Different Worlds Magazine
Journal of Adventure Gaming
Different Worlds back issues #2 thru #17 and #31 thru #46 are still available.
All available issues are straight from inventory and are in mint to
near mint condition.
here for a great index to Different Worlds by Shannon Appel.
Click here for
the scan of the original "My Life & Role-Playing" follow-up
solicitation letter from late 1978.
Different Worlds Magazine
By Tadashi Ehara
Back in the late 1970s, every major hobby game company had an in-house magazine to help
promote their products. Avalon Hill was the pioneer with their General.
SPI had Strategy & Tactics. TSR had The Dragon. Even
Metagaming had The Space Gamer. These magazines were called "house
organs" although most covered other companies' games.
Since we were ambitious, Chaosium decided to publish our own magazine devoted
to role-playing games. With Greg Stafford and Lynn Willis's blessing, I volunteered to be the
editor/publisher. Our house organ would cover not just Chaosium games,
but all role-playing games.
I asked for title suggestions and Steve Perrin came up with Different
Worlds, evocative of the various fantasy and science fiction environments
covered by role-playing games.
To provide content for the first issue, I invited all the prominent game
designers and role-playing personalities at the time to submit a "My Life &
Role-Playing" article. The response exceeded expectations and many
heart-felt articles were submitted. The premiere issue of Different Worlds
debuted in early 1979 with articles from 13 of these members of the role-playing
world. Many others followed in subsequent issues. To my chagrin, Greg Stafford
himself has never
contributed to the "My Life & Role-Playing" series.
issue also launched another popular series. "Different Worlds
Presents" introduced the world settings of various role-playing games. The
first was "Archaeron," Ed Simbalist's Chivalry & Sorcery campaign
world, complete with his own hand-drawn map.
I believe the initial print run of Different
Worlds #1 was 1500 copies. It sold out quickly so we reprinted another 1000,
which also promptly sold out. It is also the first Chaosium publication to be
Different Worlds #2 marks the first appearance of "A
Letter from Gigi," arguably the most famous and infamous gossip column
in the industry. It was my great pleasure and privilege to edit Gigi's letters in
every issue that has appeared since then.
At Chaosium, I spent half my time
with business matters and half my time publishing. For publishing, half was
devoted to Different Worlds and the other half publishing products. In a
good year I published six issues of Different Worlds and two Chaosium products.
Worlds itself added 10-15% to Chaosium revenues in magazine and advertising
sales. I also estimate that it raised Chaosium product sales by another 10-15%. It was never a moneymaker by itself.
But it was