Wednesday, May 15, 2013

White Dwarf Wednesday #64

White Dwarf Issue 64 comes to us from April 1985.  I have fonder memories of this issue than some of the others.  I think it was the Mirkwood adventure.  I was huge into Lord of the Rings at this time and MERP to me was my idea of a perfect game.  Idea that is, not execution.  This was also one of the issues I had had in my collection before finding all the others. Anyway on to the issue.
Up first of course is the cover.   A barbarian looking dude with a bard watch a spaceship.  So very 80s to me.  The artist is Peter Andrew Jones, who is unknown to me.

The editorial covers what could be be the first time I have seen LARPs covered. Ian Livingstone discusses "Planet Photon" a Laser Tag like place.

Jon Smithers has an article on Government, Law and Conflict for any FRPG. I remember finding it neat and great material for the project I was working on then, The Urban Survival Guide.

Open Box reviews the new RuneQuest from Avon Hill.  It's a pricey one too for 1985.  The "DeLuxe" ed was £39.95, the Gamemaster's Box was £26.95 and the Player's Box was £20.95. There are minor tweaks from the 1st Ed/Chaosium rules.  Oliver Dickinson gives it a solid 9/10.  The only other product reviewed is one from Marcus Rowland, Traveller Adventure 12. It gets 7/10.

Next up is a Star Trek adventure using a Constitution-class starship's senior officers.   Starfall is a great idea I think. The adventure reads like so much of the FASA material of this time in the Movie era before TNG.  While there are some Trek specific plot points it could be adapted to any sort of SciFi game.

Heroes & Villains is a new feature catering to Super Hero RPGs.  The first article is about Megavillains and it uses the Golden Heroes system.   Let's be honest, without the Joker, Batman is just a psychopath in a bat costume. Megavillians make the game.  I have to admit when I went back to read this article this week I kept thinking about this scene.

The Dawn of Unlight is an AD&D/MERP adventure from Graham Staplehurst. I always loved the idea of playing in Middle Earth, but never found the right group to do it with.   The adventure is simple enough and there is not much here to mark it as "Tolkien" save the location, but it was still great fun for me when I first saw it.

Phil Masters has Modern day Ninjas for basically all other games except FRPGS.

Fiend Factory has some desert monsters including some Desert Orcs that are nothing at all like mine. Other monsters include Sand Golems, Cactus Cats and Sand Snipers which is like a sand dwelling squid.

More from Crawling Chaos. A new cult.
Treasure Chest has some cool AD&D spells that I remember using back in the day.

A full color ad for the first Dragonlance novel dominates the last part of the issue.

We end with ads, small ads and letters.

Ok. So this issue is a step up from the last few.  The FF monsters are not inspiring  but the spells and adventure is great for AD&D fans.  I liked seeing the Trek adventure and the addition of more games (Golden Heroes and MERP) was nice.


Unknown said...

Your comment that the Fiend Factory monsters are uninspiring - that's going to be pretty par for the course for the remainder of that column's life, I think. It sort of feels by this point that every iteration of monster has been done, and that RPGs are moving towards plot and setting as the important bit.

The name Peter Andrew Jones seems familiar to me - I'm sure I remember a "PAJ" signature on some artwork at the time. Maybe he did covers for computer games as well? To the internet!

One last thing, Traveller Adventure 12, which was reviewed, is Secrets of the Ancients, which was supposed to be the big reveal of various hints dropped throughout other Traveller adventures (e.g. Research Station Gamma, Shadows/Annic Nova, Twilight's Peak) concerning the Droyne and the Ancients. Given the build up, it's a bit of a let-down.

Unknown said...

Addendum: Ah! PAJ did the cover to Warlock of Firetop Mountain (and some othe FF books). Also the covers for loads of pulpy stuff, including the copies of The Ringworld Engineers and The Compleat Enchanter that I had.

Thought I recognised the name.

faoladh said...

Man, I remember what a big deal ninjas were in the '80s. I loved 'em, and so apparently did everyone else. They were pretty much everywhere. AH's RuneQuest would soon after name its Japan supplement Land of Ninja, even though ninja were definitely not the focus of the setting.

I still haven't seen Megamind. It's in my Netflix queue, though. A long way down the list.

Darcy Perry said...

I'm blessed to have a bundle of old White Dwarfs on the shelf. Perhaps it's time to read this one again.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

The earlier, rougher White Dwarfs had a style all their own that really made them stand out.

These later ones are more polished and lacking a bit in style.