Sunday 9 October 2022

Original Scenarios Resurrected VI: Clearwater Caverns (1979, Andrew Ravenscroft)

Welcome to the sixth entry in the series Original Scenarios Resurrected: D&D scenarios from the 70s and early 80s republished with the permission of the authors, usually together with extra contemporaneous material. Today we turn to Clearwater Caverns by Andrew Ravenscroft, illustrated by Quentin Manley. For all earlier installments see here.

Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with Andy Ravenscroft, in particular his previously featured scenario The Temple of Psaan. Today we jump back a year to September 1979, and Clearwater Caverns. Clearwater Caverns are a natural occuring cave occupied by a tribe of Troglodytes and a variety of nasty cave-dwelling critters. It is a short low-level standalone exploration adventure, and was just one of three adventures featured in Demonsblood #4, but while short it has quite a few interesting features worth pointing out.

The adventure is part of a recurring sub-zine, Andy Ravenscroft's "The Raven Croaks". In the downloadable pdf I've included the entire sub-zine, and since one of the illustrations in the 'zine depicts a monster not given a name or stats until Demonsblood #6, I've included that as well.

Monday 22 August 2022

Original Scenarios Resurrected V: P'teth Tower - the individual parts (1978/79, Brian K. Asbury)

Welcome to the fifth entry in the series Original Scenarios Resurrected, wherein D&D scenarios from the 70s and early 80s are republished with the permission of the authors, usually together with extra contemporaneous material. Today we return to P'teth Tower by Brian K. Asbury. For all entries in the series see here.

Today we're taking a second look at Brian K. Asbury's solitaire P'teth Tower. In the last post I presented the complete omnibus edition, but P'teth Tower was originally written in three parts, and any presentation of it would not be complete without a reproduction of it in its original form.

Of particular interest is the fact that Part I contains a very early use of ability checks. I've also included some parts of the subzine Aryxia with Part II which lends some context to the adventure.

Part I was originally published in  Trollcrusher 13 (Sept '78), part II in Trollcrusher 17 (June '79), and then there was also the unpublished Part III. I only own a copy of Trollcrusher 17 (that's my copy on the right), thanks go to Guy Fullerton for providing high quality scans of Part I, and to Brian not only for writing it, and allowing it to be shared, but also for hunting down his unpublished manuscript for Part III. 

Thursday 4 August 2022

Original Scenarios Resurrected IV: The Complete P'teth Tower (1978/79, Brian K. Asbury)

Welcome to the fourth entry in the series Original Scenarios Resurrected, wherein D&D scenarios from the 70s and early 80s are republished with the permission of the authors, usually together with extra contemporaneous material. Today we turn to P'teth Tower by Brian K. Asbury. For all entries in the series see here.

Today I am very proud to return to Brian Asbury (see The Complete Barbarian) and present his 1978/79 solitaire adventure P'teth Tower - finally published in its completed form after 43 years. I had great fun playing through it - my favourite bit being how it handles being chased through the dungeon pursued by a monster.

In contrast to the more usual "Choose Your Own Adventure" or "Fighting Fantasy" style, P'teth Tower is a free-range dungeoncrawl where you take a party through an old-school dungeon, mapping as you go, with choices attempting to be the many choices you could make as a player. In addition, since it was written in the late 70s, it's an authentic attempt to recreate a dungeoncrawl 1970s style - and you're experiencing it just as it was at the time without any special interpretation or divination required.

There is complex publication history to this scenario - in brief this previously unpublished version is much improved as well as having an extra level and maps - so you may wish to skip this and go straight to the adventure; if so, break out your dice and get rolling up some characters, grab some graph paper for mapping, and dive straight in...

Sunday 17 July 2022

Original Scenarios Resurrected III: The Temple of Psaan (1980, Andrew Ravenscroft)

Welcome to the third entry in the series Original Scenarios Resurrected, wherein D&D scenarios from the 70s and early 80s are republished with the permission of the authors, usually together with extra contemporaneous material. Today we look to The Temple of Psaan by Andrew Ravenscroft. For parts I and II see here and here.

Today we move on to The Temple of Psaan by Andy Ravenscroft, originally published January 1980 in The Beholder issue 11. Andy started out writing for Shire Talk, a small print run local D&D fanzine, but he soon moved onto more mainstream D&D fanzines, where his contributions were often illustrated by his friend Quentin Manley. Andy stopped writing for role playing games in the mid 80s, but more recently he is the author and publisher of Dark Streets, a science fiction noir set in near-future London. He is well known to regular readers of this blog for his contributions to the Complete History of Early D&D Scenarios, providing much of the info on scenarios in fanzines.

Andy published three D&D scenarios in this period, the second of which is the focus of today's post - Temple of Psaan. Originally titled The Temple of Psaan, it lost the "The" when it was published for reasons unknown. It is a short scenario inspired by the introductory chapters of L. Sprague de Camp's novel "The Fallible Fiend", a story about a demon servant whose literal mindedness causes him to fail one master after another.

Fanzine submissions were not usually returned to the author, so Andy no longer owns copies of the originals. In the case of Demonsblood, which was more akin to an APA, the articles were included exactly as typed. For The Beholder, however, Guy Duke retyped submissions. It is quite unusual, therefore, that Andy retains the original manuscript for The Temple of Psaan, which we present here for the first time, along with the published version of the adventure.

You will notice that the scan of the published scenario includes pencil marks where the original owner recorded hit points lost during combat. I've not removed these as they're a nice touch as they show that published adventure were played, not just read

It is immediately obvious that the printed scenario is far more developed than the handwritten original, and the most likely explanation for its surival is that the published version derives from a revised version Andy prepared for publication. In particular, many details in the original are explained in the published version.

As two simple examples, in the original there are 5 war-dogs in a room by the entrance - in the published version it details "Maldivius' guard dogs - he keeps 5 dogs in here to deter intruders. Attack without fear; no subdual." In the original for Andy's eyes only this was unnecessary detail, but it is needed for the published version to make it clear for others. Similarly in one room it simply states a Gnoll has for treasure 1GP, and for the published version this becomes "He is in possession of the princely sum of 1GP" which makes it clear that the treasure isn't just pathetic, it's intentionally humorously pathetic.

These details are what make the existence of the manuscript interesting - we can see here how a dungeon for personal use gets altered into one intended for publication and use by others. We cannot infer from the terse 1-line descriptions of early scenarios whether it was just a monster in a room to be killed, or if the DM was to improvise the detail, and how much information was in the DM's head who didn't see any need to write it down for themselves.

For my own scenarios I favour an extremely terse style where all the info is noted on the map in the blank spaces with lots of arrows. This is a style I developed in the mid 80s and it means I can not only see information at a glance, it's easy to ammend as you develop. There is never a formal key, and I hate to think what others would make of my (often rather illegible) scrawl!

Finally here's a short Bibliography of Andy's work.


July '79 - Demonsblood # 3: The Raven Croaks 1 (inc. falling damge rules)

Sept '79 - Demonsblood # 4: The Raven Croaks 2 (inc. Clearwater Caverns, a D&D scenario)

Nov '79 - Demonsblood # 5: The Raven Croaks 3 (inc. background skills)

Dec '79 - The Beholder #10: The Archer (a new character class) & a D&D crossword

Jan '80 - Demonsblood # 6: Reviews

Jan '80 - The Beholder #11: (The) Temple of Psaan

Mar '80 - Demonsblood # 7: The Raven Croaks 4 (inc. poisons & Cerberus Class scoutship for Traveller)

July '80 - The Beholder #16: The Devil's Quagmire - co-authored with Quentin Manley. A 14-page scenario

2014 - Dark Streets, a science fiction noir set in near-future London

Also contributed to Shire Talk, a local fanzine.

Thanks to Andy Ravenscroft for allowing me to publish this, and also to Guy Fullerton for his help.

Sunday 26 June 2022

Original Scenarios Resurrected II: The Complete Barbarian (1977-79, Brian K. Asbury)

Welcome to the second in the series Original Scenarios Resurrected, wherein D&D scenarios from the 70s are republished with the permission of the authors, usually together with extra contemporaneous material. Today we look to The Barbarian by Brian K. Asbury. For part I see here.

Brian K. Asbury was a prolific writer in the early days of the UK D&D scene. He wrote numerous articles for White Dwarf and other early fanzines and magazines. He devised the Xill (from the Fiend Folio) but is probably best known as the author of "The Asbury System" for awarding XP based upon succesfully using thief skills or casting spells etc (from White Dwarf #5-9) and  - the focus of today's post - the first Barbarian character class.

The Barbarian, which appeared in White Dwarf issue 4 December 1977, was written for OD&D. It was many years before the "official" AD&D Barbarian was published, and Brian's class was very popular (being reprinted in The Best of White Dwarf Articles Volume 1, and even translated into Italian as part  of "The Blue Book"). It is a very atmospheric class, with great abilities including Fearlessness (Fear instead makes them go beserk) and Sensing Danger, whereas the Unearthed Arcana version is rather bland.

But furthermore Brian's Barbarian also had something which the official AD&D version never had - it's own dedicated scenario.

Tuesday 21 June 2022

Original Scenarios Resurrected I: The Solo Dungeon (1977, Richard Bartle)

Welcome to a new series where out of print D&D scenarios from the 70s are resurrected (and often expanded with contemporary material by the original author). These Original Scenarios are resurrected as opposed to being reincarnated, since (as everyone knows) in D&D when you're reincarnated you have only a slim chance of coming back in the same form and are of a lower level - an OD&D adventure would be in danger of being reincarnated as a 5th edition adventure...

To start with, we present The Solo Dungeon by Richard Bartle from 1977, wherein you can get a truly authentic 1970s dungeon crawling experince. Richard wrote this adventure shortly before he co-created the world's first MUD - MUD1 - in 1978. Along with a scan of the adventure, we present a scan of the original manuscript along with the original introduction. 

Copies of this do come up on ebay from time to time, but not often, and they're not cheap. Last Saturday a copy sold for rather a tidy sum:

That's a health rate of return on your investment. I wonder how much the original '77 version would fetch?

Sunday 12 June 2022

1975.7: The Inner Temple of the Golden Skeleton (Ian Livingstone)

Today's dungeon was never published at the time, nor did it have a widespread audience, so that means it doesn't truly belong in my list - but it does deserve highlighting for it is pivotal in the history of D&D. Thanks go to Kelvin Green for drawing my attention to it! The Inner Temple of the Golden Skeleton is a dungeon from 1975 by Sir Ian Livingstone. At this point no dungeons had ever been published (only sample extracts) - so the blue colouring is just a co-incidence - and the map+key was only written for Ian's own usage (so don't read too much into the lack of detail or roughly drawn map). It's importance is that it was one of the very first dungeons developed outside of the USA, with very little opportunity for it to be influenced by American dungeons, and it has a distinctly different feel to its state-side contemparies, though much about it remains a mystery:

Friday 8 April 2022

Was D&D responsible for the explosion in popularity of RPGs in the 1970s?

When I was researching the scenarios timeline I soon noticed that the number of scenarios was growing rapidly year on year. Because I found out the publication month for almost all the scenarios, we can clearly see this by plotting a cumulative graph of scenarios by date:

Because of this raw data we can dig into some fundamental questions about D&D without relying upon perceived wisdom or looking through the distorted lens of expectations. Looking closer at the data I realised that the near universal perception that RPGS are popular because of D&D is infact the wrong way round - RPGs would have become popular without the publication of D&D - instead the place of D&D would have been taken by something else which had been seeded from Blackmoor.

Saturday 2 April 2022

Final Timeline of Early D&D Scenarios X: 1979 November-December

These last two dozen scenarios take us through to the end of '79 and the end of the run. So that's every scenario published in the 1970s - all two hundred of them (or rather, those that I've been able to uncover). The aim was to have a comprehensive reference list in chronological order so that I could investigate how they influenced each other, and to see how they developed - which is what this blog's going to focus on next.

The list is perhaps more defined by what it doesn't contain - anything that is clearly not D&D (such as Runequest), anything that is just a description of a setting (i.e. without actual gameable content). Other than that, the rule has been - if in doubt, include it. This has meant I've uncovered lots of items of interest and connections between them that I'd never have discovered with a narrower focus.

The published clause has been extended to include anything that was shared sufficiently that it became potentially influential. Thus I included the very first personal dungeons, and some unpublished tournament adventures which have survived - as both of these illustrate the history and development of scenarios very well.

It includes sample adventures, dungeon crawl boardgames, solitaire adventures, map-only products, key-only products, random dungeon creation tools. It contains adverts, cartoons, and colouring books. It includes famous modules published by major name publishers that have been revised and republished many times in many editions over the years, all the way down to school fanzines with a tiny circulation. It includes obscure scenarios that are unsung greats, and others that are best forgotten. I'm fairly confident when I proclaim that No-one owns an original copy of every published scenario in the list - though I'm pretty sure a couple of people come extremely close.

By Erol Otus, my favourite RPG artist, from The Howling Tower

Sunday 27 March 2022

A Complete Timeline of Early D&D Scenarios IX: 1979 September-October

We're rounding the final corner now with this penultimate set of scenarios. This is an unusual set as it's two-thirds fanzines and one-third Judges Guild with just one other entry - a tournament that was published many years later by TSR. There are no small press publications, but this is no doubt because the small press items are very difficult to date, and there are several '79 scenarios which I have no month for so they are listed at the end of the year. 

This is the ninth installment of my series listing all of the D&D scenarios published in the 1970s. I hope by collecting them all in order it will allow developments, trends and influences to be identified- at the end I will write posts covering these various aspects. 

Since two-thirds of this selection of scenarios come from fanzines, here's another piece of Paul Blackwell's amazing fanzine art to put us in the mood (his work really deserves to be collected together and republished), this time from Demonsblood #4:

Saturday 19 March 2022

A Complete Timeline of Early D&D Scenarios VIII: 1979 July-August

Since every year has double the number of scenarios compared to the previous year, progress through 1979 has slowed to a crawl. We've made it to the second half of '79 now, and two more posts after this should see us to the end. I say "we" as I could not have done it on my own - for this post I have to thank Andy Ravenscroft, Guy Fullerton, Jon Peterson, Allan Grohe, Bane McDeath, VivaVilez, and Ian (mbassoc2003) for providing photos/details of many of these scenarios, and also Andy Ravenscroft for his comments which provide a perspective on the 70's zine scene from one of its contributors.

This is the eight installment of my series covering all of the D&D scenarios published in the 1970s. The aim is to identify developments, trends and influences - at the end I will write posts covering these various aspects. 

So gird your loins and prepare for battle as we face two dozen more scenarios - including four of the most famous scenarios of all time, all released on the very same day...
(Paul Blackwell is the artist, from Trollcrusher #18)

Saturday 12 March 2022

A Complete Timeline of Early D&D Scenarios VII: 1979 May-June

Moving further into 1979, there are 13 scenarios for the months of May and June alone - about the same as were published in the whole of 1976! (The list may well increase - indeed since last post I've added an extra entry for 1978 Jan-June for The Tomb of Lord Advandey from The Grimoire #1 as I'd forgotten it was in issue 1 which was '78). Surprisingly, half of the entries are either Tournament, Competition, or Solitaire adventures.

A much higher standard of scenario is now the norm, and this selection contains a scenario which still consistently rates highly in "best modules of all time" lists, but also at the same time it contains one that set in motion a dangerous trend in scenario design.

One final word of warning to any prospective adventurers - before you attempt to take on any of these scenarios, make sure you're as well prepared as this party in Demonsblood #2, as illustrated by the ever-fantastic Paul Blackwell:

Friday 4 March 2022

A Complete Timeline of Early D&D Scenarios VI: 1979 Jan-April

We're in 1979 so it should be the final stretch now.. except that 40% of all scenarios published in the 70s were published in the last year!

The fact that there is now a "second generation" of more mature scenarios is nicely illustrated by Paul Blackwell's lighthearted dig at "old fashioned" scenarios of yesteryear which appeared in Trollcrusher #16 (in the middle of the scenario Quivia):
The revolution had not entirely swept away the old guard overnight, and one or two stragglers remain, as we shall see.

Saturday 26 February 2022

A Complete Timeline of Early D&D Scenarios V: 1978 July-Dec

In this (attempt at a) Complete Timeline of early D&D scenarios, we have now reached the second half of 1978, and with the continued explosion of popularity we have 30 entries for this later half of the year alone.

We've seen how the style has gradually developed over these few years, with Judges Guild, The Dungeoneer, and then British Fanzines taking it in turns to increase the sophistication and push up the standard - but there is about to be a major seismic shift in adventure design with the publication of a series of six modules by a company making a rather late entry into the competition.

If you've been following this series, you might be interested to know I've updated the earlier entries to include a few more scenarios I've uncovered so if you look back through the pictures you might spot one or two new and interesting items, in particular several Minneapolis entries in 1971-1975.

Name: Steading of the Hill Giant Chief
Date: 1978.7
Author: Gary Gygax
Publisher: TSR (G1)
Type:  Tournament (Origins IV)
Notes on Date: See tournament date link earlier. These are reviewed in WD #9, and advertised The Dragon #19 - EDIT but are "new" in JGJ S July '78 so it does look like these were available at Origins and they are the tourney modules to be available at the TSR booth advertised in The Dragon #14 & #15.
Notes: It is difficult to overstate how much G1 and its five brethren changed D&D. Up until this point there was an expectation of a megadungeon central to every campaign - published adventures were usually either a small stand-alone add-on (often a tomb), for a tournament (generally linear, also often a tomb), or an alternative dungeon of several levels. Although G1 was written for a tournament, it is not linear, and the main influence from it being a tournament is that Gygax has written up the rooms in a careful detailed fashion so that all DMs can offer the same experience. In a similar fashion to previous tournament dungeons each round is linked to the last, but in this case across two tournaments Gygax creates six linked modules, with a connected plot (however slight). A lot of scenarios at this time had humorous elements, which clearly irked Gygax (see below for his views on The Cliffs of Mentadorra 1978.8) and these modules all strongly eschew that frivolous/gonzo aspect - in G1 instead you'll find a dangerous Temple to a dark God hidden behind a rockfall. The whole place is described with details that encourage interesting play "Under the furs on the bed is a sleeping giantess who will awaken on a 1 in 4 if a loud noise occurs in the room", "There is no treasure, but by wearing the young giants garb, with suitable padding, the party could pass as the youngsters if not seen closer than 20'". The underground level has an ongoing standoff between the escaped orc slaves and the bugbears - how many parties did like my players and set them fighting each other?
From another angle, the production values of G1 far outstrip any standalone adventure that's gone before. Ironically the iconic blue maps were much criticised in reviews of the time for being unreadable, but it's not just nostalgia for those detachable cardboard covers - when you saw it in the store and knew there would be a map just on the other made them mysterious and enticing.

Saturday 19 February 2022

All The Adventures?

This is a good point in the Complete Timeline to take a sideways look at what lies beyond one of the boundaries of my search.

At the time D&D was first published, mostly due to trouble finding local players to game with, Play-By-Mail (PBM) was very popular in the wargame community. This was particularly true with Diplomacy, which was popular as PBM long before D&D and remained so for a long time afterwards. It isn't surprising therefore that PBM for D&D was suggested almost as soon as it was published, and you can see play by mail campaigns being played/advertised in fanzines and magazines. Whereas Diplomacy is suited to PBM with hardly any adaptation required - you simply do one turn per month - for D&D a dungeon crawl where every decision was by mail would take an extraordinarily long time.

As revealed at PlayingAtTheWorld, in Midgard Sword & Shield (1974.10) there was a report of a suggestion of Gary Gygax as to how to run D&D dungeon-crawls postally:

Saturday 12 February 2022

A Complete Timeline of Early D&D Scenarios IV: 1978 Jan-June

As we enter 1978 the number of scenarios has increased to the point where I'm having to split the year into two posts. Over half the entries are now Fanzines - and as you'll see the quality of some of these is fantastic.

There have been some highlights leading up to 1979, but for the large parts the scenarios have not been very sophisticated. Sometimes it's the simplistic monster + treasure, sometimes the random death, sometimes the silly monsters, sometimes the adversarial "gaming" aspect of it - but you always know that you're reading an early scenario - you could not mistake it for something later.

Then starting in January 1978, the style changes dramatically in the UK...

Name: Museum of Mole Bulantir
Date: 1978.1
Author: Phil Alexander
Publisher: Underworld Oracle #4
Notes on date: From the cover
Notes: Up until now every issue of Underworld Oracle included a scenario - but in #4 in addition to another installment of The Halls of Testing (see 1977.9) this issue included a second scenario, by one of the two co-editors, Phil Alexander. It is designed to be an "add-on" to one of your own dungeons, so still an assumption being made that every DM has their own megadungeon. But the style of description is now very different - Phil has worked out how a dungeon should be written. "A domed hall of black marble with a small silver bell hanging from the centre of the roof with cord attached. Failure to ring before entering the North passage will activate an unusual insect plague curse..."
This dungeon is accompanied by a play-test write-up which is longer than the adventure! Underworld Oracle was so popular its issues were reprinted - they appear at first glance to be identical - but it has been retyped, meaning that in the second edition "Passages and rooms are all 2 ft high except where noted".

Saturday 5 February 2022

A Complete Timeline of Early D&D Scenarios III: 1977

We have reached 1977 and the explosion in publications continues - there are more entries for this year alone than we have had so far in total for the first six years! I've had a great time researching this - I've only ever DM'ed a few of them and there are many I've never read in depth, and several are new to me - so I'm going to have to read through many of these fully and I definately plan to DM several. A big thanks to Andy Ravenscroft who's helped me out with early UK fanzines - he contributed to several early fanzines and in some places below I've given his thoughts from a perspective of someone who was reading fanzines in the last 70s.

    A short request for help. I appear to have omitted some items from Alarums & Excursions. It's
    tricky as the contents are often just the names of the sub-zines. The ones I've spotted are:
    #3 (1975.8) "including a map of Richard Tatgel's maze"
    #7 (1976.1) "a 'random-dungeon program'  described, with simple outputs"
    #14 (1976.8) there's a scan of a page at RPGGeek which shows a map
   I've sent off to Lee Gold to purchase the pdfs of these issues - if you know any other issues of
   interest (up to and including #59) please let me know.

 Tower of Ulission
Date: 1977.1 (1979.12)
Author: Dave Emigh
Judges Guild (JG119)
Type: Tournament (Winter War IV)
Notes on date: See Judges Guild Journal 18 to see it was Winter War. I cannot find corroborating evidence that it was #4. This was Instalment 18, which means Dec 1979 (despite the 1980 copyright notice)
Notes: This was the first part of the tournament, Sword of Hope the second. It's a very unusual presentation where for each room there is a handout for the players describing the room and with a map - then there's a second description for the DM with details.

Friday 28 January 2022

A Complete Timeline of Early D&D Scenarios II: 1976

We now enter 1976 and there are almost as many entries in this single year than in the whole of 1971-1975. As usual there is so much to say about each of these, but my main thrust is to show how they develop and to show connections between them - and to do that I need to complete this list first!

At this point I'll just give you a room entry from Gen Con IX which shows old-school play at its finest: 

Getting dates for all these scenarios was a lot more work than tracking them all down - I had a lot of them to start with anyway and there are a lot of resources online and blog entries which point you to the more obscure or newly discovered or (finally) published items - but mostly people date items to the year which is insufficient for any "what influenced what" comparison. Most magazines/fanzines include their publication date inside or on the cover (but not all) and some publications helpfully include the month in their copyright notice (all of which requires images of the original not later reprints) - but for a lot of items I had to resort to finding the earliest advert / review or other mention of the product - so there's been a lot of detective work going back and forth trying to pin things down. As usual, please let me know about any errors/omissions.

Monday 24 January 2022

A Complete Timeline of Early D&D Scenarios I: 1971-1975

Following on in theme from my last posts on B2 The Keep on the Borderlands I've been researching the evolution of dungeon design in D&D from the birth of D&D up until B2 was published. Specifically I've been looking from 1971 up until the end of 1979 - which is when many sources claim B2 was published - it was actually published a few months later but the end of the 70s is a good cut-off point.

That has expanded into many other aspects of early scenario design (as a catch-all term for adventures of all types). To see how they influence each other, and to see how things develop, I found I needed a reliable timeline of all the scenarios - and I found many sources are either too vague (they only list the year) or in some cases completely wrong.

So here's the first part of my timeline. In addition to all scenarios published at the time I've included some early personal dungeons which weren't published at the time but might shed light on the evolution of scenarios, or which may have influenced other designs. That's been expanded to also include sample dungeons, boardgames, solo-dungeon creation methods, dungeons in adverts, and even dungeons in colouring books. It's been interesting to see how these peripheral items cross-influence the core items.

I've limited myself to D&D - there is an obvious cross-influence going on with Runequest, Tunnels & Trolls, and Metamorphosis Alpha in particular, but at this stage that was a bit too amibitious.

Afterwards I'll follow up with posts on the evolution of dungeons highlighting some connections I wasn't previously aware of and some new ones that I spotted during this process. I think this helps make sense of some aspects of early scenarios, which while far from perfect suffer from misunderstandings and invalid criticisms based upon our inevitably imperfect sight of the past. 

This first selection takes us from 1971 to 1975. I plan to give a separate post for each year from 76-79, and a final post covering scenarios in fanzines at the end.

This list is intended to be comprehensive and have accurate dates - to that end I have cited references for all the dates given. If you know of any items I have missed or any dates which are incorrect please let me know - but the main purpose is a reasonably accurate order. For personal dungeons and tournaments I list two dates - the date they were designed or first played (i.e. from when it could have influenced other scenarios), and then secondly the date it was published. 

Name: Blackmoor (JG37 First Fantasy Campaign)
Date: 1971.5 / 1977
Author: Dave Arneson
Publisher: Judges Guild
Type: Personal Megadungeon
Notes on date: See Hidden In Shadows for thoughts on when the first dungeon expedition was.
Notes: The start of it all. The first published version is a reasonably faithful portrayal of the original - though Hidden In Shadows show there are minor mapping errors. The key for most of the levels is not the original key but a restocking with official D&D rules for tournaments (likely Origins III in 1977). The surviving bits of the original key is fascinating - showing its wargaming roots.