Wednesday, July 19, 2017


While playing a game a few weeks ago, discussion came up of one of my old favorite games, Snit's Revenge.  "Oh," I said, "That was one of my favorite Tom Wham games!"  Because it is.

Way back when I started this blog, I challenged folks to list game designers for some of their favorite games. And it was a challenge.  For many folks, it still is.

Tom Wham was the first designer whose name I recognized.  My friend Steve introduced me to his games with The Awful Green Things from Outer Space, which has been printed and reprinted and reprinted so many times ... but it's a great game.

The first Tom Wham game I ever owned was The Great Khan Game. It, sadly, has gone out of print and is unlikely to see print again anytime soon.

Tom Wham has a very clear signature art style (he did the art for most - or all - of his games). It's light, it's goofy, it's silly, and it's just fun.  The game itself was inevitably entertaining. Not always well-balanced or great, but playable and fun. I knew that when I saw his art on a game, I was going to enjoy playing it.

I think that Tom Wham did more to get me into game stores than anyone else. I bought a ton of Dragon magazines hoping for a Tom Wham Centerfold Game, and those are what got me hooked on Dungeons & Dragons.

My path into hobby gaming started with a playground D&D game. I dabbled, but didn't play much. Then in Jr. High, my friend Steve introduced me to Tom Wham's games at about the same time my friend Anna introduced me to Axis and Allies.  Steve also introduced me to Talisman and FASA's Star Trek RPG. Not much later, Zach introduced me to Illuminati.

Once I hit high school, I went to Strategic Games Club, expecting more Axis and Allies and Risk and the like. Instead, I played Gamma World and Shadowrun and (yes) Rifts.

If you'd asked me when I was in the midst of all of that, I would not have been able to name any game designers or RPG authors (including Gygax) other than Tom Wham. His games were that distinctive, and made that much of an impact on me.

So it's probably weird that I only (currently) own The Great Khan Game and Dragon Lairds.


I should fix that.

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