David Hargrave was one of the seminal original dungeon masters who took OD&D, made it into something his own, and shared his vision of fantasy roleplaying with the world. In this regard he should be remembered among such luminaries as Steve Perrin and Ken St. Andre. His original Arduin Grimoire series is a glorious mess. I'd never attemot to run it "as is" any more than I would try to run OD&D straight, but there is a lot of stuff worth looting from them, whether it be the crazy classes and races, over-the-top monsters, kewl magic items and spells, or the awesome-as-heck critical chart.
Although I am a big Arduin fan, I have never been a fan of Hargrave's dungeon maps. To me, they look like big ol' overdone messes. Here's the first one I encountered, from the inside back cover of the original Grimoir:
- You can hide a major treasure behind one
- A sneaky monster can have its lair behind one
- Big Bad Guy's can get away by passing through one
- During an encounter some reinforcements can show up from an unexpected direction, catching the party unaware
- You can roll for extra wandering monsters while the players search for one
|The essence of D&D in one illo.|