The Newsletter of the World of Where Yamara Has To Live



Barbara Receives Another Marriage Proposal at GenCon; Chris Still Owes S. John Ross Blag Sketch


It's out there, even now, as we write. Somewhere in cyberspace is the first full-color Yamara page, with two more soon to follow in the same episode. (Assuming Vinny has uploaded it. Vinny? --Vinny.)

Ralph the Toad was ecstatic at the news, asking, "Does this mean I can go into Radio Shack* now?" No, it does not. But if Disney lets Ellen DeGeneres "out" her character, we will consider allowing ourselves to purchase a Quasimodo action figure** --thus temporarily suspending our Disney boycott (mounted against their unconstitutional government), in order to counterbalance the threatened boycott by Donald Wildmon's American Family Association (to be mounted against Disney's championing gay rights). The WB's Bugs Bunny was unavailable for comment. We are WAY off script here. In any case, it is our intent to keep the new Yamara running on a monthly basis. Its length may well vary, depending on story demands, and demands on our time. Ah, the luxury.

The story picks up where we left off, in the middle of Persey's wedding and an attack by dark elves upon Ogrek's ship. 'Course they're just "dark elves" now, not some four-letter word. There's a few changes around here, see? And we don't want no trouble, see?

So take the plunge: sign on and tell us what you think.

:) :)


*See RFW #0.5

**To keep our Evil-Lyn figure company. Also, Chris might get Intern Cora an Esmeralda figure to match Cora's Hunchback.


Our GenCon news will follow this breaking story--





This is a news flash, guys. The facts in the matter.


Last Sunday, two teenage boys were found dead in the Pennsylvania woods. This is tragic, and we shouldn't forget that two young lives being cut off is a terrible thing. The circumstances of the case are these, as I have heard them: They were found alone together, in a remote location, both dead of gunshot wounds. The guns they had used to kill each other were the property of one of the boys' fathers. This man, a sergeant on the Wilkes-Barre police force, has our condolence.


The local D.A. is on record as saying that this is a cult-style suicide pact. He states that the boys were both prone to unhealthy influences, among them listening to heavy-metal music and the playing of games such as Magic: The Gathering.


With the sincerity of bloodhounds, the D.A. and local news media tracked this lead down to the source of the evil: a gaming store in Nanticoke, run by a certain Joe Skipkoski. Since the concept of cults had already been raised, and the displays in the shop were disturbing to the investigators' aesthetics, it was evident to them that Mr. Skipkoski was a Satanist and thus responsible for the deaths. His shop has been mobbed by the media for the last three days as of this writing, searching for signs of ritual magic and the abuse of young boys in the service of Satan.


Whoa, nellie!


Joe Skip is one of the nicest men I know. He is, if anything, pious. He wants to be a priest when he grows up. And he has the talent for it; the closest thing to Priestly Guidance I've ever had in my life has come from Joe. Calling him a Satanist is like calling me an atheist. What we have here is one more case of a hurt populace slinging mud on an innocent because they don't understand what he stands for.


Okay, show me a better case of hell on earth. Two young men, who were probably far from perfect but still full of every potential, have died. The community stands outraged. And rather than blaming the parent who left his weapons within the boys' reach-- rather than blaming the events leading up to the deaths, which were no doubt complex, --rather than blaming the boys themselves, I'm sorry guys, I know it's wrong to speak ill of the dead but they SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER-- and if I had them here I'd slap them one-- the blame falls on who? Joe.


This is a direct result of a problem I've been talking about for a while. Our little industry is insular and the Man on the Street (which in this case, I understand, means the Housewife on the Telephone) doesn't understand what we're up to. We so easily bear the brunt of gossip, because our pastime is obviously exciting, but our parents and co-workers don't have the vaguest idea what we're up to.


This will all, inevitably, change. Gaming of the kind we know will become more common in the future, because I, Barbara Manui, have made it my ambition to make it so. Relax. I do the work, you reap the rewards. But for now, we've got to pull together in support of Joe Skip and other scapegoats, and more importantly, in support of boys like the ones that died in the woods this week. I really don't blame the folks in Renton for this one.


Either it was a duel-- in which case there was a woman involved, or, more likely, it was a suicide pact, and they were like all people who go that route; desperate, confused, lonely and helpless. I don't have much patience with suicides, except the Japanese versions, which are an entirely different matter. I feel it's a cop-out. But at the same time, we should all care about each other a lot more, and we should all take a tougher attitude toward life. Aren't we, the gamers, as a subculture, poised against complacency and the middle road? Is there anything more complacent than a suicide?


Look, guys, I realize I'm sticking my neck out on this one. But if anyone reading this is thinking of killing themselves, don't. It's cheap and it rejects the possibility of change. I won't try to force the notion of God down your throat, but do you really believe you have no power to affect your life? The world is full of many things, constantly shifting potentials, altered focuses, new thoughts. If your life at present seems dark and full of despair, then change it. Be more creative than just sticking a gun to your head. Move to Hawaii. Change your job. Reflect that since you're considering leaving this world, perhaps a slightly less radical move might give you the escape you need, and still leave you with the power to react and affect your surroundings.


If anyone wants to comment on this, I've left my letter to the New York Times in the KODT folder. Jolly is also a friend of Joe's and would like to offer his folder as a rallying-point for support. But I feel that the ball is in your courts. We should talk more about what we do. We should be prouder of it. We should let the mainstream see our cards and --gasp! --invite them in. Once the media sees that there is no Devil in Renton, or in Lake Geneva, or in Stone Mountain, they'll move on. I'm sure that they'll find something else to hit on; maybe Bowling will be the next great sin.





Since the media would rather fantasy games take responsibility for the tragic oversight of a policeman, we at RADIO FREE WYHTL have concluded that only an investigation by hard-boiled game designing gumshoes can crack this case. Surely America is relying on us, our generation's best strategists, to solve the crime: who is to blame for this death in the wilderness?


This weekend, we'll be attending Shorecon '96 in Asbury Park, NJ, where Multigenre has so cordially invited us. The normally laid-back con will be abuzz with this story. Any fans or pros that want to show support can come to an impromptu rally/forum we'll organize Saturday night. Joe Skipkoski himself is hoping to attend, and anyone with video cameras or a VCR are encouraged to bring the equipment, if it's safely portable. Let's sift the evidence and see if we can finger the guilty party!!



GENCON '96: Memories...


God, we had fun.


It's a riddle, a paradox. The GenCon Art Show is always sold out months in advance-- but, there's always room for last minute walk-ins. A whisper in the ear of the wizardly doorkeeper, Paul Jacquays, and first-timers Chris Adams and Heather McKinney found their work on the walls next to their idols and their peers. Many thanks to Lissanne Lake for providing the Magic Clue to the riddle.


The entire staff of Non-Sequitur Productions were marching up and down the aisles of the Great Hall, dressed as the monks from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" and whacking themselves in the head with copies of their new rpg, "Of Gods and Men," in an effort to advertise same. Observers, in turn, praised Dave Kenzer, publisher of the newly-released Python/Grail ccg, for his brilliant marketing tactic. "I have no idea who these people are," he explained cheerfully to puzzled congoers. Mr. Adams approached Jeff Konkol, Art Director for Non-Sequitur, and pointed out that portraying a specific scene from a specific movie that a competitor had the game rights to, and was having a grand release of at that very place and time... might be counterproductive. Unfazed, Mr. Konkol rubbed his aching head, and explained that the group had decided to carry out their advertising strategy to the bitter end. Mr. Kenzer is on record for having stated, "I have to buy these guys dinner."


Holly Riggenbach, editor of d8 magazine and her SO, artist Theo Schwartz, were accompanying Ms. Manui on her rounds of the convention floor. "So, has anyone proposed to you at this con?" asked the incisive lady of the press. "Oh God, no. No, I'm not in the mood for that," Ms. Manui replied. Forty seconds later, one of the bodybuilders who was selling "Billy-Bob Teeth" ran up to her, and threw himself at her feet, begging for her hand in wedlock. "Tell me, what do I do?" she demanded of her aghast companions.


Mark Wiker came away from GenCon '96 the World and Sealed Box Champion of Dragon Dice. Special arrangements had to be made to load his trophies on the plane. He went home accompanied by cool friends who traded with Chris so he could obtain a coveted Beholder die. Mark is now the only man in the world to personally own a complete set of Magestorm! dice, including Dragonkin Champions, and all Interplay Dragonlords; he now qualifies for Secret Service protection, and may participate in the Presidential debates in the coming month. Congratulations!





I'm a New Yorker, guys. Don't worry, we don't all kill on sight. But this is a tough town, and our policemen speak their own language. We're a media-conscious town, too, and our policemen have a special argot that they speak only to the newsmen who interview them. Whenever a local horror is perpetrated, within six hours, a man with a microphone with a station logo on it will be on the scene, jamming it in the face of a cop who has a version of the story to tell us. And kudos, much kudos, to the cop-- because his tale is always told in flawless Cop-To-Newsmanese.


Anybody who's ever seen a policeman on the news saying something like, "We witnessed the individual entering the edifice located at 112 Spring St; four hours later he exited and traversed the street..." knows what I'm talking about. You'll see that vocabulary is the significant element in this language. And one word from Cop-To-Newsmanese that Chris and I borrowed long ago (in the manner of certain game designers using the occasional German term in their rulesbook for clarity) is the term Jute.


Jutes perpetrate something like ninety percent of all crimes. No cop would ever call them "boys" or "young men". "Youths" is so much more idealistic; calling forth images of their parents' shattered dreams, no doubt. And since all cops seem to hail from Brooklyn or Queens, "Jute" is the accepted pronounciation. I've heard cops without Brooklyn accents talking about Jutes.*


A Jute, therefore, is a young man in the felony-prone years from eighteen to twenty-five, with some evident bad habits and an obvious lack of respect for Society's rules of conduct. Although not all of them are criminals, most of them own motorcycles, or would like to. None of them would ever admit to consciously emulating James Dean.


Curiously, I've always gotten along well with the Jutes I've known. I fascinate them, because they know I go for gamer types, something entirely out of their oeuvre. They dig me, but they know they aren't going to get anywhere. So we talk at length. And thus I know their secret: these motorcycling, leather-jacketed dangerous Jutes are covertly Wise. They know stuff about love and relationships that Miss Manners, or Abby van Buren, can't touch. I have received three pieces of Jute Wisdom in my life, each one treasured like gold. I haven't always listened to them, but each time I haven't things have gone wrong for me. Now I pass them on to you.


The first one came to me from Randy, a Jute I knew in reform school. I'm not sure what happened to him-- one report said he died. He told me, "Guys look twice at a girl who wears leather." A little thing, but so valuable in a pinch.


The second came from my cousin Erik, in the years when he was still wild. He told me, "Don't ever get involved with someone because they need you. Because the minute they stop needing you, they'll be gone." This made a profound impression on me at the time. I was beginning to understand that this level of subtlety was unusual for men of his sort, and it increased my estimation of my cousin considerably.


The third came to me this summer, from Alan, a Jute I work with. In spite of being a Jute, Alan's conspicuously intelligent. We were talking about the characters in the game we were designing, and he made the observation, "Women should never Pursue. Women have to Entice." This is word to somebody's mama. I considered the source, and wrote it down.


I understand that some of you may already know all this. But some of you don't. If you've always shunned the cosmetics counter in favor of the gaming section at Waldenbooks, if you've spent your Saturday nights playing D&D rather than going out with an athletic boyfriend, then you've paid your dues to our craft and you deserve these treasures.



*as opposed to Vandal. Not all Jutes are Vandals.





On a recent episode of Politically Incorrect, ghoul moguls Anne Rice and Peter Boyle were guests, and the theme of dominating the will of another naturally came up. The conversation turned to Clinton's signing the Welfare Reform Bill, and one panelist blamed the Congress for pressuring him into it. Host Bill Mahr dismissed the stupid excuse, saying, "Oh right. Clinton's in the Republicans' thrall." He then stretched his arms out like a zombie. "Everybody's in someone's thrall !"


When confronted with tragedy, an individual's instinctive response is vengeance. If the blame for the tragedy falls on oneself or one's closest, vengeance rebounds in an aching heart, and outside Evils are sought to take the pain away. Hence the invention of puppetmasters putting innocent victims in mental thrall. "Johnny would never do that on his own."


But kids do do it on their own. Teens crave excitement, and when bored, will even skirt death in the hopes of redefining their lives. This can take the form of breaking speed limits, drugs, bungee jumping, or less fatally, defying the norm. It is the desire for making one's own mark and preparing to take on, and change, the world; it is Life's clearest clarion, and it is a good thing. Parents with any sense try to ingrain caution into their kids, because they want them to survive this time.


Busy parents want quick solutions to solve teen troubles. They don't want to take the time to read comics or listen to every Whitesnake lyric to find the pentagram reference. But the call has already gone out for parents to watch tv shows with their kids. The same must apply to games.


There is no excuse in a time when "family values" is the watchword, that families don't game together. Many do, and years ago it was assumed that families pulled out playing cards or a board game to pass the time when none of their favorite shows were on television or radio.


The speed, convenience and proven accessibility of the myriad CCGs now on the market eliminate any excuse based on lack of time or appropriate subject matter. If a parent plays, or offers to play an RPG or CCG with their kid, and the kid shies away from the game or the offer, the problem was never with the game. The kid wants independence.



[For folks outside our beloved industry the anagram CCG stands for Collectible Card Game, like Magic: The Gathering, and RPG stands for Role-Playing Game, like Dungeons & Dragons or Cowboys & Indians.]






[--I wrote back to Ki at the time, I believe I quoted Jackie Gleason's Chef of the Future sketch: O, it can core a apple: leaving poor Ki quite nonplussed. Actually, Jolly and I sometimes talk about him taking Yamara on as a second title, once his company becomes more established. I haven't committed because I may want to do it myself--but all things are possible right now. It's likely there will be another compilation of published Yamaras, picking up where the last compilation left off, before we get into publishing actual Yamara books. That will be offered to Steve Jackson first. -B.]


Hi there, I was wondering if the Yamara Trade Paperback or Graphic Novel whatever you want to call it is still available? If it is where can I get a copy? How much? Just give me all the pertinent info.




D. Salmon


hello! how can i keep track of yamara's adventures now that they are no longer published in dragon magazine??!


[Good questions-- healthy, robust questions worthy of Yamara fandom! all of which are answered somewhere in this newsletter. :) :) ]



I was just curious what was up with the fate of Wyhtl and if there are any prospects of seeing Fea and the others ever again?

Wyhtlian Fan,



[We imagine "The Dark Treacle" will be spilling its contents back on the planet before long, or most of them. Fea has her new game show, "Truth or Death", and it should have enough episodes soon to go into syndication off-world-- possibly even in the United States-- sometime soon, assuming the population of Wyhtl can provide enough contestants. Until then keep hitting our web page as we struggle to update it: ]


[As ever, bless your souls for the input...]




Where we'll be: thralls bent on assassination must RSVP.



September 26-29 1996 Berkeley-Carteret Hotel, Asbury Park, NJ

Come and rally round for Joe Skipkoski!! Plus: Lissanne Lake, Companion Games, and One Hundred Other Delights! Including: Two gorgeous women remove the stitches from Chris' knee! (1 AM SAT; limited player participation)



Milwaukee WI

The Little GenCon Near the Prairie strikes again-- only, this time, it'll be our first.



See Double Exposure website for dates; Holiday Inn Jetport, Newark NJ

Serpents of living fire could not keep us away from this con! Well... all right, we'd bravely fight serpents of living fire to try to make it to this con. If there are no serpents of living fire guarding the bridges or tunnels, we'll definitely be there. Any Double Exposure event has the requisite Free Food, and this year the AVATAR system gets nastier than a Monster Truck Rally. BE THERE THERE THERE--




The Yamara book is now available from a number of sources, including:

Wizard's Site-- contact Joe Skipkoski (717) 740-2277

Steve Jackson Games-- after all, the great SJ himself published it! (512) 447-7866

Double Exposure-- yes, the DEXCON/DREAMATION people who have generously donated web and crash space to us have signed copies fer sale! (718) 881-4575

Aetherco-- hey! That's us!©We can send you ones signed, and here's how:

$9.95 + $3.00 shipping/handling = $12.95

Please send check or money order in US funds made out to Aetherco to:


I Want It Signed


PO Box 342

Red Hook NY 12571


Please wait 4-6 weeks for delivery.


HOB, our latest strip, thunders on in d8 magazine:

Or write to subscribe:


And Chris' Art is in a number of games, including:

MYTHOS ccg; Chaosium (510) 547-7681

GRIDIRON ccg; Precedence (602) 894-1812

GALACTIC EMPIRES ccg; Companion Games (800) 49-GAMES

OF GODS AND MEN rpg; Non-Sequitur Productions (414) 840-8115



Keep tabs on our website for more stuff, soon to include a specific card list-- including cards so rare-- you may never see them!



Yamara(tm) is a trademark of Aetherco.

All contents of Radio Free Wyhtl #0.8 is Copyright (c) 1996 Barbara Manui & Chris Adams. Permission granted to copy for personal use only. Yes, you can send it to your friends, but you mayn't sell it.


All letters and email sent to Aetherco are assumed Letters to the Editor, and may be redistributed by Aetherco by any means humanly possible. We'll do our best to respect property rights and requested anonymity, but Aetherco reserves the right to own things sent to it, unless expressly stated otherwise. Please declare ownership whenever you send stuff to people that you intend to keep for yourself. It keeps them honest.


Other trademarks and copyrights mentioned in Radio Free Wyhtl are property of their respective owners.