Original Dungeons & Dragons Book Manuscript Up for Auction

The original manuscript for a classic Dungeons & Dragons rulebook is up for sale now. The hand-typed manuscript for Deities & Demigods, an Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rulebook that contained entries on a mix of historical, fictional, and original to D&D deities and heroes, is currently up for auction on eBay. The seller of the manuscript is unknown but Jim Ward, the writer of the book, has posted about the auction online, seemingly confirming its authenticity.

Additionally, the auction comes with a letter of authenticity signed by Ward that details a brief history of the book. "What you hold here is a unique and amazing piece of TSR history,” the letter reads. “The editors at TSR gave me 750 copied sheets of paper with the form for what they wanted me to start with for each of the listings at TSR. I would then take a single sheet, put it in my typewriter and type up a deity or magic item, hero, or monster. What you get to see here are all of my bad spelling, my grammar mistakes, and the true text of each deity I made for that book. This manuscript is an important piece of TSR history of one of the most controversial products at TSR."

Deities & Demigods was controversial due to its inclusion of characters from the Lovecraft mythos as well as characters from Michael Moorcock's Elric series. While TSR (the original publisher of D&D) received permission from Moorcock and Lovecraft's license holder, they received a cease and desist notice from Chaosium after Deities & Demigods' release as that company had subsequently acquired the licenses for both characters. TSR and Chaosium eventually reached an agreement in which Chaosium would be credited in Deities & Demigods in subsequent printings, and the Cthulhu and Elric characters were eventually removed from those books. TSR eventually renamed the book to Legends & Lore in an attempt to avoid controversy with certain conservative Christian groups. Dungeons & Dragons would recycle the Deities & Demigods name for a 3rd Edition handbook that provided details about various gods.

Bidding for the manuscript has currently sits at $12,300. The auction runs through June 18th.