A Brief Update

Greetings, as I said on my companion blog (Adventures in Original Edition Gaming) I haven’t been able to post new content because: 1) I was having issues with my computer and internet access and 2) my mother’s health and eventual passing on Sept. 21st. I’ll be posting more in the near future as I need a creative outlet, as I am now in a better head-space.

As my post about my soft reboot stated, I’ll be staying away from political BS and drama here going forward. In addition I will be covering Cyberpunk 2020 and the upcoming Cyberpunk RED RPGs as well as Classic Traveller and other rules-lite RPGs. I love the Cyberpunk genre in general be it in art, film, literature & in games. I have had a long abiding interest in near future Dystopian and Post Apocalyptic themes in these creative spheres, so it is only natural that I’ll cover them here in some fashion.

Well this is all for now, see you again soon.

Soft Reboot of the blog announcement post

Greetings, it’s been quite awhile since I last posted on this blog, frankly I just didn’t have much to say. I had considered posting about the politicalization of the RPG/gaming hobby by Cultural Marxists, as is also happening to video games and comics, but frankly I didn’t want to go political on my blog. I wanted to keep this blog positive and not get mired in click bait as a lot of such blogs have become. As such I don’t want this blog to be all about bitching and moaning about the industry and state of the hobby.

I game to have fun and escape the real world and the issues we deal with in it. Whereas in comics and video games where you have corporate cultures and outside pressure groups vying for influence upon the mediums at play there; Tabletop RPGs are largely immune from them because of their very nature. Once you buy a RPG (especially a somewhat older one) you can play it as is and ignore any of the politicalization the corporation chooses to include in their future products.

This is something I love about the hobby and older editions of Dungeons & Dragons especially; they are largely immune from such BS. As long as you surround yourself with fun & and engaging people who share similar values & outlook you are golden. All the chatter on Facebook, the forums & Twitter is just noise that you can tune out if you choose to and have fun. I want this blog to be about having fun, not just another venue for politics and moaning about said politics.

Instead of bitching about things I cannot change in the industry I will be focusing on celebrating things I like about our beloved hobby. I’ll also be shifting focus from just general RPG discussions to also discussing other games I will play and even discuss non-gaming geeky pursuits I also enjoy. As such I’ll be rebranding this blog to ‘Musings of a Maverick Referee & HooliGeek’. This way I’ll have more to discuss while leaving my core RPG content for my ‘Musings about Original Edition Adventures’ blog. That doesn’t mean I’ll be dropping RPG content from here but the content I will post will be focused on RPGs like Classic Traveller and any other RPG I try out, like the Index Card RPG, Maze Rats and other rules-lite rpgs.

I want this (and my other blog) to be about celebrating having fun with the games and geeky hobbies we enjoy. We can make more positive change by supporting content we want to see from all mediums than just bickering online over things that are supposed to be escapist fun. So instead of being part of the cycle of drama I’m going to opt out of it and focus on the positive. This will apply to all my online discourse including that toxic cesspool called Twitter.

If there is something I don’t like going on in the industry or hobby, I’ll counter it by not fanning the flames but creating (hopefully) fun quality content and celebrating the content of others, if I can’t do so myself. I want you the reader to not have to worry about “will Matthew jump onto discussing some “controversy” or another?”. No, you’ll get content about things I enjoy and want to share, of which I’ll hope that you’ll also enjoy and choose to share with your friends. That means I have to step up my game, improve my content and try to be more frequent on my postings. Please take care and have fun, cheers.

A compiled list of Blackmoor Week 2018 posts

El Borak the current Admin at Ruins of Murkhill compiled this useful list of all of the Blackmoor Week 2018 and Dave Arneson Birthday posts culled from across the interwebs & I am sharing it here. Take a look and give them a read if you have time.

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 I
Let’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 FOUR
Blackmoor Week Day Four
Blackmoor 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 tinyurl.com/DaveArnesonWeek )

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 havard

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!

Well I have plenty of reading to do & I hope that you take the chance to do so as well. Take care & game on! Fin.

Happy Birthday Dave Arneson


Greetings, in today’s post I cap Blackmoor week by celebrating Dave Arneson without whom the RPG hobby and Dungeons & Dragons would not exist – at least as it currently is constituted. Could D&D and the RPG hobby exist without Dave Arneson? No for the former, but possibly yes for the latter, but we’ll never know about that what if?

Dave Arneson was born Oct. 1st 1947 and like many of his contemporaries he was an avid miniature wargamer and a fantasy enthusiast. It was through wargaming that he met Gary Gygax a pivotal moment that eventually gave birth to our beloved hobby and its flagship game Dungeons & Dragons. Though the Blackmoor Campaign was the catalyst through which the spark of inspiration was born, Dave continued building upon its foundations – his game was in constant flux as Dave would tinker with his rules to meet the needs of his campaigns.

After leaving TSR Dave co-authored Adventures in Fantasy with another stalwart of the fledgling scene, Richard L. Snider (Powers & Perils RPG) and founded Adventure Games in 1980 and eventually co-founded Zeitgeist Games in 2002.   Dave would eventually go on to teach both computer game design & game rules design at Full Sail University until his death in 2009.

As I said in my previous post Dave Arneson was barely a footnote in my book when it came to the history of our hobby and it is sad that more hasn’t been done to celebrate his career in gaming but our hobby in general. I want to tip my hat to Dave Arneson, thank you for without your contribution to the hobby and game (D&D) I love; my life would be far emptier. May you rest in peace, happy birthday Dave.  Fin.

Celebrating Blackmoor Week 2018

Greetings, in today’s post I’ll be celebrating Blackmoor Week. Like a few others I am new to Blackmoor fandom, I was not alive when Dave Arneson first created the setting. I never played in any incarnation of Blackmoor that came after it, but it did eventually come to intrigue me greatly as a referee.

My first real exposure to Blackmoor was Zeitgeist Games campaign setting for the 3.5 D&D rules. I thought it was great, a novel take on a traditional fantasy setting. I being a fan of mashing sci-fi and fantasy; I loved how Blackmoor not only included a crashed alien spaceship, but included clockwork technology and even time and/or dimensional via the Comeback Inn. But at the time I bought the ZG Blackmoor campaign guide I was still out of gaming after seven years away from it (though I’d join a group soon after I bought it).

But before Zeitgeist’s Blackmoor I had heard of Blackmoor via Greyhawk, though I knew nothing of it’s origins; it was only later in the last few years I learned about why Blackmoor was included in Greyhawk (even if only superficially). I had only heard of Dave Arneson in passing – a name in a blurb on who created D&D. To me D&D was Gary Gygax, TSR and later WotC – Arneson was a footnote to be forgotten. What a diservice to both his memory & contribution to RPG history.

I discovered Dave’s First Fantasy Campaign via the Comeback Inn Forums of which I was a member until I joined Ruins of Murkhill. I learned more about Dave Arneson and the various versions of Blackmoor thanks to both of these forums. I discovered that TSR embedded Blackmoor into the history of their ‘Known World’ setting (I hate the Mystara name given to it) via the DA series of modules.

Though intriguing I was not a huge fan of what the ‘Known World’ became, though I liked certain of the GAZ series of supplements for BECMI D&D. I had wished that Blackmoor hadn’t been relegated to the ‘Known world’s history but had played a vital part of the core setting.

It was the FFC version of the game that shook me to my core – here was a campy fun game that made you want to try it out even if you just took the core implied setting and embedded it into your own home campaign. From the EGG of Coot, to the Duchy of Ten to the Nomads of the Hak to the Valley of the Ancients – Blackmoor as described in the FFC was full of interesting  characters and brimming with possibilities.

Though I still prefer the Zeitgeist version of Blackmoor as a defined setting, the FFC Blackmoor gives you inspiration on what you can do, not only with D&D (whatever edition you prefer) but with other fantasy RPGs if you do not want to follow the more traditional route with your fantasy campaigns. – Blackmoor and the FFC is a nugget of pure creative gold ready to be mined and made into something far more valuable than its base elements.

Blackmoor through its various incarnations gives the Referee varied approaches to run Blackmoor campaigns and that is a wonderful gift. Each incarnation had its own flavor depending on the rules used to run the campaign; if you take the core elements of Blackmoor and embed them into your preferred setting and rules a new Blackmoor will be born at every table. Though your Blackmoor won’t be Dave’s Blackmoor – he’d still say you are doing it right, as Blackmoor is what YOU choose to make of it. Your Blackmoor will be the true Blackmoor as it is YOUR Blacmoor and no one else’s Blackmoor.

Hopefully next year I’ll have a regular group again & if I do, I’ll run a Blackmoor game to celebrate it & Dave Arneson one of the founders of our beloved hobby. I’ll see you tomorrow to celebrate Dave Arneson’s birthday. Fin.

Let’s Celebrate Blackmoor Week 2018

Greetings, I wanted to write a brief post to help launch Blackmoor Week 2018 via my blog. I’ll be publishing a blog post on September 30th on my own birthday and then again on October 1st in celebration of Dave Arneson’s birthday . As those who’ve played Dungeons & Dragons since the beginning know Dave is one of the two founders of D&D, along side Gary Gygax.


Zeitgeist Games Blackmoor

First Fantasy Campaign

Judge’s Guild the first Fantasy campaign 

The crew over at Ruins of Murkhill who blog have decided to utilize our blogs to celebrate Dave Arneson & Blackmoor week 2018. We’ll be doing this every year as long as the forum lasts and I’ll likely do so as long as I blog about RPGs. I’ll keep this brief as I want to have things to say on the 30th.

Here are links to Day One posts:

The Gray Wolf Prowls Post

Xizallian’s Place Blog

Here Lurks the True Heart of the Black Raven Blog

Crimhthan The Great’s OD&D Blog

The Ruins of Murkhill – OD&D Blog (Founder & Former Admin/Owner of RoM Forums)

Well I’ll end this brief blog post so i can get it published tonight. Note some of the above posts are very brief and are just notices of the Blackmoor Week 2018 campign. Take care & I’ll see you soon, Fin.

Quick Update

Greetings, just a quick update. Boy has the summer flew by – I had hoped to post more on both of my blogs but I just haven’t had much to say sadly. Now that fall is nearly upon us, do I plan to post more and it has gotten me to reevaluate my blogs. Though my ‘Musing about Original Edition Adventures’ will keep its focus, I’ve decided to tweak things for this blog.

It will still have an RPG focus but I’ll discuss topics I feel warrant posting my views about, such as things that happen to touch upon the hobby. Though I’ll not discuss my personal politics here as I want to try to keep this blog non-political , I will call out the politicalization of our hobby when I feel that it as warranted. I’ll also likely discuss some of my philosophies when it comes to reffing games, especially campaign design.

The focus most of the actual game coverage and content of this blog will be to for the following three RPGs: Classic Traveller, Palladium Fantasy and Basic/Expert Dungeons & Dragons. That said, I may cover RPGs such as Twilight 2000, Mutant Future (once I get it in print), Cyberpunk 2020 & Cyberspace; if I end up eventually running future campaigns either face-to-face or via Play-by-Post. I may also post reviews about non-OD&D based OSR games that I purchase here as well.

Of the three RPGs,  Basic/Expert D&D will likely get the bulk of my initial postings (once I have printed out my PDFs and put them into a binder that is). Outside OD&D, B/X D&D is my favorite version of D&D. I have two potential projects tied to it – the first is creating a default setting using the B/X rules as a guide and second may be a hodge-podge setting drawn from the 1e Forgotten Realms Gray Box Set, 1e ’80 Greyhawk Folio (+ the Gygax Deity articles) and some of my other D&D/Pathfinder related settings (possibly including a version of Arneson’s Blackmoor).As I said these are strictly potential projects.

If and when I create a setting for my future Classic Traveller campaigns it will be largely inspired by the Dark Matter, Firefly and Killjoys tv series and thus not be rooted in the Third Imperium setting. Now concerning Palladium Fantasy, though I will be using the 1e revised version of the rules, I might tweak things that I don’t care for (such as the default religions – I hate it when settings include real world deities).

Well this will be all for this update as I have things to do this afternoon offline. I’ll be back soon. Fin.