D&D General Dave Arneson’s Pitch for the future of TSR and D&D in ‘97 to Peter Adkison

Following his 1997 application for a job at WotC, D&D co-creator Dave Arneson wrote a second letter to WoTC founder Peter Adkison and made a pitch about how he'd run TSR and D&D.


Despite his excitement his plans seem underwhelming.


My heart already bleeds for Arneson. The man has never received his due as D&D’s co-creator. He never made CEO. He wasn’t on Futurama. TSR and Gary Gygax did him dirty. (This has been explored in my prior post and in Game Wizards by Jon Peterson.)

This letter is Arneson’s moment. If he wants to make D&D for a living again, he has to put points on the board, and he has to do it with this letter. Now. But he hasn’t even bothered to check his punctuation!

Six pages of his research and plans follow. Here’s a summary, but I’m pasting the letter below if you want to thrill to every misspelled word.

In the main, Arneson’s thoughts are nothing you wouldn’t have heard hanging around a game store in the spring of 1997. He said that all of TSR’s projects were “dead in the water,” which the whole world knew as the company hadn’t published anything for months.

See Ben Riggs article for the full letter and more of his observations.

Last edited by a moderator:

log in or register to remove this ad

log in or register to remove this ad


Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
My copy of Flint's book did arrive a couple of days ago, though I haven't had time to get into it. A few other books are ahead of it in the queue, including The Satanic Verses, recently started.

I still don't understand why people think Arneson was a victim in all this. The guy couldn't finish a project to save his life. You need more than one good idea you let other people bring to fruition in order to be considered a creator. Gygax was a self aggrandizing jerk with control issues, for sure, but at least he produced the work.
How callousn

Remove ads

Remove ads


Remove ads

Recent & Upcoming Releases