Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Fight On! - A Review

Fight on! Is a brand new fanzine from a group of dedicated gamers who saw a need for a magazine that will try and recapture some of the wonder and adventure that many of us experienced back in the early days of gaming.

As an “Old School” gamer myself, I get it. I see what they are trying to accomplish. Though I’m not sure everyone will. It’s one of those things you have to experience- to live through, in order to understand. Fortunately for the creators of Fight on! They hit the mark with a bull’s-eye.

Flipping through issue #1 of the magazine I began to happily reminisce about the early days of Dragon magazine (by early I mean the first 100 or so issues). Fight On! Has everything I loved about the early issues of Dragon-the tables and charts, the cartoony illustrations, the optional races, and most importantly the free mini modules.

The highlights for me in this first issue were:

The Swanmay- I had simply forgotten all about the Swanmay. What a great character. I loved Poul Anderson’s “Three hearts and three lions”. And “The Broken Sword” just blew me away the first time I read it. I firmly believe that Poul Anderson never got the accolades he deserved in the gaming world, his elves kick ass all over the usual namby-pamby soft lens hermaphrodites you find in most fantasy games- but I digress.

Flexible sorcery- I loved the spontaneous magic piece. What a great concept. There are tons of possibilities with this variant and it’s perfect for the player who likes his Mage to be so much more than a walking bazooka and magic detector.

The Ruined Monastery – Ahh, memories of the DMG. The Ruined Monastery is a little mini-adventure perfect for an evenings play. It’s ready to go with just a quick read over.

The Tomb complex of Ymmu M’Kursa - Another adventure, another dungeon crawl, I’m loving it! Wandering monsters, traps, undead, yellow mold- No multi faceted, angst- filled story adventures here. Just a hack and slash dungeon reminiscent of an old Judges Guild module-“grab me a Mountain Dew while your up.”

Setting up your sandbox- is an article about letting your players take the reins of the campaign and direct the course of the game (within reason). It’s a good article and I hope it’s the first in a series.

Puissant Priestly Powers – is a listing of blessings and powers to make your Priest more than just the team’s combat medic. And as with all the articles featured in Fight On! The stats are generic and any DM, GM, or Referee worth his salt can fit them into the rules set of his choice.

There is much more crammed in the thirty pages that comprise Fight on! Additionally you’ll find magic items, new monsters, personality tables, and campaign seeds.

Fight on! delivers on its promise. The work has a rough charm and you can tell that the guys really care about the genre and the feeling they are trying to recapture. A little stock art wouldn’t hurt, but then again maybe it’s okay as is.

For reasons I don't know, they decided to go through Lulu for publication.
After shipping my total was almost $10.00 and for me that was fine, I feel I got my monies worth and I’m a supporter of these types of efforts. But for the sake of keeping this venture alive I hope they consider a PDF format and a more popular vendor. This effort is worthy of all the exposure it can get and I don’t think Lulu is the best venue for it. In any case I will be back for issue 2 and issue 3 and hopefully for their special double issue 100!

One last thing.
Fight On! Has a great submissions policy:
“our authors and artists own their own work. Fight On! only asks for the right to print your work in the issue it’s originally published in, in that form, in perpetuity. Authors and artists own all other rights and may re-use and re-sell their work to anyone else as they see fit.”

So aspiring authors AND artists here is a chance to get published in a real printed magazine. I know for a fact that there are several artists who visit the Lair here. So toss a few snazzy pieces of art their way. It’s good Karma. Support the effort my friends.