Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Colonial Gnomes... er... Darke Lands Dwarves

The announcement is nearing a month old, so I apologize being late to the party, but according to Bleaseworld, Bob Olley (of Olley's Armies) has been sculpting minis for Wessex Games Darke Lands game.  He's working on the Schutztruppe for the game,which look to be German Colonial Dwarves.  The greens were still armless earlier this month, but for those interested in Tanga *waves* these look to be a treat to paint and play with, whenever they get done. 

If only they weren't over in England.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

All Quiet on the Martian Front

The company Alien Dungeon, known for their game Fanticide, has announced it's next line, All Quiet on the Martian Front. It's Victorian Steampunk where worlds at war have replaced a world war... for now.

Very intriguing, and the tanks/artillery are fantastic, except the proposed scale is 15mm.   However, any alt-history game that has Teddy Roosevelt as president during 1912 earns a proper look-see.

Check out for more info.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Brains, Trains, and Automobiles

This Sunday was the day we split up the kids.  No, no everything's fine on the family front. We decided to have one-on-one days with the kids.   My wife took our two year old, Millie.  We spent have our cruise to the Bahamas chasing her around the ship, but my wife had a somewhat embarrassing accident on Friday and was laid up with a nice swollen knee.  Since Millie can't work the door knobs, yet, they were homebound.

That meant I had the day with our four year old, Maja, and I immediately decided to kill four birds with one stone.

First, was taking her out for breakfast at the local diner.  I normally do this with the girls once or twice a month when my wife works weekends, but without the scrambling Millie, Maja got to sit up and the counter and eat.  She's been asking to do this for over a year and was so excited she actually sat perfectly on her stool, munched on her breakfast, and even paid the bill (with Daddy's money).  For me, I have fond memories of going down to the Palmer Diner after my Dad helped me out with my newspaper route on the weekend, sitting up on the counter, so I'm happy to instill that type of memories into my daughter.

After breakfast, the morning involved a drive down to Allentown for the ATKM Allentown Spring Thaw Train Meet.  I'm pretty certain that I hadn't been to one in almost thirty years, but the great thing about a hobby full of old men and little kids is nothing changes... except the prices.  Lionel train cars that I bought as a kid for $2-3 were in a "sale" box for $20.  If they were in good shape, it was closer to $40.  We walked around as much as a four year old can, went over all the detail on the layouts, watched heats of the train races (yes, train races), and did a little shopping.  With a little girl alternating between impatient and distracted it was difficult to go through everything, but I did snag two old  O-Scale Plasticville homes cheap (perfect for gnomes).  Maja ended up with a bunch of antique-style metal figures, mostly moms with babies and an odd nurse.  They're heavily painted so if they somehow are lead, I'm not worried.  They're already on a shelf in the house.
My little train loving Maja, with her shopping bag.

From there, we went to my Mom's for a visit.  In fact, I can be accused on pawning Maja off on her for the rest of the day, because I went down the street to my friend Brian's place for the latest installment of Call of Cthulhu.  Yes, this was pre-planned and approved by all parties involved.  Maja hasn't seen her Nanny since just after Christmas, and my mom definitely needs human interaction outside of her job.    By all reports, the afternoon went perfectly, and I took Maja home.  She fell asleep twenty minutes into the hour drive and slept through the night. 

The CoC game was properly attended with five players.  We did have two players bail out at the last minute (ebola, I think), but one of the non-RSVP players strolled in an hour late, but with perfect timing.  Despite some missteps getting the group organized and coordinating efforts, they managed to successfully investigate an unusual disappearance of an acquaintance, and acquire they're first decent collection of Mythos artifacts.  Of course,  Professor O'Hara may be accused of attempted murder and escaping from police custody, but we'll work that out between sessions.

The Brains portion of the post title?  The group had broken into apartment of a shady individual. Expecting that person inside in a different room, they had unlocked the locks, took off the chains on the door, to expedite a potential escape.  When the cleaning lady tried to get in, Steve dashed across the room to try to put a chain back up, tripped and slammed head first into the door as she opened it up.   Of course, as the whole group found out, that was not a normal cleaning lady, and that is when things got FUN, but first I must get the remainder of the Pennywell Hangmen typed up.
I think I might look for 15mm versions of these.

Friday, February 22, 2013

What to Run at Mepacon Spring 2013?

GM and Player registration for Mepcon Spring 2013 is now open at

Which brings the eternal question, what should I run at Mepacon?  It looks like I'll only be there Saturday, so here's my options:

  1. Nothing, Eric.  Pay to get in and play some games, dammit!  It was nice to be able to do the paint-n-take and play a game last con. I don't know if I could handle having three sessions of fun might be too much.

  2. Gnome Wars: I would run The Farm or the Wishing Well from out of the book. They went over okay a few years back and both were esthetically pleasing.

  3. Toon: Cthulhu Comes to Springfield: The easiest of all the games, I just have to pull out its folder out of my desk and review the "episodes" during breakfast.

  4. Call of Cthulhu: Attack of the Atomic Reptile Bikini Women... in 3-D! Everyone loves to use In Media Res for their "published Cthulhu scenario I'm running at a con", but this one from Worlds of Cthulhu magazine would be much more fun.

  5. Rules Cyclopedia D&D: Home. Kick off my Polynesian game with 0-level characters. And watch them grow as a regular game.

  6. Hack Lite: The Lost City II. I ran B4 The Lost City as a reverse dungeon awhile back with great fanfare. The last group killed the big baddie, but all that did was further plunge to city into chaos. Run using a basic D&D/Hackmaster/CoC rules set.

  7. Burning Plastic: most of my normal requests have scheduling issues, but it's quick and easy.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Call of Cthulhu Page

As the regulars may have noticed, I added a page to collect all the links for my CoC campaign write-ups. The Pennywell Hangman looks like it will take up to three separate posts to complete, and with our group back on track for monthly games, we'll be up to twenty entries in no time.

Unless, of course, I pull a TPK on Sunday and we start playing the Gnomish Space Marines.

NYC CoC #14: The Pennywell Hangmen, Part One

After solving the riddles of the NWI mines, our Investigators were hailed as heroes, given their pay and a complimentary bottle of Canadian whiskey, and promptly sent back to New York City. Three of them, at least. Mike and Jeffrey decided to stay on and honor their contracts with NWI. They exchanged information and saw the others off at the station at Rapid City.

As the traversed the country, the three men talked of what had happened, what they had to do when they got back home, and even a few dreams.

Dr Nathaniel Millheim: noted wacky occult expert and rising pulp writer was all about a "spa retreat" to soothe his rattled nerves. He had even decided to allow his assistant to read the books he had accumulated. Of course, he would have to find a place that would allow him to keep writing. It would be therapeutic, after all.

Brian Nichols: Dr Millheim's assistant, became giddy at the concept of finally being able to read some books.  His disintegrating sanity kept presenting the case for spa retreat as well.

Professor Steven O'Hara: Had been delighted by the "mining adventure money" to cover some of his wife's higher end items on her Christmas list.

The group had a plan after the holidays as the train pulled into home. Meanwhile, in another part of the city...

December 18th, 1923
Ah, Christmastime in New York City...  The lights, the freshly fallen snow, the endless supply of Christmas parties, socials, and balls. The Mogens Institute for Advanced Human Studies Annual Christmas Party. The Mogens Institute wasn't a hot ticket, but most organizations working with them often sent a few obligatory guests. Among them were:

Dr Bob Wintermute: Acclaimed professor of history, currently teaching at Columbia via loan from cash strapped Miskatonic. His prodigious publishing schedule has forced Miskatonic to sell their rights to him to the highest bidder

Kahleel: There were many a strange glance when he brought the Middle Eastern library assistant to a function.

Jessica Carson Her fame and popularity waning from saving Mayor Hylan's daughter, the widow Carson was milking the last of it. She used her status for invites to numerous parties. The Mogens Ball was a favor for her friend, wealthy industrialist Robert Carrington. His chemical branch of business did significant business with Mogens, but neither Carrington nor his immediate underlings wanted to attend. Jessica was offered a chaperone by Carrington, one....

Joshua Wanisko:  Joshua was the chemist at Carrington Industrials with the most interaction with Mogens.  He was rather quiet... and married, so it hopefully it work out well acting as a buffer between a "famous" person and a solid client.  He was given specific instructions to keep Jessica out of trouble.

Josh failed to show up due to a massively rescheduled weekend.  As a result, he was played as an NPC.  Please remember as you read the rest, that I could have been far, far worse on him.

Det. Francis Dresden:  A transplant from the New Orleans Police Department, Francis had been given the unenviable task of trying to figure exactly what happened that night last October when a full block of the Theatre District was levelled and JP Carson, PI disappeared.   Three previous detectives gave up on the case, but Dresden was determined to trail the widow Carson and get down to the bottom of things.  On a tip that she would be appearing at the ball, he acquired an invite and pressed his best suit.

The last five wandered into the Hotel Algonquin around the same time, and after a bit of small talk before the ballroom doors opened, it was apparent that no one, investigator or high faluting NPC, recognized Jessica.  Her despair over her fleeting fame was cut short by two men darting through the lobby and slide-hopping on one foot to make the corner into the ballroom area.  One looked slightly desheviled in a black tuxedo, but the other fellow was decked out in an all white tuxedo, complete with shoes, gloves, hat, and a cane.

Brian Nichols and Dr. Millheim had arrived....


When this duo arrived back at their office/backroom apartment, they discovered the tuxedos hanging from the coatrack with a note.

Doc Millheim,
As part of your advance you agreed to perform certain public functions.  I obtained tickets for you and a date/your assistant to attend this years Mogen's Institute Christmas Ball.  The people attending it are eclectic enough to embrace your eclectic style.  Please make sure you are there by 7pm, or the contract is voided and you must return your advance, minus the portions for services you have already completed.  Invitation is on the desk.
Henry Campbell, Gemfolk Publishing

This was read at 6:30. Cuff links were still being fastened as they coolly walked to the end of the line. Pleasantries were exchanged, Brian recognized Jessica, Joshua admitted being a fan of Dr Millheim work, and Dr Wintermute showed some disdain towards the pulp author/parapsychologist's occupations.
Then the waiting guests heard a horrible caterwauling coming from the lobby. A shrew of a woman dragged a frazzled bespectacled man to the back of the line.

Steven and Angela O'Hara made it.


Although Steven was the first drop off on the taxi, he had hit the local speakeasy before arriving home. He barely got his foot in the door when he saw his tuxedo hanging off a door and a very inpatient wife in an evening gown. Similar to Dr Wintermute's predicament, Columbia wanted more representation at the gala, and since Steven was the low man on the totem pole (and rarely complained about it), the tickets had arrived the day before he left for South Dakota.
Pleasantries continued to be exchanged, Angela introduced Steven to Dr Wintermute, and Dr Millheim finally met Jessica.

Soon enough the doors were opened and the guests filtered in.
Refreshments were served and official kibitzing began. About 15 minutes in, Ambrose Mogens himself took to a small podium, thanked everyone for their attendance, apologized to needing to run back to the lab for more tests, and left without interacting with any guest.

As the waitstaff was trying to move the guests towards their seats to serve the meal, a hysterical woman, wearing only a faux-silk night gown and dripping in sweat, blood, and muddy water, yelled, "Help!" She staggered through the crowd, finally being stopped by Detective Dresden.

"He's upstairs... It's got him."

Dresden raced upstairs, following her muddy trail of footprints, the rest of the group in tow.

The trail ended at a room on the third floor. A sound of a scuffle could heard from inside, They pushed open the door and were immediately hit with an earthy smell of mud, blood, and urine. The room was only lit by the windows and the hall lights. Within was a single man, acting like he was struggling with something invisible. Before they could react, the man fell out of the window, onto the street below. The woman, whose name Siobhan was the only thing Jessica could get out of her, went into full hysterics before turning completely catatonic. The group went into action searching the room before Dresden could kick them out to contact the police.  Jessica put the confused Joshua on elevator/stair duty, to wait for the police.

The room was covered vile form of mud.  Quickly going through the things in the room netted the man's name (Robert Williamson), his job (salesman at WNYC), and a home address in Queens.  They also found a card for a "Theodore Depp, Carouser" for a Sugar Cane club close to Harlem.

Nathaniel and Steven ran downstairs to take a look at the body.  They pushed through a growing crowd of gawkers to find that Williamson had landed on top of a car, and was hopefully killed instantly.  His undershirt and pants were torn and bloody.  The two odd things they noticed was a tattoo of a script "A" inside a pentagon on his upper arm, and a distinct lack of glass around the car from falling out of a window.

When the duo came back upstairs, Dresden was trying to usher everyone else out, however two beat
cops showed up and needed direction, so he begrudgingly left the rest to their own devices.
All the glass was on the floor of the room, plus they noticed what appeared to be claw marks on the window frame. From the looks of them, claw marks were used to pull something from outside the window. Jessica checked the bathroom to find Siobhan’s clothes, a small silver flask, a rent book for the Drury Tenement, and more cards for the Sugar Cane club.

Dresden finally came back with two other detectives,  Cory Hyatt and Jack Stapleton.  All three detectives and the two beat cops went about interviewing the group, plus the remaining guests downstairs.  Correction, the beat cops did most of the work.  Dresden tried to diagram the room while Stapleton and Hyatt flirted with Jessica the celebrity.

Pretty soon the coroner showed up, as well as an ambulance from Bellevue Hospital to handle the catatonic prostitute. With the questioning finally finished, the investigators got a chance to go down to the ballroom, where the party had wrapped up early due to the dire circumstances in the hotel.  The staff was nice enough to reheat some of the meals for the haggard group, and after a few shared swigs of a flask, everyone left for home, more concerned about how to get the various stains out of their clothing, than solving a murder or a suicide  A good night's sleep and they would be ready to take on anything.

Coming up on The Pennywell Hangmen, Part Two:  Early morning hygiene with martial fervor.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

WotC to "Reprint" D&D White Box

As I initially read on GeekDad on Wired, Wizards will be reprinting the iconic D&D White Box as a premium item.

According to the Wizards website, the books will be reprinted with new art that still keeps the spirit of the original.

Ive got some questions and comments that go beyond the two sites.

First off, it's not the original white box. It's more! Not only will it contain the three booklets, but it will also include:

Supplement I: Greyhawk
Supplement II: Blackmoor
Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry
Supplement IV: Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes

No initial details on the box itself, but by the picture, we're either looking at wood or really nice pressboard.

My only silly but important point is... Dice? Didn't the initial sets come with cut-out chits back in '74?

With the prices of the original white boxes, the $149.95 price tag for all the books and the supplements, in such nice packaging, is almost a steal. Many many moons ago, I had an idea of starting with the original Chainmail, move to the white box, and see if my group could survive on the TSR release schedule of support products and issues of The Strategic Review/Dragon. It was never more than a pipe dream, but by golly, those characters would rock once Eldritch Wizardry came out!

Pinterest for Gamers

Ever since I needed to keep track of equipment on a character sheet, I've been an organizational whore. Manilla folders, binders, spreadsheets, floppy disks,and jump drives have been part of my gaming experience over the years.

Now I have never said that I was GOOD at organizing things. Most of my previous projects are half-finished in a box somewhere in my garage. Even my current Call of Cthulhu game, where I control the character sheets and handouts, has had numerous moments of panic. The character creation software is great, but when it's on two laptops and two jump drives, I've spent considerable time confirming and merging files. We're current now, but said drive hidden underneath my antique radio on my dresser caused heart palpitations this week.

The blog (and some docs on my Google drive,) have allowed to post my RPG Actual Plays, wargaming after action reports, and a haphazard way of remembering things that interest me.

And this leads us to Pinterest.

Just because the social media website is haven for recipes, decorations, and motivational posters, doesn't mean it has no value for a male gamer.

My initial knowledge of the site was simply that people posted pics of stuff they liked. When I heard people posting recipes, I realized that there's a sizable "description" area. So what does one use this for?

  • Want lists: especially for out of print minis
  • Game tables - when the maps just won't do.
  • Random thoughts and idea - considering my daughter just wiped out all of my wife's pictures on her phone, AND all of my random ponderings on my iPhone notepad, I need something accessible and simpler than a blog.  Which leads me to my point about this whole shebang:
My viscounteric Pinterest page, has the beginnings of one project, all the pictures I've discovered for my Second Samoan Civil War game.  Once painting finally begins, checking a snap on Pinterest is easier than pulling up the jpg on the laptop, or hunting it down on a website via my smartphone. 

Also included in my list are the colonial scenarios that piqued my interest, like Station Ridge 1915, from the Lead Adventures forums:

Of course I've barely made any physical headway into the project, I've already looked into Gnomish Space Marines, but I'm already pondering some alt-history Great War games using a similar board and some German-on-Kiwi action.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Awful Cheese Hulk....innnnn Spaaaace!

I like to post finished projects from my friend Mike Lung.   I've had 15 separate posts under the Mike Lung Gallery header.  I've also done my best to keep quiet about all his works-in-progress.

I quickly alluded to Mike's deluded masterpiece here.  Without further adieu, I present to you Awful Cheese Hulk. 

Combining the best of Steve Jackson's classic boardgame and some game produced in Great Britain, ACH pits the forces of MISE versus some awful things of whatever color you want. 

Casualty Markers (Thing/MISE)
Mike's been playtesting this with son with great success and even more fun.

Of course, Mike combines the best parts of ADD and OCD, so when his mind wanders, he tackles the new project with even more fervor.

Introducing.... Cheese Wars!

The Moon Base and an Alien Incursion
The MISE troopers have been modified from the Reaper Mouslings with added heavy weapons, and even a few landing party specific characters.  I love the modestly dressed Lara Croft, Cheese Raider.

More motivation to get my Gnomish Space Marines set up.  I just hope they aren't lactose intolerant.

Mike's newest find, and an excuse for me to hit the toy store are Star Wars Squinkies.  The figures are disproportionant, so Mike was force to cut the feet off and mold new ones, as well as interesting headgear.

"I find your lack of Brie disturbing!"
And here's a newly sculpted mouse gace onto a figure who looks like the Emporer of the Galactic Rodent Empire.

All that work, and all I can say on my front is that I may paint two figures tonight. 

Fantastic work, Mike!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Gnome Wars at GnomeCon!

For the faithful in The Great Southern Gnome League who don't wish to venture north to Cold Wars, the shall be Gnome Wars at Gnomecon this April 19-21, in Savannah, Georgia.

Friday Evening
Gnome Wars: Polliwoganisian Wars
Both the Allies and Central Powers vie for control of the islands in the Polliwog Archipelago. Which side will be the first to secure a foothold through diplomacy or brute force? Or will the natives be able to resist the invaders from both sides?
GM Name: Brian Robinette and Erin Crouch
Rules: Gnome Wars (Brigade Games)
Players: 12
Time: 4 hours
Notes: PRIZES!! Rules will be taught, Parent/Child teams encouraged, Troops provided, but feel free to bring your own 320 pt unit.

Gnome Wars: Dark Forest Expedition
Deep in the Dark Forest in an ancient fortress lies the ultimate prize of Gnomekind. A flavor enhancer that makes beer more beery, chocolate more chocolaty, makes ANYTHING taste and be better. This fabled substance, Magical Super Goodness (MSG for short), is said to be guarded my mystical creatures of great power. The Central powers and the Allies are both keen to obtain MSG to further the war effort. Which side will win the race for the prize?
GM Name: Erin Crouch and Brian Robinette
Rules: Gnome Wars (Brigade Games)
Players: 12
Time: 4 hours
Notes: PRIZES!! Rules will be taught, Parent/Child teams encouraged, Troops provided, but feel free to bring your own 320 pt unit.

Gnome Wars: Grain Grab
With Winter coming, Kaiser Stark is gathering up his grain harvest for shipment to Wolfenbüttel. The Allies are bent on intercepting this all important shipment and by so doing shortening the war. Can the Central Powers get their harvest safely away?
GM Name: Brian Robinette and Erin Crouch
Rules: Gnome Wars (Brigade Games)
Players: 12
Time: 4 hours
Notes: PRIZES!! Rules will be taught, Parent/Child teams encouraged, Troops provided, but feel free to bring your own 320 pt unit. for more info

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Cruise of Cthulhu

"Beneath the waves, in R'lyeh, Cthulhu dead lies dreaming. "

As you may have noticed me mention it a time or two, I went on a cruise with my family. Oh the fun of of the and two kids, ages 2 and 3 1/2 on an 7-day cruise out of Baltimore, with stops in Florida and the Bahamas.

First, an observation, then a PSA.

If you are going to go on a cruise out of of Baltimore on Super Bowl and you aren't a) a longtime 49ers fan or b) stupid, you're going to root for the Ravens because, if they had lost, the subsequent rioting on the shop would take out the aforementioned groups first.

Second, if you never have been on a cruise, or haven't been on one for the last 15 years, it might be wise to check the cruiseline's website or perhaps the back of your boarding pass for rules and regulations. Cruise passengers go through similar security as an airport. Sure they are friendlier, but they do follow the cruiseline restrictions, as well as the basic no bombs, guns, knives, and illegal stuff. With all that said the people in front of us in line were stopped a) they allow each person a small lunch cooler 12"x12" to bring on cold soft drinks, water, etc. they brought on two 20"x30" coolers on wheels. Those items were confiscated. Next, you may not bring through security an open container of any kind. In parental speak that means sippy cups out, unopened juice boxes in. These people brought in large water bottles full of iced tea... And vodka. If you need a liter of Long Island Iced Teas to get you through the boarding of the ship, I'd hate to see your drink costs at the end if the cruise.

That all being said, outside of foot races to catch speedy Millie as she ran away from us, a good time was has by all. The kids had there fun, we had ours, and by the time we were off the coast of South Carolina, it warm enough to use the balcony for reading.

After some failures on eBay to acquire a non gaming book or two, I assembled my reading list

Contemptible Little Armies
Day of the Beast
Secrets of New York

I had also downloaded a number of podcasts from Cthulhu on Parade. This group that plays vis Skype.sounds either very familiar with Lovecraft or at least with the classic tropes of CoC. After listening to the first half hour of the first episode, I figured another ten hours should me over on the boat.

A word of warning, the original female player just turns into an annoying escape of air, and the jury is still out on the second female player added during the second session, but it's not looking good.

Tony West is my new personal god.

Luckily, no Deep Ones came up onto the boat, although a few Hybrids definitely booked passage.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Ghostbusters Live Action Wargaming

I'm definitely on a boat, and not detained by security for being on the no-sail list.

While you wait for my triumphant return, here's a pic to make you jiggle your gaming mind.

Ghostbusters could easily be done in 150mm+ scale. You could make your own or buy some of the Spawn action figures to make more supernatural baddies.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

ATKM Releases its 54mm Civil War Range

Per Facebook, TMP, and every other social media site I could find, All the King's Men has announced their line of Civil War figures in 54mm.

Just like their Revolutionary War and War of 1812 lines, this one covers infantry, cav, artillery, mounted generals, irregulars, and disorder markers. Many ACW figures offer separate heads for even more variety.

The majority of the figures were originally made in plastic by Classic Toy Soldiers, which have been licensed for ATKM to make the metal versions.

The variety of poses is the thing that throws me off. The finished product is beautiful, but when I think of 54mm I either think of figures in lockstep formation for AWI/Napoleonic era, or the very limited poses when using Britains. I hate to say it, but these might be TOO nice. Plus, it's the standard $40 for a unit of 12! for more info.

Mepacon Spring 2013 GM Registration Open

Yesterday, GM registration was opened for Mepacon Spring '13, April 12-14th, at the Ramada Inn in Clark's Summit, PA.

I'll be determining what I'm running over this week, while sipping Mai-Thais on a beach somewhere. I know one session will be Burning Plastic, as I've gotten more requests to run it, and even an apology for not being able to join in for the next game.

Or, I can ask the masses here, what should I run? I'm keeping Gnome Wars and the Gnomish Space Marines off the table for now. It might be nice to run a role playing session. But first, I'll have my new lieutenants plot out a game of polymers in flames.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Russian Women Want Gaming Partners!

Ah, the mid-90's.  The music sucked, the fashion was horrendous, but the gaming was pretty decent.  It was also the swan song of the gaming magazine. 

Yes, yes, there are still print copies of White Dwarf, Wargames Illustrated, Kobold Quarterly, and a few others kicking around, but the mid 90s were the last time somebody could start up a 'zine, put it next to Dragon on the shelf,  and have a chance of breaking even.

If half my purchases were ill-advised back then, the magazines more than made up for them.  Dragon, White Wolf, and Challenge still had non-house material.  Dragon continued to devolve from TSR-centric to TSR-only, White Wolf went into a trendier "Inphobia" line, although there still was a Line Reviewer covering TWERPS in the back *waves*.  Challenge most considered a third rate publication, and in hindsight, I have no idea why so many people thought so.  Ninety percent of the mag was usefull material, even if it had to be tweaked from Dark Conspiracy or Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, and the there were so many many adventures.  Star Wars, Chill, Cthulhu, and the bevy of GDW products graced the pages.

Of course, Steve Jackson had a paper copy of Pyramid Magazine for awhile and that had a mixture of house material, other industry submissions, and a good dose of comedy (Ah Hampire, the Masked Ace Raid for Toon, good times.)

The greatest gaming magazine of the era was Shadis, initially produced by Jolly Blackburn and later on by AEG.  It was an all-encompassing magazine with lots of regular features and columns.  I still have piles of articles overflowing my archives:  The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (NPCs, usually interconnected), Hook, Link, and Sinker (side treks/stories, some more elaborate than fully printed modules), and, of course, Knights of the Dinner Table in the back of the issue. 

There was a time when role-players were an entirely oversensitive lot who couldn't take.  Heck, who am I kidding, I know too many gamers who are still oversensitive and can't find the humor in KoDT.  I still run into people who claim that KoDT pokes fun at gamers that don't exist, yet go to there Wednesday night game with a max-out character created from 3+ books and proceeds to take advantage of one piece of errata that they abuse in-game, while ignoring all the revisions that could hinder them.

(And let's not even get into wargamers.  Half of those guys couldn't take a joke if you mailed one to them certified mail.  We're passionate about playing pretend, with or without toy soldiers.)

Short, short story, Jolly and AEG had a falling out and Jolly left to self-publish a standalone KoDT comic book.  Ultimately he and Kenzer & Company joined forces to not only publish the comic and develop Hackmaster.

Standard disclaimer I always give.  For the longest time I was a homer for Kenzer & Company. From their early issues of KoDT until Aces & Eights.  I purchased everything short of their Final Days miniature game.  It was grand while it lasted.

I've waxing nostalgic way too long here and completely avoiding the whole purpose of this post.

In one of the early-ish issues of KoDT this appeared:

I believe that this is the greatest piece of gamer parody ever.  Nowadays it would be turned into a meme and have a life of about 48 hours, if that .  Back in the day, this lasted months, and like your Mom on Facebook, people kept believing it was true.. because another friend mentioned it was in KoDT.

I'll be leaving for my cruise to the Bahamas on Sunday, so I doubt anything else will be posted between now and then.  If I find any gaming related stuff, it shall be posted, but until then, enjoy!