Here is Robert J. Kuntz blurb for his book:
Has anyone read this book? (I'm thinking that Havard probably has, but I've not seen a topic about it here.)Robert J. Kuntz at Three Line Studios wrote: Three linked essays forming the first major treatise on David L. Arneson, the man behind the role playing frenzy that swept the nation 1974 onward and that continues to this very day world wide; and all of it, as revealed herein, based upon a unique systems architecture he invented and utilized for his make believe campaign world, Blackmoor, circa 1971.
This extensively researched work reveals:
Included as addenda to this work is a section and chapter outline, including select samples, from the author’s upcoming and much larger work, A New Ethos in Game Design: The Paradigm Shift Originated by Dungeons & Dragons™, 1972-1977.
- That Arneson broke with 2,000 years of game design history and theory by creating and implementing a transcendent systems structure never before conceived of in the history of games or play. The author examines and explains Arneson’s evolutionary systems architecture.
- That the design dimension qualities of Arneson’s systems structure are still in their embryonic stages due to his original concept being redacted for a less robust system, and by the very company which was catapulted from a basement concern to a near 1 million dollar business almost “overnight” while at first championing it.
- That outstanding claims that the RPG concept, as first made available commercially as Original Dungeons & Dragons™ in 1974, is descended from the game Chainmail are incorrect and stem from assumptive leaps of logic not consonant with design theory or systems theory. Both of the latter’s knowledge bases are utilized by the author to debunk this ongoing fallacy.
Dungeons & Dragons™ is a trademark owned by Wizards of the Coast.
How accessible is this book to someone who has not played OD&D? Is there enough information in the 72 pages to explain Dave Arneson's Blackmoor rules, and their evolution into OD&D and later "less robust" versions of D&D to someone who was not around then? Or is this a specialist book that mostly speaks to OD&D and Blackmoor experts?
What is a "transcendent systems structure"? Is that something we still see in today's D&D products? Or is it some sort of tool that Dave Arneson personally used to design his own books that has been lost in time? Does Robert Kuntz teach us how to use "transcendent systems structure" to create gaming material?
How about this bold claim that OD&D evolving from Chainmail is something to be debunked? I've seen a lot of people state that claim. Has anyone actually responded to this? Is anyone supporting Rob's side? Has anyone from the "descended from Chainmail" camp come back to answer Rob's points and stand by that point of view? Has anyone from the the "descended from Chainmail" camp read through Rob's evidence and switched their point-of-view?
Has this book sparked off any sort of debate elsewhere? Do people mostly support Robert Kuntz's position or oppose it? Is there an even split of support and opposition to his theories/statements about Dave Arneson? Has this book gone mostly unnoticed?
Is it possible to infer any Arnesonian game design practices from this book? Has anyone tried to add some of those lost game design tools back into their games? Would this book help people run Blackmoor games that feel more like they were designed by a "holographic Dave Arneson"?
How about A New Ethos in Game Design? Has anyone heard about that? Is this going to expand on Dave Arneson's game design or explain how the post-Arneson D&D moved in a different direction?