Wednesday, August 8, 2012

White Dwarf Wednesday #27

White Dwarf #27 starts of with another great sci-fi cover.  Or rather a pulp-age inspired one. The other thing that jumped out at me (other than the transparent space suit the woman has on) is that the month/year is missing from the front cover. But those keeping track this is October/November 1981.

Ian Livinstone lets us know why, White Dwarf is going Monthly in 1982.  They also got some new, larger offices.  WD is hitting it's next big phase of growth along with the rest of the hobby.  Many would claim this period marks the end of the Golden Age, but I have a hard time with that because the popularity and growth never has been, and arguably never will be again, as high as this time.

Roger Musson is back with Part 3 of the Dungeon Architect.  This time he talks about the Populated Dungeon.  This delves into what some other Bloggers have referred to as Gygax Naturalism. Or how do these life forms get to where they are and survive there?  Steady diet of 1st levels?  If you are working out a dungeon crawl then these are good articles to find.  I guess in a way this is also a sign of the "end of the golden age".  The GA did care about dungeon ecology or why things were there, they just were.  The later Silver Age (or even, the Dragonlance Age) dungeons had a reason for being and the monsters there did something other than wait around to be killed.

Robert McMahon takes us to a new career option in Traveller, the Imperial Secret Service.

Open Box has some reviews for us.  Deluxe Edition Traveller is out, combining previous books plus Book 0, a map and 2d6s. I notice this is also one of the first uses of "role-playing game" used other than an academic or editorial context as opposed to SF/F game. I still have not seen RPG used yet.  Back on track, Andy Slack gives it 10/10 for newcomers, but 4/10 for old hands since there is not much that is new.
Chaosium has a new Runequest supplement/adventure Griffin Mountain. Actually it is more of a campaign at 200+ pages.  It gets a solid 9/10 from Murray White.  Star Fleet battles from Task Force Games is up next. I always wanted to try this game out and I know it has it's legions of fans, but it never happened.  The review is solid and John Lambshead gives it 8/10 citing it might be a bit complex for new players.  A bunch of Traveller books are up next, IIS Ship files (10/10), Traders and Gunboats (9/10) and Asteroid (8/10).  It was a great time to be a Traveller fan.

Lew Pulsipher is back with Part 5 of his An Introduction to Dungeons & Dragons. This time talking about characterisation and alignment.  Ahh, more evidence the Golden Age is nearly over if we are talking about characters. I am joking. (well, only a little). The interesting idea here is that Alignment should have an effect on role-playing your character and thus you get experience rewards accordingly.  So not an in-game mechanic, but a meta-gaming concept.

The Dungeon at the End of the Universe continues where Issue 26's The DM's Guide to the Galaxy left off. Marcus Rowland continues the D&D in space concept to combat, magic and equipment.  Though I have my doubts that a quasi-Dark Ages metalsmith can make air-tight armor.

Letters are up next.

A mini adventure for AD&D is next, Hell's Portal, fir 7-9 characters of 4th level. Fairly straightforward adventure.  I did notice that HP was constantly referred to as HTK which was common in many non-sanction D&D products.

Star Base has an article on putting Traveller weapon information on  index cards for quick reference.  Even then people were trying integrate cards and RPGs.

In what I believe is a White Dwarf first we have a female author of an article!  Penelope Hill gives us the Summoner class in Character Conjuring.  Summoners are a sub-class of Magic-User that summon monsters to do their bidding.  It looks solid, but the proof is in the playing as it were.

Fiend Factory is back with the "near misses" of the Fiend Folio.  These are the ones that didn't make it (and yet the Flumph did...) We have the Spikehead (an ape with a spike on it's head) and the Wirrn (large maggots) I suspect the Wirrn didn't make it due to a similar creature with a similar name in Doctor Who. The Greenman (a creature with green skin and four arms) and the White Ape (ape with four arms) both have their origin in the ERB's Mars books.  The last one, the Cold Beast, is something like a Lamasu or Shedu without wings and lives in a cold area.  Well that and it eats people.

Treasure chest has a bunch of new spells.

We end with a bunch of ads. The last page has the official AD&D miniatures page with the first time I recall seeing the new "man in the moon" TSR logo.

I see this issue as still a transition issue.  Obviously White Dwarf is deeply in love with D&D still, but the Traveller content is now about equal to it.  Runequest, which was always strong, gets mentioned still, but not as much.

Looking forward to 1982 and more changes!

1 comment:

Simon Giles said...

Hell's Portal isn't the most exciting of scenarios, but I did like the fact that the BBEG is a grell mad scientist.

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