It may be hard for people to believe this now, but Traveller was once big enough to support two separate independent magazines devoted to it. I’m not talking about lowly fanzines (thought they may have begun that way), but really professional, slick-looking journals: Traveller Chronicle from Sword of Knight Publications and Traveller Digest from Digest Publications Group (DGP). There’s more on the latter company here.
Some have reported that Gary Gygax became concerned when saw all the different versions of D&D being played. Due to the loose, poorly organized, and suggestive structure of the original rules, players were forced to invent their own approaches and develop their own styles and unique innovations. “House rules” had proliferated to such an extent that Gygax worried that, quite soon, people who thought they were playing D&D wouldn’t be playing “the same game.” In other words, the individuals mutations derived from the original would soon become incompatible, even unrecognizable, to each other. Standardization and orthodoxy was in order – or the game and the hobby would become hopelessly fragmented.
In my last session, a player encountered a wandering band – really a caravan – of gnomes. I dutifully looked at how many of them there would be, and rolled out some of the data on them. I got a name for the leader and took some brief notes on what they were up to and what their “back story” was.
Yesterday, when I realized I’d forgotten the name of the goddess worshiped by a matriarchal tribe in my campaign, I started going back and writing down the details of the areas we had explored so far – so I wouldn’t forget them again – in a little purple notebook I found in my desk drawer.