Sunday, October 31, 2010

Blackmoor Homage in Destiny6 RPG

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!)


Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween my friends :)


Death of the ZGG Forum

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 be removed. When the original ZGG Forum was "merged" with the MMRPG Forum, the original threads from the ZGG forum were lost. The lessons learned then allowed us to make the backups I mentioned above. I particularly miss the discussions with poster Ecthelion at the original Forum back in 2004. Unfortunately forum threads are not archived through the Wayback Machine, reminding us that Internet information is indeed temporary in nature.

Get Your Downloads While You Can
While I don't want to sound too alarming, I would not be surprised if we will see a complete removal of Blackmoor Content from the ZGG site in the near future. ZGG have not had the lisence to use Blackmoor since the beginning of this year, so there is no reason why they should keep all the freebies occupying their hard drives. Better safe than sorry. Download what you can now.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

I'm Back!

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? :)


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Gone Fishing

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 :)


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Full Sail dedicates Game Studios to Arneson

Found this on Facebook:

Saturday, October 30 · 1:00pm - 11:30pm

LocationThe New Full Sail Game Studio

Created By

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)

Ceremony: Full Sail Live Quad
Game Sessions: Games Studio

Features - Speakers and Unveiling Ceremony
- Rob Catto – Program Director for Game Studies
- Garry Jones – President of Full Sail University
- Dustin Clingman – Founder and President of ZG Games
- Duke Seifried – Executive Vice President TSR (Ret)
- Shawn Stafford – Director of the Full Sail Research Institute
- Malia Weinhagen - Dave Arneson’s daughter

Game Sessions
- D&D
- Settlers of Catan
- Munchkin

Costumes welcome! Weapons must be checked at the event.

- This is a GPS event! -

Being located in Norway, it is impossible for me to attend, but if any of my readers are going, I would love to hear what it was like.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

[Races] Maggot Men

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 design

The origins of this race in the setting are unknown. Did some evil god create this race, perhaps through cursing another race into becoming "like maggots", or are they the creation of some wizard looking for a way to dispose of his garbage?

Source: Image 1
Source Image 2


Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Gods Welcome You: Immortality in the Game

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 unique undertaking separate from the general level progression and reserved for unique heroes whose adventures will become legends retold for centuries to come.

I think a common pit fall in Internet discussions about D&D is that we end up talking about what a D&D game should be about and what it should not. One things I love about D&D is that it can be anything you want. This is one of the reasons why I prefer RPGs to Boardgames. One of the great things about the BECMI expansions was that it introduced new possibilities to what D&D could be about.

Similarly, we know that Dave Arneson would be open to pretty much any idea that came up in his games, giving rise to the description of his gaming style as "Gonzo". While the subject of ascending to Godhood was not a common theme in Arneson's campaign, Bob Meyer who played the powerful wizard Robert the Bald shared this story:
Personally, I not only survived these adventures, but I acquired enough interesting things to study that I ended up locked away in my tower studying them. This all proved to be my undoing, as I was the first of the original players (and one of only two I am aware of) to reach the highest possible level in David's rules. When I asked David what happened now, he told me that"The Gods welcome me". I lost Robert the Bald to David's control and had to start a new character.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Sad News

Thanks to Piazza super poster and Spelljammer Guru, Big Mac, I have come across information over at 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. ( | 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.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

[Races] Gatormen

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 (Mystara) through Bruce Heard's excellent Voyage of the Princess Ark series. Red Steel offered no link to Blackmoor, but instead provided a much later creation date for when the race supposedly was created by a Wizard. It seems likely that this Wizard had discovered some old Blackmoorian scrolls which he used as a basis for his recreated race.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Afridhi from Tékumel?

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 exploring further the cross polination between Arneson and Barker's games.

Image source


Friday, October 1, 2010

A real Tsathoggua Idol

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?


New Maps and More details on Blackmoor Foundations Book

More is being revealed about the Blackmoor Foundations book coming from the Secrets of Blackmoor crew. I mentioned the other day that the b...