- dnd (1975 on Terminal)
DND is the seminal mainframe classic, which started computer role-playing games. The name of the game clearly comes from the Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) pen and paper role playing systems, and it uses D&D rules. Further inspired by Pedit5, the game itself is a classic dungeon crawl. It could be counted as a "rogue-like" but doesn't have random dungeons.
DND lets you generate your character by randomly rolling attributes (Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Constitution, Dexterity and Charisma) and then select one of three classes (Cleric, Fighter or Magician -- the first and last are able to cast spells). You then may visit the store where you can buy armour, weapons, etc. -- of course, at the very beginning of the game you have no money to spend! Finally, you have a choice of five dungeons to enter, each one with several levels.
The dungeons are depicted by a top-down text-graphics view. You only see the surrounding 3x3 square of the current level. During exploring, you may encounter monsters which you battle in a very simplistic turn-based fight (you only have the options of Attacking and Evading). If you defeat the monster, you gain experience (sometimes resulting in upgrading a level), and some monsters also leave some treasure. Other treasures are randomly strewn in the dungeon, but beware! Some of them are protected by traps. Other sites you can get along are altars (where you can pray or spend money to get divine protection), books (which randomly change your attributes), fountains with random effects, wands which let you cast spells even as a fighter or Dragon's Lairs containing lot of loot, protected by mighty dragons. There are also teleporters which may randomly zap you to some other part of the dungeon.
The game offers no possibility to save your character -- when you die, it is as if your character never existed! So make sure to leave the dungeon often to buy the best possible equipment.
Credits (Mainframe version)
Average score: 3.0 out of 5 (based on 4 ratings with 1 reviews)
I found this game in 1999 on a 3.5" DD floppy disk after a session of rummaging in my father's archive that consisted of hundreds upon hundreds of disks... A hobby I used to have when I was in middle school... Although extremely outdated by that time, I was attracted by how simple it looked, yet addictive and very tough!
I ended up playing it for countless hours.
Not newbie friendly, lacks built-in help!
This was a problem before I had access to the Internet.
The Bottom Line
Everything in this game is represented by ASCII characters, it is a classic roguelike game.
You adventure through a randomly generated cave, fighting monsters and uncovering treasures!
DOS · by desertpanther (2) · 2022
|Nov 5, 2007
There is some confusion as to when the original mainframe version was created, and by whom.
Although Daniel Lawrence is largely credited with being the original author of DND, there are some convincing arguments that suggest that his version actually was an unofficial and unauthorized port of an earlier game of the same name (sometimes written in lowercase: dnd). According to these sources, the game was originally written around 1975 by Gary Whisenhunt and Ray Wood and later expanded by Dirk and Flint Pellett.
Lawrence however, as the author of the original PLATO version of the game, considers this game as an act of piracy (unauthorized copy), as R.O. Software charged money for a game he wrote. At the time he was also trying to market his DND home computer version Telengard for the IBM PC.
Information also contributed by General Error.
The Earliest Boss?
DND is possibly the first game ever to feature the concept of a "boss" - in this case "The Orb", which was hidden at the lowest levels of the dungeon, protected by a golden dragon.
Related Sites +
Daniel Lawrence's DND
A fan page containing several obscure versions of the seminal mainframe game.
Gary Whisenhunt, Ray Wood, Dirk Pellett, and Flint Pellett's DND
Dirk Pellett's account about the original mainframe DND.
Interview with Daniel M. Lawrence
An interview with the creator of DND.
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by General Error.
Mainframe added by Pseudo_Intellectual.
Game added September 7, 2006. Last modified January 19, 2024.