Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Blackmoor Week: Day Two!

"As you make your way through the Dismal Swamps you see strange buildings overgrown with vines and plantlife. The architecture looks unfamiliar to you, almost alien in style... " 

Day two of Blackmoor Week 2016. Here's an update on what's been going on since I made yesterday's post.

Over at the Comeback Inn, I am taking a look at one of the more obscure Blackmoor adventures, the Garbage Pits of Despair.

More people are planning on running games for Dave Arneson Day, this Saturday. I think I may be able to run a game on Friday, but I will be busy with Internet stuff on October 1st.

At The Piazza, I have posted my second Retrospective artice, this time looking at the Blackmoor products of the 1980s. That was alot of material to cover. I will probably expand on my comments there in the days ahead.

Mark Craddock has joined the Blackmoor Week project at the Crossplanes Blog, offering a take on Blackmoor's Cyborgs converted to D&D 5th Edition. More people have said they want to write blog articles. I will post links as soon as I hear about them!

As usual, make sure to keep up with the Blackmoor Week Thread at the Comeback Inn, where every link will be posted. And as always, Blackmoor Week is not about me. Everyone can join in. Just let me know what you will be doing, whether it is a game, online activity or something else. Links or photos are always welcome! :)

Leaving you with another picture:


Monday, September 26, 2016

Blackmoor Week: Day One - Announcements, Articles and more!

As mentioned yesterday, this is Blackmoor Week 2016.

Every day this week I will be posting stuff about Blackmoor, leading up to Dave Arneson Day on Saturday.

Dave Arneson Day  2016 Planning: The Source

Already, people are telling me they plan on running games this weekend. One big gaming event is the annual Dave Arneson Day celebration at The Source. The Source was Dave Arneson's local gaming store and many of Dave Arneson's friends will be present. This year's events at The Source include:

  • Braunstein #4 run by Dave Wesely himself. 
  •  Chirine ba kal will answer questions about Dave Arneson 
  • D20 Blackmoor run by Burl Zorn 
  • FATE for Tekumel run by John Till 
  • "Daleks in the Dungeon" run by Gerald Gagel
  • And more!
More details on the events at the Source can be found here. If you have the chance, please drop by the Source. They need all the players they can get. I would love to go myself, but unfortunately I live on the other side of the Atlantic. If you do manage to go, please let me know about your experiences and take photos!

Blackmoor Week Retrospective at The Piazza

Over at The Piazza Gaming Forum, I have posted the first in a series of threads called Blackmoor Week Retrospective. This first article takes a look at the Blackmoor Gaming material from the 1970s. Check out the article here.

Blackmoor Week Planning at The Comeback Inn

My forum, the Comeback Inn is a central part of Blackmoor Week. Take a look at the activities for previous years' Dave Arneson Day arrangements here. More activities for this year's Blackmoor Week and Dave Arneson Day will be posted in this thread.

Now its Your Turn!

Dave Arneson Day and Blackmoor Week is not about me. It is about all of us gamers all around the world. Are you planning to do something for Blackmoor Week and Dave Arneson Day? Have you done something already that I have not noticed? Please let us know in the comments below! What better way to honor the D&D Game Creators than by enjoying gaming together?


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Introducing Blackmoor Week 2016

For many years now, fans all over the world have been celebrating Dave Arneson Game Day on October 1st, Dave Arneson's birthday. Some fans have been expanding this tradition to include the week leading up to October 1st as well, referring to that whole week as Blackmoor Week.

I think this is a wonderful idea and this year I will be embracing this growing tradition. Better still, this is a world wide event so all of you can join in as well! There are many ways you can take part in Blackmoor Week and it doesn't have to be all that complicated. This is all about celebrating Dave Arneson, Blackmoor, Dungeons & Dragons and gaming in general. So, do you want to write blog or forum articles, run games, make drawings, paintings or other art or find other ways to celebrate your love for gaming, that is awesome.

But make sure you share those things with us. Post about what you are doing in the comments here, over at the Comeback Inn or any of the other associated websites. I will add links to all the websites and events here on my blog so that we can share in the fun! This week, I have some special surprises in store for you guys as well, but those will have to wait a few days.

What will you be doing for Blackmoor Week this year and where can we learn more about it?

Also, if you post about your Blackmoor Week activities online, please link back to this place so that we can all share in the fun! :)

Check out the official Comeback Inn Blackmoor Week Thread for more related links and information.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

DA4 Duchy of Ten now available on DMSGuild!

At last the final installment of the classic DA module series is available for purchase in PDF format. The Duchy of Ten was one of the realms just beyond Blackmoor's borders that date back to Dave Arneson's original campaign. This module introduces those lands, now occupied by the invading Afridhi and their evil queen Toska Rusa. In the Duchy of Ten DM's can learn about the evil deity, Zugzul and the Well of Souls.

Of the DA series, this module was the one Dave Arneson was least happy about as he was not consulted or credited for this project. Still, it does seem that David Ricthie did base parts of the module on Dave Arneson's campaign and I think it belongs on the shelves (or HDs) of any true Blackmoor fan!

Find the Duchy of Ten here on the DM's Guild.

What is your opinion on DA4 the Duchy of Ten?

See also:

Discussion about this module at The Comeback Inn


Saturday, September 10, 2016

Dykstra: Her Quest for Immortality

I have to admit, I wasn't a huge fan of Terry Dykstra's art when I first came across it in the Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia. As many of you will know, my favourite edition of D&D is the version popularly known as BECMI written by Frank Mentzer between 1983-83. The 1991 Rules Cyclopedia collected most of the rules from the BECMI boxed sets, but replaced the interior illustrations by masters like Larry Elmore and Jeff Easley with those of Dystra. Now that is a tough act to follow and it was hard for me to look at them without comparing them to what had come before. Later I have come to appreciate Dykstra's art more though, not only in the Rules Cyclopedia, but also in the follow-up product, the Wrath of the Immortals Boxed set which revised the most innovative part of Frank Mentzer's rules: Rules for playing the godlike Immortals.

One thing I really do like about Dykstra's art is that he uses the illustrations to tell stories. One such example is the Quest for Immortality that appears in the Wrath of the Immortals: Codex I:
The first image shows a young female heroine's first encounter with one of the Immortals. This is the one who will become her sponsor and she encounters him in a dream. I am not sure if this is supposed to be a specific Immortal. It could be Ixion, but artist Paul Abrams made Ixion look very different in Codex II. I think the glowy effect is simply the Aura Ability possessed by all Immortals. 
This second image shows the young heroine finally embarking on the quest to become an Immortal. This illustration shows the part of the quest called the Petition, where the PC must travel alone to formally seek out an Immortal to become her sponsor. Most likely she is seeking out the site revealed to her by the Immortal in her dream earlier. 
The third image shows the heroine continuing her quest. She is in battle with Orcs or goblins. If this is supposed to take place after she is already on her quest for Immortality, such opponents should be no problem for her. The illustration shows that her sponsor is watching her progress however. 
The fourth image has the heroine back with her adventurer group. This image also shows our heroine with a mace suggesting that she is likely the group's cleric.Here they are in some dungeon, having discovered a powerful artifact; a crown of some sorts. This item could be an important part of her quest. Is this an item she has to destory, or something she needs to use to continue her quest? 

The fifth and last image shows the party, still in the same(?) dungeon. The windows behind them suggest that this could be in a castle above the dungeon from the above dungeon. It seems that they have defeated all the monsters and are trying to figure out what to do with a mysterious portal they have discovered. Will the quest for Immortality take the group to other planes?

This last image is from the Rules Cyclopedia, also by Dykstra. For a long time I thought this was the same character as the Cleric from the images above. However, she carries a different symbol at this time so this could be a different character. What do you think?


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Mystara Guide to the Multiverse in the works!

As some of you will know, I have been working on making maps for the Inner and Outer Planes of Mystara these last couple of months and posting them on The Piazza.

Paul over at the Mystara Cartography Group on Facebook asked me if I had any reference documents with all the planes listed. That gave me the idea I could do better. What about a full guide to Mystara's Multiverse?

At this point, this is just a draft containing a list of all the planes, dimensions and planar locations that I could find in the published material as well as a few fan created ones.

Check out the first draft here!


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Happy Gary Gygax Day 2016

The birthday of Gary Gygax: July 27, 1938 has since been known as Gary Gygax Day. Although this blog has been dedicated to the other D&D co-creator, Dave Arneson, I have always said that I am a fan of both Dave and Gary. Without the both of them, the world would never have seen this wonderful game that changed my life.

We plan on celebrating Dave Arneson Day later this year, on October 1st, but this day belongs to Gary. D&D was such an important part of my childhood and continues to be an important thing in my life today as an adult. Through this game I have had so much fun, learned so much and most importantly met so many great and interesting people.

The early gamers understood that tabletop gaming brings people together. It is a social activity in a face to face environment. In today's age when we all bury our faces into the screens, we might just need this more than ever.

Thank you Gary. Happy birthday.