Uncle Hyena (unclehyena) wrote,
Uncle Hyena

Another Legend Ends

Earlier today, rumors began to circulate that Dave Arneson, co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons, had died. It faded within a few hours to word that he was alive but in hospice care, and then sometime in the last eight hours, this turned up on the Trollhalla board. "Khenn Arrth" is the handle of Ken St. Andre, creator of "Tunnels and Trolls."

Khenn Arrth said... " It's official. Dave Arneson's daughter called Mike Stackpole this morning and told him that Dave died in his sleep last night. The true father of Dungeons and Dragons has left us. I knew Dave and liked him, and I think he liked me. We ate hamburgers and milkshakes together at GenCon about 3 years ago. I saw him last year and he didn't look good. I'm glad his pain is over."

I encountered Dave while he was working the Flying Buffalo booth at GenCon sometime in the 90s. I read his name tag and all sorts of stupid fanboy noises bubbled up in my brain. I choked it back to something along the lines of, "Mr. Arneson, I am very pleased to meet you. Your creation has had an enormous influence on my life." We had some conversation, I bought something, and went on my way. The following year, I brought Clueless Tom along. Dave was again in the FB booth; Tom was looking at things, talking to Dave, and I suggested that Tom read Dave's name tag. Tom did, and every single stupid fanboy thought I had had the previous year came pouring out of Tom's mouth twice (at least...). Dave was obviously embarrassed. Later at the same con I ran into Steve Lortz, and he invited me to lunch, as long as I didn't mind also sharing the table with Dave... So the three of us had lunch, for about 45 minutes. It was the best GenCon experience I have ever had.

Dave was charming, genial, polite, and generally a pleasure to be around. The world is a sadder place than it was...

Uncle Hyena
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