Buy the Book

Monsters, Aliens, and Holes in the Ground, by Stu Horvath, is a look at the development and evolution of tabletop RPGs, one product at a time, arranged in chronological order across five decades. It covers the classics, but is also very much an exercise in expanding horizons. To that end, among the over 300 games mentioned, there are many lesser known games, weird ones, silly ones, even a couple board games. The MIT Press catalog calls it “a deep and gratifying glimpse into a hobby that has changed the way we think about games and play.”

The 456 page text is accompanied by 349 color product photographs, 12 color illustrations by Kyle Patterson, and 28 black & white illustrations by Amanda Lee Franck, Evlyn Moreau, Nate Treme, and Giovanni Battista Piranesi.

The deluxe edition is cloth-bound in a cloth slipcase, featuring foil stamped design, a ribbon bookmark, gilded edges and a card stock print of the cover of the regular edition sans text.

“Horvath’s love for the genre shines through every entry in this immaculately researched tome. It’s exhaustive but not exhausting; you’ll keep reading for pleasure long after you’ve found the info you came for.”

Steve Jackson, perpetrator of Munchkin

“Stu Horvath has lovingly compiled this guide through tabletop RPG history with profound care, and I cannot wait to revisit this tome time and again!”

Skinner, psychedelic nightmare artist

“This comprehensively researched, lovingly written book accurately reflects the world I saw around me: the hobby as I lived, worked, and participated in it for more than forty-five years.”

Liz Danforth, artist, editor, game designer, and writer

“More than just a guide, Stu Horvath’s compendium is a deep dungeon crawl and a personal journey through the history, evolution, and culture of tabletop RPGs. Absolutely wonderful, and an essential addition to any gaming library.”

Evan Dorkin, writer and cartoonist, Milk & Cheese

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