★ Dicing with Dragons
Dice with dragons is an introduction to the then-new world of role-playing games. Livingston explains how role-playing games work, and includes the solo adventure "Eye of the Dragon"as an example. Livingston then goes on to detail the main role-playing systems that dominated the market in 1982:
- Dungeons And Dragons. (Подземелья И Драконы)
- Traveler. (Путешественник)
- Tunnels And Trolls. (Туннели И Тролли)
It also briefly describes 31 other role-playing games, including Boot Hill, Bushido, Call of Cthulhu, Gamma World, Gangbusters, and Top Secret.
There are also chapters on:
- How to draw miniature figurines.
- Computer systems and computer games that were available in 1982.
- Description of several live action games that later evolve into LARPs live role-playing games.
- How to become a game master.
- Accessories, including adventure summaries for previously mentioned role-playing games, as well as magazines and fanzines specializing in role-playing games.
1. Publication history. (История публикаций)
Geraldine cook, editor of Puffin Books, sought to revive a moribund collection of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. A friend told her about a new store in Hammersmith called Games Workshop, which specializes in role-playing games. After meeting with the owners, Steve Jackson and Ian Livingston, she asked them to write a book exploring the role-playing game industry. The book they gave her instead was a true role-playing adventure called Warlock of Firetop Mountain, eventually published under the Puffin Books imprint, the first of many very popular fighting fantasy books.
Ian Livingston did write the originally requested book about dice-playing role-playing games with dragons, but it was published in the UK by Routledge & Kegan Paul in 1982, not by Penguin.
The illustrations, almost all square, were created by Russ Nicholson. The artist later explained that Jackson and Livingston had asked for a square format for Warlock of Firetop Mountain, and Livingston wanted the same format used in this book.
In 1983, dice with dragons was published in the United States by Plume, an imprint of the new American library.
In 1986, an Italian translation, Giocare a dadi col drago, was published by the Milanese publisher Longanesi, and the Italian edition included a new Preface written by Giampaolo Dossena.
2. Reception. (Прием)
In the February 1983 issue of White Dwarf Issue #38, M L Rowland was impressed by dice with dragons, calling it probably the most comprehensive summary of a role-playing hobby available and worth buying for its apps only."In conclusion, Rowland gave a strong recommendation, giving the book an excellent score of 9 out of 10.
In the April 1983 issue of Imagine Issue 1, Dave Pringle noted that "in addition to all the familiar RPG basics, this book contains a useful Chapter on computer games. Recommended."
In a 2014 retrospective review, Pornokitsch stated that Livingstones Dicing with Dragons is interesting because its so dated - a look at the formative years of role-playing games."
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