Wednesday, August 1, 2012

White Dwarf Wednesday #26

Summer of 81 is ending but White Dwarf 26 is ready with all sorts of new ideas! Let's get started.

First off, how awesome is this cover?

In this issue's editorial Ian Livingstone discusses the prospects of a monthly White Dwarf.  Bottom line they need more to write about (and more people to do the writing) to make it work.   We know that they will, but that is a bit off yet.

First up is "The DM's Guide to the Galaxy" or Space Travel in D&D by Marcus Rowland.  Two pages of what looks like the genesis of the Spelljammer products or even Space: 1899.  Very interesting to my eyes now, but back then I would have rejected it as being too odd.  I never mixed my D&D and SciFi back then. ;)

Open Box is next with our reviews.  We learn about the Apocalypse board game for 2-4 players from Games Workshop.  John Olsen gives it 9/10, downgrading the otherwise superb game due to the amount of time it takes to play.  Book 5 High Guard for Traveller is up.  It also gets a 9/10 from Robert McMahon.  Up next is a favorite of mine, and an admission.  I mixed Sci-Fi and D&D all the time and Marcus Rowland knows this.  He reviews module S3 The Expedition to the Barrier Peaks.  The hours I spent reading and re-reading that module.  He gives it a 9/10.  Knights of Camelot reviewed by Charles Vasey only fairs a 7/10.

Roger Musson is back with the Dungeon Architect.  Prat 2 is The Constructed Dungeon. Two pages of various physical features of the dungeon.  Such items like traps, one way doors and use of vertical space are covered. Lots of great ideas and certainly worth a look the next time you are designing an old-school dungeon crawl.

Star Base details the problems with Jump Drives in Traveller.

Letters covers topics from the last issues (24 & 25).

Character Conjuring is next with one of those articles I think everyone had a copy of or knew some one that did "Lizardmen as Player Characters". Simply put Roger E. Moore and Michael Brown spell out how to use the Lizardman as a player race.  I remember using this a a template for all sorts of odd-ball races.  What I like is they get everything onto one page.  Easy to read and use.  We should be seeing more stuff like this in the OSR.

Neil Cheyne presents his winning Traveller scenario, Amber to Red.  Three pages long.  I always admired how Traveller did more with less when it came to scenarios.

Lew Pulsipher is back with "An Introduction to Dungeons & Dragons" with part 4, fighters and thieves.  In both cases we are asked to look at these characters a bit differently and play to their strengths.  I can't but help think of the old Dragonlance modules/books here which had in their group 5 fighter types, but each acted differently from the other and had different strengths in the group.  That was this article in action.

Treasure Chest is back with some good treasure this issue.  The Potion of Quiet Spell casting is so cool I am disappointed I never thought of it myself.  A magic dagger, a curse potion that makes your words come out wrong, a tarot like deck and all sorts of other useful items.

This issue's Fiend Factory continues with the themes, in this case the Dire Tribes.   We get spell casting Shadow Goblins (which I have used before), the Asrai (water elemental or fey types),  Forest Giants and Winter Kobolds.  All of these are really cool monsters and the type of thing I bought WD for back in the day.

We have the results of both the White Dwarf questionnaire and the Monster Quiz.  The results were as expected really.  More coverage of other games, go to monthly.  Most people loved the cover to issue 23.   I likes 22 and 24 better myself.  The top three games are still the same, D&D, Traveller and RuneQuest.

Some news. Some Classifieds/Small ads. Then many pages of ads. Cover to cover 36 pages.

In truth a solid issue and one that has a lot of material that stands up to the test of time.
In fact I might drop a couple of Shadow Goblins into my new 4e game just mess with the players some.

3 comments:

Simon Giles said...

Glad to see you are keeping this going!

I quite agree with you about the "more with less" aspect of the Traveller adventures - I liked that aspect that just let players and referee take it and run.

Also interesting, I hadn't picked up on the DM's Guide to the Galaxy and a review of Expedition to the Barrier Peaks coming out at the same time. Evidently something in the air.

Finally, I used Shadow Goblins too and they were very effective. Notable, I think, that three ofthe four monsters made it to a Best of White Dwarf article, and some very evocative pictures in that particular Fiend Factory.

Little Odo said...

Wow! That came as a bit of a shock - I am/was the author of the little Potion of Spell Casting article.

Glad to know someone thouhgt it was awesome - I now have my 15 minutes of fame! :-)

Kind regards,

Mike

Little Odo said...

Wow! That came as a bit of a shock - I am/was the author of the little Potion of Spell Casting article.

Glad to know someone thouhgt it was awesome - I now have my 15 minutes of fame! :-)

Kind regards,

Mike

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