You know, Kobold Quarterly isn’t meant to be timely. We publish infrequently. We don’t really keep up with the industry hotness or aim to match a publisher’s release cycle. But sometimes we stumble into timeliness, much against our will.
Kobold Quarterly issue #9 is a bittersweet case in point. The issue has great articles, from new column by Monte Cook to a great overview of the demon lord Camazotz to variant rules for bards and some dual-system stats for the Maenad PC race. I meant to post on all that in an issue round-up today, when the issue arrived from the printer.
Not going to happen. The article that made me proudest is the one that’s breaking my heart today: KQ #9 includes an interview with the father of RPGs, Dave Arneson, who passed away Tuesday, April 7. It’s suddenly his last interview.
I hoped Mr. Arneson would be with us for many years to come, and that this interview would be just one of many celebrations of his life and achievements. Interviewer Jeremy Jones compiled the interview and consulted with others about Arneson, and we went to press a couple weeks ago expecting to deliver a copy of the magazine to Arneson himself.
Now it’s too late to shake his hand at GenCon or send him a fannish email. Too late to change the cover to move Arneson’s name around on the cover. I told myself that interviews aren’t a draw at the newsstand. I told myself that new PC races and design discussion are what brings folks to pick up KQ.
Ah, I should have gone with my gut and given Arneson top billing on the cover. Regrets, regrets.
So make amends, I point you to Ken Hite’s eulogy, which is far better than I can offer, and explains exactly why Arneson mattered so much to those who might not know the name. For the history that led him to create RPGs as we know them, see the story of the Braunstein game, where it all began.
Better still, to send a card or note to the family, see the address details at RPG Blog II. I’ll be writing one. I might start it like this:
Thank you, Mr. Arneson, for giving us the hobby we all love. More than just any particular setting or rules, you gave us tools for imagination.
Rest in peace, and know that you gave joy to millions.