Wednesday, September 12, 2012

White Dwarf Wednesday #31

White Dwarf #31 covers months June and July of 1982.  Speaking of covers check out this great looking city. Good choice for the city article in a couple of pages.

The editorial is kicked off by Ian Livingstone celebrating the 5th birthday of White Dwarf.  The first 10 readers that send in a completed feedback form will get a White Dwarf t-shirt!  Also we are again promised a monthly White Dwarf.  Let's wait and see when that happens.

Paul Vernon is back and this time he is building towns for D&D.  The Town Planner starts it's run this issue with Part 1: Designing and Running Villages.  Again, a great, timeless/editionless article.  In fact there in nothing here that could not be used with any FRPG.

In an another return Ken St. Andre is back with a mini Tunnels & Trolls solitaire adventure.  How mini?  Well the first page of the The Mad Dwarf is taken up by an image of said dwarf.  The adventure itself runs along the bottom two inches of the magazine for the next 7 pages and then another 6 pages after a bit.  So a little more than two pages really. It is done like this due to the "programmed" nature of the solitaire adventure (ie if you do X go to A, if you do Y go to B).

Some new Traveller material in the form of Prior Service from John Conquest. An aside, I never quite understood why any sword type is considered to be basic training in some of the Traveller military.  We always played it off as the same reasons Marines get a sabre with their dress uniform.  Oddly enough the Marines in Traveller don't get a sword, but the Navy gets Cutlass-1.

Open Box has some cool SciFi entries this month.  Task Force Games brings us Federation Space, the Federation controlled area of Starfleet Battles.  John Lambshed gives it a 8/10 and says it is a must buy for Starfleet Battles fans.   FASA releases four Traveller books this time, Ordeal by Eshaar, Action Aboard, Uragyad'n of the Seven Pillars and The Legend of the Sky Raiders. They are generally well liked, but have their issues.  Bob McWilliams gives them 6, 5, 8, and 8/10 for novices and 7, 6, 8, and 9/10 for experts.
Thieves get some love in two books by Gamelords, Thieves Guild (I-IV) and The Free City of Haven.  Lewis Pulsipher generally likes them and gives them 9, 7, 7, 8 and 9/10 respectively.

Letters focuses mostly on questions from/about the DMG.

Lewis Pulsipher is back with another article that made that big packet of articles I was reading about this time.  Arms at the Ready takes all the weapons tables in AD&D and shuffles them up.  Now you can look at a weapon and then see how the attacks are by character class and level.  This might not seem to be such a big deal today, but back in the AD&D days various weapons had different attacks versus different ACs.  For example there might be no change at all to AC 5 but AC 4 had a +1 to hit.  Of course this is because it was called "Armor Class" and not "Defense Score", AC 4 was a different type of armor than AC 5.  A point Lewis makes in the article.

RuneRites is back again for Runquest.  This time Geoff Winn has Crime and Punishment on the mind.  This really is a good companion piece to the city rules above.  Sure is for Runequest, but it is also generic enough to work with any game, with some tweaks.    The great thing about the early days of gaming was how free everything was.  I remember using the RuneQuest demon rules from WD a lot with D&D.  This article would work even better.

Starbase has your Traveller needs covered. That is if your need is Additional Deflector Systems.  If it is then Antony Cornell and Martin Barrett have you covered.  I can easily see this converted over to Star Frontiers, in fact that is what I was starting to do around this time (though SF does not grace the pages of WD till later on).

Treasure Chest has more Amulets & Talismans, this time sent in by readers.  Some interesting items too.

Fiend Factory is still doing themes.  This time it is a theme+adventure.  In Search of A Fool is described as a "D&D" mini adventure. The stats are D&D and not really AD&D, though odd bits of AD&D are mixed in. The monsters this time are all faerie creatures like the Daonie Sidhe (fae), the Leanan-Sidhe (vampire, and different than my own), Lorelei Willow (plant, sounds like something I'd come up with) and the Dendridi (a type of gnome).  The adventure is very brief, but great for a side trek.  Honestly I read it and it sounds like something I could drop into a 4e game in the Feywild with no modifications.

News, classifieds and ads follow.

All in all this issue felt more "80s" than previous issues.  Great content that worked well together.


WQRobb said...

I think the use of bladed weapons in Traveller was the idea that they would be used frequently in man-to-man combat aboard starships where a bullet might puncture a bulkhead and decompress the ship.

Daddy Grognard said...

I think WQRobb has the right of it. And let's face it - cutlasses are cool, even in Traveller.

Love that cover; so many of the WDs from this time had covers that made me want to run adventures based on them.

Paul Vernon's series was responsible for me wanting to get ultra-realistic when it came to towns and cites - and it took me years to get over that so that I could wing it with urban settings. Nevertheless, his ale to silver piece comparison standard still informs my off-the-cuff pricing decisions.