|The 'booth' with Bob Meyer, custodian of The One True Blackmoor|
Our friends at The Source Comics and Games here in the Twin Cities all knew Dave, so it was no surprise when they announced that they were going to have a 'Dave Arneson Day" at the store. A whole bunch of people pitched in to make this event both a success and lots of fun, and I was delighted to be asked to do a sort of 'information booth' along with some of the old Blackmoor crowd to answer questions about Dave and gaming back in 'ye olden days'. We did, and we had am immense amount of fun!
I set up my 4' x 6' Skyline display, and we sat in front of it all day being 'oracles' and 'elders'. (There's a game title in that, I think.) The event started at ten, when the store officially opened, and stopped when the guys threw us all out after the store closed at nine - the discussions kept on going in the parking lot, anf I finally got home well after midnight. Quite a few gamers asked us about play styles and how things were done, and we told many tales of high adventure and low comedy. What kind of started me were the number of gamers taking notes - I got the impression we were running a seminar on the early days of gaming, and I think a lot of our audience learned a lot that they can take back to their own games.
Malia, Dave's daughter, came by with her family to look over and bless the proceedings; she exhibited the new Arnesonian Granddaughter, who is a whole three months old and quite bemused at all the goings on.
Games on offer included Burl running D20 Blackmoor, Gerald running 'Daleks in the Dungeon", John Till running his FATE for Tekumel rules, and Dave Wesely running the original Braunstein. Burl's game ran all day, and I actually got to play after I got the booth taken down; the party had been doing very well in Blackmoor Castle, but a series of unfortunate dice rolls put them in dire straits and it looked like there was a really nasty Total Party Kill in the offing. It had been a really fun game session, from all the laughter we kept hearing all day, so ending on this very sour note was not going over well with either the GM or the players.
Now, having been in similar sticky situations like this myself - from both sides! - I sidled up to Burl and offered to loan him a rescue party; I had brought the miniatures case I had been given by Gary Gygax at the first Kenosha Gen-Con, and had packed it full of all the original members (in miniature, of course) of Phil's Thursday Night Group of Tekumel players. Burl jumped at the chance; so Chirine, Vrisa, Origo, Dori, and all the rest came out of their case and stormed in to the rescue. I managed to kill the skeleton what was laying waste to the players, and the rest of the party held the room's doors while our sorcerers got the players back on their feet. I played D&D. For the very, very first time. And I had a whole lot of fun!!!
So, a day of lots of fun, lots of laughter, and lots of stories about a really decent guy who changed our lives.
Thank you, Dave!