We kick off the 80s with White Dwarf #17 for Feb/March. Again we see a noticeable jump in quality in terms of cover art. This piece by Angus McKie has always been a favorite of mine.
Ian Livingstone talks prices of games in his editorial.
The Fiend Factory is next with the "Near Misses Monsters", the ones that did not make it the Fiend Folio. What is nice about this batch is we are given the reasons why they were not included. First up we have a Night Rider, which is to humans as drow are to elves. The Spice Worm (should be obvious), The Heat Skeleton and the Green Worm (both not included because there were already too many skeleton and worm like creatures). The Bodach (nothing at all like the Bodak) and the Goom, both of which were not really all that interesting.
Open Box gives us reveiws of Time War (8/10), Under the Storm Giant's Castle (5/10) and Dark Tower (9/10), both Playing Aides from Judges Guild. Also we have two games from Judges Guild, Operation Ogre (5/10) and Caverns of Thracia (8/10).
Lew Pulsipher gives us a classic, "My Life as a Werebear", or rules for playing Monster Characters in D&D. The tables and the rules are very D&D while the art and monsters are AD&D. It was an interesting time when the two rules existed side by side like this. The rules are solid and could be reprinted today and branded OSR and sell.
A couple of pages on painting minis.
The Sable Rose Affair is a short Traveller scenario.
Letters again focus on Fiend Factory.
Treasure Chest has a couple of Artifacts, the Tablets of the Ish Than, the Skeleton of Zzkeel, The Marvellous Flask of Suethrin the Mystical, The Ring of Manfred the Sage, The Sword of Ehemakil and Gurthlin's Silver Harp.
We have the Questionnaire results next. Most people (51%) read WD for the RPGs, with D&D (53%) being the largest percentage of that. Most readers want a questions and answer page, and only 31% want a comic. Most readers want WD to come out monthly. Soon...very soon.
There is a nice interview with Chaosium's Greg Stafford.
A new Ability for D&D is introduced, Perception. Neat idea, but it never really took off.
We end in ads.
So the start of the 80s has us looking at WD that still looks 70s. There are improvements, but not a lot so far. The issue is really solid, but lacks a solid feature article.
For comparisons sake check to see what is going on over at Land of Nod. He is doing the Dragon magazines one by one, with Dragon by Dragon.