As some of you already know I'm a big fan of the roleplaying hobby, not just as the games but the entire industry as a subset of larger industries. As a result I'm extremely happy that the Kickstarter has finally gone live for a set of books I've been waiting years for. Designers and Dragons.
For those of you not in the know, Designers and Dragons is written by the RPG industries authority on the history of the industry, Shannon Appelcline. Originally produced as a single volume by Mongoose Publishing several years ago the publication never saw much of a distribution and as a result many in the hobby are unaware of its existence. Never mind that, Evil Hat is now publishing not 1 but a 4 volume set written by Shannon detailing the hobby from its infancy to near the modern day.
The new versions are hugely expanded over the original volume covering new details, new lines from the companies that are still around and new companies that weren't in the original version.
The books are organized by decade, with each book covering a decade, starting in the 1970s. The inclusion of a company in a particular book is based on when the company was founded, so even though Chaosium didn't published Call of Cthulhu until 1981, it is included in the 1970s book as Chaosium was founded in 1975.
All four books are going to be published at the same time and will represent several hundred pages each (I'm currently reading the 1970s one and it alone is 400 pages) making over a thousand pages of vital RPG history.
The Kickstarter provided the PDF of the completed 1970s volume (sans cover art) for immediate download upon pledging so you can get into it immediately. For the low price of $15 you can net all the PDF copies, and for $85 hard copy versions of all the books when they are printed and the PDFs once they are finished.
So if the history of the hobby is of any interest to you, you owe it to yourself to get in at the start on this one. So go ahead and check out Designers and Dragons.