Thursday, 8 April 2010

RPG Magazines

I spent a good hour or so going through the shelves of my not-so-local gaming store Spirit Games and I came across some bargains, not the least of which was a complete Forgotten Realms campaign setting boxset for ten quid. Result!

What I also found were cheap copies of some old RPG magazines: Level Up issues 1&2, the D&D 4e mag from Goodman Games - Issues 1&2 of the StealthBrothers IRM (Independant Roleplaying Magazine) - and issue 5 of The Last Province. All good mags, and I'd never heard of IRM or The Last Province so they came as somewhat of a surprise.

The last great RPG magazine I remember is Arcane (the last issue of which I was published in, the 'Soapbox' rant 'Please Hug The Roleplayer To Your Left'), and before that it was GMI. Hell, I even used to buy Dragon magazine for the inspiration and I remember when White Dwarf was a multi-format gaming mag. It's nice to see other magazines trying to keep the RPG mag fires burning but they obviously don't last.

A while ago I had the idea of producing an RPG magazine that was itself a complete game. Issue one would be basic rules, setting and adventure. Issue two would flesh out the world more, have new adventures and possibly some extra rules. As the issues come out the world expands and the rules are added to. This way there's a monthly flow of material that the GM could add to his own campaign. New rules, adventures, locations, monsters, characters, skills, spells, all sorts of stuff could be put into a cheap 40-50 page magazine on a monthly/bi-monthly basis. the rules start out basic but are added to as issues are published.

I went as far as designing a basic d20 inspired system and talking to a printer. Getting copies printed is not a problem. Writing the game rules, designing material, getting artwork and layout done - well, that's a problem unto itself.

1 comment:

  1. I had a discussion yonks ago with someone (I forget who, was it you?) about designing an RPG in sections such that it was easier to learn. However, when organising it we realised that for the first couple of sections to feel like a roleplaying game, you actually have to explain a huge amount. Even systems as simple as Fudge or Fate with a thin setting (and something for the GM) is rather a lot. Furthermore, it was decided that as reference material, the final product would be quite difficult to use.

    I fear that with blogging and online resources and the RPG hobby in stasis, dead tree media such as this is consigned to the dustbin.

    I loved arcane, though. Wish Future Publishing would bring that one back. What with PC Gamer, I was definitely Future's bitch for many years.