Wednesday, September 18, 2013

White Dwarf Wednesday #80

White Dwarf kicks of the 80s in this August, 1986 issue.
The cover seems to be a bit of a throw back to earlier issues, or at least earlier themes.
The new editor and staff waste no time and hit us up with a new reader survey.  More on that in a bit.

Open Box gives us Call of Cthulhu 3rd Edition. I do not recall any edition wars around this.
We have reviews for the FASA Doctor Who advnetures "The Hartlewick Horror" and "The Legions of Death".  I just picked up Legions of Death last Friday.  The Hartlewick Horror gets the edge, but I fear it was because of the inclusion of the 4th Doctor's stats.   Palladium is breaking into the gaming scene more and more with The Mechanoids.  Yes I know they were around before this, but two issues in a row of product reviews is still better than they had been doing.  And the AD&D module Destiny of Kings is reviewed.  I blame my braces at the time but I always called this one "Density of the Kings". Realms of Magic for MSH and OA1 Swords of the Daimyo are also reviewed.    Three TSR products with two of them AD&D. Not so bad really.

The Doctor Who RPG gets some love with a section on Combat.  Ok. So the irony here is that there actual little combat the characters should be doing in Doctor Who.  The FASA game though was a little more combat focused than the current C7 RPG is.  The biggest problem comes from the author's own point of view that he normally runs a D&D game. Ah well.

Critical Mass bemoans the recent injection of so many Lovecraftian elements in the recent batch of Sci-Fi books.

Some more Abilities for the Judge Dredd game.

"Clouding the Issue" by Chris Barlow covers detection powers in a game and how to make it more difficult or easy depending on your tastes.  This is one of those articles that were common at the time; adding more realism to your game or at giving the game another layer of complexity.

Graeme Davis has an article on crime in the 20th Century.  Focus is on the Pulp Era with such suggestions as Call of Cthulhu, Dardevils, and Indiana Jones.

The star of this issue though is "Ancient & Modern" a scenario for AD&D and Call of Cthluhu. Each player gets two characters, one for each system and they run through the linked scenarios.   I love crazy stuff like this. The adventure is long (10 pages and nicely done) and it is still continued next week month.  The interplay between the two is nice and build on each other.  Frankly I love it.  I might just have to run this one sometime.

'Eavy Metal covers painting various textures.

The Back to the Readers Poll is up.  33 questions. Notable are the inclusions of questions about computers and LARPing. Of course there are also more games.

Letter is next and now two pages long.

There is an article about leveling up in MERP.  Again, another example of adding a level of "realism" to the games.  Or if you would rather role-playing.  I get where this is coming from, you get your points from leveling up and they should be spent with some sort logic.  By the way to keep this topical the article could just as easily work for Superbabes or any other game where gaining a level gives you points for buying new skills, powers, magic and so on.

Fracas, the rumors and news column covers the new wargame coming out for the Trek Universe/Star Fleet Battles.  A plug for Dagon 13, a magazine for Mythos fiction is made.  The Immortals set from TSR is announced as well.

We end with ads.

Ok so there is something a little sterile about the recent couple of issues.  Sure the content of the last two has been better than the content of the dozen or so issues before it, but it is lacking some of that White Dwarf charm.  For a lack of a better word it feels a lot like Imagine.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ancient and Modern is an interesting scenario, although an odd mix of tightly scripted speeches and vague description for everything else. I'd like to try something similar with d20-based systems that'd be more compatible than 1e D&D and Call of Cthulhu were.

"Sterile" is an interesting way of looking at it, I know what you mean. There's something about these later issues that lacks the verve of earlier ones. I think in part its the morphing into a slickly proefessional house magazine that wants to sell you stuff compared to the bunch of eager amateurs of the earlier days.