March 28, 1999

The co- designer of the original DUNGEONS & DRAGONS game (among others), Dave Arneson has stayed busy as a game designer, reviewer, video historian, lecturer, and all around nice guy.

The D&D game sprang from that sense of fun. In the late 1960s, Arneson was playing military miniatures and board games, with his own club in Minnesota.  Arneson disliked many aspects  of the "Military Simulations" of the period that miniature folks insist on for "historical accuracy in their games. "That this is an impossibility has never bothered the majority of them."

Dave's medieval games soon saw the introduction of "Hero" leaders and "magical monsters" in addition to the 'normal' military units of knights and bowmen. It was a short step from there to the individual "heroic quest' that dominates most Fantasy fiction.

Arneson's Napoleonic campaign was soon replaced in the early 70s with BLACKMOOR fantasy campaign setting.  "roleplaying in a non-traditional medieval setting, with such things as steam power, gunpowder, and submarines, yet with the emphasis on story and roleplaying not roll playing." The BLACKMOOR Campaign merit regard as the longest running continuously running fantasy roleplaying campaign in the world. - 25 years and counting.

After the D&D games, Arneson kept busy in the early 80s with his own game company, Adventure Games, producing two notable miniature games JOHNNY REB and HARPOON. In addition to writing ADVENTURES IN FANTASY RPG (1982), he also ventured into doing historical articles, computer game reviews, raised rabbits (Harder than it sounds!) worked on computer games (like STORM CLOUDS OVER DIXIE), and played games when he could.

If you had seen Dungeons & Dragons movie, you may have even seen Dave in the film as one of the mages. Rumor has it if a sequel is made he will get a major dramatic death scene, which he has said if true he would love to do. Good or bad he enjoyed doing the movie.

Future plans include, finishing up a video documentary called DRAGONS IN THE BASEMENT about the origins and first decade of role playing games, traveling, lecturing, talking to D&D players, and gaining perspectives on the international impact of roleplaying games.

Update - John Kentner, videographer for Dragons in the Basement, is nearing completion. only final editing is needed. If interested in helping support this project contact us and we can get you in contact. The extensive interviews include most of all who were there in the early years of gaming. - Kevin

Presently Dave is a lecturer at a private University in Florida teaching COMPUTER GAME DESIGN, republishing his naval miniatures game DON'T GIVE UP THE SHIP, and an Associate Professor at Louisiana State University for the NATIONAL CIVIL WAR CENTER web page. Oh yeah and then there is that novel Arneson keeps plunking away at.



Jason Della Rocca (IGDA), Marc Mencher (VSearch),
Dave Arneson (Full Sail, and the creator of Dungeons & Dragons),
and John Romero (Monkey Stone) pose before the chapter action gets underway.


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