More coming soon.
Dice Story ||
Clearly the Timeline is a good clue of the information coming.
Until then we present these bits of information.
First off many are confused what is a Role-playing Game. It is the ideals of Role-playing, in the traditional sense, applied with a set of rules governing actions and outcomes.
The people involved were heavy traditional gaming enthusiasts. Enjoying classic board games along with many games we all grew up with. They loved the 'Lets pretend' aspect of many games.
They also were into Wargaming, which were more complex varriation of many games. Chess one might say is a simplified version of a Wargame, based off traditional Medieval war combat.
The game is really the merging of two words:
Few understand the 'Role-playing' side without seeing it done. Old School Gamers will know its meaning as that is how they learned the game.
It should never be confused with "Roll-Playing" (as in dice rolling).
Many of those only get the 'rules', game mechanics, and are heavy on the competitive/wargaming origin of understanding. And that is not how it started exactly.
Role Playing Game:
To represent in action as a player the throughts and feelings of their given character & abilities given the settings that character is placed. (Character is in essense the playing piece in the game). To imagine the settings described by the Game Master and to through the description apply their own descriptive response to the settings. The back and forth dialog representing turns or rounds in the game. The settings are more discriptive then representative.
Where discriptions fail or require traditional game mechanics apply with dice rolls to represent chance of success. Often refering to a chart or given chance known or documented. And where not documented, the GM must arbitrate a fair result given the dialog and description established known and unknown to the players."
What is sad is there are people who have not read what Dave Arneson has done, know of the basic details, and openly bash him for trying to take credit from Gary.
They openly attack Dave Arneson and his work. Refusing to look at what Dave Arneson has done and continued to do. That there were in essense two tracks to the origin of D&D. Or that Dave Arneson's history in gaming goes a lot longer back to his childhood where he started down that road.
There is no place for such attitudes. If both Dave and Gary can be friends in the end, and recognize the efforts... Why can't the critics?
Dave Arneson himself liked Gary Gygax, and recognized Gary's abilities. Without Gary's work and efforts it is likely it would have taken Dave Arneson a lot longer to realize the potential he had.
Likewise Gary might have stumbled upon similar ideas for a Role-playing game, but it would have likely taken a lot longer to take that path from a Wargaming direction.
The later years after all the legal battles, agreements, and change of credit of Dave Arneson to Co-creator and Gary Gygax also Co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons, they made peace.
They did not in the end have animosity that some players seem to have over the subject. That maybe they being the people there at the momment in history knew deep in their hearts the truth.
Dave has only asked for credit recognition for his contribution of his work, plus legal claims to his work. And in the end everyone involved recognized those claims.
Things that are clear:
As a young kid traveling to England Dave Arneson, who already is into games, finds a toystore. Wanders to the upstairs sales floor. And find the 20 sided dice.
No clue what they were used for he knew right up it had potential. (They were apparently numbered 1-10, 2 times over each.) He came home with three.... Never letting go of these he would return to them as the solution to many game mechanics for Blackmoor.
MMSA was in 1964, April 18th - And Dave Arneson is listed among the members. And won awards for his news letter in the group. Seems the group had several meeting locations, the younger group met in his basement while he was in High School.
There are producers of publications denying the group existed before 1971, which is clearly wrong. They have a vested interest to weave a story based off the wrong history, information, or missing details. (Image is from a magazine, article hosted in England clearly establishing a date.)
1967 - Dave Wesely started his historical Napoleonic Role-playing games, one off games.
1968-1969 - Dave Arneson started his varriation on these games with the younger group. Inspired by Hammer Films and Raymond Frederick Harryhausen monsters started to use them as oponenets. Eventually the Castle Dave included in the game had a dungeon, but with Megarry decided on a brilliant idea. Going down... into the Dungeon. (The game has simple rules, but clearly established history.)
Eventually combat mechcanics needed more refining as the game continued to grow. Being a game fanatic he played with many elements of many wargames to replace his rather symplistic rules so far. But he already established Experience Point system to gain levels, rather then a merrit base.
Players gave lots of feedback on the direction of the game's creation and where they wanted to explore.
Eventually Chainmail was outlined by Jeff Perren, 4 pages, in 1970. After trying a version of this game Dave Arneson dropped using them within 3 games. (It was not a inspiration or source of the rules. Never was.) Dave Arneson has been quoted many times on this.
Around this time Dave was involved with C&C and started working more and more with Gary Gygax and his crew in Wisconsin. They had more of a Wargame campaign setting, and were heavy on that path.
As Dave expanded his map, dungeon crawling, and his players started to really talk about the game Dave was moving more and more to explore publishing. C&C helped him expand to a world map.
Eventually Gary Gygax and Dave PLAYED a game over the weekend. (No one questions this fact) And Gary recognized what Dave was working on clearly and both Minnesota and Wisconsin teams teamed up and hammered out the what this thing called "Role-playing game was".
Rob Kuntz who was at the game day and been with the events with Gary and TSR from the begining and many others have flat out stated the rules used were NOT Chainmail based, not from chainmail, and they clearly had something totally not like what they had before. (See videos in Media Section.)
No one doubts Rob's integrity in the interview, his history with the game, and credit him with Greyhawk and many other works TSR produced.