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Preview: Three-Headed Monster Games

Three-Headed Monster Games

Updated: 2015-09-16T20:51:47.255-04:00


An Interview with Michael Curtis


At the risk of referring to myself in the third person, the website Eye of the Vortex has posted an review of Stonehell Dungeon: Down Night-Haunted Halls that also features a brief interview with the author, Michael Curtis (that'd be me). You can read the review and interview here. In it, I (he?) wax philosophically about meagdungeons in general and Stonehell in particular, complete with a few vague hints as to what the sequel may hold.

Save 10% on Stonehell Dungeon During January

2010-01-11T13:16:41.187-05:00 is having their regular author popularity contest and I've entered my own name amongst the contestents. I did so not with any hope or desire to win, but to give my readers the chance to save 10% off the cover price of Stonehell Dungeon: Down Night-Haunted Halls. The discount appears to apply to both the hard copy and the .PDF version of the book. Just enter the code READMORE2010 when you checkout for the savings. The contest (and discount) ends January 31st.

Another Stonehell Review (of sorts)


Jerry Stratton of The Biblyon Broadsheet talks about his recent Lulu purchases and Stonehell Dungeon: Down Night-Haunted Halls is amongst them. The post is here and the Stonehell content begins about half-way through.

New Stonehell Dungeon Review


Flynn has a review of Stonehell Dungeon: Down Night-Haunted Halls up on his blog. Check it out here.

In related news, the book has broken the 150 copies sold mark, thereby blowing away all preconceived notions I had of how the book would be received. I’m truly amazed that some many of you have chosen to part with your hard-earned cash to obtain a copy, and I offer my sincerest thanks to each and every one of you. I will do my best to make certain the second book is equal to its predecessor in quality and content.

Save 20% on THMG Products on Lulu


Between now and December 31st, is offering a 20% discount site-wide. Simply enter the code "HOHOHO" during the checkout process to save on many of the fine OSR products available there. Now is the perfect time to grab a printed copy of either the Swords & Wizadry Quick Start or Stonehell Dungeon: Down Night-Haunted Halls for the old-school dice thrower in your household.

Stonehell Dungeon Review en Español with Pictures


Today, the Spanish gaming group, La Marca del Este (The East Mark), has a photo review of Stonehell Dungeon: Down Night-Haunted Halls on the blog, Aventuras en la Marca del Este. I received a very nice email from them yesterday letting me know about the review beforehand. You can read the review and check out the photos here.

New Stonehell Dungeon Review


James of the Underdark Gazette took the time to deliver a pretty comprehensive review of Stonehell Dungeon: Down Night-Haunted Halls. Check it out here.

Stonehell Dungeon: Down Night-Haunted Halls is now available


(image) For sale on Lulu:

134 pp. perfect-bound book: $13.00
PDF download: $6.50
Six page preview PDF: Free
Supplement One: The Brigand Caves: Free

Review available at: Grognardia

Stonehell Dungeon is a classic-style megadungeon, filled with enough monsters, traps, weirdness, and treasure to keep you gaming for a long, long time. Explore over 700 rooms, encounter more than 40 new monsters, and discover 18 mysterious magical items – and that’s just in the dungeon’s upper half!

Stonehell Dungeon: Down Night-Haunted Halls details the first six levels of a megadungeon intended for use with the Labyrinth Lord™ role-playing game, but is easily adaptable to most early versions of the original fantasy role-playing game and its retro-clones. Featuring the art of J.A. D’Andrea, Lee Barber, Marcelo Paschoalin, and Ralph Pasucci, Stonehell Dungeon gives the game master all the necessary information to run his players through the dungeon, while offering enormous opportunities to customize and expand on the site.

The monsters of Stonehell Dungeon are waiting to meet you. Won’t you come in?

Announcing the Swords & Wizardry Reference Sheets


Michael “Chgowiz” Shorten has announced that he has completed the Swords & Wizardry Reference Sheets, his second release under the Three-Headed Monster imprint. The PDF is available from and for $1.99 US. Here’s what Chgowiz has to say about them:

It is a 28 pg PDF digest sized booklet of the charts and tables from the 3rd printing, as well as a couple of new monsters, a whole slew of Wilderness Encounter tables (not in Core Rules printing) and an updated/revamped Treasure Generation system (enhanced from Core Rules). It will be priced at 1.99$US.

Why should you buy this? Quite simply, if you know the rules of S&W/OD&D and you merely need tables/charts and some random encounter/treasure generation - then this is for you. I ran a game on Saturday with just this booklet and didn't have to open any other reference. If you are learning the game, this organizes all the tables/charts into a small reference so you can quickly look up what you need to look up.
Pick up your copy today!

(Addendum - A version of the Reference Sheets for the Swords & Wizardry Whitebox will be available as soon as the Whitebox 2nd printing is released.)

Stonehell Dungeon Art Update


I’m posting this both on the Three-Headed Monster Games blog and on the Society of Torch, Pole and Rope blog. Please forgive the cross-posting.

Let me begin by thanking everyone who has contacted me with offers of contributing art to the Stonehell Dungeon book. I had hoped to find one or two people willing to contribute their time and talent, but I’ve had a steady stream of offers pouring through my inbox in the last twenty-four hours. I’d like to take everyone up on their offer to help, but that would result in a 200+ page book!

I’m still working my way through the offers and reviewing the samples people have submitted. I suspect it may be a day or two before I get back to everyone, so please excuse the delay if you’ve contacted me and are currently awaiting a reply. I hope to have finished sifting through them all by this weekend.

I’m not closing the door on submissions, as I may have certain pieces that match better with certain artistic styles, but I unfortunately won’t be able to take everyone up on their offer. That being said, if you’d still like to contribute something to the book, please don’t hesitate to drop me an email at poleandrope [AT] gmail [dot] com. I’m continuing the review process and I’ll make a formal announcement to close the submission period once I’ve matched artists to projects.

My sincere thanks to all of you.

Looking for Stonehell Dungeon Art


I’m posting this both on the Three-Headed Monster Games blog and on the Society of Torch, Pole and Rope blog. Please forgive the cross-posting.

With the draft of Stonehell Dungeon rapidly approaching completion, it’s become time for me to start considering the elements of the book beyond my ability to produce. I decided early on that I’d resign myself to relying on stock art and public domain images if that was all I could acquire, but that any contributed artwork would be both desired and appreciated. The Stonehell book is not going to be an art-heavy supplement, but a few choice pieces would certainly be nice.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am hoping to turn a small profit of the book. Whether this comes to be or not remains to be seen. Until that time, I’m paying for all the preliminary costs on the book out-of-pocket, and my pockets are very shallow at the moment. In particularly, my art budget is non-existent. I’m hoping that the book accrues a small sum of money which I’ll be able to fund the sequel with or that my financial situation will improve by the time the second book is being prepared.

With that being said, I’m looking for a few pieces of interior art. For the first book, I can only offer the common coin of the realm for start-up releases – your name in the credits and a free .pdf copy of the supplement. I really wish I could offer even a token payment for original art, but that will have to wait for the next book, if at all. All contributed art will be on a one-time-use basis and ownership of the work remains with the artist.

If you’re a starting artist looking for some exposure or have an existing piece of art you’d like to see find a temporary home, please drop me an email at poleandrope[AT]gmail[dot]com. I have one concept piece I wouldn’t mind seeing a better rendition of, but I’m mostly looking for art that captures the megadungeon crawl experience. You’re free to explore your own ideas.

I offer my sincerest thanks to anyone contemplating contributing art to Stonehell Dungeon and I look forward to hearing from you.

Bound for Hell


Now that Chgowiz has started the THM Games pump flowing and Dave has made his plans known for the future, it is, as an old joke goes, “my turn in the barrel.”Most fittingly, my initial THM book will be one that grew from the original collaboration between David, Michael, and me – Stonehell Dungeon. Back in December of last year, I started slowly creating a classic ten-level, “Saturday Night” dungeon using a modified form of the One Page Dungeon format. The first quadrant of the first level was made available on my blog and the response it received indicated that people liked both the dungeon and the bare bones method it was presented in. From that humble beginning, the dungeon has grown to five subterranean levels and a single surface level.My original plan was to release the dungeon piecemeal on the blog, mostly to keep it rolling at a pace that I was comfortable with, but also because I felt that the One Page Dungeon idea was more of Dave’s and Chgowiz’s baby than my own. If anyone had the right to make a dollar or two off that idea, it certainly wasn’t me. After Dave approached Chgowiz and me with the idea of forming a joint design venture, however, they both game me the green light to produce a commercial version of the dungeon. I’m very grateful to both of them for allowing me to do so, not only because I could use an extra few bucks in my pocket but because, as the dungeon grew, I began to notice some cracks in the veneer of the place. I could use this opportunity to go back to the dungeon to shore up a few timbers and create a sturdier framework from which to hang both the current and future levels.My goal for the commercial release of the first Stonehell book is to make it usable in three different ways. First, the dungeon can be run as written, with the referee using it as stocked and with the backstory and various internal plots and schemes presented. Secondly, it can be stripped down to the basic framework and used to build a customized dungeon around it, replacing the parts the GM doesn’t like and keeping what does appeal to him. Thirdly, it can be used modularly. Since the dungeon levels are divided into quadrants, many of which are relatively free of overt connections to the rest of the dungeon, the referee can easily take a chunk of dungeon out and use it as a smaller, separate dungeon somewhere else. It hasn’t always been easy keeping all three possibilities available to the audience, but I hope that I’ve manage some success in this regard.As a result of trying to please three masters, Stonehell has grown a bit from its original modified One Page Dungeon format. Although never a true One Pager, even at the start, the need to beef up the quadrants with a little more information for the GM has caused each section to double in size. Stated that way, it seems worse than it actually is. Doubling in size means that each quadrant has gone from two pages to four, which remains impressive when you consider most quadrants feature a minimum of 25+ rooms, plus new monsters, magic items, or spells.The first Stonehell Dungeon book will detail the upper half of the dungeon. The second half will be covered in a follow-up book tentatively scheduled for the latter half of 2010. It is my goal to keep the first book at 120 pp. or less and the initial draft and layout seems to support this as an obtainable goal. I hope to have the book available by the end of August or the beginning of September, although it is possible that numerous things beyond my control could postpone the release. I’m hoping for the best, but expecting delays. Sham and Chgowiz have both received the preliminary draft of the dungeon proper and, once I get their feedback, a formal final draft can be started.Coinciding with the release [...]

Back at the Head Shed


The two Mikes, AKA the other pair of heads here at Three-Headed Monster games are ahead (ahem) of me with their initial THM Games installments. Mr. Shorten (we call him Shorten Stout) kicked things off in grand fashion with his elegant Swords & Wizardry Quick Start, while Mr. Curtis (otherwise known as Curtis Clever) has made it known that his long anticipated Stonehell OPD megadungeon project will be the next THM Games publication.So when is Mr. Bowman (nee English Long) going to get off the proverbial schneid? I've shared my immediate plans and projects with the other two heads, and now I'll share them with you the reader as well.First and foremost let me lead into this by stating that The Dismal Depths (DD), the little OPD that started this mess, is currently being renovated. Thanks for all of the inquiries and support in regard to the project; I'm glad so many have found the first four installments to their liking. My long term goal has always been to create a OPD megadungeon using the DD concept. It is one of the many unrealized benefits of the ideal; that an actual megadungeon is within my means to share with other fans of the hobby.In the interest of the greater OSR web log community, as soon as DD levels 1A-1D are revamped, they will forever be offered (sharing sites permitting) as free PDF's for the enjoyment of all readers. I've redone the original OPD template taking the lessons learned from judging the OPD Contest and realizing the amount of space I wasted with that first layout. A downloadable blank version, Sham's OPD Template, is available through my blog, as is a useful Treasure Tables file explaining my "Check Method", and an Example OPD using the original DD 1B, The Chambers of Zod.1. The entire 1st level of DD will be included in my initial THM Games publication, The Dismal Depths. Based on the over 500 downloads of the DD Guide before Orbitfiles disallowed sharing, I know many of you are looking forward to more information on the concept and its related project. DD will include the core megadungeon in its entirety along with the Bestiary, Treasury, and various guides. Alone it will serve as a system neutral megadungeon, but shall be compatible with Swords & Wizardry.2. The next project will be Destiny by Dice, a Swords & Wizardry supplement to dungeon crawling; think Volume 3 reworked with lots of tables and all of the funky but chunky Underworld & Wilderness stuff. It will form the second part of the DD body of work.3. The third project will be Realms of Unreason, a "Ready to Brew" system with rules and details for Characters and Spells to 10th level, again compatible with S&W. The three projects combine to form a single dungeon crawl campaign centered on DD, or similar settings. A future supplement will expand upon Solstice and the surface world above.If all goes well, and the projects do not become too burdensome, an omnibus of sorts will combine the Monsters and Treasure from 1, the Mechanics and Tables from 2, and the Rules, Characters and Spells from 3 together for one cohesive S&W homebrew RPG.I also have fairly solid notes on two or three additional projects, but the above trilogy should keep me plenty busy for the foreseeable future. Depending upon the network we form here at Three-Headed Monster Games, I might end up farming these ideas out and then simply lending inspiration and guidance.So what does this all mean? Expect a revised DD level 1 in the near future, along with reposted shared versions of the original DD Guide, DD Traps and DD Bestiary; and hot on the heels of that I'll be assembling the first installment with the aid of the two Mikes. In between I'll be lending a hand with Stonehell and other THM projects.Now let's hope my eyes aren[...]

Swords & Wizardry Quick Start Reviews


Just a week after its release, Chgowiz’s Swords & Wizardry Quick Start is already generating some glowing reviews from places around the Web. This won’t come as a surprise to those who’ve had the opportunity to peruse the book themselves. Chgowiz did a great job of distilling the S&W rules down to a summarization that makes the book easily accessible to people experiencing Swords & Wizardry (or role-playing games in general) for the first time. He completes the Quick Start’s “one-two punch” with a fantastic introductory dungeon designed to give novice dungeon crawlers a taste of just about everything they might encounter during their adventuring careers.

If you haven’t given the book a look for yourself yet, visit the links below to see what others are saying and then grab a copy of the free .pdf. Better yet, add a printed version to your next Lulu order and share the Quick Start with family and friends who’ve been wondering what this role-playing game thing is all about.

Announcing the Swords & Wizardry Quick Start


I'd like to announce, in cooperation with Three-Headed Monster Games, the release of the Swords & Wizardry Quick Start module (download PDF here, purchase print copy here).

The Swords & Wizardry Quick Start is an introduction to the world of Swords & Wizardry(tm), the popular recreation of the original 1974 edition of Dungeons & Dragons(tm). It contains everything you need to play:
  • Character creation
  • Play and combat rules
  • Game Referee Guidance
  • A complete adventure – The Dungeon of Akban
It's audience is for new players and new Game Referees of Swords & Wizardry. With extensive help, suggestions and examples laid throughout the simple rules and adventure, novices can quickly immerse themselves into a fantastic world of adventure and danger. Upon completing this Quick Start, players and Game Referees will be able to easily master the full Swords & Wizardry Core Rules.

The Swords & Wizardry Quick Start represents the first full length publication from Michael Shorten of Old Guy RPG Blog. Michael has been published in Fight On! and Knockspell magazines. He's also authored original edition D&D gaming aids and accessories as well as writing for as the Chicago Dungeons & Dragons (D&D)/RPG columnist. He also recently co-produced the 2009 One Page Dungeon Contest.

Michael writes:
Why does S&W need a Quick Start? Well, I don't know that it necessarily NEEDs one, but it was something I wanted to do, for a couple of reasons. It start with Jeff Rient's Cinder Player handout that he used at WinterWar 2009. I loved how you could get started playing on 2 pages of notes. I did something like that at CodCon 2009 for my S&W event and I really saw the value of having something quick and easy to use. The problem was, how could I express the simplicity and yet give some guidance for newbies with whom I wanted to share the love and coolness of original edition style play?

I also wanted to give newbie Game Refs some guidance. I've heard of GMs new to S&W struggled with things like coming up with seat of the pants odds, with how to run monsters without the huge stat blocks or explicit rules or how to handle some of the free-wheeling environment that S&W has. I think the Quick Start does that. Finally, I got to scratch an itch and fully populate the dungeon that is featured in the Core Rules book that only had the first 6 rooms laid out. So I did so. I think it turned out pretty nice.

Three-Headed Monster Games Mission Statement


Three-Headed Monster Games is a fellowship of designers, writers, and role-playing gamers dedicated to assisting one another in the production of quality gaming materials for the classic editions and retro clones of the world's most popular role-playing game. Formed by David Bowman, Michael Shorten, and Michael Curtis, Three-Headed Monster Games seeks to provide a network for beginning writers, designers, and artists to exchange ideas, seek creative input, and share resources that would be otherwise unavailable to those working alone. Founded with the idea of gamers helping gamers, the goal of Three-Headed Monster Games is to assist in turning good ideas and products into great ones, and to help advertise those projects once released.

Three-Headed Monster Games is not a game publishing company, it is a collective of creative individuals supporting one another in order to improve, review and edit work into the best form possible. Three-Headed Monster Games makes no claims of ownership or intellectual control over an author’s or artist’s creations, nor does it ask for any financial reward. All monies earned from the sale of works created with the assistance of Three-Headed Monster Games shall remain the owner’s. The only requirement for products produced with the assistance of Three-Headed Monster Games is acknowledgement of collaboration through the use of the fellowship’s logo. Authors of products bearing the Three-Headed Monster Games logo agree to help other members of the fellowship when assistance is requested.

It is the belief of Three-Headed Monster Games that a number of potentially great ideas and game materials lay waiting to be created by new writers and artists who are unsure of where to begin. By offering a common banner under which to gather, we hope to provide these beginning designers and artists a place to hone their craft, develop their ideas, and produce quality game materials for the benefit of the Old School Renaissance gaming community at large.

-The Three Heads of THM

The D.I.Y. Philosophy of Three-Headed Monster Games


When the idea for Three-Headed Monster Games began between David, Michael, and I, it was something that I grasped immediately. The idea of creative contemporaries assisting one another to hone their craft and gain exposure is not a new one. Writers’ circles and author discussion groups are a common phenomenon in the literary world, for instance. As much as I’d like to lay claim to having such a highbrow pedigree, my own experience with the concept is a bit less glamorous.

Many years ago, I was very active in the local punk rock scene in both the Long Island and the Mid-Hudson Valley regions of New York. As the front man for a punk band, I had a vested interest in helping those scenes develop and grow, and to help create venues for bands to play. I wasn’t alone in this outlook. The “Do It Yourself” attitude was one of the facets that helped define punk rock from other musical movements, and it remains so today. This ethos led many of the struggling bands in the scene to pitch in to help one another whenever possible.

Some of the things we all did for one another seem ridiculous now. Some folks might find it unbelievable that a person would be willing to lend a P.A. system that cost a couple of grand to a bunch of guys they hardly knew for an evening’s show, but that’s the sort of thing that regularly happened. One phone call was all it would take to get four guys to pile into a station wagon, drive three hours to some small show, and work as roadies and techs, with only the prospect of a six-pack and a corner of dirty floor to sleep on in return. It wasn’t all good times and there were some phenomenal clashes of egos, but the attitude was that anything that helped the scene at large would end up helping us individually in the end.

Although the methods may have changed and the technology has grown much more advance than anything we had back then, this ethos still remains an important part of me. It was my attachment to this philosophy that drew me into the Old School Renaissance in the first place. So much of what the OSR is doing is reminiscent of what we did back then for similar reasons. The “Big Guys” aren’t making what we’re interested in, so we’re doing it ourselves. Instead of in garages and basements, we’re creating on our computers and desktops. Instead of mimeographed flyers posted on telephone poles and walls, we’re advertising on blogs, in fanzines, and on the forums. Meetings are taking place via email, rather than in the corners of loud clubs.

This D.I.Y. mentality is what I’m striving to bring to the table of Three-Headed Monster Games. I want to help other creative people get their stuff assembled and out there for others to read and enjoy. I want to help form a network of people who can bounce ideas around and ask for input from one another, all so that the overall “scene” is improved. All I and Three-Headed Monster Games asks in return is that you give a nod to the help you received and that you lend a hand the next time someone comes looking for help. I promise you won’t even have to sleep on a dirty floor.

Who is Chgowiz?


Hello, I'm Michael Shorten, aka Chgowiz, and I'm one of the guys here kicking off Three-Headed Monster Games. I'm a full-time Dad, Grandfather, ex-amateur stock car racer, professional IT guy by day and RPG gamer in the evening. In my ever-decreasing spare time, I do a lot of writing for my blog "Old Guy RPG". I've been published in Fight On! and Knockspell magazines. I've also authored some original edition D&D gaming aids and accessories as well as working for as the Chicago Dungeons & Dragons (D&D)/RPG columnist. I'm also the co-creator of the 2009 One Page Dungeon Contest.

In Spring 2009, it seemed like the world was on fire and everyone wanted to write new content for their favorite fantasy RPG - especially those of us who like playing the original or older versions of D&D. Two new magazines were reaching critical mass, several new rulesets had been released and there was a vibrancy in the air that hadn't been felt in awhile. That was when Dave (Sham) of the blog Sham's Grog 'n Blog, Mike (Amityville Mike) of the blog The Society for the Torch, Pole and Rope and I got the bright idea to rub our brain cells together and see what we could come up with to ride this wave.

Dave and I had already collaborated in late 2008 on a project called the "One Page Dungeon" key. Dave had been looking for a way to produce dungeon maps and levels in a simple, succinct format and I helped put together a simple Word template to do just that. The philosophy that we had towards the "one pagers" sparked the imagination of quite a few amateur writers, including Mike who started producing the "Stonehell" dungeon series. Together, we put together a few dungeons and materials.

We decided that the way we had worked - collaborating, advising, critiquing, commenting and supporting each other with our talents really worked well. We debated on the best way we could open up those talents to each other - not to try and limit each other or somehow be co-employees, but rather collaborate on our own unique projects while getting help from other enthusiastic authors. Mike's punk rock attitude, Dave's thoughtful critique and my own obsessive nature to "git-er-done!" resulted in what you see today: the Three-Header Monster Games co-op.

Where are we going? Well, we're kinda like those adventurers we play in our games - we're carefully poking down the corridor, with a 10 foot pole in hand, carefully mapping with our eye on the goal - to help each other make some really awesome materials that we'd like to share with the world. We hope you enjoy the journey along with us... and if you're so inclined, perhaps you'd like to help out too!

The Man Named Mike


My name is Michael Curtis and I’m one of the heads that make up Three-Headed Monster Games. I spend most of my day-lit hours toiling over old maps, aged letters, and arcane manuscripts in my profession as an archivist. Once the sun goes down, I find myself doing same thing as a writer, designer, and gamer. I’m better known on the web as Amityville Mike, the owner and sole proprietor of the blog, The Society of Torch, Pole and Rope, from which I explore my return to the hobby of role-playing after a long sabbatical. In addition to blogging about this hobby of ours, I’m a semi-regular contributor to the fanzines, Fight On! and Knockspell, served as one of the judges of the One Page Dungeon Contest, work on my own homebrewed megadungeon, and now help chart the course of Three-Headed Monster Games. My first professional role-playing game book, The Dungeon Alphabet, will be published in September 2009 by Goodman Games.

I’m one of gaming’s prodigal sons, having left the hobby during my college years when the distractions and responsibilities of real life became too complex to easily allow time for role-playing. The hobby and the industry that supports it were undergoing a change during that time as well, and I had grown uninterested in what was being produced. I might still be wandering out there in the wilderness had it not been for my discovery of the gaming movement now commonly referred to as the Old School Renaissance. Once I saw what was going on with the OSR, I realized that I had found my tribe again and jumped back into the hobby with an enthusiasm I hadn’t felt in many years.

After my return, I had the pleasure of getting to know David Bowman and Michael Shorten. Our early collaborations on the One Page Dungeon idea proved that we worked well together, and it wasn’t long before we were bouncing ideas off of one another when working on other projects. It was from this successful collaboration that the idea for Three-Headed Monster Games was formed. Our work was vastly improved by being able to reach out to others for assistance, guidance, and creative criticism. We were certain that other beginning writers, designers, and artists could benefit from a similar network of collaborators. Three-Headed Monster Games was created to serve as a banner under which a network could form.

We’re just starting along on our journey, but we’ve already got some good things coming in the near future. It is our hope that others will join us on our trip and help the Three-Headed Monster Games network of “gamers helping gamers” grow. As the old adage says, “Two heads are better than one,” and Three-Headed Monster Games plans to go one step better to help other starting game writers, designers, and artists create quality work for the benefit of Old School gamers everywhere. Won’t you join us?

Sham's Sordid Details


Welcome to Three-Headed Monster Games. I’m David Bowman, better known as Sham in some parts. ‘Round here I’m a member of the trio of bloggers who banded together to form this gaming cooperative. You can learn all about this little venture by reading our Mission Statement, and our DIY Philosophy. Suffice to say that it’s really cool stuff, and way better than anything ever done on the internet that involves three bloggers, two time zones and one guy not named Mike.

That’s right; the other two much more frightening visages of Three-Headed infamy are Michael Shorten, aka Chgowiz, and Michael Curtis, aka Amityville Mike. So what was it that roused this fearsome six-eyed monstrosity from its lair in the nether reaches of gaming?

Nearly three decades after taking up this hobby, I found myself thinking I was an endangered species in a role-playing world that had passed me by. That was until 2007, when I stumbled across a website that changed everything. I was not alone! There were entire communities out there of others who had not yet given up the torch of olden ways, and I became part of a growing community of online brethren; fans of the various editions of the game as published by TSR.

Along the way I rediscovered the original 1974 edition which inspired me to begin a web log about the subject on Leap Day, 2008 called Sham’s Grog ‘n Blog. Since that time I’ve contributed to the Open Game Table Anthology, Fight On! magazine, and Knockspell magazine, all the while witnessing a renaissance of sorts take shape not from the sidelines but as an active participant. Last year I won the Summer Adventure Contest with Spawning Grounds of the Crab-men (FO! issue 3), which included Frank Mentzer and Jim Ward as judges, and this year I was the one doing the judging, helping out a six man panel pick from 112 entries in the first One Page Dungeon Contest.

During this time I had the pleasure to meet the two Mikes who eventually conspired to drag me here, kicking and screaming, to join in on their sordid activities at Three-Headed Monster Games. As Sham I’m the self-styled Grognard and unapologetic Dungeonista. As Dave I’m just your average happily married man and Father of two who happens to spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about dice, traps and hordes of spear-toting Goblins.

Looking back at my 30 year long pursuit of this grand game, I can confidently say that I find myself once again experiencing the rarified air of those first, formative days; a time without expectations and genres, governed only by imagination and creativity. No longer do I feel like an endangered species, and I have my fellow gaming brethren, including my friends Mike and Mike, to thank for that.