I’m reading my battered and falling apart at the seams copy of the Best Of White Dwarf Articles volume 1. This was printed back in 1980 and brought together some of the best articles from White Dwarf’s first three years of publication. This was when the magazine was independent, entirely UK based and long before it became the corporate lovechild of the Warhammer universe.
Not that there’s anything wrong with the White Dwarf mag now – I grab a copy occasionally and it’s full of pure enthusiasm for the hobby and is refreshingly honest about it’s placement as a 100% marketing mouthpiece for Warhammer – but that’s balanced with pictures of real fans having real fun, so what’s not to love.
And it’s a still a real printed-on-paper magazine, meaning it’s drawing new folks to the hobby every single frickin’ month. Unlike a pair of “magazines” from a certain group of sorcerers on the beach.
But anyhow, I’m not bitter. Back to 1980 and the Best of……
Let’s talk about the math. Oh boy. This was before netbooks, iPhones and Google. You’d be lucky if you owned a calculator, let alone one of the ultra-rare computers. This is two years before the launch of the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64, folks.
Here’s the kind of math we’re talking about. This is example from The Monstermark System, which is a method of calculating something very like a Challenge Rating, for Classic D&D: