Gygax Magazine #1

From:  TSR Inc.
Reviewed by: Barry Lewis

So when I started gaming eons ago, or at least it feels like eons, I was a hardcore RPGer.  I played D&D, AD&D and Call of Cthulhu.  For some reason as I got older I got more and more into board games.  Eventually I would roleplay every once in a while, but then I just stopped playing all together.  Recently the group I hang around with has been focusing more on RPGs.  I guess it’s starting to rub off on me because I catch myself browsing through RPGs at my FLGS more and more.  Just recently I purchased a copy of Gygax magazine #1 and I’m glad I did!

Gygax is the new quarterly magazine by Luke Gygax, Ernest Gary Gygax Jr. and Jayson Elliot.  It is definitely a homage to the Dragon and Dungeon magazines of yesteryear.  With its’ “Dragonesque” magazine style font for the title to the wonderfully illustrated and colored cover to the black and white illustrations inside that remind you of looking through an old D&D manual.  This magazine definitely caters to the “OSR” or “Old School Renaissance” people, with which I have no problem.  The magazine also has numerous ads throughout for “old school” type RPGs such as Dungeon Crawl Classics and Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea.  There are also plenty of ads for RPG accessories like dungeon tiles, counters and modules.  The majority of ads are also in black and white and adds more to that “old school” feel.

The magazine contains plenty of articles.  They are varied and well written with topics ranging from teaching your toddler role playing to how to keep magic fresh and different in your game after all these years.  There’s also a few articles reminiscing about role playing’s early years and how it evolved, survived, and helped kids of that time period find camaraderie and a sense of belonging just as they still do today.  As much as it looks to re-capture that “old school” feel, it’s not scared to embrace technology either as the article on the use of Virtual Tabletops shows.   As with most gaming magazines there’s also some adventure aids in this issue as well.  The one that stands out, to me, is the well thought out location Gnatdamp, a village in the swamp.  Not only do you get a detailed description of the village you’ll also get a few story hooks to help lead your players there.  Of course a gaming magazine wouldn’t be a gaming magazine without gaming specific comics and Gygax offers three.  The very familiar and always fun to read “The Order of the Stick” by Rich Burlew, the popular “What’s new with Phil & Dixie” by industry legend Phil Foglio and “Marvin the Mage” by Jim Wampler, who is none other than the Art Director for Gygax magazine.

My only gripe with the magazine is the price.  It’s $8.95(US) retail.  Now as someone who buys a football preview magazine at the beginning of every season, which is usually around the $5 or $6 price range, an $8.95 price tag is something I would usually balk at, forgive me for mixing my sports metaphors, especially for a primarily black and white, 64-page magazine, but if the staff at Gygax continue to put out a quality magazine such as this first issue then I’ll have no problem ponying up the money every 3 months for their publication.


Codex Rating:  14


Publishers: Luke and Ernie Gygax

Editor-in-Chief: Jayson Elliot

Contributing Editor: Tim Kask

Games Editor: James Carpio

Art Director:  Jim Wampler

Cover Art: Daniel Horne

Number of Pages: 64

Retail Price: $8.95 (US)


Reviewed by: Barry Lewis