Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Fly!! Dammit!

I like to remind people that it's no coincidence the rules to classic Traveller, when they were first released by GDW in 1977, came in three little digest-sized books. Marc Miller was clearly following the model of OD&D, right down to the content and organization of those three books (and did a better job at it, frankly). 

Whenever I think of this fact I remember that Miller, along with most of the GDW crew, were early adopters of Dungeons & Dragons, a fact that he relates, I believe, in an issue of Different Worlds magazine. Given that, it should come as no surprise that he made a contribution to issue #4 of the first volume of TSR's The Strategic Review newsletter (Winter 1975). What is surprising, at least to me, is that the contribution isn't an article about wargaming or even D&D but the following comic, one of the very first ever to appear in a TSR gaming periodical. 

It's an amusing bit of whimsy and demonstrates, if there were any doubt, that Miller and his cohorts at GDW were very familiar with the ups and downs of dungeon crawling.


  1. Note the shout-out to Loren Wiseman next to the signature.

  2. The connection goes back even earlier - on page 5 of Strategic Review Vol. 1 No. 2 (Summer 1975) there's a small cartoon of two frogs sitting next ti a helmet and one is saying to the other "No Fred, I think he was a _14th_ level..." signed "LW '74." The signature is ambiguous, but Loren Wiseman of GDW confirmed that it was in fact he who drew and submitted that cartoon.

    1. I can't believe I didn't notice the initials in that original comic. Thanks for pointing them out.