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

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Dungeons & Dragons is the perfect adventure game. You become the hero, you make the choices, you succeed or fail on your own merit, pitting your wits, skills, and stats against monsters and the vagaries of fate alike. And it wouldn’t exist without Gary Gygax, Dave Arneson, and a small cabal of brilliant wargamers.

Rise of the Dungeon Master, unlike other biographies of D&D and/or Gygax, this puts you in his shoes, using the second-person to meld the gameplay aspect of the game with your standard biographical narrative. So you’re not just reading his life, you’re experiencing it. It’s a clever conceit that works surprisingly well, given the time skips, point of view changes, and other gimmicks used in the graphic novel.

Is this all territory that’s well-trodden by this point? Sure. But the visual storytelling aspect adds something that standard text biographies lack. And when you’re discussing the birth of a game that’s all about visualizing not only what’s happening but what could happen, employing art and visuals makes a great deal of sense.

Although established fans of D&D might not get much out of this one, newcomers will find a world of knowledge here, told in a way Gygax would’ve very much appreciated.

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Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 144 pages
Publisher Nation Books
Publish Date 2017-May-09
ISBN 9781568585598
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue August 2017
Category Sequential Art


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