Wednesday, January 9, 2013

White Dwarf Wednesday #47

NOTE: Looking for the Beginnings Blogfest Post? Go here.

White Dwarf Wednesday today takes us all the way back to Issue #47 from November 1983. The first thing we should notice is this combination Bushido/Iron Maiden cover.  That's pretty much 1983 in a nutshell right there.  We also get our first add for Talisman, a game I never played.

Ian Livingstone talks about analysing the reader feedback given in the Reader Strikes Back.  He also praises Alan Craddock for the cover of WD 44 stating it is the most popular cover so far. Wonder why.

Up first is the Demonist class for D&D by Phil Masters. This class, a sub-class of the Cleric summons up demons to do it's will.  The class in not bad and there are some new spells.  While the class is neat, I doubt I'll use it.

Open Box has four books this week. FGU's Privateers  and Gentlemen gets a respectable 9/10 from Ian Waddelow. He enjoys how it can be played as a pure RPG or a pure War Game or some combination of the two.  The Asylum and Other Tales for CoC from Chaosium is next.  Jon Sutherland is also not cheap with the praise, saying not to be put off by the price (£7.95) and gives it a 9/10 as well.  I talked a little about Star Fleet Battles last week, well this week (and in 1983) the topic is Fighters and Shuttles from Task Force Games for SFB.  Jim Sizer gives it a 7/10 liking the increased numbers of ships and the 5 scenarios, but not liking that some combat is not made easier.  Chaosium is up again with The Big Rubble about the ruins of Pavis for RuneQuest. Oliver Dickinson likes it and gives the best parts 10/10, most of the areas 8-9/10 and some only 5-6/10.

Critical Mass details some more books including masters Asimov and Clarke.  I find this article harder to review.  There are a couple of reasons. One, the books are dated.  I mean anything I review here has been reviewed hundreds of times in the last 30 years.  Also the article itself, the layout, makes it look like one huge paragraph.  Maybe my eyes are getting old.

Zine Scene is next and it is described as an occasional article dedicated to the "street level" news of going ons in RPG and fandom.  I am sure this has a lot to do with adding Mike Lewis to the set of editors.
Interestingly enough there is some news in here about other Zines opening up. I guess WD didn't consider them as competition at all.  They shouldn't, but I am not sure I ever recall seeing such "openness" in Dragon.

There is a two page article about Goblins in RuneQuest.  It's an interesting read.  Interesting because is sounded very familiar to me.  I am sure I had read this one back in the day and my goblins of today can trace their lineage back to this.

Letters is next with general praise and asking for clarifications.

Starbase is up with a bunch of Aliens for Traveller.  Anyone use these in a Traveller based "Bug hunt"?

The last part of Irilian is posted with a big map and brief adventure.  I am not sure if any updates were ever made to this city or not.  But there really should have been.  What I would like now is too take all six parts and do a retrospective on them.  Maybe later.

RuneRites has Morale. Neat, but nothing I could use back then.

Kwaidan is next and it is a big deal.  Big because for the first time have an adventure for Bushido.  The RuneQuest/D&D/Traveller lock is broken!  Ok yeah we have had some others, but to me this is a bigger deal.

Treasure Chest goes Dorian Grey on us and gives us a great painting for the Necromancer character that everyone hated. Well. I liked it, but it raised a fuss.

Fiend Factory gives us some mini-monsters for D&D. The Diabolo is kinda neat if you think of it as a devil-kobold cross breed.  The Trollkin, is a combination of brownie and troll and one I used a couple of times. The others, the Trist, Krowks (demonic crows) and Gromits (Wallace no where to be seen).  I took this article an ran with it creating my own "Trobbits"  which were a cross between a troll and a, um, er, halfling.  I should post those sometime.

Pitbits is another news column. With "Demogorgon" as editor and "Orcus" as Advertisement Manager.  :rolleyes:

We get some Thrud and some Travellers. Gobbledigook was up there somewhere; head butting an orc.

Ending up with the small ads.  There seems to be more items for sale in this one.  People unloading their collections.  The first wave of gamers moving on?  Who knows.
Ads for the James Bond 007 game, Battlecars and Knight Hawks.
There is an ad for a "Truly British" Victorian Adventure game to appear at Games Day 83.  Anyone know what that was for?

We have been fluctuating between 44 and 48 pages (counting covers) for a bit now, but we seem squarely stuck on 48 now.

In 1983 I don't know it yet, but we are leaving the Golden Age behind. Maybe those gamers in the small ads knew this and sold off their copies of RuneQuest, Traveller and White Box D&D knowing that the hobby was about to change again.  Nah. They didn't know anymore than I did really.  I was clueless, sitting there waiting for the next supplement or module, listing to my cassette copy of Chart Action '83 from K-Tel.  I had no reason to know either.  My 13/14 year old self doesn't care what my 43/44 year old self has to say.


thekelvingreen said...

All of the Irilian material was later collected in The Best of White Dwarf Scenarios III; there's a new, short introduction that talks about the series' popularity but no actual updates.

Brutorz Bill said...

I still have and use this issue.
The monsters from the Fiend Factory have made several appearances in my games and I always liked the Demonist, the artwork just reached out and screamed Cool to me! : )

Daddy Grognard said...

I think I actually bought The Asylum on the strength of the review in this issue.

Unknown said...

This was the first issue that I actually bought (my friends had issues 41 onwards between them and I later acquired some of the issues around 28-32 before filling in the gaps).

Kwaidan really inspired me, and it's still a pretty good adventure now, and I used the Trist as the heart of a pretty successful scenario - it kind of reminds me of the Arcturan ambassador in the Doctor Who story Curse of Peladon in appearance.

I also tried using the Demonist class but, like the Detective class no one was really interested in playing one. Think I may have used one as an opponent but I don't recall it having any great impact.

I'm interested to know what people thought of Keys of Tirandor - I thought it had some original ideas in it, but was all a bit linear and railroady. Different, though, from your typical dungeon crawl.