The Books

Designers & Dragons is a series of books & articles covering the history of the roleplaying industry. The following books are either currently available or in planning.

Company Histories

Designers & Dragons: The ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, ’00s, and Platinum Appendix (Evil Hat: 2014-2015). Anthologies of company histories are the heart of Designers & Dragons. Four core volumes tell the stories of the roleplaying industry in the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, and ’00s, one company at a time. A Platinum Appendix contains additional histories requested by Kickstarter patrons as well as yearly chronicles from 2008-2014.

The paperback editions of these books funded by a 2014 Kickstarter are partially out-of-print, but can still be found on some secondary markets. (We printed a lot!) They also remain available as audio books, as eBooks, and as POD hardcovers.

A shorter one-volume edition of Designers & Dragons was published by Mongoose in 2011. Only about 750 copies were printed and it is now a rare collector’s edition. All of the content of this first edition was reprinted in the second-edition multivolume set.

Designers & Dragons: The Chromatic Appendix (Patreon). This is an organized collection of the history articles from this blog that haven’t reappeared in one of the core Designers & Dragons volumes.

The Chromatic Appendix is currently available as an amateur PDF at the Designers & Dragons Patreon. There’s no decision as to whether it might appear in a more professional form in the future.

Pending Releases

Designers & Dragons: The Lost Histories & The ’10s (Company History: Pending). Work began on a new series of company histories in 2020, with at least two volumes telling the stories companies from the ’70s through ’00s not covered in the original volumes and a new volume covering the ’10s in the same format.

Three volumes worth of content should be drafted by 2024, but there’s no final decision yet on how to release them, especially given the 10-year gap since the previous volumes were publishers (during which, a lot of history occurred!). The books are expected to go to Evil Hat, but haven’t yet been added to our contract, as work is currently ongoing for the first series of Origins books.

Designers & Dragons Origins (Product History: Pending). A 4-book history of Dungeons & Dragons, covering OD&D, AD&D 1e, Basic D&D, and the later Mystara products for AD&D 2e. These books are under contract to Evil Hat and are currently in final editing; they should be handed off to them in Spring 2024.

This is Free Trader Beowulf (System History: In Layout). This full-length system history of the Traveller RPG is in Mongoose’s hands and planned for Spring 2024 release.