Bundling Up the RPG Histories

I normally prefer to recommend books to y’all after I’ve actually read them, but I’m making an exception for this.

Okay, I hope y’all are aware of the wonderful Bundle of Holding — they offer periodic bundles of pen-and-paper RPGs for a remarkably low price, with some of the costs going to benefit a charity. It’s a great way to get your hands on some games you might never have heard of.

One of their latest bundles is the Designers, Dragons, and More Bundle, which will be active for about one more week, so look alive. For once, the available books aren’t games, but they are about games.

The anchor for this bundle is a four-volume series by Shannon Appelcline called “Designers & Dragons.” It focuses on the history of roleplaying games, one volume per decade, from the 1970s to the early 2000s.

And these are not thin histories either. The first volume, covering the ’70s, is well over 350 pages long, and it covers companies from TSR, father of all roleplaying, Flying Buffalo, Games Workshop, GDW, Judges Guild, Chaosium, and more. And every volume after the first is even bigger.

The histories cover the founders, the movers and shakers, the games, the spinoff companies, the rise in fortunes, and far too often, the tragic falls.

I’m only part of the way through the first volume, and reading this is like getting a giant syringe full of pure nerd nostalgia injected straight into your heart.

Now this bundle includes more than just the Designers & Dragons books. It also includes a couple 400-page books called “Family Games: The 100 Best” and “Hobby Games: The 100 Best.” Both of these books are full of essays about RPGs, wargames, board games, and card games, through the entire history of gaming. And the authors include vast numbers of game designers, including Gary Gygax, Richard Garfield, Tracy Hickman, Monte Cook, Jeff Grubb, Sandy Petersen, Warren Spector, Greg Constikyan, James Ernest, Tom Wham, and many more.

And finally, there’s “40 Years of Gen Con” by game designer and author Robin D. Laws, which includes interviews, photographs, and more from the very beginning of gaming’s largest and most influential gaming convention.

And you get all of this for about $20. Yes, you should be fairly gobsmacked about that. That’s a bucketload of books about gaming for not very much money.

And again, you’ve got about a week before that bundle goes away, so jump to it!

And hey, you should probably go ahead and bookmark the Bundle of Holding, ’cause they have surprisingly great bundles pretty often.

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