I have always been of the mind that an affordable monthly magazine on the magazine racks of high street stores would be a much better selling point and avenue for new gamers than great big comprehensive rulebooks available in specialist shops or on the internet, where prospective gamers won’t see them or be able to afford them. Creating a magazine-based game such as this and making it a monthly affair at a decent price might make tabletop roleplaying a lot more attractive and help ease players into the hobby. Even older gamers could get some enjoyment out of it – a new setting to game in, using a system they might come to enjoy? How can that be a bad thing?
My initial idea was to model it after Basic Dungeons and Dragons and that’s still my favourite approach. The only possible problem is the polyhedral dice required, but if a system could be developed using basic six-sided dice then that should solve that problem.Anyway, here are a few checkpoints I made regarding it:
1 – The magazine will be a full roleplaying game aimed at the teen market with the very first issue being the rules, the basic concepts and the setting. The format could be similar to the magazine dedicated to the ‘Lord of the Rings’ Battles game by Games Workshop.2 – Every following issue could then have extra rules, guidance for GMs, options for players, two or three scenarios and adventures, expansions on the game world, optional material, reader letters and fan material, and even monster figurines the players can use in an average game.
3 - If the game goes down the standard fantasy route, which would be the best option, the first issue could have a special introductory pack of four or five figures of the different classes the players can use and the dice required. At the very least, each issue could have a sheet of cut-out cardboard tokens.
4 – Make it a levelling game, a la Dungeons and Dragons, so that the players have a sense of progress as they play through the magazines.
5 – The target audience of the magazine should be early to late teens, and it should be presented as an introductory game that explains the rules and the hobby step by step.
6 – A website could support the magazine in the form of making back issues available, articles on the game itself and extra material.
7 – Once the game has progressed, other settings could be introduced such as science fiction or horror. Extra rules can be added and the magazine can then cater for these extra settings but still concentrate primarily on the initial setting.8 – Initial first issues should be put on the market during autumn/winter months when evenings are longer and children need something to do. In the summer there are plenty of things to do outside in the longer, brighter evenings.