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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.

David A. Hargrave
Hargrave, c. 1987
Hargrave, c. 1987
BornDavid Allen Hargrave
(1946-05-25)May 25, 1946[1]
DiedAugust 29, 1988(1988-08-29) (aged 42)
Resting placeGolden Gate National Cemetery
GenreFantasy, science fiction, RPG
Notable worksThe Arduin Trilogy


Military serviceEdit

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 gamesEdit


From the mid-1970s through 1988 Hargrave was very active in the role-playing community. He authored ten books based upon his Arduin game world. Hargrave also produced four Arduin Dungeon Modules and several fantasy item collections, which were published by Grimoire Games.[2] Hargrave originally submitted his Arduin Grimoire to Greg Stafford's publishing house Chaosium, in 1977, but Stafford found it too derivative 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.[3]

Historical contextEdit

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.


While Hargrave was considered one of the best Gamemasters, 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.[4])

Other worksEdit

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 CompanyEdit

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

Business card for Hargrave's store.


For years, Hargrave had suffered a heart disability with diabetic complications. He died in his sleep August 29, 1988. He was survived by his wife, Brigitte Hargrave.[2]



  1. ^ "United States Social Security Death Index," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed October 25, 2013), D A Hargrave, August 15, 1988; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).
  2. ^ a b "Arduin Grimoire -". Retrieved October 3, 2015.
  3. ^ Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. p. 83. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
  4. ^ "Q&A with Greg Stafford". Archived from the original on August 19, 2006. Retrieved August 19, 2006.

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