TSR Rob Kuntz Recounts The Origins Of D&D

In this interesting article from Kotaku, Rob Kuntz relates a history of early TSR that differs somewhat from the narrative we usually hear. It delves into the relationship between Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson (D&D's co-creators) and the actual development of the game, which dates back to Arneson in 1971.

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In this interesting article from Kotaku, Rob Kuntz relates a history of early TSR that differs somewhat from the narrative we usually hear. It delves into the relationship between Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson (D&D's co-creators) and the actual development of the game, which dates back to Arneson in 1971.

 

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Screaming at people all the time, trying to force out Arneson and rebrand to dodge paying or crediting him, and so on kinda' says the opposite to me.
Temper losses and BAD things can be done by ultimately good people. He seemed to have calmed with age as well.

Kuntz despite the sound of this article had a pretty positive relationship with him. And last I heard they got along well in Gygax's later years.

Right now, the profanity filter isn’t turning cuss words into smiley faces. But the point of the profanity filter isn’t to be cute, it’s to save mods from having to manually edit out curse words.

We’d REALLY prefer you not curse here in the first place.
 
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the_redbeard

Explorer
Rob Kuntz is good at overselling his own words, I think is the problem with the article. Yeah, there are people who only credit Gary with the creation of D&D, but the full origin, with Wesely introducing single player characters and a referee adjudicating on the fly, and then Arneson developing that concept from the Braunstein one-shots into an ongoing campaign world that he had already developed in fantasy medieval campaigns, has been told and is not unknown. It's been told quite exhaustively in the book Playing at the World.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
I kinda don’t get it. I mean this is the story as I understood from recent times. And I don’t think it’s really that disputed except in minor details.... maybe?
The biographies of Gygax sold on Amazon tell a very different story.

In contrast, there's one unpublished biography of Arneson.

Arneson is the Bill Finger of D&D. Hardcore folks may know who he is, but the general public doesn't and may never know.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
It's been told quite exhaustively in the book Playing at the World.
A book that has been read by dozens of hardcore RPG fans.

A Kotaku article is going to reach a much wider audience, most of whom probably had thought that Gygax was the "Emperor of Imagination," as his biography puts it.

If you guys already knew this stuff, awesome. But most of the world did not, and it's worth the word getting out.
 




Warpiglet

Adventurer
Honestly, the article is interesting but does not change my opinion of gygax.

Had it not been for his drive, organization, merging of genres, historical readings and codification of rules, the game would have been a weird thing some guys did in a basement in the Midwest that no one ever heard about.

What I gather then is that arneson's group came up with ongoing characters with more roleplaying. Period. Codified rules, monsters and stats, drawing in of influences mostly came from elsewhere.

The "hunt and peck" typist did not have the desire or ability to get it organized, put down in a format for dissemination.

I still see gygax as the reason we have D&D. I just have a more of a sense that he did not give enough credit for a collaborator.

As a thought experiment, answer this. If someone had similar roleplaying ideas before gygax and arneson, would we know it if they had not written it down and organized it? We would not.
 

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