Here’s an interesting interview by the BBC with Michael Mornard, one of the early players of Dungeons & Dragons. It’s only about 9 minutes long, so won’t take up much of your time.
The Chainmail miniatures wargame, grandaddy to D&D, is once again available in PDF format at One Book Shelf for $4.99. Apparently this is the 7th printing of the 3rd Edition, so many (or all?) of the Tolkien references have been omitted or changed. But still worth the price if you’d like to look at a piece of gaming history. Cheers!
Edit: I can confirm that hobbits have been changed to halflings, and balrogs have been removed entirely. There may be other changes as well, but those are the two big ones I noticed right away.
The universe teems with life, but not all of it is noble or enlightened. All manner of unsavory aliens throng the crowded space ports and hive cities of the known worlds, displaced and exploited, eking out a living any way they can. These are desperate, dangerous beings willing to do anything to make a credit, and they’ve developed an equally dangerous skill set as thieves, thugs, snitches…and worse.