Wednesday, December 23, 2015

English Pronunciation

Does anyone know the origin of this essay? I have heard that it was started during WWII in the 1940's in a hospital for wounded British and American soldiers, but I don't know the truth of that.

English Pronunciation

If you can pronounce correctly every word in this poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world. Reportedly after trying the verses, a Frenchman said he'd prefer six months of hard labour to reading six lines aloud. Try them yourself.

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it's written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.
Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.
Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation's OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.
Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.
Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.
Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.
Pronunciation (think of Psyche!)
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won't it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It's a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Finally, which rhymes with enough,
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Malignant Melanoma Part III

I went back to my surgeon this afternoon for the first follow up. The pathology report is not back from the lab yet and because of the holidays will likely be sometime the first week of January. So I am still waiting on that report, but my surgeon sounds confident so I am not going to worry about it. He says my incision is healing well and I can leave it open to the air now.

I was amazed how little pain I have had from the whole thing, which has been great.

Well that is all I know for now. I have another check up with the surgeon in 30 days.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas & A Very Happy New Year!

To all of my friends and readers who support this blog, I want to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year! With all the trouble and turmoil that life brings our way throughout the year it is great to have a time that we can reflect on our lives and those loved ones in our lives and be grateful for our lives and for those loved ones in our lives. 

I know the holidays can be a rough time for many for lots of different reasons. If you are one of those people, I send out a special prayer and personal wish that this holiday season and year would be the one where that begins to change for the better. As I get older (almost 60) and health challenges come my way, I have (and am) learning to value my friends and loved ones in a much deeper way than I ever did when I was a young man in my 20's. With all of the things that happen in my life I am learning to trust God more each and every day. You who are reading this may or may not believe in God, be that as it may, I myself am more convinced every day that there is a God, and that he loves me and that he loves you.  

As Job said, "Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?" and "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." How many of us who believe are possessed of enough faith to consistently think this way when we are going through troubled times? And yet through two bouts of cancer, this is the lesson that I am learning, accepting the will of God in my life and with that acceptance being blessed with "And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." It is not about understanding why, it is about simple trust that there is a reason and that whether or not I know that reason is not important.

Each day brings challenges of it's own and how we respond to them is what matters. Some challenges are big and some are small, some are painful and some are sweet, some go by us unnoticed and others consume our every waking moment. Our responses over time define who we are and what we are.

There is a parable about "Carrots, Eggs, And Coffee" that is posted in many different versions, here is one of them:

Carrots, Eggs, And Coffee
A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans.

She let them sit and boil without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me, what do you see?" "Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft and mushy. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hardened egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee.

The daughter smiled as she tasted its deep flavour and inhaled its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What's the point, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity - boiling water - but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin, outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong? But with pain and adversity, do I wilt and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit but, after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart? Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water - the very circumstance that brings the adversity, the pain, the hardship – into something quite wonderful. When the water gets hot, it releases its fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better, and change the situation around you for the better.

When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level? How do you handle adversity?


(Somehow, wake up and smell the coffee takes on a whole new meaning)

-Author Unknown

OD&D - Campaigns and House Rules Discussion  If you are interested in OD&D and discussing your campaign and the campaigns of other and sharing each others house rules please visit my forum which is now just over 11 months old. We are a friendly group and seek those who like a friendly discussion.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Malignant Melanoma Part II

The doctor thought the surgery went well and about 14 hours later most of the nerve block had worn off. They are sending all of the removed tissue to be tested to make sure they had an adequate margin all the way around the cancer. They cut around it and then below it they went all the way down to muscle. I go back on the 22nd for follow up and to get the results of the tissue study.

The nerve block was an incredible feeling, my entire right arm was completely numb and hung completely limp on Monday. Even though I had my arm in a sling, I had no idea that my arm was that heavy or what it would be like to have a limb paralyzed. About 11pm Monday night I was able to wiggle a finger and thumb a little and then it gradually wore off from there by 2:30 AM.

Wednesday morning I was able to go back to work..

Friday, December 11, 2015

Malignant Melanoma

I was diagnosed two weeks ago with malignant melanoma and will be having surgery on Monday morning the 14th of November. As with my prostate cancer, they think they have caught it early and that the chances of successful treatment look very good. 

It was in a mole that I have had all my life on my right forearm. I have been thinking for a while - a few months - that it was looking a bit different and getting bigger. I decided that it was changing shape a bit and the surface texture to my fingertip had changed. So I obtained a referral to a dermatologist from my family physician and he (the dermatologist) did a biopsy and it came back positive for malignant melanoma and he referred me to a surgeon who is getting me in as quickly as possible. They advised me that the best treatment is to be fast and aggressive with removal.

I am nearly 60 but it can occur at much younger ages. Know the symptoms and get yourself checked.

Melanoma - Symptoms

Monday, October 12, 2015

"A Living and Breathing World..." A blog and a master thesis! (not mine)

Corey Ryan Walden aka Rastus_Burne (New Zealand) is a young chap exploring old school gaming. The first link with his name is also his blog. He submitted a paper for his Masters Thesis back in July and reports that he received an "A". The title is

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Footprints #23 (DragonsFoot's free e-zine) is available for download:

Footprints #23 (DragonsFoot's free e-zine) is available for download:

Likewise, issue #22 (February) can be found here:

The first 21 issues are also available over at DF.

Footprints #1
April 2004
Keeper of the Old Faith: An AD&D module for characters levels 9-14, by Bill Silvey 2
The Weight of Coins in AD&D, by Jeremy Goehring 7
Critical Hits & Fumbles, by Steve “bloodymage” Willett 9
Short Fiction: The Ravager, by Alphonso Warden 12
A Second Look: The Mask--a covert class, by Robert Doyel 13
Wandering Monsters: Two critters to bedevil your PCs 17
Product Review: Dungeon Module N1: Against the Cult of the Reptile God, by Lorne Marshall 19
Create Food & Drink 21
Pseudo Dragon: Gaming Humor 25

Footprints #2
August 2004
What Have I Got in My Pocket?, by John A. Turcotte 2
The Nasty NPC Competition--Jocasta the Black, by Mike Stewart 11
Multiclasses as Classes, by Mike Stewart 15
The Spell-Weaver, by Jared Hallett 30
The 5% Principle for Classic D&D, by Chris Gonnerman 31
Wandering Monsters
-Gaunt, by Mike Stewart 35
-Protolich, by Mike Stewart 36
Pseudo Dragon: Our Humor Section 37
Siblings of the Stake, by Elizabeth "Indigo Rose" Stewart 38

Footprints #3
December 2004
Stop the Goblin Raid: An AD&D Adventure for 5-8 characters of levels 1-3, by Trenton Howard 2
The Nasty NPC Competition-–Second Place Winners 12
The Thing, by Christopher Tichenor 12
Delorn, by Quinn Davis “Dave” Munnerlyn III 13
Wandering Monsters
-Gigger, by Quinn Davis “Dave” Munnerlyn III 15
-Allaru, by John A. Turcotte 16
-Uttuku, by John A. Turcotte 17
-Retherians, by Jared Hallet 19
Online Gaming: Play by E-mail, by Quinn Davis “Dave” Munnerlyn III 23
Product Review: Module UK4 When a Star Falls, by Lorne Marshall 26
Pseudo Dragon: Our Humor Section 29
Siblings of the Stake, by Elizabeth "Indigo Rose" Stewart 30

Footprints #4
April 2005
Watchers on the Whyestil: An AD&D Adventure for characters levels 4-6, by John A Turcotte 2
Nasty NPC's-–Zoron, Thief of Lives, by Chris Gonnerman 14
Magic Items in their Proper Place, by Mike Stewart 16
Nightflyers, by Steve Marsh 26
"CURSES, foiled again!", by Rizak the Really Horrible 31
Felis Race (Cat Folk), by Marc A. Staff (aka Dragon Fire) 37
Wandering Monsters
-Gravehound, by Michael Haskell with Rich Armstrong 42
-Tree Squid, by Michael Haskell 43
-Gloom, by John A. Turcotte 45
-Corpse Candle, by John A. Turcotte 46
Pseudo Dragon: Our Humor Section 48

Footprints #5
August 2005
The Lost Chalice of Father Tomas: An AD&D Adventure for 1st level, by John A. Turcotte 2
The Nystul and Lendore Isle Campaign, by Lenard Lakofka 11
Suel Gods, by Lenard Lakofka 20
The Standard Bearer, by Jim Ward 21
New Spell: Vingotsky's Vile Vessel, by Stuart Marshall 29
The Sharp and Pointy Contest 30
Wandering Monsters
-Ghouloid and Ghastoid, by Lenard Lakofka 34
Ogham, by George L. Ullom and Dr. J. Curtis Clark 36
Create Food and Drink, by Johnathan Fletcher 45
Pseudo Dragon: Our Humor Section 49

Footprints #6
December 2005
The Ebony Tower: An RPGA AD&D Adventure, by James M. Ward 2
The Clergy of Phaulkon, by Len Lakofka 7
Recipe for a Devil, by Len Lakofka 9
Wandering Monsters-–two new undead nasties, by John A. Turcotte 18
Training to Improve Ability Scores in AD&D, by Joe Maccarrone 20
Dead of Winter, by C. Wesley Clough 24
Create Food and Drink, by Jonathon Fletcher 27
Pseudo Dragon: Our Humor Section 29

Footprints #7
April 2006
Artisans, by Len Lakofka 2
New Spells, by Len Lakofka 4
Little Prayers, by Len Lakofka 8
Cat of Nine Lives, by Len Lakofka 11
Boggarts! Fairies from the Slavic Pantheon, by John A. Turcotte 14
Scion of Cthulhu, by Jeff Childers and K.lm.n Farag 18
Spells for the Sophisticated Traveling Wizard, by Dennis Hes 22
Clerics Turning Undead, by Bryan Fazekas 23
Random Encounters, by Stuart Marshall 31
Master Encumbrance Guide, by John A. Turcotte 33

Footprints #8
August 2006
Variable Hit Dice for Monsters, by Lenard Lakofka 2
Secondary Skills, by Mike Stewart 4
The Chamber of Mull, by Stephen Sofinski 7
Humanoid Strength Ratings and Expanded Hit Dice Potential, by Joe Maccarone 13
A Second Look: Crafting Items in 2nd Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, by Cyrus Ayers 16
Wandering Monsters
-Dragonsnake, by Len Lakofka 22
-Gnarly Tree, by Len Lakofka 23
-Jack Jumper Ant, Giant, by Barry W. Smith 26
-Siafu, Giant, by Barry W. Smith 27
-Tatzelworm, by John A. Turcotte 28
-Valusian, by John A. Turcotte 29
-The Ballad of the Phantasmal Vorpal Sword, by John A. Turcotte 31
New Spells
-Bend Metal, by Jason Cone 35
-Curse of Xen, by Stuart Marshal 35
-Curse of Yarthos, by Stuart Marshall 35
-Ice Shards, by Stuart Marshall 36
-Rexok’s Punishing Blade, by Stuart Marshall 36
-Valdemar’s Voltaic Digits, by Joel K. Bishop 36
-Warp Metal, by Jason Cone 37
Prism of the Shades, by Michael Haskell 38

Footprints #9
December 2006
Beyond Strength: Exceptional Abilities for AD&D, by Joe Maccarone 2
The Church of Osprem, by Lenard Lakofka 5
Girdle of Elvenkind, by Stephen Sofinski 8
The Emperor’s Lost Army: An AD&D Adventure for Character Levels 5-7, by John A. Turcotte 9
Wandering Monsters
-Feng-Huang, by John A. Turcotte 21
-Raiju, by John A. Turcotte 22
-Linnorm, by John A. Turcotte 23
-Rusalka, by John A. Turcotte 24
-Resonant Pass, by Stephen Sofinski 25
Leomund’s Wondrous Rings, by Lenard Lakofka 33
Taking the Mystery Out of the Orient, by Gary G. Stevens 35
Locks Come to Life--an Addition to any D&D System, by David Havard 44

Footprints #10
April 2007
The Arcane Knight, by Mike Riley 2
Complete Attack and Saving Throw Table, by Antonio Eleuteri 9
Death From Above! An AD&D Mini-Module for 4-6 Characters, Levels 6-9, by Michael Haskell 12
Tordell’s Wonderful Road of Transfiguration, by Alphonso Warden 18
Beginning Magic-User Spell Table, by Joel Bishop 19
Gaining Non-Weapon Proficiency Slots, by Cyrus Ayers 20
Stat This Monster Contest! 21
Dark Huntsmen, by John A. Turcotte 23
Caravans: Cost and Guarding, by David Havard 25
The Nightstalkers, by David Ednie 26
Wall of Bones/Wave of Fatigue, by Stuart Marshall 28
Create Food & Drink 29

Footprints #11
August 2007
Four new “Gygaxian” classes for your AD&D® game! Part One, by David Prata 2
New Vermin, by Stuart Marshall 20
AD&D Ability Score Training and Improvement, by Joe Maccarone 22
Lost Shrine of Tharizdun, by Alphonzo Warden 25
Choices, by Stephen Sofinski 28
The Ki-Mancer Class, by Ryan Coombes .34
New Illusionist Spells, by Brian Dougherty 52
Waiting for My Check, by Tim Kask 54

Footprints #12
March 2008
Leomund’s Silken Sqaures, by Lenard Lakofka 2
New “Gygaxian” classes for your AD&D® game! Part Two, by David Prata 7
Feudal Social Hierarchy in AD&D, by Brian Wells 22
Alternative Tables for Ability Adjustments, by Emiliano Marchetti 34
Dinner is Served: A 2nd Edition AD&D Ravenloft Encounter for 2-6 Characters, Levels 4-6, by Jason Duke 37
Damned One, by John A. Turcotte 39
Relics of the Veil: The Whipcord, by Ryan Coombes 40

Footprints #13
August 2008
The Houngan: A New NPC Class, by Jason Blair 2
The Enchantment, by Richard Miller 13
Tower of the Elephant: An AD&D Adventure for Character Levels 4-6, by Thulsa 14
Alien Versus ... Druid?, by Thomas Worthington 24
New Mosters: Kzaddich and Tsalakian, by John Turcotte 29
Vampire Lords, by Brian Wells 32

Footprints #14
January 2009
The Necromancer, by David Mohr 4
100 Names for Taverns, by C. Wesley Clough 26
The Dead Down Below, by Rex Baker 28
Wandering Monsters
-The Boggle, by Rachel Drummon 31
-The Vulkodlak, by John Turcotte 32
Seasons in the Abyss: The Carrion Fields, by Marco Cavagna 34
Nolzur of Lendor, by Len Lakofka 40
Vampire Lords: Part II, by Brian Wells 44
My Kingdom for a..., by Jason Peppers 52

Footprints #15
June 2009
Historically Resonant Coinage for AD&D, by Joe Maccarone 2
Haunted Inn of the Little Bear: Revenant's Revenge, an Adventure for 3-6 Characters of 1st to 3rd Level, by Brian Wells 6
The Shaman NPC, by David Mohr 19
Wandering Monsters
-Bat, Vampire, by John Turcotte 44
-Powrie, by Rachel Drummond 46
Gifts in Early and Late AD&D, by Len Lakofka 48
Ruminations of an Aging DM; or, Over Half a Lifetime with My Friend AD&D, by Brian Wells 51
Random Phantom Generator, by Michael Martin 57
Give Your Cities Some Character, by Mike Hensley 59

Footprints #16
November 2009
The Transmuter, by David Mohr 2
Bandit Stronghold: An AD&D Adventure for 2-4 Player Characters, Levels 2-4, by Brian Wells 21
Wandering Monsters:
-Elemental Stalkers, by John Paquette 31
-Frost Naga, by C. Wesley Clough 34
-Iceblight, by C. Wesley Clough 35
-Primordimental, by John Turcotte 36
Relics of the Veil: The Urban, by Ryan Coombes 37
Cantor’s Pocket Demesne, by Don Dickerson 43

Footprints #17
March 2011
Alternative Spell Casting Rules for Classic D&D and 1E, by Christopher Lewis 4
Death Dice, by Lenard Lakofka 13
The (False) Tomb Of Horrors: An AD&D Adventure for Character Levels 12-14, by Joseph Pallai 16
Teleport Trap, by Scott W. Roberts 28
The Werelord, by David Mohr 30
Sword of Taunting +1, Cursed, by Gordon Wheaton 43
The Reconciled Ranger, by R. N. Bailey 44

Footprints #18
April 2013
The Cult of the Devourer, by Andrew Hamilton 3
A Riddle, by Ryan Coombes 9
The Mired Cathedral: An AD&D Scenario for 4-8 Characters of 4th to 6th Level, by C. Wesley Clough 10
Magic Items, by Stuart Marshall 16
The Holy Sword, by Atiq Shafi 17
Tribal Spellcasters Revisited, by Andrew Hamilton 20
Creatures of the Tulgey Wood, by Stuart Marshall 28
The Sorcerer, by R. N. Bailey 30
An Unhealthy Obsession with Equipment, by Stuart Marshall 35

Footprints #19
July 2013
Field Notes from Davendowns, by Andrew Hamilton 4
Kung Fu Monk, by Stuart Marshall 10
Magic Items for Assassins and Other Dirty Fighters, by C. Wesley Clough 13
King Rat, by Michael Davis 15
Create Food and Drink, by Nicole Massey 17
Troubadour, by Stuart Marshall 19
Into the Shrieking Hollow: A Small AD&D Dungeon Adventure for 4-6 Characters, Levels 1-3, by C. Wesley Clough 22
Ecology of the Cave Blinder, by Bryan Fazekas 30
Thorks, by C. Wesley Clough 34

Footprints #20
November 2013
The Witch, by Stuart Marshall 4
Create Food & Drink, by Nicole Massey 24
The Secret of the Wood of Dark Boughs: A 1st Edition AD&D Adventure for Characters Level 3-5, by R. N. Bailey 26
The Thieves' Guild of Ravenar, by John B. Keane 58
The Printing Press of Glarck, by Bryan Fazekas 70
The Goliath, by T. J. Shealy 72
The Rat's Meow: An AD&D 2nd Edition Adventure for 2-5 Characters of 3rd and 4th Level, by Darren Dare 73
Weapon Type vs Armor Class, by Ian Slater 78

Footprints #21
May 2014
New Character Races, by Stuart Marshall 4
Combined Combat Chart, by Steve Wachs 17
How Much Experience Did We Get For That Dragon?, by Ardano Silverbow 18
Magical Miscellanea, by C. Wesley Clough 21
Glarck's Remote Spell Books, by Bryan Fazekas 22
Ride the Lightning, by Ian Slater 24
Monsters of All Sizes, by R. N. Bailey 28
The Wizard's Laboratory, by Marco 33
The Conjurer, by Ian Slater 59
Lake of Sorrows: An OSRIC Adventure for Characters of Levels 1-3, by Steve McFadden 66

Footprints #22
February 2015
Charge It!, by Ian Slater 2
Feelin’ Trapped?, by Tony Chaplin 6
Pulling Strings: A 2E Adventure for Characters of Levels 3-4, by Darren Dare 9
Treasures & Tables, by Stuart Marshall 12
Systems & Swordplay, by Stuart Marshall 16
Many a Quaint and Curious Volume of Forgotten Lore, by Michael Haskell 19
Prelude to an Adventure, by Steve McFadden 21
Blacktop Vale: An OSRIC Adventure for Characters of Level 1-2, by Steve McFadden 24

Footprints #23
September 2015
% in Lair, by Steve McFadden 2
Lycanthropes with Class, by Andrew Hamilton 3
The Slayer, by Ian Slater 4
Centaurs! More Than Just Horsing Around, by Alan Powers 7
No Bones About It: A Short 2E Adventure for Characters of Levels 3-5, by Darren Dare 12
Basic Equipage and Supplies: Costs and Encumbrances, by David Prata 18
A Digest Alchemical, by Ryan Coombes 21
Human and Halfling Character Background Tables, by Alan Powers 31
B11a: Priest's Errand: A 1E Adventure for Level 1 Characters, by Leon Baradat 39
The Eye of Ishur, by C. Wesley Clough 44
Shards from the Workshop, by Various Authors 49
Undead Immunities, by Marco Cavagna 55
Citadel of the Carrion-Eaters: A1E Adventure for Characters of Levels 10+, by Andrew Hamilton 60

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Dave Arneson Links to Information and to downloads

Here are more links to information about Dave Arneson and to the "Ultimate Fansite" which has some great downloads.

The Greatest Dungeon Masters in the World: Dave Arneson 

Q&A with Greg Svenson -A Dave Arnerson player

The Blackmoor Archives - The Ultimate Blackmoor Fansite
Go to "The Blackmoor Archives" to access this menu Index

Home - This Page
Forum Visit our Discussion Forum, the Comeback Inn!
The Blog - Get the Latest News on Blackmoor at Havard's Blackmoor Blog.
Articles - Articles about the Blackmoor Setting.
History of the creation and publication of Blackmoor, from Dave Arneson's Original Gaming group to the D20 line from Zeitgeist Games.
The Bestiary details the Monsters of Blackmoor under various editions of Dungeons & Dragons.
Rules for running Blackmoor under various RPG systems.
Gallery - The art of Blackmoor
Maps. Your guide to the geography of Blackmoor.
Downloads - Downloads for Blackmoor.
Dave Arneson's Blackmoor - the MMRPG. All about the Living Blackmoor Campaign. Get the Free Downloads while you can.
Blackmoor Campaigns
Downloads connected to Blackmoor, such as Mystara, Greyhawk, the Wilderlands and Others.
Get an overview of the Blackmoor fan community across the World Wide Web.
Links - Other websites with information about the Blackmoor Setting.
About About this site and the people behind it.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The remarkble Dave Arneson - Creator of Blackmoor and Co-Creator of the original Dungeons & Dragons.

Just a few places to read about the remarkble Dave Arneson - Creator of Blackmoor and Co-Creator of the original Dungeons & Dragons. Here are a few links to explore - the next to the last is his official website and the last is his own website which is being maintained. Please check them out.

Remembering Dave Arneson

Dave Arneson

Blackmoor Castle - Official Website for Dave Arneson

Castle Blackmoor - The worlds of Dave Arneson


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Happy Birthday - David Lance "Dave" Arneson (October 1, 1947 – April 7, 2009)

Today October 1st would be the 68th birthday of Dave Arneson if he were still with us and in a very real way he is still with us through Blackmoor, The First Fantasy Campaign and through the Original Dungeons and Dragons. His creations and creativity live on and bring joy to the hearts of all those who refuse to let someone else set limits on their imagination and creativity and who strive to expand their childlike sense of fun and wonder without limit into something new each day.

Based on all that I have read and heard of him I am confident that he would want all those who knew him, to celebrate his life and have some great fun today. He would want to be remembered with smiles and laughter. For those of us who were never fortunate enough to meet him and to play a game with him, we can be sure that sure that he would welcome us the same way he welcomed so many others as he shared the sheer joy of living and imagining with all those that he met.

Have some fun today - do something fun today with those you love in honor of Dave Arneson!

The Noblest RPGer of Them All  

Happy Dave Arneson Day!  

Dave Arneson Game Day 2015  

Reflections on Dave Arneson 

[News] Dave Arneson Game Day October 1st 2015 

[News] Dave Arneson Game Day October 1st 2015 - Preparation 

Dave Arneson Game Day 2015 and Blackmoor Week 

Blackmoor Fans 

The Last Fantasy Campaign 

Happy Birthday Dave Arneson 

Arneson Day 

Dave Arneson Day 2015 Across the Web  

Monday, September 28, 2015

AFS Magazine Available at the Halls of Tizun Thane

AFS Magazine Issues 1-6 are available in print only(it looks like a few copies from the most recent printing may still be available) at $10.00 each which includes postage over on the Halls of Tizun Thane blog by Scott Moberly (aka

Monday, September 21, 2015

Defining Old School Gaming - an Edition/Game Independent Definition (Before the Reviews)

Disclaimer: I am not saying this is the only definition or the definitive definition. Everyone is welcome to their own definition. What I am saying is that this definition goes back to the early days while OD&D was being written and play tested and looks at two very different games: Blackmoor and Greyhawk and based on the information available to this writer defines what old school gaming is based on the things that two very different games by two very different referees have in common. It also looks at the things that to the best of my knowledge Arneson and Gygax had in common over 30 years later.  I also want to point out that this definition of old school gaming would allow you to play an old school game using any D&D Edition and any other rpg whose rules do not directly conflict with this definition. This means that this definition tells you specifically how you can play games that are greatly different from OD&D in an old school gaming style/manner.

So take a look and tell me what you think. I have seen a lot of different definitions, but I think this one is unique in being truly both Edition Independent  and Game independent. I have tried other definitions over the years, but they were tied to the game being played, this one starts with OD&D but then is extended to apply to any rpg game. I also believe that since under this definition you can use all kinds of game features that I do not like (such as skills and ascending armor class) and still have an old school game - because of this I think it is IMO the most unbiased definition to date since you can play your game in a way I don't like and I would still have to agree that you meet my definition of old school.

So here is the definition, part of it I derived myself and part of it I found in various places including on a non-old school focused forum.

Old school gaming is the way that Gary & Dave played in their own campaigns both before and after the initial publication of OD&D and throughout their lives. Some will point out that their games changed a lot over the years and that is true; however, that things I point to as defining old school gaming did not to the best of my knowledge change in their games.

In the beginning Old School Gaming was Original Dungeons & Dragons as played by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson and it was played in a sandbox, involved both prep work and improvisation (i.e. winging it) and each campaign was each refs own creation. House ruling/adjudication was done on the fly as needed and slavish By the Book adherence to the rules did not exist (was never a consideration). The style of play was test the player not the character which means that metagaming (using all player knowledge) was part of the game and an expected part of play.

A pure sandbox is anything from just a village and the surroundings up to a fully top down designed world that is fully fleshed out.

So here we go for the definition:

Old School Gaming is a sandbox game that involves the full range of the extremes between referee pre-designed and referee improvised (winged) materials where everything in the game is the referees own creation created from any number of inspirations. The referee does house ruling/adjudication on the fly as needed throughout the game. There is no BtB adherence to a rule-set and the game is house ruled and rule changes take place over time. The game tests the player not the character. So called "metagaming" is an expected part of the game on the part of the players.
This tells you how to play OD&D, any OSR game, 3.5E, Runequest, Gurps or any other game in an old school gaming style/manner. It does not tell you that you have to dump this or that rule(s). It is an open-ended definition that clearly defines a specific original play style and yet it is not about imitation since there is nothing in the definition that would require conformity between Blackmoor and Greyhawk or any other campaign to any greater degree than what actually existed.  Gary Gygax reportedly like to play in Dave Arnesons game because of how differently Dave did things from the way Gary did things. And yet they both had the same things in common that defined them then and defines old school gaming now.

So what is an Old School Game, any game that readily and easily lends itself to the Old School Gaming style as defined above. What is a non-old school game? Any game that does not readily and easily lend itself to the Old School Gaming style as defined above.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Things to Remember About Retro-Clones

There are a number of things to remember about Retro-Clones. One is that they are based on the Open Game License (OGL) which refers to the System Reference Document (SRD) published by Wizards of the Coast in 2000, of which there are two versions - one based on 3rd Ed Dungeons & Dragons and one based on 3.5 Ed Dungeons & Dragons. This means for instance that when a writer wants to recreate the Original Dungeons and Dragons game as closely as legally possible there are a number of steps they have to take. 

One of course is getting legal advice from an experienced copyright attorney to help them stay within the letter of the law. 

A second is to go through the SRD and delete everything that is not present at all in OD&D. 

A third step is take all the remaining material that is in OD&D in some form and simplify that information into your own words, but as close to OD&D as you can legally go. This is a time consuming and difficult step and is fraught with some peril in more than one way. OD&D is intentionally vague in some areas and has things that can be interpreted in more than one way. Unfortunately when writing your clone those passages are some of the most difficult to work with since you cannot just quote them. So do you use your preferred interpretation or list more than one interpretation or  do you attempt to recreate the original indeterminacy with a different wording. 

Another consequence of this step is that extreme care must be taken to avoid editing out the things that made OD&D a special game to begin with and these are the same things that by and large are missing from all later versions of D&D.

Another pitfall is that there are iconic monsters and other things that were present in OD&D that are not present in the SRD. This means that you cannot put in a Beholder since it is not in the SRD. That means if you want a Beholder you have to call it something else and have a description that is somewhat different. In addition, you have another decision to make - are you using some or all of the material from one or more supplements?

Then there are Balrogs, Hobbits and Ents. All were present in the first few printings of OD&D, but were pulled from later printings due to legal threats. In addition, there are tables that use Banths, Tharks and other creatures from the John Carter of Mars (Barsoom) books. How do you handle these?

Once you have done all that you can do and have written the best possible Retro-Clone that you could write, you will be criticized for every deviation from the original rules even though you had to create your own presentation of the rules to be completely legal and to comply with the OGL.

Reviews of Retro-Clones of OD&D Coming Soon!

Just to give my readers a heads up of what to expect in the near future!

I am going to be posting reviews of clones of OD&D. I know most of them have been out for quite some time; however, I am going to do a review of several and then give you my take on which ones I like the best and why.

The ones that I am going to review are:

Swords & Wizardy - Whitebox edition

Swords & Wizardy - Core

Delving Deeper

Grey Matter

Iron Falcon

Seven Voyages of Zylarthen

Full Metal Plate Mail

There are others of course; however, I believe that these are a good place to start.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

James M. Ward, creator of Metamorphosis Alpha

James M. Ward, creator of Metamorphosis Alpha, TSR Alumni, and a great guy has been in the hospital for about a month now due to complications from diabetes. They've already removed part of his foot and going to have more procedures done and he is hoping to avoid amputation. My wife has diabetes and has already had issues with her feet and eyes, so I really feel for Jim.

Jim is a freelancer and the medical bills are mounting, since a lot is not covered by insurance. Please visit his GoFundMe and help him out.

Go Fund Me for Jim Wards Medical Bills

Some of you may be interested in a 40th anniversary expansion for the world's first sci-fi RPG!

Metamorphosis Alpha: Epsilon City - Kickstarter Goodman Games

Monday, July 27, 2015

Review of a Greyhawk-Holmes Basic D&D based Adventure by R.C. Pinnell

Swamp Women
by R.C. Pinnell
For Novice to Intermediate Levels
3rd through 6th Levels
6-9 players

Click on the image to see a larger image!

I was lucky enough to get a copy of this (Swamp Women) from Mr Pinnell to take a look at and offer feedback to him and now I am writing my review of the adventure having read all the way through it many times. I have reffed and played OD&D since the early fall of 1975. I will warn you that this is the first review I have attempted and I am trying to not give too much away so I may be light on the details some of you might like to see.

This scenario is intended to be run using the Holmes Basic D&D rules with the OD&D Greyhawk supplement. However, author also gives suggestions as to how to run the game under other Classic D&D rule-sets or their clones. Additional rules info that may be needed, depending on the rule-set you choose to use are found in the Appendices. Recommendations for the makeup of the adventuring party are also provided. 

The background given is quite intriguing pitting a riverside community and its economic future against a matriarchal tribal society. A band of tribeswomen are  on a religious vision quest unbeknownst to the villagers and that is what is creating the economic woes of the community.

A bit a getting started advice is given and then a bit more background of the community of Cragmore along with brief details of three major NPCs. Then a section of Gossip and Rumors is provided which is in my opinion, both highly entertaining and highly useful for the DM to provide the players with a lot of information which may or may not be entirely true. Again some very useful advice is given to the DM in how to use this information.

While there is a "plot" and "mission" there is room for a number of encounters within the map that are unrelated to either, which in my mind is a bonus.The various areas are well-described and their are excellent maps provided (and it would be easy to extend the main map if desired. The map is well indexed and several random encounter tables are provided. DMing advice is given in a number of location and in my mind is good sound advice. 

I would suggest that a DM using this adventure should use some 3 x 5 note cards to make some salient notes for quick access during the game. In my opinion, this would be a very good adventure for a less experienced DM to run since a lot of general how to advice is given on using the adventure and that it lends itself to different levels of complexity in the ways it can be played. While it is designed for a lot of roleplaying, it can be run in other styles. If you are a starting a campaign and are going to combine homebrew with materials from other people, this would be a good way to get things started.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

To all who read this blog, your assistance is requested especially if

To all who read this blog, your assistance is requested especially if you live outside the USA or your first language is not English. I am getting ready to update a lot of my Old School Gaming Resource Links, which includes blogs, OSR games and other games, resource sites, publishers, fan magazines, and much more. I am interested in including links in as many languages as possible.  Please post links to all of these kinds of things in the format of :

Name of the blog/game/site/etc. following by the link

Delving Deeper
Aventuras en la Marca del Este

I would like to extend all of my lists, including, but not limited to:
Ye Olde School List of Retro Games & Clones, Retro Clones, and What Have You
Ye Olde School Fan Magazines
Ye Olde School Blogs
Ye Olde School Forum List
Ye Olde School Resource Sites

To include the maximum possible number of products both free and for sale, in all possible languages so that it theese lists will be of the maximum possible use to the maximum number of people.

If you would like to write a brief and concise informative statement about each item that would also be good. And it would be great if you identify the language you are posting in.

My deepest appreciation to anyone and everyone who contributes.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

OD&D - Old Forgotten English Words - 018

Continuing the list of olde archaic words for your enjoyment and enlightenment:

Bobbery-pack - A pack of hounds of different breeds, or oftener of no breed at all, wherewith young officers hunt jackals or the like; presumably so called from the noise and disturbance (known as a bobbery) that such a pack are apt to raise.

May-dew - The dew collected off the grass with sponges, used as a cosmetic. As late as the 1930's Scottish girls gathered May-dew at dawn during the month of May and partook of its beautifying virtues.

Joggs - On the outside of the church, strongly fixed to the wall, are the joggs. These were made use of, when the weekly market and the annual fair stood, to confine and punish those who had broken the peace, or used too much freedom with the property of others. The stocks were used for the feet and the joggs for the neck of the offender, in which he was confined at least during the time of the fair. 

Album nigrum - The excrement of mice and rats, formerly used both externally and internally as a remedy, but now very properly abandoned.

Fence-month - The month during which, in England, hunting in any forest is prohibited. A month in which it is unlawful to hunt in the forest because in that month the female deers fawn; it begins fifteen days before Midsummer.

OD&D - Old Forgotten English Words - 017

Continuing the list of olde archaic words for your enjoyment and enlightenment:

Snollygoster - A shrewd, unprincipled person, particularly a politician.

Twitter-light - formerly used instead of twilight.

bedchamber - meaning bedroom

Zafty- A person very easily imposed upon or taken advantage of.

Interlard - To put lard or fat between layers of meat. Metaphorically, to mix what is the solid part of the discourse with fulsome and irrelevant matter. Thus we say, "to interlard with oaths, compliments," etc.

Hemicrania lunatica - Pain in the head arising from changes in the moon.

Fulhams - Loaded dice are called high- and lowmen, or high and low fulhams, by Ben Jonson and other writers of his time, either because they were made at Fulham [between Kensington and the Thames, in London], or from that place being the resort of sharpers.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Highlighting a Experimental Free Kriegspiel PBP Game Set in Middelsae by a fellow blogger

Over at the blog of James McCann Experimental Free Kriegspiel PBP Game Set in Middelsae

Friday, May 22, 2015

OD&D - Old Forgotten English Words - 016

Continuing the list of olde archaic words for your enjoyment and enlightenment:

Groaning-cheese - Cheese provided on the occasion of child-birth. It was the practice to cut the groaning-cheese in the middle, and by degrees to form it into a large kind of ring, through which the child was passed on the day of christening.

Rat-rhyme - To repeat from memory without attaching any meaning to the words; anything repeated by rote.  The fanciful idea that rats where commonly rhymed to death in Ireland arose probably from some metrical charm or incantation used there for that purpose.

Snapper-back - in foot-ball, a center rusher . . . Neither the snapper-back nor his opponent can take the ball out with the hand until it touches a third man.

Ruckle - A loose heap or pile; figuratively, a ruckle of bones, a very lean person.

Fowerty-frappers - Fireworks of any kind.

Simmiting - An inclination or fondness for a person of the opposite sex; related to simmity, to look after admiringly, to pay attention to.

OD&D - Old Forgotten English Words - 015

Continuing the list of olde archaic words for your enjoyment and enlightenment:

Cuckoo-ale - Ale drunk out of doors to welcome the cuckoo's return. The cuckoo was looked upon as the embodiment of spring in early times, and the weather was supposed to change as soon as it appeared.

Ragrowtering -  Playing at romps, and thereby rumpling, roughening and tearing the clothes to rags, or playing the rogue in a wanton frolic; from ragery and rout, tumultus. Risking the damage of clothes by rude or rough personal handling in play.

Man of  straw - The old clothes of a man, stuffed with straw; hence, an imaginary person, a person of little consequence put forward to deceive.

Tricked up and made fine; a metaphor taken from a horse's hounces, which is part of the furniture of a cart-horse which lies spread up on his collar.

Apple-john - An apple, so called from its being at maturity about St. John's Day, May 6 . . .  Sometimes called the Apples of King John which, if correct, would militate against the notion about St. John's Day. . . In the United States there is a drink called apple-jack, which is apple or cider brandy.


OD&D - The OSR and Innovation - A Few Thoughts

I have recently read Where Should the Innovation in the OSR Be - Rules or Settings? over at Tenkar's Tavern; Settings or Rules or Both and Why Not, Another Giveaway over at Gothridge Manor; and Innovation: settings, rules, or... what? over at Greyhawk Grognard and see also +Michael S+Tim Shorts+Joseph Bloch, and +James Spahn.

So I decided to weigh in with a few comments of my own.

Now before I comment I would like to establish exactly where I am coming from on this. As of this coming fall I will have been playing and reffing OD&D for 40 years. I don't consider myself to be part of the OSR, since for me there is nothing to revive, since I never left old school gaming and OD&D to begin with. For me it is as fresh and new as when I started. I have not played any of the retro-clones (see my list of those products Ye Olde School List of Retro Games & Clones, Retro Clones, and What Have You!) but I have copies of the free ones and have looked through them for ideas. The ones that are for sale I am curious about, but not enough to spend money on them yet. I don't have any problem with anyone making money on their labor at all. But when it comes to new rulesets based on OD&D or Classic D&D, I want to look before I buy. That is just me, now if I like your ruleset - i.e. I find it readable and with no deal breakers then I might be enticed to purchase a product based on your ruleset. As I said, I am all about promoting OD&D - see The Ruins of Murkhill - True OD&D - Original Dungeons & Dragons Campaign Worlds for this blog and OD&D - Campaigns and House Rules Discussion for my forum.

Now on to my comments concerning the OSR and Innovation. The above noted essays on the noted blogs mentioned Empire of the Petal Throne, Blackmoor, Spears of the Dawn, Arrows of Indra,  White Star, Carcosa and others. 

Now the question of where should the innovation be Rules or Settings is to me fairly simple. IMO the main efforts for innovation should be going into settings, new spells and new monsters. Let me elaborate on this a bit, when it comes to new rules/house rules/rule sets I say keep them coming, write all of the clones, retro clones, retro games you want and I will happily use any new rule that looks like fun and if it does enhance fun I will keep it. 

However, when it comes to settings and to me this does mean new spells and new monsters, I was surprised that no one mentioned The Arduin Grimoire (The Arduin Trilogy). Dave Hargrave started Arduin as an OD&D campaign and then when he published he was forced by TSR to change it from what was essentially an unofficial OD&D supplement into its own game. It was a extraordinary setting with many new spells and new monsters and it had all kinds of innovations many of which were brought out 20-25+ years later by others as new things, but they weren't new at all. So I say aspire to be the next "Arduin", be truly innovative in a way that goes way beyond just a new setting or a new spell or a new monsters, create something that really breaks the mold. Those are things worth buying!

But here is the thing for me, I am not going to use your setting the way you write it, I am going to mine it for ideas to mix with my own ideas and then use it IMC the same way I steal rules and use them IMC.

Over on my forum, I am encouraging people to post their campaign worlds and we have several that we have started and along with that, information about campaigns and game play. One fellow plays on a Jupiter sized world and it is a generation game that has been running for over 40 years and he is starting to post about the current characters that are 7 and a half real world years into circumnavigating the globe. To me that is something I want to read about and I hope it runs hundreds if not thousands of posts. Others are brand new worlds, some just beginning and I want to see where they go. I want to see things that stir me up and make me care.

I suppose that is really what I want from the OSR - not just your rules, settings, monsters and spells - I want to hear about your campaign and see your maps - I want to know what weird things your players did and the strange things they found when they explored your world. I want to see and read about things that I would not think of. I am not a deep thinker like some of the bloggers are, so just my 2 coppers.