|Places to Go, People to Be||[Next Article] [This Issue] [Home]|
Well, here we are at issue 21. It's a magic number in several respects. 21 is three times seven. Three having mystical significance as the number of the trilogy and seven as the number of Jesus (six being the devil's number). 21 is the age of new beginnings, in the Tarot it is the card of the World which marks the completion of a cycle and the beginning of the next. Solstices fall on the 21st, where night and day are of equal length. The Spring Solstice is the time of rebirth and Autumn the time of death. 21 is the age when childish things are put aside and the passage into adulthood is complete.
Arcane, one of the inspirations for Places To Go People To Be, only managed 20 issues but we've arrived at 21, albeit with some tardiness that prompted at least one concerned reader to write in. Part of the reason for this is the transfer of editorial responsibilities from Steve Darlington to myself and part was due to the difficulty of obtaining quality articles for the zine. Hopefully things will go more smoothly as we move on.
It's also been 21 months since the Dungeon & Dragons 3rd edition came out and 21 years since Call of Cthulhu was published. This double anniversary is not without further significance because recently the d20 version of CoC was published by WotC under licence from Chaosium. This marks a notable coming together of two halves of the gaming world. For sure we've had a GURPS version of Call of Cthulhu in Cthulhupunk, there have also been GURPS versions of Traveller and some of the World of Darkness series. These happened mainly in a period between the difficult 2nd edition AD&D with it's many rules add-ons and the current more thought-out edition. Although AD&D was probably still the most widely played RPG in the world it was probably one of the least talked about, particularly in the various magazines that sprung up during those 11 long years, and which have mainly since disappeared.
So Conspiracy X is being GURPSed, Castle Falkenstein has been already. Traveller is becoming a d20 game, Stormbringer, Fading Suns and Star Wars have already done so and Atlas Games are publishing dual system games for d20 and Unknown Armies (a little birdie tells me this has increased sales by 50%). Hmm, UA, where have I seen those initials before?
Meanwhile White Wolf is still ploughing its own furrow but has branched out from Modern Angsty Horror into Superhero, Space, Anime Fantasy and Pulp games.
So as you can see, this time of change is also apparent in the greater gaming world. I'd be a fool to try and predict where it will all end up. Maybe down-sizing at WotC will reduce the tide of d20 material, maybe GURPS itself will go d20 like another SJ Games product, Munchkin, is about to. Perhaps Gary Gygax himself will write the definitive roleplaying game marrying together simplicity of resolution, depth of character portrayal and plotting so stunningly fiendish that Robin Laws gnaws off his own leg. Or maybe not.
In the news is that the non-event of an awards ceremony, the Origins Awards, has published its short list of nominations. Some know-nothings from GAMA chose from self-nominated contenders. As you may have guessed, once again we failed to make the cut in the Amateur Publication category. They ignore us at their peril. We have hordes of platypi... platypuses... well, Steve Darlington at any rate, poised to invade the US.
If you are going to vote be sure to look at Demonground, a full colour pdf fanzine dedicated to modern horror games. They said some nice things about us.
On to this issue's items. First I like to say a big thank you to a couple of new faces, Murray and Nick. I think Murray is actually an old PTG hand but he helped out with the links page and his return is welcome.
Nick has come on board to help with the editing. He has atrocious tastes in football teams but is an otherwise good guy. Nick hangs out quite a bit on our chat forum so drop in and have a word with him.
Along with the usual links, letter and highlights there are some great articles this issue. Aren't there always? We have The Five Greatest Glories of Gaming by your and my favourite monotreme exile, Steve Darlington. Steve looks at what games really give us. Another returning writer, Alex Locke, tries to find the appeal of Computer Roleplaying and Nick, who seems to have done more for this issue than I have says what to do if you get stuck in ... Pete Tong!!. Last but not least, Gothic Poetry. That's right, Petey the Pirate (our logo, do keep up) puts on crushed velvet and hangs around graveyards as Travis puts the rhyme back into RPGs.
Finally, it's BIG and it's on a weekend: it's the Brisbane Indoor Games Weekend. This successful convention is in its third year and this time will be raising funds for the Mater Misericordiae Hospitals. So get down their on the 4th-6th May and game your socks off.
[Next Article] [This Issue] [Home]