Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Blackmoor Week Day I 2019

Blackmoor Week kicks off today and concludes on October 1st with Dave Arneson Game Day.

Dave Arneson’s Blackmoor - B-Ware - Sphärenmeisters Spiele

Places where Blackmoor Week and Dave Arneson Game Day 2019 have been announced.

Blackmoor Week and Dave Arneson Game Day
Blackmoor Week
Blackmoor Week 2019
Blackmoor Week 2019: 7 Days till Dave Arneson Game Day
Gearing up for Blackmoor Week and Dave Arneson Game Day 2019

This week we honor Dave Arneson the Creator of Blackmoor, the Creator of the underpinnings of Dungeons & Dragons and co-author of same. This is Blackmoor Week running from 9/24/19 through 10/1/19. Join me in honoring and remembering Dave Arneson and the debt of gratitude the entire gaming community owes to him.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

International Original Dungeons & Dragons Day

International Original Dungeons & Dragons Day, the 45th Anniversary of Original Dungeons & Dragons is today January 26th as we continue our celebration of International Original Dungeons & Dragons Month.

The original game is no longer for sale except for places like eBay and even there you have to be careful that you are getting the original version and not an adulterated, watered down version. In the real thing you will find references to balrogs, hobbits, ents and Tolkien himself. The watered down version has halflings and treants.

Over at RPGNOW you can find the adulterated version in pdf form OD&D Dungeons & Dragons Original Edition (0e). Someday, I or someone else may publish instructions on how to replace the missing text in the pdf so that you have the real thing.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Celebrating the 45th Anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons

I and others are celebrating the 45th Anniversary of the publication of Dungeons & Dragons (the Original) in January of 1974. Who's not celebrating? WotC for one, if you go to their D&D homepage this morning there is no acknowledgement of the 45th Anniversary of D&D. If I am still around five years from now I wonder if they will remember the 50th Anniversary?

The Original Dungeons and Dragons is very intuitive and easy to learn. The players don't need to know the rules beyond a very few basics that the referee can quickly impart and character creation takes only a few minutes and you can be playing immediately. This is a game of exploration and discovery in a fantasy medieval environment and the main requirement for players is curiosity and imagination. Those who are decisive will excel and those who suffer from chronic indecisiveness and lack confidence will quickly replace those with a confident, decisive demeanor as they grow into the roles they choose.

In the original game, the Three Little Brown Books, there are three classes: fighting-men (and women), magic-users and clerics. Many claim that is boring because the rules do not give them endless tweaks to customize their character. They could not be more wrong about that. You see in the original game, players were expected to customize their characters through play and a good to excellent referee is expected to play his part in facilitating that process by providing an interesting, fascinating living world for the character to live in. When character are cookie cutter mirror images of one another, that is not the fault of the game. The tools are there, but it takes imagination and thinking outside the box to use them.

The secret is spelled out in the rules themselves, don't play by the book, the "rules" are mere guidelines and a jumping off point from which you can go anywhere. Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax never played by the book and you should not play by the book either. Contrary to what many fake old school "experts" and the forums they inhabit claim, there is no one true way to play. They try to bind people to playing only by the book and thus lead people astray and away from the chance to experience for themselves old school play.

If you choose to limit yourself by playing by the book you are free to do that, just don't lie and claim to be old school when you do it. Playing by the book is a valid option, it is just not an old school option. Old school is defined solely by the way Arneson and Gygax played in their own campaigns and it is this, "Follow the spirit of the rules and not the letter." Old school is the way of freedom, not the way of shackles and limitations of massive rule sets and by the book play. If you choose to be shackled and limited with by the book play, be my guest and have fun that way, just don't pretend that is the old school way.

Let's spend this month celebrating the 45th anniversary of the Original Dungeons & Dragons and International Original Dungeons & Dragons Month together.

Friday, October 5, 2018

The Most Complete List (Dave Arneson Day & Blackmoor Week - 2018)

Reposted with Permission from The Ruins of Murkhill Forums

I found this list at Xizallian's Place.

Compiled Complete List (of everything we can locate)

Pre-Announcement of Dave Arneson Game Day October 1, 2018 posted on 9/22/2018

Dave Arneson Game Day 2018 Coming Up!

(Eight Days a Week)(Google if you don't get the reference  ;) )

Blackmoor Week is September 24th through October 1st (yeah we know that is eight days) and October 1st is Dave Arneson Game Day. Several people who have blogs are posting in celebration of the Week and of The Day.

Day One Blackmoor Week Blog Posts for September 24, 2018

Celebrating Blackmoor Week (Day One)
Blackmoor Week Day One and Dave Arneson Game Day
Blackmoor Week Day ONE
Blackmoor Week Day One
Blackmoor Week Day ILet's Celebrate Blackmoor Week 2018

Day Two Blackmoor Week Blog Posts for September 25, 2018

Celebrating Blackmoor Week (Day Two)
Blackmoor Week Day Two and Dave Arneson Game Day
Blackmoor Week Day TWO
Blackmoor Week Day Two
Blackmoor Week Day II

Day Three Blackmoor Week Blog Posts for September 26, 2018

Celebrating Blackmoor Week (Day Three)
Blackmoor Week Day Three and Dave Arneson Game Day
Blackmoor Week Day THREE
Blackmoor Week Day Three
Blackmoor Week Day III

Day Four Blackmoor Week Blog Posts for September 27, 2018

Celebrating Blackmoor Week (Day Four)
Blackmoor Week Day Four and Dave Arneson Game Day
Blackmoor Week Day FOURBlackmoor Week Day FourBlackmoor Week Day IV
he Mystery of Dave Arneson's Engine

Day Five Blackmoor Week Blog Posts for September 28, 2018

Celebrating Blackmoor Week (Day Five)
Blackmoor Week Day Five and Dave Arneson Game Day
Blackmoor Week Day FIVE
Blackmoor Week Day Five
Blackmoor Week Day V

Day Six Blackmoor Week Blog Posts for September 29, 2018

Celebrating Blackmoor Week (Day Six)
Blackmoor Week Day Six and Dave Arneson Game Day
Blackmoor Week Day SIX
Blackmoor Week Day Six
Blackmoor Week Day VI
When Dave Arneson Changed the World (Murkhill's )

Day Seven Blackmoor Week Blog Posts for September 30, 2018

Celebrating Blackmoor Week (Day Seven)
Blackmoor Week Day Seven and Dave Arneson Game Day
Blackmoor Week Day SEVEN
Blackmoor Week Day Seven
Blackmoor Week Day VII
Celebrating Blackmoor Week 2018

“Who in the World is Dave Arneson?” A Dave Arneson Homage, Part 1 of 2 by James Maliszewski posted at Goodman Games

Dave Arneson Game Day 2018 Blog Posts for October 1, 2018

Dave Arneson Game Day celebrated today on his birthday October 1st 2018
Dave Arneson Game Day (October 1st 2018)
Dave Arneson Game Day today October 1st, 2018
October First 2018 "Dave Arneson Game Day"!
At Last It Is Here - Dave Arneson Game Day!
Happy Birthday Dave Arneson

Learning from Dave Arneson’s Published Works A Dave Arneson Homage, Part 2 of 2 by James Maliszewski

Happy Dave Arneson Day! by Bruce Heard
Spooky Blackmoor: The Horseman of the North
David Fant, Baron of Blackmoor (Interview)
"WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO?" -- DAVE ARNESON'S LEGACY (Today is Dave Arneson's birthday, also known as Dave Arneson Game Day.)

Other Posts on Dave Arneson Game Day 2018 October 1, 2018

Other posts by  

Dave Arneson Game Day 2018!
Happy birthday Dave Arneson! (2018)
GS3 Castle Newgate Gazeteer by Greg Svenson (DA Day Release) (For Members only)
Dave Arneson Game Day 2018 - Coming soon!
Blackmoor Living World (DA Day 2018 Release)
Dave Arneson Game Day 2018 - Official Discussion! 
Maliszewski on Dave Arneson Dave Arneson Game Day 2018
Living Blackmoor (DA Day 2018 Release)
Dave Arneson Game Day 2018 - Preparation Thread
GS3 Castle Newgate Gazeteer by Greg Svenson (DA Day Release)

A partial list of Dave Arneson Game Day Posts. 

Dave Arneson Game Day 2018 Highlights!

Monday, October 1, 2018

At Last It Is Here - Dave Arneson Game Day!

Happy Birthday Dave Arneson!

Now we are here on Dave Arneson Game Day, a day that unfortunately the world at large remains completely ignorant of. I went this morning a couple of hours ago to the WotC website [WotC] and was not surprised to see that they are ignoring Dave Arneson's Birthday.

So if you are reading this or one of a tiny handful of other blogs then you will know that today is indeed Dave Arneson's birthday. The thing to ask yourself is why are there only a tiny handful of blogs and a only a couple of other places that celebrate Dave Arneson's Birthday? Especially considering that none of those blogs or forums would exist but for Dave Arneson.

As of 11AM EDT Dragonsfoot forums (nothing), Knights & Knaves Alehouse (nothing), and Original D& D (nothing). Now over on The Comeback Inn The Comeback Inn there are today several threads some with real goodies. And over on The Piazza there is a thread that shares some of the same links as The Comeback Inn.

Over on The Ruins of Murkhill Forum there is this thread Blackmoor Week and Dave Arneson Game Day where they have been celebrating both Blackmoor Week (the only ones this year) and Dave Arneson Game Day with as of last night 39 blog posts so far and more to be added today.

Goodman Games is AFAIK the only game company to post anything and they have posted a two part Dave Arneson Homage yesterday and today. “Who in the World is Dave Arneson?” A Dave Arneson Homage, Part 1 of 2 by James Maliszewski and I'll link to the second part once it is up.

EDIT: Learning from Dave Arneson’s Published Works A Dave Arneson Homage, Part 2 of 2 by James Maliszewski

We are collecting the links so late tonight or tomorrow I will post all the links we have found.

So are you gaming today or did you game over the weekend. We did, as part of our circumnavigation of the world as they near the end of a multi-year trek, they are now over 40 years of game time into the journey and out of the original 12 characters only 3 have survived this far. They are closer to the end of the journey than they know. Yesterdays game was all on shipboard on the wide ocean and as they approached some islands they were beset by pirates. I hope to post about that in a few days.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Blackmoor Week Day VII

The First Fantasy Campaign has been looked at a little here and there over the years, but I want to call your attention to the best and most extensive review that I am aware of. To do that we have to call back to the year 2009 at one of the better blogs, in fact if I would going to rate blogs it would be in my top five and it is Rob Conley's Bat in the Attic blog. He wrote his review in four parts.

Into the First Fantasy Campaign Part 1 as an aside in the comments there is a link to a relevant blog post Original Blackmoor Maps, but back to the review.
History remembers Statesmen, Philosophers, Kings, and Conquerors. Dave Arneson was none of those. He merely figured out a cool way to have fun that wasn't seen before. Yet in the last quarter of the 20th century and continued into the 21st century his legacy has impacted millions and ignited fires of imagination that still burns today. And it started in a place that only existed in Dave's mind, a place called Blackmoor.
All so very true.
Then we come across a hand sketch by Dave of countryside around Blackmoor. He also make a note that in redrawing this for the map in First Fantasy Campaign that he redrew it to line up with Wilderlands of High Fantasy. The southwest corner of Blackmoor lines up with the northern border of the Valley of the Ancients.
The whole book is full of these kinds of gems and nuggets of gold.

Into the First Fantasy Campaign Part 2 
Also there two illustrations; one of the Comeback Inn, and the other of the Main Gate to Blackmoor Castle. The town maps is one of the better early maps I seen. The most unusual feature is that the town plan is drawn 45 degrees to the grid.
Next we start reading about Blackmoor Castle, the Haunted Rooms, the Catacombs, the Tower, and then a more detailed list of the Haunted Rooms. The map shows the castle from the basement to the 5th floor. Again much of it drawn 45 degrees to the grid. This unusual mapping technique persists throughout many of the map shown in FFC.
Into the First Fantasy Campaign Part 3

You remember how in OD&D Outdoor Survival is listed as one of the resources to run D&D with? Well here is where that came from.
We first start off with a little tidbit that they started using the Outdoor Survival Board after the first year but it wasn't until the third year of play they moved into it. He is goes on to describe the change to the game that resulted because of increasing wandering outdoors.
Then this mysterious statement
Next comes a section called "Magic" Protection Point. Now for a long time this section and the sparseness of the following entries didn't make much sense. It wasn't until I was reading the various old school blogs that I finally had a good guess at what happening.
Yes, you will have to go to his blog to find out what he surmised.

Into the First Fantasy Campaign Part 4 
The next section after the dungeons is Magic Swords & Matrix. Here Dave Arneson give a pair of tables to generate magic swords. The first 'Magic Swords Personality Matrix "Blackmoor" is a bit confusing. At the beginning there is are a list of entries.
Then we get to the Matrix which generates Magic Swords through a series of tables using percentile dice. Interesting that we have Holy Swords, Fighter's Swords, AND Magician's Sword. I guess we know how Dave dealt with the issue of Gandalf wielding a sword.
Yes, that is correct, it really is old school for a Magic-User to use a magic sword.

He closes with this thought
Tomorrow concluding thoughts.
That turned into three weeks later and then he posted this.

Reflections on the First Fantasy Campaign (and First Dungeons) 
My appreciation of the First Fantasy Campaign (my review in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4) didn't really strike until a decade after I bought it. While I like the "window" it opened on the early days, as practical product it left a lot to be desired. But then after a few years of GMing I found myself with same collection of jumbled notes for the Majestic Wilderlands. They meander through different topics, most incomplete and sadly holes from lost fragments. After that realization I appreciated the First Fantasy Campaign a lot more.
The next paragraph is gold, you really do want to read it. 
I wanted to highlight this series of blog posts and encourage Rob Conley to compile it into a pdf and distribute it. This review needs to be out in peoples hands.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Blackmoor Week Day VI

OK, just finished a fun game and getting ready for dinner and when that is over, we'll watch OSU hopefully destroy Penn State. Hope that you got some gaming in today and I also hope you are a football fan. 

So hopefully tomorrow I will find the energy to tell you about our game today. So I'm out of here, time for food and football.

Oh and if you did not get to game this today, then make plans to do so soon. Raise a glass to the memory of Dave Arneson and Blackmoor.

Update: Ohio State escapes Penn State with a win 27-26 when Penn State on 4th and 5 makes a bad call and doesn't put the ball in the hands of their quarterback who gained 175 yards rushing. That mistake gave OSU the win. I never would have thought OSU could play that bad and walk away with a win.