Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Just as the last issue of Dragon goes to press...

I picked up a whole pile of vintage back issues on eBay for about $50 including postage.

DRAGON: #122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 147, 148, 148, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 157

Some old issues of Dungeon Magazine, also scheduled for extinction next month, were included.

DUNGEON: #10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 44

It has been fascinating going through them and reading the letters and reviews, the a time machine going back to 1987. People suggesting TSR start using CompuServ's modem service for sending archived articles and arguing about how many floppy discs it would take to store all that information. People pitching huge fits about how the release of Unearthed Arcana and Weapons Specialization had thrown game balance all out of whack...the release of the first Forgotten Realms campaign set, the departure of Gary Gygax from TSR.

I started reading Wormy only to experience 20 years late the shock and sorrow of finding out that the comic would end in the middle of a story, right after the 100th issue to include a Wormy comic...and the mysterious disappearance of the artist who went into hiding in Southern Illinois as a cab driver who'd turned his back on the gaming industry.

I remembered why I never got into Snarf Quest.

I felt excited all over again about 2nd Edition.

I realized just how clearly the Dragon Magazine of today is geared to Junior High School players and how the Dragon Magazine of yesterday was geared to adults...or very smart Junior High School players that wanted to be treated like adults. The entire tone of the game was different back then. Better, if you ask me.

I'm only about half way through the stack, and once finished I'll go through them again meticulously cataloging and indexing the information in them that is relevant to my campaign.

It's made me very happy. I suppose I should post a running list of issues that I have and that I want. It would be great to get a copy of that fabled Archive CD Rom with the first 250 issues on it. It is nearly impossible to get for under $200 though, because it is quite a collector's item. It was released without TSR having obtained the electronic reproduction rights from authors and artists...and they got sued. They pop up from time to time on eBay, and I saw one at Amazon for $389.

Maybe someday...until then, as the ghost of Dragon Future comes to an end, I'll sit in the basement playing with the ghost of Dragon Past. The experience of getting these back issues has made me even more committed to staying a 2nd Edition Holdout.



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