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Jon Peterson AMA, the 40th Anniversary of D&D, and the "sex" stat

Tomorrow, January 26 at 1pm PST / 4pm EST, Reddit will host a AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) with Jon Peterson, author of Playing at the World and writer for Gygax Magazine. Jon will focus on the origins and history of Dungeons & Dragons, in celebration of its 40th anniversary.

D&D 40th Anniversary AMA
Gygax Magazine

Jon posted a video to YouTube detailing 12 artifacts leading up to the publication of Dungeons & Dragons:

  1. Braunstein Order Card: Surviving written correspodence from Wesely's first Braunstein
  2. Gygax Medieval Society Letter: 1970 letter from Gygax on a proposal medieval wargames group
  3. Arneson’s Medieval Braunstein: A surviving set of instructions for a 1970 medieval multiplay game
  4. Domesday Book #3: Copy of the DB hand-addressed from Gygax to Arneson
  5. The Great Kingdom Map: Map showing Blackmoor and other Castle & Crusade Society holdings
  6. Don’t Give up the Ship: A pre-publication draft of Gygax & Arneson's naval wargame
  7. Wizard Gaylord Sheet: A surviving pre-D&D character sheet from the Blackmoor campaign
  8. Creative Publications Dice: a d20, including an instance with colored faces
  9. CoTT 1972 Blackmoor: Last issue of Arneson's Corner of the Table before D&D collaboration
  10. Greyhawk Dungeon: A player map from 1973 of Greyhawk, drawn by Mornard
  11. Mornard Fragments: Pre-publication 1973 D&D rules
  12. Dungeons & Dragons: 1974 first printing of D&D

These will most assuredly be a topic of discussion during the AMA. Of particular note is #7. Look closely and you'll see a "sex" stat on the character sheet. Peterson explains in his book:

...under the heading "Personality," we see a list of seven qualities, each of which has been assigned a numerical value: Brains, Looks, Credibility, Sex, Health, Strength, and Courage...Crucially, these attributes cover a range of activities that go well beyond combat: properties like Looks and Sex flesh out a more fully-rounded character whose activities are not limited to dungeon exploration.

When I asked Jon about this specifically he explained:

Yes, well, "Sex" as in "sexual prowess" played a large role in the Blackmoor setting. The strong debt that Blackmoor owes to the Gor setting informs this. Early Blackmoor documents refer quite frequently to situations where a "Sex" stat would come in handy, if not downright essential to survival.

Gygax would later collapse much of these traits into "Charisma" and then fleshed out even further in the second edition Unearthed Arcana, in which "Comeliness" as added to the game.

To join, visit which will redirect to Reddit when the AMA begins.

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