An extended excerpt from the Feb/March 2000 Internet 101, Spelunking the Web column by Ed Gibson:
We're going to explore the Underdark this month, but first we have the Favorite Gaming Web Sites winners from August's contest. The entries were narrowed down to two finalists.
The first finalist is www.rpghost.com, submitted by Aerine Caerwyn. This is a professional site, supported by advertising and an online hobby shop. The hobby shop promises 15% off retail prices, and offers a wide selection of gaming products. The Maps section provides a variety of city, dungeon, wilderness and miscellaneous maps (many suitable for use as treasure maps in your campaign). Overall, the maps are of high quality, with many appearing to be professionally rendered. The Worlds, Player, Magic and Various sections contains a number of netbooks for different D&D Worlds (Dark Sun, Birthright, Planescape, etc.) as well as information on topics such as cults and herbs. A netbook is a collaborative effort wherein a number of authors submit their ideas to an editor, who complies the ideas into a coherent whole. Warning: some books are not suitable for all ages. The books are stored as zip files for faster downloading. RPG Host also provides scenarios with brief blurbs and a number of fonts suitable for fantasy gaming. Finally, the site offers free hosting for your roleplaying-related Web site. If you're interested in netbooks, you might also try Blue Troll's site, at http://www.fortunecity.com/victorian/byzantium/55/list.htm.
Our second finalist is The Kingdom of Hurva, at http://www.nb.net/~casper/Larry/dnd, (webmaster's note: now simply www.hurva.org) a complete campaign setting submitted by its creator, Larry Geyer. The Hurva site features detailed information on cities, laws, holidays, organizations and mythology, all of which can be adapted to other campaigns. The Web site for the campaign is very impressive (readers are encouraged to send in their campaign Web sites for future columns). However, the site offers more than just information and details on Larry's personal campaign. 102 new AD&D non-weapon proficiencies are listed and defined in Player's Option: Skills & Powers format. A comprehensive list of NWPs is provided in the site's House Rules section, listing items from sources ranging from The Age of Heroes to The Will & The Way. The Campaign section offers tales of past adventures and information on Hurva's player characters. In addition, a variety of painted miniatures are presented for PCs, NPCs and monsters. The Reference area lists musical selections Larry uses to set the proper mood during game sessions. Finally, the site suggests some recipes which don't take a lot of time away from the gaming table. (I'm looking forward to trying the Anti-Vampire Pasta.)
Before I announce the winner, Bryan Sims is awarded Honorable Mention for suggesting The Cavemaster, at http://spitfire.ausys.se/johan/. This site can randomly generate NPCs, village maps and fantasy names.
And the winner is: Larry Geyer. Congratulations Larry, Aerine, and Bryan! RPGA HQ will be sending you your prizes. Thanks to everyone who participated.