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Saturday, October 12, 2019

METHUSELAH: Class-based System for using Chainmail with OD&D

This was in my email this morning. I do not know who sends me these things, but someone apparently likes me. This looks pretty cool to me.

derv wrote:

For a flawless transition within your current campaign I offer you METHUSELAH- a class-based combat system for using Chainmail with OD&D
Allow effortless flow of play from the dungeon to the fields of battle. From the first steps of a low level character to the high level rule of empires, METHUSELAH has you covered.
This Broken Spoke Production includes:
METHUSELAH Complete
METHUSELAH Complete- no art
METHUSELAH Bestiary reference sheets
The Combat Tables (included in Complete)
and
A Micro-crawl "Sir Silvermane's Quest" (So you and your group can give it a spin)
Get METHUSELAH while supplies last!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Robert J Kuntz essay: "Advent of the Elder Ones: Mythos vs. Man in the Lake Geneva Original Campaign, 1973-1976" (Originally appeared in AFS #2)

Robert J Kuntz has posted an essay at Facebook that originally appeared in AFS#2 which I would guess most are like me and have never seen it before. Enjoy!

"Advent of the Elder Ones: Mythos vs. Man in the Lake Geneva Original Campaign, 1973-1976" (Originally appeared in AFS #2) By Robert J. Kuntz ©2012, Robert J. Kuntz. All Rights Reserved. All trademarks and copyrights are property of their respective owners and are used for historical purposes only and as provided for by the Fair Use copyright clause.
In early 1973 I created the beginnings of an ever-expanding story arc involving the advent of the Elder Ones in the known planes of existence. That beginning grew to span most of my published career, has informed play from that point forward in its most granular aspects, and has been responsible as a launching point for so many projects, both published and unpublished that I now need a list to track the interrelatedness of it all. I have appended that list (with short descriptions) hereafter and will explore a selection from this in the main article (*asterisk notes the selections covered).

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Update for Night Shift: Veterans of the Supernatural Wars RPG

The Night Shift: Veterans of the Supernatural Wars RPG Kickstarter now has a 26 page The Quick Start rules and adventure for Night Shift pdf available for download. Just follow the link to download and take a look!

A New Facebook Posted Essay & A New Column at EN World by Robert J Kuntz


Over on Facebook Robert J Kuntz at Three Line Studio account published an excerpt from his grouped essays. Go to From Blackmoor to D&D (Extracted from my grouped essays).

In addition, he also writes (in part) on his blog:(New EN World Column: #1)
I am now an author for EN World with a monthly column.  Six lead columns have been submitted to EN World with the first being published several days ago:https://www.enworld.org/threads/the-beginning-1968-and-meeting-gary-gygax-and-the-gygax-family.667636/
In an earlier Facebook post he writes that:

All six of my lead column installments plus their 19 illustrations/images were sent to Morrus minutes ago. In total they exceeded 7,000 words. I await his response as to when the first of six monthlies will be posted.--RJK

Friday, October 4, 2019

Night Shift: Veterans of the Supernatural Wars RPG Kickstarter is Live!!

Night Shift: Veterans of the Supernatural Wars RPG

Elf Lair Games presents a horror/urban fantasy RPG by two industry veterans, debuting a new system derived from old-school mechanics.

Night Shift: Veterans of the Supernatural Wars

Debuting the new Elf Lair Games house system, O.G.R.E.S., Night Shift is an urban fantasy, horror, and dark modern supernatural game that uses old-school mechanics derived from the original, basic, expert, and advanced versions of the World's Most Famous Role Playing Game. It allows you to mimic all the tropes of just about any film, TV series, or novels you like.
All of the following are possible with Night Shift:
  • Cheerleaders that are chosen to slay vampires, granted with extranormal powers to accomplish their destiny;
  • Sisters imbued with the power of chosen witches;
  • Worlds where Fae of all manner battle in the politics of light and dark;
  • The great-grandniece of a famous gunslinger inherits the legacy of the demon hunter;
  • A world where two brothers armed with knowledge and weapons hunt the supernatural in their father's name;
  • And more!
Night Shift is built to handle just about any sort of urban fantasy you can dream up, using the tropes of classic horror-based television, motion pictures, comics, and novels.
 Designed by industry veterans Jason Vey and Timothy Brannan, whose names have appeared in such products as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Ghosts of Albion, Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space, C.J. Carella's WitchCraft, All Flesh Must be Eaten!, Nightbane, Amazing Adventures, Castles & Crusades and more, this game brings together two noted designers with decades of combined experience. 
Within its pages, you'll find:
  • Complete character generation using familiar stats
  • Major character archetypes, including the Survivor ("I've seen something weird"), Veteran ("I hunt something weird"), Chosen One ("I am the weird thing that other weird things fear"), Theosophist ("I see weird dead things"), Psychic ("I sense and control something weird"), Sage ("I study weird things"), and Witch/Warlock ("I am something weird")
  • Complete rules for magic, psychic powers, and necromancy/spirit channeling
  • Customizable supernatural character race--play a werewolf, vampire, succubus, or fae
  • An optional skills system to expand what your character can do
  • A simple rules system comprised of three basic mechanics, designed for fast and intuitive play
  • Variant styles and levels of play that modify the system to represent gritty, realistic, and cinematic styles
  • A GM section with tips and tricks on creating a series, seasons, and more, as well as guildelines for building custom character classes
  • A full bestiary with all of the classic monsters like werewolves, vampires, demons, devils, zombies, mummies, and a few new surprises
  • Several complete mini-settings you can use to get up and running right away
  • Conversion rules to use the game with Original and B/X, and O.R.C.S (Elf Lair's Spellcraft & Swordplay) systems
  • A complete alternate combat system, which hearkens back to the very earliest days of the hobby, before the publication of the first version of the World's Most Famous RPG.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Dave Arneson Game Day October 1st, 2019 (part two)

Blackmoor Week started on September 24th and concludes today October 1st with Dave Arneson Game Day (his birthday).

I thought in this second of two posts that I would like to some of the other things that have been going on this past eight days.


Let us start with Havard's Blackmoor Blog!

Greg Svenson's Noble House of Zvenzen Sourcebook Out Now! - Dave Arneson Game Day Part 2
Note: If you follow the above link there is a free download, you do not want to miss!
At The Piazza, you can read about Dave Arneson ideas not found in D&D, Blackmoor's greater world and how to use Arnesonian elements in your games in new and original ways.


Also check out the following:
Dave Arneson Game Day 2019 is Today - Part 1: Welcome to the Party!  
 Are you up to date with everything from Blackmoor Week 2019? This is what we have done so far:
 Bonus link!
We Need to Make Sure Both Dave And Gary Are Remembered Megarry Says  
 David Megarry, designer of Dungeon!, friend to Dave Arneson and Original Blackmoor Player adresses the recent discussions surrounding Dave Arneson's role as Co-Creator of D&D. It's not really about one side supporting Dave and another supporting Gary, Megarry says:
Some Facebook Links
https://www.facebook.com/blackmoor.campaign/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/blackmoorfans/
Secrets of Blackmoor - A Dungeons & Dragons Documentary
Today is Dave Arneson Game Day.
What Do You Want to Do? A "Secrets of Blackmoor" Review
🎲Imaginary Worlds🎲 Shooting has begun on Volume 2 of Secrets of Blackmoor.
 It will be more about the actual RPG campaigns in the Twin Cities, Blackmoor, Stellar 7, Empire of the Petal Throne, and more.
Yesterday we sat with Mike Carr and heard about what it was like to be the first ever Cleric in a D&D game.
http://secretsofblackmoor.com/
Castle Blackmoor 

The MeWe Group
Blackmoor - David Arneson's First Fantasy Campaign

Blog Posts!
Dave Arneson Game Day October 1st, 2019 (part one)
Dave Arneson Game Day October 1st, 2019 (part two)  
Blackmoor Week and Dave Arneson Game Day!
Blackmoor Week 2019
Dave Arneson Blackmoor Week and Game Day 2019
Blackmoor Week 2019 (9/24/19)
Blackmoor Week Day One and Dave Arneson Game Day
How the Grognards really played (This is my kind of final interpretation of the way the Twin Cities gamers roleplayed before D&D:)
Car Wars Classic: Arnesonian roleplaying, Steve Jackson Games style
( (This is how Car Wars fits easily into the category "Arnesonian gaming":)
SUPERCONDENSATOR: freeform Traveller rules (PDF!) (And last, but not least, here are my Arnesonian Traveller rules, based on how Marc Miller plays it)
I Have a Plan...
Monks Come From Blackmoor 
Orcs of Mystoerth 
Monks Come From Blackmoor Part 2 
My Collection is Now Complete 
Blackmoor and Greyhawk 
Happy Dave Arneson Day 
Blackmoor and Me 
“Who in the World is Dave Arneson?” A Dave Arneson Homage, Part 1 of 2 
Learning from Dave Arneson’s Published Works A Dave Arneson Homage, Part 2 of 2

Dave Arneson Game Day October 1st, 2019 (part one)

Blackmoor Week this year has been very busy and I did not get to post as much as I would have liked, but I did get to game and that really is what it is all about. Blackmoor Week started on September 24th and concludes today October 1st with Dave Arneson Game Day. Today is Dave Arneson's Birthday and we celebrate a man who has given a tremendous amount to entire gaming community. All tabletop roleplaying games are based on his game engine.

While I did not get to play today, I did get to play on Saturday the 28th of Sept and I will be gaming again this coming Saturday the 5th of Oct.

While I have mainly reffed over the years it is always fun to move to the other side of the table as a player. I have always wondered if those who play, but do not ref understand how much work goes into getting ready for a game? The game I currently play in is a high prep game, although the ref is retired military and has the time, and I know that he puts a lot of time into getting the game ready and he is very organized. I on the other hand run a low prep game with a lot of improv, create on the fly and even when I have more time to prep the when I restart my game I will still run it the same basic way.

The game I am in runs for five hours at a time and that works well for the whole group which varies between five and eight players each time we meet. When I ref I have been running games about four or five hours long these days, although I prefer to run games that run for eight to twelve hours, but that has not happened since I graduated from college 40 years ago. I am hoping I can eventually have a game of that length once or twice a year.

The game I am in right now is a 2nd Ed AD&D game. I have never played 2E before as I am an OD&D ref and player (since Sept '75), although I have played and reffed some 1st Ed AD&D that was back in the late 90's for a while. Current characters in the game range from 3rd level to 7th level with death occuring every now and then, but we are gradually working our way to a higher level party. This game is heavy on undead and several of the undead are original and have unusual characteristics. One has a glowing area in his chest and when killed explodes and the bones fly around like scraptnle. Other monsters are also more deadly than standard.

We travel back and forth between an island that we are trying to completely take over and the mainland. We have to travel all over to multiple cities for training when one of us levels up and it is expensive. Everything goes into the party loot with magic divied up to you can best use it or needs it the most. Training and expenses are paid for out of the party funds. (yeah, no fighting over treasure)

Both time and resources are tracked and there are several pages of house rules which we all get a copy of.

Most recently we have been fighting with Merrow and Sahuagin with a few other allies. They occupy some caverns that have below water entrances that have to be accessed at low tide. We have from the outside been whittling them down and at the current time we returned after being away for a year. They have a lot of spell use that has made for some really tough battles, with shaman and witch doctors and such. Every battle has been really close to being a party wipe. This next game could wrap this up if we are lucky and we survive. It should be in that event a good haul. But the first thing we have to do this coming game is have several of the players roll saving throws for their magic items. Hopefully we will not lose to much of our stuff because we are going to need all of it.

The ref (DM) posts about these games over at Dragonsfoot. The thread title is (2e) Newbies to Kervasis and if you go to this link (2e) Newbies to Kervasis- scroll down to post 189 for a summary of session 59 the one we just played.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Saving Throw — a fundraiser fanzine to help James D. Kramer

This information was also in my email when I checked it earlier today.
writes
The OSRIC "Saving Throw" zine project is announced and live on DriveThruRPG. Details are @ www.drivethrurpg.com/product/288750/Saving-Throw-fundraiser-fanzine-for-James-D-Kramer

I have some personal reflections about Jim on my blog @ grodog.blogspot.com/2019/09/saving-throw-new-osric-zine-to-support-jim-kramer.html as well.

Allan.
Some news and updates on _Saving Throw_:

1. Thank you for your generous support of this project!---Saving Throw has been as high as #3 on the DriveThruRPG.com best sellers list this week, outpacing both Eclipe Phase 2nd Edition and Legend of the Five Rings! That wouldn't have been possible without your support!
2. Please continue to spread the word---Saving Throw isn't even a week old yet, so many old-school gamers won't be aware of it: mention it in your gaming groups, your local game stores, and in your social media channels! Your primary link should be back to the DriveThru project page at www.drivethrurpg.com/product/288750/Saving-Throw-fundraiser-fanzine-for-James-D-Kramer
3. Bryce "tenfootpole.org" Lynch's very positive review is at tenfootpole.org/ironspike/?p=6236 and user Guggy Z on DriveThru commented as a verified purchaser that "What a great zine! Just skimming I think the hours of solid play to page count ratio looks immense, and I appreciate the chance to support a good cause. This stuff is going right to my table ASAP!"

More news and updates on my blog (including about the forthcoming print edition) @ grodog.blogspot.com/2019/09/saving-throw-osric-fundraiser-zine-news-and-updates.html

Thank you again, and please continue to share the project to amplify its visibility---the more gamers who are aware of it, the more support it will bring to Jim and his family!

Allan.

www.drivethrurpg.com/product/288750/Saving-Throw-fundraiser-fanzine-for-James-D-Kramer
Saving Throw — a fundraiser fanzine to help James D. Kramer

You may know Jim Kramer from his Usherwood Publishing modules & supplements, or his work helping produce works like OSRIC and Knockspell. You probably didn’t know Jim had multiple brain surgeries to remove tumors, and the battle has gotten much harder. To help Jim and his family during this difficult time, a group of his friends, collaborators, and first edition enthusiasts banded together to make this fundraiser fanzine, where all royalties go directly to Jim and his family.

This 60+ page issue of Saving Throw contains:

    •Introduction by Ron Redmond
    •Island Tables - random generation and inspiration tool by Steve Smith aka “EOTB”
    •Sorcerer’s Stone - dungeon level by Keith Sloan
    •Trolls of the Simpolo Swamps - leech-mated trollish variations by Joseph Browning
    •Perladon Manor - adventure module by Gabor Lux
    •By The Runes - fiction by Dan Rasaiah
    •Magic Item Intrinsic Material Values - variant magic item value rules by Guy Fullerton
    •Goblin Garbug Cavalry - new monster by Andrew Hamilton
    •The Tiled Labyrinth - mini-dungeon by Guy Fullerton
    •Lotus Blossoms - magical and special properties of these exotic flora by Keith Sloan
    •Burly the Baker - ready-to-use NPC and cantrips by Gary Francisco
    •Darkworld Troll - new monster by Bryan Fazekas
    •Offig’s Tomb - treasure map by Steve Smith aka “EOTB”
    •Lizard Man Lair - outdoor module and new monsters by Steve Smith aka "EOTB"
    •Mephitic Geysers of the Intaglio Rift - treasure map by Allan T. Grohe, Jr. (“grodog")
    •The Mere Beneath - dungeon level by Guy Fullerton, Allan T. Grohe, Jr. (“grodog"), and Henry A. Grohe
    •Sarendra’s Crew & Kelurrin’s Crew - ready-to-use NPC parties by Allan T. Grohe, Jr. (“grodog")
    •Rescue from the Sanctuary of the Leopard Goddess - dungeon module by Matthew Riedel
    •Featuring illustrations by Jimm Johnson, James D. Kramer, Wind Lothamer, Gabor Lux, Denis McCarthy, Peter Szmer (soon), Del Teigeler, and Alex Zisch.

For the lucky price of $13, you get two treasure maps, three referee tools, five new spells, six modules, at least nine new monsters, twelve ready-to-use NPCs, and more. Plus the knowledge that your purchase helps a family during a difficult time.

Thank you!

Note: We plan to make a print version available soon. When it becomes available, will send drivethru coupon codes to everyone who purchased the pdf so they can get a print version at a discount.

Note #2: We are still in the process of gathering artwork for some of the articles, so don't be surprised by any of the blank spots. We will notify everybody when we update the pdf with new art, and you can download the latest version from your library.

NEW KS begins Oct 3rd by Jason Vey of Elf Lair Games

I checked my email this morning and this info was sent to me a couple of days ago.

By thegreyelf widely known as Jason Vey of Elf Lair Publishing
 Hoping you guys will follow and back when this comes out:

Coming Soon

Night Shift is a modern urban fantasy, horror, and supernatural game designed to cover just about any style of game in that genre you like. It uses a new system that mimics the mechanics of OD&D, B/X D&D, and AD&D, but streamlined and smoothed out. I'm calling the new system O.G.R.E.S. just as our original house system was called O.R.C.S. While not a clone of any existing system, the mechanics are close enough to make your classic O/B/X/A games and resources compatible with it.

We're Kickstarting next week, on October 3, and the campaign will run until October 31 at 11:59 P.M. Yes, Halloween.

It's designed by myself and Timothy Brannan. The two of us have worked together on a lot of games over the years, and our names appear in publications such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Ghosts of Albion, Doctor Who, Castles & Crusades, Amazing Adventures, and many more.
What makes it different from Amazing Adventures? AA (both the C&C and 5E versions) does a great job of emulating Urban Fantasy.
So, AA is built to be a multi-genre game in the pulp tradition which can handle any kind of play you can imagine. It also in both its iterations uses pretty definitively modern rules systems (even though both SIEGE and 5e seek to emulate an old school style of play).

Night Shift is very specifically built to emulate a horror/urban fantasy game rooted in things like Buffy, Angel, Forever Knight, Ash vs. Evil Dead, Charmed, Supernatural, Wynona Earp, Van Helsing, Lost Girl, and the like. In Tim's and my mind, it's a replacement for the Buffy RPG, which is no longer (technically) in print. We're including a range of "Night Worlds," or mini-settings to get you started.

The system, also, is what sets it apart. It's based on my blog and thread here about how there were actually 3 systems in old school play. In hashing that out, we've got a system with 3 sub-systems: combat, saves, and ability checks use a d20 system which is a sort of mashup between SIEGE, OD&D, and Target20. Class abilities use percentiles. The GM then uses the Rule of 2 to adjudicate just about everything else.

The system is called O.G.R.E.S., and is meant to replace my original O.R.C.S. system in the second edition of Spellcraft & Swordplay, which I hope to release next.

Here's a bit of a more formal press release about Night Shift:

Night Shift: Veterans of the Supernatural Wars
Debuting the new Elf Lair Games house system, O.G.R.E.S., Night Shift is an urban fantasy, horror, and dark modern supernatural game that uses old-school mechanics derived from the original, basic, expert, and advanced versions of the World's Most Famous Role Playing Game. It allows you to mimic all the tropes of just about any film, TV series, or novels you like.

All of the following are possible with Night Shift:

    •Cheerleaders that are chosen to slay vampires, granted with extranormal powers to accomplish their destiny;

    •Sisters imbued with the power of chosen witches;   

    •Worlds where Fae of all manner battle in the politics of light and dark;

    •The great-grandniece of a famous gunslinger inherits the legacy of the demon hunter;

    •A world where two brothers armed with knowledge and weapons hunt the supernatural in their father's name;

    •And more!

Night Shift is built to handle just about any sort of urban fantasy you can dream up, using the tropes of classic horror-based television, motion pictures, comics, and novels.

Designed by industry veterans Jason Vey and Timothy Brannan, whose names have appeared in such products as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Ghosts of Albion, Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space, C.J. Carella's WitchCraft, All Flesh Must be Eaten!, Nightbane, Amazing Adventures, Castles & Crusades and more, this game brings together two noted designers with decades of combined experience.

Within its pages, you'll find:

Complete character generation using familiar stats

Major character archetypes, including the Survivor ("I've seen something weird"), Veteran ("I hunt something weird"), Chosen One ("I am the weird thing that other weird things fear"), Theosophist ("I see weird dead things"), Psychic ("I sense and control something weird"), Sage ("I study weird things"), and Witch/Warlock ("I am something weird")

    •Complete rules for magic, psychic powers, and necromancy/spirit channeling

     •Customizable supernatural character race--play a werewolf, vampire, succubus, or fae

     •An optional skills system to expand what your character can do

     •A simple rules system comprised of three basic mechanics, designed for fast and intuitive play

     •Variant styles and levels of play that modify the system to represent gritty, realistic, and cinematic styles

     •A GM section with tips and tricks on creating a series, seasons, and more, as well as guildelines for building custom character classes

     •A full bestiary with all of the classic monsters like werewolves, vampires, demons, devils, zombies, mummies, and a few new surprises

     •Several complete mini-settings you can use to get up and running right away

    •Conversion rules to use the game with Original and B/X, and O.R.C.S (Elf Lair's Spellcraft & Swordplay) systems

    •A complete alternate combat system, which hearkens back to the very earliest days of the hobby, before the publication of the first version of the World's Most Famous RPG.

What Is O.G.R.E.S?
O.G.R.E.S. stands for "Oldschool Generic Roleplaying Engine System." It's the new house system for Elf Lair Games, which will run alongside our current O.R.C.S. and Cd8 Systems. It's another step forward in presenting a new approach to the definition of a "unified system" for running just about any kind of game, using mechanics that will be instantly familiar to players of "old school" fantasy games, specifically those that powered the Original, Basic, Expert, and Advanced versions of the World's Most Famous Role Playing Game.

What O.G.R.E.S. does, however, is streamline and codify these mechanics, to remove what many view as arcane and confusing elements, and break the system down into a fast-playing, fun, easy-to-understand, and open presentation, adding a few modern design elements to improve the smooth play.

This also means that the majority of products which are compatible with any of these editions of the game, are also compatible with O.G.R.E.S.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Day One - Blackmoor Week 2019

Today, September 24th, 2019 is Day One of Blackmoor Week and eight day week celebration of the creation of Blackmoor by David "Dave" Lance Arneson culminating in celebrating his birthday on October 1st, 2019 (Dave Arneson Game Day).
This is an Annual Event and honors the creator of the Game Engine that all Role Playing Games use. While the Game Engine is used for all role playing games, it was first used for Table Top Fantasy Adventure Games such as Blackmoor from which the published game Dungeons and Dragons was derived.

The differing mechanics of each of many role playing games, when used with Arneson's Game Engine, can be used to play many different games from Dungeons & Dragons, to Traveller, to Gamma World to Tunnels & Trolls and hundreds of other games. All of these games, no matter how much the mechanics differ, use Dave Arneson's Game Engine.

Over at the Secrets of Blackmoor Blog a recent post gives a streamlined summary of the gist of the book "Dave Arneson's True Genius" By Robert J Kuntz.

Streamlining Dave Arneson's True Genius This is a short, but clear and concise explanation., by use of an analogy, of one of the main points of the book. You can purchase the book at https://www.threelinestudio.com/.

Secrets of Blackmoor produced and recently published the documentary movie SECRETS of BLACKMOOR - The True History of Dungeons & Dragons (Volume One) making it available first to the Kickstarter Backers and then to the general public. If you follow the link you can watch the entire two hours plus of the movie at vimeo as a streaming video for a small fee. The entire video will also soon be available on DVD and IIRC also on BlueRay. This first film sets the background of how the Game Engine was created. There are additional planned films in the series and the taped interviews and documents have already been gathered, they just need to be assembled in the meticulous way that this one was. Excellent visual and sound quality.

So join me in celebrating Dave Arneson and Blackmoor Week! More to follow tomorrow.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Gary Gygax Day 2019

Gary Gygax  (July 27, 1938 – March 4, 2008)

Celebrate Gary Gygax Day 2019! Remember the co-author of the original Dungeons & Dragons game.

Here are some other posts that do just that!

Who Wrote It? Immanuel Kant or Gary Gygax? The was written about a month ago, but is very apropos for Gary's Birthday! Number a paper from 1 to 20 and scroll slowly down the page picking your answers, then scroll the rest of the way to see the answers and how you did.

Roll A D20 Today, Happy Gary Gygax Day 2019

Gary Gygax Day 2019 at Round Table Games

Gary Gygax Day July 27th 

Celebrate Gary Gygax Day with a Dungeons and Dragons Charity Stream

Gary Gygax Day!

Happy Gary Gygax Day!

Happy Gygax Day!

E. Gary Gygax Day

Happy Gary Gygax Day 2019!

I still remember the first time I ever played Dungeons & Dragons (September 12, 1975). A new friend of mine brought the game to college with him and that Friday night about 5 PM we started off with a referee and 12 players (6 women and 6 men) and we played until about 2 AM. I went through 6 characters that night, all fighting-men and had a blast being the "stand in the gap guy" trying to give the others a chance to escape. I was hooked, this was the most fun game I had ever played, since I was a kid and we made our own bows, arrows and spears playing Indians (back in the 1960's) fighting the cowboys, settlers and soldiers. Yeah, we played the Indians as the good guys, they were more fun.

In a month or so, I was refereeing and then I was even more hooked. I found out that I like running the games even more than playing. So a big thanks to Dave Arneson & Gary Gygax the authors of D&D! Some people honor them by playing in Blackmoor or Greyhawk. I honor them by creating and playing in my own worlds and thanking them for their inspiration.

Today we Honor Gary and later in the year we Honor Dave. Neither one of them ever played the original D&D BtB and that is the example I follow. The "rules" are really "guidelines" and you can play for hours without ever glancing at the rule books once you are familiar with them. If you have never tried that, give it a whirl, and play like they did in the early days. Some of us still do and always will.


Monday, July 8, 2019

Update: The Manual of Aurania and The Libram of Aurania

Thought you all would like to know about these updates on this project.

Re-mastered Art
I am pleased to release our first remastered image from the Manual of Aurania - our Kickstarter scheduled for early 2020. This is a significant amount of work to curate the very original publication with all of its stunning original line art and OD&D stats, while recreating the original concept into a fully fleshed out 100 page sourcebook with remastered artwork and modern 5e game system stats. We hereby announce the World of Aurania - a collaborative old school map where you can fill in the gaps by submitting art, writing stories, fleshing out towns, or concepting original monsters. Replete with online editing tools where you can submit your work, get paid, share your creations, and earn points as the world grows.

Here is an example of the original line art by Troy Locker Palmer and remastered illustrations by the inimitable Mario A Barraza. There is so much more to be discovered as we comb through these ancient publications and bring them into the present day. Won't you join us?

Here is an example of the original line art by Troy Locker Palmer and remastered illustrations by the inimitable Mario A Barraza. There is so much more to be discovered as we comb through these ancient publications and bring them into the present day. Won't you join us?
More Re-mastered Art
Happy with the progress on the Libram of Aurania remastering. We will be publishing the original and a remastered sourcebook. Don't miss the Kickstarter in 2020! We promise old school goodness... Here is the never before published table of contents with some fantastic artwork from the seventies! Also super happy to introduce Todd Ulrich to World of Game Design. Thanks to Troy Locker Palmer for the creative mojo in the original and to Darrold Wagnerfor allowing us to bring this project to life. Don't miss the sneak peak in Illusionist Magazine coming in September! 

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Dungeons & Dancers: An Epic Belly Dance Adventure!

I was following links and I ran across this Kickstarter and I just had to share it with you. Dungeons & Dancers: An Epic Belly Dance Adventure!

(photo by Gabi QC)
(photo by Gabi QC)

Dungeons & Dancers is a theatrical production that blends the captivating art of belly dance with the immersive storytelling of Dungeons & Dragons. Both dance and tabletop roleplaying have the power to transport us to other worlds filled with magic and exciting new experiences! Dungeons & Dancers is our love letter to the boundless potential for creativity and storytelling that both of these forms of expression provide. 
The story of Dungeons & Dancers follows our party as they search for an ancient artifact known as the Sanguine Amulet. All the danger and delights of an epic fantasy tale await them, but what sets this show apart is the original D&D adventure that inspired it. We wanted to evoke the feeling of sitting around a table with friends and enjoying the epic and ridiculous things that unfold as you play. And what better way to do that then actually play through a campaign? The end result is a story told through dance and dialogue that captures the vitality and magic of a game of D&D.
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The premiere of Dungeons & Dancers will take place on August 24, 2019 at the PSI Theater in Durham, NC. This performance celebrates the 5th anniversary of Geektastic–The League of Extraordinary Bellydancers' annual stage-show.  Over the years, Geektastic has become a  must-see show, hosting the top talent in theatrical belly dance and consistently enhancing the theatrical experience. We're thrilled to level up Geektastic once more and bring our audience the best show yet with Dungeons & Dancers!
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The League of Extraordinary Bellydancers (LXBD) is a North Carolina-based theatrical belly dance troupe. Our signature style combines the exotic art of belly dance with the geek fandoms you know and love. From outdoor festivals to bustling conventions; intimate venues to packed theaters -we’ve delighted audiences with our geeky dancing since 2014! Essentially, we’re a group of incredibly nerdy dancers who can't resist the urge to take our geek passions and fuse them with our passion for dance.
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Potential Risks:
-You'll fall in love with belly dance and/or D&D and want to spend all your free time doing it.
-We'll keep making creative new shows!
-Our troupe director will finally gain the power to turn herself and her dog into liches and together they will rule all.
 Follow the link and check it out!

Thursday, July 4, 2019

James Ward Article At Dragonsfoot

Over on Dragonsfoot Forums, an essay by James Ward (Metamorphosis Alpha and Gamma World) was posted today - James Ward on TSR's Amazing Accounting Department.  

This is a fun read and I believe I have seen the story before, but here it is posted as standalone, check it out, it is a good read and a good window into the way upper management operates in the vast majority of companies and demonstrates the trait of institutional stupidity that is a given in the business world.
Then, horror of horrors, a new head accountant was hired. 
Therein lies the tale! Check it out! 

Monday, July 1, 2019

The Manual of Aurania and its unpublished cousin the Libram of Aurania

 
 The Manual of Aurania, 2nd Edition, Source: Tome of Treasures

Great news! Over on Facebook, Jared Daniel Nielsen of World of Game Design states that 
We are pleased to announce that we have completed our latest acquisition of a seminal fan created publication called the Manual of Aurania and its unpublished cousin the Libram of Aurania. This vintage game setting is about as Old School as it gets with vintage line art from Hugh K. Singh and writing by Daniel Wagner and Larry E. Stehle from the hoary days of 1977 when a California gaming group at Aero Hobbies became early adopters of this esoteric thing called Roleplaying games.
The follow-on edition called Libram of Aurania was fully designed and laid out (with a typewriter and cut out illustrations) with a tape binding for forty years just waiting for publication. Well now is the time and we will be launching this to Kickstarter in January 2020 with a vintage collectible reprint of the Manual of Aurania and the Libram of Aurania as well as a fully modernized and remade full color version of both as we kick off our Old School worldbuilding effort next year.
With advanced online worldbuilding tools, you too can contribute to the world of Aurania... coming soon!
The Manual of Aurania and its unpublished cousin the Libram of Aurania

If you are on Facebook, follow the link and post, letting them know you are interested.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Bundle of Holding TÉKUMEL (Empire of the Petal Throne) Bargain!

There is a bundle of holding right now at TĂ©kumel The tabletop science fantasy roleplaying world by M.A.R. Barker going on for the next 21 days.  Right now the first eight titles for $6.95 in pdf and if you pay a bit more you get seven more titles. 
Adventurer! This TĂ©kumel Bundle presents the astonishing science fantasy tabletop roleplaying campaign setting TĂ©kumel created by Professor M.A.R. Barker (1929-2012). Unmatched in its depth and intricacy, TĂ©kumel is a far-future world of 14 intelligent species, inventive and flavorful cultures, ancient technology, psychic powers, a history spanning 30 millennia, and several constructed languages. The TĂ©kumel Foundation has authorized this bargain-priced introduction to Barker's magnificent world, with two complete roleplaying games, maps, histories, journals, and -- a first for the Bundle of Holding -- language books!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Dave Hargrave Day

Today we celebrate the birthday of Dave Hargrave the creator of Arduin. May 25th is our annual celebration of one of the most creative of the early Referees that picked up the Original Dungeons & Dragons and ran with it. In those early days, we were all encouraged to take the game and make it our own, bend it to our own vision and stretch the boundaries of our creativity. Dave Arneson set the standard for that and Dave Hargrave set out to see where he could go and his friends went with him.

Along the way Dave Hargrave gave us some advice for navigating the world of Arduin. This was posted in the Google+ Arduin group in the waning days of G+ by Matrox Lusch on July 27, 2018.

In honor of Dave Hargrave I am reproducing it here.
David Hargrave's Thirteen Rules for Survival
1. Nothing is ever what it seems, so always be alert.
2. The Game Master cannot be out-fought, but he can be out-thought.
3. In all melee, battle, or surprise situations, the prime thing to remember is that you must react. Do something, even if it’s wrong. Take action!
4. The surest way out of any ambush is through the point of maximum resistance. Never ever try to turn around and/or retreat. It’s precisely what they’ve planned for you to try. So hit them hard, fast, and hell bent for blood, because you’ve got nothing to lose anyway!
5. Never fight when you can think instead.
6. Beware mixing the three M’s: melees, missiles, and magik. To do so is to court disaster.
7. Remember that for battle you must have preparation; distance between yourself and the target; sufficient delay time in which to wield your maximum firepower, and enough firepower to ensure the absolute destruction of your intended target.
8. Always expect the worst in any given situation. Always be prepared for the worst, no matter where you may be, and truly, through practice, become “the worst” so that trouble will strive mightily to avoid you!
9. You must have eyes and ears in all directions at all times.
10. A closed mouth means silence, which equates to secrecy, which means safety and a surer way to travel. Don’t advertise your destination.
11. Be careful with your weapons - they cut in two directions, and your friends are often more vulnerable than your foes.
12. Every adventurer should be prepared to fight and/or flee at any time with no more than what he is wearing and carrying. And don’t load yourself down with a lot of junk; be selective.
13. The thirteenth, though last, is the most important of all the rules of survival:
THINK!! THINK!! THINK!!