As many of you already know, Dave Arneson died on April 7th. There was some confusion at the time, and I didn’t see confirmation of his passing until today. He was surrounded by his family, and apparently died peacefully.
Dave was the co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons; the other co-creator was Gary Gygax, who died on March 4th, 2008 — GM’s Day. They had their differences, but at the end of the day they both helped to start something amazing.
I’ll keep this simple: Thank you, Dave and Gary, for creating the game that grew into the hobby that all of us love — and thank you for the many friendships that have grown out of it. You will both be missed.
Slainte, Dave and Gary.
And requiescat in pace.
gawds speed, dave.
I’m sure this comes with the territory (being in the area of 40-years-old, +/- whatever), but it’s so sad for me to witness “ending eras”.
I fondly remember the magic found within Supplement 2: Blackmoor during my teenage years. The ideas (Temple of the Frog!) found inside, while completely chaotic and nearly unusable, really put the zap on my young head.
In many ways, Dave Arneson’s contributions cemented my love of the hobby as much if not more than anything else.
I’m a very young gamer, 19, so I’m a bit “new” and have not yet experienced a lot of the things that our wonderful hobby has to offer. But one of the things I’ve learned in life in general is “Know your roots.” After Gygax passed away last year, I spent a lot of time researching the history of the hobby. Gygax’s interest in a single-person wargame, the tale of the first Game Master and First Player (David Wesely and Dave Arneson) and the Braunstein game, and even the tragedy of Dallas Egbert III.
Our hobby has seen a lot of great things and has been given a lot of flak (I still hear jabs and jokes about Chick Tracts). But what Wesely and Gygax and Arneson have given us is a great gift. They’ve given us a beautiful, unique medium for enjoying ourselves, and more importantly, enjoying our company of friends.
Somewhere I read that this marks the “end of an era.” I don’t know, unfortunately I never had the privilege to explore the intricacies of Blackmoor or Greyhawk, or OD&D or even much of AD&D1. But they made this hobby. And without Arneson, the hobby would be so much more different.
I have spent the majority of my life enjoying the wonderful game of D&D in nearly all of its incarnations. Dave Arneson, though not as well known as Gary Gygax, deserves a moment of silence from all the gaming community for his timeless contribution to the lifelong enjoyment of others.
I had the opportunity to meet Dave at GenCon 07. He wasn’t looking great, to be honest, but he still had a twinkle in his eye, and signed the Blackmoor books I bought with a different clever quip in each one.
I made sure to thank him for what he had done, and for what he was continuing to do. I’m glad I did.
Godspeed, Dave. I hope you and Gary are showing the angels how you roll.
Vaya con Dios, Dave.