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    Canonfire :: View topic - Dungeons of Castle Blackmoor
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    Dungeons of Castle Blackmoor
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    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 28, 2003
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    Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:51 am  
    Dungeons of Castle Blackmoor

    Has anyone tried to use this product for inspiration for Greyhawk's Castle Blackmoor? I know that it was intended to be used for the Arneson version of Blackmoor, but given that Greyhawk's Blackmoor is inspired by Arneson's, I think mining the book for details is appropriate.

    I keep on revisting the book now and then, but I keep on concluding that it is a horrible waste of paper. There's practically no details at all. The actual dungeons are if a really bad random dungeon generator made them. The problem is, I want to like it. What a missed opportunity!

    Am I being unfair? Have others been rewarded with perusing it?
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
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    Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:52 am  

    You are not being unfair. I agree with your feelings exactly.

    I wanted to like all of the 3e Arneson Blackmoor releases and to integrate them with Greyhawk. I even went so far as to run a Blackmoor campaign a few years ago. At the end of the day, I finally decided there was just not enough there there. So, I sold off all of my 3e Arneson Blackmoor materials earlier this year.

    The problem with the 3e Blackmoor materials, shared by other quasi-Hawk like Sir Robilar's City of Brass (Hackmaster), is the utter nutless ego of the authors and publishers. Follow me.

    These products trade on their TSR/Greyhawk associations. Argue about the percentages, but to a substantial degree none of the quasi_hawk products would likely see print without the rub from the TSR/Greyhawk association.

    Yet, at the very same time the authors and publishers trade on the rub, they run from the TSR/Greyhawk associations, imagining that a familiar name with a TSR/Greyhawk association will do business even if sanitized of those very associations. That is nutless ego. With more than a smidge of disrespect for their audiences sensibilities/intelligence.

    The cheap retort is a slyly cringing invocation of "copyright." While there is certainly merit to not violating copyright, copyright is not monolithic, nor does it forbid a tip of the hat to the "prior art." A female wizard at a school for wizards named Hermine (sp) would tip its had to Harry Potter, while if presenting no more, would not violate copyright. But let that be. EGG is the contra example.

    Castle Zagyg is quasi-Hawk done right. You acknowledge the reality of copyright then deliver on the associations you are invoking to sell your product. Arneson and Kuntz both wimped out, while still holding their hand out for your dollar in exchange for their teasing Greyhawk. Its the gaming equivalent of a lapdance. Then again, I hear those have some popularity. Go figure.

    GVD Shocked
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    GVD
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    Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:20 pm  

    Interesting points, GVDammerung.

    I haven't seen much of Rob Kuntz's quasi-hawk materials (on the basis that they are not readily available) but I understand that he has promised to make available his original Lake Geneva campaign notes through Black Blade Publishing. I would be very interested in seeing that.

    With respect to the 3E Blackmoor, yes, it all seemed pretty thin. The Dungeons of Castle Blackmoor contain numerous errors per page! To be fair to Dave, I had the impression that he wasn't feeling very well near the end when the 3E Blackmoor was published, and that the products were mainly the works of others. I may be wrong in this assumption. I also think that the original Blackmoor campaign may have been a little goofy and off the cuff (which is fine around your game table but not exactly compelling stuff to publish).

    I was hoping for a modern re-imagining of Blackmoor and the product just doesn't deliver.

    I think at this point I'm going to create my Blackmoor campaign from scratch, the way I think it should be presented.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 09, 2003
    Posts: 1280
    From: Clarksville, TN

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    Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:58 pm  
    Re: Dungeons of Castle Blackmoor

    Raphael wrote:
    Has anyone tried to use this product for inspiration for Greyhawk's Castle Blackmoor? I know that it was intended to be used for the Arneson version of Blackmoor, but given that Greyhawk's Blackmoor is inspired by Arneson's, I think mining the book for details is appropriate...


    -I have a badly chewed copy of the Judges' Guild copy of Blackmoor that I briefly used before going Greyhawk in 1983 or so. I've always wanted to use it for the Flaneass version, but haven't gotten around to it.

    It's obvious that the Oerth Journal article on Blackmoor was inspired by the original Arneson.
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 05, 2007
    Posts: 206
    From: Vancouver

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    Tue Jun 04, 2013 5:55 pm  
    Re: Dungeons of Castle Blackmoor

    jamesdglick wrote:
    -I have a badly chewed copy of the Judges' Guild copy of Blackmoor that I briefly used before going Greyhawk in 1983 or so. I've always wanted to use it for the Flaneass version, but haven't gotten around to it.

    It's obvious that the Oerth Journal article on Blackmoor was inspired by the original Arneson.
    IIRC, the Blackmoor material published around 1986 for Expert rules (not GH) was also pretty underwhelming. DA1 Adventures in Blackmoor was written by Arneson and Dave J. Ritchie. I bought it and read it but never played it. I remember it having a bit of everything: a little info on Blackmoor, some of the major players of the setting, and an adventure that takes place in an inn. There were snippets of good ideas but as a whole not enough to work with. I remember thinking Raphael's sentiments: what a missed opportunity.

    Arneson did a follow-up module of Temple of the Frog that was a bit better. Again, some cool ideas but it needed some work.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:20 am  

    I thought Fred Weining's work on Blackmoor (I think I have that right) for the LGG was outstanding, as were Wolfgang Bauer's Blackmore articles in Dungeon Magazine. I particularly found useful the map published in Dungeon of Blackmore.

    IMO, Blackmore is one of the more interesting underdeveloped areas of WoG. It suffers because not much is done with the Wolf and Tiger Nomads and then there is the whole (and nearly empty) Cold Marshes/Wastes and the Dramidj Coast above the Yecha Hills. In the later, I have seen a number of DM's place new realms of their own creation.

    GVD
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    GVD
    Adept Greytalker

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    From: Dantredun, MN

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    Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:11 pm  
    Re: Dungeons of Castle Blackmoor

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Arneson and Kuntz both wimped out, while still holding their hand out for your dollar in exchange for their teasing Greyhawk.

    I'll beg to differ, particularly in Kuntz's case. Sir Robilar's City of Brass was forcibly taken from Kuntz's control. He landed in the hospital for an extended period and neglected to contact Kenzer & Co due to health and financial problems. Meanwhile, Kenzer handed the project to Jeff Knight and published it without communicating to Kuntz. Kuntz was back to working on his final draft when shocked fans informed him that the product hit shelves! The final work was only 30-40% Kuntz. Last I heard he was trying to buy the rights back so he can release his version.

    Other than CoB, Kuntz has always paid his Greyhawk dues. Maze of Zayne 1-4, Garden of the Plantmaster, The Living Room, Bottle City, and Demonic and Arcane, Dark Druids, and the Stalk all have their GH pedigree intact.
    Luz wrote:
    the Blackmoor material published around 1986 for Expert rules (not GH) was also pretty underwhelming. DA1 Adventures in Blackmoor was written by Arneson and Dave J. Ritchie. I bought it and read it but never played it. I remember it having a bit of everything: a little info on Blackmoor, some of the major players of the setting, and an adventure that takes place in an inn. There were snippets of good ideas but as a whole not enough to work with. I remember thinking Raphael's sentiments: what a missed opportunity.

    Arneson did a follow-up module of Temple of the Frog that was a bit better. Again, some cool ideas but it needed some work.

    DA1-3 were written by Ritchie. Arneson provided notes and review to a varying degree link. DA2 was better because an earlier version had already been published in Supplement II. I haven't seen the D20 materials, but I've heard the Arneson's involvement was again minimal.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 10, 2011
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    Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:37 pm  

    Some years back, too many to think of, I took our very high level campaign up into the Blackmoor area and used the ruins as a jump off point into a Lovecraftian Dreamland's journey with the Old Ones and the like. The players loved it.

    Unfortunately, I did not keep the notes but just thought I would throw this in.
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    Chris Morris
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    Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:49 am  

    Not meant as a cheap plug, but do you know about this board:

    http://blackmoor.mystara.net/forums/viewforum.php?f=75

    As to running a good Greyhawk campaign in Blackmoor, not a big deal. The OD&D and D20 stuff, I'd not necessarily use, though.

    City of the Gods, both in the original release, as in the excellent d20 revamp, might be the most compatible supplement. I'd use the Clockwork Fortress adventures as prequels, and create a longer campaign based on it.

    ...But then, I am busy with other stuff. ;)
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    CF Admin

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
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    Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:30 am  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    These products trade on their TSR/Greyhawk associations. Argue about the percentages, but to a substantial degree none of the quasi_hawk products would likely see print without the rub from the TSR/Greyhawk association.

    Yet, at the very same time the authors and publishers trade on the rub, they run from the TSR/Greyhawk associations, imagining that a familiar name with a TSR/Greyhawk association will do business even if sanitized of those very associations. That is nutless ego. With more than a smidge of disrespect for their audiences sensibilities/intelligence.


    Hmmmm. I'm disagree with your characterization of all quasi-hawk materials in this manner, GVD, in particular with regard to RJK's positions in it. While there are significant issues with the Kenzer City of Brass materials (in that much of the published book did not leverage Rob's final manuscript contents due to communication snafus within Kenzer; an oversight I hope to correct in the medium-term, btw), the remainder of Rob's quasi-hawk books do deliver the goods: the Living Room and Bottle City are straight out of the original expanded Castle, and Demonic & Arcane offers magic items from the Lake Geneva campaigns. The remainder of Rob's published products are not published or marketed as Greyhawk materials, although they certainly have a similar vibe and sensibility.

    Am I missing your point above??
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    Allan Grohe (grodog@gmail.com)
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    CF Admin

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    Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:35 am  
    Re: Dungeons of Castle Blackmoor

    Raphael wrote:
    I haven't seen much of Rob Kuntz's quasi-hawk materials (on the basis that they are not readily available) but I understand that he has promised to make available his original Lake Geneva campaign notes through Black Blade Publishing. I would be very interested in seeing that.


    And you shall have the chance, Raphael :D Bottle City is in layout and will hopefully be available in time for GaryCon at the end of this month. More will follow.

    vestcoat wrote:
    GVDammerung wrote:
    Arneson and Kuntz both wimped out, while still holding their hand out for your dollar in exchange for their teasing Greyhawk.


    I'll beg to differ, particularly in Kuntz's case. Sir Robilar's City of Brass was forcibly taken from Kuntz's control. He landed in the hospital for an extended period and neglected to contact Kenzer & Co due to health and financial problems. Meanwhile, Kenzer handed the project to Jeff Knight and published it without communicating to Kuntz. Kuntz was back to working on his final draft when shocked fans informed him that the product hit shelves! The final work was only 30-40% Kuntz. Last I heard he was trying to buy the rights back so he can release his version.


    That's correct, although much worse from an internal communications snafu POV: I was in correspondence with Kenzer, providing them updates on RJK's recovery, but the VP in Kenzer I was communicating with never shared the info with David Kenzer or the rest of the organization, which resulted in the Jeff Knight version's publication. *sigh* But, I hope to be able to fix that situation soon.

    vestcoat wrote:
    [Other than CoB, Kuntz has always paid his Greyhawk dues. Maze of Zayne 1-4, Garden of the Plantmaster, The Living Room, Bottle City, and Demonic and Arcane, Dark Druids, and the Stalk all have their GH pedigree intact.


    Well-said :D
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