Musing on Arduin – Hargrave Day 2018

Greetings and welcome to my post in celebration of Dave Hargrave the creator of Arduin. I’ve never played Arduin but plan to eventually once I get another group together. That said Hargrave’s imagination was immense, what he created in Arduin is frankly wondrous. His prose like writings are evocative of the world he was inviting others to visit as they played Arduin. Over the last few months I’ve read about Dave & Arduin – shit the dude inspires me!

My World of Xôðûn is inspired by Arduin – the whole gonzo feel of the World of Khaas just beggers you to let your imagination run wild. I love the fact that Dave had no qualms not only meshing science fiction with fantasy but also that both in art and rules he defied the norms of the day. Though TSR in their OD&D books flirted with similar norm defying art (though not even close to the level of quality that Arduin had), they  did eventually abandoned such art to pander to parents and critics.

Arduin would likely spark outrage if published today – you just have to take the ‘Female Attribute Chart’ which is a random chart to determine a woman’s Bust, Waist & Hip size. The fact Dave not only included such a chart but broke down nearly every race on the height & weight charts between male and female would send feminists and their allies into hysterics.  Personally I think the ‘Female Attribute Chart’ is silly and wouldn’t include it in my OD&D campaigns, but I’d likely keep it if I ran Arduin at least initially just to play it BtB. That said I am not offended at the least by Dave’s design choices with these mechanics; remember young men were still the primary audience for RPGs & frankly what red-blooded young male did not love Playboy & check out each month’s measurements & other stats for the playmate of the month? I know I did and I won’t apologize for it either.

ShardraCitidel of Thunder

How can you not be inspired by these? 

There are some rules I will likely import into my OD&D campaigns like the ‘Overland Travel Rules’ and the various travel charts, as I don’t use hex maps at this time , so the OD&D hex movement/exploration rules would need to be converted in any case; so instead of doing that I’ll import the Arduin rules.

A lot of the Arduin rules would not apply to my campaigns in the World of Xôðûn as they are specific to the World of Khaas & the rules themselves. But outside the travel based rules I’ll likely incorporate the ‘Magikal Equipment Saving Throw Matrix’, the ‘Optional Character Appearance Chart’ for non-native NPCs from other worlds or for mutants – yes the World of Xôðûn has mutants! I’ll also likely include the ‘Special Ability Charts’, the ‘Character Social Status’, ‘Character Wealth Chart’, ‘Character Legacy Chart’ & ‘Owned Equipment Chart’ as well. I might actually include the last batch to all of my OD&D campaigns too.

Let’s just say if I ever got to the point where I wanted to create a campaign guide for the World of Xôðûn – I’d take a page from Dave’s book and be true to my vision. I’d buy commissioned art and publish the kind of supplement I want no matter who I’d offend. I’ll definitely add Dave & Arduin to my acknowledgements page a long with Gygax & Arneson, as he deserves it.

I wish more people would give Dave Hargrave his due as a innovator in RPGs like they do to both Gygax & Arneson. I see potential inspiration of Arduin in Palladium Fantasy & Talislanta RPGs. Whether or not Dave’s Arduin influenced Kevin Siembieda & Stephen Michael Sechi or they simply had been of similar minds as they developed their own settings and game systems, I think that they tried to create something different than TSR was doing – which was a very good thing.

I know I wish I had gotten to play Arduin with Hargrave and had been able to get Arduin in print when I was younger. Just looking at the PDFs of the original Arduin series really inspires me from the art alone. I wish Emperors Choice would add a POD option for their Arduin Trilogy, but I doubt that will ever happen as they are largely defunct. I hope someone else would get the licence from Emperors Choice & create cleaned up PDF & POD files for the original Arduin series and sell them again.- I’d buy multiple copies for sure.

This is all I have for you today – I’ll likely discuss what other rules and elements I’ll likely incorporate into my OD&D based campaigns for World of Xôðûn in my Original Edition blog as soon as I give the rules a full in depth read through. That said, I’ll likely discuss my thoughts on Arduin itself in its various incarnations on this blog as I’m trying to keep my ‘Musing About Original Edition Adventures’ blog focused on OD&D. Take care & see you later, Fin.

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Arduin & Dave Hargrave post upcoming.

Greetings, on May 25th I’ll be posting in celebration of the late, great Dave Hargrave’s Birthday, a man who created the Gonzo RPG Arduin & the World of Khaas. I am a noob at anything Arduin, so I’ll likely focus on what I like about it. See you later. Fin.

My favorite Comic Publisher

Greetings, I’ve wanted to write about comics for a bit but not in a negative light as what happened in my “Are SJWs Ruining Comics?” post. When I wrote & published that blog post, I was heated. Not only was one of my favorite publishers being attacked by SJWs, they tried to paint me as a “nerdo nazi” – which is funny as I love a Black woman and the last few serious relations I had were with Latinas or mixed women. Yup I am a “nazi”. But I didn’t want to rage about that again, so I focused on the whole #My30DayWorld campaign until I could decide what to discuss concerning comics.

Yesterday it popped into my head – I’ll discuss who is currently my favorite comic book publisher. But before I do I’ll cover my past favorites & a few reasons why they are no longer the Top Dawg in my comics world.

Back in the mid 80s was when I started collecting & reading comics in earnest I was introduced to non-traditional comics by my Uncle D. The comics that made an impact on me were the ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”, “Alien Legion” and ‘Love & Rockets: Mechanics”. From day one I was into quirky independent comics, though I’d flirt with mainstream Superhero comics from time to time; I always went back to the independent publishers & those that published Manga.

The first comic publisher to earn my devotion was Aircel Comics run by Barry Blair (R.I.P.), I’d buy nearly every title they published, but my favorites were ‘Elflord’, ‘Samurai’, the initial run on ‘Warlock 5’ and ‘Darkewood’. It was only after Barry started focusing on adult comics & his talent started heading to greener pastures did Aircel Comics lose my support. It wasn’t that I disliked adult comics – quite to the contrary, but I disliked how they became the near sole focus & basically Barry art didn’t match many of the titles he was forced to draw.

In the late 80s I became a Marvel fan, but Marvel never became on of my favorite publishers, they just happened to publish ‘Groo’ & the ‘Conan’ comic magazines that I loved. I started reading ‘Spider-man’, ‘Hulk’ & the various ‘X-titles’ as I did enjoy Superhero comics & frankly I preferred Marvel’s characters over those of DC. The ‘X-titles’ were my Marvel addiction, I even followed them after my favorite creators left to form Image.

This leads me to my second favorite publisher – Image Comics. I bought all their initial comics & then bought the ones I didn’t like for my brother. Image was King in my book for much of the early to late 90s, but the frequent lateness, the main creators putting other artists on their own flag-ship books, the crossovers & things ended when Jim Lee left and sold Wildstorm to DC. Though I’ve bought Image books since then, it has been a rarity. With Erik Larsen’s shitty attitude towards customer concerns & insults to Christians I am done with Image for the foreseeable future.

In the late 90s to early 2000s both Dark Horse & Antarctic Press were tied as my favorite publishers. With Dark Horse I got ‘Sin City’, ‘Hellboy’ and several manga titles, that I just loved. I still like Dark Horse a lot but I rarely follow their books now, outside side the rare manga GN or title like Body Bags by Jason Pearson.  In the end Antarctic Press was producing books that I loved more. I was buying a variety of titles on the regular, with Fred Perry’s ‘Gold Digger’ being the king for me. In fact through a few moves & changes in comics shops ‘Gold Digger’ was my core monthly; I even subscribed near the end of my regular comic buying period. That all said I was first introduced to AP in 84 or 85 with Ninja High School, though I lost track of it until the mid 90s when I officially got into AP’s books in a big way.

Ninja High School

Then came nearly a decade out of comics – I still read them but mainly only those I could check out via the library or buy used via Amazon. If it wasn’t manga I was reading both Marvel & DC superhero books to get my comics fix. That all said there were a few books I did buy & read, like AP’s Gold Digger & Twilight X GNs to fill wholes in my collection and Wet Moon by Sophie Campbell. I bought a few others but I didn’t end up following them for various reasons.

Gold digger comic                                            Twilight X War

Just recently I’ve decided I wanted to get back into buying comics on the regular – but since my local has a minimum three monthly title policy I’ve been hesitant to open a pull box with them. There is only one title I want to follow monthly – ‘Gold Digger’! If Antarctic Press was publishing at least two more monthly books I’d open an box today!

Antarctic Press has been consistent in the quality of the product (minus binding issues on the Gold Bricks) they produce – I can pick up nearly any title that they publish & enjoy it. Be it artistically, story-wise or their fun & engaging characters, I can always enjoy a AP comic. Though I am not the YUGEST Rod Espinosa fan art-wise I actually enjoy his books. I have two volumes of his ‘The Courageous Princess’ as a testament to the over all quality of Rod’s work, plus I’ve read other books by him as well.

The Courageous Princess                                My Hero Magademia

It really saddened & angered me that such a fine company is being attacked because they published a humor book in support of Trump. I am not a fan of Trump but what I’ve seen of the art of ‘My Hero Magademia’ it is a funny tongue in cheek humor book. I know that I’d enjoy it if I had a copy. The fact that AP dared to published this book has earned it the ire of rabid leftists. I love they are standing strong by Timothy Lim the creator & if it wasn’t for the solid quality of their books alone – this bravery & honorable conduct has earned Antarctic Press my life long devotion. Until they stop publishing I’ll buy AP books.

Even if I can’t find another two monthly books to open a pull box at my local I’ll subscribe to Gold Digger directly if I have to and I am able to (I have to figure out their subscription service). Even if I do that I’ll go to other local comics shops, pour through their old comics long boxes just to ferret out AP books, especially ‘Gold digger’ back issues I am missing. I’ll also gradually (as I can afford to) buy various other AP books I can, be it any future work by Timothy Lim, the ‘Rags: Zombie’ comic and basically anything by either Fred Perry & Joe Wight.

My only issues with Antarctic press are: 1) They no longer have a forum, 2) their website isn’t the easiest to navigate & 3) They do not have multiple monthly titles like they used to. But those are my only quibbles concerning AP at all. I am a AP lifer! I’ll end this so I can run errands, see you later, Fin.

                                                         Make Mine Antarctic Press! 

Antarctic_Press_(logo)

Get your AP comics & merchandise here.

 

Showing some RPG Youtube love

Greetings, in this post I decided to show some love to a few of my favorite RPG oriented Youtube channels. Though some have very decent followings at least one is fairing new. Each of these Youtubers hit a different niche which is why I really enjoy them. So I figured I’d post a link to there various social media accounts & share a video of theirs that I really enjoyed.

Runehammer

I’ll start with good Ol’ Hankerin Ferndale of Runehammer Games. I discovered him back when his channel was still called “Drunken & Dragons”. Though his channel changed names & shifted to a more self-promotional model for his own RPG – Index Card RPG (ICRPG) – I still enjoy watching his videos, especially his drawing ones. AS anyone who has followed Hank for awhile you know he can be very silly & from time to time wax philosophically upon various obscure topics that he uses to inform his designs & play style.

Here is the Runehammer site which has links to where to buy his games & books, as well as his art blog.

Here is the wonderful ICRPG G+ community, which is a flurry of vastly creative people drawn to Hank & the ICRPG game (I neeeeeeeeeedz me the 2e ICRPG).

And lastly here is his Patreon.

Here is a link to a video I enjoy of Hank’s.

Roll stats

Now to Bill of Rollstats! This dude has mad passion for all things Dungeons & Dragons. Lately he has been delving into his Basic/Expert D&D love – frankly I’ve been digging it, He is speaking my language – Grognard! Though much of his content has to do with 5e D&D, he does reviews on games & such; plus covers various D&D related topic. We have great conversations in his comments under his videos.

I am looking forward to his future videos and the conversations that they spawn – let’s face it one I was in not with Bill got heated over something silly but that is because we are passionate people. I hope that his youtube subscriber base starts to grow even faster. Well I’ll get to his core social media:

Here is his Roll Stats Blog.

Here is his Roll Stats Facebook.

Here is one of my favorite Roll Stats video on unboxing a Basic D&D.

Questing Beast

Next is Ben Milton aka known as Questing Beast. His channel is a mix of OSR (Old School Renaissance) reviews, mapping tutorials & the rare interview. Bill is a talented mapper & reviewer, but he is also  publisher of his own OSR RPG Maze Rats. I love to watch both his reviews & mapping videos.

Here are his social media:

Here is his Questing Beast youtube channel.

Here is his Ben Milton G+.

Here is his Questing Blog.

Here is an interesting interview with Zak Smith.

Well this will be all for this episode of my Musings of a Hooli-Geek blog & I’ll be back soon, Fin.

#My30DayWorld 2018 – Days 29 & 30

my30dayworld

Greetings, this will be my last post in the #My30DayWorld event campaign as it’ll cover the last two days’ questions for Day 29 & Day 30. After this post I’ll post about comics, do a few reviews of both comics & films. I do know that I want to discuss Mark Waid creating a meh comic in Champions & my view on Star Wars The Last Jedi. But for now I’ll focus the #My30DayWorld answers to the last two questions.

Day 29 Q: What is a legendary relic of power in your world?

Day 29 A: The Rune covered Skull of D’Jôl. During the first War of the Gods D’Jôl the God of sorcery & hidden lore was slain by the mad Titan Vurog. His body fell and became buried in what would become known as the Great Blood Desert. D’Jôl over the centuries since his death, his body has slowly decayed & his divine blood has warped the land, turning the sands blood red & mutated many of the creatures and people who dwell within it.

A few centuries before the second God’s war, one of the people of this warped land has discovered D’Jôl’s giant skull. They took the it to their God-King  Šor-Kai, who led them in a great rite – during which through a number of sacrifices,  Šor-Kai carved runes of necromantic power creating a connection to the slain God D’Jôl and infused his skull an portion of his soul. The Skull of D’Jôl gave Šor-Kai and the Sorcerers of Šorim a way to gain both arcane secrets from his soul trapped in the underworld as well as infernal arcane power that mutates them further as they grow in power.

Prior to the beginning of the second God’s War, Šor-Kai joined the alliance of dark God-Kings led by Magister Šarak the Demi-God-King of the Šamadî Empire, of which Šor-Kai was a loyal vassal. These mad Godlings tried to break the seal that kept their mistress the great & terrible Titan Goddess Anghra and her fell brood.

Once the second God’s War was over & the new god Korgoth was risen, the Sorcerers of  Šorim stole away the Skull of D’Jôl and secreted deep within the bowels of their floating city.

Day 30 Q: Are the lands cartographed? Where are the boundaries?

Day 30 A: Only partially, as many of the lands are in flux. There are only a few stable realms & their boundaries are shifting as border skirmishes rage between them & the incursions of barbaric human & inhuman tribes challenge them for land and resources.

Well I’ll end this last post in the wonderful #My30DayWorld event campaign. I want to thank Absolute Tabletop for this wonderful campaign. I look forward to their future campaigns & wish them the best on their future KickStarter projects. See you in my next post, Fin.

#My30DayWorld 2018 – Days 25 – 28

my30dayworld

Greetings again, here is again another combined post this time four days worth. Damn I suck. Anyway I need to get this done so I can get some reading done before I go to bed.

Day 25 Q: What is the most misunderstood playable race?

Day 25 A: I’d have to say so far are either the Saar or D’Jōlî. The Saar as they are often confused as long eared Halflings as they are short & live near or in human communities. But they are less sedentary than Halflings, they are also far more cosmopolitan as they often travel from place to place like Roma (Gypsies) – something they share with the D’Jōlî. Where as the D’Jōlî were forced from their ancient homeland the Saar are filled with a wanderlust & only settle if to raise a family.

The Saar love to learn things, to tinker but they also love song & dance; which often confuses Humans that have never met a Saar before – they see a short human-like person & assume they are a Halflings; which annoys Halflings as they see the Saar as rowdy wastrels.

The D’Jōlî are more “rogue-ish” – they wander the world often adventuring with humans or serving as members of a pirates crew. They were forced from their homeland & their patron deity D’Jōl was slain during one of the God’s War. They are one of the “Forsaken” races, though they have no god of their own individual D’Jōlî do often choose to worship other deities depending on their lifestyles.

The D’Jōlî are believed to be cursed and are seen as a race of mischievous cut-throats or prostitutes – both of which are somewhat common professions but are not what define the D’Jōlî. They love adventure, seeing the next horizon. They enjoying meeting new people & learning about new cultures and places.

Saar                                     D'Joli

The Saar                                                                                          The D’Jōlî

Day 26 Q: What deities dwell in your realm? Are they involved?

Day 26 A: None actually dwell in ‘World of Skârn’ though they used to before the first & second God’s Wars. They were sent to their own dimensional planes that are tethered to the ‘World of Skârn’. That said, the deities can travel to & from the ‘World of Skârn’ at will, but in much diminished power. They can no longer alter the world physically as they used to, even their mortal children lack the power they used to have. They can influence the world via their priesthoods & prophets and harm or aid any creature they desire but they are no longer able to mold or rule the world as they once did.

Day 27 Q: Do any people of your world revere nature? How deeply?

Day 27 A: Sure, most rural or tribal cultures are animistic in nature but they do not worship nature itself but the various minor often local nature spirits within and around their communities. Nearly all people honor these spirits even city dwellers but in their case it is the spirit that their home was built on or at a shrine to a local spirit that just happened to have it’s home swallowed up by the expanding city. In the rural & tribal communities – this will be very deeply, sometimes if some horrible blight strikes the home or community near the site there may even be a human sacrifice in hopes that some transgression by the community can be appeased.

Day 28 Q: What character would you play in your own world?

Day 29 A: A D’Jōlî Witch-Reaver (a magic-using thief) that focuses on shadow magic.

Well that will be it for today, I’ll post again on Day 30 with a combined post as both questions only have brief answers to give. See you then, fin.

 

#My30Dayworld 2018 – Days 22-24

my30dayworld

Greetings, I’ll now get to answering the #My30DayWorld questions for Days 22-24 in another combined post. I’ll try to keep this post brief as I already published one post today. Now lets get to it.

Day 22 Q: What prominent fantastical bodies of water are there?

Day 22 A: The only one so far is the Shattered Bay – there maybe more as I finish my revisions. The Shattered Bay is  a body of water that was created in the last God’s War & their is a sucking maw in it’s center that created a massive whirlpool. Above the Shattered Bay are a collection of floating islands – actually shards of land infused by divine magic and lifted into the sky while other sank into the incoming water. Ruins are scattered upon these sky islands, the remaining land masses that formed new islands & underneath the waters of the bay itself.

Day 23 Q: What is valuable in your world? Gold? Something else?

Day 23 A: Yes Gold, but also silver, mithril, platinum & other metals. The world runs on a Silver standard but most big items are still given prices in gold. But depending on culture various things will be considered valuable & as I finish my revisions I’ll know what they are.

Day 24 Q: What is the tech level? Does magic integrate? 

Day 24 A: The tech level varies, since it has only been a mere century since the last God’s War & the world wide devastation that it wreaked. Dwarfish communities were largely spared so kept their steam & clockwork powered technology. Dwarfs do use arcane magic, thus they infuse it into their technology. The Šal’Rebītes also fuse technology & magic effortlessly; though they are rebuilding their damaged city of Šal’Reb to its former glory.

But in general most civilized realms are barely out of the dark ages – Knights in armor going on quests or jousting at tournaments though some have become mired in near early iron age civilizations. That doesn’t include the hordes of human & inhuman “primitive” tribal cultures that have varying levels of rudimentary tech (from stone tools to basic iron weaponry).

Well that does it for today’s #My30DayWorld post, I’ll see you again soon. Fin.