Sunday, May 6, 2012

Come Visit Arneson's Dungeon

A personalized copy of D&D from the Dave Arneson collection

Some highlights:

“About 30% of the items are what I call product: published games, game accessories, periodicals, and books.” The remaining 70% of the collection is “non-product”: all those letters and scribbled notes, maps, objects, and personal and family items".

"Among the highlights: unpublished manuscripts that did not make it into the final draft of Dungeons & Dragons that date as far back as 1973. There are even older items from 1971 and 1972 “dealing with the Blackmoor campaign and the Castle itself,” Stormberg said. These may reveal secrets about the game’s origins."

"There are also runs of Gygax’s Castle & Crusade Society and Domesday Book newsletters, and Arneson’s Corner of the Table newsletter which discusses his various campaigns, including his Blackmoor exploits. Stormberg said the Domesday Book newsletters “are among the rarest and highly sought after” D&D collectibles. “These newsletters were produced by Gary Gygax in 1970-72 to support his Medieval military enthusiast club, the Castle & Crusade Society. These early pages show the kernels of ideas that would eventually lead Dave Arneson to create Blackmoor. Indeed, the famed fantasy campaign is detailed in one of the later issues of the Domesday Book.”"

"Dave 'improved' the cover artwork on his set with this sticker that states 'Come Visit My Dungeon'." (see above). Note also the address label on the upper right corner with his name.

I found a few references to the "Come Visit My Dungeon" sticker on the Acaeum in the lengthy "Interesting Items Formerly on Ebay" thread. In 2008, another woodgrain set was for-sale with this sticker affixed to the cover. One member, spades1013, also reported having an unattached copy of the same sticker. Is it a strange coincidence that there were two copies like this or is there some connection? There was speculation that the sticker was from the Dungeon Hobby Shop, but nothing definite was mentioned. Anybody else remember this sticker?

Update: Thanks to Allan Grohe (grodog), we have some more info on the sticker from Ernie Gygax, who at one point managed the Dungeon Hobby Shop:

"We had stacks of them in our Shipping Dept of the Dungeon Distributors. I do not remember why we had them though. I think it is from the 772 Main St days rather than the earlier 723 Williams St."

Also, according to bombadil on the Acaeum, the other copy had the sticker inside the lid rather than on the cover:

"I bought it from the original owner through Dragonstrove. The owner bought the woodgrain from EGG in his basement, and said Gygax had attached the sticker himself."

1 comment:

  1. Always happy to help out, where I can, Zach! :D