Three linked essays forming the first major treatise on David L. Arneson, the man behind the role playing frenzy that swept the nation 1974 onward and that continues to this very day world wide; and all of it, as revealed herein, based upon a unique systems architecture he invented and utilized for his make believe campaign world, Blackmoor, circa 1971.
This extensively researched work reveals:
That Arneson broke with 2,000 years of game design history and theory by creating and implementing a transcendent systems structure never before conceived of in the history of games or play. The author examines and explains Arneson’s evolutionary systems architecture.
That the design dimension qualities of Arneson’s systems structure are still in their embryonic stages due to his original concept being redacted for a less robust system, and by the very company which was catapulted from a basement concern to a near 1 million dollar business almost “overnight” while at first championing it.
That outstanding claims that the RPG concept, as first made available commercially as Original Dungeons & Dragons™ in 1974, is descended from the game Chainmail are incorrect and stem from assumptive leaps of logic not consonant with design theory or systems theory. Both of the latter’s knowledge bases are utilized by the author to debunk this ongoing fallacy.
Included as addenda to this work is a section and chapter outline, including select samples, from the author’s upcoming and much larger work, A New Ethos in Game Design: The Paradigm Shift Originated by Dungeons & Dragons™, 1972-1977.
Dungeons & Dragons™ is a trademark owned by Wizards of the Coast.