24
Jan
13

Gygax Magazine Unboxing and Beyond

If you’ll be in Brooklyn this Saturday I look forward to seeing you at the Gygax Magazine unboxing! If so be sure to RSVP via their website, if not there will be streaming video of the event and some other online goings-on that’ll make checking the site that day worth your while.

Gygax unboxing

To the right is the flyer from the event, reusing an illustration by Ryan Browning – the PCs to the right killing orcs with ventriloquism belong to him and Zak, plus my elf Locfir from the original Dwimmermount PbP. Here’s the text on the back:

GYGAX MAGAZINE

PREMIERE ISSUE RELEASE

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

1:30 PM

* Magazines available for purchase at 2:00 PM

Join us for a full day of gaming: D&D, Savage Worlds, Marvel RPG, and more

Plus 1st edition AD&D with Dwarven Forge!

I’ve had the pleasure of helping the rebirth of TSR from the start – I think only founder Jayson Elliott and Games Content Editor James Carpio are senior to me. For a while my title was Guy Who Introduces Jayson To Former TSR Employees which was a lot of fun, but around the time that the magazine emerged as the most promising thing TSR could do as its launch Jayson got sucked up actually making that happen and I became busy with other stuff too.

Once the magazine was thrust into the spotlight the title I chose for myself was Events Coordinator, although something with outreach in the name would probably be better. The reason I’m excited to be part of an ambitious, old-fashioned print magazine is the opportunities it affords to draw gamers together the way the letters column in wargaming zines did for guys on the magazine’s masthead like Tim Kask and Ernie Gygax, and to be the mystique-laden physical artifact that draws outsiders in the way zines like Factsheet Five did for the generation Jayson and I come from.

To be an Events Coordinator is well and good, except that I have twins on the way next week (I didn’t commit to running anything at the event in case they were early) and a day job and a hobby job with Autarch so I do not lack for interesting times. Thus if you want to see Gygax Magazine become a force for making cool events happen you should not expect me to do it all for you. Specific ways you can help:

  1. If there is something happening that you think the kind of people who’d dig Gygax Magazine would enjoy, let me know and I’ll add it to the calendar. Eventually we’ll have a more formal way to do so but for now you can comment here or email/G+ me at barnar.hammerhand@gmail.com.
  2. If you are in the tri-state area – which is the low-hanging fruit we can use to demonstrate “here are the kinds of things Gygax Magazine thinks its audience might enjoy” – is Bushwick outside your comfortable travel range?
silent barn

This shot from the DIY Dungeons @ Silent Barn is fan service for the kids in my afterschool class who’ll excited to see the Minecraft creeper. Also pictured: Inna from Butter the Children, who headlined the show later that night.

This Monday DIY Dungeons put on a successful event at Silent Barn, a DIY space that’s just opened in a bigger location, 603 Bushwick Avenue, at the beginning of the year. They’re also doing a Babycastles game jam so are clearly our kind of peeps.

The thing Jayson and I were thinking is missing from our local gaming scene is a purely social gathering. We’ve got convention gaming with nerdNYC’s quarterly Recess, Organized Play and the self-organized kind with the world’s biggest D&D Meetup group, plus groups predominantly focused on actual play like New York Red Box. The thing we don’t usually have (and NYRB always seems eager for more of) is a chance to hang out with one another and other gamers and our friends who maybe aren’t gamers yet but are open to having a good time. This kind of get-together is easy to organize when it’s nice outside, but in the winter a place like Silent Barn is ideal. However, nerdNYC’s Terry, for whom I have mad respect, thinks that Bushwick is one subway transfer too many for most of the folks who come to Recess.

If you have an informed opinion on these matters I am eager to hear it. If not, I encourage you to think about where you might want to get together with folks in the place where you live, and then make it happen and tell me about it so I can put it on Gygax’s calendar.

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8 Responses to “Gygax Magazine Unboxing and Beyond”


  1. January 24, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    you guys have to advertise the DIY dungeons thing better. I follow this blog and the DIY Dungeons page and I didn’t know about the Silent Barn thing until just now. I totally would have gone. Is there a mailing list or something similar?

  2. 2 Owen
    January 24, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    I live in south Brooklyn so the issue for me with Bushwick is not getting there, but getting home. That said, I do go there occasionally to see friends so it’s not insurmountable. It seems that Bushwick is where the spaces are these days, unless there’s places in Queens or the Bronx (where I probably wouldn’t travel to).

  3. January 24, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    @Eric, a mailing list is a good idea. I think DIY Dungeons is best at updating through Facebook if that helps – there was certainly an event page for the last one – so the work is to do a better job of translating that to the blogs.
    @Owen, I hear that some Brooklyn artists and musicians are starting to leave for Manhattan because rents for apartments are cheaper, but for things like this post-industrial spaces are ideal and few are left in Manhattan.

  4. January 26, 2013 at 5:03 am

    Terry is pure Treasure Type H, but she like much of the NerdNYC crew lives in FoHi. Let Queens County be abandoned to indie gaming, veganism, and pot-bellied dudes who are ironically into pro wrestling: all of that already exists in Williamsburg.

    The NerdNYC social events – trivia, board game night – are always a little weird, I find. It is natural to talk about common interests, but in those cases the common interest is the usual NerdNYC stuff, so it rapidly just becomes a meatspace version of the online community, but oddly less freewheeling.

    Where you don’t have to worry about that is when you’re already friends with somebody. In that situation, board game night really is a social occasion, rather than a kind of awkward mixer. What’s nice about Red Box is that, through a lot of playtime together and on-line banter, we’ve actually become quite friendly and so hanging out isn’t a stretch, and when it happens doesn’t degenerate into two gaming junkies talking about how bad they wanna score. (I hate that conversation.)

    What we really need are people as gregarious and extroverted as Jenskot, Terry, Ryan and Keren. Those are some fine goddam humans, who really go out of their way to make people feel comfortable. In the spirit of the OSR, let’s kill them and take their hospitality!

  5. 5 1
    January 27, 2013 at 12:50 am

    Sorry I missed you at the magazine launch party, Tavis! I did get to see some of the other local OSR blogosphere folks.


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