Sunday, November 24, 2013

Tomb of Abysthor (Necromancer Games 2002)

This 2002 module from Necromancer Games was brought to my attention recently. Apparently, Necromancer Games' President at the time Clark Peterson, had inserted references to Dave Arneson's most famous modules:

"Anyone catch the homage to Arneson's Temple of the Frog, which just happens to be the first published adventure for D&D (I say first published adventure because it was published in the original Blackmoor supplement. The first actual module--meaning all the product contained was an adventure--was Palace of the Vampire Queen by Wee Warriors)."-Clark

Writing under the pseudonym Orcus, Peterson goes on to express his satisfaction with the module, and also reveals his high opinion of the Temple of the Frog:

" has a cool homage to several really cool modules in it (Lost caverns of Tsojcanth and Temple of the Frog), it has links to Rappan Athuk for those who want them, it links to Crucible in that Tavik is there (if he survived), the new monsters are cool as are the new magic items.Can you tell I am proud of this one?"

Yes Clark, we agree with you on this at least. Temple of the Frog is a really cool module! I don't have a copy of Tomb of Abysthor, but looking at some of the preview from DrivethruRPG, I came across the following excerpt from page 2 of the module, which may be the reference Peterson was talking about:

"The physical ruin of the shrines and burial halls in the Valley of the Shrines is by far the least of the corruption ofthe once-holy sanctuaries. In the great caves beneath the burial halls, the tsathar, inhuman priests of the foul god Tsathogga, long ago raised a temple to their hideous demon-frog god. The tsathar as a race are detailed in the Monster Appendix. More vile still, a contingent of priests of Orcus—the evil demon-god of the undead—recently came some ten years ago from the legendary dungeon of Rappan Athuk to corrupt the burial halls and exploit the location as a base of operations for further expansion of their evil cult. The followers of the two evil gods have reached an uneasy truce. Both, however, seek a power even darker still—the power of a legendary Black Monolithrumored to be hidden somewhere in these caverns, sealed away long ago by an ancient power"
So the Tomb of Abysthor was built by the followers of the Frog and the followers of Orcus. This would make the module ideal to place somewhere in the world of Dave Arneson's Blackmoor, right?

If any of my readers owns this module and have additional information from within the pages of the book, please let me know!

More discussion of this topic here.

Update: More on this in my latest blog update

Image Sources:
Clark Peterson Photo


Saturday, November 23, 2013

OD&D Book V: Blackmoor back in Print!

OD&D Book V, is what used to be called OD&D Supplement II, now available with the new deluxe reprint version of Original Dungeons & Dragons releases, which includes seven booklets (the first three rules booklets and four supplements) and dice within an engraved and illustrated wooden storage case. This also means, we once again get to see a book with the Blackmoor logo and Dave Arneson's name on the covers.

Speaking of Covers, included above is the revised cover, which has this odd sort of not quite old school look to it. A new artist's impression of Blackmoor Castle however, can never be a bad thing! Here is WotC's Preview for Book V. 

WotC's preview page is also keen to note the fact that this book includes the first iteration of the Temple of the Frog. Temple of the Frog was also the first published D&D adventure ever, and it was revisited in several versions. The second version, DA2, is also available for sale through DndClassics. A third version was released for D&D3E by Zeitgeist Games. Finally, WotC also released a Return to the Temple of the Frog module which can be downloaded for free here. How much Froggie goodness do you want?

 It is interesting to read the high praise TSR gives Dave Arneson in the introduction to this book. There is no trace there of the ugly statements from TSR following the lawsuits after Arneson left the company. This book is clearly a leap back into the good old days of innocence!

See also:
More discussion of this news
Discussion of Supplement II


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Eastern Marshes of Thonia Revealed!

A new region in the world of Dave Arneson's Blackmoor is being explored in detail for the very first time. The Empire of Thonia, also known as the Great Kingdom, consists of ten provinces. The Eastern Marshes is one of the more traditional of the Thonian Provinces.

Get your free fan-created PDF booklet today!

Also, read more about Thonia here.


Blackmoor Like Map Used for Runehammer's Crown & Skull RPG?

  Crown & Skull is a new TTRPG created by  Brandish Gilhelm, Hankerin Ferninale and Ingrid Burnall and published by Runehammer Games. T...