Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Owl & Weasel Wednesday #24 March 1977

Issue 24 of Owl & Weasel is fresh off of their packed Games Days and moving right on in their D&D Day.  To celebrate this issue is an all D&D issue.  My favorite bit in the editorial is where they mention the hall only holds 250 people and that unless you get there early you could be turned away.  "Sorry, you can't play D&D today, it is just too popular right now!"
The issue is pretty solid really. Very, very much like what we will expect to see in White Dwarf.
Though they do start off with some pretty bad game fiction. Yes it is supposed to be humorous. but I got bored with it really fast.

Page 5 gives some advice on dungeon mapping. Not bad really, but very much an "early days" sort of article.  You don't see stuff like this outside of blogs anymore.
In typical O&W fashion there is a naked angel at the bottom of the page telling us "the end is nigh! See page 11 for details."

Pages 6 and 7 are dedicated to the D&D Day hall and schedule. It runs 10 hours and there competitions for best mini, best room and best magic item. I do admit a certain level of curiosity to know what won.

Pages 8 and 9 give us some meat to chew on.  We have two new character classes.  The Samurai and the Psionist.  The Samurai is what you would expect; it is a take on the fighter with more attacks per round and an unarmed attack.  Not a lot in terms of flavor, but that was supposed to be what the player brought to the table and what the DM gave a background for.
On the other side of the coin we have the Psionist. Using the psionics rules from Eldritch Wizardry this class excels in psionic attacks, defenses and effects, but not much else.  They get a d4 for hp and then after level 10 they get .5 hp per level!  Their powers are determined by level and they have a 15% cum chance per level to develop another random talent.  There are Standard and Special abilities.  Despite it's lack of detail the class looks pretty solid and playable.   I could have used this class back in 1989 when I was playing an OD&D campaign with psychic (not exactly psionic) characters.  It is also something my youngest would like.
There are also some new weapons, interestingly enough nothing particularly related to either class.

Pages 10 and most of 11 are dedicated to the 80 names of people in the D&D society. This is the full list to date. Bottom of page 11 is the announcement that next issue is the last issue of Owl & Weasel. Ian and Steve tell us that they want to shift focus to more SF/F games with an occasional dip into other games.  The new magazine will be called White Dwarf and have higher production values.  Subscriptions will transfer over to White Dwarf from Owl & Weasel unless of course you don't want to.

Finally Page 12 covers all the games that Games Workshop has to offer in their store.  Far more than a year ago.

This is the most "White Dwarf-y" feeling issue to date. In fact, other than the size and layout it feels more like White Dwarf #1 than Owl & Weasel #1.

Next week, The End.

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