The other day we posted an image of Fred Funk's D&D books.
We also talked a lot about how you can help The Movie Project RIGHT NOW by Sharing Links and talking to friends about it Online.
The response was huge with over 100 likes and what's more critical, over 40 SHARES!
Now lets talk a little bit about the Illustrious and Iconic Fred Funk.
In Blackmoor, he was known as Funk the 1st, King of all the Orcs!
(see the image taken from the First Fantasy Campaign: Dave Arneson, Judges Guild, 1977)
Very little is known about what he did then because he was an evil character who would spend most of his time phoning Dave in order to explore the dungeon all day long. He was also giving instructions to Dave about how he was setting up the defenses for his part of the dungeon as he established his own realm deep underground on the 10th level.
He had lots of time to do so as he was a security guard with a phone on his desk!
We're told that he was calling up Dave so often, and was so obsessed with playing Blackmoor, that Dave's parent's friends couldn't get a call through to the house; the line was always busy! This led the Arnesons to put their foot down and demand that the telephone Blackmoor sessions had to end.
Fred also created his own game world with it's own rules variants. Known as Fred's World, his most loyal friends and fans assembled his notes and published the game online after he passed away.
You can Download it here:
Perhaps what is most notable about original RPG'ers like Fred Funk, is their creativity in how they played. Since no one had ever created a fantasy campaign before this, each player was free to explore their own personal style and did whatever they felt like doing. There were no rule books and Arneson actually encouraged players to think creatively with very few limits.
You can see this free-style play when you look at what Fred did in Blackmoor, since he made his own dungeon within Arneson's dungeon; and also in how he developed his own campaign. Everything he did both as a player and DM, has a uniqueness to it that is all Fred.
Fred left a big impression on Blackmoor due to this completely open format campaign style, that was being played in the twin cities. Even today, anyone entering the dungeon below Blackmoor Castle is advised to avoid setting foot on Fred's endless staircase, known as The Orcian way.
It's been fun teasing everyone with photos of an old D&D set on our FaceBook page. We'll make sure to reveal the original owner's name soon.
These little boxes take us back to the very beginnings of TSR when two men got together to form something called G&K enterprises.
When Dungeons & Dragons was eventually published, Gary Gygax and Don Kaye were the proprietors of their tiny game company that hardly anyone had ever heard of. Of course, as we now know, things quickly began to change and the crazy idea would become a global sensation. Tragically, Don never got to see the full result of his contribution to D&D.
Few people know who Don Kaye was. Yet he was the main source of funding for this crazy new game. In fact, all the early copies of D&D were being assembled and shipped out of Don's garage. Not long after the release of D&D Don Kaye died of a heart attack.
Rob Kuntz told us how he heard of Don's passing over the phone from Ernie Gygax. That he just could not believe it at first.
Don had been there from the very beginning as a partner with Gary in this crazy new endeavor. Yet the loss of Don Kaye likely reached much farther into Gygax's life, as he and Don were best friends since childhood and attended high school together.
The legacy of D&D is a shared experience by many people and all of them did their part in helping to make it happen. Don's legacy is that these little unassuming boxes began to appear in gaming rooms everywhere.
Very few photos exist of Don Kaye, we have none in our archive, yet his impact on gamer's lives everywhere is immeasurable.
Thank you Don.
(Photo by Ryan Swan - Copyright the Fellowship of the Thing, LTD.)
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Secrets of Blackmoor is a Feature-length documentary about the birth of the “Mother of all Games;” Dungeons & Dragons.