From: MOB
Date: Thu 21 Nov 1991 - 09:56:33 EET


The good news for all is that Nick Atlas is no longer working on RQ and in fact no longer even works for AH. Shortly after Gen-Con he asked his boss to match an offer from another game company, and found himself out on his ear WITHIN FIVE MINUTES. He was not even given an opportunity to clear his desk. Nick is soon to take a position at GDW in Illinois. Given the damage he did to RuneQuest in the eighteen months he was at AH, I can only say that I am glad I don't play any GDW games! Despite this, I don't like to see anyone sacked, and so I'm glad he's got another position to go to (who plays MEGA-TRAVELLER now anyway?)

Now that he's no longer in their employ, Nick was prepared to come clean about a few things. At several stages, he promised me, David Hall and other RQers review copies of various RQ releases, which we could then profile in TALES OF THE REACHING MOON etc. They never arrived, despite frequent prompting. Despite Nick's assurances that they had indeed been sent, he now says that they never were: the AH management could not see the point of giving anyone free copies of anything, and so forbade him to give anything away. (I don't know if this also applied to authors of recent RQ releases, but the writers of DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS still haven't received their copies of it!)

Even better news than the demise of Atlas is that, according to my
"close to CHAOSIUM sources", Ken Rolston will be taking up the
position of RQ Editor at AH as of the 1st of January, 1992. I guess between now and then little is likely to happen, but then, who's going to notice a difference?

Even better news would be that AH are finally going to get some professional artists, but we'll have to wait and see....

RQ under Nick Atlas had taken a back seat at AH over recent months, because Nick had been working on a new RPG Avalon Hill. AH, famous for such disasters as POWERS AND PERILS, are bringing out a "zany, whacky" sci-fi RPG called TALES OF THE FLOATING VAGABOND. Here's what a friend of mine who attended Gen-Con had to say about this game and its editor:

"I saw Nick Atlas on the first day for five minutes. He was dressed
in black, with a ponytail and sunglasses, and proffered one great damp paw for me to shake. While I was gingerly gripping this slimy bloated appendage, he told me that they had a great new game, great game, I should come over and play it, great game. He also told me SUN COUNTY was being edited [by Ken Rolston]. Then he and his lackey sailed off in search of the AH booth...

"I saw him at the booth running games over the course of the weekend,
but never bothered to step up...Their booth was half-boring old AH set-up and half stupid FLOATING VAGABOND display, with a fake cocktail bar. They would biff people over the head with a rubber bottle, and one extremely tasteful activity planned was called "Roll the Drunk", in which a dummy was to be tossed out into the aisle with prize certificates in its pockets, for which people were supposed to fight and grovel - luckily, they couldn't find a dummy.

"FLOATING VAGABOND is awful. One long, unfunny joke, with boring
proto-RQ layout, cartoon art (to be fair, the art suits it, and is better than the RQ stuff), and Way Too Many Rules for what it purports to be. It will be played by those gamers who enjoy quoting Monty Python and Hitchhiker's Guide ad nauseum; in other words, those gamers who rational people will cross eight-lane freeways in order to avoid."

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