The Unofficial DND Home Page

A Tribute to DND

This site is a fond tribute to DND, in all its many incarnations and forms, as written, ported and improved by Dan Lawrence, Bill Knight, Chuck Cranor, and many others. Its focus is specifically centered upon the later developments in DND's evolution, but will always remain a home for all things DND and derived.

Frames Also Available

If you prefer the framed version of the site (a little easier to navigate), click here. Both versions will continue to be updated regularly.

Two! Two! Two sites in one!

Yep. Now you can visit the DND Home Page in one of two places: The Main Page The Mirror Site

If one is down, try the other, obviously.





NEWS: Two disk images of VMS DND added! (1/15/05)

Wonderful news! Lars Persson has provided us with two additional versions of DND for VMS systems, loaded onto images suitable for a VMS emulator. Additionally, he believes he's found an additional dungeon crawl game called CRYPT.EXE, which predates the two VMS versions of DND. DND-like, or early Roguelike? We don't know yet, but we're dying to find out. Thank you, Lars!

NEWS: DUNQUEST.BAS -- mystery DND game? (11/9/02)

I've come across a peculiar game that looks, from a cursory glance, suspiciously like a DND-like game. It dates back to 1985, and it's called Dungeon Quest. I can't seem to get this to work with any of the versions of GWBASIC/BASICA that I have -- can anyone else help here, get it to work, tell me anything about it?

NEWS: Telengard Remake for PC In The Works! (11/9/02)

I just received an email out of the blue from Michael Arrington, who's developing a remake of the C64 version of Telengard for PC. You can visit his project page for more information. Long considered to be the best version of Telengard made, Michael's remake combines the characteristic visual design of the C64 version with the convenience of a true PC compile (without the ugly C64 file system through emulation problems).

NEWS: False Alarm on Revival2K (11/9/02)

I finally spoke with Patrick, and discovered that Revival2K is a BBS program. Apparently "Telengard" is also the name of a vintage BBS program? No relationship to our favorite microcomputer remake of DND.

NEWS: Holy Cow! NovaNET (formerly PLATO) is alive and well! (11/8/02)

This is WONDERFUL news! Thanks to the kindness of an email from Joseph Ross, I have discovered that NovaNET is alive and well, and non-primetime accounts are available to the general public. Everything you need to connect to NovaNet can be found at the official Avatar page.

Not here? Check the older news items page.

The History of DND

Until now, it was nearly impossible to find a copy of DND online. But now, thanks to this page, it's incredibly easy. Just click and go. DND is officially now legal to distribute freely in unmodified form, by grant of the author.









DND came into being as the brainchild of Daniel Lawrence. Arguably, it is the first computer role-playing game -- according to Daniel, he built it with nothing else at the time to refer to. It was originally written in TOPS10 BASIC, then ported to RSTS BASIC Plus midway through the initial build.

BIG BIG NEWS: I now have a few different versions of the DND source code and I am reviewing them with Dan Lawrence to figure out what exactly we've got here. Many, many thanks to the Chuck Cranor, who sent them!

It appears that the development path for the version I've got comes primarily from VAX compatability modifications. DND v1 is the 'original' release -- a v2 release came out with several sub-versions, added the "M" command and assigning operator privilege to the 1:216 node, as well as improving the TMP file handling. v3 (which I have the source for) converts the game to a single OS task, and adds improved VAX compatibility. A thorough breakdown of the modificatoins over the course of DND's revision history can be found here.

DND, TOPS20 executable compiled from RSTS BASIC Plus source. Anyone who can get this running, let me know. I haven't tried yet. I'm told it "almost works" on VMS.

DND, BASIC source code for v3.0 and 'v4.0' VMS port, courtesy of Chuck Cranor.

DND, two additional versions for VMS, courtesy of Lars Persson.


Sometime around 1979, Daniel ported DND to TOPS20, while visiting Maynerd. This port was 'taken over' by other DEC employees, and the RT-11 PASCAL version took form. This version is the "other" main evolutionary branch of DND, and was used, ultimately, in the RO Software PC port of it.

As soon as I can obtain permission to make public this version (and obtain a copy of it), I will.

The legal matters surrounding this, and the TOPS10 version, are complicated. It appears that similarity to TSR's Dungeons and Dragons as well as to Telengard is the cause of the legal meltdown. You can read the DEC thread on DND here, as well as the official statement of its ban, for all the information available on the game's history at DEC. Many thanks to Raymond Shoop, maintainer of an excellent Classic Mainframe Games Page , for this information!

No files available at this time.
(1979-1980, Z80 CP/M)

Says Jeffrey Lomicka:

"At one point, at the same time the game was introduced to Digital (before I worked there by about four years), Dan and I sold the source code and time-limited rights to Z80-chip CPM versions to somebody out here. I wonder if any of the versions you have now derive from that?"

Does anyone know anything about this version? I'd be all too interested in tracking it down...

No files available at this time.


Raymond Shoop (author of the Classic Mainframe Games Page) mentioned a fairly amusing 'hack' of DND that was written apparently in response to early (pre-ban) rumblings of legal issues at DEC involving DND. A DEC user named "KALOGER" references it in the DND ban thread archive, recalling "...a version called "Roosters and Roasters", derived from the original but with the copyrights ("DND" named stuff) munged. Probably not good to let it get out of the henhouse. But it was fun a few years back when the original got boring. Instead of Undead, there were Precooked. All sorts of poultry ran around attacking you; the character classes were Farmer, Cook, and Magic Chef."

If anyone has a copy of this, or knows more about it -- PLEASE contact me.

No files available at this time.

(1989, UNIX/C)

Chuck Cranor ported DND to C to compile on UNIX systems back in 1989, and was kind enough to contact me and send me a copy of the port for the site. Thank you, Chuck!

Latest update: v5.1r8.

UDD Version 5.1r8, courtesy of Chuck Cranor.


Predating Avatar but not DND is an alleged game called Orthanc, which was written by Paul Resch, Larry Kemp and Eric Hagstrom and featured a familiar 3x3 dungeon grid like DND. Supposedly, while not a multiplayer game in the traditional sense, it allowed players to meet and chat while in the dungeon.

NEWS : Orthanc Labyrinth can be played on NovaNet!

Avatar homepage, which contains NovaNet connection software. Orthanc can be found on NovaNet!

(1977, PLATO)

Another mystery! But this one has files to accompany the rumors (see the later "Oubliette" entry in 1983). It seems that a dungeon game much like DND was created on the PLATO system in late 1977 called "Oubliette." The original game was written by Jim Schwaiger, and later was improved and modified by numerous other parties. More information about Oubliette's history can be found in the HESWare game manual.

Avatar homepage, which contains NovaNet connection software. Oubliette can be found on NovaNet! Also, a PC version of Oubliette is available below.

(197?, PLATO)

There are rumors floating around about a game called Avatar, which may or may not have been an evolutionary offshoot of DND, a new version of it, or another game entirely.

Some accounts say that the game was called Avatar but the executable was called DND, others state that they're two different games entirely. Some accounts claim a copyright date of 1980, and state that the game featured a line-art version of the cover to Dragon Magazine Issue #1.

NEWS: We've found it. THANK YOU, Joseph Ross!

Avatar homepage, which contains NovaNet connection software. Avatar can be found on NovaNet!
A brilliant move on the part of CompuServe, Telengard was licensed and ported to essentially BBS door-style format on CompuServe, titled "Castle Telengard," and available to online users of the service. I have NO information about this game and am very curious. Can anyone help me here? No files available at this time.
(1982?, THE SOURCE)

Around the same time that Castle Telengard was available on CompuServe, The Source hosted a similar DND clone online called BlackDragon. I know nothing about this, either, but I'm curious. Can anyone help?

No files available at this time.

(2000?, Web-Based)

Wow. It looks like the great folks at Flying Sheep wrote an online Telengard variant of considerable sophistication. Here's an excerpt from the game introduction:

"The demon Coalcore has returned to your village. When you were little, your friends told stories about this creature, gruesome tales of the hideous tortures that this monstrosity of evil would inflict wontonly on all mortals who dared to cross his path. Until now, you thought that Coalcore was only a legend, an imaginary horror dreamed up by some madman who had lost touch with reality.

Tonight, you have volunteered to take on the challenge posed by Coalcore. You are aware of the dangers that lie before you, but your honor gives you the courage to try to liberate your town from the evil tyranny of the demon Coalcore. As the demon grips you and the town magically fades away, you realize that if you return victorious, you will be a hero, but if you fail, you will most certainly die a horrible and painful death."

I'm trying to get in touch with the great folks at Flying Sheep to learn more...

Adventure, hosted on the Flying Sheep web site.
(1982, Commodore PET)

I've heard rumors of a DND/Telengard type game for the PET, by this name. Efforts to track down a copy have led to finding a PET Roguelike, but not this game, and not a DND-like one.

Anyone know anything about this game, or better yet, have a copy?

No files available at this time.
(1980-1985, many systems)

Daniel was already an unpopular fellow among the administrators of the minicomputers he worked on, because DND was responsible for a great deal of processor time on their machines. They made life miserable for him -- and so, in turn, he bought a Commodore PET, and attempted to port DND to it.

Oof. The limitations of an 8K microcomputer really hit home -- the DND dungeon file alone took up more than that! Compromises were made. One class, one dungeon (generated algorithmically), and a streamlined mechanic and ruleset were introduced. While it wasn't quite as robust as DND -- it was playable on a micro!

Telengard was made famous by the Avalon Hill company, which bought and marketed Telengard, and sponsored the porting of the game to many different platforms. I am aware of several ports: Apple II, C64, Ohio Scientific, Atari 8-bit, TRS-80, CPC , and two PC versions (sold together, monochrome and CGA).

Telengard acquired a substantial cult following, many of whom are still vocal about it today. Many DND players have observed that Telengard 'feels' substantially different than DND, because of the increased randomness and modified rule set. While this is true, it is not necessarily a bad thing -- I personally prefer DND, but I enjoy the Telengard mechanics too for a change of pace now and then.

I deeply regret that Avalon Hill does not wish Telengard to be distributed online, and in good faith, I can't just go and link to one of the many abandonware sites that carry it, so I'm limited to presenting this version below, pre-Avalon Hill. Let it suffice to say that if you look for Telengard hard enough online, you'll find it. DON'T ASK ME WHERE TO FIND IT.

And for more information about Telengard, be sure to check out Pete's Telengard: A Tribute page. This guy loves Telengard the way I love DND.

Telengard, several TRS-80 versions .

NEW! Telengard TRS-80 ported to PC by the excellent ChungKuo BBS crew!

Telengard manual, multi-system.


(1982, PC and PCjr)
DND was ported to the PC and PCjr in 1982 by Dan, in C. He's looking for this port, and I will all too happily make it available should it be located again. No files available at this time.
(1983?, HESWARE, PC/C64)
Jackpot! I have a copy of both ports of Oubliette, the original manual, and a spell list. Unfortunately, I can't seem to get them to work on my laptop. Can anyone get these to work? Screenshots and more game information would be a godsend. Is this really a DND-like game?

Oubliette for PC 2.5. I can't seem to get this working...

Oubliette for PC, different version?

Oubliette for C64.

Oubliette manual, TXT or DOC format (DOC is scanned).

Oubliette "unofficial" manual, and spell list.


A fellow named Bill worked as a contractor for Digital for a time, and discovered the Pascal version of DND during this time. Wanting to take it with him, he endeavored to port DND to PC, using a laptop and a Pascal compiler. DND was developed over the course of 1982 through 1984, and finally released to the public through the increasingly popular Shareware/Public Domain market.

There seems to be a fair bit of mixed sentiment about Bill's port -- some feel it was a godsend, because it's the reason DND is still alive and known today. Others (including Dan Lawrence himself) feel that Bill's actions should be construed as piracy, because he charged money for a game Dan wrote, which was marketed at the same time Dan was trying to make a profit from Telengard. This is an often bloody and ugly war, with very vocal participants on both sides.

My opinion? I'm a neutral party on this one. I am deeply grateful to both parties for making it possible for DND to have reached me as an audience. I have no idea how it "would have been" if Bill hadn't written the port, whether Telengard would have sold well, or simply faded into obscurity. (Telengard was excellent for what it was -- a microcomputer "little brother" of DND -- but hardly a worthy substitute for the real McCoy.)

I received (months late -- again, health issues) a letter from Bill, commenting on the situation. His opinion is very well stated, and he explained that he was not aware of the problems and complications at the time, and that he charged simply to cover his time and effort porting what, by the time he got it, was multi-generation, sloppy, kludged-together code modified by many after Dan. He was not aware of any of these problems, and thanked this page for finally giving him the name of the author of DND -- he had never known whose game it was.

I don't truthfully believe there was malice involved, though I fully understand and respect Daniel's upset about matters. This page is, and will continue to be, a pleasantly friendly zone for both schools of thought.

PC DND seems to be a port of the RT11 Pascal DND, with at least one improvement -- five dungeons, not three, were incorporated into the game. The original dungeon maps from DND were used, exactly (down to the obscenities in Svhenk's Lair).

DND (presumed v1.00!). The very first version, as far as I can tell. No version number given, no RELEASE.NOT file, and the crashing bug that was fixed in v1.10. I believe this is the authentic item, the Real McCoy.

DND v1.10. This is a slightly updated version of the original game, rewritten to use a processor-independent clock (so it's playable on faster machines than a 4.77MHz PC), and fixed for systems with greater than 512K memory. The CLERIC.DOC file contains a different spell list than the game.

DND v1.12. This version includes the correct CLERIC.DOC file (with the right spell list), and also fixed a CLEAR-SCREEN bug that affected certain archaic video cards.

DND v1.2. This version moved the game to a new compiler, and fixed a bug when 'evade' was attempted in a room with four walls. According to the author, the bug was discovered by a player named Hung Wu -- and so, when you try to evade in a room with four solid walls, you receive the message "The spirit of Hung Wu beckons, but you have no place to go!"

DND v1.2:1. This version fixes the oft-exploited treasure trove bug, making it a slightly less popular choice among gamers who enjoyed going to the easily-located treasure pile in Lamorte and hammering it for multiple payoffs.

DNDEDIT, by Jon Burchmore and Dan Barnard. A fairly simple little savefile editor for DND. It seems buggy and uncertain (and it only works with DND 1.x), but it's a piece of history this page cannot be without.

Maps for The Cavern.

Maps for Lamorte.

Maps for Svhenk's Lair.

Maps for Telengard.

Maps for The Warren.

(1984, PC)
One relative of DND has been located -- a Telengard-type game called The Caverns of Zoarre. It reminds me heavily of the Heathkit DND, or early Telengard versions. The Caverns of Zoarre 1.00. No documentation, nothing. Just the game.


This was sent to me by the incredibly talented Linley Henzell (author of the excellent Roguelike game Dungeon Crawl). It's a GWBASIC port of DND for the Heathkit Z-150 computer, which runs just fine on the PC, too. (Except, perhaps, that it's way too fast -- speed modifications are probably necessary to play it on a modern system.)

Another considerate soul, Eric J. Kahle, took it upon himself to compile a playable version of the game which would be properly speed-tuned for modern systems.

In terms of gameplay, it's noticably different from the RO Software version, and the 'magic items' list has been expanded with Telengard clearly in mind. The goal of this version is to defeat 'The Lord Master of the Heathkit Dungeon,' and there seems to be a great deal of creative embellishment (well-documented in DND.DOC) to the original version present in this one.

Heathkit DND, in GWBASIC, source code. This will run on modern PC's as well, provided that you actually still have a BASIC interpreter.

Heathkit DND, compiled version. Thanks, Eric!

(1985?, VAX BASIC-PLUS2)

The original BASIC version of the game somehow made its way onto the VAX at Project DIRECT at A.I. duPont High School in Greenville, Delaware. Says the author of this port:

I got a copy of the source code (in the "dist" subdirectory) and back-ported it to A.I.'s PDP-11/34 running RSTS/E V7.2-04 with a BASIC-PLUS2 compiler. my back-ported version of the game is in the "modified" subdirectory. (There are some extra versions of some of the files in the modified directory... they contain some minor changes or moving of code around that i was playing with).

No files available at this time.

(1985, BASIC FOR PC?)

I've just located a BASIC game called Dungeon Quest, which looks suspiciously like a DND-like game. Unfortunately, every version of BASICA/GWBASIC I have doesn't seem to be able to handle either WIDTH 20 or the graphics commands. Anyone out there able to help here? Dungeon Quest, BASIC source.

(1988, PC)

Dungeons of the Necromancer's Domain was a ground-up rewrite of DND by RO Software. It was indeed "original" in that it wasn't simply a port, and used a new dungeon file format, new dungeons, and was heavily optimized and cleaned up from the original RO Software port.

Also sent to me by the author of DotND are two excellent tools for dungeon creation, both The Domain Master (which was commercially available to registered owners of DotND) and the tool which the author himself used for quicker generation of dungeons, Maze. As Maze was not written for public distribution, it has no documentation -- provided instead in the archive is a copy of the instructions given to me by Bill himself, for using Maze.

Dungeons of the Necromancer's Domain v2.0:0, sans docs.

Dungeons of the Necromancer's Domain v2.0:1, complete shareware archive. Thanks, Kristi!

Dungeons of the Necromancer's Domain v2.0:1, registered version with "The Domain Master" included. Thanks to the author for sending a copy, and for permission to put it online!

The Domain Master, version 1.0:1. Standalone distribution.

Maze. This program works beautifully as a complement to The Domain Master, generating mazes which can in turn be edited and hand-pruned to specification.

The Sewers, a winding dungeon of crumbling walls and tight passageways. Put on your favorite ambience-rock album that makes you feel just a little claustrophobic, and if you have a leaky faucet, make sure you can hear it above the stereo. Dim the lights, and play on a windy night!

(198?, Pieter Hintjens, VIC-20)

Fascinating. While researching 'Dungeon of Death' I found this little gem...a very simple DND-like game. From its built-in instructions:

Before your eyes lies a cave's entrance; THE LAIR. You have a mission - to search these endless caverns from the hidden TREASURE and bring it to the surface. BUT BE WARNED...

You are not in for an easy task - the caves are full of nasties. For example, ORCS. ORCS are vicious and should be killed for the good of humanity. You get a bonus if you do this. SPRITES are usually helpful but sometimes they like a fight. But above all they like a trade.

You will have a choice of moves at all points - make your decision by pressing the right key; eg. D for Down.

If you survive all the terrible hazards and find the TREASURE (HA!) you have to make your way out again to enjoy your wealth. Look at the SCROLL for more advice. By the way, if you get really stuck, you can ask for HELP. (At a cost.)

You can SAVE the game as it stands at any point by giving the command F1 when you are asked where you want to go. A SAVEd game can be re-loaded at the start of a game.

By the way, watch out for the BALROGS. These beasts are invincible - only a sleepit spell spell can affect them. (With a RING.)

The Lair, VIC-20 BASIC program. Can be played through any number of emulators (I play it on VICE personally).

(198?, LORD KRACK, PC)

Good gods, I found a really cheezy hacked 'DND2.EXE' that looks a lot like Telengard -- down to the file size. Ah, what some people won't do, given half a chance and a sector editor...I wonder who 'Lord Krack' is. I almost didn't include this, because of what it is, but I decided to do it, for sake of completeness of this page. DND 2, the extremely cheezy 'sequel' done with a copy of TELMO.EXE and a sector editor by an unknown Eighties wannabe. Thanks to Matt for sending it!
(198?, Commodore 128)
A fellow going by the name of V.Rex mentioned that he wrote a port of Telengard for the Commodore 128, though the system and software are long since passed on and he's not sure if a copy exists anywhere today. No files available at this time.
(1992, VIC-20)
Ghislain de Blois recently wrote to me, to tell me about 'Realms of Quest,' a Telengard-derived game he wrote in 1992 (!) for the Commodore VIC-20. I haven't played this one yet, but look forward to checking it out. Realms of Quest. VIC-20 emulator image. Thanks Ghislain!

Wow. I just got in touch with the phenomenally talented Steve Segreto, and was introduced to his own updated version of DND, called ADND (Another DND). Presently in development, ADND is a significantly more intricate and complex successor to DND, with a much broader scope. He's expanded the character classes, added character races, expanded the spell list to a stunning range of hundreds, given the dungeons a history, and made numerous other changes which I probably shouldn't discuss here.

To attempt to describe all the things added in ADND from DND would be futile in ten paragraphs or less. Let it simply suffice to say that this is quite possibly the coolest thing to happen to DND since DotND.

If you're interested in playing ADND, check out the Official ADND Home Page!
DUNGEON (Jonathan Hopkinson)
(1994-1996, PC QBASIC)

I came across this one digging through QBASIC games pages, and was intrigued. It's a very, very simple version of a DND-like game (note the presence of "orbs") with a fairly abrasive tone, but its roots in DND are unmistakable.

I've compiled this and included the EXE in the archive for those without QBasic.

Dungeon, source code and executable.
DUNGEON (Garth Dighton)
(1998, PC)

I recently came into contact with a fellow named Garth Dighton, the author of a DND-like dungeon game called Dungeon. In his own words:

"I wrote this program about two years ago, after having played the DND game for some time (I'm not sure where I originally picked up DND; it was probably off the web somewhere). I had been looking at designing a roguelike for some time, and thought that building a DND-type game would be a starting place - much simpler in terms of output, etc. It also helped me get some experience with the Curses library.

My idea was to create a game which had no real goal except gaining more experience, and which had ideally no limit on the amount of experience you could get (up to the limits of a 32-bit integer, anyway). The game is also classless - the player can fight AND cast spells. (It's not classless in programming terms, though).

Looking back now, I see several problems with the game: First, the dungeon generation sucks - badly. It tends to generate a lot of disconnected areas which you have to reach with the stone-to-mud spell. Secondly, a game really does need more focus than just going deeper into the dungeon and getting more experience. Finally, there is a lot in the game which simply isn't very logical - statues map an area, thrones let you increase stats, altars let you increase the bonuses on your items (for gold), all with no real explanation why. Finally, the game is pretty imbalanced. The best way to start the game is never to explore more than one step away from the up-stairs at first, until you have gained a few levels. After the first few levels, however, it becomes almost munchkinly easy.

I really don't know if you will find this code useful or even interesting, but feel free to use it as you see fit."

Dungeon, source and executable.


RND is being developed by none other than myself, and is the "official" sequel to Dungeons of the Necromancer's Domain, blessed by both Daniel and Bill. After a long hiatus covering most of 1998, I'm pleased to announce it's back in active development, and moving (slowly) toward a beta release once again.

RND is based heavily on DotND, but draws elements from many sources, including Telengard, NetHack, Omega, and Zork. Early audiences have commented that the game seems more 'roguelike' in tone than DND/DotND (though not in the way ADND is), while still utilizing the DND-style engine. RND adds many new elements to the DND mythos, including a comprehensive lighting system, more advanced monster behaviors, special encounters, and a 'feedback system' that subtly adjusts the game based on observations of the player's playing style.

RND is being developed with DJ Delorie's superb port of gcc, DJGPP, on a Windows 98-based system with ANSI.SYS or NNANSI running. Minimum system requirements are yet unknown -- a 386DX with at least 1Mb RAM is my initial guess.

RND is coming along VERY slowly. At present (Alpha 10), it's playable but limited beyond belief. A copy is available here for your enjoyment, but please be aware it is by NO means a finished product, and far from completion.

To play RND, you need to install ANSI.SYS on your machine. Under DOS/Windows 3.1/95/98, adding a line in your CONFIG.SYS file stating "device= c:\windows\ansi.sys" should do it (you'll need to reboot). Under NT/2000/XP, you'll need to add "device= %SystemRoot%\system32\ansi.sys" to config.nt in your %systemroot%\system32 directory.

Return to the Necromancer's Domain , Alpha 10.


RND title screen . Extremely boring for now.

RND: the aged road inn . With loving respect to Telengard. (That 'glitch' around the chimney smoke is actually a problem with windowed MS-DOS mode. It behaves correctly in full-screen mode.)

RND: the dungeon . Line of sight code is working correctly, you'll note.

Combat in RND . Reg vs. the orc.

A magic torch in action . Also note that Reg has lost his weapon -- a rather nasty encounter with a rust monster...

Truesight. A most useful thing to have!

(1998-, Sharp PC-1500)

Something of a longshot perhaps, the good folks at BattleQuest have released a "copyrighted freeware" game for the Sharp PC-1500 portable which is similar enough to the DND model as to warrant inclusion here. Another one I don't have time to check out -- anyone else want to try it? Dungeon Quest for the PC-1500, BASIC source, binary, screen shots, documents and sound file?

(1999, Pilot)

A fellow named Andrew Brault wrote a port of Telengard for the Pilot palmtop this year. It's based on the Commodore 64 version, with numerous "changes and enhancements." Telengard for Pilot, shareware version.


Michael Arrington is working on a remake of the C64 Telengard for PC. The C64 version featured improved graphics and sound and is commonly considered the best version of Telengard developed. This new version in development seems to be the perfect balance of classic C64 "look and feel" with all the convenience of a native PC application.

The program isn't ready for download yet, but you can view the news and project outline on the author's project page. Thank you, Michael, for letting me know about it!

Visit the author's project page to see the latest news on this remake in development!

Justin's Sad, Heartwrenching Tale of Love, Geekery, and a 286 Ahead Of Its Time

When I was young, I was trapped in a middle-of-nowhere town without friends (you see, my family tree was a tree, and theirs -- well, looked like a Celtic weave), and stuck on a 286 with an early, non-CGA-compatible EGA card. And so, until the world caught up with EGA (and my podunk little hometown caught up with the world), I was stuck ordering public domain games from the back of the Computer Shopper magazines. I fell in love with all the great text games -- Hack, and World, and Dungeon, and Adventure -- and of course, this little gem that I found in a PD catalog, called DND. I remember the ad as though it were sitting before me still: "All the Exsitement[sic] and Adventure of Dungeons and Dragon's [sic], on your PC! 384K reqd." A few months later, after yet another big "D&D Is Evil" press smear (Wily Gates, I think?), the game disappeared from the catalog. But I had already ordered it, and treasured my copy.

(I also fell in love with Avalon Hill's Telengard, but that's another story, and hopefully another webpage.)

I played it to death. I 'invented' the obvious trick of batch-filing the game startup to copy players.dat to players.bak, and after the game ended, you would either run oops.bat (to restore from backup) or yay.bat (to backup the new saved game). I even hashed out the save file format later in high school, and edited characters.

The disks were thrown in the trash by Mom after we sold the 286 to a Jehovah's Witness friend of Dad's, and I never saw DND again.

Then, I got online, and discovered the 'Roguelike Games' scene. I was in love! Omega was a million times better than anything I'd ever played, NetHack made Hack look lightweight, and the concept of shareware free for the taking (without disk charges) was incredible to me. I proceeded to become the manic net-junkie-and-professional I am today, and by God, figured out how to make some money at it. But to my dismay, DND appeared nowhere online.

Even as of this very writing of this article, on February 10th, 1998, DND is nearly impossible to find online. Do a web search for 'Round Oak Software,' and you'll come up with nothing. Do a search for "R O Software" and you'll somehow manage to break the search engines, for reasons I still don't understand. Do a search for 'dnd' and you'll find a million fraggin' Pascal drag-and-drop programs, but not DND. Even the interactive fiction archive's DND25.ZIP is actually a strange multiplayer game, and not DND.

I spent the last year hunting and searching, checking various Archie servers and FTPSearch, and all the web-based search engines. Nothing. Time and again, I found nothing. This program was simply impossible to find. I posted to asking about it, and received two replies -- one "I want it too, what is it?" reply, and one kind soul who offered the address of a PD firm that once carried it. (Unfortunately, they haven't carried it for years.)

Then, finally, I found a copy. It was part of a French software-club BBS online -- you know the sort, where you pay a fortune to have access to their library of outdated useless shareware. I couldn't afford the international charges-- DND just wasn't worth the $625 membership.

I was devastated. I hunted and hunted and scraped and searched and asked everyone I knew, to no avail. And then, finally, I found it -- a dishonest little 'software house' in Washington DC was selling copies of a very old version, claiming they wrote it, having blanked out the R O Software logo and deleted the docs. I was disgusted, but paid their exhorbitant $10 price (in 1996, no less!) to own a copy of 'their' DND, and play it again.

The next day, I did an exhaustive keyword search, and found a copyof a newer version. The French software club had a mirror, it turned out, and I now had anewer version of the game.

My continued hunting turned up all manner of treasures, over the last two years. I found several versions of the game, and a copy of its successor (which I'd never heard of before). And now, I've decided to put up this humble web page for such a great game, so that no one else will ever have to suffer the hell I went through to find this game again. And by gods, look at what's happened since.


Allow me to take a moment or two to offer thanks (in no particular order) to all the great people who've helped me over the last year and change. You folks rule!

Also be sure to check the site links page for other acknowledgements.

That's it for now. I'm very interested in finding additional information about this game, so please email me if you're able to help. The more we can learn and post about this wonderful little game,the less likely it will be to ever fade into obscurity again.

All software on this page appears here with full permission of the authors, with the exception of DND2. Should 'Lord Krack' ever contact me and ask me to remove it, I'll do that.