Monday, October 17, 2022

How 35 Year Old Dungeon Maps were found by David Megarry

 When preparing to take part in the documentary Secrets of Blackmoor, David Megarry, discovered another hidden gem among his old documents. David Megarry, creator of the Dungeon! board game is one of Dave Arneson's Original Blackmoor Players. I first wrote about Megarry and his contributions to our hobby back in 2011.

The treasure Megarry discovered among his documents were dungeon maps drawn up 35 years earlier by his friend and fellow Blackmoor Player, Greg Svenson. They detailed Greg's own Blackmoor based dungeon known as the Dungeons of Tonisborg. 

Yesterday, David Megarry, revealed on his Facebook page the story about how the maps were lost in the first place back in 1978:

"I have a role in this work as I am responsible for the "lost" part: I think it might be titled better "The (How Megarry) Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg" or something to that effect. Yes, dear readers, in 1978 in my attempt to preserve Greg's Tonisborg by making a copy at my workplace, I did not do a very good job of handling the originals. I put them in a magazine so they would not get bent and went to sleep. When I awoke and went to retrieve the magazine, it had been picked up by the cleaning lady and thrown in the garbage. I raced to the garbage bin in the alley, but, alas, it was also garbage day and the bin was empty! Tonisborg was irretrievably lost. It was one of the hardest days when I told Greg I had lost his only copy. 

To add insult to injury, at Arneson's funeral 21 years later, having completely forgotten the history, I asked Greg if he was going to do anything with that dungeon he had created. To his great credit, being the gentleman he is (but I could tell he was mad), he politely informed me he couldn't do anything with it because I had lost it. Chagrin doesn't begin to explain how I felt at that moment. Memory is a funny thing and can be selective. Greg and I had both forgotten he had made me a copy in 1974, which got "lost" in my files after many years of moving place to place. In getting my records in order for my part in the "Secrets of Blackmoor" movie, I found what is pictured below and couldn't remember who's dungeon it belonged to. When it was shown to Greg, he instantly recognized it as Tonisborg."

The Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg will now become available to all gaming enthusiasts in the new Kickstarter from Fellowship of the Thing. Learn more about this kickstarter here.

Buy rare art from the Tonisborg project here


Ernie Gygax Univited From DaveCon 2023


DaveCon has univited Ernie Gygax as a special guest. The first DaveCon took place earlier this year and was organized by Victor Dorso who has announced plans for a second DaveCon in April next year. Recently, several gaming conventions, including DaveCon recieved criticism for associating themselves with the son of Gary Gygax due to various controversies other sites than this one has covered in detail.

Personally, I would rather keep this blog focused on other issues connected to Dave Arneson's legacy and less about drama, but I hope that with this decision, fans of gaming will come out to support DaveCon.

Discuss this article at The Comeback Inn.


Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Tonisborg Art and Rarities Auction from Secrets of Blackmoor


Original art and maps for the Tonisborg book are now for sale at the Secrets of Blackmoor Website. Most interesting are perhaps the original David Megarry hand drawn maps. According to the website, "all preceeds go to the artists". Starting bids range from 150-300 USD.

See anything you fancy? Go here for the auction site

More discussion of this auction here.

Oh, and if you are interested in a Blackmoor map signed by Dave Arneson, this might also be of interest to you. The seller of this map is Brent Chumley who made the map for the D20 Blackmoor Softcover edition. 


Tuesday, October 11, 2022

ArneCon 2022 coming up this Weekend


The Castle Blackmoor Facebook Page shared a posted the other day with a reminder that ArneCon will be taking place this weekend. Back in September I reported that it looked like the Secrets of Blackmoor crew (Griffith Morgan and Chris Graves) would not be involved in the convention, but instead would be organized by Castle Blackmoor's Kevin McColl. Now it seems from the posted that both groups will see at least nominal involvement although it is clear that McColl is doing the heavy lifting on what he has described as a small event mostly for local gamers. It is unclear if the Secrets of Blackmoor group will have a presence at the convention, but at this point it seems less likely. 

Several of the original Blackmoor Players are announced to attend:

  • Bob Meyer, doing a Blackmoor game, which will be a continuation of the original Blackmoor Campaign. 
  • David Wesely, doing a Braunstein. 
  • Bill Hoyt 

The event will take place at the Geek Partnership Society HQ on October 15th. 

Disclaimer: I am not associated with this event and I am also sadly unable to attend.


Monday, October 10, 2022

GoG attacks DaveCon over Ernie Gygax as Special Guest


Gamer On Gamers, a YouTube channel with more than 3000 subscribers recently called out DaveCon 2023 for bringing in Ernie Gygax as one of the Special Guests. The YouTuber referred to Ernie as a "well documented bigot".

Now, I generally don't like to get into Internet drama on this blog, but I do care about Dave Arneson's legacy. For this reason I remain supportive Victor Dorso's DaveCon, but I wonder if there could be more suitable people to invite as special guests for an event dedicated to Dave Arneson?


Greg Svenson's Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg now live in Kickstarter (and funded)


As mentioned at The Comeback Inn yesterday, the new Kickstarter for Greg Svenson's Lost Dungeons of Tonnisborg is now live on Kickstarter. Within hours of launch, the Kickstarter reached its initial goal.

Greg Svenson was one of the early members of Dave Arneson's Blackmoor Group and Dave mentions Greg's role in Blackmoor in the First Fantasy Campaign (1977). Greg originally designed this mega dungeon below the town of Tonnisborg which was placed in the Blackmoor map on the spot where Vestfold appears in later Blackmoor material. Interestingly both Vestfold and Tonisborg share real world inspirations. Greg has also been a friend and eager supporter of my work since I first started doing Blackmoor stuff on this blog and the Comeback Inn so I hope this project is highly successful!

Behind this Kickstarter is the duo known as the Fellowship of the Thing (Griffith Morgan and Chris Graves) best known as the producers of the Secrets of Blackmoor documentary. Mr Morgan recently spoke about this project in this video interview with the Wandering GM

Disclaimer: The author of this blog is in no way associated with this Kickstarter or any commercial activity connected to RPGs.

Check out the Kickstarter here.


Saturday, October 1, 2022

Dave Arneson Game Day 2022 is Today!


Today we celebrate the Co-Creator of Dungeons & Dragons on what would have been his 75th birthday. All his life, Dave Arneson loved gaming, whether it was board games, wargaming, roleplaying games or computer games. What better way to celebrate the gift that he helped give us than to run a game, play a game or tinker with some rules or a setting you are working on?

At this blog I have been celebrating Blackmoor Week. Did you miss any of the posts?

What are you doing to celebrate gaming today?

Melissakainen is running Castle Blackmoor for 10$

  Melissakainen is running an online Castle Blackmoor oneshot game. She will be using the OD&D rules. The event costs 10$ for those inte...