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Happy Birthday Dave Hargrave: Creator of The Arduin Grimoire

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posted on May, 25 2012 @ 04:28 PM

David A. Hargrave. Born May 25, 1946 Died August 29, 1988 (aged 42)

Hello ATS Gamers,

Today is Dave Hargrave's Birthday.

For any of you that grew up playing Fantasy and Science Fiction Role-Playing games in the 1970's, a golden era IMHO, you will remember The Arduin Grimoire. Dave Hargrave's Arduin was what we were all playing, and it was like going from wine coolers to vodka. I would just like to go ahead and put up Dave's famous critical hit tables just so that everyone can get an idea, that does not know already, how different Arduin was from D&D...

% Die Roll Hit Location Results Point Damage

01-02 Head, frontal Brain penetrated, immediate death 4d8
03-04 Neck, frontal Voicebox ruined, total voice loss. (permanent) 1d8
05-06 Wrist Hand severed, bleed to death in 1d8 minutes 3d6
07-08 Chest or back Impalement, weapon stuck there 3d10
09-10 Side 1d5 ribs broken 1d3 per rib
11-15 Leg Major artery cut, bleed to death in 1d10 minutes 1d8
16-20 Arm Major artery cut, bleed to death in 1d12 minutes 1d6
21-25 Foot, rear Achilles tendon cut, fall immediately (permanent) 1d3
26-30 Fingers 1d5 severed 1 each
31-32 Toes 1d5 severed 3 per two
33-34 Face Eye ruined or torn out (permanent), unable to fight for 1d10 rounds 1d6
35-36 Forehead Gashed, blood in eyes, can’t see or fight for 1d10 rounds 1d3
37-38 Crotch/chest Genitals/breasts torn off, immediate shock induced coma, death in d4 minutes 3d6
39-40 Head, side Ear taken off, 50% hearing loss, -2 charisma 1d3
41-42 Buttocks Buttock torn off, fall, shock induced coma for 3d10 minutes, permanent –3 dex, ½ speed 4d4
43-44 Head, general Stunned, 1d10 rounds no fighting 1d2
45-46 Head, general Stunned, 1d6 minutes no fighting 1d4
47-48 Head, general Minor concussion, Stunned, 1d10 minutes no fighting 1d6
49-50 Head, general Moderate concussion, unconscious 1d6 rounds, confused & groggy for 6d10 minutes 1d8
51-55 Head, general Major skull fracture, unconscious 2d10 minutes, amnesia: 1-60 lasts 2d12 hours, 61+ permanent 1d10
56-60 Neck, frontal Throat cut, death in 1d3 minutes 1d8
61-65 Arm Torn off (roll % for how much, starting at wrist), bleed to death in 1d3 rounds 4d6
66-70 Leg Torn off (roll % for how much, starting at wrist), fall, bleed to death in 1d3 rounds 4d12
71-75 Chest Heart pierced, immediate death 1d10
76-80 Back, lower Spine ruined, roll d6: 1. 100% paralyzed 2. Left side paralyzed 3. Right side 4. Waist up 5. Waist down 6. Death in one minute 2d10
81-85 Face Both eyes ruined or torn out (permanent), unable to fight for 1d10 rounds, permanently blinded 2d6
86-90 Face Nose ruined, -6 cha, stunned, breathing problems (-2 on con checks involving endurance), bad speech prblems for 1d12 months (relearning to speak properly) 1d8
91-94 Head, general Nothing apparent, later problems when brain hemmorhages in 1d10 days, 50/50 chance of death or permanent insanity 1d2
95 Guts ripped out 20% chance of tangling feet, die in 1d10 minutes 2d8
96 Head, top Skull caved in, major brain damage, all mental faculties permanently halved, 50-100% memory destroyed, -8 cha 2d6
97 Chest Lung punctured, internal damage, halve str & con (permanent) 1d12

98 Neck Head torn off, immediate death 5d10

99 Body Split in twain, immediate death 10d10

100 Head Entire head pulped and splattered over wide area, irrevocable death Total

Kindly compiled by Jeff at Jeff's Game Blog

A lot of us might not be aware that Dave was a combat photographer during the Vietnam war from 1964 to 1970 and he served in the line of fire. Folks have speculated that it was his experience in the military that influenced the violence and brutality that were the characteristics of the role-playing world that he invented. We didn't know that about Dave when we were kids, but we ate up everything that his fevered imagination could publish.
Dave was famous for his dungeon mastering and he was known amongst friends as "The Dream Weaver". He published ten volumes in all for the Arduin world but also created game content for Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu and other games such as Star Rovers.

So I have some images from the Arduin books that I'd like to post, and maybe share some stories from back in the day. I hope all that are so inclined will grab some d20 and make a roll on the critical hit table for Dave Hargrave and join me in wishing The Dream Weaver a Happy Birthday.

One of the things that made the Arduin books so desirable and cool was the art. It was not kid's fare by any stretch, it was probably responsible for fixating a generation of young boy-geeks on well-endowed women in armor. Not that Hildegards have not been attractive for centuries, but the art from Arduin brought on a revival.

Some of you will remember that one. Yes, it say's, "Shadra the Castrator". You can imagine the effect this had on our teenaged brains; rolling around on the floor giggling at 2am from too much Arduin, Coca-cola and cheese puffs.

The overwhelming theme in the world of Arduin was Death! and more death with a side order of death.

Hot steaming death; Dave's world redefined how we played, and all of our games became "short duration and high entropy" quick and deadly; and freakin' hilarious. It allowed us to transform D&D into the most baroque version of 1001 ways to die anyone has ever seen. And all generated with paper, pencil and dice.

Anyhow, if you think of gaming in all its forms today i think it is easy to see how the imagination of Dave and the illustrators making the art for the books was prototypical for everything we love about gaming today.

And remember the character classes:

Martial Artist
Star Powered Mage...and, of course, Barbarian.

Big improvement over D&D.We used to take turns on the Star Powered Mages as they were usually the game enders and we would have fun seeing who could make the most mess out of it. Dave's Beastiary was unlike any other as well with flying sharks and cute little deadly kitties called Kill Kittens, Dave's take on vorpal rabbits.

So, thank you for joining me in wishing Dave a happy birthday, he would have been 62. I hope this thread brings back some good memories.


posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 03:15 AM
*practicing HTML

edit on 17-8-2012 by Xoanon because:

posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 06:51 PM
"More Practice"

edit on 17-8-2012 by Xoanon because: .


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