Saturday, November 7, 2009

D&D. The Game is Called D&D

So now it's, quote, "Arneson's Game"?  What the fuck.

I realize the man is dead now, and that there's a growing sentiment that follows a lot of dead people, mythologizing the person's character and accomplishes ... but I really have to draw the line at indentifying D&D, which honestly has been designed, influenced and modified by literally hundreds of people, by the misnomer of one individual's contribution.

Yes, I know a lot of you out there met him personally.  Yes, I know a lot of you liked him.  I remember the outpouring of grief when he passed away.  And that some of you need to feel a panegyric is in some kind of order.  I feel your pain.

But let's just call it D&D, all right?  Let's not give it a synonym that's really just a fraud.  Let's not create a fucking cult here.

10 comments:

A Paladin In Citadel said...

And all this time I thought I was playing Gary's game! Where is this Arneson's game stuff coming from? I'm embarrasingly out-of-the-loop here!

Work verification: fullyc - completely out of the loop on the latest OSR goings-on.

Al said...

I, too, have missed this reference. Throw us a bone (or a link;) here!

Ragnorakk said...

Oook! With some trepidation, I'll say that I think that Rob's comment was not meant to attribute the game to Dave - that he was referring to Arneson's experiences and methods and such when he was running his Blackmoor campaign back in the day - "Dave's game" being "Dave's campaign".

@Al - responses to previous post

Rob Conley said...

Yes Gygax invented and wrote D&D. However Arneson ran the first roleplaying game.

It had many elements that later found their way into D&D but not everything Dave did Gygax used to write D&D.

Stuart said...

"Jim Rash was the first Game Master that I know of." -- E.G.Gygax

These early roleplaying games were also what you'd call a LARP today... there were no minis or battlemats. ;-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQ0raag8TD8#t=4m50s

Will Mistretta said...

"'Jim Rash was the first Game Master that I know of.' -- E.G.Gygax"

"Rasche", I believe.

Mr. Conley has it right, though: DA and his group largely invented the form, GG is responsible for bringing an example of it to the rest of the world.

Arguments about who did "more" or who "really created" D&D completely miss the point, to the least.

Stuart said...

Mr. Conley has it right, though: DA and his group largely invented the form

I'm not missing your point - I'm disagreeing with it.

Talking about the authorship of D&D is one thing, but "Roleplaying" is a much older activity, and it's not uncommon for children to play games like Gary and his friends did.

Will Mistretta said...

"I'm not missing your point - I'm disagreeing with it."

Well, if you don't want to draw any distinction at all between "roleplaying" in general and the sort of roleplaying combined with wargaming rules heavily modified based on S&S literature that birthed D&D, that's your choice.

Rob Conley said...

RPG in the form we know now started with the specific situation that occurred in the upper midwest circa 1970.

Once Gygax wrote and published D&D it started to spread throughout the country. But many who got or were exposed to it were NOT part of what was going on in the Upper Midwest. They brought their own ideas into the mix.

Some of these were adopted by by Gygax/TSR and other spawned off their own RPGs (Runquest, Tunnels & Troll, etc).

So while Roleplaying existed prior to D&D, it took D&D to turn Roleplaying into RPGs.

Stuart said...

roleplaying combined with wargaming rules heavily modified based on S&S literature

Sure, that specific combination is probably specific to Gary and Dave. It's called D&D. Roleplaying an Roleplaying Games are more general than that.

RPG in the form we know now started with the specific situation that occurred in the upper midwest circa 1970.

I think several things combined to make RPGs in the form we (or at least I) know them now. There's a lot of overlap between wargaming, board games, children's games, and interactive fiction.