I've already written about this twice before. Here's a link to Part 1. I've reposted Part 2 from last summer below:
In Retrospect: Dragon #195 (Part 2)
I've already done a retrospective of Dragon #195 back in October. But that was before my girlfriend fulfilled my wish and got me the hardcopy as an early Christmas present. It's in pretty good condition, far better than my old copy that I sold some years ago. I have the issue as a pdf, from the Dragon Magazine Archive. But there's nothing like holding and flipping through a physical magazine or book.
Just to reiterate, Dragon #195 was the first Dragon Magazine I ever bought. I think I got it at Waldenbooks or B. Dalton. I was 14, and just beginning to understand the plethora of RPGs out there besides D&D.
What strikes me most about this issue isn't its articles and fiction. It's the advertisements. It's hard to get that feeling from a 2-D pdf. This issue has some "weight" to it when compared to some of its successors. Here's why:
White Wolf placed an 8-page advertisement for Mage: The Ascension right in the middle of the magazine. What you see to the right is just part of this huge advert.
White Wolf had a lot of explaining to do, since Mage: The Ascension was unlike anything gone before (except for maybe Vampire). We're talking about mages who can bend reality itself, and how they are broken down into "traditions."
The game itself came out in July 1993, the same month the magazine was published. I know it bought sometime later. Behold the power of advertising!
Next we have Dragon Strike. Oh boy, yet another Hero Quest rip off, but this one comes with a movie! On the next two pages James M. Ward wrote up an article describing the of the game. Sometime in 1992, Mr. Ward writes, the folks at TSR revisited an old question:
"Wouldn't it be cool to hook up a video with a role-playing game?"
The "hyper-reality" video is the result. You can view on You Tube. Judge for yourself if you think it'd be effective in bringing gamers into the hobby.
And yes, I bought it. Hey, I wanted the figures, and Dragon Strike seemed to be a good way to introduce people to RPGs. I'll describe my experiences with it in a later post.
Finally we've got the previews section. First up, the AD&D 2e Monstrous Manual. Finally, a book to replace the lame and cumbersome Monstrous Compendium!!!
I also eventually purchased the Van Richten's Guide To Werebeasts and the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting Boxed Set (I know, gasp!). None of the other stuff interested me. I'm still not sure what the deal was with Cardmaster. I didn't want to play D&D myself and can generate adventures without cards. It remains an oddity to me.
So, I got my wish. Dragon #195 is mine again.
Have you ever sold an issue of Dragon or Dungeon and then wished you'd had it again?