Alarums and Excursions

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Alarums and Excursions
Editor Lee Gold
Categories Role-playing games
Frequency Monthly
First issue #1, June 1975
Country United States
Based in Los Angeles
Language English
Website Alarums and Excursions page

Alarums and Excursions (A&E) is an amateur press association started in June 1975 by Lee Gold (at the request of Bruce Pelz, who felt that discussion of Dungeons & Dragons was taking up too much space in APA-L, the APA of Los Angeles's SF Fandom, usually collated at the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society).[1] It was the first publication to focus solely on role-playing games. The initial aim of the publication was to prevent the playing styles to become so divergent that people couldn't participate in games together.[2] [3]

Each issue is a collection of contributions from different authors, often featuring game design discussions, rules variants, write-ups of game sessions, reviews, and comments on others contributions. It was a four-time winner of the Charles Roberts/Origins Award, winning "Best Amateur Adventure Gaming Magazine" in 1984,[4] "Best Amateur Game Magazine" in 1999,[5] and "Best Amateur Game Periodical" in 2000[6] and 2001.[6]

Although game reports and social reactions are common parts of many A&E contributions, it has also, over the years, become a testing ground for new ideas on the development of the RPG as a genre and an art form. The idea that role-playing games are an art form took strong root in this zine, and left a lasting impression on many of the RPG professionals who contributed.

The June 2017 collation of Alarums and Excursions was #500, with a color cover drawn by Lee Moyer and printed by Rob Heinsoo.

Over the years, contributors have included:

The role-playing game Over the Edge was inspired by discussions in A&E.[7]

"Alarums and excursions" is a stage direction for the moving of soldiers across a stage, used in Elizabethan drama.[8]


  1. ^ Bretts RPG Magazine and Zine Index Archived October 24, 2006, at the Wayback Machine., entry on Alarums & Excursions, retrieved September 2007
  2. ^ Mason, Paul (2012). "A history of RPGs: Made by fans; played by fans". Transformative Works and Cultures. 11. doi:10.3983/twc.2012.0444. ISSN 1941-2258. Retrieved 2016-06-19. 
  3. ^ Mason, Paul (2004). "Beyond Role and Play". In Montola, Markus; Stenros, Jaakko. In Search of the Self: A Survey of the First 25 Years of Anglo-American Role-Playing Game Theory (PDF). Helsinki: Ropecon ry. p. 2. ISBN 952-91-6842-X. Retrieved 2016-06-19. 
  4. ^ "The 1984 Origins Awards - Presented ad Origins 1985". GAMA. Archived from the original on 7 October 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2016. 
  5. ^ "The 1999 Origins Awards - Presented ad Origins 2000". GAMA. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "The 2000 Origins Awards - Presented ad Origins 2001". GAMA. Archived from the original on 7 October 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2016. 
  7. ^ Shannon Appelcline (2014). Designers & Dragons: The '90s. 3 (2 ed.). Evil Hat Productions. p. 55. ISBN 978-1-61317-084-7. 
  8. ^ "alarums and excursions". Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 

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