Monday, October 16, 2017

Spellcasting before D&D in Midgard


From the summer of 1971, this excerpt shows the initial Wizard system developed for a game called Midgard, as disseminated through the seventh issue of Hartley Patterson's original Midgard fanzine. This issue dates a little after the release of first edition Chainmail, and a little before the additions to the Wizard rules Gygax would write up at the end of the year for the International Wargamer which divided Chainmail Wizards into level-like ranks. It is noteworthy for several historical reasons, not least for ostensibly being the earliest spell-point system.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Vintage Ad: Why Women Don't Play Wargames


This late-1970s variant on one of the earliest Dungeons & Dragon advertisements repeats some conventional wisdom of the day about female participation in the gaming community. But as the text suggests, D&D had the potential to be "a game which women play and enjoy equally with men." Women did take up D&D in numbers very different from prior self-identified wargames, though their integration into the community faced its share of challenges.

This advertisement could be found in the wild as a full-page in Fantastic Stories magazine, June 1977. TSR then actively targeted not just gamers but fans of fantasy fiction--by some estimates, about a third of whom at the time were women.