Deck of Many Things fanzine
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 1 of 1
Author

User avatar

Prolific Collector

Posts: 563
Joined: Aug 08, 2003
Last Visit: Jun 05, 2020
Location: Chicago

Post Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 1:02 am 
 

Howdy -



I picked up a bunch of old wargaming mags recently. Not particularly cheap, but I was happy enough to get hold of them. I was wondering if anyone can tell me any info about them? Two titles, Deck of Many Things and Midwest Wargaming Review, both from the seventies.



A couple of sample auctions:



cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewIt ... T&rd=1



cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewIt ... T&rd=1



cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewIt ... T&rd=1



Managed to pick up about 10 mags in total. I figured being in the Midwest in the 70's, they would have a large Gygax or MDG influence. If anyone has any info, that would great.



Also... I picked up a few other mags from another source that arrived a few days ago. Called Supernova, it was created by Lew Pulsipher as a SF fanzine. Around issue 26 it was bought by Rick Loomis from Flying Buffalo, and from the next issue editorship passed to Ken St Andre who used it as a SF and fantasy zine, with mixed content. There is a rather large bias evident against D&D and TSR though. One article that was pretty funny was a review of Lost Caverns of Tsojconth:



The Lost Caverns of Tsojconth, designed by Gary Gygax, 3 dollars. 14 pages, ziplock bag. Copyright 1977.  



Here I am, trying to lay aside by prejudices and review some D&D material.  I think one of the fairest things I can do is let the product speak for itself, so I am going to quote directly from the back cover and then move on to other comments.  



"This is the dungeon designed especially for the MDG Wintercon 5 Gamefest Dungeons and Dragons Tournament.  It was designed by Gary Gygax and playtested by the TSR staff.  Use this dungeon for your own tournament or for a new exciting dungeon for one dungeonmaster and six players (six players aren't necessary but all characters should be used).  



The dungeon contains two levels (the lesser caverns and the greater caverns) each with the necessary maps, room descriptions, character sheets, monster chracteristic tables, character versus monster hit/damage matrices, a monster description sheet, referee notes, and guidelines for the selection of the best player.  Each level takes about 3-4 hours to play."



And then they tell you a little about the six characters they want you to use in this dungeon.  



In one sense, Lost Caverns is a real achievement- a fairly complex dungeon especially for tournament play, it can be used impartially by any number of dungeonmasters without greatly affecting the outcome.  Gygax has remembered to include everything you need to operate the Lost Caverns just as is promised above.  It is a typical dungeon- a seemingly endless series of caves with a different and more outrageous monster every time you turn around.  There is plenty of treasure to be found but you must look in the really stinking places to find it.  (D&D Axiom?  If it smells bad, can treasure be far away?)



This would be an excellent dungeon to buy if 1. You wanted to run your own little D&D tournament without really preparing; or 2. You'd rather pay 3 bucks for a mediocre dungeon than make up your own.  



The only real faults I can find with it are:  1. At least one dollar of the three dollar price is for the ziplock bag (totally unnecessary because all you get is paper- no moving parts or counters to lose); 2. Most of the important text is in printing smaller than the supernovae print and it is very crowded even at that; 3. Gary Gygax did most (perhaps all?) of the illustrations himself.  Like me, the man is no artist.  Unlike me he insists on publishing his childish little sketches which are all flat, poorly proportioned, and singularly lacking in interest.  4. Lost Caverns has a really ugly dungeon map which looks like it is a xerox copy of a xerox copy.  



Overall, I recommend LSOT for avid D&D fans.  It should be tremendous egoboost because you will look at it and know that your own dungeons are much better.  Non-avid fantasy roleplayers can save their money.  




I wonder how many gamers chose not to buy a copy, based on that review? Supernova had a circulation of 350-400, according to Ken.



Regards



Mike

  

User avatar

Verbose Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 1209
Joined: Mar 08, 2003
Last Visit: Jan 23, 2021
Location: Close to GenCon

Post Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 9:22 am 
 

I think the Deck Of Many Thing was published by MDG. Bbarsh might know for sure.

  


Long-Winded Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 3793
Joined: Feb 23, 2005
Last Visit: Jan 17, 2021

Post Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:06 am 
 

My god, that's a hilarious review.  Who wrote it?  Think they've still got their copy?

  


Grandstanding Collector

Posts: 5611
Joined: Nov 16, 2002
Last Visit: Jan 21, 2021
Location: Wichita, KS, USA

Post Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 2:09 pm 
 

That's cool Mike---perhaps you'll be able to ID the long-missing title of the WinterCon 6/7/whatever tourney :D



Also, your hope is valid, since Gygax did write several early articles about D&D in various midwestern magazines, I'm trying to work up a list for my Castle Greyhawk research page.  If you find pertinent details, please shoot me a PM or email, I'd love to add any relevant sources to the page :D


Allan Grohe ([email protected])
Greyhawk, grodog Style

Editor and Project Manager, Black Blade Publishing
https://www.facebook.com/BlackBladePublishing/

 WWW  


Sage Collector

Posts: 2639
Joined: Jan 23, 2003
Last Visit: Jan 11, 2006

Post Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 6:53 pm 
 

Cute Tsoj review, Mike. thx. :)



mdr003 wrote:Also... I picked up a few other mags from another source that arrived a few days ago. Called Supernova, it was created by Lew Pulsipher as a SF fanzine. Around issue 26 it was bought by Rick Loomis from Flying Buffalo, and from the next issue editorship passed to Ken St Andre who used it as a SF and fantasy zine, with mixed content. There is a rather large bias evident against D&D and TSR though.


Lew always seemed to be somewhat opinionated, if given half a chance (as was carried through to his White Dwarf contributions). ;)



Wasn't just a bias against D&D though (presuming the Tsoj review is his, too).



Lew Pulsipher in Supernova #26 1/2 wrote:Rick (Loomis) will probably want to shoot me for saying this, especially after he sent me a copy for review, but I cannot recommend T&T to anyone who is satisfied with D&D. The collectors and fanatics will want to get it, of course. If you have to choose between T&T and Greyhawk, by all means by Greyhawk. If you're dissatisfied with D&D and you don't think Greyhawk will rectify the problems, T&T is your only alternative.


...8O



Lew's review comments, etc., are often useful for printing history information and suchlike, too. (e.g. that Blackmoor was actually not released until mid-December rather than the stated September 1975, owing to printing problems.



Noted his copy of Greyhawk was a T1st, too...

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6720
Joined: Jul 16, 2005
Last Visit: Jul 24, 2020

Post Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:07 pm 
 

I believe that Lewis Pulpisher was the author of one of the funniest gaming articles I have read...."Flippancy in Role Playing"



    I would not recommend that anyone who wants to keep their campaign running should emulate the ideas in the article, but it made me laugh anyway.   8)


"But I have watched the dragons come, fire-eyed, across the world."

  

User avatar

Prolific Collector

Posts: 563
Joined: Aug 08, 2003
Last Visit: Jun 05, 2020
Location: Chicago

Post Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2005 12:16 am 
 

The review was written by Ken (sorry, I should have mentioned).



As well as that article, there are several others that show distinct lack of respect for TSR/D&D. There is a discussion of the legal action being threatened by TSR against all and sundry at the time:



"Tim Kask of TSR recently made some remarks (at Origins 77) to te effect that TSR intends to use lawsuits to clear the market of all cheap imitators of Dungeons & Dragons. Among the targets he specifically mentioned were Tunnels & Trolls and Arduin Grimoire."



He goes on to talk about getting legal advice, which was to the effect that the suits (if brought to court) would have no substance. He finishes with:



"....Legally, I would think TSR will have their hands full with Heritage. There is a fellow named Arneson now working for Heritage who also has certain rights to D&D and with plans to be the official British producer and distributer."



It's no wonder he writes with bias against TSR, if he was being subject to constant threat of legal action.



You're right about Lew, he did seem to have strong opinions about things. He wrote well though, so his articles are always interesting. There's another article in one of the issues where he reviews White Dwarf #1, and compares it to The Dragon - and finds in WD's favour.



Regards



Mike

  

User avatar

Verbose Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 1250
Joined: Jan 01, 2003
Last Visit: Jan 08, 2021

Post Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2005 7:17 am 
 

Lew Pulsipher's articles were everywhere back in the day.  He wrote well so they were interesting to read even when I disagreed with him.  Is he still active in gaming?

  


Grandstanding Collector

Posts: 5611
Joined: Nov 16, 2002
Last Visit: Jan 21, 2021
Location: Wichita, KS, USA

Post Posted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 12:17 pm 
 

404 Not Found



He's a nice guy, still owns the rights to all of his articles from Dragon, WD, etc, and will hopefully be publishing some of those with DWP in the future :D


Allan Grohe ([email protected])
Greyhawk, grodog Style

Editor and Project Manager, Black Blade Publishing
https://www.facebook.com/BlackBladePublishing/

 WWW  


Grandstanding Collector

Posts: 5611
Joined: Nov 16, 2002
Last Visit: Jan 21, 2021
Location: Wichita, KS, USA

Post Posted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 12:18 pm 
 

Hey Mike---



Can you please send me a scan of the review?  I'm going to be adding them to my S4 page sometime after I'm back in KS (I have another two or three reviews of Tsojconth in my files, would love to add more).


Allan Grohe ([email protected])
Greyhawk, grodog Style

Editor and Project Manager, Black Blade Publishing
https://www.facebook.com/BlackBladePublishing/

 WWW  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6720
Joined: Jul 16, 2005
Last Visit: Jul 24, 2020

Post Posted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 2:58 pm 
 

grodog wrote:404 Not Found



He's a nice guy, still owns the rights to all of his articles from Dragon, WD, etc, and will hopefully be publishing some of those with DWP in the future :D




    He might own his articles from White Dwarf, but the odds that he owns his Dragon articles are quite long.



    It was TSR's policy that all work published by them in their magazines be considered work for hire, and bought outright.  That way they could control the AD&D game as it grew.



    It is possible that Pulpisher might have sold some of his earlier articles under a different contract.   :?


"But I have watched the dragons come, fire-eyed, across the world."

  


Grandstanding Collector

Posts: 5611
Joined: Nov 16, 2002
Last Visit: Jan 21, 2021
Location: Wichita, KS, USA

Post Posted: Sun Sep 18, 2005 1:43 am 
 

Hey Mike, which issue of Supernova (# and month/year) was the Tsojconth review in?  I'd like to attrinbute it properly on my S4 page :D


Allan Grohe ([email protected])
Greyhawk, grodog Style

Editor and Project Manager, Black Blade Publishing
https://www.facebook.com/BlackBladePublishing/

 WWW  

User avatar

Long-Winded Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 3861
Joined: Feb 21, 2004
Last Visit: Aug 21, 2020
Location: Milford, Michigan

Post Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2005 9:48 pm 
 

I had two stints as editor of the Deck - one in the mid 80s and the other in the 90s. MDG pretty much disolved and the Deck disappeared at that point.

It was mainly an info mag for local and some nonlocal gamers. MDG is Metro Detroit Gamers.

It was never very polished as a magazine, and done on the cheap. Did the entire thing on an Apple IIc and cut and pasted for publication at local printers. Distribution was also fairly low - several 100 to probably close to 700-1000 at its best. We were down to around 250 subscribers in the later 90s. But again, it was never meant as anything but a local publication to inform about Wintercon and Michicon as well as other local events. Mostly locals did the articles, but we had big names do stuff from time to time.

I would say there are not too darn many issues pre-100 around. And they are very hard to come by.

Good catch.


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

New modules for your Old School game http://pacesettergames.com/

Everything Pacesetter at http://pacesettergames.blog.com/

 WWW  

User avatar

Prolific Collector

Posts: 563
Joined: Aug 08, 2003
Last Visit: Jun 05, 2020
Location: Chicago

Post Posted: Wed Sep 21, 2005 7:30 pm 
 

Thanks for the info, Bbarsh.



grodog wrote:Can you please send me a scan of the review? I'm going to be adding them to my S4 page sometime after I'm back in KS (I have another two or three reviews of Tsojconth in my files, would love to add more).




Hi Allan - the review is by Ken St Andre in Supernova #28, dated July 1977.



Regards



Mike

  


Grandstanding Collector

Posts: 5611
Joined: Nov 16, 2002
Last Visit: Jan 21, 2021
Location: Wichita, KS, USA

Post Posted: Wed Sep 21, 2005 10:09 pm 
 

grodog wrote:That's cool Mike---perhaps you'll be able to ID the long-missing title of the WinterCon 6/7/whatever tourney :D




Mike or bbarsh---any chance you you guys can provide illumination on the WinterCon 1-4, 6, and 9+ tourneys?



Tsojconth = WinterCon 5

Fazzlewood = WinterCon 7

Ghost Tower = WinterCon 8


Allan Grohe ([email protected])
Greyhawk, grodog Style

Editor and Project Manager, Black Blade Publishing
https://www.facebook.com/BlackBladePublishing/

 WWW  


Grandstanding Collector

Posts: 5611
Joined: Nov 16, 2002
Last Visit: Jan 21, 2021
Location: Wichita, KS, USA

Post Posted: Wed Sep 21, 2005 10:11 pm 
 

mdr003 wrote:
Hi Allan - the review is by Ken St Andre in Supernova #28, dated July 1977.





Thanks Mike, I'll cite accordingly :D


Allan Grohe ([email protected])
Greyhawk, grodog Style

Editor and Project Manager, Black Blade Publishing
https://www.facebook.com/BlackBladePublishing/

 WWW  

User avatar

Long-Winded Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 3861
Joined: Feb 21, 2004
Last Visit: Aug 21, 2020
Location: Milford, Michigan

Post Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 9:09 am 
 

grodog wrote:
grodog wrote:That's cool Mike---perhaps you'll be able to ID the long-missing title of the WinterCon 6/7/whatever tourney :D




Mike or bbarsh---any chance you you guys can provide illumination on the WinterCon 1-4, 6, and 9+ tourneys?



Tsojconth = WinterCon 5

Fazzlewood = WinterCon 7

Ghost Tower = WinterCon 8




I'll do what I can, but unfortunately, I tossed most of my older back issues in a blind purge about 10 years ago - along with all my programs from Gencon and Origins. I only have limited numbers left and I am afraid I don't have anything prior to around 1984-5. :(


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

New modules for your Old School game http://pacesettergames.com/

Everything Pacesetter at http://pacesettergames.blog.com/

 WWW  
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 1 of 1