Death by Debt at TSR: Ep 161


Manage episode 243070274 series 65713
By Ben Riggs. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

A 1979 contract between Random House and TSR would take 18 years to kill the company that started the role-playing game hobby. Thanks to historian Micheal Calleia, Ben has a copy of that very contract, and discusses how it led TSR to near bankruptcy in 1997 with TSR alums James Lowder, Chaosium’s executive editor, and John Rateliff, an internationally renowned Tolkien scholar.

Ben’s book on RPG adventure design, Encounter Theory, is on DriveThruRPG. Click here to pick up this essential volume!

Like Plot Points? Support it on Patreon at the $2 level, and you’ll get a sneak peek into Ben’s book about the sale of TSR to Wizards of the Coast! This chapter concerns TSR West, an effort by TSR to open an LA office devoted to producing comic books, an effort that failed rather impressively. It is the product of a dozen interviews with professionals from comics, gaming, and Hollywood, and as far as I can reckon, it is a tale entirely untold until now.

Image courtesy Wizards of the Coast.

Theme music courtesy 50 Breaks.

188 episodes