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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mini Review - Gygax Magazine Issue #2


I guess Two is better than One ;)

I wasn't all that impressed with issue #1 of Gygax Magazine, as it was full of a significant amount of "here's my Old School Cred" and very little material that was worth something to "Old School Gamers".

Issue #2 of Gygax Magazine has measurable value for "Old School Gamers". There are other games represented too (including The One Ring, which is tempting me to sit down with the rules and maybe learn them).

So, what old school goodness do we have?

First, the Jeff Easley cover. Well done and very evocative of the classic Dragon Magazine covers from the mid 80's. It sets a nice tone.

Next up is Leomund's Tiny Shelter - Len Lakofka talks about death in AD&D. A bit chart heavy for me these days, but certainly the type of article you would find in a classic issue of The Dragon.

Jon Peterson has an article about what might be the earliest version of the D&D rules. Yep, he's the guy that wrote Playing at the World. The article is a good chance to see if you like his style of writing. It's a very interesting article at that.

Ken St. Andre +Ken St. Andre writes about ordinary characters in fantastic worlds. No game rules, just ideas and thoughts. Systemless.

The Old School Renaissance gets some attention from +Vincent Florio .You know, the guy behind ENnie winning Mazes and Perils. A decent article to point those interested in the OSR in the right direction.

+Jeff Talanian presents an article on adding some Lovecraftian strangeness to run of the mill fantasy. Or even taking it further, and moving on to "strange new lands" inspired by Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith and leaving the stale fantasy behind. Again, systemless but easily used for inspiration with the OSR ruleset of your choice.

The Blighted Lands are a peek at +Luke Gygax 's upcoming campaign supplement. It looks to be AD&D compatible. The dead tree version will even have fold out maps. My one complaint is that the introductory adventure starts out with three paragraphs of text to be read to the players - my group will zone out some where after the third sentence ;)

Did I mention the very nice maps? I'll be eagerly awaiting my print issue to arrive in the mail.

Heck, there's even a page of Order of the Stick :)

Well, there's other stuff too, but I must say the amount of articles aimed at and usable by old school gamers like me is impressive. Issue #2 of Gygax Magazine has leveled up.

Well done.

Contents for issue #2 of Gygax Magazine

Tactics in Samurai Battles by Tim Kask

The evolution from wargaming to role-playing by Ernest Gary Gygax Jr.

Hitchhiking in Doctor Who by Jay Libby

Leomund's Secure Shelter by Len Lakofka

A forgotten grimoire and its curse by Jon Peterson

From one geek to another by Jess Hartley

Building a winning spellbook for Mage Wars by Bryan Pope

Heroes, kings, and champions by Ken St. Andre

The old-school renaissance by Vincent Florio

Weird vibrations by Jeffrey Talanian

The inkubus by Gordon Dritschillo

The hare and the hill giant by Shane Ivey

Special Attraction

The Blighted Lands by Luke Gygax

The Kobold's Cavern

Super-science in fantasy games by Eric Hindley

Dueling through the AGEs by Rodrigo Garcia Carmona

Lost wonders of Caelmarath by Brian Liberge

Comics:

Full Frontal Nerdity by Aaron Williams

Order of the Stick by Rich Burlew



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