Friday, April 10, 2009

RIP Dave Arneson

Most people have never heard of Dave Arneson, and most people have never heard of Gary Gygax. Well, most people under the age of 20 or maybe even 30. But I've heard of both of them because I grew up on a silly little game called Dungeons and Dragons. OHHHH. Now you've heard of that, right? Of course you have.

So Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax are the fellas who came up with the Dungeons and Dragons game back in the 1970's, and I'd have to say, really, all RPGs in general owe something to D&D for their origins. All of you young wizards out there, thrusting yourselves into dungeons and using such things as "hit points" or "health," have no idea that Wizard101 and all RPGs owe a lot to the roots laid down by these two fellas. You want high health on your character? Well, Gygax and Arneson invented the concept of health on your character! Get it? Good.

That's why when I saw today in this mainstream news source article that Dave Arneson died, I knew I just had to post a quick note here. I didn't know about Arneson as much until last year when Gary Gygax died, it was then that I became more aware of the story of the TSR game company. I didn't really feel remorse when these two died, but a lot of people did. They grew up on this stuff, you know? And it's the same for me in some respects. I do remember pouring over these large books of rules and inventing dungeons for my friends to die in. Here's the cover of one I kept from when I was a tween.

It's quite a hilarious piece of writing to read now, but I spent HOURS on this stuff and it was fun to design your own adventure based on the rules of this game. OH, people still play D&D . . . I just grew out of it.

Eventually when I was in my early 20's I was without a job living in the upstairs apartment of a guitarist that I use to play drums for. It was kind of a sad and very poor time in my life. Well, I traded all my early editions of my D&D books to him in exchange for rent for a month. That was the Monster Manual, the Dungeon Master's Guide, The Players Handbook, Dieties and Demi-Gods, the Monster Manual II, and a really super rare book of traps. By that time I hadn't played the game for a few years, so they didn't really matter to me. But now . . . now . . . I kind of wish I had them again just to take a look at them and laugh a bit at a few memories I had with my friends as we played that game.

Oh well . . . I can look at games like Wizard101 and remember the magic all over again. It's all still there in one way or another, just a bit more colorful and in your face than it use to be when all you had were some manuals, some dice, and a story teller in front of you.

Thanks to Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax for making up their game! Thanks for the really happy distraction.

Happy Dueling!

1 comment:

Isaiah Spelldust said...

Hey i got part 4 of my story done! here it is! :

The Awakening (Part 4) Chapter Five Baxter's Discovery. Coming through the sifting and dying down sandstorm was Baxter running, sword drawn. 'I need to get to Zah'nul now!' Thoughts were racing through his mind as fast as he was running. At the step's of the ferry all was quiet. Baxter stopped. "Zah'nul!" He shouted. All was quiet... He screamed this time. "Zah'nul! ! !" Nothing. A noise. Like muffling and muttering. Baxter looked around and found out that the sound came from an old sandy cupboard. He made a gulp. Sword at the ready, he swung the cupboard door open. To his surprise it wasn't Zah'nul. But it was Zeke, all chained up and stuffed inside the corner of the cupboard. "Zeke! ?" Baxter Exclaimed. "Aye it be me." Zeke frowned. There was a bold gash on his forehead. It was bleeding vigorously, and bruises upon his cheeks. Baxter carefully took Zeke out and cleaned him up with a pixie spell. "Who did this to you?" Said Baxter. "Kahibi." Zeke said. Baxter gasped. "How did he get to you?" "Well, that be jus' da thing." Zeke continued. "At first it was Zah' nul, but Kahibi put on a cloaking spell. Baxter, he be carrying precious cargo. The last Fire Shard ta unlock da awakening of Isaiah Spelldust." Baxter gasped again. "Oh dear, that is why I am here for this expedition; I was searching for it. How could I have been so unaware! Call me a fool." "I must send da word ta Ambrose now." Zeke said. "I'm sorry Zeke." Said Baxter. "But the weather condtions have gotten worse. And I might say that you are'nt in good condition either." "Aye, ye be right." Grunted Zeke. He sat upright and took a sip of coconut cordial from his canteen. (Which happened to be the only thing that did'nt blow out of his hands.) Baxter sat upright on a nearby bench and thought. "I'll send a mander to Ambrose. Could you manage staying here while I do that and find out how to get Kahibi?" "Ok." Frowned Zeke and took another sip of his bitter beverage. Baxter ran out fast, putting his scabbard back into his sheath... Chapter Six (Part 1) Kahibi's Palace. ... Meanwhile General Kahibi was trying to figure out how to send the shard to Ash Gorblood. "Kirshen!" He shouted. And a mander slave popped out of another room and scurried to Kahibi's throne. "Yes sir?" It asked "I have an errand for you. I need you to go to Dragonspyre and tell my most trusted ally, Valken TimeBreaker, to assemble his troops for a delivery mission." Kirshen nodded, wrote the request on a piece of parchment, and scurried of again. "Now that I have the last shard, I can take it to Ash and get my final payment." Kahibi said to himself. "In the meantime, I have a surprise for the visitor that's coming my way. Hehe..." Chapter Six (Part 2) Baxter's Encounter. Baxter ran back to the library, and told one of the most trusted mander's he knew, Kuken Mak, to send message to Ambrose about Zeke and the Fire Shard. Then he summoned a minion of Balance, a Scorpion. "Why have you sssummoned meeeee." The Scorpion hissed. "I need to location of Kahibi, the Spiral is in grave danger." Baxter said to the Scorpion. "I sssseeeeeee.!" The Scorpion said. "You sshall find him in his palace; here is the sssspell to open up the portal there." The Scorpion gave Baxter the card for it and went away. Baxter read the instruction's to himself. 'Go in the middle of the oasis and wave your wand two circle's left, one downward swoop, and one circle right. The portal will open up and last for 30 seconds.' The instruction's seemed simple enough, Baxter thought. He closed his spellbook and ran off to the portal's position. He waved his wand the way the spell said and sure enough, the portal quickly opened up. After he had jumped in, he appeared in front of a large palace made of bronze and gold. It stood about two stories high and flame torches were lined across every wall. 'Wow.' Baxter thought to himself as he was walking up the stairs, scabbard in hand. When he walked up into the first room, a figure emerged from the black. "Hello Baxter." The figure said. "We've been expecting you." "Who goes there?" Baxter Shouted. As the figure emerged, Baxter noticed him as Al' Habeen, Kahibi's trusted servant. "Time to die!" Al' Habeen shouted. Baxter drew his sword. "Bring it on." To be continued...

~Isaiah Spelldust

it's on my site too!