Wednesday, April 9, 2014

TSR Veteran Jeff Grubb Blogs On Blackmoor


"[Blackmoor] was the cauldron of creativity where [Dave Arneson] fully distilled a game featuring individual characters as opposed to battling armies. Many of the features that would become Dungeons & Dragons began in the Blackmoor campaign."
You are reading the words of game designer Jeff Grubb, whose name should be known to any D&D fan. Jeff worked for over a decade at TSR and has continued to design RPG products since then.

As part of the A-Z 2014 Challenge, Jeff Grubb decided to write about Blackmoor for his second day entry on the letter B. I am also quite honored that he has included a link to my website, the Blackmoor Archives, for those interested in "a lot more backstory than I can give here". Thanks to my friend Big Mac at The Piazza for bringing this to my attention!


-Havard

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Quotes by Arneson, Gygax and Barker



Some nice quotes on gaming from the giants of RPG history.

More comments on this topic.

-Havard

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Dave Arneson as inspiration for King Uther

Over at the Comeback Inn we have been discussing whether some of the characters in Blackmoor were based on Dave Arneson himself. Jim Holloway who illustrated the DA modules certainly seems to agree with us that King Uther was in fact a personification of Dave.

In the later d20 line his appearance was changed however:



-Havard

Friday, February 28, 2014

Aaron Allston (December 8, 1960 – February 27, 2014)

I just found out via this thread in the The Piazza Mystara Forum this morning that Aaron Allston had passed away. Although he was probably best known as a novelist, especially for his Star Wars novels, he was also a great game designer.

Allston had a great impact on my childhood due to his works on Dungeons & Dragons (the BECMI edition), in particular the role he played in writing defining supplements and sourcebooks for the World of Mystara.

In an interview in the Tome of Mystara fanzine he is introduced in this way:


To Mystara fans, the mention of the name "Aaron Allston" brings to mind gaming on a grand scale, world-shattering events, empires of staggering power. As well it should: Austin, Texas-based Allston can be considered the "Father of Mystara." His contributions include: 

 Skarda's Mirror
Grand Duchy of Karameikos
The Dwarves of Rockhome
Dawn of the Emperors
The Hollow World
Wrath of the Immortals
Poor Wizard's Almanac (I)
Karameikos: Kingdom of Adventure
Mark of Amber
D&D Rules Cyclopedia
Bruce Heard, who was Product Manager for the "Classic" D&D (And Mystara) line at the time worked closely with Allston. Bruce also writes about his friend Allston on his blog today.



Rest In Peace. And thank you so much for the work that has given me so much joy and inspiration!


Image Source: Wikipedia.

-Havard



Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Greyhawk and Michigan

This map was just posted in the Flanaess Geographical Society group on Facebook. Although this should be well known by most readers of this blog, I think it illustrates well the fact that the C&C Society World Map was based on central parts of the USA.


-Havard

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

First Fantasy Campaign at Comeback Inn!

If you haven't visited The Comeback Inn Boards lately, you've been missing out. A new forum has just been opened for discussions about Dave Arneson's Original Blackmoor Campaign. This is the place to talk about the original Twin Cities Gaming group and the 1971(?)-1975 campaign that was later documented in the Judges Guild publshed book, the First Fantasy Campaign (FFC) by Dave Arneson.



If you are interested in the FFC, Supplement II: Blackmoor or the stories from the Original Blackmoor players, you should check out the forum. More importantly, join the discussion! The more people we have asking questions or showing interest in Blackmoor related topics, the more reason the rest of us feel we have to keep up our work.

Come join us! :)

-Havard

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Return to the Vales of Blackmoor


This week, my PbP campaign started up again this week after a long break. We are now on the third chapter of the Vales Saga. Set in the lands to the west of the Duchy of Ten, Chapter 3 is called Legends of the Vales.

 After such a long break, I was really happy to see that so many from the old group of players were excited to rejoin the campaign. In addition, this chapter sees two new participants as well, making a total of nine players. When I started chapter 1, I was worried about how many players I could handle, but I have found that it is much easier to handle a large number of players in this type of game than say if we were sitting around the same table. For my face-to-face campaigns these days I prefer four players and one Dungeon Master.

 In this chapter, the PCs have been asked to investigate closer the curse that has been placed on the forests of the region. The curse was put there by cultists of the Frog God, and the ritual they used involved the ritual sacrifice of a local druid. In addition to looking for a way to finally rid the Vales of this curse, a powerful rogue magic-user is at large. Will they encounter him again? Well don't ask me what happens next. My players have been known to surprise me, so how this chapter will evolve from here is far too early to even ponder on at this point!




 -Havard