Saturday, November 5, 2011

Happy Birthday Tom Moldvay!

According to the Social Security Death Index, Thomas Steven Moldvay was born on November 5, 1948.  Were he alive today, he would be 63; he was taken from us too soon.  Aside from being the editor for the best instance of D&D ever, he demonstrated his talents in many other game-related products.  I would be remiss if I did not include a link to his bibliography on Dragonsfoot.  He is an underappreciated genius.

Among his other accomplishments, Moldvay wrote (i.e., designed and developed) Lords of Creation, a multi-genre role-playing game.  (I can't state definitively that it was the first multi-genre RPG, but I can't think of an earlier one.)  In the main rulebook, Moldvay presented several settings he called Lands of Wonder:
  • The Elder Lands -- A fantasy setting representing an aggregate of 'mythological' versions of ancient cultures (including Sumerian, Hittite, Egyptian, Greek, et al.).
  • Imperial Terra -- A science fiction setting which is somewhat generic.  Still, with only a page-and-a-half of descriptive text, Moldvay included some kernels of inspiration.  It really deserved to be fleshed-out.
  • The Land of Ulro -- A fascinating, if not bizarre, setting "inspired by the mystical poetry of William Blake."
  • The Swashbuckling Era -- An historical setting which gets almost three pages, including a map of 17th century Paris.
  • Priddo -- A parallel world setting where "[s]cience was used to explore and codify the reality behind magic.  The technology of Priddo is based on magic."
  • The Elemental Planes -- a setting of 'pocket universes' representing the five 'elements' (earth, air, fire, water, and shadow).
  • The Nine Worlds -- An 'alternate dimension' setting representing the cosmology of Norse mythology.
In the rulebook, the map of Priddo is difficult to read, given its size and the fact that it is depicted in black and white.  For my own edification, I created a more 'user-friendly' map.  I present here the fruit of my humble effort.  Gray areas represent unexplored regions.

In honor of Moldvay, I think today I will "pimp" my copy of Revolt On Antares.


  1. Agreed that he needs more recognitition. I don't buy that his edition was the best ever of D&D, since I never got any of the "basic" versions, but he was a very creative guy. With the distance of time others who have waved their banners non-stop, or just have just recently returned to prominence with the assistance of OSR revisionist historians, get a lot more PR. That is why the Kuntzes and Mentzers and Kasks are now worshipped, while guys like Arneson and Moldvay get a "Oh, yeah, and the rest" reaction from the OSR bitches.

    Revolt on Antares is awesome! I only remeber playing it once, but I did a bunch of superhero fights between those awesome Otus-drawn counters.

    Hey and thanks for allowing anonymous posters.

    Shitbreath. (Is that too erudite?)


  2. While Otus certainly contributed some awesome art to the ‘Revolt on Antares’ rule book, I believe Jeff Dee was responsible for the counter art.

    Thanks for your (otherwise erudite) comments!

  3. I went back and looked at my copy last night (for the first time in many moons) - d'oh! You are right. I must have transposed that Otus illustration of a big battle with the counter art in my tiny brain.

    Thanks for helping my foot to my mouth.

    I am sure my next comments will be as solidly researched.


  4. That's what erudition is all about.

    Speaking of Jeff Dee, he has a kickstarter page ( where he anticipates re-creating his Egyptian art from Deities & Demigods. If this is successful, maybe we'll eventually get a pin-up of Lyra Starfire!

    Special thanks to Mistress of Doom for the head's up!

  5. Moldvay's classic game dies a little with every suckdungeon cut and paste retroturd released. More so with raping and shitting scenes for artwork.

    I Remain,
    Jizzin' on Raggi's Turds