Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Owl & Weasel Wednesday #10 November 1975

Owl & Weasel #10 represents a shift in O&W.  The biggest shift is a slight change in layout and font that makes it look more like a magazine than a newsletter that a couple guys rolled off in their spare time. That's not a jab at it, that is exactly what it was/is and that is fine.  But now it is looking better doing it.

First up are some house rules for Diplomacy.  Again this is a game I have heard about forever but never played.  I think it is one of those games that really is the dividing line between the hard core board gamers and the the first RPG gamers that were solely RPGers.

Page 5 gives us something interesting and fairly unique.  An obituary column for "dead" games.   Obviously in today's market such a thing is self-defeating with so many games coming back.  But still it is kind of interesting.  The game in question is Pokol; which is described as a Scrabble-like game that uses cards instead of tiles.

A couple of chess variants are introduced such as "Random Chess" where the "Court" piece are drawn from a hat placed randomly on their row.  "The Maharajah and the Sepoys" which one side is set up as normal, but the other only has a King (the Maharajah) and he can move like any piece on the board including a knight.  Sounds interesting to be honest.

The second biggest shift is the inclusion of new D&D content.  In this case O&W republishes the Ranger class that had appeared in the pages of the Strategic Review #2 from the Summer of 75.  There is no mention of having permission to so that I can find, but I have not heard otherwise to be honest. There is a mention of "Joe Fischer © TSR" who was the author of the original.

Obviously D&D is still of interest to the guys at O&W but it is still relegated to the back of the zine.  Though keep in mind, this is still just 1975.  The Strategic Review is only 2-3 issues in and D&D is only a little more than a year old.  We are also only 2/5ths through the O&W zines.  It will be interesting to see where it goes.

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