Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Noblest RPGer of Them All

Dave and me at GENCON 2004

I have noted some things a little here or there about my book that I am finishing.  But the most important thing about it, I feel, is that it will set a new standard, a new view, about what David L. Arneson's concept accomplished, the very range and dimension of what he intuitively leveraged to produce the first role playing game.  When I began researching the book over 7 years ago I concluded from the very beginning that it would be dedicated to Dave.

His birthday is October 1; and sadly there is not much to be seen proliferating about the 'net or elsewhere regarding the man, the designer, the educator, that brilliant "kid" from the Twin Cities.
A search on his name produces almost as many hits referencing his passing many years ago as it does his accomplishments.

That will soon change...

Extracted from my book's--A New Ethos in Game Design--concluding paragraph of the chapter, "What Arneson Knew":

In summary there are few game designers who through the generation of ideas, to their modeling, then to their extended uses, who can rightly claim through such an intertwined process to have created a playable game let alone to have been one of the primary people in generating an industry from doing so.  There is no doubt in my mind that if the intuitive Arneson--the man who was known to walk into convention halls filled with tables of miniatures and therein exclaim, “Oh boy!  Toys!”--had ever lost his “child within” prior to Blackmoor’s advent that there would be no hobby or industry today as we now know it. (Copyright 2013-2015 Robert J. Kuntz. All Rights Reserved)


  1. Hey Rob, thank you for posting this! I agree that too few are aware of Dave and his contributions to our hobby. At least there are some of us out there making an effort. Love the photo by the way!

    Below is my contribution to Dave Arneson Game Day:

  2. Thanks back at you, Havard. It's no problem offering a tribute to an old friend of mine from 1969. Never will be. For those who prefer the MYTH that the advent of D&D was a one-sided affair, then the Kool-aid line was obviously located and sumptuously partaken of a long time ago. There was only one RPG swimming in its conceptual foundations from 1971-1973, that is, before D&D was made public, and that would Arneson's… Even the documentary folks who interviewed me and others for so long understood that, but I reminded them and expounded on much territory they were not aware of regarding the matter.