REC.GAMES.FRP.DND FAQ
                                  Part 3

                                    TSR
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* C1: What is the history of the game now called AD&D;?
  C2: What does "TSR" stand for?
  C3: What does "T$R" stand for?
  C4: What is TSR's e-mail address?
* C5: What is TSR's snail-mail address?
* C6: What is TSR really working on in the way of TV shows and movies?
* C7: What's the deal with TSR's copyright policy?
  C8: Did TSR really try to trademark the word "Nazi"?
  C9: Didn't TSR just "borrow" everything from J.R.R. Tolkien's works?
  C10:  How can I submit my latest work of literary genius to TSR?
* C11: Where's Gary Gygax these days? 
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C1:  What is the history of the game now called AD&D;?

A:  E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson were tabletop wargamers; that is, they 
    used lead miniatures to reconstruct historical battles or construct 
    their own battles.  Their favorite era to set their battles in was the 
    medieval period.
      They codified a set of rules for conducting both individual and 
    group combat.  Then, along with Brian Blume, they published these 
    rules through Guidon Games (which consisted of Gygax, Arneson, and 
    Blume, and was run out of Gygax's basement) under the name Chainmail.
      At some point, their battles received an injection of fantasy.  
    (Dave Arneson, possibly under the immediate influence of a Star Trek 
    episode, is usually credited with actually starting the ball rolling.)
    Originally, the fantasy elements were limited to special military 
    units for "wizards" and "heroes".  Eventually, however, the basic 
    concept behind the existing idea of the play-by-mail military 
    campaign, where each player took the part of a ruler who sent out 
    armies as well as engaged in diplomacy & intrigue, was soon combined 
    with the game.  Soon, the "wizard" and "hero" were removed from the 
    battlefield and sent upon individual quests of mythic proportions, as 
    Gygax and Arneson discovered that playing a single character was just 
    as fun, if not more so, than playing an entire military unit or army.
      From there, the concept of character advancement was added, via 
    "experience points and levels of proficiency" in combat and spell use, 
    as well as a few other refinements.  Thus individuals could grow in 
    character and power, instead of just being anonymous members of battle 
    units.
      This game was now far beyond wargaming, or even Chainmail.  The 
    group called it Dungeons & Dragons, and proceeded to take it around to 
    all the game manufacturers, including Avalon Hill.  Every single 
    company turned the game down, usually because it seemed too 
    open-ended, without a way to "win".
      Not about to let mass rejection stop them, Gygax, Arneson, and Blume 
    formed their own company, named Tactical Studies Rules (named after
    a local wargaming club, the Lake Geneva Tactical Studies Association) 
    to market their "fantasy wargame to be played with paper and pencil".  
    The game first appeared at the 1973 EasterCon, had a limited 
    availability throughout 1973, and was officially released (in a white 
    box) in January, 1974.
      The game consisted of three booklets: Men and Magic, Monsters and 
    Treasure, and Wilderness & Dungeon Adventures.  It was also 
    recommended that owners get a copy of Chainmail as well as the Avalon 
    Hill game "Outdoor Survival."  There were three classes: Fighting Man, 
    Magic User, and Cleric.  The terms were intentionally vague--much 
    research was done to prevent putting anything into the game which 
    actually resembled real-world "magic" systems.  They eventually 
    decided to base the game's magic system on the fantasy writings of 
    Jack Vance; thus magic users must memorize spells daily and once cast, 
    the spells are erased from the magic user's mind and must be 
    rememorized.  There were also four different races: human, dwarf, 
    hobbit, and elf.  Subsequent complaints and legal threats from the 
    Tolkien estate caused "hobbit" to be changed to "halfling" later on.  
    Humans could be any class, and could attain any level of proficiency.
    Dwarves and hobbits were limited to being Fighting Men, and were 
    restricted in the levels they could reach.  Elves could alternate 
    between Fighting Man and Magic User, but could only switch classes at 
    the beginning of an adventure.  Finally, there were three alignments, 
    based on the fantasy writings of Michael Moorcock: Law, Neutrality, 
    and Chaos.  The original intentions of the game equated "law" with 
    "good" and "chaos" with "evil".
      At this point, both Gygax and Arneson were running their own 
    campaigns using the game.  When the game started getting somewhat 
    popular after the first year or so, they decided to publish some of 
    the details of their campaigns, along with some expansion rules for 
    the game.  This product was the original "Greyhawk".  It introduced 
    the Thief character class, and had notes on magic, monsters, and more.
    Then they published "Blackmoor", which introduced the Monk and 
    Assassin classes, and included the very first module: Temple of the 
    Frog.  Then came "Eldritch Wizardry", which introduced the Druid 
    class, as well as Psionics.  The last book of this series was "Gods, 
    Demigods, and Heroes", which listed several pantheons for use with the 
    game.  During this period, TSR also began publishing two magazines; 
    The Strategic Review (note the creative acronym) in spring of 1975, 
    and The Dragon (soon renamed to Dragon, and then to Dragon Magazine
    in the middle 1980's) in summer of 1976.
      At this point, there were a lot of rules, spread throughout books, 
    supplements, and magazines.  In addition, Gygax had amassed a pile of 
    campaign notes and new rules which he wished to add to the game.  So 
    it was decided to create a new edition of the game.  However, instead 
    of calling it a second edition and discontinuing the first, TSR 
    launched Advanced Dungeons & Dragons in 1977 with the release of the 
    Player's Handbook and the Dungeon Master's Guide, followed in 1978 by 
    the Monster Manual; and continued to produce the slightly-renamed 
    Basic Dungeons & Dragons.
      AD&D; was originally intended to be a standardized system which 
    included all of the new and updated rules in one location, thus making 
    it the version of choice for tournaments, as everyone would be 
    following the same set of rules.
      The "Advanced/Basic" idea was apparently done the way it was because 
    of money.  Arneson and Gygax had split ways in 1975 (at which point 
    their partnership "Tactical Studies Rules" was dissolved and reborn as 
    "TSR Hobbies, Inc." under the sole leadership of Gygax).  Arneson, 
    under the terms of the original partnership, still held some royalty 
    rights to the D&D; game, and Gygax went ahead with the new edition 
    without paying Arneson the additional royalties which possibly would 
    be due him.  Arneson took TSR to court in 1979, and the matter was 
    settled in 1981 when both parties signed a mutual agreement. 
      Advanced Dungeons & Dragons skyrocketed in popularity.  So much so 
    that TSR came out with sourcebook after sourcebook, and published most 
    of the now-classic modules, set in the World of Greyhawk.  
    The first issue of Polyhedron was published in 1981.  Then, in 1984, 
    TSR released the Dragonlance Saga.  This was followed in 1986 by 
    the first issue of Dungeon.  The very next year, Ed Greenwood's 
    campaigns first saw light as the Forgotten Realms campaign setting.
      By the end of the 1980's, the game was enormous, with rules and 
    campaign information spread out further than it had been when AD&D; was 
    first created.  TSR (by this time, the word "Hobbies" had been dropped 
    from the name) decided to once again create a new edition and roll a 
    lot of the new rules into the core books, as well as revamp many of 
    the existing core rules.  In this way, gamers would have all of the 
    necessary rules in one place, and tournaments once again would not 
    have to worry as much about gamers coming in with various backgrounds 
    of house rules.  Thus was AD&D;, 2nd edition born in February 1989.
      However, just as it had previously, the game ballooned out with the 
    release of various additional sourcebooks and several new campaign 
    settings.  In 1995, TSR revamped the look of the 2nd edition core 
    books and came out with three sourcebooks designed to be "optional" 
    changes to the system, rather than creating a third edition or
    trying to reference rules spread throughout some twenty books.
    Since there is therefore no real need to roll any of the new rules 
    into the existing second edition core books, there should not be a 
    true third edition for many years yet.

C2:  What does "TSR" stand for?

A:  No, it doesn't stand for "They Sue Regularly."  As outlined above, it 
    originally stood for "Tactical Studies Rules."  When the company 
    incorporated, it changed its official name to "TSR Hobbies, Inc.," and 
    later to "TSR, Inc.," which isn't short for anything.

C3:  What does "T$R" stand for?

A:  For some, the dollar sign is a pretty good ASCII representation of 
    TSR's new dragon logo.  For others, it is a way of referring to TSR 
    without using any of their trademarks. However, "T$R" is more commonly 
    used by disgruntled gamers to refer to the Great Undescribable 
    Bloodsucking Lawful Evil Force which has possessed the *D&D; game 
    market and created oppressive policies, ever-more-expensive and ever-
    lower-quality products, has no care for the common gamer, and any 
    other Truly Evil acts one can imagine which have the end result of 
    alienating customers and making money.  TSR, on the other hand, is a 
    company made up of a bunch of hard-working people who genuinely care 
    about the game and what happens to it, in it, and to how people feel 
    about it. They may occasionally make mistakes, but generally do what 
    they think is the best job they can.
      In most cases, it is simply an outlet for people who are otherwise 
    fed up with what they feel to be lack of respect for customers and the 
    game itself and need a way to thumb their nose at "T$R, the unfeeling, 
    uncaring megacorporation."

C4:  What is TSR's e-mail address?

A:  TSR has been active on the Internet for some time now, as evidenced by
    the various e-mail addresses they have accumulated.  Their official 
    net.representative is Sean Reynolds, but several other TSR staffers 
    lurk on the 'net.  A couple are even semi-regular posters in rgfd and 
    on the mailing lists.
      Questions about TSR products past, present, and future are answered 
    fairly quickly.  Questions about copyright on the Internet are 
    generally ignored, usually for legal reasons but also possibly due to 
    the high flame quotient of such questions.
      Here is a list of addresses with which one may reach TSR (AOL
    users should put a space between the 'TSR' or 'RPGA' and the rest 
    and ignore the '@aol.com' for those addresses):
    
      Corporate Accounts:
      TSRInc@aol.com            TSR's main address; write here first 
                                  (all legal questions should be sent 
                                  here)
      TSRConSvc@aol.com         Mike Huebbe, of the Consumer Services
                                  Dept.; any questions about game
                                  rules for TSR's games
      TSRDragon@aol.com         Direct line to Dragon Magazine
      TSRDungeon@aol.com        Direct line to Dungeon Magazine
      TSRSage@aol.com           Sage Advice submissions; there are no 
                                  personal replies, though
      RPGAHQ@aol.com            Main RPGA address (Scott Douglas)
      tsr.rpga@genie.geis.com   Secondary RPGA address

      Personal accounts:
      TSRBruce@aol.com          Bruce Heard (Acquisitions Director)
      TSRCarrie@aol.com         Carrie Bebris (BR/PS editor)
      TSRCindi@aol.com          Cindi Rice (FR/RL editor)
      TSRColin@aol.com          Colin McComb (PS/BR designer)
      TSRordell@aol.com         Bruce Cordell (AD&D; designer)
      TSRDavidE@aol.com         David Eckelberry (DD/SF editor)
      TSRDoriH@aol.com          Dori Hein (DS/SF director)
      TSRJim@aol.com            Jim Butler (DD/SF editor), also
                                  any error reports
      TSRJimW@aol.com           James Ward (VP Creative Services)
      TSRJulia@aol.com          Julia Martin (FR/RL editor)
      TSRKarenB@aol.com         Karen Boomgarden (BR/PS director)
      TSRKeith@aol.com          Keith Strohm (AD&D; editor)
      TSRKevin@aol.com          Kevin Melka (DL/DS/Lankh designer)
      TSRiranda@aol.com         Miranda Horner (FR/RL editor)
      TSRRich@aol.com           Rich Baker (BR/PS designer)
      TSRRoger@aol.com          Roger Moore (creative analyst)
      TSRSage@aol.com           Skip Williams (Sage Advice, AD&D; designer)
      TSRStan@aol.com           Steve Brown (DL/DS/Lankh editor)
      TSRSteve@aol.com          Steve Miller (RL/FR deisgner/editor),
                                  also DL, Lankh, & OD&D; questions
      TSRTed@aol.com            Ed Stark (BR/PS designer)
      TSRThomas@aol.com         Thomas Reid (FR/RL director)
                                
      BR = Birthright, BW = Blood Wars, DD = Dragon Dice, 
      DL = Dragonlance, DS = Dark Sun, FR = Forgotten Realms, 
      Lankh = Lankhmar, PS = PlaneScape, RL = Ravenloft, SF = Spellfire

      If you plan to send e-mail to TSR or TSR employees and would like
    to receive some sort of response, it's a good idea to refer to the 
    company as TSR, not T$R.  You may be disgruntled with the
    corporation that is TSR, but that's not a reason to rub it in the
    employee's noses.

C5:  What is TSR's snail-mail address?

A:  To send regular mail to someone at TSR, address it to:

      <person's name>
      <optional: person's position>
      TSR, Inc.
      201 Sheridan Springs Rd.
      Lake Geneva, WI 53147

    Or, for those in Europe:

      TSR, Ltd.
      120 Church End
      Cherry Hinton
      Cambridge CB1 3LB
      United Kingdom

C6:  What is TSR really working on in the way of TV shows and movies?

A:  There are three known projects in various stages of production.
    Whether of not all three ever see the light is another thing 
    altogether, although two of them are almost sure bets at this point 
    for relatively near-future releases.
      MCA/Universal, TSR, and Ground Zero Productions are currently 
    working on a live action (live action combined with animation and 
    computer-generated images, that is) TV show basically set in the 
    Spelljammer campaign setting and entitled "Wildspace."  They are 
    currently shooting 22 one hour episodes for the first season, to be 
    aired during prime time on network TV.  They are currently aiming for 
    a premiere sometime in 1996, but more exact information, including 
    which network it will appear on is not known.  The release of the show 
    will be closely followed by a Wildspace game (whether role-playing or 
    board is not known), and a series of books.  They are also developing 
    a related theme park attraction at Universal Studios, most likely in 
    the form of an interactive attraction as part of the Universal Studio 
    Tours attraction, and are looking into the possibilities of 
    merchandizing electronic games and action figures.  TSR has not said 
    whether or not the popularity of this show will cause the return of 
    Spelljammer products to their production schedule.
      The movie & merchandizing rights to a Dungeons & Dragons movie have
    been bought by Sweetpea Entertainment.  They are aiming at a 
    production cost of $50 million and a release date somewhere around
    Christmas of 1996 or summer of 1997.  The movie will be a combination 
    of live action and computer animation.  Stan Winston, the man
    behind the digital effects in _Terminator II_ and _Jurassic Park_,
    has been brought in to aid Sweetpea with the movie.  The script, 
    which was written by Topper Lilien and Carrol Cartwright and is 
    apparently not based on a specific TSR product, involves an 
    inexperienced sorceress and a quick-witted rogue who are on a quest 
    to find an artifact which could control gold dragons and to keep 
    said artifact out of the hands of the villain, who happens to be a 
    wizard.  Stay tuned to rgfd for any further announcements about this 
    movie.
      The Dragonlance movie, which was being animated by Nelvana, is no
    more.  The deal between TSR and Nelvana fell through, and all work on 
    the movie has ceased.  However, TSR has apparently begun putting out 
    tentative feelers to see if any other companies might be interested
    in trying their hands at a Dragonlance movie.  For further 
    information, read alt.fan.dragonlance, check out the 
    alt.fan.dragonlance DL Movie Web page at <http://www.vianet.net.au/
    ~benc/dlmovie.html>, or watch Dragon magazine for periodic updates.

C7:  What's the deal with TSR's copyright policy?

A:  The deal is that when TSR started to develop a real presence on the
    Internet, some of the things they found were scans of their books and
    artwork, many trademark violations, a number of additional copyright
    violations, and other such infringements of their intellectual 
    property.
      In the summer of 1994, TSR announced a policy regarding the 
    use of TSR-copyrighted information, as well as the use of TSR's 
    trademarks.  In essence, any material that is legally "derived" from 
    TSR's material, as well as any material which uses TSR's trademarks 
    in other than a referential manner, requires a disclaimer stating 
    such and can only be uploaded to TSR-licensed FTP and Web sites 
    (which, at the time of this writing, are limited to the TSR areas 
    on AOL and GEnie and the ftp.mpgn.com FTP site); in addition, any
    files which require the disclaimer must also be acceptable under 
    TSR's Code of Ethics (which isn't as bad as it sounds--a file has to
    be pretty disgusting to get refused under the code, and that hasn't
    happened very often).  The maintainers of non-licensed FTP sites or 
    Web pages which hold such material have been and/or will be contacted 
    by TSR, who expects the site maintainers to remove the infringing 
    material.  A quick way to avoid the disclaimer and site restriction 
    requirements is to use circumlocution instead of hard numbers, and to 
    not use characters, creatures, spells, items, etc. introduced in TSR's 
    books as they appear in the books (e.g. you can include dark elves 
    called "Drow", but not "Drow" that live underground, have black skin, 
    white hair, lavender eyes, have a thing for spiders, and worship 
    Lolth).  However, none of this prevents anything that could otherwise
    be considered "derivative" from being posted to Usenet; TSR has 
    decided that Usenet doesn't count as "publishing" in the same way 
    that making files available via FTP or WWW does.  Files which would 
    otherwise require the disclaimer can be posted to any Usenet 
    newsgroup--usually rec.games.frp.archives, the group where game
    supplements that would otherwise be archived are posted.
      However, the specifics of what constitutes "derived" as it applies 
    to game materials and the wording of the official disclaimer are a 
    matter of a lengthy debate on rec.games.frp.dnd.  The interpretation 
    of "derived" which TSR is currently using includes all materials which 
    can only be used solely in the context of the AD&D; game without
    revision, instead of being generic enough to be used with any FRPG
    and thus not tied to any single FRPG, or select group of FRPG's.
      Progress towards a reconciliation between the various sides on 
    this whole issue is being made, but it is very slow going, and the 
    presence of hot-heads on all sides at various points in time have 
    not helped matters any.  
      TSR recently issued an updated version of their policy which 
    cleared up many of the problems and vague wordings of the old policy, 
    especially in the area of trademark use.  This new policy still does
    not permit materials which use AD&D; terms to exist outside of TSR's 
    licensed sites, but there is a lobbying effort gaining momentum,
    which is supported by TSR's net.rep, to convince TSR to alter the
    policy so that material that merely uses AD&D; game terms (i.e. Hit 
    Points, THAC0, Area of Effect, etc.) and is otherwise not 
    "derivative" would be considered to fall outside the policy, and 
    thus not have to have any restrictions or disclaimers placed upon it.
    For more information on this particular area, watch this space or
    follow the discussions on the newsgroup.
      For more information on this touchy subject, see the World Wide 
    Web site at <http://cs.ucr.edu/~jimv/> which has some information on 
    the topic at or, ftp the file TSR_TM.ZIP from 
    ftp.umd.umich.edu\pub\frp\dnd, unzip the file, and run the file 
    TSR_TM.EXE.  This latter method runs only on IBM clones.  Note that
    neither of these resources has been updated recently, but they do
    give a good background of the matter.
      You may also want to check out the actual statutes in question, 
    in which case a trip to the Library of Congress' Copyright 
    information page at <http://www.loc.gov/"> is in order.   For on-line 
    texts of the U.S. copyright code and the Berne Convention, see the 
    various pages at <http://www.law.cornell.edu/> or the links at 
    <http://neon.nlc.state.ne.us/libdev/cpyrgt.html>.  You may also find 
    that the (unofficial) opinions of practicing IP lawyers in the 
    misc.int-property newsgroup are a good resource, as well.
      If you really feel strongly about the issue, and have a desire to
    correspond directly with TSR's legal department, drop them a letter 
    at:
      Constance Lindman
      TSR, Inc.
      201 Sheridan Springs Rd.
      Lake Geneva, WI 53147
    and keep a copy of whatever you send.  That way, both sides have a 
    legal record of what was said when to whom.  Using this method also 
    avoids any potential misinterpretation of information by middlemen.

C8:  Did TSR really try to trademark the word "Nazi"?

A:  No, though that is a popular rumor, especially among people who are 
    looking for any excuse to hate TSR.  This incident comes out of the 
    Indiana Jones RPG.  The statement in question actually says 
    "NAZI(TM)*; (TM) & (C) LFL 1984; *trademarks of Lucasfilm, Ltd. used 
    under authorization."  In other words, TSR has never made any claim
    to a trademark on the word "Nazi," but Lucasfilm, Ltd. has made such
    a claim.
      However, before anyone decides to start railing on Lucasfilm, 
    realize that the trademark in question is of the word and the 
    associated artwork.  That is, there is no claim that the word
    "Nazi" by itself is a trademark, but there is apparently a trademark 
    on the word when accompanied by the specific artwork that 
    accompanies it.
      In any case, if you must flame someone over this issue, please 
    take it to rec.games.frp.misc, where discussion of the Indiana Jones
    RPG goes, or to rec.arts.movies.starwars.*, where most discussion of
    Lucasfilm goes.

C9:  Didn't TSR just "borrow" everything from J.R.R. Tolkien's works?

A:  No.  See the section on books below for a long list of books which
    influenced the creators of the game.  Medieval fantasy was a popular 
    genre during the time when the creators of Basic D&D; were growing up. 
    However, Tolkien's books are simply the most widely known of the core 
    resource books which directly influenced Gary Gygax and friends.  The 
    magic system was based on the fantasy works of Jack Vance, and the 
    green, rubbery, regenerating trolls were taken from Poul Anderson's
    book, _Three Hearts and Three Lions_.  Halflings are indeed based on 
    Tolkien's Hobbits (they were actually called "Hobbits" until the 
    Tolkien estate demanded that the practice stop), and while the elf 
    varieties are similar to Tolkien's various elf races, the general 
    description of elves is a jumble of several different influences.  So 
    no, *D&D; is not a direct outgrowth of Tolkien's Middle Earth (which 
    has its own roleplaying game).

C10:  How can I submit my latest work of literary genius to TSR?

A:  Specific guidelines for submission (writers' guidelines for Dragon and
    Dungeon, more details on the submission process, and other stuff) are 
    available via AOL, GEnie, TSR's Information web page at 
    http://users.aol.com/tsrinc, FTP to ftp.mpgn.com, or by sending an 
    e-mail request to TSRJIM@aol.com or TSRInc@aol.com. 

    1)  Do not, I repeat, not e-mail a complete product either to any TSR 
        staffers, or to a TSR "official" e-mail account.  They cannot 
        look at it at all, as they might end up in hot water if TSR 
        happened to be already working on a similar product.

    2)  Do not e-mail a "complete proposal", for the same reasons as #1.

    3)  Do send a "query letter"; ethically and legally, any TSR staffers
        reading your message can then actually follow up on and look into 
        your query.  This makes life that much easier for all involved, 
        and makes you seem that much more professional.

    A query letter spells out an idea for a project in very vague terms, 
    whereas a complete proposal gets into the nitty-gritty to some extent, 
    and a complete product is the finished work.

    Here is an example of a query letter (Thanks to Bryan Maloney for the
    letter):

      TO: Bigshot Avalon Hill Gaming Guys
      From:  The EGG of Coot

      Dear sirs:

      I have been working on a variant upon the classic model of the 
      wargame that I believe to be both innovative and entertaining.  It 
      concentrates upon the play of individuals and their day-to-day 
      conflicts in a heroic or mythic setting.  The working title of this 
      game is "Dungeons and Dragons".

      I believe that this product will fit well into an untapped market 
      niche, specifically that of the "fantasy" or "science-fiction" 
      literature fan, who may not be interested in strict military 
      simulation but might be willing to purchase a product that permitted 
      them to enact and create their own "adventures" similar to those in 
      "fantasy" literature, a la J.R.R. Tolkien.

      The sales of this sort of literature have been on the upswing in 
      recent years, and I think that my product would be able to 
      capitalize upon this potential market.

      In addition, since it addresses the concept of conflict-gaming from 
      an original angle, it may open up an entirely new marketing niche 
      altogether.

      I hope to hear from you soon.

      Thank you for your time,
      The EGG of Coot.

      EGG of Coot
      0000 Coot St., Apt. 0
      Cootvile, WI, 00000

    The appropriate response would be, if Avalon Hill has any brains, to 
    send out a release form and a response letter saying that they'd be 
    interested in taking a look.  However, it is also likely that the
    company decides that that is not a direction they wish to go at this
    time and send you a refusal letter, at which point you take your 
    material to another company.  

    When submitting anything to TSR, the following rules apply:
                                 
      1) Dragon & Dungeon will likely accept query letters via e-mail, 
      but any further correspondence must be via snail-mail.  They will 
      also accept query letters via snail-mail.

      2) TSR does *not* accept unsolicited query letters for game 
      products; such letters should be sent to Dragon or Dungeon.

      3) TSR will accept query letters for fiction, but only via snail-
      mail (Attn: Book Dept.).

      4) With any snail-mail correspondence, people must enclose a 
      legal-size self-addressed, stamped envelope if they want any sort 
      of response.

    The description of the rest of the submission process is taken, in a 
    slightly edited form, from a very informative post by Bryan 
    Maloney (bjm10@cornell.edu):

    Okay, so you get the release form.  Look it over--the first thing you 
    should note is that it claims what you do is "work for hire".  That 
    is, even if you originated the idea and wrote it all yourself, TSR 
    will get the copyright upon paying you.  Don't wail and moan, you 
    aren't important enough to demand copyright.  However, if TSR tries to 
    claim any further legal rights upon your work in addition to that 
    single product, this is excessive.  Cross out any such lines and 
    initial them.  No corporation has the right to demand that you sign 
    away rights to works you have not yet presented to them unless you are 
    a regular employee and have signed an intellectual property agreement. 

    TSR does have the right to insist that the specific product you are 
    proposing is "work for hire".  Wait until you've written an Origins 
    Award-winning game and/or gotten the Hugo or Nebula in SF/Fantasy 
    before you start to demand copyright.

    Now, don't worry about how much they'll pay you, it won't be crap, 
    believe me.  You're not important enough to pay well, and the game 
    industry is the worst possible market of any fiction market.  You're 
    taking a shot at publicity, the money is just gravy.

    Okay, so you've got the release forms.  You'll notice that they ask 
    for a "brief description" and give you a little space.  Type "see 
    enclosed proposal" on that space.  Write a real "complete proposal".  
    What is that?  A complete outline (with estimated page counts) and two 
    chapters.  If you can't do an outline and two chapters, you're not 
    ready to write.  Also, include a proposed schedule for you to be able 
    to complete the product upon TSR's acceptance of your proposal.  Be 
    realistic, not "impressive".  Deadlines that are made are better than 
    early deadlines that are missed.  If you're feeling daring, try some 
    sample ad copy or back-cover copy for the proposed product.  This is a 
    great way to show that you understand the target audience.

    Mail the forms, typed, signed and dated, with your proposal.  Check 
    the proposal for spelling errors and grammatical errors.  TSR gets so 
    many proposals that they can afford to chuck most of them.  Have the 
    proposal typed or laser-printed.  Don't use a daisy wheel.  Rule of 
    thumb: It should be able to go through a fifth-generation Xerox copy 
    and still be legible.

    Now, why send a proposal and not the whole shebang?  Two reasons:

    1)  If you can do a credible proposal, you have shown that you have a 
    little organizational skill.

    2)  A proposal is less work than a complete product, and TSR can then 
    evaluate your work with less effort from you.  If they think it's 
    crap, it won't matter if it's from a proposal or the whole thing, 
    likewise if they like it.

    If TSR turns you down, don't cry about it--they're allowed to turn you 
    down.  Every great author's dream house was built upon a foundation of 
    rejection slips.

    If TSR turns you down and you see "your idea" three months later, they 
    didn't steal it.  There is no way that anything can go from proposal 
    to publication in only three months.  Believe me, I have encountered 
    so many ideas that I had, jotted down, told nobody about, and 
    found on the shelves a few months later.  You are not a genius, 
    nothing you think of is unique--somebody else will think of it, too.  
    If you were a genius, you wouldn't need to read this.

    If TSR accepts your proposal, get it to them under deadline.  With 
    this "draft final", include a letter letting them know that you would 
    be happy to help with any editorial or revisions they would like to 
    do.  Don't expect them to go for it.  The majority of amateur game 
    designers are prima donnas who get all huffy if their sacred words are 
    meddled with.  TSR knows this, and is leery of giving amateurs too 
    much authority.  Also, like most game companies, TSR has a production 
    schedule that would make any other publishing company fire its 
    production managers and hire somebody with a grip on reality.  
    Editorial is not the evil part of TSR, the guys who set the production 
    schedule are the evil ones.

    So, get your final draft in under deadline, and don't complain when 
    TSR changes it without consulting you.  I'd wager that they don't even 
    have their production/editing apparatus completely networked, yet.  
    Once that happens, designers might get more input, but I doubt it.

    So, when do you get paid?  You don't for a while.  You'll probably get 
    paid after TSR gets into the black on your product, so you'd better 
    make it very good.

C11:  Where's Gary Gygax these days?

A:  Mr. Gygax and TSR parted ways in the mid-eighties.  Gary went on to
    create the Cyborg Commando game for New Infinities, which never really
    caught on, and the Dangerous Journeys game for GDW, which started to
    catch on, then ended up in court; as a result of an out-of-court
    agreement, Dangerous Journeys is now owned by TSR.  Gary also wrote
    two books on how to role-play, titled _Role-Playing Mastery_ and 
    _Master of the Game_.  He is now rumored to be living in the Oregon 
    back country with the Sasquatch and Elvis.   Actually, he still
    lives, works, and games in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, though he's been
    rather quiet in the industry lately.

***End Part 3***