Chain Mail and Church Groups: The First Decade of Dungeons & Dragons


In the beginning was Gary Gygax, and he was Good. Chaotic Good, to be particular about it.

Dungeons & Dragons appeared in the mid-70s and for those who weren’t there for the ride, it might be difficult to realize how different it made the world. Nerdy kids across the country suddenly had a recreational group pursuit that let them gang together in ways that chess and SCRABBLEâ„¢ didn’t. Sure, they were still nerds, but now they were “all for one and one for all” nerds.

Naturally, this was something that needed to be stamped out. Stories of D&D-addicted kids and dungeon-inspired killings abounded, along with religious persecution by pastors and others “concerned” over demonic possession.

“Chain Mail and Church Groups” is a look at the early years of what became a phenomenon, with some personal asides and encounters.

Darrel Plant

Affiliation Moshofsky/Plant Creative Services

Working on the fringes of multimedia development for most of the past two decades, Darrel’s first job was working for a science-fiction and fantasy book and game shop in Eugene. He spent ten years in the bookselling business in Eugene and Portland, jumped to the printing industry, published a short-lived book review magazine, ran for the state Legislature, and wrote a few books on programming. But what he really wants to do is direct.