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Old 05-27-2018, 12:55 AM   #21
David L Pulver
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Default Re: the most grotesque death...

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Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
The "Most Grotesque Death" in TFT I know of, was the slow, withering death of TFT itself... beginning with the exodus of SJ, the
THAT was "Grotesque".

JK
A couple of years ago I completed my collection of early (1-50) issues of White Dwarf, which for a time was one of the best game magazines around not just in the UK, but anywhere.

But weirdly, despite TFT being reasonably popular in the 80s, and an initial review of Melee, they never once reviewed In The Labyrinth, Advanced Melee, Advanced Wizard, or ran anything in support of the system as an RPG... the latter is not unreasonable if the system never took off in the UK, but the complete absence of any hint it existed (outside of the occasional ad) was odd.
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Old 05-27-2018, 02:09 AM   #22
Jim Kane
 
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Default Re: the most grotesque death...

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Originally Posted by David L Pulver View Post
But weirdly, despite TFT being reasonably popular in the 80s, and an initial review of Melee, they never once reviewed In The Labyrinth, Advanced Melee, Advanced Wizard, or ran anything in support of the system as an RPG... the latter is not unreasonable if the system never took off in the UK, but the complete absence of any hint it existed (outside of the occasional ad) was odd.
I would ask myself these questions:
  • HOW would one describe the quality of the relationship between Metagaming and White Dwarf as advertiser/publisher. and beyond?
  • WHAT where the actual UK Sales Figures for Metagaming products overall and TFT specifically?
  • WHO was Metagaming's UK Sales Rep (if any)?, and
  • WHAT type of Marketing and Promotion was he running in the UK (if any)?, and
  • WHO was Metagaming's UK Distributor? and
  • HOW would one describe his relationship between the magazine. the Distributor/Rep (if any)?
  • WHO was the single largest TFT competitor and contracted advertiser in White Dwarf? and
  • WHAT was the relationship between the magazine. that competitor's product line, and their UK distributor/rep like?

The KEY will come down to: 1) Identifying the financial relationships of the players with skin in the game, and 2) would any of those people with either the magazine or the distributor suffer if TFT lured people away from their primary advertisers product(s), where any or all of those people connected to the magazine, might have a primary or secondary financial interest in the competitor's product(s), and/or shared with distributor thereof.

The Distributor is usually the greatest potential choke-point as to market penetration, saturation, and store-shelf presence. The local-area Rep can only do so much to promote, but your Distributor can make or break you' or block you from the market completely.

I would look hard at the relationship between the Magazine, Primary Advertiser, the Distributor, and the Stores themselves if anything other than independent stores. If a chain-store situation is present - look out!

For those who are not aware of how theses business games are played, you could not get a comic book distributed to news stands on the East Coast back in the 60s and 70s, unless you went through a certain distributor, as the news stands were controlled by a specific distributor, as well as the commercial printing plants, the warehouses which received, stored, and shipped the books, AND even the trucks that delivered your books from the warehouse to the news stands.

Here is one better: There was a publisher who when launching his line outside of the test-market area, was told by the printer (dictated by the distributor who controlled the stands), that they would not take his bank check, but rather he HAD to borrow the money (he did not need) at a specific rate and from a specific NYC bank, or they would not print his job - and that news was delivered AFTER he had already cut his throat in a deal with the distributor to get distribution and shelf-space.

So, unless Metagaming had no UK Sales plan, and allotted very little advertising investment into the UK, simply look at the relationships of the players involved and follow the money; that usually tells the tale.

The answers to those basic questions above could help to shed some light on much of that TFT mystery.

JK
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Last edited by Jim Kane; 05-27-2018 at 03:23 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old 05-30-2018, 01:55 AM   #23
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Default Re: the most grotesque death...

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We were young and this happened in the "hard" phase of our TFT experience, when we were all half addicted, playing even eight hours/day cancelling any schedule to have our daily session. Luckily it did not last long. We soon had a better and mature style.
As I said, we went there too, but got pulled up short by one of our players, and did a little critical thinking before our next session!

Even more fortunately, we didn't lose the player over the event; she was still playing when the group disbanded a few years later due to weddings, enlistments, college graduations and new jobs in distant places, and so on...
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Old 05-30-2018, 01:44 PM   #24
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Default Re: the most grotesque death...

David L Pulver - After doing some quick research and applying the interrogatives I posted above (q.v.), it turns out that from the summer of 1977 - around the same release time as Melee - Games Workshop owned and began publishing White Dwarf magazine. Additionally, Games Workshop was the exclusive UK and European Distributor for TSR and Dungeon and Dragons in the 70s. Furthermore, Games Workshop also owned and operated a retail chain of game stores in the UK.

Without knowing how HT handled his relationship with Games Workshop, or his international sales, marketing, and distribution plan for Metagaming products in the UK and Europe, I leave you to draw you own conclusions as to why you perceive a lack of editorial air-play and promotion of the TFT product line in their magazine during the heyday of The Fantasy Trip.

JK

Last edited by Jim Kane; 05-30-2018 at 02:51 PM. Reason: Reduction of Capitalisation of Addressee's Name
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Old 05-30-2018, 02:49 PM   #25
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Default Re: the most grotesque death...

White Dwarf was with TSR, you say? And they didn't even mention competing game systems, you say?

Hmmm. I wonder why I'm not even slightly surprised... ;-)
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Old 05-30-2018, 11:20 PM   #26
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Default Re: the most grotesque death...

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White Dwarf was with TSR, you say? And they didn't even mention competing game systems, you say?

Hmmm. I wonder why I'm not even slightly surprised... ;-)
Hi all, JLV.
Metagaming is not one to cast stones about not mentioning other RPG's in their house organ. For three years they ran a "what was your favourite game" surveys in TSG, and all three years Metagaming somehow managed to forget to include Rune Quest.

Warm regards, Rick.
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Old 06-01-2018, 02:39 PM   #27
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Default Re: the most grotesque death...

Or anything else that wasn't produced by Metagaming...

I remember one HT "editorial" where he stated quite flatly that he wasn't interested in rating or discussing non-Metagaming games in "his" magazine.

Of course, let's face facts -- TSR was the orcish thug of RPGs back in the day -- when you could get sued for even mentioning their name without paying them royalties and kissing the ring... ;-)
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Old 06-01-2018, 05:53 PM   #28
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Default Re: the most grotesque death...

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... of a character or of a villain in your adventures.

please tell ...
In a TFT-Traveller campaign, the primary FTL drive was the Mannschenn Drive (from A. Bertram Chandler's novels). This was a drive that distorted time to create pseudo-FTL travel. Colloquially, it's described by an engineer to a non-engineer thusly - "we travel backwards in time as we move forward in space".

Anyhow, the drive is a mass of gyroscopes and can hypnotize someone if they stare at it too long. If you get too close to it, it will pull you in, then literally turn you inside out. Experienced engineers connect themselves to the bulkheads with cables to avoid this. Oh, and there's no artificial gravity - the ships are built skyscraper style and use acceleration to create a gravity-like sensation. So if the engine stops accelerating, you're in a zero-G environment.

During a firefight, in zero-g, a PC dove towards the drive to recover a computer crystal that was drifting into the drive. He forgot to connect his lifeline. After he declared the action I even gave him an IQ roll to remember it at the last second and he failed.

Now I had no real intention of killing him, but I did want the danger to seem real. I called for a DX roll; he rolled an 18. So I said "well, now you're in trouble. Make DX roll to grab a handhold to stop yourself. It's +4 DX because it's pretty easy to grab. This made his AdjDX 15 - a 95% chance of success.

Yep...he rolled a 16 - automatic failure. So I reluctantly had him go into the drive. I mean at some point, it's just God's will that a character dies.

So he got turned inside out.

Of course, what the other characters saw was him leap into the drive and go splot. Or maybe it was more of a splut sound. Or maybe sqwinch.

Last edited by tbeard1999; 06-01-2018 at 05:59 PM.
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