Magazines have been a staple part of any hobby community for many years now. They have kept people up to date with news and events in those communities with regular editions from once a year all the way up to once a week. The introduction and popularity of the internet has changed the landscape of magazines somewhat, but they are still around, and still popular.
With that in mind, today’s article is about The Campaigner, a hobbyist magazine produced here in Australia by a bunch of locals. And since this article is on this site, it can only refer to Tabletop Gaming.
How might this magazine differ from something like Dragon+ or White Dwarf? The Campaigner Magazine is independently run and not controlled by a company that produces products for the hobby. Where White Dwarf is run by Games Workshop, and Dragon+ is run by Wizards of the Coast, The Campaigner is run by people who love to play tabletop games, and want to share that with others.
They have their own Mission Statement, and objectives, which are as follows:
The Campaigner seeks to reward originality and creativity, as well as pass on beneficial knowledge to the entire community. This means working with the community itself, as well as the companies that service it, to provide unbiased and honest information.
To provide a unique and independent voice for the hobbyists of the world.
To address all aspects of the hobby, not just those connected to commercial companies.
To provide content that teaches new skills, or improves existing ones.
To explore the inner workings of the hobby while providing an insight into the craft of the industry.
To explore what it means to be a hobbyist and tabletop player today, and tackle issues that are not normally addressed in other media.
To not just cover what is new, but what succeeds on a creative and design level.
To inspire the readers to think differently or critically about the hobby, their place in it and how this impacts the entire world.
To provide a level of legitimacy within the wider world to the issues, concerns and beliefs of hobbyists everywhere.
It’s not just a hobby, it’s a way of life.
The Campaigner releases one issue every three months, or four every year. They can be purchased as either a digital PDF or a printed magazine. The printed version costs $9.90 per issue. Subscriptions are available at one year for $38, or two years for $72. The PDFs are available for only $1 each, though you can choose to pay more if you wish.
But the main reason for a magazine to exist is the content.
I read through several of the issues, and was quite impressed with what I read. While I am no expert on this, to me, the articles are well written and easy to read. Photos and artwork are all well done and fitting for the relevent piece. The layout is good, with interesting graphics and images to break up the empty space and prevent just big blocks of text.
There is an Editorial, a section on News, various articles on all aspects of the tabletop gaming hobby, from roleplaying games, to tabletop games, to miniatures and lots more. There are, of course, some ads, but these are necessary to keep the magazine running, and are completely relevent to the rest of the content.
I also liked the Worlds of Roleplay and Featured Hobbyist articles. The World of Roleplay articles are retellings of events played out in role playing sessions, from the point of view of the characters. There is also a sidebar from the author about the session as well. The Featured Hobbyist is an interview with hobbyists from all over the world, a look into their collections and to find out what tabletop games mean to them. Both good articles to read.
Overall, The Campaigner is a well crafted, well written and interesting magazine that can easily fit into any tabletop hobbyists current lineup of news and reading resources. Having the option to get a printed version delivered to your door is also, I think, a really awesome idea. A lot of people like to collect these sorts of things. I have a copy of Issue #173 of Dragon Magazine from September 1991 sealed up in a pouch on my shelf right now.
So go check out The Campaigner, spend the $1 to get a PDF and read an issue. If you like it, which I think you will, think about getting a subscription. I reckon I will be.
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Kris likes about all of three things and dislikes all of just about everything. So we keep him chained up in a damp basement in front of a computer and gave him the job of scouring every website on the internet, every day, for tabletop news. You probably won’t see him in public reporting for ATGN unless Cthulhu has whispered him to do so in some fevered dream-vision. When he’s not staring at a computer screen he enjoys tabletop gaming in all it’s many varied and wonderful forms.