Wednesday, April 3, 2013

White Dwarf Wednesday #59

White Dwarf #59 comes to us from November 1984.  We have one of my favorite WD covers. It is vaguely reminiscent of the Dragon #114 cover, though it predates that cover by 2 years.  I saw the Dragon one first. In any case this is still a great cover.

Ian Livingstone starts off with talking about some more changes coming to WD.  Most notable for the magazine and for my retrospectives here is the change to Fiend Factory.  Up until now the monsters have been D&D/AD&D, now they are opening it up to other systems like RuneQuest and Call of Cthulhu.

Up first is a story, the Mad God's Omelette, a play on the Micheal Moorcock book The Mad God's Amulet.  I typically don't read the fiction in magazines.

Open Box has some Call of Cthulhu products, Glozel est Authentique!, Curse of the Chthonians and The Horrible Secret of Monhegan Island.  Stephen Kyle gives them 5/10, 9/10 and 7/10 respectively.

James Bond is also represented as well with For Your Information and the Gamesmaster Pack.  Bob Neville  is a bit disappointed with these giving them only a 3/10 and 4/10 respectively. Also reviewed by Phil Masters is the game based on Larry Niven's Ringworld. He likes the game mostly but finds some rather critical errors with it and gives it a 6/10 saying is lacks the depth it should have had.

We get the AD&D version of the Ninja, which is really just a re-skinned Assassin.  Not a bad idea mind you, and there are some new and noteworthy add ons, but after all this build up I was looking for something more.  I thought I had remembered this class prior to this review, but I think it must have been another ninja class and not the one in OA.

A bit on cults in Modern RPGS is next, a followup from last issue. Some neat little cults and odd religions to add to any game.

A Car Wars article on double-decker buses.

Graeme Davis has a great article on Magic Item production for AD&D.  The article is bit reminiscent of the magic item creation found in 3.x (some 16 years later).

Hour of the Tiger is an introductory adventure for Ninja characters for AD&D or Bushido.   The adventure itself looks good and is very detailed. A good introduction for ninja characters.

We also get a RuneQuest scenario dealing with a traveling caravan.  Reading it over I wish I had it back in the 2nd ed days when I was playing with gypsies in Ravenloft.

Table Top Heroes discusses brushing techniques.

Starbase discusses and intelligence agency that Travelers players can work for or against.
RuneRites discusses pit fighting.

Fiend Folio covers AD&D stats (has to be stated now) of Reavers, the evil foes of Death Knights. There are only 6 and interestingly enough for me and this month is that all the Reavers are named after demon lords.

Treasure Chest details more uses of classic spells.
Newsboard doesn't have much. Some pictures. No new product rumors.

Despite the size of the issue, there seems to be only a little actual content.

Looking for my A to Z post? Scroll down or click here.


Daddy Grognard said...

I loved The Mad God's Omelette. It took the rise out of Moorcock so well.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

I should probably read it at some point.

Unknown said...

The main thing that I remember about this issue is that my copy had an odd smell to it, slightly like an electrical fire. I've no idea why, but the paper quality seemed stiffer too. Better, though, than the faint smell of sick that my 1st Ed. PHB exuded.

Anyway, the two scenarios (the RQ caravan one and the ninja one) are quite good, showing different ways to present a scenario (time/event based in the first case, systemless in the second).

The nijna class is worth a second look, as the way they do things is more akin to skill-based system (and not far off 3.x) than the norm at the time - each time your ninja character goes up a level you get a number of increases - these can either be used to increase existing skills or to "purchase" new abilities, rather than the standardised parcel of increases that you get under 1st Ed. And there's no table with level titles either.

pookie said...

I think I earned £10 for column or two on pit fighting. I can still recall sitting down to type that on a very solid typewriter.