Dragon by Dragon – October 1981 (54)

Has it been that long since the last Dragon by Dragon? Time flies and time is tight, but there should always be time to travel down through that great gaming oak to the roots and ferment in the brew of our elders.

What the hell am I talking about? The bourbon is doing its job. Let’s get started on issue 54 of the venerable Dragon and see what inspiration we can pull from this issue. Yeah, this will be less review and more “what’s cool that we can use today”.

Cool Cover

How about those angry trees on the cover by Jack Crane. How about a high level druid illusion spell:

Maddening Wood
Level: Druid 7
Area of Effect: One 6-mile hex of woodland per druid level
Duration: One season

The druid enchants a woodland with terrible phantasms. When one approaches the woods proper, the trees loom over them and seem to animate, with grotesque faces and bony claws. Creatures with fewer than 3 HD must pass a saving throw vs. fear or be frightened away. Those who are not afraid initially may plunge into the woods, but things grow worse before they get better. With each step, a save is required for creatures one additional HD higher (i.e. one step in and creatures with 4 HD must save, the next requires creatures with 5 HD to save, and so on). If a creature becomes frightened, all creatures with fewer HD must save again. As one moves deeper into the woods, the wind whips up, the owls hoot, the foliage closes in and becomes more noisome … until one has gone 10 paces in, when the illusory magic ceases and the woods become normal once again.

Eternal Complaint Dept.

“My “lack of realism” argument is very well supported in all of the AD&D entries. By taking a close look you will find an incredibly large amount of monsters in a relatively small area, which, in most cases, has not the means to support even a few of the creatures presented.”

Ruins: Rotted and Risky – but Rewarding by Arn Ashleigh Parker (R.I.P.)

Here’s the first article I dug in this issue, covering ruins – the much neglected cousin to dungeons in D&D. The article contains ideas on designing ruined cities (and thus non-ruined cities), and I love the asumptions made in the article. These are fantasy cities from the mind of Mr. Parker, and they’re awesome. Here’s a few thoughts I enjoyed:

1. Give the players a map showing the perimeter of the ruins, with credit going to the party thief. This saves time, and doesn’t give too much away.

2. Go through the map and decide which buildings are monster lairs; don’t determine what the building actually is until the players investigate.

3. The table of buildings that might be in a ruin (and thus also useful for randomly determining building use in a city)

4. Random bank vault contents! (also useful in modern games, I would think)

5. “The chance for a given thief to open the lock on a bank vault is computed by multiplying the height of the vault (in stories) by 20, and subtracting that number from the thief’s normal percentage chance to open a lock. Thus, a 17th level dwarven thief with a dextereity of 17, who would have an adjusted open-locks chance of 119% for normal locks, has only a 49% chance of cracking a third-story vault, and no chance to open a vault on the sixth story, because the adjustment for the vault’s height (6×20=120) is greater than 119.”

This is what made AD&D great.

6. Private residences are 1d4 stories high. 10% are unusual and were owned by …

7. How long does it take to find a particular building:

 

The Righteous Robbers of Liang Shan P’o by Joseph Ravitts

Cool article with NPC stats for some bad boys of the Water Margin. They include Kung Sun Sheng (“Dragon in the Clouds”), Tai Chung (“The Magic Messenger”), Chang Shun (“White Stripe in the Waves”), Li K’uei (“The Black Whirlwind”) and Shih Hsiu (“The One Who Heeds Not His Life”).

This is followed up by a Giants in the Earth covering E. R. Eddison‘s Four Lords of Demonland.

I Want One of These

Would also be a great game – Wizard Dragon Dwarf Assassin

Beware the Jabberwock by Mark Nuiver

This one presents stats for the Jabberwock, along with a stunning piece of art. The B&T stats are:

Jabberwock

Type: Monster
Size: Huge
Hit Dice: 10 to 12
Armor Class:
Attack: 2 claws (4d4), bite (3d12 + swallow) and tail (2d12)
Movement: 20 ft.
Save: 12
Intelligence: Average
Alignment: Chaotic (NE) or Neutral (N)
No. Appearing: 1
XP/CL:

SQ-Surprised (1 in 6), darkvision 90 feet, detect vorpal blade (1 mile range)

Notes: Jabberwocks mature as do dragons. They have a fearsome gaze (creatures less than 4+1 HD; frightens; frightened creatures must pass a second save or be paralyzed with fear for 2d4 rounds). Tail attacks anyone behind the creature, with a -2 penalty to attack.

Cavern Quest by Bill Fawcett

Worth mentioning this module for AD&D, which is also a sort of quiz with a system for scoring. It’s strange, but probably worth checking out, especially if you want to prove you’re better at AD&D than a friend … or foe! Each room gives you a number of options, usually preparations and actions. Based on your choices, you score points and prove your superiority over other dungeoneers. Cavern Quest could be a fun thing to run on G+ using the polling function, but it is probably too long to make it work.

Cash and Carry for Cowboys by Glenn Rahman

If you need some price lists for an Old West game, this is worth checking out. I wish I’d seen it before writing GRIT & VIGOR.

Bottle of Undead by Bruce Sears

A magic item in the Bazaar of the Bizarre. It is basically an efreet bottle that spews [01-20] a ghost, [21-35] banshee, [36-55] 1d3 spectres, [56-70] 1d2 vampires or [71-00] 1d6 wraiths.

This Makes Me Happy …

As always, I leave you with Tramp …

Dragon by Dragon – July 1981 (51)

If I hadn’t been so busy with writing 2nd editions, I could have done this review in the same month it was published, just 35 years later. Oh well – can’t always get things done as quickly as you would like. On with the review …

Let us begin with one of my favorite bits of old D&D lore – the definitive statement regarding make believe:

“First, an AD&D magic-user is not a fighting class. He or she resorts to a dagger, dart or quarter staff as a last resort. His or her main interest (read, only interest) is magic.”

And now you know!

In “Make Your Own Aliens” by Roger E. Moore we have a nice set of table for making random alien species for Traveller. You don’t see too many “modern” issues of Dragon kicking off with articles for a non-TSR game, and there are more to come. As to the article’s utility, let’s make a random alien:

Our new species lives primarily on land. They have bilateral symmetry and one brain, so they probably won’t be too alien to us. Their brain is in a head, they have no tail and they have 2 feet (I’m starting to think I’m randomly creating human beings). They have 2 arms … but only three fingers and toes on each hand/foot. They also have plantigrade feet which are more like paws than human feet. These aliens are omnivorous hunters, so they are communal, cooperative and aggressive. They weight 50 kg (or 110 lb.) on average. They have no natural weaponry or armor and are covered with feathers or down. They are warm-blooded creatures, give live birth and have two sexes. Their primary sense is auditory, and unlike humans they have light-enhancing vision and heat-tolerant tactile sense.Their auditory organs on on their body rather than head. The roll of the dice say they don’t have any special abilities, but I’m going to roll one anyways and come up with a chameleon-like body covering.

Not too bad – quite a few rolls, but not too many. I’m deciding they are mostly covered with down that can change color to blend in with woodland settings. They have a mane of longer feathers around their neck, and this is what they hear through. I’ll assume they are a primitive people – something like bad-ass barbarians – who are hired as mercenaries by criminal types as body guards.

This article is followed by four more Traveller articles, including one by Marc Miller. Since I’ve never played the game, I can’t really tell you if they’re great or not, but if you play the game, checking out this issue may be worth your while.

At this point, it’s worth noting a couple ads of interest. The first is a sign that the big boys were getting interested in this weird D&D thing that was all the rage … Mattel’s Dungeons & Dragons game! It looks like a real hoot – just a wee bit before I was aware of the game, so I don’t remember seeing any. Alas.

 

Our next ad of interest comes from Mr. Arneson and Mr. Snyder – Adventures in Fantasy, a complete and consistent system of fantasy rpgs (no shot intended there, I’m sure). This is the second edition of the game, produced after Arneson bought back the rights from Excalibur Games using his settlement money from TSR. Ah – the drama of the rpg industry!

 

Up next we get back into D&D territory with William Lenox‘s Winged Folk, a new monster. They look like humans with wings, and they are essentially humans with wings with slightly better Hit Dice and AC. Great art with the article, though, and I like the bit about females have 1d4+1 carvings made from wood, gems, etc. Of course, there will only ever be one group of winged folk for me.

 

Hell yeah! These guys also get some info on being used as playable race, and honestly, the art by Todd Lockwood is pretty great.

Lakofka has an article about what it takes for a character to become 1st level. It gives some XP requirements to become 1st level, after going through a couple pre-1st level stages. Fighters, for example, can begin as 0-level recruits, then move on to becoming 0-level men-at-arms before finally becoming 1st level veterans. I think I like the level titles best (of course I would). It has a bit more about running 0-level characters – good stuff.

If you’re into RuneQuest, or just dig their rules for cults you should check out Eric Robinson’s “The Worshippers of Ratar” for an example of one

I know nothing of Metagaming’s MicroGame #2: Chitin, so I can’t comment much on the article “A New Breed of Bug” by Ben Crowell, but I do like the art by Paul Jaquays.

Up next are two articles addressing the Lawful Good alignment, and specifically how it impact paladins. This was always a popular topic in the old days – much argued over, much lamented. The prolific Roger E. Moore wrote “It’s Not Easy Being Good” and Robert J. Bezold added “Thou Shalt Play This Way: Ten Commandments for Paladins”. I can only imagine how many letters in subsequent issues of Dragon will address these articles.

If you like mini-games, you’ll like this issue, for it includes “Search for the Emperor’s Treasure”. It has a map and counters and looks like it’s lots of fun.

How about this questionaire in this issue’s The Electronic Eye?

How many big disks do you have? Paddles?

Also, special mention for the most tortured spelling of “Basics” ever …

 

About the only reference I found was on the Internet Archive.

The winged folk were a bonus in this issue, because we still get a “Dragon’s Bestiary” by Mark Cummings. He created a fun monster called the Dark Dweller, close kin to trolls, but 1000 times better because of this …

 

Yep, they ride the Antrodemus dinosaur! Underground!! This issue also has stats for Pirahna Bats!!! Good for the DM, bad for the players.

All in all, I declare this a groovy issue, mostly for the monsters, all of which would have a place in my campaigns.

As always, I leave you with Tramp.

 

That Wormy will never be a theatrical animated film is really sad. Sometimes, stories don’t have happy endings.

A Weird Day at the Faire

Oh, the little faire looked pleasant enough – a sort of company picnic for the feudal set, with children running about and young men trying to show off for the ladies. People strolling, eating, drinking, singing, dancing – a good time.

But since the murder-hobos are involved, there had to be something sinister lurking just under the surface …

Roll d20 and then d4 a few times to generate some interesting or weird encounters at the faire – something the PCs can bump into as they wander. Some of these might even prove of value as game hooks – players arrive too late to stop something from happening, but are called on by the king to investigate and set things right.

Click to enlarge

 

Monstrous One-Liners

Have you ever had a half-ass idea for a monster – just a description and a few ideas for special abilities, or maybe even just a picture – and wanted to use it without having to come up with all the other stats right then and there?

Today, I was jotting down some ideas for monsters at work and I thought up a way to do simple, one line monster descriptions and only one stat – a monster level – that ties into a random chart that determines the combat stats when you need them.

Monsters have levels that run from 1 to 10. The monster’s level determines the dice you roll for its combat stats.

The combat stats are then rolled on this chart. You could do one roll and use all the stats for that line, or roll for each stat – whatever you want. Treat a roll that is less than zero as zero.

Two notes:

*Damage for first attack; second and third attacks are 1 level lower; third and fourth attacks are 2 levels lower

**Movement is slow (S), normal (N), quick (Q) and rapid (R) – use your best judgment for what these mean in your preferred version of the grand old game

Finally – some monster one-liners (with a quick sketch of the killa-bot).

Killa-Bot, the murderous automaton; 4th level; electro-touch (1d6), resist electricity, maniacal laughter (confusion)

Befouler, the drooling eye orb; 8th level; rust ray, acid ray (1d6), disease ray, rot ray (ruins food and water)

Mindbender, worms out to conquer the world; 3rd level; appear as normal neckware, control mind with their touch, magic resistance 15%

Tar-Bull, bovine made of flaming tar; 5th level; fire body (1d6 damage), foul smoke (save or blinded), charge for x3 damage

Mercury Ape, violet violent primate with force arms; 3rd level; constrict with arms (x2 damage), resist all energies, immune to mind effects

So the adventurers run into two of mercury apes while exploring a dungeon. The DM rolls d6-1 five times and discovers they have 2 HD, AC 13, 2 attacks for 1d6 damage and they are slow. She can now make a note of this for the next battle, or even roll over again the next time mercury apes show up.

Man-At-Arms-A-Rama

When I get half a second (after Blood & Treasure Second Edition and NOD 29 and Mystery Men! Second Edition), I want to write a quick book called 200 Lines about 100 Men-At-Arms. A nice random selection of folks, with some tables for names, and such. I took the time to peruse a whole crap load of Osprey plates featuring different warriors throughout time, and thought, in the meantime, I’d share how those men-at-arms were equipped.

So here’s over 400 men-at-arms and their equipment, arranged by time period (-35c means 35th century BC, 5c means 5th century AD, and I’m sure you can figure it out from there). Use them as henchmen or randomly encountered warriors or random starting gear for fighters or whatever else you can think of. If you have a d408 you’re golden. You could also roll 1d5, then either 1d100 or 1d8 to generate a random man-at-arm.

1. Sumerian heavy footman -35c Shield, spear
2. Nubian warrior -30c Shortbow, club, 20 arrows
3. Philistine heavy footman -30c Banded cuirass, short sword
4. Semite archer -19c Shortbow, battleaxe, 20 arrows
5. Syrian archer -14c Shortbow, 20 arrows
6. Hittite charioteer -13c Lamellar, shield, spear
7. Bedouin warrior -12c Sickle sword, 2 javelins
8. Sea People mercenary -12c Shield, spear, longsword
9. Egyptian heavy footman -12c Padded, shield, spear, curved knife
10. Egyptian heavy footman (ancient) -12c Shield, khopesh or battle axe
11. Libyan tribesman (ancient) -12c Short sword
12. Egyptian archer -12c Shortbow, 20 arrows
13. Nubian archer -12c Shortbow, 10 arrows
14. Sherdan warrior -12c Shield, short sword
15. Mycenaean noble -12c Dendra armor, tower shield, spear, short sword
16. Myceaean warrior, late bronze -11c Shield, battle axe, short sword
17. Myceaean warrior, late bronze -11c Shield, spear, short sword
18. Hittite warrior -9c Shield, spear
19. Assyrian footman -8c Shield, spear, dagger
20. Assyrian footman -8c Buckler, disc, spear, dagger
21. Assyrian footman -7c Shield, spear
22. Assyrian archer -7c Shortbow, short sword, 10 arrows
23. Elamite archer -7c Shortbow, 20 arrows
24. Assyrian archer -7c Lamellar shirt, shortbow, dagger, 20 arrows
25. Assyrian footman -7c Lamellar shirt, tower shield, spear
26. Assyrian horseman -7c Lamellar shirt, short bow, spear, dagger, 20 arrows
27. Assyrian royal guardsman -7c Lamellar shirt, shield or tower shield, spear
28. Persian immortal footman -6c Scale cuirass, shield, hand axe
29. Greek hoplite -5c Linothorax armor, shield, spear, dagger
30. Etruscan officer -5c Shield, disc, falchion
31. Sindo-Meothic nobleman -5c Lamellar, shield, spear, short sword, dagger
32. Scythian nobleman -5c Leather, short bow, short sword, 20 arrows
33. Scythian noblewoman -5c Leather, short bow, short sword, 20 arrows
34. Scythian heavy horseman -5c Lamellar, composite bow, horseman’s pick, 2 javelins
35. Companion horseman (Alexander the Great) -4c Light lance, short sword
36. Companion officer (Alexander the Great) -4c Scale shirt, light lance, short sword
37. Libyan archer -4c Shortbow, 10 arrows
38. Phoenician marine -4c Padded cuirass, shield, falchion, 3 javelins
39. Persian horseman -4c Battleaxe
40. Persian horseman -4c Short sword, 3 javelins
41. Persian footman -4c Shield, spear
42. Persian royal footman -4c Shield, spear, composite bow
43. Thracian heavy horseman -4c Breastplate, short sword, 2 javelins
44. Thracian light horseman -4c Buckler, 2 javelins, short sword
45. Thracian footman -4c Shield, 2 javelins, short sword
46. Thracian horseman -4c Breastplate, shield, light lance, short sword
47. Getic heavy horseman -4c Lamellar, light lance, short sword
48. Getic horse-archer -4c Composite bow, short sword, 20 arrows
49. Prodromoi horseman -3c Light lance
50. Footman -3c Battleaxe, short sword
51. Foot companion -3c Shield, spear, short sword
52. Iberian footman -2c Mail/scale shirt, spear, short sword
53. Iberian footman -2c Mail/scale shirt, shield, spear
54. Iberian horseman -2c Mail/scale shirt, buckler, light lance, short sword, barding
55. Liby-Phoenician heavy footman -2c Mail shirt, shield, spear, short sword
56. Gaul footman -1c Mail shirt, shield, longsword, spear, javelin
57. Gaul horseman -1c Longsword
58. Parthian horse-archer -1c Composite bow, 10 arrows
59. Western Han spearman -1c Lamellar breastplate, spear
60. Western Han swordsman -1c Lamellar breastplate, buckler, long sword or short sword
61. Western Hand crossbowman -1c Heavy crossbow
62. Roman warrior 1c Banded cuirass, shield, short sword, dagger, spear
63. Celtic light footman 1c Buckler, longsword
64. Han lancer 1c Lamellar breastplate, light lance, longsword
65. Han mounted archer 1c Composite bow, 10 arrows
66. Myrmillo (gladiator) 2c Shield, short sword
67. Dacian warrior 2c Scale shirt, shield, short sword
68. Persian cataphract 2c Banded mail, light lance, longsword, barding
69. Armenian cataphract 2c Chainmail + lamellar, light lance, longsword, barding
70. West Sassanian armored horseman 2c Mail shirt, composite bow, light lance, longsword, barding
71. Kushan footman 2c Scale shirt, shield, spear, short sword
72. Eastern Han archer 2c Short bow, 20 arrows
73. Vietnamese Auxiliary 2c Scale shirt, buckler, spear
74. Eastern Han armored foorman 2c Shortbow, short sword, 20 arrows
75. East Parthian cataphracts 3c Lamellar, light lance, composite bow, longsword
76. Parthian horse-archer 3c Composite bow, dagger
77. Clibanarius from Ahwaz 3c Mail shirt, composite bow, spear, short sword, barding
78. Three Kingdoms armored horseman 3c Scale shirt, light lance, composite bow, longsword
79. Three Kingdoms Northwest rebel footman 3c Shield, spear
80. Northern Han Dynasty catapract horseman 4c Scale, light lance, longsword, barding
81. Northern Han Dynasty armored archer 4c Scale breastplate, composite bow, 10 arrows
82. Sassanid Persian cataphract 4c Lamellar, light lance, composite bow, barding
83. Tanukhid auxiliary horseman 4c Spear, short sword
84. Alamannic warrior 4c Shield, spear, short sword, throwing axe, dagger
85. Visigoth 4c Shield, short sword, spear, javelin
86. Japanese footman 4c Lamellar breastplate, shield, spear, short sword
87. Japanese foot commander 4c Lamellar breastplate, spear, short sword
88. Hun warrior 4c Scale, spear, scimitar, composite bow, 20 arrows
89. Roman horse officer 4c Scale, shield, short sword
90. Roman sailor, Saxon short fleet 4c Short sword
91. Roman horseman 5c Mail shirt, shield, longsword, light lance
92. Roman foot officer 5c Shield, spear, longsword
93. Aksumite warrior 5c Shield, spear, short sword
94. Frankish 5c Mail shirt, buckler, short sword, spear
95. East Sassanian horseman 5c Composite bow, longsword, 10 arrows
96. Han tribal leader 5c Lamellar breastplate, composite bow, longsword
97. Ephthalite nobleman 5c Longsword
98. Saka horseman 5c Shield, longsword
99. Kushan nobleman 5c
100. Tashtyk tribesman 5c Lamellar shirt, shield, longsword, composite bow

101. Hsing-nu horseman 5c Padded + lamellar, composite bow, light lance, scimitar
102. Japanese clansman (footman) 6c Lamellar, spear, longsword
103. Lakhmid elite horseman 6c Mail shirt, composite bow, scimitar
104. Byzantine footman 6c Scale shirt, shield, longsword
105. Sassanid clibanarius 6c Lamellar, shield, footman’s mace, longsword, barding
106. Sassanid war elephant 6c Driver, archer (scale shirt, composite bow), warrior (mail shirt, 7 javelins)
107. Nomadic Iranian horse-archer 6c Composite bow, short sword, light lance
108. Chionite-Ephthalite horse-archer 6c Buckler, composite bow, 3 javelins, 20 arrows
109. Byzantine footman 6c Chainmail + lamellar, shield, longsword
110. Northern Ch’I Dynasty armored footman 6c Leather, shield, longsword
111. Northern Wei Dynasty frontier guard 6c Padded armor, shield, spear
112. Sui Dynasty guardsman 6c Breasplate, greatsword
113. Liang Dynasty armored horseman 6c Scale, light lance, longsword, composite bow, barding
114. Liang Dynasty swordsman 6c Shield, longsword
115. Arab footman 7c Mail shirt, shield, spear, short sword
116. Persian horse-archer 7c Leather coat, composite bow, longsword, dagger, 10 arrows, barding
117. Avar heavy horseman 7c Lamellar, light lance, scimitar, barding
118. Slavic tribal footman 7c Shield, handaxe, 2 javelins
119. Sassanian aswar in Yemen 7c Lamellar shirt, shield, longsword
120. Sassanian aswar officer in Oman 7c Mail shirt, composite bow, longsword, light lance
121. Arab boy warrior 7c Shortbow, 5 arrows
122. Khurasani heavy horseman 7c Lamellar, buckler, light lance, scimitar, composite bow, barding
123. Sassanid clibanarius 7c Chainmail, buckler, light lance, barding
124. Umayyad elite horseman 7c Chainmail + lamellar, shield, light lance, longsword
125. Umayyad light horseman, Egypt 7c Light lance, longsword
126. Pictish horseman 7c Scale shirt, spear, short sword, 3 darts
127. Pictish footman 7c Buckler, short sword, spear, 3 javelins
128. Iberian horseman 8c Mail shirt, shield, light lance, longsword
129. Arab officer 8c Shield, longsword
130. Ghulum cavalry guardsman (Abbasid Empire) 8c Composite bow, dagger, 40 arrows
131. Abna footman (Abbasid Empire) 8c Mail shirt, 2 javelins, dagger
132. Transoxanian Turk horseman 8c Lamellar shirt, scimitar, composite bow, 10 arrows
133. Umayyad infantry guardsman 8c Mail shirt, shield, spear
134. Umayyad infantry guardsman 8c Scale, shield, longsword
135. Umayyad cavalry guardsman 8c Buckler, light lance
136. Umayyad infantry archer 8c Composite bow, footman’s mace
137. Japanese footman 8c Padded, short sword
138. Khirgiz horseman 9c Lamellar breastplate, shield, light lance, scimitar
139. Khirgiz tribal horseman 9c Lamellar breastplate, light lance, longsword, composite bow, 10 arrows
140. Khirgiz tribesman (mounted) 9c Lamellar, longsword, composite bow, barding
141. Alan nobleman 9c Composite bow, scimitar, dagger, 10 arrows
142. Khazar horseman 9c Chainmail, light lance, hand axe, scimitar
143. Khwarazm Muslim mercenary 9c Mail shirt, shield, spear, dagger
144. Berber footman 9c Lamellar, buckler, longsword, spear, 2 javelins
145. Sindi horseman 9c Buckler, battleaxe
146. Transoxanian horse-archer 9c Lamellar, buckler, spear, longsword, composite bow
147. Egyptian horseman 9c Scale, spear, hand axe, longsword
148. Eastern Kiev tribal warrior 9c Padded, spear
149. Scandinavian merchant-venturer 9c Mail shirt, shield, battleaxe
150. Eastern Magyar horseman 9c Lamellar, buckler, light lance, longsword
151. Japanese sohei 10c Naginata, scimitar
152. Hamdanid horseman 10c Scale shirt, shield, light lance, short sword
153. Muslim-Armenian frontiersman 10c Padded, shield, battleaxe
154. Malatya frontier warrior 10c Padded, shield, short sword
155. Saljuq Turcoman horse-archer 10c Buckler, composite bow, 10 arrows, scimitar
156. Bedouin auxiliary 10c Buckler, short sword
157. Arab tribesman 10c Buckler, light mace, dagger
158. Varangian guard 10c Chainmail, lamellar, shield, battleaxe, longsword, dagger
159. Nubian footman 10c Padded, shield, spear
160. Rus mercenary 10c Shield, poleaxe, longsword
161. Scandinavian mercenary 10c Scale shirt, shield, spear, short sword, dagger
162. Anglo-Danish warrior 10c Short bow, battleaxe, dagger, 10 arrows
163. Byzantine skutatos 10c Scale shirt, shield, spear, short sword
164. Byzantine peltastos 10c Padded, shield, spear, 2 javelins, short sword
165. Byzantine skutatos 10c Lamellar/mail, shield, spear, short sword
166. Azerbaijan footman 10c Lamellar, shield, spear, scimitar
167. Byzantine cataphract (klivanophoros) 10c Chainmail, buckler, light lance, battleaxe, longsword, barding
168. Byzantine footman 10c Padded, shield, hand axe
169. Byzantine scutatoi spearman 10c Chainmail + scale, shield, spear
170. Andalusian footman 10c Padded, buckler, spear, short sword
171. Berber-Andalusian light horseman 10c Buckler, spear
172. Byzantine kataphractos 10c Chainmail + lamellar, shield, longsword, dagger
173. Khazar-Kagan horseman 10c Composite bow, longsword or warhammer
174. Saxon housecarl 11c Chainmail, shield, longsword, pole axe
175. Andalusian horseman 11c Chainmail, buckler, spear, short sword
176. Andalusian infantry archer 11c Mail shirt, composite bow, 20 arrows
177. German knight 11c Chainmail, shield, longsword
178. Norman knight 11c Chainmail, shield, light lance, longsword
179. Bohemian footman 11c Padded, shield, spear, longsword
180. Polish heavy horseman 11c Scale, shield, light lance, longsword, hand axe
181. Italo-Norman mercenary horseman 11c Chainmail, shield, light lance, longsword
182. Italo-Norman mercenary footman 11c Scale mail, shield, longsword
183. Northern Italy horseman 11c Chainmail, shield, longsword, light lance
184. Northern Italy urban militia 11c Chainmail, shield, spear
185. Northern Italy rural militia 11c Footman’s mace, dagger
186. Hiberno-Norse jarl 11c Spear, javelin, short sword
187. Varangian guardsman 11c Chainmail, shield, poleaxe, longsword
188. Kiev commander 11c Lamellar, longsword, light mace
189. Kiev warrior 11c Lamellar, shield, longsword
190. Kiev urban militiaman 11c Shield, battleaxe
191. Fatimid Caliphal guard 11c Mail shirt, shield, longsword, 2 javelins
192. Sahara tribal horseman 11c Spear
193. Fatimid horseman 11c Lamellar shirt, buckler, spear
194. Fatimid urban militiaman 11c Padded, buckler, glaive
195. Byzantine kataphractos 11c Scale shirt, shield, pike, longsword
196. Japanese sohei 12c Lamellar, glaive, short sword
197. Italo-Norman nobleman 12c Chainmail, shield, light lance, longsword
198. Sicilo-Norman crossbowman 12c Chainmail, light crossbow, short sword, 10 bolts
199. Sicilian reduta 12c Scale shirt, spear, dagger
200. Byzantine skutatos 12c Scale shirt, shield, spear, short sword

201. Norwegian backwoodsman 12c Padded, shield, longsword
202. Swedish crossbowman 12c Lamellar, shield, spear, light crossbow, 20 bolts
203. Norwegian knight 12c Chainmail, shield, longsword
204. Danish knight 12c Chainmail, shield, longsword
205. Danish footman 12c Mail shirt, shield, longsword
206. Danish militia footman 12c Mail shirt, shield, battleaxe
207. Volga Bulgar horseman 12c Mail shirt, light lance, scimitar, hand axe
208. Kipchaq horseman 12c Mail shirt + lamellar, composite bow, scimitar, 10 arrows
209. Seljuk mercenary footman 12c Mail shirt, buckler, horseman’s mace, longsword
210. Lotharingian footman 12c Mail shirt, shield, longsword
211. German knight 12c Chainmail, shield, longsword
212. Heavy footman 12c Chainmail, shield, spear, longsword
213. Veronese footman 12c Chainmail, shield, spear, longsword
214. German knight 12c Chainmail, shield, light lance, longsword
215. Italian knight 12c Chainmail, shield, horseman’s mace, longsword
216. Milanese footman 12c Shield, falchion
217. Seljuk horse-archer 12c Composite bow, longsword
218. Bedouin warrior 13c Mail shirt, buckler, spear, short sword
219. Mongol light archer 13c Padded, composite bow, scimitar, 20 arrows
220. Mongol heavy horseman 13c Lamellar, shield, scimitar, horseman’s mace, hand axe, barding
221. Iraqi footman 13c Chainmail, spear, short sword
222. Anatolian footman 13c Mail shirt, shield, spear
223. Anatolian horseman 13c Chainmail, composite bow, horseman’s axe, curved knife, 10 arrows
224. Ghulam heavy horseman 13c Chainmail + lamellar, shield, spear, short sword
225. Western Russian horseman 13c Chainmail + lamellar, shield, longsword, 3 javelins
226. Boyar nobleman 13c Chainmail, longsword
227. South-Eastern Russian horseman 13c Chainmail, shield, composite bow, scimitar, 10 arrows
228. Khwarazmian horseman 13c Chainmail + lamellar, light lance, short sword, composite bow, barding
229. Mamluk askari 13c Shield, longsword
230. Mamluk askari horseman 13c Shield, spear
231. Mamluk amir 13c Chainmail, buckler, spear, longsword
232. Mamluk askari 13c Buckler, composite bow, longsword, 10 arrows
233. Sicilian Saracen archer 13c Padded shirt, shortbow, 10 arrows, longsword
234. Sicilian Saracen archer 13c Padded shirt, buckler, shortbow, 10 arrows, longsword
235. Sicilian Saracen horse-archer 13c Shield, composite bow
236. Sicilian crossbowman 13c Light crossbow, dagger
237. Syrian amir 13c Chainmail, longsword
238. Templar knight 13c Chainmail, buckler, light lance, longsword
239. Tunisian Berber bodyguard 13c Lamellar breastplate, shield, spear, longsword
240. Turcoman auxiliary footman 13c Buckler, battleaxe
241. Turkish archer 13c Composite bow
242. Knight 13c Chainmail, buckler, longsword
243. Almohad elite warrior 13c Mail shirt, shield, footman’s mace, longsword, dagger
244. Danish sergeant 13c Mail shirt, shield, longsword, spear
245. Danish rural levy 13c Mail shirt, shield, battleaxe, short bow, 20 arrows
246. Danish knight 13c Chainmai, buckler, light lance, longsword
247. Russian crossbowman 13c Mail shirt, light crossbow, short sword
248. Urban militiaman 13c Padded, shield, spear, longsword
249. Light foot archer 13c Padded, battleaxe, shortbow, 20 arrows
250. Knight 13c Chainmail, shield, longsword
251. Southern French sergeant 13c Chainmail, shield, battleaxe, longsword
252. French royal knight 13c Chainmail, shield
253. Southern French crossbowman 13c Padded, heavy crossbow, dagger
254. Braboncon knight 13c Chainmail, shield, longsword
255. Braboncon mercenary horseman 13c Padded, short bow, scimitar, 10 arrows
256. Cuman auxiliary footman 13c Chainmail, leather apron, shield, spear, longsword
257. French squire 13c Padded, dagger
258. Mongolian foot officer 13c Lamellar, composite bow, scimitar
259. Mongolian archer 13c Lamellar, composite bow, 10 arrows
260. Mongolian heavy mounted archer 13c Lamellar, composite bow, 10 arrows, barding, scimitar
261. Mongolian light mounted archer 13c Leather, composite bow, 10 arrows, scimitar
262. German knight 13c Chainmail, shield, longsword
263. German knight 13c Chainmail, leather apron, shield, bastard sword, longsword
264. Berber archer 13c Shortbow, dagger, 20 arrows
265. Berber horseman 13c Shield, light lance, short sword, dagger
266. Spanish crossbowman 13c Mail shirt, shield, light crossbow, short sword
267. Byzantine footman 13c Shield, scimitar
268. Epirote Byzantine footman 14c Mail shirt, shield, composite bow, scimitar, spear
269. Byzantine Bulgarian footman 14c Mail shirt, shield, spear, scimitar
270. Mamluk Khassaki horseman 14c Lamellar, shield, longsword
271. Amir’s mamluk horseman 14c Light lance
272. Halqa trooper horseman 14c Lamellar breastplate, composite bow, handaxe, 10 arrows
273. Mamluk horse-archer 14c Padded, buckler, composite bow, 10 arrows, scimitar
274. Mamluk heavy horseman 14c Lamellar, battleaxe, short sword
275. Mongol refugee footman 14c Lamallar shirt, composite bow, spear, 10 arrows
276. Grenadine mounted crossbowman 14c Light crossbow, dagger
277. Grenadine qadi 14c Longsword, holy book
278. Grenadine light horseman 14c Mail shirt, buckler, spear, longsword
279. Hussite footman 14c Padded, shield, godentag, longsword
280. Hussite handgunner 14c Padded, shield, handgonne, longsword, dagger
281. French crossbowman 14c Mail shirt, shield, medium crossbow, dagger
282. French militiaman 14c Chainmail, shield, footman’s mace, dagger
283. Southern French light footman 14c Mail shirt, buckler, longsword, dagger
284. Serbian auxiliary horseman 14c Mail shirt + lamellar, composite bow, 10 arrows, light lance, longsword
285. Bulgarian auxiliary footman 14c Padded, composite bow, 10 arrows, scimitar, dagger
286. Western Russian light horseman 14c Chainmail + lamellar, shield, light lance, scimitar
287. Western Russian heavy horseman 14c Platemail, shield, bastard sword, barding
288. Novgorod urban horseman 14c Mail shirt, shield, battle axe, scimitar, composite bow
289. Turkish sipahi 14c Mail shirt, shield, horseman’s mace, composite bow, 10 arrows
290. Knight 14c Platemail, buckler, longsword
291. Swiss knight 14c Plate armor, heavy lance, longsword, dagger
292. Bohemian archer 14c Longbow, dagger, 20 arrows
293. German footman 14c Mail & plate, battleaxe, longsword, dagger
294. Central Italian horseman 14c Mail & plate, longsword, shield, dagger
295. German knight 14c Chainmail, longsword, shield, dagger
296. Catalan man-at-arms 14c Platemail, shield, longsword
297. North Italian footman 14c Mail shirt, shield, spear, dagger
298. North Italian crossbowman 14c Padded, buckler, light crossbow, short sword
299. Venetian footman 14c Mail & plate, shield, longsword
300. Lombard knight 14c Platemail, longsword, dagger

301. North Italian handgunner 14c Handgonne, dagger
302. Italian heavy footman 14c Platemail, glaive
303. Knight 14c Chainmail, shield, longsword, light lance
304. Footman 14c Chainmail, shield, spear, short sword
305. Crossbowman 14c Chain & scale, longsword, light crossbow, 10 bolts
306. English crossbowman 14c Mail shirt, heavy crossbow, dagger, 20 bolts
307. English archer 14c Padded, longbow, pole arm (guisarme), 20 arrows
308. Italian army commander 14c Chainmail, longsword
309. Austrian man-at-arms 14c Platemail, battleaxe, longsword, dagger
310. English bowman 14c Mail shirt, buckler, longbow, short sword
311. Footman 14c Platemail, shield, falchion, dagger
312. Byzantine light footman 14c Mail shirt, shield, spear, longsword
313. Byzantine horseman 14c Chainmail, shield, longsword, dagger
314. Golden Horde Mongol horseman 14c Lamellar, composite bow, scimitar, 20 arrows
315. English footman 14c Mail shirt, shield, bardiche, short sword
316. English footman 14c Mail shirt, shield, warhammer, short sword
317. English footman 14c Padded doublet, buckler, hand axe, dagger
318. West Anatolian footman 14c Chainmail, shield, spear, dagger
319. Ottoman Gazi 14c Lamellar, shield, composite bow
320. Turcoman tribal horseman 14c Padded, shield, composite bow, longsword
321. Timur’s cavalry officer 14c Chainmail, composite bow, light lance
322. Timur’s Tarkhan ‘hero’ 14c Platemail, composite bow, light lance, scimitar, barding
323. English longbowman 15c Unarmored, longbow, dagger, 40 arrows
324. Crossbowman 15c Padded, heavy crossbow, 10 bolts, shield, dagger
325. English archer 15c Mail shirt, longbow, longsword
326. Knight 15c Chainmail, shield, longsword, dagger
327. Handgunner 15c Mail shirt, handgonne, dagger
328. Mounted archer 15c Padded, longsword, short bow
329. Longbowman 15c Padded, dagger, longbow
330. Muscovite horse archer 15c Mail shirt, composite bow, scimitar, 20 arrows
331. Muscovite musketeer 15c Padded, musket, dagger
332. Muscovite officer 15c Platemail, buckler, scimitar
333. Danish man-at-arms 15c Platemail, longsword, dagger
334. Danish handgunner 15c Platemail, musket, warhammer
335. Danish militia crossbowman 15c Platemail, heavy crossbow, longsword, 10 bolts
336. Italian knight 15c Platemail, longsword, dagger
337. Italian light footman 15c Padded, shield, spear, longsword
338. Artilleryman 15c Padded, dagger, bombard
339. Eastern Russia horseman 15c Lamellar/mail, light lance, shield, scimitar
340. Eastern Russia prince on horse 15c Lamellar (gilded), longsword, dagger
341. Byzantine varangopoulos 15c Platemail, buckler, bastard sword
342. English guardsman 15c Chainmail, shield, pole axe, longsword
343. Cretan guardsman 15c Mail shirt, shield, spear, longsword
344. Knight 15c Plate mail, longsword
345. English man-at-arms 15c Plate armor, halberd, longsword
346. Knight 15c Plate armor, horseman’s mace, barding
347. Mounted crossbowman 15c Mail shirt, breastplate, light crossbow, longsword
348. Flemish mercenary footman 15c Platemail, pike, longsword
349. Ottoman-Balkan yaya 15c Padded, spear, scimitar, dagger
350. Ottoman footman 15c Chainmail, shield, hand axe, scimitar
351. Man-at-arms 15c Plate armor, glaive, longsword, dagger
352. Serbian knight 15c Platemail, shield, longsword
353. Balkan light horseman (stradiot) 15c Padded, buckler, light lance, scimitar
354. Balkan heavy horseman 15c Plate armor, scimitar
355. Balkan footman 15c Padded, shield, spear, longsword
356. Acemi Oglan 16c Musket, scimitar
357. Billman 16c Padded, billhook, longsword
358. Archer 16c Longbow, dagger
359. Soldier 16c Breastplate, polearm (guisarme), shortsword
360. Inca general 16c Shield, spear, light mace
361. Inca general 16c Spear, light mace
362. Inca warrior 16c Shield, battleaxe
363. Maya general 16c Spear
364. Maya warrior 16c Buckler, spear
365. Maya peasant levy 16c Buckler, sling
366. Aztec archer 16c Shield, shortbow
367. Aztec peasant levy 16c Shield, club, spear
368. Aztec allied captain 16c Pole arm
369. Mexica cuahchic 16c Buckler, obsidian axe-sword
370. Mexica warrior priest 16c Buckler, obsidian axe-sword
371. Triple Alliance warrior 16c Padded shirt, buckler, obsidian axe-sword
372. Triple Alliance jaguar warrior 16c Padded, buckler, obsidian axe-sword
373. Aztec soldier 16c Buckler, spear
374. Mexica captain 16c Padded, buckler, obsidian axe-sword
375. Spanish tercio 16c ¾ plate, shield, longsword (estoc)
376. Spanish musketeer 16c Padded shirt, longsword, musket
377. Spanish footman 16c Padded shirt, longsword, spear
378. Spanish hargulatie 16c Arquebus, pistol, longsword
379. Spanish lancer 16c ¾ plate, heavy lance, pistol, longsword
380. German reiter 16c ¾ plate, pistol, longsword
381. Spanish conquistador 16c Padded shirt, buckler, longsword
382. Aztec eagle warrior 16c Padded armor, shield, obsidian ax-sword
383. British petty-captain of foot 16c Mail shirt, ox tongue, longsword
384. British landsknecht captain 16c ¾ plate, spear, longsword
385. Irish auxiliary footman 16c Longsword, 2 javelins
386. Irish border horseman 16c Mail shirt, shield, light lance, dagger
387. Irish galloglass 16c Mail shirt, greatsword
388. Irish kern 16c Padded shirt, glaive
389. Polish hussar 16c ¾ plate (or banded), shield, pistol or dragon, scimitar
390. Polish musketeer 16c Mail shirt, scimitar, musketeer
391. Mamluk Khassaki 16c Chainmail, shield, battleaxe, scimitar
392. Mamluk Qaranis 16c Chainmail, composite bow, 20 arrows, spear
393. Mamluk African handgunner 16c Mail shirt, musket
394. British pikeman 16c Padded coat, pike, longsword
395. British demilance (horseman) 16c ¾ plate, light lance (demilance), longsword
396. British soldier 16c Godentag, longsword
397. British halberdier 16c ¾ plate, halberd, longsword
398. British archer 16c Longbow, dagger, 20 arrows
399. British captain of foot 16c ¾ plate, longsword, dagger
400. Irish gallowglass 16c Mail shirt, greatsword, dagger

401. Irish kern 16c Glaive, short sword
402. Cossack horseman 17c Chainmail, scimitar
403. Winged Tatar uhlan 17c Padded, spear, scimitar
404. Comman Tatar horseman 17c Composite bow, 20 arrows
405. Cossack 17c Musket, scimitar, bardiche or footman’s flail
406. Polish winged hussar 17c ½ plate (banded), heavy lance, scimitar, longsword
407. Ottoman imperial guardsman 17c Buckler, composite bow, scimitar, 20 arrows
408. Ottoman footman 17c Chainmail, spear, shield, short sword

 

Dragon by Dragon – January 1981 (45)

A new year! 1981!

Inflation was rough as hell, but if you scrape it together you could get a new Tandy TRS 80 PC for $150 (or $390 in today’s dollars). This year would see the release of the hostages in Iran, the first flight of the space shuttle Columbia and an attempted assassination of President Reagan.

For the geek set, it was an embarrassment of riches in the movie theaters – Raiders of the Lost Ark, Mad Max 2, Evil Dead, An American Werewolf in London, The Howling, Halloween, Escape from New York, Clash of the Titans, Time Bandits, Scanners, Excalibur, Dragonslayer and, of course, the finest film ever made, Cannonball Run.

How did the venerable Dragon kick off 1981? Let’s see …

From the art in the first article, it would appear it was stinking up the place.

Actually, Robert Plamondon‘s article “Gas ’em Up and Smoke ’em Out” reviews how gases and smoke would work in a dungeon environment. It’s a sign of the times, as Old School (which I now realize means pre-1980) gaming gives way bit by bit to realism, at least for game designers and article writers. Here’s a sample:

“Using the rule-of-thumb design specs of 500 cubic feet per person of room volume and 24 cubic feet per minute per person of ventilating air, and applying a little algebra, we find that the ratio of incoming air volume to room volume is about 1:20.83.”

This article uses a little math and engineering, but also comes across with some useful bits for referees:

  • A room with standard ventilation will take about 2 hours and 20 minutes for poison gas or smoke to go away. Even without ventilation, poison gas will eventually react with everything in the room and become harmless.
  • Poison gas costs between 1,000 gp and 6,000 gp per trap.
  • Gas masks should be easy for an alchemist and leather worker to put together, but inventing them will take 2d4 months and 1d6+1 x 1,000 gp, with a 50% chance of success.
  • A successful save vs. poison gas means holding one’s breath and escaping the gas. A failed save means breathing the gas and dying. Initially one falls unconscious and dies 5 rounds later.
  • People who know about the presence of poison gas get a +4 bonus to save against it.

Plamondon also provides a nice table of poison gases, which may come in just as handy for modern games and fantasy games:

 

Oh, and THIS GUY might be the Robert Plamondon of the article.

The Dragon Tooth miniatures ad would make a nice deep dungeon encounter table:

Roll d20

  1. High Elfin Hero-King in Dragon Helm (Elf Fighter 8/Magic-User 7, helm controls dragons, longsword, chainmail, shield)
  2. Rogue or Thief, Skulkingly Caped (Human Thief 1 or 9, rapier and dagger)
  3. Sorcerer, Sorcerering or Sorceress, Sorcerering (Human Magic-User 9, staff)
  4. Swordswoman armed with Sword and Spear (Human Fighter 3, longsword and glaive)
  5. Rictus, the Zombie King (Zombie with 10 HD, scimitar, skeletal horse)
  6. Swordsman Kane, in Scale Armour (Human Fighter 3, sword, scale mail)
  7. Cleric in Mitred Helmet Armed with Mace in Scale Armour (Human Cleric 9, footman’s mace, chainmail)
  8. Fool or Jester, Armed with Sword (Human Bard 4, longsword)
  9. Bard or Harpist with Harp and Armed with Sword (Human Bard 8, longsword)
  10. Swordsman Roland with Sword and Shield in Scale Armour (Human Fighter 3, short sword, scale mail)
  11. Elfin Enchanter, Enchanting (Human Magic-User 7)
  12. Female Thief or Rogue, Caped and Thieving (Human Thief 1 or 9, rapier)
  13. Silent Stalker, Stalking (honestly, your guess is as good as mine, but I love it)
  14. Gladius-Hero in Roman-Style Armour (Human Fighter 4, breastplate, shield, short sword)
  15. Barbarian Hero wearing Vulture Helmet and Fur (Human Fighter 4, scimitar, leather armor and shield)
  16. Rachir, the Red Archer-Ranger/Fighter with Bow (Human Ranger 3, composite bow, long sword, leather armor, shield)
  17. High Elfin Warrior Maiden Armed with Sword (Elf Fighter 4, broadsword, chainmail)
  18. Gundar the Barbarian with Axe and Sword (Human Fighter 9, leather armor, battle axe, longsword)
  19. Subotai the Mongol-Swordsman with Shield (Human Fighter 3, scimitar, dagger, chainmail, shield)
  20. Swashbuckler Fighter with Cutlass and Dagger (Human Fighter 5, scimitar, dagger)

Next up, we have a couple old school NPC classes – the Astrologer by Roger E. Moore and the Alchemist by Roger E. Moore and Georgia Moore. These are nice and short classes, and could probably be adapted as non-classed NPCs with interesting abilities by most GM’s. Of course, I’d also love to see them used as PC’s in a game.

Here’s a taste of the astrologer:

 

Here’s a nice bit from the alchemist class:

“For the creation of homonculi, it is suggested that Pseudo-Dragon venom and Gargoyle blood be among, the. required ingredients, as well as the Magic-User’s own blood, since these items bear some relationship to a Homonculous’s poisonous bite and appearance. Costs and time for making a Homonculous are outlined in the Monster Manual.”

And this:

“Formulas for manufacturing cockatrices may be found in L. Sprague de Camp’s book, The Ancient Engineers, Chapter 9, “The European Engineers.” Additional notes appear in The Worm Ouroborous, by E. R. Eddison, “Conjuring in the Iron Tower.” Note that de Camp’s book refers to the cockatrice as a “basilisk,” and tells of an alchemical way of making gold from burnt “basilisk” parts.”

One more reason to read Eddison’s book, and now I want to find de Camp’s as well.

Oh Hell, and this:

“At the Dungeon Master’s option, cloning may be performed by biogenesis-studying Alchemists; this should be considered a very powerful (and very rarely performed) ability that will entail expenditures of 100,000 g.p. or more.”

Philip Meyers‘ article “Magic Items for Everyman” covers random magic items for NPC’s. They’re quite extensive and worth taking a look at.

Bazaar of the Bizarre has a couple nifty magic items. The Eidolon of Khalk’Ru is a real pip if you have a cleric or magic-user in the party (and who doesn’t?). There’s also the Bell of Pavlov, box of many holdings, ruby slippers, ring of oak and pet rocks – man I want to pit a guy with three pet rocks up against an unsuspecting party.

But hey – we’re not done with new classes yet. Len Lakofka presents a new fighter or ranger sub-class, the Archer. Really, it’s the archer, a fighter sub-class, and the archer-ranger, a ranger sub-class. This is accompanied by whole host of advanced rules for missile fire in D&D.

Archers get fewer melee attacks per round than fighters and more missile attacks than fighters. They get an additional +1 with magic bows and arrows. If their intelligence is 9 or higher, they also learn some magic-user spells at 7th level. At 3rd level they learn to make arrows, and they learn to make bows at 5th level.

The main bonus for archers are bonuses to hit and damage, which get pretty big at high levels.

The big feature of this issue was the Dragon Dungeon Design Kit – a bunch of cardboard pieces you could use to create tabletop maps of the dungeon rooms adventurers encountered. You got wall sections, treasure chests and all sorts of dungeon dressing.

Michael Kluever‘s article “Castles, Castles Everywhere” is a nicely researched article about castles. Worth the read.

Roger E. Moore is back this issue with “How To Have a Good Time Being Evil”, a lighthearted look at the subject. Think over-the-top silver age comic book evil rather than the genuine article. One bit I especially liked was this, as it is a good description of the Chaotic / Evil alignment:

“Now for the group goals. Anyone who’s played Monsters! Monsters! already knows what the goal is in an evil campaign. The goal is to beat up on the good guys. The goody-good Paladins, sneaky Rangers, and less-than-macho elves are going to get what they deserve. What right have they got, breaking into our lairs, killing our underlings and friends, and taking away the treasures we worked so hard to steal? Besides, what we’re doing is the way of the universe. Only the strong survive. Nice guys finish last. I’m number one. If you help all the wimps get ahead in the universe, you undo natural selections and evolution, which is trying to make us tougher. Might makes right. And so on. Working up the goals and general background philosophy of an evil campaign is not difficult (and is actually a little disturbing, as some people say such things in seriousness. How little we know about our own alignments …)”

I think the true test of a great monster is great art. Well, maybe not, but a nice piece of art makes we want to use a monster, regardless of its stats. To whit, the skyzorr’n by Jon Mattson:

Art by Willingham, of course. It’s actually not a bad beastie – nomadic insect people.

Skyzorr’n, Medium Monstrous Humanoid: HD 2+1, AC 16, MV 20′, ATK 1d4 claws (1d4) or 1d2 by weapon; AL Chaotic (LE), Special–Bite for 1d4+1 plus poison, surprise 1-3 on 1d6, immune to natural paralysis (not spells) and 90% of poisons, +2 to save vs. heat and cold attacks, resistance to edged and piercing weapons.

They inhabit deserts and badlands in hive communities (70% underground). They are matriarchal, ruled by queens (they look like grotesque bloated spiders) with High intelligence. They use weapons 50% of the time (longswords, scimitars, military forks, spears and slings). If two claw attacks hit, they get a bite attack. The poison deals 1 point of Strength and Dexterity damage for 2d4 turns.

Read the issue to get the full description – very cool. They also have sand lizards by Marcella Peyre-Ferry and dust devils by Bruce Sears.

I wonder if WOTC would consider making a monster book with all of these creatures in it?

Well – that’s all folks. No White Dwarf supplement this time, since it was bi-monthly. I’ll hit it next week (God willing and the creek don’t rise).