|Available at fine newstands - or would be,|
if any fine newstands still existed.
Let's cut to the chase. Making a 'zine in this day in age is not a mainstream activity. Any "thing" without a hash-tag or a facebook URL (or G+ or whatever other fad there is) means the "thing" is old-fashioned.
As such, receiving this 'zine in PDF (whether by choice or by geographic necessity) means you've missed out on one of the best aspects of this work of art.
There is a prevalent theme throughout this short booklet, and that theme is love. Not love for troglodytes - although perhaps a slightly concerning love for troglodyte dung - but love for the hobby itself.
I feel this love in the content but I feel it more in the carefully assembled papers with the near-perfect staple binding. I feel it in the unusual selection of poetry and I feel it in the dreamy thought put into a picture of an old house.
This 'zine was not rushed out to make a quick buck - it had careful and thoughtful work put into it and holding it in my hands feels like I'm holding a precious heirloom left to me by a parent or a brother. It is only six pieces of paper (for 24 pages of double-sided half-page content) and a piece of lightweight construction paper on the outside. I'd say it is quite a bit more than the sum of its parts.
I won't go through each page of this, as others have done it already and it's easy to find their reviews. My favorite part, I'll say, is the 20 random forest encounters, such as a variation on the old cat-in-a-tree dilemma (is that a goblin??). I'm not a big fan of sexual tones in gaming - including in here - but "One Big Pecker" gave me a nice old-school smile for a good pun job.
My best hope with the Manor is that it stays true to its current roots and doesn't develop into a "mainstream" product - we needs splashes of flavor like this in our hobby.