|Closeup map of Blackmoor|
I have to be honest I came into the hobby very late in the game and didn't start out like a lot of other people. I didn't start with any box sets or yellow backs, or even the 2nd Edition that has its cult following but has yet to see a faithful remake like that of OSRIC. I'm kind of still waiting for something to come out of it, but then again I play a lot of 1974 Style and haven't really touched any of the stuff that tried to remain faithful to 1st edition. I started with World of Darkness, and in the grand scheme of things viewed myself as a story gamer who happened to like the d20 ruleset and the wackiness of D&D. It wasn't always child friendly wackiness, but it beat any of the ever present brooding found in a World of Darkness game- well, other games, I never brooded too much in a World of Darkness game.
What does Blackmoor and Dave Arneson mean to me, then? Looking back it could be viewed as one of the early mashups of the fantasy and science-fiction genre. There were probably other examples someone could pull out. Like how Tower of the Elephant had an alien in it, kind of, I mean, you didn't see a spaceship. Just a large Elephant-man who talks vaguely about his people came from the sky. No, this is the first to note that an alien ship has crashed in a fantasy world and its gear is now mucking things up. Nowadays that sort of fusion of fantasy and science-fiction, or just technology in fantasy is very prevalent, either in Steampunk or in games like World of Warcraft. Both inspired by Blackmoor? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe things would have turned out without the influence of Mr. Arneson or his first fantasy campaign, but I feel like without something might have changed or something might be lost to the world.