Dungeons & Dragons RPG, Pen & Paper, Amiga licensees

First off all a list of various D&D series titles released for the Commodore Amiga. Source for Amiga ratings is mobygames  user rating. 5 is highest. If no rating supplied on the page, I calculated them from magazine reviews or estimated by taking matching average of other systems.

After that a little background of the naming conventions, history and real Pen & Paper RPG startup.

SSI Dragonlance games

The DragonLance series published 1984 is the first D&D brand given to computer RPGs. The world Krynn consists of several continents, the main location is Ansalon. The story here is about war between good, evil and neutral powers. The Heroes of the Lance are the protagonists of the chronicles of DragonLance series. They have a major influence on the World of Krynn esp. to Ansalon.

Release

Name

Rating

1988 Heroes of the Lance 3.0
1989 War of the Lance (C64) 3.8
1989 Dragons of Flame 3.2
1990 DragonStrike 4.2
1990 Champions of Krynn 2.9
1991 Death Knights of Krynn 3.5
1991 Shadow Sorcerer 1.4
1992 The Dark Queen of Krynn 3.5

Pool of Radiance series

The Pool of Radiance series, better known as first part of the “Gold Box” series, because of the games published in golden boxes, is the first computer-based RPG featuring the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) ruleset. It’s also part of the Forgotten Realms series.

Released in 1988 it’s faced to compete with the famous Ultima series by Origin. Being not that open frameworked and more structural it gave / should give a more computer compatible RPG experience.

1988 Pool of Radiance 3.7
1989 Curse of the Azure Bonds 3.2
1990 Secret of the Silver Blades 2.6
1991 Pools of Darkness 3.7

Forgotten Realms world

The Forgotten Realms world is the successor of the D&D Greyhawk world. Its campaigns are settled in medieval Europe with a continent called Faerûn. It features all classical fantasy RPG settings, from archmages to rude secret societies over dragons and the so called Drow, a tribe of dark elves from the undrentide.

The Forgotten Realms are also theatre of todays modern RPG releases by Wizards of the Coast (at least til they revised it completely in 2007).

1988 Pool of Radiance 3.7
1989 Hillsfar 3.6
1989 Curse of the Azure Bonds 3.2
1990 Secret of the Silver Blades 2.6
1991 Pools of Darkness 3.7
1991 Gateway to the Savage Frontier 3.8
1991 Eye of the Beholder 4.0
1991 Eye of the Beholder II 4.0
1992 Treasures of the Savage Frontier 3.7

All Amiga D&D / AD&D licensees

1988 Pool of Radiance 3.7
1988 Heroes of the Lance 3.0
1989 Dragons of Flame 3.2
1989 Hillsfar 3.6
1989 Curse of the Azure Bonds 3.2
1989 War of the Lance (C64) 3.8
1990 DragonStrike 4.2
1990 Champions of Krynn 2.9
1990 Secret of the Silver Blades 2.6
1991 Eye of the Beholder 4.0
1991 Gateway to the Savage Frontier 3.8
1991 Eye of the Beholder II 4.0
1991 Death Knights of Krynn 3.5
1991 Shadow Sorcerer 1.4
1991 Pools of Darkness 3.7
1992 The Dark Queen of Krynn 3.5
1992 Treasures of the Savage Frontier 3.7

A word about D&D / AD&D name convention

It’s a bit confusing, at least for me, what those name conventions stand for.

So an easy explanation is, that the “Advanced” in AD&D (abbr. for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons) is simply just a marketing issue and stands for the 2nd edition D&D ruleset. After the release of the 3rd edition D&D ruleset the name affix “Advanced” has been dropped again.

Note: As further recherches tell me that’s not quite true, as the AD&D was a parallel product line to D&D series, but for keeping it simple, I’ll just let it explained as is above. Look here for further info.

The newest D&D ruleset currently is the 4th edition. Visit the website Wizards of the Coast Official Homepage for more information and introductions to the new ruleset!

Releases

Short overview of revised D&D editions:

  • 1974 – OD&D – initial release of Original Dungeons & Dragons as cheap amateur productions in booklets
  • 1981 – 1st edition D&D – Basic Dungeons & Dragons
  • 1989 – 2nd edition D&D – aka Advanced Dungeons & Dragons
  • 2000 – 3rd edition D&D – name affix “Advanced” dropped, major ruleset revision, more usage of d20-system and less restricted gameplay
  • 2003 – 3.5th edition D&D – revision of 3rd, minor rulechanges, expanded core books
  • 2007 – 4th edition D&D – most recent release of the ruleset, more streamlined game, core books released 2008

Get here for a very detailed list of releases and parallel concepts or products.

Pen & paper RPG

My two cents:

As I came to serious roleplaying around 2000, I also recommend the releases from that time for pen&paper RPG. Esp. the 3.5th edition is very good to start with, but also very complex.I don’t know yet about 4th edition, but what I read so far it’s got more modern and less complex, what I don’t prefer I think… But I have to give it a shot sometimes maybe.

There’s a starter set describing on few pages how to get started and into P&P RPG in a fast and easy way. You’ll also get some maps, a simple story, character sheets and cardboard cut-outs. You can find pre-owned ones of 3rd/3.5th editions on ebay or local RPG stores for sure. They give you an inexpensive start into real roleplaying. Go to a store and you’ll often meet players there having just a “game” you may spectate at.

Just try it with your friends! But you have to have the ambitions and some experience in computer RPGs for that as well.

Get yourself some various dice, you’ll always need a D20, D8, 2x D10, D12 sometimes D4/D3. A D6 everyone should have, as they’re very common.

You could build your wargaming tabletop terrain for yourself very inexpensive by using papercraft buildings and walls. More advanced and professional are modeled tiles from f.e. the Dwarven Forge.

More about RPG related and communities? Visit the huge RPG.net forums: forum.rpg.net

Happy RPGing!

marquisor

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    • canute
    • March 11th, 2010

    Great job, Marquisor!

    Concerning AD&D, on the C64, I spent most time playing was “Champions of Krynn”. On the Amiga, it was “Eye of the Beholder II”

    It was a helluva lot of gaming combining the Gold Box, Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance series!

    • hello! thx for thy comment 😉

      so you said you played most champions of krynn and eye of the be(er)holder..

      i really think hard about of with what game/series i (or similar newbie to the series) should start with?

      i unfortunately didn’t play any of them except 2 or 3 for some hours. that’s why i made a list and this post to get a better overview… but still didn’t got a decision

      regards

        • canute
        • March 11th, 2010

        Personally I don’t remember any of the Pool of Radiance “series” being any more accessible (for the newbie) than the other. So, I guess “Pool of Radiance” is the logical start.

        The could be said for the Krynn series. However, I never played Dark Queen (a non-C64 release). Anyway, can’t go wrong starting Champions of Krynn either.

        Of course gaming on the Amiga or PC would make the AD&D loading experiences less laborious than it is on the C64. Shorter loads are always a winner for newbies!

        For me, Eye of the Beholder I and II (Amiga) were by far the easiest AD&D to start playing.Perhaps had a lot to do with the glossier in-game presentation (quality graphics and sound). But, these were different types of games really, comapared to the Pool of Radiance and Krynn series (with their non-3D, spatial tactical combat emphasis).

        I never played Dragonstrike or Shadow Sorceror, but with the other more quirky inclusions in the AD&D series (simplistic Hillsfar, Heroes of the Lance, Dragons of Flame), I thought they were terrible. They deviated too far from the successful Pool of Radiance format for me.

        Having said that, I probably would have liked the War of the Lance strategy game. Spent to little time on it before selling my C64.

  1. Great post marquisor, I think I still have my copy of the AD&D 2nd Ed players handbook somewhere, amongst others. For the table top maps we used sticky back plastic and drew on the shiny surface with a whiteboard marker so you could rub it off. The squares on the paper where also great for movement etc. I haven’t played in ages but would be good to revisit AD&D.

    • Sarah
    • February 1st, 2010

    Good work, marquis0r

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