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? 


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. 


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


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...