One of the things I promised myself I would do this year is get caught up on my reading. So I spent my birthday – January 2nd – doing just that. I started with Gygax Magazine issue #01.
Now issue #1 did come out in February of 2013, so it may seem that I'm a bit late with this, but here's the thing: For my escapism, I turn to Sword & Sorcery, not Science Fiction. So, as with other magazines, I skipped over the Science Fiction portions of the magazine.
Well, I went back and re-read the Sword & Sorcery parts and then squeezed in the Science Fiction parts.
Lenoard Lakofka wrote one of my favorite pieces – because I'm biased, of course. I'm biased because he agrees with me! Surprise! LOL
In his article, "Leomund's Secure Shelter," he gives a reminder to DMs, he states: “The DM, whether old or new, just has to create a mindset that the books are only guides. The DM has the final ability to rule and conduct the game.”
How many times have you guys – those who know me apart from my Blog – heard me say; “They're not rules, they're guidelines!”? The only difference it that Len is writing this for those DMs who have forgotten this important point. I, on the other hand, have to keep reminding my Players of this fact.
I do like Len's suggestion that, if the Player wants to try something “outlandish,” let him! As the DM, simply assign a percentage to the possibility and let the Player roll the dice. That's a good way to look at it and it's good advice.
James Ward tells of his experience gaming with Gary Gygax -- "Playing in the Science Fiction Way" -- and how Gary suddenly threw a Sword & Sorcery group onto a Space Ship, leaving them to figure out how to get back to their world of magic. It sounds as though they had a good time with it, so I won't disrespect that. It's not my place to do so. I simply say that – for me – I wouldn't enjoy it.
Sure, I grew up with Star Trek, I was there for the originals, not the re-runs of the original. I enjoyed Star Trek and The Next Generation too. But, I didn't like Deep Space Nine, Voyager or Enterprise. At the urging of my friend Maldin – whom some of you know – I watched Babylon 5 . . . and liked it! I didn't care for the follow up, Crusader. And yes, I watched all of the Star Wars movies, but not the animated versions.
Except for the shows I've named, no Science Fiction for me. For books, games and movies, give me Sword & Sorcery. Not Epic Fantasy, because that can be anything. My generation called it Sword & Sorcery and it wasn't a sub-genre of anything. For me, it still isn't.
There are two nice pieces by Luke Gygax -- "Bridging Generations" -- and Ernie Gygax -- "The Gygax Family Storyteller" -- about their dad and the things he did when they were young, things that they wish to emulate; Luke with his own children. I found those two articles a joy to read. Not that I agree with everything E.G.G. did, like I said, I don't mix my Science Fiction with my Sword & Sorcery. Gary did. It was just nice to see how the whole thing began to be formulated in the beginning.
James Carpio has a piece showing how the gaming worlds are coming full circle, "The Cosmology of Role-Playing Games." I had never looked at it like that. I saw the games as “spreading out” and going in new and different directions. Of course, the OSR is a return to the games that "were," so Mr. Carpio brought home an excellent point. I enjoyed the article and his take very much.
Ethan Gilsdorf's piece about “The Future of Tabletop Gaming” really struck home. I was never the shy, geeky type, but much of what he spoke about touched home. I think many of you would feel the same way, should you give his article a read.
Ethan “set the way-back machine to the 1970's a.k.a., the hangover from the Sixties” and let fly! It was quite a ride and brought back many a memory. Yep, January 2nd, 1961 is my "day," so I was there and saw it, and it happened just the way Ethan said it did. Don't look for me to talk about it though, I'm here to encourage you to read it for yourself!
I can't touch on every article, but I won't close this out without mentioning the return of “The Order of the Stick!” I love that comic and Rich Burlew did not disappoint. Our intrepid heroes are trying to determine how to make their triumphant return in a new magazine. They decide to take on an “oldie but goodie” adventure . . . and rid a farmer of the giant rat infestation in his basement! LOL
There's also Phil Foglio's “What's New? With Phil and Dixie” and Jim Wampler's “Marvin the Mage,” two more excellent comics.
So, after taking on issue #1, I can say that Gygax Magazine is off to a good start and I hope for it's success. We can't have too many magazine supporting the Game(s) we all love! So, if you haven't given Gygax Magazine a try yet, hunt down your own copy and do so, you won't be disappointed.
Next Post, look for me to talk about Gygax Magazine's issue #2.
Until then, keep on Gaming and don't let anyone put down our hobby. They ridicule our hobby blind to the fact that others are ridiculing theirs.