Dave Arneson's Personal RPG Collection For Auction


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  1. #1
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    Dave Arneson's Personal RPG Collection For Auction

    Dave Arneson, co-creator of D&D (other other, of course, being Gary Gygax) had - as might be expected - quite a collection. These items are being auctioned, and include, according to GeekDad, "..his original gaming dice. His original Dungeons & Dragons and Blackmoor campaign manuscripts. His first printing, woodgrain boxed set play copy of D&D. Letters from Gary Gygax. Other letters, notes, documents, artwork, photos, cartography, rare wargames and hand-made models and miniatures. And more."


    There are about 10,000 items in total, and the series of eBay auctions will begin on Sunday, May 6th.
    • His original gaming dice.
    • His original Dungeons & Dragons and Blackmoor campaign manuscripts.
    • His first printing, woodgrain boxed set play copy of D&D.
    • Letters from Gary Gygax.
    • Other letters, notes, documents, artwork, photos, cartography, rare wargames and hand-made models and miniatures.
    • Published games, game accessories, periodicals, and books.
    • Arneson’s Smith Corona: Mark IV typewriter.
    • A set of lead crystal goblets etched with Arneson’s family heraldry.
    • A model ship made of metal.
    • Unpublished manuscripts that did not make it into the final draft of Dungeons & Dragons that date as far back as 1973.
    • Older items from 1971 and 1972 “dealing with the Blackmoor campaign and the Castle itself,” which may reveal secrets about the game’s origins.
    • Runs of Gygax’s Castle & Crusade Society and Domesday Book newsletters.
    • Arneson’s Corner of the Table newsletter which discusses his various campaigns, including his Blackmoor exploits.
    • Arneson’s personal copy of a book he created called “Dungeonmaster’s Index,” an index of all monsters, spells, rules, and magic items, which was published under his own name and without a license.
    • Arneson’s locked briefcase (contents unrevealed).
    • Arneson’s 1959 game of Risk.
    This will be a series of auctions over the coming months, each containing some 200 items. The first auction on Sunday, May 6, includes several rare wargames and role-playing games owned by Arneson, as well as inscribed and autographed copies, editorial and review copies of products, items from Arneson’s library, and his personal play copies. Among the “many special items” are a series of Empire of the Petal Throne books and journals autographed by the late game designer M.A.R. Barker, who died in March of this year.

    You'll find the auctions on eBay at this link, though there won't be anything there until May 6th.

 

  • #2
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    More can be found at the auction company's site.

    Sunday, April 29, 2012 at 9:01PM

    Hello Everyone,


    Exciting news at The Collectorís Trove! We have recently contracted to auction the David L. Arneson collection. The new owner of the collection has authorized The Collectorís Trove to begin auctioning items from the legendary game designerís collection spanning over 50 years of amateur and professional involvement in war games, strategy games, card games, board games, and role-playing games.

    The Collectorís Trove contacted Dave Arneson for the first time in 2005. At that time the possibility of auctioning off his collection was discussed. The conversation continued off and on over over the next several years, the last time about 3 weeks before Arnesonís death in 2009. He informed The Collectorís Trove that the management of the collection would now be in the hands of his heirs and that he would pass along our services to them. Unfortunately, there was no word from Daveís heirs in over two years.

    Then, in an unforeseen turn of events, the management of the collection apparently became too much for Daveís heirs to handle and they abandoned it in a storage locker. While the owner of the storage facility made numerous attempts to contact the heirs, they did not respond and left the fate of the collection in the hands of others. Like an episode of Storage Wars or Auction Hunters, the owner of the storage facility followed the businessí standard protocol of auctioning the lockers contents. A local auction company won the bidding for the locker and took possession of the collection. Again, however the enormity and eclectic nature of the collection proved to be too much to manage, certainly beyond the scope of the companyís operations. They ultimately contacted Michael Cox, long time owner and operator of the The Dragonís Trove an online gaming store with a long history of selling collectable RPGs.

    Michael then contacted The Collectorís Trove, the premier online auction house that specializes in handling the collections of RPG games designers and artists, and the two agreed to team up to rescue the collection. After, three hours in an unheated garage, on a cold Minnesota afternoon, the collection was evaluated by The Collectorís Trove and a buy-out offer was tendered and accepted. A few days later The Collectorís Trove returned with an empty cargo van. All 114 boxes and various loose items were loaded into the van with nary space for the driver and passenger to move. As darkness fell the pick-up team climbed into the van for a long drive.

    The team drove through the night arriving at home base the next morning. Later that day the unloading and processing began.

    The collection comprises some 10,000 items ranging from Daveís 1959 game of Risk to game designs he was working on up until his death in 2009. Dave was a creative genius and designer, devising game after game, poring over military history books, maps, and documents, refining and tinkering his designs way beyond the ken of even the most meticulous game designer.

    Now, The Collectorís Trove, in cooperation with Michael Cox of the The Dragonís Trove, will seek to preserve the intellectual property of the collection while trying to carry out Daveís wishes to have a portion of its value go to his heirs. Through a combined effort of scanning, documentation, and auctions it is hoped that we may achieve both goals. In the process Daveís fans and collectors alike will have the opportunity to support this effort and have a chance to own a piece of gaming history. Likewise, the gaming community may yet get a chance to see Daveís unpublished game designs come to fruition.

    If you wish to keep apprised of this and the many other exciting, once in a lifetime auctions at The Collectorís Trove use the 'eMail Notifications' link in the right column under 'My Services' or click here for Email Notification. Those who do so will receive a special preview list of each upcoming auction and exclusive preview pictures of items in each collection.

    Otherwise, standard updates of web site news may be received by clicking on the 'RSS Subscription' link in the right column under 'My Services' or by simply checking back in on the website as often as you like.

    The first Ebay auction will be launched next Sunday evening, May 6th and will include nearly 200 items including several rare wargames, Call of Cthulhu, Empire of the Petal Throne, Blackmoor, Dungeons & Dragons, and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. Highlights of the auction will include inscribed and autographed copies, editorial and review copies, author's and comp copies, Dave Arneson library copies, and personal play copies! Among many special items are a series of Empire of the Petal Throne books and journals autographed by the late M.A.R. Barker.



    Futures Bright,

    Paul Stormberg

    The Collectorís Trove
    Rose City Regulars - ENWorld Gamers in and around Portland, Oregon, USA

  • #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
    Arneson’s locked briefcase (contents unrevealed).
    Intriguing.

    I wonder if 5th Edition is in there.
    Your skill in reading has increased by 1.

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    A lot of that stuff ought to be in a museum or archive.

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    I'm grabbing the original dice, a friend of a friend once heard that they were bathed in the blood of unicorns and demons to roll all 20's. I also think the original incarnation might be in the notes for Blackmoor.

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    I hope a lot of that stuff goes to people who are known by the community. I wonder if Wizards of the Coast will put out the cash to buy up a lot of the notes and publisheable material.
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    And makes me poor indeed.

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  • #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaodi View Post
    I hope a lot of that stuff goes to people who are known by the community. I wonder if Wizards of the Coast will put out the cash to buy up a lot of the notes and publisheable material.
    I doubt they will unless there's a revenue stream they can get from it. They're a business, so if they don't have a good ROI on the bid (or at least a strong expectation of one) then they won't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by renau1g View Post
    I doubt they will unless there's a revenue stream they can get from it. They're a business, so if they don't have a good ROI on the bid (or at least a strong expectation of one) then they won't.
    Some businesses to maintain extensive historical archives. One of my best friends worked in one such archive for a while.
    -Kaodi

    Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
    Is the immediate jewel of their souls.
    Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;
    'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
    But he that filches from me my good name
    Robs me of that which not enriches him
    And makes me poor indeed.

    -Iago, Shakespeare's Othello, Act III. Scene III. Lines 180-186.

  • #9
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    While I will certainly try to get my hands on some of the items I really would prefer if there were some kind of RPG museum that would gather the most relevant items to be preserved and shown to the interested public. Given the history of roleplaying games I was always wondering why such a museum does not exist already in the US. RPGs had such a big cultural impact in the States. One wonders.
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    I hope this doesn't mean that the heirs are in any kind of financial trouble.
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