I will not claim to be a great DM. Some of my campaigns have been hugely successful. Others have been total disasters. When I do succeed, I suppose I can take some credit for the result, but largely it is also due to the players. Roleplaying is a collaborative effort and a campaign is developed by the group rather than a single individual.
Dave Arneson recognized this. As early as in the First Fantasy campaign, he credits players such as Greg Svenson and Richard Snider as having had a heavy impact on Blackmoor. Others are also mentioned, scattered around in the text. As Dave's 30 year spanning campaign developed, he allowed other players to have their input on how the campaign evolved. When ZGG published the D20 Dave Arneson's Blackmoor Sourcebook in 2003, Dave also credited the players he considered the Original Blackmoor Players.
Blackmoor fan, Finarvyn, made a compilation of the players known to have taken part in Arneson's campaign over the years, confirmed by Dave Arneson himself:
Dave Arneson – Referee
Malia Arneson-Weinhagen– Thief/Monk
Jim Abler – Mage (Evil)
Jim Barber – Elf
Dave Belfry – Dwarf
Blue Petal – Pre-Blackmoor
Mike Carr – Cleric; Bishop Carr; Mi-Kar
Dave Fant – Baron of Blackmoor
Kletcher Fletcher – Ranger
Giovanna Frengi – Dwarven Battle maid
Frederick Paul Funk III – Orc; Funk I King of All Orcs
Pete Gaylord – Mage; Wizard of the Woods
Phil Grant – Elf
Bill Heaton – The Blue Rider; Paladin
Harry Holman – Dwarf
Duane Jenkins – Vampire-Knight; Sir Jenkins (Dave says: “He wanted to be a vampire, but I kept frustrating him. Hee, hee.”)
Rick (Mel) Johnson – Mello; Halfling
Tim Kirkpatrick – Halfling
Kurt Krey – First ever Evil Wizard PC of Blackmoor
Jim Lafferie – Mage
Steve Lortz – Lortz the Dwarf
Ross Maker – Dwarf
Bob Meyer – Robert the Bald
Mike Mornard (Dave says: “Mike was actually in my campaign, Gary’s campaign, and Phil Barker’s.”)
Dan Nicholson– Merchant
Martin Noetzel – Elf
Walter Oberstar – Oberstar the Dwarf
Cliff Olilla – Pre-Blackmoor
John Snider – Fighter
Richard Snider – Cleric; The Flying Monk
* Chuck Soukup: (Dave says: “Nah, just one of the first bad guys.”)
* John Soukup – Balrog (Dave says: “Nah, just one of the first bad guys.”)
Greg Svenson – Great Svenny; Swenny I, King of All Good; Zvenzon (Dave says: “King?? Certainly the leader of all the good guys.”)
Dave Wesley – Half-elf
* The Soukup brothers were added again as per Svenny's comments.
These names were removed from the original list, based on Dave Arneson’s comments!
Mike Belfry (Dave says: “Mike?”)
Mike Norman (Dave says: “Mike never played, although he was in the group.”)
Greg Scott -- Egg of Coot (Dave says: “No, he never played, just a local character I used.”)
Internet claim (can someone confirm this?)
Joe Vail – Dwarves Frick & Frack; vampire-dwarf slaves the "Fang-ettes"
Note: This name was NOT on Dave’s list, either.
Edit: See this updated list of Original Blackmoor Players at the Comeback Inn Forum (Registry required)
image source: http://angryjoeshow.com/2009/03/basically-vin-diesel-kicks-ass/