Sunday, 2 March 2014

Dungeons & Dragons Tournament + New Zealand Festival of MindSports

What a weekend! The first ever New Zealand Festival of MindSports (in Thames, the town where I was born). It was also the first Dungeons & Dragons Tournament at the festival. I ran an afternoon session each day, with a dozen players on Saturday and eighteen on Sunday.

For most it was their first time playing D&D. Their characters explore the dungeon beneath the ruined tower of the mad archmage, Xenopus. Yes, this is inspired by Zenopus, from the Holmes edition of D&D (1977), also called the Blue Book.

I aimed to keep things as simple as possible by using the oldest D&D books I have; the Holmes edition, the Moldvay Basic & Expert (B/X 1981) and the Mentzer Red Box (1983). This was a good old fashioned dungeon crawl. The main rule: have fun.

The players!
Sneaky Orcs try and ambush the party. 

The party splits up... ...only three hours so far and a lifetime of memories!

Daniel: "I burn down the door!"

Shine the Cleric (Dwarf), with his everfull tankard, ponders the stairs down.

Preparation for Day Two.

Dungeon Level 1, setup again for Day Two.

Ready to go!

After recruiting some dwarves, the main treasure room is found. The baby dragon is scared off with hoots of "Gold, gold!"

Half the group on the lower level. Ralph (my Irish step-dad) holding the camera.

New players explore the first level, discovering the wreckage from day one.

Here be Dragons!

Dragon's Breath!

Rashasgast casts Fireball!

Minion Recruitment Center.

A brave knight!
So much happened, this deserves a detailed account at a later date...


  1. Wow, that looks like y'all had a great time! Loving that Dwarven Forgery ;p

  2. Looks a lot of fun, wish I'd had those terrain pieces back when I was playing!

    1. All of that belongs to my friend Lewis. More here:

      The Dwarven Forgery 'blocks' are based on the Dwarven Forge modular system. I didn't use terrain back in the 80s. It was the sort of thing you saw advertised in early Dragon and White Dwarf magazines. Of course you can make it all yourself out of all sorts of materials. Here's some I made with MDF and polystyrene: