Showing posts with label history. Show all posts
Showing posts with label history. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 3, 2015 much for that idea.

Not everything will work.  Not everything will work well.
Sometimes though things do work, and do work well, but not in the way you thought they might.

Today's example was the giant post I had started and wanted to wrap up in the next day or so.
I was calling it "In Search Of...Castle Greyhawk".  A play on the old In Search Of TV show and by desire to uncover mysteries from my gaming past.

Sidebar: I found a bunch of stuff I had written decades ago on some old floppies.  There were a lot of treasures there but also a lot a things I was researching.  Back then I didn't have the resources I do now so research was a longer, more difficult process.

Back to In Search Of...

SO I wanted to post a lot on the historical Castle Greyhawk. What was it and how could I play it today.

Turns out all that work was done years ago.
I knew that +Joseph Bloch was the go to guy for this kind of information.  His blog Greyhawk Grognard is full of these sorts of tidbits and his game Adventures Dark and Deep is a love letter to the Gygaxian games that never were.
He has already done all the heavy lifting on this topic, in part of his working on Castle of the Mad Archmage.   In fact part of my own research was to look into how he wrote CotMA.

But he posted most of his own findings years ago.
In particular this post is the most useful,

Now I am a bigger fan of "Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk" than Joseph is. But I have the benefit of something he did not have back then; his completed Castle of the Mad Archmage.

So now my research is done. Admittedly by someone else.  I just need to see if I want to run a Castle Greyhawk adventure at all.

I'll start working on my next "In Search Of..." post.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

White Dwarf Wednesday: Games Workshop History

I know, sort of a cheesy way to use my supposed retired weekly feature.  But a couple of things came up in the past week to make it seem worthwhile.

First up is Part 1 of a History of Games Workshop. It also covers the same time I spent discussing White Dwarf here.  From Unplugged Games.

Honestly it is a fascinating read and gave me some insight to what I was reading "between the lines" in White Dwarf.

Ian and Steve
The map of Ian Livinstone's first dungeon just begs to be used somewhere.

There is some great anecdotes here too. For example they had a bigger issue with the cover of White Dwarf #44 than I did.

And then from ENWorld, a posting about how the first ever Games Workshop store is now going to be demolished.

Opening day in 1978
And today
While Games Workshop went into new directions around the end of my reviews, I still enjoy all the fun and wonder those early days gave me.

Thursday, January 15, 2015


This has been passed around a lot lately, but still an interesting read.
The development of the module Quagmire by Merle Rasmussen.

The article is less about module design than it is about commercial module development.  It is insightful on how things were created in the heyday of TSR. Also if you look hard enough you can even see the seeds of TSR's eventual demise here.

I post this though because it is an interest footnote to me.  I remember this adventure. I picked it up and completely gutted it because what I wanted was a swamp with a tower in it.  All that hard work detailed above and I chucked it all!

This article did make me want to pull my old copy out, but I remembered that it was one of the many pre-2e materials I lost back in the mid-90s. Thankfully I do have the PDF.  I might use it in my current game, but everything is so packed now I fear I will end up doing exactly what I did in the past; chuck the adventure and make it an interesting locale to stop over in.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Margot Adler (1946 - 2014)

I have long stated that the witches of my books and posts here have had far more to do myth and fairytale than they have had with the witches of modern paganism or Wicca.

But even a casual glance at my work will reveal that while my witches are more Baba Yaga than Isaac Bonewits or Fiona Horne, there is a bit of modern pagan thought there.  This is no surprise really.   I have often talked about how my influences are in line with the occult revival of the 70s and even the Satanic Panic of the 80s.
So in addition to reading a lot of fantasy stories about witches I also read a lot about Wicca, paganism and modern witchcraft.

One of those books I remember well was Margot Adler's Drawing Down the Moon.
What I liked about it was how it took each of these religions/belief systems and gave them equal weight.  Some books I read at the time were either predominantly pro-wiccan and thus put their system in the est possible light or had a Christian bias and thus looked down their nose on all the systems.
It also avoided what I have come to call "Margret Murrayism" and make claims that could not be supported.

For gamers I would say pick up this book to see how you can run cults and faith in your games.  Yes there are other texts, and even some that are better suited for this. But this is a good overall text and also one I think fits the feel that some of us want in our "Old School" games. Either the original 1979 printing or the revised 1986 one would be best for this.
The 2006 revised edition though is the only one I can find for an eReader.

This is also one of the books that I attribute to my cultivation of my own feminist thought (yeah I know that "feminist" is a bad word to some and loaded word to others. I don't care. I can use it to describe myself as I choose).   It shares that distinction with Carl Sagan's "Dragons of Eden" and Carl Jung's "Man and His Symbols".

Margot Adler died today after a long battle with cancer.  She was 68.