Games

A pair of old six-sided diceIn the fall of 1984, during a layoff from General Electric, I sold a “capsule review” to Steve Jackson’s Space Gamer magazine. A month later they accepted my “Mind Duel” board game. Within a year, I was working full-time as a designer and editor for GDW, then TSR, with a bit of freelance for FASA, West End, Flying Buffalo, and others. Nowadays (after an interlude spent in educational publishing) I’m publishing myself—and other people—via Popcorn Press.
Photo by sean_hicken

To Gygax

Lester : June 1, 2017 10:18 am : Announcements, Game Design, Poetry

“Gary Gygax Gen Con 2007” photo by Alan De Smet, CC x 3.0

I had thought this sonnet lost! But I found it yesterday, while sorting through some old boxes of games and memorabilia, and I don’t think I’ve shared it publicly before.

I wrote it for Gary Gygax after having worked with him on the Dangerous Journeys role-playing game. Like countless hobby gamers, I was introduced to role-playing through Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, in my case the first edition.

While many people were involved in publishing AD&D, I think it’s safe to credit Gary as not just the author, but also the man who gave it flight. This was my way of saying thanks.

To Gygax

While just a child, I learned a magic spell
that let me gaze out through another’s eyes,
and in that manner walked beneath the skies
of worlds where heroes, maids, and monsters dwell.
I shared poor Crusoe’s fearful joy to tell
a print in sand. I marvelled at the size
of Gulliver in far-off ports. The cries
of Barsoom’s lord, as back to earth he fell,
I felt, and with him mourned the story’s end.
And then, as Samwise sailed into the West,
left me behind, I met a marvelous mage
whose grimoire taught a wondrous spell, to send
my mind in guises of its own to quest
in endless worlds—and never a last page.

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Moving On

Lester : March 24, 2017 10:25 am : Commentary, Game Design, Popcorn Press

Okay, folks, I’ve a confession. Dark Conspiracy is like an old girlfriend who ran off with another guy. Bughunters languishes in someone else’s basement pit. Dragon Dice and I remain on speaking terms, but we’re separated. I gave them each all my heart, but they’ve moved on. I’m older now, and wiser: I no longer do work-for-hire. So if you love me, please give one of my new heartthrobs a dance. They live at d6xd6.com, d13rpg.com, and drivethrucards.com.

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How to Write Adventure Modules That Don’t Suck

Lester : February 1, 2017 8:00 am : Announcements, Game Design


Serious suggestion: Pledge a buck to How to Write Adventure Modules that Don’t Suck, and get a daily email with an added essay—each from a different author in the group. That alone is worth a dollar! James M. Ward has done a marvelous job of developing the book, and Joseph Goodman of Goodman Games always publishes a class act! At nearly ten times their funding level with about two weeks yet to go, they aren’t hurting for that extra buck, but as I said, it’s more than worth it to us gamers. I’m in the book, and I still pledged a buck for those daily updates! Cheers. —Les

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