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[Let's read] Dragon magazine - Part two: Gimme some Moore

So, how am I doing so far?

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Making the Legend
Validated User
Thanks for the kind words about my article, The Wild Warriors. It was my first one, so I wanted to do something easier, so updating an old article to make it more compatible with the new rules for barbarians in UA seemed like a good idea.

You are right about the PC aspect. It was a lot of fun to play in the playtest, but caused interesting problems in the campaign. However, I did have one player who absolutely LOVED the violence, and just wouldn't give him up, until he died a Glorious (if extremelly violent) death.

I imagine that the kind of group that would enjoy having one on the team would be the same kind of people who like their wands of wonder and decks of many things. Funny how intermittent reward can actually produce stronger emotional effects than consistent reliable ones.


Making the Legend
Validated User
Dragon Magazine Issue 134: June 1988

part 1/5

108 pages. Birthday no 12. Another year, another batch of dragon related articles for your delectation. What new and terrifying adversaries will we face, what tactics will they deploy? Will you come home a great hero, or will you be served up crispy fried in foil?

In this issue:

Letters: A letter with some more last word suggestions. Very droll.

A letter from one of their writers, pointing out a mistake he made in a recent article. D'oh!

Another letter pointing out errors, which Roger examines and pronounces they are not errors at all. These are entirely legitimate uses of the english language.

A non letter from the editors, thanking all of us, their loyal readers. 12 years and still going strong. They couldn't have done it without us. Aww.

Forum: Tim Lieberg has his own rather extensive contribution on how to make low level wizards viable characters. Most of these are changes in emphasis rather than actual rules alterations. It's mostly a matter of how you play them that determines their viability.

James A Yates rebutts the recent responses to his college of magic article. Yes, keeping a educational facility running is an expensive business, and you're unlikely to make a short term profit on it. This is very much a realistic reflection of real educational facilities, and the reason why they need government subsidies to stay viable. If the wizard you're playing really is as smart as his stats suggest, he'll find some other ways of wringing money out of the students and surrounding community.

Ed Kruse is in favour of houseruling if you don't like the official rules. This includes the rules for XP. Getting XP for treasure is out, XP for using your class abilities constructively is in. Is that a foreshadowing I see?

David Choi not only thinks that you shouldn't get xp for treasure, but if you fail to actively practice your class skills, you should actually lose xp. Pff. That never goes down well.

Greg Pierson disapproves of the alignment restriction on thieves. Adversity can make even good guys resort to larceny. Another bit of foreshadowing. I suspect roger has a pretty good idea by now what's going to be in the next edition, and they're trying to soften us up to the idea of the changes.

Steve Kommrusch is in favour of the demographics of classes where each level is approximately half as rare as the one below. It's easy to calculate, and level 20+ characters become suitably rare as to retain their specialness.

David Poythress disapproves of ability creep such as that demonstrated in the recent article on alternate dice methods for demihumans. If this carries on, the whole game will cease to be a challenge. And then where will the fun be?

Paul Astle reminds us that there are many stories in which a lycanthrope reacts with horror to their transformations. You can have quite a bit of fun running adventures in which a character tries to rid themselves of this scourge, and the resultant fallout.

Lucas McNeill tells the people writing in as pontificating sages to remember that the medieval conception of the world was rather different to the modern one. Similarly, the D&D universe does not run on real world physics anyway. So they shouldn't talk like modern day scientists.

Len Carpenter rebutts his critics on the matter of jousting. It's been over a year, quite a few books have come out since then, and he's thought quite a bit about how to handle it better. He introduces a new, simpler and more integrated system here. He does not, however, address the matters of honour that some of the repliers have spun the debate off into. Hmm.

S.D. Anderson seems to be having a problem with proto-fishmalks. These degenerates refuse to take the game seriously, and constantly mess around with the other players, both IC, and OOC. Never let them get their hands on a Wand of Wonder. Rather amusing, really. That kind of player use whatever they can, no matter how you try and stop them.

Gregory D Scott tries to give fighters a bit more depth. They don't just fight, they've also got to know military tactics and how to work with a group well. They might not have these abilities spelled out, but you should still apply them if you don't want to be outshone by all the other classes.

Michael Anderson gives his opinions of the recent articles on illusions. One is very much better than the others.

The dragon's bestiary gets back to basics, giving us some actual dragons for the anniversary. Aquatic dragons are exactly what they sound like. They swim! They attack your ship! They really ought to develop proper underwater paper out of pressed seaweed or something for spellcasting! One of those entries that feels flawed due to later developments in design technology.

Ichthyodrakes are another underwater monstrosity. No shortage of those now, with dragon turtles, the various Lung dragons and the like. Well, if the fantasy world is more than 70% oceans like earth, there should be plenty of dragon variants for there that adventurers never see.

Astral Dragons are our first otherplanar dragon species. This conception of them is substantially different from the 2nd ed version, but they are pretty powerful, and rather quirky. I think the astral plane is big enough for more than one dragon type.

Weredragons are not contagious lycanthropes, thankfully, that would just be too scary. They aren't actually that badass in combat, but of course, not that badass for a dragon is still pretty deadly for normal humans. And their seduction and surprise capabilities are quite considerable. They certainly make for a nasty surprise.

Fang dragons don't have a breath weapon, instead having a bite which can drain all your hit points and add them to it's total. Fortunately, this only activates on a natural 20, so really, they're less deadly than many creatures with save or die poison on every hit. And they don't have spells either. Bit of a paper tiger really, compared to most dragons.

Sand dragons are snaky diggers with an instadeath breath weapon. Now this is a bit more like it. Blue dragons can take the desert sky, these guys'll rule the earth.

Stone dragons look like piles of rock when not active. Now there's a trope familiar from TV that can be used to horrifying effect. With three different breath weapons, and a whole bunch of earth based magic, they can be pretty tricksy. A good one to make uneasy allies/enemies of.


Hiding in a snowdrift
Validated User
I absolutely hated stone dragons when starting out. Every pile of rocks approached casually turned out to be one. Approach in full tactical formation? Just a pile of rocks.


Making the Legend
Validated User
Dragon Magazine Issue 134: June 1988

part 2/5

Give dragons a fighting chance: Hmm. This is stuff we've seen before, and will see again. Another bunch of ways you can power up your dragon, making them both scarier and more individualized. Unique powers, enhanced versions of exiting ones, clever applications of spellcasting, more detail in physical scaling, lots of reiteration here, some of which would be taken up and made official next edition. We also get another case of the endlessly quibblable sample battles. Not a very interesting one. Roll on the future, please.

AD&D, the pool of radiance computer game. Well well. That looks pretty nice, actually.

Serpents and sorcery: Hmm. Another bit of interesting foreshadowing here. The word sorcery in the title is particularly appropriate. This article sets out to explore draconic spellcasting, and how it differs from human magic-users capabilities. And in the process, makes them pretty similar to 3rd ed sorcerer's in the way they learn and retain spells entirely mentally, and can choose to use different ones for a situation. That certainly puts a new light and historical weight on the decision to give sorcerer's fluff that their powers are derived from draconic descent. How very pleasing to unearth. It also includes common spell suggestions and tactical tricks for the various chromatic and metallic dragon types. Course, these are tricks that could be used by any creature with the appropriate spells, including the PC's. In any case, this is a pretty strong article even if you don't take it's historical context into account, so I quite enjoyed it.

Lords and Legends: Yet another bit of historical coverage here, coming from the opposite direction. Dragotha was first mentioned in S2: White plume mountain. But that was merely a warning, from nearly a decade ago. Many have wondered since then, just who this Dragotha is, and what is his history. How did he come to the state of undeath? Wonder no more! Here he is, in all his glory! Which is actually considerably less scary than most older 2nd ed dragons, but that's power inflation for you. He's still capable of dropping an entire 20th level party in one breath if he gets the drop on them and they save badly, and with his horde of undead warriors, can exert substantial influence on the lands surrounding his lair. As with the underdark special three months ago, the use of original characters massively improves this series. In fact, since I've also put white plume mountain somewhere in my gameworld (muahaha!!) this is the first one of these I can actually see myself using. Considering how many issues of GitE and L&L we've had, that is a very definite turnup for the books, worthy of noting. This is turning out to be an intriguing birthday issue.

The ecology of the red dragon: We finally get an actual dragon race covered here. About time too. This series has been going 5 years now, and appearing most months and the closest we've come before is the chimera. Sensibly, it seems they've decided to only cover one draconic species, rather than the whole lot, which would take a truly epic special feature to do justice to the subject. Now they can milk it bit by bit for all it's worth. ;)

Anyway, this is a rather longer ecology than most so far. This is one of those where the sage has to deal with a rather annoying questioner, in this case some dumb young adventurers who think they can go straight to the big leagues and kill a dragon without going through the goblins, lizard men, bugbears, ogres, and the rest of the monstrous food chain first. Still, at least he isn't subverted like the Harpy one, or personally attached to the creature like the Aurumvorax one, he does give accurate information (and some suppositions and extrapolations). Not that this is going to save the adventurers, since even in 1st ed, red dragons are powerful, smart and magically capable. They do include quite a few bits that some won't agree with, (draconic sexism, relatively severe aging rules, exploding poo. ) but this is still a pretty decent ecology, with plenty of detail and ideas. Not too brilliant, not too bad.

Sage advice is covering wider issues than simple rule questions this month.
What do you think of house rules. (Be carefull, be consistent, be upfront and explicit. But enough about my personal life. )

Can we convert AD&D characters to a D&D game (No. The two games must remain separate, by holy decree of Arneson!

Can I play more than one character at once ( We at skip towers do not have a problem with that idea. Go wild.)

Can demihumans change class once they release max level(no. Not in D&D, not in AD&D. They can't even be classes in D&D, and you have to pick your multiclass options when you start in AD&D. Your path is fixed.)

What are attack ranks (an excuse for demihumans to get more badass once they've maxed out their level. Blame non-joined up designing )

How long does lycanthropy take to complete (2-24 days)

What happens when you turn undead. (They run away like little girls. This does not solve the long term problem. I have to wonder why clerics were given this power. Maybe it's a godly conspiracy. )

XP! Huh! What are they good for for once you're maximum level (not much)

When druids fight, does the loser drop a level (yes. They need to work the XP up again. Otherwise they could just rechallenge straight away. And no, restoration won't help you.)

How many druids are there above 30th level ( 25. And no epicly awesome heirophants after that. They're just about the only class that gets worse epic options in D&D than AD&D.)

When can fighters use special combat options (once they've learned how. They are a privelege, not a right.)

How many spells does a 1st level character have in their book (2)

Can I imitate perseus and have a medusa head shield ( :sucks teeth: Oooh, I really dunno. We really don't recommend it working for long, otherwise it'll fuck up the game. Plus there's the constant threat of the rest of the team being affected. )

How do medusas stone themselves (by looking in a mirror)

Why are normal bats stronger than giant bats (oops. We swapped the stats)

What special effect does a tiger beetle have (none. we mixed up the tiger and oil beetle. It's all the layout staff's fault. Yeah, that's the ticket. )

What does wolfsbane do (makes lycanthropes run away like little girls. Then they can cower in the corner with the undead from last encounter. And exchange haircare tips. Keeping it sleek and glossy is a lich when you're dead. )

How do you restore strength lost to shadows (patience)

Can a rod of cancelation disenchant constructs (nope)

Where is the description of the devil swine ( page 30 or 48, depending which book you have. Whatever happened to them? They were one of BD&D's more flavourfull monsters. )

Can rocs be used as mounts ( Yes, but it ain't easy. You'll have to assert your authority pretty strongly.)

What is a war horse (A horse trained for war. The name says it all. )

How lawful can an unintelligent creature be ( Repeaters aren't unintelligent. This is the problem with BD&D not giving proper attribute scores for creatures. Misconceptions like this. )

Why don't megaliths have XP values (because they have too many HD to measure properly. It's the old HD /= Challenge problem at very high levels.)

What's the encumbrance of a spellbook (pretty hefty. I could get precise values from Gary a few years ago, but I can't be bothered )

What do I do if the PC's get a too powerful magic item ( Let me count the ways. Take it away, rack up the opposition, give the other players more, let it run out. Your choices are myriad)

What's a pocket of holding (like a bag, only atatched to your trousers. You'd better hope they're sized right. )

Does your level affect powers from items you're using (No. This may cause scaling problems at high level. )

How do +1 items benefit a character. (oh, it's another moron question is it. Do you even know what a number is? Skip does not have time for this. Skip is a badass Mutha
Shut yo mouth
Hey, I'm talking about Skip here
I can dig it)

How can a bag of holding fit a 10' long item (extradimensional. Bigger inside than out. That's it's whole schtick. Once again, read the book properly)

Do you lose experience when you drink a potion of longevity (only if it's cursed. )

How do you avoid being trapped in a scroll of shelter (get out before it's taken down. Simple)

Can you add new creatures to the egg of wonder (oh yes. Like any random item, expanded tables to keep the characters on their toes are always welcome. Who knows, maybe we'll publish one in here. )

Can you bypass enemies as well as allies with an arrow of blinking (no)

Do magic arrows lose their magic when fired (yes. Use them wisely)

Can any elf or magic user use a crystal ball (yes. It's part of basic training, along with making spellbooks, and the curse which prevents you from using most weapons. )

Does suit armor save you from fireball and lightning bolt (fireball, yes. Lightning bolt, no. Electricity likes metal very much, and then they make little singe babies. You don't wanna be inside when they're getting biz-ayh. )

Can PC's make intelligent magic items (Yes indeedy. You need to be pretty high level though. )


Making the Legend
Validated User
Dragon Magazine Issue 134: June 1988

part 3/5

Bazaar of the bizarre: More support for the Jester. One of the few classes solely from the magazine to get follow-up articles. There's a joke in there, or at the very least an irony. In any case, such repeated support makes them more attractive as a character option. This is rather amusing in itself.

The blowgun of wild emotions is a great bit of random screwage. Use with caution, for inducing envy, greed, rage, hatred or paranoia will likely backfire on you painfully if they know who hit them.

The Exalted book of ethnic Humor lets you tailor your offensiveness to humiliate and insult anyone, of any race. Eeech. I can see that one getting uncomfortable around the gaming table if there are any actual minorities around.

The Extendable hand of enjoyment lets you engage in, erm, manual manipulation of objects up to 30' away. I can definitely see a lot of uses in that, some of them not even jokes.

The Larynx of deafening is another item that could be used seriously, as it's basically just a portable amplifier for your voice. Now you can get through to even the largest and deafest of audiences.

Magical paddleboards let you thwok things with balls on rubber bands. Of all the humiliating ways to go, this really takes the cake.

Paddleboards of wondrous transformation take the previous idea and run with it, transforming creatures hit into some other random creature. Since these are often scary monsters, this is one that will just make a fight more insane, rather than putting the opponent out altogether. Muahahahaha!!!!

Random target daggers do exactly what they say on the tin. Throw them and they could go anywhere. Who knows what they'll hit?

Skates of the roller hoopers let you skate over any surface, including walls and ceilings. Your battles will become tremendously cinematic, verging on the cartoonish.

The Hula-hoop of the roller hoopers whirrs around your body and deflects missile attacks. Combined with the skates and a ranged weapon (or the paddleboards or extendible hand, you become able to whizz around griefing your enemies while they can do sod all in return. Now there's a confidence booster for you.

The Tome of the fool is like most other tomes, it gives a jester extra XP, and screws over nonjesters reading it. Avoid like the plague, for forced class conversion sucks.

The Tome of the humorous perspective allows a jester to calmly accept death as just the punchline to the greatest joke of all, becoming scarily fearless and able to bring levity to the grimmest of situations. Just like Kender then. Do not capture them, for they'll ruin even the best prepared evil monologue.

The Yo-yo of fate lets jesters do a bit of god-modding. Yet another tool they have to survive and laugh in the face of adversity.

For your orcs only: Bruce Heard plays sage as people give their feedback and questions about the Orcwars! game. You'd better learn da rulez of Waaagh!!!!! boyz.

Can hordes fight or occupy without a chief (Sure. Da boyz like to fight. Just don't expect dem ta show much initiitiitiative. )

Can hordes without a chief stay in a coalition. (Ya. Untill a noo strong leader takez over. Den all bets are off if he don wanna follow da big boss. )

How does the code of ethnics work if one side doesn't have a chief. (Da boyz join da first big boss of the same race dey meet.)

How can uncommanded hordes retreat. (Dey don't. Without a warboss ta give them tactics, da boyz fight to da death! )

Can uncommanded hordes mine. (Sure. Mining don' take much brainpower, and da boyz gotta get dere exercise if dere's no-one ta fight. )

Can chiefs exchange hordes (Yeaaaah! Watch out if da new chief is a different race to da hordes though. Da boyz might kill him.)

When can a chief pick up uncommanded hordes. (Da boyz will leap into action for him any time. )

Do you have to roll an authority check if forced to retreat out of your home (Nahh. Da boyz don't mind a little adversity. It's coming inta money dat makes dem unreliable. )

Can you collect gold from a territory you've just retreated into ( I bleedin wish. )

What happens to the gold if you lose your horde by the chief survives ( All gone. All Gooone! There's a dog loose in the woods. )

Can a big army lose war machines if a little army was successful against them (if dey used dem in da battle)

Can you retreat into territory controlled by your own coalition. (sure. Den you get more buds and go kick dere asses. Revenge!!!!! )

Can you fight, move and fight some more in a single turn (no. Such a shame.)

Can you use a spy to figure out which card you want to take (no. That would require two uses. )

Do you keep control of a territory after moving all your troops out (till some other chief comes in)

Does a chief automatically capture a territory he moves into (only if he ends his move there. )

Can a chief just take over an unnoccupied enemy territory and levy troops. (sure. Da boyz'll be bored and fight whoever ya tell'em to fight. Especially if you tell'em to get Soulja boy ;) )

Are we going to get an orcwars boxed set. (Maybe. Buy lots of GAZ10 if ya want that ta happen. )

Are Gold country east and west different territories. (Yar. There's gold in them thar territories, and they don't wanna share. )

Can you use multiple chief operations defensively (Yes! The boyz can co-operate sometimes.)

So let's get raiding! Raaaaaaar. Last one dead has to eat everyone else!


Making the Legend
Validated User
Dragon Magazine Issue 134: June 1988

part 4/5

Fiction: Eyes of redemption by James Brunet. Hmm. This is an interesting mythological set-up. And one I can't really talk about without spoiling the whole plot of the story. I'll just say that it works both as a story, as a bit of worldbuilding, and as part of this month's focus on dragons, taking the hero on a physical and internal journey that makes sense, given what he experiences, and ends in a way that is highly satisfying, if not completely happy. Quite a good one, really.

TSR Previews: AD&D gets FR4: The Magister. Lots of new magical items, and I suspect some reprints from the magazine, all with Elminsters inimitable writing style framing it. Can something that was pretty fun to read as articles be sustained for a whole book?

The Forgotten Realms is also getting next year's calendar. Once again, you get to see artwork from the books reprinted considerably larger, on nice glossy paper for your viewing enjoyment.

Dragonlance isn't being neglected either. The second book is now converted to graphic novel format. The third should be along pretty soon then.

Marvel Superheroes are still in an epic mood, with ME2: Ragnarok and Roll. Thor & co kick the asses of the Elders of the universe. They probably deserve it. :p

Top Secret/S.I. also pushes it's boundaries with TSAC4: F.R.E.E.Lancers. A new futuristic setting full of superpowered secret agents, this looks like being a polarising little book. They really are moving this ever further from it's original design.

The dread Bullwinkle & Rocky roleplaying party game hits the shelves this month. Includes hand puppets. Eeech. :rumble of thunder, stab of organ music: Erm, I mean It sounds marvelous, and will revolutionise roleplaying as we know it while also being a huge commercial success :teeth ting:

And finally, we have a trio of boardgames. Kage, Crosse and Steppe are all appearing under a new imprint, the Master Moves Strategy Boardgames. Interesting. Anyone remember having these, or are they going to disappear unlamented like too many of their experiments?

Arcane lore: Another interesting design experiment here. Healing magic is one thing that massively affects the tone of the game. Just how much of it you have available, and how quickly you can apply it makes a huge difference. Here's a clever little trick. Instead of waiting until they get hurt to heal them, you could apply pre-emptive spells that kick in when you get hurt. leaving the cleric free to do other things mid combat. And so another ingenious little bit of spell technology came into being, with 4 new spells that do exactly that. Regenerate light, serious, critical wounds, & Regenerative Heal. Each heals slightly less than it's after the event counterpart, and imparts the healing over a longer timescale rather than all at once, so they don't overshadow the standard spells in terms of power. But in terms of tactical play, combining the two types of healing can give a team substantial advantages. Very clever indeed, and a good example of how to become more effective through proper tactics and variety of options rather than objective power creep. I like this one quite a lot, and am definitely putting it in as a secret technique to be unearthed in my game.

The official ballot for Origins 1987! Vote now and send it in! Another interesting bit of context here.

Another rather lengthy bit of Gen con info, as they give a 4 page bit of promotion on the games auction, and how to participate in it. Pay attention to the small print.

Sighting in: Top Secret's article this month is focused on assassination. Just as people are finally getting over their rage about the assassin being removed from the next edition of AD&D. :p In particular, sniping. One of the least favourite ways to kill a PC, and generally problematic, in the same way that nukes and spaceship combat are. But that's because it's rather effective at killing things. Anyway, this is two pages of gun pr0n, and half a page on getting the proper training to use it. After all, not every agent can become a sniper. You still need to gather plenty of info about what's going on and where to lurk before you can set things up to shoot someone. Not a hugely interesting article, and once again the stats are all for the second edition rather than the new one. They really are still giving it a lot of support. Is this driven by the magazine staff or the fans?

The game wizards: Speaking of snipers, Steve Winter decides to talk about their new Sniper™ games. There are still quite a few people at TSR who like wargames, and would like to see them return to a wider audience, and he's leading the charge. So this month, this column is devoted to promoting the series, describing how the rules work, and trying to make buying them seem like an appealing prospect. Designed to cover a wide range of close range engagements, and both mundane and supernatural scenarios, they're certainly trying hard. But as Yoda said. Do, or do not do. There is no try. Another depressing reminder of all the companies failed experiments.


Making the Legend
Validated User
Dragon Magazine Issue 134: June 1988

part 5/5

Role-playing reviews decides that it's their turn to have an oriental special. Better late than never to jump on the bandwagon, as it's popularity shows no sign of abating around here. As usual, Jim talks about what should make playing in this milieu different from any other game, and the standards he is using to judge the products by. You have to balance the cool powers with the social ties and responsibilities, the realistic elements with the fantastic, and capture the strangeness of the cultures without making them inaccessable. Oh, and there's gotta be ninjas. ;) How will he judge the current options?

Bushido is one of the more Old Skool games out there. With dense, poorly organized rules, it'll take several full readings to figure out how everything fits together. If you can do this, it's a crunchy games that does capture the Oriental feel fairly well. And you don't have to worry about keeping up with tons of supplements, although he doesn't see that as a positive either. Could be better, could be worse.

Land of ninja is a supplement for 3rd ed Runequest. It integrates pretty well with the existing rules, introducing plenty of new skills and powers. It is however lacking in martial arts, and the maps referenced in the adventures seem to be missing. So while generally of decent quality, the whole thing feels a bit unfinished, and if you don't like how the Runequest system works in general, this won't change that.

Oriental adventures is of course AD&D's attempt at covering these topics. And a pretty successful one it is too, integrating all the basic themes into the game in a mechanically codified way, without altering AD&D so much that you can't use them alongside western characters and monsters. If you haven't got it already, do so. Jim also gives brief reviews of the first two OA modules, Swords of the Daimyo and Blood of the Yakuza. Each provides both adventures and setting detail, helping fill in the lands of Kara-Tur some more. Seems reasonable enough. My only real complaint with this review is that we see another instance of their creeping desire to downplay Gary's contributions. Zeb Cook gets all the credit, while Gary and the other people who contributed to the book, but are no longer with the company do not get mentioned. This is rather telling. There is corporate culture crap going on here that they would rather we not see.

Catching some rays: Gamma World's article this month is a little expansion on the effects of lower intensity long term radiation exposure. This is definitely on the more realistic end of things, with radiation primarily giving you health problems and detrimental mutations. One of those articles that definitely won't be good for many games, with it's greater lethality and playing up a problem you can't fight directly. Serviceable but dull.

The role of computers: Dream Zone is an adventure game where you go from reality to a dream world, and then have to escape the dream. It uses the same framing trick as the wizard of oz movie, making reality black and white, while the dream world is in colour. The puzzles are typically obtuse, with a strong sense of humour involved as you navigate your way through the corrupt and obtuse department of information. Definitely seems like an inventive little creation.

Strike-Fleet, The Naval Task Force Simulator is one of those big strategy games where you have to learn to control a whole bunch of things at once, and then play out various military scenarios. Ship and submarine scenarios are quite different experiences, and you have to learn to both wait patiently for the enemy to make a mistake, and react fast in response. This will take quite a few tries.

The Pawn, another adventure game, gets a rather short review. While positive, this is actually mostly concerned with the capabilities of IBM computers as compared to more common gaming platforms. The graphics card you have can make a quite substantial difference to your gaming experience. Another one of those bits of historical context that reminds us just how far computers have to develop.

Gary Gygax presents Fantasymaster! We will compete with our former creation and blow them away! Yeah, right. Any opinions on this one?

Warhammer 40,000 gives us a big statblock as an advert. Buh. Does that work? Have you ever been sold on a game by looking at it's statblocks?

The ultimate Addenda's addenda: Another bunch of extra powers is this month's Marvel contribution. As they often do with monsters and magical items, these are the result of lots of people's ideas being submitted over time and then compiled. So here's 8 new variant powers, demonstrating the ingenuity of various super-heroes, plus 8 new "meta-powers", which improve your capabilities that work by messing with the quirks of the game rules. Change the Karma criteria, pool and combine your stats and powers with those of others, and choose everyone's place in the initiative order, these can be pretty effective. Once again we see how adapting ideas from other games can have quite different looking results when applied to other systems, and this can be very interesting. A pretty nice bit of new toys for a game which gets less than it's fair share of them around here.

Dragonmirth leaves things half-done twice. Does that make a complete joke? Snarf makes new friends. Possibly. Things could easily go horribly wrong again.

Yamara! Looks like they've found a replacement for Wormy. Already there is PvP. I remember the later issues of this, and I eagerly look forward to seeing the whole arc in the proper order. Not that they'll get that much done, as they're only tiny monthly strips. Still, it's how funny the journey is, not the destination, that really counts. And they're already off to a decent start in that respect.

We get a map showing where all 10 of the gazetteers of the Known world are covering. 640 pages between them. That's a lot of setting detail. Better than Oerth ever got. Goes to show how much the supplement mill has accelerated in the past couple of years.

Time definitely marches on in this one, with an unusual number of references to both the past and the future in this issue. You can definitely tell we're in the middle of gearing up for an edition change. This time, it's the D&D stuff that works best, while the coverage of other games feels a bit sub-par. Still, they seem to be maintaining fairly consistent ratios in what they're tackling. What will happen next, when the edition change really goes into full effect? What format changes, what flame wars will next year bring? Certainly looks promising.


I'm a boat
Validated User
Gary Gygax presents Fantasymaster! We will compete with our former creation and blow them away! Yeah, right. Any opinions on this one?
They sold poorly, like most of the New Infinities Productions stuff, though that's not necessarily a good judge of quality. That said, hearsay puts it that The Abduction of Good King Despot was one of Gygax's favourite modules.

Kakita Kojiro

IL-series Cylon
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Yamara! Looks like they've found a replacement for Wormy. Already there is PvP. I remember the later issues of this, and I eagerly look forward to seeing the whole arc in the proper order. Not that they'll get that much done, as they're only tiny monthly strips. Still, it's how funny the journey is, not the destination, that really counts. And they're already off to a decent start in that respect.
I think most of the Yamara strips are online, with new stuff. Let's see...

Yamara archives

edit: With commentary on behind the scenes stuff, as here, which might give (un)reason some insight into what is going on backstage.
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Making the Legend
Validated User
I think most of the Yamara strips are online, with new stuff. Let's see...

Yamara archives

edit: With commentary on behind the scenes stuff, as here, which might give (un)reason some insight into what is going on backstage.
Ahh, the joys of petty office politics. I gave this a good reading through a couple of weeks ago. Now, if only I could find anything similar on Twilight Empire. There's a strip that googling is singularly unhelpful on, thanks to huge numbers of false positives.
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