White Dwarf (magazine)

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White Dwarf is a magazine published by British games manufacturer Games Workshop. Initially covering a wide variety of fantasy and science-fiction role-playing and board games, the magazine is now dedicated exclusively to the miniature wargames produced by Games Workshop, mainly the core systems of Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Warhammer 40,000 and The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game.



Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone initially produced a newsletter called "Owl and Weasel" which ran for twenty-five issues from February 1975 before it evolved into "White Dwarf".

Originally scheduled for May/June 1977[1] but first published one month later on a bimonthly schedule with an initial (and speculative[2]) print run of 4,000, White Dwarf continued the fantasy and science fiction role-playing and board-gaming theme developed in Owl and Weasel but owing to the increase in available space began to produce reviews, articles and scenarios to a greater depth than had previously been possible.

The magazine was hugely influential in the 1980s when it helped to popularise RPGs in the UK. This included material for the 'big three' role playing games of the time - (Advanced) Dungeons & Dragons, RuneQuest and Traveller. For a time White Dwarf also contained material for those American RPGs for which Games Workshop had the UK licence[citation needed], competing directly with TSR's own UK publication, Imagine, and various other mainstream UK and imported fantasy and science-fiction gaming magazines. In addition to this a generation of writers passed through its offices and onto other RPG projects in the next decade, such as Phil Masters and Marcus L. Rowland. One huge attraction of the magazine was its incorporation of mini-game scenarios, capable of completion in a single night's play, rather than the mega-marathon games typical of the off the shelf campaigns. This would often be in the form of an attractive and interesting single task for either existing or new characters to resolve. These could either be slipped into existing campaign plots, or be used stand-alone, just for a fun evening, and were easily grasped by those familiar with RPG rules.

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