About the House

E. Gary Gygax and his family lived in this home during the 1960s and 1970s.

The Home of E. Gary Gygax

E. Gary Gygax and his family lived in this home during the 1960s and 1970s. He was an avid wargamer and writer of rulesets and articles in many wargamer circles and publications. In addition to this, he hosted many gaming sessions at the 6’x10′ sand table he built in the basement for his local wargamer club, the Lake Geneva Tactical Studies Association.

Why is it called the “Birthplace of DND?”

In November of 1972, two Twin Cities wargamers came to this home in Lake Geneva to demo a new type of game (known today as a “roleplaying game” or “RPG”)  they had been developing with their circle of fellow gamers. It was in this home that Dave Arneson and David Megarry ran a session of the game they had dubbed “Blackmoor” for Gary Gygax, Ernie Gygax Jr., Rob Kuntz, and Terry Kuntz.

After much playtesting and experimentation, two years later in 1974, Gygax and Arneson would co-author and publish the first 1000 copies of a game called “DUNGEONS & DRAGONS®” (or “D&D®” and occasionally “DND” for short). Those copies were stored in this very basement!

Today, it is estimated that nearly 14 million people play the game around the world.

DUNGEONS & DRAGONS and D&D are federally registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast LLC, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. 

This video by Jon Peterson, “Gaming at the Gygax House: A Visit to the Basement Where D&D Began,” originally was presented at PAX East in 2014 and appeared as part of the BoingBoing article by Ethan Gilsdorf, “A visit to the basement where Dungeons & Dragons was born.” Used by permission of Jon Peterson and Ethan Gilsdorf. Use of this video on this site does not constitute endorsement or recommendation of Birthplaceofdnd.com by Jon Peterson and Ethan Gilsdorf.

Ready For Your Next Adventure?

Embark on an epic journey and travel to the lands where E. Gary Gygax brought his visions to the fantasy gaming realm. Tour the house, host a gaming session, and stay next door!