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I have seen things you *people* wouldn't believe.
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I've often said, to myself I've said:
'Cheer up Quicksilver you'll soon be dead;
it's a short life, and a gay one!'



Being, for the most part, a personal perspective on the early days of RPG's in England


I have not played an RPG in over 25 years, and the time period during which I was an active RPG-er was little more than 4 years. Like Roy Batty, however, I packed a lot of vicarious living into that time.

Four years in the life of an average human is enough time to complete a college degree, paint the Forth Bridge, or build a scale model of the Hindenburg out of matchsticks. You could also do something meaningful like have a kid, write a novel, finish a term as president of the United States, or cross the Andes by frog.

During that time an RPG-er will die a thousand deaths, experience the highs and lows of existence, the joy and misery that role-playing games trail in their wake. I'm talking here not about the fly-by-night RPG gamer, those who dip their toes in the water, but the hardcore. Those of us who will stay up until 3 am to complete a dungeon level, or roll dice to resolve combat as we walk down the high street on our way home from school.

Ours is a particular obsession, up there with the dedicated train-spotter or football fan. We have our own special anorak to wear, and we wear it like a badge of courage. Or wore it, in the case of some of us.

My life in the role playing world spanned four active years, a little shy of the lifespan of a Nexus-5, followed by several twilight years of tangential involvement. It was a different time, before the mainstreaming of fantasy, when gamers had to seek each other out and when it was hard to gauge how large was the gaming universe.

Although I wasn't there at the beginning of the hobby in the UK, I was there in the early days and they were great times. This list is a reminiscence of what it was like in those days, times long gone but fondly remembered.
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1. RPG Item: Tunnels & Trolls (Fourth Edition) [Average Rating:8.00 Overall Rank:3050]
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1977 - A Brave New World

I can’t date exactly when I was introduced to the fantasy roleplaying world, but I do know where and how. My family had recently moved to a home counties town and I’d started at a former grammar school that was later to boast Nick Hornby and John O’Farrell among its alumni. I’d become friends with a couple of lads who asked me if I was interested in coming along to the school Military Modelling and Wargaming Society. Like quite a few boys in Britain at my age I spent an unreasonable amount of time assembling and painting Airfix models, mostly of Second World War aircraft, and I was interested in all things military. I went along and they soon had me introduced to the world of SPI and Avalon Hill boardgames.

Not long after that one of the members stumbled upon Tunnels and Trolls, and we soon had a lunchtime/after school group that spent good chunks of time playing T&T. At that time our gaming was limited to short dungeon adventures and playing the few solitaire scenarios available for the game. The concept of a larger campaign setting wasn't part of the picture. It was fun, if simplistic, but it turned out to have a very limited shelf-life compared with the grand obsession that was just around the corner.
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2. RPG Item: Dungeons & Dragons (Woodgrain Box & White Box Sets) [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:273]
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The Revolution Will Be Photocopied

Much as I can’t remember the date that we first began playing D&D, I also can’t remember who brought the first set of rules to the society. It might have been Duncan. A year or two ahead of the rest of us, he had an avid interest in all things fantasy and, importantly at the time, more disposable income than the rest of us. For the average English schoolboy in the 70’s there wasn’t a lot of free cash to spend on games. On top of that, mainstream hobby shops didn’t carry FRP games, and they were only available by mail order from a few vendors. [Sidenote: at least one of those vendors is still in business today; Esdevium Games, or S.D. & V.M Games as it was named at the time, was one of my main sources].

For these reasons, clandestine after-hours photocopying at some parents' workplace became the fastest route to being able to play this addictive and highly enjoyable game. Reprehensible behaviour, and not what I'd want from my own kids, but there it is. We did all buy our own copies of the various books and manuals eventually, but in the early days most of us were working off copies of the charts and tables.

And the game was addictive in a way that is hard to understand now. In comparison to the mainstream force it is today, with millions playing World of Warcraft and flocking to big budget movies about elves and hobbits, fantasy was at the time an under-appreciated, almost disreputable, genre of literature. To those of us who were fans of fantasy literature, D&D was quite simply beyond comparison to anything else we'd ever encountered.
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3. RPG Item: Fantastic Wilderlands Beyonde [Average Rating:8.25 Unranked]
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The Magnificent Obsession

The speed with which D&D took over our lives was extraordinary. Within a very short period of time two campaigns were being run on a regular basis at lunchtimes at school, and we met at friends houses in the evening for ongoing gaming sessions. After a month or two of playing in other people's campaigns, I started to have strong opinions about how they should be run and decided it was time to put my own together.

In the space of a few days I had drawn a map on a hex grid (hand-numbering the hexes), pulled place and character names at random from my favourite fantasy author, put together my first dungeon (Aubec's Tower), and the Melnibonean campaign was born. Seemingly out of nowhere my friends and I found ourselves plunged deeply into a world that had its own life, one that lasted about a year and a half.

We played obsessively. At school, at home, on the way home from school. I remember on one occasion the room we used for after-school sessions was being closed up and we'd reached a critical point in a scenario. We continued the game on the way home, pulling reference charts from our satchels, rolling dice in the street. Call yourself a geek? You don't know you're born til you've retrieved your D20 from a gutter, wiped the dirt off it and rolled it down the high street to score the killing hit on a Hill Giant.

Other people's campaigns are sort of boring to talk about because you don't have the history of having played in them and knowledge of the in-jokes, so I'm not going to bang on at length about it. It's enough to say that the player characters lived it to the full and we had as many laughs as we did tense moments. Obediah the cleric, Sark the ambidextrous 18-strength fighter who fought with two daggers, Polo the monk ("people like Polo"), and Rackhir the one-armed archer, they were like family. Grotesquely disfunctional, borderline psychopathic, but family nonetheless.

They did...questionable things...but also extraordinary things. They reveled in their time, but that time was short. Looking ahead to the end of the story, the family broke up when the kids grew up and went to school. We went off to universities in different towns and, as if by mutual consensus although we never discussed it, the campaign ended. There was never any talk of picking things up where we left off when we got together during holidays. It had been a great time, but it just felt like it had run its course.
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4. RPG: RuneQuest (1st & 2nd Editions) [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:48]
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It wasn't just D&D, you know

It wasn't. D&D was the grand passion, but we also played two other great RPG's from the time.

Traveller (Classic) enjoyed a brief run of popularity with the group, mainly as a shoot-em-up dicefest. We never seemed to get out of the initial mission set-up in a bar without gunning down half the population and ending up shot to pieces ourselves. If we'd been in the bar at Mos Eisley, Obi Wan wouldn't have made it through the door, and the cantina band would be so much hamburger. It's a shame, really, because Traveller had a lot going for it. We just didn't have the patience to make it work.

Traveller never seemed to attract the same fan base in the UK as D&D. It was played at conventions, and there were some fanzines that focused on it, but it didn't have the same broad-based appeal.

RuneQuest (1st & 2nd Editions) was a different matter. We came to it late, but it was attractive for the more 'realistic' combat system, whatever that means, and the richness of the world created by Greg Stafford, one of the most original minds in fantasy game design. We'd had a great time playing the boardgames White Bear & Red Moon and Nomad Gods, and so playing characters in Glorantha was a natural progression when we became tired of elves and dwarves and halflings and all that.

It was Quentin Manley, a high school friend and talented artist who did almost all of the illustrations for my fanzine articles, who introduced me to Runequest (examples of Quentin's art: covers for The Beholder and Shire Talk). He ran an intermittent campaign that didn't attract a lot of players, but enough to make it fun. I toyed with the idea of converting my Melnibone campaign to the Runequest system, but I didn't get very far since I started considering it about the time the RPG urge was subsiding.
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The Universe Expands I - Conventions

But that's getting ahead of the story. Back when it was all new we wondered just how large was the geek universe. We didn't call it that, of course, geek being an American term we probably hadn't heard before, and it carried a different meaning then in any case.

We wondered instead how big was 'the hobby' in the UK. It felt like a pretty small club, but it was hard to know with the only means of measuring it being what we could glean from the few print publications available at the time.

Enter the game convention. One of the handy things about living on the outskirts of London was that it was a short train ride to the city centre. Most of the games conventions that sprang up at that time were held in London, although there were a few others at university towns around the country. The first one I attended was Games Day III at Seymour Hall. I still have the badge (pin, for the Americans) and programme. The latter is pictured in the image for this entry.

I don't remember the attendance being that huge, but I remember the fun of being able to browse games at display tables and talk to the game designers. Games Day became a regular annual event for the next couple of years, and I went even after I'd stopped playing RPG's just to see people I knew and find out what was new.

The event became big enough in the space of just a few years that it was held at the Royal Horticultural Hall in Victoria. At this point, attendance was in the thousands, and large scale D&D tournaments were being organized. My last memory of the event is being one of the DM's in the tournament designed and organized by Mike Stoner and Guy Duke of The Beholder.

After that I didn't attend a convention again until I moved to the US. In one of those odd coincidences that happen in life I moved to within an hour's drive of Lake Geneva and Milwaukee, home to GenCon in the mid-90's. What were the odds? Probably about a 19 to hit with a -1 die roll modifier.

There was something oddly satisfying about being able to attend a convention that I'd only been able to read and dream about as a teenager, even if I didn't actually play RPG's any more. I'd wander the floor of the Mecca Centre (and, by the way, who'd name a convention centre that in the US today?), look at the exhibits, and buy back my past in the auction room. The only thing I regret from those days - the late 90's - is not continuing to bid on the TSR Dragon (the giant fibreglass head and wings that was always on display at the show) when it was down to me and one other bidder at $100. I really couldn't figure out how I was going to haul the giant packing crates the 70 miles home, but more crucially I wasn't sure how to explain it to my wife. Every Halloween, though, I wish I had it to hang on the front of the garage. Wonder where it ended up?
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The Universe Expands II - Fanzines

Back to the story. In those heady days back in the 1970's, exposure to those London conventions also brought exposure to fanzines. At the time I became active in the hobby there were only a few fan produced zines in the UK, Trollcrusher being the longest-running. They quickly blossomed during the last years of the 70's, though, selling mostly by mail order.

In a way that’s hard to describe now in a time of instant postings on the internet, the arrival of a new edition of a fanzine in the post was a thing of great excitement. Publishing schedules of fanzines were notoriously erratic so you never knew quite when the plain brown A5 envelope would show up in your letterbox. There was no other source of gaming news, no internet, and the hobby was so fringe that it wasn’t carried in the few national publications that might have mentioned it.

A copy of Trollcrusher or Underworld Oracle was a link to a wider world of gamers. We’d read through each copy in detail, even if chunks of the content were rubbish, often self-indulgent rubbish, or so filled with in-jokes that you had to be a player member of the writers’ campaign to understand them.

At the time it felt like being in a very exclusive club in which the senior members were carrying on a conversation that you didn't quite understand yet. Later on, once you were a bit more worldy-wise, it felt like many of the members were prematurely senile or had overdone the port a bit. There was some genuinely good and entertaining stuff in there, though, and Trollcrusher in particular maintained a good standard for quality of articles.

Publishing a fanzine in those days, though, was a labour of love in a way that writing for the internet will never be. If anyone has something to say about an FRP now, they just bash it out on the internet. Back then there were only a small number of people willing to spend their money on publishing a fanzine. Because of that, only a small number of gamers were able to have their say in a public forum. It was a privilege and something to aspire to. A strange concept in the world of online speech.
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Our own small corner of the universe - Shire Talk

Because we were a pretty verbal and opinionated lot, the idea of a fanzine produced by our school games club took hold - I can't remember the genesis of it, but Duncan very quickly pulled it together. The articles were submitted as handwritten bits and pieces from the members, and they were typed up and photocopied.

The print runs were small - maybe 50 copies each run - and sold mainly within the school, although the later issues were sold at cons and did get some external subscribers. In many ways it was as self-indulgent as the other "big league" fanzines, full of school and campaign in-jokes, but there was some good stuff in there too, and Quentin Manley's monster artwork was an early highlight.

It was important to me in a very personal way. It gave me the confidence to type up and submit my own articles to the "big league" fanzines. The only question was which one.

There were two main styles of fanzines. The Amateur Press Association (APA) model, and those that were a collection of articles. The former consisted of contributions typed up by the contributors and submitted as "subzines" that were bound together and sold under the banner of the magazine. The Wild Hunt and Alarum & Excursions were among the earliest versions of these, and contributors would submit enough copies of their articles to meet the print run. There was almost no editorial control, other than deciding which contributors to include, and so contributions varied greatly in layout, quality of printing and quality. The latter consisted of articles submitted by contributors and typed up, bound and printed by the publisher.

The earliest UK APA that I know of is Trollcrusher (TC). I have issue 6 of TC and it follows the US format but in A4, with pages of different colours and different inks depending on what the contributors chose to use. Issue 7 and beyond were in what was to become the standard format for UK fanzines, with a few exceptions, A5 saddle-stitched, and printed and bound by a print shop.

Trollcrusher seemed a little intimidating to me, with its cast of university-student contributors, so I looked for a new publication where I'd feel more comfortable knocking on the door.
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A first step into a larger world - Demonsblood

Demonsblood was an APA-style publication, but with a difference. A hybrid version of the APA had evolved, in which the contributors still typed up the articles and submitted them as "subzines", but in this approach the publisher collated them and published them in an A5 booklet format. This was the approach that Trollcrusher took from Issue 7 onward, and which many UK fanzines emulated. Whatever the approach of the publisher, though, my first problem was how to get to a typewriter.

Unlike today, access to a typewriter was limited. It sounds Dickensian, but at school we still used fountain pens, and all schoolwork and exams were handwritten. The first time I was allowed to submit any typed academic work was at university, and that was only for one long paper that we were allowed to do as an optional module. All of my finals were handwritten.

None of my friends owned a typewriter, and there were none available for student use at the school. The answer for me came in the form of an old Underwood typewriter that I found in a second-hand shop. It was made of a big lump of pig iron with a solid platen and long typebars that you moved by punching hard on the sort of letter keys that are used these days to make fashionable necklaces and earrings. I don’t know how much it weighed, but I’d guess about 40 pounds. Every time I dropped the shift key, or hit the carriage return, the house shook.

I typed up my articles, leaving gaps for illustrations that my friend Quentin would do later either directly on the original, or on sheets of paper that I would cut out and glue to the originals. Writing was a laborious process since I didn’t touch-type and the Underwood was a Victorian beast of a machine on which to type. It felt like exercise. Every key stroke needed a push of the finger and each letter was bashed out with a loud clacking sound. It seems so archaic, and in fact it was, even in the 70’s. Offices hummed with the sound of IBM Selectrics, but they were out of reach for those of us with limited means.

So I pounded out my first article. It was hardly Hemingway, but the work involved made it feel meaningful. Much to my delight, Brian Dolton, the editor of Demonsblood, thought it was worth including and published it in DB3.

After that I became a regular contributor to Demonsblood as well as Brian's later self-published zines, including Deaths Dance Taken Slowly and Lokasenna. These latter two had considerably broader areas of interest - music, politics, philosophy - with the gaming playing a progressively smaller role, and had more in common with the punk fanzines I was now buying at gigs in London than gaming fanzines.
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Headlong down the stairs - more fanzines

The number of UK fanzines expanded in 1979 through the early 80's. It was still not a very wide circle, but it was growing. From memory, some of the better known ones were The Beholder, Illusionist's Vision, Trollcrusher, The Stormlord and Underworld Oracle. There were others that I've forgotten - some managed a single issue, some had a decent print run. The best of them were really good sources for complete dungeon scenarios, new monsters, campaign ideas, and rules discussions, and not coincidentally, those tend to be the ones with the longest life. Of them all I think the longest-lived in terms of number of issues were Trollcrusher and The Beholder.

Not long after my articles started appearing in Demonsblood, Mike Stoner called me at home and asked me if I’d write something for The Beholder. I was flattered to be solicited to write something - remember, there were only perhaps twenty or so fanzines being printed regularly in the UK at that time - and I contributed a series of articles and dungeons that were published in issues 10 - 12.

I was working at a petrol station to earn some money during a gap year before starting university, so I had the time to do it. It was a lot of fun, but it was also at the tail end of my interest in RPG's, so it wasn't destined to be a long-term commitment. My gaming group had scattered, and as noted above our involvement in playing RPG's ended after that as if by mutual unspoken agreement.

This didn't mean that I wasn't still hanging around the gaming world, just that the nature of my involvement changed. More on that after a brief aside on the influence of Games Workshop.
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10. Periodical: White Dwarf
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Games Workshop

In the expanding world of FRP in England in the late 70's, there is of course one major influence that changed the face of gaming.

Games Workshop had been organizing gaming conventions since 1975, and had the licensing rights to D&D for the UK. In June 1977 they launched the seminal professionally-produced magazine, White Dwarf. A glossy colour publication with well-written articles, it quickly became a hit and, to use an analogy from the popular music press of the time, was the Melody Maker to the fanzine's Sounds. It was the establishment, and the fanzines were the scruffy street urchins.

Later, as TSR became more litigious in their attempts to control use of their trademarks, the divide became more pronounced, and there is discussion in the fanzines of the time of TSR in very unflattering terms.

Maybe it's a rose-tinted reinvention especially as I'm talking about the 70's in England, but looking back D&D seems to me to have a very punk aesthetic. You did it yourself. No-one told you how to run your campaign, what rules you had to use, what was acceptable in your universe. Except, ironically, TSR the founders of the hobby.

Maybe it was the way we started - with photocopied rules and charts, bits of paper and pens - but we found ourselves increasingly parting ways with TSR's direction on the game. We bought the first AD&D books - the Monster Manual and The Player's Handbook - and scratched our heads at the unexplained changes that would only make more sense when the DM's Guide was published a good while later. When we did get our hands on one, the tone felt didactic, and there were still unexplained changes or rules inconsistencies.

Anyway, the hobby rolled on. Games Workshop went from strength to strength, opening the first shop in Dalling Road in Hammersmith in April 1978. I went to the opening, along with a number of schoolfriends. I don't know what we were expecting, but it was a bit underwhelming. We queued outside for an hour or so - the shop was so small they couldn't let many people inside at a time - and when we did get inside there wasn't a great deal of inventory.

It was still an exciting development, though. Up until that point you could only buy games from more generalized games shops, such as the Games Center on Hanway Street, off Tottenham Court Road, or by mail order. Most of what I'd bought up to that point was from SD&VM Games (still in business as Esdevium Games),and all I'd know about the product was from fanzines and SD&VM's gestetnered catalogue that arrived in the post every couple of months. Now we could see and handle the games, and there was something about having a shop dedicated to the hobby that made it more real. We made many trips to Hammersmith on the train at weekends, buying lunch at the local Wimpy with my dad's luncheon vouchers, and devouring our new games purchases: game scenarios from Judges Guild, TSR, Chaosium, and a host of indie publishers.

That boyish enthusiasm, that adventure, is hard to conjure up these days. We were in a place that only a small subset of the population knew about, let alone wanted to be. As the hobby grew, and interest in fantasy was facilitated by its rendition via digital technology, the audience grew. These days millions play online fantasy games. Back then, the audience was small. It's fascinating to see the growth of the genre. In London in 1977, a city of 7 or 8 million people, there was a handful of shops specializing in fantasy and science fiction - among them Dark They Were And Golden Eyed (DTW AGE to the hip), The Games Centre on Hanway Street, and a few others. Now fantasy is a mouseclick away and millions of people want to partake of it.
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11. Periodical: Different Worlds
Andy Ravenscroft
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Back to the fanzine days. Brian Dolton and I had become friends by now, and after I moved up to London for university I began to hang out with him socially. He introduced me to a wider circle that included a mixed group of editors and contributors to Dipzines - fanzines centred around the game Diplomacy. These magazines were used for PBM (Play By Mail) games of Diplomacy, often involving all sorts of variants, and became a home for discussion among the players about anything and everything.

There was a gathering of editors every month at The Lamb near Holborn, and we’d meet up there to talk FRP, politics, music, and Diplomacy. Pete Tamlyn, Simon Billeness, Trevor Mendham and Glover Rogerson (who published the legendary 'zine Denver Glont) were all semi-regulars, if I'm recalling correctly.

As you can see, by this time my personal journey through FRP was coming to an end. My friends and I moved on to other interests after the initial rush of teenage excitement over FRP. As we grew up and went to college, we took our energies elsewhere. Brian dropped Demonsblood and went on to publish Deaths Dance Taken Slowly and Lokasenna, as well as a labour-intensive personal fiction FRP game in which I was one of a handful of players.

The former two publications were discussion/chat magazines that also included some games. They formed a central component of my life in London in the early 80's. Through Brian I met Dom Elias, a West Ham fan who incidentally is credited on BGG with a game (Snowball Fighting) based on a snowball fight on a mini-games con held at Brian or Trevor's house. Through FRP gaming I had met a group of people with whom I shared mutual fascinations and learned new interests, among them comics (Wolverine), seminal and obscure punk rock (examples: Ramones, and Blyth Power, respectively), dodgy London pubs, and ranting poets (Attila, Seething Wells). Looking back, I learned a lot that I would never otherwise have from my association with those two, something that came out of our mutual interest in FRP.

A final note on the latter publication - the FRP fiction game. It was a personal venture of great personal commitment by Brian that did not see publication outside the players involved, but was essentially Brian writing stories about what happened to your character based on the responses you sent him about situations they encountered. It was an experiment that he was trying out, and one that I haven't seen replicated anywhere else. The collective story that you and the DM were engaged in was something that was being written down as a narrative. Some authors have written books that sound like FRP adventures. Brian was writing an FRP adventure in a way that was like a book, and he wrote pages and pages of it.

Looking back, it turned out to be the last time I ever played an FRP game.
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12. RPG: Apocalypse World [Average Rating:8.26 Overall Rank:2]
Andy Ravenscroft
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End Of The World (No Saving Throw)

The title of this section, my favourite subzine title borrowed from Trollcrusher, sums it up.

It all came to an end, although it's hard to pinpoint exactly where and when. Somewhere in the mix I lost touch with the extended circle of editors and gamers. The last time I saw Brian was an accidental meeting near Tottenham Court Road tube. He was heading out from Forbidden Planet, while I was heading in. As ever, he was sporting a walking stick and stylish goatee.

I can't remember the last time I saw Dom. It was probably in a scummy pub somewhere after a West Ham game, or at a Blyth Power gig in the early 90's. He's probably still out there somewhere in his donkey jacket, seeking out obscure punk music at the stalls in Camden Town.

The other editors can be found in traces here and there on the internet. There's a Facebook group (UK Postal Gaming Zine Hobby Old Duffers) that is intermittently active, and a search for Denver Glont brings up a number of links, including scans of many of the old fanzines. I ran into Mike Stoner a year or two ago over at The Acaeum in a forum where some gamers were discussing old UK FRP fanzines.

I'm still in touch with my best high school friends. As to the rest of the old school gaming group, I haven't seen or heard from most of the them in many years, including Quentin who did all the illustrations for my fanzine submissions.

Funny how that works out. You spend some of the most intense and lively years of your life with a core group of people with a common obsession, and then over time you drift apart. The obsessions change, or you do, or probably a bit of both.

What doesn't change are the memories, and at least you can look back and remember what fun it all was when the world was new and you made saving throws every day of the week.
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13. Board Game: Extrablatt [Average Rating:5.88 Unranked]
Andy Ravenscroft
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What's on the end of the stick, Vic?

I realized after I finished this list that most people who weren't around at the time have probably never seen the inside of a UK fanzine.

I know that RPGeek policy is not to upload interior content of fanzines to the Geek, so I'm not going to do that. I have, however, uploaded some photo snapshots to my Picasa account and made them publicly available.

I am using the material that is not my own under the Fair Use laws as illustrations to support my discussion of content quality in the captions under the photos and in the comments below.

If this does turn out to contravene RPGeek policy in some way, then I'll remove this entry from my geeklist. The images may be found at the following link (warning, one zine cover has language that some readers may find rude): All of the content

Individual photo links:

Trollcrusher 6 was an early fanzine. Here you can see the quality of the reproduction on a gestetner machine. Actually not bad at all.

Underworld Oracle regularly published Halls of Testing in each issue. These were short dungeons aimed at level one character classes, and intended to help them get some experience points so they could start to level up. The quality of printing in UO varied considerably. This is pretty good. Some of the issues are so faint it's hard to read them.

Here are the handwritten (in fountain pen) notes to my dungeon Temple of Psaan. This was later published with changes in The Beholder, and you can see the finished product here.

Of the other non-D&D zines that I mention in this list, two of the best were Denver Glont, and (warning, rude language on the cover!) Lokasenna. Brian Dolton could be particularly irreverent with the covers of Lokasenna, which often did not feature the name of the zine. Here's the inside cover of that issue of Lokasenna. As you'll have seen by now, Letraset was a popular tool back then. I've just noticed that the editorial, which was picked at random, has Brian's explanation of a spat that developed between him and Pete Tamlyn over The Acolyte, Pete's zine. Brian could be very direct with his opinions, and I can't remember how this all turned out, but it helps to illustrate how small and interconnected was the fanzine publishing world.

Many zines got into standardizing the format and layout. A good example is The Beholder. Here's a good example of an issue, featuring my Archer sub-class on the inside front page.

Sometimes, though, editors made changes at the last minute, and hand scrawled things in just before publication. Here's a good example from Trollcrusher. Note the blacked out copy dates and the handwritten note from the editor.

As more and more zines were published, the quality of the content went up. Here's a very nice layout in the subzine Explosive Runes from Trollcrusher.

Every now and then, Quentin and I would do non-D&D stuff. Here's a design we did for a Constellation Class scoutship for Traveller. Quentin's art really made my articles stand out. Here's another example of his work from one of my contributions to Demonsblood.

I just found a bundle of old D&D stuff, including handwritten dungeon notes and layouts that I did. Boy, did I spend a lot of time doing those! Example 1 - others visible if you click on the Example 1 link and then use the right arrow to click through the folder.
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