: Saturday, March 27th, noon until 5 pm
: Compleat Strategist, 11 E. 33rd St.
: Celebrating Arneson's legacy by playing some of the roleplaying games inspired by his pioneering 1972 Blackmoor campaign (a category which includes D&D of every edition!)
: Players and GMs of all ages, experience levels, and degrees of old- or new-schoolness
We had a blast doing this last year (see this thread
for a description of the games that folks ran and notes about my own experience playing, running, and talking to folks about Arneson's legacy), and I hope it'll be bigger and better this year.
Help make that happen and run a session of your favorite game! It doesn't have to be D&D, even though Arneson's Blackmoor campaign was where Gary Gygax learned how to play the game that later became Dungeons and Dragons. Whenever you take the role of a character having adventure in an imagined world where your fate is determined by the roll of a dice, you're celebrating Arneson's legacy. To quote Ben Robbins, "You may think of Dave Arneson as one of the godfathers of GMing, but even before that he was the godfather of players. He was, literally, the proto-player.
For last year's memorial
I posted Spinachcat's description of playing in one of Dave Arneson's games
as a guide to what we're celebrating when we honor his contributions, but his daughter Malia Weinhagen says it more universally
"The biggest thing about my dad's world is he wanted people to have fun in life," Weinhagen said. "I think we get distracted by the everyday things you have to do in life and we forget to enjoy life and have fun. But my dad never did. He just wanted people to have fun."
- Game Name: Castle Zagyg: The Upper Works
- Run By: joethelawyer
- Maximum Players: 6
- Brief Blurb:
The curse has finally lifted! The most legendary and fabled castle of them all, Castle Zagyg materializes from a dread fog that has long held it enthralled and thus averting its many seekers. As your party emerges from the tangled brush, briers, and vines that fence the Old Castle Track, you observe the sprawling ruins of an enormous castle complex built upon a sloping bluff of rock. Crumbling, battlemented walls join towers square, round, and pentagonal. Gatehouses, courtyards, and craft shops lie in varying states of disrepair. High above the ruins, at the culmination of the bluff, rise two impressive towers: one round, the other hexagonal. The great east towers flank an enormous fortress of stone from which carved spires rise, piercing the very sky. This edifice can be none other than Castle Zagyg, the dwelling of the Mad Archmage.
- Recommended for: Folks who want to revisit (or experience for the first time) the glories of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1E and adventure in Gary Gygax's final contribution to the castle-and-dungeon genre pioneered by Arneson's Blackmoor.
: Temple of the Frog (4e)
Run By: George Strayton
Maximum Players: 6
Scenario: For centuries, the tangled maze of sluggish watercourses, stagnant ponds, and festering marshes known as the Great Dismal Swamp has defended Blackmoor's southwestern frontier. Recently, both large armies and smaller parties have disappeared altogether inside its vast, dripping, claustrophobic corridors. But great treasures are said to lie hidden within a secret and weird temple at the heart of the morass and so you and your companions have decided to leave the comforts and safety of civilization behind. Deep into the fetid swamp you must go -- far from sunlight and sanity -- there to find...the TEMPLE OF THE FROG.
Characters: Bring your own 12th level PC or use one of the pregenerated characters provided at the table.
Recommended For: 4th Edition players who want to experience 1st edition feel or OD&D/1st edition players who want to see how 4e can be used as an old-school system.
Game Name: The Pallid Plague (Pathfinder)
Run By: Mark Moreland
Maximum Players: 6
Scenario: Reports from Andoran's Darkmoon Vale indicate that a new plague is causing the deaths of untold fey. The Pathfinder Society sends you there to aid the nymph queen in stopping the plague and finding and destroying its source. When the plague spreads to the human population of Falcon's Hollow, the need to find a cure grows more frantic. Can you save the many denizens of Darkmoon Vale from certain death?
Characters: Players are encouraged to create their own Pathfinder Society characters using the guide to Pathfinder Society organized play
and the Pathfinder RPG
, both of which are free online. Pregenerated characters will also be available.
Recommended For: Fans of Pathfinder and its world Golarion, which harkens back to the pulp sources that also inspired Arneson, as well as folks who want to play Yoda8myhead
's scenario as run by its author!
: Blackmoor Dungeons (0e)
: Tavis Allison
: "The Dungeon was first established in the Winter and Spring of 1970-71 and it grew from there. Over the years there have been many changes in the layout and makeup of the Dungeon. These maps comprise the ones used over the first five years... The first six levels of encounters were prepared for the last two years for convention games, and set up along 'Official' D&D lines. The last (7th - 9th & tunnel Cavern system) are the originals used in our game... Each of the regular exit/entrances from the Dungeon are heavily guarded by Elves armed with Holy Water Hoses, and other anti-Evil charms plus an Elven Prince and two Elven lords! So, if you can reach a door and are still good, the pursuit will break off..." - Dave Arneson, The First Fantasy Campaign
: Characters will be rolled at the table - both at the start of play and whenever existing characters succumb to fate! Like the Dungeon itself, we will use a mix of old and new rules - or, to modern eyes, very old (1974's Dungeons and Dragons
, aka OD&D) and unimaginably ancient (a reconstruction of the pre-D&D house rules, soon to be released as Dragons at Dawn
by by Southerwood Publishing).
: Gamers who want to experience the dungeon that led to actual play reports like this one: "While we battled (and Sweeney worked his way forward) ten of the fifty ran off. Soon after, thirty hit us in the rear as well. The battle was fierce with wounds exchanged rapidly on both sides, but when Sweeney appeared up front, again the orcs ran off. Arneson stated: 'Sweeney, in a whirlwind, has just killed 17 orcs in this melee round'". (Bill Paley, Alarums and Excursions #15, 1976)