Days of High Adventure: Remembering Dave

Days of High Adventure: Remembering Dave

Dungeons & Dragons players owe a great debt to a man some of them have never heard of.

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Blackmoor is an incredible inspiration. If you can, get your hands on it.

I myself am putting it to good use.

I could tell you the whys and wherefores, but...

Dave Arneson was an instructor at Full Sail University back when I was a student. He taught the "Rules of the Game" class, which was mostly just us listening to his lecture and playing boardgames. He wanted us to learn the basic concept of any game is gameplay; to forget about graphics and special effects. How to invent rules that makes a game fun to play.

Dispite the bad blood with Gygax, Dave was still proud of D&D and most of his lectures were built around it. He was an interesting man.

He also taught us that , sometimes, a Dungeon Master has to drop a meteor on a shitty min/max character to teach the player a lesson.

Jonci:

He also taught us that , sometimes, a Dungeon Master has to drop a meteor on a shitty min/max character to teach the player a lesson.

Nah, meteors or falling rocks are no fun. I believe the cockatrice is the ultimate DM teaching tool. What better to put an overpowered or unruly player in their place than a flock of magic chickens that turn you to stone.

Thank you for filling this abysmal gap in the knowledge of this fledgling D&D player :)

(I don't suppose NWN 1 counts as much of an D&D experience, hence the 'fledgling' bit)

Dave's not dead.

He rerolled.

I like to imagine that Dave and Gary have settled their differences, and are even now playing in the Great Beyond. Damned shame about both of them going, the world is poorer for their loss.

Wonderful post, James. I hope that Dave, like some other great creators, at least will get the fame after his death that eluded him during his life.

I remember Dave's name from the DA series of modules for the D&D Expert Set. I'd see the "Adventures in Blackmoor" module on the rack of the hobby store I'd buy dice from. I never played through any of the DA adventures (nor the later 3.5e Blackmoor series) as we typically rolled up our own.

image

Dave was also in a deleted scene in 2000's "Dungeons & Dragons" movie, playing a council-wizard in a crowd scene (it can be scene in the DVD's extras.) If I recall correctly he was also on-set during filming to ensure the movie accurately portrayed certain aspects of D&D (mostly the magic, I think.)

EDIT: Great article, by the way. Thanks for shedding some light on Dave for those who may not have known or understood the importance of his contributions to the game we know and love.

Wonderful to realise all the basics we know from RPG's, in all their forms can be tracked down to this man. And 1974? Wow, that's a long time ago.

TheRocketeer:
Dave's not dead.

He rerolled.

LOL.. I love being a nerd cause this is hilarious to me! I actually forgot what my original comment was gonna be. Great article, though!

BlueInkAlchemist:

I could tell you the whys and wherefores, but...

Not to nitpick, but "wherefore" also means "why".

On topic, I honestly do wish I role-played more often. As of right now, I have a game session once a week, but unfortunately, I find D&D to be the hardest game to follow. Then again, I haven't been playing it as long as everyone else in my group has, so I guess that's fair.

Slycne:

Jonci:

He also taught us that , sometimes, a Dungeon Master has to drop a meteor on a shitty min/max character to teach the player a lesson.

Nah, meteors or falling rocks are no fun. I believe the cockatrice is the ultimate DM teaching tool. What better to put an overpowered or unruly player in their place than a flock of magic chickens that turn you to stone.

Based on Dave's stories, the meteor was his favorite. I was talking to him about being a DM (I was currently running my own game) after the lecture and he told me about a game he was running. It was a party of low level characters, but one guy brings in his level 14 character. Dave looks at the sheet and goes "A meteor falls from the sky and kills your character. Roll a new one."

TraumaHound:

Dave was also in a deleted scene in 2000's "Dungeons & Dragons" movie, playing a council-wizard in a crowd scene (it can be scene in the DVD's extras.) If I recall correctly he was also on-set during filming to ensure the movie accurately portrayed certain aspects of D&D (mostly the magic, I think.)

I remember Dave talking about this during a lecture now. He thought the whole thing was rediculous and refused to be a part of the other movies.

SharPhoe:

BlueInkAlchemist:

I could tell you the whys and wherefores, but...

Not to nitpick, but "wherefore" also means "why".

I'm aware, but "whys and wherefores" is a long-standing idiom and I'm not of a mind to go around changing idioms like I have the right or something.

Interesting bit of role playing history right there. I will begin my Star Wars game tonight by praying for the honorable man that endowed us with this great opportunity.

Thanks Dave, your efforts will be remembered.

Order of the Stick offered this most excellent tribute to Mr. Arneson:

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0644.html

Glad to see some other people were saddened by this news: I was the only guy in my tabletop circle who even noticed he died, which was sad.

He will be missed

Huh, I didn't know about him either actually. Thank you for taking the time to post this.

TheRocketeer:
Dave's not dead.

He rerolled.

Greatest Post Ever

 

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