The GROGNARD Files

Table-top RPGs from back in the day and today.

The Armchair Adventurers were only getting together sporadically in August 1987; our relationship with the hobby was in the throes of the freeze (we went to Games Day in London, advertised in this issue, then our regular games stopped).

There’s some interesting material in this issue that largely passed me by at the time.

The Book Club is taking a break while I’m away. Back in September.

Look forward to your comments.

14 thoughts on “White Dwarf Book Club – Issue 92

  1. Bilharzia Aeetes says:

    I can tell this is from the period of my waning interest with WD and RPGs in general since my copy is in very good condition and I barely remember any of the articles or artwork in the issue. Games Workshop’s printing of RuneQuest 3 starts appearing in force, just in time for it to die a slow death. I liked Jon Quaife’s previous “A Tale to Tell” adventure and his demon article here is evocative but way, way beyond anything I could have used in the game I ran since the demons are practically demigods, I didn’t know what to do with these very high powered creatures. RuneQuest 3 had a power-inflation problem which I don’t know how people managed when playing the game, “Strangers in Prax” detailed the Lunar Coders, super human NPCs which even individually would have been hellish to run mechanically.

    The Robin Hood campaign book gets a slagging from Ken Rolston, but having read it recently I was surprised how good it is, way better than the GURPS Robin Hood.

  2. RogerBW says:

    By this point, I think, I was mostly playing Rolemaster, and really not expecting to find anything for systems I used. Not sure when I stopped reading, but it was certainly before #100.

    Open Box: GW Stormbringer! (Never saw it.) RQ3: too little too late. Robin Hood: eh. Ghostbusters adventure: double eh. Miskatonic U accessory kit: the cuteification of Cthulhu begins here. D&D adventures: eh again.

    News: Gary’s ongoing problems with TSR. WH40K is on the way. So is the Star Wars RPG. So is Knightmare!

    Langford: I remember the review of Emergence, but never got round to reading it. Dinner at Deviant’s Palace was OK, but no The Anubis Gates.

    A three page “come and work for us” ad. (And two thirds of a page later of “write for us” and “playtest for us”.)

    Thrud: a short joke stretched out to a full page.

    No Psychos Needed: interesting, but very specific to its setting. (And pages out of order.)

    Chainsaw Warrior: it ain’t role-playing.

    Demons in RQIII: …and the wheel goes round again. Interesting, though.

    Rescue the Paladin: Carl is always good value, but I found it a bit disappointing that the situation is basically just what it seems, and there’s some careful manipulation needed to make the inn scene come out right.

    Marcus writes Judge Dredd: suitably silly and in the spirit of the thing.

    The 1987 Worldcon in Brighton was a formative moment for a lot of British SF fandom. But I was going to Games Fairs instead. (I’ve met Colin since; he’s a good bloke.)

  3. Rog says:

    No recollection of the cover of this one, cheerleader kylie with samurai sword. I’ve not got this one so went on a pdf hunt and found these. Have there been pdf links for the last few?
    https://thetrove.net/Magazines/White%20Dwarf/
    Anyway they all seem to be there for those with gaps who want to join in. I can’t vouch for the site but they should be fine to read on screen?
    Cheers.

    1. Rog says:

      Doh! Ignore me, all there except 91 and 92, (and maybe some others), back to square one.

    2. Rog says:

      Thanks for the link, was that the one from a while back, didn’t realise it was a whole load. But unfortunately it looks like 91 and 92 are missing there too! Mind you if we’re breaking till September i’ll try and grab one off eBay when I get back from holiday. Cheers.

    3. Rog says:

      Brilliant, cheers. No recollection of this issue, I don’t think I saw this one, a quick scroll through and the first impression is there’s a hell of a lot of figure adverts. The map page for the ad&d scenario is lovely, Charles Elliot channeling Geoff Wingate’s City League stuff, really nice.
      WFRP errata, we could have done with that!
      Will have proper read later, a very different feel to 48 for sure.
      Cheers.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I never had this one. Maybe I was buying Adventurer at this point, if that was even going then. I’m surprised that an AD&D adventure even appears in Dwarf at this late stage. It’s a bit of an odd one. The intro describes it as “not serious” but the actual scenario is pretty straightforward. It’s entertainingly written at least, which is not something you can say about a lot of the earlier ones.

    The big touchstone for me in this issue is the very brief mention of the Star Wars RPG that was imminent from West End Games. It could have only been a month or two away from the release. That would surely have seemed like an odd choice for a lot of people. The last movie was four years ago, and the spin offs had dried up (the Marvel comic had ended with a whimper in ’86, as had two short lived and underwhelming cartoon shows). I think I’d been waiting for it for years without realising it, and not only did it breathe new life into the now ten year old franchise, but it also gave my gaming life a right kick up the arse.

  5. Barry Ryan says:

    I remember using the additional rules for Chainsaw Warrior (still got it!) and the Judge Dredd elements. The shift towards miniature catalogue must have worked on me as I bought the Goblin chariots and Skarloc’s Wood Elves. Interesting link back to your conversation with Mike Brunton how some of the writers were very good at writing short blurbs for the figures and this one in particular had a great background and one character who I think was precursor for Wardancers/Harlequins (Also the leader was Captain Skarloc… surely a tip o the hate to Captain Scarlet?)

  6. Paul M says:

    So this is late 1987, beginning of my second year at Uni and the dawning realisation that I was never going to role-play again. However, I still kept my WD subscription going because… well, it was White Dwarf! It was a habit. Even though now I was much more interested in the pretty pictures of the models and painting them myself, even though actually assembling enough to play a game of Warhammer seemed way beyond my means at the time.

    I remember feeling so conflicted over WD at the time. I couldn’t let go because it had been such a part of my past, but I really wasn’t sure what had changed. With retrospect three things had changed – me, I had changed. I had got a little money (student grant!) and a lot of control over my own time, so had access to wider hobbies than childhood restrictions permitted, so I could afford to buy miniatures, and could afford to and had the opportunity to get involved in historical re-enactment, which interested me a lot more than role-playing did at the time. Secondly, the role-playing world had changed and the kind of AD&D bubble that permeated my personal exposure to RPG’s had become time-expired and was disintegrating, and thirdly, hmmm, can’t remember what the thirdly was now!

    It seems I kept buying WD out of a misplaced sense of nostalgia for an RPG hobby that no longer existed and which I really wasn’t actually interested in any more! It took me another 13 issues and the round number of 100 to actually cancel my subscription and acknowledge that really WD didn’t do anything for me any more and was just a waste of cash.

    1. Wayne Peters says:

      I think I called it a day at issue 100 too. I felt it was just a Warhammer catalogue at that point. I do wonder how many folk decided that issue 100 was a good place to stop with a mag they no longer got anything from.

  7. Menion says:

    Really enjoyed this issue. I was only three years into my gaming career so it was still fresh to me (I was unaware of the golden age of the early /mid 80s).

    We were still playing some D&D, but also WFRP and JD, so the stuff in this issue was interesting (though I don’t think we used the AD&D adventure in this issue). No Psychos Here became a staple part of our WFRP character generation.

    With the release of Chaosium material through GW, I ended up going Stormbringer and RuneQuest mad.

    We were also playing a lot of the GW boardgames, particularly Talisman. And I must admit to enjoying Chainsaw Warrior, even though we probably only played it a handful of times.

  8. James says:

    Issue 92, not long before the end as far as my WD days go (went?)

    I must have a copy of this floating around as I remember carefully transcribing the WHFRP errata from this issue into the book – with red pen no less!

    However, the rest of the issue, lots and lots of filler – lots of ads, Thrud, Gobbledigook, three pages of “work for us”, racial motivation, the RQ demons…

    The letters page is still in trench warfare – women in RPG’s / a long letter from Dave Bell of Gosforth which really should have been sent back and made into an article, yadda, yadda, yadda.

    Useful things – the Chainsaw Warrior article as I was playing a lot the board games, CW, Rogue Trooper, Blood Bowl, etc., and I’m sure there’s still a game of Talisman running that I started in 1987.

    The Dredd adventures are always well done, a chance for the humour of the strips to come through.

    Still diminishing returns and I think I lost all interest in WD shortly after, certainly by WD100

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