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[Lets read] Dragon magazine - From the beginning

What can I say, I just like polls :)


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Skiorht

Despair Shouter
Validated User
Giants in the Earth: This month's characters without a single below average stat between them are Poul Anderson's Holger Carlsen (now there's a character you'd think could be converted to D&D without any rules breaking, but no. :sighs heavily: ) and Hugi, and T.J. Morgan's Ellide.
Oh dear, the notes about Holger's alignment confusion are just absolutely baffling. I read The Broken Sword a few months ago, and Holger's behaviour was how I'd suggest any old-school paladin should behave if they want to be remembered as lawful good. I also agree that there's absolutely no reason to break any standard 1st ed. rules to make Holger work.

Historical names make for better games: Glenn Rahman takes time out from his Divine Right writings to offer a big load of historical names from various cultures, to aid you in naming your characters. Just pick an appropriate culture and roll d20, if you're short of ideas. Much mehness.
I'd say that these laundry lists were much more excusable back then, and I found similar articles very useful back in the day. Without the internet, you'd have to do some halfway serious research to get this sort of information for your campaign.
 

Sirharrok

Registered User
Validated User
I'd say that these laundry lists were much more excusable back then, and I found similar articles very useful back in the day. Without the internet, you'd have to do some halfway serious research to get this sort of information for your campaign.
I'm with Skiorht... these sort of articles were like gold, they really were. They saved me many hours of research in the library... which these days of course I can do in less than a second through google.

Cheers
Sir Harrok
 

(un)reason

Making the Legend
Validated User
I'm with Skiorht... these sort of articles were like gold, they really were. They saved me many hours of research in the library... which these days of course I can do in less than a second through google.

Cheers
Sir Harrok
Oh, it's not that I have a problem with them. It wouldn't be the proper old skool experience without them, and I intend to use many of them in the future. Its just the volume of stuff I'm consuming at the moment. After a while, it all starts to blur into one.
 

Skiorht

Despair Shouter
Validated User
Oh, it's not that I have a problem with them. It wouldn't be the proper old skool experience without them, and I intend to use many of them in the future. Its just the volume of stuff I'm consuming at the moment. After a while, it all starts to blur into one.
I certainly can appreciate that. I've been skimming the issues at the same rate you've been reading them, and I'm exhausted. Just wait until you hit the issues most of the RPGnet readers have experience with...
 

(un)reason

Making the Legend
Validated User
Dragon Issue 49: May 1981

part 3/4

Dragon's bestiary: The Nogra. Didn't we already have this in a previous issue. I'm gonna have to start keeping an index so I can quickly check questions like this. :Sigh: More bloody work. (quite a bit of checking later) No, I must be premembering things, or I've seen this guy elsewhere in mythology, only exactly where has slipped my concious mind. Anyway, tis a creepy felinoid that is constantly enveloped in darkness. Quite possibly a distant relative of the displacer beast, as they have a similar appearance and schtick.

Leomunds tiny hut: What was I just saying about too much recycling? Len takes another shot at the alchemist. Not that they're badly done, like the other recent classes, they have definitely improved on their previous versions in the design stakes. They're still poor cousins to the wizard though. Frankly, the frequency with which they come up baffles me.

Legendaria. A new magazine devoted to a specific FRP campaign? Yeah, that'll last long.

Best Wishes: Another attempt at keeping Wishes from completely breaking the game. The author introduces the Ten Principles of wishing, that are his vision of what even wishes should no be able to do. Oh, nerfers, nerfers nerfers. Bored now. Make them go away.

Wishing makes it so: A short story by Roger Moore. If you had a wish in real life, would you wish you were your character? If you did, would that character notice the difference afterwards? Uh, yeah. I guess you end up better off than the D&D character who wished they were god and found themself the Dungeon master in this world. Not much more to this one. I guess it follows up the last one ok.

Travel & threads for Dragonquest: A short article expanding on Dragonquest, introducing overland travel rules, and adding some extra bits of clothing to the equipment list. Well, I guess D&D didn't add that until the expert set, so why should other rpg's put it in the corebook? One of those short articles that does what it does with a minimum of fuss, and a little humour in the process. (mm, chainmail bikinis. How much should one cost.)

Simulation corner: This month they tackle the tricky question of if it is preferable for a writer to be a freelancer, or fully employed by a particular company. The usual question of assured income or freedom to write for who you chose. They seem to think that things are on the up for freelancers, but it's still hardly a certain thing. Well the hobby is expanding, so that means talent is wanted and the number of companies you have to choose from is increasing. But still, don't ever think it'll be easy. It never will be.

Squad leader: This months scenario is the russian siege of budapest. 17.01.1945. They do seem to be concentrating on WW2, don't they. Was that an explicit part of the game as written, or is it just this authors area of expertise?

Minarian Legends: Glenn turns the spotlight on the magical order, the eaters of wisdom. With aspects of wizards, priests and martial artists, they're a pretty versatile bunch. And as educators of nobles from many countries, they have their fingers in many political pies. Like everyone else in the setting, they've made mistakes and had setbacks, but come through them. But the big question is, can they survive the actual play. Only you can answer that one.
 

castiglione

Registered User
Validated User
Dragon Issue 49: May 1981
Squad leader: This months scenario is the russian siege of budapest. 17.01.1945. They do seem to be concentrating on WW2, don't they. Was that an explicit part of the game as written, or is it just this authors area of expertise?
Squad Leader was a game of tactical combat in WWII.
 

(un)reason

Making the Legend
Validated User
Dragon Issue 49: May 1981

part 4/4

The electric eye: A rather dry article this month, as they give us the code for programing a D&D combat sequence into the computer, allowing you to keep track of everyone's actions right down to the segment, in two different types of code. I didn't enjoy this when Len was doing it, and its not much more interesting here now computers involved, save as an intellectual exercise to prove they can do it.

Oi. Don't disguise your adverts as comics! You had me fooled there for a minute, Jeff & Ernies Dungeon Hobby Shop.

Up on a soapbox: Now this is classic topic. Ed Greenwood floats the idea that players don''t need to know the rules of the game, and in some ways it can be advantageous for the roleplaying aspect if they don't, as they are more likely to play a character concept, rather than fitting the concept around a min-maxed optimized build based more around rules quirks than literary concepts. Which can work, and make for a fun game, as I know from experience. But how can you be sure the GM isn't cheating on his end if you don't know the rules. What's to stop it from turning into freeform? What if you enjoy the tactical side of things, and feel out of control without access to it it. I predict some heated rebuttals to this from the gamist crowd. Which is exactly what this column should be doing, provoking debate and making you think.

Figuratively Speaking: This month, they concentrate on minis that work as PC classes. Wizards, fighters, thieves, even bards and druids, plus generic hirelings to carry your crap. But clerics get no love. ( and neither do mules. (Damn sheep stealing all the good guys away with their pretty eyes and pert fluffy swaying backsides( er, I think I'll stop now, I'm creeping myself out here (plus, way too many nesting brackets)))) That's no good, is it? How are you going to have a complete party (for long) without a healer? You'll have to improvise something.

Reviews: The hammer of Thor is an exceedingly crunchy card game, that is almost more fun to read than it is to play. Too many shiny bits can get in the way, not make things better.
Assault on leningrad is one of those wargames that concentrates on doing one single battle and nothing else. But it is not a particularly good emulation of even that, and would need some reworking to accurately simulate the supply lines and armoured vehicles that were important in that scenario.
World Campaigns is a play by mail game. As with all play by mail games it has a turn rate measured in weeks, so you've got to do lots of planning ahead and stuff in one go. But it's GM gets lots of praise, for being friendly, fair, and willing to talk about the rationale behind the game, as well as tinker with it to improve it.
Wohrom is a game of battle for the throne in a mythical land. While high quality, it is rather expensive $50? Wouldn't that be equivilant to more than $200 nowadays, and the translation of the rules from the original italian is not the greatest.
They really need to standardize the review format. Each of the reviews was done by a different person, and it really did show this time, to the point of being jarring.

Dragonmirth is present, and gets some colour stuff as well.

Whats new? This is! Phil Foglio finally gets his own regular comic strip, having been pretty popular for quite some time. And it is rather silly. I suppose the two newer ones have both been more serious, so they feel the need to introduce another lighter one to redress the balance. Is authorial self-insertion really the way to go? And who is Dixie based off? Does it matter? How long before they start teasing about doing a sex in D&D strip? How long before they actually follow through on that promise.

Wormy and Fineous Fingers are also here. Jasmine and Pinsom are not, having been unceremoniously cancelled mid-storyline without notice. Not that most people'll realize they're gone for good for a few months, as they don't even mention their absence. What brought that decision on? Were they unpopular, did the artists do something wrong, did they quit in response to having their characters used by J.D in the crossover last issue without permission, did Kim decide to throw his new weight around with some arbitrary sackings? Anyone have any idea at all? Well, I guess 5 different comic strips in the same magazine would be pushing it a bit, wouldn't it. Maybe sometime, when it's a bit bigger.

As often seems to be the case, oddly enough, its the issues with significant changes in staff that feel most similar to their recent precursors, as they don't get to stamp their own personality on the running process until they really know the ropes. This is also one of those issues that was really hard to finish, with some really dull bits in it I struggled to find anything to say about. But any job like this is at least 90% perspiration, so I persevered. And if common wisdom is to be believed, things are about to get even better soon, now kim's officially in charge. Lets see if thats true.
 

g026r

I'm a boat
Validated User
Whats new? This is! Phil Foglio finally gets his own regular comic strip, having been pretty popular for quite some time. And it is rather silly. I suppose the two newer ones have both been more serious, so they feel the need to introduce another lighter one to redress the balance. Is authorial self-insertion really the way to go? And who is Dixie based off? Does it matter? How long before they start teasing about doing a sex in D&D strip? How long before they actually follow through on that promise.
It's also on the web: http://www.airshipentertainment.com/growfcomic.php?date=20070107 (that being the May '81 strip)
 

Sirharrok

Registered User
Validated User
Oh, it's not that I have a problem with them. It wouldn't be the proper old skool experience without them, and I intend to use many of them in the future. Its just the volume of stuff I'm consuming at the moment. After a while, it all starts to blur into one.
I feel your pain, but you're doing a splendid job. I'm looking forward to when you get to the first issue of Dragon that I actually bought, as opposed to read at a friend's place. I think it's the 1981 Halloween issue...

Cheers
Sir Harrok
 

Blizzardborn

Hiding in a snowdrift
Validated User
Just a quick request to the Mods.

When it comes time to clobber the thread for size, could you try to arrange it so that it happens at the end of an issue rather than in the middle?

Thank you.
 
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