Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Old Mage's Almanac - Spells of Voice

A few spells occurred to me recently which I thought might be especially annoying to enemy spellcasters, bards and those who are generally talkative.

Level: Bard 2, Mage 2
Range: Close (30')
Duration: 10 minutes

This spell causes people to speak unintelligibly for the duration. They understand other people perfectly well, and think they are forming normal sentences when they speak. They do not, therefore, realize that are speaking gibberish until it is pointed out to them. The afflicted may attempt a Will saving throw to negate the effect. Thereafter, he may attempt secondary Will save to make himself intelligible, with a penalty of -1 per word to be spoken. Spellcasters can make similar saving throws to utter their spells properly, with a penalty equal to the level of the spell +1. If a spell is uttered as gibberish, it is still considered "used" for that day.

Booming Voice
Level: Bard 1, Mage 2
Range: 120'
Duration: 1 hour + 1 hour per caster level

This spell affects up to 10 targets within 120 feet. The targets, if they fail a Will saving throw, cannot help but speak as loudly as possible. These booming voices have the normal chance for attracting wandering monsters, and might cause other calamities as well (per the TK's discretion).

Loose Lips
Level: Bard 2, Cleric 3, Mage 3
Range: Close (30')
Duration: 1 minute

This spell causes a single target, who can negate it with a successful Will saving throw, to divulge any secrets she is keeping for one minute. They usually start with their most pressing, timely secrets (like her plan for assassinating the king and queen with an exploding hedgehog), and work their way towards long held secrets from childhood (stole some tarts from the castle kitchen when she was 9).

Unseen Clerk
Level: Mage 0
Range: n/a
Duration: 1 hour

This spell creates something akin to an unseen servant, save it will do nothing but transcribe the activities of the spellcaster and her associates for 1 hour, including drawing a map of where they have explored in a dungeon and taking down all conversations within 60' of the unseen clerk. The spellcaster can cause the unseen clerk to strike things from the record as she desires. The spellcaster must provide a pen and paper for the unseen clerk, and they will follow her around, busily scratching things down as she goes.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Dragon by Dragon - April 1980

There will come a day when the April edition of The Dragon will be full of jokes. Based on the cover, I'd say that day was not in April of 1980.

The aforementioned cover is by Dean Morrissey, and it is inspired by that issue's short story by Gardner Fox, "The Cube from Beyond", a Niall of the Far Travels story. Mr. Morrissey is still a working artist - you can see some of his pieces HERE.

Let's check out 10 cool things about issue #36 ...


First and foremost, I'm always a sucker for a good sword & sorcery tale by Gardner Fox. Here's a sample:

"Now Thavas Tomer was a doomed man. He had fled down the halls and corridors, seeking sanctuary—where no sanctuary was to be found. At his heels had come Niall, his great sword Blood-drinker in his hand, seeking to make an end to this magician-king who had slain and raped and robbed all those against whom he had sent his mercenaries."

If somebody could figure out a way to make a random idea generator that plucked passages from fantasy stories, I bet it would be a great way to come up with adventures or campaigns. Three different passages from the same book might inspire three very different campaigns.


An interesting "Up on a Soap Box" by Larry DiTillio, regarding him running an adventure he normally ran for adults for some adults and teens at a convention. Here's an excerpt:

"In the same game another incident occurred, again with that same Paladin player. This one involved a mysterious monk smoking a substance from a hookah which he offered to certain party members. My friends accepted somewhat overeagerly, while the Paladin again asked me that question. Was smoking a drug against his alignment? Now, I’m not a junkie, nor do I think drugs are of any benefit to teen-agers (no high is as good as your own natural openness to things at that age), but I have had a good deal of experience with a whole gamut of consciousness-altering substances and would be hard pressed to declare them categorically evil."
The first incident involved a dungeon room where sex could be purchased. In both cases, the paladin inquires whether these acts are against his alignment. It's a tricky question, and does get to a problem with alignment - i.e. the interpretation of what it means. No answers here, but an interesting problem, and an interesting article.


In this issue, Gygax chimes in with some stats for Conan. It's funny, but I was actually searching for this article recently, looking for inspiration for maybe making some revisions to the barbarian class in Blood & Treasure.

In doing so, I found some comments on websites that this article was a mistake, in that the weird rules changes needed to simulate Conan showed the weakness of the D&D system. I disagree - D&D is a game. Conan was a character in stories. No random rolls there, no comparisons of hit rolls and Armor Class. That a game cannot simulate something in a story is not a condemnation of the game (which, in D&D's case, was not designed specifically to simulate Conan stories in the first place).

So, how does Conan shake out? Well, which Conan. The piece actually presents Conan at different ages - 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70. Neat idea. We also see how his fighter and thief levels change through his ages. His fighter level runs from a low of 4 at age 15 to a high of 24 at age 40 ... and then back down to 12 by the time he's 70.

How does a level drop? Well, there's really no way to do it in the game, but I thought about using a rule that each year without adventuring might result in a character losing 10% of his earned XP. If you don't stay in practice, you get rusty and, therefore, lose levels. Just a thought.

So, let's look at Conan at age 25.

Conan, Human Fighter/Thief: Level 12/8; HP 132; AC 16; ATK attacks 5 times every 2 rounds; Str 18/00, Int 15, Wis 10, Dex 20, Con 18, Cha 15; AL Chaotic Neutral (good tendencies); Psionics--Latent--animal telepathy, detect magic, precognition, mind bar.

Conan gets the following special abilities:

  • When he rolls a total of "21" to hit, he scores double damage.
  • He is 75% undetectable in underbrush and woodlands.
  • He surprises opponents 50% of the time.
  • He is only surprised on a roll of 1 on 1d20.
  • He gets a +4 bonus on all saves.
  • Poison can knock him unconscious, but never kill him.
  • He regains hit points at double the normal rate, and regains hit points at the normal rate even without resting.
  • He has 25% magic resistance if he is aware that magic is being used against him.
  • His psionics are all latent - he does not know he has them, and cannot consciously choose to use them.
  • When wielding an off-hand weapon, he can parry one attack per round with it.
  • He can move at a trot all day without tiring.
  • His trails are 75% undetectable.
  • His vision and hearing are 50% better than normal.
  • When he pummels people, his opponents are treated as slowed; his fists are treated as mailed even when bare.
  • When grappling, his effective height is 7', and his effective weight is 350 lb.
  • He gets a 15% bonus to overbearing attacks
  • He does unarmed damage as though armed with a club

In "Sage Advice" by Jean Wells ...

"Question: Why can’t half-orcs be raised, especially if they are 90% human as the Players Handbook says?

Answer: The Players Handbook does not say that half-orcs are 90% human. It says that 10% of them (from which player characters are drawn) resemble humans enough to pass for one under most circumstances. Genetically, a true half-orc is always 50% human. Half-orcs cannot be raised simply because they do not have souls. I went right to the top for the answer to this one, and according to Gary Gygax himself, 'Half-orcs cannot be raised-period.'"

It occurs to me that the inability to raise demi-humans was a balancing factor in old D&D for all of their special abilities.


Len Lakofka tries his hand at setting all those deity-killing PC's right by setting down some truths about the gods. How many DM's, I wonder, design their pantheon specifically for one day fighting high-level adventurers?

Here are Lakofka's definitions for deity-hood:

1. Has 180 or more hit points
2. Can cast a spell or has a power at the 20th level of ability
3. Can fight or perform acts as a 20th level Lord or 20th level Thief

Those who cannot do this are not deities. This includes Jubilex, Ki-rins and Yeenoghu. Baal, Orcus, Tiamat and Bahamut, on the other hand, are deities.

He also states that deities get their special abilities from the Outer Planes, while lesser beings get their powers from the inner planes or from deities.

Much more here, including abilities from ability scores of 19 or higher (or 25+ for strength).

It looks like the blueprint used for the later Deities & Demigods / Legends & Lore books.


Now that's a great illustration for selling a monster book. You can pick up the PDF HERE.


Turns out there was a prank hiding inside this issue after all - technically The Dragon #36 1/2.

We have articles about how to make the most out of your pet dragon, some new monsters (see below), keeping your players poor with the tax man, Bazaar of the Ordinary (web of cob), a random table (d30!) of things to say when you accidentally (or maybe not accidentally) summon Demogorgon, Leomund's in a Rut (expanding character footwear options), this month's module - a 10x10 room with nothing in it (map provided), and an add that includes Detailed Advanced D&D, the next step in fantasy gaming.

As for one of those new monsters:

The Keebler, Small Fey: HD 0; AC 13; ATK none; MV 40'; XP 50; AL N (good tendencies); Special-Magic resistance 60%, bake cookies (Will save at -4 or charmed); Spells-3/day-create water, purify food & drink, slow poison, create food & water, neutralize poison, locate object (edible substances) - as though by 7th level cleric.

7) The Mongols

Neat article by Michael Kluever on the history, weapons and tactics of the Mongols. Mongols done the way they were are probably pretty underused in fantasy gaming - they were a pretty fascinating group, and a campaign that includes a rapidly expanding Mongol Empire (wherein PC's leave town, adventure in a dungeon, and come back to find the town razed or absorbed into the empire) would be pretty cool, especially if that expansion ends up being crucial to the game.

How was the typical Mongol warrior equipped:

Armor ranged from none to leather to scale armor, plus conical helms (leather for light cavalry, steel for heavy cavalry) and small, circular shields made of wicker covered with leather; they also wore silk undershirts that apparently helped to minimize damage from arrows when they had to be removed from wounds

Two composite bows, one for short range, one for long range; they used armor-piercing arrows, whistling arrows to signal and incendiary arrows (tipped with small grenades - apparently the Duke boys didn't invent the idea); each warrior carried two quivers with 60 arrows in each

Heavy cavalry also carried a scimitar, battle axe OR horseman's mace, a 12' long lance with a hook for yanking warriors off their horses and a dagger

Light cavalry carried a lighter sword, two to three javelins and a dagger

8) Giants in the Earth

This edition, by Lawrence Schick and Tom Moldvay, includes:

Rafael Sabatini's Captain Blood (17th level fighter, 10th level thief, 8th level cleric)

Lovecraft's Richard Upton Pickman (King of the Ghouls, 9th level fighter)

Thomas Burnett Swann's Silverbells (forest minotaur 15th level ranger, 13th level paladin)

The last one caught my attention, since I'd never heard of the author. The idea is that the original stock of minotaurs, termed forest minotaurs here, were neutral good defenders of the woodlands and the fey creatures who lived therein. You can find his books for sale at Amazon.

9) A New Way to Track XP

Experience points, like alignment, are a perennial sub-system people are trying to improve. In this version, XP are based on actual damage inflicted (modified by the strength of the opponents), and for deeds actually done. To whit:

For non-magical monsters, you get 5 XP per point of damage done, multiplied by the difference between the monster's AC and 10

For magical monsters, 10 XP per point of damage done, same modifier.

For spellcasting in combat, 10 XP per level of spell

For spellcasting in a hostile situation, 5 XP per level of spell

Thieves get XP for gold stolen, maybe only if they grab a larger share than the other members of their party

Not a bad idea, really.

10) The Fastest Guns that Never Lived

This is a reprint, collection and expansion of articles I remember covering many reviews ago. Designed for Boot Hill, it's a pretty fun article for fans of westerns, and a great opportunity for fan debates. If you think it's bunk, you can blame Allen Hammack, Brian Blume, Gary Gygax and Tim Kask.

So, let's get to the winners in each stat:

Fastest Gun in the West: (1) Clint Eastwood, (2) Bob Steele, (3) Paladin

   Slowest: Pancho

Most Accurate Gun in the West: (1) Clint Eastwood, (2) Will Sonnet and Col. Tim McCoy, (3) Lone Ranger, The Rifleman, Paladin and Lee Van Cleef

   Least: Hoss and Little Joe Cartwright

Bravest Gun in the West: Charles Bronson

   Most Cowardly: Pancho

Strongest Gun in the West: Hoss Cartwright

   Weakest: Will Sonnet

Somebody was in love with Clint Eastwood, huh?


Todd Lockwood (that one?) brings us the monster of the month, a race of warm-blooded flying reptile dudes. Here are the Blood & Treasure stats.

Krolli, Large Monstrous Humanoid: HD 2 to 6; AC 17; ATK 1 bite (1d6+1), rear claw (1d8+1), hand (1d8 or by weapon +4); MV 20' (fly 40'); AL varies; XP 200 to 600; Special-High dexterity, multiple attacks, acute senses, surprised on 1 on 1d6, 25% magic resistance.

They are encountered in lairs, with 3d20 in lair, 25% females and young, with 2-3 and 1/2 HD each, and 1d8 7+2 HD chieftains. Encountered among men, they are usually mercenaries or slavers, and could be found as body guards or military officers.

They have high natural strength (20) and dexterity (23).

They may be of any class, though 95% are fighters. Of the remainder, 70% are clerics. They cannot wear armor, but often carry shields. They are almost never thieves or assassins.

Side note - I really loved Lockwood's stuff for 3rd edition D&D - a very worthy artist to carry that torch, I think.

Hope you enjoyed this review ... I leave you with Tramp

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Two Cinematic Hex Crawls

Over the last few days, I managed to watch some D&D-ish movies before work - just dumb luck, they just happened to be on.

The first involved a few PC's and their henchmen taking a dangerous cruise on a quest to break an evil magic-user's polymorph other spell on a prince, who ended up a baboon. The quest eventually takes them to the arctic and a hidden, pleasant land within the arctic. On the way, they fight monsters, counter spells and eventually break the spell. Alas - no treasure, but they'll probably be rewarded by the prince.

The second involved five people, four men and a woman, dragged from modern times into ancient Greece. The men are made galley slaves, while an evil king tries to romance the woman. The men eventually lead a slave revolt, wash up on shore, do a little hex crawling, and are made slaves again. Luckily, one of the guys ends up with an 18/00 strength (or maybe higher), and in this capacity serve a different king, and wind up fighting Hercules himself to get back to their own time period.

The first film was Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, the second The Three Stooges Meet Hercules. Scoff if you will, but the second flick is probably close to most D&D campaigns than the first. Oh, we all dream of Lord of the Rings-caliber gaming, but bumbling insanity is often what we get.

Both films were lots of fun - I'd actually never managed to watch the Sinbad flick, despite being a fan of Harryhausen - so here are a few bits and pieces inspired by these movies:

Giant Walrus

Size/Type: Huge Animal
Hit Dice: 11
Armor Class: 16
Attack: 1 bite (2d6)
Movement:15 (Swim 60)
Saves: F5 R8 W13
Alignment: Neutral (N)Intelligence: Animal
No. Appearing: 1
XP: 550 (CL 11)

Giant walruses are much like their smaller counterparts, though they are more aggressive.


Size/Type: Large Construct
Hit Dice: 6
Armor Class: 18
Attack: 1 gore (1d10) or by weapon (2d6)
Movement: 30
Saves: F11 R12 W12
Resistance: Fire, electricity
Alignment: Neutral (N)
Intelligence: Non-
No. Appearing: 1
XP: 600 (CL 7)

Minotons are bronze automatons made by magic-users for brute labor and basic fighting. Most are armed with spears. They are tireless and immune to all mind effects, and only obey the commands of their creator.


Size/Type: Large Giant
Hit Dice: 4
Armor Class: 14
Attack: 1 gore (1d6) and 1 slam (1d4) or by weapon (2d6)
Movement: 30
Saves: F10 R14 W15
Alignment: Neutral (N)Intelligence: Low to Average
No. Appearing: 1d4
XP: 200 (CL 4)

Troglodytes are large, primitive ancestors of human beings. They speak the language of simple primates, and though fearsome are not particularly aggressive. Female humanoids get a +2 reaction bonus with male troglodytes.

Eye of the Tiger

Level: Magic-User 3
Range: Personal
Duration: 10 minutes

When this spell is cast, a magic-user's eyes become cat-like (giving them darkvision to a range of 60'). Any feline they look upon within 60' must pass a Will saving throw or the magic-user turns into a vapor and inhabits the cat's body. The magic-user retains her own intellect, and gains the fighting ability of the cat. The magic-user can leave the cat's body at any time, but if they are still inside the cat when it is killed, they die along with it.

Two-Headed Cyclops

Size/Type: Huge Giant
Hit Dice: 16
Armor Class: 16
Attack: 2 weapons (3d6) or boulder (100'/3d6)
Movement: 40
Saves: F3 R7 W8; +2 save vs. mind effects
Alignment: Chaotic (CE)Intelligence: Low
No. Appearing: 1
XP: 800 (CL 16)

The two-headed cyclops stands about 50' tall. It is terribly bright, but it really doesn't need to be to get along.

Sleeping Pills

These magic items are akin to potions. They are made in lots of 4, and each pill packs the punch of a potion of sleep. Saves against them are saves against magic, not poison.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Dragon by Dragon - March 1980

This week (or month, depending on how you look at it), The Dragon greets us with a very 1980's bit of Cold War schtick - a couple commies about to get whooped by either a bunch of heavily armed and magical snowmen, or some U.S. Marines in disguise. Either way, not a good day for the Russkis. Luckily, we'll never have to worry about Russia actively trying to conquer its neighbors ... never mind.

Let's dive in!

#1. From Avant-Garde to Mainstream

From the Dragon Rumbles column:

"Judging from the 43rd Hobby Industry of America trade show, held Jan. 27-30 in Anaheim,
Calif., our once lonely pastime has arrived with a
vengeance. According to what the buyers and store owners were saying, adventure gaming (for want of another term) is booming, with the heavy emphasis on fantasy. Sales of Advanced D&D DMG bear this out; it is the best-selling game/gamebook of all time."

I wonder if that still holds. From what I understand, sales back in the old days were much higher than they are now.
#2. Oops

I did a thing a while back about type-o spells. In an article on errata in the AD&D books, Allen Hammack introduces a few screwed up magic items:

RING OF THREE WITCHES— Rather self-explanatory. It looks like any other magic ring and will radiate a dweomer if detected for. If summoned or commanded to function or if a wish is made upon it, the three witches (each a 20th level chaotic evil Magic-User) will issue forth and wreak havoc.

CUBE OF FARCE —Upon pressing this cube, a field of force will spring up just as in the Cube of Force, but on the interior of the cubic field the operator of the Cube is subjected to 6 different “comedies” at the same time, and must save vs. spell or he will be insane for 1-10 rounds. The “comedies” are “Gilligan’s Island”, “Hee Haw”, “Hello, Larry” , “I Love Lucy”, “Good Times”, and “The White House Press Conference.”

CARPET OF FRYING— When this magic carpet is sat upon and commanded to do anything, it will paralyze the person(s) on the carpet (save applicable), causing the person(s) to stretch out along its length. It will then begin to radiate a temperature of 375° F. and continue until the victim is well-done. Needless to say, the smell of frying human (or halfling or elf or dwarf or gnome or half-orc) will attract any monsters in the area who are fond of such delicacies.

WAND OF LIGHTENING —This wand, whether directed at an opponent or oneself, will cause the operator to gradually become weightless. Once the wand is activated it cannot be stopped until the process is complete (5 rounds). Treat as gaseous form to see if the victim is blown by air currents, although the victim will obviously not be able to pass through cracks or holes. See what messing up one little letter in a spell can do?

#3. Black Holes!

In an article on Traveller variants by James Hopkins, we get a neat little table on random black holes:


Finally a new one from Ral Parth - The Clerics

The one on the left look a little dramatic, huh? The one on the right is calling his shot before he knocks a goblin head over the fence. You can buy them here.

#4. Experience Points

Len Lakofka does an alternative way to hand out XP. Here's the quick rundown:

1. A character amasses at least one half of the experience points he or she needs to gain a promotion (level) (an option allows this percentage to be as low as 30% for a 20th level figure).

2. He or she seeks a person (preferably) two or more levels higher but of the same race and alignment, to train him or her in the skills needed to fully gain the new level.

3. The cost of this training varies from as little as 10 s.p. for 1 x. p. to as much as 2 g.p. for 1 x.p.

4. The training time is computed in days or fractions of days, and during that period the figures are bound in what amounts to a sworn oath in the name of their Gods to be honorable, faithful
and loyal to one another.

Why are experience points given to a character? The methods are:

1. For killing opponents (“monsters”), as per AD&D.

2. For defeating, subduing, enspelling opponents (“monsters”), a one-half award. (Note: killing an enspelled monster still only gains the half award unless the killing is done immediately and not after questioning or having the figure perform some act )

3. For learning the use of magic items (per the awards in the Dungeon Masters Guide for magic items) by experiment and experience, NEVER from the use of a spell or through magic in a

4. From protracted use of an item (weapons and armor, etc. )

5. For certain one-time uses of an item in an “adventure situation.”

6. For acts directly related to a character’s profession.

I've admitted in the past that I was a terrible AD&D player, because I never really read the books. I was a Moldvay/Cook punk who grabbed classes, spells, monsters and magic items from AD&D, but I never really used the rules. So the bit about XP for learning to use magic items is interesting - I always figured you just got fat XP for finding a magic item. Maybe you did in AD&D, or maybe I missed the actual rule. I have no idea. Guess I'll break out the DMG and find out later today.

#5. Same Crap, Different Decade 
"Unfortunately, not all particular wargame enthusiasts are able to “minimize losses and maximize gains.” Frequently, wargames allow individual players to display some extreme prodigality, giving bystanders the impression that wargamers are nothing but impassive warmongers who are bent upon destruction, with all its violent emotions, whatever the cost may be. These “war-moralizers” feel that a new race of fascists and communists will be born, with the instinctive impressions that war and its wastefulness is the way of life. Moreover, other groups of “war-moralizers” say that wargaming is an act of practicing the willful murder of mankind condemned by God. And all of this moralizing comes from just playing a game!"

Sound familiar. These days, the emotionally immature are playing the "disagreement = violence" argument, but it all boils down to the same damn thing - tyranny. One person or group gets to direct the lives of all others - what they may say, may do, how they do it, etc.

I want to make sure folks know that Theron Kuntz, in this article, is lamenting and arguing against the bullshit moralizers of the period.

If you love freedom - yours as well as the freedom of others to piss you off - Fight On!

#6. Touched (Really Hard) by an Angel

William Fawcett has a nice article on angels (which of course first has to assure the religious that this is make-believe, so get that pissy look off your face). The article gives you a look at the history of angels (or of lesser divine beings, if you prefer), the hierarchy of Heaven, and then stats for the different angels.

You get seraphim, cherubim, thrones, dominations, virtues, powers, principalities, archangels and angels of the ninth order. All the classics. Makes me want to write an overpowered angel PC class using those as the level titles ... maybe next week.

Here's a sample, using Blood and Treasure stats.

Angel of the Ninth Order

Size/Type: Large Outsider
Hit Dice: 8
Armor Class: 21 [+1]
Attack: 1 strike (4d6)
Movement: 30 (Fly 60)
Saves: F8 R8 W8
Resistance: Magic 50%
Alignment: Lawful (LG)
Intelligence: High
No. Appearing: 1 or 1d4
XP: 2,000

Spells: At will--cure light wounds, purify food & drink, hold person, tongues, plane shift (others), speak with dead, blade barrier, cure disease; 1/day--control weather.

#7. Giants in the Earth

I always enjoy Lawrence Schick and Tom Moldvay's GitE articles. This issue features:

Cecelia Holland's MUIRTAGH THE BOWMAN (16th level bard, 7th level fighter, 5th level thief) - with a great piece by Erol Otus. And, it turns out she was born right here in Southern Nevada, in Henderson, back when it was a factory town producing magnesium for the war effort.

H. Rider Haggard's UMSLOPOGAAS (15th level fighter)

Henry Kuttner's EDWARD BOND (9th level fighter)

Henry Kuttner's GANELON (25th level fighter) - with some very early Jeff Dee artwork

They also detail the Sword of Llyr from Kuttner. The sword doubles Ganelon's psionic strength and ability, and gives him some extra psionic disciplines: Invisibility, ESP, Body Equilibrium, Expansion, Mass Domination and Teleportation.

#8. Quickfloor

You've heard of quicksand (especially if you're my age), but Stephen Zagieboylo invented magical "quickfloor" for dungeons. People sink in 1d4+3 rounds (or 1d4+2 if in chainmail, 1d4+1 in platemail). The first person in the marching order has a 40% chance of noticing it, halflings have a 60% chance. Characters have a chance to cross safely based on their dexterity - For 3-5 a 10% chance, for 6-9 a 25% chance, for 10-13 a 50% chance, for 14-16 a 80% chance and for 17-18 a 90% chance. If you tie a rope between two wooden posts that flank the quickfloor, you create a magic bridge that allows people to cross safely, but kills anyone already in the quickfloor (I guess by solidifying it).


Q: Who was the top ranked AD&D player in the U.S.A. in 1980?

A. Bob Blake

Now you know.

#9. Citadel Miniatures

Great ad from Citadel, with their characteristically great mini illustrations.

Now, what can we do with this ad?

Idea 1 - Make a game. Pick a miniature, or do a die drop and see what you land on - that's your character. Use Risus or something to get some stats, equipment, etc and then invade the Tomb of Horrors.

Idea 2 - The spacefarer miniatures look like a rough draft for Rogue Trader and Warhammer 40,000. Reimagine what the game would have looked like with these illustrations as your guide. Imperial Marines with puffy sleeves instead of bulky armor.


Yeah, the last bit was an ad as well, but check these out ...

We have an OSR for tabletop games ... is there also an OSR for old-style computer rpgs? Honestly don't know - but I bet they'd make great apps for smart phones.

Coming soon to these reviews ...

No wormy in this issue, so I'll leave you with this image from the "Oasis" short story by Cynthia Frazer

So, I need to write an Angel PC class, and a Beastrider class this week.

Friday, September 25, 2015

New Spell - New Monster - New Class

Just a few things that popped into my head lately ...


Alter Voice
Level: Magic-user 0
Range: Personal
Duration: 1 hour

This spell permits you to alter your voice, mimicking another voice you have heard perfectly. It does not enable you to speak another language, of course. The spell also alters your inner voice, permitting you to fool creatures through the medium of telepathy.

(I've watch lots of old movies and TV shows, in which characters have an uncanny ability to duplicate other character's voices, especially over the phone)


Zoophytic Mangler
Size/Type: Medium Elemental
Hit Dice: 6
Armor Class: 17 [+1]
Attack: 2 slams (1d8)
Movement: 20
Saves: F10 R12 W12
Alignment: Neutral (N)
Intelligence: Non-
No. Appearing: 1
XP: 600 (CL 18)

A zoophytic mangler is an quasi-elemental creature raised from the sea floor by aquatic mages who have learned the spell. The creature is composed of a core of dead coral. Its exterior is covered with hundreds of beautiful, flower-like living corals. These corals exude a poisonous mist that surrounds the monster to a radius of 20'. Any creature breathing this mist must pass a Fortitude save at -2 or be affected as per Poison III. Those who do save are still sickened, and remain sickened for 1 hour after they leave the monster's presence. This mist works in the open air and underwater.

(Just read a story about a venomous coral that has sickened quite a few folks)


Knight of Flowers

I drew this!
Knights of flowers are a variation on the paladin class. It is only open to halflings, gnomes and other small fey folk. A knight of flowers differs from the paladin as follows:

They must be good in alignment, but can be lawful good (the Rose Order), neutral good (the Lily Order) or chaotic good (the Daffodil Order).

They are skilled in nature lore and flower arranging, rather than riding

Can detect poison at will, instead of evil

Learns to turn plant creatures and evil fey, instead of undead

Instead of a gaining a special warhorse, they gain the ability to draw special abilities from wreaths of different flowers. The wreath must be woven by a maiden, dryad or nymph, and the magical potency of the flowers lasts for one adventure. The knight of flowers can only wear one wreath at a time:

  +1 to hit Evil -- chestnut

  +1 to Charisma tasks -- dahlia, daisy, dandelion, plum blossom

  +1 to Fortitude saves -- ivy

  +1 to Intelligence tasks -- cherry blossom, lilac, pansy

  +1 to Strength tasks -- laurel

  +1 to Will saves -- gladiolus

  +1 to melee damage -- fennel, oak leaf

  +2 to save vs. disease and poison -- lily

   1 re-roll (d20) per day -- gardenia

  Animal Friendship (1/day) -- magnolia

  Bane (1/day) -- lobelia

  Calm Emotions (1/day) -- bullrush, olive

  Charm Monster (1/day) -- orchid

  Charm Person (1/day) -- amaranth, carnation, jasmine, chrysanthemum, coriander, honeysuckle, tulip

  Color Spray (1/day) -- iris

  Command (1/day) -- heliotrope, thistle

  Crushing Despair (1/day) -- yellow rose, rue

  Cure Light Wounds (1/day) -- Eglantine rose, lotus

  Daze (1/day) -- wormwood

  Detect Magic (1/day) -- witch-hazel

  Disrupt Undead (1/day) -- cypress

  Fool's Gold (1/day) -- buttercup

  Good Hope (1/day) -- delphinium, peony

  Hold Person (1/day -- mistletoe

  Inflict Light Wounds (1/day) -- marigold

  Light (1/day) -- sunflower

  Magic Weapon (1/day) -- red rose

  Protection from Evil (1/day) -- baby's breath

  Protection from Normal Missiles (1/day) -- heather

  Ray of Frost (1/day) -- hydrangea

  Silence (1/day) -- white rose

  Sleep (1/day) -- poppy

  Speak with Dead (1/day) -- asphodel

  Surprised on d8 -- begonia

  Tongues (1/day) -- balm

Can neutralize poison instead of curing disease

Casts spells from the druid spell list, instead of the paladin list

Otherwise, they have the paladin's special abilities

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Prank [New Spell]

I've been quite busy with real life the last week - you might note that I didn't get a Dragon By Dragon out last Sunday - so I'm forcing myself to stop and write this.

Level: Illusionist 1
Range: Close (30', 50' for gnomes)
Duration: See below

The prank spell permits the illusionist to carry out one of several classic pranks, as follows.

  Blacken: Causes a black ring to appear around a person's eye when using a spyglass
  Blat: Causes a roar of flatulence to blast out when somebody within range sits down

  Burn: Causes a bite of food to become extremely spicy; the victim must pass a Fortitude savinv throw or spit the food out, drink lots of water and generally carry on for a round

  Dribble: Causes liquid to dribble from a vessel on a person's shirt

  Kick: Causes an illusory "kick me" sign to appear on the person's back; the first person (other than the spellcaster) who sees it must pass a Will saving throw to resist the temptation

  Mark: Causes an illusory mustache and goatee (and perhaps blackens a tooth) on the target
  Slip: Causes a banana to appear under a person's feet (Reflex save to avoid slipping)

  Sneeze: Causes the victim to break into a sneezing fit for 1 round if they fail a Fortitude save

  Squirt: Permits any flower within range to squirt a person in the face with water

  Tinkle: Causes a sensation of warm water on a sleeping person's hand; they must pass a Fortitude save or have an accident

Some effects are instantaneous. Otherwise, the prank lasts for 1 minute per spellcaster level. Once the spell is cast, the illusionist has one turn (10 minutes) to activate the effect. Only one effect can be created with each casting of the spell.

Friday, September 18, 2015

New Monster and New Games!

A couple things today - first, a new monster:


Size/Type: Medium Undead
Hit Dice: 5
Armor Class: 16 [Silver]
Attack: 2 claws (1d4)
Movement: 30
Saves: F13 R13 W11
Resistance: Magic 10%
Alignment: Chaotic (CE)Intelligence: Average
No. Appearing: 1
XP: 1,250 (CL 7)

A dead eyes is an undead monster. It looks like a beautiful man or woman with frightening, dead eyes, black as night and absent of the spark of life. The monster lurks in caves or ruins, startling people first from the surprise appearance of a beautiful stranger in the wilderness, and then by the attack that follows.

A dead eyes hates beauty and happiness, and does what it can to destroy it. The monster can attack physically, even though it is semi-insubstantial, but its more potent attack is its gaze. The gaze of a dead eyes causes first physical numbness in the extremities, and then spiritual numbness.

The physical numbness takes the form of halving the character's movement rate and a cumulative -1 penalty to hit and damage and AC each round, to a maximum of a -3 penalty. The spiritual numbness takes the form of first the crushing despair spell, and the next round the hold monster spell and the third round the loss of 1 level to energy drain per round.


Swords & Sandals is a quick and easy role playing game based on old-fashioned gladiator and Hercules movies. Set in a fantasy Greco-Roman world, players take on the role of centurions, gladiators and sibyls, striving for gold and glory by fighting monsters and conquering cities. All you need to play is pencil, paper, a few ordinary dice, these rules, a few friends and a free afternoon. 37 pages. PDF ... $3.19

Manbot Warriors: Remember the great sci-fi cartoons of the 1970's and 1980's? Well, Manbot Warriors isn't one of them ... but it could have been. Manbot Warriors is a quick and easy roleplaying game set in a sci-fi universe where heroic manbot warriors defend the peaceful citizens of the galaxy from the evil of the Galactic Core. Easy to learn and easy to play, it requires only a pencil, paper, a few ordinary dice and these rules. 19 pages. PDF ... $2.99

I'll have the print books up for sale soon - just need to get the review copies.


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Dragon by Dragon - February 1980

One of the fun things for me about doing these reviews, besides just exploring all the great "forgotten" material produced for our favorite games, is the covers. I didn't get into D&D until around 1984, and didn't know about Dragon Magazine until maybe a couple years after that, so these are all new to me. This month's cover is, I think, particularly cool. An army working its way down a defile to face a decidedly chaotic-looking castle. The cover was painted by Ken Rahman, aka Elladan Elrohir.

Well, what are the top ten cool things to be found in The Dragon #34? Let's see ...


From "Out on a Limb", a letter by Robert T. Willis III

"I would like to correct some numbers that appeared in “How Tall is a Giant?” (TD31). In the article, 3mm figures were equated with 1/500 scale, and the reader was led to expect that his rational guess of 1/600 was blatantly wrong. As a math major at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, I would like to point out that the article was wrong—3mm figures are actually 1/600 scale (1/609.6 is the exact number).

Since 3mm = 3/25.4 inches = 3/(25.4 x 12) feet = 3/304.8 feet, the scale is (3/304.8)/6 because the figure represents a man 6’ tall. This number is 1/609.6 which can be rounded to 1/600."


I know next to nothing about Divine Right by TSR, which is unfortunate since this issue devotes a great deal of time and energy to that game. That said, there's usually something useful to be found in any game, and I thought these two tables might be useful:

Tombs and curses. I can imagine using this when dealing with large armies tromping across hex maps on the way to besiege a stronghold and coming across some mini-dungeon. Roll on the dice, lose the dice roll as a percent of your troops, and use that percentage chance for each named character in your army to die (allow a saving throw if you must - if they save, they do not die, but they may not participate in the battle).


Samuel Gill, in "Up on a Soap Box" presents a few ideas for wargame campaigns that twist actual history around a bit, such as a Mexican-Texican War in 1842 (which kinda sorta happened, though not on a huge scale), Mediterranean fleet action in WW1, assuming the Italians had not defaulted on their commitments to Germany and Austria-Hungary, and a revival of hostilities between France and Prussia in 1886.

This brings up not only the idea of using similar historical what-ifs for RPG campaigns, modern and medieval, but also twisting the history of your own campaign world. Imagine the characters in a long-standing campaign waking up to find the world they know changed in major ways, and having to figure out how the bad guys (or good guys, if the party is evil) did it, and how to get things back to normal - or maybe they cannot and now have to start from square one!

Sam's article gives numerous other examples of alternate history, which are well worth the perusal.


A question from "Sage Advice":

"Question: I have just started playing AD&D and I don’t know what the following weapons are: Bardiche, Bec de Corbin, Bill-Guisarme, Fauchard, Fauchard-Fork, Flail, Glaive, Glaive-Guisarme, Guisarme, Guisarme-Voulge, Lucern Hammer, Partisan, Pick, Ransuer, Scimitar, Spetum and Voulge.

Can you tell me what they are?"

Now we would just tell him to Google it.


If you're playing a 1st edition AD&D game and like to keep it pristine, Blake Ward's "Familiar Fiends" article might be just for you. It collects all the monsters in the AD&D Monster Manual and puts them into a random table for stocking dungeons. He also has a random table for determining what level of monster to use based on the dungeon level you're stocking:

Very nice.


Dig this ad for Judge's Guild:

Love the fighter and his horse.


Funny, isn't it. We went from "Atomic War" to "Nuclear War" to "Thermonuclear War" and then back to "Nuclear War". Anyhow ...

A rare article in The Dragon for good old-fashioned RISK. This one, by George Laking, gives some variants on the old game, including the addition of nuclear weapons. I won't go into the details, but they would certainly make for an interesting game ... or you could just play Supremacy. Boy, we had a lot of fun with that game back in the day, and RISK and Axis & Allies as well.


Fantasysmith gives a guide to properly carrying your miniatures around without ruining them. What drew my eye was this illo:

When going to play wargames, always beware lurking ogre mages. Especially, one must presume, when in Japan.


Look out for Gerard Moshofsky of Eugene, Oregon, Grimtooth, because he's a devious guy. Check out this dandy trap:

This used to be quite the thing in old dungeon design. I think 3rd edition, by standardizing traps and attaching more rules to them, kind of killed this old creativity. Maybe I'm wrong.


Love this name generator by Mark Whisler - it would be perfect for the barbarian mini-game I'm going to publish soon (from the "B for Barbarian" article in NOD).

Roll a d10 and d6 and cross-reference them on the table to get the first name element, then do it again for the second.


Tom Holsinger and Candy Peterson have a nice article on quirks and curses for magic items. Several tables, all good brain fodder, but I'll point out these minor curses:

3) Develop highly unpopular sexual perversion (necktie party if you’re caught).

4) Develop socially unacceptable sexual perversion (Charisma reduced to 3 if you are discovered—Hint: It has to do with graveyards).

D&D was once for "weird adults" more than for "nerdy teens".


Broadsword Miniatures operated during the 1980's out of Georgia USA. I liked the miniatures in the ad, so I did a little searching and found some more, like these goblins.

Man, I love those old miniature illustrations.


Last month's adventure went well, so The Dragon included Doomkeep in this one, a dungeon by Brian Blume used as the Second Official Invitational AD&D Masters Tournament module. Obviously, I don't have room in this issue to do a major review, but it has a chessboard room, which I love (see art below), and it includes the hand mirror of hoping, which has the following effects when used:

1. A Death Ray emerges (normal saving throw allowed).
2. A 5-die fireball explodes 32’ away from the mirror.
3. A twin of the object pointed at appears and aids the object pointed at (if possible).
4. 27 Blackbirds fly out of the mirror and confuse (saving throw allowed vs. spell) everyone in the area for 2 melee rounds.
5. The object pointed at is sucked into the mirror, never to return.
6. The object pointed at turns into a Type I Demon which attacks the holder of the mirror.
7. A 6-die lightning bolt shoots out 60’ from the mirror.
8. A Cure Critical Wounds spell is emitted at the thing pointed at.
9. A mist appears which obscures all vision in a 20’ x 20’ area (treat this as a Confusion spell if melee occurs in the mist).
10. Poison gas fills an area 30’ x 30’ (+2 on s.t).))

Also this ...


Damn, I love old D&D.


This issue was actually pretty packed with interesting stuff ...

"Minarian Legends" - huge article about the Muetarian Empire. Great art!

"Getting into the Flow of Magic Fountains" - random tables for generating magic fountains. I won't reproduce the tables, but I will roll up a random fountain:

This fountain contains four drinks (weird, but okay). With each drink, a person gains an extra spell level (if they can cast spells), but also glow in the dark and suffer the effects of reduce person (save allowed).

"Dragon's Bestiary" - this issue has the Vilkonnar by Charles Carson - a neutral evil underground humanoid race along with their slightly different cousins, the Kailiff.

"Dragon's Mirth" - a standardized disaster scale by Jeff Swycaffer - fun, if nothing else for the U.S. regionalisms:

As always, I'll leave you today with a tiny taste of Tramp ...

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

They Sup on Your Dreams [New Monster]

Hummingbird Men

Type: Tiny monstrous humanoid
Hit Dice: 0 (1d4 hp)
Armor Class: 13 [Silver]
Attacks: None
Move: 10 (Fly 100)
Saves: F19 R10 W14; +2 save vs. mind-affecting effects
Resistance: Magic 35%
Alignment: Neutral (N)
Intelligence: Low
No. Appearing: 1
XP: 50 (CL 1)

They are tiny, with long, beak-like snouts and beady eyes that sometimes strike you as cruel or callous, other times as curious. They have hummingbird wings where a man’s arms would be, and lithe bodies in pleasant, subdued colors – dusky rose, marmalade, the blue-grey of a threatening storm.

They appear at night, and settle down on a person to sup on the nectar of their fitful dreams. Dreams of isolation or rejection please them most; night terrors sate them quickly, but leave them unsatisfied. They hover and stare, and touch their snouts to the person’s temples or forehead, remaining for a few minutes. The dreamer has the best rest of his life; if he was nursing a psychic wound (such as damage to a mental ability score), he heals at twice the normal rate for the hummingbird man’s presence.

If the hummingbird man is threatened by one who knows not what it is or by one who cherishes his dreams, fair or foul, the beast flits back and disgorges nightmares from its snout. These nightmares are illusions, but hard to disbelieve (-2 to save). They usually take one of the following forms:

1 Black tentacles (solidifying from black mists)
2 Phantasmal killer (often a wild-eyed version of one's close relatives/lovers/self)
3 Shapechange (into something one would not want to be)
4 Flesh to stone (usually a slow transitions, from feet to head)
5 Insect plague (but not always insects)

The victim has a chance to disbelieve each round, but only if the player says they disbelieve. The saving throw begins at -2, but the penalty increases by -1 each round as they are drawn further into the nightmare. The nightmare, thankfully, ends after 6 rounds, by which time the hummingbird man has fled to dine on blacker psyches.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Dragon by Dragon - January 1980

"This is the '80s and I'm down with the ladies." - Tone-Loc

And so we bravely enter the 1980's (though, again, not technically). The Dragon #33 (we haven't dropped the "the" yet) welcomes the new decade with "Dragon's Lair" by John Barnes. The painting won Best of Show and "Best Color Fantasy" awards at the Northwest Annual Science Fiction Festival in Seattle.

What goodies await us inside? Let us find out.

I. Gardner F. Fox

Known best for the Justice Society of America, Fox also wrote fantasy novels later in life, the Kothar the Barbarian series maybe the best known of them, but also Niall of the Far Travels.

Oh, and apparently Guy Gardner was named for him (not sure that was an honor or an insult).

This issue of The Dragon features a short Niall story - the character has appeared in the magazine before. This one is "The Eyes of Mavis Deval". Here's the opening:

"It was her eyes that drew his stare as he sat astride the high-peak saddle of his stallion, there on the edge of the huge slave market. They were a brilliant green, those eyes, and it seemed to Niall of the Far Travels as he looked, that there was a tiny flame glowing in each pupil."

II. Painting Tips

I got into painting Warhammer miniatures back in college, because I had waaaaay too much money and really needed to drain lots of it away on hunks of lead that I don't look at anymore. So, I know a little (very little) about painting them, and this ...

... looks like a darn good idea to me. Presented by Fantasysmith - the person knows his or her stuff!

III. H. R. Lovins, bringin' the prose

Dig the sprightly prose:

"My friend and I had taken our favorites: a Fighter with rippling muscles, a Cleric of somber colors and mood, a superstitious slinking Thief, and a couple of guardian Magic Users. Unfortunately, someone else was using the back way for a similar evasion. Our leaders turned a corner into a party of a half-dozen well-dressed besworded gents who, not caring to sidle past our group, began to comment acidly on our travel-worn condition, and wonder aloud whether an unpleasant odor was ours, or native to the alley."

 The article is pretty interesting, in the idea of giving NPC's a Caution (Cau) score. The Caution score is used for two things:

1) The score must be exceeded on a d20 before rolling reaction dice. If not exceeded, the NPC just walks away - no interaction with the players. I kind of dig this - after all, when confronted by a group of murder-hobos, I think most normal folk would get the heck out of there, smiling and making excuses.

2) The Caution score is also used to determine whether an NPC will get involved with a PC - do they throw caution to the wind and take the plunge. Again, you roll d20 and try to exceed CAU. In the case of "woo pitching", as the kids say, you add the NPC's Libido score to the roll. Libido score, you say? What's the Libido score?

IV. Gygax on Magic

"Magic, AD&D magic, is most certainly make-believe. If there are “Black Arts” and “Occult Sciences” which deal with real, working magic spells, I have yet to see them. Mildly put, I do not have any faith in the powers of magic, nor have I ever seen anyone who could perform anything approaching a mere first-level AD&D spell without props."

Sounds like the religious nuts are already giving him trouble over the "occult" influences on AD&D.

V. Speaking of Magic ...

Len Lakofka in this issue is looking at the shortcomings of some of the spells as written, and is making suggestions for improvement. Magic Missile, for example ...

"Gary Gygax and I have gone around in a circle on this spell for some period of time. The controversy, in my opinion, lies around the fact that there is NO SAVING THROW and that the missile goes “unerringly” to its target. Why is this so annoying to me? It is unfair because it allows players to foil most opposing spells by putting a Magic Missile into the opposing spell caster, it allows Magic Missiles into melee regardless of the size difference and quantity of ‘friends’ in the melee, and it allows for shots that would amaze Robin Hood with their accuracy!

Gary says that a Magic-User can counter with a simple spell like Shield to prevent this damage. What he overlooks is that the opponent must take a round to cast the Shield and in that time the spell caster is beset by fighters, et al. I find it too unfair to “monsters” that a single FIRST-level spell can be this powerful. Therefore, I have modified the spell in the following ways:

1. There is still no saving throw if the target is surprised, immobile, walking or prone and is at least the size of a Kobold.

2. Figures in melee, figures running (except those running right at the spell caster), figures evading, behind (or moving behind) significant cover, or casting a spell obtain some type of saving throw. This saving throw is their normal one with modification as follows:

A figure casting a spell obtains a s.t., but at -4.

A figure in melee obtains a normal s.t. but adds +1 for every opponent above the first one he/she/it is fighting (unless the size differential is so significant that the opponents do not get in the way—i.e., 6 dwarves against a hill giant would allow the giant a normal s.t. Missiles that MISS their target might hit others in the melee! Select a figure and then give him/her/it a normal s.t. to see if the stray missile hits or misses. In the above example, the dwarves would not be hit. All saving throws are on a missile-by-missile basis. Missiles fire at a rate of 1 every 3 seconds. Thus, a figure moving behind a wall might not be hit by every missile in a barrage of Magic missiles.

A figure with over 50% cover (who then presents a target size of ½ a kobold) always obtains a s.t. of from 16 to 20 depending upon cover and his/her/its actions. This prevents firing through an arrow slit some hundred feet away to hit some poor guard. I have found it necessary to rule in this way to stop Magic-Users from Magic Missiling everything that walks because of the broad language of the spell text. Magic Missile, as written, is too powerful and must be toned down."
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you rules bloat. The problem, of course, isn't the DM making the rules he wants for his game. It's in the opening paragraph:

"I felt that some spells leave a great deal unsaid (or they say too much), and thus individual rulings are often necessary to prevent abuses and to make the game fair and equitable for players and “monsters” alike."
 So what's wrong with individual rulings?

Well, what was wrong was that the hobby had already grown into two camps. One was playing the game at home, and doing what they wanted with their campaigns. The other was either playing at conventions, and thus needed everybody on the same page, or was playing at home and still believed that everyone needed to be on the same page. I'm a libertarian, so you can guess which side I'm on in this argument.

In Lakofka's defense, it's not just about standardization or extra rules. It's about players being creative with spells, and trying to turn every spell into "instant death".

VI. No Swords for Clerics

I liked this bit from Lawrence Huss about why clerics may not use edged (or pointy) weapons:

"'Why, ‘tis as plain as the forbidden pikestaff! The purpose and nature of all edged weapons (and what is a point but a section of an edge?) is to cut, release blood and kill, both in reality and symbolically.

'The club, mace and flail are but growths of the staff, which stands for guidance and religious authority. Though the end result of the sword stroke and the well-aimed mace blow are the same, the symbolic intent differs. As the High Power judges our acts much from a viewpoint in which symbols supersede particulars, this symbolic difference in intent is of greatest importance, both to the performance of the specifically clerical functions and in the gaining of spiritual eminence.'"

In other words, spare the rod, spoil the bugbear.

Now, some might argue that symbolism is pointless - the enemy is dead. What does it matter that he was slashed or bludgeoned to death?

But we're talking clerics. Priests. Symbolism is everything!

VII. Old Time Hockey Gaming, Coach!

Did you ever want to see a huge list of Game Masters operating in the U.S. in 1980? Great - this issue is for you. Let's check out my stomping grounds, Las Vegas NV.

We have Bill Coburn, running D&D, Traveler, Metamorphosis Alpha and general board games, and David Whitney, running D&D, Traveler and general board games.

We've seen Bil Coburn in the pages of The Dragon before, writing on the effectiveness of poison back in September 1978. I couldn't find him online, not David Whitney. Alas.

VIII. Question of the Month

"QUESTION: There is this character (a Magic-User) being refereed by an inexperienced DM. Because of his lack of knowledge, he let the character advance in levels too quickly. He also has 86 magic items. By the time the character got to 34th level, the DM had learned from his mistakes and proceeded to try to kill the powerful character. He tried a Ring of Transference, and when that didn’t work he hit him with 2000 (100% magic resistant) thieves. Is it within the D&D or AD&D rules for a DM to deliberately try to kill a character?"


Runner up:

"QUESTION: Is an invisibility spell cancelled when you fall on your face from tripping either over your own feet or from someone else’s number 13’s?


IX. The Infancy of Home Computing

This issue has the inaugural article on "The Electrical Eye", about gaming on computers. I thought the little guide to computer manufacturers was intresting:

Witness Apple corporate HQ just 35 years ago (I think ... the actual street number doesn't show up on GoogleEarth):

Oh, and yeah, they got the address wrong above. It was on Bandley Drive, as confirmed at this article showing the layout.

X. Frosts

The "Dragon's Bestiary" this month is by Roger Moore - Rogar of Moria. I always like Roger in the pages of the later Dragon's that I read.

Frosts are "snow pixies" - little buggers that pack a punch. Here's an adaptation of the stats for Blood & Treasure ...

Size/Type: Tiny Fey
Hit Dice: 0
Armor Class: 15
Attacks: 1 attack (1d3)
Move: 20' (Fly 60')
Saves: F19 R12 W12
Intelligence: High
Alignment: Neutral (with good tendencies)
No. Appearing: 1d6

Frosts can turn invisible at will, but cannot attack while invisible. They can use cone of cold (3 dice) once per day and frost fingers (cold version of burning hands) 2/day - and can use frost fingers while invisible. One frost in six can use freezing sphere once per day. Frosts can also control temperatures within 10 feet.

I'll leave you this fine Sunday morning with some Tramp

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