Unearthed Arcania for AD&D 2nd edition
A few people have questioned the name, Unearthed Arcania. "Why Arcania?" they ask. Is this some grand typo being perpetuated throughout our site? Well, the answer to that question is the reason behind the entire concept of the Unearthed Arcania netbook.
For starters, the idea of creating this netbook was suggested in November of 1997 when some bright, young, enterprising AD&D enthusiast piped up on the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons mailing list (ADND-L) and said, "Hey, why don't we stop all the bi#!&ing and spend our energies more creatively, like on building a netbook."
Well, those might not have been the exact words, but the idea definitely stuck. (I won't tell you whom it was who first said those inspiring words, but I will tell you he's the only Turk from Kentucky I know.)
After that, the some 750+ members at the time of the ADND-L responded with enthusiasm, and the five members of the coordinating staff, soon to be called Arcanium, were brought together. These five gathered and compiled the creative ideas of the members of the ADND-L and started putting shape to the project. Next came the task of finding a name.
Now, the ADND-L has always been a forum for discussion of all topics related to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. The many hundreds of people participating are generally all strong enthusiasts of the game, and this netbook was not only intended to be a collection of the wonderful, creative products that could be mined from the imaginations of these passionate AD&Ders, but it was also intended to be a tribute to the game of AD&D itself.
With that in mind, the Arcanium decided to look at what made AD&D great, digging into the annals of AD&D history. One element practically leapt right out at us: Gary Gygax, creator of the AD&D game. From there, it wasn't too difficult to browse the shelves of our AD&D collections, and find our eyes settling on Unearthed Arcana, the last reference book Gary produced for 1st edition AD&D.
There's a bit of poetic nostalgia in using that book to introduce a new AD&D product. It could almost be considered that we are trying to start where Gary left off, continuing the legacy, but we are in no way trying to replace that classic resource that is endeared to many fans who fondly remember the days of 1st edition AD&D. Thus, it would not be fit (nor professionally or legally proper) to completely usurp the name.
Unearthed Arcania is a tribute from hundreds of AD&D members to the greatest role-playing game of all time, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. In this way, we bring a little bit of Gary Gygax's original AD&D into the new, at least in spirit, and we also contribute to the continuation and expansion of our favorite gaming system ever.