The Dave Arneson's Blackmoor Discussion Forum



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 Post subject: Dave Arneson Memorial Event (New York, NY)
PostPosted: Mar 06, 2010 6:32 pm 
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When: Saturday, March 27th, noon until 5 pm

Where: Compleat Strategist, 11 E. 33rd St.

What: 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!)

Who: 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."

Events:

- 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.

Game Name: 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.

Image
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!

Game Name: Blackmoor Dungeons (0e)

Run By: Tavis Allison

Maximum Players: 12

Scenario: "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, 1977

Characters: 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).

Recommended For: 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)


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PostPosted: Mar 06, 2010 6:34 pm 
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Here are links to some images that didn't come through in the above post, I think because of the way they're posted:


http://www.rpg.net/pictures/show-pic.phtml?picid=13427
https://sites.google.com/site/dwimmermountplayers/_/rsrc/1267470051324/temple-of-the-frog/PastedGraphic-1%20%281%29.tif
https://sites.google.com/site/dwimmermountplayers/_/rsrc/1267837516862/blackmoordoor/Doorway%20to%20Blackmoor%20Castle.jpg?height=303&width=400
https://sites.google.com/site/dwimmermountplayers/_/rsrc/1267837939868/blackmoorcast/Blackmoor_castlemap_town.jpg?height=203&width=400
https://sites.google.com/site/dwimmermountplayers/logos/6817.jpeg?attredirects=0
https://sites.google.com/site/dwimmermountplayers/_/rsrc/1267469927924/blackmoor/dd-sup2-9.jpeg


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PostPosted: Mar 07, 2010 6:44 am 
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Thanks for posting this here as well Tavis!

As I have said elsewhere, I wish I would be able to go. Please let us know how it went. If you have a chance to take some pictures and post, that would be really cool too. :)

Havard

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Currently Playing: Daniel S. Debelfry in the Throne of Star's Campaign


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PostPosted: Mar 27, 2010 5:07 am 
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It's today!
http://blackmoormystara.blogspot.com/20 ... today.html

Let us know how it went?

Havard

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PostPosted: Mar 28, 2010 5:55 pm 
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In short: it was awsome. There was quite a turnout, so much so that at times it was hard to hear over all the other games. Tavis ran a great game with lots of creative takes on the old Blackmoor dungeon and he did a magnificent job of debuting the Dragons at Dawn rules I put together. There were eight of us playing and every class from the ruleset was represnted except "Sage". I was particularly impressed with the Merchant character and how well that was played as well as other characters clever use of their stats like "Appearance" in gaming situations. The group made it past the Elves using some fast talking and slight of hand and found our way into the dungeon. There were encounters with some intimidating undead, a lot of passage exploration and secret doors and some not always successful negotiating with the bad guys encountered. We did strike up an alliance with some warrior women on the third level and had just gotten into a fight with some thuertirgistists when unfortunetely I had to leave to catch the bus back to schenectady. All in all the event was an excellent tribute to Arneson and kudos to Tavis for organizing it.

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PostPosted: Mar 28, 2010 6:01 pm 
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Aldarron wrote:
In short: it was awsome. There was quite a turnout, so much so that at times it was hard to hear over all the other games. Tavis ran a great game with lots of creative takes on the old Blackmoor dungeon and he did a magnificent job of debuting the Dragons at Dawn rules I put together. There were eight of us playing and every class from the ruleset was represnted except "Sage". I was particularly impressed with the Merchant character and how well that was played as well as other characters clever use of their stats like "Appearance" in gaming situations. The group made it past the Elves using some fast talking and slight of hand and found our way into the dungeon. There were encounters with some intimidating undead, a lot of passage exploration and secret doors and some not always successful negotiating with the bad guys encountered. We did strike up an alliance with some warrior women on the third level and had just gotten into a fight with some thuertirgistists when unfortunetely I had to leave to catch the bus back to schenectady. All in all the event was an excellent tribute to Arneson and kudos to Tavis for organizing it.


I am so jealous! :)
Sounds like you had a great time alright. Does anyone have pictures? I think it is great that you managed to make use of all these different character classes.

What is Dragons at Dawn?

Havard

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PostPosted: Mar 28, 2010 10:04 pm 
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Havard wrote:

What is Dragons at Dawn?

Havard


Heh, just a little something that turned up on an archaeological dig. ;) I'll be posting more about that later this week when I have all the ducks in a row.

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PostPosted: Mar 29, 2010 2:06 pm 
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Thanks for the update, aldarron! People chose their own classes - even though I said "the choices are warrior, wizard, and some other stuff" most everyone wanted to know about the other stuff. In fact, Ed's character, the Count Ed Vainglor, was a sage. He was the one who kept crawling off on his own, and at the end (after you left) he managed to talk one of the valkyries into telling him how to contact Sir Fang. So the rats appear, and then four bats circle around him, and then one lands and turns into Fang's vampiric ogre companion: "What do you want, mortal?"

"I seek an audience with Sir Fang," says Ed.

So Fang lands and assumes human shape: "I admire your courage. What do you have to offer me?"

"Companionship," says Ed. "Give me the gift of undeath and I will accompany you until the end of time."

"As you can see, I am not without companionship. What skills will you bring to my entourage?"

"I am an expert in poetry and literature," Ed replies confidently.

"Ah! Do you hear that, ogre? No longer will you have to carry the burden of making intelligent conversation that is so difficult for you!"

It was an great moment for Ed and sages everywhere, and apparently becoming a vampire is Ed's eternal goal as a player.

One interesting thing was that the group really focused on Sir Fang, I guess because they had heard from the elves that he was the reason they were making everyone drink holy water etc. before entering the dungeon. I'd worried about how huge and open-ended the dungeon was, making pacing difficult for a one-shot four-hour game, but it worked out very nicely. The main group wandered into one set of rooms that created an interesting plot and climax (the Amazons mentioned in the link above), while Ed had a vampire apothesis also right at the end.

Very amateurish and brief videos of the game can be downloaded here. The first one is my Blackmoor Dungeons group; the second waltzes around Mark's Pathfinder game, Joe's AD&D one, and George's 4E Temple of the Frog.

It was a lot of fun playing with everyone and I hope to see you again soon, aldarron!


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PostPosted: Apr 03, 2010 4:44 pm 
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More pictures of the event are available on Flickr, courtesy of the awesomeness of Carlos A Smith (aka Truth Seeker @ EnWorld & CM).


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PostPosted: Apr 04, 2010 7:38 am 
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Aldarron wrote:
Heh, just a little something that turned up on an archaeological dig. ;) I'll be posting more about that later this week when I have all the ducks in a row.


Am I excited? YES! :)

Havard

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Currently Playing: Daniel S. Debelfry in the Throne of Star's Campaign


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