Wednesday, August 29, 2012

White Dwarf Wednesday #29

February/March 1982. England sends over Iron Maiden as Number of the Beast is released in the US and White Dwarf #29 hits the stands.

For this issue's cover we are treated to two dragons fighting.  It's a very nice cover and shows how the production values are going up for WD.

Ian Livingstone gives us a little background on why White Dwarf is called White Dwarf.  Simply because the White Dwarf has special meanings in both SciFi and Fantasy gaming.  A small dense star and a small dense humanoid (I am kidding).  The last issue he asked people to send in their most wanted themes for future role-playing games. It generated an all time low of responses, which he took as maybe people have what they want.  The largest number of requests they did get was Private Eyes.

Paul Vemon is up first with some guidelines with Designing a Quasi-Medieval Society for D&D.  Part 1, the Economy - Workers and Craftsmen.  This was part of the new wave of gamers who wanted to add more realism to their games.  In Dragon we get long articles on the physics of falling damage.  This is at least easier to read (though for the record I loved those physics and falling damage articles).  There is a lot here and all of it can still be used today.

Next up is the start of a series from Oliver Dickinson.  "Lucky Eddi" details the adventures of the titular character in a Runequest universe.  For years I never read the stories (I am not much for reading gaming fiction in WD or Dragon) so I thought Lucky Eddi referred to the woman in the art.  Not so much.

We have reviews from Open Box.  The Fifth Frontier War a game from the Traveller Universe.  It gets an 8/10 but it also got something from me; loss of my joy of Traveller.  Not this game in particular, but all these near-universe games for Traveller.  I felt it was too much and there was no way I was going to collect or learn about all of it.  So I ended up not playing Traveller.  Adding to this is SORAG, a supplement for Traveller.  It gets 9/10 and almost gets a 10/10 but falls down due to what amount to editorial issues.  Barbarian Prince is a new mini-game that gets an 8/10.  Though what get my attention is what got it back then.  There is a game to play Elric in the form of Chasosium's Stormbringer. It only gets a 7/10, but I thought it was much better than that.

Starbase gives us the Mudskipper a multi-terrain vehicle for Traveller.  I often used articles like this for Star Frontiers. I am sure I had this one too.  It looks too familiar.

I have a basic rule in my games.  Unless I am playing Doctor Who, no time travel.  There is no time-hopping magic in D&D in my games and none in my sci-fi ones.   So what do we have here from Marcus Rowland? "This Is, Of Course, Impossible: Time Travel in AD&D".  Shit.
Well the article is long, but good and has some great ideas.  I might not ever allow time travel, but I use alternate time lines and parallel worlds all the time.

Going back to Traveller, we have a scenario for 2-8 players called Weed War.  I looks interesting enough, but I am so far removed from my Traveller days that I have little else I can say about it.

Character Conjuring has Grey and Sylvan elves as character races from Roger E. Morre years before they appear in Unearthed Aracna. Bob Lock also has stats for Brownie characters.

Fiend Folio has some desert monsters this issue including the Giant SAndcrab, Anubi, Kail, Shim-shari and the Argorian Wormkin.  They seem fine and would be a nice change up for a desert based adventure.  Of note we still have Monstermark scores.

Lew Pulsipher is back and as usual his article is something that interests me right away. Amulets & Talismans are discussed including how they are made.  I have gone over similar ground, but I made talismans the weaker of the two.  He has them much stronger.  In any case there is still a lot of good stuff here.

The rest is ads, but there is a cool Judges Guild ad in back.

A solid, but not spectacular issue.  I suppose if you were playing Traveller back then there would have been a lot of gold here.  Stylistically the magazine still looks like it did at the beginning of the 80s.  Though that is all going to change soon enough.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Weed War is a pretty solid scenario, handy to plug into any kind of SF waterworld. You may remember the mudskipper as it was reprinted in Best of White Dwarf articles.

I, too, skipped the Griselda stories at first, but they reward a re-reread.