• Designers & Dragons: The 80s

  • A History of the Roleplaying Game Industry
  • By: Shannon Appelcline
  • Narrated by: Colby Elliott
  • Length: 13 hrs and 44 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (26 ratings)

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Designers & Dragons: The 80s  By  cover art

Designers & Dragons: The 80s

By: Shannon Appelcline
Narrated by: Colby Elliott
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Publisher's Summary

Part two of a four-volume set!

Everything you've wanted to know about the origins of roleplaying games...

Designers & Dragons: The '80s is a comprehensive picture of the growth of the RPG industry. This second edition expands the original single book into a series of four, and we’ve added over 10,000 new words to this volume alone. Take an in-depth look at ’80s style gaming courtesy of companies like Steve Jackson Games and West End Games, plus an intro to the small (but mighty!) presses of the decade. Regardless of your gaming background, Shannon Appelcline’s meticulously researched history won’t disappoint.

In this volume, you’ll find:

  • A foreword by Mike Pondsmith, founder of R. Talsorian and creator of Cyberpunk
  • Profiles for 23 1980s gaming companies including Steve Jackson Games, Palladium Books, and Mayfair Games
  • The inside scoop behind games like GURPS, Champions, and Battletech
  • 10 things you might not know about roleplaying in the ’80s
  • An extensive bibliography and index

Meet the characters behind the characters and the gamers behind the games in Designers & Dragons: The ’80s!

©2014 Shannon Appelcline (P)2021 Last Word Audio

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Not For Everyone, But Perfect For What It Is

This second volume in Appelcline's Designers & Dragons gives us an in-depth and incredibly well-researched look at those companies that appeared during the Golden Age of the RPG Industry. Tabletop gamers who want a peek at what actually transpired at the time, why some games and companies failed, where they ended up, the people behind it, the lawsuits, the mismanagement, bad luck, and what trends steered the exploding 80's gaming market should pick this up. It's a must for any gamer who wants the history of the hobby.
I look forward to the release of the 3rd book. I only wish Audible listed this as a series. As of now, it appears like "The 70's" and "The 80's" are two separate books and not Books 1 and 2 of the Designers & Dragons Series.

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  • Richard Bat Brewster
  • 03-28-21

Informative and detailed history of RPGs

Continuing the numerous interesting stories about the RPG hobby and industry. Great to have old stories confirmed, clarified, or revealed to be untrue, I learned lots of new things. For those that want a detailed overview, then I recommend this. I appreciate the information being placed into specific company histories with linked recommendations at the chapter end to make for a great approach. It also makes it easier to find information later, as opposed to being like say a history put in to a story/biography style. A high rating because it delivers on its goal and what I wanted. Clear audio, good pacing, a great performance.