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.
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