Part 6

Resources 1: Internet

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H1: What other newsgroups are out there for role-playing junkies like me?

There are several groups dedicated to role-playing games. The vast majority are, naturally, found in the* hierarchy, but several others are in the alt groups. [Select for Preformatted table]

alt.dragons-inn Role-playing via Usenet Fans of Dragonlance, unite! Like rgfd, only different Discussion about the Realms Posting & discussion of utilities, etc. Discussion of the 2000 AD game Posting of new utilities, screen shots, etc. Discussion of live-action fantasy rpg's Discussion of the Tekumel game Discussion of IBM adventure games Discussion of IBM computer RPGs Discussion of Mac computer RPGs Which game system is the best/worst?* Con announcements, gamers/games wanted* Fiction, programs, house rules, etc. Discussion of rpg's involving cyberware Discussion of *D&D Discussion of GURPS Industry issues, concerns, discussion Discussion of live-action fantasy rpg's Buy/sell (usually used) gaming supplies Discussion of all other RPG topics* Discussion of all other RPG topics Discussion of White Wolf's games Discussion of super-hero games
* Moderated newsgroups; all posts are automatically mailed to the moderator, who then decides which ones are of posting calibre and posts them.

If you have something to say which doesn't really fit in rgfd, but seems to fit more in one of the others, please post it there. This is especially true for auctions, sales, and items wanted posts, which belong in, and entire combat or magic systems, which belong in r.g.f.archives.

There are many other newsgroups that may be of interest to someone looking for ways to spice up a fantasy role-playing game; far too many to list here. However, some groups deserving of notable mention are: [Select for Preformatted table] Discussion of PBMs and PBEMs* Advertisements for MUDs Discussion of DikuMUDs Discussion of MUDs in general Discussion of TinyMUDs, MUSHes, etc.
rec.heraldry Discussion of coats of arms The Society for Creative Anachronism
soc.genealogy.medieval Genealogy of people living AD500-1600
soc.history.medieval Discussion of medieval history

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H2: Are there any FTP sites for *D&D?

There is one official FTP site for the distribution of AD&D products, licensed by TSR. It is located at Some of you may remember the old archive, which cut off all anonymous access early in 1994. Rob Miracle at MPGN took it upon himself to save as much of the greyhawk archive as possible, and that is what is at MPGN. Some of the greyhawk files infringed on TSR's copyrights, and were removed (e.g. scans of Dragon articles), and others have since been removed at the request of individual authors who disagree with the policy MPGN installed as part of their license agreement with TSR which made them the sole "authorized" ftp site for *D&D material.

MPGN has 60 simultaneous anonymous logins available, and only rarely are all of them in use, so there shouldn't ever be a problem getting in.

If fantasy art is more your thing, rather than *D&D-specific files, then be sure to check out the University of Iowa and Washington University, St. Louis archives, as both have extensive selections of art files, quite a few of which are in the fantasy genre. Unfortunately, both of these sites are extremely busy; it's a good bet that you will not be able to get in between roughly 9am-9pm, Central Time (10am-10pm, Eastern; 4pm-4am Greenwich). MPGN also has a few directories of artwork, mainly specific to the worlds of DragonLance and SpellJammer.

If sound files are your cup of tea, you may wish to look into MPGN's Ravenloft Sounds directory.

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H3: What does ".zip" mean? And why can't I read these files I just downloaded?

The .zip file extension means that the file has been compressed with some form of PKZip in order to save space in the archive and to keep up- and download times relatively short. You will need to unpack the file in order to read it properly. There are many compression systems besides PKZip, and this leads to the often bewildering maze of file extensions one must wade through on most ftp sites.

Most ftp sites (including MPGN) have a directory dedicated to providing copies of the various packer/unpacker programs. Many will also automatically unpack certain formats of downloaded files as you download them if you simply leave off the file extension when you request the file. If your site does not already carry the program you need, either check for such a directory at the ftp site, or ask your local sysadmin for assistance. [Select for Preformatted table]
Some common file extensions
Extension File type Transfer as Then...
.arc Archive binary un-archive
.asc Text ascii read normally
.au Unix Sound file binary player needed
.bmp Graphic (bitmap) binary viewer needed
.doc Word/WordPerfect file binary viewer needed
.exe Executable file binary execute
.gif Graphic binary viewer needed
.gz GNUzip compressed file binary un-compress (gzip)
.hqx Macintosh encoded file binary un-encode
.jpg Graphic binary viewer needed
.lzh LHarc archive binary un-archive
.mpg Video graphic file binary player needed
.pdf Adobe/Acrobat file binary viewer needed
.ps Adobe PostScript file binary viewer needed
.sit Macintosh compressed binary un-compress (Stuffit)
.tar Unix tape archive binary un-archive
.tar.z, .taz, .tgz Compressed Unix tape archive binary un-compress (gzip) then un-archive
.tif Graphic binary viewer needed
.txt Text ascii read normally
.uue Unix encoded file ascii un-encode (uudecode)
.voc Soundblaster sound file binary player needed
.wav Sound file binary player needed
.z Unix compressed file binary un-compress (gzip, decompress)
.zip Compressed file binary un-compress (pkzip/unzip)

If you try to transfer a binary file as ASCII, all you end up with is garbage.
If you try to transfer an ASCII file as binary, you can lose the line breaks, which means the entire file will transfer as one long line.
Note that gzip, though it has the default file extension of .gz, additionally uses the extension .z; gzip will also handle any .Z files condensed with compress.

To help clear up some of the confusion, here is a section quoted from an FAQ posted on rgfd by (but, to my knowledge, not written by) Boudewijn Wayers.

How to get files by ftp.

FAQ lists cross-posted to news.answers and rec.answers can be gotten from (, under /pub/usenet/news.answers or under /pub/usenet/

"Anonymous ftp" is just a way for files to be stored where anyone can retrieve them over the Net. For example, to retrieve the latest version of the Moria FAQ, do the following: [Select for Preformatted table]
ftp connect to the site; a message follows
anonymous type this when it asks for your name
[your email address] type your address as the password
cd /pub/usenet go to the directory you want to be
cd one level down (no slash)
dir look at what's there
get r.g.m_F_A_Q get the file; case-sensitive
quit stop this mysterious thing

If your ftp program complains that it doesn't know where the site you want to use is, type the numerical address instead of the sitename: [Select for Preformatted table]
ftp connect with numerical address

If you don't have ftp access, send e-mail to with the single word "help" in the body of the message.

Getting binary files (executables, or any compressed files) is only slightly more difficult. You need to set binary mode inside ftp before you transfer the file. [Select for Preformatted table]
binary set binary transfer mode
ascii set back to text transfer mode

FAQs and spoiler lists are generally ascii files; everything else is generally binary files.

Generic help can be found in the FAQs of comp.binaries.[your_system] for how to transfer, extract, and virus-check binary files (at

If you can't FTP from your site, use one of the following ftp-by-mail servers:

For complete instructions, send a message reading "help" to the server.

If you don't know exactly what you're looking for, or exactly where it is, there are programs and servers that can help you. For more info, send e-mail to with the body of the message reading

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H4: Are there any WWW pages for *D&D?

TSR has an official web page that is chiefly made up of AD&D material; they are working on expanding it further in many interesting ways. There are also a plethora of other, fan-maintained WWW sites related to *D&D or some specific facet thereof, as well as to role-playing games in general.

Since listing every single *D&D-related web page would roughly double the size of this entire FAQ, what follows is a sampling of the many, many web pages out there which deal in some way with *D&D or may be of significant interest to a *D&D player.,3
WotC/TSR's Official Web Page
The d20 System Reference Document--the basic rules of the PH, DMG, MM, and the psionics handbook, all free and online.
The Open Gaming Foundation site, including the latest version of the Open Gaming License, the d20 System Reference Document, and the d20 trademark license.
The RPGA's official web page
d20 and D&D news & reviews
EN World: The Black Pages, D&D info, explanations, errata, etc.
Secrets of the Kargatane, the official Ravenloft webpage
Planewalker, the official Planescape webpage
The Mimir, a semi-official Planescape fan webpage
The Burnt World of Athas, the official Dark Sun webpage
Compendium, the official Spelljammer webpage
The official Mystara webpage
The official Birthright webpage
Effie's Concordance of the D&D books and magazines, Game Finder, Great Wyrm listing of D&D-related web pages, and more
WebRPG, with "gamers wanted" ads, artwork, chatrooms, files, fun surveys, lots of links, etc.
Webpage of the Forgotten Realms mailing list
Everything you wanted to know about *D&D and more
On-line dice roller programs, a virtual village, and many random town/cave/etc. generators
List of TSR products which have been auctioned in, with average prices compiled from data dating back up to three years
List of (almost) everything TSR published, along with descriptions and suggested prices
Mystara web page, and more
The Great Net.Book Archive
Nostradamus' Vault of net.books
Netbooks, etc. galore
Yahoo's list of RPG-related web pages
PBEMs, PBEMs, and more PBEMs
Michi's Gaming page
Selected postings from rgfd, guides, house rules, helpful computer programs, and more
Nushae S. Fahey's AD&D page at Stack
Surge's Mbs upon Mbs of AD&D and RPG files
Woodelf's extensive list of RPG web pages, etc.
The Fellowship of the Flying Paladin
The Fellowship of the Black Spot
RPG-related files, etc.
Greyhawk information, and lots of links
Several random character/item/etc. generators, the Dragon/Polyhedron index, and some Mystara information
Spells, kits, and other miscellaneous info
Legolas' page of AD&D links
Bean's page of modules for AD&D
Mag Force 7; featuring homepages of Margaret Weis (of Dragonlance fame), Don Perrin, Jeff Grubb, and others
RPGnet--reviews, campaign ads, links, files, art, etc.
Judges Guild's official web page
Gary Gygax's homepage

Other URLs which contain *D&D information:;list;list;list;list

Other URLs of possible interest for shoppers:
The Dragon's Trove on-line gaming store, which has a large selection of new and used RPG material for sale.
Titan Games, selling new and used RPG material.
Sage's Guild, selling new and used RPG material.
The Gamer's Guild store in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, selling new and used RPG material.
The Hit Pointe, selling used and out-of-print D&D and AD&D material., one of--if not the--largest on-line bookstore.
An on-line bookstore, specializing in SF, Fantasy, Mystery, & Horror. You can browse their catalog and place orders through their page.
An on-line auction house, where it is common to find many D&D products.

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H5: Where can I download electronic versions of the 3rd ed. Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, and Monster Manual for free?

Wizards of the Coast has made a slightly stripped-down version of the 3rd ed. D&D rulebooks freely available to the public as part of the Open Gaming project. It doesn't contain every single word of the printed books, but it's close enough for most uses.

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H6: Where can I upload this neat program I just wrote?

If the program adheres to TSR's online policy (see Section 3), then it can be uploaded to your favorite ftp site, whatever that may be. Once you upload the file, please post a note to explaining what the program does, and at what site people may find it.

An alternative to ftp is making the program available via a WWW page. To do this, you must either have a personal page, or convince one of the existing *D&D WWW page keepers to include your program in their page. This latter course of action is not as difficult as it sounds, as people tend to be looking for new things to add. Once it gets added to a page, post a note to listing what the program does and the URL of the page on which it may be found.

If this doesn't seem like your cup of tea, you can try posting it to Usenet. If you decide to take this course of action, the correct group to post it to is Postings such programs to is strongly discouraged. If you do not get, ask your Usenet sysop to add it. If you do not get this newsgroup, and your sysop refuses to add it, then and only then should you try posting it to This is a moderated newsgroup, so all postings are mailed to the moderator, who then decides if each message is worthy to be posted, so there is a chance that he will decide not to post your program. Once it gets posted, then post a note in explaining what the program is supposed to do and in which newsgroup people may find it.

The final course of action you can take is not to upload it at all, but rather to post a note to that anyone interested in trying your program can send you e-mail and you can e-mail the program to the interested parties.

No matter which of the above methods you use, there are certain protocols which should be followed. When done, your methods should be explained in a companion text file (if uploading to an ftp site or placing on a web page) and in any advertisements you post to Usenet.

  1. Compress the program, both to save room on the ftp site/Web page/ Newsgroup/etc., and to cut down on download times. This is especially necessary if you post a program to Usenet.

  2. If you post programs to Usenet, don't forget to convert the file to ASCII before you post it (uuencode [preferred by most], BinHex, MIME, etc.); otherwise, it will be unusable by most, if not all systems.

  3. State the compression system used (pkzip, compress, lharc, tar, gzip, StuffIt, etc.) and the ASCII conversion program, if used; don't rely on people's ability to decipher file extension(s).

  4. State the computer & system requirements (i.e. DOS, Windows, Macintosh System 7, ANSI-C source, etc.).

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H7: Is a complete index to Dragon Magazine available anywhere?

An index of Dragon Magazine from #2-#236 and Polyhedron #45 through the end of its original run, compiled by Vince Gray (, is available in an xref ASCII (KWIC) file via MPGN. It is updated annually, around the first of the year. An online lookup form--not yet updated with the most recent KWIC files--created by Scooby (Joseph DuBois) (, is located on the World Wide Web at

TSR has also released the entirety of Dragon #1-250 on CD-ROM, in PDF format. The search feature of that product, while it isn't exactly a true "index," is probably close enough to it for most users.

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H8: Is there a complete list of every *D&D product TSR has ever published?

Yes, there is. Originally compiled by Anthony Brooks (ne Goth) it is now being kept up and updated by Gavin Bartell. The current version is available at The original version is available at MPGN. It includes listings for every known release of every TSR *D&D product, from rulebooks to modules to box sets to mage stones, and everything, and I mean everything, in between, along with short descriptions of each. If, in looking through it, you discover that a certain item is not listed, feel free to drop a line to Gavin about it.

Other, independent, attempts at listings and/or reviews of every *D&D product can also be found at, and

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H9: Where can I find a complete list of every monster TSR has published for *D&D?

This list, which was up to date at least as of the beginning of 1996 and includes only 2nd ed. creatures, is maintained by Anthony Brooks (ne Goth), when he finds the time to update it (5165 entries and rising at the last count). One version of this list is at MPGN. If you want a copy, and your mailer can handle very large messages, send Ant a quick note requesting a copy.

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H10: Is there really an "AD&D Guide to Sex?" What other Guides are there?

Yes there was, though it was not a TSR product (as one would infer from that name). Chiefly compiled by Reid Bluebaugh from submissions by many people on the Internet (collectively known as "The Guide Creator"), it has been revised to remove trademarks & copyrighted material belonging to TSR, as well as make it more applicable to more games than just AD&D; its proper name is now The Complete RPG Guide to Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. At this time, no FTP site is publically known to contain any of the Complete Guides.

Revised versions of these files, in which all of TSR's trademarks and any quotes from TSR's books have been removed, are slowly making their way onto the net, via and a web page, as the compiler finishes them. As none of them are really AD&D-specific now, they are all called "The Complete RPG Guide to..." or "The Fantasy Guide to..." Direct any questions about, as well as any requests for copies of the Guides to Reid Bluebaugh.

On a side note, if you happen to find a copy of a '92 version of the Guide to Sex--or a copy of any of the guides which is dated before 1996--pass it by. There are much better, much more complete (some 200+ pages longer in a couple instances), and much more recent versions available.

A partial list of Complete Guides is as follows; more are created as "the Guide Creator" thinks them up:

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H11: Where can I find the Net.*.Book?

This type of file is not usually posted to, and only occasionally sees light on Rather, they tend to be found in various ftp sites and WWW pages. There are many, many more netbooks out there than can ever possibly be listed here, so what follows is merely a sampler of the kinds of files you may find.

Some examples of net.books are:

There are many more Net.Books out there; MPGN has several, and several Web pages have many more. Check out MPGN and the Web sites listed in the answer above before posting a request to rgfd.

There is also a list which occasionally circulates around the ADND-L mailing list, and is infrequently posted to rgfm & rgfd, of current Net.Book projects, with short descriptions and contact addresses.

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H12: Are there any *D&D-related mailing lists?

There are several *D&D-related mailing lists. A mailing list is similar to Usenet, with the main difference being that all messages are mailed directly to your account, instead of being stored on a remote News server. Some of these mailing lists can get quite high in volume at times, so you might want to think twice about subscribing to something that will quickly swamp your mailbox.

One of the more popular *D&D-related mailing lists is ADND-L, which is very similar to in direction and topics of discussion. A major difference between ADND-L and rgfd is that contributors are limited by common practice to two posts per day on ADND-L, both in order to cut down on the amount of mail received and to keep enough space on the listserver archives to maintain a six month backup. Anyone can look up and retrieve recent articles. To this end, many of those people who have a proclivity towards longer posts put a table of contents at the top of each message. [Select for Preformatted table]

Mailing Lists
Listservs Al-Qadim
ADND-L General *D&D discussion (digest possible)
ADND-L Alternative address for ADND-L (no digest) Birthright Core Rules CD-ROM Dark Sun More *D&D discussion (digest possible) Dragonlance Greyhawk
Greytalk More Greyhawk discussion Mystara, also OD&D Planescape
qadim-l Al-Qadim
ravenloft-l Ravenloft
realms-l Forgotten Realms
rpganews-l RPGA News (read only) Spelljammer The Art Of Game Mastering TSR Announcements (read only)

Majordomos Birthright Dark Sun Dragonlance Greyhawk Planescape Ravenloft Forgotten Realms SpellJammer

GMAST-L Roleplayers' discussion

Subscribing to a Mailing List
Listservers: If you are interested in joining a listserv list, send a message to LISTSERV@[listserv domain name] with "SUBSCRIBE [list name] [name/pseudonym]" in the body (without the quotes). For example, to subscribe to the ADND-L mailing list, you would send mail to
with the message
        SUBSCRIBE adnd-l Aardy R. DeVarque
You will get a message in confirmation of your subscription, which also details some of the ways to use the listserv. When the time comes for you to send your first message out to the readers of the list, send it to the address listed above for the listserv, which, in the case of ADND-L, would be
To unsubscribe, send a messsage to LISTSERV@[address] with the message
        UNSUBSCRIBE adnd-l
It does no good to send unsubscribe messages to the main list, you will just get laughed at. You have to send them to the listserver itself.

Majordomos: Subscribing to a majordomo list is similar to the method for subscribing to listservs, except you sometimes include your e-mail address instead of a personal name. For example, to subscribe to a majordomo mailing list, you would normally send mail to
with the message
        SUBSCRIBE [listname]
However, when subscribing to the mailing lists at MPGN, the server automatically finds your address from the mail headers. Therefore, you only need send mail to
with the message
        SUBSCRIBE [listname]
Once again, you will receive a confirmation message with more details. For majordomos, as with listservs, do not send unsubscribe messages to the main list; send them to the majordomo, as you did to subscribe.

Digest means that the list's messages are collated into a large message and then mailed to you, usually on a daily basis. This is useful to prevent your mailbox from being swamped with 200 messages per day, but does not save you anything in terms of disk space. People who only check their mail once a day or so and people who have to pay per message received usually prefer this method. Information on how to get the digest form of a list, if one is available, is usually included in the introductory material sent to you when you subscribe to the list. Listservs usually require you to send a special command message to the listserver, while majordomos usually require you to subscribe to a slightly different list name to begin with. The lists at MPGN all have digests available, by subscribing to [group] instead of [group]

There are numerous other mailing lists which are dedicated to other RPGs, or which are more general; a complete list is regularly (if infrequently) posted by Alistair Lowe-Norris on most, if not all of the* newsgroups and gaming mailing lists.

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H13: Are there any other *D&D-related resources on the Internet?

There are quite a few other resources on the 'net; including the* FAQ, IRC channels and chat rooms, and Internet provider-specific resources.

If you are looking for more generalized information, or just information which is not *D&D-specific, a good place to check is the* FAQ, archived at both MPGN and

Those interested in web-based chat have to look no further than TSR's web page. TSR's chat area generally requires that you download and install special client software from iChat in order to properly access the chats. TSR has set up various chat areas, including two set aside specifically for on-line role-playing.

The only other resource commonly available on the Internet which has not already been discussed is IRC, namely the chat areas #AD&D and #RPGA. There, you can have real-time conversations with other gaming enthusiasts about life, the universe, and role-playing. There are also several campaigns being run on IRC which are advertised on #AD&D; if you're interested, look there first. Simply /join #ad&d, then /msg noppa games to see a list of IRC campaigns. There is also a chat line called #rpg_inn, which is dedicated to running real-time free-form gaming.

GEnie, Compuserve, and Delphi also have large discussion areas dedicated to AD&D. Check around in the Games Special Interest Groups and you'll find them. Unfortunately, if you do not have an account with one of these companies, you're out of luck; there is no way to get there from the rest of the 'net.

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Continue on to Part 7

Copyright © 2001 by Joel A. Hahn