Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Draconic Archeologist: The Birth of The Dragon - Issue #1

Sorry to say, but issue #1 of The Dragon isn't much better then it's cover, which is a tie-dye psychedelic trip of sorts... which for the time (June of 76) it may have resonated better then it does now.

Issue #1 stands in at 32 pages, which isn't bad (and I believe is longer then any of The Crusaders that have been published - Dragon certainly fits more words on the page, but I digress).  My first turn off?  The about of space devoted to short fiction.  In all my years of reading The Dragon, I don't think I EVER read any of the fiction.  It just never appealed to me.  So, in my eyes, a waste of space.  In your eye, it may have some value.

Getting back on track a bit, we get a D&D article on How to Use Non-Prime-Requisite Character Attributes.  I have no idea why it refers to the non-prime reqs.  In any case, this convoluted system requires you to roll percentile dice, then refer to a table that will tell you to roll a certain number sided die (4 sided, 6 sided, etc) then take the new number generated, multiply by the stat score in question, then roll below or equal to that number to determine success - thank god this never became official.  I would have left the hobby for sure.

Magic and Science - Are They Compatible in D&D? by James Ward.  Better then the previous article.  Better then his Crusaders.

Languages by Lee Gold (of Alarums & Excursions fame) - Interesting take on learning new languages in D&D and languages in general in D&D.  Common does not necessarily equal "native" language for humans.  This article is a small gem.

This issue's Creature Feature gives us the Bulette (pronounced boo-lay).  For 30 years I've been calling it a Bullet.  Ah well, live and learn.

Hints for D&D Judges in this issue deals with mapping the wilderness for your players.  The wilderness is a pretty lethal place.

Mighty Magic Miscellany expands leveling for Illusionists to level 14, with expo and spell charts.  Also, new spells at spell levels 1, 2, 3, 6 and 7.

Hobbits and Thieves for The Dungeon Board game - I guess the cease and desist from the Tolkein Estate was still in the mail.

So, a gem, some useful pieces and a scary piece of poo as the first D&D article in the magazine.  Hopefully, Issue 2 picks up just a wee bit of the slack.


  1. Did you get your hands on an original copy for this review? My first magazine issue was around issue 60, though I later collected my way back into the single digits. I never managed to pick up a copy of Dragon Magazine #1.

  2. I'm going from my Dragon Archive CD Collection in PDF.

    My first Dragon purchase was issue #65 at B. Dalton's Bookstore.


Tenkar's Tavern is supported by various affiliate programs, including Amazon, RPGNow,
and Humble Bundle as well as Patreon. Your patronage is appreciated and helps keep the
lights on and the taps flowing. Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

Blogs of Inspiration & Erudition