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Showing posts from 2010

[Downloads] Lost MMRPG files!

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Metaorganizations are a component in Dave Arneson's Blackmoor MMRPG (Aka Living Blackmoor). They can also be of use for regular Blackmoor gamers as they provide information about various organizations and groups that operate in the setting. Unfortunately, some of these Metaorgs were never published and have been unavailable to the general public until now: New MetaOrganizations The final three MetaOrgs (as of December, 2010) that were released for the MMRPG were Followers Of The Gnome Pantheon, Scroll And Blade, and Ordo Elementarum, bringing the total number of available MetaOrgs within the MMRPG to nineteen. Updated MetaOrganizations There was a final update to the Blackmoor Military and Skandaharian Cultural Society MetaOrgs in August 2008 which revised the MetaOrg membership certificates. The Fairwind Circus MetaOrg was also updated at that time to clarify progression between levels. Finally, as of January, 2009, the Silent Guard was updated to include a new entry-leve

Mystara BC2300 Campaign Setting [free download]!

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The Mystara Fan Community, from their main headquarters at the Piazza , keep coming up with high quality setting material. Last month I talked about the excellent History of Dragonkind book . Today, the Beta version of the Mystara BC2300 Campaign Setting was released. Mystara BC2300 draws on the legacy of Blackmoor as well as remnats from the Carnifex Civilization. At the heart of the setting you have lands like the Lizardman controlled Mogreth and the Shimmering Lands, described as the Last Beacon of Blackmoor. The booklet, while a Beta version, contains enough information to run a campaign in this era, as well as maps of the countries of the setting. In the release announcement, it is promised that more products for this era are on the way. Clues to these products are also included within the booklet. One of the authors, Chimpman, is launching a BC2300 PbP campaign in the near future.  The Mystara BC2300 Campaign Setting can be downloaded here . -Havard

Peshwah History

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 I have been writing a bit on the Peshwah lately, talking about the different Peshwah Tribes and the kind of weapons and armor the Peshwah use. Now the time has come to present a part of Peshwah history: It was the Great God, Hak, who had created the Horses and the Centaurs who lead the Peshwah into the promised grasslands which they named after their god. Hak had three sons who lived among the Peshwah in those early days, many centuries ago. The oldest was Hadeen, a proud hunter and master Archer. Calelrin was the middle brother, always in the shadow of Hadeen. Jealous of his brother, Calelrin plotted to kill the Peshwah leaders. Calelrin's Thonian assassins killed the chieftains Hurghast and Herutu and for this crime, Calelrin was banished to the demon realms. Hadeen, living on as a champion of the Peshwah was eventually invited to live among the Gods. The youngest son, Raelralataen also later achieved true godhood. For a full timeline of the Peshwah, go here . Image Sour

Peshwah Equipment

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The D20 Blackmoor Campaign guide provides a wide selection of equipment that is particular for the Peshwah. In the Riders of Hak Sourcebook, some of the items are designated especially to some of the individual tribes as favored weapons or armor. Arbir The Arbir is combination of a spear and sword, or a spear with a long sword like blade attached to one end. Bulova The Bulova is a wicked looking hand axe. Grazer spear This spear is an unusual looking weapon, similar to a spear, but with a crossbar near the spear point. Sickle Sword This is a sword with a long sickle like blade, almost like a scimitar, but with an even more pronouced curve of the blade. Sickle Mace This weapon looks like a pole with a sicke blade at one end and a mace at the other. Prophet's Shield A Shield constructed with bone framining and painted with the symbols of the God Yoosef. Spidersilk Armor A leather-like armor made from the special silk harvested by the Peshneath from spiders.

Peshwah Tribes

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As some of you will know, I have been reading up on various sources on the Peshwah lately. The Peshwah are a horseman culture living to the south and west of Blackmoor. The D20 Blackmoor line defined the different tribes of the Peshwah in detail, but I could never get a clear picture of which tribe belonged where and was associated with what. Above is a map by DaveL, which I have modified to show where the different tribes are commonly found. Below is a quick run down of the tribes. This is a work in progress though, so feel free to comment and criticize what I have so far: Adiel The Adiel aret he archetypical Peshwah. They are the most numerous tribe and know to be master horsemen. Many Adiel prefer the Sickle sword in combat. Briela (Not on map) The Briela are a kind of Gypsies, travelling all over the world. They are known as storytellers and diplomats. For centuries they have devoted their lives questing for the Bow of Hadeen. Bortai The Bortai are the most savage of the Peshw

Tékumel (2005) in the mail and other news

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Tékumel - Empire of the Petal Throne just arrived in the mail today. This is the 2005 version published by Guardians of Order for the Tri-Stat system. One of my reasons for wanting to get more into this setting is because of all the connections between Arneson's and Professor Barker's Campaigns that I was discussing last month . In other news, I have begun doing some research on the Peshwa. I am currently working on a timeline for these Horsemen and reading up on the Riders of Hak supplement. Hope to have more for you on these guys later on. -Havard

Blackmoor Player's Guide

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Last week, my friend Rafael wrote a r eview of the Blackmoor Player's Guide over at the Comeback Inn: 1 of 5 smashed Afridhi skulls. Ahh, the infamous BMPG. Why infamous? - Because the book was published as a nearly unedited manuscript, without proper editing, spelling correction, or indexing (yeah, that means placeholders in the ongoing text). This is, by far, the worst edited roleplaying book I've ever seen, apart from Wizard's "Expeditition to Castle Ravenloft". And I have seen a lot. So, alone for that, the worst possible grade is well earned. The content itself is not bad, though, basically being a summary of much that was introduced in the MMRPG in the first two years of its run, if maybe a bit too generic for my taste. - In fact, I even took quite a bit from the BMPG book for my own game, and never regretted it. BUT the book's presentation and layout are simply unacceptable for a piece that supposedly cost 35 bucks back in its day

Joys of DMing

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I don't get to play as much as I once did, as a player or as a DM. This is something that happens to us all as we grow older I guess. Due to lack of time, the Blackmoor campaign I started last November fell apart after only a few sessions. So when my old friends and I decided we'd get together for a full weekend of gaming, I saw the opportunity to revive it for a one-shot. The premise was simple. King Uther was killed during the Afridhi War and a corrupt unsurper has overtaken the kingdom. The players took the role of conspirators, trying to find a way to get rid of the king. But how to kill a king and get away with it? I decided to leave that up to the players. What they did was to start a riot in the poor quarters of Blackmoor Town. This was an excellent diversion, allowing some of the PCs to sneak into the Castle. The King still kept a handful of extremely competent Royal Guards with him, but they were finally defeated and the king was killed. Now Blackmoor is without a

A small chat with Jeff Quinn

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Last week, I had a small chat with Jeff Quinn. Jeff was one of the main writers involved with the Blackmoor D20 line. He contributed to the D20 Dave Arneson’s Blackmoor Sourcebook and wrote the Redwood Scar . He is also known for his work for Goodman Games. Jeff fondly remembers the days of working with Dave Arneson: “Dave was a great guy and was so full of ideas for everything he did. Blackmoor was the jewel in my career, and my designs and gaming life are richer for knowing both Dave and Blackmoor” Jeff Quinn is currently the owner of Dolmen Creative , which is in the process of publishing new RPGs using the D6 Open system. One of the projects Dolmen Creative are working in is Destiny6 RPG. Previously in this blog, I have mentioned how Jeff pays homage to Blackmoor in the Destiny6 Fantasy Setting . How much of Blackmoor’s heritage will be seen in the final Destiny6 Rulebook? “Consider this my take on Blackmoor (though I can't use the name) after the Afridhi invasion was rep

More RJK on Arneson

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Rob J Kuntz has been posting some interesting thoughts on the movies that inspired Dave Arneson on his blog. I have previously mentioned another post by RJK about Arneson's combining of science fiction and fantasy. I always love reading about RJK's memories of Dave. I think the first thing I read where he talks about the D&D co-creator is the recollections from Robilar's Journey to the City of the Gods. It is no wonder that Arneson refers in the FFC to King Robert I of Geneva as the ruler who once founded Blackmoor. I especially liked the map Kuntz put up about where everyone lived in Lake Geneva in relation to eachother. I'm stealing it: -Havard

Jeff Berry

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Also known as Chirine Ba Kal, Jeff Berry (1956-) was one of the members of MAR Barker's Tékumel group in St. Paul Minnesota around the time when Dave Arneson was running his early Blackmoor games in the same area. Jeff Berry in Tékumel Outfit Jeff started gaming in the Twin City area in 1975 and first met Dave Arneson at the University of Minnesota wargame club. When Dave Arneson started his own company, Adventure Games, in the early 1980s, he hired Berry to be his "Tékumel guy." I have previously mentioned how another member of Professor Barker's group, Debora Naffziger also influenced the Blackmoor Setting.  Yesterday, at the Hill Cantons blog , ckutalik has posted an interesting interview with Jeff, where he among other things talks about his gaming experiences with Dave Arneson: "Dave was really one of the most creative people I'd ever met, and genuinely the most fun to play with. He was very nice, very genial, and would do his very best to rip

James Ward on the way to recovery

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 Recently, it was reported that Jim Ward, creator of Metamorphosis Alpha, has been seriously ill . Therefore I was happy to see him back to posting again on Dragonsfoot: Thanks again to everyone who has wished me well. I'm still very sick, but I drag my sorry body to the computer has much as possible. I have had some great news in being accepted into the Eldritch Enterprises company. I can't think of better people to work with than Frank and the others. We've just started planning and the projects we are working on are wonderful. You readers will be among the first to find out about them as time goes on. I think of myself as rising out of the ashes of one fantastic company to help make another. James M. Ward As he mentions, he is part of the newly formed Eldritch Enterprises, which  I wrote about yesterday . James Ward in the early days of TSR, courtesy of Steve Winter -Havard

[Mystara] History of Dragonkind available!

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The Mystara Community is one of the most creative D&D communities that I know of, which can be seen from the vast amount of high quality material available at the Vaults of Pandius , the official Mystara fansite. I have compiled a list of the most comprehensive of these fan productions here . This week, a new community release was announced at the Piazza . This is the History of Dragonkind, by Simone Neri. Over the years alot of material on Mystara's dragons and what makes them different from the dragons of other D&D settings. Neri has been able to combine all of these sources presenting a great overview of the history of dragons from before the Blackmoor Era, through the events from the Dragonlord Trilogy and up to the modern Mystaran Era. You can download this excellent fan sourcebook here . -Havard

Eldritch Enterprises

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Tim Kask (left) and Frank Mentzer Earlier this month, an announcement was made at the KC Game Fair that a new RPG company had been founded by Frank Mentzer, Tim Kask, Jim Ward and Chistopher Clarke. The name of the company is Eldritch Enterprises and will work to publish projects by each of the founding authors. Jim Ward has been suffering from health problems lately , but hopefully he will recover soon. The project that we have heard most about so far, and which is what I am most excited about is Frank Mentzer's Aquaria Campaig n, which I at some point hope to i ncorporate into my Blackmoor campaign . Currently Eldritch Enterprises are working to set up a new website for the company . Before even having a name, the company was criticized in the Grognardia blog for possibly not being Old School enough. Let's give the guys a chance before we shoot them down shall we? To find out more about what Eldritch Enterprises are up to, feel free to visit the Aquaria Forum over at t

The Real Comeback Inn

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Any self-respecting fantasy campaign needs to have an Inn where the adventurers can meet up, have a few ales and receive their missions from a dark robed mysterious stranger. The first fantasy campaign had an inn, named the Comeback Inn. It was apparently based on an actual pub carrying the same name in Melrose Park. Dave Arneson used to visit this pub and borrowed the name to be used in his game. This is also why we chose this name for our Blackmoor Forum of course! Sadly, the pub seems to have been shut down back in 2004. I would have liked to have the chance, just once, to have a beer there with some friends, if only to see if some mysterious stranger would walk up to us and ask if we could help him out. -Havard

Immortals coming to life

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Brendan Corliss over at the Piazza has just begun a project of creating 3D images of all of the Immortals of Mystara. First one up is Valerias. Find out more about this here . -Havard

Interesting thoughts from RJK

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Robert J. Kuntz has an interesting article over at his Lord of the Green Dragons blog where he is talking about his upcoming project, the Machine Level. In the article mr Kuntz suggests that Arneson was likely the first DM to blend the elements of science fiction and fantasy in his City of the Gods adventures. According to Kuntz, this was something that Gygax, Arneson and Kuntz himself were all interested in at the time. Kuntz goes on to mention various interesting examples of this in the early days of D&D. He also goes on to credit the creation of the Shambling Mound to Arneson, a creature Gygax and Kuntz first encountered when they journeyed to the fabled City of the Gods with Arneson behind the DM screen, as chronicled in Oerth Journal#6 . I am looking forward to seeing RJK's Machine Level! -Havard

[Races] Kurgans

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Two centuries ago, Calelrin, God of Murder and Deceit lead a tribe of Peshwa out of the Plains of Hak, on a long journey south. Over the years, the Krugel tribe became very different from their Peshwa cousins. Under Calelrin’s influence they became a cruel warrior people, strangers to words like mercy or kindness. They are horseman nomads living on grassland steppes in distant lands south of Blackmoor. These days they are sometimes used as elite cavalry by the Thonian Empire. Personality Kurgans are a brutal people, their personality shaped by the harsh life on the steppes. They are infamous for their cruelty and reputed to toss children into pits full of starved dogs, and watch them fight for the meat for amusement. They practice animal husbandry, keeping horses, cattle, pigs, sheep and goats. They prefer to ride geldings, their main herds being kept wild under stallions, and controlled through the mares which were hobbled near the settlements and milked regularly Physical Descr

Blackmoor Reference in the Tomb of Horror Prime

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Stormcrow over at the Tombs of Horror Blog, made a pretty interesting discovery the other day . When the original Origins I Tomb of Horrors was sold on eBay, the neat sum of $1526.01 was more than the blogger could afford. The packaged included 1 cover page, 1 map page, 1 character list, 9 pages on the tomb contents and 24 pages of drawings. Fortunately, Stormcrow began to examine the pictures distributed for the auction. They were blurry, but he made out the following: Click on image to enlarge  Talking to Stormcrow and Grodog about this, we have become fascinated with the references to Blackmoor and the Egg of Coot. Also, as Grodog pointed out, it is interesting that the Egg of Coot was replaced by Iuz in later versions, perhaps suggesting a link between the Egg and Iuz? The Highest Hill in the Egg of Coot, most likely means the Highest Hill in the Realm of the Egg of Coot . This would probably be somewhere in the Trolltop Peaks or the Locust Hills. The island east of Blac

[Races] Valemen

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Valemen are a race of humans living to the west of Blackmoor, beyond the Duchy of Ten and the Eaves. They are believed to be related to the Skandaharians, possibly mixed with Peshwa blood. They are a warrior culture based around agriculture and viewed by Thonians as barbaric. Halgred Forestwalker, believed to be the first druid in the north, was a Valeman and it is his ways that are still being taught in this part of the world. Magic is left to druids and rangers to understand. A Valeman simply accepts the situation he is placed in.  Personality Valemen are a proud people who live life to the fullest. They do not expect the world to be completely predictable nor seek explanations for everything that happens. They care about their clan, their family and their honor. One important aspect of Valeman life is their closeness to nature. A Valeman will know every hill and mountaintop far beyond his village. Physical Description Most Valemen are short and stocky. They have fair skin an

Shaedraeth Update

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Yesterday I mentioned the homage paid to Blackmoor in the Destiny6 RPG , but this is not the only project associating itself with Dave Arneson's setting. After dealing with personal tragedy and failed negotiations with RPG companies, there is new word from Code Monkey Publishing on their Blackmoor derived Shaedraeth Setting . It seems that there are now two products planned for release, possibly as soon as the end of the year. One is a book featuring over 30 deities of the setting. The other is a mega dungeon adventure called Dungeons of the Lost Moorlands. The latter should sound familiar to most of you. There is also talk of a Timeline for the setting which could be included in one of the products. More details on this project can be found here . Image: The Blackmoor Dungeon -Havard

Blackmoor Homage in Destiny6 RPG

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Destiny6 is the upcoming RPG from Dolmen Creative . Destiny is a fantasy RPG which uses a variant of the good old D6 system of Star Wars D6 fame. What does this have to do with Blackmoor? Well, Dolmen Creative is owned by Jeff Quinn, who was heavily involved in the D20 Blackmoor line. Being a Blackmoor fan, Jeff snuck in some references to our favorite setting into his new game, including a section of the world map which should be familiar to most of you. You can download the entire map (10Mb file) using this link . Jeff also promises a series of adventures in the style of the classic adventures he wrote for the Blackmoor line (Ties that Bind, Redwood Scar ) and Goodman Games (Idylls of the Rat King) in an upcoming D6 Magazine . Download the Quick Start Rules for Destiny6 RPG here .  (Recommended!) -Havard

Happy Halloween

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Happy Halloween my friends :) -Havard

Death of the ZGG Forum

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The MMRPG Forum over at ZGG's Website is gone and has been so, it seems since mid October. I have yet to get confirmation that this is a permanent removal of the forum, but at this point I would be very surprised if we ever get to see it back up. So what, you ask? The forum has not seen much activity for years, true. Unfortunately, many of the threads at that forum were pure gold. They had loads of setting ideas and tales from the original campaign. Many posts were made by the original Blackmoor players and contained unique information. Fortunately, most of this information has been saved at the Wood of the Revenant over at our Comeback Inn Forum . Still it is sad to see the Forum disappear. This is was a worry that I discussed with a few hard core Blackmoor fans, already when we first learned that the lisence would come to an end, and this was one of the reasons why we set up our own Blackmoor Forum . Second Time Around Sadly, this is not the first time for the ZGG forum to

I'm Back!

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Return of the Prodigal Son, by Rembrandt Okay, I am back from my little break! Those of you who know me from various forums will have seen that I havent been completely missing from the Internet Scene, but my access to computers have been too limited to contribute much here or elsewhere. A few things have happened since my last post. Aldarron has started a project to develop the Outer Works of Castle Blackmoor . This looks like it is going to be really interesting. Over at the Mule Abides, Tavis posted an interesting tale about Dungeon Mapping in the Dungeons of Castle Blackmoor . Finally, game designer Jeff Quinn has returned to the Comeback Inn Forum. What else did I miss? :) -Havard

Gone Fishing

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Well not exactly fishing, but rather work stuff will be keeping me away from the Internet for the most part of what's left of October. Please stick around and I will have a new update for you on November 1st or perhaps even sooner. Hope to see you all here when I come back :) -Havard

Full Sail dedicates Game Studios to Arneson

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Found this on Facebook: Time Saturday, October 30 · 1:00pm - 11:30pm Location The New Full Sail Game Studio Created By Full Sail University More Info Full Sail is proud to announce the dedication of the new Game Studios to our esteemed colleague, the late Dave Arneson. We invite you to join us in honoring our dear friend and celebrating the recent addition to our facility as well as joining us for the two game sessions we will be hosting following the dedication ceremony. Dave Arneson earned his fame as the co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons, the game that changed the world of gaming. Dave also spent a decade as a member of our Full Sail family, instructing in the Game Development program from its inception. The Event - Date and time - October 30 - Ceremony @1pm - Game Session 1 @ 3:00pm (to 7:00pm) - Game Session 2 @ 7:30pm (to 11:30pm) Location Ceremony: Full Sail Live Quad Game Sessions: Games Studio Features - Speakers and Unveiling Ceremony -

[Races] Maggot Men

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When we were discussing Gator Men the other day, reader Dan Boggs mentioned Maggot Men as another typical Arnesonian invention. This strange race appeared in Garbage Pits of Despair, a Blackmoor adventure written by Dave Arneson and published in Different Worlds Magazine #42 and 43 (1986). Maggot Men men are described as having "the bodies of maggots and the appendages of a man". They have sickly pale skin and sinister looking eyes. Maggot Men live in deep holes where garbage and other organic refuse can be found. They live off this garbage and will eat just about anything, including zombies; a particular deicacy among these creatures. Maggot Men are usually found in fairly large groups (1-20) and even bigger groups in their main underground lairs. They keep a race of spider-like creatures, known as Carcus Critters as pets. They feed these toothlesss critters with slimes, jellies and puddings. Maggot Men are known to be cowardly and not very bright creatures. alternate

The Gods Welcome You: Immortality in the Game

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I was just reading Dennis Laffey's blog the other day where he adresses the subject of questing for Immortality . The backround for this is Grognardia's review of the new B/X Companion , where Maliszewski expresses his dislike for the concept of questing for Immortality. Immortality in D&D was conceived by Frank Mentzer in the excellent BECMI line. Questing for Immortality was an option for heroes using the Master Rules, while the final set, the Immortal Rules took the game to a whole new level once that quest was completed. AD&D also had similar conceps of becoming a Demi-God, but only in Frank Mentzer's BECMI could you go all the way. Dennis Laffey presents various examples of how such adventures have a presedence in mythology. Critics who claim that this should not be handled as part of the standard level progression should take another look at the Master Rules. Reaching Immortality is in no way a direct result of having reached 36th level, but rather a uniqu

Sad News

Thanks to Piazza super poster and Spelljammer Guru, Big Mac, I have come across information over at boardgamegeek.com stating that David J Ritchie passed away in September, last year: David James Ritchie, a native of Canton, Ohio, died in his Connecticut home on Sunday, Sept. 6, 2009, at the age of 58. (CantonRep.com | Canton, OH 44702)  I have yet to have confirmed that this is the same David J Ritchie who co-authored the DA modules with Dave Arneson, but it looks bleak right now. May he Rest in Peace. -Havard

[Races] Gatormen

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Also known as Broadgrin, the Gatormen are, as the name implies a cross between man and aligator. The Gatormen of Blackmoor make their home in the Barrier Swamp. This swamp marks the border between the Duchy of Ten and the Duchy of the Peaks . There have been many speculations to where this horrid race came from. One theory is that they were created by Lord Ran at the time when he controlled the Duchy of Ten. The Egg of Coot has been known to spawn a number of mosterous creatures, and Ran is reported to have stolen many of the Egg's secrets when he betrayed his former master. Although fellow swamp dwellers, Gatormen have no love for Froglin and are clearly not followers of the Frog God . Most likely they are followers of Demogorgon. Behind the Curtain: DA4 is the first recorded appearance of Gatormen, who later appeared in the D&D Creature Catalog. This means the race was invented by Dave Arneson or David Ritchie. They were later incorporated into the Red Steel Setting (My

Afridhi from Tékumel?

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Last Monday, I wrote about the origins of the Afridhi of Blackmoor . I mentioned how the player, Deborah Naffziger, who controlled the Afridhi was a young lady who primarily played in Professor Barker's Tékumel Campaign. Comparing this to how another player, Stephen Rocheford was working with Arneson to come up with the background for his character, St. Stephen, it is not unlikely that Arneson and Naffziger worked together on developing the culture of the Afridhi. Since both Arneson and Naffziger had experience Barker's campaign, it is not unlikely that they would be drawing on that lore when developing the Afridhi Warrior Culture. The name itself suggests Asian inspiration, which is one of the parts of the world which Professor Barker drew his ideas from. Poster Aldarron, over at the Comeback Inn Forum even suggested that the Afridhi actually travelled from Tékumel to the world of Blackmoor. You can read his interesting theories about this here . I think it is worth explor

A real Tsathoggua Idol

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Ever consider getting your on Tsathoggua Idol? I didnt think I would be promoting religion on this blog, even fictional ones, but Wednesday's entry on using Clark Ashton Smith's deity Tsathoggua as a basis for the God of the Temple of the Frog made me do some random googling of the deity and this is what I came up with. A guy named Richard Svensson has made this wonderful idol model of Tsathoggua hich he posted pictures of over at elfwood. I don't think it is for sale, but who knows? Would be nice on anyone's mantle piece? -Havard

The Frog God

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The players still remember the day when Dave Arneson placed a large ceramic frog from his mother's garden on the gaming table. This was their first meeting with the Temple of the Frog, an adventure location which would be the focus of four different published modules for three different editions of D&D spanning three decades. Something dark stirred that day, and the players grew nervous....  The order of the Frog, the religious group who used the infamous temple as their base of operations had been organized by St. Stephen, played by Stephen Rocheford. Last month, I described how Arneson and Rocheford came up with this idea back in the spring of 1973. At the time, the Blackmoor players had relocated to the swampy environs of Lake Gloomy and the Temple was located just a few days travel to the south. St. Stephen himself may have been a cynical manipulator, his religion a trick to be able to control the followers of the cult. Imagine his surprise when the monks of the te

Ever wonder who else is reading this?

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I once read that TSR had very poor knowledge of who their target audiences were. Recently I've been looking at the stats for this blog, trying to figure out who my audience is. I like the various options blogger.com have added to review the readers. Here's a map showing where the blog readers come from in the world: Here's a listing by country: Obviously, there is some margin of error here with random image searches, bots, spammers etc being counted, but it still gives me some idea of where the readers come from. Mainly however, it was just fun poking around with this stuff and seeing what kind of options blogger.com offer. -Havard

The Afridhi

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The Afridhi are described as a race of hillmen from a frozen land. The Afridhi depended on fire to survive and fire became their god. They are a conquering race of humans with unnaturally black skin and red hair. They are violent fanatics lead by their high priestess, the terrible Toska Rusa (Rosy Dawn). Gradually the Empire of the Afridhi has expanded and is now threatening Blackmoor itself. In my campaign I describe the Afridhi as having their bodies decorated with glowing tattoos like the Dark Prince from the Prince of Persia games shown below: The Afridhi were revealed to the general public in DA4 Duchy of Ten. Because DA4 was the one module of the DA series on which only Dave Ritchie's name appeared, some have speculated that the Afridhi were an invention by Ritchie. However this is not the case. I have previously discussed the nature of the working relationship between Ritchie and Arneson . The Afridhi were actually introduced in Dave Arneson's Campaign around 1975

Arneson & Ritchie

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Recently there have been a lot of speculations to the nature of the Arneson Ritchie working relationship. As most of you will know David J Ritchie was the co-author of DA modules 1-3 and the only author listed for DA4. Over the years, some have questioned to what degree the DA modules could be considered Arneson’s work. Perhaps the credits on the covers were simply a nod to the original creator and nothing else? And why was Arneson’s name omitted from DA4? My attempts to reach David J Ritchie have so far been unsuccessful. Dustin Clingman has earlier stated that Arneson was consulted on the DA modules, but it has been unclear to what extent this consultation. Greg Svenson clarifies: “Dave Arneson worked with Dave Richie on DA1-3. His contract with TSR gave him the right to review all Blackmoor material before it was published, but DA4 was published before he was able to review. So, that was most of his problem with that module.” Not only was Ritchie working based on notes submitt

The Great Rain of Fire

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The Great Rain of Fire. A fiery cataclysm, destroying Blackmoor and Thonia, sinking lands into the sea and turning their shores into broken lands. When David L. Ricthie was asked to write the DA-series of modules for the BECMI/ Classic D&D line, Ritchie incorporated Blackmoor as a realm from Mystara's past. Ricthie detailed how the technology introduced to the Blackmoorians through the Temple of the Frog and City of the Gods would eventually lead to disaster. The combination of magic and technology would lead to a cataclysm. The Great Rain of Fire was both a device that allowed Ritchie to connect Blackmoor to Mystara, but also the logical conclusion of the revelations from DA2 and DA3 , which again were based on the details on St. Stephen in Supplement II. What would happen if a fantasy kingdom got its hand on highly advanced technology? Could this end in any other way than disaster? What role could the Great Rain of Fire play for a DM who does not assume Blackmoor t

Defining the setting

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Philosopher over at the Piazza, challenged me to write a text defining Blackmoor in one or two paragraphs. Trying to pin down a setting in just a few paragraphs was trickier than I thought. Here's what I've got so far: Blackmoor is a small Kingdom which until recently was the northernmost province of a decadent Empire. Unlike the Thonian Empire, Blackmoor embodies the ideals of justice and chivalry; a realm of light surrounded by corruption and evil. Blackmoor is in desperate need of heroes because it is surrounded by enemies. The Mordor-like realm of the Egg of Coot to the North. Viking-like Skandaharian raiders attack both its coastal lands. And an exotic demon-worshipping conqueror race army approaces from the west.  Blackmoor is a classic fantasy setting with a twist: highly technological items can be found and used by heroes and villains alike. Mechanical warriors guard powerful wizards. The sages of the Blackmoor University are working with the dwarv

And then we were 80!

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Milestone reached!It's great to see more and more people reading this blog. The fact that people out there want to read the things I write is my main motivation for keeping this place going. My last couple of entries have also seen a surge of comments which is always appreciated. According to Trey's Scale , I am now a 6th level blogger. Not bad for a little Blackmoorian? Thanks everyone for your continued support! -Havard