Auctioneer Sells Dungeons & Dragons Creator's Treasure Trove

Auctioneer Sells Dungeons & Dragons Creator's Treasure Trove

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D&D's co-creator left behind a dragon's hoard for auction.

Dave Arneson, who worked to create Dungeons & Dragons alongside visionary Gary Gygax, moved on to the Outer Planes back in 2009, but he left a mystery in his wake: What happened to his stuff? Last year, a vast collection of Arneson's games, correspondence, models, and other ephemera showed up in a Minnesota storage locker. After changing hands through various auction companies, Arneson's hoard has landed in the hands of The Collector's Trove, an "online auction agent for game designers and artists." If you want a chance to own some one-of-a-kind pieces of roleplaying history, the first of many auctions will launch tomorrow, Sunday, May 6, 2012.

As one might expect, Arneson's collection includes a ton of D&D memorabilia, including first-edition printings of various rulebooks and adventures, models and miniatures, and newsletters written by Gary Gygax himself. In addition, Arneson saved years of correspondence with Gygax, items from his own RPG and wargame collection, and even a goblet with his family crest engraved in the side. Perhaps most intriguing of all is Arneson's locked briefcase, whose contents are currently a mystery to all but the auctioneers.

The story of how these items came into The Collector's Trove's hands is a twisting tale worthy of any D&D campaign, but it began with a storage company uncovering Arneson's collection. After his next of kin proved unresponsive, the storage company reached out to various auctioneers and resellers. The property changed hands a few times before coming to rest with The Collector's Trove, a specialized auction site for and by roleplayers - arguably the best organization for the job.

Since the auctions will be split up into many different lots, owning a part of Arneson's personal library will likely be expensive, but not completely out-of-reach for D&D enthusiasts who have some money set aside. This could be your chance to own a D&D creator's personal set of dice - those probably have magical powers, right?

Source: Wired

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Interesting, I wonder how much of this stuff is secretly being carted off to Warehouse 23 (or Warehouse 13 for those of you who watch TV). :)

That said, I do have to wonder why it all wound up in a storage locker as opposed to in his residence or someplace closer to hand. Especially things like that Goblet, which you'd expect to either be in use, or in a display cabinet since it was custom work. It makes me wonder what he and his family's thoughts on the hobby he helped create were towards the end given these revelations.

Oh wow, I'd love to see some of that stuff. And a locked briefcase, contents unknown? Arneson is sitting up there thinking "Hehe, just watch... the poisoned needle trap gets them every time".

It's a pity his next-on-kin didn't really care. A lot of this stuff should probably be in a museum.

Therumancer:
Interesting, I wonder how much of this stuff is secretly being carted off to Warehouse 23 (or Warehouse 13 for those of you who watch TV). :)

That said, I do have to wonder why it all wound up in a storage locker as opposed to in his residence or someplace closer to hand. Especially things like that Goblet, which you'd expect to either be in use, or in a display cabinet since it was custom work. It makes me wonder what he and his family's thoughts on the hobby he helped create were towards the end given these revelations.

What they didn't tell you was that it was actually deep in the bowels of a obsidian cave, and that it took this long for the group to get to the chest and successfully leave with it.

also, pretty sure those first edition books contain eldritch powers

Therumancer:
Interesting, I wonder how much of this stuff is secretly being carted off to Warehouse 23 (or Warehouse 13 for those of you who watch TV). :)

That said, I do have to wonder why it all wound up in a storage locker as opposed to in his residence or someplace closer to hand. Especially things like that Goblet, which you'd expect to either be in use, or in a display cabinet since it was custom work. It makes me wonder what he and his family's thoughts on the hobby he helped create were towards the end given these revelations.

well think about it, all that valuable stuff and you'd keep it in your house?

accipitre:
Oh wow, I'd love to see some of that stuff. And a locked briefcase, contents unknown? Arneson is sitting up there thinking "Hehe, just watch... the poisoned needle trap gets them every time".

It's not my fault the rouge put points into social skills! Damn rouge should have known his place, and it's not like we didn't already have a paladin and a sorcerer. But no, I want somebody to be able to use intimidate he says. Fucking moron. The skill is so broken there's no way the DM would have actually let anybody use it.

accipitre:
Oh wow, I'd love to see some of that stuff. And a locked briefcase, contents unknown? Arneson is sitting up there thinking "Hehe, just watch... the poisoned needle trap gets them every time".

It's a pity his next-on-kin didn't really care. A lot of this stuff should probably be in a museum.

I would laugh if the contents of that briefcase were cocaine, condoms, fuzzy handcuffs and niche porn.

Therumancer:
Interesting, I wonder how much of this stuff is secretly being carted off to Warehouse 23 (or Warehouse 13 for those of you who watch TV). :)

That said, I do have to wonder why it all wound up in a storage locker as opposed to in his residence or someplace closer to hand. Especially things like that Goblet, which you'd expect to either be in use, or in a display cabinet since it was custom work. It makes me wonder what he and his family's thoughts on the hobby he helped create were towards the end given these revelations.

Are you married? If you were you would understand why YOUR things end in a storage locker.

Interesting. I don't really care for D&D, but culturally, it's pretty significant.

Revnak:

accipitre:
Oh wow, I'd love to see some of that stuff. And a locked briefcase, contents unknown? Arneson is sitting up there thinking "Hehe, just watch... the poisoned needle trap gets them every time".

It's not my fault the rouge put points into social skills! Damn rouge should have known his place, and it's not like we didn't already have a paladin and a sorcerer. But no, I want somebody to be able to use intimidate he says. Fucking moron. The skill is so broken there's no way the DM would have actually let anybody use it.

Rouge? I was unaware that makeup had social skills of its own, I thought it just gave you bonuses to your social skills.

accipitre:

Revnak:

accipitre:
Oh wow, I'd love to see some of that stuff. And a locked briefcase, contents unknown? Arneson is sitting up there thinking "Hehe, just watch... the poisoned needle trap gets them every time".

It's not my fault the rouge put points into social skills! Damn rouge should have known his place, and it's not like we didn't already have a paladin and a sorcerer. But no, I want somebody to be able to use intimidate he says. Fucking moron. The skill is so broken there's no way the DM would have actually let anybody use it.

Rouge? I was unaware that makeup had social skills of its own, I thought it just gave you bonuses to your social skills.

DAMN YOU SPELLING! Why are those two words so damn similar!

weirdguy:

Therumancer:
Interesting, I wonder how much of this stuff is secretly being carted off to Warehouse 23 (or Warehouse 13 for those of you who watch TV). :)

That said, I do have to wonder why it all wound up in a storage locker as opposed to in his residence or someplace closer to hand. Especially things like that Goblet, which you'd expect to either be in use, or in a display cabinet since it was custom work. It makes me wonder what he and his family's thoughts on the hobby he helped create were towards the end given these revelations.

What they didn't tell you was that it was actually deep in the bowels of a obsidian cave, and that it took this long for the group to get to the chest and successfully leave with it.

also, pretty sure those first edition books contain eldritch powers

The Books?

Those Dice!

Obviously they are going to be a +3 to DM Fudging Rolls!

But yea, prints of first edition rule books and adventures? Perfect gift for any D&D nerd.

too bad they will end up in someones collection and never be used.

Bah no point in auctioning his stuff off, once he wins his soul, he'll be back anyways XD

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albino boo:

Therumancer:
Interesting, I wonder how much of this stuff is secretly being carted off to Warehouse 23 (or Warehouse 13 for those of you who watch TV). :)

That said, I do have to wonder why it all wound up in a storage locker as opposed to in his residence or someplace closer to hand. Especially things like that Goblet, which you'd expect to either be in use, or in a display cabinet since it was custom work. It makes me wonder what he and his family's thoughts on the hobby he helped create were towards the end given these revelations.

Are you married? If you were you would understand why YOUR things end in a storage locker.

No, but I do understand what your saying. I don't think it would apply here though because your dealing with what amounts to the trapping of this guy's profession and what made him. I'd have expected most of this stuff to wind up in a den or office at the very least.

My actual implication is that as Arnenson was known, but didn't seem to be as involved in gaming or gaming culture as say Gary Gygax, and the way how some of the business battles played out (Gygax infamously having backstabbed his partners, and then gotten booted by the company he created, at least by the lore of the fanbase). That's why so much valuable stuff (well at least to a specific community) might have wound up in storage if he pretty much just locked it away and decided he was done with that part of his life as a result of how some things played out. It would also explain why the family apparently didn't wind up making any claim on this stuff.

Nothing especially shady or bizzare, just kind of tragic seeming that one of the pioneers of RPGs would wind up with the legacy of his work locked away by his own hand, and his own family not wanting anything to do with it.

To be honest, while he'll never be as well known as a Davinci or anything, he DID help create and popularize an entire form of entertainment that has become a cultural phenomena influancing everything from movies and TV, to video games, and everything else. A century or two from now, his papers are probably going to be a big deal to a certain kind of scholor given how much influance his work actually had.

SHUT UP I NEED TO FIND MY SPECIAL OCCASION MONEY!
I miss Gygax. Good man, great work, and i would love a piece of that history.

Could have been something as simple as Arnenson not keeping his personal details with the storage company up to date, the family probably either didn't know about it or learned about it when it was far too late and the company was within it's rights to liquidate the 'Hidden Horde of Arnenson'.

Kinda sad anyway you cut it really.

Therumancer:
Interesting, I wonder how much of this stuff is secretly being carted off to Warehouse 23 (or Warehouse 13 for those of you who watch TV). :)

That said, I do have to wonder why it all wound up in a storage locker as opposed to in his residence or someplace closer to hand. Especially things like that Goblet, which you'd expect to either be in use, or in a display cabinet since it was custom work. It makes me wonder what he and his family's thoughts on the hobby he helped create were towards the end given these revelations.

Well, the reason could be simple, near my own grandfathers end he went from a house, to an apartment and then a nursing home. When he was in the home he could only have a few possessions, and a particularly valuable tidbit (like the goblet) he might have had put into storage as he didnt want attendants or a wayward visitor to pocket it.

Let me know when White Wolf sells special stuff.

In other words, if you're a regular Joe and a big fan, you're not going to get your hands on any of it. You're going to be the Dickinsian street orphans pressed against the glass of a toy shop, looking into a world you'll never experience while the bitter cold winter winds swirl all around you.

 

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