Roleplayer #27, February 1992

In This Issue

Short Notes
Concentrated Defense: Protecting Your Vital Interests (Charles Wheatley)
New for GURPS
Local Color: Human, Yes, But What Kind of Human? (Darren Madigan)
Robin Hood Across Time and Space: Theme and Variations (Robert and Peggy Schroeck)
Illusion and Creation 575: Epistemological Calculus: So You Want To Be A Wizard? (Sean Barrett)
Making Time Travel Live: How To Research, and When To Stop (Paul Paquet)
Seen In A Different Light: Making Old Disadvantages New (Carl Aaron Gerriets)
Primary Sources: Reviews of Gameable Fiction: Allan Cole and Chris Bunch's "Sten" Books (Steve Jackson)
Lead: It's Not Just For Bullets: Miniatures and Accessories for the Old West (Ann Dupuis)
Back At The Magic Shop: Outtakes from GURPS Magic Items 2
The Wolfmaster: A Feral Fiend from French Folklore (Andrea Sfiligoi)
Ultra Weapons, Ultra Healing: New Devices and Weapon Table (David Pulver)
Coming Attractions

Confessions of a Tree-Hugger

Environmentalism is popular these days. I won't say "too popular," even though the gushy excesses of the "pop" ecology movement can be a bit embarrassing. Some of us have been re-using and recycling for years – it's a philosophy, not a party game! On the other hand, it's nice to be fashionable.

The issue will affect everyone – every industry, every hobby – as we move into 21st century. It's already touching gaming in small ways, good and bad. The folks at White Wolf, for instance, are helping to sponsor a wolf refuge!

On the down side, the miniatures hobby in the U.S. is threatened by proposed restrictions on lead use. Now, miniatures don't use much lead at all; GAMA, the Game Manufacturers' Association, is fighting the ban. But to others, we must sound like a special interest group, saying that a little poison is all right, if it's for our hobby. Now, we used to cast miniatures here; we're about to sign a contract licensing another company to produce Ogre and Car Wars vehicles for us. I really think that properly-done lead casting, on the scale of a miniatures operation is no danger to either workers or the air. But I'm keeping an open mind . . . and as a collector, I'd be willing to pay a few cents more for alternative metal compounds, if they'd cast as well. If nothing else, it would end the controversy.

Small Measures

The point is, more and more people are realizing that environmentalism is important. If we argue about the details, it's because we want to do what's right. And we can reinforce each other by sharing ideas. Here's what SJ Games is doing right now:

We recycle all our glass, steel and aluminum trash through the City of Austin program.

Up until this month, we had recyclable bottles in our Coke machine. The Austin Coca-Cola Company just quit offering bottles: onions to them!

Cardboard cartons are either re-used or recycled.

Large envelopes are re-used if they're in good shape. (Of course, cheapskates like me have been doing this for years.)

Writing paper which has been used on only one side is re-used as note paper. There's more than we can use; the excess is donated to the elementary school next door.

Paper that can't be re-used – and any confidential material – is shredded, and the shredded paper is used for packing material. We don't buy plastic foam "peanuts," though we re-use any that we get.

We just replaced our decrepit, carbon-monoxide-producing old building heaters with energy-efficient units.

We don't discard obsolete or unsalable games or other material until we've tried every possible charity. Almost everything can be used by some group or another.

A baroque one: all envelopes with canceled stamps are saved for a friend who soaks the stamps off and donates them to a British charity which takes care of horses. It's a small thing, but it turns trash into something useful.

And yes, we plant trees.

What We're Not Doing . . . Yet

The really big step, of course, would be to print everything on recycled paper. Our print buyer is constantly checking for recycled stocks that look good and don't drive the price up too much. He hasn't found them . . . yet. But our printers all know he's looking. When enough customers are interested, it will be worth their while to order a recycled stock in carload lots, getting the price down. (And when we find a good supplier, we'll let our fellow publishers know.)

So one of these days you'll see the "recycled material" symbol on our game books. And you'll know we're really practicing what we preach.

– Steve Jackson

Editor: Steve Jackson

Managing Editor: Loyd Blankenship

Editorial Assistant: Monica Stephens

Production Manager: Carl Anderson

Production: Carl Anderson and Manuel Garcia

Cover Art: Ruth Thompson

Illustrations: Cad Anderson, Dan Frazier, Manuel Garcia, Rick Harris, Topper Helmers, Rob Prior, Michael Scott, Ruth Thompson

Circulation Manager: Mike Hurst

Roleplayer (ISSN 1050-3609) is published bimonthly by Steve Jackson Games Incorporated, Box 18957, Austin, TX 78760. Roleplayer, AADA, Illuminati, GURPS, Autoduel and the all-seeing pyramid are registered trademarks of Steve Jackson Games Incorporated. Other product names mentioned herein are trademarks of Steve Jackson Games Incorporated or their respective publishers. Copyright © 1991 by Steve Jackson Games Incorporated. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA.

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