[OD&D] Manual of Aurania 1977

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Havard
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[OD&D] Manual of Aurania 1977

Post by Havard » Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:14 pm

Anyone else hear about this?

Apparently it is an independently published book for Original Edition D&D back in 1977 containing various classes and monsters.

More details:
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Re: [OD&D] Manual of Aurania 1977

Post by Justinov » Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:44 pm

Havard wrote:Anyone else hear about this?

Apparently it is an independently published book for Original Edition D&D back in 1977 containing various classes and monsters.

More details:
-Havard
The interview with Daniel Wagner is really interesting - second oldest D&D gaming group and the history of the Thief class. With skill levels of progression (like spells for casters) instead of the later Gygax version with %.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,/But I have promises to keep,/And miles to go before I sleep,
[Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening - By Robert Frost]

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—/I took the one less traveled by,/And that has made all the difference.
[The Road Not Taken - By Robert Frost]

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Re: [OD&D] Manual of Aurania 1977

Post by Zenopus » Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:43 pm

Another class from the Manual has been transcribed: The Sidhe (Irish Elf)

Aurania was definitely a campaign world, but we don't know much about it so far other than what is written briefly in the Manual: "Aurania is a universe of around ten or so dungeons, (of which only three are commonly used) and even more players. Aurania by-the-by means place of gold, a reference to the large piles of the stuff collected by the player characters in our early campaigns".

According to Playing at the World, D&D really took off in LA in 1975. Gygax's version of Daniel's group's Thief first came out in the summer of 1974 in a newsletter. So Daniel's group, playing in early 1974, were definitely innovating ahead of most.

There's been little discussion of Aurania outside a few posts by collectors at the Acaeum until Playing at the World, which has a few paragraphs about it. The mention of the Beorning class is what led me to it - J. Eric Holmes mentions a Beorning character in one of his session summaries in Alarums & Excursions. I found that Daniel was an active poster on the Pathfinder message forums. Hopefully it will get a little more exposure now.

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Re: [OD&D] Manual of Aurania 1977

Post by Havard » Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:01 pm

Thanks for making these available Zenopus! Sidhe later appeared as a PC race for BECMI D&D in PC1 Tall Tales of the Wee Folk. I wonder if they were somehow related?

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Re: [OD&D] Manual of Aurania 1977

Post by Justinov » Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:56 pm

About the Sidhe:

The Irish "aes sídhe" (old form) or "aos sí" (current form) are the "People of the Mound" (daoine sídhe).
The "Sidhe" is the Mound itself. They seem to be deified ancestors (likely original) or nature spirits (likely later folklore)

The "bean sídhe" - the "Woman of the Sidhe" were when wailing the harbinger of death.

That makes them equivalent to the Danish "Vætter", Swedish Vätter, Norwegian "Vette" & Old Icelandic Vættr; cognate with English Wight (Tolkien correctly have as dwelling in Mounds in LOTR!). They were a "collective group" of people protecting the land and living exactly as normal Norse farmers just being able to be invisible when they wanted and could shape change.

The original Scandinavian Elves (correct Danish: one "alf", several "elver", also "Elverfolk" as a race) were basically originally the Vanir gods (Frey being the King of Alfheim that he had received as a tooth-gift), that in Folklore after Christianity got mixed with the Vætter (a lot of creatures got mixed in folklore or changed substantially).
Vætter, Elves and Dwarves originally had human size in Norse Religion, but diminished in later folklore.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,/But I have promises to keep,/And miles to go before I sleep,
[Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening - By Robert Frost]

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[The Road Not Taken - By Robert Frost]

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Re: [OD&D] Manual of Aurania 1977

Post by D.daniel.wagner » Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:13 am

Hi guys. It's me, D.Daniel Wagner- any questions or comments?

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Re: [OD&D] Manual of Aurania 1977

Post by Havard » Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:35 pm

D.daniel.wagner wrote:Hi guys. It's me, D.Daniel Wagner- any questions or comments?
Hello there Daniel,
Welcome to The Piazza!

I will start off with a couple of questions:

1) I read at Zenpus' blog that "Aurania is a universe of around ten or so dungeons". Did your campaigns make it out of the dungeons as well (ie wilderness exploration etc? If so, were there other aspcts of this setting as a campaign world developed? Did you have your own set of Gods for Cleric characters, history etc?

2) Beorinings. After some discussion here about Desolation of Smaug last week, I have become more keen on using this race in my own campaigns. Do you have any more information about them than what is provided in the blog? Do you have any stories about them being used in games for instance?

3) Are you doing anything else in gaming these days? :)

Okay, just a few things there. Anything else you want to tell us about Aurania is of interest really! :)

-Havard

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Re: [OD&D] Manual of Aurania 1977

Post by D.daniel.wagner » Sun Dec 22, 2013 8:43 pm

Yes. We included cities, outdoors etc.

We worked major gaming worlds into our- you could travel to The City State of the Invincible Overlord or Greyhawk for example. But our little corner of the universe had the dungeons (mostly just Dale's and mine) and three small towns, the one just outside the dungeons, one run by a Archbishop another by a Wizard.

We used the deities from Mythology, mostly, except some from Howard's universe. Heavily into the Irish mythology, since Poul Anderson's The Broken Sword was a huge favorite. The four clerics submitted were only a sample- anyone who wanted a specialist cleric of any deity got a write up.

Beornings were not played all that much, since not too long afterwards the Players Handbook came out. Mind you, we continued to use the monsters (updated) and specialist clerics. The Sidthe became a race rather than a class. More or less a Elf subtype.

Today I play in three games: 3.5 high level, Pathfinder, and a intermittent 4th Ed game. Pathfinder is my current favorite. I now mostly review games, don't write them. (I am a fairly high ranked Amazon reviewer).

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Re: [OD&D] Manual of Aurania 1977

Post by Havard » Sat Nov 21, 2015 1:34 pm

Has anything else been released for Aurania?

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Re: [OD&D] Manual of Aurania 1977

Post by Big Mac » Mon Nov 23, 2015 1:11 am

Zenopus wrote:Aurania was definitely a campaign world, but we don't know much about it so far other than what is written briefly in the Manual: "Aurania is a universe of around ten or so dungeons, (of which only three are commonly used) and even more players. Aurania by-the-by means place of gold, a reference to the large piles of the stuff collected by the player characters in our early campaigns".
We don't know much? Was there never a campaign setting book or a world map created for Aurania?
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Re: [OD&D] Manual of Aurania 1977

Post by Big Mac » Sat Feb 27, 2016 8:40 am

D.daniel.wagner wrote:Today I play in three games: 3.5 high level, Pathfinder, and a intermittent 4th Ed game. Pathfinder is my current favorite. I now mostly review games, don't write them. (I am a fairly high ranked Amazon reviewer).
Did you ever convert Aurania to 3.5 or Pathfinder? Or are the 3.5, Pathfinder and 4e games you play in, run by other people, who are choosing to use their own campaign settings?
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