Sunday, September 30, 2018

Late Night OSR Commentary On Dave Arneson & His Creations

When I think of Dave Arneson I'm always picturing in my head the young Mr.Arneson. The guy who was creating Blackmoor from the ground up all those years ago. Gary Gygax wrote & codified the rules of what would become original Dungeons & Dragons. His work on Dungeons & Dragons & its supplements became the foundation for the center piece of the table top hobby as we know it.
Dave Arneson created the theme of the campaign setting as over arching world from the ground up. Blackmoor isn't to be taken lightly & I've come to respect the campaign world setting over the years. There are a variety of reasons for this but one important one springs to mind.

Both Gary Gygax & Dave Arneson's approaches to gaming were day & night in many senses of the word. Yet there was  common ground in the both the war game hobby & the design of what would become the original Dungeons & Dragons rules. At two thirty in the morning I'm trying to hammer out in my head what Dave Arneson, Blackmoor, & The First Fantasy campaign Judge's Guild product code thirty seven mean to me. I'm seven years old & the First Fantasy campaign is being explained to me by the older brother of a friend of mine. Impressions don't cut it. There are rules for baronies, things for characters to do, & the entire Blackmoor dungeon. That's where my first player character was killed.

Blackmoor is laser etched into my tiny little brain back in Nineteen Seventy Seven & original Dungeons & Dragons has me hooked when I was killed by my first encounter(murder) with a skeleton. By the way that was in Blackmoor dungeon & it slaughtered me. Fifteen minutes later I had another first level player character ready to go. A magic user named 'Clavus The Creator' who lasted a bit longer because I got a bit smarter. That's what Blackmoor did for me as a setting. It got me to play smarter & then think things through as a player. I wouldn't be allowed to be a dungeon master until much later on. I never have forgotten that skeleton nor the nastiness of that first go around in the dungeons of Blackmoor.

By age eight years old I was taking on the role of dungeon master & had my own copy of Blackmoor, plus The Judge's Guild First Fantasy Campaign. Later on I subject other players to the tortures of the dungeons of Blackmoor.So I have a bit of a different take on Dave Arneson to a certain degree, is he actually smiling at all those poor bastards who had fun being killed by his various creations?!

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