D&D General When D&D Co-Creator Dave Arneson Asked WotC For A Job!

Back in 1997, after WotC had purchased the failing TSR (and D&D), and just prior to the launch of D&D 3E, Dave Arneson -- who co-created D&D in the 1970s along with Gary Gygax -- wrote to WotC president Peter Adkison asking to be put in charge of TSR.

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Ben Riggs -- author of Slaying the Dragon -- discovered Arneson's letter to Adkison while researching his history of D&D.

The letter was full of typos -- Arneson even got Adkison's name wrong! According to Riggs, Adkison did not reply, and Arneson wrote to him a second time.

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Dire Bare

I’m going to put this here just as a counterpoint. Full Sail University named it’s game development studio Blackmoor in honor of Dave Arneson.

I'd be curious to hear from folks who took Arneson's course at Full Sail. Was he a good teacher of game design?

Blackmoor Studios is a pretty cool thing . . . .

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The Rigg's article is one of the saddest pieces of news i read about my hobby... It's nearly incredible how life can bend and take directions no one can foresee... I have a mix of feelings for Arneson going from pity to shame... (And pls consider that i deserve him the major credit for the d&d creation!!)

I think both Arneson & Gygax benefitted from this and that's okay. Both ended up being dumped in the end anyway.
Not really. Arneson was an idea guy. Gygax made games. I've played a number of his miniature rules (besides Chainmail) and they are pretty good. Personally, I think Arneson had a cool idea (derived from others, but still cool) and Gygax turned it into a playable game (whatever you may think of original D&D's virtues and vices).


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I'm not saying that Arneson agreed with Barker, or knew what Barker thought. That would be a logical fallacy. However, fact is that Arneson had a long standing friendship and spent significant hobby time with the dude, which is unfortunate.
Arneson was finishing up his history degree at the University of Minnesota when MAR Barker became chair of the Department of South Asian studies. They likely bonded over history and fantasy literature. I don't know how close the two were. I don't know if MAR Barker would have been comfortable sharing his neo-nazi sympathies with the son of decorated WWII marine who actually fought actual Nazis. Unless evidence surfaces to show that Arneson was aware of MAR Barker's support for neo-nazism and looked the other way, I'm not willing to tar and feather him postmortem.


For sure. We used to also choose axis in games for the challenge—since they were destined to lose after a certain point.

In Hearts of Iron we put an amazing player as Germany orvJapan and he always lost.

And I've seen him invade UK in 44 scenario near game start, rout the Soviets or win easily as Japan.

Vs human players he still lost.

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