Thursday, March 31, 2011

David R. Megarry

Dave R. Megarry (center) 1974

In 1964 a group of gamers in St.Paul Minnesota founded the Midwest Military Simulation Association. Dave Arneson joined this group when he was in high school. Another member of this group was David R. Megarry. When Dave Arneson  started the Blackmoor game, Megarry was one of the players. In this game Dave Arneson presented Megarry with something that fascinated the player:

"Arneson drew up the first Dungeon map for a Blackmoor adventure that was expected to run one day and then (probably) the map would be brough back out if anyone ever went there again.   We played, everyone agreed that the game had gone really smoothly, and the next day we were back out in the kingdom, escorting some merchants through the woods or whatever.  Then Dave Megarry arrived with the prototype "Dungeon" game under his arm.  He had distilled the complex, open-ended Blackmoor dungeno crawl into a simple but practical board game.  He had also identified that, by restricting the players to a limited set of options (go left, or right, or back, and not  "NbyNW for three minutes. Now can the dragons see them there or not..." the Dungeon made everything manageable.  He and Dave Arneson discussed this, and from then on, the Dungeon was where most of the action was going to take place." (-David Wesely)
In the winter of 1972 Dave Arneson and David Megarry went down to Lake Geneva to present Megarry's "Dungeon!" game to Gary Gygax. During their meeting, Arneson also ran a Blackmoor game for Megarry, Gary Gygax, Ernie Gygax, Rob Kuntz, Terry Kuntz. As most of you will know, this lead to the creation of D&D in 1974. Megarry's Dungeon! game was released by TSR in 1975. Over at the Comeback Inn forum, we have been discussing how Megarry's Dungeon and Dave Arneson's Blackmoor game may have influenced eachother.

Image source



  1. great stuff!
    i've asked youat facebook, but i was wondering if the first blackmoor game (the blackmoor concept) was for a dungeon exploring like game or the miniature game (the napoleon game, with the castle and all).

  2. Thanks!
    Arneson and his friends started with Napoleonics. From there, David Wesely created a game called Braunstein, which emphasized on roleplaying within the Napoleonic environment. Blackmoor started out as a Braunstein Game, but I think the dungeon concept was introduced within only a few sessions, as early as December 1970.

  3. thanks a lot, friend! this sure answer my question.



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