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Slaying the Dragon: A Secret History of…
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Slaying the Dragon: A Secret History of Dungeons & Dragons (vuoden 2022 painos)

Tekijä: Ben Riggs (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1517182,165 (3.93)3
"Role-playing game historian Ben Riggs unveils the secret history of TSR- the company that unleashed imaginations with Dungeons & Dragons, was driven into ruin by disastrous management decisions, and then saved by their bitterest rival. Co-created by wargame enthusiasts Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, the original Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game released by TSR (Tactical Studies Rules) in 1974 created a radical new medium: the role-playing game. For the next two decades, TSR rocketed to success, producing multiple editions of D&D, numerous settings for the game, magazines, video games, New York Times bestselling novels by Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman, and R. A. Salvatore, and even a TV show! But by 1997, a series of ruinous choices and failed projects brought TSR to the edge of doom-only to be saved by their fiercest competitor, Wizards of the Coast, the company behind the collectible card game Magic: The Gathering. Unearthed from Ben Riggs's own adventurous campaign of in-depth research, interviews with major players, and acquisitions of secret documents, Slaying the Dragon reveals the true story of the rise and fall of TSR. Go behind the scenes of their Lake Geneva headquarters where innovative artists and writers redefined the sword and sorcery genre, managers and executives sabotaged their own success by alienating their top talent, ignoring their customer fanbase, accruing a mountain of debt, and agreeing to deals which, by the end, made them into a publishing company unable to publish so much as a postcard. As epic and fantastic as the adventures TSR published, Slaying the Dragon is the legendary tale of the rise and fall of the company that created the role-playing game world"--… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:drweeks
Teoksen nimi:Slaying the Dragon: A Secret History of Dungeons & Dragons
Kirjailijat:Ben Riggs (Tekijä)
Info:St. Martin's Press (2022), 288 pages
Kokoelmat:Ebooks
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Slaying the Dragon: A Secret History of Dungeons and Dragons (tekijä: Ben Riggs)

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 7) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book!
As someone who really enjoys D&D but only recently got into playing it for myself, this book unlocked a part of the game that I'd never delved into before, the history of the company that published it. I'm not usually big on nonfiction reads, but this was engaging, informative, and had, at times, a fun sense of humor to go along with the mind-boggling story of this game and TSR.
I was going to give this one 4 stars, because I normally need something really memorable about a book to give it all 5, but that didn't come until the final chapters of the book. I found myself actually excited and overjoyed at the way things played out and how Riggs included them in the history of the company, and I think he managed, the entire time, to remain very neutral on some topics in a way that I really appreciated. It was a great story, well told, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys RPG's or gaming in general. ( )
  staygoldsunshine | Apr 23, 2024 |
While Riggs can be a bit exhausting in his fan-boy enthusiasm, and slings around the word "genius" a bit too much for my liking, he does give you a good account of how an industry gets created, and how the original business at the center of the industry gets run into the ground. A particular plus is that Riggs doesn't believe in the myth of Gary Gygax as "St. Gary," as Gygax made pretty much every mistake that a person going from penury to almost instant wealth can make, which is why he lost control of his creation.

The silent force in this story is Lorraine Williams, the businesswoman who took control of TSR after Gygax, and who initially did rather well with it. However, what became an addiction to quick profits, and the lack of serious market research, led to a business plan that almost destroyed the company and would have led to its intellectual property being scattered to the winds. Williams didn't deign to be interviewed by Riggs, but he mostly respects her accomplishments.

This finally gets you to the take-over by Peter Adkinson of Wizards of the Coast, the company that gave you "Magic: The Gathering," and who was finally the perfect conservator of the legacy of "Dungeon & Dragons." This is seeing as he was an enthusiast himself, had the deep pockets to undo the financial damage while not making money in the short run, and was willing to "get right" with all the players who had a monetary interest in D&D, but who had been stiff-armed by various management figures over the years. Arguments over intellectual property is a big part of this book. ( )
  Shrike58 | Dec 27, 2023 |
Not a bad book, but a little more into the esoteric personalities and publishing than I could have wished. I basically read it to see what became of Gary Gygax. ( )
  jsmick | Dec 14, 2023 |
Great stuff. A lot of it I knew from other books on the subject, but much I had never heard it read anywhere before. It doesn't engage in the Gygax worshipping that many writers bathe themselves in which is a very good thing, and gives Lorraine Williams a much fairer shake than many takes. It's a well-researched and put together tale of a company that was plagued with nonsensical business decisions and ill-advised money expenditures no matter who was in charge and a lot of things that seemed to be successes back in the day simply were not. The author occasionally loses me when seemingly every creative talked about is either "a genius" or "brilliant", but this does not detract from the book. ( )
  Moon_Cthulhu | Nov 9, 2023 |
I haven’t read any other books documenting the rise and fall of Gary Gygax’s brainchild, but this was a fascinating look at the business practices of TSR before it sold Dungeons & Dragons before it became Wizards of the Coast’s property. It’s written by someone who was a journalist for Geek and Sundry (Felicia Day‘s brainchild) who took his articles and turned them into a thorough book telling us what exactly went wrong. The author has no skin in the game, so it’s an impartial look.

It’s not surprising that such a company might lose business in the age of the Internet or as time drags on and attention focuses elsewhere. But that’s not what happened. The actions that TSR took that drove them into the ground are really bizarre and worth being noted (for example, trying to make Buck Rogers happen again).

There’s also some stuff about creatives (like writers and artists) and their business of writing licensed stuff and how that worked, which I’m particularly interested in. They were actually treated well before someone else took over and treated them as disposable. ( )
  theWallflower | Jul 18, 2023 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 7) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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"Role-playing game historian Ben Riggs unveils the secret history of TSR- the company that unleashed imaginations with Dungeons & Dragons, was driven into ruin by disastrous management decisions, and then saved by their bitterest rival. Co-created by wargame enthusiasts Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, the original Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game released by TSR (Tactical Studies Rules) in 1974 created a radical new medium: the role-playing game. For the next two decades, TSR rocketed to success, producing multiple editions of D&D, numerous settings for the game, magazines, video games, New York Times bestselling novels by Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman, and R. A. Salvatore, and even a TV show! But by 1997, a series of ruinous choices and failed projects brought TSR to the edge of doom-only to be saved by their fiercest competitor, Wizards of the Coast, the company behind the collectible card game Magic: The Gathering. Unearthed from Ben Riggs's own adventurous campaign of in-depth research, interviews with major players, and acquisitions of secret documents, Slaying the Dragon reveals the true story of the rise and fall of TSR. Go behind the scenes of their Lake Geneva headquarters where innovative artists and writers redefined the sword and sorcery genre, managers and executives sabotaged their own success by alienating their top talent, ignoring their customer fanbase, accruing a mountain of debt, and agreeing to deals which, by the end, made them into a publishing company unable to publish so much as a postcard. As epic and fantastic as the adventures TSR published, Slaying the Dragon is the legendary tale of the rise and fall of the company that created the role-playing game world"--

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