Frequently asked questions

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.

Why is it called the "Birthplace of DND?"

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.

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. 

Why is the place available for gamers?

The current owner of this house has a great appreciation to the significance of this place. Roleplaying games have become a part of our culture at large in ways both obvious and subtle. Terms like “Level Up”, “RPGs”, or “XP” can all trace their use in daily lexicon to the popularity of this game and the genre it inspired.

Many gamers also feel a deeply personal connection to the game, attributing many fond memories, friendships, and inspirations in real life to this fantasy game.

By making it available to gamers, the homeowner hopes to give an unforgettable and unique experience to fans and friends of which this game is so dearly beloved.

Is it possible to game with
or meet any of the original gamers?

Yes! A number of original contributors and players of the game are still in the area and available by special appointment to be a part of your stay. Contact us for more information.

can you assist with a gamemaster
if there isn’t one in our group?

Absolutely! As noted above, legendary contributors and players may be available, or we can work with you to find many options of talented gamemasters to create an unforgettable gaming experience.

Where is it located?

How can I book an overnight or gameday?

Stay in a 5-star reviewed loft next door and game in this legendary house for an unforgettable experience!

Gamers can spend the day adventuring in this historic place. Various group packages available.