Wednesday, December 5, 2012

White Dwarf Wednesday #42

White Dwarf #42 was an elusive one for me.  I didn't buy it when it first came out but once I picked up WD 43 I really wanted it for the Part 1 of the city.  I finally got a copy years later.  So let's go back to that time in June of 1983 when this was on the stands.

Ian Livingstone is up first with the editorial on the changes in WD.  He mentions getting hate mail over the changes, but some were positive.  Most mail concerned the changng of the White Dwarf header title and the silhouetting of the White Dwarf.  Well the editorial page is compromise. The title remains and the white dwarf is broadly silhouetted, but filled in as well.

Marcus Rowland gives us a very interesting article on "Cthulhu Now!"  not the book that would later appear, but ideas and skills for moving CoC to 1980s England.  The art for this article is a classic one for me.  While I didn't see it at the time, when I later picked this up it fit my conceptions of England by-way-of The Young Ones and MTV; a smoking out of work punk rocker about to get grabbed by a tentacled monster.  This article seemed so odd to me.  I had Chill for modern day play CoC was for the 20s!  Still though I loved it.

Graham Staplehurst presents, in what I think is his first WD article, Anti-thieving tech in Traveller.  According to this article we have gone up at least 1-2 Tech Levels (TL) since it was printed!

We get some fiction from Oliver Dickinson, "Shamus Gets a Case".

Open Box is up with some more reviews. Soloquest 3: The Snow King's Bride from Chaosium is reviewed by Oliver Dickinson. It is for RuneQuest and he says he found varied and enjoyable, giving it 8/10.
The Citadel of Chaos & The Forest of Doom Solo RPG reviewed by Marcus L. Rowland is next.  They are "sequels" to Warlock of Firetop Mountain, but I'll admit I am not as familiar with these.  Which is too bad really because Rowland loves them giving them a 9/10 and 10/10 respectively.
Ther Grav-Ball board-game from FASA is then reviewed by Ian Waddelow. He does not like it, saying it delivers so little and gives it a 4/10.  Lastly we have the classic The Morrow Project & an adventure/scenario Liberation at Riverston reviewed by Phil Masters.  Morrow Project was one of those games that locally were played by the "serious RPGers".  I was just a a kid (ok 13-14) and I was "still" playing AD&D.  The REAL role-players were playing Morrow Project and CoC.  CoC I got, this one? Not as much.  Neither did Masters apparently.  He gave them a 5/10 and 6/10 respectively.

Report of the Hugos is up in Critical Mass.

Lewis Pulsipher should be required reading for anyone serious about D&D as a craft.   He is up with Castles in the Air or "Why Dungeons Exist".  It gives us a "natural" rationale for dungeons under castles in a world where humans can fly, teleport and become invisible. He challenges to think about the effects of magic in the world and how it changes things.

Marcus L. Rowland is back in Microview with a BASIC program for Careers in Traveller.  Man I loved these things. I spent hours typing these programs into my TRS-80 Color Computer 2. Course I had to change things since the version of BASIC licensed from Microsoft in the TRS-80 CoCo was different than the Z80 or ZX81 (Zilog 80) BASIC here (and even different from the Z80 BASIC in the regular TRS-80).  But I didn't care.  Computers were the future and knew that then too.

Ah. Irilian. I LOVED Irilian.  Daniel Collerton gives us a complete AD&D city in multiple parts.  I searched for this issue for ever just for this article.  I still get all stupid sentimental about it.  I even started what would be my first house rule book, the Urban Survival Guide because of the fun I had with this.  I really should xerox these pages and put them in a binder to use in my new AD&D game.

Up next are more letters discussing (if I can use that word) the content of the last couple of issues.

Fiend Factory is back. This time is the last of the non-human Gods.  We the Gods of Norkers, Ogrillons, Pebble Gnomes, Shadow Goblins, Skulks, Svirfneblin, Trolls and Xvarts.  Like the last batch I might re-use these as demons or devils.  Just because that seems to work for me.

RuneRites covers Horses for RuneQuest. More detail on various breeds than I would ever need.

Treasure Chest has some new Spells for AD&D.

We end with some ads.

Again a solid issue made golden for me thanks to me thinking it had so much more and searching for it for a while.  But not to understate it at all, the first part of Irilian was and still is the main source of worth for me in this issue.


Havard: said...

Wish I had more of these White Dwarf mags. Thanks for sharing Tim! :)

Unknown said...

Irilian had some great detail, but the adventure is pretty linear, as written, plus you were kind of stuffed if you missed an issue.

Love the John Blanche cover for this one.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

Yes. and this was the issue I had been missing for a number of years, so I never used it to its full potential.

Paul M. Cray said...

WD42 literally changed my life. I came home at lunchtime (I went home for school dinners) to discover that it had arrived (I had sent off for a copy from GW). Marcus's first article on modern CoC was a blast and in years to come I would come to know him personally. But the thing that changed my life was an advert in small ads for a RPG group - in my literal road, the road in which I still live (not that I haven't been around a bit)! Had I been sent WD41 or WD43 would I ever discovered the group and ever got to play RPGs? What *are* the chances of that? I'm having the first of two regular semiweekly Zooms with my sf pals this evening and if it hadn't been for WD42, I would probably never have met them. Goes to show just how contingent the world is.