Episode 43 (Bonus) Dungeons and Dragons

This is a bonus episode featuring a ‘Library Use’ segment that we recorded which looks in detail at issue 52 of Dragon Magazine (published in August 1981). The publication was around the same time as the launch of the Moldvay edition of Basic D&D. We discuss an article where the new edition is discussed in comparison with the Holmes edition. We also review some of the other content in this feature rich issue.

The bonus edition is dedicated to our Patreons who made it possible.

We also mention: Guy Milner’s Blog Burn After Running, and Roll to Save

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.

4 thoughts on “Episode 43 (Bonus) Dungeons and Dragons”

  1. Glad you decided to put this up- I enjoy it when you look through old magazines.

    My main memories of Dragon are from the other end of the decade- after White Dwarf had turned and things like Adventurer and Fantasy Chronicles had disappeared it was the only rpg magazine I could get (there was GM magazine I suppose but that seemed like thin stuff). As I think you were getting at here, there was a lot of content- it felt like good value- but for me there was a spark missing.

  2. Honestly, my memories at the start of the hobby back in 1978 and onward were much different. Could you find GMs/DMs that approached playing DnD as them versus the player, but by and large that wasn’t the case. GM’s were referees, narrators and story tellers even back then in most of the games I played in and those I started running by 1981.

    I’d put to you that all the rules talks articles were due to the early days of the hobby and further that ask how is this different then the current DnD game designers answering rules questions all the time on Twitter or the answer sheets that come out on the WotC web site.

    1. I don’t disagree. It’s a bit simplistic to say that ‘the confrontational DM’ was the norm. It was the case that AD&D was trying hard to be definitive (commercially) and D&D had a more relaxed approach to rules mastery. I think that’s what we are driving at in this discussion.

  3. I found a PDF online to see if the the cartoons were as bad as you say. I have fond memories of “What’s New with Phil and Dixie” and “Finneas Fingers”.

    But that issue has a really bad What’s New and the other strip is Wormy which I always found hard to read. Which is too bad, as Dave Trampier was the best of the old school D&D artists. “Old School” means “up through the DMG” – I didn’t buy any D&D stuff after that until 5th edition.

    Boris always struck me as the bargain basement Frank Frazetta. He was Herman’s Hermits to Frazetta’s The Beatles, or something along those lines.

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