Dave Arneson from Associated Press obituary
Join me this week in remembering Dave Arneson and Blackmoor. I plan on gaming this coming weekend, how about you?
David A. Hargrave, author and originator of Arduin, passed away on August 29, 1988. For those who knew him, FRP has not been quite the same ever since. His skills as a Game Master were unmatched, his ability as a storyteller unparalleled, and his game style unrivaled. Those who were fortunate enough to sit at his table and actually learn from him are, to this day, some of the best, finest, and most accomplished FRP gamers, GMs, and all around decent folk in the world today.Then on May 31st of 2018 Billy Green posted this on Google+ after Paul Mosher passed away.
David A. Hargrave gave the gaming world a magnificent legacy with his world of Arduin. It was obviously a labor of love on his part, and was done as best he knew how. He left behind so very, very much of himself that, to me at least, it’s sometimes hard to grasp that 28 years have passed since the Dream Weaver crossed over from this world to Arduin. A lot has happened in the intervening years and I for one only wish David was still here with us to see it and take part in it and run the very best RPG the world has ever seen.
Those of us who knew him have both good and bad memories of him. But as time heals all wounds, I think it’s safe to say most of us remember clearly more of the good and not so much of the bad. When it came to Arduin and role playing though, it was always good, no matter who you were or what your character was. And when David really put forth the effort, he was simply the best GM there ever was. EVER!!!
He could reduce you to tears, convulse you with laughter and scare the living bejesus out of you and even if every single character in the game died, you'd be back as soon as you could, over and over and over because it was such a great ride, such a great game, such a great time. Nobody could do it like David.
If there is one thing that life teaches us, it is that hindsight is 20/20. It is mankind's boon and curse. Without it, if we don't learn from it, we are bound to repeat it. With it though, are the seeds of regret and regret is a hellish curse best left alone.
But we can't leave it alone, because we all have it, so we deal with it as best we can. I have sincere regrets about the way David and I parted company; we had a falling out and we never had the opportunity or took the simple chance to say “I’m Sorry” to one another. I've tried to deal with my regrets over the past 3 decades by doing what I can to promote David A. Hargrave's Arduin, to keep what he held most dear alive.
In the end, if David taught us anything at all in his games it would be this:
Be Truthful and Honorable.
Be Loyal to your Cause whatever it may be.
Move Forward, always Forward in life as best you can.
Have Faith and Keep it, whatever your Faith may be.
Believe that in the end, when all is said and done, that if you have done your Best, it has all been for the good, and it will have been Enough.
To honor Dave Hargrave you must also recognize those that have kept Arduin alive through the years. Not just the ones that kept Arduin in print but the ones that have such a deep passion and belief in the game concepts and have diligently kept the fires burning for 30 years. I speak most highly of my friend Paul Mosher who has done his best to continue and promote Dave's legacy to the best of his ability. And he did so until his end. He has past the torch to his closest friends and now it is up to us to continue. The path is long. The path is dark. I for one am confident that the end will be reached. I am surrounded by friends that share a common love for the game. And I believe now that Dave and Paul will guide the way. Arduin will see light again.
Average Hit Points:Variable
Body Type: Scaled
The Dragon is the most puisant, deadly and intelligent of all creatures.
Of all his attributes the individuality of the Dragon must be stressed the most.
Each Dragon is individual in its appearance, interests and personality and these factors must be simulated to adequately do justice to the species called Dragon.
He the spends several pages showing you how to create Dragons.
All Dragons breath fire and can only use it every fourth turn.
The difference between sorcererous magic and Dragon Magic is that Dragon magic is due to the innate supernatural powers of the Dragon.
A sorcerer is but an instrument of a greater force; the Dragon is a force in and of Himself.
Swords are much more versatile and have a wider range of powers than in D&D.The sword of all magical items is most intensely tied to the wielder. The sword is the symbol of the wielder's power, it shares his life and has a life of its own. Inherited swords are inherited only by the eldest son of the wielder.Inherited swords will always perform dependably with their full attributes for the possessor.Swords garnered other than through inheritance will react unpredictably and will usually be unusable more often than not.
The intention of this secret list (which supercedes list No.4, which was burned before being sent out, to avoid panic) is to supply Judges operating in the Blackmoor area with guidelines for setting up these horrible characters. It will also save you all the trouble of saying you made them up yourselves, now you can blame me when the Level Fourteen Lord is killed and he is unhappy about it.First up is the Egg of Coot
This all consuming personality lives off the egos of others to support his own ego. At one time (millenia ago) of humanoid characteristics, today, his exact physical description is unknown.He then speculates if the Egg of Coot still has a physical appearance and if so what it might be and that it is probably too horrible for a mortal to behold. Notes that surrogates carry out orders and the communication is direct mental contact or through voice transmission. The throne room contains a
huge old world artifact said to be an ancient war machine.It then has a list of things that help define the Egg of Coot and concludes by saying
I fear the rest of the Creed is a bit too strong for our gentile(sic) readers ...Next is Ran of Ah Fooh. This bad guy is stated to be as much a self-centered egotist as the Egg of Coot whose mania takes up a logical approach to all things and then treats those beliefs as a series of unalterable facts.
With Dave Arneson's recent passing, our hobby lost one of the most important links to its earliest, formative days. Arneson & Gygax will be forever remembered as the coauthors and founders of Dungeons & Dragons, but there is so much more to Mr. Arneson that we were never truly allowed to learn while growing up in the 70s, 80s and beyond while playing the game that his Blackmoor campaign spawned. I've read with wonder the stories that Greg “Svenny” Svenson shared with readers at his website before it was taken down*. As a player in the original Blackmoor campaign, Greg is one of only a handful of gamers who were present to witness the fledgling game sessions which eventually gave rise to the entire table top role-playing genre (and beyond).Here is a snippet of a long interview post
Sham: You were playing in Blackmoor before D&D was published, and again afterwards. What impact did the release of that version of the rules have upon Dave’s personal campaign?
Greg: As soon as a draft was available we started play testing with them, but I don’t think it really changed how the game went when Dave was the DM. That’s just my opinion. The big difference was that others (like me) were more easily able to DM. All of the sessions I DMed were part of the same Blackmoor campaign that Dave was running. Often I was helping players get to a higher level so they could survive with the other higher level players.
Sham: What was Dave’s early opinion of TSR’s 1974 D&D game? For that matter, what was the general opinion of you and the other players in Blackmoor when you finally saw the original D&D game?
Greg: Dave was excited about it, but I am not sure what he actually thought about it, I don’t remember him ever talking to me about it in that way. I thought it was one and the same thing with what we had already been doing for several years. So, I didn’t really see much of a difference.
Dave Arneson . . . Is there really such a creature? Yes, Gentle Readers, there is, and shudder when the name is spoken. Although he is a man of many talents who has authored many historic rules sets and games (which TSR will be publishing periodically), Dave is also the innovator of the “dungeon adventure” concept, creator of ghastly monsters, and inscrutable dungeonmaster par excellence. He devises complex combat systems, inexplicable dungeon and wilderness areas, and traps of the most subtle fiendishness. Herein you will get a taste of these, but he never reveals all. This writer always looks forward with great anticipation to an adventure in the “BLACKMOOR” campaign, for despite the fact that I co-authored the original work with Dave, and have spent hundreds of hours creating and playing DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, it is always a fresh challenge to enter his “world.” I can not recommend him more highly than simply saying that I would rather play in his campaign than any other — that other dungeonmasters who emulate Dave Arneson will indeed improve their games. While eagerly anticipating yet more material from dread “Blackmoor Castle,” the following pages should satisfy your immediate craving for new ideas. Those of you totally committed to the fantasy adventure game may expect additional supplements from time to time, and isn’t that dark shape crouched over the desk of blackened oak, laughing fiendishly as glowing runes flow from his quill, remarkably similar to Arneson’s?
If you have not seen posts in other places, Secrets of Blackmoor the documentary is trying to raise funds to offset expenses on the final stages of the film. Having seen that a lot of people over worked and under delivered on kick Starter we are trying a different approach. We are offering T-shirts for sale. These are original limited edition T-shirts by Bob Bledsaw of judges guild. Bob was kind enough to donate his art to the project.
So it isn't like you pay your money and... You didn't even get the T-shirt. *groan*
You can get a T-shirt here: www.secretsofblackmoor.com(navigate to the Shop and you are there!)
If that is not enough, if you get a shirt before Sept. 2, we will also give you a FREE access code to see a 35 minute draft of the film.
You can see a sample from the movie draft here:
You can also check out our blog where we post about all kinds of game related things:www.secretsofblackmoor.com/blog/quick-and-dirty-disposable-dungeons-part-1-the-map
TABLE OF CONTENTSTake a look through that list of contents, you should already have a dozen or a hundred ideas percolating just looking that it. Reading it is an experience you don't want to miss. The wealth of ideas is mindboggling and is in my mind the ultimate OD&D supplement.
Dedications 1 – 2
Special Dedication 2
Forwards 3 – 5
Opening Comments 4 – 5
Special Message To Fans Of Arduin 5
David Hargrave’s Words Of Wisdom 6 – 35
How To Play The Game 7 – 8
Point System 9
Notes On Player Character Types 10
Individualization Of New Player Characters 10
Notes On Character 10
New Character Hit Point System 11
Comments On The New Hit Point System 12
Notes On Natural Character AC 12
Notes On Character Functions, Capabilities, And Characteristics 13
Notes On Languages 13
Experience Level Chart 14 – 17
Notes On Treasure 18
Notes On Potions And The Like 18
Guild Fees 18
DM’s Versus Angry Players 19
The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly 19
Random Chance Chart For Magik Weapons 20 – 21
Notes On Alignment And Playability 22
Hargrave’s Detect Ability Chart 23
Random Trap Matrix 24
Notes On The Random Event Charts And Campaign World 25
Rope Breakage Chart 25
Resurrection And Other Notes 26
Notes On Travel 27 – 28
Movement Of Men And Monsters 29
Hargrave’s Magikal Equipment Saving Throw Matrix 30 – 31
Space Creatures And Other Aliens In Fantasy Role Playing Games 31
Energy Weapons In Fantasy Games 32
Miscellaneous Notes On Combat 33
Special Note On Combat 33
Special Note On Melee Movement 33
Real Medicine And Fantasy Gaming 34 – 35
Various Rules Changes 35
Rule Questions 35
Physical Character Appearance 36 – 48
Character Height Determination Chart 37 – 38
Character Weight Determination Chart 39
Optional Character Appearance Chart 40 – 41
Body Type Determination Table 42
Female Attributes Chart 42
True Strength Function Chart 43 – 45
Giant Strength Equivalency Chart 46
True Charisma And Its Meaning In Game Play 47
Special Physical Additional Bonuses 48
Player Character Resources 49 – 62
Character And Alignment Chart 50
Special Ability Charts 51 – 57
Character Aging 58
Character Social Status 58
Character Wealth Table 59
Character Legacy Chart 60
Owned Equipment Chart 61 – 62
New Player Character Races 63 – 66
Phraints 64 – 65
New Classes 67 – 100
Alchemist Class 68
Assassin Class 69 – 70
Barbarian Class 71
Bard Class 72
Courtesan Class 73 – 74
Druid Class 75
Forrester Class 76
Martial Artist Class 77 – 79
Medicine Man Class 80
Normals Class 81
Outlaw Class 82
Psychic Class 83
Rune Singer Class 84 – 85
Rune Weaver Class 86
Sage Class 87
Saint Class 88 – 89
Slaver Class 90 – 91
Star Powered Mage Class 92 – 93
Techno Class 94 – 95
Trader (Merchant) Class 96
True Paladin Class 97 – 98
Witch Hunter Class 99 – 100
Character Limitations 101 – 108
Character Limitation Chart 102 – 103
Condensed Character Limitation Chart 104 – 107
Condensed Character Limitation Chart 108
Character Saving Rolls 109 – 115
Character Saving Roll Chart By Race 110 – 111
Character Saving Roll Chart By Class 112 – 113
Character Type Saving Throw List 114
Saving Roll Chart For All Stoning Of The Glance Or Gaze Variety 115
Class Errata And Resources 116 – 122
Special Errata Notice 117
Clerical Spells, Healing, Regenerating, And Such Like 117 – 118
Black Clerics 118
Special Note On Thieves And Thievery 118 – 121
Reworking The Clerical Curing And Healing System 122
Techno Magik 122
The Multiverse 123 – 128
The Multiverse 124
Guilds And Societies Of The Arduinian Cycle 125
Rank And Royalty Chart 126
Principle Wild Tribes Of The Arduinian Nexus 127 – 128
Money and Valuables 129 – 139
Value Chart For Coinage 130 – 131
Precious Gems, Semiprecious Gems, And Other Valuables 132 – 138
Price Examples For The Arduinian Universe 139
Multiversal Trading Company 140 – 152
Multiversal Trading Company Price List 141 – 143
Loan Rates And Other Information 144
Price List For Goods 145 – 146
Price List For Specialty Magik Items 147 – 148
Magik Item Price List 149 – 150
Magik Weaponry Value Chart 151 – 152
Weapons 153 – 165
General Notes On Weapons 154
Weapon Classification Tables 154
Weapon Attack Chart 155
Weapon Damage Table 156 – 157
Missile Weapon Attack Chart 158
Missile Damage Table 159 – 160
General Gunnery Charts 161 – 162
Non-Weapon Attack Matrix (Claws And Things) 163
Weapon’s Breakage Chart 164 – 165
Fighting Tools 166 – 175
Combat 167 – 168
Main Combat Table 169
Brawl Chart 170 – 171
Melee Chart 172
Miscellaneous Notes 173
Combat Rules 174
Notes On Fighting Men And The Use Of Weapons 175
Escape And Evasion 176 – 181
Escape Tables 177 – 180
Overland Escape And Evasion Chase Chart 181
Criticals And Fumbles 182 – 187
Hargrave’s Fumble Table 183
Hargrave’s Critical Hit Table 184 – 185
Critical Hit Table For Non-Weapon Wounds 186 – 187
Undead 188 – 190
Notes On Undead 189
Clerical Turn Away Chart 190
Monster Data 191 – 205
Notes On Monsters 192
Dinosaur Chart 193 – 194
Sea Creature List 195 – 196
Werecreatures Combat Chart 197 – 198
Overland (Water) Monster Encounter Chart 199 – 201
Dragon Determination Chart 202
True Elementals 203 – 204
Experience Chart For Monster Slaying 205
New Monsters 206 – 258
New Monsters 207 – 216
New Monsters 217 – 228
New Monsters 229 – 258
Magik 259 – 269
Magik In Arduin 260 – 262
Prismatic Walls And Their Usages 262 – 264
Rune Weaver Magik’s Wondrous Webs of Power 265 – 266
Notes On Magik 267 – 269
Mana And The Cost Of Spell Power 269
New And Unusual Spells 270 – 307
New And Unusual Spells 271 – 276
New And Unusual Spells 277 – 285
New Spells 286 – 307
New Magikal Treasures 308 – 327
New Magikal Treasures 309 – 312
New Treasures 313 – 319
New Magikal Items 320 – 327
Golems 328 – 330
New Golem Types 329
Golem Construction 330
Heaven And Hell 331 – 367
Principal Religious Sects In Arduin And The World 332 – 334
Demon Lore 336 – 337
The 21 Planes Of Hell 338 – 340
Lesser Demons 341 – 344
New Lesser Demons 345 – 348
Greater Demons 349
Hargrave’s Demon Lore Greater (Named) Demons Of The Arduinian Cycle 350 – 366
Hell Spirals 367
Game Master Resources 368 – 382
Dungeon Master’s Solo Determination Charts And Notations 369 – 373
Random Encounter Chart 374
Encounter Reaction Roll Chart 375
Random Life Style Changes 375
Reincarnation Charts 376
Character Resurrection Chart 377 – 378
Most Malignant And Malefic Miseries Known 379 – 380
Notes On Fantastic Beings 381 – 382
Dungeons 383 – 392
Key To Dungeon “Sign Posts” 385 – 387
Dungeon Monster Encounter Chart 388 – 390
Random Fog And Mist Generation Chart For Dungeon Rooms 391 – 392
When you reach the swamp it is overcast and muggy, the air is still and the stench of rotting vegetation is overpowering. You think you see vestiges of a path, but it is obvious you will have to do a lot of wading. There are grassy hummocks here and there among the trees and the downed rotting logs. Big leafy pads cover pools of unknown depth and occasional bubbles break the water now and then. The biting insects buzz around you in clouds and from within the swamp emanate all manner of sounds from large insects to "other" creatures. One loud booming sound seems to be of something large, how large and how aggressive? Do you want to continue into the swamp?I can picture every rock and every rill, every blade of grass, every grain of sand and every leafy branch. All the fauan and flora the world has to offer. Rivers, oceans, streams, creeks, ice caps, deserts, mountains, plains, broad valleys, rolling hills, grasslands, forests, savannahs, swamps, marshes, wooded hills, broken wastelands and more.
Fritz Leiber was born in 1910 and died in 1992. He was considered one of the best genre authors of all time and a pioneer in the field. He was very well respected and admired by his peers, and authors such as Harlan Ellison, Ramsey Campbell, Stephen King, and Neil Gaiman have all remarked on how much authors today owe to him. Among many awards bestowed upon him include Grand Master of Science Fiction, Grand Master of Fantasy, and one of the first Bram Stoker Awards for Lifetime Achievement in horror. He excelled and broke new ground in all three genres–a rarity among authors.So if you are a fan of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser and of Fritz Leiber's other works, go check this site out.
I have belonged to all of them except for the last one for a long time. I joined the last one last month in March. I have posted a bit, but not a lot at all of them and I doubt that you will be able to discern who I am on each as I have a different username on each of them, which is not for any reason other than that I have heretofore always tried to keep a low profile with a quiet low key persona.