Thursday, September 22, 2011

More on the Dave Arneson Memorial Game Day

As I mentioned previously, I’ll be one of the guest referees at the 3rd Annual Dave Arneson Memorial Game Day held on October 1st, 2011 at the Brooklyn Strategist. The day runs from 9 AM to 11 PM, so if you’re in the vicinity, please come down to share in the fun and honor the memory of Dave Arneson. The following kind souls will be providing adventuring opportunities to attendees:
  • Tavis Allison will be judging a mini-campaign in which players attempt to rebuild Blackmoor Castle and clear out its dungeons, using the Adventurer Conqueror King system. Tavis is one of the developers for ACKs, and will have a new "Men and Magic"-style player book of its character creation rules.
  • Joseph Bloch will be running dungeon expeditions using Adventures Dark & Deep, of which he is the designer. Joseph will have a never-before-seen version of the Bestiary at the Gameday.
  • James Carpio will be running demos of the forthcoming Death Race Z. James is the game's designer (as well as one of the Gameday's organizers), and will be contributing works from his company, Chapter 13.
  • Luke Crane will be running one of his favorite Shadowrun modules, DNA/DOA, which was written by Dave Arneson. Luke's session will use his long-awaited "Mouse Run" hack of his game Mouse Guard, and he'll bring copies of his new Burning Wheel Gold to sign and contribute.
  • Michael Curtis will be refereeing adventures in Stonehell Dungeon using the Labyrinth Lord rules. Michael is the creator of Stonehell and will be signing copies of its Three Castles award nominated first installment, Down Night-Haunted Halls.
  • Paul Hughes will be running adventures of the latest edition of Dungeons & Dragons, using the wandering monster charts from the original edition Arneson co-authored. Paul will have these posters of these charts illustrated in his inimitable infographic style, instantly recognizable to fans of his posts at Blog of Holding.
  • Jeff LaSala will be running the Dungeon Crawl Classics adventure The Transmuter’s Last Touch he wrote for Goodman Games, which he will specially convert to the latest edition of Dungeons & Dragons as an introduction for new gamers.

In addition, there will be a panel discussion “The World Dave Made: Arneson's Legacy in Modern Culture” featuring:

  • Luke Crane is one of the most influential role-playing game designers working today and an outspoken advocate of self-publishing. His participation as panelist and game-master affords a chance to see both theory and practice.
  • Brian Droitcour is a staff writer at Rhizome--an organization supporting art that engages emerging technologies based at the New Museum--and a regular contributor to Artforum. He is currently organizing an exhibition titled “Big Reality” that takes role-playing games as a starting point for considering how consumer technologies have integrated fantasy and play in everyday life. He will offer some thoughts on the place of role-playing games in contemporary culture, and examples of how it is reflected in the work of some artists.
  • David Ewalt is a senior editor at Forbes Magazine, where he reports on the game industry, and is writing a book about Dungeons & Dragons, which will be published by Scribner. David will be sharing insights from his interviews with people in all walks of life who were influenced by roleplaying games.
  • Nicholas Fortugno teaches the Game Design and Interactive Narrative program at Parsons New School for Design and is the co-founder of the NYC game design studio Playmatics LLC. Nicholas will be talking about why learning to play Dungeons & Dragons was simply the most influential element of my childhood and has profoundly shaped his career, his identity, and his life.
  • Ethan Gilsdorf is the author of the award-winning book Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms, his travel memoir investigation into fantasy and gaming subcultures. He also blogs for’s Geek Dad, and writes about movies, books, and pop and geek culture for, The Boston Globe, and The New York Times.

More information on the panel can be found on here on Facebook.

A Kickstarter effort has been launched to help cover the costs of the Game Day and a suggested $10 donation at the door goes to juvenile diabetes research. Additional information about the event and what’s going down there can be found on Facebook at the Third Annual NYC Dave Arneson Memorial Game Day. We hope to see you there, but if you can't make it, please consider pledging to the Kickstarter effort and be sure to spend Saturday, October 1st remembering Dave with fun and games amongst family, friends, and even complete strangers.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Brother, Can You Spare a Shield?

I’m currently sorting through my old minis to determine what needs to be stripped and repainted and what needs to be culled completely. Amongst them, I found one knight who is missing his shield. I’m not sure who produced Sir Aegisless the Exposed, but he obviously hails from the period in the mid 1980s when mini companies decided to mold their figures separately and include plastic shields to attach to a boss on the miniatures’ arms. I’ve looked online to find a replacement, but truth be told, I just need a single shield and not an entire sprue of them. Does anyone have a spare they’d be willing to pop in an envelope and mail my way? I could probably rig a replacement from a washer and some green stuff, but I thought I see if anyone has some extras lying in the bottom of their mini box first.

Here’s Sir Aegisless so you know what I’m talking about:

Monday, September 12, 2011

Visitors from Nowhen

As much as Stonehell Dungeon has become a commercial venture, at its heart it remains my own personal dungeon and that means I oftentimes add things to it merely to please myself. Take the following:

It is not widely known that deep in the belly of Stonehell Dungeon stands a certain cave mouth. It is not a particularly interesting cave opening. It is rather narrow, no more than a cleft in the rock face in which it stands. Many adventuring bands have passed it by without a second glance.

Of the handful that have entered it, none have traversed its entire length. The cave is merely the mouth of a long, long, sinuous tunnel that seems to stretch for miles. One brave soul who ventured farther than any other reportedly encountered the tunnel’s guardian: a portly, faceless demon dressed in nondescript robes and bearing a number of glowing, green eyes in its otherwise featureless hood. He fled before the guardian could challenge him.

Although none have passed through the tunnel from Stonehell, there is a tale that says two persons once emerged from the cave, obviously arriving from whatever strange lands lay at the opposite end. The peculiar, mismatched duo became involved in several convoluted schemes in the cities of Ilrahtyr and Xultvar before eventually vanishing from sight. Some believe they returned to the weird lands that birthed them; others proclaim they set sail on the Western Sea and have never been sighted since. Perhaps one day the two will again be encountered in Stonehell by those who probe the dungeon’s deepest mysteries…

Fritz Leiber's tale, "The Adept's Gambit," is a blessing to we referees who love his work and want to include a taste of Nehwon without necessarily setting our campaigns there. Thanks to the magic of Nin's cave, the Twain can show up for guest apperances just about anywhere. I've long had the idea to have Fafrhd and Mouser visit R'Nis, staying just long enough for the PCs to get involved in whatever scheme the two are planning (or perhaps rescuing the Twain from their own ill luck). With that idea in mind, I picked up an appropriate set of minis for the Boys from Lankhmar. Recently, I finally got around to painting them

The Fafhrd figure is Reaper's Fafnir Of Kjord. You must admit the likeness is uncanny.

My Gray Mouser is also a Reaper figure, Kurff The Swift. The match isn't perfect, but it's close enough for my purposes. The gray paint job and crouched stance help maintain the illusion.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sneak Peek at DCC Adventures

I'd like to draw your attention to this thread over at the Goodman Games website forum. Since Joseph Goodman included it in the thread, I offer you the following without commentary. Look for more info to emerge in the weeks ahead.

September Savings

This is a reminder that for the month of September, the following codes will save you some cash at my Lulu storefront. I’m keeping an eye out for Zazzle discounts for September and will post them when they become available for those interested in picking up Stonehell Tees.
  • SEPTEMBER305 is good for 20% off your order at Lulu, but it expires at midnight tomorrow (whether that’s EST, PST, or GMT is anyone’s guess).

  • AWESOME305 will save you 15% off your Lulu order and is good until the end of the month.

  • SHIRT4SCHOOL is a 10% off code for shirts over at Zazzle. I'm not sure when it expires, however, so use it soon!