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Memorable Dragon Magazine Articles

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Anonymous
April 28, 2005 3:52:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Hey everyone,

What are some of you favorite or most memorable Dragon magazine
articles? I'm interested in hearing input on almost any era, but I'm
particularly curious about articles from the early days.

Thanks!
Anonymous
April 28, 2005 6:18:26 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

mearls wrote:
> Hey everyone,
>
> What are some of you favorite or most memorable Dragon magazine
> articles? I'm interested in hearing input on almost any era, but I'm
> particularly curious about articles from the early days.

Whatever you do, avoid "The Soulbond: Ecology of the Steel Dragon" in
Annual #3. That guy's a hack. However, the module "Handle With Care"
makes that issue well worth picking up.

Otherwise, here are a few of my personal favorites; included because I
used them for campaign material, they made me laugh, they made me
think, or because they were just so darned quirky:

"Try This For Evil: The Anti-Paladin NPC" Issue 39
The first-ever treatment of this class. A classic.

"Plethora of Paladins, A" Issue 106
Paladin-types for each alignment.

"Politics of Hell, The" Issue 28
Description of Satan and his buddies in D&D terms.

"Sunset World, The" Issue 150
The Illithid homeworld.

"Dragon's Bestiary, The" Issue 135
The Tibbit (or Cat-were)

"Highs and Lows of Fantasy, The" Issue 143
On the concepts of High and Low Fantasy.

"Field-Guide to Game Convention Ornithology, A" Issue 144
Humorous (and accurate) classification of gamer types at conventions.

"Ecology of the Dark Ones" Issue 322
Dark Creepers and Dark Stalkers, finally!

"For NPC's Only: The Death Master" Issue 76
Proto-necromancer NPC class. Pure nostalgia.

"Still More Outrages From the Mages" Issue 144
Parody spells, such as "Drawmij's Instant Death," among others.

"Good Hits & Bad Misses" Issue 39
A critical hit system. I used the tables for years.

I could go on, but that's a fair list. Many thanks to DragonDex, where
I dug the titles and issue numbers up:
http://www.aeolia.net/dragondex/index.html

--
Jay Knioum
The Mad Afro
Anonymous
April 28, 2005 7:48:02 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

mearls wrote:
> Hey everyone,
>
> What are some of you favorite or most memorable Dragon magazine
> articles? I'm interested in hearing input on almost any era, but I'm
> particularly curious about articles from the early days.

All of the early Traveler Alien Generators.

The anniversary issue featuring random ways to generate dragons
and expanded ways to use them.

Roger Moore's non-human gods articles.

More recently, the monster spells article and the whole
githyanki invasion bit.
Related resources
Anonymous
April 28, 2005 10:02:22 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

mearls wrote:
> Hey everyone,
>
> What are some of you favorite or most memorable Dragon magazine
> articles? I'm interested in hearing input on almost any era, but I'm
> particularly curious about articles from the early days.

I am quite fond of the comics in Dragon. Zogonia is edgy and funny, not
unlike many of the games I have played in. Nodwick is always a
favorite, and I always liked "Phil & Dixie".

I always liked the articles that were lists of ideas:
101 dirty orc tricks
101 hauntings
101 curses
These are fabulous. I can't count the number of times I took one of
these one-liner ideas and used it as a base for an entire adventure.
Anonymous
April 29, 2005 12:54:06 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

drow wrote:
> Alien mind control rays made mearls <mearls@gmail.com> write:
> > What are some of you favorite or most memorable Dragon magazine
> > articles? I'm interested in hearing input on almost any era, but
I'm
> > particularly curious about articles from the early days.
>
> the Nogard adventure, from #96.
>

Ah Nogard, that brings back memories :) . "You are in a featureless
grey plane." "What do you do"...(Instert whatever players say) "You are
still in a featureless grey plane." "What do you do now"... Sigh,
sometimes I feel like my games are a little too much like that
adventure.

- Justisaur
Anonymous
April 29, 2005 12:55:07 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

mearls wrote:
> Hey everyone,
>
> What are some of you favorite or most memorable Dragon magazine
> articles? I'm interested in hearing input on almost any era, but I'm
> particularly curious about articles from the early days.
>
> Thanks!

Any April issue.

- Justisaur.
Anonymous
April 29, 2005 1:26:09 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

On 28 Apr 2005 11:52:23 -0700, "mearls" <mearls@gmail.com> scribed into the
ether:

>Hey everyone,
>
>What are some of you favorite or most memorable Dragon magazine
>articles? I'm interested in hearing input on almost any era, but I'm
>particularly curious about articles from the early days.

The introduction of the Anti-Paladin has always been one of my favorites.
Anonymous
April 29, 2005 1:38:50 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

mearls <mearls@gmail.com> writes
>Hey everyone,
>
>What are some of you favorite or most memorable Dragon magazine
>articles? I'm interested in hearing input on almost any era, but I'm
>particularly curious about articles from the early days.
>
>Thanks!

Personally, IMO the best ever articles from Dragon were Ed Greenwood's
treatment of the Hells (two main articles, plus a follow-up). Again
IMO, they set a benchmark for dealing with the Hells that the official
output on them (the Planes of Law boxed set, and Chris Pramas' Guide to
Hell) missed by a margin.

I would say that the two articles dealing with a fantasy Dark Ages
Britain for 2nd Ed. and the Robin Hood/Sherwood articles for 3E were
excellent, but I won't because that would be pure arrogance talking.

--
Ian R Malcomson
"Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box"
Anonymous
April 29, 2005 2:01:25 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Keith Davies wrote:

> * 94: Same dice, different odds
> divided rolls (4d10/d4 sort of thing), because I quite like the
> mechanic. Average is still about 4 (around d8), but rolling 40
is
> possible (though a 1/40,000 chance)
>

This one was one of the few things that actually made it into my games,
in previous editions at least. I made a category of weapon called
'slayers' that used these alternate dice, getting larger spreads
instead of getting bonuses on damage for enchanted weapons.

They were all semi-sentient and appeared to be made of resin or coated
with it. They were actually formed by creatures of the same name who
were created by the god of war. A sort of ball of tentacles, they'd
rip the limbs off of thier enemies and insert thier tentacles in them
re animating them for thier own use. One of these creatures could coat
all the weapons it had scavanged with the resin, and could form one
actual weapon of the stuff. The fully resin weapons were extremely
nasty, as they did thier full damage on any crit. I found it a bit too
over the top though, and discontinued them in 3e.

In other words - probably my favorite article of all time.

- Justisaur
Anonymous
April 29, 2005 2:04:22 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

mearls wrote:
>
> What are some of you favorite or most memorable Dragon magazine
> articles? I'm interested in hearing input on almost any era, but I'm
> particularly curious about articles from the early days.

I fondly remember one of the first Dragons I ever owned, the October 1995 issue.
I remember being fascinated by the penanggalan ecology - it was one of the old
style story-with-footnotes starring a female paladin. I don't recall it being a
particularly well-written story per se, but the penanggalan was cool. That same
issue had the review of Werewolf: the Apocalypse and Basic D&D's Creatures of
the Night, I think . . .

--
Christopher Adams - Sydney, Australia
What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you
understand?
http://www.users.bigpond.net.au/mhacdebhandia/prestigec...
http://www.users.bigpond.net.au/mhacdebhandia/templatel...

Perge, scelus, mihi diem perficias.

Asatoma sat gamaya, tamasoma jyotir gamaya, mrityorma anritam gamaya.
Anonymous
April 29, 2005 2:12:38 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Ian R Malcomson <ian@domicus.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> mearls <mearls@gmail.com> writes
>>Hey everyone,
>>
>>What are some of you favorite or most memorable Dragon magazine
>>articles? I'm interested in hearing input on almost any era, but I'm
>>particularly curious about articles from the early days.
>>
>>Thanks!
>
> Personally, IMO the best ever articles from Dragon were Ed Greenwood's
> treatment of the Hells (two main articles, plus a follow-up). Again
> IMO, they set a benchmark for dealing with the Hells that the official
> output on them (the Planes of Law boxed set, and Chris Pramas' Guide
> to Hell) missed by a margin.

I've got a couple of binders full of articles that I marked for later
use (printed from the CDs).

Off the top of my head,

.. Spell paths (#216?) Something similar was done in Advanced Players
Manual
.. there was a coinage/treasure article (#167?) I quite liked.
.. A magic academy article (early 100s IIRC)
.. Not Another Magical Blade (IIRC title, I *know* it was issue 180)
about describing magic swords; I used guidelines from that for a
while
.. Elemental gods (no idea)

Okay, grabbed the binders of Dragon articles, quickly skimming for
anything interesting -- and the ones marked with a leading * are
particular favorites:

29: title not available
article on creating pantheons... always meant to revise and adapt
for 3e

53: Understanding Armory
armory and blazoning interests me greatly; this article gives some
basics of it, another article (much later, _Princess Ark_-related
IIRC) goes into mechanical/magical application of arms

58: Swords: Slicing into a Sharp Topic
history of swords. I use it primarily for descriptive purposes to
help differentiate between swords from different places and times.

59: Poison: The Toxins of Cerilon
I really should go through and adapt these poisons for use in 3e

63: For the sake of change
a history of coins

66: Language article by A. D. Rogan
languages are of interest to me, especially when relationships
between them are evident and relevant

74: Runes
'cause runes are cool. Informative, no mechanics

74: A player character and his money...
another money-related article, explaining how to switch from gold
standard to silver, and why

* 77: Elemental Gods
how to make elemental-aligned/-based gods

* 94: Same dice, different odds
divided rolls (4d10/d4 sort of thing), because I quite like the
mechanic. Average is still about 4 (around d8), but rolling 40 is
possible (though a 1/40,000 chance)

107: Economics made easy
simple guidelines for applying economics and inflation to a
campaign. Probably too much trouble, but interesting

* 123: The Mystic College
not (quite) Harry Potter style, but you could probably get
something close. 1e rules, replacing 'wizard's tower' with
'academy of magic'

125: Armies from the Ground Up
deals with demographic-related information and how to apply it (for
instance, drumming up a few troops is about the limit for most
gentry, and even minor nobility might find it difficult pulling
together an army of a couple of hundred on short order)

136: Building Blocks, City Style
city design article with random tables; if I could ever build a
*good* random city-builder program I'd be a very happy man

148: Always Wear Your Best Suit
"making armor and weapons unique for all characters" -- ways to
customize appearance (and value) of arms and armor... 1e, I use
principles from it for my campaign.

* 150: Unspeakable Secrets Made Easy
just because I like Cthulhu books

154: All in the Family
more on heraldry and application in-game

154: For King and Country
rules for a military campaign (looked interesting, mechanics
dubious -- 1e mindset)

163: Magic Gone Haywire
... just because I like quirky magic items.

* 167: Curses are Devine (title may be incomplete)
I like curses

* 167: "Just give me MONEY!"
guidelines for 'designing' monetary systems. I like having
differences in coinage that matter, beyond the 'we don't accept
foreign coin here, you have to get it converted at the
moneychanger' (and lose a few percent as a result)

179: Something *Completely* Different
introducing variation to treasure

* 180: Not Another Magical Sword!?!
customizing appearance of weapons

181: That's Certainly Unfamiliar
spells to augment familiar abilities

* 184: The 7-Sentence NPC
advice for providing NPC thumbnails

* 216: Paths of Magic

* 242: Laws of Spell Design

243: Enchanting Weapons
suggestions for weapon origins, histories, and customizing powers.


> I would say that the two articles dealing with a fantasy Dark Ages
> Britain for 2nd Ed. and the Robin Hood/Sherwood articles for 3E were
> excellent, but I won't because that would be pure arrogance talking.

Well, they were good.

And it's not arrogance if *I* say it.


Keith
--
Keith Davies "Trying to sway him from his current kook-
keith.davies@kjdavies.org rant with facts is like trying to create
keith.davies@gmail.com a vacuum in a room by pushing the air
http://www.kjdavies.org/ out with your hands." -- Matt Frisch
Anonymous
April 29, 2005 3:00:24 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

mearls wrote:
> Hey everyone,
>
> What are some of you favorite or most memorable Dragon magazine
> articles? I'm interested in hearing input on almost any era, but I'm
> particularly curious about articles from the early days.

The random demon and random monster generation articles from, IIRC,
one of the old Halloween issues.




--
Sea Wasp
/^\
;;;
Live Journal: http://www.livejournal.com/users/seawasp/
April 29, 2005 3:19:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Alien mind control rays made mearls <mearls@gmail.com> write:
> What are some of you favorite or most memorable Dragon magazine
> articles? I'm interested in hearing input on almost any era, but I'm
> particularly curious about articles from the early days.

the Nogard adventure, from #96.

--
\^\ // drow@bin.sh (CARRIER LOST) <http://www.bin.sh/&gt;
\ // - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
// \ X-Windows: A mistake carried out to perfection.
// \_\ -- Dude from DPAK
Anonymous
April 29, 2005 7:07:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Time to step up the meds; I could have sworn mearls just said...
> Hey everyone,
>
> What are some of you favorite or most memorable Dragon magazine
> articles? I'm interested in hearing input on almost any era, but I'm
> particularly curious about articles from the early days.

Chalk up another vote for Greenwood's Hells articles. Best things he
ever wrote.

From about the same era, there was a two-part series on designing
gameworlds, using a PBM setting the author had worked on as an example,
that was a real eye-opener to my 12-year-old self.
Anonymous
April 29, 2005 10:11:39 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Outrages from the Mages were some of the best series of articles...

Detect Fire - Range 1 inch.. component - one outstretched finger.

was just one of the examples...

- Deck of Many things articles were great too.
Anonymous
April 29, 2005 7:16:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Cool, thanks for the replies so far, and feel free to keep 'em coming.

- Mearls
Anonymous
April 29, 2005 11:54:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Time to step up the meds; I could have sworn Justisaur just said...
>
> mearls wrote:
> > Hey everyone,
> >
> > What are some of you favorite or most memorable Dragon magazine
> > articles? I'm interested in hearing input on almost any era, but I'm
> > particularly curious about articles from the early days.
> >
> > Thanks!
>
> Any April issue.

I'll agree that some of those were memorable, but not in a good way.
Anonymous
April 30, 2005 11:13:54 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Darkpowder wrote:
> Outrages from the Mages were some of the best series of articles...
>
> Detect Fire - Range 1 inch.. component - one outstretched finger.
>

Don't remember that one, but I do remember the various 1/2 level spells
(created before cantrips IIRC). Things even a barbarian could cast.
Detect Monster 1/2 was the one that comes to mind. Something along the
lines of yelling out at the top of your lungs "Yoo-Hoo! I'm a tasty
adventurer just waiting to get eaten!"

- Justisaur
Anonymous
April 30, 2005 11:13:55 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Darkpowder wrote:
> Outrages from the Mages were some of the best series of articles...
>
> Detect Fire - Range 1 inch.. component - one outstretched finger.
>

Don't remember that one, but I do remember the various 1/2 level spells
(created before cantrips IIRC). Things even a barbarian could cast.
Detect Monster 1/2 was the one that comes to mind. Something along the
lines of yelling out at the top of your lungs "Yoo-Hoo! I'm a tasty
adventurer just waiting to get eaten!"

- Justisaur
Anonymous
April 30, 2005 12:07:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

mearls wrote:
>
> What are some of you favorite or most memorable Dragon magazine
> articles? I'm interested in hearing input on almost any era, but I'm
> particularly curious about articles from the early days.

General (almost all from issue 120 or before):

April Fool's: 36, 48, 60, 72, 96, 120
Book reviews
Comics: Nodwick, What's New (Phil and Dixie), Wormy
Computer game reviews by the Lessers
Ecology of the <monster name>
Game reviews (e.g. Dragon's Augury)
Gary Gygax: new monsters or spells
Giants in the Earth (powerful NPC's)
Greyhawk
Deities and Demigods of the World of Greyhawk
Gods of the Suel Pantheon
Notes from the World of Greyhawk, Greyhawk's World
Marvel Super Heroes game
Minarian Legends (Divine Right game)
New magic items: Bazaar of the Bizarre, etc.
New monsters: Dragon's Bestiary, Creature Catalogs, etc.
New spells: Pages from the Mages (Ed Greenwood), etc.
OD&D: deity pantheons in (Gods, Demigods and Heroes) format
Out on a Limb (reader letters)
Roger Moore's demihuman and humanoid deities
Tom Wham games
Top Secret game: Spy's Advice, The Rasmussen Files, etc.
Wyrms of the North (Forgotten Realms dragons)

Specific articles:

# Name
--------
1 The Search for the Forbidden Chamber, part 1 (story)
2 The Search for the Forbidden Chamber, part 2
5 Witchcraft Supplement, Gandalf Was a 5th level Magic-User
11 Defending Against the Ogre
13 Notes From a Semi-Successful D&D Player (Jim Ward)
14 Interview With A Rust Monster
16 Ninja NPC class 1
17 Ogre game piece analysis
20 Witches part 2
25 Varieties of Vampires (from around the world)
28 The Politics of Hell
30 Ninja NPC class 2
34 Divine Right (x7), Nuclear Risk, Doomkeep (AD&D module)
37 Theory and Use of Gates
39 Anti-Paladin class
42 The Mansion of Mad Professor Ludlow (AD&D module)
45 Leomund's Tiny Hut (Archer NPC subclass)
47 AD&D Exam
48 Dr. Yes (Top Secret module)
"Carrying a heavy load? Let a mule do it for you!"
50 Barlithian's Mirror, The Glyphs of Cerilon
51 The Winged Folk, It's Not Easy Being Good (paladins)
52 Cavern of the Sub-Train (Gamma World module)
53 "Why isn't this monk smiling? He's got a lot to kick about!"
The Garden of Nefaron (AD&D module), Bogatyrs of Old Kiev
54 Righteous Robbers of Liang Shan P'o, Cavern Quest (solo module)
55 Robin Hood
57 Modern Monsters (20th Century adventuring)
58 Being a Bad Knight (Knights of Camelot game)
59 Exonidas Starport, The Toxins of Cerilon
60 The Pooka
62 Zadron's Pouch of Wonders
64 The Assassin's Run, "The Next-to-Last Mistake" (story)
66 Gary Gygax's psycho "Open Letter to Rick Loomis"
67 The Astral Plane
68 Leomund's Tiny Hut (Cloistered Cleric)
69 Leomund's Tiny Hut (Entertainer NPC class)
70 Chess in AD&D
72 Gems Galore
73 100 non-violent magic items
74 Seven Forgotten Realms swords
T.H.R.U.S.H. and U.N.C.L.E., A PC And His Money...
75 The Nine Hells (part 1)
76 The Nine Hells (part 2)
77 Tarot of Many Things
78 Psionics (x7)
79 Be Aware and Take Care (principles of successful adventuring)
80 100 treasures
81 It's a Material World (material components)
82 Wounds and Weeds (healing herbs)
83 The Many Facets of Gems, The Dancing Hut (AD&D module)
84 New animal familiars
The Twofold Talisman part 1: The Heart of Light (AD&D module)
85 The Twofold Talisman part 2: The Ebon Stone
86 New supernatural familiars
88 Before the Dark Years (Gamma World timeline)
89 Six Forgotten Realms shields
90 Incantatrix NPC class
91 The Nine Hells (part 3)
95 Into the Forgotten Realms (AD&D module)
97 Real life espionage agencies part 1
98 Real life espionage agencies part 2
99 Real life espionage agencies part 3
100 The City Beyond the Gate (AD&D module)
102 Nine Forgotten Realms wands
104 Sudden Dawn (Marvel Super Heroes module)
105 Treasure tables for 0 level victims
106 Twelve Forgotten Realms doors
A Plethora of Paladins, Tips for Traitors (Paranoia)
108 Orisons (clerical cantrips)
110 Cult of the Dragon
111 Focus items, Death of an Archmage (AD&D module)
112 Revenge of the Nobodies (powerful low-level groups)
Nine Forgotten Realms cloaks
114 Witch NPC class
115 Nine Forgotten Realms harps, 50 weird doors
116 By Tooth and Claw (dangerous animals)
117 Nine Forgotten Realms masks
118 Hero points

For anyone still reading: around this point the quality of Dragon
articles started a slow decline (IMHO), so none of them after this
really stand out in my memory.


Arivne
Anonymous
April 30, 2005 11:54:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Justisaur <justisaur@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Keith Davies wrote:
>
>> * 94: Same dice, different odds
>> divided rolls (4d10/d4 sort of thing), because I quite like the
>> mechanic. Average is still about 4 (around d8), but rolling 40
>> is possible (though a 1/40,000 chance)
>>
>
> This one was one of the few things that actually made it into my games,
> in previous editions at least. I made a category of weapon called
> 'slayers' that used these alternate dice, getting larger spreads
> instead of getting bonuses on damage for enchanted weapons.

I've never really used them in play. I felt they'd probably slow things
down too much. I probably would've in 1e or 2e, but in 3e I wouldn't
consider it for normal use.

However, for campaign item creation -- stuff like cities and whatnot --
they're pretty handy, a useful cheat for determining sizes, levels, etc.

For instance, I've got a script that generates city sizes using

d100 * d1000 * d10 * 2
----------------------
2d1000 * 5

This usually gives me about 10% of the population living in places of
less than 1,000 people, with a scattering of larger settlements. Not
very many, of course.

I had another script that would determine random character levels using
divided rolls. The numerator was the same, but the denominator varied,
bigger in small settlements and smaller in large settlements. I looked
at putting in some variation by class as well (in the Holy City you'd
reasonably expect higher-level clerics and the like).


I've changed a fair amount of the way demographics work IMC since then,
but the principles should still hold.


> They were all semi-sentient and appeared to be made of resin or coated
> with it. They were actually formed by creatures of the same name who
> were created by the god of war. A sort of ball of tentacles, they'd
> rip the limbs off of thier enemies and insert thier tentacles in them
> re animating them for thier own use. One of these creatures could coat
> all the weapons it had scavanged with the resin, and could form one
> actual weapon of the stuff. The fully resin weapons were extremely
> nasty, as they did thier full damage on any crit. I found it a bit too
> over the top though, and discontinued them in 3e.

They sound very unpleasant. Cool.

"He ripped some poor bastard's arm off and beat him with the soggy end."
-- "Jacko Can't Get Up", Kevin Bloody Wilson


Keith
--
Keith Davies "Trying to sway him from his current kook-
keith.davies@kjdavies.org rant with facts is like trying to create
keith.davies@gmail.com a vacuum in a room by pushing the air
http://www.kjdavies.org/ out with your hands." -- Matt Frisch
Anonymous
April 30, 2005 11:55:07 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Justisaur <justisaur@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Darkpowder wrote:
>> Outrages from the Mages were some of the best series of articles...
>>
>> Detect Fire - Range 1 inch.. component - one outstretched finger.
>>
>
> Don't remember that one, but I do remember the various 1/2 level
> spells (created before cantrips IIRC). Things even a barbarian could
> cast. Detect Monster 1/2 was the one that comes to mind. Something
> along the lines of yelling out at the top of your lungs "Yoo-Hoo! I'm
> a tasty adventurer just waiting to get eaten!"

Issue 156, IIRC.


Keith
--
Keith Davies "Trying to sway him from his current kook-
keith.davies@kjdavies.org rant with facts is like trying to create
keith.davies@gmail.com a vacuum in a room by pushing the air
http://www.kjdavies.org/ out with your hands." -- Matt Frisch
Anonymous
May 1, 2005 11:08:58 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

mearls wrote:

> Hey everyone,
>
> What are some of you favorite or most memorable Dragon magazine
> articles? I'm interested in hearing input on almost any era, but I'm
> particularly curious about articles from the early days.
>
> Thanks!

Hi Mike,

My favorites include:

Tomb Raider, & Spoils of War from Issue 327
Dragon Player Characters, Fostering Dragons, & Dragon Kingdoms
from Issue 320.
Building Better Castles from Issue 295
Ramming Speed: Rules for vehicles from Issue 294
Worldbuilding from Issue 293
Issue 292 (The whole Issue was good!)
Issue 269 (The Whole Issue was Good!), Animal Henchmen, Herbcraft,
Extra Healing, & Beneath the Boughs.
Fantasy Kingdoms from Issue 269.
Xakhun Airship from Issue 244
Enchanting Weapons from Issue 243
The Laws of Spell Design from Issue 242
Ruins: Rotted & Risky, But Rewarding from Issue 54
The Future is Here (For Traveller),
& The Winged Folk from Issue 51
Issue 50 (The Whole Issue was good!) Included lots on Dragons,
Kzinti player characters, The Glyphs of Cerilon. and Aerial Mounts.
Issue 48 (The WHole Issue was good!), but especially Instant
Adventures, Let a mule do it for you, Druid in a Dungeon, and
writeups on NPC's for Sparrowhawk (Ursula K. LeGuin), and Tiana
Highrider.
Best of Dragon, Volumes 1,& 2 -- Anti-paladins, Samurai, Healers,
Beserkers, Scribes, & Ninja's, Character Social Class, Good isn't
stupid, Theory & Use of Gates, Vampires, Lycanthrope, Poison, and
the Nomenclature of Polearms From Vol. II

Hints for D&D Judges, Languages, Development of Towns, Designing
Unique Wilderness Encounters, Deserted Cities of Mars (Good now,
for Stargate SG-1 as well!!), How Heavy is my Giant, Sturmgeshutz
& Sorcery (1st D&D/Moderns Rules!), Illusionists, Tombs & Crypts,
Witchcraft, Monkish Combat, Random Monsters, & Demon generation
from Vol I.

I didn't like much of the content in most Issues between 70-200 or
so, so didn't buy a dragon mag for quite a while. There seems to
be groups of Issues where the writing/articles were especially
good, but I always opted for GM aids to speed game development
over player buffs and nerfs, treasure, magic, & toys.

Re,
Dirk
May 2, 2005 8:01:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"An Army Travels on its Stomach." Very interesting and changed the way I
saw military campaigns...

Also, the demi-human deity articles and an articles on how to deal with
excessive player wealth.

Mostly memories from the old days...

Spinner
Anonymous
May 3, 2005 9:13:23 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

mearls wrote:

> Hey everyone,

> What are some of you favorite or most memorable Dragon magazine
> articles? I'm interested in hearing input on almost any era, but I'm
> particularly curious about articles from the early days.

> Thanks!

I always liked the articles about the Sheen. I forget what issues they
were in -- something like three issues after the last issue covered in
the archive CD, or something. Difficult to find nowadays, but I still
think WotC should do a book entirely about them. They're neato. And
they had Todd Lockwood color illustrations in the vein of 3e's style,
long before 3e was actually released. Those made them more cool.
--
Stephenls
Geek
"You do your arguments no favor by insulting those you ought persuade."
-Greg Stolze, Rites of the Dragon
Anonymous
May 3, 2005 2:28:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Justisaur wrote:
> mearls wrote:
>>What are some of you favorite or most memorable Dragon magazine
>>articles? I'm interested in hearing input on almost any era, but I'm
>>particularly curious about articles from the early days.
> Any April issue.

Caveat, when they had the April Fools issues. :(  Sure I can understand the
arguement that it was a full issue of nonsense or wacky stuff, but it worked! I
thought the stuff in those issues 'counted' or were as much a part of 'real DnD'
as any of the other issues dealing with world-specific themes.
--
"... respect, all good works are not done by only good folk ..."
--till next time, Jameson Stalanthas Yu -x- <<poetry.dolphins-cove.com>>
Anonymous
May 3, 2005 11:29:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

mearls wrote:
> Hey everyone,
>
> What are some of you favorite or most memorable Dragon magazine
> articles? I'm interested in hearing input on almost any era, but I'm
> particularly curious about articles from the early days.

One about rogues (2nd Edition era) by Wolfgang Bauer.

One about cyberpunk, a really long one, maybe 6 or 8 pages.

IIRC there were two articles about low-powered magic items,
primarily weapons, which were highly useful yet not *as*
useful as +1 weapons or equivalent non-combat gear.

There was also one suggesting that magic, especially Druid
spells, would have a great effect on agricultural output, so
that a much greater percentage of the population would be
able to work on industries other than food production. It
contained a series of Druid spells to boost plant crops (and
possibly also farm animal output).

An article about world building, which emphazied the removal
of species, cutting down the thousands (literally!) of
humanoid and monster types, so that there'd be only a few
humanoid species and a few dozen monter species in the
resulting game world. I can't remember what arguments were
used, but it certainly convinced me (the examples I use
myself are Forgotten Realms vs Dragonlance, and Narnia vs
Middle Earth, but those were probably not used in the article).

All were from the first half of the 1990's, because that's
the Dragon issues I got from the library back then.

--
Peter Knutsen
sagatafl.org
Anonymous
May 3, 2005 11:30:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Ian R Malcomson wrote:
[...]
> I would say that the two articles dealing with a fantasy Dark Ages
> Britain for 2nd Ed. and the Robin Hood/Sherwood articles for 3E were
> excellent, but I won't because that would be pure arrogance talking.

Which issues are they in? I'd like to read them...

--
Peter Knutsen
sagatafl.org
Anonymous
May 3, 2005 11:37:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Keith Davies wrote:
> I've got a couple of binders full of articles that I marked for later
> use (printed from the CDs).
>
> Off the top of my head,
>
> . Spell paths (#216?) Something similar was done in Advanced Players
> Manual
> . there was a coinage/treasure article (#167?) I quite liked.

Yes, written by a Usenet veteran (.misc and possibly also in
here) whose name I've forgotten (he stopped posting a couple
of years ago, or maybe 3-4 years ago).

I liked the article when I read it, but now, many years
later, I think it is an unnecessary complication because the
division of currency has absolute *no* effect on the
decisions made by the player's characters. I use farthings,
farthings and more farthings in Sagatafl, even if the
amounts end up in the billions, because that lets the
players spend their mental ressources where it matters: On
making *decisions* from the character's point of view.

> . A magic academy article (early 100s IIRC)
> . Not Another Magical Blade (IIRC title, I *know* it was issue 180)
> about describing magic swords; I used guidelines from that for a
> while

That sounds like fun. Maybe I'll be able to get issue 180
from the library.

> . Elemental gods (no idea)
>
> Okay, grabbed the binders of Dragon articles, quickly skimming for
> anything interesting -- and the ones marked with a leading * are
> particular favorites:
[...]
> 58: Swords: Slicing into a Sharp Topic
> history of swords. I use it primarily for descriptive purposes to
> help differentiate between swords from different places and times.

Did Dragon ever have any articles about sword smithing?
Either realistic, or mystical? I'd like to read about that.

> 59: Poison: The Toxins of Cerilon
> I really should go through and adapt these poisons for use in 3e
>
> 63: For the sake of change
> a history of coins

That's not the coinage article I read. It was much later.
Late hundreds or early two hundreds, probably.

> 66: Language article by A. D. Rogan
> languages are of interest to me, especially when relationships
> between them are evident and relevant

I seem to also recall a later article on the subject, but I
could be wrong this time.

[...]
> * 167: "Just give me MONEY!"
> guidelines for 'designing' monetary systems. I like having
> differences in coinage that matter, beyond the 'we don't accept
> foreign coin here, you have to get it converted at the
> moneychanger' (and lose a few percent as a result)

That may have been the article I read.

[...]
> 243: Enchanting Weapons
> suggestions for weapon origins, histories, and customizing powers.

Sounds interesting.

Another good article that I remember now dealt with cities.
It talked about how there'd be "racial" quarters and how
each would have a certain feel (the Dwarven quarter would be
clean and well regulted...), and other types of city
quarters (the only thing I recall is the "necropolis" section).

--
Peter Knutsen
sagatafl.org
Anonymous
May 4, 2005 12:55:28 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Peter Knutsen (usenet)" <peter@sagatafl.invalid> writes
>
>Ian R Malcomson wrote:
>[...]
>> I would say that the two articles dealing with a fantasy Dark Ages
>>Britain for 2nd Ed. and the Robin Hood/Sherwood articles for 3E were
>>excellent, but I won't because that would be pure arrogance talking.
>
>Which issues are they in? I'd like to read them...

#257 - "Dark Ages: Roleplaying in Anglo-Saxon Britain"
#263 - "Hearth & Sword: Deities of the Dark Ages"
#274 - "Steal from the Rich", "Wolfsheads", "The Great Greenwood", and
"Rogues & Royals"; also Dungeon #82 - "Dark Times in Sherwood"

--
Ian R Malcomson
"Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box"
!