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Gygax magazine issue #1 $4.99
Average Rating:4.4 / 5
Ratings Reviews Total
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Gygax magazine issue #1
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Gygax magazine issue #1
Publisher: TSR, Inc.
by Paul T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/04/2015 12:16:11

Loved the issue and I am anxious to get more. Ethan Gilsdorf's article is worth the price.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gygax magazine issue #1
Publisher: TSR, Inc.
by Яы B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/18/2013 00:13:10

TSR set out to create a magazine reminiscent of the original Dragon mag and were resoundingly successful. Looks, feels, and reads like the original. Good content from both old and new contributors. Editing and technical writing is excellent.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gygax magazine issue #1
Publisher: TSR, Inc.
by Timothy H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/26/2013 05:48:05

I really enjoyed this issue and I'm sure I will enjoy other issues when they come in the mail (I get a free PDF with a subscription to the magazine). I feel like a little kid again getting issues of Dragon in my mailbox, because this magazine really feels like Dragon. Great stuff.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gygax magazine issue #1
Publisher: TSR, Inc.
by Patricia B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/14/2013 20:29:10

My husband and I were thrilled to find this new magazine. We've played D&D since the early days and recently introduced it to our two young boys. We prepared ahead of time and it was a perfect way to spend the time after the power went out during hurricane Gustav. I still have my Dragon Magazines from the early 80s as well as my boxed sets of D&D and AD&D. When I met my husband he had actually read all of Gygax's Gord the Rogue novels. We were lucky enough to sit in on a panel with just Mr. Gygax at a con in the early 90s when he had just released Dangerous Journeys. The little room was crowded and we sat on the floor at his feet. I've enjoyed the articles in this magazine and we were both very appreciative of the fact that the digital copy was included. Finding an article about introducing kids to RPGs was nice, but it did make us feel our age...old. We bought two copies, one that we can share with our boys and one to save upstairs in the walk-in closet full of our rather historical collection of RPGs and comic books. I suppose it's time to check to see if #2 is available.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gygax magazine issue #1
Publisher: TSR, Inc.
by Charles B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/07/2013 12:07:44

An Excellent magazine. Bring me back to my beginnings and yet gives information I can use now. Thank You.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gygax magazine issue #1
Publisher: TSR, Inc.
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/26/2013 05:58:09

An Endzeitgeist.com review

The first installment of Gygax magazine is 68 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page ToC, 1 page introduction, ~17 pages devoted to advertisements (two pages of my count represent accumulated smaller ads that don't take up a whole page), leaving us with a total of ~48 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?

James Carpio kicks off the issue with an appropriate overview of the roleplaying systems that have developed from our hobby's humble beginnings via a massive galaxy-style spread-graphic. The article per se is very meta-game and as a first introduction/primer - while a daunting task, the overall graphic is surprisingly beautiful, though not complete, as was to be expected. Generally, I applaud the idea of the article and it is well-written, but the article, even when taken on its meta-level, has an issue - In order to properly depict a genesis/overlook of the systems, one would either require insight into the respective design-philosophies or simply more space for a proper scientific and extensive look at the genesis. In the space allotted to it, the article serves to whet one's taste and sate basic curiosity, but not more.

The second article by Tim Kask, "Still Gaming after all these Years" is a look at the fascination of gaming and effort to determine what the true essence of the fascination of tabletop rpgs is all about - and it's not a bad article. Unfortunately, I am perhaps the single worst person to comment on it, since I've read a couple of dissertations in sociology that necessarily took a more complex and analytical approach to explaining the dynamics and components of gaming. Now, that being said, if you want an essay-style article to formulate some components of the fascination of gaming out for you or make an eloquent point, then this might be just what you’re looking for.

Lenard Lakofka's contribution is a direct continuation of the "Leomund's Tiny Hut"-articles, now under the name of "Leomund's Secure Shelter". Beyond an overview and reminiscence of days of old, old-school gamers (and guys like me who fondly remember COMPONENTS of old-games - all in all I'm VERY content with the direction gaming has taken...) get a table and calculations that seek to answer the old question "Is +1 damage or +1 to hit better" in the context of THACO. One of my players got a chuckle out of this table, since he actually did a spreadsheet for all ACs/THAC0-combinations to optimize his attacks. Yeah. In 2nd edition. My players were and still are insane sometimes. And yeah, I would have appreciated a concise THAC0/AC-rundown table here as well.

Ronald Corn offers us an article that depicts the ecology of the banshee, perhaps my most favorite incorporeal undead creature - and it is a great article, even if you don't directly use the old-school, rather rudimentary mechanics provided by the article. The optional abilities mentioned can easily be transcribed to a wide array of systems and apart from the slightly trite genesis that is provided for the banshee and a lack of ties to elven/faerie lore, this article, as the first with actual content, does its job well indeed and should provide some neat ideas for you to scavenge.

Luke Gygax shares an extensive anecdote on the acquisition of Dragon #8 and Nevin P. Jones tells us about the virtues of tabletop gaming and his good experiences with the Roll20-community and system in particular. The latter article is split in half, btw., requiring you to skip to later pages.

Dennis Sustare brings us an article focused on bringing the magic back to a game and making magic feel more magical - something I can get behind and often have commented on with regards to spell, curses, incantations and how the codification of enchantment and sense of entitlement has imho hurt this central aspect of the game. What I can't enjoy about the article is that it essentially boils down to pointers towards e.g. the Quicksilver or Mistborn-RPG/books. I don't need that and it doesn't help me - it's a pity, really: I fondly remember Denis Sustare's ideas and this article is surprisingly bereft of them and remains basic advice that did not bring anything to my table.

James M. Ward makes, especially in contemporary fantasy, a very good point in his article "Playing the Science-fiction Way" - the boundaries of genres have been blended in modern fantasy/sci-fi, with hybrids like steampunk, cyberpunk etc. influencing the parental genres and said influences often being seen as "wrong" by grognards - even though classic modules of our youth were trailblazers in this blending of genres, with often extremely remarkable results. Giving said influences a chance can enrich any given game in my opinion and the author makes a concise and poignant case in defense of sci-fi elements in fantasy. Something to think about when the knee-jerk impulse to condemn psionics, nations like Numeria in Golarion or the inclusion of space-travel (whether in Spelljammer ships or proper space-crafts...) kicks in next...Variety adds spice and contemporary fantasy literature is richer for the facets the blending and cross-pollination of genres has provided us with.

Cory Doctorow has an interesting article to bring new players into the fold - advice on DMing for toddlers! Beyond the basic math and similar skills learned while playing, the advice is, as far as I can tell, having no children, sound and makes for a good article that might not only make your children appreciate the hobby from an early age, but actually help them develop their skills as they play - while not in a scientific way, then at least in a fun way that will prove to be more efficient and fulfilling for both parent and child.

On the more crunchy side of things, Steve Kenson gives us 9 new powers complete with stunts (often multiple), limits and which cover e.g. evolution forwards and backwards through time, before Ethan Gilsdorf takes us on a meditation on the past, present and future of roleplaying games, how they changed the world and what the future may hold for them, while Ernest Gary Gygax Jr. shares with us some personal memories on how the art of storytelling to make children sleep in the house of Gygax evolved - a heartwarming article, to be sure, though again one that was split in the middle.

Players of the Godlike-RPG will enjoy 3 new Talents by Dennis Detwiller and we also have a massive article by Michael Tresca who talks to us about conversion and the subtle traps of converting modules and content from one edition of D&D to another - an intriguing one, that, and there's quite some potential here - in future issues, I'd love to see concrete conversion guidelines for respective systems, though, instead of just general pieces of advice.

Michael Curtis provides us with the lengthiest article in the magazine, the village of Gnatdamp - a fully depicted town, including a one-page b/w-map and extensive information on the village as well as 3 sample adventure hooks - a great article, though I would have enjoyed a keyless (i.e. no numbers etc.) version of the map to show to players without breaking immersion by denoting the village's "hotspots".

Kobold-in-chief Wolfgang Baur also has his corner in the Gygax magazine, providing us with more crunchy morsels, this time especially nice for fans of AGE: Randall Hurlburt has 16 new magical miscellaneous items for the AGE-system ready, while Rodrigo García Carmona brings inventions to the system with concise rules for the new engineering focus (subset of cunning), the invention talent as well as rules for blueprint-creation and gadgetry. Nice!

Marc Radle also has something up his sleeve that is especially relevant for players of Pathfinder (or other d20-iterations, though these require potentially more work!): We're talking feats. Not feat-bloat, but rather an alternate approach to a couple of them, namely feat-chains: We've all been there: All right, we have two weapon fighting, that means later we'll have to get the Improved and greater varieties. And let's face it, they're boring. Useful, yes, but oh so bland - Marc Radle's approach is the following: Kill these feat-chains. The feats herein are designed to replace whole feat-chain with organically-scaling benefits that have their powers unlocked gradually. The process by which more of these can be made or some excluded is laid bare and rather simple, making it possible for DMs to customize how many they'll use and create new ones. Mechanically a great contribution ad actually imho more streamlined than the basic Regular-Improved-Greater-progression.

There is one thing the article omits, though, and it is a crucial piece of information DMs NEED: Balancing. Replacing 3 feats with 1 is a net-power gain of 2 feats that can be allocated in a different way. If you take a fighter, he can get A LOT of complete feat-chain-feats via these rules. And "The

GM will need to decide how to handle these grey areas should they arise." is NOT a valid piece of balancing advice. Now don't get me wrong, design-wise I LOVE these and enjoy them quite a bit, but just thinking how much easier normally feat-intense tricks become available to classes like e.g. the bard or rogue makes my head spin and requires proper balancing advice.

We also get some comics, "Marvin the Mage", "What's new?", "Order of the Stick" and "Dungeon 101". Since humor is highly subjective, I'll refrain from commenting on these.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch; I didn't notice any glaring mistakes - though I don't particularly care for the articles split in the middle. They annoyed me back in the day and have thankfully died out mostly here in Germany - I hope future issues of the magazine will have them all in one place. Layout adheres apart from some pieces of advertisement to a relatively printer-friendly b/w-3-column standard that proves that the 3-column standard can work when done right, so nothing to complain on that front. The b/w-artworks are thematically fitting and hearken back to the days of old in flair and execution and are solid, though not mind-boggling. As a mayor comfort-detriment, especially with the presence of split articles, I'd rank the fact that this magazine has no bookmarks - in this day and age, where even some files with less than 10 pages feature them, this is a serious blunder. I'm also not sure whether any part of this magazine's rules is open content since there is no SRD included - not sure whether I like that.

Oh boy, how to review this? Gygax Magazine seeks to provide something for everybody while hearkening back to the days of the old Dragon-magazine - but does it succeed? Yes...and no. The presentation and overall flair of the magazine is dauntingly old-school and evokes that same feeling that puts it in a direct line of succession with the classic. The magazine "feels" right, it tugs at your heart's strings and provides that warm, fuzzy feeling of nostalgia so many of us crave. And nostalgia isn't bad or foreign to me - I do own ALL Frog God Games/Necromancer Games-products ever put out and have a complete collection of just about every obscure 2nd edition setting out there as well as a myriad of old Dragon and Dungeon issues.

And still, a nagging feeling of something missing just wouldn't go away. First, I attributed it to the magazine covering a variety of systems - but that wasn't it - I own all KQ-issues and never minded that they covered a multitude of systems. Nor was it the eclectic range of articles. No, it was something different. And then it hit me: Ideas.

Roleplaying is about ideas and they can be great, no matter what the system. And that is where the issue finds me unsatisfied. THACO-math is nice, but system-relevant and not about ideas, to give you an example. The general problem I have with this magazine is that there are not enough inspiring ideas, not enough content. The non-crunchy articles, the non-fluff articles are universally not bad reads - in fact, most of them are nice and even compelling at times - but too much space is devoted to establishing the old-school credibility of the authors and reminiscing. Somewhere along the line I didn't feel like I was reading a game magazine, but rather as if I was listening to some people tell me about their gaming stories and anecdotes. There's nothing wrong with such articles, they can prove to be insightful. But at this extent, we simply need more gaming content instead of moderately exciting talk about gaming and if we do get articles like this, I'd like them to have a proper punch-line, a point that is not readily apparent to 90% of DMs.

Even if you pull the card and say that this magazine is made to recruit, introduce new people to the fold, is not valid - a system-spanning magazine with this target demographic simply doesn't need to establish many of the things established in here - the audience is already listening and in the know.

Not due to any lack in quality (apart from the jarring lack of working bookmarks), but due to a lack in content, I can't rate this higher than 3 stars, in spite of it having some leeway due to being the first issue - even for those wearing the sepia-tinted glasses of nostalgia. If you're like me, you'll get something out of this issue, yes, but if you don't care for old-school gaming or simply lack a nostalgic vein, then this might not be for you. In spite of the criticism, though, I consider this a promising first issue of a magazine that could develop into something great. Future issues will show whether Gygax Magazine can manage to add some substance to its bones without losing its charming old-school appeal.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Gygax magazine issue #1
Publisher: TSR, Inc.
by William S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/24/2013 17:34:32

Thiis was an exciting trip down memory lane as I read this magazine today. On a cold rainy MAy day I was transported back to Allied Hobbies in the mall with my best friend and first gaming partner. We waited at the store and bought an issue of Dragon magazine. I do not recall the number although I may still have it as I am a pack rat. As I read the articles I reflected on both the quality of the articles and as when I was young wether what I read would make me want to buy something new. I have read the other reviews both good and bad. But for me this was exactly on this dark, damp, and dreary day exactly what I needed. A happy memory. I read with wonder the article by Ernie Gygax and it brought a wistful smile to my face.

Now on to the Magazine itself: First I enjoyed the Ecology article an old favorite of mine from the days of Dragon magazine. I found the city in the swamp an interesting place that with a bit of work could easily be tailored to any fantasy campaign setting. I smiled at the comics. and enjoyed the sci-fi article. I did not care for the Lafka article but then I usually did not care for his articles in the old Dragon issues either.

I highly recommend this Magazine for gamers of the "old school" if for nothing eklse the nostalgia. Moving forward I would like to see reviews of games and perhaps a branching out of the ecology section to other game systems. I will be buying the next issue.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Gygax magazine issue #1
Publisher: TSR, Inc.
by Steve A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/25/2013 08:43:35

While it looks like the "old" Dragon magazine, and the comics were very cool, the magazine as whole fell very short in terms of content. Not so much in the amount of articles, etc, but in their substance. It seemed like so many of them were reminicent writings, such as "When I was writing back in the day, I remember...", versus articles that had gaming style tips, tactics, adventures, "new" items and the like. It did have that "old school" feel, and it was neat to see so many of the "old" names writing for it, but I think if it were trying to resurrect the feel and attraction of the early Dragon magazine it fell short - like zombie level short. Too bad, but maybe the next one will hit closer to what this one seemed to promise.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Gygax magazine issue #1
Publisher: TSR, Inc.
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/29/2013 15:14:02

Enjoyable read. Nice old school feeling and Order of the Stick.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Gygax magazine issue #1
Publisher: TSR, Inc.
by Bruce L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/18/2013 10:00:24

This magazine is a lot of fun: it hearkens back to the 1980's days of "The Dragon Magazine". Some of the old-time authors even make appearances within the pages. It has a variety of material, for a variety of games, and I found all of the fantasy articles fun to read.

My only problem with this magazine, is that it is only quarterly! If it were a monthly rag, I'd be on it. I suspect, though, that making it quarterly, will allow for higher quality articles, as they will be able to be more careful in what they include. I am anxiously awaiting the next issue... Cheers!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gygax magazine issue #1
Publisher: TSR, Inc.
by Wayne T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/14/2013 19:21:47

Let me say that I agree with several of the other reviewers in that I feel humbled to even be able to review this new magazine. My roots go back to 1979 when Advanced D&D was just coming out and this first issue took me right back there. The style of the magazine immediately hearkens back to the first few Volumes of the old Dragon magazine. The artwork even triggered old, buried memories of when I first started gaming.

That said, I also would like to respectfully disagree with those reviewers that said there was little content. I have been reading gaming magazines for over 30 years and this was truly the very first issue of ANY magazine that I read cover-to-cover. I can't wait to see what's next and what direction the magazine truly takes.

I would also like to say that I am fairly certain that newer, younger gamers will not agree with this assessment. There was a strong resonance of nostalgia that would be missed by the younger readers. That is not a slam, just a fact. I feel very fortunate to be one of those older gamers and I am greatly encouraged with the surge of younger players. Let's face it. If we don't have "new blood' as it were the hobby would die a sad, slow death.

Bottom line, the artwork, the content and the promise of more in the future lead me to rate this 5/5.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gygax magazine issue #1
Publisher: TSR, Inc.
by VP401533 K. H. L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/09/2013 10:33:15

I have been rating other RPG magazines like hackmaster, kobold, signs & portents etc with 4 out of 5 rating. This first issue of Gygax is much to be applaud for old-school feel (like Dragon) but the current set of articles are dry and thin on materials. Possibly it is just a stage setter for better stuff in future issues but unlike other reviewers, I rate it as it is - Gygax magazine issue one. Only average. Quite disappointing.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Gygax magazine issue #1
Publisher: TSR, Inc.
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/04/2013 06:53:12

Originally published at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2013/03/04/tabletop-review-gygax-magazine-1/

Wow, let me just start off by saying how honored and humbled I am to review this piece. I think a lot of folks would agree with me in saying that this issue is a symbol of many things about our hobby: one, that we remember those that came before and celebrate them; two, that the love for the hobby causes it to go on and renew itself through the efforts of its proponents; three, that we hope Gygax magazine will be something that we can look back to years from now and say “yeah, I was around when that first came out, those were good times”. Seeing the cover of this issue is like seeing an old friend you thought you never would see again, it’s like rediscovering a bit of magic in a box out of the closet, and maybe it’s like that bit of trepidation when you see one of your favorite performing artists on stage for the first time, thinking “I hope they don’t suck live”. Maybe I’m waxing a bit heroic with my similes here, but you have to admit, the publication of a print magazine with “Gygax” emblazoned on the cover takes some Vorpal +4 Balls of Polished Steel in a world moving toward the digital. Even the foreword makes the point that it is amazing that you have purchased a print item in this day and age, even if you just bought the PDF or some other digital version.

However, the foreword doesn’t really talk about how amazing this publication really is. First off, Gary Gygax’s sons Luke and Ernest (Gary Gygax Jr.) are involved with the magazine. What exactly “involved” means is kind of murky, although they will be writing articles for the magazine on a regular basis, so it seems. Second, a new company named TSR Games Inc. has been founded by Jayson Elliott, who is apparently just a cool gamer guy who likes to start interesting projects, like magazines for niche subjects. So, TSR is back, but it’s completely different from the old one, except for the name and involvement of various Gygaxes. Third, Jayson and crew gathered up industry veterans, writers for The Dragon magazine and TSR staff from bygone days, and various other persons of note to write articles for this issue (and subsequent issues?). Let’s take a look at what exactly is in this thing.

A Galaxy of Opinion, a Lot of Memories

The first article, “The Cosmology of Role-Playing Games”, is really interesting. Basically James Carpio, a freelance author and proprietor of Chapter 13 Press if I did my Googling correctly, puts together this admittedly rough illustration of the history of role-playing games, with Dungeons & Dragons as the shining nexus of origin. Included is this incredible graphic I wish I could hang on a wall somewhere of a universe with concentric rings loosely distinguishing different eras of role-playing games and planets for the games that were pointed to as markers. It looks really cool. He outlines some defining periods when popular or influential role-playing games were developed, pushing the hobby in different directions. Like a Big Bang, James contends that role-playing games have more or less careened outward from D&D, splitting off and becoming different and more innovative until you get to today, where we have games using all kinds of mechanisms and themes. As for myself, just thinking of games like Kingdom of Nothing and The Dresden Files Roleplaying Game makes it clear to me how the RPGs on my shelf from the early 80s are so much different from the ones next to them from the 2000s. Also, since I am fascinated by the history of role-playing games, this article had me hooked right off the bat.

Next in the lineup were two old-school guys, one who had worked for Gary at the original TSR, and another that had been involved in helping write and edit rules for TSR, as well as writing for The Dragon: Tim Kask and Len Lakofka, respectively. It’s just amazing to me that these guys were asked and able to contribute to this magazine. Tim’s article, “Still Playing After All These Years”, is a collection of stories about being a Game Master and a bit about working for TSR. You get the sense that he’s got a lot of stories to tell. Len’s article is a bit obtuse, talking about the mathematics behind choosing a weapon that is +1 to hit vs. +1 to damage. Before that, he tells a few short stories about what he’s been up to all this time, his experience proofreading and editing the rules for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and how he had an influence on the project, being one who often made up his own rules to add realism or flavor to the game. When he begins talking about the +1 weapon I was a bit perplexed, thinking, “He does know Dungeons & Dragons doesn’t use THAC0 anymore, right?” Be that as it may, it adds to the old-school flavor of the magazine in general. In these first articles especially, there is a lot of nostalgia, and rightfully so perhaps, given the namesake of the magazine.

The two articles by Gary Gygax’s sons, Luke and Ernie, are definitely interesting to read. I don’t know about you, but I have not heard a peep from these guys until this magazine, and I didn’t even know their names. Luke’s article is roughly about seeking an issue of The Dragon so he could share a story or adventure he enjoyed in it with his family. He doesn’t really reminisce much about Gary or TSR or anything like that. The article is very much in the present moment, as though he is just talking about something funny that happened to him yesterday, not looking back and summing up any feelings or experiences. I hope to hear more from Luke in coming issues, and I am interested in what his articles will be like, because he strikes me as being somewhat ambivalent about role-playing games. Ernie Gygax’s article is much different. In it, he remembers fondly how Gary Sr. would tell bedtime stories and how he played with the different kids in the family (there are sisters too!). Ernie is much more open about his father, and what made him special. I tell you, if any article was going to make me tear up a little bit, it was this one, as this is a great read and a nice little window into the Gygax household of yore.

Looking at Role-playing in General

There are a slew of articles in this magazine. I can’t believe they have so many, and I will be surprised if there are the same number in future issues. Of course, it is a quarterly magazine, so they have more time to get all that stuff together, so we’ll see. There were a few I didn’t read because they just didn’t interest me, and they seemed to be for specific games or on very specific subjects, like banshees or powers for ICONS. One article I did enjoy was called “Keeping Magic Magical” by Dennis Sustare, as he had a lot of good things to say about magic that I agreed with. Right away he points out the time-honored tactic of casting a sleep spell on a group of opponents, then resting to cast the spell on the next hapless aggressors, and he acknowledges how lame it is. Another example he gives is using a “create water” spell to drown enemies, or do various other things the spell was probably not intended for in the first place. Basically, he gives some examples of poor and unimaginative use of magic, then proceeds to give several ways that magic can be treated so that it does not become rote and crutch-like. He suggests using cards from Magic: The Gathering, treating magic ability like a special power that requires more energy to be more effective, essentially offering ideas for limiting the simplistic “you know this spell, you pretty much cast it whenever” way of handling magic. I really appreciated this article, as it was well-written, offered lots of varied examples, and was focused. While this may be one of those articles where seasoned and savvy GMs figured this out ages ago, some GMs with less experience might welcome some ideas on limiting the efficacy of magic-users they find are overpowered. Obviously Dennis was not writing about low-level D&D mages, because there ain’t nothin’ overpowered about that!

I was a little surprised to find an author here whose name I recognized from a book I had randomly picked up: Ethan Gilsdorf (a perfect fantasy RPG name if I ever heard one!). I have read his book Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks, and I found it to be a rather aimless and tepid look at geek culture. At the end of the book I was left wondering: “is this former geek still a geek, or is he sort of bi/curious about the whole thing?” I mean, I love being a geek, and if you are going to write a whole book about it, I would expect an enthusiastic voice! Nonetheless, I thought his article here in Gygax was good. It is entitled, rather definitively, “The Future of Tabletop Gaming”. He gives an account of the 70s when he began to have a social life by getting involved with Dungeons & Dragons, meeting up with a band of other newly minted role-players. From nostalgic recollections, he explains the effect of the rise of technology on gaming and how, in the 80s, there were more and more alternatives to sitting at a table for several hours rolling dice and drawing maps. He remarks heroically about how much D&D taught him, and how it has affected so many people who are creative minds and big names in the entertainment industry today. Overall, the article is a nice blend of nostalgia and personal thoughts on the hobby, but it is so focused on D&D you might wish he would try some other games. At least I did. Mr. Gilsdorf can’t seem to help himself, making platitudes here and there and otherwise sweeping statements about this or that aspect of role-playing and role-players in general, and that’s fine, as I think I have the same tendencies. However, you have to remind yourself when reading the article that this is just his view, and while he tends to write more authoritatively and empirically, a critical eye will reduce each statement down with the simple qualifier: “so says you”. I may have bashed him a little, but this is a good and entertaining read.

Everyone Has Ads

Ads, this magazine has them. From full-page color ads down to little black-and-white space fillers, everything from conventions to tabletop games to gaming accessories are advertised here. I honestly did not mind them, and I liked looking at the different products and layouts. It reminded me of the short period of my life when I read comics, and it reminded me of when I didn’t keep track of games through podcasts and websites, but more by going to the game store and perusing shelves or flipping through some issue of SCRYE or Nintendo Power. Okay, okay, I’m just going to go ahead and say I really liked the ads, they brought me back to some good times. I don’t know if their novelty value will wear off with future issues, but if they keep the circulation fresh with new ads, then I think it’ll be fine. The other non-article material in the magazine consists of comics. Fun! Even better than that, they are comics about gaming. Phil Foglio is among the crew of comic artists/writers, and each one I read was genuinely humorous and well-done.

Gosh, what else is there to say? I thought this was an excellent first issue. I will be curious to see how much treatment Dungeons & Dragons will receive in relation to other RPGs, and hopefully there will be some more branching out and more articles for indie games. In relation to system-specific magazines like The Rifter for Palladium and Pyramid for Steve Jackson Games (GURPS), I can see Gygax having a great chance of success covering a broader scope of the hobby, and I hope it does. While I have not yet received my print copy (ahem!), the PDF looked great. The layout looks very professional and the style is very clean. I will complain a bit about cutting Ernie Gygax’s article in half and making me scroll to the end of the magazine to read it… it was such a good article, how could it get the “continued on page blah blah” treatment? Gygax Jr. gets the hook, but an article about super-talents in Godlike during WWII is just fine to interrupt it with? I don’t get it. Also, Ernie’s article should have been earlier in the magazine, in line with the other old-timers and nostalgia feelings. That said, I definitely recommend getting this magazine, even if just the PDF version, to read through and enjoy. It’s got a little something for everyone, and I think even non-roleplayers would enjoy reading some of the non-technical articles. A piece of role-playing history for five bucks? Just do it already. Support Jayson Elliot and Gygax magazine, maybe ten years from now we will all be glad you did.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gygax magazine issue #1
Publisher: TSR, Inc.
by John W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/03/2013 03:08:09

Gygax magazine takes me back to the begining, I began my love affair with Garys games almost a lifetime ago I was 11 and I have been an avid player since the begining. I am 50 and still playing, This magazine is one that I will get and look forward to reading each month, Awesome job, Glad to see TSR logo out there again and proud that his boys are at the helm. Till next month. JR .



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gygax magazine issue #1
Publisher: TSR, Inc.
by Randy G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/24/2013 18:08:56

I've followed the build up up to the release of this magazine, and in my opinion, the staff of Gygax magazine has gone above and beyond with this project. I've heard the staff say in podcast interviews that they want to keep the roots of the early days of gaming alive, as well as keep the magazine current and relevant to those who play newer RPGs. I am thoroughly impressed with the level of success they accomplished in doing just that. There are articles that made me think I was reading an old issue of Dragon magazine from the 80s, and then there were other articles that covered virtual tabletop gaming. I'm still not through all of the material yet, but I had to take a break and let others know that this is a great buy. Thanks to the entire TSR staff for their efforts. You guys should be very proud of your work.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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