Monday, January 14, 2019

Megarry to host Dungeon! at GaryCon2019

David Megarry, player in the original Blackmoor Campaign is to host the board game Dungeon! at GaryCon this year. David Megarry created the game partly because he saw how taxing DMing was on Dave Arneson and wanted to create a Blackmoor-like experience without the need to have a DM. I wrote a bit more about this back in 2011. The game was first published in 1975. The photo and information below was just posted at the GaryCon Facebook Page.

"DUNGEON! Board game creator and Guest David Megarry (pictured here with his wife Rose Shetka) displaying his original 1971 map of his most famous creation. Dave will host several DUNGEON! events at Gary Con XI. Get your badge today and sign up! #garycon #gcxi #dungeon #DUNGEON! #davidmegarry

Megarry also posts at The Comeback Inn Forum. If any of the readers of this blog are going to GaryCon, please tell Megarry that "Havard sent you".  ;)

Discussion of this article at The Comeback Inn


Thursday, January 3, 2019

Mayfair Games Co-Founder Has Passed Away 68 Years Old

Got the following sad news from Reddit regarding Darwin P Bromley (October 23, 1950 - January 1, 2019):
"Mayfair Games founder Darwin Bromley has died Darwin Bromley, founder of Mayfair games and designer of several train games (including Empire Express) has passed away. There will be a memorial service at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville on Saturday at 4:00 PM. Last year, he and his late brother Peter donated 8,000 games to the Museum of Play."

-Co-Founded by Bromley and his brother Peter, Mayfair Games became famous for the controversial RoleAids series which were compatible with AD&D during the TSR era. Apparently Bromley was instrumental in this development. To give this entry a Blackmoor spin, Mayfair Games was once in talks with Dave Arneson to publish 12 Blackmoor modules.

Regardless, Bromley was an important figure in the history of our hobby.

What was your favorite Mayfair Games product?


Wednesday, January 2, 2019

The Strangler of Blackmoor Castle - Now as a free AFF Blackmoor Module!

The new year kicks off with more Blackmoor material! Fans of the Advanced Fighting Fantasy RPG have been making modules under the banner Blackmoor Living World. This latest in the series by Galfiero Risaliti is clearly a nod to the 1963 movie of the same name. Set in Castle Blackmoor itself, the module also has references to the town of Anathema from Blackmoor the MMRPG season 4. which is available at The Comeback Inn.

Get the adventure The Stranger of Blackmoor Castle for free here.

Oh, and Happy New Year!


Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Secrets of Blackmoor Christmas Preview Reveals Importance of Braunstein

I just finished watching the 24 minute Christmas preview of the documentary Secrets of Blackmoor. This preview was streamed at Vimeo for backers of the now successful Kickstarter for the documentary. The producers, "Chris and Griff", refer to this as a "Story Cut" of the documentary.

The preview shows several of the remaining members of the gaming group in the Twin Cities that Dave Arneson was a part of. In this preview they talk about the early Braunstein Games organized by Dave Wesely. The documentary describes Braunstein as a watershed moment.

One thing I am wondering about is who this documentary is for. Readers of this blog, or the works of Jon Peterson or other gaming historians will be familiar with much of the information given in the preview. D&D fans who are just beginning to learn about the history of their hobby might find this preview confusing. What is Braunstein and why is it so significant? Who are these people? 892 backers pledged $48,097 to help bring the project to life. I doubt all of them are experts? I hope the full version will provide more context for this group of viewers.

That's not to say the preview doesn't have anything to offer those of us who are already deep into researching the hobby's history either. Hearing those involved in these stages of the development of the game is incredibly interesting. The preview also offers video material of people who have not been seen before as well as new interviews with more prominent members of the Twin City gamers. Deep analysis appears to be mostly left to the viewer, but the comments from the gamers themselves tell a fascinating story. Creativity, experimentation, imagination are key words that I am left with. And more importantly, this was a group effort. Just like Gary relied on his group of friends and family members in Lake Geneva to help develop games, the development of the Twin City games that would lead to Blackmoor was a collective effort. This is clear in the preview and really should come as no surprise to anyone who has run a D&D game. The players are just as important as the DM. That should in my opinion not take away from the importance of Dave and Gary as the creators of D&D though, but the conclusion of the documentary remains to be seen. I think Bob Meyer's comparison to Eddison is very interesting though.

 The preview promises the DVD's will be completed in March 2019. My previous experiences with D&D documentary Kickstarters have left me a bit jaded, but seeing this preview gives me hope that Secrets of Blackmoor will be the first successful D&D documentary to become widely available. Hopefully the other projects currently in production will follow. For now, I will be looking forward to the complete version of Secrets of Blackmoor!

See more discussion of this article here


Monday, December 17, 2018

X5 Temple of Death One of the Best D&D Adventures Says 5E Designer Robert J Schwalb

The classic Dungeons & Dragons adventure X5 Temple of Death is getting renewed interest. Published in 1983 for the Frank Mentzer BECMI  "Red Box" edition of the world's most famous roleplaying game and set in the world of Mystara, this adventure was written by David "Zeb" Cook as a sequel to X4 Master of the Desert Nomads (Also by Cook). The series would later be concluded in X10 Red Arrow Black Shield by Michael S. Dobson. Beautifully illustrated by Timothy Truman, the module explored a mysterious temple in the lands of Sind and also introduced new monsters such as Dusanu, Genoid, Mujina, Malfera and Spectral Hounds.

Following a reacent discussion at The Piazza, which also spun into that RPG forum's Facebook Page, Robert J. Schwalb was among those giving the adventure praise:

In addition to being one of the designers on the team that created the 5th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons, Schwalb is also the publishing his own RPG Shadow of the Demon Lord. Check it out! :)

As a fan of BECMI D&D and Mystara, it is always nice to see the adventures of that era get more recognition. I am looking foward to seeing X1 Isle of Dread (the original Mystara advenure) return in a collection from Goodman Games next year. Could we see the Desert Nomad Series  further down the line?


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Blackmoor Documentary Successfully Funded!

Great news! Secrets of Blackmoor, the documentary about the history of Blackmoor has been successfully funded on Kickstarter. Out of all the D&D history documentaries in the works, it looks like Secrets of Blackmoor may now be the first to see the light of day.

Griff, Chris Graves and the rest of the team are already talking about adding more Stretch Goals. The Kickstarter still as 13 days to go so it is not too late to sign up. Secrets of Blackmoor is set to be released in March 2019.

Read more here.


Monday, December 10, 2018

The Piazza is back!

The Comeback Inn was down for maintenence, but things seemed to go smoothly. Another forum that has seen some overhaul is my other favorite hangout  - The Piazza. After some bug apparently connected to moving to new servers had to be removed, The Piazza has been locked for a few days. It now appears to be back and working as normal again.

Visit The Piazza here.