April 10, 2009 at 11:03 PM EDT

After a two-year battle with cancer, Dave Arneson, one of the cocreators of Dungeons & Dragons, died on Thursday in St. Paul, Minn., the AP has reported. He was 61. Arneson and Gary Gygax, who passed away last year, developed the medieval-themed fantasy game in 1974 .Over the next three decades, it became an enormously successful franchise, branching out into role-playing books, video games, and movies.

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