Saturday, October 1, 2011

Remembering Dave

During most of my early days in the hobby, Dave Arneson's name was barely mentioned at all. I knew of his existence from the foreword to the Holmes rulebook, but I always wondered why, if Dave had been the co-creator of D&D, his name didn't feature prominently on the covers of more books. Aside from the Blue Book, the only other place I remember his name appearing was in Gary's preface to the Players Handbook. For such an important figure in the history of roleplaying games, it always seemed odd to me that Dave Arneson wasn't better known.

Now, of course, I know more of the story of why Dave was such an enigmatic figure and it's good to see that his role and contributions to the hobby are recognized, at least amongst old school fans. Still, I can't help but wish that this recognition had been wider in his lifetime. That's why I thought it worthwhile to make a point of remembering Dave today, the day of his birth. All of us reading this post owe him a great debt for his imagination, creativity, and enthusiasm for fantasy.

14 comments:

  1. I concor. The "and Arneson" was always an enigma to me. Only now, after following a myriad of forums for quite a while and laying my hands on "Dragons at Dawn" do I more appreciate his contribution. I have his only other rules contribution, but I have to admit that the game is virtually unplayable without the ability to access one of the minds behind it. Dave, we miss you. :(

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  2. Well, obviously, "concur" it should be. Shame on you, Blogger.

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  3. Happy Birthday and thank-you Dave, you are missed!

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  4. I'm glad to see Dave finally get the credit he deserves.

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  5. Happy birthday Dave!

    I still don't think I know enough of your contributions to fully appreciate you... :(

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  6. One of the biggest regrets in my life is being offered a seat at Dave's table for a 1E game at Origins and passing it up.

    Happy Birthday Mr. A. Wish you were (still) here.

    -SJ

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  7. His lack of appearances is mainly due to Gygax being a prick. But since Gygax has been Sainted in death, we can't say that, can we?

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  8. I knew next to nothing about TSR, Gygax, or Arneson, in AD&D Heyday. We had a broken phone type of thing going between us kids and adults, mystifying each other with the stories in the finest ytraditions of Lovecraft. Mazes and Monsters became what really happened, Dave Arneson was the guy who committed suicide because of D&D, one of the players in high school lunchroom told me that Gary and Ernie Gygax were two brothers running TSR...

    From his portrait, Dave Arneson seems like a real decent guy, no wonder that he was the first one out. His criticism of AD&D is valid, though I disagree with his solution and the Balckmoor/Temple Of The Frog is not the stuff that haunts me about D&D and fantasy role-playing. It's sad to have sen him go without recognitin that his talent deserved and with him living inthe shadow of lawsuit by the folks who owned the copyrights to the D&D concepts.

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  9. Happy Birthday from me as well. Its often that creators are set-aside in the interest of other's self-promotion and profits.

    Dave Arneson was a nice man who had a truly visionary idea and I cannot thank him enough for the experiences his co-creation has given me. Sadly, I never knew enough to consider thanking him while he was alive. I suspect I am not alone in this, as when D&D was the central focus of my young life the only thing I knew about him was he was the author of the Blackmoor supplement.

    So here is a belated thank you Dave Arneson. Happy Birthday.

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  10. Thanks for posting this James.

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  11. Well, we all have regrets concerning "recognition" of Dave's contributions while he was alive. But then, he wasn't the type to "blow his own horn," so it happened.

    But as long as we remember him and give him his due credit henceforth, he'll continue to "live on," . . . among us.

    Thanks Dave.

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  12. Was just readinng the interview in FO! #2 last night as it happens. Going to play Temple of the Frog next weekend in your honor, Mr. Arneson.

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