[Pelinore.org] Imagine Magazine #2

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[Pelinore.org] Imagine Magazine #2

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Imagine Magazine Issue 2

Pelinore.org wrote:Cover Art
Wizard of Lemuria I, by Les Edwards

He doesn't look much like a wizard, does he?
Imagine Magazine #2 published by TSR Hobbies (UK) Ltd May 1983
ISSN 0264-1399
Imagine Magazine Issue 1 features:
The big, bad Barbarian by Gary Gygax. A new official AD&D character class.
GamesFair '83 by Paul Cockburn. A report from Reading University.
For the Honour of the Tribe by Graeme Morris. An AD&D adventure for 4-6 first level (Barbarian) characters.
Plus the regular features: Illuminations, Players' Association News, Tavern Talk, Games Reviews, Film Reviews and The Sword of Alabron.
Publisher .................... Don Turnbull
Editor ......................... Keith Thomson
Assistant Editor .......... Paul Cockburn
Editorial Assistant ...... Kim Daniel
Art Supervisor ............ Philip Kaye
Contributing artists ....
Les Edwards Tania Long
Ian Williamson Pete Young
Paul Ruiz Shoo Rayner
GamesFair photos by ...
Paul Cockburn
By Keith Thomson.
Keith Thomson touches upon the subject of 'house rules' in light of Gary Gygax having gone on record to state that, in his view, any house rules that alter the technical aspects of the way an AD&D game is played mean that the game being played is no longer AD&D. Keith Thomson goes on to state that the aim of Imagine will be to buck the trend of publishing new monsters, weapons, and other items for their own sake; before going on to introduce a new official addition to the rules: Gary Gygax' Barbarian character class.

The Beginners' Guide to Role Playing Games

A feature for the new player, with Nic Novice.
The article itself is a word-for-word duplication of the same article in Imagine #1.

We are at least treated to a new edition of the comic strip 'the Adventures of Nic Novice', by Jim Bambra and Paul Ruiz, titled "rolling up a character".

Stirge Corner
A guide for the inexperienced player, by Roger Musson.
Roger Musson discusses the concept of 'winning' in role-playing games. The players don't win by competing against each other and the DM wins by having a "campaign that is involved and gripping," and that "players will remember and talk about when the game itself is over."

The big, bad Barbarian
An official AD&D character class by Gary Gygax.
This article was first published in DRAGON magazine, issue 63, July 1982 and was reproduced in Imagine Magazine by the kind permission of DRAGON's editor. Owners of Unearthed Arcana, past and present, and viewers of the Dungeons and Dragons animated cartoon series will remember this character class.

GamesFair '83
A report from Reading University, by Paul Cockburn.
Paul Cockburn reports on events at the annual GamesFair, attended by E. Gary Gygax. Paul reports that Gary horrified a few gaming purists that a "good referee only roles the dice for the sound they make. He just decides what happens."

The centrepiece of the GamesFair was the AD&D open competition, featuring the module that is presented in issue 2 of Imagine "For the Honour of the Tribe."

News from the world of games
Announcements made in May 1983 included:

the release in the UK of a new series of 15mm SPACE OPERA figures. Four packs were released, each containing five figures. Two packs contained HUMAN ADVENTURERS and a further two contained ALIEN ADVENTURERS.
GAMES DESIGN WORKSHOP made the TRAVELLER BASIC SET available again, through GAMES WORKSHOP. Also released were two new adventures: adventure 8 PRISON PLANET and the double adventure 6 DIVINE RIGHT / NIGHT OF CONQUEST.
The star ship combat game STAR FLEET BATTLES continued to expand with STAR FLEET BATTLES EXPANSION 3 and BATTLE DAMAGE - CODE RED.
The release of the sixth and final part of the MAN, MYTH & MAGIC RPGs adventure one, titled ASCENT TO HELL.
The release of FANTASY GAMES UNLIMITED's second edition of CHIVALRY & SORCERY.
Publication of the first issue of GAMES GAZETTE magazine, which had no connection to the GAMER magazine which had recently ceased publication - much to the confusion of many.
Confusion still reigned with regard to the TSR release schedule.

The announcement made in Imagine issue #1 of the release of I2 TOMB OF THE LIZARD KING was withdrawn.
No promises could be made. but a revised release date of June 1983 was given - the same date also applied to I4 OASIS OF THE WHITE PALM and M1 BLIZZARD PASS.
However, these products did hit the shelves: I3 PHAROAH, SF1 PLANET OF MYSTERY, SF2 STARSPAWN OF VOLTURNUS (SF1 and SF2 were reviewed in Imagine #1) and another set of the ENDLESS QUEST books.
No dates were given for UK1 BEYOND THE CRYSTAL CAVE, the STAR FRONTIERS module ASSAULT ON THE SS OMICRON, and the TOP SECRET module TS004 OPERATION FIRST PASS; but it was said that these should be the next releases.
Letters, Fanzines, Clubs and Hobbymeets, and Forthcoming Events
A miscellany
Given that this is only issue #2 of Imagine, the mail bags arriving in Cambridge did not swell with fan mail from all corners of the UK. Instead, we are treated to the reviews of the first issue that appeared in the UKs fanzine in response to a dummy issue of the magazine that was sent out to the relevant editors. It is interesting to note, from one of the fanzine reviews (by Chris Hunter in Mike Dean's PSYCHOPATH fanzine), that the dummy issue also included a mini-module that could be played "by a party from 1st to 9th level, this being achieved by insertion of different monsters, traps etc. for each level - all of the stats are given."

I can feel a scouring of the internet for a print copy of that dummy edition coming on.

Horror Scope
A fun feature by Chris Bayliss.
Originally appearing in Chris Bayliss' S.E.W.A.R.S. fanzine, this two page article contains astrological predictions of your PCs future based upon the date at which they were created. It's nonsense, of course, but fun and includes an interesting zodiac that could be used in any home-brewed campaign (and certainly in Pelinore, when we get to it).

Fireseek (Jan 20 to Feb 18) - the star sign is a Dragon.
Readying (Feb 19 to Mar 20) - the star sign is a shark.
Coldeven (Mar 21 to Apr 20) - the star sign is an eagle.
Planting (Apr 21 to May 20) - the star sign is an apple tee.
Flocktime (May 21 to Jun 20) - the star sign is a two headed, fanged rabbit.
Wealsun (June 21 to Jul 20) - the star sign is a sleeping sun.
Reaping (July 21 to Aug 21) - the star sign is a sword crossed with a scimitar.
Goodmonth (Aug 22 to Sep 22) - the star sign is two intertwined snakes.
Harvester (Sep 23 to Oct 22) - the star sign is the grim reaper.
Patchwall (Oct 23 to Nov 22) - the star sign is a burning torch.
Readytreat (Nov 23 to Dec 20) - the star sign is an apple.
Sunsebb (Dec 21 to Jan 19) - the star sign is a bright star next to a crescent moon.
For the Honour of the Tribe
An AD&D adventure for 4-6 first level characters, by Graeme Morris
This adventure was specifically written to introduce the new AD&D Barbarian character class. It was used as the competition module at GamesFair '83 and as such it could be said that the adventure contains "official" content.

Players' Introduction

You are a group of young barbarian warriors, living in a forest village commanded by the chief, Burak. Your shaman, Wenke, wields the most powerful and awe-inspiring tibal relic, the mace Iron Lure.

You are approached at noon by one of the chief's most trusted servants, and told to go to Burak's hut on a matter of utmost urgency and secrecy. On entering you find yourselves in a round, wattle and daub chamber whose ceiling is lost in cobwebs and the soot of ceremonial fires.

Amidst the hushed gloom, on a dais covered by painted and beaded hides, sits the chief, Burak; his hawk-like, proud face sombre and troubled. Besides him stands Menke in his shaman's robes. He too looks grave.

You approach the dais, salute the chief and, at his bidding, seat yourselves on the floor around him.

'My sons, before all else know that you must swear to take the story of this day's business to the grave. Be sure that you do, for it concerns the honour of the tribe. Know then, my sons, that we have been dishonoured!

'As you well know, it is ten winters since the dark master of sorcery, that wielder of illusions and tricks, Beyn Tamarind the magician, occupied the deserted tower that lies 12 miles to the north-west.

'Well we do to distrust all users of magic; but we held our peace when he first arrived, and the sorceror, having given us earnest of his good intentions in gifts and honeyed words, offered us a pact of peace which we accepted with due ritual. Since then we have lived unmolested by his dark arts and ourselves have stayed our blades.

'But now, my sons, it is in our hearts that this practitioner of the dark arts has betrayed our trust. We have been bereft of our great protector, our symbol and strength, the mace Iron Lure! It is in our hearts that the sorceror stole it last night to use for some foul purpose of his own, leaving a poor imitation in its place. What insult is this? Does he think we are blind?

'This morning we found fresh tracks leading south into the forest from Menke's hut. Your task is this; follow the thief, recover Iron Lure and bring it safe home, speedily and in secret. If you indeed find that the theft was carried out by the sorceror and his minions, then punish him grievously. Let him know that the wrath and retribution of the Tribe fall swiftly on those who dishonour us! But, unless you are certain of his villainy, molest him not. A needless enemy in one such as he would be perilous indeed.

'No time must be lost. Who knows what nefarious evil he lays upon our Iron Lure even now? For your use, we have placed a store of weapons and armour in the hollow centre of the ruined oak south of the village. Go now, most speedily, equipped as if for a single day's hunting. Take our good wishes with you and remember you do this for the honour of the tribe!'

Pelinore doesn't arrive until issue #16 of Imagine, but this adventure could quite easily be placed in the Steppe Lands - an uncharted area to the east of the Domains - without much modification.

D&D Players Association News
The newsletter of the British Dungeons & Dragons Players Association, edited by Graeme Morris.
In his editorial, Graeme Morris discussed the forthcoming rules additions to the AD&D game, some of which had appeared in games releases, such as DEITIES & DEMIGODS and FIEND FOLIO, others appearing in module S4 and in DRAGON magazine. He goes on to note that the circulation of DRAGON in the UK is quite small and that IMAGINE might be a much better vehicle for distributing the new official material to the British public.

The goal, he writes, is for IMAGINE to catch up with its "American cousin" in order to be able to publish such official games additions simultaneously in both publications. We, at PelinoreRevived, wish that this goal could have been reached; E. Gary Gygax himself wrote, in his 1999 interview, that:

"...had the expense of half the content, general layout too, been absorbed by "Dragon" magazine, which was then generating a profit of something like a million dollars annually, and the name I urged been used so as to make it clear that it was tied to the D&D game, I believe [Imagine] would have made a profit, been more effective and still satisfied the individual tastes of the British gaming audience."

Had that been the case then Imagine might have resumed publication and we could have seen much more Pelinore related content, in addition to having our own official TSR publication.

Tavern Talk
British hobby news, from Pete Tamlyn.
In this edition, Pete Tamlyn gave coverage to the departure of Marc Gascoigne from the DRAGONLORDS team.

Game Reviews
New products in the British market are put under the spotlight.
There were no reviews of TSR products in May 1983, instead we are treated to reviews of:

FANTASY GAMES UNLIMITED's STAR EXPLORER boardgame by J.C.Conner. Conner does not recommend this game. He alleged that, while the game had some good ideas, it's components and rules showed a lack of playtesting and that, in his opinion, the game was "grossly overpriced".
OPERATION MORPHEUS, a module for FANTASY GAMES UNLIMITED's AFTERMATH game, by Chris Bayliss. A recommended purchase, according to the review.
GAMES WORKSHOP's WILDERNESS HEX and DUNGEON MAPPING SHEETS by Doug Cowie. It may come as a surprise to some games out there today, but back in the good old days, we didn't have a ready supply of hex or graph paper on which to draw our maps. Hence, the release by GW of these products. According to the review, the quality was good but the products were 30% more expensive than those that were already available in the market. We can be thankful these days that all we need is a computer, a printer, some paper and access to any one of countless hex and grid generators to be found on the internet (or, for those willing to invest the time and money, professional mapping software).
A full page was devoted to Chris Bayliss' review of TIMELINE LTD's post-apocalyptic MORROW PROJECT role-playing game and two scenarios: LIBERATION AT RIVERTON and PROJECT DAMOCLES. Bayliss concludes that this is a very complex game to play, but that he believed it could be the revelation role-playing game of the 80s.
Illusionary Script
More brain teasers devised by "Gordius".
We don't know who Gordius was, but his puzzles can quite easily fill a thirty minute gap in our hectic schedule.

Figure Painting
by Mike Brunton.
Mike Brunton concludes what he started in issue #1 (where he covered preaparation and painting faces & hands). In this installment, he covers completing the figure and discusses "animation", which is the remodelling and reposing of your figure.

Film Review
A review of Disney's "the Island at the Top of the World" by Nick Pratt.
The Sword of Alabron
Ian Williamson's comic strip featuring Reg, Dexys, Nightswift and Auchter in the search for the Sword of Law.
The stereotype of the Scottish dwarf goes from strength to strength.

Aliases: Håvard Frosta, Havard Blackmoor, Blackmoorian, Dragon Turtle etc
Where to find me on the Web
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