Role Playing Games – History


Role playing games became popular with the Dungeons & Dragons™ (D&D) fantasy role playing game created and published by Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax of TSR in 1973.

It swept the gaming community by storm; particularly among young adults. Rights to the game were later obtained by Wizards of the Coast and Random House now owns the copyright.

D&D has since developed into Advanced Dungeons & Dragons™ (AD&D) as the rules were enhanced. Dozens of other companies have since published similar style games under a variety of titles, such as DragonQuest.™, RuneQuest™ and Tunnels and Trolls™.


As more players learned about role playing games, they branched out into other genres :-

  • fantasy (AD&D™, RuneQuest™)
  • horror (Call of Cthulhu™, Hunter: The Reckoning™ )
  • science fiction (Traveller™, Star Wars RPG™)
  • cyberpunk (Cyberpunk 2020™)
  • comic book (Champions™)
  • historical (Boot Hill™)
  • generic (GURPS™).
  • Dungeons and Dragons™, which later became Advanced Dungeons and Dragons™ was the forerunner of the commercial role playing games. It is still the most popular.

    Originally from TSR, it is now published by Wizards of the Coast.

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