Monday, June 2, 2014

The 1985 Mayfair Games Blackmoor Modules!

Totally fake cover imagining what a Mayfair games Blackmoor module may have looked like.
A previously unknown chapter in the history of Blackmoor publications has just come to life thanks to my friend NPCDave at The Piazza. Reading an old interview with Dave Arneson from Space Gamer Magazine, I learned that Dave had planned many more Blackmoor modules than the four from the DA series published by TSR. It has long been rumoured that DA5 City of Blackmoor was completed, but never published.

In Space Gamer #85 (1986) Dave talked about a total of eight modules and a novel to be published by TSR for the Blackmoor Campaign. Was this just Dave Arneson bragging? The most recent information reveals a hidden chapter in the story of the DA Blackmoor modules. Before they were published by TSR, it was another company, Mayfair Games that intended to publish a total of twelve modules based on Dave Arneson's Campaign in 1985 for their Role Aids RPG line famous for their "For use with Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" label (which would get Mayfair Games into trouble with TSR in 1993). This information can be learned from an advert in TSR UK's Imagine Magazine #26 (published in early 1985).

Advert from Imagine Magazine #26 announcing Mayfair Games' Blackmoor Chronicles

So what happened through the course of 1985 that lead to the Blackmoor material being transferred from Mayfair Games to TSR? Gary Gygax was still with TSR untill December that year. Apparently he was interested in more cooperation between Mayfair Games and TSR, but was voted down on this issue. There have also been some rumors about Gygax being involved in TSR to publish the DA modules, but the details of this is unknown to me at this point. If anyone knows more about the relations between Mayfair Games and TSR in the mid 1980s let me know!

More discussion of this article.


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