Dave Hargrave’s Arduin series has a place in the early history of fantasy role- playing games; not the least for being so transparent in its. Remuz Role-playing game archive. Powered by h5ai v Arduin Dungeon 1 – , , KB. file, Arduin Dungeon 2 – The. Arduin is a fictional universe and fantasy role-playing system created in the mid s by David A. Hargrave. It was perhaps the first “cross-genre” fantasy RPG.

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Sign up for my slightly irregular newsletter, get updates, free stuff, new books and anything else cool that I can think of! From the top I want to make clear that I absolutely love the Arduin series. As one of the original cabal of west-coast gamers in the late 60s and early 70s, he and his compatriots, including such titans as Greg Stafford, Jeff Pimper, Steve Perrin, Clint Bigglestone, Tadishi Ehara and many others, brought their own ideas and sensibilities to the industry, injecting it with energy and imagination that drove it ahead for decades.

Arduin | RPG | RPGGeek

Their contributions continue to be seen in the still-published Runequest and that classic of classics, Call of Cthulhu, a game that is still going strong decades after its original release. This was about the time that my original group was splitting at the seams after a new group of younger players had joined, bringing a more power-gamer oriented style of play and sending me and my immediate companions off into our own separate group the one where we could cast unlimited Sleep spells and automatically retired at fifth level.

I stayed in touch with members of the old group however. I was later to learn that Hargrave had presented this eccentric collection of supplemental materials to Chaosium as a self-contained gaming system, but that it had been rejected, triggering a feud between Hargrave and Greg Stafford that was to last for years.

After this rejection, Hargrave struck out on his own, publishing the supplements himself, and the rest his history. I similarly borrowed the Arduin books and copied parts of them as well — since they were written in more or less stream of consciousness style, broken up into individual sections and horrifically organized see belowit was easy to copy only those portions of the books that interested me, such as the pages that had naked women on them.

However, I was able to score copies of the original booklets in cut-out bins at local gaming stores over the years, so later editions of the original Arduin trilogy are now in my possession. So what of the book itself? Well, like the other volumes in the original trilogy, The Arduin Grimoire is a heady glimpse inside the mind of its creator.

Dave Hargrave was apparently an outstanding game master, and had a real talent for running games on the fly, throwing in everything but the kitchen sink and coming up with elaborate rule systems essentially off the top of his head.

He would spew out the amazing ideas, the elaborate tables, imaginative monsters, new spells and artifacts, then his editor would whip the resulting chaotic jumble into something resembling a coherent final book.

In all honesty, none of the Aarduin show signs that anyone other than Dave Hargrave worked on them. And before we get into the meat arduni the work, we need to be honest with ourselves.

Any suggestion that they were anything besides this is silly. I am deeply indebted to many people, areuin whom many of the ideas on these pages would have died stillborn. It has been a long, long year of trial and trouble, but made easier by friends both old and new. This supplement is dedicated to them certainly and with heartfelt gratitude, but it is also to those characters that lived, loved, and died in pursuit of loot and glory that my true dedication goes. Without all of you I could never have dreamed my dreams of glory, nor beheld the beauty of the Misty Mountains of Arduin.


Did they print character sheets on toilet paper or something? Yes, folks… giant nuclear-armed cybertanks could be player characters on Arduin.

Hell, not even Gandalf could have pulled that shit off. Holy crap, we are in rpf one major roller coaster ride here, kids. Seriously… Anyone know this woman? Got an email address or something?

Arduin, Bloody Arduin – Thinking About How It Could Be Done | Sarah Newton

Hargrave immediately gives us a taste of the take-no-prisoners trench warfare that was arduih publication in the 70s when he notes: And those non-amateur game designers took on all the trappings of those things that have profit as their main motivational force: On the other hand, roleplaying games presented a fairly new phenomenon in the world of copyright, in that they presented the basic rules, epg others produced work that derived from rog rules and could be used with them, but at the same time did not actually COPY anything.

The first thing I noticed, after the crudely-typed word-processor text, was that all of the books are horrifically organized, written almost stream-of-consciousness, with each topic given one or two pages before Hargrave barreled on to the next.

The subjects are broadly grouped together, but within these sections, topics are presented willy-nilly with no regard for order.

Almost nothing is in alphabetical order. While this paragraph does indeed describe movement distances, overland travel procedures, etc. Next comes experience tables for Arduin character classes such as Thief, Slaver, Techno, Courtesan, Assassin and so on as noted, not in alphabetical orderwith XP totals for levels one all the way up to th level and beyond.

Most races are like this — they are seriously limited in most classes, forbidden from a few, and able to advance to unlimited levels in one or two.

The distribution of these limitations seems, well, pretty random. Half-elves, for example, can be 10th level clerics, but only 6th level wizards, 12th level thieves but only 8th level warriors. Centaurs can be 4th level clerics, 12th level warriors and 3rd level psychics. No wonder humans run the show. Next come ability limitations by race and gender. This has always been something of a sore point in roleplaying, since females invariably are given lower Strength and Constitution scores than males, but usually higher Intelligence and Charisma.

Just roll your stats and let the chips fall where they may — if you have a female with an 18 Strength, then have fun with her. The chances that the character will be cruel? As loony as all this sounds, it really is a breath of fresh air compared to the stodgy, pretentious stuff that was coming out of TSR at that time. Each group of classes has its own percentile table, with a list of abilities ranging from the mundane to the bizarre.

Notably absent are the Courtesan, Slaver, Alchemist and Saint, even though they were discreetly listed on the earlier XP afduin.

Attack the nearest figure? Attack trees and rocks? And so it goes — Rune Weavers are spellcasters, but it takes them one round per spell level to cast, and they get more spell points than regular casters. The entries are all organized differently, as if surprise! Hargrave developed them all separately, then pasted them together for the book. Some have a single mass of text with the rules all run together, others such as the Witch Hunter are organized with headers and specific rules, each given its own lettered paragraph.

The characters really are all over the map, with rules ranging from ironclad specifics to vague guidelines. fpg

Clearly these rules worked for him and his fellows, and given that he brags about over PC deaths, his players kept coming back. Fun as it is, the confused jumble of half-rules, guidelines and polite suggestions that passes for character class entries is followed by the Multiversal Trading Company Price List.

Hargrave discusses in considerable detail how long it takes to memorize spells one hour per spell divided by the number of spells that the mage may memorize at his or her current level. In his example, a fifth-level mage takes three hours to memorize one third, two second level and one third level spell. Honestly, who ever really did that? I can imagine the real effects now:. The party has awakened, unspiked the door, eaten a hasty breakfast and is preparing to set forth once more.


I want to investigate that temple complex we found yesterday! I think there might be lizard men!

Hargrave then goes over some familiar rules. At fifth level they can use magical swords and a tenth level they can use all magic weapons there is an uncomfirmed report that Gary Gygax experienced a minor stroke when he read that rule.

Then we get into one of the more bizarre rules that Arduin presents. If you save once, you save every time that caster throws that particular spell at you. Simply put, it is a percent for mages or whomever, to grab the wrong end of a wand or to read off the wrong spell on his scroll in his haste to slay the onrushing ardjin uglys sic that are going to eat him.

If it is 9 to 12, divide by three, and if it is 13 or greater divide by two. And the fun continues when we actually start casting spells. Most first level spells, we ardun told, cost one to one and a half manna points. One and a half? Who knows, it may end up such a rog system that people will want you to publish your supplement!

And so once more we have the general outline of a decent magic system, but lacking any specifics or exceptions. How do mages get spells to memorize in the first place?

Spells can be cast at fractional power with similarly fractional mana expenditure — do you round up or down? I keep coming back to how rigid TSR was growing at this point, and how imaginative and unfettered the rest of the growing gaming industry had become. The entire situation seems today like a huge disconnect between TSR and their customers, as Gygax savagely condemned the very people he should have been encouraging.

This zrduin gives some other goofy results, like a dancing vorpal crossbow or a battleaxe of elemental conjuring. If so, how much damage is inflicted and does the wand get a save? Anyone inside it goes insane? Anyone who tries to cast through it? Now we finally get to spells and even though there are only a few pages of them, they are indeed impressive.

I can only go over a few of the more choice spells. A wonderfully scented gentle wind blows melodious music within the spell area, which immediately charms all up to 6th level into sitting and listening raptly.

And it evidently continues for as long as the caster cares to maintain it! Real Old Testament Wrath-o-God shit here, kids. Rune weavers then get some of their own spells, webs that they weave with magic.

Consider the consequences, my friends. An illusionist casts the image of a bridge across the deep chasm and presto!

Arduin, Bloody Arduin – Thinking About How It Could Be Done

They will cure disease, insanity and amnesia. They are so rare that only 21 drops have been seen in the last 1, years! Now I admit that I skipped most of the next section, packed with combat charts, guidelines for melee and missile combat and other stuff that I never really cared for in the first place.

She models for Red-Draken, http: Check out this earlier entry: While he was a genuine character and the guy we should regularly raise our glasses to arduln the father of modern rpgs, he was as you say not without his flaws. The awesome Arduin campaign map.

It makes it all seem almost real. Facebook Email Print Twitter Google.