THE FORT GRIFFIN ECHO Volume 1, Number 2

THE FORT GRIFFIN ECHO Volume 1, Number 2

From: Dog House Rules LLC

Reviewed by: Ron McClung

THE FORT GRIFFIN ECHO Volume 1, Number 2 is a new RPG source e-zine from Dog House Rules LLC.

The Fort Griffin Echo is an online support magazine (in PDF) form for Sidewinder Recoiled d20, by Green Ronin Publishing.  From the beginning, it is apparent that it is published by folks that have a passion for the Old West genre.  It is done in the format of an Old West newspaper, with all the cool fonts and everything.  It has an atmosphere to itself established by its layout and the writing style.

In this second issue of the PDF, there are four articles listed in the table of contents (aside from the letter from the editor).  They are : The Way It Was, White Hat / Black Hat, The Man and the Myth, and The Weapon Report.  Also included in the zip file are the character sheets for characters mentioned in the articles.  More on that later.

The Notes from the Editor’s Desk is an interesting rant about a particular weapon he apparently left out of the weapons article called the LeMat. He sounds frustrated by all the fans of the LeMat, not understanding the attraction to the old gun.  He, in fact, gets to a point where he makes an internet law – “In any discussion of antique firearms, the LeMat must be, and will be, mentioned before the 12th post.”  Inside joke, I suppose, but I did find it kind of amusing.

From page # 1:

“ We Texans take our martyrs and legends very seriously. ”

The Way It Was – by Thomas L. Gregory is a two page Old West-style article about the arrest of three murderers in Young County, Texas.  It is meant to inspire a judge for an adventure and is an interesting little read.  Included with it is a map of Young and surrounding counties.

White Hat / Black Hat – by Christopher S. Warner – presents a band of outlaws headed by Barstow Adams.  Contained within the 8 pages of background and brilliant illustrations are 7 non-player characters (NPCs).  Stemming from a group of Confederate deserters, this groups of bandits roam the Texas plains with nothing but raiding and robbery on their minds.  Each is given a detailed background and a full stat-block.  Individual character sheets are included with the file for printing individually. Their levels range from 8 to 2, so these characters could even be played as player characters in a short one-nighter or so, if the GM feels like running an outlaw game (although I would not be the type to condone anything that would glorify criminal activity). The main thing that stands out to me is the well-done art for each member of the gang.  The detail is top quality and you can almost feel the vitality of the art.

From page # 17:

“Abe Lincoln may have freed all men, but Sam Colt made them equal.”

The Man and the Myth – by Bradley W. Hindman – is a quality article about Samuel Colt.  It gives a detailed history of the man and his accomplishments and then puts it all in game terms.  From his birth to his role in the Civil War, it lays out a well-written essay on his life.  Two stat-blocks are provided, with character stats for Colt in two stages of his life – young entrepreneur and industry baron.  Also, once again, a great illustration of the man is provided by Mr. Spake.

The Weapon Report, also by Bradley W. Hindman, is a follow-up to his article on Mr. Colt, providing more detail into Colt, Colt’s business and the weapons he created.  It starts out with a fascinating history of Colt’s gun (at least fascinating to a history buff like me), and a detailed “Anatomy of a Percussion Firearm” as well as instructions on how to load these types of weapons.  This is perhaps a little more than I needed to know, but for a Sidewinder Judge, this kind of detail can really set the mood.  

Following all this are, of course, several Colt weapons in Sidewinder d20 terms.  From pocket pistols and holster pistols  to revolving rifles and revolving shotguns, there are a lot of guns available in this article.  Real photographs are used where possible.  However, it is more than just a bunch of stats.  Each weapon is given a brief history, including who designed it, years of use and what instigated its design.  A lot of hard research and work went into this article. Also included as a nice little gem is a list of Factory Options for the weapons.

In conclusion, I like the layout, feel and intelligence of this e-zine.  Placed liberally throughout the PDF are ads from different period establishments, which really ads to the feel. The art is black-and-white sketches, as if drawn in the period.  I like that especially.  Of course, I am a big d20 fan, and I am also a casual fan of wild western fiction and a history buff, so I may be a little biased.  However, if you are fan of Sidewinder Recoiled, this would be a great e-zine to keep an eye on.  

For more details on Dog House Rules LLC and their new RPG Source e-zine “THE FORT GRIFFIN ECHO Volume 1, Number 2” check them out at their website and at all of your local game stores.

THE FORT GRIFFIN ECHO Volume 1, Number 2

From: Dog House Rules LLC

Type of Game: RPG Source e-zine

Editor in Chief : Cyrus W. Q. Argenville

Senior Editor: Thomas L. Gregory

Typesetter: Karl Keesler

Illustrator: Richard A. Spake

Staff Writers: Bradley W. Hindman, Geoff Spakes, Christopher S. Warner, 

Number of Pages: 36

Components Included: One PDF e-zine

Game Components Not Included: d20 Modern, Sidewinder Recoiled d20

Retail Price: $ 3.38 (US)


Reviewed by: Ron McClung