Friday, October 15, 2021

"Game Wizards" the Game

 

Game Wizards has "turn results" at the end of the annual chapters to track the big picture, while casting the business of D&D as the sort of game that Gygax and others often made it out to be. Early drafts of the book actually had a 1970s-style Diplomacy variant serialized from the beginning, with installments throughout, which both served as a sort of ersatz dramatis personae and also would have made the chapter closer look more like what you would have seen for turn results in an actual Dippy zine back in the day. I was eventually persuaded it was too obscure and gimmicky, and scaled it back to its current form. But for the amusement of anyone digging into the book now, this is an (unpolished) excerpt of what that might have looked like.

11 comments:

  1. Finished Game Wizards this morning. You’re an excellent writer, making a story that would normally make my eyes glaze over in incomprehension - financial talk just makes me tired - something riveting and full of drama. Congrats and thank you!

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  2. Read the first 100 pages of the book yesterday (I had a day off, so what better way to spend time) and am really enjoying it. It's great companion to your other books, in that they all are sort of covering some of the same ground but from differing perspectives without being really repetitive.

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  3. This is hilarious, and I imagine even those of us who never saw Diplomacy writeups contemporaneously would have enjoyed these in context. Then again, we can also enjoy them out of context.

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  4. Jon- I loved your video and would like to order two *signed* copies of your book - is that possible? Ideally before my younger brother and fellow adventurer’s 50th birthday on November 18th 2021. Jbeams@gmail.com

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  5. Just finished Game Wizards--Bravo! (Part of me wishes for a sequel covering the Williams years, but I'm sure that's unlikely.) One question, re: the immediate post-Gygax years: After the first 2 Gord books, Rose Estes wrote a few Greyhawk novels. How did the reconciliation come about? Did it have anything to do with the resolution of her lawsuit?

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    1. If you're interested in the Williams years, you should look out for Ben Riggs's upcoming book "Slaying the Dragon."

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    2. "And it is a story entirely untold until now." (From the publisher description of his book.)

      Oops feels like maybe you stole some of Riggs' thunder.

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  6. I'm simply amazed by your research and ability to turn so many facts into a thoroughly enjoyable adventure through time and history. I noticed on page 77 that Greg Bell is credited with the "Rearing Rider" illustration rather than Dan Adkins who was the original artist. Do you know if Dan was ever credited by Bell in later years for at least "inspiring" Greg's illustration?

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    1. I mean, the Art & Arcana book obviously goes into more detail about such matters, but I'd say the process was much more informal in the early days - D&D was originally printed for a niche community in which crediting the source of swipes would be the exception, not the rule.

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    2. Thanks, Jon. Appreciate the reply and context. You truly have a gift for providing glimpses of the past with unprecedented fidelity. I am immensely grateful you have chosen to focus this gift on the history of RPG's.

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