Translate

Friday, July 27, 2018

Happy Birthday "Gary Gygax Day"

Happy Birthday to Gary Gygax July 27, 2018. Sorry you are not here to celebrate it with us. You died way to young. 

It is a sad day for your fans in many ways and not just because you are gone.

When you passed away all the current deals to publish your work were canceled. All sale of your IP ended and here just over 10 years later your fans wait in vain for your IP to be used and put back on the market. We have no idea who the winner is when your IP is consigned indefinitely to a locked vault.

It is a shame that on the most important Charisma Base Loyalty Check of your life you rolled a three!

Loyalty Score            Morale
3 or less                      Will desert at first opportunity

Monday, June 11, 2018

The Braunstein Essays

Over at chirine's workbench  aka Jeff Berry hangs out and writes wonderful essays. This series from back in 2014 concerns The Braunsteins. The Braunsteins were run by David Wesely and when he went overseas in the military Dave Arneson took them over and continued to run them. They were one of the inspirations for his game Blackmoor which became Dungeons & Dragons after Dave Arneson showed his game to Gary Gygax and Rob Kuntz and group. Gygax wrote it down and did the heavy lifting to get it published.

Here is some information about how to do a Braunstein.


Essay On The Braunstein - Part The First, For July 15th, 2014 - Art or Science?
Essay On The Braunstein - Part The Second, For July 17th, 2014 - Science Or Screenplay?
Essay On The Braunstein - Part The Third - July 19th, 2014 - Rulers, Numbers, And Crunching
More On The Braunstein - Questions From The Floor! - July 21st, 2014
Essay On The Braunstein - Part The Fourth - July 28th, 2014 (Game Aids - 1)
On The Braunstein - A Pause For Questions...
The Braunstein - More Of Your Questions!
The Braunstein - A Question From Ed
A Braunstein Interlude - Maps And Campaigns

Sunday, May 27, 2018

More Dave Hargrave and Arduin Links

If you are a Dave Hargrave and Arduin Fan then I reccomend that you take a look at this post.

More Stuff from the Recent Dave Hargrave Day and Links to Arduin Extra's

There are about a dozen links in the linked blog post.

Friday, May 25, 2018

The Passing of Paul Mosher

The Passing of Paul Mosher Paul Mosher was one of Dave Hargrave's (Arduin) closest friends.

Here are Aprel’s words (Paul’s wife):
On Sunday April 15, 2018:
“I wanted to let you all know, that this morning with no fuss Paul quietly slipped from this world into ARDUIN forever. He had not been sick, and it was a real shock…Please let anyone else you think of know.”
On April 25, 2018:
“They have finally signed off on Paul's death certificate and he was cremated last night. I will be picking up his ashes Thur. Hopefully today or tomorrow I will be meeting with the Vet guy and will be getting the arrangements made for the memorial. “
No other information is available at this time. Paul was a veteran and military funerals can take a while to arrange. Paul Mosher, we salute your years of service and for being a great friend and family man.

Celebrating Dave "The Dream Weaver" Hargrave Day

It is May 25th and time to celebrate Dave Hargrave Day his birthday, he would have been 72 today and still a young man. Unfortunately, he died an untimely death from complications of diabetes in 1988. Dave Hargrave also known as The Dream Weaver, was the designer of the Arduin campaign and the author of the Arduin Grimoire.

Arduin also known as Arduin, Bloody Arduin is one of the greatest campaign world's ever committed to paper and it easily surpasses everything created by WotC. Dave Hargrave in his grimoire published hundreds of ideas and these days these ideas are put in print in new products and the authors and publishers pretend these are new ideas instead of stolen ideas. Why they don't want to give the idea creators credit is anyone's guess, but it is so, so wrong.

The Arduin Trilogy is available over at RPGNow and is described as follows
564 pages of Arduin History...
The original three books:
  •     The Arduin Grimoire (Arduin Grimoire volume 1)
  •     Welcome to Skull Tower (Arduin Grimoire volume 2)
  •     The Runes of Doom (Arduin Grimoire volume 3)
The volume that came after:
  •     Arduin Adventure
And a whole lot more!
BY: David A. Hargrave
These are the volumes that started it all. These books inspired tons of RPG's, authors and fans alike. Let your imagination set wild and come back to the old Arduin Grimoire series to re-inspire you from old or create inspiration of new! There will certainly be something of value in these Grimoires for all. New rules, monsters, items, spells, character classes, races and more… all from the World of Arduin, for use in any and ALL role playing game systems - past present and future!
This was Emperors Choice first attempt to organize the large amount of material presented in the original Arduin game system.  While reorganized and placed with a new typeset, imagery and tables it maintains its original presentation.
Emperors Choice is now seemingly dead and the Arduin IP languishes in purgatory. Only a few books are available at RPGNow but right now you can get the bundle of all the books and items that are available over at RPGNow for $51.95 instead of the full price of $102.84. Entire Arduin Digital Collection [BUNDLE]

In my opinion either the Trilogy or the Bundle are a good deal and you should try to get one or the other while you still can. The IP holder has not responded to email and stopping shipping hard copies multiple years ago and could pull the plug on everything. Dave Hargrave's Arduin is Classic and has a lot to teach and illuminate.

Happy Birthday to Dave Hargrave and here is hoping that your IP can be brought out of moth balls and made fully available once again.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Chirine ba Kal's blog post and "Pre-School Gaming"

See Chrine ba Kal and his Truth Bomb blog post titled Pre-School Gaming - Before 'Old School' and 'New School" meaning of course game play as originally done by Dave Arneson, Phil Barker aka M.A.R. Barker and Gary Gygax back pre-publication. All three of which continued to play the same way all their lives. What about Gygax you may say, well Gygax played the same way his whole life; however a short time after D&D was published he started preaching a different way for others to play, although he never followed his own very bad Standard Play advice, which required the use a purchased module from TSR instead of doing it yourself the original way.

"Pre-School Gaming" and I have also seen it called "Original School Gaming" and this new term is really needed ever since the Murder Hobo Module Slaves stole the term "Old School" and corrupted its meaning. Old School used to mean how Dave, Phil and Gary played, but not anymore.  Old School has been corrupted to mean those that pretend to be Old School while playing with purchased modules, railroaded game play and the juvenile and immature murderhobo trope. DISCLAIMERL: I am not saying that the murderhobo trope is Bad Wrong Fun. The murderhobo trope is fun for many people, but fun or not it is still juvenile and immature and always a big hit with 10-12 years olds. If you are 25 or 35 or 45 or 55 or whatever and you enjoy the murderhobo trope that is perfectly fine, but don't pretend it is not juvenile and immature, don't pretend (and prevaricate) that it is the original play style, because it is not the original play style.

My original quote was "Always remember, as a first principle of all D&D: playing BtB is not now, never was and never will be old school." I guess I will have to update date it and replace "old school" with "pre-school/original school."

"Always remember, as a first principle of all D&D: playing BtB is not now, never was and never will be pre-school/original school."

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Fast Approaching is May 25th Dave Hargrave's Birthday

May 25th is Dave Hargrave of Arduin fame and some of us will be posting tributes on that date to Dave Hargrave and to Arduin. Please check back for that post and later in the day I will post links to other similar purpose posts.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

A Tibbit about Mega-Dungeons (Original Edition RPG Appreciation Day / OERAD)

Original Edition RPG Appreciation Day (OD&D) is today May 5th, 2018. Join the festivities and read posts all across the blogosphere.
Dungeons and Mega-Dungeons in OD&D. 

In the original Dungeons & Dragons published in 1974 the focus of the game was (and is) exploration. Whether you are in the Wilderness or in a Dungeon the focus is exploration.

If you were running a campaign that was more dungeon focused, it often evolved into a Mega-Dungeon. A basic dungeon is described as 


A good dungeon will have no less than a dozen levels down, with offshoot levels in addition, and new levels under construction so that players will never grow tired of it. There is no real limit to the number of levels, nor is there any restriction on their size (other than the size of graph paper available). "Greyhawk Castle", for example, has over a dozen levels in succession downwards, more than that number branching from these, and not less than two new levels under construction at any given time.

A Mega-Dungeon is when this basic dungeon reaches maturity and the size and number of levels continues to grow as it is developed. A true Mega-Dungeon is impossible to fully explore. If the players ever finish a dungeon, then it was not a Mega-Dungeon.

A few definitions are in order

Mega-Dungeon is a massive dungeon that goes way beyond a basic dozen levels with twenty or more being typical. They also typical have over 200 room or spaces per level - not counting sublevels.

Campaign Dungeon is a meaningless term, since if play is restricted to just a dungeon you do not have a campaign, you have a limited sample game.

Campaign is a full fleged OD&D game where all parts of a campaign are present being Dungeons, Towns/Cities, Wilderness, Sea-Going and mulitple planes.

Choke Point is when options become very limited and things become linear aka railroads. This is not a feature of old school campaigns. The opposite of Choke Point is normal design.

Dungeon levels have full footprints as you go deeper into the dungeon.

Dungeon sub-levels have partial footprints and are usually have fewer access points than is normal for a level. To avoid the spector of the railroad, it is suggested that at least three access point be provided, although some can be through secret doors or other types of access. It is also suggested that they have at least three ways out. It is acceptable for the way in to be different from the way out or for them to be difficult to find.

Unique areas can be present that are isolated (but not railroaded) from other areas.

Rooms and chambers differ in that chambers are large rooms that have or had a specific purpose rather than a general purpose, such as, an audience chamber.

Chutes are ways to rapidly get from upper levels to lower levels although sometimes they operate the opposite way. They are often found behind secret doors or combined with a pit trap or trapdoors. Chutes are completely enclosed throughout their length.

Slides are also between levels but differ in that they are not completely enclosed so that one could roll or jump off of one along the way.

Portal is a door between different worlds or planes with usually minor clues to tell players the type of choice they are about to make.

Underworld aka Underdark is the entire complexity of underground campaign areas of which dungeons and mega-dungeon are just one small part.


Lairs are really tiny dungeons of only a few rooms or areas.