Part 1

Introduction to rgfd


Welcome to the Hypertext version of the Rec.Games.Frp.Dnd Frequently Asked Questions document!

Note: There are several sections of this document that include tables; this means that these sections may look very strange on browsers that do not adequately support these HTML codes. Links to all of the preformatted tables, contained in a separate appendix, have been made available for those people whose browsers do not (yet) support tables.

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TSR, Dungeons & Dragons, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, D&D, AD&D, Dungeon Master, Dragon, Dungeon, Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, DragonLance, Ravenloft, Planescape, Dark Sun, Mystara, Spelljammer, Birthright, and Player's Option are registered trademarks of TSR, a subsidiary of Wizards of the Coast, which is a subsidiary of Hasbro. Several other trademarked names also appear throughout this work; the author hereby states that he is using the names, including the above-mentioned ones, in editorial fashion only and to the benefit of the trademark owners, with no intention of infringing in any way upon the trademarks. The author is not affiliated with nor endorsed by TSR, Wizards of the Coast, or Hasbro.

Throughout this FAQ, I use male pronouns. This is not meant to belittle the contributions of female gamers, but rather to serve as a simple generic pronoun.

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Copyright notice, legal mumbo jumbo

This FAQ is Copyright © 2002 by Joel A. Hahn. All rights reserved. It may be redistributed, but only in its entirety; no part of it may be changed, added, or deleted. It may not appear on any web pages other than those authorized by myself (though links to the index page are more than welcome). This means you, bub!

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Note for new users

Before I get into the nitty-gritty, there's one thing which must be said. If you are new to Usenet, or if you aren't new but never heard about the guidelines & helpful pointers for Usenet, there are six posts you should go read as soon as possible in the group news.announce.newusers. These have the subjects:

If your server does not carry news.announce.newusers, your sysadmin is doing you a disservice--demand that it be added!

These files are also available via FTP to

If you are new to Usenet, you should also think quite seriously about regularly reading the newsgroup news.newusers.questions, as well as the news.newusers.questions FAQ. Some of the topics discussed there are repeated here, but the helpers there have and/or know about much more complete answers than are possible here.

For an in-depth look at some of the driving forces behind why Usenet is the way it is, and how certain rules of netiquette came to be, see the Net.Legends FAQ.

Now that we have that out of the way, on with the show!

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A1: What is D&D?

D&D is an abbreviation for Dungeons & Dragons, a fantasy role-playing game originally published by TSR, now published by Wizards of the Coast. It made its first public appearance in 1973, hit the general market in 1974, and has been popular ever since. It is generally thought of as the grandfather of all role-playing games. It was later revised to become part of AD&D, or Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. (The word "Advanced" has been removed from the name as of the 3rd ed.) Dungeons & Dragons is the most widely recognized and played role-playing game.

For the purpose of preventing confusion, I use "*D&D" as a generic term referring to all of the forms this game has taken over the years.

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A2: What is is a Usenet newsgroup dedicated to discussions pertaining to AD&D, D&D, and anything else that happens to come up. It was voted into existence by a result of 357 to 84 in May 1992, as part of "The Great Reorganization". Here is the charter for the group:

CHARTER: This unmoderated discussion newsgroup is for discussion of the official rules and settings of the D&D family of role-playing games, produced by TSR, Inc., including Collector's Edition Dungeons and Dragons (D&D), Basic D&D, Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (AD&D), and AD&D Second Edition. This proposed newsgroup would include discussion of TSR's rules and products and compatible products, such as: character classes; character races; monsters; magic spells; weapons; Greyhawk; the Forgotten Realms; the Known World; Dark Sun; Spelljammer; RavenLoft; Hollow World; City State of the Invincible Overlord; and so on. Crossposting between this group and other groups in the hierarchy is discouraged, however issues of general interest that happen to involve a D&D rulebook or setting are more than welcome.

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A3: Where can I find the FAQ?

The FAQ (which you are currently reading) is posted to monthly, on the first of each month. This is the best and easiest way to find it. It is also currently the only way to get the latest version, outside of the DejaNews web archives of Usenet. web archives of Usenet, and the FTP archives of the news.answers newsgroup (a newsgroup just for FAQs), and there is also a web mirror of that archive.

A slightly revised hypertext version is available through the World Wide Web at, though it is not always updated as frequently as the text version is.

If you are desperate for a copy of the most recent version of the FAQ, and can neither use the WWW, nor wait the less than thirty days until the next public posting, then you can write the keeper. I will consider every request, but there are often better ways to get it in your hands than sending the entire thing via e-mail.

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Continue on to Part 2

Copyright © 2003 by Joel A. Hahn