Part Twenty: Star Trek, Star Wars, and RPGs! And They Sue Regularly – A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches

1987, Things Fall Apart TV’s Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) debuts And now for something completely different. You’ll remember that I’m a huge fan of the original Star Trek. As I’ve written elsewhere, the 1970s were a great time to be a Trek fan. 70's collectibles We had conventions, we had sing-a-longs, an endless … Continue reading Part Twenty: Star Trek, Star Wars, and RPGs! And They Sue Regularly – A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches

Part Nineteen: Gettin’ Mad, Baby – A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches

In the November 1985 issue of Dragon Magazine, Gygax had mentioned reorganizing AD&D into a second edition, with the work to begin in 1986. He name-dropped his second-in-command Frank Mentzer as slated to work on it. What we didn’t know was that Gygax had been fired in October of 1985. His name just disappeared after … Continue reading Part Nineteen: Gettin’ Mad, Baby – A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches

Part Eighteen: Junta ‘85 – A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches

Rules, Systems, Mechanics TSR's Dungeon Hobby Shop I’d like to touch briefly on a comment I received a while back. The poster expressed some surprise that I liked games he found dissimilar. My response was that I played the big, popular games that came out at the time the hobby was new and shiny. To … Continue reading Part Eighteen: Junta ‘85 – A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches

Part Seventeen: 1984, Oh Brave New World. A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches

Those common cultural references again And so, the role-playing hobby entered its second decade of life and man the joint was jumpin’. There were a few giants in the industry, and there were a lot of scrappy little contenders grubbing around in the dirt at their feet. With some disillusionment we had absorbed the news … Continue reading Part Seventeen: 1984, Oh Brave New World. A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches

Part Sixteen: The First Ten Years – A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches

Let’s stop at 1983 for a look back, and pause to sum up that decade. Shall we? It was the best of times... and you missed it. All you get is this dumb t-shirt. Seriously. In that period the RPG hobby had sprouted and then bloomed, over the course of ten years. There was creativity, … Continue reading Part Sixteen: The First Ten Years – A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches

Part Fifteen: Rich Man Poor Man, or What the Well-heeled DM Was Buying in 1983. A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches

We’re still looking back at 1983 and the years running up to it. It really was a rich time for role-playing gamers. As the period progressed there were a lot of games popping up, although then as now there were only a few clear winners as far as market penetration is concerned. But for this … Continue reading Part Fifteen: Rich Man Poor Man, or What the Well-heeled DM Was Buying in 1983. A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches

Part Fourteen: Mixed Nuts, A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches

I was a player in several assorted groups of gamers, who got together on different days. I think this was one reason I had so many friends approach me with games they wanted me to try. Friendships require some give and take, and so I often found myself looking over a rule book while the … Continue reading Part Fourteen: Mixed Nuts, A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches

Part Thirteen: Space, the Final Frontier. A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches

Have I established my bona fides as a Trekkie in this blog? No? Just take it on faith then. For the period up to the first Star Trek movie in 1979, I registered at the very top of the Trekkie Richter Scale. I had a Spock costume, including the pointed ears. I had a tribble. … Continue reading Part Thirteen: Space, the Final Frontier. A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches