Welcome back to another White Dwarf Wednesday. Today we will be looking into Issue #4.
This issue covers Dec 1977 to January 1978. So still not quite to the point where I was playing yet. But getting there.
The editorial this month is bemoaning the lack of good British publishers of war games and minis. Funny, I chose to read White Dwarf and review again now because they were British.
An interesting adventure of Alice in Dungeonland from Don Turnbull, years before Gygax would do something similar. Lew Pulsipher continues on his series of D&D campaigns.
An interesting article about Hyboria follows. Author Tony Bath explains how he took the REH country and made it into a world he could use. The article reads like a good blog posting about world building. There is a lesson here. That it is still very true you get from the game what you put into it.
Skipping over most of the reviews I am going to focus on a product reviewed that is near and dear to my heart, TSR's Dungeon! Reviewed by Fred Hemmings he gives it an overall score of 8, noting that the artwork was a bad point and it was expensive (listed at £7.95). Having bought a rare first edition of Dungeon at a auction some years back I have to concur about the price. He does call it a D&D board game (even if he gives it bad point for the folding board/map).
Don Turnbull is back giving us a few new monsters that more concept than stats. We are introduced to the likes of the Glitch, Droll, Smoke Creature, Smoke Demon, the Black Leech, the Black Orc (which I have used in my own games) and the Black Monk. The creatures are given basic HD, AC and attacks and a Monster Mark score.
The first "real" new class is presented in the Treasure Chest, The Barbarian. There are some similarities between this one and the one that would later appear in the Unearthed Arcana, but they are still different enough. For example no rage like ability, but there is a Ferocity ability.
We end the issue with Fred Hemmings look into Competitive D&D and the letters and classifieds.
This issue really felt like it was on the way to becoming the White Dwarf I remember. Gone are the silly classes to be replaced by something quite usable. Monster Mark is now being used in practice, not just in theory, even if just a little.
Looking back at this I am sure I must have merged a lot of this material into a whole when stating out my own D&D world. I even have "Black Orcs" in my world as the fiercest orcs. Like Hyboria they are from the north.