I bought these Dragon Tree Press books after my Arduin phase, so never used them much in play. They struck me as at best a mixed bag.
IV: The Lost Grimoire (1984, 98 pages plus dedication and table of contents) -- The first 10 pages are pretty bland essays: "Integration of Arduin Rules in Other Role Playing Systems," "The Why of it All," "Player Adaptability," "Specialty Magik / Magicians," "The Ecology of Monster Creation," and "Dungeons, Caverns and Other Holes in the Ground." -- "Advanced Magikal Phumble Chart"(13 nifty results) and "Random Magikal Matrix" (the 13th result, 10 wand of wonder-ish effects) = 3 pages. -- "Arduinian Weaponry (and Other Treasures)," "New Character Races" (froglings, red dwarves, tzikki ant-men), "Potent Potions, Lotions, and Other Amazing Alchemical Concoctions from Arduin," "Spells, Conjurations, Etc.," and "New Monsters" (25 critters) are reminiscent of the old Trilogy and fill about 42 pages. -- "Legendary Potables of Arduin" and "Bill of Fare for Dirty Dorg's" = 13 pages. -- "Ruses, Traps and Other Dirty Tricks" and "Last Laughs and Other Game Master's Quirks" = 9 pages of stuff mostly probably familiar from other sources. -- "Holidays and Festivals in Arduin" finishes the book.
Last Edit: May 11, 2010 9:39:17 GMT -6 by Finarvyn
NOTE: Page counts are of actual Arduin material (not ads, etc.). Totals for sections may skip full-page illustrations, or may include them.
V: Dark Dreams (1985, 72 pages plus frontispiece, dedication, table of contents) -- "Death in Arduin," "The Fog of War," "The Street Gangs of Arduin" (mostly NPCs), and "Checkmate! - How to Have Characters Game Among Themselves" give another lackluster opening of 14 pages. -- "The Infamous 'Black' Metals of Arduin," "Other Mythic Metals" and "The Silk of Arachnid Origins" = 7 pages. -- "Alchemy and Game Play" and "Orc Alchemy" = 11 pages. -- "Rogue Magik" = 3 pp. of low-powered magic anyone can use. -- "More New Magik From Arduin" (spells, 5 pp.) and "New Priestly Magic" (2 pp.) are followed by 10 pages on Prismatic Walls. -- "Gladiators and Gladiatorial Combat in Arduin" takes up 12 pages. -- Finally, a page on "Mini-Dracs" and 6 pp. of but 9 new beasties close this monster-short book.
Last Edit: Dec 10, 2008 13:11:30 GMT -6 by dwayanu
VI: House of the Rising Sun (1986, 109 pp. plus abbreviations, frontispiece, foreword / dedication, table of contents, final note) NOTE: The typography (at least in the first printing) is not so easy on the eyes as in IV and V. The binding of my copy also seems inferior. -- "The Adventurer" (6 pp.) is a "jack of all trades" class. -- "The Street Urchins of Arduin," "The Beggars' Guild" (mostly a class) and "The Assassins of Arduin" (including weapons) fill 15 pages. -- "Poisons of Arduinian Assassins" covers 4 in 3 pages. -- "The Commercial Medicines of Arduin" (2 pp.) and "Arduinian Food and Beverages" (5 pp.) are rather bland. -- "The Natural Denizens of Arduin" (including "Avians" and "Special Pets" sections) offers 14 pp. of critters. -- "More Monsters of Arduin" describes 7 in as many pages. -- Next, we get 13 pp. of new spells for MUs, Druids, Priests, Runesingers, Illusionists and Dragons. -- Another 13 pp. are devoted to alchemy, including a random NPC alignment / character table that might be used for more than alchemists. -- "New Mystic Artifacts and Treasures" (including "Bardic Oddities" and "Rare and Legendary Gems and Jewels") grace 11 pages. -- The final 20 pp. cover "Old Legends of Arduin," "The Old Gods," "The Noble Families of Arduin" and "Super Heroes and Sword Swingers" (a short essay on comic-book type crossovers).
-- "Arduinian Weaponry (and Other Treasures)," "New Character Races" (froglings, red dwarves, tzikki ant-men), "Potent Potions, Lotions, and Other Amazing Alchemical Concoctions from Arduin," "Spells, Conjurations, Etc.," and "New Monsters" (25 critters) are reminiscent of the old Trilogy and fill about 42 pages. -- "Legendary Potables of Arduin" and "Bill of Fare for Dirty Dorg's" = 13 pages.
But also, that 'the why of it all' editorial is totally classic. "I've paid my dues!" An artifact of the times of course, but still.
There is good stuff in V also from a gameplay point of view, but maybe not as much, and I don't get as much out of VI-IX (though there are gems in every one). But The Lost Grimiore got my crew to marvel when it came out: "He's still got it!"
Thanks for the look inside. I only have volumes 1-3 and was wondering what kinds of things would be found in 4+. (I had heard "world stuff" but that seemed a little vague.....)
Marv / Finarvyn DCC playtester (2011) S&W WhiteBox author (2009) C&C playtester (2003) Builder of the TrollBridge for T&T; Amber Diceless player since 1993 OD&D Player since 1975; Metamorphosis Alpha since 1976
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!" - Dave Arneson
Well at some point I'll buy the rest of the volumes. Some of the backgound flavor should inspire any would be world builders. After all, what do people on your worlds drink for breakfast? I'll have a double Blonde Bess, thank you without the whip!
It occurs to me that a lot of the material might have kicked more ass if it had appeared, say, seven years earlier. Even with the original trilogy, I can see how the excitement might be largely a "had to be there" kind of thing; I don't get the same thrill these decades later that I got back then.
Anyone up to giving us a rundown on the later volumes?
Oh, yeah: The Arduin Adventure could probably do with some love. I no longer have it, but recall that "Basic Arduin" set as being pretty cool. Sitting next to (e.g.) Moldvay, it presented an accumulation of little eccentric touches that led me to wonder, "What if this were someone's introduction to the FRP hobby?"
The Arduin Adventure could probably do with some love. I no longer have it, but recall that "Basic Arduin" set as being pretty cool. Sitting next to (e.g.) Moldvay, it presented an accumulation of little eccentric touches that led me to wonder, "What if this were someone's introduction to the FRP hobby?"