Sunday, June 23, 2019

Richard L. Snider (1953-2009)

In November this year, it will have been 10 years since Richard Leonard Snider (August 29, 1953 - November 17, 2009) passed away. I reported on his passing in this post from 2009. Today I want to take the time to look into Richard's importance for our hobby.

Perhaps best known for designing Tabletop RPGs such as Powers & Perils (Avalon Hill) and Adventures in Fantasy (1978), Richard was an important member of Dave Arneson's Blackmoor Group and went onto become a game designer himself. Richard was also a supporter of the Blackmoor fan community and participated at the Wayfarer's Inn, a precedessor of the Comeback Inn Blackmoor Forum.

Meeting Dave Arneson

Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Richard and his brother John moved to Minnesota and joined the gaming club known as the Midwest Military Simulation Association, where Dave Arneson was also a member. In the 1970s and the Sniders became two of the original Blackmoor players in Dave's campaign. The First Fantasy Campaigns makes many references to "The Sniders" detailing the actions of the two brothers in Dave Arneson's Campaign. Richard most memorable character was probably the Cleric who became known as the Flying Monk. Although he was 6 years younger than Dave, Richard was also active in making rules suggestions and  other contributions to the campaign. An entire section in Dave Arneson's First Fantasy Campaign is dedicated to Richard's additions to the game. My own fan sourcebook for Blackmoor, The Eastern Marshes was in part a tribute to Richard Snider's section in the First Fantasy Campaign.

Game Designer and author

Together with Dave Arneson, he co-authored Adventures in Fantasy (Excalibre Games, 1978). In 1983, Richard created the game Powers & Perils, which he was incredibly supportive of throughout his life.  Later in life Richard still expressed an interest in publishing RPGs, though attempts to bring back Powers & Perils on a commercial basis were blocked by Wizards of the Coast. In  2007, Richard stated that he would be interested in bringing his creative ideas to the computer scene in "a computer mega-opus".

Richard was also a published Sci Fi author, having written a novel called The Leather Rose. He also wrote about 35 other unpublished novels.


Tabletop RPGs
  • Arneson, Dave First Fantasy Campaign (Judges Guild, 1977) - Additional material by Richard Snider included.
  • Arneson, Dave & Snider, Richard: Adventures in Fantasy (Excalibur Games, 1978)
  • Asprin, Robert: Thieves World (Chaosium, 1981) - Additional material
  • Snider, Richard: Powers & Perils RPG (Avalon Hill, 1983)
  • Snider, Richard: Perilous Lands (Avalon Hill, 1984) - Powers & Perils Supplement
  • Snider, Richard: Book of Tables (Avalon Hill, 1984) - Powers & Perils Supplement
  • Snider, Richard: Tower of the Dead (Avalon Hill, 1984) - Powers & Perils Supplement
Strategy Games
  • Snider, John, Snider, Richard etc: Star Empires (TSR, 1977)
  • Snider, Richard: The Leather Rose

Thanks to Bob Meyer, Greg Svenson, Chirine ba'Kal, James Mishler and others for providing additional information. If you have more information about Richard L. Snider that you think should be included, please let me know.

More discussion of this article here.


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