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. https://www.enworld.org/threads/when-d-d-co-creator-dave-arneson-asked-wotc-for-a-job.691090/ Despite his excitement his plans seem underwhelming. My heart already bleeds for Arneson. The man has never received...

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.

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Despite his excitement his plans seem underwhelming.

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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.

 

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Alzrius

The EN World kitten
It's interesting that Peter turned down Gary as well?
The funny thing is that Gary was brought on board, at least briefly, a few years later. I remember being at Gen Con in 1999 for the official announcement that Third Edition was coming. The presenter (who was, I believe, Peter himself) mentioned that a certain D&D alum was going to be part of the project...and then had Gary himself step out on stage. Everyone started chanting "Gary! Gary!" loudly, and people were quite excited by that particular revelation.

Of course, very little came of that. As I recall, Gary ended up with a short-lived column in Dragon magazine for a little while afterwards, and then quietly parted ways with WotC.
 

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Reynard

Legend
Supporter
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.
 






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