Founding Fathers

James Maliszewski

New member
Aug 19, 2009
20
0
0
Founding Fathers

Modern tabletop gaming owes its roots to traditional war games, a lineage that can be traced to these visionaries from Baron von Reisswitz to H.G. Wells.

Read Full Article
 

Therumancer

Citation Needed
Nov 28, 2007
9,909
0
0
Cool article. I knew a bit of that, and honestly I kind of miss the old days of role-playing when it was mostly still collegiate descendants of wargaming clubs, and kids/teens being involved with RPGs were an exception rather than the norm. :p

The only point I'd question, which is minor in this case, is that I don't think "Blackmoor" was the actual first RPG "campaign setting" despite what a lot of people might think. I think technically Professor M.A.R. Barker (I think that's right) technically beat Gygax and Arnenson to the punch with his Tukemel /Empire Of the Petal Throne. Though the high price of his product prevented it from catching on or overtaking the more popular Gygax/Arnenson works.
 

James Maliszewski

New member
Aug 19, 2009
20
0
0
Therumancer said:
The only point I'd question, which is minor in this case, is that I don't think "Blackmoor" was the actual first RPG "campaign setting" despite what a lot of people might think. I think technically Professor M.A.R. Barker (I think that's right) technically beat Gygax and Arnenson to the punch with his Tukemel /Empire Of the Petal Throne. Though the high price of his product prevented it from catching on or overtaking the more popular Gygax/Arnenson works.
There are several related matters to untangle here.

M.A.R. Barker's Empire of the Petal Throne RPG was published in 1975 by TSR, a year after the release of D&D and the same year as its Supplement II, entitled Blackmoor (and credited to Dave Arneson, even though much of its contents were written by others, notably Steve Marsh). EPT's setting of Tekumel was created by Barker decades before and he did play some miniatures wargames campaigns in it, but it didn't become a RPG setting until after Barker had met Arneson and become exposed to D&D. By that time, Blackmoor, the campaign setting, had already been well under way for several years, predating both Gygax's Greyhawk setting and in fact D&D itself.
 

Christopher B

New member
Sep 9, 2009
32
0
0
Very interesting article, James. I didn't know much about the hobby pre-Wells, so thank you for the enlightenment.

I can't help but find it awfully amusing that such a stalwart publication as Jane's reference books began life as a gaming supplement. Heheh...
 

irbyz

New member
Nov 21, 2009
16
0
0
Therumancer said:
I think technically Professor M.A.R. Barker (I think that's right) technically beat Gygax and Arnenson to the punch with his Tukemel /Empire Of the Petal Throne.
Yes, Tekumel was the first /published/ modern-day RPG setting although it was also, as James points out, originally a gaming, world-creation and literary exercise; first set down on paper around 1950 from about a decade's worth of "living in" prior to that. It wasn't, however, a "RPG setting" (as such) until 1974.
Blackmoor was the first setting created /for/ a modern-day RPG and was very much a "test bed" for those, as stated.

There were various settings such as Lankhmar (Fritz Leiber (Fafhrd) and Harry Otto Fischer (The Gray Mouser)), Magira/Midgard (Hugh Walker et al.) and Hyboria (sic) (Tony Bath) produced for campaigns down towards 1:1 scale with strong roleplaying elements but none of those are generally recognised as a modern-day RPG... /despite/ the original D&D being "Rules for Fantastic Medieval Wargames Campaigns". Go figure? ;)

Cheers,
David.
 

r_Chance

New member
Dec 13, 2008
141
0
0
Thanks for the nostalgia. Me and my brother moved from historical miniatures (Napoleonic, Seven Years War and medieval) to fantasy (through Chainmail) and on to D&D. Still play D&D and still keep up with Tekumel for that matter.

I loved Chainmail, especially the fantasy supplement (a major addiction to Tolkien at the time) but my favorite old style miniature rules were Charles Grant's "The Wargame". Interesting set of 18th century rules using 30mm+ miniatures. I remember it specifically because the unit size wasn't based on a proportion but on the actual ground ocupied by the unit in game scale and how many model soldiers it took to occupy that turf. Simple rules, a close connection to older miniature rules and really fun campaign rules.

Good stuff.
 

Woem

New member
May 28, 2009
2,879
0
0
Christopher B said:
Very interesting article, James. I didn't know much about the hobby pre-Wells, so thank you for the enlightenment.

I can't help but find it awfully amusing that such a stalwart publication as Jane's reference books began life as a gaming supplement. Heheh...
I know Jane's from his supported 1990's combat simulation games [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane%27s_Combat_Simulations], especially U.S. Navy Fighers. I'm curious if the naval miniatures game is still available somewhere...
 

cononking

New member
Jun 16, 2009
26
0
0
Very interesting article. Could staged simulations of hypotheses as to where an enemy might strike next, occurring during actual wartime, be considered wargames? Certainly Douglas Haig made a lot of controversial decisions in the second half of the first world war, sending many allied soldiers to their deaths for little percieved gain. One of the reasons for this was considered to be that he had never seen the Front, and was just formulating his strategy based on dispatches. Do you think his seeming willingness to incur such large casualties for small rewards, could be that he viewed them as pawns in a wargame?
 

johncurryevents

New member
Dec 18, 2009
2
0
0
The Fred Jane Naval Game is available from the History of Wargaming Project.

See www.johncurryevents.co.uk for details (under books).

Also look on amazon for it.
 

The Holy Chaotic

New member
Dec 8, 2009
65
0
0
As a fan of wargamming, I was hooked on your article. It was intresting to see how far the history of wargamming went back and where it came from. Although I don't know enough to talk about it in depth, your article has gotten me interested in the past of it. I hope you write more in the future, I will be your loyal fan. :)
 

Nyrad01

New member
Nov 25, 2009
153
0
0
A very interesting article! It was a good read for me because I've been Roleplaying for about 4 years now and haven't once thought about where it all began :p
 

irbyz

New member
Nov 21, 2009
16
0
0
Nyrad01 said:
A very interesting article! It was a good read for me because I've been Roleplaying for about 4 years now and haven't once thought about where it all began :p
:)

Could ask Gary that same question, too; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQ0raag8TD8 (from 4'50").
Interesting that that was "forgotten about" but goes to show that once you get a way of thinking under your skin (that an independent referee was a beneficial idea, for example, in this case), that this can become second nature.
 

GreyWolf257

New member
Oct 1, 2009
1,379
0
0
Very interesting article. It has really made me realize how old one of my favorite hobbies is. Also, I wonder if the naval game is in any way connected to Wooden Ships and Iron Men, at least through influence.