The whole reason for entering the dungeon is a family feud over a dead relative's fortune. You don't trust any of those money grubbing bastards and they don't trust you.
Open Box by Various Authors
This time four games are reviewed in the Open Box: Ogre, Lankhmar, War of the Star Slavers, and Tunnels & Trolls. Even after reading the review of Ogre it eludes me. I understand that the game was wildly popular, and if the recent Kickstarter was any proof it still is, but there is just nothing here that appeals to me. Perhaps if I played it I might understand.
Ogre walked away with an 8 out of 10.
The Lankhmar board game review is a bit of a tough nut to crack.
The game is reviewed by Fred Hemmings who is intimately familiar with the Fritz Leiber stories and who is clearly disgusted by the idea that the Grey Mouser and Fafhrd not only do not work together, but that they don't want to work with each other. That seems to be such a sticking point for Mr. Hemmings that I don't think the game could do anything to turn him about after that disappointment.
As a result Mr. Hemmings gave the game a score of 6 out of 10.
War of the Star Slavers sounds like a fun game that is just fundamentally flawed. Unfortunately there are so many games like that out there, and most of them are Story Games.
War of the Star Slavers received a 3 out of 10.
This game is a joke, it's worthless, it's - oh hey, did you guys pay a lot of money for that advertisement that's right next to this review? Well, we'll just not worry about giving this one a score then.
Now we come to the most scathing review of any product in the brief history of White Dwarf: Tunnels and Trolls.
Luis Pulsipher (who writes the Dungeons and Dragons Campaign article) begins the review with a damning statement, ". . . in the USA I never encountered anyone who played . . . [Tunnels and Trolls], though D&D players are everywhere, and I've not even heard of anyone in this country who plays it. When it first appeared in America I said there was no point in it, and nothing has occurred to change my opinion . . " (pg. 14). He goes on to claim that the game is a simplified version of Dungeons and Dragons and that anyone who plays it will eventually graduate to the more adult and sophisticated game.
Luis slams it for it's levity and for the simplicity that the game strives towards.
Who can believe some of the idiotic jokes and messes one finds in a silly dungeon? Some don't mind, but others are bored out of their minds. T&T reinforces this attitude by using atrociously silly names, even for those duplicating D&D spells - e.g., Oh There It Is for Detect Invisible, Hidey Hole for Invisibility 10' radius, Yassa Massa for Charm Monster, ect . . . (pg. 14)Yet for all his ugliness about the game Luis still manages to find something good in it, but the damage has already been done. This game is a joke, it's worthless, it's - oh hey, did you guys pay a lot of money for that advertisement that's right next to this review? Well, we'll just not worry about giving this one a score then.
The Monstermark System by Don Turnbull
What a waste of space is this article series! It's overly complicated and just a damned waste of time.
Treasure Chest by Various Authors
What a delight this article is! It starts off with the Needle of Incalculable Power by Julian Cable which is just fantastically clever. So much so that it will be entering into my campaign.
Then we have five new monsters: the Spinscale, Dune Stalker, Ning, Bloodhawk, and the Giant Caterpillar. I love the first four monsters and loath the Giant Caterpillar. In particular the Ning and the Spinescale are a pair of great creatures - and the illustrations are pretty cool too.
The Ning is a damnably great booby trap monster and if you ever have a group of players who are way too greedy I highly recommend the use of this creature to teach them a bit of moderation.
The Loremaster of Avallon by Andy Holt
This is the second part of What's Wrong with Dungeons and Dragons and What I'm Doing to Fix It from the last issue and for the most part it sucks tremendously. The ability generation is weird and the magic system he's using sucks more than a hoover. The only redeeming portion of this article is the Grudge Points.
If a player for his first character rolls below certain numbers on some characteristics he gets "grudge points" as shown on the table. Grudge points may be used for rerolls on characteristics (1 roll per point - but all rerolls must be committed before any are made), or to "buy" special abilities - such as ambidexterity, or ability with missile weapons. (pg. 20)An interesting idea, though it would definitely need some work to be implimented in my games.
This issue was a good second and really puts forth a fantastic possibility for the entire run, though I could really do without the damnable mastermark system.
Score: 8 out of 10