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Friday, October 5, 2018

Lookit All the Dave Arneson Posts!!

You could go to Compiled List of Dave Arneson Day & Blackmoor Week and read any additions, updates, or corrections since today's date (10/5/18) or you can just read the copied-from-the-original-but-may-be-wrong list below. We do cater to people like ourselves, that is to say, on the lazy side. Or old and tired. One excuse is as good as the other.

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!

Please note that anyone who wants to repost this list may do so.

Read more:

(Grandpa back now, and signing off..  *jeep!)

Saturday, September 29, 2018

When Dave Arneson Changed the World (Murkhill's )

It is with reluctance that I write about Dave Arneson Week.

Reluctance, because much of the impetus is that Dave Arneson is dead and we on this mortal
plane have lost so much knowledge of what was, what is, and what could yet be. Dave Arneson
Week, or Blackmoor Week if you prefer, is 24 September through 1 October. That’s an eight-day
week, and I think Sir Arneson would have liked that incongruity. And we never appreciated Dave
as much while he was available, as we do now.

You understand that Dave invented the roleplaying game, also known as rpg or rolegame. Not just
a new game, but a new kind of game, with implications that reach back to the very purpose of
games. “Why do children play games to the exclusion of almost everything else? Why is Let’s
Pretend their most popular type of game?” have asked specialists and parents for ages, and the
answer is always “to learn.” If you ask “to learn what?” the answers vary from “to learn how to grow
up” to “to learn everything!”

Why did we ever stop playing Let’s Pretend when we stopped being children?

Dave not only got us playing Let’s Pretend, he made it grown-up and edifying. We simulated the
fantastic and the not-so-fantastic, and we learned - whether we wanted to or not - a little more
about other people and about ourselves. The sages advised us to walk a mile in another man’s
shoes. Dave got us walking and adventuring in other men’s shoes, in women’s shoes, and in the
shoes of creatures who never wore any shoes. We serendipitously bumped into our assumptions
and others’ -- and while we may not have always examined those assumptions (a shocking
number of players never have!) we did bump into them.

All this is to say that something new is still going on, even when blanded as much as
mass-production can bland. On the other hand, mass-production means that more is available to
more people than could have been under the hands of only one, or two, or a few gamesmasters.
You may play Dungeons & Dragons, the first “professional” rpg, which carries Dave’s name as
merely a co-creator (for D&D grew out of Dave’s home game, which we call Blackmoor
because that was the name of the castle and because there was no name) or any other rolegame
that existed, exists, or will exist. You still owe your game’s origins to Dave Arneson.

I have friends in various careers of advising, counseling, medicating, and so forth - who use
Arneson’s inventions of rulings, simulations, and “fly by the seat of your pants” connections in
logic - to bring health and career advancement advice to their patients and clients. The Real
World benefits of rolegaming and its usage (sometimes in “mere” dialog) were used in teaching
by Dave fairly early in his teaching career. I used it in training “problem soldiers”
who were ‘given’ to me by other supervisors; a last-ditch effort to turn bad attitudes into positive
and creative men and women. Except for one person, these techniques and attitudes worked.
And yes, sometimes it was painful. No evil dragon was ever defeated without sacrifice in games,
fiction, or real life.

There’s a book you should read, which explains this is an almost-algebraic language that the
author is developing just to explain what Dave Arneson’s creation is and what it does. It’s by
Rob Kuntz, one of the unsung creators of what became D&D, and it’s still available at - and I sha’n’t review it now, because I’ve done
a short review before and it deserves a much longer, much better review. Frankly, it deserves a
long, better review by someone who is a better writer - because I can’t explain it without lauding it
Too Much. So very Too Much, that you wouldn’t believe how useful the book is and how much it
barely scratches the surface of what Rob has yet to write. It’s that good.

But it can tell you why and how Dave Arneson is still changing the world. All I can do is tell you that
he still is.

(This is a part of Murkhill's - accept no substitutes)

Friday, May 11, 2018

Lighten up!

Told you that I would be back! Just needed a three-year nap. Don't laugh. You'll be my age soon enough and you'll learn the value of naps. But I had to wake up long enough to tell you about

Interesting Items of Questionable Quality - Volume Two

Today, Dungeons & Dragons takes itself as seriously as a Scrabble competition. ‘Twas not always so, especially in the first D&D world of Dave Arneson's. His Blackmoor campaign was a deathly dangerous world where funny things happened that could kill you.

B. A. Simon (if that's his name) would have fit right in Dave's campaign or even Gygax & Kuntz’s later Greyhawk. There are fish, helmets, and even a corset which can provide wonderful magic assistance in times of danger - or terrible curses at the most inopportune times. Usually both. And they'll generate laughs for everyone but the player's character - even the player, if they're there to have fun.

It's kind of a shame this is hidden behind the DM Guild site, because it would be good for gaming groups to deal with the unexpected. Everyone knows the hit dice and potential danger of a bugbear, but who would suspect a poncho? The attributes of items are easily transferred to other rulesets.

Used minimally, as salt is to soup, the items in the booklet - and your items that you’ll be inspired to create - will similarly spice your campaign.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Solo With MEAT

Way back in May 2015 ("Before you were born! Remember, kids?) I posted a really short review of Jerry Teleha's Darkshade Chronicles: a Day in Baru-Kesh.  Here's what that little review looked like:

"One of the more entertaining solo adventures I've played, which then turns around and (in the second part of the book) presents the same adventure as a gamesmaster module! You AND your players will be able to enjoy this new city, and you'll find and create portions and adventures that Jerry hadn't imagined!

"You'll love the illustrations too, and they're handy for the GM who runs this for his gamers!

"One of the best bargains to be found on Amazon!"

That was then. This is now. How does DC:DB-K look now that Deluxe Tunnels and Trolls has come out?

Better than ever, and isn't that cool? 

COOL that it's completely compatible with Deluxe Tunnels and Trolls (Hereafter and forever referred to as "dTnT.") and at least 95% compatible with even the oldest edition of Tunnels and Trolls. (Forever and hereafter referred to as "TnT.")

COOL is that the solo offers opportunity to practice any skill, trait, etc that you might think of. Most likely that you'll fail if you think the world revolves around your character ("I immediately jump forward and lop off the head of Odin with my penknife.") but you can certainly attempt anything - and there's almost always a reaction or consequence programmed right into the adventure.

COOL is that the solo also allows and encourages (and this is a HUGE strength) you to make gamesmaster calls and choices as well as character choices. 

and VERY COOL is that it works even better as a regular GM sourcebook/city for your players. I've run this nicely, and I can tell you that once you have Other People running characters, your options and scope is multiplied by a factor of (some algebraic symbol which references the combination of all players' imagination and paranoia) - the adventure will run several sessions, becoming a campaign city if you but let it.

This is a ridiculously low price and a deceptively small page count for what is weeks and weeks of game play.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Asgard & Vikings & Castles & Crusades

Codex Nordica is one of the more meticulously researched books on the Scandinavian lands and legends, not just game-related. There's so much rich material here. Here is the ore from which Kirby and Lee mined and alloyed so successfully and has been put on the screen. No, this isn't the Marvel version of the legends - this is the stuff from which they made their own version, their own adventures.

Now, players and gamesmasters have even more data than Lee & Kirby had, with which to build their/our own adventures, our own cosmic odysseys. We'd have given our eyeteeth for this book in 1978!

How could the book be improved? Color. More pages. Maybe hardback printing. In other words, more of what it already is.

And it's just plain fun to read. Kudos to everyone involved!

*jeep! and God Bless! (Thank you, Red!)
----Grandpa Tzhett

Codex Nordica is available in either PDF or softbound hard copy from Troll Lord Games, publishers of Castles & Crusades, at their site
Of course, the PDF is also available from as well. But you knew that.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Wizard Wuns Thwough It

 A Wizard Went a-Wooing 
by Mark Thornton, a volume of adventure, solitaire and otherwise, for Tunnels & Trolls.

This isn't just a book. This isn't even just a solo adventure! No - THIS is the beginning of a hernia. Your mail person will hate you.

It's huge not only in size and weight, but in scope. The adventure is actually multiple adventures, which can - oddly enough - be played simultaneously or in sequence -- and with one or more characters each time.

You've read the synopsis, so you know the basic plot. It's right there in the title. We never really know why your character decides to risk his or her life to become the mate of one of the queens of various "levels" of a human/bee hybrid species. (I'd love to see the best backstories that players/readers will undoubtedly invent!)

It would help a lot if you have the Tunnels & Trolls rules (cheap at any price, but usually Darned Inexpensive) any edition. And it would help you a bit further if you hung around in Trollhalla where players, writers, and artists of TnT (as we like to call it) have far too much fun and spend far too much time to have a real life. There, you would pick up on hints and tropes which can save your character's life or dignity. But probably not both.

This is so adaptable that Khenn himself (the creator and ever-trollish Trollgod of Tunnels & Trolls as well as Monsters! Monsters!) ran this as a play-by-post game with a dozen or so players.

Let us not neglect the useful, delightful, and rather fun/goofy illustrations by Stanley Ditko, who is rapidly becoming a pillar of art in the fantasy culture. (He MUST get lots of jokes about being the cloned child of Spider-Man's two fathers!) Some of his art in this book is better than other pieces, but you'll enjoy watching his work grow in maturity and expression. Soon, we'll be saying we knew him when.

For twenty bucks, you get probably months of adventure for yourself, scenarios you can use on your players (heh heh heh!) and a chance to give your mailman a heart attack. Do not believe Lulu's claim that the book is only 2.06 pounds! I'm pretty sure that Mark translated incorrectly from that fantasy metric stuff.

And beware the snot monster!

*jeep! & God Bless!
 ----Grandpa Chet

A Wizard Went a-Wooing by Mark Thornton is $20 + much postage from  LuLu, the Other Tunnel & Trolls printer

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

FANG RETURNS!! -- unless you don't save him!

Ken St Andre has never made a secret of his type of reading, and it shows: Exciting things happen in his adventures, and it's no insult to say they are as plot driven as the stories of Gardner Fox, Edgar Rice Burroughs, or Robert E. Howard.

This solo can be played as pure action, if you wish -- but there are moments when doing the unlikely or thinking like a crazy man might accomplish something equally crazy. This adds a bit more intrigue, and there are real surprises hidden in this solo.

Ken wrote this to be compatible or based on first edition Tunnels & Trolls, but it's as compatible with the latest edition as with any other.

Simon Tranter's art (especially the cover!) sets the mood eloquently! I might quibble about the supporting (?) character of Cherry, who really should have enough sense to wear at LEAST chainmail for protection, but that would be my only quibble. (Or I might have given Cherry the line from Bus Stop that Marilyn Monroe made famous: "It's not Cherry - it's Sha-REE!")

All in all, an exciting and enjoyable romp, wherein we may (or may not) meet and successfully rescue Fang, whom we haven't seen since 5th edition Tunnels & Trolls. He seems to have just as bad luck as he did in 1976!

I want more adventures of Fang, of Cherry (or Cherie, if you listen to Marilyn), and of whoever it is that we, the solo player, portray when we set out to rescue someone we've never met, in the company of a girl we only met that day, and a troll whom we don't know at all. Am I some sort of an idiot or what?

Saving Fang is available for $10 + postage from the Trollgod himself at or a mere $2.95 downloaded from

More than worth the price!