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By Leigh Grossman

By Leigh Grossman

By Leigh Grossman

By Robert Altomare

By R. Scott Peoples

About Wildside

Wildside is really a role-playing system, not just a single game; it is a method for creating many different role-playing games. The rules that follow are slanted toward medieval fantasy—the popular "sword and sorcery" type of setting—but the system will function just as smoothly in a nineteenth-century Napoleonic Wars role-playing game, a science fiction game, a historical medieval game with no magic and an Anglo-Saxon flavor, or a Roman role-playing game.

This system lays out rules for creating characters and some guidelines for playing them. However, the universe that those characters live in is up to the individual GM. There is no right or wrong way to play Wildside; there are as many ways to play as there are groups playing.

What is Role-Playing?

In a role-playing game, a group of players takes on the roles of characters in a fictional universe. Individual games are managed by a game master (or GM), who designs the setting of the game and narrates what players encounter during the course of their adventures. Wildside is a role-playing system, containing all the information you need to play or run a medieval fantasy role-playing game. While you don't need gaming experience to play, the Wildside system is designed for advanced, adult gamers. Playing it requires an active imagination, a flair for adventure, and a sense of humor.

In a well-run game the rules remain in the background. Concentrate on key parts of Wildside, such as combat and creating characters, which are used all the time. Leave anything not immediately useful for the GM to worry about- he or she is the only one in a gaming group who really needs to know all the rules. The most important thing is to have fun playing your character. As you play, you'll learn the rules you need.

The GM

The game master is the member of a group who manages the game, describes situations as play goes on, and keeps the game focused and on track. The GM does not play a character like other players; instead he or she plays all of the creatures (man, woman, and beast) that the characters encounter - referred to simply as creatures for convenience. A few parts of Wildside (such as the section on creatures) refer to details of the game intended only for the GM. There is also a section on running a game, designed to help GMs get started in the Wildside system.

About the Author

Leigh Ronald Grossman is a writer, college lecturer, editor, and occasional reviewer. He teaches in the English Department at the University of Connecticut and is the president of Swordsmith Productions, a book development and book production company. Grossman is the author of nine published books from six different publishers, and has reviewed books for Absolute Magnitude, Horror magazine, and Wavelengths. Previously, he was the Pre-Press Production supervisor at Avon Books, an editor at Byron Press Visual Publications/Multimedia, and a college-level history and writing instructor. He lives in northeast Connecticut.

As an editor, Grossman's credits include annotated editions of Dracula, Frankenstein, and H. P. Lovecraft's works, as well as Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's 3-volume feminist reworking of Dracula (The Angry Angel, The Soul of an Angel, and the forthcoming The Angel of Death), as well as many other works of literature, science fiction and fantasy, and nonfiction.

Grossman currently teaches at the University of Connecticut (writing, book publishing, science fiction and fantasy), and has previously taught at Rutgers (European history) and Bloomfield College, where he was something of a jack-of-all-trades (American history, women's history, the West in American history, the literature of business, writing and creative writing, etc.). He was one of the original instructors in the Weekends at Bloomfield College B.A. program for adult learners. He has a dual B.A. (Temple University, 1988) in history and English, and an M.A. (Rutgers, The State University of NJ, 1990) in modern European history, with a focus on 19th century British history, especially the history of reading.

Grossman's writing credits include The Red Sox Fan Handbook, The Adult Student's Guide, and The New England Museum Guide, along with several other books, and he was the original review editor for Horror magazine (where he primarily reviewed dark fantasy). He went on to write reviews for Wavelengths and Absolute Magnitude. In addition to nonfiction, Grossman writes fantasy and historical fiction (agented by Valerie Smith).

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