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    Canonfire :: View topic - Best of Other Magazines
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    Best of Other Magazines
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    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 10, 2003
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    Thu Apr 29, 2021 4:04 pm  
    Best of Other Magazines

    I make it no secret that I am a big Dragon Magazine fan. The print run of this magazine is just an absolute treasure trove for any gamer. I have a thread on this forum going through what I think are the best articles in this magazine here:

    http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=5964


    But there were, in the RPG heyday, many magazines which had great content and lore for the Greyhawker. I subscribed to Dragon, but would often buy the odd issue of other titles as I went to my game/hobby stores. Frankly, I got more magazines as back issues in the "buy one get seventeen free" bin at the hobby shop or at gaming conventions.

    These titles deserve a little look back as well. So I will write up a little something as the mood hits me on some of the other magazines which have shaped our hobby and our world. Hopefully it can inspire some discussion and/or look backs into the early years of D&D,

    O-D
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu Apr 29, 2021 4:34 pm  
    Dungeon Magazines

    The first magazine I will look at is the sister publication of Dragon - Dungeon.

    It was created in the mid 80's by TSR Inc. It started off as an offering every other month. Intended to be a pure vehicle for publishing adventure modules, by Issue 68 some other content began to appear - maps of mystery, campaign workbooks, background articles that expanded on modules, and Dragon Magazine addendums found their way into these later issues.

    The adventures themselves were often a mixed bag - some were great, others are a matter of taste. There is a great index of Dungeon here on Canonfire that is a perfect resource to get started in finding some classics.

    Most adventures were generic settings, but easily adapted to Greyhawk. The best specifically Greyhawk adventures I covered in my reviews of the Adventure Paths here:

    http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=9138

    The best stand alone Greyhawk adventures, IMO, were from Issue 70 "The Kingdom of the Ghouls" which expanded on the Underdark begun in the D1-3 modules. "Ex Keraptis Cum Amore" from Issue 77 is also a good one. There were a few gazetteers detailing Greyhawk locations such as Alhaster, Hardby, Exag, and Scuttlecove that were always welcome.

    In short, Dungeon had a body of lore for the Greyhawk sage that is well worth a deep dive today. Check them out!
    Encyclopedia Greyhawkaniac

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    Thu Apr 29, 2021 5:05 pm  

    White Dwarf up to issue 95 or so is another treasure trove, imagine was also good.
    CF Admin

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    Fri Apr 30, 2021 12:39 pm  

    I list a few specific issues on my web site at http://www.greyhawkonline.com/grodog/gh_dungeon_adventures.html#general but there are undoubtedly others worth checking out.

    Allan.
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    CF Admin

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    Thu May 06, 2021 8:33 pm  

    Thanks for doing this gents.

    Has anyone integrated Shrine of Ilsidahur into the Flanaess?

    Thanks to Rob Bastard's annotated bibliography, I see that Iquander incorporated Ilsidahur into Fiend Codex I - Hordes of the Abyss as the Howling King, patron of the bar-lgura and demon lord of the ninetieth layer of the Abyss, the Guttering Grove, but I'm particularly interested in whether anyone has situated the town of Gorbalin and the Harshil River and/or elaborated on the cultural backgrounds of the heroes Alkumo and Tselibor or the villain Daharsta?
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
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    Fri May 07, 2021 8:39 pm  

    The Scarlet Brotherhood sourcebook (page 71) mentions bar-lgura summoned long ago by a tribe of Suel; the bar-lgura now dwell southeast of Matreyus Lake. That sounds a lot like the plot of "The Shrine of Ilsidahur" in Dungeon #10.

    Anna Meyer's map has Sea Prince forts all along the northern Amedio coast. Fort Bodal, Fort Easthook, and Fort Haveklha are all at the mouths of rivers (as is Sasserine if you'd rather use that).

    The Heveklha River (called the Havekihu River in The Scarlet Brotherhood) has a fork in it much like the Harshil River in Dungeon #10, so that's probably the closest match. You could force the party to travel further and put the Shrine of Ilsidahur near where the Bodal and Haveklha Rivers join, in which case either Fort Bodal or Fort Haveklha would be reasonable places for the party to begin their journey (but Fort Bodal is closer to the Hold of the Sea Princes and Sasserine). The point where the Bodal and Havekihu Rivers meet is reasonably close to Lake Matreyus and could conceivably be the source of the bar-lgura mentioned in The Scarlet Brotherhood.

    If The Scarlet Brotherhood's bar-lgura infestation is connected to the summoning of Ilsidahur, then Daharsta was a member, perhaps the leader, of a Suel (Amedi) tribe. He might have summoned Ilsidahur with lore wrested from the ruins of Elatalhuihle on the north shore of the lake, and some of the bar-lgura he unleashed might have migrated to the southeast later on.

    Alkumo and Tselibor don't sound like Olman names to me (although you could change them to Olman-sounding names if you wanted). A quick googling suggests that Alkumo might be Somali or Nigerian; it's not unreasonable for a pair of Touv heroes to travel to the Amedio to vanquish a demon lord. You could also consider making one or both of them a dakon or tabaxi, or they could be members of the same Suel tribe as Daharsta, turning against the evil conjurer who terrorized the tribe.
    CF Admin

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    Sat May 08, 2021 10:27 pm  

    Thanks Rip! That was very helpful.

    I agree that either Fort Bodal or Fort Haveklha (or Havekihu) look like solid sites. Reviewing Anna's map, really one could place "the free town of Gorbalin" at the mouth of any river or stream from one of the unnamed rivers west of Sasserine, to the Tiger River delta at Blood Bay, or the river east of Fort Bodal where the Hook Peninsula juts north.

    Further, in comparing Anna's map with the relevant one in The Scarlet Brotherhood, it looks like Anna made Lake Matreyus significantly smaller and different in shape too. (For that matter, the shape of the lake in The Scarlet Brotherhood map also differs from the original Darlene map.)

    I really like the idea of making Alkumo d'kana, but as written, Shrine of Ilsidahur is too recent: it states that the warrior-hero Alkumo and the magician Tselibor banished the demon lord 180 years ago.

    If we use the Dungeon Magazine #10's 1988 publication to add five years to the CY 576 baseline of the boxed World of Greyhawk set, then the adventure might occur in CY 581, which would put the banishment around CY 400, or amidst the regency of Luschan IV and about fourteen years before the crowning of Tavish III.

    I'm unsure when I'd want to set the banishing, but I like your idea to link Daharsta's knowledge to Elatalhuihle.

    What's the relationship between Elatalhuihle and Kuluth-Mar?
    GreySage

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    Sun May 09, 2021 7:41 am  

    mtg wrote:
    I really like the idea of making Alkumo d'kana, but as written, Shrine of Ilsidahur is too recent: it states that the warrior-hero Alkumo and the magician Tselibor banished the demon lord 180 years ago.


    Dakons still exist, even if their ancient civilization has fallen.

    Quote:
    What's the relationship between Elatalhuihle and Kuluth-Mar?


    I was trying to figure that out the other day. Dungeon #130, which detailed Kuluth-Mar, doesn't mention Elatalhuihle at all. The Scarlet Brotherhood says only that Kyuss is said to have spent time in Elatalhuihle.

    Some possibilities:

    1. Kyuss, from his base in Kuluth-Mar, raided Elatalhuihle for slaves or other resources.

    2. Kyuss, from his base in Kuluth-Mar, destroyed Elatalhuihle, seeing it as a rival or threat to his power.

    3. Kyuss visited Elatalhuihle, learning dark secrets there before moving on to found his own city of Kuluth-Mar. Perhaps it was already ruined when he came there, or perhaps he allied with the sages and priests of the city.

    4. Some of Kyuss' followers, after Kyuss' apotheosis, went on to found the city of Elatalhuihle.

    5. Elatalhuihle was the home of the "powerful tribe of wild elves" allied with ghale eladrins who attacked Kuluth-Mar, sacrificing themselves to seal the undead in the Ziggurat of Kyuss, though not before their own city had become infected.

    6. Elatalhuihle has no connection to Kyuss (the rumors simply have it confused with Kuluth-Mar), and the spawn of Kyuss who haunt it today are pure coincidence.

    7. Kuluth-Mar is Elatalhuihle.
    GreySage

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    Mon May 10, 2021 10:27 am  

    rasgon wrote:
    ...Dungeon #130, which detailed Kuluth-Mar, doesn't mention Elatalhuihle at all. The Scarlet Brotherhood says only that Kyuss is said to have spent time in Elatalhuihle.

    Some possibilities:

    1. Kyuss, from his base in Kuluth-Mar, raided Elatalhuihle for slaves or other resources.

    2. Kyuss, from his base in Kuluth-Mar, destroyed Elatalhuihle, seeing it as a rival or threat to his power.

    3. Kyuss visited Elatalhuihle, learning dark secrets there before moving on to found his own city of Kuluth-Mar. Perhaps it was already ruined when he came there, or perhaps he allied with the sages and priests of the city.

    4. Some of Kyuss' followers, after Kyuss' apotheosis, went on to found the city of Elatalhuihle.

    5. Elatalhuihle was the home of the "powerful tribe of wild elves" allied with ghale eladrins who attacked Kuluth-Mar, sacrificing themselves to seal the undead in the Ziggurat of Kyuss, though not before their own city had become infected.

    6. Elatalhuihle has no connection to Kyuss (the rumors simply have it confused with Kuluth-Mar), and the spawn of Kyuss who haunt it today are pure coincidence.

    7. Kuluth-Mar is Elatalhuihle.


    Awesome, Rasgon! This sounds like a great list of 'rumors' to give adventuring PCs to get them to do some investigation into the truth of the matter. Smile

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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sun May 23, 2021 9:51 am  
    Polyhedron

    If Dragon and Dungeon were sister publications, then Polyhedron is their cousin.

    This magazine began as part of the subscription to RPGA (Role Playing Gamers Association). It really was more of a newsletter for RPGA, and it kept that kind of style throughout most of its publication. Compared to Dragon and Dungeon, there was more of a low key feel with this one.

    As far as content goes, It was mostly catering towards D&D, but did have articles for other games (Star Wars, Top Secret, Marvel Superheros, even some more obscure bits for games like Dawn Patrol, Gangbusters, and Boot Hill). A lot of articles were done regarding the "Living" RPGs. There was a long running series of a "Living City" set in the Forgotten Realms along with some Living Greyhawk articles and a Living Jungle series.

    With the RPGA connection there was a lot of discussion on running tournaments, gaming clubs news, bulletin board type references, and convention tips.

    Ultimately, this is a neat addition to what you subscribed to in Dragon and Dungeon. Generally, the issues were smaller than Dragon, but it adds up when you consider there were over 170 issues over its print run.

    Check it out when you can!
    CF Admin

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    Sun May 23, 2021 11:27 am  
    Re: Polyhedron

    Osmund-Davizid wrote:
    If Dragon and Dungeon were sister publications, then Polyhedron is their cousin.


    An incomplete index of Polyhedron issues was published by WotC BITD, and I've got it stored on my site at http://www.greyhawkonline.com/grodog/temp/polyindx.zip

    Allan.
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:58 pm  
    White Dwarf Magazine

    Now for a big one: White Dwarf.

    This was a British periodical published by Games Workshop in the early years of RPG's - 1977. This was first made in the days before Games Workshop even had a shop of their own. But GW was the importer of Dungeons and Dragons products, so the early years of this magazine had quite a bit of D&D material as well as other games of all sorts. It was not until about issue 102 when it became a magazine dedicated to supporting GW products exclusively.

    So the D&D content was limited to those first 100 issues or so, but it was a glorious run! I always thought there was something different about this magazine, the cover art always seems a little more edgy to me when compared to Dragon. The contents were very much like early Dragon - reviews, new items and monsters (some of which eventually made it to the 1st edition Fiend Folio), some modules, and articles on every aspect of fantasy RPGs. And there were many articles on other games as well: Traveller, Rune Quest, Star Trek and many others. But perhaps because there were different sensibilities with an English audience, reading through a White Dwarf just seemed a little darker in tone than with Dragon.

    A fan did an in depth review of these early issues far above my meager efforts to do so here. Check out the forum thread here:

    https://www.enworld.org/threads/white-dwarf-the-first-100-issues-a-read-through-and-review.325009/

    There was a compilation of these early magazines on CD ROM out there. But probably for the same reasons the Dragon CD Archives stopped selling, this did as well. But this was one of the good ones. The articles now are obviously dated, but a fun look into the early years of the hobby. Since White Dwarf switched away from other games to focus just on GW ones, it is like their association with D&D is frozen in amber. A true time capsule for hobbyists.

    One final tidbit, this magazine was specifically mentioned by Gary Gygax himself in the AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide in the "Aids to Playing AD&D" section. Knowing Mr Gygax's usual self promoting efforts, to have him mention a periodical outside of TSR publishing in the DMG itself is high praise indeed.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Mon Jun 14, 2021 6:28 pm  
    Imagine Magazine

    Since I am on the topic of British magazines, let's talk about Imagine.

    The aforementioned magnanimity by Mr Gygax towards White Dwarf evidently came to an end around about 1983, when TSR Hobbies UK went into publishing a magazine to compete with White Dwarf, called Imagine.

    Visually, it looked a lot like Dragon at that time, both by the covers and the interior type style, with (of course) english spellings and adverts. But it also looked a lot like White Dwarf, and that I think, was the problem. By 1983 White Dwarf and Games Workshop were getting pretty entrenched in the English market, and Imagine couldn't catch up. Eventually, only 30 issues were published, with a special edition issue. When the magazine folded, a few of its staff published five issues of Game Master as a last hoorah.

    So what did it have in it? A series of articles on a beginner's guide to RPGs, essays on styles of play, explanations of spells, mini modules, and the like. One especially long running series was a campaign setting called Pelinore that focused on a city-state and grew from there.

    Overall, not a bad product. Too bad it did not last longer, with White Dwarf eventually getting away from non GW materials, there could have been a niche for Imagine. As an additional note, there is a video of the Imagine Magazine covers here: Check it out!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Y91LNOOMAE

    O-D
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    Sat Jun 19, 2021 12:55 pm  

    There were a zillion little zines devoted to D&D in the UK; here’s a partial listing: https://tomeoftreasures.com/tot_fanzines/a_fanzine_home.htm

    Allan.
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