Evidence Chainmail Had Material from Dave Arneson

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Rob Kuntz

Adventurer
"I didn't start it," is not covering yourself in glory.
You seem to like to cherry pick as much as LowKey... Here's something to go by from my character in the Rogues Gallery (TSR 1980), last line of description for my PC, Robilar: “He is not at all pleasant if tricked.”
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
You seem to like to cherry pick as much as LowKey... Here's something to go by from my character in the Rogues Gallery (TSR 1980), last line of description for my PC, Robilar: “He is not at all pleasant if tricked.”
Directly responding to you is cherry picking? I had a longer post, but shortened it because it was mostly pointing out that you were acting as childish as you were accusing lowkey of acting, including passive-aggressive swipes about pacifiers. I deleted it as needlessly antagonistic and stuck with the main takeaway that "he started it" isn't never a good excuse for poor behavior, even when you quote a example from a game of a boorish character that also uses that excuse. Now you want to double down and weirdly accuse me of cherry picking? Odd.
 

Rob Kuntz

Adventurer
Directly responding to you is cherry picking? I had a longer post, but shortened it because it was mostly pointing out that you were acting as childish as you were accusing lowkey of acting, including passive-aggressive swipes about pacifiers. I deleted it as needlessly antagonistic and stuck with the main takeaway that "he started it" isn't never a good excuse for poor behavior, even when you quote a example from a game of a boorish character that also uses that excuse. Now you want to double down and weirdly accuse me of cherry picking? Odd.
Well. Join Lowkey for a big smooch. This is no longer being conducted by the Queensbury Rules, they were thrown out a long time ago and I wasn't the one who tossed them.:LOL:
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Well. Join Lowkey for a big smooch. This is no longer being conducted by the Queensbury Rules, they were thrown out a long time ago and I wasn't the one who tossed them.:LOL:
I have my own issues with lowkey, and am not defending his behavior. I often find him aggressive and abrasive. Trust me, he's not a fan of me either (given how often I've landed on his ignore list). So, do not think this is a tag team on you. I was actually trying to point out that you were spiraling and hoping you'd pull out of the tailspin. Sadly, impacting the ground seems to be on your agenda for the day, and you're determined to blame others for it. So be it.
 

Rob Kuntz

Adventurer
Sadly, impacting the ground seems to be on your agenda for the day, and you're determined to blame others for it. So be it.
You like absolutes. I am not crashing, in fact I am rising to smite my being disparaged. And in that there is no agenda-- only HONOR.
 

Aebir-Toril

std::cout << "Hi" << '\n';
You like absolutes. I am not crashing, in fact I am rising to smite my being disparaged. And in that there is no agenda-- only HONOR.
I only seek the truth, as I care not whether Arneson was better than Gygax or somesuch.

However, with all respect intended, and please take this in the best sense possible, as I admire your work and your character, this is a bit much, no?

Defending your honor? Are people not allowed to push back a bit?
 

Rob Kuntz

Adventurer
I only seek the truth, as I care not whether Arneson was better than Gygax or somesuch.

However, with all respect intended, and please take this in the best sense possible, as I admire your work and your character, this is a bit much, no?

Defending your honor? Are people not allowed to push back a bit?
OK. When I speak it is BS according to LK. I was also bribed, as directly accused of being by LK, into supporting the poster because he wrote a good and honest review of my book over 2 years ago. Attacking someone's character in this manner is not considered pushing back, at least not where I was raised. We call those fighting words; and yet I did try to disengage but was ridden like a bronco. So. In the arena of public opinion at this point, I could care less, but LowKey continued to achieve his goal--to disrupt this thread, no matter the cost, no matter the extent to which he had to sink to accomplish that. That is what I experienced. It is now a fact. It needn't have been. But that's what is gotten when a sum of 3 is arrived at by 1+1...
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
I only seek the truth, as I care not whether Arneson was better than Gygax or somesuch.

However, with all respect intended, and please take this in the best sense possible, as I admire your work and your character, this is a bit much, no?

Defending your honor? Are people not allowed to push back a bit?
Better said than me, I hope it's more effective.
 
Someone has a habit of using "dont reply to me" as a bullying and censoring tactic.

If you argue, you will be replied to.

Anyone who wishes not to be replied to is the one who must take it upon themselves to remove themselves. Otherwise they are being a burden, a bully, censorious, and an entitled brat who is tyranically atrempting to control what others say.

Also i havent checked but im just curious. Who approached who?
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
Someone has a habit of using "dont reply to me" as a bullying and censoring tactic.

If you argue, you will be replied to.

Anyone who wishes not to be replied to is the one who must take it upon themselves to remove themselves. Otherwise they are being a burden, a bully, censorious, and an entitled brat who is tyranically atrempting to control what others say.

Also i havent checked but im just curious. Who approached who?
1. Thanks for your input.

2. Due to the change in the enworld system, you can’t two-way block. So this is someone saying, “I’m removing myself, don’t respond anymore.”

3. It is neither bullying nor harassment to end conversations with unpleasant people; it is, however, harassment to continue conversations with people who do not want it. People are welcome to continue to pontificate poorly without my input, and without involving me.

4. Don’t reply to me.
 
1. Thanks for your input.

2. Due to the change in the enworld system, you can’t two-way block. So this is someone saying, “I’m removing myself, don’t respond anymore.”

3. It is neither bullying nor harassment to end conversations with unpleasant people; it is, however, harassment to continue conversations with people who do not want it.

4. Don’t reply to me.

So block one way.

If you enfranchise yourself in a non exclusive conversation you are part of it.

And others should be allowed to address your points.

Yes. You are engaging in a bullying tactic.

I will not reply to you unless i deem it reasonable to do so. due to your involving yourself in a conversation that you hold no special entitlements. We can all speak here.

I can remove the quoting mechanisms so that you arent necessarily pinged. Ill do that.

But if you say something in a conversation on a publc forum, anyone and everyone can also say something referencing it. Agreeing or not. We are all here.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
.

But if you say something in a conversation on a publc forum, anyone and everyone can also say something referencing it. Agreeing or not. We are all here.
I apologize if I was in any way unclear. Per the civility rules of this forum, I was informing you that you are not to contact me on this thread. Period.

if you are unclear on this, take it up with Umbran. Feel free to explain your views on bullying and harassment. But not to me.
 
I apologize if I was in any way unclear. Per the civility rules of this forum, I was informing you that you are not to contact me on this thread. Period.

if you are unclear on this, take it up with Umbran. Feel free to explain your views on bullying and harassment. But not to me.
Ok.

Dont undermine yourself by contacting me though.

Sure. I understand.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
To recap:

OP's original post had the following thesis- that Arneson was the originator of material for Chainmail's fantasy supplement.

The OP supported his thesis with the following theories:
A. Providing a date for Chainmail's Fantasy Supplement that is later than any previously given (specifically, May 1971).
B. Assuming that the 1977 Final Fantasy Campaign is identical to "early 70s" Blackmoor.
C. Providing a textual analysis of Gygax (Chainmail), Arneson (FFC), and Patt (Rules for Middle Earth).

This was met with immediate skepticism; see, e.g.:

There are problems with all three parts of the support for the thesis. Let's look at each:

A. The date for Chainmail is based on a copyright application for Chainmail; as detailed in this thread, that is incorrect. In prior versions of this article, the OP dated it precisely to the copyright notice's date. You cannot take wrong data and make it better by simply changing it to a vague sometime in May.

B. There is no evidence that the 1977 publication of FFC is the exact version; notes could have ben added, changed, or modified at different times. Without other information (such as the original notes) you cannot assume the dates for this. You have to do more work.

C. The textual analysis is rubbish; this is born out on the first page when the OP admitted that he doesn't need any dates. I don't mean to go to far into this (look at the earlier posts for examples) but you can't do this. Well, there are a few exceptions; for example, if you know one word appeared at a certain time, and evolved into another word, you can get the general timing between texts- but that's something that requires more than the months that are at issue here. As has been pointed out, there isn't any textual analysis going on here, it's all just assuming the conclusion.

So you have dates that aren't correct, and then a textual analysis that isn't a textual analysis that doesn't ned dates. So the OP is, as scholarship ... not good. But this was known since the first page. So, why the controversy? Here's some more background-


So, the genesis of that thread that I am quoting is that a contributor on this thread had some quotes trashing Gygax on another website (ahem), and this was a general factcheck. But the important thing to note is the section dealing with the controversy in D&D historical circles. Not just a controversy; literally THE controversy. Well, to the extent that anything much matters in such a small community.

The extent and the importance of Chainmail to D&D. A minor role (Arneson view) or a pivotal role (Gygaxian view). Probably the most discussed and researched and argued issue. Period. In fact, Arneson and Gygax already wrote dueling essays on the subject. In 1991.

Which gets to the issue that we aren't talking about; the negative space that allows conspiracy theories to flourish, aided and abetted by others. What about all the evidence that is being ignored.

Because, as everyone else has noted (except a few recent people), you would have to assume that Gygax and Arneson were both liars. Not just in 1991. Not just before their death. Not just in the 70s. Not just when they were litigating against each other. Always. From the moment it happened, until they died, Gygax and Arneson both lied to every ... single ... person ... about Chainmail.

And, of course, as the OP admitted in the first draft (but since removed) there is no extrinsic evidence to support the theory. And we also know that Gygax likely lifted parts from Patt. So, in order to believe the OP's thesis, which has no corroborating evidence, doesn't get the dates right (because they are unimportant), and has a textual analysis that isn't a textual analysis, we have to believe the following:

1. Arneson got hold of Patt's rules and incorporated them into his game. Then Arneson sent that material to Gygax. Gygax used what Arneson sent him despite having a subscription to the Courier, and despite Perren being aware of the article. In other words, we have to believe that Arneson was aware of the article (despite no evidence of that) and that Gygax was unaware of it (despite ample evidence that he knew of it) and that both of them acted in a way contrary to the way they had been acting.

2. We know that Gygax was appropriating and transforming people's material into Chainmail; so it would make sense for him to use Patt as a base. On the other hand, there isn't similar evidence for Arneson. But we need to ignore that. Also? We have to assume that all communication is one-way; Arneson communicated things to Gygax, but for the dates to work, we have to assume (in the words of the OP, it's logical) that Gygax never communicated anything to Arneson.

3. This all happened without anyone else knowing about it, or without any record being created.

4. After that, Gygax and Arneson both decided to lie about it for the rest of the their lives, for reasons.

5. In addition, when Arneson had the greatest reason to claim ownership of Chainmail (during the litigation) he never did. Again, for reasons.

6. Finally, in one of the most debated areas of RPG history, somehow every single person (including the people involved) had no idea that Arneson was the progenitor of the fantasy supplement of Chainmail.

If you believe all of that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you.

All of which gets back to the reason people got frustrated after the first few pages; we really like historical research, and we want to encourage good historical research. But history ... it's hard. Unlike what some people say, it's not a science, and it's not "truth." It requires careful evaluation of evidence, and understanding that people lie, documents can be wrong (or incorrect), memories fade, and you have to be comfortable with some amount of uncertainty.

But rather than engage with the manifold issues that are apparent in his thesis, the OP has a habit of shifting the arguments around. Just look at the most recent few pages; people he talks to are irrefutable proof of something, on the other hand, the consistent testimony of both Gygax and Arneson are just ... statements that he can safely ignore. That's not how you evaluate evidence. (FWIW, you need to look for indica of reliability. For example- is it contemporaneous? Is it self serving, or against interest? Is there a history of consistent statements? Is there corroboration? And so on.)

Eh, whatever.
 
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lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
And, by the way, I should note that my general annoyance is because I feel personally culpable. I started the thread trying to be as helpful as possible and offering encouragement, offering specific tips and DM'ing the author with additional info, because I genuinely like all historical research into TTRPGs (even the bad stuff!), and recommended checking things out on, inter alia, ODD and with Jon Peterson.

Of course -


Little did I know that the OP had a history on other boards (incl. a banhammer), and a history with other people (incl. Jon Peterson). So, mea culpa. My distemper is directly related to the fact that I feel taken advantage of by people with an agenda.

But y'all can check it out yourself and find out who does what- make up your own minds. Google is your friend.

Fool me once, etc.
 
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Rob Kuntz

Adventurer
From Benjamin E. Sones' interview of Dave, "Dungeon Crawl" Dungeons & Dragons co-creator Dave Arneson takes role-playing off the table 5/8/2001

Around that time you were running a "dungeon crawl" war-game using a variation of the Chainmail rules—how did that turn into Dungeons & Dragons?

I used Chainmail for about a month before switching its Matrix based combat system of 'winner take all' to the AC, Hit Points, and Hit Dice system that is still used today. After the first game it was obvious that none of the players liked the sudden death of the matrix. The reason was simple—it existed, and I had no idea that this might catch on. And I had the only three sets of d20 known to exist, at that time, in the USA. With the rapid addition of my favorite monsters from fiction, and the vivid imagination of the players, a matrix could not maintain the variety. All this stuff went into my big notebook [and was later published as the First Fantasy Campaign by the Judges Guild].

Chainmail had a 'fantasy section;' otherwise it was strictly a set of miniatures wargame rules with no role-playing. Certainly the Spell section proved to be inadequate even by the end of the first dungeon crawl. Being an avid fantasy and science fiction reader, the addition of role-playing was natural. My club had been dabbling in role-playing for miniatures games for several years. We had done games ranging from South American Revolutions to modern day cloak and dagger. That was all pretty much non-formalized and just an extension of our tabletop wargames.

Blackmoor quickly took the game off the table and onto graph paper. This all began in about 1971. The next step was going into the great outdoors, beyond the tabletop. As a point of interest, the original group still gets together once a year to play the 'old' campaign that started in 1971—usually around Christmas. This year we will be doing it in May, when I am doing a local convention called MarsCon. And I got to use those d20 for something!
 
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