Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Weekly Update For Sunday, February 1st, 2015 - Lord Vimuhla Is On The Side Of The Big Battalions (4): The Campaign Newsletter

Tony Bath's
Hyborian Campaign newsletter
My newsletter from the
original Thursday Night group
















Back in the day, any decent self-respecting game campaign had a newsletter - normally published by the 'neutral third-party' referee(s) or gamemaster(s) - which served to let everyone in the campaign know about the doings of all the players and all the hot rumors, gossip, and battle reports. Possible the oldest and most famous - or infamous, according to the Hyborian Campaign players - was Tony Bath's hand-typed "Shadizar Herald"; it not only was all of the things I mentioned above, but also a tool for misinformation and propaganda for the players.

Similarly, in my time at Adventure Games, we enjoyed reading John Grossman's "Swedish Coffee Intelligencer" - John's lively 'period' broadsheet about the doings and goings-on in his Great Northern War campaign; this was also the play-test campaign for his marvelous set of rules, "The Complete Brigadier", and we enjoyed catching up on all the rumors and reports from the shores of the baltic as the Russians and Swedes had at it. Marvelous 'engravings' by Peter Quinlin illustrated the thing, and it was a joy to read.

And also, from those days on Selby Avenue, I added my own little offering to the genre: "The Imperial Military Journal". This was, in the main, an account of what was happening in Prof. Barker's original Thursday Night group; we reported what we were doing, and what we knew of what the Monday Night group was up to. We also printed reports and dispatches from other folk's Tekumel-based games, as well as all the rumors we could shamelessly eavesdrop in while at parties in Bey Su, and the gifted Sarah Prince set the thing up on the typesetting machine over her lunch hour.

We had a lot of fun with it, and we ran it for the better part of five years. Now, it has to be said that Prof. Barker himself didn't whole-heartedly embrace the little newsletter; he wanted a "serious, scholarly journal, devoted to important things" and not some rumor-laden scandal sheet aimed at the troops. This led to our also doing "The Journal Of Tekumel Affairs", which we did in tandem with the IMJ. Phil got what he wanted, we got what we wanted, and eventually the new management at Tekumel Games folded the two into a single 'zine, "The Imperial Journal".

Since I am deliberately making the upcoming Chakan campaign very much in the 'old style', I have been giving some thought to a campaign newsletter. I don't want to try doing a 'fanzine', like we had to do in Ye Olden Dayes; instead, I'm going to take advantage of all this new-fangled Internet technology and use this blog as the basis for a newsletter about the campaign. I thought about doing an entirely new blog about just the campaign, but after some reflection I had to face up to the fact that I am not as young as I used to be and I have very limited stamina and energy post-brain-bleed.

So, all the news and rumors will be seen here - updates weekly, same as always, and I'll be keeping a lot of the same features as I've had in the past; I do not plan on any major changes to this little electronic offering, but I think you'll see some new features. There will be links to the photos and videos that the campaign will generate, as well as deathless prose about all the goings-on.

I will be looking for your comments on all this, Gentle Readers; I'm personally enchanted by the fact that I can share photos with all of you - we would have never been able to do that, back in the day...

3 comments:

  1. I think this is a great idea, embracing the modern technology to reflect the old in-game fanzines (we had one for our old PBM superhero game back in the '80s), which featured not only the the important game news but also whatever players wanted to submit, so we had art, poetry, a letters page etc

    Looking forward to reading what unfolds in your upcoming campaign.

    ReplyDelete
  2. We would write character journals, and do illustrations. Rarely a background story. But not a full-fledged newsletter. Since I can't play, I will enjoy reading your newsletter online!

    ReplyDelete
  3. We would write character journals, and do illustrations. Rarely a background story. But not a full-fledged newsletter. Since I can't play, I will enjoy reading your newsletter online!

    ReplyDelete