Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Owl & Weasel Wednesday #16 May 1976

It's Spring of 1976.  I remember my parents putting up this red, white and blue wallpaper in my room around this time.  It had all sorts of colonial pictures with it including one of the declaration of Independence.  Why is this important? It isn't!  But it was what I remember from the time.
The time is May 1976 and the magazine is Owl & Weasel #16.

Well the BIG news of this issue is of course the overview/review of Supplement III Eldritch Wizardry.  EW is, without a doubt one of the most influential books introduced to me back in the days of my early game playing.   Depsite the fact that all this material later became part of AD&D, the fact that at one time additional material was a revelation to me.  Druids, Demons, Psionics, Artifacts.  Really. It was everything I loved about AD&D in a "Basic" D&D package.  It is no wonder then that I own 4 copies today.   My favorite part of this?  The last paragraph where Ian Livingstone mentions that there is so much in this book that Gygax and Blume can't possibly dream up more material for the game!

The Page 2 Editorial talks about how Ian and Steve will be going to America the first week of July till September. They plan to visit the TSR headquarters.  There is also talk of the UK's first D&D Con when they get back.  I find this interesting because I wrote a Chill adventure that begins on a TransAtlantic Flight from London to New York in July 1976.   I think for my own amusement I might place Steve and Ian on that same flight and they can interact briefly with the characters!

Page 3 has more on EW and the D&D Society news.

Page 4 to 5 has some book reviews on game books.   They are written though as if all the readers are already familiar with the books.   Was this an artifact of the time, the place or the hobby?  Not sure.

Letters.  Hmmm.  One looks sincere and legit, the others all look like fakes/bad attempts at humor.  We occasionally saw these in White Dwarf as well.

Pages 6 and 7 have a true oddity for me.  "Friday in Dundee" is a basic sort of RPG where players can take on the persona of nearly any sort of character; though only a couple of characters are provided.  You are given some basic information and you are supposed to collect Benefit Points.  I failed to mention that this game was made in Japan by a company that usually makes surgery equipment.  I did some looking and I can't find anything on it.   Anyone know anything more?

Moving on there are articles of "Competitive" D&D, which has some interesting ideas, but I see why it never caught on.

In other news, Avon Hill buys the American game company 3M gaining the rights to Speed Circuit, Feudal, Stocks & Bonds among others.

So this issue goes to show that once again the past is not really as far back as I sometimes thought it was.  A lot of what passes for RPG history or lore is often shrouded in some mysterious "bygone age".  It wasn't, not really.  Once D&D was brand new and people felt three supplements were enough.   Actually, I have run into people like that this week.

1 comment:

Guy Fullerton said...

Thank you for continuing this series!

I suspect Friday in Dundee was really a humor piece, using a made-up game as a bit of social & economic commentary about the influx of Japanese-made products in the UK. (There was a picture of this article on an eBay listing for O&W#16 not too long ago, so it's one of the few parts of that issue I was able to read.)

Is the Competitive D&D article related to (possibly an earlier printing of) the Competitive D&D series in White Dwarf #1 - #4?