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

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!

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

New Arduin Ref Screen


Now that Arduin is my "go-to" convention game, I put together a referee screen with more general Arduin player-facing art. Different than my previous screen which was more tied to the "Green Hell" jungle scenario I ran at the time.

The re-facing tables are all the same, although I have been assembling a rules cheat-book to capture many of Dave's particular rules that made Arduin a different flavor than regular OD&D (ha, some of Dave's variances were later somewhat adopted in other versions of D&D).

I had several pieces of art with different styles, the centerpiece being the art by Frank Kelly Freas from the cover of Complete Arduin. I created a unified motif by running each piece through the A.I. art generator "Deep Dream Generator" which created from the originals similar art in a new style that was the same for each piece.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Aftermath of Pig-Faced Ork Con Arduin Game


The "Pig Faced Ork Old School Role Playing Game Convention" rolled into Fresno, CA and was a smashing success! 

Tom Wendt who runs the damn thing pours his heart and soul in - No reg fee, free giveaway contests and raffles, candy, waters, game judge badges, PIZZA, plus Tom does all the decorative art himself (not to mention advertising fliers) and secures the venue room at the Fresno County Woodward Park Regional Library.

I figure about 9 games were running including AD&D, Arduin (which I GMed), Holmes Basic D&D, Star Frontiers, Traveller, Weird Frontiers and more. Probably 50 gamers in attendance which is pretty good for a one-room con.

Emperors Choice Games and Miniatures asked if I would run an Arduin game there which worked out perfectly 'cause my partner Heidramor happened to be attending to a friend's baby shower in the area that day. I had run an Arduin game at DunDraCon last February. Each session is getting me better and better versed in the technical adjustments Dave Hargrave included for his game.

The end result is that now I have an Arduin-specific game bag set aside to run Arduin adventures.

I'll be back...

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Progressively Fated Back to Live


(Sasch, Dr. John PhD, J.A.S.)

Huzzah! Our gaming group (ha, well some of us anyway) met for an in-person game only the fourth time since Covid restrictions first manifested in March of 2020. We had BBQ, jam, game - the works, almost like The Beforetimes(!).

We generally run our "New-Old" OSR game every-other month (plus we has a special going-away game with Anton last November), so that's 4 out of 16 - not to bad.

The turnout was a bit low. Two players were online and another home sick with Covid. We have a couple gamers who weren't attracted to our online deal and we have yet to entice them back to the ways of the flesh.

It was good to actually roll them bones though. During the lockdown I got all new Gamescience non-borked dice. Don't look today though, all the good shit is out of stock. Except the "Pound of Dice" for sixty bucks. Hmmm what is up with that then? Of course I have all these precision dice, and I roll on the table with all these decorative divots in the glass.

Humans - not perfect - and I like it that way. 😊 

Friday, July 22, 2022

Honor Among Thieves

Trailer released for the New D&D movie "Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves"

I spy...

Black Dragon
Led Zeppelin "Whole Lotta Love"
Giant Spider
Owl Bear
Gold Dragon
Displacer Beast
Gelatinous Cube

Party: Barbarian, Bard, Mage, Fighter, and Druid.

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...