Are there any differences with 3e and 4e Blackmoor rules?

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Are there any differences with 3e and 4e Blackmoor rules?

Postby Big Mac » Tue Nov 15, 2016 1:19 pm

Blackmoor has moved around a bit.

It's been an OD&D thing, a Judges Guild standalone thing, a BECMI thing (with an implied Mystara connection).

More recently it has come back as a d20 System thing, both for 3rd Edition and 4th Edition. I've got the 3e stuff and I am wondering how the move to these OGL/GSL compatible rules has had an impact on how Blackmoor works. (I just asked a similar question about how the move to 2e changed Mystara).

3rd Party Products using 3e rules tend to assume:
  • Gods (not Immortals),
  • The Inner Planes of the Great Wheel but bespoke Outer Planes,
  • The standard 9 alignments of AD&D/3e (although d20 Conan seems to dump this,
  • Playable monster races (with LA penalties)

From what I recall of my Blackmoor book (which I've not got with me today) it does include deities (so might conflict with the DA series :? ).

What do people who have multiple Blackmoor products think?

What are the main differences that 3e and 4e introduced? Are there a lot of changes to take into account?

Do you have to do much converting or retro-converting to get the various Blackmoor editions to work together well?
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Re: Are there any differences with 3e and 4e Blackmoor rules

Postby ripvanwormer » Tue Nov 15, 2016 4:27 pm

Big Mac wrote:a BECMI thing (with an implied Mystara connection).


More than implied. All the modules in the DA series begin (at least potentially, since some have multiple options) in present-day Mystara and involve the PCs traveling through time back to the age of Blackmoor. Mystara sources mention Blackmoor countless times, though more for its latter age of technology and its cataclysmic destruction than for the age of Uther when the DA series takes place.

The Inner Planes of the Great Wheel but bespoke Outer Planes,


d20 Blackmoor actually has a modified set of Inner Planes, adding the Elemental Plane of Wood and the Elemental Plane of Metal to the mix. Its outer planes are undefined, though the existence of the Abyssal and Infernal languages implies that demons and devils are in separate camps. There's also a Plane of Time somewhere.

The standard 9 alignments of AD&D/3e (although d20 Conan seems to dump this)


d20 Blackmoor has these.

Playable monster races (with LA penalties)


d20 Blackmoor monsters do have LA penalties, so if you wanted to play, say, an ash goblin you'd have that covered. There's information on balebourne orcs as characters. Skandaharians have an LA, even though they're human.

From what I recall of my Blackmoor book (which I've not got with me today) it does include deities (so might conflict with the DA series :? ).


The DA series has deities, too. In DA1, Zugzul is described as "the great god" and his high priestess is known as the Mistress of God. He was retconned as an Immortal of the Sphere of Energy in DA4.

The deities in ZGG's Dave Arneson's Blackmoor sometimes have the same or almost the same names as Mystaran Immortals, so it's fairly easy to assume they're the same beings, if that's what you wish. There are other threads in this forum dedicated to the correspondences between the Blackmoor deities and the Immortals of later Mystara.

What are the main differences that 3e and 4e introduced? Are there a lot of changes to take into account?


We've talked about this a little in other threads. 4e added dragonborn and tieflings to the campaign and removed gnomes from the list of PC races since gnomes weren't available as PCs until later 4e. The way gem magic works changed because early 4e doesn't have schools of magic, so they had it correspond to energy types instead.
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Re: Are there any differences with 3e and 4e Blackmoor rules

Postby Havard » Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:33 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:
Playable monster races (with LA penalties)


d20 Blackmoor monsters do have LA penalties, so if you wanted to play, say, an ash goblin you'd have that covered. There's information on balebourne orcs as characters. Skandaharians have an LA, even though they're human.


It should be noted that monster PCs (Orcs, Vampires, Balrogs and much more) was commonplace in Dave Arneson's Pre D&D Blackmoor Campaign and also later when he used OD&D. The DA modules do not discuss monster characters specifically, but monster characters were also introduced in BECMI in 1988, the year following the last DA module. Many BECMI products were later dedicated to this. I would say that Blackmoor is strongly connected with monster PCs throughout its history.

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Re: Are there any differences with 3e and 4e Blackmoor rules

Postby ripvanwormer » Wed Nov 16, 2016 12:03 am

As for changes introduced in 3e:

The Docrae race (3rd edition-style halflings)
Gem magic (no pre-d20 equivalent)
New classes: Arcane Warrior, Monk of the Clan of the Fallen Star, Noble, Wokan. The wokan is from BECMI and appeared as a kit in 2e, but it wasn't part of Blackmoor as such until d20.
New prestige classes (all)
The pantheon. Pre-d20 Blackmoor didn't really have a defined pantheon of gods except for Zugzul, the patron of the warlike Afridhi. Some of these gods have the same or similar names to Mystaran Immortals, but the pantheon is substantially new.
New monsters: Elemental (metal and wood), ash goblin, mephit (steel and wood), naliseth, naliseth spawn, balebourne orc, thrall of Coot. Spirit animals and steppes chargers were in GAZ 12 The Golden Khan of Ethengar. Thouls were from the Basic Set.
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Re: Are there any differences with 3e and 4e Blackmoor rules

Postby Zeromaru X » Wed Nov 16, 2016 1:43 am

I'm not familiar with Blackmoor before 4e, so I can't say what stuff is really new to 4e.

I know the Skelfer's Scientific Precision table was changed from schools of magic to element damage type, but Blackmoor was released way before 4e introduced the concept of schools of magic.

There is no mention about what kind of cosmological model was used in Blackmoor 4e, but I guess we can say "World Axis" was te default one.

There is also a spirit power source that was unique to Blackmoor 4e. The most close thing to that kind of energy in core 4e was the psionic power source.

The Docrae were also present in Blackmoor 4e, alongside Dragonborn and 4e Tieflings.

There are a lot of gods, but I guess those are the same from 3e.
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Re: Are there any differences with 3e and 4e Blackmoor rules

Postby Havard » Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:20 am

ripvanwormer wrote:As for changes introduced in 3e:

The Docrae race (3rd edition-style halflings)
Gem magic (no pre-d20 equivalent)
New classes: Arcane Warrior, Monk of the Clan of the Fallen Star, Noble, Wokan. The wokan is from BECMI and appeared as a kit in 2e, but it wasn't part of Blackmoor as such until d20.
New prestige classes (all)
The pantheon. Pre-d20 Blackmoor didn't really have a defined pantheon of gods except for Zugzul, the patron of the warlike Afridhi. Some of these gods have the same or similar names to Mystaran Immortals, but the pantheon is substantially new.
New monsters: Elemental (metal and wood), ash goblin, mephit (steel and wood), naliseth, naliseth spawn, balebourne orc, thrall of Coot. Spirit animals and steppes chargers were in GAZ 12 The Golden Khan of Ethengar. Thouls were from the Basic Set.


Nice list. :)
A few more things:
  • New weapons
  • Elven Elemental magic (you mention the PrCs so that sort of covers it).
  • New spells
  • New feats (well, previous editions didnt have them so I guess that could be considered redundant)

Zeromaru X wrote:I'm not familiar with Blackmoor before 4e, so I can't say what stuff is really new to 4e.

I know the Skelfer's Scientific Precision table was changed from schools of magic to element damage type, but Blackmoor was released way before 4e introduced the concept of schools of magic.


Interesting. It is odd to see how WotC confused third party publishers with their statements about what was not going to be in 4E and then added it later anyway. Skelfer and everything related to him is new from 3E and beyond by the way.


There is no mention about what kind of cosmological model was used in Blackmoor 4e, but I guess we can say "World Axis" was te default one.


Perhaps. They probably wanted to make it as compatible as possible.

There is also a spirit power source that was unique to Blackmoor 4e. The most close thing to that kind of energy in core 4e was the psionic power source.


Yes, I think this was designed to make some of the new classes introduced in 3E (Wokan? Elderkin?) feel more unique. As Rip mentions these are derivates of things from BECMI, but not something closely tied to Blackmoor before 3E. Also, for each iteration it really becomes more of its own thing.

The Docrae were also present in Blackmoor 4e, alongside Dragonborn and 4e Tieflings.


Yes. With 3E Blackmoor, they wanted to make sure that Halflings were more similar to the Tolkienesque. Docrae were created to be more like the 3E Halflings. IMC I have made the Docrae a bit more Persian-like since their origin is tied to the race known as the Afridhi.

There are a lot of gods, but I guess those are the same from 3e.


Yes, I believe all those appeared in 3E, though some freebies for never published 4E products later down the line made mention of other deities or perhaps just different names for existing ones.

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Re: Are there any differences with 3e and 4e Blackmoor rules

Postby Zeromaru X » Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:42 pm

Do you have those freebies? They will be useful for my "Age of the Wolf" project.
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Re: Are there any differences with 3e and 4e Blackmoor rules

Postby Havard » Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:20 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:Do you have those freebies? They will be useful for my "Age of the Wolf" project.


Age of the Wolf project? :o :cool:

Here are the deities I was referring to:

Unaligned: The Diad, Fronaus, Hak, Hemgrid, Shau, Sylvian, Insellageth, Tsartha, Chamber, Dealth,
Ferros, Hersh, Elgath, Faunus, Kadis, Korzoon, Pathmeer, Mieroc, Yoosef
Lawful Good: Odir, Henrin, Dhumnon
Good: Ordanna, Phellia, Tilla, Mwajin, Pacuun


It is taken from the download called Character creation rules for the Blackmoor MMRPG 4E.

You can find it in the downloads section of my website here: http://blackmoor.mystara.net/downloads.html

(about half way down under Downloads: Blackmoor")

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Re: Are there any differences with 3e and 4e Blackmoor rules

Postby Zeromaru X » Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:59 pm

Havard wrote:
Zeromaru X wrote:Do you have those freebies? They will be useful for my "Age of the Wolf" project.


Age of the Wolf project? :o :cool:

-Havard


Yeah, :D

Since I read that bit of info in your post of the Blackmoor week, I'm interested in make a campaign in that time period. I will be raiding some stuff from Mystara for that, but my Age of the Wolf campaign will be based in 4e Blackmoor.
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