Evidence Chainmail Had Material from Dave Arneson

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
Recall what Arneson said:
“First Fantasy Campaign, which I did for Judges Guild, is literally my original campaign notes without any plots or real organization.” [11]

The analysis above appears to confirm Arneson’s statement by demonstrating that the creatures listed in the Magic Swords section, which Arneson said predated Blackmoor (see above for the quote) logically fit only before Gygax’s Fantasy Supplement, not after (Cases A and B demonstrate the logical inconsistencies that occur when the Fantasy Supplement is assumed to precede the Magic Swords material). While the Magic Sword text was not published until 1977 with the rest of Arnesons original campaign notes, this analysis does show that it dates no later than just prior to the publication of The Fantasy Supplement with Chainmail in approximately the first half of 1971. One could argue that Arneson prepared the Magic Swords material in 1977, but that would require that Arneson anticipated that someone would run this exact analysis later and that he very carefully chose the creature names in the Magic Swords material to trick it, but the chance of this is realistically negligible.
Michael,

You're starting to get into flat earth territory.

You are indiscriminately mixing textual analysis (what the text says) with random extrinsic evidence, and then tossing in really ... not good supposition that you are claiming is logic.

But as everyone has been pointing out to you- you need to start by carefully identifying the text you are using. You can't use a 1977 text; to the extent you are, you need to show your work as to how this codification is the exact version that predates Chainmail.

And then, of course, if you start using extrinsic material (such as a quote by Arneson) you have to further explain why Arneson credits Chainmail ....

This is ... not good. And further digging isn't helping you. You seem to be missing something very fundamental here, and I don't think we can help you. :(


So I will end with a anecdote. I once had a raft of people I was helping to get published in a journal; I was very proud that most of my advisees got published. One individual didn't. When we first met, I knew his theory was bunk, but instead of laying down the law, I tried to gently prompt him into understanding that he was mistaken.

Well, didn't work, and it was a year wasted. So I will be blunt- IMO, this isn't good for the reasons I've already outlined, and the more you explain it, the worse it looks to me.

I hope you apply your abilities to a more fertile area instead of continuing down this path. I'm done with giving advice that is, I guess, worth what you paid. ;)

Good luck!
 

Bardic Dave

Explorer
Recall what Arneson said:
“First Fantasy Campaign, which I did for Judges Guild, is literally my original campaign notes without any plots or real organization.” [11]

The analysis above appears to confirm Arneson’s statement by demonstrating that the creatures listed in the Magic Swords section, which Arneson said predated Blackmoor (see above for the quote) logically fit only before Gygax’s Fantasy Supplement, not after (Cases A and B demonstrate the logical inconsistencies that occur when the Fantasy Supplement is assumed to precede the Magic Swords material). While the Magic Sword text was not published until 1977 with the rest of Arnesons original campaign notes, this analysis does show that it dates no later than just prior to the publication of The Fantasy Supplement with Chainmail in approximately the first half of 1971. One could argue that Arneson prepared the Magic Swords material in 1977, but that would require that Arneson anticipated that someone would run this exact analysis later and that he very carefully chose the creature names in the Magic Swords material to trick it, but the chance of this is realistically negligible.
Sorry, but I have to reject that argument as tautological. You claim that you can use the 1977 text as the basis for your analysis because of your cherry-picked Arneson quote (from 1991, no less), and you can be sure the Arneson quote must be the literal truth because of your infallible analysis. Do you not see why that's problematic?

If you're going to use that Arneson quote as the basis for your analysis, then you have to start addressing the plethora of other Arneson quotes that contradict your thesis. One marketing blurb isn't going to cut it.

I say this as someone who doesn't have a horse in this race. I don't have an opinion or a preference about whether Gygax or Arneson was the "true" father of D&D. I am interested in the history of our hobby, however. I was curious to read your analysis, but I remain unconvinced as I find your argument lacking in rigour and logical consistency.
 
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Bardic Dave

Explorer
Just wanted to zero in on something else you said:

One could argue that Arneson prepared the Magic Swords material in 1977, but that would require that Arneson anticipated that someone would run this exact analysis later and that he very carefully chose the creature names in the Magic Swords material to trick it, but the chance of this is realistically negligible.
Really? You can't think of any other possible reason that Arneson might have revised, edited, restructured, rewritten, added material to, etc. his rough notes prior to publication other than to cunningly foil future analysts? Really? ...really?
 
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Let me give an example of how it is possible to establish the order of which a set of events occurred without knowing the exact dates of individual events.
...
Knowing the context of the three events is that they are all part of the process of Karen feeding her dog
Have you ever heard of "assuming the conclusion"? Because, that's at work here.

With Karen feeding the dog, you have extra information outside of the data that tells you the order of events - dogs literally cannot be fed from closed bags. You can assume that because you live in a physical reality.

But, your textual analysis is talking about a life history of information, without any real physical constraint.

Ask yourself, does it really make sense...
Stop. Right there. That's not a proof. That's an opinion. "I think it makes sense that..." is not evidence.

As we'll see, sure, it can make sense...

...that Arneson would have copied a bunch of creature names from Chainmail, but made a special effort to exclude the creature names that were unique to Chainmail? Why didn’t he copy down the unique creatures Lycanthrope, Roc, and True Troll, since he had apparently copied down Elemental, Ghoul, Giant, Goblin, and so on? Why would he copy down Werebear and Werewolf, but change their spelling to the non-standard spellings “Were bear” and “Were wolf”? Neither of these actions make any sense and suggest that the assumed order is wrong.
You seem to be assuming "copied", as if "ripping off the entirety verbatim" is the only mode for one author to borrow from another.

You should also allow for "influenced by". As in, Arneson is exposed to a text, and then, at a later time, assembles his own text, without directly referring to the original. From what we know of Arneson from Kuntz writing on this site, he preferred actual play to writing things down, kept a lot of things in personal notes, and kept much of his game in his head. So, between any document Arneson read, and then anything he wrote for publication, there's probably a space of him thinking about designing, and using in play.

The final thing he wrote, then, had gone through processing. He likely wasn't literally looking at the text of things that influenced him as he wrote - he'd instead likely collected things into his own set of notes, in his own writing style.

This leaves a lot of space for differences. For example, in his own play, if he'd used werewolves and werebears, and never used the lycanthrope or roc... he just didn't care about them and left them out.

With that, any number of textual differences make sense, no matter which direction influence went!

Textual analysis usually needs large amounts of data before it becomes convincing. You really need to get into establishing the verbal habits of each author over significant bodies of work. You then take aberrations or changes from their usual habits as evidence of borrowing.

For example, say Arneson always used "werewolf" in early writings. Then, Patt comes along using "were wolf". And after some moment where they likely intersected, Arneson starts using "were wolf" too - you then might take it that Patt influenced Arneson.

One off lists? There are too many plausible reasons for differences for them to be convincing.
 

mwittig

Villager
Have you ever heard of "assuming the conclusion"? Because, that's at work here.

With Karen feeding the dog, you have extra information outside of the data that tells you the order of events - dogs literally cannot be fed from closed bags. You can assume that because you live in a physical reality.

But, your textual analysis is talking about a life history of information, without any real physical constraint.
While there is no physical constraint, there is the constraint of acting rationally. In cases A and B, Arneson would appear to have acted irrationally, while in case C, it appears that Gygax and Arneson acted rationally.

"Ask yourself, does it really make sense that Arneson would have copied a bunch of creature names from Chainmail, but made a special effort to exclude the creature names that were unique to Chainmail? Why didn’t he copy down the unique creatures Lycanthrope, Roc, and True Troll, since he had apparently copied down Elemental, Ghoul, Giant, Goblin, and so on? Why would he copy down Werebear and Werewolf, but change their spelling to the non-standard spellings “Were bear” and “Were wolf”? Neither of these actions make any sense and suggest that the assumed order is wrong."

Stop. Right there. That's not a proof. That's an opinion. "I think it makes sense that..." is not evidence.
I laid out three cases. Two of the cases required irrational behavior, while the third is consistent with rational behavior. How is that not evidence?

You seem to be assuming "copied", as if "ripping off the entirety verbatim" is the only mode for one author to borrow from another.

You should also allow for "influenced by". As in, Arneson is exposed to a text, and then, at a later time, assembles his own text, without directly referring to the original.
Take a look at the Venn diagram in Figure 3. Fifteen of the creature names appear in both Arneson's list and in Chainmails, verbatim (other than differences in character spacing and Arneson specifying his wizard was "evil"), including three obscure creature names: Anti-Hero, Elemental and Werebear. Note that nine of the creature names, including two of the three obscure creature names, appear within both Arneson's list and Chainmail's, but not Patt's. This indicates direct copying was almost certainly going on between Arneson's list and Chainmail, while the analysis shows--assuming rational behavior-- that the direction appears to have been from Arneson's material to Chainmail.

From what we know of Arneson from Kuntz writing on this site, he preferred actual play to writing things down, kept a lot of things in personal notes, and kept much of his game in his head. So, between any document Arneson read, and then anything he wrote for publication, there's probably a space of him thinking about designing, and using in play.

The final thing he wrote, then, had gone through processing. He likely wasn't literally looking at the text of things that influenced him as he wrote - he'd instead likely collected things into his own set of notes, in his own writing style.

This leaves a lot of space for differences. For example, in his own play, if he'd used werewolves and werebears, and never used the lycanthrope or roc... he just didn't care about them and left them out.
Your example of Arneson choosing to use werewolves and werebears and not to use lycanthrope would be rational behavior. However, look what I said about Case B:
Taking a look at the first and second columns now, you’ll note that Arneson appears to have removed the Werewolf and Werebear in favor of the term “Lycanthrope”. Then, supposedly, at the same time he eliminated all of the creatures unique to Chainmail, he added back the Werewolf and Werebear, eliminated the term “Lycanthrope” that he had previously added, and changed the spelling of Werewolf and Werebear to the non-standard spellings “Were Wolf” and “Were Bear.”

I would argue that this is not rational behavior, suggesting that the assumed order of Case B is incorrect.

With that, any number of textual differences make sense, no matter which direction influence went!

Textual analysis usually needs large amounts of data before it becomes convincing. You really need to get into establishing the verbal habits of each author over significant bodies of work. You then take aberrations or changes from their usual habits as evidence of borrowing.

For example, say Arneson always used "werewolf" in early writings. Then, Patt comes along using "were wolf". And after some moment where they likely intersected, Arneson starts using "were wolf" too - you then might take it that Patt influenced Arneson.

One off lists? There are too many plausible reasons for differences for them to be convincing.
This isn't standard textual analysis because of the need to distinguish between rational and irrational behavior rather than processing large amounts of text in search of anomalies. If the behaviors were more subtly rational or irrational, the results would not be as meaningful; but in these three cases above (A, B, and C), however, the behaviors are clearly irrational (A and B) and clearly rational (C). Therefore, the result of the analysis appears valid.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
This isn't standard textual analysis because of the need to distinguish between rational and irrational behavior rather than processing large amounts of text in search of anomalies. If the behaviors were more subtly rational or irrational, the results would not be as meaningful; but in these three cases above (A, B, and C), however, the behaviors are clearly irrational (A and B) and clearly rational (C). Therefore, the result of the analysis appears valid.
Woah.

Okay-

"Role playing came into it's own for me when I thought about using the Medieval skirmish rules called CHAINMAIL along with the individual goal concept explored in the Braunstiens."

Dave Arneson

"I know. So, as it started out it wasn't a major gaming effort as such but I was then adding rules and modifying things to make it ongoing. We had to change the old wargame system Gary (Gary Gygax) used in Chainmail. "

Dave Arneson

"We had to change it (the rules for Chainmail) almost after the first weekend. Combat in Chainmail is simply rolling two six-sided dice, and you either defeated the monster and killed it … or it killed you. It didn't take too long for players to get attached to their characters, and they wanted something detailed which Chainmail didn't have. The initial Chainmail rules was a matrix. That was okay for a few different kinds of units, but by the second weekend we already had 20 or 30 different monsters, and the matrix was starting to fill up the loft."

Dave Arneson

"Well, it (Chainmail) was offered by a small company at that point called Guidon Games, and we were doing some medieval battles so we bought a copy and tried it out. We thought the fantasy part was interesting so we elaborated on that, expanded it, etcetera, etcetera, and eventually that grew into what became the first Blackmoor game which eventually grew into being the first Dungeons and Dragons game. That probably took three years to develop."

Dave Arneson


"Well, I could tell you I had it all planned out, but that wouldn't be true. And I could tell you I faked it all, and that wouldn't be true either. We adapted.

We started out using the Chainmail combat system. They had a fantasy supplement for Chainmail. I think we used that for two games. We quickly discovered it didn't work for what we were doing since they were mass-combat rules, not individual rules.

We were doing role-playing and they weren't role-playing. We started off our monster list, and I think Chainmail had only seven or eight monsters. So we quickly came up with twenty or thirty."

Dave Arneson



...do I have to keep going on? This is before getting into what Gygax and everyone else said, and before getting into the fact that you're not doing a textual analysis, but just ... um .... I don't even know anymore. There's certainly an argument to be made as to how much influence Chainmail had on Arneson; but there's no argument to be made that Gygax wrote the fantasy supplement to Chainmail because of Arneson, and, quite frankly, your argument was bad and your continued assertions are getting embarrassing.


I don't mean to be harsh, but it's my understanding that you want to do additional research. Moreover, it appears that you did research on a certain film project, and as such, the credibility of assertions in that film might be tied into your credibility as a researcher. This ... isn't very credible. :(


No one wants to be told that their ideas ... aren't sound. That's not fun. The difference between someone doing honest scholarship and, say, an advocate is that the person doing scholarship is trying to find the right answer, not just support what they want to be true.

I really suggest trying your ideas out on someone you trust. It's like certain outfits; sometimes you need a friend to tell you that you shouldn't wear it in public. If you don't believe the feedback you get here, please find someone you will listen to.
 
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mwittig

Villager
Woah.

Okay-

[lots of Arneson quotes about using Chainmail]
Arneson certainly said that he used Chainmail and the Fantasy Supplement. However, in some quotes Arneson suggested that Blackmoor preceded Chainmail--the same thing Gygax suggested in the quote at the beginning of the article. Was there no combat in Blackmoor prior to Chainmail? Their testimonies are inconsistent and therefore, like in most court cases, other evidence is required to get to the truth of the matter. The article above, I believe, provides that evidence. I will provide some more evidence of the more conventional sort that will perhaps convince some people to take a second look at the above analysis.

Here we have the April 1971 issue of Arneson's newsletter, Corner of the Table. Note that Arneson talks about the March general meeting, and near the end of the clip mentions that a resolution will be presented at the April general meeting.
1.jpg

At the end of the newsletter, Arneson announces that there will be a "medieval Braunstein" on April 17th (though the year is a typo; it should read 1971 and not 1970, as is apparent from other dates in the newsletter) Note that Arneson mentions that it features mythical creatures and a poker game under the Troll's bridge; clearly, at the time when Arneson typed up the newsletter, he was already using fantasy. Note also that he makes no statement indicating that this is the first such game:
2.jpg

Now take a look at the copyright application of Chainmail and note the date that Don Lowry, the publisher, stated that Chainmail was first "placed on sale, sold, or publicly distributed":
chainmail_copyright_cropped2.png

Keep in mind that unlike the other portions of Chainmail, the Fantasy Supplement was not published in the Domesday Book prior to appearing the Chainmail booklet, so Chainmail's publication date is also the publication date of the Fantasy Supplement, and Gygax said repeatedly, "it all began with the fantasy rules in Chainmail."

Now some may argue that the copyright application is incorrect, but what is the basis to make that claim, or to believe other dates over this documented one? Wikipedia claims "First edition Chainmail saw print in March 1971." But note, there is no citation for that statement. Similarly, in the book you mentioned earlier, Peterson's Playing at the World, he states on page 40:

Guidon's debut miniatures game, Chainmail (March 1971), considerably expanded the LGTSA miniatures rules by Gygax and Perren published in Domesday Book #5.

Again, no citation or explanation for that dating. From what I can tell, these references to March 1971 stem from a 2006 post on the D&D collector's site The Acaeum:
Paul's post to Acaeum in 2006 with Chainmail dating.png


Yet again, no citation or explanation for that dating.

Note that Arneson appears to have written the above issue of Corner of the Table in March of 1971, as he states under the "March General Meeting" headline, "This month's meeting was held at [...]"

So it appears that, according to the generally accepted history of Dungeons & Dragons and this unsupported March 1971 dating for Chainmail, Arneson got a copy of Chainmail the moment it was published, developed Blackmoor and his Troll Bridge scenario within days, and sent out an announcement for this apparently first game of Blackmoor before the end of March-- all happening two months prior to when the publisher claimed--in 1971--that Chainmail had actually been published.

Page 42 of Playing at the World states "Gygax reported that the addition of these fantasy rules to Chainmail was 'an afterthought,' [WGN:#110) [...]" I cannot verify that because I was not able to find any statement from Gygax in Wargamers Newsletter issue #110 after searching the entire issue, so perhaps that citation is wrong. Assuming that Gygax did make that statement somewhere, it would support the analysis above, and particularly the suggestion that Arneson sent material to Gygax including an earlier version of the Fantasy Combat Table, the Fantasy Reference Table, and so on-- this would have allowed Gygax to have quickly edited and expanded Arneson's material into the Fantasy Supplement toward the end of Chainmail's development. As I point out in the article above in the Cross-checking section, several of the players of Arneson's game say that they were playing a fantasy role-playing game during the Christmas holiday from '70-'71, which meant that Arneson would have had plenty of time to send his material off to Gygax and have it incorporated as an "afterthought" into Chainmail prior to publication in March (if you believe that date) or May.

Hopefully this will give some folks a reason to take a second look at the article above.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
Hopefully this will give some folks a reason to take a second look at the article above.
Not given your explanations, no.

I hate to rain on your parade, again, but I was the one who DM'd you to point out why you shouldn't rely on the copyright notice and explained why.

You continue to miss the forest for the trees; you are not acting as a scholar, but as an advocate. You can't simply discard all evidence you don't like (which is A LOT!) and simply cherrypick one or two things, out of context, that support you.

But to reiterate-
1. You ignore the evidence of what every ... single ... person .... has said, including the principles.

2. Your textual analysis isn't a textual analysis, and it isn't really an analysis, either.

3. You ignore any and all dates that matter, and, worse, don't seem to understand why getting these dates for your analysis matters.


I'm sorry, but this is terrible. You understand that you've now had multiple people explain this to you; first kindly, then with increasing exasperation, and now ...

It's not worth it. You aren't going to listen. Please, for the love of all that is holy, take this to someone who you will listen to, because you are doing yourself a great disservice. You have entered the "flat earth" level of discourse.
 

Bardic Dave

Explorer
So it appears that, according to the generally accepted history of Dungeons & Dragons and this unsupported March 1971 dating for Chainmail, Arneson got a copy of Chainmail the moment it was published, developed Blackmoor and his Troll Bridge scenario within days, and sent out an announcement for this apparently first game of Blackmoor before the end of March-- all happening two months prior to when the publisher claimed--in 1971--that Chainmail had actually been published.
Even if you could conclusively prove that Arneson used other rules for combat before adopting Chainmail (and that seems like a fairly reasonable proposition), you still would have done very little to advance your thesis.

The important question is not whether Chainmail was the first set of combat rules Arneson ever used in his home games, it's whether Chainmail is partially copied from Arneson's work. You haven't demonstrated much of substance with respect to either question, and the fact that you're confused about the distinction between these two questions really impugns your work.

I am very frustrated with what appears to be your heavy bias and how it influences your conclusions. You don't appear to be concerned with uncovering the truth no matter what that truth might be. You really do appear to be advancing an agenda. You don't seem to grasp the concepts of impartiality and ethics in research. Your research methods are dubious and so your conclusions must be rejected.

I just want to repeat myself here: I don't have a strong opinion about whether or not Gygax or Arneson is the true father of D&D. If I had to express my personal opinion, I'd probably boil it down to "Arneson is the creative mind behind the concept, and Gygax is the one who ran with it" but that's a gross oversimplification. I bring this up so that you can see my personal beliefs don't make me inherently hostile to your conclusions. If you could actually show what you claim to be able to show, I would be very receptive.

My personal views aside, your research should embrace or at least acknowledge the possibility that your hypothesis might be wrong; you should be trying to falsify your ideas to show that they can stand up to scrutiny. However, you're doing just the opposite. You're being extremely selective in your sources, you're giving every piece of information you've elected to use a particular spin that advances your desired outcome, and you are making inferences and deductions that rely on assumptions that only make sense if you beg the question.

The idea that Patt's material might have been a source of inspiration for Arneson independent of its association with Chainmail is interesting. That's as far as I can go along with you, however. The sheer number of blatant errors you commit in extrapolating from that one simple proposal to get to "Chainmail is partially copied from Arneson" is alarming. Your article is, simply put, not good.
 
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Hriston

Adventurer
I find the prospect intriguing that Dave Arneson and his Blackmoor campaign may have played a contributory role in the development of the Fantasy Supplement. It certainly goes against the received narrative, but I, for one, hope this research continues and sheds some light on the game’s murky beginnings.
 

Bardic Dave

Explorer
I find the prospect intriguing that Dave Arneson and his Blackmoor campaign may have played a contributory role in the development of the Fantasy Supplement. It certainly goes against the received narrative, but I, for one, hope this research continues and sheds some light on the game’s murky beginnings.
I agree. It is an intriguing proposition. And that's all if will be until someone puts it to the test with actual academic rigour. Flawed research never serves to illuminate, only to add to the murk.
 

Hriston

Adventurer
I agree. It is an intriguing proposition. And that's all if will be until someone puts it to the test with actual academic rigour. Flawed research never serves to illuminate, only to add to the murk.
Well. I think that “connecting the dots”, if maybe that’s something we can call it, can serve to point in the direction of further research that can lead to a true discovery. It would be great if there was airtight evidence, like original notes by Arneson that were datable somehow. This research can indicate that’s something to look for, but if the notes don’t exist, then perhaps conjecture is all there is. I enjoy hearing about it regardless because it certainly doesn’t seem impossible.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
Well. I think that “connecting the dots”, if maybe that’s something we can call it, can serve to point in the direction of further research that can lead to a true discovery. It would be great if there was airtight evidence, like original notes by Arneson that were datable somehow. This research can indicate that’s something to look for, but if the notes don’t exist, then perhaps conjecture is all there is. I enjoy hearing about it regardless because it certainly doesn’t seem impossible.
I would love further research that can lead to a true discovery; unfortunately, as seen here, when people have provided actual tips as to how to verify simple things, and what could be used to buttress claims, those ideas aren't used. Because this isn't research, it's advocacy.


....which saddens me. Because good research is always in demand. GIGO.
 

Bardic Dave

Explorer
Well. I think that “connecting the dots”, if maybe that’s something we can call it, can serve to point in the direction of further research that can lead to a true discovery. It would be great if there was airtight evidence, like original notes by Arneson that were datable somehow. This research can indicate that’s something to look for, but if the notes don’t exist, then perhaps conjecture is all there is. I enjoy hearing about it regardless because it certainly doesn’t seem impossible.
If his post were just idle speculation and conjecture, then I would absolutely agree with you. Instead, the OP presents his "conclusions" as actual "evidence" of a significant claim, when they are nothing of the sort. It's all just mostly baseless conjecture shrouded with pseudo-academic jargon, arrived at through fundamentally flawed methods and sketchy logic.

It's the OP's seemingly intellectually dishonest approach that really chafes me, coupled with his apparent inability to acknowledge the serious flaws in his methods and a total unwillingness to refine his process.

There was a way to do this that didn't so badly misstate the significance of what the OP observed with his Venn diagram. There was a more modest post that could have been written, that didn't so badly overreach, that acknowledged the gaps and flaws in his argument, that invited further research and speculation. That's a post I would have welcomed.

EDIT: to directly address your point, what we've been trying to show him is that he has not, in fact, "connected the dots". We aren't criticizing him for his inability to present irrefutable first-hand evidence of his assertions; we're criticizing him for claiming to have done something he has not done.
 
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David Howery

Adventurer
well, I have no idea just who all did what in developing the D&D game, but... I do have that 'First Fantasy Campaign' JG book by Arneson, and if that is an example of his writing... it's probably a good thing that Gygax took over...
 

mwittig

Villager
Not given your explanations, no.

I hate to rain on your parade, again, but I was the one who DM'd you to point out why you shouldn't rely on the copyright notice and explained why.
I thought that was settled. Lets take a look at what you said:
Next, and this is crucial, the whole paper relies on a publication date for Chainmail from the copyright application. (Article at 2) to place the publication date at May 15, 1971. Personally, I don't think relying on a single copyright form is good evidence, but it doesn't matter.
And lets look at my response:
I've since rewritten the article, and part of that rewrite was to remove the copyright application because it wasn't needed for the analysis.
Wouldn't you agree that your statement that "the whole paper relies on a publication date for Chainmail from the copyright application" turned out to be false? Because if it were true that "the whole paper relies" on it, I would not have been able to remove it.

You continue to miss the forest for the trees; you are not acting as a scholar, but as an advocate.
Every scholar must advocate for their own research, otherwise his or her research will never be of use to anyone.

You can't simply discard all evidence you don't like (which is A LOT!) and simply cherrypick one or two things, out of context, that support you.
The evidence I think you are referring to that I have discarded are the conflicting statements made by the two coauthors of Dungeons and Dragons regarding the early days.

As I have stated, Arneson at some times said he started with Chainmail and at other times said he did not.
Gygax claimed Arneson started with Chainmail, yet Gygax had no basis for speaking about when Arneson used Chainmail; their collaboration on D&D did not start until November of 1972, and as I showed above, Arneson published an announcement from his game in April of 1971. Given these conditions, I do not see a problem with discarding their statements and looking for other evidence.

But to reiterate-
1. You ignore the evidence of what every ... single ... person .... has said, including the principles.
Who was there to witness what Arneson may have sent to Gygax? It likely would have been by mail.

2. Your textual analysis isn't a textual analysis, and it isn't really an analysis, either.
You are entitled to your opinion, but stating such doesn't add much to the discussion.

3. You ignore any and all dates that matter, and, worse, don't seem to understand why getting these dates for your analysis matters.
What are the dates that matter? My second analysis above was based on dates. If you want to discuss dates, explain why the March 1971 date for the publication of Chainmail is more valid than the May 1971 date from the copyright application. I showed all my work above in trying to track it down; do you know how the March, 1971 date was arrived at?

I'm sorry, but this is terrible. You understand that you've now had multiple people explain this to you; first kindly, then with increasing exasperation, and now ...
I think the problem is that attacks are being directed at me instead of coherent arguments that provide evidence refuting the analysis that I have presented.

It's not worth it. You aren't going to listen. Please, for the love of all that is holy, take this to someone who you will listen to, because you are doing yourself a great disservice. You have entered the "flat earth" level of discourse.
I'm sure Aristotle encountered some resistance of the kind I am experiencing here when he proclaimed the Earth was round, so maybe I'm on the right track.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
I'm sure Aristotle encountered some resistance of the kind I am experiencing here when he proclaimed the Earth was round, so maybe I'm on the right track.
So, comparing yourself to Aristotle? Always a good sign.

Look, let me give you an example of how this would work if you were interested in doing actual research instead of advocacy (or whatever it is you are doing).

You would start with, say, a small claim. For example, you seem to have an issue with dates. So let's take something very basic.

When was Chainmail first released? As in- when was Chainmail (distinct from Domesday, with a fantasy supplement) first released?

Notice that there aren't just a few sources that state that the correct date is March, 1971. It's all of the sources. Everything from wikipedia, to blog posts, to less-serious scholarship (Empire of the Imagination) to serious scholarship (Playing at the World) to websites that specialize in the buying and selling of old manuscripts.

All of them. This is something you are aware of, because you have participated in those conversations in other forums.

Now, you are claiming that the actual date is May 15, 1971. Woah! If true, that would be a HUGE FIND for RPG history, Absolutely massive! You wouldn't even need to draw any other conclusions ... that alone is worth an article.

Except ... well, there's a problem with that. And you know what the problem is because I told you- after-the-fact copyright notices are notoriously unreliable, and a rule of thumb is that if you see one with a date of the 1st or the 15th it's a made-up date. Even moreso, I told you that you can tell it's made up because that particular date fell on a Saturday,

So what is an honest researcher to do? Well, an honest researcher would then do the following:
A. Contract other researchers and ascertain where they derived their date; and
B. Attempt to independently verify the date for Chainmail through reviewing copies of old wargaming magazines, etc. to determine what extrinsic evidence for a date there would be.

What you did, instead, is instead of investigating further simply buried this by no longer including the scan with the suspicious date in your article and vaguely claiming that it was in May. You can't rely on something for a date without corroboration when it's been called into question!

Again, if you wanted to publish scholarship you could just concentrate on the date for Chainmail- that would be an amazing find (if true).


And as has been pointed out to you now by multiple people- your textual analysis is so bad that you no longer can even refer to it as textual analysis. But that's been explained to you multiple times by multiple people; it's not like you want to get better.



To the extent it matters, I really suggest looking back at this thread. People did try to help you. But someone who believe they are Aristotle doesn't need help. I guess this world just isn't smart enough for you, yet.
 

Bardic Dave

Explorer
I think the problem is that attacks are being directed at me instead of coherent arguments that provide evidence refuting the analysis that I have presented.
...
I'm sure Aristotle encountered some resistance of the kind I am experiencing here when he proclaimed the Earth was round, so maybe I'm on the right track.
I think it's true that the level of discourse has at times gotten a little heated/personal, but you're wrong to say that all the attacks have been directed at you and not at your arguments. There have been plenty of cogent criticisms advanced that you have decided to ignore, sidestep, or weakly address with less than satisfactory "logic". One of the problems is that you draw connections and make inferences that are extremely weak, but you proclaim them to be strong for reasons that you don't articulate very well. You seem to not understand why these connections are weak, even when it's explained to you, and you don't seem to want to do anything to address those criticisms.

And sorry, your Aristotle comparison is silly. People who defy the status quo are challenged whether they're right or wrong, and most of the time they are wrong. Not only that, the people who are criticizing you mostly aren't doing so for ideological reasons—I would be ecstatic if you could show something new and groundbreaking about our hobby's history, and Arneson's contributions to D&D probably do deserve more recognition.

I think your article is bad because your research methods and logical analysis are bad, not because there's anything inherently wrong with exploring the idea that Arneson might have contributed to Chainmail.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
What are the dates that matter? My second analysis above was based on dates. If you want to discuss dates, explain why the March 1971 date for the publication of Chainmail is more valid than the May 1971 date from the copyright application. I showed all my work above in trying to track it down; do you know how the March, 1971 date was arrived at?
So I assume, as a serious scholar, you looked at the copyright registrations submitted by Lowry and Gygax in 1973, right?

Let's see, there was:

1. Alexander the Great (A299083)
2. Chainmail (A299078)
3. Dunkirk (A299082)

All of them have the same date. May 15, 1971.

That was a good Saturday. Wasn't it?
 

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