Saturday, 11 January 2014

Judges Guild: More oldschool than oldschool?

In our club there is a freebie box for re-homing old books and games and i found a judges guild magazine called Pegasus from the 70s. I was a snob for paper and printing and didn't appreciate these when i was a kid. I likes old TSR style and believed Gary's claim any official stuff is good. Seeing as it had a very authentic oldschool feel I managed to obtain a pile more. I concluded they were more oldschool than TSR. There is a sense of hombrew, open setting and silly microsystems for everything because there were no set rules for stuff like asphyxiation attacks back then.(like lots of WHite Dwarf monsters that ended up in the fiend folio).

Many familiar artists including Kevin Sembedia of Palladium fame. Lots of maps worth plundering. Books of starports and sectors for Traveller, books of castles and islands and villages, books of tables, construction rules, npc generators, treasure maps, a huge city and game world and many more

Tables aplenty with sandbox settings, many encounter tables and hex crawls.

Wilderness of high fantasy book is full of this stuff. Subterranean burrowing vehicle tables, submersible vehicles like a dolphin chariot, crashed alien vessels. Cave rules with many subtypes and frequency based on terrain. With monster populations, chambers, tunnels and dungeons. Dozens of hex descriptions of ruins, castles and islands, lairs, town resources and relics. Visibility tables, Water feature tables, prospecting, negotiation and npc interaction rules. Huge outdoor hex map.Wish rules, random quest and geas tasks, trade rules, a castle map, civilization and tech rules.  All in 38 pages and compiled in a addhoc disorder common to real oldschool products (which we dont need to emulate but Cubicle7 fighting fantasy books did). Why use lots of text when tables say more?

I might copy the best bits and photocopy and paste in a scrap book. So many ideas and such good value crammed into a small space. Reminds me of why I hate padding in many RPG books today. these books show how much you can cram in. They have a very zine look about them. I could actually try and emulate some of this feel as I have access to spot colour retro printing technology or digitally emulate it. Makes me wanna do a zine. This stuff resonates more with current blogosphere oldschool than post Elmore era TSR.

1 comment:

  1. Judges Guild Old School stuff is awesome. Dungeoneer and Pegasus magazines are great, Some of the best adventures out there like Tegel Manor, Citadel of Fire, Dark Tower, etc.

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