Alarums and Excursions

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Alarums and Excursions
EditorLee Gold
CategoriesRole-playing games
First issue#1, June 1975
CountryUnited States
Based inLos Angeles
WebsiteAlarums and Excursions page

Alarums and Excursions (A&E) is an amateur press association started in June 1975 by Lee Gold which continues monthly to this day. It was the first publication to focus solely on role-playing games. The name "Alarums and Excursions" comes from a stage direction for the moving of soldiers across a stage, used in Elizabethan drama.[1]


In APA-L, the APA of Los Angeles's SF Fandom, usually collated at the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society, Bruce Pelz felt that discussion of Dungeons & Dragons was taking up too much space.[2] Gold began the publication of Alarums and Excursions at the request in June 1975.

The initial aim of the publication was to prevent the playing styles to become so divergent that people couldn't participate in games together.[3][4]

It was a four-time winner of the Charles Roberts/Origins Award, winning "Best Amateur Adventure Gaming Magazine" in 1984,[5] "Best Amateur Game Magazine" in 1999,[6] and "Best Amateur Game Periodical" in 2000[7] and 2001.[7]

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


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.

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 1992 role-playing game Over the Edge was inspired by discussions in A&E.[8]

Over the years, contributors have included:



  1. ^ "alarums and excursions". Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
  2. ^ Bretts RPG Magazine and Zine Index Archived October 24, 2006, at the Wayback Machine, entry on Alarums & Excursions, retrieved September 2007
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "The 1984 Origins Awards - Presented ad Origins 1985". GAMA. Archived from the original on 7 October 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  6. ^ "The 1999 Origins Awards - Presented ad Origins 2000". GAMA. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  7. ^ a b "The 2000 Origins Awards - Presented ad Origins 2001". GAMA. Archived from the original on 7 October 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  8. ^ Shannon Appelcline (2014). Designers & Dragons: The '90s. 3 (2 ed.). Evil Hat Productions. p. 55. ISBN 978-1-61317-084-7.

External links[edit]