Thursday, May 12, 2022

[Now Available] Centaur Race

Centaur Race
Designed for Labyrinth Lord
By James Mishler and Jodi Moran-Mishler


This booklet contains all the information you need to create a centaur player character for Labyrinth Lord or Advanced Labyrinth Lord (and is easily adaptable to other OSR systems). Details include both a centaur race and a centaur racial class, as well as information on creating centaur bands and camps.
 
12 pages (6 pages of material), $1 – CHEAP!

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

[Now Available] The Incompleat Olden Lands

By James Mishler with Jodi Moran-Mishler
 

Nine years late and more than a few details short, here finally is the Incompleat Olden Lands, the gazetteer of my first new world.
 
Boy howdy, did I learn a few things NOT to do with building worlds with this one. Lessons that were still not learned for a time; took a while for the lesson to take, so to speak. Biggest lesson – start small, not big! Too much, too many details, too many things to juggle in the design and development eventually bogs you down and burns you out.
 
I got a good bit along with this one. Maybe three-fifths of the way, perhaps somewhat more, from a glance. Some sections are mostly done; other sections are skeletal, and some are in-between.
 
THIS PRODUCT IS INCOMPLETE AND DOES NOT DETAIL THE ENTIRETY OF THE OLDEN LANDS!
 
The Incompleat Olden Lands includes the following sections, some more complete than others:
 
Humans of the Olden Lands (Complete)
Demi-Humans of the Olden Lands (Complete)
Humanoids of the Olden Lands (Complete)
Languages of the Olden Lands (Complete)
Political Divisions of the Olden Lands (Various levels of completion)
Geography of the Olden Lands (Various levels of completion)
Complete Monster List by Area (Complete)
Complete Resource List by Type (Complete)
Coinage by Realm (Complete)
Titles and Order of Precedence (Very Incomplete)
Gods of the Olden Lands (Incomplete List Only)
 
I must emphasize, THE CAMPAIGN INFORMATION INCLUDED HEREIN IS INCOMPLETE. YOU WILL NEED TO FILL IN MANY DETAILS TO MAKE COMPLETE USE OF THIS CAMPAIGN.
 
 
114 pages (108 containing material), $5.00

Saturday, April 9, 2022

[NOW AVAILABLE] Limited-edition, limited-run copies of James Mishler Games Books

Gary Con XIV has come and gone, and it took me most of two weeks to recover from four days. Whew, what a show!

While it was a busy show, I still have copies of the five special print products I printed for Gary Con. 

These are now for sale, US sales and shipping only.

Each book is priced as listed below. A full set -- one of each book, five books total -- costs $70, including shipping. Shipping is in a medium-sized flat rate box via USPS Priority Mail (tracked and insured for $50).

Books will be shipped bagged and boarded, and with bubble wrap and/or packing peanuts in the box.

If you are only ordering one or two, they can fit in a USPS Priority Mail flat rate envelope; shipping then costs an additional $5 above the total for the one or two books.

The five special, limited-edition, limited-run print products are as follows:

Barbarian, Demi-God, Dragonborn includes the PDFs of the Barbarian Class, the Demi-God Race, and Dragonborn. $10.

Ghosts – The Incorporeal Undead includes the entire manuscript from the PDF. $20.

Hercynian Grimoire #1 (Vol. 1, No. 1) includes the entire manuscript from the PDF. $15.

Myrkridder, Ogres, & Vampires includes the PDFs of Myrkridder – The Demonic Dead, Ogres of the Olden Lands, and Vampires of the Olden Lands. $15.

Quick Start Race & Class Guide includes the entire manuscript from the PDF. $10.

Other than a full-cover cover, these are all in black & white, with no new art or other fancy bits.

There were ever only 41 of each of these printed. The first prints, to test the print, are my personal copies; the first of the 40-print run went to my wife, Jodi, as has always been the case with all my print products; and the second went to Dan Proctor of Goblinoid Games. 

These will NEVER AGAIN be reprinted in this format; in fact, except maybe for Ghosts, they are likely to never be reprinted in ANY format, though I cannot promise that.

Contact me at jamesmishler@gmail.com to order.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

[James Mishler Games] James Mishler Games 40% Off Sale!

James Mishler Games is having a 40% Off Sale!

To celebrate the return of in-person gaming at Gary Con, James Mishler Games is having a 40% Off Sale on all PDFs!

Yes, you read that right – 40% off! That is to celebrate that 2022 is my 40th year of playing role-playing games!

You know I don't go in for sales at all anymore, so you won’t see a sale like this on James Mishler Games products… probably ever. OK, maybe I’ll do a 50% off sale in 2032. So, if you can wait that long

But if you can’t wait, buy now!

The sale ends on Monday, March 28th.

Speaking of which, if you make it to the convention, stop on by Booth #104 to check out our convention exclusives! We also have products from Goblinoid Games, Arcane Library, and Geoffrey McKinney, as well as some surprises!

Thursday, March 10, 2022

[Gary Con XIV] Hope to see you at the Convention!

Hoping not to put a Hex on the whole thing…

But every time I have announced I was going to Gary Con in the past, something has intervened. I’ve had to miss more Gary Cons than I’ve had a chance to attend…

But here goes…

If everything goes as planned, I will have a booth at Gary Con XIV, March 24-27, at the Grand Geneva in Lake Geneva, WI. Booth #118.

Originally it was to be me and Dan Proctor of Goblinoid Games, backed up by our Significant Others… but that was two years ago. For various reasons, it will be just me at the booth, however, I will have both my product and Dan’s Goblinoid Games products and… a few surprises.

This is where I will finally (hopefully) be able to sell the five special, limited-edition, limited-run print products I had printed two years ago for Gary Con XII. They are as follows:

Barbarian, Demi-God, Dragonborn includes the PDFs of the Barbarian Class, the Demi-God Race, and Dragonborn.

Ghosts – The Incorporeal Undead includes the entire manuscript from the PDF.

Hercynian Grimoire #1 (Vol. 1, No. 1) includes the entire manuscript from the PDF.

Myrkridder, Ogres, & Vampires includes the PDFs of Myrkridder – The Demonic Dead, Ogres of the Olden Lands, and Vampires of the Olden Lands.

Quick Start Race & Class Guide includes the entire manuscript from the PDF.

Other than a full-cover cover, these are all in black & white, with no new art or other fancy bits.

There were ever only 41 of each of these printed. The first prints, to test the print, are my personal copies; the first of the 40-print run went to my wife, Jodi, as has always been the case with all my print products; and the second went to Dan. 

So there remain 38 copies of each to be sold.

These will NEVER AGAIN be reprinted in this format; in fact, except maybe for Ghosts, they are likely to never be reprinted in ANY format, though I cannot promise that.

The prices will start out at their lowest on Thursday, and slowly increase each day until they are their most expensive on Sunday. Counter to normal methods, but there is madness in my method.

The five will be offered together as a set with a discount (as long as supplies last).

If any remain after the show, I will sell them here.

As I am the only monkey at the booth at this show, my time during exhibit hours is taken up. Stop on by to chat even if you are not interested in buying something. And even if you are not interested in chatting, as I mentioned, there will be some surprises, so you never know what you might find!

After exhibit hall hours, I hope to run or play in some pick-up games (if I have the energy). I hope to run some Labyrinth Lord and Mutant Future, and might bring along some other games, as well.

Hope to make it there this year, and if so, hope to see you there!

Sunday, February 27, 2022

[Dwarf-Land] A New Campaign set in Dwarf-Land

Some years back, Scott Driver of the long lost and lamented blog, Huge Ruined Pile, created the campaign setting of Dwarf-Land for an OD&D campaign. Scott even had the amazing artist Russ Nicholson make a beautiful map of Dwarf-Land for him, which he shared with the world at large.

At some point he mentioned that he had originally drawn the map on a sheet of Judges Guild hex paper. I inquired if an electronic copy of the map was available, and Scott actually sent me his original hand-drawn map! He mailed it to me five years ago this month. He told me I could do whatever I wanted with it, as long as I did not charge for anything developed therefrom. 

Sadly, I did not realize that this was indicative of his once again disappearing from the Internet, which he did shortly thereafter. He is definitely missed.

Other things intervened, life went on, and the map remained ensconced in its envelope, wedged among my Old School books on my gaming shelves.

A short time ago, I recalled the map, and that I had scanned it some years ago. Having completed the Isle of Eldisor, I soon began itching to draw another map in Hexographer. I went through my Campaign Files, and discovered a file named "Dwarfland." Therein I found the scan I had made of the map five years ago.

Here is the Dwarf-Land map that I created from the original scan. I cannot extend further rights, as my agreement did not include that, but use it and the campaign material below for your own campaigns howsoever you might desire. 

The campaign material is developed from a file I found with the map in the folder; I hope it was all materials from Scott; I know others contributed to the work before it all disappeared from the Internet. I took it and ran with it, changed it and altered it to fit the needs of an upcoming Labyrinth Lord campaign.

Enjoy!

Dwarf-Land Map
Click to Embiggen

DWARF-LAND

On a crag in the shadow of the Eldritch Alps lies enchanted Castle Blitzendrang, the glimmering fortress of King Flim IV, King of All Dwarrowkin, High-King of Dwarf-Land. The castle and its surrounding cottages, fields, furrows, and groves are the haunts of the Dwarrowkin – Dwarves and Gnomes – who see to their business and industry in shadowed fairy-taverns and misty lamplit streets untrod by Men, braving the perilous environs of the surrounding valleys and highlands seeking to reclaim ancient delvings, mines of gold and jewels, and the lost Donnerhammer of the Old Kings.

Dwarf-Land is the homeland, as one might surmise, of the namesake Dwarves and their close cousins the Gnomes, collectively known as the Dwarrowkin, those unearthly folk perhaps closest to Men in earthly sensibilities. There are enclaves of wilder, more distant kin in the region. Alfkin – Elves and Halflings – lurk in a few fairy-fortresses in the northwest, the border-lords of Elf-Land. Faeries of goodly and unkind sort haunt glittering vales and dark meadows. Goblins have raided and settled from Goblin-Land to the west, and Orcs have invaded and settled from Orc-Land to the north. And of course, any played-out mine, ruined settlement, or abandoned stronghold quickly becomes the province of malign Kobolds, Gnolls, Ogres, Trolls, Dragons, or even Giants!

Here is what every inhabitant of Dwarf-Land knows about the peoples and places of the realm, even if they are the rudest of rubes or hickest of hayseeds:

1. The Dwarrowkin rule Dwarf-Land, as the name implies, though their numbers have greatly decreased since even before the coming of Men. Many of their delvings have been abandoned or reduced to ruins, and now most of the Dwarves have retreated to Dwarf-Town or the northern hold of Plugh. Their cousins, the Gnomes, are not much better off; the largest contingent of Gnomes is now found in Gnome Knolls. Dwarves and Gnomes are also found in the settlements of the Valefolk, especially in Cormorant and the towns of the Gnildavales. The High-King of Dwarf-Land is King Flim IV, King of All Dwarrowkin, wearer of the Adamantine Crown. The High-King’s wife is the Elf-Queen Auturne, who he married after the death of his first wife many years ago. The High-King has two heirs, Crown Prince Flam, his son from his first marriage, and Gnome-Prince Xerxy, his son by Auturne. Xerxy is styled “the Black Prince” a name that many say reflects his machinations, desires, and soul.

2. The Alfkin dwell mostly in Elf-Land, to the northwest. The rulers, leaders, and artisans are Alfar-Elves – willowy and attractive in an eldritch sort of way. They can be foppish and pleasure seeking, though often truculent and savage when roused to anger. Another type of Elf, the Petty Elf (i.e., Halflings) constitute the merchants, yeomanry, and peasantry of Elf-Land and are generally sensible, fond of pipeweed, fine ales, gardening, and baking. The only major settlements of the Alfkin in Dwarf-Land are Elf-Town and the towers of Drasmeth and Hexid in the Joyful Forest. Wandering bands of Elves can be found in the forests of Dwarf-Land, while many Halflings have settled among the Valefolk. The Alf-Earl Gandalf rules the Joyful Forest; he holds it in fief from the High-King of Elf-Land, Elbegast, King of All Alfkin, and pays tribute to the High-King of Dwarf-Land, King Flim IV.

3. Men are generally of three types – the savage Pechs, the honorable Valefolk, and the decadent and depraved Zorgs.

The Elder Race of Men remains bestial and live among the animals and monsters of forest and marsh. The Pechs as they are known to the Dwarrowkin, or Picts as they are called by Men, are a brutish, savage people who are mostly found in the Ever-Glooms, the Hoobmuck, and the Woods of the Great God Pan, though they can be found in just about any wild wasteland. The atavistic Picts live in tribes and clans, settled in small mud-hut villages and hamlets surrounded by wooden palisades, and guarded by their pet animals and monsters. They work only with wood, bone, and stone, but sometimes use looted weapons and armor. They are short and squat; have slate-gray to bark-brown skin; black hair; and brown eyes under thick brows. Their tongue is as the screeching and cackling of beasts. They cover themselves in paint when hunting, at war, or seeking revenge. They are led by an order of wicked Druids who summon their monstrous allies to feast upon living sacrifices for their bestial gods – Jhebbal-Sag the Lord of Beasts and his servants, Dagon of the Waters, Hanuman the Ape, Tsathoggua the Toad, Yezud the Spider, Yhoundeh the Elk-Goddess, and Yog the Bat, among others. They are head-hunters, and their faith requires cannibalism.

The Middle Race of Men, the Sons of Lif and Daughters of Lifthrasir, more simply known as the Valefolk, originated in and mostly dwell in the Kudzu Forest and the towns and villages of the Gnildavales. Allies and subjects of the Dwarves, they are held in respect as they honor the Old Ways, and produce a disproportionate number of virtuous rustics, shining knights, kindly wizards, and grinning rogues. They are of average height and build; have pale to ruddy skin; brown, blonde, or auburn hair; and blue or green eyes. Each town of Valefolk sort has its own primary pantheon of Gods – Mitra of Cormorant, the Aesir of Darkdurdle, the Ennead of Sawbleed, the Olympians of Orlock, and the Tuatha of Rursliv. Cormorant is their largest and most cosmopolitan town; Cormorant is, in fact, the largest and most cosmopolitan town of all of Dwarf-Land. Many of the Woodsfolk of Kudzu (taller and more muscular, with dark brown hair and ruddy red skin) are of Druidical sort, of a kindlier branch of that faith, though they have their darker gods as well, such as the warrior-god, Crom of the Mountain. A tribe of Woodsfolk has settled in the Drudwas Wood, centered on the Tower of Gludif.

The Younger Race of Men are the Men of Zorg. They are a newer arrival, first arriving from Across the Dreadful Deeps some centuries ago. A decadent and depraved people, their strongholds dot the wilder places of the land, especially in the south. The Zorgs are notorious demon-worshippers, necromancers, and black magicians. Their bloodlines are tainted by otherworldly dalliances with abyssal patrons and the dead; centuries of such congress have produced a race of languid sybarites capable of any abomination or outrage, from ritual cannibalism to obscenities further beyond the pale. They are tall and thin; have pale, almost albino skin; hair in bright colors (blue, green, purple, red, yellow, etc.); and their eyes are orange, pink, or red. However, some say that this appearance is merely a fiendish glamour for many, especially nobles and sorcerers, and their true appearance is far more demonic. They are tattooed and/or ritually scarred and wear many piercings. In battle, the Zorgs are formidable; their sorcerers are fearsome. Their knights ride black chargers and wear black lacquered armor; their necromancers are accompanied by ranks of undead. Their major settlements include Malifer, Isp, Glumen, Nilmerg, Pletra, Threen, Undrac, and Ulv, and their environs; they are found in minorities in Flonkerton and Cormorant; and are also found in smaller numbers in the Gnildavales.

A fourth Mannish “race” is that of the Amazons, the She-Devils of the Smaragdines. Founded centuries ago, by a strange alliance of Valefolk and Zorgish women who sought to live apart from men, i.e., the males of their type, for they had had enough of the rule of patriarchs. Founded by the Deified Warrior-Priestess Termagant, the Amazons numbers quickly grew as word of the freedoms they offered members of their sisterhood spread. A great battle was fought – the Battle of Shackles & Keys – the only time Valefolk ever allied with the Zorgs, much to their shame. The Amazons prevailed and won their freedom. Today they live in small villages and hamlets in the Smaragdine Mountains, Harridan Hills, and Glistening Glades, though they can be found settled elsewhere in the wilds. They worship a trinity of goddesses – Termagant, their Warrior-Queen (at Termagant); Hecate, the Witch-Queen (at the Fearful Fane); and Freya, the Matriarch-Queen (at the Peerless Pagoda). Amazons are often found in the wider world, as they form mercenary companies and help men and others fight their wars – provided they never have to fight other Amazons and get to kill plenty of men. It is while they are out “on patrol” with their company that they seek prospective mates. They return home to bear their children; girl children are kept, while male children are given over to others or sometimes exposed to the elements. Amazons are tall and athletic; have tan or bronzed skin; blonde, red, or brunette hair; and green, blue, or purple eyes. Contrary to popular myths Amazons do not eschew heavy armor, though most are light warriors (leather or chain); and some play the part of the myths and legends when they have strong magical protections.

4. The Orcs of Orc-Land to the north are said to be descended from corrupted Elves; they are as foul in their own way as the Elves are fair, and their tongue, though vile upon the ear, is certainly related to Elvish. They are divided into many different Orc Tribes – the Black Hands, White Skulls, Burning Eyes, Red Claws, Blue Blades, etc., and the different tribes hate each other as much as they hate all other peoples (though they save their worst hatred for Elves). Most leaders of the tribes in the region are Half-Orcs, or Uruks, descended in a long line from old alliances with the early Zorg settlers. They worship strange and terrible demons. Three major Orc domains are found in the region – the Black Hand Boar-Rider Orcs of Nacht-Mog, who ride giant boars and rule the Plain of Beastly Bones; the White Skull Sea-Orcs of Tarka, whose black-sailed pirates raid the Zorg traders and coasts; and the Burning Eye High-Orcs of Xyzzy, steeped in the ancient sorcerous power native to the Cabal Mountains. Many other lesser tribes, clans, and bands can be found throughout Dwarf-Land.

5. The Goblins of Goblin-Land to the west are said to be descended from corrupted Dwarves; they take the form of scrawny Dwarves with disproportionate and bestial features; strange and unnatural skin, hair, and eye colors; and can never, ever grow a true beard. They are found in three sizes – small Goblins, man-sized Hobgoblins (of Orcish blood), and large Bugbears (descended from less discriminatory couplings with larger beasts). They are divided into many different Goblin Hordes, each ruled by a Goblin-King. They hate all other peoples but reserve their greatest hatred for Dwarrowkin. Most leaders of the tribes in the region are Goblin-Men, descended in a long line from old alliances with Pechs. They worship wicked spirits, and it is said that some follow Jhebbal-Sag. Goblins infest the western wilds of Dwarf-Land – they practically rule the Smaragdine Mountains (save for the lands held by the Amazons), the Peaks of Peril, Phalkwood, and all points west. Their major settlements are Blix, hold of the Catoblepas Horde under the rule of Goblin-King Vipertongue; Gorlab, hold of the Axebeak Horde under the rule of Goblin-King Toadsquat; Castle Deathcap, hold of the Hag-Son Horde under the rule of Goblin-Queen One-Eye Olga; and the Free Village of Flonkerton on Limpet Lake, where they live in relative peace with a wide mix of races. Many other lesser hordes, clans, and bands can be found throughout Dwarf-Land.

Monday, January 24, 2022

[Now Available] Isle of Eldisor Hexcrawl Campaign Cyclopedia & Gazetteer

By James Mishler & Jodi Moran-Mishler
Designed for use with Labyrinth Lord
 
The Isle of Eldisor Hexcrawl Campaign Cyclopedia & Gazetteer is a 76-page campaign guide describing the Southlands of the Isle of Eldisor.
 

Jordvann was once a land dedicated to Law and Good, until the rise of Eldisor, the Devil’s-Son, who together with his hordes of giants, dragons, trolls, ogres, orcs, and goblins conquered the land, reduced the people to slavery, and brought down Fimbul Winter, which caused empires to fall world-wide. Eldisor ruled for 400 years, until he was slain or brought low during a rebellion of his captains, the Old Evils. Fimbul Winter ended, and civilization rose again elsewhere, while the survivors on the Isle of Eldisor sought to stay alive between the warring Old Evils.
 
Now, descendants (or claimed descendants) of exiled Jordvanner have settled the southern verge of the southern portion of the island, building colonies and rebuilding civilization among the monstrous and savage peoples of the isle. Little is known of the Isle of Eldisor, and what little is known is merely myth, legend, and rumor. The adventurers can partake of the return to the Isle of Eldisor in many ways – find and recover the lost treasures of the ancient civilization; discover, ally, and trade with the savage descendants of the Jordvanner; battle the remaining hordes of evil giants, dragons, trolls, ogres, orcs, and goblins; or seek to re-establish the lost realm of Jordvann and protect the native peoples from the inroads of the colonial factors.
 
The setting is presented as a Hexcrawl sandbox, and includes the following details:
  • History of the Isle of Eldisor.
  • Details on the Colonial Powers.
  • Geographical information, including specific regional encounter options.
  • The Jordvanner (including the four descendant peoples – the wild Cavemen, the sorcerous Gray Folk, the monstrous Morlocks, and the savage Tribesmen, as well as their cousins, the barbaric Kruski berserkers and vikings).
  • 13 Gods, Demi-Gods, and Demons of the Isle of Eldisor and the Continent.
  • 36 Myths, Legends, and Rumors.
  • Complete Campaign Notes on making the Isle of Eldisor experience more immersive and unique.
  • Details on the Weather on the Isle of Eldisor, still recovering from Fimbul Winter.
  • A complete Hexcrawl Exploration Procedure to determine encounters and the discovery of minor ruins and settlements.
  • A gazetteer detailing 156 major settlements, strongholds, ruins, and lairs.
  • New monsters, including the Mammoth, Northern Titan, Giant Troll, and Multi-Headed Troll.
  • An Appendix N detailing literature inspirational to the campaign.
  • The map is 52 hexes east-west by 34 hexes north-south; each hex is 6 miles across, providing more than 50,000 square miles of adventure!
  • The map (also available as a separate file), is provided in the book, divided into eight sections for easy reading.

The Isle of Eldisor Hexcrawl Campaign can provide a Judge and their players with years of adventure!

Designed for use with Labyrinth Lord, easily adaptable to any Old-School RPG or even Fifth Edition!

76 Pages (70 pages of content), PDF format with PNG Map, $15.

Click here to buy the Isle of Eldisor!

The map is also available separately PWYW!

Saturday, January 8, 2022

[Throwback Someday Post] Original Blackmoor Maps

NOTE: This post is from my old game blog, the original Adventures in Gaming, which is closed. I've had enough requests to re-open this post that I've decided to just do a throwback post. It is copied here, more or less, like it was then. Originally posted in October 2009.

*****

There's a thread on the Original D&D Discussion boards about the Blackmoor map, specifically, where it came from originally. There are different reports on this, apparently based on different things said by Dave Arneson at various times. Some believe the map coastlines and rivers are based on Lake Superior, others say it is based on old maps of the Netherlands, and some believe it may be a combination of both. 

Dave himself wrote in First Fantasy Campaign that the maps were "...originally drawn from some old Dutch maps. Much of the rationale and scale was based on data found with the Dutch maps. Later, the game moved south and we then used the Outdoor Survival tm map for this phase of the campaign..." 

One point I believe has been missed and has greatly complicated matters is that the well-known map, the map that was published in the Judges Guild First Fantasy Campaign booklet, was not, in fact, the map originally used by Dave Arneson! This map was created by Bob Bledsaw for the product; that the work is Bob's is indisputable, as he was the cartographer on all the large scale maps (the 18 region maps for the Wilderlands), and this is definitely his cartography style. 

So that map, and all the maps made for Blackmoor thereafter, were in fact based on Bob Bledsaw's interpretation of Blackmoor... not Dave Arneson's original map, which presumably is what is found on page 12 of the First Fantasy Campaign. There, Dave writes: "In redrawing the first campaign map, I decided that it would be advantageous to make some minor changes along the south and west borders to link it with Judges Guild's "Known World" area..."


However, from the great differences that exist between the original map and the Bledsaw version, much more was changed; whether this was changed by Bob with Dave's blessing or they were changes by Dave that Bob made to the map when he drew it may now never be known. A few points from the "original" map in comparison to the Bledsaw and subsequent maps: 

WATERWAYS
The "inner sea" that would be later named "The Black Sea" in the TSR version was much smaller, and not (apparently) directly connected to the "Great Ocean" (which was later named "The North Sea" in the TSR version). The "Sinking Lands" thus were not at all yet sunk. There is no sign of the peninsula that is home in the Bledsaw version to the Egg of Coot, and in fact, it seems the Egg of Coot is much further to the north, though the "Firefrost Channel" already exists. The waterways of the southeast are much changed, with many of the lakes being moved south and west (likely to make room for the mountains, which were greatly expanded in this region), while the waterways in and around the southwestern swamps are most changed in the area that would be known as "Loch Gloomen."

SETTLEMENTS Most of the settlements are recognizable; a few that fail to appear in the Bledsaw version actually appear later in the TSR version... 
  1. Vestfold.
  2. Blackmoor.
  3. Bramwald.
  4. Might be Maus, could be Archlis, most likely is Jackport, as it is most directly through the "Elf Forest" across from Blackmoor, though Maus is actually mentioned in the FFC booklet...???
  5. Glendower.
  6. Sage's Tower/The Wizard Watch.
  7. Lake Gloomy.
  8. Unmarked on the Bledsaw map, this is named Hanford on the TSR map.
  9. ??? The northern point is unmarked on the Bledsaw map, though in the TSR map is named Kenville; in both maps the southern point is named Boggy Bottom.
  10. This is in all likelihood the Temple of the Frog, as the trail from Boggy Bottom heads to the Temple, though the islands in Loch Gloomen are changed so significantly on the Bledsaw map it is hard to be sure. 
  11. Not on the Bledsaw map, this is identified as Williamsfort on the TSR map 
  12. Again, not identified on the Bledsaw map, this is in all likelihood the location on the TSR map named Erak.
  13. With all the shifting around of the mountains in this region, I would guess that this location is the Regent of the Mines, though in the Bledsaw and subsequent maps it has been moved south and west.
  14. This might be Southport, identified as such on the TSR map, or perhaps it is the meeting point for the "Nomads of Ten," later known in the TSR version as Whitehorse. Note that in the original Blackmoor, then, these would be desert nomads, not plains nomads... but neither are likely choices, frankly, as there are no major roads in this area! Similarly, the settlement to the south and east along the road is nowhere to be seen.
Of course, with the Bledsaw maps being designed to match up with the Wilderlands maps, and the region there near the Valley of the Ancients being utter wilderness, the lack of these settlements and roads makes some sense... As for the "old Dutch map"... well, here's some food for thought... 

ORIGINAL ORIENTATION
FLIPPED AND INVERTED...

As usual, click to embiggen... and then look closely at the lakes in the western peninsula jutting north (modern North Holland) that is, in the flipped and inverted version, the "southern peninsula" jutting to the east... and if you take the waters of the North Sea outside the Zuider Zee ("Holad") and make them land, say desert in the west and the Great Kingdom in the east... it looks a bit familiar, no? 

HOW DID HE DO IT?
Of course, back in the day they didn't have even simple computer programs that could manipulate maps... all he had, likely, at best was a photocopier or mimeograph machine; at worst, he had an original copy of an old Dutch map of his own, likely from some old history book, which lacked printing on the back of the page (you'll find a lot of old history books with maps had these as fold-out insert sheets with no printing on the back of the map). 

So Dave either took a copy of a map or an original map and did one of two things: 1) He had a light table (easy enough to make with a piece of strong plastic and a light) and set the map on the table, then drew on the back; or 2) He took a thick black marker that would bleed through the back of the paper, drew along the coast lines on the front of the map, and then flipped the map over and using the bleed-through lines as a guide, drew the coastlines and rivers. 

I used the second method, with the thick black marker, to make the map above... Blackmoor at the center, desert to the south and west, Great Kingdom to the south and east, ocean to the east, Frisia to the north and east (and yes, that's exactly where Frisiae, or the RW Frisia, really is), and Duchy of Ten to the west. Egg of Coot... note interestingly that the Zuiderzee, the extension of the North Sea that went into Holland, was slowly reclaimed for land through the Zuiderzee Works, a decades-long project that made whole new land. Once upon a time, historically, it had been land... and sank... through the Middle Ages. Sinking Lands? hmmm... and later, the land of the Egg of Coot rose from the seas (right were, on a modern map of the Netherlands, you would find one of the major pieces of land reclaimed from the sea)? More than mere coincidence, I think... 

I also think that perhaps when he and Bob put together the new map for the First Fantasy Campaign, Bob went back to the original "Old Dutch Map," or something close to it, for inspiration to expand out the north... which had been truncated by Dave in his original map (maybe he only had the southern portion of the map available originally?) Maybe, during their conversation while Bob was trying to make this new map, one or the other suggested putting the Egg of Coot on "reclaimed" land... 

Finally, I should note that Blackmoor proper, east to west from Jackport to Hanford, is about 300 miles using the original Bledsaw map at 10-mile per hex scale... the region of North Holland, which is essentially the area used to "create" Blackmoor using the Old Dutch Map, was about 30 miles north to south, from Amsterdam to where, in the Old Dutch Map, the coastline was on the north... so all Dave had to do was multiply the RW scale by 10... 

Finally finally... one must wonder. "Duchy of Ten"... is it possible that the map Dave used numbered the maps on the bottom of the page? Numbered them as "plates," as many maps and illustrations were so called in those days? Perhaps, just perhaps, the "Duchy of Ten" was inspired by the fact that in that area of the map page, near what would have been the bottom of the page, were the words "Plate No. 10"...