I was cleaning our office [aka, the room where we toss piles of junk] last night when I stumbled on a box. As soon as I opened the box I smiled. I would have sworn that I’d tossed them out a few years ago– a mistake I rued. The magazine I found was Shadis.
As soon as I saw the cover again, I fondly remembered many afternoons spent reading it. By the time I discovered the magazine they had already reached issue 13 (shown to the right) and it came out quarterly. Over the next year they experimented with a few different formats like the Shadis Presents half issues (17.5, 18.5, etc.) and steadily worked their way over to a monthly format. The interior pages were anything but glossy– kind of newspaper like stock. The contents, though, were interesting and varied. In issue 14 they explained their goals– to support games of all kinds and never to become just a house organ. When they started producing their own games years later, they were cautious about reviewing them.
The contents of the magazine seem like a microcosm of the rpg focused blog world today. Each issue was packed with reviews of interesting games (especially smaller press games I’d never have heard about otherwise), rumors about the game industry, generic plots and resources, and comics. Despite a wealth of great ideas between the covers, I rarely managed to work much into the games I was GMing or playing in at the time.
I know I’m not the only person to miss Shadis. Is there a magazine out there that does the same thing today? [By which I mean cover roleplaying generally rather than one company.] Have blogs collectively replaced the niche a general focus magazine would fill? I know that I appreciated their system neutral articles [a lot like Treasure Tables, now that I think of it], but would search the internet [or look at my incoming feeds] for similar inspiration today.