Sunday, May 23, 2021

OSR Commentary On Dave Hargrave's Vaults of the Weaver (2006) From Emperor's Choice Games

Today we want to talk about the influence of Dave Hargrave's modules & the Vaults of the Weaver module collection from Emperor's Choice Games. The reason is that the collection hasn't been released.. yet from Emperor's Choice  in PDF. But what's in the collection that makes it interesting?! Here let's take a quick look from the Rpg Geek site ; "
Arduin Module Collection of previously published Arduin Dungeons and some never before published Dungeons.

Arduin fans this is it! "Vaults of the Weaver" delivers six modules designed and written by David Hargrave in one book.

Contains reprints of these items:

And also includes these previously unpublished dungeons:

The Dungeon and Overland maps have been re-drawn and cleaned up--the same maps, just better looking." 

So its been one of those weeks when the weekend hits its good to get together with friends. One of my friends is a phyisist & we talked. And talked. The fact is that he's a big fan of  Dave Hargrave's Arduin book & Science Fantasy in general. So over the last day or so we were talking over a couple of beers about the Nexus Gates. There are still one or two titles that Emperor's Choice has yet  to release in official PDF for Vaults of the Weaver. 

Now this collection of adventures highlighs several things about Mr.Hargrave. These are killer adventures & dungeons in many senses of the word. But once again Mr. Hargrave was way ahead of the curve. And in some ways too far ahead. These are high level & quite lethal affairs. Ages befor Dungeon Crawl Classics was even a thought Dave Hargrave was creating these. Being the 'dream weaver'. Dave Hargrave wove these adventures into the coheisive mythology at his own table. From all accounts that we've read. David A. Hargrave was a damn good dungeon master in the California style of Dungeons & Dragons in the Seventies. At his own table he wasn't a 'wild & crazy' DM per say. Sure there were a lot of fantastic elements. 
When we come down to it?! By all accounts Hargrave was way ahead of the curve when it came to his adventure design. No this isn't nosolgia talking here. Living dungeons, alien hives adventure locations, magic artifacts capable of ruining lives, & much more all capable of challenging the gods are a part of Vaults of the Weaver. 
The worth of a collection of adventures is its contents vs utility. 
The contents of Vault of the Weaver is interesting to say the least. The contents of the book are:

- Caliban
- Howling Tower
- Citadel of Thunder
- Death Heart

- and a couple of more books thanks to Paul Mosher:

- Hive Home
- Heart of Darkness

Also included is the Tomb of D'Haera

This collection get's a huge nine on Rpg Geek's site & that says volumes to me as a dungeon master. DM Paul was discussing with me the fact that given the size of the  Arduin campaign setting there's some other factors to cosider from  Vaults of the Weaver

  1. These are mega dungeon & adventure locations from this collection & taken together their influence speaks volumes for the campaign setting. 
  2. The magic artifacts themselves would have entire countries going to war over them. And this is exactly the sort of thing that the evil powers behind some of the locations of Arduin want. Power attracts power is an old axiom of Arduin. 
  3. These adventure locations & dungeons have influence far beyond the bounds of Arduin. The Nexus gates can & do carry the evil of these places into places such as the Wilderlands of High Fantasy. 
  4. These adventures have far reaching implications for a campaign set in motion. They represent major places of confluence & political points of  Arduin diplomacy. 
  5. He who controls the lands around the dungeon controls a major Arduin resource. The power of a place of myth & legend extends far beyond the Nexus gates. 
  6. These dungeons & adventure locations have huge cultural significance to the peoples of Arduin. So there's far more boiling below the surface here. 

Buttom line that we hope in the near future we see a release of Dave Hargrave's Vaults of the Weaver (2006) From Emperor's Choice  Games in book  form  folks. More Arduin goodness coming up. 

Note that in 2022 there's a brand new edition of Dave Hargrave's Vaults of the Weaver Available Here.

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