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[Lets read] Dragon magazine - From the beginning

What can I say, I just like polls :)


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Sleeper

Red-eyed dust bunny
Validated User
Nope. They do have the spell absorbing ones. They must have just gone hmm, this isn't enough to fill an article, what other cool things should these be able to do; and then thought up a bunch of variants. You've got to invent your own fluff.
Always wondered about their initial appearance in D&D. IIRC, the funky shapes, powers, circular orbits, and some of the colors seem to be mostly a D&D creation. Vance's stones absorbed magic, trailed in a cloud, and changed color as Morreion regained his memories. They were also powerful artifacts, not magical utility items.
 

Doctor Futurity

Camazotz the Death Bat
Validated User
The strategic review 4: Winter 1975
(who bothers spiking doors open these days?)
Wellllll......I had no less than 3 incidents of door-spiking in my last two games (one AD&D 2nd and the other Runequest 4th) in each of the last game sessions, so it's ironic that you mention this!

But the correct answer is: smart delvers always carry pitons and a hammer. It'll save your life!
 

Blizzardborn

Hiding in a snowdrift
Validated User
Yep. Whether you are spiking that door open, closing it rather more permanently than designed. Did you know spikes aren't affected by a knock spell?
 

g026r

I'm a boat
Validated User
The strategic review 2: Summer 1975

We're up to 8 pages in this one. They start off with an obituary. Ironicaly, the guy was around the same age as Gary Gygax, who of course went on another 32 years. We can speculate how TSR would have developed differently if he lived, but I guess we'll never know.
With the benefit of hindsight, it's interesting to look back at these and spot just how early the seeds of TSR's downfall were planted.
 

Doctor Futurity

Camazotz the Death Bat
Validated User
With the benefit of hindsight, it's interesting to look back at these and spot just how early the seeds of TSR's downfall were planted.
Well, to be perfectly fair for all we know it could have lasted 5 years instead of 20-ish if things had gone differently. I'm not entirely sure WotC has even lasted that long....they've been around, what, 18 years? In fact, I don't think any game company from that time period to date survived at the level of ambition TSR displayed (Chaosium, for example, is a shadow of its former level of production). So I'm not so sure I'd draw too much predictive data from all of this with regards to TSR's going south....at least not until the lawyers show up on scene. But I don't think the really interesting details of TSR's problems will be found in the pages of Dragon.....might want to turn to archived court records from the mid eighties for that! :D

Oh, I picked up my first Dragon with issue 53; very much enjoying this thread, keep it up!
 

Argenon

Registered User
Validated User
Interesting Thread! I look forward to reading the rest.

I think I started reading/buying "The Dragon" (as it was officially called back then ) around number 39 and picked up some back issues ( I think 28, 32 and 36 ). I purchased them regularly up to about 195. Got married and stopped. Kept them for a long time, then gave them away to a local RPG club instead of dues.

Enchilada
Luis Gruntmeir
 

g026r

I'm a boat
Validated User
Well, to be perfectly fair for all we know it could have lasted 5 years instead of 20-ish if things had gone differently. I'm not entirely sure WotC has even lasted that long....they've been around, what, 18 years? In fact, I don't think any game company from that time period to date survived at the level of ambition TSR displayed (Chaosium, for example, is a shadow of its former level of production). So I'm not so sure I'd draw too much predictive data from all of this with regards to TSR's going south....at least not until the lawyers show up on scene. But I don't think the really interesting details of TSR's problems will be found in the pages of Dragon.....might want to turn to archived court records from the mid eighties for that! :D
Eh. Was just more a comment on the fact that Kaye's death brought about the Blumes getting majority control. (Which, in turn, eventually led to Williams taking over.)

Little passing mentions to things that, in retrospect, had a significant impact on the company years down the road but probably didn't seem all that important outside of an immediate "What do we do now?" reaction at the time.
 

(un)reason

Making the Legend
Validated User
The strategic review 5: December 1975

Up to 16 pages, and we have a proper cover this time, plus a coming next at the end. Its starting to look more and more like the format that they would have for Dragon. More organisational bitching and corresponding price raises. Lankhmar is hinted at, (god, was it really that soon after D&D's release?) as is Gods, Demigods and Heroes. The art hasn't improved in quality that much, but there is considerably more of it.

This issue contains:

Biographies of the TSR staff. Interesting that Gary is noticeably older than the rest of them. Self depreciating humour abounds.

Crossover time: Nazis vs Necromancers. Not that surprising, really, given the topics they've been covering. If anything, I'm surprised they didn't do it sooner. This is primarily an actual play, but also tells you how to do it yourself with the existing games. The longest article yet, at 4 pages long.

Robe of scintillating color. Prayer beads. More soon to be classic magical items. As ever, they are considerably less balanced than they would later become.

Commiserations on another magazine folding. I get the impression that they may be being sarcastic. Miniatures gaming was a cutthroat business ;)

The battle of the nile refought. Another increasingly detailed article. At this rate there might be more pages, but less interesting articles in this one.

More stats for tractics. If other people were getting as bored of this as I am, its no wonder they split the roleplaying stuff from the wargaming bits.

Another gunslinger profile for Boot Hill.

Rakshasas, Slithering trackers, Trappers. Less iconic monsters maybe, but still ones that I remember, and have survived in various incarnations to today. Rakshasas in particular have the same tremendously annoying traits that they retain all the way to 3rd edition.

The amount of padding and advertising is definitely increasing. Maybe it's just because this is the 5th issue I've done in a single day (remember that I'm buffering stuff and writing several days before I post) and I'm flagging, but this one feels less interesting than the previous ones. If slithering trackers had been introcudced in the 1st issue, would they have become iconic in the way mind flayers did? Who can say. At this point I'm becoming interested in seeing things I don't remember, that got overlooked and might need reappraisal, because I remember virtually everything I've seen so far making it into future books in various forms.
 
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Keefe the Thief

Guuhhn Fingas
Validated User
One thing that is always tremendously interesting when reading old magazines is what gets advertised when first. If you see any interesting ads, it would show what other companies were active during that period.

Otherwise: Perfect thread. Rock on!
 
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