I dunno about you but I think that’s a pretty darn ugly cover. Apologies to the artist.
The best part of the magazine is a very interesting article by Gygax about the Planes of existence. Although the planes have been mentioned in spells and items in the supplements, this is the first time the concept has been articulated. I found it fascinating to hear the reasoning for why some creatures can only be harmed by magic weapons – because they exist across 2 or more of the planes. And the +1 sword (or other magical item) also exists across the prime and another plane. So it can damage the monster in the other plane. As far as I know, this idea was never developed further. Funnily enough he mentions problems with the concept and says he probably won’t use it. There’s more info about the development of the planes here : http://ontologicalgeek.com/walking-the-planes-2-a-history-of-the-planes-in-dungeons-dragons/
There’s a very good, logical article about how to design a town for your campaign.
Monster & Treasure Assortment Set One gets a mention in the ad for The Dungeon Hobby Shop.
Not D&D related – there’s an interesting sneak preview of Gamma World, which presents the alt-history leading up to the game’s milieu. I mention this oddity, because at the same time, the new Basic D&D set was released in the same month as this magazine and it gets exactly zero mention!
Another one of those realism articles – tables to make your gems more realistic, with attributes like carats and types of stone.
By comparison there’s a funny small article by Brian Blume about ‘rolling’ up your 6 abilities in a more realistic way – eg Wisdom = 20 minus the number of hours you played/prepared D&D last week.
Feature creature : this time just a drawing by Erol Otus and a competition to name and describe it.
Next up – Holmes Basic – I’m excited!