Episode 14 (Part 2) RPG Fanzines (with Ian Marsh)


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INTRO: News about a new PBM ‘zine that we’ve inspired – Bones of the Lost God – if you like Phil’s monsters, he’s put some of his art on Red Bubble.

GAMESMASTER’S SCREEN (with Ian Marsh): Ian Marsh returns to talk about his editorial-ship at White Dwarf and his involvement in Games Workshop. He also talks about Dr Who and his TimeLord game, before bringing us up to date with his latest endeavours. 

DAGON (with @dailydwarf): @dailydwarf gives his usual insightful analysis of literary criticism covered in Dagon ‘zine.

ATTIC ATTACK: Blythy joins me in the attic to talk about ‘zines and comments provided by listeners. I mention Monster Man, a new podcast that is being developed by James Holloway, check out progress at his site.

OUTRO: We’re making a ‘zine – sign up at Patreon – before the end of September 2017 to get a copy.

Thank you to all our Patreons for your continued support; without you, we would not have been going for so long.

If you would like a PDF of the last GROGZINE you can get it at Drive Thru RPG and The Complete Daily Dwarf too. All proceeds will go to YSDC to support the community there.

Author: Dirk

Host of The GROGNARD RPG Files podcast. Talking bobbins about Runequest, Traveller, Call of Cthulhu, T&T, AD&D and others from back in the day and today.

13 thoughts on “Episode 14 (Part 2) RPG Fanzines (with Ian Marsh)”

  1. Really enjoyed the fanzine discussion between Dirk & Blythy – brilliantly entertaining as always. Will there be a Tolkien quiz in this years’ Grogzine? (I bet the anwser to the first question will be ‘Elrond’.)

    1. Yes, I agree, Daily Dwarf. I could listen to these two chatter all day. Does that say something about my mental state? I think the recording set-up must have been different this time. I had Blythie in one earhole and Dirk in the other.

      Thanks again for introducing me to Dagon and Dragon Lords. But…I want them! Ugh! Why did I spend so much time going to school and studying. There were obviously much more important things to be reading!

  2. Thanks for the last couple of episodes, guys, I’ve really enjoyed them.

    My fanzine buying started a couple of years before yours, I think, so the fanzines on my shelves are Underworld Oracle, Trollcrusher and Beholder. I was also a D&D player almost exclusively, and Dragonlord’s RQ and CoC content was not of much interest to me.

    I do have a couple of name-checks in that issue of DL on your title page, number 19, I think. Firstly for turning up to a convention in Brum (Mythcon, I think), and secondly, we had a review printed for a D&D adventure that we had self-published. It wasn’t a very good review, but that was fair enough as the module was not great either!

    That Con was also attended by Bryan Talbot, and I bought signed copies of the Luther Arkwright and Chester Hackenbush books from him. I kept those for many years, but lost track of their whereabouts a few years ago, shame.

    The con will live forever in my memory, though, as my first brush with Live Roleplaying. The guys from Treasure Trap were in attendance, and their champion was challenging attendees to a foam-sword fight. The prize for defeating him was a free introductory adventure at Peckforton Castle. A couple of us managed to beat him, which led to a long and happy career of dungeon-bashing in Cheshire, but during the proceedings, an unfortunate member of the catering staff, along with a large container of chicken curry, was accidentally sent flying across the stage. The poor lady was badly shaken up, but I think a cleric was on hand to take care of her.

    Anyway, back to my fanzines. I have a complete run of Beholders, most of the Trollcrushers, and I think all but the last Underworld Oracle, so please let me know if I can help with scans.

    Keep up the good work.

    Richard Scott
    Otherworld Miniatures

    1. Hi Richard

      Chicken curry would make a great special effect for Ochre Jelly.

      Very interested in some sample pages of Beholder and TrollCrusher, if you get chance.


  3. Fantastic episode, and not just because of the namecheck and unwarranted praise for Wyrdworld. Zines for gaming were, for me, as inclusive and affirming as their counterparts in Punk (insert subcultural influence of choice). As you noted, Fenris started out as a PBM company off the back of the ill-fated Laboratory ( home of the infamous Further Into Fantasy, among others) and like Mike I convinced myself via the Govt. Enterprise Allowance Scheme that I could write decent RPG prose at the princely sum of £1 a page and still pay the bills. Maths was never my strong point – perhaps that’s why Wyrdworld used such an “innovative” mechanic rather than getting bogged down in crunchy rules 😉

    Have just ordered a batch of Fishfingers for the workshop to try and blindside myself away from digging out the entire Wyrdworld (and other games!) background & notes – there’s still a file cabinet dedicated to them in my office at home! – and becoming diverted down yet another bloody rabbit hole. Grogpod strikes again, rolling yet another Crit on the Nostalgia Hit Location tables….

    Cheers mate

    – Diane

  4. As I don’t use iTunes (Android user) I’ll say here that I love the podcast. Listening to you two talk bobbins about RPG’s brings me back to the days when I lived in the same city as my old gaming group, and we’d talk for hours on end about RPG minutia. You’ve become my virtual, by proxy geek pals lol.

    P.S. When are you going to have Sean Bean on the podcast, judging by your voices he must live just down the street from Dirk Towers.

  5. P.P.S.

    Where is the link to the podcast about the monsters of the 1st edition Monster Manual?

    I ask as I tried the link for the James Holloway site but don’t see anything about a podcast there.

    1. Thanks for the kind feedback. Keep looking out on James’ site. The monster podcast is still in development and will be produced soon. I’ve heard a ‘pilot’ sound file and it’s really good.

      As for Sean Bean, he’s from Yorkshire, on the other side of the border.

      Thanks Dirk.

  6. On the subject of secret messages in White Dwarf (Ian Marsh’s editorial acrostix), i think i may have come across another one. I don’t know if it’s been noted before? While checking out past Judge Dredd scenarios in WD for style tips for laying out Daily Dwarf’s scenario in the Grogzine, i noticed something in Nic Weeke’s excellent maps in issue 78’s ‘The Spuung Ones’. Buried in all the computer read outs on the first map at the bottom is STO/TRVLR/BG/MSTKE/IL and on the next page’s map there’s another at the bottom CHPO/WD/-WRNG PRIO. As the Travellers strip came to an end that issue is this a dig, ‘stopping Travellers big mistake ian livingstone. Cheapo White Dwarf – wrong priorities’. In the editorial that issue Ian is handing over the reigns to Paul Cockburn. Is Nic Weekes the same Nic who is shown to have played ‘Hayes’ in the Travellers wrap up episode? Who knows if there was a message in the third map, but it was so knocked about during production from the looks, with numbers missing, an unnecessary paint over and character art pasted over the top that it was nearly unusable. Intriguing? Or just me?

  7. I discovered fanzines after finding Demon’s Drawl in Porthcawl, later subscribing to that Grimlord, Green Goblin, Manic Depressive, SEWARS and others. Remember picking up Imazine and not understanding it.

    Later on I subscribed and contributed to Lee Gold’s Alarums and Excursions. Which I think is still going.

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