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The definitive history of DnD is finally getting reprinted

Playing at the World, a huge historical book about the beginnings of Dungeons and Dragons, gets a two-part second edition this summer.

Playing at the World, an enormous history book documenting the rise of D&D, is getting a two-volume second edition. First announced in late 2023, the first part, ‘The Invention of Dungeons and Dragons’, is expected to release on July 30, 2024.

Originally published in 2012, Playing at the World condenses the history of D&D’s design, gameplay, and setting into 720 pages. It considers a range of influences on tabletop roleplaying, including eighteenth-century strategists and 1970s wargames – the latter of which directly led to the creation of D&D.

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The author, Jon Peterson, has contributed to a range of non-fiction D&D books. This includes a prominent upcoming title – The Making of Dungeons and Dragons. Wizards announced this history book as part of its DnD release schedule for the game’s 50th anniversary, and it’ll be available from June 18.

Playing at the World’s second edition comes with a brand-new cover from Erol Otus, who is himself an alumnus of D&D history. Otus worked for former Dungeons and Dragons publisher TSR, creating art for various DnD books.

DnD Playing at the World second edition cover

The first volume of Playing at the World is currently available for pre-order, with a retail price of $29.95 (£23.36). Its publisher, MIT Press, calls it “the ultimate geek’s guide to the original RPG”, as well as “an indispensable resource for academics and game fans”.

It’s definitely one of the most expansive records of D&D’s history – though Peterson’s newer project, The Making of Dungeons and Dragons, boasts a first draft of the original game and never-before-seen content. Only time will tell whether this definitive book remains definitive.

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