Wednesday, June 13, 2012

White Dwarf Wednesday #20

August/September 1980.
We get six pages of ads to start with.   This month's Editorial on Alignments and how they play out.  It's a fluff piece that doesn't really go anywhere,  other than to get the reader thinking.

The big article here is the famous Dungeons & ...Dragoons one on historical troops in D&D. This 4-page article by Philip Masters attempts to bring authentic troop types to D&D.  I am not sure how well it succeeds historically, but as a bit of game writing it is fantastic. Again, this is the kind of thing we could and should be seeing from the OSR.

Andy Slack gives us Star Patrol, scout services in Traveller.

A new feature, Character Conjuring, looks into various variant NPC character classes.  This issue has the Alchemist by Tony Chamberlain.  Since it is an NPC class there is no XP advancement table.  I am sure there were a few PC Alchemists though in the late summer of 1980.

Open Box has a few new reviews.  Dark Nebula from GDW gets a 9/10.  TSR's The Awful Green Things from Outer Space only fares a 7/10.  In a case of don't judge a game by it's box cover art, The Mystic Wood gets a 9/10 for play even if the art is bad.  We also have some new Traveller books from GDW, Book 5 High Guard (8/10), The (infamous) Spinward Marches (9/10) and Citizens of the Imperium (8/10).

With all this going over old Traveller books and games I really want to play some old school Traveller.

We get an AD&D Adventure from Will Stephenson, Grakt's Crag. 7-8 characters of 3rd level are suggested.

Fiend Facotry is back and we have a Creeper, which looks like a Roper mixed with a Shambling Mound.  The Water Leaper, which is a cross between a frog, a bat and a snake. The Slime Beast and the Frog Folk, which if I am not mistaken, became the Bullywugs.  The Cauldron-Born walked off the screen of the Black Cauldron and into White Dwarf.  And finally the Melodemon.
They are holding their first ever competition to come up with some monsters.  The monsters are all fly-related, Flyman, Flymage, Sandfly and so on.  No Fly-girls though.  Submit your stats and background and the best submission will get the Illustrated Inventorum Natura by Una Woodruff.  Add that one to your Appendix Ns.

A new regular column premiers this issue.  Star Base will discuss Traveller and other Sci-Fi games specifically.  This entry has setting up your Traveller campaign.

Treasure Chest has a bunch of Odd Items such as a Windbag and Lotion of Undead Repulsion.

A new clerical ability is covered, Conversion.  We would later see similar ideas in Dragon.
We end with a few more pages of adds and the first look at the cover of the Games Workshop Doctor Who game.  I wanted that so bad.

Quite a bit seems to have been tidied up in this issue.  While there are no big sweeping changes, other than the introduction of two new features,  one has the feeling of a bunch of smaller changes.


Guy Fullerton said...

I'm not so sure about the Frog Folk becoming the Bullywugs of the Fiend Folio.

It's true that they're both 1HD c-e frog dudes, but beyond that their descriptions diverge. Frog Folk are credited to Phil Masters, whereas Bullywugs are credited to Luke & Gary Gygax.

There's also the point that Don Turnbull states in WD #13's Fiend Folio that "Factory monsters from now on will have missed the Folio deadline and [will not be] in the Folio."

Guy Fullerton said...

I only just now noticed that Don Turnbull's comment from WD #13 isn't as definitive as I first thought. He ends that passage with, "though there may be the odd exception." (But I think the other evidence is still strong.)

Timothy S. Brannan said...

I am sure you are correct on this.

I didn't have my FF on hand to compare these, but they certainly felt similar.

Siskoid said...

There was a Games Workshop Doctor Who game? What was it?

Timothy S. Brannan said...

@Siskoid It was a board game if I remember correctly.

Siskoid said...

Thanks Tim! Maybe Diary of DWRPG did a retro-review of it, I'll have to check the zine archives.