Wednesday, December 2, 2009

OoE - Dragon Magzine #5 #6 #7

I've decided to take at least one element from every RPG product I own to use in my Gold & Glory campaign. Starting with my CD collection of the Dragon Magazines issues 1-250.

Hey! Just found Held Action Blog has similar idea and a cooler name :(, Read'em 'cause you got'em.

The Dragon Vol 1, No 5 Mar, 1977

Full Index.
Dave Sutherland created this nice "Conan about to be chomped on by a Snake" cover art. Was there a male warrior that wasn't Conan in the late 70's? Also, since we're talking snakes, that old Dragon logo is all sorts of Swords and Sorcery Awesome.

These early issues have more S&S feel than when I had subscription (early eighties). Also back in #001 Tim Kask said "That mission is to publish the best magazine devoted to Sword & Sorcery, Fantasy, Science Fiction and Role Playing gaming." Maybe it means nothing that S&S happened to be listed first. But, I'm really seeing Grognardia's points about S&S and origins of this hobby. I wonder when/why S&S fell out of favor (with the fiction/game buying public)?

Also this issue marks when Dragon went from 6 to 8 issues a year. At the expense "Little Wars" going quarterly, a magazine I never heard of and wikipeadia has no info for me. Anyone?

Witchcraft Supplement For Dungeons & Dragons
by unknown

Clerics are immune to witchcraft (along with Djinn and Efreet, don't get that?) Neat concept though, that men (and women) of god are flat out immune to some kinds of magical shenanigans.

Numerous interesting magic items such as
Mountain Seeds
Similar to Hill Seeds in function but much deadlier. When pitched into the air thee gloves will swell to the size of a castle almost immediately. With one such seed a wizard could crush armies or destroy a town. They are safest when dropped from above, but can be thrown up from the ground if you are able to use teleportation and escape before it comes down.

Creature Feature
Here's and Erol Otus I've not seen before, a water color, not his usual medium?
Number appearing: 1-6
Description: 10-20 feet long, brown chitin overall, pink underside
Armor class: 2 overall, underside class 4
Movement: 12/6 through ground
Hit die: 3-8 (8 sided die)
Treasure: B2
Squirt acid for 1-6 die of damage according to size
Bite for 3-18 points damage
Magic resistance: none
Alignment: neutral
% in lair: 25%

That image is almost full magazine page. Crammed into the bottom inch are the stats (reproduced above). That is the entirety of the Creature Feature. A far cry from the later ecology series, eh?

How Green Was My Mutant
by Gary Gygax

Random skin color, skin texture, head, neck, body, face hands & feet, fingers & toes, arms, and legs. The uses are legion!

The Dragon Vol 1, No 6 Apr, 1977

Nice cover by Morno.
Full Index.

Almost nothing of use. A (complicated and not as good as B/X) morale system, psionics, Metamorphosis Alpha stuffs (which are cool but dated). How to paint Petal Throne miniatures could come in handy for descriptions.

Sea Trade in D&D Campaigns

by Ronald C. Spencer, Jr.

Nice, simple, somewhat abstract system for sea trade from the "Bardukian Campaign" aboard the USS Benjamin Franklin (SSBN 640). Nice to know the people ready to usher in our nuclear holocaust Mutant Future get to have fun in their spare time.

Buy a cargo(assumed to be available in port) for 10k or 50k gp depending on how big of a merchant ship you have/are hiring. Write captain orders (default assumption is players are investors / merchants and have better things to do then spend weeks at sea. Although, nothing precludes sea borne adventure), pay pilot fees and import taxes. The general mechanic is the more ports you "skip" the bigger risk and bigger payoff you gamble. There's a d100 chart that has profit/loss as percentage of cargo. Ship can also be flat out lost at sea. Instead of taking loss, captain's orders can be to push on to next port and hope for better price there. A few more wrinkles but that is basically it.

I'd add some random tables for cargo types (cause I just know my players will ask me exactly what it is they bought). Maybe a table for how ship was lost at sea, d6 -> 1. storm, 2. kraken, 3. dread pirate roberts, 4. sea nymphs, 5. mutiny, 6. UFO

A minor distraction for players, way to gamble away their coin or strike it rich. Could lead to some adventures and generally fills in some of the vacuum of a world thus making the campaign seem more rich and real.

The Dragon Vol 2, No 1 June, 1977

Cover by another one name chap, Elrohir.
Full Index.

In the editor page, Dragon Rumbles, Tim Kask is hating on poor issue one's cover. He also claims to be the sole staff member (with assistance from Gary Jaquet who is four hours distant). Which's pretty darn impressive and I guess that means Tim gets to hate on whatever he wants.

This issue's Featured Creature, "Prowler", features another full page Otus water color.

This Morno guy has got some nice style going on. Wrote a bit of fiction to go along with his sweet art. More of his illustrations too (saved to my flavor/inspiration folder). Can't find much on him/her, did some Character Sheet cover art. Hmmmm...

Ah ha, I got you now Mr. Morno, or should I say Bradley W. Schenck!

The Internet is so cool.

Unlike issue #7 of The Dragon in which I find not one directly usable thing. The Military Formations of the Nations of the Universe by M.A.R. Barker is full of cool flavor. e.g
"The Oncoming Wings of the Hereafter"
This battle plan consists of a strong centre (variously divided into phalanxes, squares, wedges, etc.) and two long, fast-moving columns of lighter troops on the flanks, sometimes with “warhammer” units in concealment in one or both of the Greave positions behind. As the centre meets the foe, one or both of these columns may attempt to cut off enemy flanking units for annihilation by the concealed “warhammer” units coming along behind, or they may swing out like great wings to try to outflank the enemy and attack him from the rear.
But, I'm gonna be hard pressed to squeeze that into Gold & Glory. Guess I'll use it if the players ever find / enter Portal to Tékumel. Hmmm, they will arrive during major war (civil?) and be thrust into choosing sides / playing them off each other Fist Full of Dollars style. So, now this Portal isn't just "Freak Ass EPT world" it's "Freak Ass EPT military campaign world". See, brainstorming through all my stuffs is working out!

[I'm not 100% certain how I'll work this... Thinking that once players discover and figure out a "major" portals like the EPT one described above I would metagame tell them "hey through this portal is this freaky military campaign kind of game". Want to play that for awhile? No, fine. Don't enter that portal. If yes, then maybe roll up new characters for it? Maybe just a few players want to. Their characters enter portal and players create new characters (or assume control of henchmen) for this this campaign which we continue now. We'll make a side game for the EPT characters, meeting these other days.]

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