Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Arneson turns C&C Map into RPG World

The Great Kingdom was an attempt by Gary Gygax and Rob Kuntz to create a "mythical world" for their Castles & Crusades Society. New details of this appear in Jon Peterson's new book, Playing the World. The first mention of the Great Kingdom appeared in the Domesday Book #6 and the map appeared in Domesday Book #9. In this fanzine, Rob Kuntz is referred to as King and Gary Gygax and other members are given other titles.  However, what does this mean in the context of the C&C Society being mainly an organization for Medieval Miniature War Gamers?



For Dave Arneson, however the nature of the map and other details about the society grew to get a deeper meaning. With the Blackmoor Game, the focus shifted from skirmish units and the vague war gaming notion of "Generals" to real flesh and blood characters. The setting Arneson created for these player controlled characters was called Blackmoor of course, but what of the lands beyond the Castle and town?



In the introduction to the original Dungeons & Dragons game, Gary Gygax writes:

'From the map of the "land" of the "Great Kingdom" and environs -- the territory of the C&C Society -- Dave located a nice bog wherein to nest the weird enclave of "Blackmoor," a spot between the "Great Kingdom" and the fearsome "Egg of Coot."'
On his blog, Zenopus examines the exact location of Blackmoor on the map that became the basis for Arneson's campaign and later also the basis for the World of Greyhawk Setting.  In an RPG-like context, the world of the Great Kingdom also gained a new depth. "King" Rob Kuntz was no longer just the leader of the was gaming association, but a character living in this imagined world, controlling the Kingdom. In Arneson's game, the King would sometimes send troops to aid Blackmoor against its many enemies.

Rob Kuntz himself may not have known about this, had it not been for the article Facts About Black Moor by Dave Arneson published in Domesday Book #13. I imagine the editors must have been thrilled to see someone taking their "world" so seriously!

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More discussion of this article here.

-Havard

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