26 February 2023

Special Guest Interview with Rob Kuntz livestream on LordGosumba's Gabbin' #236

Jay Scott---with Anna Meyer and me also participating---interviewed Rob Kuntz on Jay's Gabbin' at Lord Peak's Haven #236 livestream show yesterday morning.  The show came together very quickly, so I didn't have time to announce it ahead of time.  If you missed it live, you can watch the recordings on Twitch at https://www.twitch.tv/videos/1748868999 and YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmGKXKPS6kA (video below links to YouTube):



Discussion References

Our widely-ranging discussion delved into various aspects of OD&D and Greyhawk's playtesting and early publishing history, including (among other topics):

1. The original, now alas lost, Greyhawk campaign map drawn by Gary (lost by Chris Schleicher, who printed the Domesday Book newsletters for the Castles & Crusades Society): 

Domesday Book Great Kingdom map by Dave Megarry
Domesday Book Great Kingdom map
by Dave Megarry

Domesday Book Great Kingdom map by Dave Arneson (colored by grodog)
Domesday Book Great Kingdom map
by Dave Arneson (and colored by grodog)


The lost map was 8.5"x11" in portrait orientation (not landscape) featured more text and graphical/artistic detail than the two above, and was in Gary's handwriting. 

That map would have chronologically been developed somewhere between the above two Domesday Great Kingdom maps and the art order sketch maps that Darlene used for the Folio poster maps (and which survive in photocopy form from Lenard Lakofka's archives):


Darlene's published
1980 Greyhawk Folio maps


For some excellent analysis and discussion about the original Castle & Crusade Society Great Kingdom maps, see these additional resources:

2. You can read the full text of Gary Gygax's letter in Alarums & Excursions #15 (15 October 1976) at Jason Zavoda's blog "Gygax's Letter in Alarums and Excursions #15" and Jason had transcribed additional Gygax letters at https://jasonzavoda-hallofthemountainking.blogspot.com/search?q=alarums&max-results=20&by-date=true.


3. Arnold Hendrick's full 1974 review of OD&D from The Courier Volume 6 #6 (1974) appears below:


Gary's rebuttal to the review appears in The Strategic Review #3 (Fall 1975).

For some additional discussion and commentary, see ENWorld at https://www.enworld.org/threads/a-typewritten-d-d-review-from-1974-by-arnold-hendrick.661641/ and Paul's Blog of Holding at https://www.blogofholding.com/?p=5769.


4. "The Gnome Cache" is Gary's incomplete novella published serially (as "Garrison Ernst") in The Dragon #1, #2, #3, #5, #6, and #7 from June 1976 through June 1977:

5. The rules for the "Siege of Bodenburg" were first published by Henry H. Bodenstedt in Strategy & Tactics Volume 1 #6 (July 1967) and were subsequently freely distributed from his Adelphia, New Jersey games and hobby store to help sell the Elastolin Miniatures that he imported. 

The rules used to be freely downloadable at http://www.thortrains.net/armymen/bodebok1.html but that site is now gone, and is not available via the Internet Archive, so I've uploaded the rules to my site at [TBD].

For some additional information about Bodenburg's relationship to Castle Greyhawk, see Zenopus Archives at https://zenopusarchives.blogspot.com/2015/03/visualizing-castle-greyhawk.html and for some historical context about the Siege of Bodenburg game, seehttps://en-academic.com/dic.nsf/enwiki/2650436

I'll try to find the pictures of me playing "Siege of Bodenburg" from my GaryCon photo albums, and add here too.


Online Stores for Rob Kuntz Books

We discussed several of the gaming books that Rob authored and designed over the years, and many are still in-print and available:

  • Rob's most-recent works are spread out across a few different publishing imprints, but are all accessible from:
  • LGCC-1 The Original Bottle City (from Castle Greyhawk), RJK-1 Cairn of the Skeleton King, and RJK-2 Tower of Blood are available from us at Black Blade Publishing, both via mail order or direct from our booths at GaryCon and North Texas RPG Con each year. 

    We also stock all of Rob's in-print titles from Paul at GaryCon and North Texas RPG Con.

Additional References

Rob's most-current biography is on his TLS site at https://www.threelinestudio.com/bio/.

"A Partial, Annotated Bibliography of the Works of Robert J. Kuntz" appears on Canonfire! at  http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=125 (and is mirrored on my Greyhawk site, but I think my copy is not as current as the Canonfire! one).  Both are likely in need of updating, and also provide some good insight into the contents of Rob's El Raja Key Archive.

Canonfire! also hosts "Rob Kuntz's The Three Artifacts of the Demon Senders," which was first published in Wargaming #2 in 1977. 



Enjoy! :D


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