Blackmoor is the name of a fictional world created by David Arneson. It is also the prototype of Dungeons & Dragons, the first published role playing game. Unlike other fantasy worlds, such as J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth, Blackmoor is a living world that is being explored to this day. Secrets of Blackmoor investigates the origins of the role playing game, through candid interviews, archival footage, and newly discovered artifacts.
In 1964, David Wesely becomes a founding member of a club that includes history buffs, model makers, and miniature collectors. Hiding within the group, however, are a bunch of college students who are interested in war gaming. Within a year, the gamers meet a high school kid named Dave Arneson who is playing war games with his friends in his parents' basement.
These gamers have no idea that they will change the face of this hobby forever. Their only concern for now, is how to simulate the reality of war, and above all, they just want to have fun. Their voracious hunt for new rules and knowledge leads them to the University of Minnesota Library where they discover an old manuscript, Strategos; the American Game of War. Within the dense pages are a few sentences that inspire them.
The influence of Strategos changes how they play their war games. But are they really following these old rules, or have they stumbled onto something truly unique by misinterpreting what it says? Should a game be constrained by rules, like Monopoly, or should there be no boundaries at all, like a game of make believe?
One thing is very clear--something magical was going on in the Twin Cities.
We have the draft done and it is big! Without art at a 12 point font it's like 300+pages.
We're waiting on more of Bob Bledsaw's art. He just got overloaded with his latest JG products and the holidays all piling up. We're pretty chill about it, as we just want a nice end product.
Once we get the rest of the art, Chris will do the layout. Even though I proof read it all once. I am going to Re-Proof it! And I am having an editor go over it as well.
So, how about we just call it BIG?
A sample from the over view:
A lost relic from an early time in Fantasy Gaming.
Created in 1973 by Greg Svenson, a core member of Dave Arneson's "Blackmoor Bunch", and preserved for 30 years by David Megarry, famous author of The Dungeon! board game; Tonisborg Mega-Dungeon is now finally revealed in all of its original glory!
As the only surviving Twin Cities dungeon from this era that was not created by Dave Arneson himself, it offers a unique historical perspective on early dungeon games.
Seasoned referees will find much to benefit their games within the pages of this book, as will the novice game master, who may be unfamiliar with some of the traditional methods of Old School play. No matter your experience level, you will find everything you need to bring Tonisborg back to life within this volume.
-Full color reproductions of all 10 levels of Tonisborg Dungeon, complete with the original dungeon keys, or stocking lists
-Greg Svenson reveals how the dungeon came about and why it is a bridge between what came before and what comes after
-Extensive play guidelines teach you how to make Tonisborg rise again as a real life experience for you and your players
-Updated maps and keys have been reconstructed from the originals for ease in play
-A set of historically accurate game rules have been included that are ideal for developing an original style adventure campaign
Tonisborg is a Living Dungeon!
For the Referee, you will learn how to imbue your own games with the true flavor of adventure and exploration of the original fantasy gaming group in Minnesota who first explored this catacomb.
For your players, the most important thing they will learn is that Tonisborg is deadly. Players who wander in casually, expecting to kill monsters and gather treasure effortlessly, will find a quick and easy demise. This type of dungeon requires stealth, cunning, and tactical savvy if one expects to once again see the light of day.
Tonisborg is real!
Player immersion is the goal for you the Game Master of this dungeon. This book will teach you how to make the game seem real. Remember, this is an imaginary fantasy full of magical discovery and the dread of fearsome monsters. You’ll learn keep your players on the edge of their seats as you weave a tale of adventure for them: You hear a distant dripping sound - You smell burning hair - You see droplets of blood on the ground - You feel something touch your neck - The door behind you slams shut - A sudden breeze blows out all the torches - Someone lets out a blood curdling scream.
Although much of what your players experience will be like a red herring in a mystery novel, your job is to keep the players immersed in their experience -- unsure and frightened, yet curious to see what sort of magical wonder they will discover next.
This is your goal as the next Game Master of Tonisborg Dungeon!
Tonisborg island rises tall at the mouth of the Barleycorn river as it flows sluggishly past the north’s bustling capital city.
The island itself is the outcast suburb of the city, where a thieves den of seedy establishments, slave auctions, and ramshackle slums nestle between the smugglers ports that even the town guard avoid patrolling; all of which is firmly under the thumb of the Merchant Mafia. The island rises higher to the south, where atop a high promontory are scattered the ruins of an old tower, whether built for defence or as a beacon for ships navigating the river, none now remember. Amidst these ruins can be found the entrance to an ancient catacomb.
The ruins are an open secret, closely guarded by the Merchant Mafia and their allies and used for their own purposes. Few however, of even these rough characters, dare to go beyond the first level into the horrid depths below.
What lies deeper inside and further down is unknown, but promises incredible wealth and power for the brave explorer to discover or the fool to die trying.
Beware, for it is said that sleeping in the lowest levels are the nightmare terrors from the times of dark gods and primeval horrors -- if you dare enter this dungeon, tread lightly, and pray to the Greater Gods for mercy.