Was just looking at some old post and thinking about how far we've come in getting a better handle on those early days of D&D.
For a very long time, just about everyone, myself included, bought into the message to varying degrees that Arneson was a hack who got more than he deserved. Twas said he couldn’t write, didn’t write and was just some sloppy idea guy guilty of sour grapes.
Of course, old Dave really was a decent and kind gentleman and actually a pretty good writer, and his writings, if somewhat obscure, are clear and cogent. Give me Trapman over LA anyday.
A lot of hay has been made over Tim Kask talking about the difficult task he faced when handed a “basketful of notes” that contained an apparently haphazard collection of materials for Supplement II.
Dave likely was a bit haphazard with his notes but the whole thing with Supplement II "basket of notes" is misleading.
Baskets holding project materials were standard operating proceedure at TSR in the early days, and the basket in question had been collected and futzed over by Brian Blume as the original editor on the project. Its likely that the material Arneson had mailed in contained a manuscript and table of monsters (the Giant creatures), the Hit location section, the TotF, The disease section, and a character class manuscript with Assasin, Sage, and maybe Monk. The rest of the material likely was a jumble of notes from Brian Blum and disparate materials written by Steve Marsh. Its not fair to blame Arneson for that, but it is to Tims credit that he pulled it all together into a nifty little book.