The old session City of the Gods ran back in 1975, which eventually became the City of the Gods (DA3), introduced such interesting sci-fi concepts such as cloning, laser pistols and rifles, sonic weapons, robots of various types, powered armor suits, and starships to the otherwise fantasy world of Greyhawk. Specifically, most of these things were located in and around the Blackmoor region.

Some of these artifacts could be recovered and used by resourceful players. These science based artifacts, along with a mysterious and apparently malevolent AI (the Egg of Coot, an inside joke but not a reference to Mr. Gygax's name) in a slightly different but nearby location stem from one or more off-planet technologically based source(s).

What more, if anything, is known about these and other star-faring and technologically based civilization(s) in or around Oerth Prime?

Technology from other adventures and locations on Oerth are also of interest and relevant to the question, even if not directly connected the points of interest in Blackmoor as specifically called out in this question.


1 Answer 1


Okay, this keeps popping up in my feed due to the up-votes, so I was finally motivated to research this one myself. Here's what I've found:

The F.S.S. Beagle, exploratory vessel of the Galactic Federation - Captain Bork Riesling, commanding - was the crashed starship in Oerth's Blackmoor... aka: the City of the Gods (Module DA3).

Rob Kuntz had the following comments: "...Dave ran CotG many times prior to 1973 for his players, and then once for us (Gary and me) at the Dungeon Hobby Shop in 1975. Also note that this information is available from the Arneson Estate through The Fellowship of the Thing...."

(Rob Kuntz gave me permission to quote from the conversation with him here.)

The marooned F.S.S Beagle was also revealed in DA3 as the origin of another famous Blackmoor character: St. Stephan (of the Temple of the Frog), whose previous mention (in Supplement II) listed only the following:

This fellow is not from the world of Blackmoor at all, but rather he is an intelligent humanoid from another world/dimension.

Dave Arneson, creator of the Blackmoor setting and campaign was quoted as saying:

John [Snider], the author (of the Star Probe and Star Empires games, the basis of an ongoing concurrent campaign), was another of the original [Blackmoor] group. He had outlined a whole series of books and maps.

Greg Svenson is quoted with:

My recollection is that it was a crossover from our parallel "Star Empires" campaign that John Snider was running (from early 1973 to late 1974 or so, when John went into the Army). There was an RPG component to "Star Empires" which we were also playing, but TSR never published it. We had several encounters with scout ships from the neighboring galactic empires before the world Blackmoor is on was quarantined by the local galactic government, I can't remember which empire controlled it.

Greg Svenson also recollects the following useful information:

There were eight major empires. Three were humanoid empires with one each of ursoid (bears), feline (cats), avian(birds), amoboid (amoebas) and icthioid (fish). There were also a variety of minor empires with just a couple of worlds inhabited by exotic races (along with the normal ones above) [...] We had encounters in Blackmoor with both human and avian scouts (Scott Belfry ran the avian empire). I remember someone getting a 'magic cape' that allowed the wearer to fly (the avians wings were no longer functional, so they created alternate ways to fly). The Blue Rider's armor was a suit of powered Battledress. I was running a galactic empire controlled by a race of ursoids

[The Star System]was almost immediately quarantined due to the loss of several scout ships from two empires, one human and one avian...

As an additional point of note, in the Star Empires book p50, the Hyperspace 24 Generator - a device that causes interference with the local rules of physics preventing tech above a certain level, and causing strange haywire side effects - says to use D&D rules for the resulting new local physics that allow for magic and restrict science based effects.

The description of the effects of the Hyperspace 24 Generator are in line with the world of Oerth, which is highly magical and also where gunpowder simply does not function.

There are persistent rumors that one of the worlds depicted on the game map is actually Oerth, but I am unable to find anything but rumors to date.

This then, is the extent of the information that I can find, to this date.

Source 1

Source 2

Source 3

Source 4

Source 5

Star Probe game

Star Empires game

The official Star Empires web site (Note that the last activity seems to be quite a while ago.) UPDATE the site is down, so the link has been updated to a Waybackmachine capture.

  • \$\begingroup\$ After waiting a few days, not seeing any other answers, I will mark this as correct for now. \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Commented Aug 13, 2017 at 20:41

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