• Don't link to the video of the Christchurch shooting, or repost links to the shooter's manifesto.

In which I read White Dwarf from issue 1

Sim

Master of Darkness
Isn't it amazing that we can use the power of modern technology to reel through the annals of time reliving the golden age of many, bringing together readers & writers, even getting venerable authors like Phil Masters giving feedback to players on scenarios played 30 years ago! I've long been a technology advocate and web developer, but things like this still remind me how magical the WWW is.

I need to check out that Graeme Davis article mentioned earlier.

Keep up the good work Private Eye, if you got time! :D
 

Private Eye

Private Eye
Validated User
Issue 38 continued

Fiend Factory - Faerie Denizens A New Monster Group for AD&D by Alan E Paull

A follow on from the previous month's article on adventuring in the land of Faerie. The article details a number of traditional faerie types in AD&D terms: the Gwyllion (polite, telepathic, hermaphroditic humanoids, with a tendency to rhymes and riddles, Bogles (small goblinoid creatures who have it in for liars and murderers), Redcaps (fierce ogres, inhabiting old castles and towers, who like to dye their caps in human blood), Bean-Nighe (banshee-like spirits), Fay Stirge (vampire-like creatures who can inspire their lovers to become great poets), Spriggans (human hating goblins, who grow from 2 feet tall to 10 feet at the start of combat), Duergar (dark-skinned corrupted dwarfs), Phooka (a shape-changing creature that tricks people into riding it), Black Annis (a dreadful cannibalistic hag that is the personification of winter).

I like this article. It brings something a bit fresh to the game, and reminds me of the Land of Legend from Dragon Warriors. A lot would depend on how you use the creatures - not I hope just as another saturday-night special, but in a genuinely original and creepy way they would be fantastic.


Questworld by Oliver Dickinson and Bob McWilliams

This is just a one page, brief description of a new campaign world for RuneQuest that was (supposedly) to be jointly developed by Chaosium, Games Workshop (assigned the continent of Theelar) and (I think) Judges Guild. In the event as far as I know only one product (the boxed Questworld set produced by Chaosium). Consequently this one page article is just a sad reminder of what might have been. From the look of it, it could have been fantastic - what a shame. Does anyone out there know what went wrong??


Khazad-Dum A Beginners' AD&D Scenario: Tolkein's Moria by Lew Pulsipher

Quite a nice idea for a simple scenario to introduce new players to D&D by using a set-up virtually all fantasy fans will know - the escape from Moria by the Fellowship. This is a four page scenario, with (obviously) pregenerated characters. These are interesting to read.

Gandalf is an 8th level cleric with a staff of continual light and the ring Narya which provides various abilities, mostly fire-related.

Aragorn is a 7th level ranger-paladin, with Anduril portrayed as a +2 flaming sword

Boromir is a 7th level fighter

Gimli - 4th level fighter

Legolas - 4th level fighter

Frodo - 2nd level fighter

The other 3 hobbits are 2nd level thieves.

Sadly, there are a lot of elements not present in the book - such as werewolves, ghouls, lizard men, wights, giant bubbles that explode on touch etc.

In summary, a good idea, but might have been better if Lew had stuck a bit closer to the actual text of LotR.


Digital Dragons by Noel Williams.

One of the regular microview columns - the regular department for computer games. This, frankly is so far away from what we now have available as to be nearly meaningless.... Advice on how to use your micro as a sophisticated "card index", dice roller etc. The interesting part is the price of such a system - the article suggests that "a micro which permits a decent adventure game using some graphics together with a visual display of some kind and a program storage system (eg a cassette recorder) costs £200 and a good system anything from £450 upwards" Bearing in mind inflation etc, it really shows how the cost of computing power has fallen over the years.


Monsters Have Feelings Too How to get the Most from your Monsters by Oliver MacDonald

A nice article, with a lovely illustration by Russ Nicholson. This focusses on portraying monsters realistically - eg they will not put their lives at risk unnecessarily, or resort to violence unless they have to. It then goes on to give "Extracts from the Uruk-Hai battle manual" - essentially tactics and strategy tips for monsters. All in all pretty damn good stuff - and not system dependent so really of use to everyone, whatever game you play.


Letters

A long letter about that old chestnut - armour class. I'm sure you can guess the substance of this, so I won't rehearse it here.

Two letters refuting Don Turnbull's views about the Necromancer class from issue 37.

A request for scenarios for different systems (eg Champions, CoC, Bushido) and a promise that these are coming.
 

zanshin

Registered User
Validated User
Agreed, nice to have this back.

The Uruk Hai battle manual was a big impact on our gaming at the time, with dungeons becoming more like battlefields as the monsters would assemble to meet the delvers. Great fun.
 

Private Eye

Private Eye
Validated User
Lords of the Spirit World RuneRites column by Dave Morris

A really interesting one page article about Spirit Lords, supernatural entities with POW of 150 or so who lie "between" gods and men. They are usually tied to a specific location (eg an old battle site, a ruined temple etc). They can be contacted and will provide small amounts of rune magic in return for sacrificed POW. As such they can increase a character's abilities without them having to devote themselves to a cult or god. As such I can see lots of scope for using this article in RuneQuest, both in the Glorantha setting and other campaigns - for example spirits of stones, or hills or streams in a dark ages campaign - good stuff that I might plunder yet!


Treasure Chest D&D spells this month.

Generally I'm sure these are useful to D&D players - Wall of Electricity, Bestow Magic Resistance etc. Frankly they don't do a lot for me. I prefer my magic a little more.... magical than the D&D norm - but there's nothing wrong with this - it's a good workmanlike job.


News The Midgardian

New Traveller supplements (Library Data N-Z, The Traveller Adventure, Nomads of the World Ocean, and a new boxed starter set), the Pavis campaign set for RuneQuest, Questworld, Mercenaries Spies and Private Eyes from Blade, a new supplement for Star Fleet Battles etc. Good stuff.


That's it except for the adverts.



Issue 39 March 1983

A full colour cover by Nicholas Bibby, depicting a celtic-looking hero with blonde hair, huge moustache and battle axe, sitting on horseback in a forest, and accompanied by a pack of dogs (or wolves?). Nicely drawn and quite striking. Importantly, the logo has changed to to style that would remain the standard for the rest of the time I read the magazine - much bolder and more striking.

There follows 7 pages of ads before we reach the contents page.


Editorial

This really announces the changes in this issue - 4 extra pages, the new cover logo, non-justified text, a new department (the Critical Mass book review by Dave Langford). Further changes coming up are a look at board games, a comic strip and occasional fiction.


Inhuman Gods Deities for Non-Human Races: Part 1 by Phil Masters.

A special Fiend Factory column, this filled what was then a real niche, in that despite Deities and Demigods, there were still many intelligent races that had no known religion or deities. This article and subsequent ones tried to fill that gap.

It provided gods for Aarokocra, Bodachs, Bullywugs, Crabmen, Desert Raiders, and Dire Corbies. The stats etc are given (as far as I remember) in the same format as Deities and Demigods. Overall pretty useful for D&D GMs and players, and a worthy article.


Open Box

The first review is of the first four Dungeons and Dragons Endless Quest books - multichoice solo adventure books similar to Fighting Fantasy. Reviewed by Marcus L Rowland (of Forgotten Futures fame) with the aid of his niece, these are a mixed bunch, aimed (he suspects) at 8 to 10 year olds.

I must just quote one comment from the review:

All suffer from a surfeit of lucky coincidences, cute talking animals, and lousy dialogue, but this is only to be expected in American books intended for this age group.
........! Overall the review does tell you pretty much what you are getting, and how entertaining they are - so pretty useful.

Pillars of Pentegarn 5/10
Mountain of Mirrors 4/10
Dungeon of Dread 6/10
Return to Brookmere 7/10


Citybook1 (Flying Buffalo)

I remember this book - it contains 25 generic establishments for a fantasy city - all generic so useable in any game. It doesn't go so far as to be a full city campaign, but is a generally useful product attracting a 7 out of 10 by the reviewer (Nicholas J R Dougan

The review pretty much tells you what you will get, so useful.


Rescue on Galatea & Trail of the Sky Raiders by FASA

Reviewed by Bob MacWilliams, these are 2 classic Traveller supplements by FASA - especially Trail of the Sky Raiders (for those who don't know it, think Indiana Jones in Space, and a sequel to Legend of the Sky Raiders).

Once again the reviews are very useful - especially in pointing out that it is difficult to play Trail without having first played Legend, and hat both are perhaps best run by experienced Traveller referees.

Rescue on Galatea 6/10
Trail of the Sky Raiders 8/10


Adventure 8 Prison Planet, Double Adventure 6 Night of Conquest, Divine Intervention GDW

Reviewed by Andy Slack, these are two of the classic LBB series. Prison planet is a sandbox setting, where the characters are all prisoners at the start of the adventure/campaign. I guess the intention is that they should escape, but there is plenty of scope for adventure without actually doing so.

The double adventures are pretty good, especially Night of Conquest, where the pcs find themselves quite a way from their ship when the neighbouring country mounts an airborne invasion. The second (Divine Intervention) is a bit harder to insert into a campaign - it really requires that the characters be part of a special forces unit. Otherwise the adventure has a really good premise.

Prison Planet 5/10
Double Adventure 6, 9/10

Probably fair, and again the review is pretty helpful in describing what you get.
 

thekelvingreen

Antagonist
Validated User
Questworld by Oliver Dickinson and Bob McWilliams

This is just a one page, brief description of a new campaign world for RuneQuest that was (supposedly) to be jointly developed by Chaosium, Games Workshop (assigned the continent of Theelar) and (I think) Judges Guild. In the event as far as I know only one product (the boxed Questworld set produced by Chaosium). Consequently this one page article is just a sad reminder of what might have been. From the look of it, it could have been fantastic - what a shame. Does anyone out there know what went wrong??
I'm not sure. White Dwarf continued to produce some Questworld material; there was a scenario in White Dwarf #48, and in #44-46 some articles on demonology as a source of magic. Later, in #54, there's an article on undead which mentions Questworld, but isn't specifically tied to the setting.

The third edition of RuneQuest -- co-published by Games Workshop -- is released around #64, so by that time the project had died. I seem to remember something about the writers leaving the employ of GW for a while, so perhaps that had something to do with it.

I suspect it was due to a lack of interest, as none of the other companies got their parts of the setting out either.
 

Cultist of Sooty

Registered User
Validated User
Questworld by Oliver Dickinson and Bob McWilliams

This is just a one page, brief description of a new campaign world for RuneQuest that was (supposedly) to be jointly developed by Chaosium, Games Workshop (assigned the continent of Theelar) and (I think) Judges Guild. In the event as far as I know only one product (the boxed Questworld set produced by Chaosium). Consequently this one page article is just a sad reminder of what might have been. From the look of it, it could have been fantastic - what a shame. Does anyone out there know what went wrong??
Lack of interest is the obvious explanation. I remember when Questworld came out. I knew a number of people who rushed out and bought every other Runequest release. Not one of them bought Questworld. They wanted more Glorantha stuff instead of this.

Monsters Have Feelings Too How to get the Most from your Monsters by Oliver MacDonald

A nice article, with a lovely illustration by Russ Nicholson. This focusses on portraying monsters realistically - eg they will not put their lives at risk unnecessarily, or resort to violence unless they have to. It then goes on to give "Extracts from the Uruk-Hai battle manual" - essentially tactics and strategy tips for monsters. All in all pretty damn good stuff - and not system dependent so really of use to everyone, whatever game you play.
Monsters Have Feelings Too was a great article. This was fairly early in my gaming history and it set a tone early for me where I tended to portray everything as a thinking being that cared about its survival and fought for a reason rather than just because it was there (unless it was some kind of undead automaton or something). My games never really had "monsters", they had NPCs.
 

Private Eye

Private Eye
Validated User
I'm not sure. White Dwarf continued to produce some Questworld material; there was a scenario in White Dwarf #48, and in #44-46 some articles on demonology as a source of magic. Later, in #54, there's an article on undead which mentions Questworld, but isn't specifically tied to the setting.
Thanks for the comments - I don't remember this but I will keep my eyes peeled for them when I reach those issues.

Runeblades Special Swords for Cult Champions by Dave Morris

Described as a non-official variant system for use with RuneQuest, and that it would be in Games Workshop's Questworld pack...

Effectively this is a set of rules allowing for the creation of magic (rune) weapons using a ritual of enchantment and the sacrifice of permanent power. The power of the weapon is limited only by the imagination of the creators and the power of the rune involved. Some example weapons are then given.

Volcanic Sword - tied to the fire rune, it becomes red hot in seconds, doing extra damage.

Blurblade - tied to the mobility rune, it moves with dazzling speed, always hitting in Strike Rank 1

Stormblade - tied to the air rune, it allows the user to summon a storm once a day

Well, you get the picture. I quite like the way these weapons are tied to the logic of RuneQuest, giving it a sense of logic missing from some other games (I can't believe I just said that!)


An Introduction to Traveller Part 4: Campaigns, by Andy Slack

Another useful article, suggesting various ways of writing a campaign - published adventures (especially the Spinward Marches material), adapting other stories (books, films etc such as the Flandry series, the Dumarest saga, Dune, and of course Star Wars) or writing it all from scratch, with advice how to go about it.

This includes advice on designing aliens, sketching out a region of space, and how to flesh out individual worlds and governments.

It's perhaps a bit basic for modern tastes, but at the time I think it was pretty useful - though how many people would actually start from scratch (then or now) is open to debate. I love the idea, but don't think I ever had enough time to do it...


Slayground A Champions Scenario for 3 - 5 players by Marcus L Rowland

As promised, a scenario for a game that had not featured previously in WD. This is a pretty straightforward scenario involving a battle that the villains have set up to draw the heroes away from a bank robbery. Three villains (Professor Death, Bast and The Thing With No Name) are provided with stats, and there is a nice full page colour hex map of the battleground - a funfair.

Nice to see WD branching out, and a a generally useful supers adventure that could easily be adapted to other rules systems (not that there were many alternative supers rules at the time).
 

paulbaldowski

Registered User
Validated User
Slayground A Champions Scenario for 3 - 5 players by Marcus L Rowland

As promised, a scenario for a game that had not featured previously in WD. This is a pretty straightforward scenario involving a battle that the villains have set up to draw the heroes away from a bank robbery. Three villains (Professor Death, Bast and The Thing With No Name) are provided with stats, and there is a nice full page colour hex map of the battleground - a funfair.

Nice to see WD branching out, and a a generally useful supers adventure that could easily be adapted to other rules systems (not that there were many alternative supers rules at the time).
Oddly enough, I planned to run this adventure as a one-off with a bunch of Z-list Marvel Heroes. Decent enough setup with various ready-to-run incidents around the various attractions in the funfair. I'm a big fan of Marcus's stuff.
 
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