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Jeff's Gameblog
Tuesday, 15 June 2004
Gaming Magazines of Yore, Part 2 of 2
Different Worlds was a truly great generalist magazine. Unlike Dragon or early White Dwarf it never seemed to have an overpowering bouquet of AD&D. The mix was just right. IIRC Chaosium published it, but you couldn't tell. There was one special Call of Cthulhu themed issue and a fair amount of Runequest stuff, but any decent game magazine would carry articles on CoC or RQ.

Although I wouldn't pass up a chance to get any DW for cheap, two issues in particularly stand out. Number 15 had a Traveller article by Paul Crabaugh called "More Citizens", which had new basic (Book 1,Supp 4) career paths for char gen. As I understand it, one of the career paths in the article is a generic "citizen", i.e. for regular schmoes. Issue 20 contains a piece called "Zarzeena's World", a campaign setting for Magic World, the generic fantasy BRP rules that came in the old Worlds of Wonder boxed set. I'm curious about Zarzeena and his/her/its world because the article is by Steve Perrin of Runequest fame. I'd like to see what he does when tasked with creating a fantasy setting that isn't Glorantha.

Another great magazine from the old days was Stardate. It was a sci-fi oriented mag, aimed mainly at the two hot FASA properties of the time, BattleTech and the Star Trek rpg. They covered other stuff, Traveller probably coming in third in terms of games covered. Great magazine. You could really tell the folks cranking it out loved the subject matter. Most every issue I owned had a good amount of crunchy stuff like stats for new BattleMechs or new Trek vessels. I need to sit down and figure out exactly which issues I still own and which I still need. I believe the magazine got through two years of roughly bi-monthly publication. The third year started out with a name change to Stardrive, maybe due to Paramount getting huffy about the term stardate. I think only one issue of volume three was published before the whole thing disappeared. Too bad. The gaming world was a better place when StarDate was around.

The were plenty of other magazines (and a viking horde of fanzines) produced back in the first couple decades of the rpg hobby. You can't properly discuss this subject without mentioning Alarums & Excursions, the very long-running rpg APAzine. Lee Gold is one of the invisible saints of the hobby for keeping A&E on track all these many years. I'd love to get into A&E, but it seems like a momental task to jump into this late into the game. I suppose I could just order some back issues and see if I liked them.

I mentioned Vortext in one of yesterday's blog entries. I don't know much about it other than it went about 8 issues and number 4 has a World of Synnibarr adventure.

White Wolf produced a decent gaming magazine back before they turned it into Inphobia. The earlier White Wolf Magazine incarnation was a pretty decent generalist magazine. I only had one issue, but it was pretty good stuff. Issue #10 has an article that I'm very curious about, written by the Rasmussens of Top Secret fame.

Finally, I'd sure like to learn more about Ares magazine. It was published by wargaming great SPI, so it undoubtedly had a somewhat different focus than other rpg mags. Still, I seem to recall it had a Call of Cthulhu themed issue.

Posted by jrients at 9:53 AM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, 15 June 2004 7:49 PM CDT

Thursday, 17 June 2004 - 12:33 PM CDT

Name: Rich Sample

Don't forget Shadis...and what was that other one?...Fantasy/Space Gamer...I remember that mag had some cool one-shot rpg systems in them...

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