This is a letter Gary sent to Dave discussing the creation of Dungeons & Dragons. It isn't even called Dungeons & Dragons yet. Gary uses a more descriptive title that makes no reference to Role Playing at all, he calls it: Fantasy Wargaming.
Despite everything that happened between Dave Arneson, Gary Gygax, and TSR, it's important to remember that in the beginning and in the end the two D&D creators were were not enemies.
The two men collaborated extensively on the creation of Dungeons & Dragons.
While there would be a schism between them, the personal drama at TSR was also between other people who were employed by TSR. Consider that of the original six gamers from the Blackmoor and Dungeons of Pasha Cada demo of 1972, four of them would be gone by the end of 1976.
Everyone tells their own story from their own perspective and of course as with all events such as this, it's possible that everyone was right in their own way.
Yet, around 1985 Gary Gygax flew out to see Dave Arneson and also meet Dave's family, his wife Frankie and his daughter Malia. It was during this visit that Gary Gygax proposed for Arneson to return to working with TSR and produce the DA series of Blackmoor Dungeons & Dragons modules.
Despite everything that Gary says later about sitting down to write a manuscript over two weekends it seems pretty clear that he worked with Arneson and they actually spent quite some time on the phone and also passed rules sections to each other via the postal service.
If you examine the original rules it is difficult to parse who created which sections, yet here and there one does find the individual fingerprints of each. Alignment is clearly a Gygax creation, whereas the magical intelligent sword rules come from Arneson's, Blackmoor.
No matter what anyone says, Dave and Gary co-wrote the first ever published role playing game in history. To detract from the genius of either is to misunderstand a magical time when the synergy of both their creative efforts produced a masterpiece that changed how we play games forever.
Secrets of Blackmoor now available for streaming online PLEASE LEAVE A REVIEW after watching the film.
RENT OR OWN HERE: www.secretsofblackmoor.com/
5/19/2020 06:46:23 am
Hello, I thought in a previous Arneson letter that you sent via email a couple of years ago, Arneson stated he created alignment to prevent players from backstabbing other players. If you were Lawful you could not betray or kill characters at the end of the adventure to take the gold. Do you happen to know the timeline between Arneson making that ruling and this manuscript being created? Just curious how alignment came about.
Arneson did not adhere to alignment early on. Because Blackmoor was seen as a Braunstein variant at first, it was merely The Fantasy Braunstein.
6/24/2020 01:02:37 pm
Reminds one of the buffoons who try to determine whether Lennon or McCartney was "more important" to the Beatles' success and genius. oftentimes making assumptions and reaching conclusions contradicted by statements from Lennon and McCartney themselves.
Leave a Reply.
DVD'S, BLU-RAYS AND OTHER SPECIAL ITEMS FROM OUR KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER (UNTIL FEBRUARY 15TH)
Secrets of Blackmoor is a Feature-length documentary about the birth of the “Mother of all Games;” Dungeons & Dragons.