Monday, May 27, 2019

CBI-2 The Thonian Rand - New Fan Made Thonian Empire Sourcebook Available For Free!

The Comeback Inn is proud to announce the second in the series of Thonian Empire Province Sourcebooks. Written by Havard and friends, this sourcebook details the northwestern border province of the Thonian Empire. Here DM's can find material for campaigns where the players can:

  • Take the battle against the Iron Duke, Taha Marcovik to his own home ground.
  • Help free slaves forced to work in the brutal mines of the Thonian Empire.
  • Visit the dwarven duchy of Evedhur, home of Arkalist Khazakhum, brother of the legendary Regent of the Mines
  • Explore the wonderous inventions of the Gnomes and Dwarves of Evedhur
  • Explore the shady pirate ports of the Duchy of Rockaway and visit the court of the eccentric Duke Dindlor Dragoneye

Research into the most obscure writings of Dave Arneson have gone into the writing of this sourcebook, while still making it playable and fun!

Compatible with all editions of D&D.

Get this sourcebook at the Comeback Inn


Sunday, May 26, 2019

The Piazza D&D Worlds Forum Turns Eleven!

One of my main hangouts, The Piazza turns 11 years old today!

I wasn't able to go all the way to London to attend to the real life birthday party today, but we have spent the entire weekend at the Piazza discord chat, talking about games and all kinds of geeky things.

Pretty amazing how far we have come since we started that place that Ashtagon created for various displaced D&D fan communities. Its been a fun ride and I am looking forward to many new discussions and friendly debates there in the coming years!

Happy birthday to The Piazza!


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Dave Arneson Article at the MinnPost Website

Nice article at the MinnPost Website. It is great seeing more attention given to Dave Arneson, now 10 years after his passing. While I like the article, it repeats the common mistake in my opinion of putting too much emphasis on the role of Chainmail as I have talked about in the past. It would also have been nice to see a bit towards the end of the article on the last years of Dave Arneson's life. The article mentions teaching at Full Sail University and his health conditions, but it would have been nice to see mention of his chance to publish Blackmoor again with Zeitgeist Games and his involvement with WotC as a playtester of D&D3E, being invited to write articles at the WotC website and being invited to the set of the D&D movie in Prague. I think all of these moments meant a lot to Dave towards the end of his life.

Thanks to Big Mac at ThePiazza for letting me know about this article.

More discussion of this article here


Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Secrets of Blackmoor Documentary Now Available to KS Backers

At last, the Dave Arneson documentary, Secrets of Blackmoor is now available for Video on Demand streaming for backers of the Kickstarter. This is exciting! I will write a more detailed review later when I have had time to really appreciate the documentary. However, I have to say that parts of this documentary are really moving. I really like seeing the Twin Cities gang get together around the gaming table. It is great listening to them and hearing their enthusiasm for gaming and how genuine it is. It is also touching to hear them talk about their memories of Dave. Another highlight for me was seeing Dave's daughter, Malia, talk about her father and what he was like as a person.

Have you seen the documentary yet? What did you think about it? Let me know in the comments!


Saturday, May 4, 2019

Blackmoor's Elemental Plane of Fire

The information found across various Blackmoor books has many implications for what's going on on the Elemental Planes. Especially on the Elemental Plane of Fire. I am looking through all the versions of Blackmoor to find information relating to the Plane of Fire. Starting with the First Fantasy Campaign, there is a Hermes-looking Fire-Elemental on the cover. Elementals are mentioned in the Wilderness section and in the Blackmoor dungeon, but mostly Air, Water and Earth varieties. Items of Elemental control can also be found.

The Afridhi

The DA modules (1980s) i where we are starting to get more details. These modules introduce Zugzul, the God of Fire and Ice (Later Fire and Darkness). Zugzul is the patron of the Afridhi who clearly are fire worshippers. Through Zugzul they are given allies in the form of Efreeti who provide the Afridhi with the Well of Souls within the Hills of Karsh. This also draws to the Prime Material Plane the enemies of the Efreeti, the Sun Brothers, an order within the Sollux Race. Solluxes are natives to the elemental Plane of Fire and Sun Brothers are their Champions of Good. Solluxes were not brought in the 3E/4E version, but I would have made the Sun Brothers followers of Paccuun (Ixion). I also like the idea of having Fallen Sun Brothers, ala Fallen Paladins/Anti-Paladins who basically serve the Efreeti and Zugzul, but that's just a fan addition of my own.

Gods of Fire 

Blackmoor 3E/4E introdouced more Deities that could be linked to the Plane of Fire:

  • Zugzul: already mentioned above. Evil patron of Fire and Darkness. Lord of the Afridhi. 
  • Paccuun: Champion of Good. Sun God 
  • Baldin: Lesser Sun God. Patron of Bards. Patron of the Sun Singers from BMPG. 
  • Sollus: Lesser Sun God. Patron of Harwest. Paladins of Sollus call themselves the Warriors of the Sun. Sollus is mainly a patron of Druids though. 
  • Fiumarra: elven Patroness of Fire. Represents both the destructive and life giving aspects of fire. Most Clerics of Fiumarra are also Sorcerers. They believe they have an inner flame called qut'aunales which while in balance gives them their power. If balance is not achieved it may consume these sorcerers. (See BMPG for details).

Fire Magic

The 3E version of Blackmoor also introduced various groups of spellcasters involved with fire magic. One was the Elven Elementalists and another is the Ordo Elementarum. It is likely that these have made several expeditions to the Plane of Fire and have summoned many of the fire based creatures currently found in the lands of Blackmoor.

Creatures of Fire 

I have already mentioned Efreeti and Solluxes. Fire Giants are likely not natives of the Plane of Fire, but it seems likely that they are connected to that element somehow. Fire Giants in Blackmoor go back to the Age of Giants. A descendant of King Jevorin currently resides within the Dungeons of Castle Blackmoor. Another Fire Giant clan lead by Gonut-Vanur is found within the Valley of the Ancients (CotG p33). 

In Classic D&D, Fire Salamanders are not intelligent creatures like in later editions. Intelligent Salamanders play a big role in the 3E/4E version of Blackmoor though. Within the Valley of the Ancients there is a region controlled by Lord Jihzaja ("The Dour Lord"), a noble Salamander who has an on and off quarrel with is sometimes lover the Fire Nymph named Lady Acendioris. On the 12th level of the Blackmoor Dungeons, there is also a Fire Salamander named Qu'tangles. He is the leader of a warband called The Burning Spike who are at war with the Hammerfire Clan of Fire Giants.  In my campaign The Burning Spike isn't just a war band, but a greater clan of Fire Salamanders back on the Plane of Fire

Fire elementals are of course one of the most important races on the Plane of Fire. Many of these have found their way to the lands near Blackmoor, either through wormholes, rifts between the planes or being summoned by spellcasters. A few of them are found within the Blackmoor Dungeon, including a very old one that the other residents simply refer to as "Fred" (DocBM p 130). 

Other fire elemental cretures  found near Blackmoor include Magma Mephits, Lava Lizards (Called Fire Lizards in Supplement II), Pyrohydras and more!

More discussion of this article here.


The Piazza - D&D Worlds Forum Celebrates 16 Years!

  One of my favourite places to talk about D&D is The  Piazza . I can't belive its been 16 years since fans created that forum. Peop...