Heavy Metal magazine cover of September 1981 and movie poster by Chris Achilleos.
The editorial mentions the magazine's movie to Nottingham...and how the staff is not moving with them. What? Paul Cockburn will be running the magazine from the new offices. Paul is ex of Imagine Magazine. Interesting time of change here.
Open Box is up. One of my favorites is reviewed, DC Heroes by Mayfair Games. Marcus Rowland like the game (8/10) but laments the limited supply. I had played a bit of DC Heroes around this time as well. My DM was huge into Teen Titans (as was pretty much everyone), but interesting enough I was more into Marvel and X-men at this time. Another fave, though I wasn't playing it much, is the Stealer of Souls scenario from Chaosium for Stormbringer it gets a 8/10. I mentioned a bit ago I found my old FASA Doctor Who game. This issue has supplements The Daleks and The Master, neither of which I owned but had wanted at one time. I was a bit cautious of FASA's material after this when I picked up the Officers Manual for Star Trek the Next Gen and it was just all over the place. These feel similar, though I would still like to read them someday. They get 7/10 and 6/10 respectively.
Critical Mass is back covering Anne McCaffery and the then current Stainless Steel Rat book (Stainless Steel Rat is Born). I tried to get into both of the these series but they never clicked with me. I felt I just wasn't getting something that every else got. Now I just see it for what it was. I was drifting into horror at this time so SciFi and Fantasy wasn't going to interest me for much longer.
2020 Vision covers Jewel of the Nile, Enemy Mine, The Evil Dead and Young Sherlock Holmes among others. All really fun movies.
The Crazy File is a new article for Judge Dredd. It details the latest Crazes for the Judge Dredd RPG. There might more here than I am getting, not being all that familiar with the comic (just the game and the bad Sly Stallone movie. No I have not seen the Karl Urban one). But it also looks like something that might work for Traveller. It occurs to me that Dredd + Traveller might equal Cowboy Bebop.
Ok this one is close to my heart. Spellbound discusses magic in superhero games. It's a good read talking about the nature, and a little bit of the source, of magic. How it works in the game, both rule wise and narratively, and how it can be used. The author, Phil Masters, has a the "street cred" in my mind to discuss this. Reading this I am struck with the similarities of a review on Harry Potter's use of magic.
There are rules to comic book science, and magic seems to violate those. Doesn't matter that supposedly being born under a red sun gives a man super strength, the ability to fly and to shoot laser beams from his eyes. That's science. (supposedly). Cast a few spells and you are breaking the game. Or at least you shouldn't have to break it. Years before Aberrant made it their thing the article also discusses how to run a Supers game without any magic at all.
Another good article, and one I wish I had back then, is The Final Frontier: Roleplaying in the Star Trek Universe. The article briefly touches on the massive cultural impact of Star Trek (and this is still 25 years before George Takei would take to the Internet) has, but it focuses mostly on the new FASA game. IT talks about how, maybe more than any other game, how the players can come to it with more knowledge than the GM.
A Simple Wish is another really interesting adventure for AD&D and MERP. This one strikes me less as Middle Earth and more of MERP. Yeah there is a slight distinction. Like the distinction between Star Trek and Star Fleet Battles. It uses the trappings of Middle Earth; even my current favorite The Silmarillion. But it plays like an AD&D adventure and could take place in the Realms just as easy. It still has the problem of the PCs being "lesser players" to "Big Names", but not as bad as past MERP adventures WD had published. Dual stat anything and I am going to be interested.
A Cast of Thousands covers NPCs and their motivations. It's not a bad article, but we live in a post World of Darkness world were every NPC has a huge backstory. Heck, the MERP adventure in this same issue has this issue.
Treasure Chest has an article ripped from todays' blog posts. How to run non-sexist Heroines.
Tabletop Heroes has more photography tricks.
Fracas, the new rumors page, has a bunch of news. Most interesting is a new game based on Ghostbusters.
We end with ads.
Ok. So if this is the last of the old guard issues, then they did great job. This is one of the better recent issues.