Wednesday, February 15, 2012

White Dwarf Wednesday Issue 6

April/May 1978 gives us the topic of today's White Dwarf Wednesday, White Dwarf #6.

So we at one year of WD and we see some changes.  The first, most notable change is the right justification of the the text.  I does make the magazine a bit easier to read and looks cleaner.  The second is the introduction of a new feature called The Fiend Factory.  Something that in time will be a major feature of WD and spawn the AD&D Fiend Folio.

First up though is an article ripped from today's Internet postings on various types of Armor Class vs. various weapons.  Very old school yes, but the solution reminds me of the various armor classes we see in 3.x.

Next up is the Fiend Factory. The monsters presented here are from various authors but edited by Don Turnbull.  The format is near-AD&D/Basic D&D (no longer in OD&D format).  Each includes a picture (most times) and a Monstermark rating right there with all the other stats.
Out of the gate we have some monsters that would later live on in the Fiend Folio and some even in infamy.  We have in this issue, The Needleman, The Throat Leech, The Mite, Bonesnapper (no "The"), The Fiend (which later became something of the mascot of later articles), Disenchanter, and the first appearance anywhere of The Nilbog.  The article is longer than most WD articles have been to date (which were about 2 pages max).  This is a significant jump in the evolution of WD.

An article on minis follows then an article on how to adapt Jack Vance's The Dragon Masters to a D&D game.
Open Box reviews two new games, "Knights of the Round Table" by Little Soldier (no ranking is given) and "Elric" by The Chaosium which they loved, but still graded it down in terms of the price (7 out of 10).  Also reviewed are various D&D playing aids from Judges Guild.

The letters section has someone complaining about last issue's comic and another giving reasons why players should be allowed to roll your own attack dice.  See none of you are really old school at all if you let your player roll their own dice!  What's next? 4d6 and drop the lowest die? Anarchy!

Don Turnbull treats us to a lengthy overview/review of Traveller. He does spend a lot of time comparing it to D&D, which at the time I think made it read unfavorablly even if the article is positive.  Today of course it reads differently where our assumption is it should not be like D&D at all.  While he likes the game he feels there are some serious drawbacks to it.  Namely what to do with it once you have it.  While we can wink at that now, I do see where he was coming from.
Another full page of Kalgar.
Some new magic items in Treasure Chest.
Part 2 of the Asbury System of rewarding experience points by level and class.
A hit location system for Melee combat.
And finally an expanded Classified section.

Issue 6 now sees all the early vestiges shed from the pages.  No joke classes, no silly treasure.  White  Dwarf has stepped up.  Issue 6 can stand side by side with Dragon issues of the day and content wise I feel they are comparable.  The art is not there yet and the content is still only around two dozen pages (but the pages are longer and the font smaller).

Next month, cover art takes a big leap forward.


scottsz said...

Good stuff.

It would've been cool to spin off Fiend Factory into its own mag...

Johanna Garth said...

I've never heard of White Dwarf...runs off to go Google it!