* ROB KUNTZ, Special Guest at ARNECON 2 GAMING CONVENTION 2024, Minneapolis MN, See You There! *

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Updates on the Run

I have been immersed in writing 2 non-fiction books and thus have had little time for by-the-moment updates.

So here are some updates FYI and that may or may not, as it goes, strike chords of interest.   I am admittedly uninvolved with the play-by-play of the day-by-day next Internet sensation and have been focusing on my craft and the research and writing of the books themselves.  Therefore expect such updates  when my projects near completion or when pertinent information regarding these, or related, is required.  In between, stay creative!

Chaotic Henchmen will be republishing an AD&D compatible version of my work, DARK DRUIDS.  Note one of Andy "Atom" Taylor's excellent line illustrations for it below.  The adventure was originally published through Troll Lord Games as a d20 product; it was later released as an AD&D compatible pdf version (w/CU STATS) edited by David Smith and sold through Pied Piper Publishing, my old outfit.  With this updated print version comes new maps, new art, and fine editing/layout performed by Guy Fullerton (Owner/Operator, Chaotic Henchmen).  I understand that the project in in the final stages of art assignment and accumulation.  I'll update as much as I know when I become aware, including its release date (sometime early next year), etc.

A Rolven expertly rendered by ATOM

Black Blade Publishing and I have reached an accord to republish three long out of print titles of mine: Bottle City; Cairn of the Skeleton King; and Tower of Blood (the latter co-authored with Lance Hawvermale).

Original Bottle City FC art; to remain unchanged

The Holidays have delayed some of our communications and thus a final decision on what will be released first and when, but we should soon conclude that; and as with DD information, above, I will update when we reach such milestones.

The Dungeons & Dragons:  A Documentary crew will be making an appearance at my abode for a follow-up to the three initial interviews that were conducted at Garycon V and in Los Angeles.  I may be traveling with them to my home town of Lake Geneva where they will interview Ernie Gygax, and perhaps, then, to reunite with my dear friend, Mary Gygax, in northern Wisconsin as she is again interviewed by them.  The interview(s) should occur in mid January and I will, as always, send news your way when I have all of it in hand.

James Sprattley (Producer) asking me a question about writing (while I was in LA).
I believe it was about whether hash-browns should proceed eggs in the narrative of the breakfast we were having... ;)


  1. Glad to hear an update. I didn't know that Andy ATOM Taylor did drawings as well—I do follow his progress as a sculptor: he is one of the finest makers of his own miniatures I've ever seen. His myconids are among my faves.

  2. Happy Belated Birthday, Rob!
    All excellent news, and much anticipated. :D

    @ATOM: Beautiful! :D

  3. Hash browns should ACCOMPANY eggs in the narrative of breakfast. Furthermore, the first narrative rule of hashbrowns is "They should be fried in butter!"

    I may be unhappy that my cholesterol is 230+, but I am not surprised.

  4. Hiyo Micahel,

    Ah, but I eat my courses Medieval style these days, and don't lump them as loutish Americanishes do. Besides, I ordered them after the eggs, in afterthought, and they came late and were perforce eaten last. Thus the narrative is sound. I use olive oil for cooking at home, but still fall prey to butter now and then.

    Nice to have a culinary discussion rather than one about my actual post. Or was was it a hash-round-about n-EGG-ative

    Ciao, Cioa, Chow...

  5. Waves at Time Shadows--I have missed your communication and it shows with a belated BW 2 months removed. ;(

  6. @ P. Role.

    Atom did quite a lot of illustration for my old outfit Pied Pier and I even still have many originals of his that were intended for print when I folded the company. I've never really known a sculptor who did not "draw". I believe it's part of the overall deal. :) I didn't realize that he was doing sculpts as I've been comfortably out of the loop these days,

  7. Yes, Andy's Rolven illustration is great! I love his line work!

    The holidays slowed down Dark Druids production a little, which isn't surprising. Slowly-but-surely, we are now up to 12 completed illustrations, plus 10 more in-progress (of about 50 total). I'm about to send a few more requests to Ian Baggley as we speak. When I'm closer to the finish line, I'll start throwing some previews up on the CHP web site :)

  8. Looking forward to deeper involvement in this blog, and getting back to Original Era RP.

  9. Hiya TS. Just felt that a jaunt to here rather than there might be a curative anon for your recent postings.

    My writing continues on that original era, with today's tappings bringing the typed total to nearly 40,000 words; not counting my many hand written notes (I'm using 11x17 paper so I can add diagrams) which have exceeded 100 pages.

    Besides running Lost City of the Elders (again) at the upcoming Garycon I'm also slated to do a seminar there on Open Form in RPGs.

  10. Hello Rob !
    First sorry if I use the wrong thread on the blog, I do not know where to ask my question.
    My question on which I have found not much information in the Internet is how your character Robilar raided and survived the Tomb of Horrors which I personally thought to be impossible after reading the adventure. One of the articles remembered that you used some orc minions as trap fodder.
    Given that Gary build the adventure especially to defeat your character I would find it very exciting if you could tell the full story
    (or if it is already available somewhere how someone can find it).
    I saw now on your blog that you are writing a book about the TSR days, so perhaps there will be already a chapter on this adventure ?

    Kind regards,

  11. Hello Thortsen!

    I recently recounted the "orc fodder" part at my Q&A on Dragonsfoot. I was careful and proceeded slowly; when I came upon the demi-lich I merely hefted the nearby treasure and ran out of the room, which seemed to perplex Gary. I'm not so sure of what more to tell as it happened very long ago, so the main points must suffice. There will be very few adventure retellings in the upcoming book (i.e., only a few partials for illustrative purposes, as in the Four-Way Footsteps example that I have already written); the book is not about anecdotes of those days, but about the design events and different design philosophies which drove D&D's rise and the changes that occurred, etc. from Arneson and the MMSA to Gary and the LGTSA and thereafter and until this point in time by comparison.

    Thanks for the interest and happy gaming!


    1. Thank you very much, Rob.

      Alas, I worried that it was too long ago. The questions I would have liked to ask were:
      a) Did Gary warn you that this will be very dangerous or did he said nothing ("Just a little dungeon") ?
      b) Did you use the cannon fodder idea before or was it special for Tomb of Horrors ? And in the latter case: How did Gary react ?
      b) How long did the orcs last ?
      c) There was a false Acerak chamber triggering an illusion of cave-in, the only other option was an exceptionally well-hidden door in mist (!) Did you encounter that chamber and how did you know that it was a ruse (and how did you find that door) ?
      d) The only way to Acerak's chamber is the golden crown with the silver scepter, but touching with the wrong end instantly kills the character. How did you find the solution (or was it pure luck) ?
      e) Could you remember if you were really in trouble at one point during the game ?

      If you can shed light on some of them it would be fantastic, else thanks again and I wish you nice gaming, too.

      Kind regards

  12. Hi Thorsten,

    Gary called me and said he had a new level to playtest. We used to playtest these between us upon one of us finishing a level.Both of us always suspected the worst, as we had always thrown bg curves at each other and our players over a year's worth of solid day-to-day playtests and play.

    Five of the five orcs died at the entrance, one whom Robilar dispatched because it refused my order to advance into the entry corridor, the other four from the pits within said corridor.
    I don;t recall using this stratagem before; it's a left-over tactic from wargaming days.

    The rest of it is vague. This was an initial playtest, so Gary may have changed parts for the final published form; and one must also remember that a lot of the MS as written was by Hendricks himself, who is thanked in the credits. Paul Stormberg (Collector's Trove) has a copy of the carbon of Hendrick's initial ms/notes that the latter mailed to EGG and which formed the basis for the adventure.

    I have little more to add other than that history is only as interesting as it continues to be perpetuated and otherwise becomes coffee table varieties of no interest after a while to designers like myself. I of course bow to fan curiosity then and now, but hope that my real value a a designer will be seen in the upcoming book which will be my magnum opus and a culmination of 40 years of design thought and seven years of research. There's much more story in that, or so I hope.



  13. Thank you very much, Rob.

  14. No Problem/ I do recall the face (disintegration trap) I probed with a pole, the latter which came up an inch or two short afterwardst. That and the pits (previous) let me know that this was a trapped based adventure. Thus I slowed all processes of exploration accordingly--i.e., I was doubly suspicious of everything.