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Friday, October 5, 2018

Blackmoor Week/Dave Arneson Game Day 2018 Complete List

Reposted with Permission from The Ruins of Murkhill Forum copied from Xizallian's Place.

Compiled Complete List (of everything we can locate)

Pre-Announcement of Dave Arneson Game Day October 1, 2018 posted on 9/22/2018

Dave Arneson Game Day 2018 Coming Up!

(Eight Days a Week)(Google if you don't get the reference  ;) )

Blackmoor Week is September 24th through October 1st (yeah we know that is eight days) and October 1st is Dave Arneson Game Day. Several people who have blogs are posting in celebration of the Week and of The Day.

Day One Blackmoor Week Blog Posts for September 24, 2018

Celebrating Blackmoor Week (Day One)
Blackmoor Week Day One and Dave Arneson Game Day
Blackmoor Week Day ONE
Blackmoor Week Day One
Blackmoor Week Day ILet's Celebrate Blackmoor Week 2018

Day Two Blackmoor Week Blog Posts for September 25, 2018

Celebrating Blackmoor Week (Day Two)
Blackmoor Week Day Two and Dave Arneson Game Day
Blackmoor Week Day TWO
Blackmoor Week Day Two
Blackmoor Week Day II

Day Three Blackmoor Week Blog Posts for September 26, 2018

Celebrating Blackmoor Week (Day Three)
Blackmoor Week Day Three and Dave Arneson Game Day
Blackmoor Week Day THREE
Blackmoor Week Day Three
Blackmoor Week Day III

Day Four Blackmoor Week Blog Posts for September 27, 2018

Celebrating Blackmoor Week (Day Four)
Blackmoor Week Day Four and Dave Arneson Game Day
Blackmoor Week Day FOURBlackmoor Week Day FourBlackmoor Week Day IV
T
he Mystery of Dave Arneson's Engine

Day Five Blackmoor Week Blog Posts for September 28, 2018

Celebrating Blackmoor Week (Day Five)
Blackmoor Week Day Five and Dave Arneson Game Day
Blackmoor Week Day FIVE
Blackmoor Week Day Five
Blackmoor Week Day V

Day Six Blackmoor Week Blog Posts for September 29, 2018

Celebrating Blackmoor Week (Day Six)
Blackmoor Week Day Six and Dave Arneson Game Day
Blackmoor Week Day SIX
Blackmoor Week Day Six
Blackmoor Week Day VI
When Dave Arneson Changed the World (Murkhill's tinyurl.com/DaveArnesonWeek )

Day Seven Blackmoor Week Blog Posts for September 30, 2018

Celebrating Blackmoor Week (Day Seven)
Blackmoor Week Day Seven and Dave Arneson Game Day
Blackmoor Week Day SEVEN
Blackmoor Week Day Seven
Blackmoor Week Day VII
Celebrating Blackmoor Week 2018

“Who in the World is Dave Arneson?” A Dave Arneson Homage, Part 1 of 2 by James Maliszewski posted at Goodman Games

Dave Arneson Game Day 2018 Blog Posts for October 1, 2018

Dave Arneson Game Day celebrated today on his birthday October 1st 2018
Dave Arneson Game Day (October 1st 2018)
Dave Arneson Game Day today October 1st, 2018
October First 2018 "Dave Arneson Game Day"!
At Last It Is Here - Dave Arneson Game Day!
Happy Birthday Dave Arneson

Learning from Dave Arneson’s Published Works A Dave Arneson Homage, Part 2 of 2 by James Maliszewski

Happy Dave Arneson Day! by Bruce Heard
Spooky Blackmoor: The Horseman of the North
David Fant, Baron of Blackmoor (Interview)
"WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO?" -- DAVE ARNESON'S LEGACY (Today is Dave Arneson's birthday, also known as Dave Arneson Game Day.)

Other Posts on Dave Arneson Game Day 2018 October 1, 2018

Other posts by  

Dave Arneson Game Day 2018!
Happy birthday Dave Arneson! (2018)
GS3 Castle Newgate Gazeteer by Greg Svenson (DA Day Release) (For Members only)
Dave Arneson Game Day 2018 - Coming soon!
Blackmoor Living World (DA Day 2018 Release)
Dave Arneson Game Day 2018 - Official Discussion! 
Maliszewski on Dave Arneson Dave Arneson Game Day 2018
Living Blackmoor (DA Day 2018 Release)
Dave Arneson Game Day 2018 - Preparation Thread
GS3 Castle Newgate Gazeteer by Greg Svenson (DA Day Release)

A partial list of Dave Arneson Game Day Posts. 

Dave Arneson Game Day 2018 Highlights!

Monday, October 1, 2018

October First 2018 "Dave Arneson Game Day"!










Happy Birthday to Dave Arneson!! You gave so much to so many! I hope you knew how much we enjoyed your games and that a lot of us knew you were the creative force behind what we enjoyed so much!

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Blackmoor Week Day Seven

Back a few years ago Dave Arneson was interviewed for Issue #2 of Fight On! magazine. In it he was asked this:
FO! Did you ever try early role-playing experiments in other kinds of settings, or was it pretty much all Blackmoor?
DA We tried many settings for roleplaying, including Modern, Horse and Musket, Wild West, and some Sci-fi. Some of the material from the latter game slipped into City Of The Gods.
Wouldn't we all of loved to have been there for that, even if only as a fly on the wall watching it.

In that interview which unfortunately was extremely brief we also learn this about Dave Arneson:
My favorite computer games are the world strategy games, like Age of Empires and Civilization. 
As a huge Civilization fan, that rather tickles me that in so many things Dave and I have the same taste. I've never tired Age of Empires, but I am sure I would like it.

As I think about it, I think of the three Davids of gaming:

David Wesely
David Arneson
David Hargrave

It is sad that they did not all hook up in a game company together with a silent partner to fund and hire support staff and a good editor. That would have been DIY gaming material for the next century.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Blackmoor Week Day Six

David "Dave" Lance Arneson, creator of table top role-playing, and Blackmoor, creator and co-author of Dungeons & Dragons, has a birthday anniversary in a few days. Born October 1st, 1947 he revolutionized the gaming work with the creation of the table top role-playing game.

Rob Kuntz wrote the first of several books to come exploring this topic. Here is a review that covers the book titled  by  in a review located at Cedgewick's Reviews > Dave Arneson's True Genius. I will post here a quote from the lengthy detailed review that constitutes by far the best review of the book to date.
The first essay deals with the unique system qualities of Arneson’s creation, Blackmoor, which Arneson conceived of and developed more than a year prior to revealing it to Gygax. Here Kuntz’s genuine excitement and respect for what Arneson achieved is readily apparent, as he reveals 26 distinct leaps in game design that he has identified from Arneson’s work. Most notably is Arneson’s genius in merging two seemingly disparate concepts: the open system of play as exemplified by children imagining together, and the closed system of play as exemplified by a typical board game. Kuntz then moves on to demonstrate, through analysis of Gygax’s own shifting statements as well as through recounting several key events, how TSR abandoned a basic tenet of Arneson’s philosophy: that of the gamemaster as the absolute creator of his own highly individualized game. In its place, Gygax instituted a new and far less creative role for the gamemaster as simply the administrator of standardized and structured rules (AD&D and the boxed sets of increasing complexity), premade game worlds (Greyhawk and Mystara) and even premade adventures (modules). Kuntz points out that Gygax instituted this shift at TSR to further monetize Arneson’s concept while privately adhering to Arneson’s original philosophy at his own gaming table.
I highly recommend that you read the entire review and that you buy the book in order to gain a more complete picture of the genius of Dave Arneson.

Or just go play some Dungeons & Dragons, but take off the training wheels and run your own adventure and make the game your own. Arneson won't mind, he'll be happy for you! 

Yes, I know I talked about the same review twice and that is because it is that good, go read the whole thing and then buy the book. :)

Friday, September 28, 2018

Blackmoor Week Day Five

If one is really interested in learning more about the creative side of Dave Arneson, one should get the book "Dave Arneson's True Genius, by Robert J Kuntz. While I am not allowed to quote from the book itself, I will refer you to this review Cedgewick's Reviews > Dave Arneson's True Genius on Goodreads by Cedgewick, the researcher Michael Wittig who is known for being honest and forthright.

Quoting portions of Mr. Wittig's excellent review
More subtly on display, however, is Mr. Kuntz’s unarguable bravery in tackling the firmly-entrenched Gygaxian narrative of Dungeons & Dragon’s creation. In fact, to my knowledge this is the first time anyone in the 43 year history of the game has dared to challenge that narrative in a published work, despite the persistent whispers in various corners of the industry of its fallacy. But what better man to do it than Kuntz, who was at the table with Gary Gygax when Arneson first unveiled his revolutionary new game system?
Then he says 
The first essay deals with the unique system qualities of Arneson’s creation, Blackmoor, which Arneson conceived of and developed more than a year prior to revealing it to Gygax. Here Kuntz’s genuine excitement and respect for what Arneson achieved is readily apparent, as he reveals 26 distinct leaps in game design that he has identified from Arneson’s work. Most notably is Arneson’s genius in merging two seemingly disparate concepts: the open system of play as exemplified by children imagining together, and the closed system of play as exemplified by a typical board game. 
You'll want to follow the link to see what he says next all the way to the end of the review as it goes from solid point to solid point.

He closes with this 
If, by now, the reader of this review gets the sense that I have summarized all of the thoughts and topics contained in this 69 page book, I can assure you that I have not. But given the superficial nature of the other reviews that I’ve seen for this book, I thought it necessary to provide you a taste of the thought-provoking richness Kuntz offers should you dare to read his book—if you are brave enough to do so, good luck and enjoy the adventure!

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Blackmoor Week Day Four

Over at The Comeback Inn - The Dave Arneson's Blackmoor Discussion Forum there is a wealth of Dave Arneson and Blackmoor information. Some of it is available to the public and other treasures are reserved for forum members only.

Some of the things available are:
General Blackmoor Discussions
Blackmoor Rules Discussion
The Original Blackmoor Campaign (Members Only)
Other Twin Cities Campaigns (Members Only)
The Blackmoor MMRPG Campaign

Discussion about Dave Arneson's Blackmoor the MMRPG ("Living Blackmoor"). 
The MMRPG episodes are available as FREE DOWNLOADS here! (Members Only)
Greyhawk & Blackmoor
Mystara & Blackmoor
Other Worlds & Blackmoor

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Blackmoor Week Day Three

As you celebrate the birth of Dave Arneson and the unique place he occupies as the founder of our hobby, you may wonder what some of the Blackmoorian monsters are? They can be found at The Blackmoor Archives:
The Blackmoor Bestiary ( it is in d20 format but converting back to the proper OD&D format is a trivial exercise and easily completed)
Monster: Sandfolk, converted by Traianus Decius Aureus
Monster: Frogfolk, converted by Traianus Decius Aureus
Monster: Killer Frog, converted by Traianus Decius Aureus
Monster: Gakarak, converted by Traianus Decius Aureus
Monster: Grazer, converted by Traianus Decius Aureus
Monster: Man, Hidehunter, converted by Traianus Decius Aureus
Monster: Robot, Dbot, converted by Traianus Decius Aureus
Monster: Robot, Ebot, converted by Traianus Decius Aureus
Monster: Robot, Sbot, converted by Traianus Decius Aureus
Monster: Robot, Ubot, converted by Traianus Decius Aureus
Monster: Cyborg type III, converted by Traianus Decius Aureus
Monster: Cyborg type IV, converted by Traianus Decius Aureus

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Blackmoor Week Day Two

As you celebrate Dave Arneson and Blackmoor week you may want to know more about him and about it. At The Blackmoor Archives there is a download page and a few of the items available for download are:
The Silent Guard
The Sightless Sisters
The Gen'Ri
The Eldrich Underground
The Brothers of the Greenwood
The Wizards Cabal
The Topaz Eye
Castle Blackmoor Preview, preview to the Dungeons of Castle Blackmoor
Three Blackmoor NPCs, an except from the D20 Campaign Sourcebook
Blackmoor Dungeon Level 1, revised Dungeon Level 1 from Dungeons of Castle Blackmoor
Paladins of Blackmoor Blackmoor Softcover Book.
Blackmoor Hex Map, sample from the D20 Blackmoor Softcover Book.
The Maiden's Blackmoor, first draft of the companion for the Last Fantasy Campaign (pdf). 
Character creation rules for the Blackmoor MMRPG 4E. Includes a sneak preview of the new Inventor Class!
City of the Gods Web Enhancement (pdf) from CMP. Includes stats for two monsters; the Sandfolk and the Camarilla.
Return to the Temple of the Frog, A D&D 3.5 adventure by Ted Albert available from Wizards of the Coast. (Preserved at the Internet Archive)
Supplement II: Blackmoor (pdf) by Dave Arneson 
First Fantasy Campaign Map of Blackmoor by Dave Arneson 
And that is just a small sample of what is there, go check it out. 

Monday, September 24, 2018

Blackmoor Week Day One

Today is the kickoff of Blackmoor Week celebrating Dave Arneson and Blackmoor. If you would like to know more about Blackmoor and about Dave Arneson then you should check out this site:

The Blackmoor Archives

There is no better resource for all things Blackmoor. The site contains links to a forum (you have to be a member to access the good stuff), Havard's Blackmoor blog (a cool chap from Norway), articles, history, a bestiary, rules, gallery, maps, campaigns, worlds, community, MMRPG (a lot of those links do not work as the MMRPG is no longer running).

Community is a partial list of websites that have Blackmoor and/or Dave Arneson information.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Secrets of Blackmoor Documentary

Secrets of Blackmoor is a Feature-Length Documentary about the birth of the “Mother of all Games”: Dungeons & Dragons.
Blackmoor is the name of a fictional world created by David Arneson. It is also the prototype of Dungeons & Dragons, the first published role playing game. Unlike other fantasy worlds, such as J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth, Blackmoor is a living world that is being explored to this day. Secrets of Blackmoor investigates the origins of the role playing game, through candid interviews, archival footage, and newly discovered artifacts.

This Secrets of Blackmoor T-shirt is for those who want to show their alliance with the old ways of gaming.
With artwork by none other than Bob Bledsaw Jr. who illustrated some of the first game modules ever published, including Dave Arneson's First Fantasy Campaign.
This T-shirt features a minimalist design of Castle Blackmoor backlit by a rising full moon and the movie title right up top. 
Oh oh,  Gerti the Dragon has decided to take flight tonight!
Bob Meyer says "You could never be sure if Gerti was a good dragon, or a bad dragon…"
Be one of the few who celebrate the oldest role playing campaign ever, with your "The Legend Begins" movie shirt! 

With artwork by none other than Bob Bledsaw Jr. who illustrated some of the first game modules ever published, including Dave Arneson's First Fantasy Campaign.
This updated unisex essential fits like a well-loved favorite. Super-soft cotton and excellent quality print will make this your favorite shirt.
 Special! Buy a shirt, and get a code to see the Gary Con 2018 35 Minute Demo Screener Free! See the trailer here.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Happy Birthday - Gary Gygax - Co-Author and Midwife of Dungeons & Dragons


Gary Gygax - Co-Author and Midwife of Dungeons & Dragons

The truth is that the most important part that Gary Gygax played is the role midwife of Dungeons & Dragons.

Bear with me while I explain that. Without his tireless efforts and drive it would not have made it to print.

Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson although they lived in different states moved in the same circles and played many of the same games. They belonged to many of the same organizations and had previously collaborated on games.

Arneson is the Father of Role-playing Games, he had spent almost two years creating the Blackmoor Campaign, and his players referred to it as playing Blackmoor. Arneson travelled from Minneapolis MN to Lake Geneva WI in 1972 and ran his Blackmoor game for Gary Gygax, Ernie Gygax, Rob Kuntz, and Terry Kuntz. Publication had not been a consideration for Arneson, but Gygax the entrepreneur immediately saw the potential and was very excited about the game.

Therefore, Arneson sent Gygax his notes variously reported as 16, 20, or something loose pages of notes. These turned out to be just short notes as any of us might write that work great for us, but are mostly unintelligible to anyone else. Gygax with considerable help from Kuntz  and their joint memory of the game and with both telephone calls and correspondence with Arneson set out to get it down on paper. He wrote a document that contained the ideas and the system that Arneson created but wrote it down in his own words. Some of the mechanics were Arnesons', some were Gygax versions of those mechanics, and this is where parts of Chainmail were grafted back into the document. After all, you or I would have done the same. He played in this extraordinary game that Arneson ran, but the notes where just that, notes with different versions and no clear order. They meant something to Arneson and he used them in running the game, but not to Gary or to you or to me. Moreover, all the references to Chainmail in the text are not surprising, again Gygax is just like us, he wanted to sell more copies of Chainmail. Even though it has been widely reported by those who were there that Gygax did not use Chainmail to play D&D.

Play testing took place in Lake Geneva and in Minneapolis. An unknown number of drafts and play test versions were written and tweaked until it was published. It was not what Arneson envisioned, but Gygax did the heavy lifting on writing it down, he and others put up the money and his version dominated. 

But the history is clear, Arneson created it, but not in a vacuum.  He had influences from many sources, and many ideas where present in different place and he combined them into one game.  Gygax wrote it down and while keeping the system and ideas substantially revised the mechanics to fit his preferences in the writing and that was tweaked through interaction with all of the players in both the Blackmoor and the Greyhawk campaigns as they were the play testers.

So Arneson created the role-playing game, what came to be called Dungeons & Dragons, he is the father of role-playing.

Gygax took Arnesons' work, wrote it down in mostly his own words, and worked tirelessly to promote it. He is not the creator, but he is the co-author, midwife, and promoter of Dungeons & Dragons. In the writing, he added his own ideas to those of Arneson and he interpreted Arnesons' ideas. Gygax is deserving of many accolades, just not sole creator.

Neither Gygax (nor Arneson) deserve to be worshipped as saints or gods and like all men, they have feet of clay. There are books out about the history of D&D and about Gygax. Some of those books focus on Gygax as it relates to D&D, some are pretty even handed about things, some are biased, and some are hatchet jobs that are mostly TMI. Some are excellent and some read like articles reprinted from the gossip tabloids.

Let us hope that the books that focus on factual history as recounted by both documents and first person interviews will flourish and the books that focus on personal flaws will be relegated to the trash bin of history where they belong.

Happy Birthday to Gary Gygax, without whose tireless efforts you and I would not be playing the Original Dungeons & Dragons.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Chicagowiz's Games Blog and the Three Hexes Series

I made this post in regard to Chicagowiz's Games Blog back on January 14th, 2018 and I wanted to update my post. I am a big proponent of the DIY ethic which is the way that Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax always played and the way which Dave Arneson promoted for others his whole life. Since this Three Hexes series is an example of how you DIY and succinctly points out how anyone can DIY and that it does not have to be something overwhelming, but instead is something that anyone can do. Although many maintain that DIY is impossible, here Chicagowiz demonstrates that not only is it possible, it can even be a modest amount of work.

Chicagowiz says:
Every week, I will be posting "Three Hexes" - simple campaign starters to show that you don't need to do a lot to have interesting settings for people to play in. Feel free to use these in your game, campaign or as ways to spur on your own creativity and imagination!
I've purposefully left a lot of detail out because these are supposed to spur on your imagination! The scale is what I would use in my own world, but if something else suits you better, then go for it. I measure my hexes by a day's foot travel. I may have the features moved about on the hexes for clarity, if they don't suit you, move them!
JUST THREE HEXES - CAMPAIGN STARTERS
[THREE HEXES] DRAGON'S REACH
[THREE HEXES] MEGASPRAWL EIGHT
[THREE HEXES] THE SHIFTING SANDS OF TANTALLA
[THREE HEXES] THE ENDLESS SEAS
[THREE HEXES] THE RIP - AN INTERSTELLAR CAMPAIGN
[THREE HEXES] FALL GELB SELTSAM - CASE YELLOW STRANGE
[THREE HEXES] THE SHATTERED ISLANDS OF RONARK'A
[THREE HEXES] LANDS OF THE LOST
THREE HEXES] THE KINGOM OF SMAZAH
[THREE HEXES] THE EDGE OF THE WORLD
[THREE HEXES] GATEWORLD
[THREE HEXES] THE REBELLION
[THREE HEXES] THE WORLD OF THE CHOSEN
[THREE HEXES] A TALE OF THREE CITIES
[THREE HEXES] THE TITAN'S SWORD
[THREE HEXES] THE GREAT STORM
[THREE HEXES] HAIL THE MONSTER KING
[THREE HEXES] THE KINGDOM OF INTRIGUE - GUEST POST!(check copyright statement)
[THREE HEXES] THE PLAGUE LANDS
[THREE HEXES] GROUND AND SKY - WAR!
[THREE HEXES] THE WORLD OF BELOW
THREE HEXES] THE IRON CHILD
[THREE HEXES] AN UNEASY TRUCE
[THREE HEXES] THE SPACE CORPS VISIT FANTASY WORLD!
TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK - THE THREE HEXES SERIES
[THREE HEXES] THE WORLD VS EDDIE!
[THREE HEXES] GUEST CAMPAIGN - GREEN HARBOR[THREE HEXES] ALL THIS HAS HAPPENED BEFORE
[THREE HEXES] WHEN GOOD PCS GO BAD

If you like and appreciate these, please be sure to let Chicagowiz know!