Archive for August 12th, 2010

12
Aug
10

White Box Archaeology: The Pyrologist

Let’s set the wayback machine to the ’70s, at the dawn of Dungeons & Dragons. For you kids out there, this entirely predates the Internet as we know it; there were no blogs or forums on which to share ideas. Gamers who wanted to broadly disseminate gaming material would submit their work to fanzines, which were compiled on a typewriter, printed via photocopier or mimeograph, and sent out via snail mail.

One such fanzine was “Liaisons Dangereuses,” a Diplomacy ‘zine run by Len Lakofka. As an early D&D player, Len used his ‘zine to print up some D&D material that he and Gary Gygax had written. There are a few gems to be found here, such as the Pyrologist, a new character class appearing in LD #74 (September 1976). The class is a gonzo mess, allowing for Pyrologist/Cleric dual classing, psionic abilities, spells and bonus powers, weapon choices varying by level, and other oddball rules. Well worth looking at for a peek into how idiosyncratic things could get in old-school play!

You can read the original ‘zine here. More recently, an old-school fan transcribed the whole thing up on the forums at The Delver’s Dungeon, a 1e AD&D fan site. The transcription can be found here.




Past Adventures of the Mule

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