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Sunday, April 30, 2017

On the topic of The Current Climate of OSR Relations

I posted this on a forum where there is a discussion of  The Current Climate of OSR Relations. Apparently there have been some contentious posts recently between people in various places including both blogs and forums. About what I am not completely sure as I have not read much about it. So we have a calm discussion going on with many different points of view, but no rancor and I posted the following:

So quoting myself:

I have been reading the posts on here and I partially agree with each of you, but I also have quite a bit of disagreement. First of all I represent that part of old school gaming that does not think of itself as belonging to the "OSR" and does not ever use modules and has little to no interest in them. As the OGL is used mainly for simulacrums, some of which are close to and others that are distant from the original games they based off of and for modules compatible with those simulacrums they really hold very little interest to me. The "OSR" is so vague and diffused it is in many ways IMO irrelevant. I am glad there is no central authority governing an official "OSR." The main thing an "OSR" tag does is hopefully identify the part of the genre that a product will be compatible with. That is not always the case because opinions about what is old school run the gamut from very narrow and defined to very loose and almost anything is included. So there are some things that are "OSR" identified that IMO are not remotely old school. So some things are IMO "OSR" in name only. YMMV I realize that people who view it like me are a tiny minority

I find the simulacrums of considerably more interest than modules because they contain house rules, so you can look at different ways different people handle things. IMO the community is better served by more things that aid gaming instead of modules. YMMV

To reference my impressions from Robert J Kuntz's new book Dave Arneson's True Genius, I see old school as the original open system that Arneson created for his Blackmoor campaign that was brought to Lake Geneva with nearly two years of development and play testing already completed as a fully functioning game that was being run with a lot of players constantly. Gygax, of course, saw the implications and possibilities and immediately thought of publishing it. At this time the game existed in a pile of notes and in Arneson's head. So Gygax started writing based off of Arneson's notes, playing in Arneson's game and correspondence between the two. As Arneson's notes were not complete and since they did not live next door and did not have email to make communication fast and efficient and easy, Gygax started writing and play testing a version of the game in his new campaign Greyhawk. Rob Kuntz and the other players contributed to the writing of Dungeons & Dragons through their play and their ideas. The open-ended concept and the mechanical ideas were written down filtered through Gygax. So D&D was the Arneson creation with the Gygax interpretation dominating the written word mechanically, but with Arneson's open system intact. Even so, those who played in Blackmoor (and some also in Greyhawk) have testified over the years that D&D did not really change the way Arneson played the game. We also know that Gygax throughout his life and despite how he moved from publicly advocating the open mutable system of OD&D to the much more closed system of AD&D, he always played the open system in his own D&D and AD&D campaigns without the limits that he preached to others. There is one "OSR" writer and I doubt that he would come to any of your minds(that is not an insult), that preaches there is no old school or new school at all and that the is no significant difference between OD&D and 3E or any other game, as he has argued on a number of forums. That is why I said above that the "OSR" is vague. I also find it somewhat amusing that someone who claims there is no old school, nevertheless tries to write for that market and claims a seat at the table. Obviously his mileage varies considerably from mine.

Now to be clear, I see Gamma World, Classic Traveller and a quite a number of other games as old school, there was a time when I did not, but I do now. I used to have a very short list of what were old school, now that list is much, much longer and  I have gotten less and less and less rigid (an ongoing process) through talking with Rob Kuntz, while some other people in various places have gotten extremely rigid and they are all over the map from one end of the spectrum to the other. So my personal definition (YMMV) of old school is that the more open the systems are the more old school it is and the less open the systems are the less old school it is. So it could have been written yesterday and still be old school IMO.

Also, to be clear, there is nothing wrong with using modules regardless of the reason that you use them. I, on the other hand, advocate self-designed sandbox play where the players are free to make any decision that they want to, without any limits. I consider wilderness adventures, dungeon adventures and anything else all to be sandboxes, whether you put in a lot of time creating it up front or whether you create it in real time on the fly. If I tell my players that they see 10 portals shimmering in the air in front of them, there are usually several options that do not involve going through one of the portals. On the other side of each portal I picture in my minds eye 10 different planets floating in space, each unique and different, and it is never a case of having the same encounter behind all of the doors. My players keep going through portals.

I am supporting the BLUEHOLME™ Journeymanne Rules Kickstarter  b
ecause I really like seeing the Holmes Rules expanded to Levels 1-20, and with a lot of new Dr Holmes material in it. I don't view it as a replacement for OD&D, but as a resource it is compatible and many of the kickstarter stretch goals items can be used directly IMC. I am not supporting it because it is "OSR" but because IMO it is meaningful and needed to be done and is IMO it ishistorically important to the memory of Dr. Holmes who volunteered his time and skills to making D&D more accessible to beginners who lacked the assumed background knowledge that OD&D assumes. It does not hurt that the author who goes by the screen name of Vile happens to be a great guy and a valued member of many forums, including my own.

I do agree that most of the arguments, drama, and hurt feelings make about as much sense as level limit and alignment arguments do(to paraphrase a member of my forum) or IMO not so much. What Arneson believed his whole life and what Gygax championed back in the beginning is play in a way that is fun for you and your players and it will be completely different from what anyone else is doing, and that is the way it is supposed to be.

I also believe that the "OSR" has both encouraged and stifled creativity at the same time. Because of that the Renaissance part has not been seen to the degree that I think it can and should be seen. I think that the day will come when they (whether many or few) will go back to the original open concept of Blackmoor, Greyhawk, Kalibruhn and OD&D and do something different with it and recapture the lightening in a bottle (product) and it will grow like a wildfire.

IMO it is a shame that the entire contents of Arneson's original notes did not see the light of day and that the notes that Arneson provided for the Blackmoor supplements did not see print, except in part. Again to paraphrase a member of my forum, instead of the editor looking at the notes and failing to make heads or tails of them and putting things by others in the book, you could have said OK here are ten different and contradictory ways to handle X and then print all of them. The Blackmoor supplement could have been all Arneson. IMO our "OSR" authors should think about writing those kind of supplements, grab bags of ideas. People like me would buy stuff like that and IMO others would too. Maps would be great too, especially a map where you could zoom in and print a single hex and key on a single sheet of paper

A member on my forum quoted this portion of the Introduction to OD&D:

INTRODUCTION:


These rules are as complete as possible within the limitations imposed by the space of three booklets. That is, they cover the major aspects of fantasy campaigns but still remain flexible. As with any other set of miniatures rules they are guidelines to follow in designing your own fantastic medieval campaign. They provide the framework around which you will build a game of simplicity or tremendous complexity -- your time and imagination are about, the only limiting factors, and the fact that you have purchased these rules tends to indicate that there is no lack of imagination -- the fascination of the game will tend to make participants find more and more time. We advise, however, that a campaign be begun slowly, following the steps outlined herein, so as to avoid becoming too bogged down with unfamiliar details at first. That way your campaign will build naturally, at the pace best suited to the referee and players, smoothing the way for all concerned. New details can be added and old "laws" altered so as to provide continually new and different situations. In addition, the players themselves will interact in such a way as to make the campaign variable and unique, and this is quite desirable.
Key words and concepts, "guidelines" provide a "framework" for your game of "simplicity" or "tremendous complexity" with the only real limiting factor being time. Begin slowly, build naturally (organically), then add new details, and/or alter old laws to provide continually new and different situations. The decisions the players make will produce a campaign variable and unique.

Does this describe your campaign? If not, why not? The answer to that question is not for you to share so we can judge you, it is for you to answer in your own heart. You should judge yourself and if you are happy with the judgement you make, cool; however, if you are not happy with the judgement you make, then change things in ways that make you happy. I can only speak for myself and say that that does describe all of the campaigns that I have run and am running and I hope it describes the campaigns that many, if not all, of you run.

This has rambled all over the place, but I hope you all followed the gist of what I am saying.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

What is Dave Arneson’s True Genius??


What is Dave Arneson’s True Genius??

 
Well... It kinda starts below…


....and then by leaps and bounds...

Breaks the sound barrier of game design history


by 2,000 years...
 


Join us in a giant step into the past that re-opens a


future doorway David L. Arneson created and


gifted to us!
 


From the awarding-winning


game designer


and author Robert J. Kuntz:
 


Dave Arneson’s True Genius
  


Available From threelinestudio.com




Wednesday, April 12, 2017

"Dave Arneson's True Genius": Released/Available April 13, 2017

Press Release

Why is it that the question still persists of what a Role Playing Game is 46 years after David Arneson first contrived it into being and then a little later with his new partner, Gary Gygax, made the concept available commercially?

Award winning game designer and author Robert J. Kuntz presents the answers in the book, Dave Arnesonʼs True Genius, and they will surprise the entrenched, provisional views of those who have been in a perpetual argument until this point.


In this book Mr. Kuntz describes and explains through design theory and systems theory terms and examples what Arnesonʼs genius accomplished which is no less than the shattering of 2,000 years of game design history and theory.


Available April 13 from Three Line Studio: Dave Arneson's True Genius


Front of the book


Back of the book
This will go live at 10:00AM GMT or 6:00AM EDT on the 13th of April.

BLUEHOLME™ Journeymanne Rules Kickstarter

From the Kickstarter by Michael Thomas! Just follow the links to check it out!


A complete 115-page OSR tabletop RPG in the spirit of 1977 Holmes Basic for character levels 1 through 20.

BLUEHOLME™ Journeymanne Rules Kickstarter

About this project

BLUEHOLME™ Journeymanne Rules

Back in the beginning of 2013, Dreamscape Design (that's me) launched a little retroclone intended to faithfully model the "Holmes" edition of the worlds best-known role-playing game. The BLUEHOLME™ Prentice Rules, like the original Holmes Basic book, only covered character levels 1 through 3.
The stand-alone BLUEHOLME™ Journeymanne Rules go much further than that.
  • Character levels 1 through 20
  • Over 230 spells for clerics and magic-users
  • Over 120 creatures, including may sub-types
  • Over 250 magic items
  • Rules for combining character classes
  • Rules for playing any species in the creature chapter
  • Rules for adventuring in the Wilderness and in the Realm
  • 115 pages in 8.5" x 11" format
The Journeymanne Rules are more just than an accurate rendition of "Holmes" edition game-play, they draw from a wide range of sources to more closely model the eclectic and unique approach to the game promoted by Dr J. Eric Holmes himself. In BLUEHOLME™, anything goes - but the dice never lie!

What's this Kickstarter about?

I'm glad you asked! This Kickstarter campaign has only one goal - to fund excellent quality interior artwork for the Journeymanne Rules. Stretch goals mean more art, until there are no empty spaces left. That's it - the text has been written, the layout is ready. Once the campaign ends the only thing you're waiting for is the artists to do their thing.
You can already see the outstanding cover art produced by Jean-Francois Beaulieu in the video - his art was commissioned up front, because I believe a creator should have enough faith in his project to invest in it himself. A bevy (is that a proper collective term?) of artists has been lined up to grace the interior pages from cover to cover. In no particular order (click on their names to see more of their amazing work):

Friday, February 10, 2017

New Spells for Old

Over on my forum The Ruins of Murkhill - OD&D and Other Classic Old School RPGs one of my members has started a new project down in the Workshop area in a sub-forum titled New Spells for Old. So far she has started threads titled:

Creating New Spells for OD&D
What are different ways that Magic-User Magic could Work?
What are different ways that Clerical Magic could Work?
Magic-Users Spells and Levels
Clerics Spells and Levels
Magic-Users First Level Spells
Clerics First Level Spells
Spells for Creating Magical items
How do you create Clerical Magic Items
 These are just getting started, but please check it out and encourage the project. Other Character Classes are welcomed by the OP and this is just the start.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

A Few Things from Robert J Kuntz

Having been sick for most of the last two months (my wife and I alternating back and forth in that state) I have way behind on my projects and my posting.  So that is not an excuse just a statement of what has happened.

Here are a few links from posts over at Rob's blog Lake Geneva Original RPG Campaign.

My Interview at the Multiverse Blog

BoardGameGeek Composite Rating for El Raja Key Archive: So Far So Good!

Dave Arneson's True Genius Cover FINISHED!

A New Interview of RJK by the French Magazine La Gazette du Donjon (French & English) 

A Project I'm Writing and Laying Out at the Same Time

Some great stuff here, check out the links and see what is up!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!!

On behalf of myself and those I game with, I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!!

A few quotes from one of my favorite stories!

Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol.

 “But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,' faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself.
Business!' cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. "Mankind was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The deals of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”

“There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say,' returned the nephew. 'Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round—apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that—as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!” 

“He went to the church, and walked about the streets, and watched the people hurrying to and for, and patted the children on the head, and questioned beggars, and looked down into the kitchens of homes, and up to the windows, and found that everything could yield him pleasure. He had never dreamed of any walk, that anything, could give him so much happiness. 

“And it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!” 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Link to Published Interview with Robert J Kuntz

Here is a fascinating Interview with Robert J Kuntz published over on the Multiverse blog on 11/30/2016. Q&A with Robert J. Kuntz.

Rob posted the link on his blog at My Interview at the Multiverse Blog .

There is a lot packed in this interview and many topics could be spun off of it. Over on my forum I spun off this topic as a start on doing that, Spinoff - Dinner Guests any five writers any time period.


Also check this out:

TLB Games Holiday Specials  

Three Line Studio on Facebook 
★ Sunken City: First Print by Robert J. Kuntz is a classic #RPG adventure for 6-9 characters of 8th to 10th level. The adventure is a 40-page, smaller than digest-sized, booklet with a sturdy, separate, card stock cover. Pre-generated characters are provided, complete with statistics, magic-items, equipment, and spells. ★ Available to Order NOW from TLB Games!

★ TLB Games Holiday Sale Special, starting Cyber Monday until Christmas Day ★ Happy Holidays From TLB Games & Three Line Studio!
Check out our fantastic offers on the El Raja Key Archive line:
★ Basic DVD: Normally $39.99 --- Holiday Special: $24.99!
★ Standard DVD: Normally $79.99 --- Holiday Special: $59.99!
★ Deluxe DVD: Normally $119.99 --- Holiday Special: $89.99!
★ Collectors DVD: Normally $159.99 --- Holiday Special: $139.99!
★ K1 Sunken City (1st Print): Normally $14.99 --- Holiday Special: $9.99!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Quest Themed Treasure Hunts and Party Adventures

I thought I would share this link with everyone - Quest Adventure Hunts  - since these are a lot of fun for a party and they are a gold mine for ideas. 

The site says about itself:
We are the oldest existing website on planning themed treasure hunts for parties, classrooms and the workplace. We've had humble beginnings almost a decade and a half ago, offering a single downloadable e-book, Ultimate Treasure Hunts. We were first on the scene to offer downloadable treasure hunt products with a 'plug and play' format. Over the years we've expanded our site to include themed Bingo Sets, scavenger hunt lists, free treasure hunt planning advice, free downloadable theme party invitations as well as the coolest (and only) physical items that were designed SPECIFICALLY for treasure hunt creating such as aged paper and breakable skulls!
The site map is at the bottom of the main page and here are just a tiny sampling of the approximately 150 downloadable pdf files.
Egypt Theme Party Ideas
Quest Adventures Egyptian Themed Parties. Everything you'll need to plan an amazing Egypt themed party - decorating ideas, games, fundraising ideas and more!
Ancient Egypt Themed Treasure Hunt - Perfect for your archeology/Indiana Jones themed party
Quest Adventures Egyptian Themed Treasure Hunts. Everything you'll need to plan an amazing Egypt themed treasure hunt - decorating ideas, treasure hunt puzzles, games!
Ancient Egypt Treasure Hunts for Prereaders
Plan a creative Ancient Egypt themed treasure hunt for your prereader! Great Egyptian games!
Ancient Egypt Themed Bingo Set Download - perfect for a Ancient Egypt theme party!
A fully downloadable Ancient Egypt themed Bingo set - ready to be downloaded now!
Ancient Greek Scavenger Hunt Lists Collection
Plan a fun and creative Ancient Greek scavenger hunt - create memories this Ancient Greek holiday!
Ancient Greek Themed Bingo Set Download - perfect for a greek theme party!
A fully downloadable ancient Greek themed Bingo set - ready to be downloaded now!
Ancient Roman Themed Bingo Set Download - perfect for a Roman theme party!
A fully downloadable ancient Roman themed Bingo set - ready to be downloaded now!
Indiana Jones Party Theme Ideas - Tons of Ideas for an Indiana Jones Theme Party!
Indiana Jones theme party ideas. TONS of creative Indiana Jones style party ideas including party games, Indiana Jones decorations and Indiana Jones style party invitations!

Again  this is just a tiny sampling of what is available. The owner started doing these games about 20 years ago for his three sons and has been on the internet for about 15 years. He has many things available for children and for adults, for boys and girls. From Care Bears to Lord of the Rings.

If you want something for your party or your group that is time tested, then check this out.

Please note that I do not receive any income of any kind for posting this link. I just wanted to share it with everyone.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Classic Traveller Play By Post Game(s)! (UPDATE!!)

Update:
Another member of my forum that goes by  Ronin84 is also starting a play by post Traveller Game Third Imperium Style and you can read the invitation here.


Original post below this point: 
***********************************************************
Classic Traveller Play By Post Game(s)! Does this idea grab you?  On June 23rd this post was made over on my board: 1977 Traveller Setting Creation and in a short time (about 3 weeks) that expanded in a new forum on my board Space: 1977 which as of today accounts for a whole subsector - 39 Threads and 264 posts. That spawned this Play by Post Game by makofan with two different groups: Traveller - Murkhill Subsector is the forum for the game and just in the setup it has created 18 Threads and 452 posts and the game(s) for two groups should kickoff within the next 24 hours.

But wait! Did you not have a chance to get in on that game? Well lucky for you another guy that goes by ffilz also wants to start a Classic Traveller Play By Post Game! See this thread for information about that Looking for Traveller players for online game. Talk to him and see if it works for you to join the game he wants to run.

So come and look! Classic Traveller!!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The El Raja Key Archive DVD - ordered Wed and delivered Sat!!!!!

The mail was delivered later than usual on Saturday and I did not check the mailbox until this morning. So ordered it Wednesday and it was delivered Saturday, which is pretty fast for the post office these days. Now I have the El Raja Key Archive DVD and I have test driven it and then copied the contents to my hard drive and test drove it again and it performed flawlessly! When you read the descriptions (historical information and backgrounds), at the bottom of that page are the images for that description. Click on an image and then scroll down to see each image, then what I do is click on the larger image and open in a new window. (open the large image not the thumbnail)


So far I have read/skimmed through about 100 pages of material (including the original Kalibruhn Supplement V manuscript), I will be going back and looking at it in much more in detail. Well worth the investment and I highly recommend it.

I love it and I will be spending a lot of time reading through the copious notes and descriptions. 


Thank you Rob!!!

Friday, October 28, 2016

More news from Three Line Studio

More news from Three Line Studio, letting us know that Robert J. Kuntz's Memoirs are underway and they will contain:

an overall pool of life stories spanning his days in Lake Geneva, his fortuitous meeting with Gary Gygax and the Gygax family in 1968, and his many and varied personal and professional observations from his career path as a free-lance designer and author.  This major work will include details on his friendships with Gary & Mary Gygax, Donald Kaye (co-founder of TSR), Dave Arneson, and his time as an employee and stockholder of TSR Hobbies, as GENCON's chairman, and his observations and insights from other unique perspectives.

Among many other things, I am looking forward to hearing more about Donald Kaye (co-founder of TSR) of which we know almost nothing.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

★ El Raja Key Archive DVD: The Collected Maps, Manuscripts & RPG Artifacts of Robert J. Kuntz ★

Here it is ★ El Raja Key Archive DVD: The Collected Maps, Manuscripts & RPG Artifacts of Robert J. Kuntz ★ the extensive collections of over 1000 files rich with the history of  
high resolution scans of adventures, maps and keys, campaign notes, character sheets, and manuscripts from the Original Greyhawk, Kalibruhn, and Blackmoor Campaigns.
 Available for purchase at TLB Games!

El Raja Key Archive Now Available - Three Line Studio/Three Little Books line Goes Live @ 11 AM CST!

The day has arrived, Rob Kuntz has just announced here that:
After some delays to bring the project up to the highest standards possible Three Line Studio will launch its first brand under the partnership of Robert J. Kuntz and Paul J. Stormberg: the Three Little Books line of products.

He also states that
At 11 a.m. CST the store will go live! http://www.tlbgames.com/ and see his blog for additional links and information.
and provides the link in the blog posts along with several screen shots. So that you can purchase the here described El Raja Key Archive DVD. There are four price points ranging from basic to collectors editions. I am getting mine right now!


Friday, October 7, 2016

Major Crash and all of my Links in my Sidebars are gone

Major Crash and all of my Links in my Sidebars are all gone. So the first step is to rebuild my blog roll - all 600+ links and figure out how to keep it from happening again.

Big Sigh! :) and get to work. 

First Edit:
OK, the first 100 blogs have been added back. (They are being added in a random order since it is being done from scratch)

Second Edit:
OK, another 201 blogs have been added back! Now up to 301 blogs.  

Third Edit:
OK, another 104 blogs have been added back! Now up to  405 blogs. 

Fourth Edit:
OK, another 49 blogs have been added back! Now up to 454 blogs.


Once the blog roll is 90% complete, I will start on some of the other link lists as well. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

UnSung Heroes of the OSR World! - Part V

Ok, here we go! Blackmoor Week 2016 is over, a wedding was attended and other things have been taken care of and it is time to resume the UnSung Heroes of the OSR World! series.

This series is to honor some of those who are out their doing stuff for the rest of us to use and will mainly be for those who are doing free items, although I do not rule out highlighting as UnSung someone doing a product that is being sold.  I may do a series down the road on products that are being sold. As I have said before, I think that both free and non-free deserve respect. Each persoln will need to decide what can be supported and that can be complicated for some.

So on to some blogs nominated by readers to assume the mantle of UnSung Heroes of the OSR World!

First up is Halfling's Luck authored by James Spahn. It runs the gamet from B/X D&D to 5E and to clones such as Labyrinth Lord. He has also done a number of reveiws. This blog has been around since 2014 and has 126 posts, here are just a few of the posts that I really enjoyed:
The Limits of the Fading Folk
Death and Purpose in Gaming
Our Bastard: Anti-Heroes in a Heroic Campaign
Keeping Items Magical

Pardon My Rant: Respect for the DM
Just to mention a few, that is a pretty good sample of the blog. It was suggested to me and I like it.

Another blog that was nominated was Planet Algol and it was highly touted by the one who nominated it. So let's take a look at it:
A MASTER INDEX OF PLANET ALGOL CAMPAIGN RESOURCES
Here is a campaign journal sample from the blog:
The Expeditionary Journal of Xarnagan Vrokk Introduction
The Man Who Fell From The Sky And Other Important Events
Out of the Forbidden Mist and into the Tower of Tazar
Out of the Forbidden Mist and into the Hive of Sages
To Bring Back the Dead
This blog has been around since 2009 and has 644 mostly concentrated in the first three years of the blog. Here are a few of the posts:
Introduction to Planet Algol, it's Satellites and ...
Planet Algol Campaign Houserules 
Musing on Magic & Technological Items
Next up is Against The Wicked City is a blog that has been around since 2015 with about 185 posts.

Here is a little sample of the resources page - roughly one twelth of it:

 Against the Wicked City: Collected Information
Since I started this blog, I've uploaded a lot of material about the setting and system of ATWC. Like, well over a book's worth. So much that it's starting to get a bit tricky to keep track of it all.
I'm thus going to use this page as a handy way to keep it all in one place. I'll update it as I add more.

General Setting Information and Game Rules
Here are a few represenative posts, pretty sweet stuff:

Why central Asia is a perfect RPG setting (and why... 
D&D Monsters from improbable sources 1: Poems by e... 
Gaming in fantasy Central Asia: the Silk Road 
More Talking Animals: Wolves and Birds (playable c... 
The person who nominated this blog really loved this post:
 The lost colours of D&D

Just What Is The OSR? And Is There A Renaissance - A Cultural Re-Birth OR Is It Yet to Happen?

I have been thinking a bit about the OSR. My usage of OSR (current usage) is Old School Roleplaying. Why is that, you may ask? I will tell you, I use the term Roleplaying instead of Renaissance or Revival, because for me, there is no Revival, I am just doing what I have been doing for the last 41 years. What I do is (to the best of my ability) is what Dave Arneson did. I build my campaign directly from the original sources (fiction and non-fiction). Now unlike Dave I have access to the internet and hundreds, if not thousands of secondary and tertiary sources and resources and I read a lot, so I am exposed to a ton of things that Arneson did not have access to bitd.

Renaissance carries the meaning of a Cultural Re-Birth and IMO that has not yet happened in the OSR/Old School Gaming niche. There are a lot of people that are creating a lot of new materials for use with the original games and their clones and there are new things being created and going off in a lot of directions. Meaning there is a lot of new fun for everyone. Some of these things are free and some are not. I am a fan of both free and not-free items, although products I have to pay for have a higher bar to pass to get me to invest. I would point out that there are many free products that would have been worth buying if they were being sold.

Likely we will all have different opinions on what would constitute a Cultural Re-Birth when it comes to Old School Gaming. Some will even claim it has already happened. I do not believe that it has, I think it is going to happen, but is not yet here. I am not sure what would bring it about, but I feel that it is imminent - it could be a few months or it might take a few years - nevertheless I think it is coming and when it does it will breathe life back into the game beyond our niche of those DMs and players (the tiny minority that frequent blogs and forums) and extend itself to those who rarely or never check the internet in regard to their gaming.

I think that a real Cultural Re-Birth would mean a return to Original School Gaming - going all the way back to what Dave Arneson did back in 1970, 1971 and following when he took ideas from David Wesely and the Braunstein game scenario (which started in 1967) and
Though Wesely thought the results were chaotic and the experiment a failure, the other players enjoyed the role playing aspect and asked him to run another game.
Wesely continued to run these Braunstein's because his players loved them, including a player by the name of Dave Arneson. When David Wesely went into the Army in 1970, Dave Arneson took over as the referee and continued to develop things and add things until Blackmoor was born. Dave Arneson went where Wesely (reportedly by his own admission) was not interested in going. 

I think when people take a closer look at what Dave Arneson did and recognize his contributions that have been obscured and denigrated, there will be some light-bulbs coming on and some serious new stuff will result when that happens.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Blackmoor Week 2016 - part 7 "Dave Arneson Game Day 2016"

Here are a few more links and information to celebrate the birthday on October 1st of David "Dave" Lance Arneson.

In Celebration Of Dave Arneson's Birthday & Blackmoor The First Fantasy Campaign 

This is a lengthy (great) post with a lot of interesting links and the story of how the writer was introduced to Dave Arneson's Blackmoor.

The Weekly Update - Sunday, October 2nd, 2016 - Dave Arneson Day, and I have now played D&D!!!
Our friends at The Source Comics and Games here in the Twin Cities all knew Dave, so it was no surprise when they announced that they were going to have a 'Dave Arneson Day" at the store. A whole bunch of people pitched in to make this event both a success and lots of fun, and I was delighted to be asked to do a sort of 'information booth' along with some of the old Blackmoor crowd to answer questions about Dave and gaming back in 'ye olden days'. We did, and we had am immense amount of fun!
Yeah! That is right - the writer Chirine was one of Dave's players back in the day. Thank you for a great post!

Secrets of Blackmoor a Dave Arneson documentary

Yeah! The word about the documentary is getting around and I hope it is a good accurate one and I would love to see it.

The First Magic Swords

A  great informative post by DHBoggs and it opens with this:

"Several of us were injured trying to pick up the magic sword. One of the guys was eventually successful in picking it up, though. We collectively decided that we were in way over our heads and to return to the castle."   The First Dungeon Adventure,  Greg Svenson.

Magic swords have been a major prize in Blackmoor, perhaps even from the very first game.
The entire post is a great read and I recommend it.

The Piazza Reach 1K Likes on Dave Arneson Day

That is 1000 Facebook likes for Dave Arneson Day. Next year, let's double that!!


 Posted on 10/3/16:
Dave Arneson Day 2016 - What did you miss?  

Friday, September 30, 2016

Blackmoor Week 2016 - part six or Dave Arneson Gameday 2016

Today is October 1st - Dave Arneson's birthday. (Sorry, but I won't be gaming today, I am going to a family wedding) I did game an OD&D game last weekend, and as always I am inspired by Blackmoor and Dave Arneson and I always try to do something new in every game. 

Last time around my players were trying to get home from a trip through a portal into another world and that is more complicated than simply going through the portal again. You see, not only are there an infinite number of universes and an infinite number of worlds in each universe, there are also an infinite of timelines since every decision by everyone splits the timeline into as many different tracks as there are many different decisions that could have been made at each decision point by each creature in each world. So when you travel through a portal you must take precautions and use certain rare magic to increase your chances of returning to the timeline you really belong to - not one where you will run into yourself or one where you do not even exist. Even having done everything that can be done, there is always a risk that you will not end up where you want to be and of course there is no way to know until something happens that should not be, such as, running into yourself.

A few new links to help you along the path of celebrating Dave Arneson Game Day.

Dave Arneson Documentary Trailer Revealed! The blog post is fairly long and here is a snippet:

Today, October 1st, is Dave Arneson's birthday. As always we celebrate  Dave Arneson Day by sharing Blackmoor related material. This year I have something very special to share. The trailer for an upcoming documentary about Dave Arneson has just dropped! The producers became aware that their trailer may have gotten leaked by accident, so they contacted me about doing an official release on my blog to counteract the leak. I suggested that they should release the trailer for Dave's birthday, and they liked that idea. I still have no information about when the movie will be released, but it looks like this is not going to be a Kickstarter project.

Dave Arneson Game Day 2016 

[Dave Arneson Day] Dave Arneson Documentary Trailer Revealed

Blackmoor Week 2016 - part five

Here are a number of interesting links for Blackmoor Week 2016 and some of them build on the foundation laid by previous links.

Blackmoor Week Day 5: Bow Before Zugzul
Blackmoor: The Wild Cards
Magitech of Blackmoor: Nacelle Weapons of the First Crusade  
Magitech of Blackmoor
 Blackmoor Week Retrospective: d20 Blackmoor
Blackmoor Week Retrospective: 4E Blackmoor
If you run across something I have not seen, please let me know.

Blackmoor Week 2016 - part four

As part of Blackmoor Week 2016 I decided to link to some posts over at the Hidden in Shadows blog that relate directly to Dave Arneson and Blackmoor. First up is a post titled Sergeants, Officers, and The Temple of the Frog  where DHBoggs says:

This is a post about garrisons and troop organization in OD&D and for this discussion I'm going to look once again at Supplement II Temple of the Frog, and the exact nature and composition of the forces defending the temple. ...

In the second post titled Troops Arms & Armor tables. DHBoggs expands into the Dave Arneson game Adventures in Fantasy (Richard Snider co-author) where he says:
In the last post I considered the organization of the garrison of the temple of the frog as a model for small garrisons and troops in OD&D, and I listed the arms and equipment given in the text.  It's fine to simply use that, but if you (like me) would prefer a little variety in arms and equipment, there is a really terrific series of tables in Arneson's rulebook 1 of Adventures in Fantasy, page 31, that will give you just that. ...
In the third post titled Blackmoor Taxes, Living Expenses and the Support and Upkeep of Hirelings in OD&D  DHBoggs says:
A good while back, I had a productive and interesting series of discussions with Alex of Autarch regarding economics and game design. You can see these here
ground-up literally
starting-ground-part-ii
and
The Blackmoor base ...
So here is some links to some very interesting (IMO) reading and I hope you enjoy it and find it useful.