Direbane is an abode to share artifacts, simulacra, histories, and other items of note related to ongoing years adventuring.

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Pig Faced Ork Con 2023!


If you are down in So-Cal I highly recommend the Pig Faced Ork Old School Role Playing Game Convention set for Saturday October 21, 2023. This Fresno, CA area convention is a one-day gig in its 4th year and put on almost single-handedly by organizer and artist Tom Wendt. Tom dedicates this convention to introducing new players and sharing with the old ones original versions of classic table-top role playing games from the 70s and 80s.

The convention moves back to the Clovis Veterans Memorial District halls from the Fresno Woodward Park Public Library where it had been held in 2021 and 2022 (following a Covid hiatus in 2020).

I had a blast last year running an original-trilogy Arduin Grimoire ruled scenario based around "Sunken Ardwyr" with a kidnapped prince, stolen technology, thrall imposters, and outer-space aliens!

The convention is free (donations accepted) and Tom has in the past supplied doughnuts, pizza lunch, cupcakes, water, and a plethora of old-school raffle prizes.

Tom also personally creates evocative art for each game system to be ran. If you are interested in running a game or more info, you can contact Tom here: pigfacedorkosrpgcon@hotmail.com

(Kill Kitten Art Tom drew for my Arduin game)

Saturday, June 24, 2023

New Arduin Companion Ref Screen - Size Matters

So some of you may remember the OD&D Supplement IGreyhawk (ported into 1st edition) size small/medium and large damage charts for weapons. Often a weapon would do less damage or sometimes more damage depending on the size of the target creature.

Well, Dave Hargrave decided there should be more of that and developed his weapon damage tables versus creature size in hit dice ranging from 1/2 a hit die or less up to 30+1 hit dice or more with TWELVE COLUMNS of variable damage by weapon type.

I coupled this information into a reference screen along with the weapon attack adjustment charts by armor class (another OD&D Supplement I/1st edition adjustment where certain weapons had better or worse capabilities to hit various armor types).

A Dave Hargrave original table I included has weapon breakage charts when weapons (even magical ones) strike very dense material such as stone golems or dragons. Which, heh, since the table is there anyway has piqued my thoughts about what sort of Arduin scenario I should run next con game.

In 1988 I wrote up a completely non-canonical "Dragon’s Throat" in Dead Watch Mountain, listed in Arduin's Recorded Areas of Treasure and Doom as "a known dragon abode." I used mostly Arduin critters on encounters, except all the dragons are just regular D&D Monster Manual dragons.

I think if I remedied that with Hargrave's Arduin dragon types I just might have something suitable for gaming. Ha, except the "Dragon's Throat" is sort of Tolkien Hobbit-derived from the secret passage entrance to Smaug's lair. Another thing I'll need to tidy...

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Arduin at DunDraCon!

(Talismonde's Old Quarter looking east to Elric's Keep)

I am getting things ready for DunDraCon #46 running an Arduin version of "The Crypts of Arcadia" from Judges Guild The Book of Treasure Maps (1979) by Jennell Jaquays. The scenario runs with both random and some set encounters. I'm substituting in similish Arduin critters and little sci-fi twists.

The scenario will take place in Talismonde, Arduin's capital city. And I am super stoked with how my city map came out, just to get a grip of how the different sections of the city might be laid out.

There is more about the creation of a Talismonde map I'll have to post on later, right now it's plenty enough to broaden the sandbox as much as might be necessary. I learned running an Empire of the Petal Throne scenario years back, given a convention game's limited time letting the players roam is fine if they're having fun. (So dooo it.)

107 Talismonde Heist
Friday 6 PM in 146 for 8 hours
GM: Matt Morrison
Type: RPG
System: Arduin Grimoire
Edition: Original Trilogy
Players: 6
Provided: All characters provided by GM
Power Level: 5th-6th
Variations: Similar to and supplemented with OD&D and AD&D 1st Ed
Rules Knowledge: Useful
Game Content: Mainstream

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Hasbro, Please Take No Action Regarding the Open Gaming License v1​.​0a


The community has organized to fight changes to the Open Gaming License. One of those points of organization is a change.org petition drafted by Ryan Dancey (you can read Ryan's article on the OGL here). Please sign the petition here.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Talismonde Heist

(Hopefully on the evening of Friday February 17, 2023)

"Notes from a clergyman’s journal, hidden vaults of Elven treasure, and an ill-fated excavation to burned-out depths of Talismonde’s undercity was a story told for years (after a few drinks) by the old man now dying of a bloody, hacking cough at an alley in the waterfront district of Arduin’s capital. But wasn’t there word of a hidden map?"

A loose collection of ne'er-do-wells stumble upon the treasure map of an old, dying thief and dare the rotting underside beneath the first true city in Arduin.

This is my entry for DunDraCon #26, about a half-century-old gaming convention out here on the left coast. I typically run a convention game Friday evening and then our regular gaming group runs Saturday night in Open Gaming.

I am coming off a pretty successful swampy-adventure Arduin game down in Fresno at Pig Faced Ork Con last October which followed a fun Green Hell jungle event at DunDraCon #45 last February 2022.

Anyone who has played D&D, in particular OD&D and 1st edition AD&D, will recognize the original trilogy Arduin rules as being very similar. Each game I have been a little better at throwing in more of the Arduin subtleties (for example Arduin's mana point magic system) which has been a lot of fun.

I should learn by mid-January or so if my game is able to be fit into DunDraCon's schedule and am keeping my finder's crossed.

***Arduin is a fictional universe and role-playing system created by David A. Hargrave. “The Arduin Grimoire” was self-published by Hargrave in 1977 and also two follow-up books in 1978, “Welcome to Skull Tower” and “The Runes Of Doom.” The three books became known as “The Arduin Trilogy.”

The original Arduin books added many interesting and notable features to fantasy role playing and were often treated by players as supplements to Dungeons & Dragons.

Monday, December 19, 2022

Bejesus, Satanis...

(Cha'alt, Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise, Cha'alt: Chartreuse Shadows)

Venger Satanis has wrought 10+ pounds in three volumes of gonzo, sci-fi, fantasy inspirations for your game (or a complete setting if you wish to start one). PDFs thrown in free and easy.

And lordy am I a sucker for this sort of gestalt, especially when I am running the gang through an end-times-return-of-the-old-ones-with-a-lochnar scenario. Jiminy Cricket, can you even find all pieces for the Rod of Seven Parts in a night's worth of gaming...? Well, it will be the DunDraCon!