Post by foster1941 on Mar 22, 2018 11:28:31 GMT -6
We know that the DMG was a very collaborative project at TSR - the designer's notes in Dragon #28 go into a lot of detail on that, with testimonials and notes from 10 different people who worked on it, and the book itself credits no less than 30 people who all "in some way contributed to the formation of this work." It's totally possible that the DMG includes some content that was originally written or compiled by Bob Bledsaw - all of the tables for determining NPC characteristics (on pp. 100-102) certainly feel like something that might have appeared in a Judges Guild product, and some of the other tabular info in the appendices could be the same - but even so it seems like a very big exaggeration to call that "half the book." Certainly all of the essay-type stuff seems to be in Gary's "voice" (by comparison to his earlier and later writings in Dragon, modules, etc.), not to mention the large amount of material that's carried over more-or-less directly from OD&D (magic item descriptions, etc.). That alone surely accounts for more than half the book, and even if it didn't, we still have to factor in the contributions of the other 29 people who worked on the book. "Success has many mothers' - the DMG is, of course, an epic accomplishment that's still held up almost 40 years later as one of the most important rpg books ever published, so it's no surprise that everyone who was involved in its creation wants to claim as much credit as possible. That's understandable, and it's even true that without all of those people's contributions the book wouldn't have been what it was - that even seemingly-minor things like the list of adjectives to describe magical substances add to the encyclopedic weight of the volume. But that doesn't mean we should take claims that any one person (other than Gary) is responsible for "half the book" seriously at face value.
I agree with others: the DMG (and probably the PHB as well) is definitely worth reading, even if you have no intent to ever run the game.
I have run B/X, and 2E, and they are fine rules with great organization and illustrations...but 1E really explains all of the thought process behind the game, and how to be a Dungeon Master (or a player).
If you've ever wondered why a rule is the way it is, chances are you'll find the answer in the DMG. From there, you can decide if you agree with Gary, or if you have an alternate idea of your own. It's probably the only rulebook that I enjoy reading just for fun.