SECRETS of BLACKMOOR: The True History of Dungeons & Dragons

Created by The Fellowship of the Thing

If you missed our Kickstarter Campaign, here's your chance to still get in on some of our special editions for a limited time. Accepting Preorders Today! Delivery date is May 2019!

Latest Updates from Our Project:

"Battle In The Skies" Booklet Stretch Goal
5 months ago – Sun, Dec 23, 2018 at 11:06:57 PM

At the $60,000 we will send every Backer at the $25 level or higher an 8-page booklet containing a facsimile of a historically significant set of documents: Battle In the Skies, or more commonly known as "BITS". 

This is by no means a complete set of rules, but rather the kind of working draft that Arneson would have produced by hand while working with Gygax. Comprised of 6 pages of notes, it gives you an idea of how much the drafts were changing before they got published.

Perhaps what is most visually appealing are the doodles that Arneson used to illustrate these rules. Arneson was known for his primitive fantasy art and some of it even made it into the first D&D edition. His players describe how he would make drawings on scraps of paper during game sessions to show what different creatures looked like.  

For those who doubt Arneson's contribution, this is yet more proof that Arneson was contributing work that would later appear in D&D. 

Help unlock this Stretch Goal and receive your copy of Arneson’s original notes for the BITS rules, printed in an 8 page booklet.  

BITS is being revealed here for the first time. We hope we can get you a copy of this historical document.

Chris and Griff

An Interview with Griff
5 months ago – Sun, Dec 23, 2018 at 08:57:59 PM

For those who have not seen the links, via our FACEBOOK and TWITTER, Griff did an interview with Shane Plays.

They talk about gaming, the movie, and many other things. 

A Preview of Our Backer Survey
5 months ago – Sat, Dec 22, 2018 at 02:18:58 PM

We’ve teamed up with Backerkit to provide you with a straightforward, functional, and easy to use Backer Survey (Going out to you on January 15th).

You’ll be able to select options for your pledge level, as well as add on additional items to share with a friend, or keep hidden away in your treasure horde like the Red Dragon that guards our tip jar (it will happily let you add treasure, but not take any away).

We are diligently working on the movie now to get the XMas Day 2018 VOD 24 minute Braunstein Movie Segment and Full Rough of the Entire Movie drafts done for you to watch on Christmas Day. 

Over the next several weeks we’ll be posting progress reports as the crew gets closer to finishing the film and the Tonisborg Book, as well as getting the other reward items done.

We’ve got about than 48 hours to go. If you're waiting on the other side of that door, now’s the time stop listening at it, open it, and get your hands on the Special Edition DVD, Blu-rays, T-shirts, Dice Bags and the 1st Edition Tonisborg Dungeon book. Don’t go down those stairs to the left. We’re sure there’s a Beholder or very non-delicious Black Pudding down there.


Chris and Griff

Secrets of Blackmoor Blu-Ray Upgrade Available!
5 months ago – Fri, Dec 21, 2018 at 01:15:58 AM

Due to popular demand we are making a HD Blu-ray version of our 2-Disc DVD available as an upgrade. Anybody whose reward level includes the DVD can upgrade by adding $15 on to their pledge and then add the upgrade during our Backer Survey.

This will be all the same content as the 2-Disc DVD, but in HD (1080p) instead.

Also, we've teamed up with Backerkit to offer several options on our Baker Survey: For those that want to buy an extra copy of the movie, add on another dice bag or T-shirt (or two) for themselves or a friend, will be able to do so during the Backer Survey. Extra copies of The 1st Edition Printing of Tonisborg Book will also be available for an add-on purchase (although at a slightly higher price than the reward package).

Thanks for your support! We greatly appreciate it. This has been a long journey, and it’s people like you that make it worthwhile!

We look forward to getting the film done so you, too, can know the Secrets of Blackmoor.


Chris & Griff

"The Emergence of Blackmoor" poster Stretch Goal
5 months ago – Wed, Dec 19, 2018 at 08:00:19 PM

At $45,000 in pledges we'll include the Emergence of Blackmoor Poster to anyone who pledges at the $25 level or higher

This  double-sided full-color 11" x 17" poster will be the first published collection of artifacts that relate to Arneson’s first two years of running the Blackmoor Campaign (’71 and ’72). In fact, all of this material predates the publishing of D&D.

It gathers together the Blackmoor World & Town Maps on one side, and on the other a Campaign Overview, Corner of the Table announcements, Blackmoor Gazette and Rumor-monger play reports that Arneson published between 1971 and 1972. You can hang it on your wall or use the maps to run your own Blackmoor-style games. It will also include Dave Arneson's personal history of RPG's titled: 25 Years Ago

Notices from  the "Corner of the Table"
Notices from the "Corner of the Table"

Arneson was a hands on game designer. He would invent a concept and then he would apply it to a game in real time; while working off of scant notes and charts. Much of his work was simply in his head, thus very little remains to reveal the full scope of his vision. 

In 1971, Dave Arneson made his first announcements for a new campaign he wanted to run. 

It began as a military campaign game, much like his big napoleonic games. Yet, from the inception of the game set in the "Blackmoors", Arneson added something new:  the element of fantasy. 

Like many of the game ideas to come out of his group, it could have been a complete flop and no one would ever have learned of this new type of game.  

The original Blackmoor town map
The original Blackmoor town map

The core concept for Blackmoor was this as yet un-named play style we call Role Playing; the Twin-Cites gamers just called it a "Braunstein" (Braunstein being the first game that we call a full RPG). The game was fun to play, and it was the players themselves who couldn't get enough and demanded more adventures. 

Before long, the player's actions were driving the game in new directions. Pete Gaylord decided he wanted to be a wizard; instead of saying no, Dave Arneson let him become the first wizard in an RPG: The Wizard of the Wood.  

The rest, as they say, is history.  

The poster includes: 

1. Dave Arneson's Campaign Overview that describes his planned game setting that "[...] is partially fiction..." (March 1971) 

2. The original Blackmoor Campaign Map that was handed out to all of his players. (March 1971) 

3. The original Blackmoor Town Map (1971) 

4. Excerpt from Corner of the Table Volume 3 #4 - Arneson's first notice of a Fantasy Braunstien game: "It will feature mythical creatures and a Poker game under the Troll's Bridge..." (April 1971) 

5. Excerpts from Corner of the Table  Volume 3 #5 - "The start of the Black Moors battle reports…" and "On Saturday may 22, 1071 a Brown Stien-type game set in the middle ages…) (May 1971) 

6. The Spanish Royals Character Matrix - The first example of Character Attributes created by Arneson. This document was passed to Dan Nicholson at the same meeting on May 22, 1971. 

7. The Blackmoor Gazette and Rumormonger, issues 1 and 2 from Corner of the Table  Volume 4 #3 - "Gertie Has Kiddies" and "Castle Burned While Heros Away." (May 1972) 

8. The Lock Gloomen Battle Report from Corner of the Table Volume 4 #6 - "Blackmoor (The place where strong men cry 'cause there's a Balrog after them..)" (November 1972) 

9. Dave Arneson's personal account of the creation of RPG's titled: 25 years Ago. (C. 2001)

The poster will include text that explains the importance and dates of the documents.

Get the word out! Share our links on social media! Talk to your friends at game night. Get their help and unlock this treasure.