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D&D Co-Founder, RPG Godfather Arneson Passes On
D&D Co-Founder, RPG Godfather Arneson Passes On
April 9, 2009 | By Staff

April 9, 2009 | By Staff
More: Console/PC

Dungeons and Dragons co-creator Dave Arneson has passed away at the age of 61 on Tuesday. He's credited with establishing the role-playing genre with the rulesets he created for the tabletop game.

Arneson's family confirmed his passing via a statement from his family published on roleplaying study blog Grognardia. "He was comfortable and with family at the time and his passing was peaceful," the statement read.

"The Arneson family would like to thank everyone for their support over the last few days, and for the support the entire community has shown Dave over the years."

The statement provides details on where fans can send well-wishes, and further info on Arneson's Minnesota viewing, which will be open to anyone wishing to pay last respects in person.

Arneson originally partnered with the late Gary Gygax in the early 1970s, and the first Dungeons & Dragons rulebook, co-authored by the duo, was published in 1974, shepherding its rise to cultural prominence.

He went on to further develop his pre-D&D Blackmoor setting in other scenarios after leaving Dungeons & Dragons owner TSR, and worked as a teacher of game and video game design at Full Sail University from the 1990s to 2008.

The RPG pioneer was also active with Florida-based video and paper game developer Zeitgeist Games, developing new versions of the Blackmoor property and other titles.

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Kevin Carpenter
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Up to the great DM screen in the sky. First Gygax, now Arneson. They will both be sorely missed, though they've created a legacy with the kind of lasting power and influence that few can match. I hope his family can take some consolation in all the lives he's touched in such a positive fashion.

Roberto Alfonso
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A whole epoch of my life disappears in little more than a year with the departure of Gygax and Arneson. My condolences to his loved ones. And hopefully we won't forget that imagination is all we need when complaining about game graphics or AI.

Alan Rimkeit
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Dave, you missed your saving throw. :( RIP Dave, you influenced me far more than any school ever could. My love of Role Playing games started with the Basic DnD red box. Oh the memories.

/pours out a cup of dice in memory of a great man

Aaron Casillas
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We all owe greatly to this man!

Tom Newman
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D&D pretty much defined what a "game" was for me at a very young age. I never knew much about Dave Arneson personally, but I play by his rules.

Prakash Angappan
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My condolences to his family and may he rest in peace.