Wednesday, August 7, 2013
White Dwarf Wednesday #75
The cover is a very Call of Cthulhuesque one with Buckaroo Banzai and Elvira battling a creature on a chees board floor. Just out of curiosity I wonder if One Night in Bangkok had be released in the UK at this point? (yes...almost a year before.)
Ian Livingstone gets right in and talks about the changes that have been happening and more are on the way. But we knew that really. The changes we are seeing here are not really abrupt; they have been happening for a while now, but they do become apparent in later issues.
Open box is getting into a wider variety of games, but a lot of them seem to come from Games Workshop: There is the Supervisor's Kit for Golden Heroes (8/10), Terror of the Lichemaster for Warhammer (9/10), Judgement Day for Judge Dredd (9/10) and Cosmic Encounter Boardgame (8/10). The only non-GW game this issue is Fragments of Fear by Chaosium for Call of Cthulhu (7/10). Detecting a trend here.
Critical Mass is back. I only want to touch on a couple of things here. Dave Langford talks about how long C. J. Cherryh's Forty Thousand in Gehenna is. I agree. But that didn't stop me from using it and going back to it time and time again for ideas for my AD&D games (despite it being Scifi). There is also a title I have never seen before, "Sex Secrets of Ancient Atlantis". Looks fun.
2020 covers some mid 80s horror movies. The Return of the Living Dead and Fright Night are featured. I enjoyed the heck out of Fright Night despite (or because of) the gruesomeness that reviewer Colin Greenland seems to disdain. Word of advice, if you don't like gore, don't review horror movies. He also mentions Teen Wolf which is horror only in the way that connecting puberty to lycanthropy in the hands of Micheal J. Fox can be. Which is to say, not at all. Granted it isn't a horror movie. To see a much better take on this idea see Ginger Snaps.
Oliver Dickinson has some thoughts on the upcoming RuneQuest 3.
Pete Tamlyn has ideas on Superhero games. There are ideas here to make Superhero games, and by proxy comics, more adult oriented (not themed) and they are not bad. This article though fails today because it was too close, but on the other side, of the great breakout of the Graphic Novel. Yes, the Dark Knight Returns was just out and Watchmen was on the way, it was still just a little too late (or early depending on your view) for the masses.
Gamemanship covers some idea on how to put the mystery back into AD&D. Some of the ideas would later see similar treatments in AD&D titles like Ravenloft and eventually story-based gaming. Most of it is still good advice today.
Mass Media by Andrew Swift covers how the news is delivered in various Tech Levels in Traveller. My personal favorite is his predictions of the smart phone-like device in which to read the news on (TL 10) AND Google Glass (TL 11). I mock Traveller often, and really unfairly so, for it's ideas on computers. But this one was really fun to read. There are ideas for characters too. I now have a desire to play or run a bunch of intrepid reporters and muckrakers for the Galactic News Service.
Graeme Davis gives us "Nightmare in Green" an AD&D adventure for 4-8 4th-6th level characters. There is the adventure and a few new monsters which is nice. I like adventures that introduce a new, maybe one-off monster. Also it helps make up for the loss of Fiend Factory.
The Heart of the Dark is a Call of Cthulhu scenario. It deals with a murder and you know it only gets worse from there. I have always liked WD Call of Cthulhu adventures. Actually most of their adventures for any game are rather good.
Treasure Chest has something really nice, a system for Character Backgrounds for AD&D. Today we add a +2 to some skill that you had before you took up the adventuring life, but since AD&D is not like that this works out rather nice.
Tabletop Heroes covers oil painting.
Not a bad start to the stewardship of Ian Livingstone. The articles and adventures are good. Open Box seems a bit doggy to me, even given the gushing reviews gamers typically give their favorite games.