Category Archives: Gaming

Vancian magic revisited

One of the things that’s bothered me about D&D from its early days was that magicians forget spells when they cast them – the so-called Vancian magic system, named for the late Jack Vance, who developed it for his Dying … Continue reading

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Review: Robin of Sherwood

 Note: this is a minor reworking of a review I originally published on rpg.net in August 2003. Robin of Sherwood is, for many people, the definitive modern version of the Robin Hood legend. Moody, atmospheric, superbly written and acted, with … Continue reading

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Chivalry & Sorcery: The Early Years

Back in the days of the Loyal Order of Chivalry & Sorcery mailing list I enjoyed swapping emails – both public and private – with C&S designers Ed Simbalist and Wilf Backhaus and, at the last two Dudley Bug Ball … Continue reading

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Traveller 5 review: second impressions

As I keep reading the new Traveller 5 rules, I am becoming more and more impressed with them. The underlying mechanics – roll under a target number (often Characteristic + Skill) on a number of 6-sided dice representing difficulty – … Continue reading

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Traveller 5 review: corrected character generation

Mistakes I made in the archaeologist character. 1)      I missed a trade classification for Natoko; it’s a pre-rich world, so the archaeologist gets a craftsman skill as well (pop 9 as pre-rich? Maybe that will get errata.) 2)      What I … Continue reading

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Traveller 5 review: First impressions

As I’ve had the T5 rules for less than a day, this is not, at this stage, going to be an in-depth review at all. My aim here is to provide a brief overview, then attempt to generate a character … Continue reading

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Laserburn – the ancestor of Warhammer 40K

This article was supposed to be the start of an occasional series on what I call revenant games: long out-of-print gems (or near-misses) cluttering up my bookshelves. However, I can’t class Laserburn as a revenant, because it’s still in print … Continue reading

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One character or many: an old-school turning point?

When I started playing D&D in the early ’80s, it wasn’t uncommon for players to play several characters simultaneously. It wasn’t the way we played in my first game; there we each had one character, but I certainly played entire … Continue reading

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Treasure Trap – the first British LARP

The last entry mentioned the White Dwarf ad for Treasure Trap, the first commercial British LARP, and perhaps the first British one altogether. It ran its first adventure in April 1982. I never visited it – LARP holds little appeal … Continue reading

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From the Archives: White Dwarf 28

White Dwarf 28, dated December 1981/January 1982, contains the usual columns supporting D&D/AD&D and Traveller, with news reviews and one general article, The Magic Jar by Andy Slack, on how to convert characters from one system to another. The Magic … Continue reading

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