19 April 2017

Welcome to From Kuroth's Quill!


Kuroth is the namesake for the artifact Kuroth's Quill from the 1979 Dungeon Masters Guide by Gary Gygax (and diverse hands).  I always loved reading the "From the Sorcerer's Scroll" columns penned by Gary (and sometimes Rob Kuntz) in The Dragon and Dragon Magazine, and with "From Kuroth's Quill" I hope to evoke that same sense of design scope and focus, as well as to acknowledge Gary's column through my column's title. 

I began to write the first "From Kuroth's Quill" (sub-titled "One-Way Doors, Variable Stairs, and the Accessibility of Sub-Levels") in late 2008 for Knockspell magazine, and despite Knockspell's premature demise in 2011, I've continued to write and collect material "for" the column over the years.  Some of those pieces have appeared as forum posts at The Knights & Knaves Alehouse or various World of Greyhawk sites (like Canonfire!), or in Scott Moberly's AFS magazine, but most remained unpublished.

I've toyed with the idea of a blog several times in the past 20 years, but never felt like I could devote sufficient time to making it a continuing, viable platform.  But the idea never quite went away either.  I started working on this incarnation of the blog in the summer of 2016 to collect my old "From Kuroth's Quill" columns, and to scratch the itch for writing more of them.  That in turn morphed into writing and publishing a print-only newsletter dedicated to dungeon design, with Tony Rosten.  The Twisting Stair is now my in-print vehicle for "From Kuroth's Quill" and the blog here will host additional pieces.  Happily, I think that the resurrection of "From Kuroth's Quill" is now complete!

The grodog?

This is me:
(and I do currently have the beard still, too!). 

This is my gaming bio from Knockspell and The Twisting Stair, so please forgive me for referring to myself in the third person:

Allan T. Grohe Jr. has been playing AD&D and other RPGs since 1977.  Allan’s first professional gaming publication (“More for the Shadow Master”) appeared in White Wolf Magazine #11 in 1988; he has also contributed to The Unspeakable Oath, Pyramid, Polyhedron, and Dragon Magazine, among others.  Allan has worked extensively with Biohazard Games (Blue Planet, Upwind), Pagan Publishing (Delta Green), Different Worlds Publications (Tadashi Ehara), and Pied Piper Publishing (Robert J. Kuntz).  Allan co-founded Black Blade Publishing with Jon Hershberger in 2009 to publish top-quality old-school gaming products, including OSRIC, Monsters of Myth, and Kuntz’ The Original Bottle City.  Allan’s most-recent projects are Tales of Peril:  The Complete Boinger and Zereth Stories of John Eric Holmes, and The Twisting Stair, a gaming newsletter focused on dungeon design that Allan publishes with Tony Rosten.     

Allan’s editorial, design, and development work has contributed to winning one Origins Award and securing four Origins Award nominations, winning one ENnie Award and two ENnie Award nominations.  

Allan is known online as grodog, where he publishes a website featuring World of Greyhawk content, as well as his non-gaming writing (poetry, personal essays, and literary scholarship), and the usual fan ephemera at http://www.greyhawkonline.com/grodog/.  He lives in Wichita, Kansas, with his lovely wife Heather, their two wonderful sons Ethan and Henry, and their two pugs Tara and Gypsy. 


Welcome to the Future

Thank you for visiting, and hopefully you'll find some worthwhile ideas at "From Kuroth's Quill" that will be useful in your games!  I welcome your responses, feedback, suggestions, ideas, and constructive criticisms. 



  1. Welcome to the blogs! First Trent, now you - I'm looking forward to all of the new Greyhawk articles. I've added Kuroth's Quill to my reading list.

  2. Great to hear.

    Also, had no idea about your work on Blue Planet or for Delta Green. Very cool. What'd you do for Pagan?

  3. Thanks for the encouragement, guys.

    @ Robert: I co-founded Event Horizon Productions in the early '90s as well (Hong Kong Action Theatre!, Heave & Earth, Swords of the Middle Kingdom) but my work with Pagan predated EHP by a couple of years IIRC. I wrote reviews in TUO, playtested scenarios/rules from TUO and some of their books (The Golden Dawn), and acted as creative consultant for Delta Green, Realm of Shadows, and perhaps some other titles (it's been awhile).


  4. @Allan: Totally jealous. A remarkably fertile period for CoC. I ran a DG game for years back in the mid/late '00s. Do you still play at all, or are you purely a D&D man these days?

  5. @Robert: I have definitely incorporated elements of CoC into my AD&D games in the past, and more-recently into my scenarios for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea, where it is a natural fit, of course! I also continue to support Pagan and ArcDream's publishing efforts, including their Kickstarters for Delta Green and other projects.

    While I don't get to play or run CoC as much as I would prefer nowadays, I am running Pagan's "Grace Under Pressure" scenario at NTX on Wednesday night. Which reminds me, I need to schedule some more minis painting time....


  6. "I know him! I know him!" /Buddy the Elf celebration

    I'd like to thank Allan for his inspiring games run in his version of Castle Greyhawk -- for inspiring my own creativity and "retro search" back to both AD&D and OD&D! As I am late as usual to most things, expect me to comment on your other entries here in due time. ;)

    If this blog is as good as your Greyhawkonline.com work, then this will be an often-visited site for me.

    Happy gaming and writing, Allan!

  7. Great to see ( or read ) you here! I had no Idea about this place. Let me take a chair


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