The Dungeon Master is Dead

Yes, I know, there is still a stigma attached to Dungeons and Dragons, and to even post about it is to provide fodder for the Trolls (not the same as those in Dungeons and Dragons, but nonetheless as annoying) but so many of today’s popular computer games owe their existence to this man, Dave Arneson – the creator of Dungeons and Dragons.ย  I am sure thatย there are some of youย who, while not having played the paper and dice version of the game have enjoyed it in other forms such as Lineage and WOW, will fondly remember your days as a geek (some of us are still stuck in that mode) as you read over this obituary of the great Dungeon Master.

  • Gumi_teacher

    Thanks for the update. I still play D&D…or course now I charge for my services as a DM. Instead of friends, I play with my students.

    D&D creates a common paradigm and theme to discuss. The addition/removal of experience for participation, homework, and behavior is an excellent motivational tool.

    Best moment…a 8 year old student climbs on the table and yells “Level up” upon attaining level 3 for his half-orc Barbarian.

    Second best moment…a middle school students 8th level halfling ranger dies trying to rescue his friend. When given the chance to come back as a more powerful half demon if his first action is to kill his friend, he refuses…

    and is instead rewarded be returning as a half-celestial.

    Yeah…I am a geek.

  • dry

    Ah one of America’s greatest contributions to the world. Pen and paper…reminds me the days of THAC0…good times.

  • mr.mix

    Love the game- Tom Morello and Vin Diesel will be in mourning along with me. R.I.P. DM.

  • foflappy

    Gumi Teacher:

    “now I charge for my services as a DM”

    You have to be kidding me? That is fuckin sweet. Nice niche market. But, c’mon…you actually charge money for people to play?

    You must have a very small profit margin. …. Why would anyone pay for that? It’s in the fucking instructions!

    I DM’d like a mofo and never thought of making the game a profitable enterprise. Your characters must have been ‘thieves’ in the game.

    I have 1st editions of the Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s guide, and Monster Manual. Somewhere….I have the ’81 publication of Deities and Demigods but I’ll be an Anti-Palidan if I can find it.

    My sword glows.

  • foflappy

    These guys are from my home town… Normal, Illinois.

    Their coolest game, in my humble opinion, is Traveller:

    I have the first edition of these… Sweet game… Berzerker mode!

  • Gumi_teacher


    I don’t charge specifically for being a DM. I meant I teach English to Korean students and we play D&D during our classes.

    And the profit margins are quite good.

  • shakuhachi

    I don’t play the PnP anymore, but I still play CRPGs, like Neverwinter Nights 2. And every couple of years I fire up Baldur’s Gate 2 and give it another go.

  • WangKon936

    Dungeon Master for the Atari ST by FTL Games was, hands down, the best computer RPG ever!

    I grew out of RPG shortly after that.

  • dogbertt

    Deja vu! Didn’t we see these same pieces a couple of months ago when Gary Gygax lost all his HP?

  • iheartblueballs

    Had a group of eight of us that played when we were in junior high. Some of the bible-beating parents actually convinced the school principal to “investigate” us as potential threats to their little angels because their church classified D&D as devil worship, and this was in the mid-80’s during the peak of Satanic Panic.

    We all got called in to his office and he actually confiscated all the dice, guides, and character sheets that we had at school. The next day all of our parents came down and raised hell, and we got them all back after threats of lawsuits.

    The fundies then responded by reading off a list of the names of the entire D&D crew and our parents the next Sunday at service, and warned the flock to make sure their kids avoided us. Apparently they thought that would punish us, as they didn’t realize no one wanted to hang with their kids anyway.

    Funny thing is, I still hear about it whenever I go back to visit family, even though it was 25 years ago. I wish I were kidding, but I ain’t. Small town dipshittery really knows no bounds.

  • bumfromkorea

    NERDS!!!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Haha, I had the same reaction as dogbertt: “Huh… didn’t the D&D guy die few months back already?”

  • WangKon936

    D & D… NOT cool after puberty.

    Okay, maybe DURING puberty, but definitely not cool after it.

  • Sonagi


    Did your parents drag you to Chemical People meetings, too? My parents, both chain smokers, puffed furiously at their cigarettes in the car as they ferried us kids to and from these anti-drug propaganda sessions.

    Every year schools across America host Red Ribbon Week with a mish-mash of activities to discourage drug use. For instance, one day’s theme is “Give drugs the slip.” Kids wear pajamas and slipper to school because there are reams of research showing that this is effective in deterring kids from trying drugs as adolescents. I suggested to colleagues that next year my cousin could come and give a talk about the dangers of drugs although the kids might have trouble understanding her since she’s missing half her teeth.

  • Jing

    Neverwinter Nights 2 pales in comparison to the original infinity engine classics. I am seriously resisting the urge to fire up BG2 on my laptop. If you haven’t already tried it Shak, there are a number of really good mods for it including the invaluable widescreen mod that lets you play it in modern displays. The good thing about well crafted 2D sprite based games is that they age gracefully in contrast to the first generation of 3D games.

  • Acropolis7

    Mr. Neff had me in jubilation after believing the topic title meant that a certain “Yura” had expired north of the DMZ, sigh.

  • iheartblueballs

    Luckily never had to go to any of those meetings, Sonagi. The ‘rents were about as laissez faire as possible in terms of child rearing. They actually thought that our small, isolated town was immune from drugs and other harmful influences. Little did they know it was actually the opposite…that drugs flourish in that kind of environment precisely because it’s small, isolated, and fucking boring.

    Because most of the usage was weed and shrooms, it stayed under the radar for the most part. Heroin and blow were considered drugs, while the hallucinogenics were as acceptable as alcohol.

    I do remember numerous bongs with pictures of Nancy Reagan on them though. I still wonder if her astrologer fed her that ridiculous slogan.

  • SomeguyinKorea


    Not many bible-thumpers where I’m from. We had a few good laughs whenever one tried to convince us that we’d go to hell for playing D&D or listening to Iron Maiden and Ozzy.

    Remember these?

  • hoju_saram

    Huhโ€ฆ didnโ€™t the D&D guy die few months back already?

    He got raised by a cleric.

    I remember playing Pool of Radiance on the PC when I was a kid. It’s still the best game I’ve ever played.

  • Arghaeri

    “And every couple of years I fire up Baldurโ€™s Gate 2 and give it another go.”

    I’ve actually just done that, but unfortunately keeps crashing on me on the latest OS X and seem to be no updates out there. Are windoze versions still available?

  • shakuhachi


    I still love the old IE games, especially Baldur’s Gate 2. Jon Irenicus was one of the most villanous villans in CPRG history, if not the most villanous. The longer road mod for throne of Bhaal, where you get to redeem Irenicus, is also awesome.


    If you want to go the legal route, get this.

    Otherwise you could always torrent it.

  • shakuhachi

    Villainous and villain!

  • dry

    While BG2 was more memorable, I found the mods for NWN1 to be of similar content but more enjoyable. NWN2, while having a better story, had buggy performance and not too many good mods from what I recall.. also the use of crappy 3D models to represent characters in the single player annoyed me. How’s the scene nowadays?