Thursday, August 14, 2008

Old Gamma World Ad

One of my commenters noted that Gary's daughter, Elise Gygax, appeared in another TSR ad back in the 70s, this time for Gamma World. The ad apparently appeared only in the UK in an issue of White Dwarf magazine. Consequently, I'd never seen it myself, but reader Jarl Frå Oslo did and he kindly scanned the image, which I reproduce here:


The good Jarl also has a blog, Demons & Dragons, which I am happy to add to my links below. A pity it's in Polish, a language my great grandparents more or less abandoned after immigrating to the United States almost 100 years ago, so I can't read a word of it.

11 comments:

  1. That's the one. It actually appeared in several issues.

    You've missed some great old school goodness by not reading White Dwarf.

    Frank

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  2. I did read White Dwarf -- even subscribed to it for a year -- back in the mid-80s, sometime before it became a house organ for Warhammer minis games. I always found it an odd magazine, because RuneQuest articles frequently outnumbered D&D ones and that struck me as "wrong." I owned a handful of earlier issues and found them more hit or miss than Dragon for my purposes, though I recall a brilliant multi-part series where an entire fantasy city was detailed. Wish I still had it.

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  3. No problem, James.

    I know since the begining that you have polish roots - your second name is purely Polish ;). Blog is about OD&D -> AD&D 2e. Last one is viewed as old school system in Poland - u know, communist regime wiped out RPG until 1989 y. So I am old gamer (16 years of constant play) in my country, who shows youngsters what is OD&D and Gygax/Arneson/Wesely legacy in general.

    Anyway, I have White Dwarves #1-4. PDFed. If you need them, just post or mail me. Really good stuff, as early seven Strategic Reviews.

    Thx for inspiration posts on your blog and Fight on!

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  4. I think White Dwarf was at its best up through issue #20 or thereabouts. The first few issues were a bit more hit or miss. They did start to drift to having less and less D&D material.

    My first issue was #4, later I was able to get #1-#3 when they reprinted them. I still have my collection save a few issues that somehow got lost.

    Frank

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  5. I'd be really interested in seeing those early White Dwarfs as well.

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  6. This may be verging on D&D *heresy* but I always thought White Dwarf was usually more interesting than Dragon for the first 100 issues or so. Certainly more daring in the variety of articles and often more intelligently written. Lew Pulsipher's articles particularly are very timely reading for old school designers. I even like the Runequest stuff...way wackier than the usual Glorantha rigamarole. Only WD drawback...the 9 point font from hell!!!

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  7. @kellri

    Yup, early WDs were way better than Dragons. I think the point is in this that european fandom was more open on broader influences of folklore and well written literature traditions. And, of course, better knowledge on middle-ages history and nuances of their countries make the day. Example: Pendragon - best quasi historical RPG.

    They just saw that D&D is not only american pulp fantasy, it contains far, far more shades in it: Lewis Carroll (WD #4), Dante, Shakespeare, Homer, nonsense novelists, utopias, ol' knights ballades & romances, plethora of ancient mythos and so on. All in ironical sauce by Monty Python's absurd (in 70's I mean).

    Summary: In my perspective, pulp fantasy is one of many colours of D&D. One of brightest, but not dominant. Gygax saw it and he didn't closed himself in pulp genre (vide: "carrollian" Dungeonland).

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  8. Example: Pendragon - best quasi historical RPG.

    I'm confused. Are you citing Pendragon as an example of misunderstanding the Middle Ages or approving of its portrayal? If the latter, it's interesting to note that Pendragon is an American RPG rather than a European one.

    Summary: In my perspective, pulp fantasy is one of many colours of D&D. One of brightest, but not dominant. Gygax saw it and he didn't closed himself in pulp genre (vide: "carrollian" Dungeonland).

    I mostly agree with this. I think it's truer to say that pulp fantasy is the canvas on which D&D was painted, but drew on a palette of many other colors, some of them quite vibrant.

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  9. I'm confused. Are you citing Pendragon as an example of misunderstanding the Middle Ages or approving of its portrayal?

    Yes, it's best example - how middle-ages was viewed by US game designers (Stafford in this case). It's good system, but this, so called historical, vision is quite silly :).

    I know... Who want to play in pure middle-ages (I mean: boring) RPGs? It's not funny to afraid women, because (as each knight knew) that vagina have teeths and can castrate men with act of will... And bathing once in month is huge excentricity. Geez. :)

    I think it's truer to say that pulp fantasy is the canvas on which D&D was painted, but drew on a palette of many other colors, some of them quite vibrant.

    Aye, this way of description sounds good to me. This is one of the factors why D&D have so great imagination-burning and creativity freedom potential (I mean OD&D - without tournament rules etc.). Differen ways/styles on solid fundament which gives tools not tight cages.

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  10. Yes, it's best example - how middle-ages was viewed by US game designers (Stafford in this case). It's good system, but this, so called historical, vision is quite silly :).

    I don't think Stafford meant for Pendragon to be historical in any strict sense, except perhaps as a game that allowed you to play in Mallory's version of Arthurian legend rather than some more modern interpretation of it. Pendragon has its flaws, but I'm not sure a lack of fidelity to history is one of them, given that it was never intended to be true to the Middle Ages as they were, only true to them as Mallory painted them in Le Morte d'Arthur.

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  11. Jim if you come to Gary Con March 19-21 2010 i will show you the proofs and original prints, i love my wife she was such a trooper you do those pics

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