Biblyon the Great

This zine is dedicated to articles about the fantasy role-playing game Gods & Monsters, and other random musings.

Gods & Monsters Fantasy Role-Playing

Beyond here lie dragons

Game Junky III: The Office

Jerry Stratton, December 1, 2012

Most of my gaming magazines are below the spineless shelf but I keep a few one-offs or close to it here. Silver, Swords & Sorcery was a zine from the days of Usenet that I helped support by buying advertising for Men & Supermen. It was originally Silver, Swords & Slaughter but the publisher changed the name to appeal to a wider audience. As far as I know it never got past the issue 5 that you see here.

Push was a neat little one-off in a similar vein to Interactive Fantasy. It has articles by John H. Kim and Emily Care Boss, among others. There was only ever one issue, which is too bad. I think it was originally meant to be an annual. Interactive Fantasy suffered a similar fate but after four issues. This was a fascinating quarterly journal of gaming scholarship that included articles by scholars as well as design notes by designers. The fourth and final issue had Everway designer’s notes from Jonathan Tweet and musings on self-censorship from Lee Gold. As you can see here it also had some very nice covers by some great artists. The multi-colored weird one on the bottom was Mary Fleener, for example. IF was a neat effort by Andrew Rilstone of Hogshead, it’s too bad it couldn’t last.

Off to the left are a couple of reference books. I owned the James Bond Thrilling Locations book long before I owned the James Bond game it was written for. It’s very well written and a useful resource for any game that takes place in the semi-real world. Underneath that is the James Bond RPG Q Manual and Weapons & Castles from Palladium. Both provide great ideas for neat toys. Next to that is Jason Morningstar’s Story Games Names Project book. Not sure why this was on the shelf, I usually try to keep it in the briefcase. It’s a collection of names from many cultures. Need an Aztec name? A Roman name? A Maori name? A cowboy name? It’s got a chapter for each, and much more. Very useful for making a new character in a world-spanning game, but indispensable when coming up with names for NPCs, which is probably why it’s on the shelf and not in the briefcase.

The upper left is my skin for Merle Davenport’s Judges Guild/Dungeoneer adventure, The Magic Garden. A fantastic adventure, in the literal sense of the word fantastic. Kind of a cross between Alice in Wonderland and Indiana Jones. Just looking at it makes me want to pop it back in the briefcase as a potential adventure. On top of The Magic Garden is my own Song of Tranquility from Fight On! 7 with a great illustration by Mark Allen. This is not available in any store—it’s just my copy. Unless you buy Fight On! 7, of course, it’s in there. Fight On! should actually be in this pile; it’s on the shelf below where these books are.

Next to Song of Tranquility there’s a pile of world-books. Rob Conley’s The Majestic Wilderlands, Douglas Easterly’s Savage Swords of Athanor, Geoffrey McKinney’s Carcosa, and Zak S’s Vornheim. Then, there are two one-night games, Edward Jones’s Blazing Rose and barely visible under it Willow Palecek’s Escape from Tentacle City. Above that are some old D20 adventures that I picked up from the Wizards of the Coast game stores when they went out of business, and far to the right are a whole bunch of Lamentations of the Flame Princess adventures and zines. LotFP is easily the best source of strange adventures going today, and their latest IndieGogo games—The Monolith from Beyond Space and Time and The God that Crawls—are phenomenal.

And then, on the far right, are a handful more games that are interesting enough that I want to read parts of them often: The Shadow of Yesterday, Don’t Rest Your Head, Polaris, and Kill Puppies for Satan. I realize as I’m looking at this that there’s also one game that isn’t here but should be, because it’s literally on my desk right now. Thanks to the magic of modern print-on-demand, I have a new copy of Villains & Vigilantes, and I’m going over ideas for The Tenth Saint.

I found this sixties-era briefcase lying next to a dumpster. I know it’s sixties-era because I saw it advertised in a 1968 Playboy. This is what I bring to game night. It’s all of the Gods & Monsters rules as well as the adventures they’ve been in, the adventure they’re going through, and a couple of backup adventures in case I need something quick. This includes Hammers of the God—that’s why it’s missing from the above picture—and some great old Dragon Magazine adventures. Those are Michael Malone’s The Wandering Trees from Dragon 57, Larry DiTillio’s Chagmat from 63, and Karl Merris’s Fell Pass from issue 32. The players have already been through my reskin of Chagmat and Fell Pass. It’s looking like they’ll avoid The Wandering Trees.

Also in the briefcase is a map of the world printed at Zazzle, several set of dice, some old coins, and of course a golden bag of spiders. I also keep a copy of all of the NPCs, notes from the previous adventure (notes from long-ago adventures are in the iPad) and extra pencils (as well as a pencil sharpener since they’re hard to come by nowadays).

The upside down blurb “The Road is Life” is from the adventure they’re going through right now—which will be their final adventure! After ten years of gaming, this “campaign” is just about finished. Which reminds me, I need to upload the the Coriandrome Circus now that they’ve finished it.

I used to carry a handful of gaming magazines with especially-useful articles, but now I have them in the iPad. Those magazines, as well as a crapload of Judges Guild adventures, are on the spineless shelf , next.

In response to Game Junky: The gaming shelf meme: James Maliszewski wants to see our junk.

  1. <- Game Junky Closet
  2. Spineless Game Junky ->