Saturday, April 18, 2009

Beginnings and Endings

I'm currently in Madison, Wisconsin for the weekend, and am getting ready to go to Minneapolis-St. Paul for Dave Arneson's memorial on Monday. It's pretty obvious to me now that Dave's passing had a much bigger effect on me than I was initially willing to admit. That having been said, there have been a few gaming-related ideas chasing through my mind. In no particular order:
  • Alchemy and alchemists: there's been some interest lately in the idea of alchemists in D&D. Combined with the idea of spell components, one person pointed out that this means magic-users get lots more "screen-time" if this is done. Not necessarily - I can see magic-users hiring druids, rangers and the like to gather spell and alchemy components. Moreover, groups of adventurers would be likely choices to get the more-difficult-to-find stuff.
  • Traveller Tuesday: one of the more interesting things I did recently was to find my old Traveller set from 1977 - and you know what? It reads quite differently from the 1981 revision. (Surprise, surprise). And there is also the different mapping scheme, and other recollections from the past. Now that I have a decent all-in-one printer, I can scan in some old stuff to share with all of you.
  • Old fanzines: a side-effect of digging out the old Traveller stuff was finding a bunch of old fanzines, including a fairly complete run of Ryth Chronicle, edited by John Van De Graaf (John, you out there?). Ryth Chronicle got a mention in an early Strategic Review, so it is notable for being one of the earlier non-APA RPG gaming 'zines. One of the more interesting finds in Ryth Chronicle was a chart showing characters in the campaign, both dead and alive, along with XP, number of sessions, etc. I plan on doing something with that and the other fanzines I found.
  • Magic-User - completely new interpretation. This one is a bit more of a project; I wanted to come up with a magic system more like that of Chivalry & Sorcery, but clearly still rooted in D&D. Some time ago I updated my notes for this to 3rd Edition; now I get to strip a lot of that out and go back to my original thoughts on the subject.
...and then there's more besides all of that.


  1. Looking forward to seeing some of the 77 Traveller tidbits. Never looked at the original edition myself.

  2. Would it be possible to post scanned stuff from those old Ryth fanzine articles? Yesterday a fascinating scan with lots of Ryth stuff turned up at Risus Monkey and I found the connection between your post and the Risus Monkey one extremely fascinating.

  3. John lives in Austin, TX these days, don't have a current email address for him, but I've got a phone number if you want it.