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Thursday, August 18, 2011


I'm wondering when Ken St. Andre's recognition in the earliest days of the RPG hobby will be better known, as his version of The Game was already being sold while what would become known as D&D LBB were still relatively obscure, if actually in LBB format at that time.

In an e-mail on a computer a decade gone by now, I spoke with Ken, who related that he was selling copies of T&T in comb-bound format while Gary still hadn't gotten his game rules out (at least on the West Coast). In this account, Gary was a bit peeved that Ken was already capitalising (*laff*) on T&T before D&D was hitting the Arizona gaming scene. No one at the stores had even heard of polyhedral dice, so we can use that to date the event.

If RQ2 praised Ken for 'having done it again' or some such, in the intro (as well as digging on the Saving Roll mechanism which would see light in RQ as the Opposed Roll mechanism), his importance in the field is clearly understated. Ken and I aren't even that close any longer, and I'm still steamed that his contributions are relegated to a cutsie/satirical treatment of D&D. Hogwash.

Where are the Andreas Davours, the Tori Bernquists, etc., to give Ken St. Andre his due in the RPG field's historical significance?

:: crickets ::


  1. I've posted a few things on my blog in praise of Ken and T&T. It is much overlooked but a far better game than D&D.

  2. I'll admit to being not that well informed as to Ken's contributions to the hobby. By the time I really became cognizant of a gaming "scene" I guess I was aroun 11 years old in '83. Of course by that time, D&D was the well established 800 lb gorilla. TSR was the end all and be all of RPG companies for midwesterners like me that really only had access to games sold through places like Walden Books and B Dalton. I moved to Germany in 86 and the Army PX was my first introduction to FASA with Battletech, Star Trek and Dr. Who. They even carried Toon, V&V, etc. It was towards the end of the old school era I suppose, but for me it was the golden age of gaming. Not until I was a bit older did I do some digging to find out what had come before AD&D 1e.

    I still am learning stuff that is new to me and I do consider myself a follower of the old school gaming stuff. I know there is a proposed documentary on the life of Gary Gygax, but to be honest, I'd be much more intrigued by a documentary that focused on the early years of the hobby and talked about guys lile Ken, Dave Arneson, Gary Gygax, Steve Jackson, etc that worked from the early 70's through the close of the old school era in the late 80's.

  3. The upcoming issue of Fight On! -- #13 -- is dedicated to Ken St. Andre.

  4. Interesting. I actually know almost nothing about the game itself. Somehow nothing anybody ever said about it ever really drew me in and I have yet to even see a copy of the rules, although I do have a JG solo adventure designed for it. I was always under the impression that T&T was St. Andre's reaction to playing D&D and finding it too serious or full of itself, but it would be really cool to get the real story there.

  5. I turned my nose up at T&T back in the day ... it was clearly a second-rate send-up of a better game. I'm sad that I didn't take more notice, as many old-schoolers now wax effusive about T&T. Hey, I was just a kid.

  6. I have to admit that I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to T&T too, if it wasn't for the recent Free RPG giveaway I would never have even looked at the rules.

    I was definitely of the impression that the game was a sillier, first-generation knock-off of D&D.

    And this would be why we should explore and dig rather than just rely on other people's opinions.

  7. I love T&T and have considered running a game of it at ConstiCon. It has been my convention/one-shot go to game for years, having run it at three events now. Each time had a positive response.

    My miss my thicker, brown framing of Liz's cover art 5th edition I started with back in 1979 or 1980. I have mixed feelings about 7th edition. I'd love to get a copy of 4th. I have someone's remix that has been floating around the web. He points out less dice and less characterize it and as the inflation of stats in 5th, much less 7th, are my biggest issue using it for a campaign.

    That said, the formalization of spite damage and its extension for monster special powers in 7th are excellent.

    I'll admit I didn't get the saving roll mechanic's universality back in the day.