On the book was printed: The Arduin Grimoire, by Dave Hargrave. of Doom, which collectively came to be known as “The Arduin Trilogy”. Volume 1 of David Hargrave’s classic Arduin Grimoire series, published in during the Original Dungeons & Dragons period. Old-school D&D at its best!. The Arduin Grimoire – Vol 6 – House of the Rising , , KB. file, The Arduin , , KB. file.

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When creators dream up imaginary worlds, they can go in two directions. They can build their world from a curated set of ideas, and then fit these pieces together into a logical and consistent manner.

In a fantasy gaming, these creators worry about how magic affects society and culture, and then wind up with arduinn like Glorantha or Tekumel. To create ArduinHargrave took every fantastic element he dreamed up or fancied and piled them into one work of love.

Arduin Grimoire Series – Wayne’s Books RPG Reference

Inspired by the Greyhawk and Blackmoor supplements, Hargrave printed his house rules, lore, and advice in a little, brown book named after his world, The Arduin Grimoire. The pages teemed with fresh ideas. The author suggested strange pairings of science and fantasy. It all seemed a little subversive. At first Tdilogy thumbed through the books at random, discovering gems, then I turned to page one and read.

The sort of science-fantasy found in say, Jack Vance, seemed wrong. To us, Hargrave preached bigger imaginary playgrounds. For instance, the 17th plane of hell features blasted futuristic cities and space ports under a blue-black, moonless sky. Most vegetation is petrified.

Once subversive, the Arduin Grimoire’s influence reaches today’s games

Hargrave welcomes a variety of character types. I think you will find that the world your game is in will become a lot more fun if you do. But the specific rules hardly mattered. Hargrave encourages players to own the rules and their games, to tinker, to playtest. Who knows, it may end up with such a good system that people will want to publish your fantasy world.


In an era arruin state-of-the-art setting design consisted of the Wilderness Survival map and some encounter tables, Hargrave opened a world with detail that rivaled any setting that came later. New games seek freshness by colliding genres, so cowboys meet the undead, magic meets cyberpunk, and so on.

Endless setting books lend detail to world building. When the fifth-edition designers explain their hesitancy to tweak the published rules, they say the rules belong to the players now. The man had 6 children trklogy feed! Read it and lose 1 intelligence and 2 wisdom. In the pages of The DragonGary attacked spell points, critical hits, and other rules that Hargrave offered as improvements.

Over the years, Hargrave created the missing rules needed to make a stand-alone game. But no one cared about his rules. Dave Hargrave never realized that his rules hardly mattered.

Emperors Choice Games offers Arduin products for sale. The original trilogy now appears in a single volume, although the price seems high for anyone but a passionate student of RPG history. You continually post such great content and thought provoking articles. With how enormous the internet is, I am so glad I arrduin onto your site and blogs. From all I read you seem like the official Dream DM where everything would just be an awesome blend of well thought out role playing and action packed combat… man I wish I could play in your group!

Bob, Thanks for the kind words. Feedback like yours keeps me writing.

All from a book originally proposed by Chaosium as an introductory volume they eventually published Basic Roleplaying instead as Arduin really did not fit what they were looking for. For a couple of tripogy, I wanted to write about Arduin, but your tribute said so much so well that I struggled to find anything to add.


I intend to read your Balanced Sword books the instant I can lay hands on a copy. Some were still running mega-dungeons. And there were a few masters of the extemporaneous who would spin wild adventures out of the City State flying by the seat of their pants. In to my amazement and great honor I took up he gauntlet after about a month of thought and prep and grjmoire it off over the course of about 8 years. There were few limits. I controlled spells as the DMG suggested. I limited races a bit.

Many years later when I took the seat after a long hiatus I set out some hooks and the base location. It still amazed triloogy four sessions later when they had gone far and had a mass of handouts full of hints on where to go next and how to get there that a pause in the action triggered a long head scratching session about what to do next. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. The cash-poor, big-score campaign.

Dave Hargrave pictured in Different Worlds issue Arduin advertisement from The Dragon issue 6, April June 24, at 4: June 29, at 8: June 24, at 9: June 30, at 6: August 28, at 2: February 4, at 9: February 13, at February 14, at 8: Well, the first two are easily available on Amazon, the third comes out in March.

Your article is much more scholarly than mine. March 18, at July 18, at 8: Leave a Reply Cancel reply. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email.