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D&D 5E Why D&D is not (just) Tolkien

How influential was Tolkien on early D&D, on a scale from 1-5?

  • 1. Not influential/ minimal influence.

    Votes: 1 0.6%
  • 2. Very little influence / no more important than other fantasy writers.

    Votes: 19 10.9%
  • 3. Moderate influence.

    Votes: 65 37.4%
  • 4. A great deal of influence/a large amount of D&D is borrowed from him.

    Votes: 71 40.8%
  • 5. Exceptionally inflential/no D&D without him.

    Votes: 18 10.3%

  • Total voters
    174
  • Poll closed .

Sacrosanct

Legend
So, about 55% of voters feel Tolkien is definitively influential in D&D, the source for the most important aspects of D&D or even that there could be no D&D as we know it without his work. An additional 35% feel Tolkien is more influential than other scifi authors.

90% acknowledge D&D's intellectual debt to Tolkien.

I’ve been without internet for a few days so I haven’t been able to respond, but your conclusion is flawed because the poll answers don’t capture people’s opinion accurately. For example, at least two of us voted moderately, but have expressly stated that he wasn’t more influential than many other authors like Howard or Anderson.

Secondly, you’re stating a conclusion as fact based on a poll of opinion. That is, just because someone voted “a lot”, doesn’t mean there is in fact an intellectual debt to Tolkien. People can be mistaken. And they are, because we have many posts of people attributing to Tolkien things he didn’t create simply because said person is not familiar with folklore or other works from other authors like Anderson where we can see a stronger influence. And we know for a fact that the claim of D&D never being made without Tolkien is not true.

If you say 90% of people acknowledge Tolkien’s influence on D&D, then that sounds pretty reasonable. But a term like “intellectual debt”. That’s weird phrasing, and a bit strong. So no, 90% do not think he was more influential than every other author.
 

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Parmandur

Legend
I’ve been without internet for a few days so I haven’t been able to respond, but your conclusion is flawed because the poll answers don’t capture people’s opinion accurately. For example, at least two of us voted moderately, but have expressly stated that he wasn’t more influential than many other authors like Howard or Anderson.

Secondly, you’re stating a conclusion as fact based on a poll of opinion. That is, just because someone voted “a lot”, doesn’t mean there is in fact an intellectual debt to Tolkien. People can be mistaken. And they are, because we have many posts of people attributing to Tolkien things he didn’t create simply because said person is not familiar with folklore or other works from other authors like Anderson where we can see a stronger influence. And we know for a fact that the claim of D&D never being made without Tolkien is not true.

If you say 90% of people acknowledge Tolkien’s influence on D&D, then that sounds pretty reasonable. But a term like “intellectual debt”. That’s weird phrasing, and a bit strong. So no, 90% do not think he was more influential than every other author.

But many of those preexisting elements use Tolkien's version as an obvious (Elves, Dwarves and most especially Orcs, for instance), decidedly not the folkloric version, or are based on stuff without pre-Tolkien example, like Hobbits.

And we can't know that D&D would exist with no LotR, because we can't know anything about counterfactual scenarios. Would D&D have existed if Sherlock Holmes stories were never written? Couldn't say, because I can't know one way or the other.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
But many of those preexisting elements use Tolkien's version as an obvious (Elves, Dwarves and most especially Orcs, for instance), decidedly not the folkloric version, or are based on stuff without pre-Tolkien example, like Hobbits.

And we can't know that D&D would exist with no LotR, because we can't know anything about counterfactual scenarios. Would D&D have existed if Sherlock Holmes stories were never written? Couldn't say, because I can't know one way or the other.

When people say that Tolkien came up with unique named magic items, we know that to be objectively false. So, like I said, some people assume a lot of things in D&D were influenced by Tolkien when they weren’t., and thus, the voting results may be skewed based on these false assumptions.

And we do know D&D would have existed without Tolkien. This has been brought up at least twice that I know of, but in 1974, long before any legal issues came up, Gary did an interview where he said D&D was created to emulate the fast pace adventures and larger than life heroes from Howard and Lieber, and actually explicitly stated how Tolkien would not work for that style. He literally spells out how those others authors were the primary influence on how the game was designed, and why Tolkien was not (extreme slow pace of adventure and mild to moderate heroes). Of course Tolkien had an influence, and certainly Gary wanted to capitalize on the fan base, but the game would have existed with or without Tolkien. It makes no sense to say the game never would have existed without Tolkien when the game was designed to emulate Howard and Lieber’s style of adventure—fast paced and larger than life heroes.
 

Parmandur

Legend
When people say that Tolkien came up with unique named magic items, we know that to be objectively false. So, like I said, some people assume a lot of things in D&D were influenced by Tolkien when they weren’t., and thus, the voting results may be skewed based on these false assumptions.

And we do know D&D would have existed without Tolkien. This has been brought up at least twice that I know of, but in 1974, long before any legal issues came up, Gary did an interview where he said D&D was created to emulate the fast pace adventures and larger than life heroes from Howard and Lieber, and actually explicitly stated how Tolkien would not work for that style. He literally spells out how those others authors were the primary influence on how the game was designed, and why Tolkien was not (extreme slow pace of adventure and mild to moderate heroes). Of course Tolkien had an influence, and certainly Gary wanted to capitalize on the fan base, but the game would have existed with or without Tolkien. It makes no sense to say the game never would have existed without Tolkien when the game was designed to emulate Howard and Lieber’s style of adventure—fast paced and larger than life heroes.
So, in 1974, probably around 30 years after Gygax read the Hobbit (assuming he read the popular children's novel that he later read to his own children as a child himself), Gygax was explicitly talking about Tolkien's influence on the game, even if to down play it. This suggests that it was already being talked about in the nascent D&D community, why else would he address it?

It's impossible to know to what extent Tolkien influenced RPGs, insofar as we have to posit an entire alternate mid-20th century literary culture to imagine it...with no method of testability, as we lack any crosstime devices to examine a world with that particular departure from our timeline in the 30's. Hence, unknowable.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
He said, right after making the game, that it was to recreate the fast paced and larger than life heroes of Howard and Lieber. To say it wouldn’t have been created if not for another author is just silly because he created the game to emulate the first. That’s like saying I became a fantasy artist because of Boris and Elmore, and you saying if Frazetta never did art, then I never would have been an artist. You are confusing influence with primary and sole inspiration. And since we know for a fact what the inspiration was, we know for a fact that D&D would have been created if Tolkien never existed.
 

Parmandur

Legend
He said, right after making the game, that it was to recreate the fast paced and larger than life heroes of Howard and Lieber. To say it wouldn’t have been created if not for another author is just silly because he created the game to emulate the first. That’s like saying I became a fantasy artist because of Boris and Elmore, and you saying if Frazetta never did art, then I never would have been an artist. You are confusing influence with primary and sole inspiration. And since we know for a fact what the inspiration was, we know for a fact that D&D would have been created if Tolkien never existed.

We don't know anything about a historical counterfactual "for a fact," by very literal definition of the term. They are episitemilogical absurdities, again by definition, fun as it can be to play with a silly idea.

I'm not claiming that Tolkien was the primary, let alone the only, influence: but we absolutely cannot know what the 1970's Midwest would have been like without Tolkien...or Anderson, or Howard, or Lieber, etc. This is beyond the scope of our knowledge, either way you cut. Those who claim there would be no D&D without Tolkien are being equally absurd, because we have no idea of what that would be.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
And I think your focusing on pedantics to dismiss what is in fact a de facto certainty.

If I tell you that who inspired me to be a fantasy artist was Boris and Elmore, even if Frazetta was also an influence, and you tell me that if Frazetta never existed then there is no way to know if I would have ever been an artist? Then I’d say yes there is. Because Frazetta wasn’t the one that caused me to be a fantasy artist, the other two were. So we know for a certainty that I’d still be an artist because the artists that inspired me are still there.
 

Parmandur

Legend
And I think your focusing on pedantics to dismiss what is in fact a de facto certainty.

If I tell you that who inspired me to be a fantasy artist was Boris and Elmore, even if Frazetta was also an influence, and you tell me that if Frazetta never existed then there is no way to know if I would have ever been an artist? Then I’d say yes there is. Because Frazetta wasn’t the one that caused me to be a fantasy artist, the other two were. So we know for a certainty that I’d still be an artist because the artists that inspired me are still there.

But if the fantasy art being done all involves shirtless buff men wearing loincloths with huge swords and women clinging to their legs... questions will be asked, and legitimately so.

And no, the results of a Tolkien-influence free RPG is not "de facto" or "certain" in any meaning of those words: counterfactuals are unknowable, and cannot be proven either way. I don't necessarily think RPG's wouldn't exist without Tolkien's influence, and certainly wouldn't argue for such a silly idea...but I can't necessarily know that the world wouldn't have been destroyed in WWIII without Tolkien's influence on the world before RPGs were invented, either (no proof either way). A world that we cannot access is unknowable on the face of it, and speculation is meaningless. All we have is this world, in which Tolkien played a major part in the birth of D&D, and the RPG hobby.
 

Hussar

Legend
He said, right after making the game, that it was to recreate the fast paced and larger than life heroes of Howard and Lieber. To say it wouldn’t have been created if not for another author is just silly because he created the game to emulate the first. That’s like saying I became a fantasy artist because of Boris and Elmore, and you saying if Frazetta never did art, then I never would have been an artist. You are confusing influence with primary and sole inspiration. And since we know for a fact what the inspiration was, we know for a fact that D&D would have been created if Tolkien never existed.

Wow, if that's true, that Gygax claimed that D&D was to "recreate the fast paced and larger than life heroes of Howard and Leiber", he failed spectacularly. Since I have more respect for Gygax as a game designer than that, I'm going to say that this is perhaps a less than accurate statement of his goals.

Because there's one thing about it, OD&D and AD&D certainly did not come even remotely close to capturing the fast paced and larger than life heroes.

Yet funnily enough, you can pretty much line for line recreate the Fellowship right out of the box. The Hobbit would play out as a D&D module pretty easily.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Wow, if that's true, that Gygax claimed that D&D was to "recreate the fast paced and larger than life heroes of Howard and Leiber", he failed spectacularly. Since I have more respect for Gygax as a game designer than that, I'm going to say that this is perhaps a less than accurate statement of his goals.

Because there's one thing about it, OD&D and AD&D certainly did not come even remotely close to capturing the fast paced and larger than life heroes.

Yet funnily enough, you can pretty much line for line recreate the Fellowship right out of the box. The Hobbit would play out as a D&D module pretty easily.

Well, you'd be wrong. He did say that (see below). It would also be a horrible adventure. What D&D adventures take a year and a half to complete, game time, with only a few encounters the entire time. You'd spend session after session talking about how you're setting up camp and what you're eating for that day and that's it. Also, who wants to play a hobbit that doesn't really do anything the whole time and doesn't gain in ability (levels)? There's a reason why most fans wanted to emulate the secondary characters (Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli) and not the main character (Bilbo). In fact, the whole point of the Hobbit (and LoTR later) was to show how the unassuming, regular dude, non warrior, little guy ends up as the biggest hero. That's the opposite of how D&D is designed. Which makes sense, because as per his own words, he designed D&D so players could play the larger than life heroes who frequently did extraordinary feats in battle and wenching.

I have no idea how you can say with as straight face that OD&D/AD&D can't remotely come close to the fast paced and larger than life heroes of Conan and Fafhrd but emulates Tolkien exactly. OD&D/AD&D is all about the quick adventure (completed within days or maybe a week or two) with larger than life heroes (slinging fireballs, altering reality, taking on giants and dragons), and then blowing the treasure on decadence back in town. THAT is literally S&S and the opposite of what Tolkien wrote.

Gygax circa 1974 said:
Tolkien includes a number of heroic figures, but they are not of the "Conan" stamp. They are not larger-than-life swashbucklers who fear neither monster nor magic. His wizards are either ineffectual or else they lurk in their strongholds working magic spells which seem to have little if any effect while their gross and stupid minions bungle their plans for supremacy. Religion with its attendant gods and priests he includes not at all. These considerations, as well as a comparison of the creatures of Tolkien's writings with the models they were drawn from (or with a hypothetical counterpart desirable from a wargame standpoint) were in mind when Chainmail and Dungeons & Dragons were created.

Take several of Tolkien's heroic figures for example. Would a participant in a fantasy game more readily identify with Bard of Dale? Aragorn? Frodo Baggins? or would he rather relate to Conan, Fafhrd, the Grey Mouser, or Elric of Melnibone? The answer seems all too obvious.

Location


So whether you agree with it or not, it's right there in black and white about how D&D was designed. Whether or not fans wanted to insert more Tolkien emulation into their games (which many did, including a class like the ranger) is irrelevant with how D&D was designed originally or what inspired it. We know for a fact what inspired D&D's creation. Saying we couldn't know is like saying we couldn't know if video games would have been invented if Pac Man wasn't created. Yeah we do, because PAC Man wasn't the driving force behind the creation of video games. To argue otherwise is to argue absurdity
 

Parmandur

Legend
Well, you'd be wrong. He did say that (see below). It would also be a horrible adventure. What D&D adventures take a year and a half to complete, game time, with only a few encounters the entire time. You'd spend session after session talking about how you're setting up camp and what you're eating for that day and that's it. Also, who wants to play a hobbit that doesn't really do anything the whole time and doesn't gain in ability (levels)? There's a reason why most fans wanted to emulate the secondary characters (Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli) and not the main character (Bilbo). In fact, the whole point of the Hobbit (and LoTR later) was to show how the unassuming, regular dude, non warrior, little guy ends up as the biggest hero. That's the opposite of how D&D is designed. Which makes sense, because as per his own words, he designed D&D so players could play the larger than life heroes who frequently did extraordinary feats in battle and wenching.

I have no idea how you can say with as straight face that OD&D/AD&D can't remotely come close to the fast paced and larger than life heroes of Conan and Fafhrd but emulates Tolkien exactly. OD&D/AD&D is all about the quick adventure (completed within days or maybe a week or two) with larger than life heroes (slinging fireballs, altering reality, taking on giants and dragons), and then blowing the treasure on decadence back in town. THAT is literally S&S and the opposite of what Tolkien wrote.



Location


So whether you agree with it or not, it's right there in black and white about how D&D was designed. Whether or not fans wanted to insert more Tolkien emulation into their games (which many did, including a class like the ranger) is irrelevant with how D&D was designed originally or what inspired it. We know for a fact what inspired D&D's creation. Saying we couldn't know is like saying we couldn't know if video games would have been invented if Pac Man wasn't created. Yeah we do, because PAC Man wasn't the driving force behind the creation of video games. To argue otherwise is to argue absurdity
Just because Gygax said something doesn't mean we believe him: the man was not consistently accurate in his factual statements. And again, that he had to devote so many words to the question shows that it was already live and active in conversations at the time.
 

if that's true, that Gygax claimed that D&D was to "recreate the fast paced and larger than life heroes of Howard and Leiber", he failed spectacularly.
Yep.

Since I have more respect for Gygax as a game designer than that, I'm going to say that this is perhaps a less than accurate statement of his goals.
Having spent far too much of my teen years pouring over those rulebooks he wrote, I find it perfectly plausible that he just failed to produce the game he intended. No disrespect to the genius, but no one had ever created an RPG before, the first one missing the mark is not surprising...


Because there's one thing about it, OD&D and AD&D certainly did not come even remotely close to capturing the fast paced and larger than life heroes.
One thing that's always struck me about the nerdy side of our hobby is that there's often an impulse not to simulate a genre source, but to 'do it right.' That is, at all those points where you'd be screaming at the hero not to be so stupid, you can instead have your character do the 'smart' thing. (And, if it's the same 'smart thing' the DM thought of when he was figuratively screaming at the same protagonist, it'll even work.) ;)

Yet funnily enough, you can pretty much line for line recreate the Fellowship right out of the box. The Hobbit would play out as a D&D module pretty easily.
You could recreate the Fellowship, nominally - dwarf, elf, halflings, humans, wizard, 'ranger' - but, some of those are pretty weak fits (Gandalf isn't a human wizard, but a Maiar, the hobbits don't really fit rogue that neatly, etc), and the resulting party, Clericless in classic D&D, would be ('arguably' for weasels' sake) non-viable.
 
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prosfilaes

Adventurer
He said, right after making the game, that it was to recreate the fast paced and larger than life heroes of Howard and Lieber. To say it wouldn’t have been created if not for another author is just silly because he created the game to emulate the first. That’s like saying I became a fantasy artist because of Boris and Elmore, and you saying if Frazetta never did art, then I never would have been an artist. You are confusing influence with primary and sole inspiration. And since we know for a fact what the inspiration was, we know for a fact that D&D would have been created if Tolkien never existed.

We know what Gygax claimed the inspiration was. There are a lot of horror writers who will tell you about their influences of Lovecraft and Poe, but if you checked their bookshelves you'll find V.C. Andrews and R.L. Stine. People lie about their inspirations all the time to sound more original or more literary. Gygax didn't want to sound like a Tolkien-ripoff, and probably wanted to come off as a better reader than just the more mainstream faddish Lord of the Rings.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Just because Gygax said something doesn't mean we believe him: the man was not consistently accurate in his factual statements. And again, that he had to devote so many words to the question shows that it was already live and active in conversations at the time.

We know what Gygax claimed the inspiration was. There are a lot of horror writers who will tell you about their influences of Lovecraft and Poe, but if you checked their bookshelves you'll find V.C. Andrews and R.L. Stine. People lie about their inspirations all the time to sound more original or more literary. Gygax didn't want to sound like a Tolkien-ripoff, and probably wanted to come off as a better reader than just the more mainstream faddish Lord of the Rings.


So despite the fact that we have his own words in 1974 (long before any legal issues with the Tolkien estate), and the fact that the mechanics of OD&D emulate a fast paced adventures with PCs larger than life (which emulates Howard and Lieber, and NOT Tolkien), Gary must have been a liar.

Yeah. Or more likely, you have some some or ax to grind or bias you can't admit. The evidence is overwhelming, and yet you're sure the REAL answer is Gary was a liar and he must have designed the game to emulate S&S better than emulating Tolkien as some sort of trick?

LOL, whatever.
 

Parmandur

Legend
So despite the fact that we have his own words in 1974 (long before any legal issues with the Tolkien estate), and the fact that the mechanics of OD&D emulate a fast paced adventures with PCs larger than life (which emulates Howard and Lieber, and NOT Tolkien), Gary must have been a liar.

Yeah. Or more likely, you have some some or ax to grind or bias you can't admit. The evidence is overwhelming, and yet you're sure the REAL answer is Gary was a liar and he must have designed the game to emulate S&S better than emulating Tolkien as some sort of trick?

LOL, whatever.
No, you have the causality backwards: Gygax is a well-established unreliable narrator, on so many counts (see also, Arneson, Dave): his word really is of little import on any factual matter. In addition, what the 1974 quote proves is that, in 1974, people were bringing up the Tolkien influence in the text that he felt bound to address. That it was before actual legal action is also not material, given that he must have known that legal action was a possibility.

Now, I have said repeatedly that Tolkien is not the primary, and hardly the only, influence on D&D: but it is an obvious influence. And we cannot know what the wargaming scene would have looked like in the late 60's/early 70's in a non-Tolkien inspired alternate 20th century, either way. Maybe RPGs would have started with something like Top Secret, maybe RPGs would have never been invented. Such is beyond our knowledge, just as a second Kennedy term or a 21st century Confederate States of America.
 


Sacrosanct

Legend
In this case, we also have the mechanics of the game match up exactly with what he was saying. D&D mechanics are all about shorter, fast paced adventures and larger than life heroes. Those are things that clearly support exactly what he said because that was most assured not how Tolkien wrote, but match Liber, Howard, et all.

The evidence is overwhelming, and to assume Gary just lied about it is pretty disengenous and seems to really show personal bias instead.

The evidence clearly supports what Gary said. There is no evidence Gary was lying in that interview. And yet, we are supposed to believe the claim backed by no evidence and ignore the claim backed all the actual evidence? Yeah, or buying it. That sounds exactly like my cousin who is convinced Hillary was running a pedo ring out of a pizza shop, but all the stuff about Trump and Russia is fake.
 

RobertBrus

Explorer
The genius of EGG (well, one of them) is that he was able to take from so many sources and put all of those disparate things into a rules that you could play. That is not a small feat. He could take a little Lieber, a little Tolkien, a little Vance, a little Howard, a little Lovecraft, a little Indian mythology, a little Norse mythology, and a WHOLE LOT OF OTHER PEOPLE'S WORK IN THE HOBBY (ahem) and put into a coherent whole that people wanted to play.

The less savory aspect is that EGG tended to forget that he was not the end-all, be-all, of D&D. That he borrowed Chainmail. That he borrowed from Arneson. That he borrowed from other hobbyists (see the prior discussion of the Thief class). Maybe he did this because he thought his work warranted it; after all, there is a great amount skill in taking an unfinished idea (such as Arneson's notes, or the concept of a Thief class) and making them into a finished product. Maybe it's because he thought it was helpful to the mythology and sales of the product (think of Roy Kroc and McDonald's). Maybe it's because he did so very much work and so much writing (early modules, magazine articles, rule sets) that it just all blended in. Who knows? :)

A fine summation. Rarely is anything so simple or one-dimensional. And interesting, relative to this thread, the above quote could have been said about Tolkien. It doesn't diminish his work, but it does help to put it into proper perspective.

Sometimes the genius is not in the pure creativity, but in the ability to pull it all together and turn it into a workable system. Many people have great ideas, then do nothing with it. But Gygax was willing to put in the sweat equity to bring the concept to fruition: a salable product. That he was a flawed individual, well, welcome to the human race.
 

Parmandur

Legend
In this case, we also have the mechanics of the game match up exactly with what he was saying. D&D mechanics are all about shorter, fast paced adventures and larger than life heroes. Those are things that clearly support exactly what he said because that was most assured not how Tolkien wrote, but match Liber, Howard, et all.

The evidence is overwhelming, and to assume Gary just lied about it is pretty disengenous and seems to really show personal bias instead.

The evidence clearly supports what Gary said. There is no evidence Gary was lying in that interview. And yet, we are supposed to believe the claim backed by no evidence and ignore the claim backed all the actual evidence? Yeah, or buying it. That sounds exactly like my cousin who is convinced Hillary was running a pedo ring out of a pizza shop, but all the stuff about Trump and Russia is fake.

Well, we know Gygax had a complicated relationship with truth telling, entirely separate from this discussion, and Tolkien being a significant influence is casually apparent. That he felt compelled to talk about it from the start speaks more than anything.

Actually, from what I've learned in this thread about the origins of Chainmail, I now think it more probable that Tolkien is a major casual link, as no LotR wargame, probably no Chainmail, hence far lower odds of the Gygax/Arneson confluence which was really necessary for the whole shebang. But this is all meaningless conjecture, as counterfactuals are silly.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Well, to be specific-

Gygax repeatedly claimed (or allowed to be inferred) that he was the real creator of D&D. But ...

...the best case for this is Chainmail. As we now know, but Gygax never divulged, EGG ripped this off from a college student's rules for a Tolkien wargame in New England. But wait, it gets better! The only evidence that we truly have is that Jeff Perren (his co-author) read that material about the Tolkien wargame, so it is entirely possible that the idea for adding the "essential" Fantasy Supplement to Chainmail came from Perren.

Then, we also know that RPGs aren't a Gygax idea. We now know that they originated with Braunstein, and that Arneson took the idea (which was really basic at that point) and developed it. And that it was Arneson that developed the fantasy RPG that became D&D.

...and that he taught the game to EGG, who realized the commercial appeal it might have.

None of this diminishes the importance of EGG; without him, there wouldn't be D&D as we know it (duh), and who knows what would have happened with TTRPGs. After all, history showed us that Arneson was more interested in running fun games than developing a business, or even keeping a coherent rule set.

The genius of EGG (well, one of them) is that he was able to take from so many sources and put all of those disparate things into a rules that you could play. That is not a small feat. He could take a little Lieber, a little Tolkien, a little Vance, a little Howard, a little Lovecraft, a little Indian mythology, a little Norse mythology, and a WHOLE LOT OF OTHER PEOPLE'S WORK IN THE HOBBY (ahem) and put into a coherent whole that people wanted to play.

The less savory aspect is that EGG tended to forget that he was not the end-all, be-all, of D&D. That he borrowed Chainmail. That he borrowed from Arneson. That he borrowed from other hobbyists (see the prior discussion of the Thief class). Maybe he did this because he thought his work warranted it; after all, there is a great amount skill in taking an unfinished idea (such as Arneson's notes, or the concept of a Thief class) and making them into a finished product. Maybe it's because he thought it was helpful to the mythology and sales of the product (think of Roy Kroc and McDonald's). Maybe it's because he did so very much work and so much writing (early modules, magazine articles, rule sets) that it just all blended in. Who knows? :)
This seems like a pretty inarguable summary of the situation, but never underestimate the power of the Interwebs.
 

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