Wednesday, July 6, 2022


Rating: 4.5/5 stars

I’ve never played Dungeons & Dragons or any tabletop RPG games, nor watched anyone play them, so I’m not sure why I was drawn to this book. I’ve always loved video games, so I’ve always wanted to try out D&D and other formats of games, but for some reason I’ve never had the opportunity or means to play. Nevertheless, I still wanted to read about its history. 

Slaying the Dragon is the true story of the rise and fall of Tactical Studies Rules (TSR), the original creators of Dungeons & Dragons, and how the game ultimately ended up in the hands of Wizards of the Coast, TSR’s biggest rival at the time. 

Despite having never played D&D and not being a huge fan of nonfiction, I actually found this book to be very interesting and easily readable. The author’s writing is so captivating and enjoyable. This wasn’t dry or hard to read at all. The only real complaint I have is that sometimes I got the people mixed up, but that likely comes from listening to the audiobook and not being able to see the names written down, which overall wasn’t a huge deal. The audiobook narrator was excellent though and had a great voice to listen to. 

The history of D&D is full of surprises and the author did a great job of laying it all out from the beginning, including all the big moments while also highlighting minor details that were notable or simply just interesting facts. I think it’s hilarious that in the “Satanic Panic” era of the 1970s, people thought D&D summoned actual demons and enticed people to commit suicide. I’ve never understood how people come to these absurd conclusions about fantasy games or novels. 

Overall, Slaying the Dragon was a super fun read that I would definitely recommend to any Dungeons & Dragons fans out there, whether you were a hardcore fan in the ’80s or you’re a casual player now or you only read the novels. Tabletop and RPG gamers would likely also have a good time reading this book. Above anything, it’s a really fascinating history, even if you aren’t super familiar with D&D (like me). I’m so glad I had the opportunity to read this. 

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