Robot Viking » Blog Archive » Dave Arneson, 1947-2009:
It was Arneson who teamed up with Gary Gygax in the late 1960s/early 1970s to develop a new type of game that combined elements of medieval war simulations with fantasy storytelling. It’s tempting to say that Arneson brought the “fluff” to D&D, while Gygax was the “crunch,” but that’s really too simplistic. It is safe to say that Arneson’s ideas on storytelling, experience levels and rules flexibility shaped virtually every aspect of the RPG as an industry and an art form. Yet he never achieved the widespread fame that Gygax did, perhaps because his personality wasn’t the kind that drew attention. By most accounts, he was easy-going, good-humored and never took himself too seriously. I’ve always thought of him as the George Harrison of D&D.