Wednesday, September 19, 2012

White Dwarf Wednesday #32

White Dwarf #32 is without a doubt the most important issue of White Dwarf since Issue 1.  Why?  Because with #32 in August 1982 White Dwarf goes monthly.  Ian Livingstone praises the move, rightfully so, in the Editorial.  Our cover, before we forget, is a great bit that reminds me of the movie/magazine Heavy Metal.  This will not be the last time that will happen.

Stephen Bland is up first with the Rings of Power from Lord of the Rings. In addition to the rings we get stats for the winged beasts and the Nazgul.  I don't ever recall seeing this one before.  Oddly enough I never used LotR in my D&D games.  Outside of having a halfling thief named Bilbo once, but everyone is allowed to have a character named after a LotR character at least once.

Now this next article I do remember.  Marcus Rowland discusses Slower than Light ships.  One is a ram-scoop that looks just like a ship out of Carl Sagan's book Cosmos.  I had recently read the book and found this rather neat.

Paul Vernon takes us back to the town in The Town Planner, Part II: Designing Cities and Towns.  Again this is another "clip and save" article and one you could still use today.

Ken St. Andre is also back with more T&T goodness with some tips on designing your own T&T world including how to adapt T&T to fit your playstyle.  Again, this one has utility beyond the game and time.  T&T was always much more of a tool-kit game than D&D was and has remained so. There is something rustic about picking up the rules today, more so than any OSR project, and reading an article like this.

There is another reason why Issue #32 will be remembered as Watershed.  This is the issue that reviewed Call of Cthulhu in Open Box.  The game has not changed much in the last 20 years and reading this article is like reading a blog post review.  Ian Bailey gives it 9/10 and I wonder why it didn't get a 10/10.  There are very few perfect games, but I think this is one of them. But as they say, the hits keep on coming.  We also get a review of another classic, Bushido. Mike Polling gives this game a justified 10/10 calling it "maybe the best game I have ever seen."  This game came out just on the cusp of the huge fascination the 80s had with all things Japanese.   It was also for that reason I unfortunately avoided it then.  What did I know, I was 13.
We also get another spot on review of the Mattel Electronic Dungeons & Dragons.  Jamie Thompson gives it a generous 4/10.

Up next is Phil Masters and The Chaos From Mount Dorren a mini adventure for AD&D. At three pages it looks like a lot of fun.  What a great time to be getting back into AD&D!

Starbase has more Traveller fun in the form of Strikers, civilian vehicles.  So yes. Space cars.  But it is fun.

Letters is next and readers go back and forth on whether or not microcomputer articles should stay out of White Dwarf.

RuneRites for RuneQuest is next. Jim Sizer gives us the Cyclops.  We also get Griselda's stats from WD 29 and 30. I do recall seeing these.

Fiend Factory gives "Small Things" as the theme this month.  We get the Greater Raven, the reptilian Nightlings, the really odd Qothe, the Wyrmlet, which is a living coin, and the Mara.  None of them jump out at me, but that is fine.

Now this one I do remember, Treasure Chest has "Drug Use in D&D".  This is certainly something that could be updated for Pathfinder or your Old-School game of choice.

We end with 12 pages of ads and classifieds.

Again, a good issue content wise, but a great one if you consider what this means in the longer run of White Dwarf.


Daddy Grognard said...

Yes, that cover was another good one. I seem to remember that at about this time, we were also playing a lot of Traveller and the STL ships keyed in with a campaign that I was thinking about which would be set in the Solar System during the 22nd century (pre light speed, with plenty of nods to William Gibson, though not the cyber aspects).

And that review of CoC was spot on; I bought my first set around this time and I still have the dice in my (Cthulhu) bag.

Unknown said...

Watch out for snippy comments from Don Turnbull in future letters pages about the Ken St Andre article - handbags at dawn!

Timothy S. Brannan said...

Oh really? Ooo a little drama in the pages of WD!

scottsz said...

Just spotted this review of the WD redesign: