1976 OD&D Articles by Gary Gygax and Len Lakofka Available

What many people have forgotten is the Gary Gygax was involved in the wargame hobby long before TSR and D&D. Gygax used to participate in wargame fanzines that were common in the era. They were one of the main ways gamers — especially Diplomacy gamers communicated in the days of expensive long distance and no Internet. Starting in 1976, D&D articles by Gary Gygax and Len Lakofka (separately and together) started appearing in Lakofka’s long running Diplomacy zine, Liasons Dangereuses. I saw one of these issues back then when someone had a copy of then current issue at an ancients game I was involved in.

I was surprised to discover that many issues of Liasons Dangereuses have been scanned and are available at the Postal Diplomacy Zine Archive as free PDFs. Warning: The site is a bit slow and the scans are not always the best (probably because the reproduction on the originals was not always that good). Here’s a list of the issues I found with D&D articles of possible interest:

Liasons Dangereuses #70 – April 28, 1976 has a short article by Gary that talks about how D&D and the first two supplements did.

Liasons Dangereuses #72 – July 17, 1976 has “Women and Magic” by Gary and Len. This appears to be an early version of The Dragon article.

Liasons Dangereuses #73 – August 18, 1976 includes Expanding the combat tables in D&D and a long article about dungeon doors and some material from the Blackmoor campaign (I think).

Liasons Dangereuses #74 – September 27, 1976 has an article by Len and Gary “The Pryologist: A Study in Magic” — a fire mage sub-class for D&D. Also “Capture and Bondage in D&D” — rules for tying people up. Errata for some previous D&D articles.

Liasons Dangereuses #75 – November 10, 1976 has an article by Len and Gary on “Scrying in Dungeons & Dragons”.

Liasons Dangereuses #76 – December 14, 1976 has an article by Gary and Len entitled “Dwarfs & Hobbits & Magic” with magic-using classes for dwarfs and hobbits.

Liasons Dangereuses #77 – January 26, 1977 has an unreadably light article on Metamorphosis Alpha and an article by Gary and Len on “Special Damage in Dungeons & Dragons”.

Most of this material was new to me. I expect it will be to most OD&D players. Enjoy.

Randall Stukey

Randall is the author and publisher of a number of old school games (Microlite74, Microlite81, BX Advanced, etc) through RetroRoleplaying.com. Randall's main job, however, is being caregiver for his MS-afflicted cancer survivor wife. You can support Randall with a donation to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund.

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Randall is the author and publisher of a number of old school games (Microlite74, Microlite81, BX Advanced, etc) through RetroRoleplaying.com. Randall's main job, however, is being caregiver for his MS-afflicted cancer survivor wife. You can support Randall with a donation to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund. Gates & Glamours RSS Feed

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Thanks for those Randall, looking forward to reading the articles. It's always fascinating to come across some new piece of D&D history. Makes you wonder how much more "undiscovered" pieces are out there.