Hall of Fame

Owl and Weasel #6

Owl and Weasel #6

Although Dungeons & Dragons had been introduced into the UK in late 1974, the July 1975 issue of Owl and Weasel, released as a Dungeons & Dragons Special, could be considered to the true birth of role playing games in this country. That issue was released 40 years ago this month. Yes, you read that right, 40 years! I came to role playing games a little later than that (which isn’t surprising given I was only 4 then!) but they have had a profound effect on my life so when our columnist Baz King fielded the idea of a UK Role Players Hall of Fame I thought the timing was perfect. Fellow forumite dr_mitch provided an easy framework and, following nominations and discussions, we are pleased to announce that the following have been inducted into the inaugural UK Role Players Hall of Fame.

Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone

Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone

Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone

If it were not for Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson British gaming might be unrecognisable to us now. The origins of today’s flourishing and diverse Roleplaying Games UK community stems right back to the duos publication in the mid 70s, Owl and Weasel. When Brian Blume from TSR (then the publishers of an unheard of and strange little game called Dungeons & Dragons) sent them a review copy of the original Roleplaying game, everything changed. Livingstone and Jackson (along with Jon Peake) founded Games Workshop and brought RPGs to Europe.

With their empire of game stores and the brilliant magazine White Dwarf this nascent hobby became available to legions to British fans of fantasy and sci fi. The world of Warhammer blossomed into existence at the same time. If that were not enough, Livingstone and Jackson also created the Fighting Fantasy books that went viral before the term even existed.

They have both gone on to achieve many things in their lives since. For us, as British gamers in the twenty first century, our debt to those gentlemen is enormous. Anyone can have an idea, but Livingstone and Jackson made those ideas real, and brought the magic of RPGs into our homes and onto our shelves.

We simply couldn’t imagine a Hall of Fame that didn’t include these founding fathers of our hobby. To Steve and Ian, thank you.

Phil Masters

Phil Masters

Phil Masters

Phil Masters has been a fixture of the British RPG scene for decades, as an author, game designer, and community leader. As a game producer, he has written a wide range of material for a variety of outlets, including magazines, game supplements, and entire games, both for hire and self-published. It includes the serious and the comic, the fantastical and the grounded. His range often extends beyond the standard fantasy fare: GURPS Arabian Nights was an early example of a non-Western fantasy setting, and was written with great cultural awareness and sensitivity. He remains an active author of games and supplements and is a staple of the UK roleplaying games community. He is often seen at UK game conventions, generally with games on offer. His directory of UK conventions remains an essential source of information, binding the community together.

Marcus L Rowland

Marcus L Rowland

Marcus L Rowland

Marcus L Rowland has been a prolific creator and innovator in RPGs for decades. He was a frequent contributor to White Dwarf and other magazines, producing thoughtful and engaging articles on a variety of subjects. He wrote numerous books and supplements for various games, often bringing a distinctly British flavour to American lines. He pioneered novel ways of distributing his games, inspired by open source and free software. The Forgotten Futures games were creator-owned and creator-distributed, well in advance of the “indie games” movement. They were published and distributed mainly in electronic format over the nascent world-wide web, used public-domain fiction, and were released under a shareware licence (later known as pay-what-you-want). As such, Marcus Rowland fundamentally changed the RPG hobby, paving the way for waves of innovation that followed.