I remember back in the foggy vastness of the past how valuable having a decent gaming surface was when playing Dungeons and Dragons. My friend Chris and I eventually hacked together a particle board, mactac “wood grain” and screw on leg monstrosity for gaming. I’m not sure what ever happened to that, but I’m sure it is a treasured heirloom.
Almost as treasured as something like this: the Sultan gaming table. An actual, honest to goodness piece of furniture beautifully crafted for gamers. Each player has their own “station”, with the game master getting the deluxe treatment. There are dedicated areas for rolling dice, a multi-layer map surface, panels to cover over the game in progress and turn the thing into a massive “multi-purpose” table- it even has cup holders! Mind you, for nearly $10,000, I guess it should have cup holders. If I were still gaming for half a dozen hours every weekend the way we did back when I was between 15 and 25, I could almost see buying this.
Dungeons and Dragons arguably started its life as a simple set of miniature rules called Chainmail. But it wasn’t until Dave Arneson‘s Blackmoor that the concepts most people think of when they contemplate “role playing games” came together. Instead of simple sets of stats and numbers played out like a war game, Arneson and his rules focused more on story and acting a role, with combat being arguably less important. These rules and concepts formulated by Dave Arneson were the foundation of Dungeons and Dragons, and although Gary Gygax is often credited as being the father of D&D, Arneson played a huge role as well.
Dave Arneson passed away in his sleep on April 7th. He was only 61 years old. I’m am personally indebted to Mr. Arneson for the many years of joy his ideas brought me. But an entire industry of paper and computer games spanning several generations, parents, children, and grand children, owe their enjoyment of an entire genre of entertainment to this man. My thoughts are with Mr. Arneson’s family: many thanks for sharing this man with those of us who know him only through his ideas.
I went to meet my Mom and sister Judy at the casino today. This is a pretty common thing: every couple of weeks they come to the Langley Cascades Casino where Irene and I join them for brunch. But this day was to be a day for resolving a mystery. For a week or so, Judy had been telling me that I had to come this Sunday since she had something for me from Shane.
I’ve played D&D Online a grand total of maybe 15 hours. I was part of a stress test and now a preview of the game. Apparently the non disclosure agreement has been lifted, so I can make a few comments.