Well, to begin with, I'm old-school enough that I don't consider the current online incarnation of Pyramid to be a magazine. Magazines are on paper, they have a table of contents, they include those irritating subscription cards, you can buy them in bookstores, you can read 'em in the bathroom without having to set your machine up next to the potty. The online Pyramid is a subscription website, and calling it a "magazine" doesn't really make it a magazine.

Nevertheless, I've been subscribing to the Pyramid site for the last several years, and their tagline--"The Best in Gaming"--is spot-on accurate. They publish games, adventures, variants, and supplemental information for just about every genre of roleplaying games and for just about every major game system. They publish quite a lot of material for GURPS, which is owned by Steve Jackson Games, but it's not uncommon for several weeks to go by with no material for GURPS.

One of Pyramid's best points is the strong crossover factor of most of their articles--a fantasy scenario will often include pointers on how to convert it to be played in a science fiction game, a modern military game, or a secret conspiracy game. Likewise, their many articles on historical and technological minutiae are useful to a wide variety of gamers--an overview of 12th-century Constantinople can be used by fantasy, historical, and time travel gamers, while stats for World War II weaponry can be useful for espionage and military campaigns, as well as for just about any campaign set after WWII. Of course, Pyramid also has a reputation for publishing funny stuff, including articles about cheese magic, mutant chickens in the Wild West, vampire pigs, Lovecraftian superheroes, and who's really buried in Grant's Tomb.

If any one feature is absolutely worth paying for (aside from the comics--John Kovalic's "Dork Tower" and David Morgan-Mar's "Irregular Webcomic!" are both wonderful), it's got to be Kenneth Hite's "Suppressed Transmission" column, which focuses on the weird, the esoteric, the horrific, and the Illuminated. Topics can range from William Shakespeare, Jack the Ripper, and James Forrestal to Coca-Cola, Emperor Norton, and the Philadelphia Experiment. They're always entertaining, thought-provoking, and minutely researched.

The downside of Pyramid is the discussion boards. The users of the board call themselves "Pyramidians", and they are, in general, a pack of gibbering, pretentious, moralistic nimrods. They often congratulate themselves on being "better and smarter than Usenet"; strangely, however, they still indulge in as much flaming, baseless egotism, partisan-blinded hypocrisy, thuggish bullying, poor scholarship, backstabbing, racism, bigotry, bizarre pro-KKK rants, and bald-faced lies as Usenetters do. They also like to trumpet themselves as a community, but many is the time I've seen Pyramidians rebuked and reviled for (A) fretting over troll-issued death threats, (B) worrying about the possibility that their subscriptions would be revoked (Don't ever joke about copyright theft on those boards; Steve Jackson gets way pissed about it), or (C) not worshipping at the altar of Joss Whedon/ J. Michael Straczynski/ the Wachowski Brothers/ Glen Cook. (Although sci-fi author John M. Ford's posts were always worth reading, as all of his sig lines were unique, original, and howlingly funny) The best reason to read their discussion boards is to be reminded how good we have things here on E2.

In summation, read it and love it for the articles. Skip everything else.