Thursday, March 18, 2021

Hobby Hows

A regular feature of Boys' Life magazine was a column called "Hobby Hows," which both answered questions and printed hints and how-to guides sent in by readers. Much of the time the column was dominated by the hobbies like modeling or collecting, but the December 1980 issue included the following question and answer:

The "Mapping the Dungeons" feature was a real one, appearing at least twice, in issues #33 and #37. Each time, it included a list, divided by location, of gamers looking for others to join them in playing their favorite games (which were also listed). One day, I ought to spend some time poring over the listings to see if I recognize any of the names contained in them. 


  1. Well dang, now I feel bad about being in 4H instead of the Scouts way back when. But not very bad. 4H was co-ed and I was just old enough to appreciate that.

  2. For us Boy Scouts was all about D&D. My brother learned D&D at Boy Scout camp, taught me and then whenever when i was old enough to go to camp everyonewould play every night. Those not playing would watch.

  3. I think I was the only D&D player in my troop. Nobody else was ever interesred in playing with me, at least. :-)

  4. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think I stumbled across your name in a Dragon letters section.

    1. It was the Forum, I believe, but I did submit something that was published there. It was about alignment, as I recall.

    2. As it turns out, I wrote a post about it:

  5. I was never a Boy Scout, but my parents got me a bunch of Boy's Life issues from a yard sale when I was a wee 'un. That was my first exposure to the phrase "Dungeons & Dragons" -- and also my first exposure to military history.

  6. Mapping the Dungeons was first done in Strategic Review Vol 1 #3.

    From Dragon issue #33 some names I recognize from the industry:

    Thomas Holsinger (CA)
    William Paley (CA)
    Jeff Dee (IL)
    William Fawcet (IL)
    Lenard Lakofka (IL)
    Marc Miller (IL)
    William Paley (IL) (hmm, which one is the magazine author...)
    Tom Moldvay (OH)
    Robert Plamondon (OR) (Wild Hunt contributor)
    Charles Krank (PA)
    David F,. Nalle (PA)

    Personally Known
    Howard Mahler (NY) (though later he was in MA)

    From The Strategic Review Vol 2 #1:
    George Phillies (Wild Hunt and A&E contributor)
    Kevin Slimak (Wild Hunt and A&E contributor)
    Mark Swanson (Wild Hunt publisher - personally known)
    this list also has several gaming luminares

  7. Also, Guy McLimore, Paul Jaquays, Ross Winn, Randall S. Stukey, Roger E. Moore are among those listed in Mapping the Dungeons (issue 33).