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Thirty Years of Adventure: A Celebration of Dungeons & Dragons (D&D Retrospective) Hardcover – October 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Series: D&D Retrospective
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast; First Edition edition (October 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786934980
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786934980
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 10.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,307,014 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Glossy presentations do not solid books make.
William Alexander
They even have the not so popular worlds like Spelljammer, Mystara (never heard of it before), and the horrific 2nd Edition.
Nick Bayuga
Maybe this is what happens when you have a committee write a book.
J. A. Salguero

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

94 of 98 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Salguero on December 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover
If you are thinking about buying this book, you probably already have an idea on what this book is supposed to be about... the Dungeons & Dragons role playing game. But what KIND of book is it? I don't exactly know, but I am pretty sure about one thing- its execution is a cascade of missteps, as in, "I missed the first step and fell all the way down the stairs and broke both my legs." If this book were a mental patient, it would be classified as schizophrenic (with my apologies to the truly schizophrenic). Maybe this is what happens when you have a committee write a book.

Apparently (or obviously) this book was supposed to be a "collector's item" type of coffee table book- shrinkwrapped, full color slick from cover to cover; jammed with art, anecdotes, and historical features about D&D from 1974 to 2004. Great idea. But it actually is either a poorly produced art book, or a tepidly-written retrospective on the game rewritten from old press releases. This book has fundamental flaws.

Every page is printed with the text angled 15-degrees (to right or left). This might be really eye-grabbing and cute on a soft-drink coupon, but on a fifty dollar book it is downright annoying. Matt Adelsperger & Brian Fraley (interior design) should be designing floor patterns for Congoleum, not books.

The translucent "vellum" dust jacket is nicely done, but the actual covers are ugly faux-gold and white monochrome illustrations that look like wallpaper.

The book is jammed with art, ranging from okay to great, but none of it individually attributed. No captions, no descriptions, and most of it chopped up by slashy borderings. There ARE stories behind art, but this book ain't talking.
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71 of 79 people found the following review helpful By E. Eldridge on December 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is low on content and high on typos and other errors. It looks like it wasn't even proof read before it went to the publisher. It's filled with typos and grammatical mistakes. As far as content three of the chapters are actually interesting. I especially enjoyed the history of the Forgotten Realms. For the most part though this book is atrocious. The bit by Gary Gygax, creator of the game, was written six years ago. I would think for a tribute they could have at least tried to obtain some new content. To sum it up this book is nearly as good as the D&D movie (i.e. Terrible.)
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By David Michael on February 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I could barely wait to get my hands on this book. From the first announcement I read about it, the anticipation was brewing. With a release date so close to Christmas, wifely mandate required that I put it on my Wish List rather than purchase it immediately. So I was giddy when I did get it for Christmas. After finishing reading through the whole thing, I am glad that I got it and it was an enjoyable book. The celebrity profiles were nice, the retrospectives of insiders were interesting and overall it left a warm feeling about a much enjoyed hobby. However, there were a few things lacking which could have made the book perfect. For one thing, a little more diversity in the celebrity profiles would have been nice--they were a little over weighted to video game developers. What no one could get in touch with Kurt Schilling? Also, the way two different articles inside would share halves of the page would have been ok, except that all too often the two would not have the same break points so a reader was forced to either flip back and forth as you went or try to follow two different themes from page to page--with one sometimes ending mid sentence before you turned. Editing in general could have been a little tighter as occasionally (enough to be noticeable) you need to read a section over to fit together what was being said. Finally, it ends a little too abruptly--"then there was 3.5 Edition, the end.". One last chapter to tie the whole thing up in a bow would have been nice. With 30 years to put this together, maybe 1 more month to polsh it would have been nice.

I am certainly glad I have this book. There is so much to enjoy, so much nostalgia to experience, so many nice pieces of the puzzle made clear for a long time fan about the inner workings of the game. It will have a special place on the shelf where I will look fondly upon it, but with just a small twinge for what could have been.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jake Ledbetter on August 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I read a lot of negative reviews of the book before I purchased it and I was almost scared off.

The book was exactly what is was supposed to be: a trip down memory lane for a long time player of dnd.

Coffee table books, such as this one, are not meant for a rabid cover to cover reading.

I loved seeing the pictures of/from old adventures, the history of dnd, and seeing famous people who play(ed).

Admittingly, it was a bit costly, but I defrayed that cost by buying from Amazon, so I still think it was worth the money.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amaranth on March 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
"Thirty Years of Adventure" is a coffee table book to celebrate three decades of Dungeons&Dragons. There are celebrity endorsements from the likes of Vin Diesel (author of the foreward) and Wil Wheaton (the annoying wunderkind on Star Trek:Next Generation) There are some great pictures; it's a visual delight. There are some interesting anecdotes about D&D history.

However,the negative aspects outweigh the positive ones. The layout is a challenge to follow (it's easier being a seventh level elf mage) It's like a bad trip. The game isn't given its cultural context either. There's no mention of the infamous anti-D&D Jack Chick tract,nor the "Mazes and Monsters" made-for-TV cheesefest starring Tom Hanks. D&D's initial controversy is mentioned in passing maybe. It would've been interesting to document its growth from "OH NOES, occult game" and Reagan-era hysteria,to something mainstream and acceptable. No mention of the cheesy "Dungeons and Dragons" movie starring Jeremy Irons and Thora Birch either. This book ends up being a plodding bore,you feel like you're stuck in the dungeons,not fighting the dragons. This "homage" ends up being a turgid,naff bore.
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