Last year the world lost Gary Gygax of D&D fame and this year the other co-creator, Dave Arneson, is gone:
I attempted to come up with any fantasy title that doesn’t somehow lift from D&D, and after 20 minutes of contemplation, I’m still drawing a blank.
I hear you, Earnest, I wanted to make the headline for this piece (but it just seemed a little tacky): Now Both D&D Creators Are Out Of Hit Points.
I don’t recall seeing Mr. Arneson’s name as much Gygax in the original D&D tomes, but it’s sad news nonetheless when anybody associated with the creation of Dungeons & Dragons dies. It seems behind the scenes there was significant legal tension between Areneson, Gygax and publisher of D&D TSR Games.
Arenson’s Wikipedia entry offers more information on the significance of his contribution:
In the summer of 1970, Arneson began to create a game that involved medieval miniatures exploring the dungeons of a castle inhabited by fantastic monsters. Originally Arneson played his own mix of rules using rock, paper, scissors to resolve combat, but later adapted elements from his naval rules (which had an armor class system like that later used in D&D – the lower the armor class, the harder the ship (or creature) was to hit) and the Chainmail rules, written by Gygax and Jeff Perren (which was on a similar track to what Arneson had in mind, combining fantasy elements with real-world rules albeit for medieval gaming). However, also finding those lacking, he wrote his own rules in his own play as and when needed, applying those to his role-playing game scenario.
For those who believe in Heaven, they now have one heckuva role-playing game crew up there. Dave Arneson died April 7,2009 at age 61. Too young.