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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.

2 comments:

  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.

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

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

    ReplyDelete

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