Monday, December 11, 2023

Professor Dungeon Master as Special Guest for DaveCon 2024

 

DaveCon 2024 has been announced for April 26.- April 28. This will be the third time DaveCon is organized, still with Victor Dorso at the helm. Dan Masters, known as Professor Dungeon Master, from his Youtube channel Dungeon Craft will be among one of the special guests this year. I have long enjoyed his videos where he promotes our hobby, often with a focus on older editions. 

Other special guests include Blackmoor and Dave Arneson Alumni such as David Wesely, Mike Carr, Dave Megarry, Ken Fletcher and William Hoyt. As with previous years it is great to see the original players and associates of Dave support this convention. I believe that Victor Dorso has shown that he is interested in making this convention a true celebration of Dave's legacy and the origins of Dungeons & Dragons, the game that Dave created with Gary Gygax. 





Are you going to DaveCon 2024? If you were going, what would you be most interested in experiencing there? 


 Read more about DaveCon 2024 


Sign up for the Facebook event


See more discussions of this topic at the Comeback Inn.


-Havard

Friday, October 27, 2023

Game Designer Jamie Chambers' Meeting with Dave Arneson

Jamie Chambers with Felicia Day (left)


 Game Designer Jamie Chambers is perhaps best known for creating the Cortex RPG system for Margaret Weis Press (MWP) and for his other work with MWP including Sovereign Stone, Serentiy RPG, Dragonlance etc. 


Jamie only met Dave Arneson once in the mid 2000s at RockCon in Rockford, Illinois, but it did leave an impression. Jamie was one of the organizers of the small convention at the time. He wasn't sure about the exact year but it would have been 2006 or 2007:


I got to meet Dave Arneson just the once when I was helping manage a little convention in Rockford, Illinois. It was the last con season he was up for traveling. Nothing earthshaking was revealed, but I remember being jealous I couldn't go back and experience what it was like during those early days as wargaming evolved in to tabletop RPGs and we understand them today.


I think Jamie's comments well reflect how many of us feel when learning about Dave Arneson and his players. This hobby means so much to all of us and the talking to the people who were there at the beginning feels like being in direct contact with history. Understanding where the hobby came from can also help us gain a deeper understanding of what the game has developed into today. Extremely useful for those who are interested  in game design!


RockCon is still a successful convention today and takes place Nov 3.-5. This year will mark the 50th anniversary of the convention and TSR's Harold Johnson will be among the honored guests. 



-Havard

Monday, October 23, 2023

Fundraiser for Jennell Jaquays

 

Jennell Jaquays shoudl be a well known name to most readers of the blog, both as a highly influential game designer and artist of the industry since the early days. I found out about her health situation at The Piazza. You can read more about this and the fund raiser organized by her wife here or go straight to the fundraiser here


I tend not to post about fundraisers on this blog, but Jennell deserves our support.


I take no responsiblity for any money you donate, but as this was posted on the facebook page of Jennell's wife it seems pretty trustworthy. 


-Havard

ArneCon 2023 Reports are in!

 ArneCon 1 took place this weekend and reports are coming in. I have made several posts about ArneCon this fall talking about the announced program and the guests of honor which included many of the original Blackmoor players and other alumni. 









I snatched a bunch of these photos from the ArneCon Facebook page. As announced, it looks like this was a nice and intimate convention which makes sense since it was the first convention organized by the creators of the Secrets of Blackmoor documentary. 


It looks like everyone is having a great time and it was especially nice to see Dave Arneson's daughter present along with the original Blackmoor players. These nice people have always been helpful and supportive of my blog and the Comeback Inn website. Also nice to see Paul Stormberg and Dan H Boggs present. In addition to being co-author of  Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg, Boggs is also a friend of the Comeback Inn. 


Did you attend ArneCon 2023? I would love to hear your war stories and photos you might want to share!

-Havard

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Dave Arneson Game Day 2023


 Dave Arneson Game Day is today!


Please join in our celebrations! This is what Blackmoor Week 2023 has been leading up to


Dave Arneson Game Day Partners

  • Havard's Blackmoor Blog
  • The Comeback Inn
  • Blackmoor Fans Facebook Group
  • The Piazza
  • OD&D 74 Fan Forum
  • And Many Other Places


What Dave Arneson Game Day is:

  • October 1st is Dave Arneson's birthday. Every year we invite fans of tabletop gaming, D&D, Blackmoor and Dave Arneson to join in celebration worldwide to celebrate the hobby that we all feel so passionate about. 


What Dave Arneson Game Day is not:

  • It is not a commercial activity. If gaming stores, game producers, artists and others want to attach themselves to this day, that is great. But the main organizers are fans who have no commercial interest in any of the activity that goes on on this day
  • It is not an opportunity to dig up old grudges. This is not a day to take stabs at corporations or individuals that you don't like and somehow use Dave Arneson's legacy to that effect. This day is about love and passion.

Already reports of various activities have been coming in. I will add these to the Comeback Inn discussion found here.

Official Comeback Inn Dave Arneson Game Day Discussion




-Havard

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Tonisborg Creator Greg Svenson Excited to Attend ArneCon 2023 (Blackmoor Week Day 2)

 

Greg Svenson, best known as one of the Original Blackmoor Players and co-author of The Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg, will attend ArneCon later this year where he will be one of the guests of honor. Greg is looking forward to being reunited with friends he has not seen in a long time.


It should be fun to see the old gang again! I believe that it has been over 9 years since I have been with the old gang. Not since the Secrets of Blackmoor interview and reunion game with Bob Meyer. I think that was in April of 2014.



Greg has been a supporter of my Internet projects for years and we have worked together on  several PDFs that are available at the Comeback Inn. I have even been lucky enough to have Greg as my player in one of my online Blackmoor campaigns. I hope to return to that one some day. If you see Greg at ArneCon, please say hi to him from me!


We are celebrating Blackmoor Week. Come back every day for more Blackmoor content!


-Havard

Monday, September 25, 2023

Blackmoor Week 2023 Day 1

 


Dear friends! 

Once again, Dave Arneson Game Day is approaching and loyal fans world wide are getting ready to celebrate Blackmoor Week as the week leading up to October 1st, Dave Arneson's birthday. 


Dave Arneson Game Day is a world wide event. It is a celebration of the D&D Co-Creator, Dave Arneson, his gaming group, and of our love of Tabletop Gaming in general. As this is the Internet, it is important to stress that this event is only about love and passion and should never be used to attack or belittle others.

This year's event will among other places be celebrated on:

  • Havard's Blackmoor Blog (This site)
  • The Comeback Inn - The Ultimate Blackmoor Fan Website
  • The Piazza - The D&D Worlds Forum
  • OD&D74 - The Original D&D Forum
  • Blackmoor Fans Facebook Group 


Also, make sure to sign up for the Facebook Event:


What are you doing in gaming this week and on October 1st specifically? Share your stories with us!


-Havard

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Bruce Heard's World of Calidar Comes to an End After 10 Years


Game designer Bruce Heard should be well known to fans of TSR era Dungeons & Dragons and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. In particular, he is known for his work on the Classic D&D (BECMI) game and the World of Mystara, including his role in creating the Gazetteer series and the Voyage of the Princess Ark. He was the Product Manager of the Classic D&D line and eventually became Product Manager of TSR before the company was acquired by WotC. 

When he returned to game design after a hiatus, Bruce attempted to gain permission from WotC to produce 3rd party content for Mystara, but when those negotiations failed, he decided to create his fantasy own world. That world is the World of Calidar. 


Sadly, fans learned yesterday that the Calidar series have come to an end. When asked about future Calidar books, Bruce Heard responded the following in the Calidar Facebook Chat Group:



Given the limited sales of the last series, I can't find the energy to launch another. These books represent a major amount of work, and I'm not getting any younger. It's a heartbreaking decision, but in the face of the apparent lack of activity after the latest Kickstarter and little or no ensuing feedback, I'm not comfortable pursuing the Calidar project.


The first Calidar Kickstarter was launched in 2013 and it has been an amazing ride since then. The World of Calidar is a unique fantasy universe spanning many worlds with their own unique atmosphere, brought to life by the writing of Bruce Heard with additional contribution from other collaborators, most notably Thorfinn Tait.


Following the adventures of the sky ship Star Phoenix in its exploration of the World of Calidar and its universe has been an amazing ride over the last decade. I am greatly thankful to Bruce Heard for the books and gaming material he has provided for us during 10 year run. You can follow Bruce Heard via his blog. If you want to show your thanks to Bruce, now is the time to buy Calidar books!


Get Your Calidar Books from DrivethruRPG (Not an Affiliated Link)




 -Havard

Saturday, September 2, 2023

Megarry, Wesely, Maker and Others to Run Events at ArneCon 2023




David Megarry and David Wesely are among those announced to organize events at this year's ArneCon. 

The events announced so far include:

Arnecon Featured Gaming Events

RPGs:

Braunstein, the first non military RPG David Wesely will referee a very large 22 player game. Set in a small Prussian town at the time of the French revolution, this character driven RPG is the very game which portends the invention of fantasy role-playing games.

Banania, a Braunstein Variant

Set in a fictitious south American country of the same name, where political upheaval has created a power vacuum and numerous factions vie for power. See if you can become the next ruler of the republic. Also refereed by David Wesely.

Castle Blackmoor

Paul Stormberg will be running a session of Blackmoor based on unpublished adventure design notes by David Arneson.

Castle Greyhawk A deep dive in this nefarious dungeon using early design maps by Gary Gygax and original D&D rules with referee Paul Stormberg

Even more Blackmoor See what it was like to play an RPG in the time right before the publication of D&D, in a dungeon that was created in 1973 by Greg Sven. Game Masters D. H. Boggs or Griffith Morgan, co-authors of The Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg adventure book. Board Games:

Dungeon! Fantasy Board Game

The game which helped formulate the dungeon adventure concept as seen in Dungeons & Dragons. David Megarry will give a presentation of his seminal game design that has sold millions of copies worldwide.

War Games:

Strategos N

Based on the game by the same name from 1880, yet converted for use with napoleonic miniatures, this is the war game which inspires the creation of further developments in the RPG genre. Ross Maker is preparing a large scenario with which to demonstrate the house war game of the Blackmoor Bunch.

Chainmail

We would be remiss if we did not include this medieval miniatures war game at the convention. A rule set by Gary Gygax and Jeff Perren that played an important role in the development of Dungeons & Dragons.

Fletcher Pratt Naval Wargame

A WWII naval battle using 1/1200 scale lead war ship models. The game is considered by many to be the inspiration for hit points in Dungeons & Dragons. Game Master: Griffith Morgan More to come!!



Source.

It is always nice to see the original Blackmoor group run and play games. Are you going to ArneCon? Would love to hear from you.


-Havard 

Friday, September 1, 2023

Dave Arneson Game Day 2023 in One Month



 Dave Arneson Game Day organized by fans worldwide is celebrated every year on Dave Arneson's birthday, October 1st. We are doing this to celebrate our love for RPGs and honor the legacy of Dave Arneson and his players. We always discuss these events on this blog and at the ultimate Dave Arneson Fan Website, the Comeback Inn. 


What are you doing in gaming for Dave Arneson Game Day this year?



-Havard




Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Map by Ashtagon of Blackmoor is Complete

Last week, I talked about how  Ashtagon was making maps of Blackmoor based on the maps from the DA modules.The map hs now complete:



What was particularly fascinating was that fans could follow the map making process live as Ashtagon was creating the map. The process was live streamed on Discord via the Piazza Discord Server. The final version of the map is being offered for free.


Go here for the final results!


What would you like to see Ashtagon tackle next? If you like Blackmoor maps, also check out the maps we have offered for free at the Blackmoor Archives, companion site to the Comeback Inn!



-Havard

Friday, August 25, 2023

Why ArneCon Moved Dates to October 22-23

 As mentioned in my update yesterday, ArneCon 2023 has moved dates to October 22-23. This had the unfortunate side effect of taking place at the same time as another gaming convention, Gamehole Con (Oct 19-22) based in Madison WI. Not only that, but five other conventions are apparently taking place in the Twin Cities that weekend. ArneCon Organizer Griffith Morgan clarified why ArneCon was forced to move to this date rather than the original plans for late September:




Obviously this sort of thing happens and one will just have to make the best of the situation. Hopefully, having multiple conventions during the same weekend won't hurt either event as much as some fans fear. 


Are you going to ArneCon this year? I would love to hear from you! :)


-Havard


Thursday, August 24, 2023

ArneCon 2023 Announcement - This is the First ArneCon Organizers Say

An announcement was just made about ArneCon 2023. While it is exciting for all Blackmoor fans  that this event is approaching, the announcement also contradicts much of the information provided in the original announcement made in April, including moving the dates almost a month back, and raises some questions.

 



Welcome to the first ever Arnecon! 
 Brought to you by The Fellowship of the Thing, Ltd - creators of the film, Secrets of Blackmoor and the book, The Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg. 

 “...After all, the keynote is, that ‘Anything is Possible’, just that some [things] are more likely than others.”- David Arneson

 Officially sanctioned by the Estate of Dave Arneson Set in an intimate locale, Arnecon is a gathering honoring the creative genius of Dave Arneson and his game group, The Blackmoor Bunch. It is a panoply of game experiences - featuring miniatures war-games, board games, and role playing games. Come game with the people who were there when Role Playing was invented. A celebration of the friendships formed through gaming - where everyone is welcome and "anything is possible". Come, try a new game, make new friends, and explore the unlimited possibilities of gaming. Most of all - have fun! 

Special Guests:
  •  Malia Arneson - Dave Arneson’s daughter. 
  •  David Wesely - A half-elf in Blackmoor. Known for Strategos - A adaptation of Totten’s Strategos;
  • The American game of war, The Braunstien RPG, Valley Forge, and Co-author of Source of the Nile. 
  •  Paul Stormberg - Creator of the Legends of Wargaming, and Owner, The Collector's Trove. 
  •  Ross Maker - The worlds first Dwarf character in Blackmoor. Co-author of Source of the Nile. 
  •  Stephen Rocheford - The High Priest of the Temple of the Frogs, Owner of Lavender Magazine, Minnesota’s premier LGBTQ+ news source. 
  •  Gail Gaylord - The first woman to play fantasy RPGs. Known for having typed development drafts of Dungeons & Dragons for Dave Arneson. 
  •  Martin Noetzel - The Wandering Elf in Blackmoor and a keen fan of online RPGs. 

Event Submissions Open August 31! More to come... 
 Special room hotel rates for Arnecon will be available on a limited basis. 

 Dates 
Fri, Oct 20 2023, 5:00pm - 12:00am 
Sat, Oct 21 2023, 8:00am - 12:00am 
Sun, Oct 22 2023, 8:00am - 6:00pm 
 Time zone: America/Chicago (UTC -05:00) 
 Location Minneapolis, Minnesota 
 Contact Us (303) 872-7666 

 Venue DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Minneapolis - Park Place 1500 Park Pl Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55416, USA


The most exciting thing for me is to see the list of honored guests. It is very nice to see that so many of the original players are able to make an appearance. It would be nice to see even more of the original group make an appearance, but there could be many reasons why not all are able to go. It is also nice to see Malia's name on the list. 

What came as a surprise to many is that this event is designated as ArneCon 1. The name ArneCon was first coined by Original Player David Megarry back in 2019, when the idea of a convention similar to GaryCon, but in other of the other D&D Co-Creator was first mentioned. The name ArneCon was actually used for the convention organized last year in the Twin Cities, so what makes the 2023 convention the first ArneCon?

The 2022 ArneCon was originally teased by Blackmoor Documentary makers Griffith Morgan and Chris Graves (AKA The Fellowshin of the Thing), but when they dropped out, local organizers lead by Kevin McColl took over. Kevin at the time stressed that he saw the event as a continuation of the gathering Dave Arneson's Players had continued after Dave's passing, typically organized around Dave's birthday on October 1st, also known as Dave Arneson Gameday. 

This new ArneCon appears to be a clean break from past events with the Fellowship of the Thing taking full charge of the event. Moving the dates also separates the convention from the Blackmoor Social Event announced for Octobers 1st. Moreover the Facebook event for ArneCon 2023 now points to the wrong dates and details.


I wish ArneCon 2023 all the success it can get and I think it has the potential to become a great event. However, from this corner, it looks like there much unused potential in getting better coordination between various groups of Blackmoor enthusiasts. 



UPDATE:
Additional information from Kevin McColl: 
Technically the same people behind setting this up have had two other conventions that had to be cobble together because of peoples health. After the first one we had COVID-19 kick in, and the second one which we still did Chris was in the hospital. Morgan might be listing it as the first one but it’s not. Even though we didn’t have that working title for the first two. In case anyone’s confused










-Havard

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Live Map Making from Ashtagon for Blackmoor This Sunday

A follow up from a post from earlier this week when Asthagon, the founder of the D&D Worlds Fan forum known as The Piazza started making Blackmoor maps to share with other fans. The map she made at the time was a replica of the map from DA3 City of the Gods which shows the southern lands of Blackmoor with the Valley of the Ancients in the center. 

The question was, would this be Ashtagon's only venture into Blackmoor map making? Fortunately, she just announced that she will be doing another map. Moreover, this will be done live on the Piazza Discord Channel to demonstrate the process. It is not clear what map she will be tackling next, but only that it is related to Blackmoor. The live mapping process can be watched this Sunday afternoon GMT time. 

Find out how you can join the Piazza Discord Channel here. (its all free, fan organized). 


-Havard

Thursday, August 17, 2023

ArneCon 2023 Dinner Announced for October 1st



 



ArneCon 2023 has been announced for September 29-October 2nd this year. While few details of the convention has yet been revealed, a pre-convention social event  will take place on Saturday October 1st:


 The original team here in MN who fostered and created what became D&D are gathering for a meal and quiet memory of Dave Arneson & 50 years of D&D! TSR was incorporated on his birthday 50 years ago. Showing how much Gygax support Arneson’s creation and help him publish. There is no planned gaming, just a social event. I will have my time table of the process of how the game came to be with highlights of events in MN that sparked Dave Arneson's body of work. He did not work alone, others helped create inspiration for rules, classes, combat, and other aspects. We are planning to gather at Perkins Roseville, MN, where Dave Arneson loved to visit. (Dutch bill, everyone pays their own.)


Last year's ArneCon was by all reports a fairly small and intimate event.  The convention sees itself as a continuation of the tradition started by Dave Arneson and his original players of meeting for an annual game:

Annual convention since 2017 returning again. Holding Minnesota as home and origin of dungeons and dragons, celebrating the birth month of Dave Arneson as well as the birth of TSR. A long history of gaming fostered the creative works of many in the group that played with Dave Arneson. Sharing both the history and friendship that has been the hallmark of Minnesota nice. And extending our hand to not only Wisconsin which helped get it published but also the rest of the community.


Some have called for ArneCon to join forces with DaveCon, the other convention organized during the Spring season, also dedicated to the D&D Co-Creator.  More details on ArneCon can be found here .



-Havard

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Tonisborg Softcover Official Blackmoor Setting Now Available from Barnes And Noble

 


The Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg Softcover Edition is now available from Barnes and Nobles for 30 USD.


Written by Greg Svenson, Griffith Morgan and D.H. Boggs and published by Fellowship of the Thing, Tonisborg is based on the dungeons original Blackmoor player Greg Svenson created with the approval of Dave Arneson back in the early days of the hobby:


" A guide to how Dungeons & Dragons was played before Dungeons & Dragons! Greg Svenson's, The Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg. An Official BLACKMOOR™ Setting The Most Unique RPG Module ever published. In 1971, Greg Svenson and his friends took part in the very first dungeon adventure game, Blackmoor, created by their friend, Dave Arneson (D&D Co-Creator).

 

The large group of players descended into Blackmoor Dungeon in search of a wizard and his cohort, an evil Balrog. Greg was the only player to survive this momentous first game session, earning the title: The Great Svenni. As his game persona, Greg would go on to become the most celebrated character in the history of Blackmoor and RPGs. Then, in the summer of 1973, as Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax worked to complete the manuscript for Dungeons & Dragons, Greg was given a play-test copy of this novel new game. He used these rules to create his own adventure dungeon, The Dungeons of Tonisborg. One day, Greg loaned his maps to a friend to make copies. An unexpected disaster struck: the maps, stowed in an old magazine, were thrown away. All ten original map levels of Greg's epic mega-dungeon were thought lost forever. This lost map set came to be known as The Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg among the "Blackmoor Bunch."

Thirty-five years later, during the making of the documentary film, Secrets of Blackmoor, a mysterious set of photocopied dungeon maps was unearthed. D. H. Boggs emailed copies to Greg Svenson, who instantly recognized his own handwriting, declaring that these old photocopies were indeed copies of his original Tonisborg Dungeon. Now published with extensive background information, The Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg is not like any RPG Game Module you've ever encountered before. Step back into time with this stand-alone book, presenting the second oldest mega-dungeon created in the Twin Cities during the early development of RPGs. It's a history of RPG dungeons. It's a guide to the secret art of the Dungeon Master - from the people who invented it. It's a rediscovered ten-level mega-dungeon filled with monsters and hidden treasures. It is an entire RPG, complete with old-school rules for creating player personas, outfitting equipment, adventuring, extensive charts for generating treasures, a spellbook, and a compendium of mythical creatures. (Or you can use your own favorite rules)

Everything you need to play is in this one volume! Guide your players through a deep dive into the dungeon as you learn RPG History, Philosophy, and Traditional Game Methods to improve your gaming sessions. Immerse yourself and your friends into a fantastic world of adventure with this historic mega-dungeon using original game rules derived from rare manuscripts from times past The Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg - The Seminal Guidebook to Traditional Role Playing! 

Includes: 

  • Reproductions of the original drawings of all ten levels of Tonisborg Dungeon, complete with the original dungeon keys and stocking lists. 
  • Updated maps and keys have been beautifully reconstructed from the originals for ease of play.
  • Greg Svenson reveals how the dungeon came about and why it's a bridge between past and present.
  • Extensive play guidelines teach you how to make Tonisborg rise again as a real-life experience for you and your players. 
  • A set of historically accurate game rules are included that are ideal for developing an original style adventure campaign - or use your own preferred rules. 

 

 Product Details 

  • ISBN-13: 9781736572108 
  • Publisher: The Fellowship of the Thing LTD
  • Publication date: 01/13/2023
  • Pages: 164
  • Sales rank: 241,197
  • Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.35(d)"


By the Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg Softcover from Barnes & Noble (Not a paid advertisement)

The Softcover Edition first became available directly from the publisher back in July this year. It is also noteworthy that the book is now marketed as an Official Blackmoor Setting. I reported on the status of the Blackmoor Trademark here. The wording is a bit unusual. I would have thought that Blackmoor was the name of the setting, while Tonisborg could have been said to be a supplement for Blackmoor. But that is not how it is phrased. I am not sure if this signifies something important about how the publisher views Blackmoor, but it will be interesting to see. 


NOTE: This blog, like all of my Blackmoor related websites are non-profit fan materials. I am not associated with any publisher. This blog is not monetised. 


More discussion of this article

Visit Greg Svenson's Tonisborg Fan Forum

-Havard

 

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Blackmoor Replica Maps Made by Piazza Founder

Ashtagon, the founder of the D&D Worlds Fan Forum known as The Piazza has been making Blackmoor maps based on those found in the DA series. 



The map making process was demonstrated on The Piazza's Discord channel before posted at The Forum. The current map is based on the map from DA3 City of the Gods and shows the Valley of the Ancients and its surrounding areas. 


Lets hope Ashtagon will make more Blackmoor maps in the future! :)


Grab your free copy of the map today. Visit Blackmoor at The Piazza here.


If you love fan made Blackmoor maps, you may also check out the maps available at my website the Blackmoor Archives, where you can find maps by myself as well as other very talented artists. All for free of course! 

Do you prefer hex maps or other styles when it comes to D&D maps?



-Havard

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Happy Gary Gygax Day 2023!

 

Happy Gary Gygax Day! This is a good reminder that without both D&D Co-creators, D&D would never have become the success that it is today. While this blog focuses on Dave Arneson and Blackmoor, I have always been clear about being a fan of both creators and the work they did for our wonderful hobby.


Dave Arneson Game Day is October 1st, but today we celebrate Gary. 


What are you doing in gaming today? 


-Havard

Monday, July 17, 2023

Greg Svenson's Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg now available as Softcover


 As was reported over at The Comeback Inn a few days ago, the Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg is now available in Softcover format. For those who don't know, Greg Svenson was one of the early players in Dave Arneson's Campaign and created the dungeon for the town of Tonisborg which was later renamed Vestfold in published Blackmoor maps. 



The Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg was first published as part of the Secrets of Blackmoor Kickstarter, but is now for the first time available for general purchase in Softcover format. 


For those who are interested in experiencing a dungeon adventure as played in the Twin Cities even before D&D was published, this is probably the closest you will get to that experience!


  • First Edition Paperback 
  •  156 pages 
  • 8.5" by 11" Gloss Soft Cover 50lb white uncoated paper with black ink
  •  Same contents as the hard cover version, except original map pages are in black & white instead of color $30 US


Greg Svenson often visits The Comeback Inn Forum and you can get several freebies written by him on that website. 

-Havard

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Blackmoor Trademark Claimed by Arneson Estate Documentary Makers Say

The company known as The Fellowship of the Thing, creators of the documentary Secrets of Blackmoor  are looking to expand their business into the RPG industry. Recently, they published a new version of the RPG sourcebook "Greg Svenson's Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg", which first appeared in published form as part of the Secrets of Blackmoor Kickstarter.

A few days ago, a more widely available Softcover version of the Tonisborg book was released. On their website, it now says that Tonisborg is an official Blackmoor Setting and that the company is operating under a license owned by the Estate of David Arneson.  

 Published by The Fellowship of the Thing, Ltd. Denver, Colorado, U.S.A. Printed in the U.S.A. ​ BLACKMOOR™ is a trademark of the Estate of David Arneson, LLC. Used under license



Now, ownership of Blackmoor has always been complicated.

Blackmoor was first mentioned in published form in the foreword of the 1974 Dungeons & Dragons ruleset and 1975's D&D Supplement II - Blackmoor. Wizards of the Coast continues to sell these books as well as the old DA series of Blackmoor modules through Drivethru RPG in PDF and Print Format. Meanwhile Zeitgeist Games continues to sell PDFs of the D20 Blackmoor books on the same website. Judges Guild has also had some claim over Blackmoor as publishers of The First Fantasy Campaign, though it is possible that this was settled with Dave Arneson before his passing. 

I have recently learned that the Trademark for Blackmoor was published for opposition on June 13th. That is more than 30 days ago, meaning any party that would be interested in contesting this ownership should have done so by now. Recently WotC has shown an increased willingness to protect its interests through legal measures, though it should also be noted that WotC has expressed a desire to stay on friendly terms with the Gygax and Arneson families. It is also worth mentioning that Fellowship of the Thing have proven themselves not to be troublemakers and have stayed far away from tresspassing on material that could be copyrighted to other companies.


Copyright and Trademark are often confused (sometimes apparently intentionally), but from that I understand as a non-lawyer is that copyright refers to the contents of the material rather than specific brand names etc. The Estate of David Arneson nay likely claim ownership of material created by Dave Arneson that was never published by other companies. It will be interesting to see if more material originating from Dave or his gaming group will appear from Fellowship of the Thing in the future.


As always, the author of this blog remains supportive of the Arneson family and those seeking to promote the legacy of Dave Arneson and his gaming group who did so much for our hobby.


More discussion of this article here

-Havard

Monday, May 8, 2023

Dave Arneson's True Genius Now as PDF from Rob Kuntz and TLS

 

I just got an email informing me about this the other day. Rob Kuntz and Three Line Studios have sold out the first print run of Dave Arneson's True Genius by Robert J. Kuntz:

Now available as PDFs! Previously published in print format and recently sold out, Rob's treatise Dave Arneson's True Genius and iconic adventure module Dark Druids are now – for the very first time – available in downloadable PDF format, exclusively from Three Line Studio Store! And there is more! Special Offer (20% off) when ordering them together as part of the DATG-DARK DRUIDS Bundle (*valid until 5th July 2023). Happy gaming!


Visit the Three Line Studios here


Rob Kuntz is a name that should be well known to all old school gamers and I would also like to say that Rob has always been supportive of Dave's legacy and he was extremely helpful to me when I was starting out exploring this topic on my blog. Dave Arneson's True Genius belongs on the shelf on any self respecting admirer of D&D's origins. 



See also this discussion at The Comeback Inn 


-Havard

Don't Give Up The Ship - No Not Dave's Game

 

Imagine the surprise of this old school gaming fan when he thought he had discovered a new release of Dave's old game.


Still, can't complain about the title! :)


-Havard

Monday, April 17, 2023

ArneCon 2023 Announced for last Weekend of September


DaveCon has just ended and I hope to post more details about that weekend here as more reports come in. However, DaveCon is one of two conventions in Minnesota created in the honor of D&D Co-Creator Dave Arneson. 

The following was posted at the Arne Con website:

Convention update: Event if planned last weekend of September/October 
What is being planned: Document Museum. See some of the original documents either in direct reproductions or the items themselves. Original Minnesota gamers. This is the crew that was there in the beginning Gaming & Program events: Original games as they were played. And some discussion of the variants. Some items we will make available that you can not find anywhere else Artists corner: Showcasing its inspiration and creative side of gaming. 

Dealers: Dealers welcome

The  main organizer of this convention, Kevin McColl of Castle Blackmoor also added:


 

Greg Svenson * William J Hoyt * David Wesely * And many other contributors of importance and their work or effort showcased. just in case anyone’s curious we are not just dealing with Minnesota. This year we are celebrating the formation of TSR as of October it will be 50 years since it’s formed. It went into production by January which I believe GaryCon is celebrating. it’s interesting to learn that it’s incorporated on Dave Arneson’s birthday! this is why we chose October. Celebration of creation of not only the origin of the game but also so many dates align with it.

Two conventions is better than one and this blog remains supportive of all efforts to honor Dave Arneson's legacy and that of the original Twin Cities Gamers group. 


-Havard

Saturday, April 15, 2023

DaveCon 2 This Weekend

 

A game of Circus Maximus at DaveCon 2023




Victor Dorso's DaveCon returns this Weekend and reports are coming in. This is the second time this convention is being organized. The convention, named in honor of Dave Arneson takes place in Bloomington, Minnesota. I wrote about the program for the convention back in February. Since then, Dorso has also revealed various merchandise items that I assume will be available for sale at the convention, including dice trays, gaming coins and dice. 






David Wesely, William J Hoyt and Mike Carr are special guests of honor at the convention. I applaud this list of special guests all three are important figures in gaming history and all three were part of Dave Arneson's gaming group. 

Are you at DaveCon right now? Please share your experiences in the comments! :)






-Havard

Friday, February 24, 2023

DaveCon 2023 Events Announced




 


DaveCon is returning with its second convention and organizer Victor Dorso just revealed some more details about this year's events:


DaveCon in Bloomington MN is April 13th thru 16th.

https://tabletop.events/conventions/davecon-2023 

  • Special guests include David Wesely and other members of the original Black moor crew. 
  •  Games auction with some Black moor & other classic games and set pieces.
  •  1E vs 5E tournament 
  • First Campaign ( Black moor ) 
  •  Empire of the Petal throne 
  •  Braunstein 
  •  Dawn patrol 
  •  Don't give up the ship 
  •  And plenty of other classic games along with new games and products.


Any readers of this blog who are planning on making the trip this year? :)

More details and discussion of this article at The Comeback Inn. Go here.

-Havard

Sunday, January 1, 2023

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...