Starting with my CD collection of the Dragon Magazines issues 1-250.
The Dragon Vol 1, No 1. June, 1976
I was five years old when this was printed. Cover by Bill Hannan. Full Index. I didn't find much for me in this issue. The spells, monster (Bullette), and wilderness mapping advice have been presented elsewhere. The bulk of the issue deals with wargames.
Magic and Science
by James M. Ward
"I believe it is a real mistake to think that just because there is a world created by D & D type thinking where magic and magical monsters exist, there is no room for technological type devices and all they imply."Damn straight!
Pistols that shoot colored spheres of various and typical magical effects. Ok, sure.
But, the coolest idea is the Analogic Computer. They have "heat core power source"? and are able to analyze and compute a counteraction to any spell sent their way. Even though magic is "magical" and "unknowable" it's pretty bad ass to have a computer that can calculate a counterspell. These computers follow the Star Trek pattern and self-destruct if faced with logical fallacy / problem they "can't compute." [diverging from article] Each computer can only process a certain number of spell levels per round. Spells in excess of that aren't countered and may cause the Analogic to spark, smolder, and exclaim in 70's computer voice "Warning! Warning! Computation matrix overload. Warning!"
Mapping the Dungeons
Hmmm, list of DM's. I wonder what these guys are doing these days? [addresses redacted]
Robert Dudley, Glenndale, MD
Martin Favorite, Cumberland, RI
Chas Hickock, Harrisburg, PA
Jon Hoskey, St. Pete, FL
Paul Jaquays, Spring Arbor, MI
Joe Marshall, Jr., W Lafayette, IN
Mike McGrail, Midland, TX
David Mumper, Henniker, NH
Jason Saylor, South Bend, IN
James Siegman, IL
Harry Smith, Jr. Columbus, OH
Tony Watson. Las Vegas, NV
The Dragon Vol 1, No 2. Aug, 1976
That cover is bad ass. I dig that leafless tree and Conan's pose. Tom Canty's work, Same dude? I could imagine that cover leading to this style.
Lots of fiction this issue. The Full Index.
From Dragon Rumbles Tim Kask, editor "the attitude taken by much of the established gaming hobby when fantasy first started making inroads: “It’s a phenomenon. Won’t last long. . .” The evidence today suggests otherwise."
Ha! it's lasted Tim, and it's growing again methinks.
It's Here! ... The Last D&D Supplement!?!
Proclaims an ad for Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes. Yeah right, the last one.
MONKISH COMBAT in the ARENA of PROMOTION
by John M. Seaton
I've always thought using a system like this with cards for Martial Arts or Swashbuckle type Fencing would work well. Each card represents different moves, stances, postures, etc. At the start of each round players pick X cards and place them down in order (sort of a "programmed" movement) Then they are flipped over and compared (in order). The cards make it more tactile / fun and replace having to write moves down and looking everything up in a table.
Was this article in the Best of Dragons? I actually had those and I'm totally remembering this graphic.
D&D Option: Weapon Damage
by Jon Pickens.
Instead of adding a +x to hit weapon specialization increases the size of damage die rolled. e.g Battle Axe does 1-8 normally but 1-12 in hands of expert. Also two-weapon fighting is considered a specialization and each combo of weapons is a different specialization. I like that part, but probably don't want to use specializations nor damage per weapon. Preferring instead more abstract damage per class.
Hints for D & D Judges Part 3: The Dungeons
by Joe Fischer
"... have the mistaken impression that there is only one
entrance to every dungeon."
Intelligent gold pieces; Scream when taken from the room they were found. Or, throw them-selves en masse at whoever makes the mistake of opening the chest they are in.
Magic items that keep trying get back to their real owner. I've never given that idea much thought (and I spend a lot of time thinking about magic items, how to limit them, make then confounding). The One Ring is a prime literary example.
But this is the best of all. Monster Gems! Idea is the players must make the choice between a valuable gem (money/xp) or getting a monster to do their dirty work for them. Each gem could turn into a particular monster when destroyed. But, I like the articles suggestion that monster is random and indeterminable. So, smash your 1000gp Ruby and gamble that you get a dragon rather than a kobold. The monster obeys smasher's orders as far as they are able (language and intelligence are factors but not demeanor or inclination as the monster is a simulacrum and lacks personality / alignment). The monster lasts for as long as character remains in the Mythic Dungeon. And Monster Gems revert to normal (still valuable) gems if removed from the Mythic Dungeon.
And to answer this question the article contains the Hobbit's Pipe and several magical pipeweeds for it including this one. (I think my teenage sister had some of this pipeweed.)
Pipeweed of Acapulco
It’s easy to see all the fun a judge could have with a player-character who happens to accidentally smoke this: causes the smoker to treat everyone as his friend, stands around in a stupor, not attack and defend at minus 3. Lasts 2-12 turns. If smoked in a Hobbits’ Pipe, allow saving throws.