Wednesday, July 10, 2013

White Dwarf Wednesday #71

White Dwarf 71 takes us to November of 1985. The cover art is another one by Alan Craddock. I would say it is a cavalier and a barbarian in honor of the newly released Unearthed Arcana, but I have nothing to back that up.
Ian Livingstone is still at the helm here talking about Game Day and looking forward to more success with Judge Dredd.

Of the bat we go into Open box with two books from the Way of the Tiger. These books seem something in between an RPG and a choose your own adventure sort of book.  Chris Elliott gives it 8/10 but I can't exactly figure out way in reading his article. He says it is fun, but something like AD&D with Ninjas and Kung-fu.  We get a new Paranoia book, Vapors Don't Shoot Back (7/10), a review of the almost legendary Masks of Nyarlathotep (9/10) and Thrilling Locations for the James Bond game (9/10).  Interestingly enough this is the first Open box in a long while that does not have any D&D related material.

The Face of Chaos is another look at alignment in AD&D.  Frankly even then I was tired of alignment discussions. Still am.

RuneRites gives us a couple of water-based creatures; the Frostgrim and Neried.

Cults of the dark Gods is the start of what promises to be a new feature on a "translation of ancient texts" for Call of Cthulhu.  This one deals with the original order of assassins and the Knights Templar.  I have often said you can't have a proper conspiracy theory unless it somehow involves the Knights Templar.

An ad for the D&D Masters game.

A Box of Old Bones is an AD&D/Dragon Warriors adventure for starting characters. Five pages with map, it looks like it could be a good starter adventure or better yet a good starter adventure for someone familiar with one of the games and learning the other.

Starbase covers Avionics failures.  Honestly I thought something like this was already in rules.  Of course the biggest issue is not that, but the assumption that you could have complete failure like this with out backup systems.  Plus today we would call these Sensors and not Avionics (which are in aircraft).

Two pages of Letters this issue.  I think this was around the same time Dragon had less letters.

Tower Trouble is an adventure for 3-6 Traveller characters. It is also quite long at 6 pages.

Monsters Have Feelings Too, Two is a follow up to the article in WD38 about playing monsters as intelligent opponents and not as walking collections of XP.

Fiend Factory is back, but it only has one D&D monster, a Psychic Vampire, and a weak one at that.

Treasure chest has treasure this time, with two magic items for divination and prophesy. A card and "tellstones".  Interesting ideas that I don't think work as well on the game table as they do on paper.

Gobildegook is still a full page. The newsboard/rumor page talks about an update finally to T1.

We end with ads including full page, full color ads for Unearthed Arcana, Marvel Super Heroes and Talisman.

This issue feels bigger than the last one, though I am not sure and don't want to grab #70 to find out.  It feels larger and that is what matters when buying it at the store. Speaking of which I am pretty sure that this was the time that all my local, and not so local, book stores stopped carrying White Dwarf.  It would not be till I got to college in 87 before I would find back issues of WD on the shelves next to back issues of Heavy Metal.

A solid issue with a lot of material, just nothing that jumped out at me.  Of course my apathy was also pretty high at this time and I was strictly AD&D and nothing else from late 85 to 87.  The great thing is that this is really my first time going through these issues in depth since I got them, so really everything is new to me.


Unknown said...

The cover was also the cover for the first of the three Dragon Warriors rulebooks (which were printed in standard paperback format), so I guess it's to tie in with the Dragon Warriors scenario printed in ths issue. DW was written by a couple of regular WD contributors or staff, although offhand I can't remember who.

I like that Box of Old Bones scenario, quite atmospheric and different, and would make a good campaign opener. I don't recall any more DW material getting published, although in an upcoming issue there is a two page "advert" that is also a primer in the rules.

Unknown said...

Yeah, on checking, it was the Runerites editors Oliver Johnson and Dave Morris behind Dragon Warriors, and I see that it's still going, being published by some ex-Mongoose folk.