Monday, 11 January 2010

The Great White Dwarf Time Tunnel Project

You can imagine how childishly excited I was to acquire a PDF scan of White Dwarf 1 over the weekend. I mean to say, imagine the insane glee when that arrived at Coop Towers via devices far too nefarious to go into.

Then imagine the practically orgasmic delight when it was followed by issue 2, issue 3, issue 4 and so on and so forth right the way up to issue 90 with a random scattering of the next twenty or so. That's right a complete run from WD1 to WD90 and a few of the 90s. Sadly not a complete run of the 90s which is the era that I personally hold to be the acme of the Dwarf (before it went badly Pete Tong in the treble figures) but still - a dream come true to be able to read through the early ones. Looking at the covers, I was amazed to realise that at one point I owed a run from the late 40s up to WD140 or so with just one omission.

WD1 is dated June/July 1977. WD90 is neatly enough the 10th anniversary issue of the old magazine from 1987.

How do you go about diving into a collection like that? The only answer really is to it in order and that's when the idea of The Great White Dwarf Time Tunnel Project came to mind.

The issues neatly cover the entire period during which WD covered all forms of D&D. Almost - I have WD90 and then there is a gap to WD93. I happen to know that WD92 had an AD&D scenario called "To Rescue A Paladin" (or similar). This I think is almost certainly the last D&D article published in WD. I can't remember what was in WD91. WD93 is the 40k launch issue so you can probably work out the direction the magazine goes after that.

So I have 99.5% of all the D&D material and of course it goes from 1977 to 1987 nicely covering the period from OD&D with the introduction of AD&D and covering the golden era of the game in the UK. It even predates the launch of AD&D 2nd edition for maximum Old School kudos.

So over the next few months, or however long it takes I will blogging my experiences going through WD in order and reporting all the things of OSR interest as well as anything else that takes my fancy on an issue by issue basis, effectively reporting the news as to what was going on the D&D world at that time. Look for the "WHITE DWARF TIME TUNNEL" tags and lets see where we end up.

We'll start here...

...and end up here


  1. I think the last non-WFRP roleplaying article in the magazine was a Call of Cthulhu scenario in #99. I always thought it was a bit odd, but I suppose they probably had bought it months earlier and thought they may as well publish it. Good scenario though.

  2. I remember that scenario well - set in New Mexico or Nevada or somewhere similar. Actually I've just discovered I'm wrong about the last AD&D articles - WD93 (the famous 40k launch issue) actually has two. So I'll extend the upper end of the Time Tunnel to that issue.

  3. oh my! I've never seen any of the White Dwarfs, so I'm real excited to glean what I can here - thanks!

  4. Oh memories. Do I still have a pile of White Dwarfs somewhere? I've no idea...