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 Post subject: A Call to Arms...
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 5:23 pm 
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Hi all,

Tim Kask is posting over at Dragonsfoot about his personal view of who contributed more to the D&D game:

http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewt ... 3&start=75

Now, while I certainly don't want to provoke any arguments about things I can give no judgement about,
I feel that the veterans among you that were among the first D&D players might want to post their own point of view there, if this has to be discussed or brought up. :-?

Yours,

Rafael


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 5:30 pm 
Rafael,
I have been monitering Dragonsfoot for some time. Indeed it was the first forum I found, and was how I discovered the other forums (such as this one). I decided rather quickly that I would not post to Dragonsfoot because I did not want to become involved in an argument there. I would have been seriously outnumbered. I hoped that people would take a serious look at the stories they were telling and see the inconsistencies in them. I asked some of the other guys about Tim. There is an inside story about what happened between him and David. I will not repeat any of it as I feel things are better told by the people involved. As rude as Tim is, I feel more sad for him than upset. I would hope he would get over his anger, as it harms him as much as it does David.

I am much more concerned by the stories being told by the other TSR people. Greg and I have discussed it at length, but have not decided how (or if) to respond. As I had no dealings with TSR, or the people there, I felt I was not qualified to speak about them. They evidently do not have the same scruples in talking about things they have no knowledge of, such as Blackmoor and its evolution. This is quite a handicap to them, as they alternately claim that Blackmoor is a reworked Chainmail (wrong!), or that it was so nonexistant that they had to write D&D themselves. As we were playing the game before D&D was marketed, we know that it did indeed exist before they got their hands on it. The name of that game, invented by David Arneson, was Blackmoor.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 6:30 pm 
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I think that was definitely a good decission.
The argument would be futile anyway, since the persons directly involved (Mr Gygax and Mr Arneson) have settled there differences long ago, as far as it seems. Curiously, those who are most ardently firing their flames there, are mainly people who sinply cannot have knowledge of any internal developments at TSR. - The only thing that one could earn there is unnecessary trouble.

Now, in the first moment I read Mr Kask's post, I must confess that I was simply upset because I took what he surely meant as kind of irony as rudeness. - Now, I am far from medlding into such things, since I only know the facts from hearsay, but I felt somehow concerned about the way Mr Kask attacked Mr Arneson with phrases like "...an entity of limited talent and ability..." - Not only is this utterly unnecessary, it also gives me the feeling as if the whole matter is treated entirely on a personal level, and so the information in general can not be taken seriously.

In one sentence, I think matters as delicate as events involving a lawsuit should not be taken as instruments of self-promotion, regardless who is right or wrong.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 1:59 am 
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I typed a long winded post here yesterday and then decided not to post it. Just figured why bother.

First, thanks robertthebald for responding here and making a point that I was going to make. Basically, anything too pro Dave over there that contradicts certain points is liable to get slammed hard. I think you are right not to bother with it.

I don't know Dave, so this is only opinion. I don't think he is too worried about any of this talk. I base this on the fact that I don't see too many posts by him out there. If public opinion was that important to him, I suspect he'd be as active as others.

He knows what he did and that's satisfaction enough. There are those who would love to hear more from him. Me for one. I believe we wouldn't have D&D if not for Dave. Sure somebody might have created something, but how would it have played out in the long run? I think if Dave ever decided to talk hostory on a forum, it would become a very popular thread.

However, there would be those who would not like that. The fact that others do post and have for years has sort of tipped the scale of public opinion. I'm not saying they post for that reason. I believe they simply care about gaming. However, their frequent posting has built a bigger fan base for them. If Dave were to post about those days it would challenge what some believe to be the real story.

Basically, I don't see any point to getting into an argument over that thread. That's just my opinion. If/when the time comes to start posting anything, there are other places to do it. This is not a knock against Dragonsfoot, because it is an excellent forum. I just wonder how Dave would be treated there if he did start posting about the old days.

But enough of my rambling.

Still hoping that documentary will be available for sale one day.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 9:08 am 
For what its worth, most of us are outsiders on these issues. I wasn't there, I don't know the people personally (although I get on quite well with some of them online), but I am curious to know how different aspects of our mutually enjoyed hobby came about.

Its kind of interesting seeing how differnt people have different views on these issues, and while I'll happily read such posts I don't have any need to form strong opinions based on them. While clearly theres hostility from some people towards pretty much any of the writers of any game product you care to name, I think I'm probably part of the silent majority, in that I'm interested from a purely historical/curiosity perspective.

And to be honest, I'm big enough and smart enough to understand that many of these stories are about what happened 30 years ago; even if they are entirely correct (and they won't be, no one has a memory that good) they are certainly neither complete nor a thorough reflection of the persons involved.

Finally, there are many people involved in writing prodcts the game over more than 30 years who have produced some real gems, so I've got a heck of a lot of respect for them. Gary, Frank, Dave, Ed Greenwood, Aaron Allston, Bruce Heard, Tom Moldvay, Mike Carr... All of them and many more have contributed to a hobby I've enjoyed since I was 9 years old. They're all creative chaps, which in my experience means that with the best will in the world they can't all like each other, they can't all have the same views on everything. Now, I could either pick a side on such disagreements or I could listen to what each might choose to say and glean from that whatever points are of most interest to me. And to be totally honest, no one, not them, not me, not the other contributors to boards like this one, will benefit from picking sides.

So, to all of those who have been involved in these games since the early days, I would simply say that on a place like Dragonsfoot, or on Wayfarer, or anywhere else, please, please feel free to contribute in any way you see fit. Post about the old days, the personalities, and tell it how you see it. I, for one, will not suddenly lose respect for anyone whose name appears on high quality D&D products, but I'm sure that like many others I'll find your insight fascinating.

Sorry to have gone on a bit, I'm not gifted with brevity :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 11:55 am 
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Thanks for your comments.

I can say that if Mr Kask's assertions are correct about Mr Gygax not using Mr Arneson's material in producing his D&D game, that we (the Blackmoor players in the Twin Cities) would have had to go through some sort of conversion of our characters and our gaming as a result of changing to the new system. The truth is that we did not. We were playing essentially the same game that we had been playing for most of the previous three years in Mr Arneson's basement. The biggest adjustment was that we all had our own copy of the rules, so we could lookup the AC, DD and HD of our enemies and figure out for ourselves when we had enough experience to reach a new level making the game flow faster and opening things up for gaming sessions when Mr Arneson was not present. At some point we did have to convert our character's six basic attributes from 2d6 to 3d6, but at this point I do not remember if that happened at the time D&D was published or before. Even so, that was a change in the mechanics, not in the concept.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 9:10 am 
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I just noticed Tim Kask's thread a couple of days ago. I am happy to see a comments of a different nature here.

I am interested in hearing different stories about the history of D&D and its development, but I wish there wasn't such a need to bring back the bad blood. This ius not just regarding Kask's comments about Arneson, but also many other similar topics. It makes me a little sad. I wish they would spend more time talking about the good memories, friendships etc. Other things are better left unsaid IMO.

Havard

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 7:24 pm 
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I got brave and placed a post on the Dragonsfoot board in defense of David. I will have to wait and see what happens as a result...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 7:44 pm 
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ouch!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 7:47 pm 
gsvenson wrote:
I got brave and placed a post on the Dragonsfoot board in defense of David. I will have to wait and see what happens as a result...


So I see!

I'm torn between wanting to get popcorn and sitting down to watch, and hding behind the sofa.

Either way, its fascinating to see just how different these views are.


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