I recently re-acquired this GameLords classic. I bought my original copy back in the 1980s (yes, I’m that old) and kept it for decades. Why? Because it’s one of the best damn game supplements ever written!

When I first started gaming, I’d buy a rule set, roll up a great looking character and then twiddle my thumbs while waiting for someone to run a game. Call it dungeon mastering, referring, or storytelling, the person who runs the game is the one guy who you can’t do without. And when nobody else stepped up, I was often that guy.

But you know what? It can be a real pain in the butt to come up with new material week after week. Oftentimes, I struggled to keep the game exciting for myself and my players. I mostly ran Traveller games back then using GDWs original system and thus, would often peruse the science fiction shelves at The Black Forest Hobby Shop–my teenage home away from home. And that’s where I discovered Wanted: Adventurers by John Marshal.

Basically, the book starts with a page torn from the want ads of a starport newspaper (yes, a newspaper–it was the 80s remember?). Players can read the ads and then discuss which job they want to apply for. Opportunities range from mercenary contracts, to search and rescue work. Once the players decide what kind of adventure they want to have, the game runner simply turns to a two or three page summary of the scenario and runs the game from there. Simple right?

I can’t tell you how many science fiction conventions I’ve attended where I just plopped this little gem in the middle of the table and told the assembled players to “go for it,” in true 1980s fashion. If you run any kind of SF-RPG and are looking for ideas, I highly recommend you acquire yourself a copy at:


Or, for more ideas, simply read some adventure-oriented science fiction short stories, right?

By Clayton J. Callahan



Battlefields now on Amazon for free

Battlefields CoverArt

As some of you know, I got my start in writing by designing games. I must have played hundreds of role playing and miniatures games in my youth. As a high school student you’d find me doing my homework at a gaming table in the Black Forest Hobby Shop in Kettering, Ohio, just about any weeknight.

I especially loved historical war-games. Honestly, I think I learned more history in the hobby shop than in the classroom back then. My only barriers to enjoyment of this pastime were my poverty (washing cars only pays so much) and the overly complex rules systems available at the time.

To solve the poverty problem, I cut corners whenever I could. I found the cheapest miniature soldiers I could find, and then sped hours painting them to look awesome anyway. As to the over complex rules…well, I usually just ignored them. My friends and I soon found that in any one-hundred page rulebook there were only ten to twenty that were really necessary anyway.

And, damn, did we have fun!

Settling around a table of exquisitely modeled terrain, with a group of good friends while enjoying a fast paced game of conquest and heroes…what great afternoons that made.

So, one of the first games I wrote was Battlefields: From Broadswords to Bullets. It uses inexpensive and commonly available HO scale figures and consists of simple, fast-paced rules. Any historical era can be played with these rules and if you want to get really crazy you can send Roman legionnaires against American Civil War soldiers and see what would happen.

Right now I’m offering it as a free promotion on Amazon. But even after the promotion expires, I’ll still keep the price as low as possible. After all, this game is for the teenager who’s earning what he can by washing cars.

Have fun!