News — Jeff Easley

2nd Edition DMG: TSR finally does interior color artwork

Jeff Easley TSR

What can I say about the 2nd Edition DMG that isn’t great… well, probably that I think the artwork selection is subpar.  I guess that question wasn’t so hard after all J This book, however, is perhaps the single most important text in my gaming library for the simple fact that it was what I used to hone and perfect my skills as a Dungeon Master.  Sure, I owned a copy of the AD&D 1E Dungeon Master’s Guide, but that book was like an unintelligible codex when I first started playing D&D, and since I’d begun with Basic and the...

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Gamma World's 3rd Edition: A sad reminder of what should have been

Gamma World Jeff Easley Keith Parkinson Larry Elmore TSR

In 1986 TSR came out with the 3rd Edition of Gamma World as they tried to drive sales of their new ACT [Action Table] combat system.   The effect, while dramatic in the box itself, falls incredibly flat when compared to say, The Red Box that helped revolutionize gaming just three years before. I have to wonder what happened during this period, as I can only assume TSR was at its absolute height here, and yet both this product, and Marvel Super Heroes, don’t really add anything artistically to the genre other than rehashing Marvel’s artwork or in the case of...

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Spelljammer: The final work of Golden Age TSR

Easley Jeff Easley Jim Holloway Spelljammer TSR

There are a number of reasons to hold Spelljammer as something ‘special’.  The primary of these should certainly be the originality of the setting, but for a lover of the history of RPGs, there is something much more fundamentally intriguing about this product to me. Produced by TSR in 1989 and written by Jeff Grubb, this is what I would consider the final product of TSR’s ‘Golden Era’.  Some might argue that moniker belongs to the Forgotten Realms, but that is a bit too early, and Dark Sun a bit too late. Spelljammer, however, falls perfectly in the wheelhouse of...

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BATTLE SYSTEM: What the heck happened?

David LaForce Douglas Niles Jeff Easley Steve Winter TSR

I’m not completely sure what I can say about TSR’s 1985 release of Battle System.  For one thing, I don’t own it, although it has been in my possession since 1988.  It officially belongs to my longtime gaming compatriot ‘Murphy’ who often says that it is on permanent loan, like an exhibit at the Smithsonian.  Whatever the case, I have dragged this boxed set with me from north to south, then east, and finally west.  In all that time I’ve never played it, as there has never seemed to be a reason.  Inherently, I’m not a miniatures player, and as...

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