Gygax Magazine Review
The King is Dead. Long live the King!
If you love roleplaying games (and if you’re reading this, you probably do) do yourself a favor and subscribe to Gygax Magazine. I really enjoyed any issue of Kobold Quarterly I could get my hands on. I even wrote about it here. To my eternal shame, I never actually subscribed and in the meantime, KQ has printed its last issue. While I didn’t personally have a Dragon magazine subscription, I have since perused old issues and developed a real appreciation for what that publication did not only to grow Dungeons and Dragons, but to increase and diversify both the audience and the genres for RPGs as a hobby.
Gygax magazine is pitch perfect in every category as far as I’m concerned. Not only was the staff wise enough to bring on Wolfgang Baur (the kobold-in-chief) and provide a corner for KQ material, they went back to the classic format of Dragon magazine both in layout and design. First and foremost, the classic oil painting cover featuring a fantastic but also humorous situation, using the same font as the old Dragon for the title, as well as similar text in the upper right of the price and few articles within. Inside, the contents page is formatted almost exactly like issues from the mid-80s, and the articles are formatted in triple columns and fairly plain titles. It just feels… right.
One of the most fascinating articles was about the cosmology of RPGs by James Carpio. James has done a great job breaking down the different waves and movements in the RPG hobby into stars in a galaxy. This includes a really cool two-page graphic depicting most of the major RPGs and games that use the same type of mechanics or design ideas. It’s a really cool graphical representation of the games over time and may help you find some cool games you missed.
My favorite thing about the magazine is it’s inclusive feel, taking on all game systems and all types of players. There are articles that would appeal to old-guard gamers about improv DMing, and bridging generations. There are nitty-gritty articles that break down which is mathematically statistically better: +1 damage or +1 to hit? There are cutting edge articles talking about the future of gaming, and online table tops. Essentially there is something for everyone!
Towards the end of course, there are the comics! Classics like Order of the Stick, as well as What’s New with Phil and Dixie, and one that was new to me, Marvin the Mage. All and all, I can’t recommend it highly enough. Don’t let this magazine fail! Subscribe and support an excellent resource for roleplaying games!