Dave Arneson's Blackmoor
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Post Posted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 12:30 am 
 

Anyone want to offer a review up on this? It is old new no doubt but I haven't read anything about it yet.

  

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Post Posted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 2:09 am 
 

In a word - sh!te.
At least to original campaign material had that nostalgic ring of authenticity and age about it. Even if it wasn't as good as some of the other JG product that came out. But the constand rehashing and reselling of Blackmoor has produced product that can only really be compared to Worlds Largest Dungeon in terms of quality. Too thin to hold a door open with, so unless your table has a leg 1/2" too short, you're better off taking the covers off and hanging it on a nail in the cludgy.


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Post Posted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 9:51 am 
 

Only real product I loved from the 3.x line was the City of Gods, just thought it was great take on the old module.  Temple of Frog comes in 2nd. Was disappointed by the Dungeons of Blackmoor and I have not finished Riders of Hak as it just wasn't capturing my interest so I moved on to other stuff I needed to read.  Everything else is okay.  Only thing I haven't read is Clockwork & Steam, though just got it a couple of weeks ago.
As for 4e Blackmoor I'll wait for reviews, though being set 200 years into the future and trying to fit in the 4e mechanic, that it'll have more re-imagining of the setting.

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Post Posted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 10:05 am 
 

When he died, I was trying to figure out what's out there of Blackmoor.
So far, this is what I came up with.  What's missing and what reviews would people give them?

Supplement II - Blackmoor (0E), TSR, 1975
DA1, DA2, DA3, DA4 (Ex), 1986-7

First Fantasy Campaign (?), JG, 1977

Dave Arneson's Blackmoor (3.5E), Goodman/Zeitgeist, 2004
The Wizard's Cabal
The Redwood Scar
Player's Guide to Blackmoor
Temple of the Frog

Dave Arneson's Blackmoor (4E), WOTC, 2008
Dungeons of Castle Blackmoor (3.5)

  

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Post Posted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 10:20 am 
 

For the "newer" stuff:

Zeitgeist Games        City of the Gods
Zeitgeist Games        Clock & Steam
Zeitgeist Games        Duchy of Ten (don't believe this got printed or even started on)
Zeitgeist Games        GM's Guide to Blackmoor (not sure on this either)
Zeitgeist Games        Player's Guide to Blackmoor
Zeitgeist Games        Riders of Hak
Zeitgeist Games        Temple of the Frog
Zeitgeist Games        Dungeons of Castle Blackmoor
Goodman Games Blackmoor Campaign Setting
Goodman Games Redwood Scar
Goodman Games Wizards Cabal
Code Monkey is doing the 4e products.

As for reviews, sort of small ones in my 1st post of this thread for some of it.  I will say I wish they had stuck with Goodman Games though, as cost and distribution would have been a hell of a lot better, but oh well.

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Post Posted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 3:09 pm 
 

I didn't mind the work on The Dungeons of Castle Blackmoor.

Arneson included the dungeon maps in First Fantasy Campaign but notes that he had long-ago misplaced the room descriptions.  I haven't cross-checked the two publications, but the maps in the D20 product at least look similar in style.

Zeitgeist Games strikes me as ill-equipped to be a D20 publisher since they seem more focused on computer gaming.  A production glitch on The Dungeons of Castle Blackmoor renders a pretty nice color painting as essentially a dark brown blotch with a small glowing sword visible in the lower center.

Certainly, Arneson's web presence for Blackmoor seemed to be far more interested in promoting the setting as a MMORPG.  I always had the impression that the D20 books were seen as vehicles for that larger goal.

Arneson is listed in the credits as "lead designer."  One has the feeling that the writing team of Dustin Clingman et al did most of the actual creative work.  Clingman is also listed as the executive producer.  Something makes me suspect that Arneson did little more than nod OK when they showed him the proofs.  All in all, that might be a good thing.

That said, I do like the publication, even if it isn't mapped well for the 3rd Edition rules.  (10' squares are very old-school, but the DM will have to redraw everything for the 5' squares and movement rules of 3rd Edition.)   At lot of this dungeon is well thought out and there are mapping twists, plot devices, unexpected events and the like that old-school players used to just love.

For the cover price of $40, this book is a middling to low value. But, certainly, Mongoose has sold less for more and other game companies have offered less useful text for more bucks.

The Blackmoor name keeps prices high on Ebay.  I keep hoping people will dump this set, allowing me to find it for its actual value.  Now that we've discussed it here on the Acaeum, that wait is gonna be longer.  :x


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Post Posted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 3:37 pm 
 

The Dungeons of Castle Blackmoor has to be one of the lowest quality pieces of printed material I have ever held in my hands. Maybe they were trying for a homage to the earlier JG printings. But whilst JG deliberately went for the newsprint feel, ZG just print shit. They go to the cheapest chinese printworks, free issue them with the lowest quality paper they can buy, water down their ink, and print onto it, a low resolution screen dump of a PDF. I can't imagine anyone can find a lower quality printed product published in the past decade or two.

Clearly Dave Arneson and the proprietors of ZG didn't have any pride in what they were doing, and couldn't care less whether people bought the stuff or not. That explains what the same old crap keeps getting hawkes around publishers, ZG went bust, and DA made no money out of it.

Quite simply, it's shite. The publisher tried very hard to make it feel as bad as it was written, and succeeded.


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Post Posted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 3:43 pm 
 

Now, wait a minute here: is it "shit" or "shite"? You mention both ...  :)

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Post Posted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 3:50 pm 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:Now, wait a minute here: is it "shit" or "shite"? You mention both ...  :)


When you're dealing with various regions of the world, best to cover all your bases.

Why are you such an arse you a-hole :wink:

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Post Posted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 3:53 pm 
 

'Shite' is a very Scottish word. I don't know how much it's used around the world.  :lol:


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Post Posted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 3:59 pm 
 

. wrote:'Shite' is a very Scottish word. I don't know how much it's used around the world.  :lol:


My favorite is Fek (Which I picked up from watching Father Ted).

  

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Post Posted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 5:23 pm 
 

Yeah. Fek is an Irish thing.
Although it could be Shrek's little sister.


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Post Posted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 5:27 pm 
 

Except of the gaffe with the cover art, I'm not seeing the quality problems you're talking about.  

Could be a difference between a botched print run and a corrected print run.  :?:


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Post Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:03 pm 
 

No it's just fecking shite  :lol:

wees shud al waash oor gobs oot wi sape an watter

(ulster-scots)


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