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D&D Co-Creator Dave Arneson Dies of Cancer 71

epee1221 was one of many readers to send word that Dave Arneson, co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons, has died of cancer at the age of 61. "Arneson is often described as an 'unsung hero' in the history of gaming, having been largely eclipsed by his collaborator Gary Gygax. While Gygax was known for developing the rules for Dungeons & Dragons, Arneson's work focused more on the role-playing element. Although the two split up, Arneson continued developing fantasy role-playing content, and later taught game design at Full Sail University." We discussed Gary Gygax's passing just over a year ago.
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D&D Co-Creator Dave Arneson Dies of Cancer

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  • ,,,and thanks, Dave. Well played. :)

  • A Salute to You (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Leafheart ( 1120885 ) on Friday April 10, 2009 @11:36PM (#27539165)

    Rest in Peace, and get yourself a good rest. You earn it very well. If you find an Archons though, give them a swiftly kick on the butt for us.

    To the family and friends. He did good in his life. And has a name plate on the history of RPG. I mourn the pass of the creators of my main hobby for the last 15 years.

    Now, where did I leave that Blackmoore set?

    • If you find an Archons though

      Will two High Templars do?

    • Thanks to Mr. Arneson I spent endless quality hours with the guys that have been my best friends for almost two decades.

      Now you can play along with Mr. Gygax for all eternity.

      Rest in Peace.
  • by crumbz ( 41803 ) <<remove_spam>jus ... p a m >> on Friday April 10, 2009 @11:36PM (#27539169) Homepage

    for the game Dave.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Maelwryth ( 982896 )
      I am tempted to say,"I'm sorry, Dave. You can't do that". Instead I will echo your comment. I had a lot of good times playing Dnd, arguing about the rules, making maps, and most of all imagining.
      Thank you.
  • by BadAnalogyGuy ( 945258 ) <> on Friday April 10, 2009 @11:40PM (#27539185)

    Eaten by a grue. What a terrible way to go.

  • DM said... (Score:2, Interesting)

    Ok, Dave, roll under your con on a d20.

    Dave: Why?

    DM: It's a saving throw against cancer.

    Dave (rolls die): Hey! It's cocked!

    DM: Yeah, it sure is. Sorry.

  • Blackmoor (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Culture20 ( 968837 ) on Friday April 10, 2009 @11:52PM (#27539257)
    I'm glad Gary didn't see D&D 4e. I'm glad Dave didn't see Hasbro's future attempts to kill Blackmoor (you know they will).
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Jurily ( 900488 )

      I'm glad Gary didn't see D&D 4e. I'm glad Dave didn't see Hasbro's future attempts to kill Blackmoor (you know they will).

      Too bad they never made any sequels [].

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Sasayaki ( 1096761 )

      As someone who was an avid fan of v3.5 and loves 4th edition *even more*, lemme just say...

      3rd edition is very, very different from 4th. And very, very different from 2nd. Remember all those guys who, when 3rd edition was released spluttered and went; "WotC are trying to kill D&D! This isn't D&D at all; Gygax would have a fit if he saw this! 2nd Ed is all I'll play and that's final!"

      Don't you look back on those guys and go, "Wow. Their complaints have a little merit, but overall the system is a lot

      • Don't you look back on those guys and go, "Wow. Their complaints have a little merit, but overall the system is a lot better now. This '3rd Ed' thing is new and different, for better or worse (but mostly better)... those guys are really missing out by avoiding it."

        No, actually I say, "Wow. Their complaints have a lot of merit. OD&D FTW! Role-play, not roll-play!"

        • mod parent up!

          That is so true, role playing is almost dead in 4th edition.

          If you, reader, don't know what I am referring to, then you are not playing the game as it was originally intended.

          Now it's a good vs. evil hack & slash game, instead of the reality simulator it was meant to be.
        • No, actually I say, "Wow. Their complaints have a lot of merit. OD&D FTW! Role-play, not roll-play!"

          Which is a childish and stupid refrain, as roleplaying doesn't magically become harder just because you use 3rd or 4th ed rules instead of 1st or 2nd.

  • by Daswolfen ( 1277224 ) on Friday April 10, 2009 @11:55PM (#27539279)

    I started playing D&D in 79. It was a part of my life growing up and well into adult hood (and still on rare occasion). I was fortunate to have met both Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson on a few occasions at various conventions throughout the years. Its a shame to see such geek icons pass, but sadly, that is life.

    Thank you Dave, and Gods Speed!

  • I wish there were more people like him creating such life-enriching games for us masses.
  • RIP (Score:2, Funny)

    You are in a small wooden box, there are no exits. (Yes, I know it was already used for Gygax)
  • Thankful for what he gave us.
  • See? (Score:5, Funny)

    by electrosoccertux ( 874415 ) on Saturday April 11, 2009 @12:57AM (#27539611)

    See what the 4th edition does to you? First Gary, now this. Be warned!!

  • No one had a Resurrect spell, huh?

    Not making light of the passing of a human being, but that's the first thing that came to mind when I read about it this afternoon.


    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Not really, we just don't have a diamond that expensive... and haven't you heard that this place is a dead magic zone?

  • by GodfatherofSoul ( 174979 ) on Saturday April 11, 2009 @01:38AM (#27539809)
    I played first D&D as a kid, then migrated to other games like Robotech, Star Wars, Traveler 2300AD, Rifts, and my all time favorite Skyrealms of Jorune. I have great memories of my friends and me sitting in our basements playing RPGs deep into the night. Here's to that +20 saving throw in the next world.
  • He's rolling an awful lot of 20's lately...

  • Was a good time for sure, peace.

  • For all the OOTS fans, here's a strip in his honor: []
  • Sad news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by darjr ( 1529807 ) on Saturday April 11, 2009 @02:52AM (#27540061)
    Dave, you will be missed. I signed up to slashdot after years and years. Had to create an account. Just to say that.
    • by Mybrid ( 410232 )
      Welcome aboard. It is difficult for me to imagine my life without having known D&D and the subsequent games.
      I look forward to more gaming and will think of Dave and Gary from time-to-time.
      Maybe name a character, Garar. Or Arn Ax.
  • Dave and Gary made buying stamps fun.

    Top that bitches.

  • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Saturday April 11, 2009 @03:29AM (#27540199)

    I don't play any RPGs. (Slashdot gasps!). But I did mess around a bit with D&D in the 70's as a teenager, and played Rogue a bit in college, so I know how it works.

    I was visiting my sister a few years ago, who lives in another country, and my nephew was playing some PS2 game. He was clobbering cacti to prepare for taking on a dinosaur. At one point, I instinctively said, "Watch your hit points!"

    He was surprised that I had any knowledge of gaming, and I explained that before folks had PCs, they played D&D, and that all the basic concepts were founded there.

    So maybe Gygax and Arneson never made fortunes for themselves, but they paved a way for a gazillion dollar industry that keeps the world amused.

    That, my fellow Slashdotters, is immortality.

  • When I heard this early yesterday I immediately thought I ought to post it to /., after all whats more "News for Nerd"-y? than the death of one of the founders of D&D and the entire world of roleplaying games.

    Sadly, /. moves in mysterious ways:

    # 2009-04-09 18:11:49 Dave Arneson RIP (Games,Role Playing (Games)) (pending)

    There are countless thousands, more likely millions who owe and incredible debt to this man, for the creation of a hobby that has likely shaped their lives in some regards. I started

  • I was quite the g33k in high school, but never got into the D&D thang. That said, cancer's a bitch. Nobody should die at 61 from cancer, not in America.

    Cancer has taken everyone that I know in my family, and at 22, I've already had melanomas removed. Seriously, if I had a pussy for every recalcitrant little bitch cell that decided it was boss in my family, I'd be wearing a foursome for a hat.

    Rest in peace man, and just remember, when the grey goo comes to take over, it ain't got shit on your cells' unco

    • You weren't a geek, you were a virgin. There is a difference. While there is a large number of virgins among geeks not all virgins are geeks. The way to tell the difference? We can spell anyone and for that matter geek.

      True geeks read books and don't think the lord of the rings could have been a hell of lot of shorter if only Tolkien had used leet speak. (Note the spelling of leet, no numbers involved.)

  • Another of my child-hood icons has fallen to the beast of time, thanks Dave, you've helped to inspire millions and will continue to do so. R.I.P
  • Cancer (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I think the cancer that killed him was Wizards of the Coast.
    • Do you mean "Hasbro"?
      I have not played DnD, but I've heard a lot of "Hasbro this, Hasbor that" in an MtG contenxt...not sure of the veracity/fanboy angst balance there, but that may be a more accurate way to put it.

  • there seemed to be so many worlds to discover; but the book itself was only a description of the key to a door in the minds of my friends and I. Thanks Dave.
  • Here's to Dave.. As a tribute to our greatest enemy, or perhaps our greatest teacher, I will pay Father Time another 48 hours of late-night, passionate, relentless gaming based on one of the most relevant game systems ever developed - Dungeons and Dragons.

Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter