(Lets read) White Dwarf #40-100, 5 pages at a time.


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So, I recently found and enjoyed Privateeye's thread in which he reads and comments on White Dwarf 1 to 39http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?405199-In-which-I-read-White-Dwarf-from-issue-1. That thread has been dormant for over a year. I decided that I wanted to continue the thread and tried to read and comment on issue 40 in one night and gave up halfway through the issue. After getting some advice from Dr. Simon on enworld http://www.enworld.org/forum/general-rpg-discussion/325009-white-dwarf-first-100-issues-read-through-review.html I decided to pace myself. I work nights on weekends so I tend to have a lot of free time while everybody I know is sleeping during the week. I will read and comment on at least 5 pages a day and give myself the weekends off.
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White Dwarf 40
Page 1 : Cover is a psychodelic close up of odd aliens with elongated heads by Emmanuel, who did that cool Githyanki on the cover of the 1E AD&D Fiend Folio.
Page 2: has an Ad. for the Judge Dread board game
Page 3: Games Workshop Ad. notably advertising new releases I2 Tomb of the Lizard King by Marc Acres who later co-founded Pacesetter games makers of the Chill rpg, and I3 Pharoah the first in the Desert of Desolation series co-authored by Tracy Hickman of Dragonlance fame. I own and ran my friends through Desert of Desolation in the 80's. It was pretty fun, although some say Hickman tends to "railroad" PC's. Lots of nasty undead and tomb traps. There is also an Ad. for Fighting Fantasy, 2 new books out Citadel of Chaos and Forest of Doom. I have all the FF from 1 to 43 or so. The first one I bought was Forest of Doom and I was hooked. Maybe I should do some sort of walkthough of these...
Page 4: Ad.'s for a couple UK game stores.
Page 5: Ad. for the little Car Wars snap boxes; Car Wars, Sunday Drivers, Truck Stop. I had all of these and enjoyed my share of Car Wars as a teen. I've only played one game in the last 20 years so this one went in my last move.
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Page 6: Ad. for UK store, mostly D&D and Tunnels and Trolls. Ad. for Otherworld Artifacts 3D accesories, early stone Dwarven Forge type pieces, including six giant mushrooms with interchangeable heads.
Page 7: Ad. for Imagine Adventure Gaming Magazine, not familiar with this one maybe it neads a "lets read".
Page 8: Citadel Catalog Ad., with nice old school pen and ink drawing of adventurers and monsters reading a Citadel catalog. For some reason it has a Clyde Caldwell feel to me, especially the "Houri like" girl, but I don't see his familiar CC anywhere. He did work for an Ad. agency before working for TSR though.
Page 9: Contents, Ian Livingstone editorial. He prefers Sci Fi books and movies to Fantasy books and movies, but prefers Fantasy RPG's to Sci Fi RPG's.
Page 10/11: Zen and The Art of Adventure Gaming by Dave Morris (Co-creator of Dragon Warriors RPG).
- Play Rune Quest as Samurai.
- Usual tropes.
- Don't need to pay for training but must train for at least six hours a day.
- Katana and Wakizashi are unbreakable.
- Armour would rarely be worn in an RPG, because it is only used in full scale battles.
- You can get a Kami spirit but if you are dishonourable you will be possessed by a demon instead.
- Obsession with treasure is innapropriate, collect honour instead. May instead opt to play a depraved
- No mention of Zen but does mention that Buddhist samurai can summon various incarnations of Buddha for aid
- Nice line art by Trevor Hammond
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Page 12-14 Dungeon Master General by Alan E. Paull
- I recognize John Blanche's art from Steve Jackson's Sorcery
- large scale combat in D&D
- cut out pieces of card for units
- assign numbers for move, combat, ranged combat based on relative strengths of the units within that particular battle
- play out combat by yourself before the game to work out tactics
- check table of ratios to determine the # of units destroyed when regiments meet
- thieves and magic-users are too vulnerable to be in the battle
- PC's fight enemy heroes using normal D&D rules
- seems like a reasonably simple way to run a battle, but I still prefer to just wing this sort of thing in my D&D games

Page 15: Critical Mass by Dave Langford
White Gold Wielder by Stephen R. Donaldson
- descendant of Elric with more guilt and less belief, cool monsters
- too many big words
- I have the whole series, quite absorbing with some cool stuff for RPG's but lots of angst and my sister couldn't read past the rape scene at the beginning of Lord Foul's bane
Chekhov's Journey by Ian Watson
- real life 1890 Chekhov reincarnated in 1990 as film actor and 2090 Captain of Soviet time ship
- good entertainment with philosophical bite
Run to the Stars by Mike Scott Rohan
- hard SF
- slow moving, relies on incredible coincidence for climax
- reviewer is fanboy
Myth Directons by Robert Asprin
- light, humorous fantasy
- magician apprentice to Demon from Perv = Pervert, hmm..I wonder if it is the one from White Dwarf #1
- not as good a writer as L. Sprague de Camp or Fletcher Pratt
- harmless, quite likeable fantasy romp
Thomas Covenent RPG?
- PC's stagger form defeat to defeat with scores for Agony, Remorse, Bitterness, Humiliaton, and Dictionary Swallowing
- goal is ultimate defeat = victory
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Page 7: Ad. for Imagine Adventure Gaming Magazine, not familiar with this one maybe it needs a "lets read".
There's also this theory that the early Warhammer World (before the Enemy Within) was originally influenced by Pellinore, the Imagine Magazine setting since it was done by the same people.


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Thanks for the insight, like I said I have absolutely no knowledge about this one.


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Page 16-17: Open Box review by Oliver Dickinson of Soloquest 2 : Scorpion Hall a Runequest Solo adventure book by Alan Lavergne
- a castle built by trolls, currently inhabited by Scorpion men
- encounters get more difficult after your first attempt to run though it fails
- scorpion men get spells by eating your previous characters
- width of doors not stated ( so why is this a flaw?)
- high playability, allows scope for roleplaying including NPC's if you are playing solitaire (I wonder how that goes?)
C1 Hidden Shrine of Tamochan by Harold Johnson and Jeff R. Leason, reviewed by Jim Bambra
- not enough treasure
- too tough
- original tournament module for Origin's 79'
C2 Ghost Tower of Inverness by Allen Hammack, reviewed by Jim Bambra
- suggested for 5th to 7th level but should be higher if less than 8-10 PC's
- final encounter is tough
- tournament module for Wintercon VIII in Detroit 79'
- lots of tricks and traps
S2 White Plume Mountain by Lawrence Schick, reviewed by Jim Bambra
- bad guy is lousy poet and wizard named Keraptis
- emphasizes problem solving
I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City by David Cook, reviewed by Jim Bambra
- Thrown together encounters
Jim liked all of these, now classic, TSR AD&D tournament modules except I1, but I've heard many old schooler's rave about it.

Starstone by Paul Vernon, who did The Trouble at Embertrees and the Town Planner articles for WD, reviewed by Daniel Collerton
- Medieval England fantasy campaign setting
- three adventures, Longbottom Down with over 40 encounters, Sandkirk, and Dolgold with over 100 encounters each
- as you would expect from Paul, detailed history, politics, and economics
This is an elusive campaign setting that many old schoolers seem to swear by. A 9/10 from Daniel.

Illuminati by Steve Jackson Games, reviewed by Phil Masters
- based on the novel by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson
- card and dice game
- play as strange people from Gnomes of Zurich to Servants of Cthulhu
- not really a family game
- a 7/10 from Phil
I played this one in college. A fun little pastime and luckily they didn't take it too seriously. I read the first half of the book and stopped a little after the point where the authors gave a bad review of their own book before they had finished writing it. That review seemed dead on to me.

Page 18: Letters
From Sean Masterson
- Traveller should describe gravity relative to earth gravity
- people from high tech planets in Traveler should live longer than low tech
From Julian Avis
- the age old question: Why x.p. for gold?
To paraphrase Gary Gygax in the AD&D DMG: because it's simple and too much realism can be boring
From Marcus Rowland
- corrects a few typos in his Slayground in WD39
From Bertrand Authier
- Lew Pulsipher made Gandalf too Clericy
- 3 wisdom is too low for Boromir, and 7 Cha is too low for Merry
From Steve Gilham
- hard to keep up with all the errata for Rune Quest
Hmm...this reminds me of another game system I know.
- Roleplaying shouldn't be black and white, but that doesn't give players the excuse to play CE as rapists or LG as trying to rid the world of evil, one orc at a time
- Lew Pulsipher has to stop helping newcomers to where the hobby was 5 years ago and he butchered Tolkien
- longswords are too ubiquitous in D&D so DM's should start using Rune Quest damage instead, 2d8 for the maul

Page 19-24: The Eagle Hunt, Ad&d adventure for level 1-3 by Marcus L. Rowland creator of Forgotten Futures
- murder mystery set around detective agency and assassin's guild
- if you swing on the chandelier you'll bring the house down
- has a houri from WD 13 and a detective from WD24
- wander the agency, talk to people, gather clues
- a lesson in torture, including two student assassins who couldn't take it and passed out during class
- you can find a belt that reminds me of Batman's utility belt, but appears to be a reference to Doctor Who and says "made in Galifree", and there's a time machine
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Page 25: Rune Rites Trading by Simon Woodward
- pay merchants guild to learn to learn Trading skill
- must join the guild or serve a 5 year apprenticeship
- lots of rolls and percentages, not one of my favourite parts of Rune Quest
- example Gleanson has fruit for sale, price is base x (45%+2d10x5%+50%-30%)
- includes rules for donkeys, camels, carts and wagons which, I assume, aren't in the Rune Quest rule book

Page 26-27: Assignment Survey! Explorer Class Scoutships in Traveller by Andy Slack
- stats for ship design and crew with some background of how to use in your campaign
- highly detailed floor plan and room descriptions

Page 28-29: Fiend Factory Inhuman Gods by Phil Masters, a prolific author for GURPS among other things
- lesser god of fire newts
- giant firenewt with a big axe
Flinds worhip Geryon, arch devil in MM1
- lesser god of flymen, see WD23
- enemy of Lolth
- can see through the eyes of, and control, all insects and similar creatures
- freaky looking, body of bee, tail of scorpion, spider legs, heads of fly, locust, and cockroach
- can do an action, including spellcasting, simultaneously with all three heads and can cast as 18th level MU and 24th level Cleric
- one really tough lesser god, who prefers to work by subterfuge, and can shrink to microscopic size
Now I know who to send my high level parties against in AD&D.
- demigod of Frog Folk, see WD20
- prince of the Hell Swamps
- wields huge, jagged, adamantine blade named Soulfear
- followers are chaotic evil druids
- includes table of holy days, raiment, sacrifice type

Page 30-31: Microview Rune Quest Characters by Nelson Cunningham
- program your own character builder for the Apple
- creating characters for Rune Quest can be quite time consuming, now you can do it in minutes

Page 32: Treasure Chest
Arrow of the Inner Planes by Mark Byng
- arrow heads out of phase with prime material plane
- the original "ghost touch" arrow
Druid's Flask by Roger E. Moore, editor of Dragon
- golden jar or bottle covered in runes
- each full moon, druid fills it with random potion
- if druid is not faithful to diety it may create a confusion potion instead
Cloth of the Wind Horse by Roger E. Moore
- 3' square pastel coloured bolt of silk
- speak "out of the mist of cloud and breeze, a steed to travel where I please" or something similarly corny
- summons a wind horse for 24 hours once/month
Shaft of the Spider by Jeremy Dunn
- arrow with spider etched on head
- on a natural 20 casts web spell centred on target
Wand of Locking by Anthony Howcroft
- intricate ebony rod covered in strange runes
- "lock" = wizard lock
- "hold" = hold portal
Wizard's Wand by Paul Cole
- allows MU to cast spells directly from spellbook
- takes 4 rounds + 1 round/level of the spell to cast
- generally about 50% failure rate
- handy for those utility spells that you don't always remember to memorize

Page 33: News
- Warhammer will be released soon
- Rune Quest companion as well
- Fighting Fantasies 4 and 5, Starship Traveller and City of Thieves (one of my favourites)
- Best of White Dwarf II
- Talisman, the Magical Quest Game will be on sale soon (I missed this one, I have the 2nd ed.)

Page 34-36: Classified Includes Ad. for Paul Vernon's Starstone (see above)

Page 37: Ad. for Starfleet Battles by TaskForce Games, a rather complex StarTrek ship to ship war game, I've watched people playing this at a convention and that was enough to convince me never to try it, ever.

Page 38-42: More ads. including one for Champions Super Hero RPG from Hero Games, by George MacDonald and Steve Peterson and an Ad. for a large selection of Traveller products

Page 43: Runequest Ad.
- bored of Dungeon (and Dragons) adventures?
- imagination and roleplaying skill outgrown your current game system (D&D)?
- realistic combat, magic demands player skill
- introduction to the world of Glorantha!
- solo play supported!
- for people who prefer role-play to hack and slay

Rear Cover: Ad. for TSR's Star Frontiers science fiction role-playing
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Are you mochrieing me?
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Glad to see one of these again. I think PrivateEye got snowed under with work so couldn't continue.


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I only work 20 hours a week, and I could do this at work if I really wanted to as I am a night guard who works at a desk. Feel free to let me know if I am doing it justice. I can take it.

Personally I think I need to summarize things more succintly and provide less specific details so I don't end up with merely a list.

Love the quotes by the way, two of my favourite authors, and my favourite band "The Doors" are named after the Blake one.
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