Thursday, August 12, 2010

Origin of the DA modules

From the publishing of the OD&D supplements, Blackmoor was a central part of D&D. Unfortunately, the tragic legal dispute between Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax prevented TSR from making use of it in the years that followed after Supplement II. So it wasn't untill the early 80s that discussion at TSR began with regards to what to do with this property. Several options were being discussed as Frank Mentzer recalls:

"Since the World of Greyhawk included Blackmoor, should it go there (AD&D1e)? Or since I was drawing from OD&D & supplements, should Sup2 (Blackmoor) go there? Anyway, it ended up in BECM, as you know."

TSR already had plans for a series of Gazetteers, each detailing one of the Known World countries, featured in the world map in Mentzer's Expert set. But it was decided not to make a Gazetteer for Blackmoor:

"Given the importance and nature of Blackmoor -- the first fantasy campaign, to some -- it got its own line, instead of being a 'mere' gazetteer."
Bruce A. Heard was product manager for the Classic D&D line at the time. As Mentzer was busy with other projects, he had to look to other authors to write the setting material. Aaron Allston, who would later make a significant impact on the Mystara setting, began writing the first Gazetteer. For Blackmoor, Heard got in touch with a man called David J. Ritchie. The result was a series of four adventure modules written for levels 10-14. The legendary fifth module in the series has been discussed earlier. The module series were labelled DA, the Dave Arneson modules.


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