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:

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Creation of Footprints Issue #25 has started at Dragonsfoot

Footprints the Dragonsfoot ezine has been through 24 issues 2004 (15 years and counting) and now the creation of Issue #25 of Footprints has been announced. See Footprints Issue #25 for full details.

The user known as Malrex has volunteered to head up the team to make this happen.
I plan to tackle this as lead. I'm super busy, just like everyone else is, and recognize this is a volunteer effort, so my initial deadline is December 2021 (1.5 years away). Of course, if we get submissions and volunteer editors and people get fired up, we can bust this out waaaaaay faster. So I'm gauging interest out there:
I'm looking for people who are interested in submitting material for Issue #25. Articles, new spells, magic items, monsters, short adventures...whatever!
I'm looking for people who are interested in offering their cartography and art skills. 
I'm also toying with the idea that it might be cool to have a list of "The Best" from all previous Issues. So I'm looking for a volunteer to compile a list of articles, monsters, dungeons, etc. and generate polls for the general boards so everyone can vote on them to determine 'The Best', and we can compile a master list that can be inserted into Issue #25. This idea may need some ironing out and whoever takes this task could run with it...
I'm especially looking for volunteer editors.
As you can see they are giving themselves plenty of lead time to pull this off. I want to note that the editor part is on of the crucial things for them or really for any ezine. Putting it altogether is the grunt work and so if you are a Dragonsfoot member and you have some skills, then help bring this project to completion, who wants to wait until the end of 2021 or early 2022. Of course anyone can submit articles for this effort and if you follow the link you will find submision guidelines and how to submit your articles.

So join me in helping create buzz to get this project off to a quick start and then bring it to a timely completion. If you can help, then volunteer. If you are not sure what this is about then go here to download previous issues. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Today Would Have Been My Wife's 61st Birthday

My dearest Janet, I know that you are having a wonderful, joyful birthday today in heaven and that if you have any tears God is wiping them away. I am sending you my love and so much gratitude that our God brought you into my life and that you were my wife for almost 23 was a privilege and a joy knowing you and loving you, I am so happy that I did not miss out on that. You knew how to be joyful and to enjoy all of God's creation, you had an amazing laugh and zest for life, you loved deeply, first God, then me, your family and friends and you loved the lost. You truly knew how to separate sin and sinner and to love as Jesus loved, there was no hate in you.

Through all the challenges that life brought your way, you continued to love and to trust God. You were very much like Job, "The Lord gave and Lord has taken away, may the name of the Lord be praised." While we both always wanted children from our youth, God firmly closed that door for us on many occasions, but in spite of the pain you (we) trusted God and his plan. Everyone else's children became our children through the Lord and we loved them together. As the Lord said to Paul,"My Grace is sufficient for you." It was always special to watch you hold a baby and see the joy in your face. 

You loved simple things, ladybugs, balloons, especially hot air balloons - every time you saw one you never failed to thank God for the gift of seeing it, you loved floral patterns so much - and that made it easy for your colorblind husband to get gifts you really did love. You loved the outdoors and we went on some great hikes together, you loved to sit outdoors and feel the breeze, watchting the trees, the birds, the clouds and just spend time communing with God. 

With you I really learned what love was and how to love people, and you taught me how to forgive and mean it. Today is bittersweet for me, On the one hand I am so happy that you are with God, and that your suffering is over forever - no more pain, no more sickness and on the other hand I am so sad that we are not together right now and it hurts so much that you are not here. But God's love is all around me, He gives me hope and His love is ever present; and whle I have shed many tears, I have much comfort too! I love you so much! Happy Birthday my love!!

I also ran across this today!

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Three Line Studio Announcements by Robert J Kuntz

Three Line Studio Announcements by Robert J Kuntz.

Here's where TLS was at yesterday with the cover for the premiere release of the Red Book™ Line, THE LIVING ROOM (Volume #1). Some more to be added and changed by Nathalie (with my assistance in some places). She's been doing a bang-up job. Nathalie also maintains our website and processes the orders for TLB Games in the US, does illustration work, etc., etc. Yep. She's a shining jewel who also does translation work (English to French). TLS would be on the low without her!
This expansion of the 2007 work Includes the Living Room, The Study and the Mind Maze, all linked adventure areas, now, making for one hell of a romp! I am finishing THE STUDY as we speak--very weird stuff there--watch out! :)
Please share this with all Greyhawk forums and people and those others who you feel would be on board with such a sustained product line. This is a big launch for TLS and we are aiming high with this! Help us make it a successful one! Thanks!!
BTW: Allan Grohe is already on board for doing the INTRODUCTIONS to each Volume; and I will have some more surprise participants very soon!
I added the bold print above! You can find more information at the link below.

Three Line Studio on Facebook

Red Book Branded Line and "Last Man Standing" The History of Greyhawk posted over at the 

Lake Geneva Original RPG Campaign blog.

You can join the mailing list at

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Celebrating Blackmoor Campaign Day "April 17th, 1971"

The First Fantasy Campaign "Blackmoor" Map from the Jovian Clouds Blackmoor Archives
Today we (no not the royal we) are celebrating the beginning of the Blackmoor campaign. It started on April 17th, 1971. Yes, I am aware that no one knows for sure the "real" date and it could have been as early as December 1970, maybe even November, but there is no agreement on a "certain" date and April 17th, 1971 is the date that comes up most often.

So let us take a look at who is citing April 17th, 1971:

The author of Playing at the World - Jon Peterson on Friday August 3rd, 2012 at his blog of the same name uses this date in a comment of his on August 12th, 2012 in the resulting discussion to this post.

The author of Hawk & Moor - Kent David Kelly gives the same date in his post of a timeline near the bottom of the page in this post at The Acaeum. 

A pre-release pdf copy of Designers & Dragons: The 70's by Shannon Appelcline, that was available from Evil Hat back in 2013 also cites this came date.

Google search also brings up this CoT - Dave Arneson's Newsletter at The Comeback Inn forum, where only members can read the thread. This thread as several heavy weights in the history of Blackmoor weighing in also with Jon Peterson.

That date also comes up in these posts/threads:

A little more info is in this blog post:

So I am comfortable with celebrating April 17th, 1971 as the beginning of the Blackmoor Campaign.

Join me today in remembering David "Dave" Lance Arneson and his Blackmoor Campaign to which we owe our hobby.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Today would have been our 23rd Wedding Anniversary

Today would have been our 23rd wedding anniversary for Janet and I. My dearest Janet I am missing you so much today. 

Proverbs 31:10- 31 Really describes you and I won't quote the whole thing here, but here are a few lines I have to quote.

v10 -12 A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.

v20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.

v30-31 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

In my eyes your beauty never faded but was a constant part of who you are because beauty was deeply embedded in your noble character and wrapped in love, God's love.

You always loved hot air balloons and every time you saw one you thanked God for the gift of seeing it. Here is picture you would have loved. I love you! David

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Trailblazer Game Stamps - Kickstarter

Check out this Kickstarter for Trailblazer Game Stamps, it is an awesome product. Finally a way for those who cannot draw to create awesome looking maps! 

Follow the link for full details, below is a sample of the information.

Game Stamps are a map-making tool for role-playing games, which can be used right at the table as you play. 
The Trailblazer stamps depict iconic terrain such as mountains, forests, or seas.
Whether you're preparing for a campaign or mapping the adventure as it unfolds, the stamps let you create attractive paper and ink maps in a fraction of the time it would take to draw them.
All of the artwork is compatible with 1" hexes and grids, making the stamps ideal for open-world games.
Stamp each hex as the players explore it, or pass the stamps around the table and create a shared world.
No matter how many people contribute to it or how many sessions it takes to explore it, the map will be detailed and consistent.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Kickstarter - Spiral Isles

A new Kickstarter is out and it is a pointcrawl adventure module for 5th Edition and Swords and Wizardry rulesets. The link is Kickstarter - Spiral Isles. Just to be clear, I do not run other people's adventure modules - ever. But the reason I am recommending this is because 
Spiral Isles is an OSR pointcrawl adventure for both 5th edition and Swords and Wizardry. The adventure is designed to give dead characters a chance to return to life, or as the framework for a campaign into the underworld. The result of this crowdfunding effort will be a 50+ page, landscaped module, mostly black and white with select, thematic, colors. 
Emphasis added! 
Death, the close of the final chapter. For most, a final destination was set in life; paradise or damnation- either, a proper course. But an unnatural force claimed you, pulling your spirit into an eerie, shadow realm. In the Spiral Isles your fate is placed back into your hands. One. Last. Time.  
This is sufficiently original and intriguing that it merits support and publication. I believe it is a gold mine of good ideas that can be used in your own campaign and thus is valuable as a resource and some of you do run modules and it appears to be of good value that way too. As he also states

  • Turn a total party kill into a new adventure.
That is an excellent idea and one that is to the best of my knowledge little explored, up to now. 

Friday, February 22, 2019

Kickstarter - Desert Dwellers An OSR Zine Bestiette

A new Kickstarter that deserves a good look, Desert Dwellers An OSR Zine Bestiette.  The pledge is only $3 (or more if you wish) for an 18 page zine.
Need inspiration to liven up the endless desert in your game? Desert Dwellers is a straightforward supplement zine that contains 10 creative critters. From the deadly Rolling Rotter, to the gusting Sand Stormlings; make the hot sands a wondrous and exciting place for your players to explore.
IMO this looks well worth the price and I hope that they reach the funding that they need. 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

A trip to Smokey Pete's Hides, Pelts, and Stuff Emporium

This is excerpted from my first attempt at a play by post game back in 2017.

Main Characters are the Player One - Shiyazthar and Kavita, Player Two - Tuck, and the NPC Smokey Pete.

A trip to Smokey Pete's Hides, Pelts, and Stuff Emporium

Player One
Shiyazthar shifts the weight of his sack and places it onto the bar as he faces Mr Ogre.
"Excuse me, Good Fellow. Whist there be the marketshop for fine pelts? I shall return afterwards to sample your fine fare. Indeed, I remember thine fine venison and cream from last year."

The ogre turns to Shiyazthar and sighing says, "You are back. Again." Another large sigh, "Go thou to the same place as last time," and pointing says, "Look for the banner 'Hides, Pelts & Skins', the same as last time." Muttering to himself he turns back to polishing the bar with a large rather dirty rag.


Player One
Kavita whispers, "I think we should let our snakefriend choose. He seems most enthusiastic - and his enthusiasm seems to have made us each...friendly towards each other." (Shiyazthar lets out a fairly quiet groan.)

"After we have made any such decision," Shiyazthar offers, while thinking (Why do I always go along with her impulsive -- Ahhh!), "I must sell and trade the pelts we've brought with us. If you wish, you might accompany me. The tradesman is an excellent haggler, an old friend who was a trapper himself in the mountains. When he lost his leg, he 'retired' and became 'civilized.' You, my excitable friend (speaking to Sliggoth) would thrill to some of his boasting. And you (looking towards Tuck) will find that 'Bear' is a practical man who keeps track of gossip and rumors. If anyone can separate fact from gossip, he can."

He takes a gulp of water. "Word! That's the most I've talked in a month! Civilization may yet spoil me!"

[* 'Bear' is just one of many names Shiyazthar has for Smokey Pete]

Finishing his cold sweetwater, Shiyazthar stands and shoulders his sack. "If none wish to accompany me to barter pelts & silver with Smokey Pete, I shall return and we may discuss preparations, provisions, and (eyeing Kavita) whether there may be a purpose to this gathering."

He pauses for a moment, then heads out the door.

Kavita, meanwhile, has not even touched her drink, and is doodling something in the condensation from her mug.


Shiyazthar makes his way done the street to Hides, Pelts & Skins to engage in negotiations with Smokey Pete. Smokey Pete has a pegleg (right leg) a long rather dirty beard and is about as grizzled as they come. He sees Shiyazthar , coming and rolls his eyes and looks up at the heavens, "You again! No ones killed you yet?! Bandits, critters and such must avoid you like the rest of us try to," he says with a grin. "Alright, whatta you have for me this time, some mangey skins agin, I'll bet. Lay'em up here and let me have a look."

Player One
"This bear," speaks Shiyazthar as he grunts the sack up on the table, "reminded me of you, save that it smells sweeter. The lady asks about your health."

Smokey Pete laughs, "That looks mighty small for a bear, are you sure it not just a young cub?" Smokey Pete pauses, "A lady? That claims to know me? She's concerned about my health you say? What in all the nine circles of Hades are you babbling about you young whipper snapper?!"

Player One
"Hah, why this bear was fully big as yourself before I wrestled some of the fat off him! 'Twas even smoking a whistlewood pipe, and eating a small piglet! Kavita herself asked about you, and I didn't know how you knew each other. Cannot say why she stayed at the ogre's beanery, but she knows you well enough to warn me to make you pay well for this rare pipe-smoking bear hide with its bacon seasoning. "

Player Two - Tuck
Tuck shows up in time to hear the last two exchanges and he leans back against a pole to enjoy the show. Maybe when they wind down he can ask a few questions.

Smokey Pete slaps his knee (the good one not the wood one) and laughs uproariously, "Kavita, now that is one bonnie lassie, what is she doing with you?" Not waiting for an answer he continues, "That "bear" is a little skinny fellow that would have keeled over at the first puff out of that mythical pipe!" He muses, "Well for Kavita, maybe I could give you as much as 20 CP for the poor mangey thing. I don't smell a whiff of bacon about the scrawny thing."

Player One
"Don't bluff with me, Old Man," laughs Shiyazthar. "I was there when you sold tanned goat skins to the prince and convinced him it was chimera leather. Besides," he winks as he pulls something rattling from the bag, "tell me you can't sell this bear claw-&-teeth necklace as a power totem!"

Smokey Pete says, "Well why didn't you pull that out to begin with, I can offer you 50 CP for the total, but that is a sacrifice on my part for the sake of our friendship. After all that pelt is out of season and I can't use it for anything but leather. Now if this was a killed in cold weather when the fur was long and thick but this is late spring and it already mostly shed of the winter coat."

Player One
"Ah, but look at the rune carved into its back." (He turns the hide over to reveal a scar under the fur, a scar which resembles an ampersand.)

Smokey Pete sadly shakes his head and with a mournful look on his face opines, "Son you are sure slipping if you think I am going to fall for that, are you trying to say you think I'm senile?"

Player One
"As if I would attempt to cheat a comrade-in-arms, an old friend, almost a brother! I am offended! Did I not drag you to safety and bind your wounds when the diabetic raiders of His Grace's tomb tricked us into the snake chamber, where you were poisoned near to death? Would I lie or cheat a brother from whose calf I drew out the poison? And did not I explain all this to you after you recovered consciousness at the Bright Lady Mission Hospital?

"Of course I know you meant to say '50 Silver,' and do not wish to remind you of your memory lapses. Thus I offer you the lower, much lower price of 10 Silver, and will add the necklace at no charge. You may thank me at your leisure, and remember your brother-in-arms when next you tell your tales of courage and daring at the evening fires."

Smokey Pete's eyebrows raise and his chin drops as he hears this version of those events for the first time, "AzThar are you well, your raving makes me think you are suffering from delusions, what has Kavita been doing to you? You saved me? Do you not remember why those syrup addled raiders, bound us and through us into the snake chamber? Do you not remember how they cursed you for your deceptions (well I guess I did let you talk me into it)," he grins, "And we almost got away with it too! If I hadn't wiggled a hand loose our goose would have been cooked, those were some pretty nurses though! Alright in memory of those good times 10 Silver it is, even if you are taking advantage of a sentimental old man!"

"OK business is done, let's have a drink, I have some good stuff that has been fermenting for a while, it'll cure what ails you!" Then noticing Tuck for the first time he says to Shiyazthar, "Who is this youngin? Is he with you or did he just wonder in on us?"

Player One
Shiyazthar glances back. "He's one of a group of hotshots who think they can get rich and famous by going down a hole and starting fights with monsters. For some reason, Kavita seems taken with these kids. Maybe she's remembering something - I don't know. Kinda hope so."

Smokey Pete says, "Alright youngster come along and have a taste, it'll give you something to remember. One of them religious fellers I see, why would you want to go down some hole in the ground and pick a fights with some monster that just wants to mind its own business?"

"Do the brothers know you are planning on this nonsense?" Smokey Pete pours out a large brown jug into three not so clean mugs, handing them over he says "Here's trail dust in your eye," and commences to drink. The liquid appears dark, frothy, and fizzes and has a fruity aroma along with a mild vinegar smell.

Player One
"Pete, you're not still trying to get me killed are you now?" To Tuck he asides "It was I who received the snake bites and Pete who saved my life. He lost his leg saving me and that's why I allow him to cheat me. It's also why the clerics told me another drink would reverse their healing. Haven't touched a drop since and this pirate" he salutes Pete, "has never missed an opportunity to tempt me! Ha!"

Smokey Pete gives Shiyazthar a look of disbelief, "Trying to get you killed! Poppycock, this is good for what ails you!  Are you still on that no drinking kick? That is what will get you killed my friend, water now that's the stuff that's not safe to drink. Bah!"

Smokey Pete turns to Tuck, "Child, what can we do for you" with an innocent look on his face.

Player Two - Tuck
Tuck is suddenly cautious at the change in the demeanor of Smokey Pete. "I was looking for your advice, as you are well known as a sage." Then continuing while wondering what is coming, "You know all the rumors floating and what do you think would be the best thing to try?"

Smokey Pete smiles a truly beatific smile, "Well youngster it all depends on your goals. Fer instance, if you would like to be captured and sold into slavery, then you should sign on with one of the caravans. If you would rather die horribly ripped limb from limb, the werewolves would be good for that. On the other hand if you would rather be turned to stone or crushed under boulders you could go work for the mage. And if drowning is your thing then head on down to Oceansong, although you might get swallowed by some horrible sea monster before you drown. Then of course you could go up to the northwest and poke around in some hole in the ground, then you could get eaten alive by a troll or be a snack for a smotz or even end up inside a flanagle. Just decide on how you want to die and then pick the one that seems like the most fun."

Smokey Pete is shaking and snorting a bit and looks like he might have a fit.

Player One
Shiyazthar can stifle himself no longer, and releases the longest sustained laugh that - well, as he says, when he catches his breath: "Hehhhh (wheeze!) I don't think I've laughed that hard since - well, since I saw you last year, Pete!

"Young man, don't allow your elders to frighten you - but do listen to their hard-earned experience. The downbelow caverns are filled with the bones of foolhardy 'heroes' who left more 'treasure' than they might have ever found. Find an honest trade," he winks at Smokey Pete, "as my mentor here should have."

Player Two - Tuck
Tuck is speechless at what Smokey Pete says and then Shiyazthar starts laughing and he knows he has been had. He takes a deep pull of his drink and it is tasty which he did not expect. "Alright fair enough, so which one did you pick?" he said looking at Smokey Pete.

Player One
"You carried the *ogre's mug all the way here to Pete's, and the ogre didn't smash your head and take his mug back?" Shiy' turns to Pete. "Maybe he IS the type who would dive into a dark cave and feed himself to a giant cockroach?"

*The Mug is Pete's Mug.

Ref Replying to Player Two
Smokey Pete laughs uproariously and exclaims, "All of them of course, I picked all of them!" Tears run down his cheeks as he continues to laugh.

Player Two - Tuck
Tuck finishes the mug and leaves both of them laughing and heads back to the tavern.

Smokey Pete watches Tuck walk away then glances over at Shiyazthar and breaks into another round of laughter.

Player One
"At least he didn't walk off with your mug! He might not be an albatross after all. Guess we were all young once." Turning back to the big man with the big heart, he half-smiled. "Someone needs to keep these kids out of trouble. Sure we can't talk you into risking your neck One More Time, good brother? I'm sure you can get me in as much trouble as The Lady."

Smokey Pete sighs, "Well the kid's not too bad, he took it pretty well, but you know as much as I want to go my place is here, not that I still couldn't lick my weight in trolls. Someone has to keep the home fires burning, sure it's a dirty job but someone has to do it."

Player One
{by now, ol' Shiyazthar should have made it back to the Comedy-appreciating Ogre Delicatessen, and poor old Pete is probably talking to himself. Shiyazthar won't admit that he already looks forward to seeing Pete next season.}

Sunday, January 27, 2019

45th Anniversary - International Original Dungeons & Dragons Day (January 26th)

Hard to imagine that today is 45 years since Dungeons & Dragons was originally published. Sadly, I was not to discover D&D in the early months of 1974, I was a late comer in the fall of '75. I grew up playing all kinds of games, but this one was different - it did not have fixed boundaries saying this far and no farther. This was more like our childhood games of make believe - you know the ones - they are all banned now, but bitd we had a ton of fun playing them. 
I played in that first D&D game, died several times and ran through several characters that first night, all of them fighting-men and all of them committed to standing in the gap/fighting the rearguard action. I knew then that if I turned and ran and left the other characters to their own devices,I would have a good chance of surviving, but that (for me) would be no fun, that would have been (for me) the cowards way out. The game (for me) was about team play and sacrificing yourself for each other. It was about (for me) one for all and all for one. It did not bother me that most people never played that way, that was how I played. Now when I refereed my own game, I awarded extra experience for selfless team play. If the character died, well the player still got rewarded in other ways with a future character if that especially if that type of play continued.
Many is the character that lost their Lawful alignment for cowardice, since at best I considered that to be Neutral behavior. Now that was not for a single action, but for a pattern of action. Additionally, the players were not surprised by this, as they had ample warning of the impending change and opportunity to salvage things.
As a referee, the creation of the world, new monsters, new magic items, new spells and the like were huge fun and being able to keep the players guessing and not allowing them to take anything for granted was part of what kept me in the refs chair year after year.
How about you? Do you have memories of the early days, but when it was all fresh and new?

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Gygax News - On the 45th Anniversary during International Original Dungeons & Dragons Month

In celebrating International Original Dungeons & Dragons Month - 45th Anniversary I have not been able to write as much so far this month as I intended, but when I got a chance to get back online last night I ran across this over at grodog's blog (From Kuroth's Quill - grodog's AD&D blog).

This was four days ago, but here is the link:

Paul Stormberg reddit "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) on Gygax Manuscripts Archive
This afternoon today, Paul Stormberg of The Collector's Trove held a Q&A session over on reddit about the contents of Gary Gygax's unpublished manuscripts:
Adventurers wanted for hazardous journey, small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful, honor and recognition in case of success!
This is an AMA, wherein I allow adventurers to ask me anything about the trove of treasures left behind by Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons, and what traps and guardians await them.

Gail Gygax's agent, Gina Ramirez, also participated in the AMA, covering questions around licensing as well as future publishing plans for computer games, RPGs, etc.
Go read the rest of grodog's post and then follow the link to the reddit for the full thing, you'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

International Original Dungeons & Dragons Month - 45th Anniversary

This year 2019 marks 45 years since the Original Dungeons and Dragons was published in January of 1974. A number of us will be posting a few times this month to celebrate 45 years of the world's first published open-ended fantasy adventure game. Anyone who wants to join in and post for this event, please feel free to do so. If you do please note that the post is for the International Original Dungeons & Dragons Month - 45th Anniversary.

1974 was the year I graduated high school and the year that I started college. It was not until the following year (fall 1975) that I was introduced to Dungeons & Dragons. It was unlike any other game I had ever played and all other games IMO paled to insignificance by comparison.

Created by Dave Arneson and co-written with Gary Gygax, this is a game that need never end except by mutual agreement and in theory at least a campaign could run forever. There are campaigns which have gone on for over 40 years, so far for me my longest one was 9 years.

I plan to post several times this month and talk about different aspects of the Original Dungeons & Dragons, but for this early morning in the new year, I wish simply to introduce the topic and let you know what is coming down the way.

I hope that you will join me and many others in celebrating the 45th Anniversary of the Original Dungeons & Dragons.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

24 minute Braunstein Movie Segment "Story" Draft

I watched the 24 minute Braunstein Movie Segment "Story" Draft last night on Christmas Day as promised and it was awesome. 
This was promised on Christmas Day and it was delivered on Christmas Day! All you had to do was check your email for the link and VIP code.

One quick takeaway for me (my opinion), story as used by Arneson and Wesely is what happens during the game, which is way different than the modern usage of story which means a pre-written plot that is forced on the players, i.e. a railroad. Under the original meaning of story, roleplaying games are stories, but under the modern meaning roleplaying games are the opposite of stories.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Dec 23 2018 "Battle In The Skies" Booklet Stretch Goal

"Second stretch goal announced! "Battle In The Skies" Booklet at $60,000. Click here to see the update."
Volume 1 -The Evolution of Fantasy Role Playing Games (RPG's)

Only about 10 hours left to get in on this, do not be left out, get your pledge in now!

An Interview with Griff of Secrets of Blackmoor

For those who have not seen the links, via our FACEBOOK and TWITTER, Griff did an interview with Shane Plays.
They talk about gaming, the movie, and many other things. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

"The Emergence of Blackmoor" poster Stretch Goal

SECRETS of BLACKMOOR: The True History of Dungeons & Dragons Volume 1 -The Evolution of Fantasy Role Playing Games (RPG's

Quote below!
At $45,000 in pledges we'll include the Emergence of Blackmoor Poster to anyone who pledges at the $25 level or higher.
This  double-sided full-color 11" x 17" poster will be the first published collection of artifacts that relate to Arneson’s first two years of running the Blackmoor Campaign (’71 and ’72). In fact, all of this material predates the publishing of D&D.
It gathers together the Blackmoor World & Town Maps on one side, and on the other a Campaign Overview, Corner of the Table announcements, Blackmoor Gazette and Rumor-monger play reports that Arneson published between 1971 and 1972. You can hang it on your wall or use the maps to run your own Blackmoor-style games. It will also include Dave Arneson's personal history of RPG's titled: 25 Years Ago.
The poster includes:
1. Dave Arneson's Campaign Overview that describes his planned game setting that "[...] is partially fiction..." (March 1971)
2. The original Blackmoor Campaign Map that was handed out to all of his players. (March 1971)
3. The original Blackmoor Town Map (1971)
4. Excerpt from Corner of the Table Volume 3 #4 - Arneson's first notice of a Fantasy Braunstien game: "It will feature mythical creatures and a Poker game under the Troll's Bridge..." (April 1971)
5. Excerpts from Corner of the Table  Volume 3 #5 - "The start of the Black Moors battle reports…" and "On Saturday may 22, 1071 a Brown Stien-type game set in the middle ages…) (May 1971)
6. The Spanish Royals Character Matrix - The first example of Character Attributes created by Arneson. This document was passed to Dan Nicholson at the same meeting on May 22, 1971.
7. The Blackmoor Gazette and Rumormonger, issues 1 and 2 from Corner of the Table  Volume 4 #3 - "Gertie Has Kiddies" and "Castle Burned While Heros Away." (May 1972)
8. The Lock Gloomen Battle Report from Corner of the Table Volume 4 #6 - "Blackmoor (The place where strong men cry 'cause there's a Balrog after them..)" (November 1972)
9. Dave Arneson's personal account of the creation of RPG's titled: 25 years Ago. (C. 2001)
The poster will include text that explains the importance and dates of the documents. 

"The GaryCon Draft" 35 min of the Secrets of Blackmoor

"The GaryCon Draft" 35 min of the Secrets of Blackmoor. This is the kind of material that this Kickstarter is funding the finish work for to make it professional technical quality so it is easy and fun to listen to and to watch.

Do not miss out, get your pledge in for the Kickstarter now! 
Secrets of Blackmoor - The True History of Dungeons & Dragons

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Good News Folks! Rumor (fairly reliable) is Fight On! #15 is back in production

Rumor has it that the awesome fan magazine Fight On! is back in production and that the long awaited Issue #15 is actively being worked on again. Even better there is now talk of an Issue #16 to come later on which is even better news. Also the Fight On! website might just be revived as well. All of which is excellent news for the old school gaming community.

Elf Lair Publishing - Spellcraft & Swordplay

I just wanted to give a shout out to Elf Lair Publishing by Jason Vey. He also has two blogs The Whole Wide World and The Wasted Lands. He is the author of Spellcraft & Swordplay which is available here. Go check it all out, great stuff!

The Wasted Lands feature this awesome pic in the header.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Blackmoor Resources

***Blackmoor Resources***
There are a few Ultimate Blackmoor Resources on the Internet and they are
1.  The Blackmoor Archives - The Ultimate Blackmoor Fansite 
2. The Comeback Inn - The Dave Arneson's Blackmoor Discussion Forum
3. Havard's Blackmoor Blog - Dungeons & Dragons - Dave Arneson - Gaming History

There are a lot of links on the blog to sites with Dave Arneson and Blackmoor information. And of course The Ruins of Murkhill forum is a supporter of Blackmoor and Dave Arneson.

I encourage everyone to join The Comeback Inn and, of course, The Ruins.  

Havard made a recent blog post about the difficulty of building  a Blackmoor Community. 5 Reasons Why Building a Blackmoor Community is Hard

Please go read his post for full details. The gist is about why The Comeback Inn is not more active and what he thinks those reasons are. The below are partially quotes and partially my comments.

1. Blackmoor is a small niche. 
2. People like to read not post. Also comments about people taking his original content and putting it into published material for profit. I agree and while I have no problem with people making stuff for profit, I agree with Havard that it is wrong to take his content and use it to make a profit and not give credit or support the community. ***He notes that he usually gives permission, if they ask and give him credit.*** ( I BTW don't sell anything and never have.) 
3. People want to setup their own communities instead of joining. I am (last time I checked) a member at The Comeback Inn and while I have not posted much there I strongly support it and encourage all of you to join.
As an aside I setup up a MeWe group (Blackmoor - the Original First Fantasy Campaign) a week or two before Havard setup up his MeWe group(Dave Arneson's Blackmoor), I assumed he was not coming there since I saw no announcements or indications that he was going to. I have a standing offer on the table for Havard and another Admin from his forum to be Admins for the group I set up which is nearing 500 members. I am certain he could run it better than I could. I wanted to get it going and grow the group and we have done that. 
4. Blackmoor fandoom is fragmented. He says,
 "We have Old School Blackmoor Fans, Mystara Blackmoor Fans, Greyhawk Blackmoor Fans, D20 Blackmoor fans and many others. My dream was always to get these different groups to get together and talk about our common love."
I strongly agree with this and I hope that all of you do too! I support all the different types of Blackmoor, as does Havard and I too would like to see his dream come true. 

So go to The Comeback Inn and let Harvard know you are on board with all Blackmoor Fans being unified.

5. The shadow of controversy. Go read the blog post, I agree with him.
A link to a bonus blog post Do You Blackmoor? 

SECRETS of BLACKMOOR: The True History of Dungeons & Dragons

The Secrets of Blackmoor: The True History of Dungeons & Dragons now has a Kickstarter for Volume 1 -The Evolution of Fantasy Role Playing by The Fellowship of the Thing.

Griff known as Secrets of Blackmoor on various forums and on the Secrets of Blackmoor Website had this to say in a forum post. 
Most funding pitches have to do primarily with "Give Me All your Money," yet our approach is different. We are very aware that a lot of gamers may be on fixed incomes and can't really do much as far as direct support like that. Our goal is to get our fans sharing our Kick Starter link and talking to other gamer, thus raising awareness of this film project.
We're really far along with the film. We need extra hands and eyes on the project to make it come to completion sooner.
Tell your friends about this project, maybe show them the trailer on your phone at game night. It is the human touch that will help this project along. individual fans talking to their gamer friends.
All we ask is that you pass it forward. 
We're really underdogs and outsiders in the world of gaming. We aren't connected to the big game companies and big names in gaming. And the movie is really about people who are outsiders. We're pretty humble about what we can accomplish via this film, and we know that we need help from all of you. 
Thanks, Griff
At the Kickstarter link about they also say this (in part)
We are done editing the movie, but it needs a little more work before it can be released.  All of our time is now consumed by what can best be described as adding a fine finish to an already wonderful movie.  We're really down to adding the last touches -- things like color and sound refinements.  
We feel strongly that Secrets of Blackmoor is the seminal documentary on the history of Dungeons & Dragons. Yet we need you to support us in this last stage of post production.
Please take a minute to look over our videos, and gifts (located in the side bar).  There's even a special reward level to be delivered this Christmas day. 
Get out your dice and roll for initiative, become part of our Secret Team by pledging your support! 
The Kickstarter is to do the finish work on the movie as he notes the editing is done and they need to fund the finish work and bring it to market. Please join in making this a reality.

As a bonus take a look at this post Do you Blackmoor?