David A. Hargrave

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For the rugby league footballer of the 1960s, and '70s, see David Hargrave.
David A. Hargrave
DaveHargrave.jpg
David A. Hargrave, c.1987
Born David Allen Hargrave
(1946-05-25)May 25, 1946[1]
Died August 29, 1988(1988-08-29) (aged 42)
Occupation Writer
Nationality American
Genres Fantasy, science fiction, RPG
Notable work(s) The Arduin Trilogy

David Allen Hargrave (May 25, 1946 – August 29, 1988), known as The Dream Weaver, was a prolific and sometimes controversial game designer and writer of fantasy and science fiction role-playing games (RPGs). Hargrave's most notable written works were based upon his own mythical world of Arduin.

Hargrave was also an Army combat veteran of the Vietnam War.

Military service[edit]

David A. Hargrave's Golden Gate National Cemetery' grave marker

Hargrave served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War for six years, serving from August 28, 1964 through August 20, 1970. While in Vietnam, Hargrave regularly served as a combat photographer, often in the line of fire.

Role playing games[edit]

Arduin[edit]

From the mid-1970s through 1988 Hargrave was very active in the role-playing community. He authored ten books based upon this Arduin game world. Hargrave also produced four Arduin Dungeon Modules and several fantasy item collections, which were published by Grimoire Games.[citation needed] Hargrave originally submitted his Arduin Grimoire to Greg Stafford's publishing house Chaosium, in 1977, but Stafford found it too derivitate of Dungeons & Dragons and rejected it. Hargrave wound up self-publishing Arduin before having it published at various times by a few small presses: The aforementioned Grimoire Games, then later Dragon Tree Press, and finally Emperors Choice Games.[2]

Historical context[edit]

Hargrave's work was perhaps the first "cross-genre" venture into fantasy RPG, and it included everything from interstellar wars to horror and historical drama. His work was, however, based principally upon the medieval fantasy genre. Arduin was in fact one of the earliest challengers to TSR's Dungeons & Dragons, and a leading representative of the high-entropy, multiversal campaigns then prevalent in RPG circles of the era.

Controversy[edit]

While Hargrave was considered one of the best of the best of Game Masters, he was also known for having a somewhat volatile personality. The original role-playing community at large was split between love and mere tolerance of Hargrave's passions (his falling-out with Greg Stafford, which resulted in Hargrave naming a spell after him as revenge, is one such example.[3])

Other works[edit]

Hargrave also frequently contributed to various magazines such as Different Worlds, Alarums and Excursions, and Abyss. As a game designer, he authored various Call of Cthulhu adventures for Chaosium, Inc., and was an integral part of the design team for the sci-fi game Star Rovers, among others.

Multiversal Trading Company[edit]

Around 1979, Hargrave operated a game store in Concord, California, called Multiversal Trading Company.

Business card for Hargrave's store.

Bibliography[edit]

  • The Arduin Grimoire (Arduin Grimoire Volume 1)
  • Welcome to Skull Tower (Arduin Grimoire Volume 2)
  • The Runes of Doom (Arduin Grimoire Volume 3)
  • The Lost Grimoire (Arduin Grimoire Volume 4)
  • Dark Dreams (Arduin Grimoire Volume 5)
  • The House of the Rising Sun (Arduin Grimoire Volume 6)
  • Shadow Lands (Arduin Grimoire Volume 7)
  • The Winds of Chance (Arduin Grimoire Volume 8)
  • The Arduin Adventure
  • Arduin Dungeon No. 1: Caliban
  • Arduin Dungeon No. 2: The Howling Tower
  • Arduin Dungeon No. 3: The Citadel of Thunder
  • Arduin Dungeon No. 4: Death Heart
  • The Arduin Primer
  • The Compleat Arduin Book 1 The Rules
  • The Compleat Arduin Book 2 Resources
  • The Arduin Map
  • Vaults of the 'Weaver
  • The Black Grimoire
  • End War (Arduin Grimoire Volume 9)
  • World of Khaas the Legendary Lands of Arduin
  • The Book of the Shining Land
  • The Book of Dreams of Lost Sardath
  • Lancer's Rest
  • Black Devil Mountain (found in The Asylum and Other Tales from Chaosium)
  • Dark Carnival (found in Curse of the Cthonians from Chaosium)
  • Arduin Bloody Arduin (found in Different Worlds magazine issue #2)
  • All the Worlds Monsters Volumes 1, 2 and 3 (from Chaosium).
  • Star Rovers Module 1 (Sci-Fi RPG from Archive Miniatures and Game Systems, 1981)

Other information[edit]

  • Was known for using the names of people close to him in the titles of various Arduin spells, weapons, artifacts, and taverns. Stafford's Star Bridge is one such example.
  • Added visual references/homage to Clint Eastwood in a majority of his works in the form of a warrior character whose appearance is identical to Eastwood's (during his films the 1970s). Reference: front and back covers of several Arduin Grimoires, AG interior illustrations, the cover of The Citadel of Thunder.
  • In his later years, Hargrave cited his repeated exposure to Agent Orange (while in Vietnam) as the cause of his many debilitating health problems (diabetes, and so on).
  • Was a well-known and well-liked Game Master. He was legendary for pulling stunts of great magnitude, such as having multiple Balrogs suddenly run through a door to attack an unsuspecting party.
  • Hargrave was mentioned at the end of the Diablo computer game rules manual, "In memory of".
  • Is buried in Golden Gate National Cemetery.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "United States Social Security Death Index," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/JG37-6P8 : accessed 25 Oct 2013), D A Hargrave, 15 August 1988; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).
  2. ^ Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. p. 83. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7. 
  3. ^ Q&A with Greg Stafford at the Wayback Machine (archived August 19, 2006)