Thursday, April 9, 2009

Giants of the Earth (part 2)

Remembering Dave Arneson
(October 1, 1947 – April 7, 2009)

By now word has spread, and I think most have heard the news. The message boards and personal blogs with messages in tribute to Dave and offering support for his family are starting to pop up. The outpouring of support and kind words for Dave are truly inspiring, and I think the fan base recognizes and appreciates the contribution that Dave made over his life.

I never had a chance to meet him, and I am a bit saddened by this. As a co-founder of a hobby that probably has consumed more of my free time than any other hobby, I would have liked to have had met him. While Gary seemed to be at the front of the hobby, Dave was the unsung hero behind the scenes. He was a primary creative force behind the creation of the game, and without him, Gary probably would not have pulled it all together. His Blackmoor campaign was the truly the first campaign and existed before the game, and my understanding is that he was playing it until just recently, which probably makes it the longest running as well as the oldest campaign.

I sometimes ponder a bit about what those early days were like, when it was just an idea that was shared with a small group of folks. Who could have predicted that this idea of theirs would travel around the world and sell millions of copies. It is amazing to think that it started with a print run of 500 which sold in three months. The time was ripe for their idea to gain traction and it did.

Over the past day or so, I have been reading the various tributes, and I went over to Wikipedia to look his legacy and it is quite a list. I have enclosed it below as a reminder of what he gave us:

Dungeons & Dragons (1974) (with Gary Gygax)
Blackmoor (1975)
Dungeonmaster's Index (1977)
The First Fantasy Campaign (1977)
Adventures in Fantasy (1979) (with Richard L. Snider)
Robert Asprin's Thieves' World (1981) (co-author)
Citybook II - Port o' Call (1984) (co-author)
Adventures in Blackmoor (D&D Module:DA1) (1986) (with David J. Ritchie)
Temple of the Frog (D&D Module:DA2) (1986) (with David J. Ritchie)
City of the Gods (D&D Module:DA3) (1987) (with David J. Ritchie)
DNA/DOA (1989)
The Case of the Pacific Clipper (1991)
The Haunted Lighthouse (Dungeon Crawl Classics Module #3.5) (2003)
Dave Arneson's Blackmoor (2004) (lead designer)
Player's Guide to Blackmoor (2006)

I am also including an interview with him done by Gamespy in August 2004, which is a very interesting read, and does provide some insight into the history of the game.


To Dave, I thank you for all the hours of fun that you gave me in this game that you created. You shall not be forgotten.

Rest in Peace.

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