Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Warlocks of the Dark Star


Here's an advertisement from the back of Book of the Dragons, written by D.H. Casciano and M. Fisher and appearing in 1977. Warlocks of the Dark Star did eventually appear in 1979 and was apparently a hex and chit style wargame in which one player takes the role of the magic-using Warlocks and the other takes the role of the scientific Technoids. The theme of science/technology vs magic remains a staple of fantasy even today, but it seems to have been enjoyed a high point during the 1970s, with Ralph Bakshi's Wizards being a noteworthy example of it. 

Regardless, this advertisement – and the book from which it came – is a reminder that the history of the hobby is replete with dark alleyways and forgotten lore of the sort that Jon Peterson has been busy chronicling for some time now. How many of us have ever heard of the Attack International Wargaming Association, for example? There are many more companies like it, producing original RPG material with very limited budgets and small print runs. Their products, though perhaps not as well known or influential as, say, Dave Hargrave's Arduin books, are another reminder of the reckless ferment that characterized the first five years of the hobby

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