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

Friday, February 18, 2022

DunDraCon/Green Hell Post Mortem


Santa Clara Marriott with Eerie Green Parking Lights

Room 147

Player's Facing Screen Sides

Ref's Facing Screen Sides

Ha, I was busting my ass to make this multi-faceted Arduin time warping mystery scenario, then only had three players show up. Drat! But I am still super glad I made it out to the inaugural DunDraCon at the Santa Clara Marriott hotel.

It was all good though, I was able to use the random encounter tables and dungeon map then relocated the weird encounter and Mcguffin - right as rain! 

And while I was able to use my fancy "Green Hell" Arduin Ref's Screen with to-hit, saves, and turning tables, I do need to get more familiar with the Arduin Trilogy physical book. I have been so used to using the old PDF that I just search by term for what I am looking for rather than understand where information is in the context of the whole tome. 

We did it though - ran Arduin Trilogy right out of Dave Hargrave's rules. Har, except there are some bits, such as spells for instance, where the Trilogy presumes at that point you have access to some D&D.

All-in-all I had a great time, made new friends, and scoped out the new hotel for when my regular gaming group makes an excursion. Take aways: Be flexible, don't trip, and get the adventure started!

Friday, January 28, 2022

Green Hell at DunDraCon


109 Green Hell
Friday February 18, 2022 at 6 PM in 147 for 8 hours
GM: Matt Morrison
Type: RPG
System: Arduin Grimoire
Edition: Original Trilogy
Players: 5
Provided: All characters provided by GM
Power Level: 15th
Variations: enhanced w/OD&D, AD&D, B/X D&D, BECMI D&D
Rules Knowledge: Useful
Game Content: Mainstream

Lost in the tracks of the Green Hell is a bitter wound on the land that suppurates a poison that once almost slew the world. Here, in this salted land, something stirs once more to trouble the world...

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Emperors Choice Games and Arduin are Back In Business!


Great and Fantastic News for Arduin Fans!

Dave Bukata and George De Rosa from Emperors Choice Games and Miniatures Corporation announced yesterday (Wednesday, October 27th) that the company is re-opening after a years-long hiatus and Arduin gaming materials will again be distributed back into the TTRPG wild!!! (Very exciting for folks like myself.)

I reproduced their complete announcement below, but key is that through the end of the year December 31, 2021 you will be able to order from the Arduin catalogue items at their prices from 2015!

Shipments understandably will be somewhat delayed, essentially these will be pre-orders to be shipped between now and end of January 2022 as existing stock is inventoried and new production ramped up. But for an opportunity to get print editions of long-out of print Arduin products at regular retail prices this is GOLDEN!

My personal recommendations:

  1. The Arduin Trilogy hardbound - $ for $ this is the most iconic Arduin product, completely in the original words and writings of David Hargrave, and virtually ready to drop into your old-school OSR D&D, AD&D, OSRIC, Swords & Wizadry, Labyrinth Lord, Lamentations and other OSR rules based around the classic versions D&D.
  2. World Book of Khaas - This tome has been "unobtanium" for almost a decade, not out there for any price. The World Book was written long after Dave Hargrave passed in 1988, but it is based on Dave's extensive archives and others who gamed with Dave and carried on the setting long afterwards. It is bar-none the most complete description of the Arduin setting in a system-neutral, stat-free, encyclopedia. 
  3. Map of Arduin - Emperors Choice map for the Country of Arduin is a spot-on reproduction of the map from Dave's home game. The map is printed on durable parchment-style paper and includes the locations of 3 of the 4 Arduin dungeons Dave published during his life, plus Talismonde and other major cities, significant sites such as the Plateau of Forever, and more.

This is a HUGE development for RPG fans who want to broaden their gaming vistas with additional gameable races and classes, monsters galore, new spells and magic items, fabulous adventure locations, and more. Fans of Arduin should get their orders in once they can to support the universe one of the giants from RPG history, David Hargrave! You will not regret it. 😁

The "Complete" Arduin Announcement:

Hello Fans,

Emperors Choice Games & Miniatures Corp. (EmpCho) has updates to share:

The new online store will be located at www.empcho.com  

The new website/store is scheduled to be fully operational on November 7, 2021, for taking pre-orders.

Emperors Choice Games & Miniatures Corp. is an independent company, which produces its own products; we do not have large quantities of stock on hand in between manufacturing runs.  Miniatures are often manufactured on demand in house, and printed products need time to be ordered, produced, and delivered to EmpCho. Books and miniatures are then, packed and shipped by EmpCho.  Pre-Orders will allow us to determine how much product we need to manufacture and order. We apologize for pre-orders, but we are anticipating a lot of orders. All of Emperors Choice Games & Miniatures Corp. products are proudly made in the USA.

An email will be sent by November 1, 2021, to everyone with past unfilled orders to place their order into the new store. We cannot import the past orders into the new store. Therefore, if you wish to keep your past unfilled order, please place a new order into the store.

All orders received will be shipped by the end of January 2022. This is due to the large quantity of past orders, time to produce the books, manufacturing of the miniatures, and shipping during the holiday season. If overall production escalates more rapidly, then the timetable will be moved up. Emperors Choice Games and Miniatures Corp. (EmpCho) will work extremely hard to complete all orders as quickly as possible!

As a Thank You to all our fans, our prices that are 7+ years old will remain in effect for all orders, with only very minor change for very few items. These prices will remain in place until 1/1/2022, at which time an increase will take effect due to increased raw material and/or printing costs.  In addition, our 10% discount for all Veterans will remain in effect indefinitely and all customers with a past order will receive an additional 10% off their entire order! This can be combined with the Veteran discount, for a total of 20% off for a Veteran, with a past unfilled order.

We also wanted to take the opportunity to clarify a bullet from the last post on which was: “There are things in the works besides the new website and storefront. I will be posting news on Arduin as it becomes a reality.” This statement simply means Emperors Choice Games & miniatures Corp. is working on NEW Arduin products for the future, and as things are developed for release, then we will inform everyone.

Emperors Choice Games & Miniatures Corp. looks forward to continuing to bring Arduin to the world. This cannot be done without all your help and support through the years, now and in the future!

In the words of David A. Hargrave:

“To you and yours, I lift a tankard of Rumble Tummy’s ale in respectful salute!” 

Dave Bukata
Emperors Choice Games & Miniatures Corp.

George De Rosa
Emperors Choice Games & Miniatures Corp.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Game Coming Up


(Original art by Robert Altbauer)

Our next in-person & remote hybrid game is upcoming. Sasch runs a Pulp Cthulhu game with some of the same players from our D&D game so we are expecting aberrant encounters.

Ruh-roh, atmospheric river approacheth...

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Bonus In-Person Game!

(From left: Dr. John PhD, Matrox, J.A.S., Blue Gorilla, Sasch)

 We are on a roll! (Well some of us, anyways...)

We were able to hurriedly (one week!) assemble a jam/D&D event for Saturday at Blue Gorilla's posh, 19th floor condo on San Francisco's Nob Hill. Ha, although BBQing on the balcony was somewhat acrophobic-ish, and we had to keep jam instrument noises somewhat atypically softer, it was a fine night out for a game. Ha, too bad Blue Gorilla is moving to Portland to study for his PhD. (Another fricken DR.!)

Once Shade Structure's mage blipped out with the decanter, leaving the party free from the evil interplanar taint that intruded into the decanter room, our adventurers were able to escape weird Sigil to a gently wooded area near a funky, three-tiered tower.

J.A.S. ran us through "Lara's Tower" (1981) by Kevin Nunn, which was actually a tournament dungeon Kevin ran at PacificCon in 1980 (which convention coincidentally was also running at the same time this weekend at the Dunfey Hotel). The scenario was some straightforward hack 'n slash with some interesting map features for strategically taking on the baddies who inhabit this tower.

Now what the fuck are we going to do with a 12th level conference table?

Friday, August 20, 2021

"Death Dealer"


("Death Dealer" by Frank Frazetta, 1973)

Ok, fuuuuuuuuuck... I have so much shit I need to get done. Let's make a list!

Seriously, I was getting a bit overwhelmed a year ago when my work began opening up again that sorting things, listing, setting priorities really helped. Ha, I would prefer not to exit life with a bunch of half-finished contributions to the hobby I love.

First, say it, I waste way too much time reading posts in Twitter and arguing with right-wingers on Facebook. STOP IT! Pick one day per week, like Thursday night, take 4 hours to riff through the thoughts of others. (This worked for me in law school.)

Second, gotta allocate time for work, non-profit orgs, and family. 4 hours each day during the week is the minimum I need to plan for my practice, I spends something like 6 hours each week hoping to contribute to the greater good, 14 hours per week spending time with my son and special needs grandson and maybe another 6 hours every other week visiting with other fam.

Thirdsies, Sleeeeeep... Dude, you need at least 6 hours every day (my psydoc back in the day had me set an alarm for midnight each day so I would get to bed by 1am).

Fourth, meals and grooooomong. What, an hour a day unless I'm going out to eat.

Fifth, music. I orta practice an hour each day if'n I wants to get better on the drums. (Just kidding, still bassey.)

Ok so how many hours per week is that??? 4+20+6+14+3+42+7+7=103 out of 168 hours per week. 103-168=65 hours left over, say 9 hours each day. Obviously me and me spouse need our time, and there's gonna be time shopping for groceries, doing bills, cleaning, laundry, minor car repairs, etc. Given all that I should be able to set aside 2 hours five days a week to work on gaming stuff contributin' to our craft.

So what is in the pipeline for the past many months (years)...

  1. Video on City State of the Invincible Overlord (Several folks have done overviews, but I don't think by anyone who gamed the City State. And we gamed it hard.)
  2. Advanced Labyrinth Lord version of Underport (Just that new level nine needs some imaginatory time.)
  3. Video on the underworld of Arduin (Continuations of my series of "brief" Arduin setting videos.)
  4. Hard to be an Aorit-Q (My Qanon and last scenario for Troika!)
  5. Metropolis of Chaos (The abyss under Underport, a lot of ideas on this.)
  6. A weekly 2-hour online game (Hmmm, I am leaning toward LotFP. Our regular group runs every other month and I only Ref as part of a rotation. I get some satisfaction refing an ongoing campaign solo.)
So the bottom line breakdown is really this --- Exchange fucking social media hours for productive hours. Seems an easy task though will take patience and fortitude.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Live D&D again!

Clockwise from left: Linksman, Shade Structure, Dr. John PhD, Matrox, J.A.S., Sick Rick, and Blue Gorilla.

Finally most of the crew, young & old, got together for the first time in more than a year on the new Juneteenth holiday for a day of music, BBQ, and gaming. J.A.S. had set up for a hybrid system for in-person/remote, but everyone who wanted in on the game showed up. Cheers!

The party missed an number of pre-pandemic hands which hopefully we'll start to see joining back in over the next few sessions.