Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dave and Gary

I have been reading the debate on Dragons Foot about who wrote which parts of the Original D&D Blackmoor supplement. Although I find the debate mostly trivial and still consider Blackmoor one of the worst supplements written, in my discussion with She-Who-Must-be-Obeyed she highlighted an interesting statement which I made. She suggested posting it on my blog for posterity before I forgot. I of course said "your wish is my command" hence this post. I dearly love Dave Arnesons work (As I have stated First Fantasy Campaign is one of my favorite supplements). However, on reviewing his work over the years (Blackmoor, First Fantasy Campaign, Adventures in High Fantasy that strange and unplayable role playing game written for lawsuit purposes) I think it took the organizational skills of a Gary Gygax to make the game a success. Not Gygax's writing style (thesaurus shotgun, as I like to call it), but his ability to put things in charts and tables and organize those charts and tables into a coherent flow so that one has a game instead of just random noise. Personally I think the current editions could do with a lot less purple prose and lot more charts and tables (unfortunately as long as game companies pay writers by the word there will be lots of purple prose). There, I have said my piece, please respond and comment.

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