Monday, October 7, 2013

White Dwarf #4

Another issue of White Dwarf and another fantastic cover. This one is by John Blanche and what a wonderful job he has done. Unlike the Dragon Magazine covers, White Dwarf seems to be emphasizing the beauty and action of fantasy gaming.

All that said, does anyone have any idea what sort of bird he’s losing this fight to? Seriously, he looks like that bird has been kicking his ass for forty-five minutes and his only hope of coming back is that the bird dies of exhaustion or loses interest in the fight altogether.

Got to be an elf.

Editor’s Letter 
by Ian Livingstone

This month’s editor’s forum spends its lamenting the state of the British gaming industry. Time and again he points to the leaders in the industry being Americans, not that there’s anything wrong with that; but “. . . Surely the existing Lord of the Rings following and the Friends of the DM by Don Turnbull impending Star Wars mania would have inspired someone, somewhere . . .” (pg. 3)

Not so much, yet. But Games Workshop will soon change that I think.

Alice in Dungeonland by Don Turnbull

Mr. Turnbull presents his Wonderland level of a dungeon for the Dungeons and Dragons game. There are some amusing parts to this dungeon, but by and large there is nothing here that I feel like should be in my games.

I’ve felt this way pretty regularly about Alice adventures in general so if you’re a fan of those things this might be for you, but for my money it’s a waste.

D&D Campaigns, Part II: Mechanics 
by Luis Pulsipher

 Still the best part of the White Dwarf Magazines – even if this one is incredibly dry. Mr. Pulsipher is able to provide you with enough kernels of wisdom that whether you’re a first time player or a guy who’s be playing since ’78 that you’ll find something worth keeping from this series.

Hyboria by Tony Bath

This article is the story of Mr. Bath’s Hyborian war game that he created based on the works of Robert E. Howard. For those of you looking for a real good guide for creating a fantasy world that will matter to you and your players beyond the base levels explained in the modern Dungeon Master Guides (3.5 and 4th) then this is an article just for you.

Lots of good stuff here.

Open Box, by Various

Nomad Gods by Chaosium gets a 9 out of 10 from Lewis Pulsipher. Now having read enough of these I can tell you that this means that there are a well-established set of rules and that skilled play (a thorough understanding of the rules and stratagems) is rewarded.

Star Empires by TSR gets a 7 out of 10 and I have to say it sounds like an interesting game – though incredibly time consuming! Has anyone ever played it?

Dungeon! By TSR gets an 8 out of 10 and from what I remember that game is a lot of fun. In fact I think that I’ve got one of the later versions over at my mom and dad’s. I’ll have to check that out.

Melee by Metagaming Concepts gets a 6 out of 10 but as it’s in the same series as Ogre I suppose it should be forgiven if it doesn’t live up to its predecessor.

Monsters Mild and Malign 
by Don Turnbull

Mr. Turnbull presents some interesting creatures but continues to press his Monstermark system. It won’t ever work for me and neither do any of these monsters.

Treasure Chest

A complete waste this time for me.

Competitive Dungeons and Dragons
 by Fred Hemmings

The last of this series and I’ll miss it very much. The articles have had moments where I scratch my head and wonder why anyone would ever go through all the trouble, but by and large they have been incredibly useful.

This one is no different as Mr. Hemmings has continued on with Pandora’s Dungeon and finishes up with a discussion of treasures in the competitive setting.

Worth the read.

Finally we get to the back cover. Tell me you don't love this!


  1. I like that each encounter area in the "Alice" adventure has a source in the original books. It's very much a product of its time, though; very literal, which leads to an enforced linearity.

    1. That tends to be a problem with most of Don Turnbull's stuff that I've encountered so far.

      By the way, thanks for commenting Joseph Bloch. I really enjoy your blog.


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