggle
in anonymity against the unspeakable evils and terrifying
villains that make the Demiplane of Dread a setting for
classic horror. Combine with this the components of traditional
fantasy--knights, monsters, swords, sorcery, legend, and
romance--and you have a D&D world where heroes
must use their wits as well as their weapons to fend off
their worst nightmares or go insane trying. Death lasts
only an instant, but horror can last a lifetime.
to the Planescape setting, the Ravenloft
setting developed a highly specialized fan following,
making the average gamer think that horror in D&D
was strictly for Ravenloft setting fans. TSR
intends to continue support of the Ravenloft
setting, but subsequent products will be branded with
the core D&D logo and designed so that they
can be played in any campaign setting. The Ravenloft
setting elements will not be lost on those who run Ravenloft
campaigns, but any DMs or players can use these products
if they wish to inject a little horror into their campaigns.
- What is the RPGA?
- The RPGA Network, or Roleplaying Game Association, was created to allow fans of roleplaying games to meet and play games with each other. Membership has grown to more than 54,000 with members in North America, Europe, Australia, South Africa, and Latin America. Its mission is to connect roleplaying game fans with others, to encourage new roleplayers to join in the fun, and to give veterans something extra for their home or tournament games. The RPGA runs roleplaying games at conventions, in stores, on the Internet, and at one-day game events every weekend, all around the country.
- What are the membership benefits?
- Published exclusively for RPGA members, Polyhedron magazine is full of gaming tips, characters, monsters, sites, and the occasional god or two. In addition, all members receive a free official Dungeons & Dragons adventure available only through the RPGA. At the Gen Con 2000 Game Fair, the RPGA introduced Living Greyhawk in conjunction with the release of the new Dungeons & Dragons game. Living Greyhawk will be a worldwide D&D campaign and will eventually be played in every available roleplaying venue. As part of the Wizards of the Coast® Organized Play division, the RPGA is the official playtesting body for Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game products. Because RPGA members are knowledgeable and enthusiastic, they are called upon to test the latest RPG designs from Wizards of the Coast, and get exclusive previews of products before they are released.
like to thank the following individuals. This FAQ is based
on the extensive FAQ Joel A. Hahn wrote and compiled for
the rec.game.frp.dnd Usenet newsgroup. The list of major
changes between 1st and 2nd edition AD&D was
compiled by Lawrence
"DMGorgon" Mead and Ian