Q: What is cleandungeon.com all about?
A: The short answer is, cleandungeon.com is an encyclopedia of weapons and armor from history, mythology, and fantasy. Now the long answer.

I'm the lead designer for Od Studios, a company that makes video games. Part of my job involves doing "research", so when I'm playing games I always ask myself where the designers came up with the concept for this monster, or that weapon, or the game's setting, etc. Then I go look it up, jot down some notes, and having scratched my "scholarly" itch, go back to playing.

After 20+ years of gaming, it turns out I had a lot of notepads lying around. So when Od Studios decided to make a fantasy game, I got the chance to dig through my own paper memories to come up with a list of weapons and armor, a bestiary, character classes and skills, etc. This website is an attempt to catalog the weapons and armor portion of my notes. Although my initial concept for the site was to organize my own thoughts and provide other aspiring developers with a list of equipment that could go into their games, over time it developed into much more. So while game developers may find it the most useful, I think there is a more general appeal for those just interested in the subject matter.

Q: How can I find anything on this site?
A: On the navigation bar at the top, the link on the far right is the search page. Entering a keyword will return any articles with that word, or you can add filters. A filter will return a class of articles. When you click the Add Filter link it shows you what filters are available. Generally they are based on time period, geographical location, or cultural region. For instance the filter "14th century CE" will return a list of items that were in use during that time period, while the filter "Rome" will return a list of items that were related to the Roman empire.

You can add more than one filter, and use AND/OR logic to broaden or narrow your search. For instance, you can add the filter "Japan" then press the Add Filter button again and select "Sword". With OR logic, the search will return anything relating to Japan and anything relating to swords (probably not what you wanted). With AND logic, it will only return a list of swords that are also Japanese.

If you feel an article is or isn't where it's supposed to be feel free to leave a comment with your suggested correction and I'll do my best to fix it. You may also suggest additional tags and a list of articles that would fit. I will thank you in advance for any assistance you feel you want to give.

Q: Why is the site called cleandungeon?
A: One of the staples of video game RPGs is that the game's "heroes" are notoriously greedy little packrats. In most games, the first thing you do is break into every locked chest in the starting city and steal from everyone you know and love. To borrow a phrase, this "serial kleptomania" is an integral part of gaming, and one the things I frequently tell my friends is that, "A clean dungeon is a happy dungeon."

It's primarily a reference to games like Baldur's Gate in which you've cleared out a cave and dispatched all the kobolds, but you spent an additional 20 minutes hauling all the fire arrows and leather armor to the entrance so you can sell them to get the Dagger of Venom. "Leather armor for sale! One previous owner, near mint condition."

Q: Why don't you have any references/bibliography?
A: I've been told that I have an old school attitude, but I just don't believe the internet is a good place for scholarly research (yet). I still am and forever will be in love with books, and if you want to write a paper about medieval armor or gladiator equipment, I suggest you go to the library or buy a book on the subject rather than trust my articles to be an accurate account of how things were thousands of years ago.

That is not to say my articles are full of subtle lies designed to make you fail your history midterm; I use legitimate sources as often as possible. However, occasionally time constraints or other circumstances (laziness) require me to use wikipedia, google books, sacred texts or another website to provide me with the source material for the article. In those cases where I cannot physically hold my reference, I would rather err on the side of caution and not include one. The internet is full of inaccurate information plagiarized over and over until it becomes pseudo-fact, and I don't want to contribute to that if I can avoid it.

When possible, I include the name of the original work that I read to come up with the information for the article, and if you want to read it you can do a google search for "kalevala" or "saga of the volsungs" and it'll probably be out there waiting for you, translated into at least 3 languages and with cliff notes. However, my official stance is that like the Psychic Friends Network, this website is "for entertainment purposes only". I am not responsible for anything you learn while visiting the site.

Q: Your article is wrong, how can I submit a correction and/or make fun of your ignorance?
A: I wholeheartedly encourage you to correct me if I am wrong (and make fun of me if doing so will make you feel like an internet tough guy). What you should do is go to the bottom of the article and submit a comment. Please put your email address in the field, it won't show up to other viewers, but it will allow me to contact you at a later date. However, I do request that if you have a correction to make that you include a reference (i.e. a book) that backs up your claim. You can tell me that wikipedia said this or your uncle told you it was true, but I'm going to do my own investigation and if that's the only source then I'm disinclined to trust it.