Monday, September 9, 2013

The FFC Coming Back in Print?

The First Fantasy Campaign (FFC), published in 1975 by the Judges Guild Chronicles Dave Arneson's original Blackmoor campaign from the years 1971-1975.

Over the last few years, reprinting old gaming material has become increasingly popular among publishers. Recently, Robert Bledsaw III asked over at the Wilderlands Fans Facebook Group which old JG modules people would be interested in seeing reprinted and updated to Pathfinder or universal systems.

Not surprisingly, several people requested that the First Fantasy Campaign by Dave Arneson would be among the books reprinted. Now the question is, should JG be interested, would it be possible for them to reprint the FFC?

From what I understand, the IP to the FFC is owned by the Arneson family. Bob Bledsaw reverted the ownership of the FFC to Dave before Bledsaw passed away. When it comes to Blackmoor, that IP is owned by Wizards of the Coast. ZGG was operating under a lisence from WotC to publish Blackmoor material, but that lisence expired in 2008. It is possible that the FFC could be published without a lisence from WotC, but it is probably a good idea to check with them to avoid complications.

It should be noted that I am in no way a lawyer and do not posess any inside knowledge of any of this. The above is based on information that should be available online.

I think it would be amazing to have the FFC return in print or even as a PDF. To be the FFC does not need to be updated to have value for gamers today. OTOH, Dave Arneson did make a request if the FFC was to be reprinted, Robert Bledsaw III says (on FB, August 21st 2013):

"As for First Fantasy Campaign, Arneson offered to let us reprint FFC so long as some typos were corrected in a phone conversation with my dad. However, he passed away unexpectedly so we have no clue what typos he was referring to."
When original FFC manuscript fell into the lap of Judges Guild editor, Bill Owen back in 1977,  he decided not to make heavy alterations to the "somewhat disorganized" manuscript. Perhaps Dave Arneson would have liked to see a reprint that, while not neccessarily updated, might be edited in a way to make it organized in a way to make it more accessible to new audiences?



  1. Having exhaustively reviewed FFC over on my blog. I would opt for a new layout with commentary generated by consulting with the community. The original content would remain the same. Perhaps add some redrawn maps and new illos alongside the originals. There just no getting around what it is.

    1. What Rob said!

      Illuminating this classic with observations and interpretations from old school gaming historians and referees should be a priority for the publisher.

  2. I hope we'll see a faithful reprint.

  3. I will be happy to see the original text with a new layout and some apocryph texts

  4. I think an Annotated Edition of the FFC, keeping the original text, but with explanations, historical anectdotes and additional material would make for a very interesting book, especially if the Arneson enthusiasts here on the web are consulted ;)

  5. Annotate it with commentary from the *original players* and I'd buy a second copy.


Happy Gary Gygax Game Day 2023!

  Happy Gary Gygax Game Day 2023!