Different Worlds #1

This is the first issue of Different Worlds (1979), Chaosium’s second magazine (the first, Wyrm’s Footnotes, was basically an all-Glorantha magazine).

Despite my love of Chaosium, I only recently snagged some issues of Different Worlds for the first time. I am hard pressed to call it a magazine, actually, because the cover and page stock is the same as Chaosium’s other saddle stapled RPG books. That makes for one heck of a sturdy magazine.

Different Worlds was created by Tadashi Ehara (who edited the magazine’s entire run) and Greg Stafford. Tabletop gaming magazines of the time were mostly produced by an RPG publisher and, to greater or lesser degree, the magazines served as house organs, promoting their own products. Different Worlds does too, but to a lesser degree than most.

You can see that in the “My Life and Role-playing” column, which featured short autobiographical essays from game designers. This issue has a shocking collection for the time, including Ken St. Andre (Tunnels & Trolls), David Hargrave (Arduin), Jennell Jaquays (Judges Guild at this particular moment), Ed Simbalist (Chivalry & Sorcery), Lee Gold (Alarums & Excursions), B. Dennis Sustare (Bunnies & Burrows), Greg Costikyan (then working as a board game designer at SPI), Marc Miller (Traveller) and more. Other features look at general practices in RPGs, a generic campaign world and some new magic. Only two articles focus on Chaosium products. It kind of feels like an industry water cooler, in a way.

Amazing cover by Steve Swenston. Lots of fun interior art, though no clear credit. I particularly like the psychedelic space stuff from Tom Clark though.

Oh, also, this was Greg Stafford’s personal copy. That might sound like bragging, but it mostly bums me out.

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