D&D Creator Dave Arneson Passes Away - Mania.com

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D&D Creator Dave Arneson Passes Away

Dungeons co-creator passes away from cancer.

By Jarrod Sarafin     April 10, 2009
Source: Wizards.com

Dave Arneson, co-creator of the original Dungeons & Dragons game.
© N/A

Dave Arneson, co-creator of the original Dungeons & Dragons game, passed away on Tuesday evening, April 7th, after waging one final battle against cancer, reports Wizards.com.

In 1969, when Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax first met at GenCon, both were dedicated tabletop wargamers, refighting historical battles with painted miniature armies and fleets. Their first collaboration (along with Mike Carr) was a set of rules for sailing-ship battles called Don't Give Up the Ship!

By the early 1970s, Dave's far-ranging interests led him to a unique concept in wargaming -- a wargame where each model represented just one hero instead of many soldiers in an army. That idea in itself wasn't new; "skirmish-style" games had been around for years. What was new were the ideas that the same heroes could be played in a series of games, learning and becoming more powerful with each battle; that their battles could be part of larger adventures set in the types of fantastic worlds popular in sword-&-sorcery fiction; and, most importantly, that playing just one hero at a time was more exciting than controlling a whole army if that hero had a personality. In other words … roleplaying.

Dave could have used any set of rules to wage his early roleplaying campaigns, which were set in his world of Blackmoor. For a time at least, he settled on Chainmail, written by Gary Gygax and Jeff Perren. It was a fortunate choice, because it brought him back into collaboration with Gary. They swapped ideas and articles, notes and charts, until eventually, the manuscript took on the shape that would become Dungeons & Dragons as published in 1974. Elements of Dave's earliest campaign -- the very first roleplaying campaign -- were published a year later in the Blackmoor supplement to D&D. Blackmoor contained yet another innovation -- the first published D&D adventure, Temple of the Frog.

In later years, Dave published other RPGs (Adventures in Fantasy), started his own game-publishing company (Adventure Games) and computer game company (4D Interactive Systems, Inc.), taught classes in game design, and lectured on educational roleplaying. Whether you're a lifelong D&D player or a newcomer to RPGs, a traditional paper-and-pencil gamer or an online roleplayer, we all owe a great debt of thanks to Dave Arneson and his groundbreaking Blackmoor game.


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fft5305 4/10/2009 1:32:31 PM

First Gygax and now Arneson.  R.I.P....

Cerak 4/10/2009 2:03:09 PM

I don't think I'd be quite the same person I am today if it weren't for Mr. Arneson's creations. Thank you sir. You will be missed.

lancedenier 4/10/2009 3:34:00 PM

I had an opportunity to meet Mr. Arneson at GenCon a few years ago.  I was saddened to see how ill he appeared even then.  Thank you Dave for all that you've done to entertain us.

darkheart00 4/10/2009 4:33:27 PM

Thoughts with his family at this terrible time.

Dave and Gary created an amazing fantasy realm and will always hold a special place in my childhood. I know it's been said a million times before but I'll dig out the dice and roll a 1d20 tonight in their honor.

almostunbiased 4/10/2009 6:05:12 PM

As I wrote earlier today on the Fantasy top 20 list.  He was a very creative man.  I enjoyed his work immensely.

laforcer69@yahoo.com_home 4/11/2009 6:11:52 PM

If one thing is true, it's this...You Can't Mention Tolken without Mentioning Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax in the same breath...First Tolken intorduced these fantasical worlds of wizards, dragons, dwarfs and so on to a mass market and then Mr. Arneson and Gygax took those worlds and aloud us to live and breath in them and go on our own adventures...

I have fond memories of my hippie dad and all of his hippie friends playing many hours of D&D...I recall the thousands of mini figurines they painted, the dungeons created by different DM's and the countless hours sitting there watching them play wishing I could play but was not mature enough yet from doing something stupid like setting off a goblem bomb and unleashing a thousand goblems on our group, whiping us out, that happened the first time I played lol...

I never really played that much as I got older but I was fortunate enough to be a beta tester years down the road for a game called Magic the Gathering, that was a fun time...I still have unopened boxes of limited alpha, beta, limited, revised edition, Arabian nights,  Antiquities and Legends all worth a hell of a lot of money...I also introduced Magic the Gathering to my Dad and his friends and they still play to this very day lol...

Anyways, I thought I would share that with you guys..

RIP Mr. Arneson...

Inferno 6/8/2009 1:54:09 PM

Damn. This is sad news.

RIP Mr. Arneson.

Thank you for the entertainment you created.



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