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You're traveling through another dimension,
Hey Rod! That's roleplaying you're talking about!
The Twilight Zone was the TV equivalent of the pulp SF of the 30's such as Astonishing Stories, Amazing Stories and Weird Tales. Given that Gary Gygax was born in 1938, he would have been an impressionable twenty one years old when these words were first uttered on US TV. It makes you wonder what will inspire the gamers of tomorrow.
How about a children's book written by a single mother and first time author about a school for wizards, or an Animé cartoon in which insect-like creatures are captured by a small boy and his cute yellow pet? What about a card game about magical duels?
One of our contributors, Jake de Oude, is a relative newcomer to roleplaying and started off playing in such a way by playing Magic. In Once Upon A Time he gives us the lowdown on how hard it is to get into gaming. This seems to be a fairly common theme amongst gamers. The initial interest and excitement turns into a Hemingway like struggle against adversity and when you eventually land the big fish it's just a pile of stinking bones.
Rebecca has spotted the obvious gap in the market and offers advice for GMs and potential players on how to get into Superhero gaming. This is a bit of a revelation for me as it is one of my least favourite genres. I have been inspired to meet her halfway and I've bought BESM on the back of this helpful article.
Moving on from there and challenging the player-GM dichotomy, Brendan Arnold offers us Changing the Roles in which he advocates allowing players more scope to develop the game setting. This is in the tradition of a long line of articles on this subject more of which can be found in our issue index.
On the other hand, and returning to more mainstream gaming, we have a review of some d20 products by Fiery Dragon Productions from Jody Macgregor. This is old school stuff and matches Necromancer Games' boast of "3rd Edition rules, 1st Edition feel".
As I stated quite strongly in last issue's editorial, I'm not a little disappointed by the lack of imagination in 3e. I can see that the straightforward style of gaming involving monsters, dungeons and treasures still has overwhelming popularity.
Call me an old fuddy-duddy but I think this may be more appealing to the younger end of the market: those who haven't already played what is basically the same killing and stealing game 94 times over. For me the appeal of the 1st edition was that it was the only game in town at the time. It's not that I want sensible gaming, far from it. Only now we have the ability to stretch the genre in new ways. A Call of Cthulhu scenario in which geriatrics competed to grow the largest marrow is the best game I have played so far this year!
Anyway, enough about me, here is Jesse Burneko with Why Bishops Move Diagonally and Other Stupid Questions. In keeping with the old school flavour of the 3e, Jesse makes a strong case for the importance of rules and game balance.
Now for some news from the gaming world. You'd think that with our two month turnover people would be unwilling to send us press releases but this time we have a bumper crop. Not only that but some fine upstanding person has offered us our first comp copy.
All the hard work finally pays off! We don't even have to review it! Let's hear it for Dennis Detwiller and his Godlike crew.
And now, here is the news:
Winners will be announced at Origins 2001 on July 6th in Columbus, Ohio.
[I note sadly that we have been passed over again this year. Pah! Awards, who needs them! Ed.]
This con offers both role-playing and war-gaming events for the weekend. There is a fair spread of games on offer including Warhammer 40K, Warhammer Fantasy Battle, AD&D, World of Darkness, Star Wars, Call Of Cthulhu, Deadlands: Hell On Earth, Shadowrun, In Nomine and Trinity.
Check the site for information on location, schedule, events and sponsors. Contact the organisers for any problems/questions/queries.
The magazine for dysfunctional roleplayers is back with issue #6. Check out our links page for more information. Not for sensitive souls.
Eden Studios announce in their regular monthly bulletins the following exciting news:
Check out http://www.edenstudios.net/news for more exciting Eden news
In the game you enter a world where the sun is in its dotage, where a flashing sword is less important than nimble wits, persuasive words, and a fine sense of fashion. Choose from three levels of play, a lowly rogue such as Cugel the Clever, surviving by wits and cunning, an ambitious and deadly mage searching for lost lore, like Turjan of Miir or finally a supreme magician to rank with Rhialto the Marvellous, commanding the omnipotent but quarrelsome Sandestins.
For information, news and support go to http://www.dyingearth.com.
A second printing of the core rules LAND OF OG (WNT2200, $9.95, ISBN# 1-929474-50-4) and a new source book, THE COMPLETE CAVEMAN'S CLUB BOOK (WNT2300, $9.95, ISBN# 1-929474-51-2) will be available in the range from May 2001
Their website offers more information.
Sack Armies is a unique game of military conquest played with collectible hex shaped tokens. Players assemble armies from their pool of unit, battlefield, magic, and maneuver tokens and place them into a sack. Once assembled, armies clash in a fast playing totally portable format as tokens are drawn randomly from each player's sack.
Playable on any clean surface without a board, dice or other components, Sack Armies' Virtual Battleground system ensures that no two games are the same. Players establish the Battleground through play using their chosen mix of Battlefield tokens each with unique terrain effects.
Scheduled as a summer GENCON release will be STAR LEGIONS: Science Fiction Collectible Miniatures Game. The limited edition Premiere release will feature Starter boxes of 10 random pre-assembled, pre-painted figures for a suggested retail price of US $18.00. Booster boxes of 5 random figures will be priced at US $4.95.
Nobilis, a roleplaying game by R. Sean Borgstrom, originally published by Pharos Press, has been completely revised and substantially expanded for the new Hogshead edition. Nobilis will be a large format, heavily illustrated "coffee table" style book. It is scheduled for release in September 2001.
Hogshead Publishing will also be releasing Realms of Sorcery this summer.
Realms of Sorcery, the near-legendary magic supplement for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay and the games industry's longest-standing "vapourware" (promised but not released) product, will be released in August this year by Hogshead Publishing. Realms of Sorcery was first announced in the original 1986 release of the game. Many fans have been waiting the full fifteen years for its release.
For more information see their website.
CyberCon is the first ever totally on-line convention for role-playing gamers. That's right, there are no travel costs, no booking headaches, no long drive, and no lines to wait in!
We have spent a lot of time gathering the best games and game masters the Web has to offer. We have screened every GM to make sure they know their stuff. Every game has to be pre-approved to meet our high standards! We have famous guest speakers whom will talk live with you. We host comprehensive seminars to help you better understand your gaming and industry. World premiers! Art Show! Auction! Even a costume contest! On top of all that you get to meet new players that share your interests. Did I forget to mention the contests & raffle and prizes for most games?
Very early in the recruitment phase, but we already have commitment from:
Ryan Dancey Tops Fortune 500 ListNEW YORK, NY - It was revealed today that the top position on this year's Fortune 500 list is held by none other than CEO of Wizards of the Coast and D&D tycoon, Ryan Dancey.
The list, which names the 500 richest men in the United States in order of net worth, has previously been headed by names such as Bill Gates, Ted Turner and Disney's Michael Eisner. This is the first year it has been topped by someone from the RPG industry.
Dancey stated that he was surprised to hear of his placement, and flattered that he had "benefited so richly from America's long-standing love affair with the roleplaying hobby, and D&D in particular."
Other RPG heavyweights high on this year's list include John Tynes, and Robin Laws. Laws' latest effort, Rune, broke sales records earlier this year when the entire print run sold out overnight. Tynes is most famous for his work on Delta Green, which inspired the hit film, and which is soon to be released as a Broadway musical.
Fortune editor Jack Schafer said that the RPG moguls should continue to feature highly in the list in the future. "Thanks to Oprah's new 'RPG Club' and big-name sponsorship deals coming through, RPGs are very big right now, and they look to stay that way for at least the next few years."
If you have any news items to submit, or any free games you'd like to distributed, please contact the editors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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