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Issue # 165Vol. XV, No. 8January 1991

PublisherJames M. Ward

EditorRoger E. Moore

Fiction editorBarbara G. Young

Assistant editorDale A. Donovan

Art directorLarry W. Smith

Production staffGaye O�Keefe Angelika Lokotz

Tracey Zamagne

SubscriptionsJanet L. Winters

U.S. advertisingRoseann Schnering

U.K. correspondentand U.K. advertising

Sue Lilley


The World Beneath the Waves

Anchors & Arrows � Thomas M. KanePrepare to ram! Naval rules for 1st Edition BATTLESYSTEM� games.

The Dragon�s Bestiary � Tim MaltoWhy a giant archerfish doesn�t need a bow to bring down prey.

Undersea Priests � Randy MaxwellCan a merman cleric cast a flame strike? No�but he can do better.

91 01 61 8


The Role of Books � John C. BunnellWhat if your computerized fantasy game became real�and you weretrapped inside it?

The Voyage of the Princess Ark � Bruce A. HeardThe admiral visits faraway places and meets many people who wantto kill him.

The Role of Computers � Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk LesserWhy your PC/MS-DOS game crashes, and how to run a railroad andnot go broke.

The Curse-maker � fiction by Laurell K. HamiltonWho would curse a bard, and why? His friends would stop at nothingto find out.

Role-playing Reviews � Allen VarneyMayfair�s DC� HEROES role-playing game: The universe changes, butthe game remains a winner.

The MARVEL® Phile � Dale A. DonovanFour new villains who use their brains and their brawn.

Maneuvering For Victory � Cory S. KammerGive your fighters extra punch with 36 special maneuvers.

Square Pegs and Round Holes � Jerold M. StrattonAn SF module for a fantasy campaign using Wild West characters?

The Game Wizards � Timothy B. BrownGiants and dragons-who needs �em? The fiends have returned!

Through the Looking Glass � Robert BigelowIn space, no one can hear you blow up: a review of Iron Crown�sSILENT DEATH� game.

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5 Letters 34 TSR Previews 94 Dragonmirth6 Editorial 35 Forum 96 Twilight Empire

30 Convention 91 Sage Advice 100 Gamers GuideCalendar

COVERThis month�s cover celebrates the wonderful world of fantasy sport fishing. Fred

Fields shows a memorable moment that will no doubt bring smiles to the faces of thefisherman�s friends as they recall �the one that didn�t get away.�

4 JANUARY 1991

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A kindergartner has no real concept of mar-tial arts beyond yelling �Take that, Shredder!�and windmilling his arms, throwing himself tothe floor, and sometimes wrestling with hisfriends (my son managed to cut his lip yesterdaythanks to this sort of behavior while playing�Tidja Midja Nidja Turtles�). This does not giveme a bad image of martial arts. It merely meansI have to chat with my son about the negativeeffects of wrestling at day care.

I don�t practice any martial art, but a numberof editors and designers at TSR are involved inaikido, judo, kyuki-do, and tae kwon do, andsome close friends of mine in Eau Claire prac-

I was startled to see that my editorial wasinterpreted as being against the martial arts.Another editor pointed out that my commentthat I had �banned any other sort of martial-artsflailing about in the house� might have beenmisunderstood.

I have just finished reading the editorial inissue #158, �Mica Antelope: An editorial forparents.� In general, the article is helpful inexplaining the approach gamers could take incalming their parents� fears of role-playing,whether those fears are media inspired or theparents are just not enlightened to the fun ofgaming.

But the reason for this letter is that RogerMoore displays a hypocritical side when refer-ring to the martial arts. He displays the sameparanoia concerning the martial arts as do otherparents who object to role-playing. I understandthat Roger�s son is very young. But with thecorrect supervision, there is no reason at all at alater date that his son couldn�t learn karate,kung fu, etc. My martial-arts training is fun,educational, and healthy. I am a keen gamer andpractice kung fu. Neither of these subjects hashad any negative effects on my personalitywhile growing up. Both have been fun, and Ishall continue to practice them.

If Mr. Moore would take time to look into themartial arts, as he suggests parents who areconcerned about their role-playing childrenshould do, he would discover that the martialarts have been afflicted with the same hype,rumor, innuendo, and paranoia as role-playing.

David A. DanielCrewe, Cheshire, U.K.

Dear Dragon,

Martial arts &kids

What did you think of this issue? Do you havea question about an article or have an idea for anew feature you�d like to see? In the UnitedStates and Canada, write to: Letters, DRAGON®Magazine, P.O. Box 111, Lake Geneva WI 53147,U.S.A. In Europe, write to: Letters, DRAGONMagazine, TSR Ltd., 120 Church End, CherryHinton, Cambridge CB1 3LD, United Kingdom.

tice shorie-ryu (they were the ones mentionedin issue #160 who forced me to look at theirplastic bug collection). I think martial-arts train-ing would be an excellent idea for almost anykid from about age eight on up.

But I�m still not going to let my kid flail aboutin the house while I�m trying to fix supper.

DRAGON® index!Dear Dragon,

In issue #112 was one of the most usefulthings ever published in DRAGON Magazine. I�mreferring to the article index. Whenever Iwanted to find an article, I could just look it up.Now that it is years later, I�ve had to go back tosearching for an hour and then either throwingmy hands up in utter desperation or forgettingwhy I wanted the article.

My point to all this is: WHEN IS THE NEXTINDEX COMING OUT?

Michael McGuireRidgefield WA

We have two partial solutions to your problem:1. We have already purchased an article index

for DRAGON issues #111-155 from a dedicatedreader, Shannon Appel, and this index has beenuploaded onto the GEnie computer network inthe TSR area�s gaming library. Information onGEnie can be found in �The GEnie Unleashed,�in POLYHEDRON� Newszine #56 (that�s theNovember/December 1990 issue). If you accessthis file, you can download it into your homecomputer by modem. Because of the size of thisindex, we would rather not publish it in themagazine at this time.

2. Before we purchased this new index, youreditors simply photocopied the �Table of Con-tents�pages from every issue we needed, add-ing extra notes to the pages for easy reference.This worked well for many months.

Art in 1991Dear Roger,

Good editorial in issue #162 except for onething: YOU FORGOT THE ART SHOW! (Yes, nowbetter than ever.)

This was the third year for the art show [atthe GEN CON® Game Fair]. We doubled thenumber of artists, floor space, and sales fromlast year, and tripled from two years ago. Howabout letting the public know that we are here?

And while you�re at it, could you mention thatwe are gathering names and addresses of artistsfor next year? Artists should contact us at:

1991 GEN CON® Game Fair Art Showc/o Elizabeth and Gary M. WilliamsP.O. Box 6031Kingsport TN 37663

Thanks for your time.Elizabeth & Gary Williams

Kingsport TN

DRAGON® Magazine (ISSN 02796848) is publishedmonthly by TSR, Inc., P.O. Box 756 (201 SheridanSprings Road), Lake Geneva WI 53147, United States ofAmerica. The postal address for all materials from theUnited States and Canada except subscription orders is:DRAGON Magazine, P.O. Box 111 (201 Sheridan SpringsRoad), Lake Geneva WI 53147, U.S.A.; telephone: (414)248-3625. The postal address for all materials fromEurope is: DRAGON Magazine, TSR Ltd, 120 ChurchEnd, Cherry Hinton, Cambridge CB1 3LD, UnitedKingdom; telephone: (0223) 212517 (U.K.), 44-223-212517 (international); telex: 818761; fax: (0223) 248066(U.K.), 44-223248066 (international).

Distribution: DRAGON Magazine is available fromgame and hobby shops throughout the United States,Canada, the United Kingdom, and through a limitednumber of other overseas outlets. Distribution to the booktrade in the United States is by Random House, Inc., andin Canada by Random House of Canada, Ltd. Sendorders to: Random House, Inc., Order Entry Department,Westminster MD 21157, U.S.A.; telephone: (800) 638-6460 toll-free except Alaska (call (800) 492-0782 toll-freein Maryland). Newsstand distribution throughout theUnited Kingdom is by Seymour Press Ltd., 334 BrixtonRoad, London SW9 7AG, United Kingdom; telephone:01-733-4444.

Subscriptions: Subscription rates via second-classmail are as follows: $30 in U.S. funds for 12 issues sentto an address in the U.S. or Canada; £16 for 12 issuessent to an address within the United Kingdom; £24 for 12issues sent to an address in Europe; $50 in U.S. fundsfor 12 issues sent by surface mail to any other address;or $90 in U.S. funds for 12 issues sent airmail to anyother address. Payment in full must accompany allsubscription orders. In the U.S. and Canada, methods ofpayment include checks or money orders made payableto TSR, Inc., or charges to valid MasterCard or VISAcredit cards; send subscription orders with payments to:TSR, Inc., P.O. Box 5695. Boston MA 02206, U.S.A. Inthe United Kingdom, methods of payment includecheques and money orders made payable to TSR Ltd. orcharges to a valid ACCESS or VISA credit card; sendsubscription orders with payments to TSR Ltd, as per thataddress above. Prices are subject to change without priornotice. The issue of expiration of each subscription isprinted on the mailing label of each subscriber’s copy ofthe magazine. Changes of address for the delivery ofsubscription copies must be received at least six weeksprior to the effective date of the change in order to assureuninterrupted delivery.

Back issues: A limited quantity of back issues isavailable from either the TSR Mail Order Hobby Shop(P.O. Box 756, Lake Geneva WI 53147, U.S.A.) or fromTSR Ltd. For a free copy of the current catalog that listsavailable back issues, write to either of the aboveaddresses.

Submissions: All material published in DRAGONMagazine becomes the exclusive property of the pub-lisher unless special arrangements to the contrary aremade prior to publication. DRAGON Magazine welcomesunsolicited submissions of written material and artwork;however, no responsibility for such submissions can beassumed by the publisher in any event. Any submissionaccompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope ofsufficient size will be returned if it cannot be published.We strongly recommend that prospective authors writefor our writers’ guidelines before sending an article to us.In the United States and Canada, send a self-addressed,stamped envelope (9½” long preferred) to: Writers’Guidelines, c/o DRAGON Magazine, as per the aboveaddress; include sufficient American postage or Interna-tional Reply Coupons with the return envelope. InEurope, write to: Writers’ Guidelines, c/o DRAGONMagazine, TSR Ltd; include sufficient return postage orIRCs with your SASE.

Advertising: For information on placing advertise-ments in DRAGON Magazine, ask for our rate card. Inthe United States and Canada, contact: AdvertisingCoordinator, TSR, Inc., P.O. Box 756, 201 SheridanSprings Road, Lake Geneva WI 53147, U.S.A. In Europe,contact: Advertising Coordinators, TSR Ltd.

DRAGON is a registered trademark of TSR, Inc.Registration applied for in the United Kingdom. All rightsto the contents of this publication are reserved, andnothing may be reproduced from it in whole or in partwithout first obtaining permission in writing from thepublisher.

® designates registered trademarks owned by TSR,Inc. ™ designates trademarks owned by TSR, Inc. Mostother product names are trademarks owned by thecompanies publishing those products. Use of the name ofany product without mention of trademark status shouldnot be construed as a challenge to such status.

©1990 TSR, Inc. All Rights Reserved.Second-class postage paid at Lake Geneva, Wis.,

U.S.A., and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Sendaddress changes to DRAGON Magazine, TSR, Inc., P.O.Box 111, Lake Geneva WI 53147, U.S.A. USPS 318-790,ISSN 0279-6848.


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Bye-bye, complacency

I was fooled, and I should have knownbetter. To explain, let�s stray a bit betweenthe two worlds of games and real life, andhow they connect through war.

�Bye-bye, WWIII,� my editorial inDRAGON® issue #154, was a farewell tothe idea of World War III in gaming (andreality), given the news of the politicalchanges in the Soviet Union and EasternEurope. It certainly seemed like atomicholocaust was not as plausible an outcomeas I�d once thought, and I happily showedthe Bomb to the gaming-room door andbooted it outside.

Only a few readers took me to task formy comments. Charles P. Harris (WestCovina, Calif.) noted that the possibility ofa world-wide war had not been eliminatedat all, and he offered some thoughts aboutcivil warfare in Eastern Europe and theSoviet Union. �Just because one happything occurs in our world doesn�t mean allother worlds become instantly spiffy,� hewrote. �Role-playing games are, by theirvery nature, unrealistic and romantic, so ifyou think this world is just too nice, youhave every right to make your game worldas twisted as possible!�

Allen Varney (Austin, Tex.) was specifi-cally concerned that my editorial mightmislead readers into the complacentthought that the world was becomingmore peaceful with the thaw in Soviet-American relations. Allen went on to (cor-rectly) point out that the world since 1945has been anything but peaceful. Therehave been over 120 wars, with at least20,000,000 deaths, since the end of WorldWar II. (I later found a news article thatput the number of wars�each havingtaken over 1,000 lives per year�at 127,with the conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, andNigeria each leaving over 2,000,000 dead,and five others killing over 1,000,000apiece.) After naming some of the currentdestabilizing factors at work in the worldtoday, Allen wrote, �this is no time forcomplacency.�

I admit that the idea had occurred to methat I might not die from fallout, and I didfeel pretty good about that. The thoughthad been with me since I watched CivilDefense supplies being stockpiled in myhigh school during the Cuban MissileCrisis in 1962. With regards to gaming, mymain thesis was that gamers who wantedrealistic scenarios would have to forgetabout the Big Nuke option. I did take pains

6 JANUARY 1991

Artwork by Timothy Truman

In all that cheer, I missed a few things,like Iraq, and an Army buddy of mine isnow in Saudi Arabia for the indefinitefuture. War has lost its �gaming enjoy-ment� value for me. I certainly don�t feelcomplacent about anything, either.

And nukes? They never went away, didthey? Submarines still cruise the seas.Bombers still fly. ICBMs still sleep in theirsilos. At least six nations have atomic

to point out in my editorial that therewere �lots of believable bad things left tocome for our gaming enjoyment.� I wasn�tvery specific about what bad things therewere, though. I wasn�t in the mood tothink about them.

weapons, and every one of them has beenat war within the last 45 years. Manyother countries would love to have theBomb. Iraq sure would. No reason theBomb can�t hang around in games as well.

I fooled myself, and I admit it. Some-times you go with what you want ratherthan what�s actually there. I�ll avoid gettingtoo wishful in my editorials in the future.

Role-playing games are unrealistic andromantic. And that�s a blessing, isn�t it?

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Naval rules for 1st Edition BATTLESYSTEM� games

William the Conqueror carried out anamphibious invasion of England. The cityof Tyre survived a Babylonian siege of 13years by shipping in food, because al-though Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon com-manded an invincible army, he had nofleet. Even in a primitive world, no mili-tary leader can ignore warfare on the highsea. When naval battles occur in anAD&D® 1st Edition game, the 1st EditionBATTLESYSTEM� rules can be modified tosimulate them. Some general guidelinesand ideas follow on setting up such acampaign.

The shipsEven the earliest seafarers knew the

value of organization, but ancient andmedieval sea captains were not shackledinto the rigid formations of land troops. Innaval BATTLESYSTEM games, eachcounter represents one independent ship.When several ships unite in one attack,they can be treated as figures in the sameunit, with all attacks resolved with one rollon the BATTLESYSTEM Combat ResultsTable (CRT). Likewise, when several shipsare the victim of one assault, damageagainst them can be determined once andspread evenly among the victims. Becauseships can move freely, each might belongto several temporary �units� during thecourse of a single game.

Most ships� statistics can be found onpages 53-55 of the AD&D 1st Edition DMG.Table 1 herein provides details needed forBATTLESYSTEM games. These numbersmay be varied slightly to create custom-ized ships. More precise information abouthistorical ships appeared in Margaret M.Foy�s two articles, �High Seas,� inDRAGON® issue #116, and �The OrientalSea,� in issue #130. Note that very fewships are specifically designed for combat.Until gunpowder and cannons appeared,�navies� were usually merchant fleets thathad been pressed into war. Ordinary shipscarried weapons to ward off pirates. Fur-thermore, no king could afford to pay fora fleet that was useful only in war, sonavies had to be suitable for trade as wellas for fighting.

The menMost �real� fighting takes place between

shipboard marines. Develop statistics for

by Thomas M. Kane

Movement rates for assorted ships andwind conditions in BATTLESYSTEM gamescale inches are shown on Table 2. Once acourse has been set, the waves neverforgive. When a ship turns, it must pay amovement penalty as shown on Table 2. Inaddition, whenever boats wish to changefacing, the crew must check discipline byrolling 2d10 and attempting to score belowits DL rating. If this check fails, the ship is�in irons� and cannot move until the nextround.

A drifting ship moves forward twice itslength during each BATTLESYSTEM gameround. If some obstacle lies in this path,the ship collides with it, taking cripplingdamage (see �Combat�). Should the ship


these soldiers as if they were ordinaryland units wearing light armor (to allowfor fast movement). A typical ship willcarry at least one force of skirmishers tofire missiles from the castles and rigging.Larger craft use regular troops in theirforecastles and aftcastles, and maintain asecond unit of regulars to board the en-emy. Some rare skirmish troops can swimwith a movement rate of 4� when unar-mored. They may swim to enemy shipswith drills and bore away one structuralpoint per round (see �Combat�).

A ship�s crew is a special unit type. Thecrew can contain from one to 23 figures,depending on the kind of ship; these fig-ures may represent a real:scale figureratio of 10:1, 5:1, or 2:1. Sailors suffer nomorale or discipline penalties for belong-ing to small units. A ship�s crew may fightin either regular or skirmish formation,but while the sailors are in battle, theirvessel cannot move. If half a galley�screw�or any scale sailor figure on a sail-ing ship�is killed, the ship is automaticallycrippled (see �Combat�).

Since there is usually no room to maneu-ver aboardship, you do not need miniaturefigures or counters to represent marinesand sailors. Simply record their unitstrength on paper, indicate which figuresthat are in the rigging and castles, andnote any figures that are wounded andkilled. The action takes place betweenships. You need counters only in an am-phibious battle, in which marines land andfight ground engagements.

strike another ship, both suffer this dam-age. Ship lengths are shown on Table 2.

The speed values in Table 2 assume thatboth oars and sail are used to full advan-tage, except in the case of galleys. Realgalleys always removed their sails beforebattle. If players insist on sailing galleys tocombat, they will be fast but almost impos-sible to maneuver. Galleys require tworounds to raise or lower their sails. Agalley can also be rowed 3� faster for 20BATTLESYSTEM game rounds, or 6�faster for 10 BATTLESYSTEM gamerounds, but after this, the rowers mustrest for one hour. These speeds may beinterchanged; for example, a galley crewcould go 6� faster for five rounds andthen 3� faster for 10 more before resting.

Even the boldest sailor cannot defy thewind. Table 3 shows directions in which aship may sail during a given breeze. Usethe Wind Direction and Force tables onpage 54 of the 1st Edition DMG, and placea pointer on the game table to indicate thewind direction. A protractor is helpful ininterpreting the ways a ship may sail. Youmay wish to start both navies on the wind-ward edge of the table, since they willdrift across as the game progresses.

Game set-upSince turning is so difficult, a navy must

prepare its formation before it meets theenemy. The fleet that sees its foe first hasa vast advantage. Therefore, you may wishto begin a naval BATTLESYSTEM gamewhile the fleets are still miles apart. Bothnavies can send out scout ships, and theDM can keep track of their adventures ona map. Without telescopes, ships mustapproach within 150� (4,500�) to distin-guish each other. Sailing ships can see 10�(300�) farther because of their high crow�snests. Vessels may camouflage themselveswith gray paint, so that enemies mustapproach to within 100� (3,000�) to seethem. However, few ancient admiralswould forgo their brilliant sails and gildedhulls for this. In AD&D games, magicalspells and items can be used for scoutingas well. Whichever side is first to safelylocate and examine the enemy is allowedto place its ships on the battle-board sec-ond, allowing that player to examine thefoe�s apparent positions and prepare tocounter them.


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CommandThe captain of a ship�s crew can be

treated like any other unit commander,but his orders can reach any point on thevessel, regardless of command radius. Aship cannot sail while the crew is out ofcommand, so a first mate acts as deputycommander in case the captain dies. If aship carries boarding parties or marines,they will probably be a separate unit withtheir own officer. If the boarding party isdestroyed, its mother ship can still sail.Sometimes, marines are deposited on anenemy deck and abandoned, left to cap-ture the enemy ship and make it theirown. These untrained sailors can use theirnew ship, but they suffer a +4 penalty onall DL checks.

Ancient mariners often tried to disrupttheir foes by blowing trumpets in an at-tempt to drown out the enemy captain�sorders. This can work whenever ships arewithin 1� of each other. While the trum-peters blow, they penalize all DL checksby one point per 10 hornblowers. Thispenalty applies both to the enemy�s shipand to the trumpeter�s own!

There is often only one way for primi-tive ships to communicate: They mustphysically contact each other, so thatcaptains can shout from ship to ship andbe heard over the crashing sea. Historicalnavies sometimes fought battles long aftertheir kings had made peace, because therewas no way to recall a fleet. For completerealism, you could rule that players maynot talk with each other during navalBATTLESYSTEM encounters, unless theysail their ships into contact or use magic.This rule makes magical communicationsdevices priceless. It also presents interest-ing strategic decisions, in which captainsmust choose between taking immediateaction or conferring with their allies.However, it requires great self-restraintfrom the players. If you wish, you mayignore this rule and assume that shipcrews communicate with some form ofsemaphore, torch, or blinker code. Thesesystems did not exist in the historicalMiddle Ages, but they may have beeninvented in a fantasy world.

Combat and damageShips can be damaged in battle by the

use of artillery, spells, fire, drills, and thelike. Artillery can be directed at either aship or its crew for attack purposes; attackbonuses and damage against charactersare given in the 1st Edition DMG, pages108-109 (see also �Artillery and archery�).

Each vessel must be in one of threestates: normal, crippled, or destroyed.This status is determined by the numberof structural points a ship loses from agiven attack. When a ship loses half itsstructural points, it has been crippled. If avessel loses all its points or is crippledtwice, it sinks. A crippled ship cannotmove above half speed, and it requirestwice as long to perform any turn. Whenseveral ships are attacked together, and

12 JANUARY 1991

Artillery can be treated normally againstcrew on enemy ships. When ships fireartillery at other ships, ignore the rulethat catapults always strike against AC 0and ballista against AC 10. Ships are suchlarge targets that catapults have a reason-able chance of hitting them, while moreaccurate ballista bolts often rebound fromwooden hulls. Armor classes for ships aregiven on Table 1.

Use the Siege Attack Values table onpage 109 of the 1st Edition DMG to deter-mine the hull-point damage done againstwooden ships, if the BATTLESYSTEM CRTis not used (ballistae have no effect on aship�s hull). To determine artillery damageto ships using the BATTLESYSTEM CRT,assume that a light catapult or mangonelinflicts 1d6 hull points damage; a heavycatapult, 1d10; and a trebuchet, 1d14. Fewships can mount even a light catapult.Heavier artillery engines must always bebased onshore.

Artillery and archeryArchery is resolved using the standard

BATTLESYSTEM rules. The wooden fortifi-cations of a ship�s �castles� give theirarchers a +3 bonus to armor class. Anextra missile-armed skirmish figure couldbe placed in a sailing ship�s masts, al-though heavy crossbows cannot be re-loaded in rigging. The elevated positions ofcastles and rigging allow figures there toshoot over the heads of their allies on thedeck, without resorting to indirect fire.Note that the normal movement restric-tions for troops using missile weapons(BATTLESYSTEM rule 10.4) do not apply,since archers can stand still while theirship maneuvers. The effects of archeryfire on a ship are divided between its crewand marines, as per the normal AD&DBATTLESYSTEM rules.

When a ship sinks, all its passengers areconsidered killed. Few people could swimin ancient times; although some sailorsmight survive by clinging to wreckage,there will not be enough survivors to formanother unit. When a ship is afire orotherwise endangered, its crew will proba-bly try to board an enemy ship, capture it,and escape. When friendly ships try torescue sailors, use either the grapplingand boarding rules in the 1st Edition DMG(page 551 or the guidelines under �Board-ing� herein to determine how many sailorscross from ship to ship. Once a ship hasbeen �destroyed,� it requires 3-18 roundsto sink below the water.

the damage is sufficient to cripple morethan one, one ship sinks, leaving the oth-ers undamaged. An attack that cannot doat least half damage to a ship is ignored.Two exceptions to this are fire damage anddrill damage. Both sorts of damage add upuntil they are stopped or the ship is crip-pled and, eventually, sunk. Since �units� ofships fluctuate, you should record thestructural-point total for each counter.Hull values appear on page 54 of the 1stEdition DMG.

Ancient ship artillerists occasionallyhurled caltrops and slippery soap ontoenemy decks to impede marines. If this isattempted in a game, calculate damage onthe normal BATTLESYSTEM CRT, as if themissiles caused 3d10 hp damage. Do notcripple or remove any vessels, but when-ever a ship would be crippled by thisdamage, mark it to show that its decks arehazardous. That ship�s marines suffer a+2 on their AR, whether they are board-ing an enemy ship or defending them-selves. Defenders in ship castles are notaffected because of their wooden shields.

BoardingSailors can grapple enemy vessels when-

ever their ships are within one inch ofeach other. If both captains agree to grap-ple, the attempt automatically succeeds.Otherwise, the grappled ship has a 25%chance of escaping, as per page 55 of the1st Edition DMG. The attacker may breakcontact whenever he desires, unless thedefenders grapple his ship. Once grapplingoccurs, push the two ships straight towardeach other, without turning either one.When they make contact, measure thearea where the ships touch to determinethe attacker�s frontage. Every ¾� allowsone boarding figure to attack. For exam-ple, if the frontage is 1½� long, two man-size figures can invade. A minimum of onefigure can always board. When galleysattempt to board taller ships, the galleycrew suffers a +1 to its AR, while thedefenders gain a -1.

In boarding raids, any unit that failsmorale surrenders, because there is noroom for routs or open formations. Onceall defenders have died or surrendered,the attackers own the defenders� ship.

The defenders of each ship can usuallysurround intruders. Assume that thedefenders can pit two figures againstevery one attacker, if enough warriors areavailable. The ship�s castles allow extradefenders to thrust tridents or spears atinvaders. When any corner of theboarders� frontage is within 1� of thevictim�s prow or rear, troops in that castlemay join the melee.

RammingRams are formidable in mass formations.

When fleets crowd together in constrictedwaterways, one ramming charge can sinka navy.

Ramming attacks occur during themovement phase. The attacker must moveat least two-thirds of its normal movementrate straight forward, and the attackermust strike an enemy ship�s side. Assumethat a ram does 5d6 hp damage, or 12 hullpoints. You can also determine ram dam-age with the normal BATTLESYSTEM CRTtable, reading results as 2d12 hull pointsdamage. A ram�s AR equals 30, with thecrew�s DL rating subtracted from that.Thus, if the crew�s DL rating is 16, theramming AR is 14. The victim of a ram isforced backward 1� for every three hull

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points of damage suffered. The rammedship goes straight back from the ram,possibly colliding with other vessels. Everyship involved in a crash suffers half thedamage that the ram attack caused, so theship that was rammed first takes addi-tional damage from a secondary collision.

Ramming leaves the attacker in contactwith the defender. Unless the rammerpulls away as soon as possible, it may beboarded. If the victim sinks, the rammermust spend the rest of the round doingnothing except pulling away, to avoidbeing dragged under. Only galleys nor-mally mount rams; Viking-type longshipsseldom carry them. A ship without a rammay nonetheless drive itself into an en-emy, inflicting half ramming damage onboth the attacker and victim (it may still beuseful for huge ships facing rowboats).Rammers can also drive directly at a gal-ley�s prow, then turn and shear off itsoars, crippling the enemy. A DL checkmust be made for the attacker; if thecheck fails, the attacker�s oarsmen lefttheir own oars out, and both attacker anddefender are crippled. (A defender canmake a DL check to have its oars shippedto avoid shearing.) Shearing leaves theships in contact unless the attacker hasenough movement left to escape.

FiresFires can divert a boat�s crew or engulf

an entire ship. When catapults hurl burn-ing shot, use the BATTESYSTEM CRT andtreat damage as 1d10. Then round theresult up or down to correspond to one ofthe damage entries on Table 4, and crossreference to determine how long the fireburns.

Other fire attacks can be resolved by aroll on Table 4. This includes collisions

with burning hulks, such as the �fireships� used by England against Spain�sArmada, and attacks by fiery pilesdropped with tongs by aerial enemies.Assume that unpiloted �fire ships� drift athalf their normal speed in the direction ofthe wind. Roll on Table 4 once for everyenemy figure firing flaming arrows or forever 5 HD of magical fire used against aship. Lightning does only half the burningdamage of fire. When a burning shipgrapples an ordinary one, there is a 10%chance per BATTLESYSTEM game roundthat the new ship will also suffer a fireattack. This applies to friendly rescuersand to enemies.

Only an extremely advanced navyshould possess �Greek fire.� For gamepurposes, assume that this substance canbe projected only 2� but always hits itstarget. The victim suffers one roll on Table4. Greek fire can also be sprayed on thewater; each shot covers a rectangle1� × 3�) burning for 1-4 BATTLESYSTEMgame rounds. Any ships that enter thesepools of flame suffer the effects of oneattack on Table 4.

When a ship loses all its hull points tofire, it burns uncontrollably. The Ship�sBurning Time table on page 55 of the DMGshows how long the passengers have toescape. If no friend can rescue them, theywill probably try to board an enemy shipand capture it. Lesser fires still require thefull attention of all crewmembers andmarines for a length of time shown onTable 4. Even if a fire is too small to causedamage, the crew must stop it. The crewcannot move the ship or fight while extin-guishing flames. In any BATTLESYSTEMgame round in which fires are neglected�the crew must repel boarders, forexample�the ship suffers damage as if

another fire attack had been made onTable 4. All fire damage is cumulative. If aship takes three points of damage fromfire, then takes another two, the crewmust spend two rounds fighting the fire.Furthermore, if the ship had only 10 hullpoints, the combined five points of hulldamage will cripple her.

Natural enemiesWinds and water can ruin a ship as

surely as a ram. In stormy weather, eachship must check for wind damage at thebeginning of the storm (or game) and onceevery 10 BATTLESYSTEM game roundsthereafter. Wind damage cripples normalships and sinks damaged ones. There is a10% chance of wind damage at windspeeds of 32-38 MPH, a 30% chance atwinds of 39-63, a 60% chance at winds of64-103 and a 90% chance at winds of 104and up. Galleys and rowboats have doublenormal chances of being damaged.

The sea itself waterlogs galleys. If theseships are not taken ashore to dry eachnight, they suffer double the normal turn-ing penalty. For this reason, galleys seldomconduct blockades. Viking longships are anexception to both of these rules, being asseaworthy as any ship.

DMs may also choose to place whirl-pools, icebergs, seaweed, reef mazes, andother hazards on the oceanic battlefield.Islands, shorelines, and hidden coves canconceal ambushers and influence an ene-my�s maneuvers. The exact effect of theseperils depends on the scenario, but youmay assume that collisions with under-water objects automatically cripple a ship.Fog has all the effects listed in theBATTLESYSTEM rules and can also causeships to collide. When any two ships crosseach other�s path in fog, their crews must-


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Table 1Ship Statistics Table

ShipRowboatBarge, smallBarge, largeGalley, smallGalley, largeMerchant, small

Merchant, large


Length Width C r e w Marines N o . f i g u r e s M a x i m u mAC (game inches ) (game inches ) (no. figures *) (no. figures *) per castle * * artillery * * *

0 ½-1 1/8-½ 1 13 ½-1 ¼-½ 1 1 1 ballista3 ¾-1 ¾-1 1 2 1 ballista5 3-4 ¼-½ 17 3 1 4 ballistae5 4-6 1 23 7 1 8 ballistae0 4-5 1-2 3 12 2 8 ballistae,

4 catapults0 6-8 2-3 3 31 3 12 ballistae,

6 catapults1 3-4 ½-1 2 15 3 9 ballistae,

5 catapults

* This assumes man-size figures with ¾� bases; the number given is the maximum number of figures that can fit on the ship. If thebattle is fought any distance from land, larger ships will probably have far fewer marines on board, since they will also be carryingfood and water. You can plan ship logistics using Katharine Kerr�s article, �An Army Travels On Its Stomach,� from DRAGON issue #94.* * This statistic indicates how many figures can fight from each of a ship�s defensive castles. All ships have two: one forecastle on theprow, and one aftcastle on the stern. Thus, a warship can place three marine figures in its forecastle and three more at the st ern. Thisdoes not increase the total capacity of the craft, as these troops must come out of the ship�s normal complement. Combat in the castlesis described under �Archery� and �Boarding.�* * * Catapults are light catapults (mangonels). Most ships have less artillery than this figure, and longships carry none.

Table 2Ship Movement Table

Turning Wind speed (MPH)Ship penal ty 0 1-12 13-24 25-38 39-63 64-103 104+Rowboat ¼ 3 9 12 13 13 14 17Barge, small 1 1/3 3 9 12 13 13 15 16Barge, large 2 1 4 7 8 8 9 10Galley, small 2/3 15 15 15 15 15 15 15

(with sail) 2 15 27 33 41 42 44 50Galley, large 1 1/3 12 12 12 12 12 12 12

(with sail) 4 12 21 24 33 35 36 43Merchant, small 1 1/3 1 15 21 23 24 26 31Merchant, large 2 � 9 15 16 17 20 23Warship 1 1 13 19 20 21 22 23

* This number equals the fraction of a ship�s movement rate that must be forfeited to change direction. Therefore, a rowboat can turnand still have half its movement left, while a large barge requires two whole rounds to turn.

Table 3Points of Sail Table

Angle to wind Maneuver1200 Tacking

900 Reaching60° Broad reaching300 Running free

0° Running before the wind

Required wind speed(MPH)*

8-468-544 - 7 2 1-821 +

* Thus, a ship can run before the wind with any breeze at all, but tacking is impossiblein winds of under 8 or over 46 MPH.

Continued on page 24

14 JANUARY 1991

Table 4Fire Attack Table*

Hull-point Time to1 d 1 0 0 damage extinguish * *01-15 1 �16-25 2 126-35 3 136-53 4 254-64 5 265-75 6 476-86 7 487-96 8 897-98 9 899-00 10 16

* Adapted from pages 54-55, 1st EditionDMG.* * Time in BATTLESYSTEM gamerounds.

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Send your PCs on a fishing trip they�ll always remember

by Tim Malto

Not many campaigns take place in awatery environment. But a party willoccasionally undertake a short voyage byboat, simply to get from point A to point BHow does a DM get the PCs� feet wet with-out introducing a tribe of koalinths, someseawolves, or something worse? Thesetwo creatures can bring the PCs into thewater in ways they least expect.

CLIMATE/TERRAIN: Tropical/large fresh-water lakes


5-20 youngARMOR CLASS: 6MOVEMENT: SW 20HIT DICE: 3 + 3THAC0: 17

Giant ArcherfishNO. OF ATTACKS: 1DAMAGE/ATTACKS: 2-8SPECIAL ATTACKS: Water jet, swallows


The giant archerfish is a silvery creaturewith heavy jaws, giving it a squared-offlook when seen head on. This is due totwo powerfully muscled water bladders,one on either side of the head. Behind thehead, the body narrows quickly to astreamlined shape with a powerful tail.

The water bladders can generate a wa-ter jet once per three rounds, fired fromthe fish�s mouth, with a range of 30�. Usedby a full-grown specimen, the jet canknock a human from the deck of a ship orout of a ship�s rigging. A target is treatedas AC 5 regardless of actual armor class, Afree-standing victim is knocked backwardby the force of the jet; for every 20 lbs.less than 200 lbs. he weighs, he is forcedback 1�, and any victim under 200 lbs.must make a dexterity check on 4d6 toremain standing (the point is moot for avictim hurled from a ship). If the victim isgrasping a support or is braced, he mustmake a strength roll on 3d6 to avoid being,knocked back. A saving throw vs. paralysismust be made to continue grasping anyhand-held item. An attack roll of 20 indi-cates that the victim is stunned for 1-3rounds by the force of the jet.

Once a victim is in the water, he is sub-ject to a bite attack similar to a shark�s, Ona natural roll of 20, the archerfish willswallow whole any victim the size of ahalfling or gnome. A swallowed charactercan cut his way out if he inflicts enoughdamage to the AC 10 interior of the fish toslay it, but he can do so only if he has adagger or knife in hand. Meanwhile, thecharacter suffers 1 hp damage per rounddue to digestive acids, and he has no air tobreathe. It should also be noted that, oncein the water, a victim loses all armor-classbonuses due to dexterity unless he iswearing a ring of free action or similarmagical item, and shields cannot be used.

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These fish seldom come together exceptto spawn. Eggs are laid on the sea bottomand fertilized there. Those eggs not de-voured by other predators hatch in 3-4weeks. The young remain together in aschool, ranging from 5-20 individuals, untilthey reach the length of about 3�; thenthey separate. Young archerfish have thesestatistics: AC 7; MV 18; HD 1+1; THAC019; #AT 1; Dmg 1-3; SA none effective; SZ1-3�; XP 35.

The water jet is usable upon hatching.These fish cruise near the surface andtrack prey by sight, following long enoughto orient on course and speed. Then theybreak the surface in a jump and squirttheir jets to bring down large insects,birds, and small water-dwelling animals.The school of young is cooperative in thishunting style until the individuals reachadulthood, when the victims rarely pro-vide enough food for the entire school(hence the break-up). The water jets ofyoung giant archerfish do not endangercharacters, and they cannot swallow char-acters whole, though they could consumesprites or brownies.

These fish are not territorial and travelto any place they can take down prey.They eat people only if such are available.In a pinch, giant archerfish are known toscavenge the bottoms of their shallow seasor large lakes.

Giant archerfish have no interest intreasure, though an occasional item maybe found in the stomach of a slain fish.They themselves are not good to eat, nordo they have any body parts known tohave practical use (except as bait to catchother fish). Nor is there any use for themas components for any known spells,

Giant Damselfish

CLIMATE/TERRAIN: Tropical andtemperate/saltwater oceans


This fish has a bony head and a slim,dull, dun-colored body. A specially modi-fied dorsal fin trails a streamer thatvaguely resembles a humanlike female.

The streamer can be folded down tightlyagainst the body, leaving a ridge that thefish uses in swimming.

Nocturnal by nature, this fish rises tothe surface at night to hunt. It deploys itsdorsal fin and floats with its head downand tail relaxed. Upon hearing the ap-proach of potential prey along a shore orin a boat, it wiggles its body and fluttersits dorsal fin in such a way as to mislead aviewer into thinking that a woman, eitherhuman or elf, is drowning. (The DMshould secretly roll intelligence checks on1d20 for the characters if anybody be-comes suspicious. Any character who failshis check is deceived by the ploy.)

Once a victim swims within 10-15�, thegiant damselfish lets its �lady� sink convul-sively into the water. It then folds back thedorsal fin and lunges at its victim with itshead. If the ram is successful, 1-4 hp dam-age are done to the victim. The fish thenmakes a second attack roll (at +2 to hit) inthe same round to do 1-4 hp biting dam-age. It will subsequently circle and ramwhenever it sees a chance. Should the fishmiss its lunge, it cannot bite. A natural rollof 20 on a ram indicates the victim isstunned for 1-3 rounds, during which timethe fish will automatically hit with its ram-and-bite routine twice per round (for atotal of 4-16 hp damage per round, withno further chance of stunning until thevictim recovers).

These fish can be found in any warm,shallow ocean. They are fiercely territo-rial, each staking out an area of onesquare mile near a shipping lane and stay-ing with it until prey no longer passes by.They come together only to mate; the malethen leaves while the female carries thefertilized eggs in her body until theyhatch. She then gives birth to up to 25young that swim rapidly away to avoidbeing eaten by their parent. Young giantdamselfish seem to gain their taste forhuman and demihuman flesh at adult-hood, which is when the �damsel� fin isfully developed and the �fishing� instinctappears. (Sages speculate that an Arch-Mage or higher power was involved intheir creation.) Adult giant damselfish arealso highly aggressive and try to eat anycreature that comes near them. While thisploy usually ensures a hearty meal ofother fish, it�s usually a disaster if theother creature is a shark.

Damselfish do not collect treasure,though an occasional valuable item may befound in the stomach of a dead fish. Norare these fish edible, being exceedinglytough and possessing a very strong taste.The one reason they are occasionallysought after is for their dorsal streamers,which can be used as a component incertain illusion/phantasm spells (any thatuse the fleece needed by a phantasmalforce spell).

Artwork by Thomas Baxa


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Spells for aquatic clerics in the AD&D® game

by Randy MaxwellArtwork by Robert Klasnich

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Creating viable NPC priests and shamansfor underwater societies is often difficultfor DMs attempting to run oceanicAD&D® campaigns. What spells and magi-cal items are available to underwaterpriests and shamans? What about holywater and spell components? While manyof the priest spells listed in the AD&D 2ndEdition Player�s Handbook are as usefulunderwater as they are on land, sea-dwelling priests have little or no use forother spells used by their land-basedcounterparts.

However, DMs can make up for this lackof useful spells by assuming that the dei-ties of the sea-dwelling peoples grantaltered versions of certain standard spellsto help their sea-priests and worshiperssurvive. The deities of the locathah, mer-men, ixitxachitl, tritons, and sahuagin aredetailed in the 1st Edition Monster Manualand Legends 6 Lore. The tritons are moremysterious, and all that is known is thatthey serve a god named Triton.

Sea-priests are primarily clerics. How-ever, many of the underwater races areneutral in alignment and might take anaturalistic, druidic approach to matters.Like the normal druid, the sea-druidwishes to protect the unspoiled nature ofthe sea from those who would pollute thewaters, over-fish the oceans, or hunt crea-tures like whales to extinction. It is up tothe individual DM whether to allow sea-druids into the campaign. If allowed, theclass must be given a complete overhaul tosuit the underwater wilderness and abili-ties of the aquatic races.

The AD&D 2nd Edition game�s Mon-strous Compendium sets limits for themaximum levels of the various sea-priests.However, when a DM is creating a sea-priest NPC, he has the option of creatingexceptional characters by using Table 8,under �Exceeding Level Limits,� on page 15of the 2nd Edition Dungeon Master�sGuide. (For convenience, DMG, PHB, andMC will be used hereafter for referencesto the 2nd Edition Dungeon Master�sGuide, Player�s Handbook, and MonstrousCompendium.)

Priests beneath the wavesSea-priests serve the same functions as

their land-dwelling cousins: They use theirpowers and abilities to protect and servethe community. However, due to theaquatic environment in which he dwells,the sea-priest must change or adapt cer-tain standard religious articles and items.

Holy/Unholy water: A sea-priest does notuse holy/unholy water; containers of theprecious liquid would immediately becontaminated and rendered useless ifopened underwater. Instead, a sea-priestuses holy/unholy silt. The silt is the sand,powdered coral, or powdered rock froman especially holy or unholy site belongingto the sea-priest�s mythos. The silt is care-fully prepared and filtered to remove allimpurities. It is then placed in specialpouches that hold about 1 lb. of holy/

Undead haunt the seas just as they do onland. Evil sea-priests and sea-wizardscreate skeletons and zombies to act as

Combat and weapons: The sea-priestuses the weapons and armor normallyused by his race; e.g., a locathah cleric willuse either a lance, crossbow, trident, orshort sword; triton clerics use tridents orlong spears, etc. (see the MC for details onthe arms and armor used by the sea-dwelling races). As always, DMs have thefinal say on what arms are allowed andmay limit the selection to nets or spears.

Besides shells, sea-priests may use orconstruct other magical items based onthe items� applicability and availability inthe underwater world. Pearls of wisdomwill be more plentiful than, say, broochesof shielding or scarabs versus golems. Inaddition, even if they are available, certainitems have little or no use underwater,such as magical boots, bowls, braziers,candles, censers, and dusts. However, sea-priests may possess alternative magicalitems that duplicate the effects of itemsused on land, such as sand of choking, siltof illusion, etc.

Scrolls: It is almost impossible to usepaper, papyrus, or vellum scrolls in theunderwater realms. Sea-priests, therefore,use specially prepared shells. These shellsare often worn as jewelry and appear tobe nothing more than amulets or simpledecorative shells hung from a necklace orbelt. Any type of shell can be used, but itmust be of a sufficient size for a spell to beetched on its surface using a special pieceof coral, shark tooth, whale bone, etc. Theetching device used depends on thepriest�s mythos and ethos. Shell spellswork exactly the same as scroll spells withregard to spell level, spell failure, castingtime, etc. Once the spell is cast, the etch-ing is reduced to meaningless scratches.The shell can be reused if the scratchesare polished off.

unholy silt each. Holy silt performs pre-cisely as holy water with regard toundead, creatures from the lower planes,or creatures whose primary purpose is thepromotion of evil. Unholy silt may likewisebe used against paladins or creatureswhose primary purpose is to defend good.Holy/unholy silt can be used as a materialcomponent for a spell, as such it is usedexactly like holy/unholy water. However, apouch of holy/unholy silt cannot be usedas a grenadelike missile if hurled under-water. It is most commonly used in hand-to-hand combat. The pouch is openeddirectly over an opponent, and the holy/unholy silt pours down in a 1�-diameter,10�-tall shower. This does 2-7 hp of acidlikedamage to affected creatures caught in thesilt. Unless used as a material componentfor a spell, the holy/unholy silt will hang inthe water for only one round before beingrendered inert. Holy/unholy silt is in-stantly contaminated and rendered use-less, whether it is being used as a materialcomponent or not, if it comes in contactwith air (including an airy water spell).

guards and servants. Lacedons are terriblewater-dwelling ghouls, and ghost shipswander the seas, troubling both surfaceand underwater denizens. Therefore, asthey often have ample need and opportu-nity to do so, the sea-priest turns undeadas any priest can do.

Sea-priest spellsWhen selecting spells for a sea-priest,

consult Table 1 herein. When the sea-priest casts a spell, the spell-casting at-tempt is made precisely the same under-water as on land with regard to range,duration, casting time, area of effect, andsaving throw.

However, in many cases, the materialcomponents for a spell are quite differentfor a sea-priest than a land-priest. While aholy symbol is a holy symbol, regardless ofthe type of priest, it is obvious that a tritonor locathah will not be able to obtain suchthings as burning incense, oak leaves,thistledown, etc. As stated earlier, holy siltreplaces holy water. Likewise, other mate-rial components used by the sea-priestsreflect the nature of their aquatic habitatwhile retaining some logical (but not nec-essarily obvious) connection to the spell inquestion. For example, a sea-priest castingan air walk spell may use the fin from aflying fish for the material componentrather than the bit of thistledown as de-scribed in the PHB. On the other hand,when casting a moonbeam spell, a sea-priest may substitute a sea plant for themoonseed plant, but the spell may stillrequire (at the DM�s option) a piece ofmoonstone. DMs need only substitute seaplants for land plants, and powderedshells of can be substituted for charcoal,chalk, or sulfur. Ground or powderedcoral of various colors can be substitutedfor gold dust or any metal dust, whilepearls and the organ-gems of urchins (seethe MC) may be substituted for gems.

One interesting fact about many water-dwelling creatures is their highly devel-oped senses of smell. For spells requiringburning incense as a material component,the sea-priests may use scented oils in-stead. Scented oils are especially pungent,having the consistency of cod liver oil, and(not surprisingly) smell very �fishy.� Theoils are released into the water.

Using sea-priest spellsOther than material components, some

sea-priest spells are completely unchangedfrom their descriptions in the PHB. Spellssuch as cure light wounds, detect lie, andrestoration are used by a sea-priest inprecisely the same manner and in thesame circ*mstances as a priest on land.Just as land-based person may dive intowater to escape swarming insects, the sea-priest can use air walk or wind walk toescape waterbound opponents.

While many of the sea-priest�s spells areno different than those used by land-basedclerics, the circ*mstances in which a spellis used or the application of a spell is often


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quite different. Warp wood and turn woodspells, for instance, are much more likelyto be used as an offensive attack on shipsrather than a defense against woodenmissiles or weapons. For a sea-priest,dispel magic is an extremely effective spellagainst underwater opponents requiringwater breathing or free action spells. Inthe sunless depths, faerie fire is deadly asthe fearsome predators are attracted tothe light. Entangle can be extremely trou-blesome for those it traps in a forest ofseaweed and whose time underwater islimited by a water breathing potion orspell. Part water is an excellent defensivespell, putting a barrier of air between thesea-priest and pursuers.

In addition to their applications, suchspells as earthquake and commune withnature are changed slightly. Thus, theEarthquake Effects table on page 233 ofthe PHB remains unchanged. However,creatures do not �fall� into chasms createdby the earthquake; they are �pulled� in byinrushing water. In the case of the com-mune with nature spell, a sea-priest willwant to �know� the sea plants, sea crea-tures (fish, mammals, or fantastic), or thegeneral state of the underwater environ-ment just ahead.

Sea-priests do not have access to a widevariety of spells. Some spells are eitherimpossible to cast underwater, such as callwoodland beings and the fire-based spells,or are completely useless, such as createwater trip, or transmute water to dust. Insome cases, the land-based spells duplicatean ability that occurs naturally under-water, such as pass without trace. If a spellis not listed on Table 1 herein, sea-priestsdo not have access to the spell in eithernormal or altered form.

Altered spellsSome spells on the sea-priest spell list

have been altered from their standardforms given in the PHB. The changes madein these spells are merely the transforma-tion of what is logically available orneeded on land to what is logically availa-ble or needed underwater. Unless other-wise stated, spells retain the same sphere,range, duration, casting time, area ofeffect, saving throw, and material compo-nents as presented in the PHB.

1st Level: The fish friendship spellusurps animal friendship�s place on thesea-priest�s list of spells. The area of effectis one fish, the spell being ineffective onsea mammals such as dolphins or whales.The fish friendship spell allows the spell-caster to show any fish with zero (non-)intelligence that he desires friendship. Thefish is handled as if it were an animal forthe animal friendship spell with regard toits saving throw, reaction to the spell-caster, detection of ulterior motives, num-ber of hit dice, alignment, etc. Thespell-caster can teach the befriended fish amaximum of 1-4 simple tricks or tasks,such as �attack� or �fetch.� Each task re-quires a training period of one week, and

20 JANUARY 1991

all tricks must be taught within one monthof acquiring the fish. During this month,the fish will not harm the caster, but if thefish is left alone for more than one week,it reverts to its normal state and acts ac-cordingly. The material components arethe caster�s holy symbol and a piece offood the fish likes.

Detect snares and pits has little useunderwater and is replaced by detect nets.The area of effect remains the same, a10� × 40� area. The spell-caster is able todetect any net constructed of nonmagicalmaterial in the area of effect. The spell-caster can scan and detect nets in an areathe size of the area of effect every tworounds for the duration of the spell. Thespell is directional: The caster must facethe desired direction to determine if a netis placed in that direction. Otherwise, thespell performs as detect snares and pits.

Invisibility to animals becomes invisibil-ity to fish when used by a sea-priest. Thespell makes one creature touched per levelof the sea-priest become totally undetect-able to normal and giant-sized fish. Seamammals (e.g., dolphins, whales, sea ot-ters, etc.), fantastic creatures (e.g., kra-kens, sea hags, eyes of the deep, etc.), andfishlike creatures with an intelligencegreater than zero (non-) are unaffected bythis spell. The material component is kelp,rubbed over the recipient.

Locate fish or plants replaces locateanimals or plants in the sea-priest�s spellrepertoire. The spell enables the caster tofind any fish or sea plant using the sameguidelines on the general frequency of asubject as given for locate animals orplants. The spell enables the caster to findonly fish, not sea mammals or fantasticcreatures.

Purify food is the same as purify foodand drink, only it has no affect on wateror liquids of any kind. The spell purifies(or putrefies, in reversed form) food only.Holy/unholy silt is unaffected by this spell.

2nd Level: Shellskin replaces barkskin.When a sea-priest casts this spell upon acreature, its skin becomes as tough as crabor lobster shell, increasing its armor classto AC 4, plus one point of armor class forevery four levels of the sea-priest: AC 3 at4th level, AC 2 at 8th, and so on. Thematerial components for this spell are thesea-priest�s holy symbol and several piecesof crab or lobster shell.

Sea-priests use water devil in lieu of thedust devil spell. The water devil createdby this spell is actually a weak water ele-mental (AC 4; MV 6, SW 18; HD 2; #AT 1,Dmg 1-6; hit by normal weapons; AL N).On the surface of the water, a water devilappears as a small wave about 3-4� highand 5� wide, but it is completely invisibleunderwater. It moves as directed by thecleric, but it dissipates if it is separatedfrom the sea-priest by more than 90� or ifthe sea-priest fails to keep his concentra-tion. When a water devil is used to attacka ship, a seaworthiness check is made (seeTable 77, page 126, DMG). Only one sea-

worthiness check need be made. If thewater devil is unable to sink or capsize thevessel on the initial attempt, then succes-sive attempts fail automatically. The waterdevil has no power to disperse the inkcloud left by a giant squid or kraken.However, it is able to hold at bay liquidcreatures (e.g., slimes, oozes, and jellies,including jellyfish) or push them awayfrom the caster. A spell-caster hit by hisown water devil while casting anotherspell must make a saving throw vs. spellsto keep his concentration or the spell isruined. Any creature native to the elemen-tal plane of Water�even another waterdevil�can disperse a water devil with asingle hit.

Speak with animals is replaced for thesea-priest by speak with fish. The spellenables a sea-priest to comprehend andcommunicate with any normal or giant-sized fish of zero (non-) intelligence. Other-wise, it operates the same as speak withanimals with regard to cooperation, eva-siveness, or inanity on the part of thecreature involved. The speak with fishspell is ineffective on sea mammals, mon-sters, or other sea creatures with an intel-ligence greater than zero.

Spiritual trident functions the same asspiritual hammer in terms of targets,range, magical bonuses, caster concentra-tion, and opponent�s magic resistance.However, damage done is 2-7 hp vs. oppo-nents of man-size or smaller, and 3-12 hpvs. larger opponents, plus the magicalbonus. The material component for thisspell is a trident that the sea-priest musthurl toward opponents while uttering aplea to his deity.

As the wyvern does not exist under-water, the wyvern watch spell is replacedby manta ray watch. Manta ray watchfunctions the same as wyvern watch in allaspects, except that the insubstantial formbrought forth by casting the spell resem-bles a manta ray.

3rd level: Create food and water be-comes simply create food for the sea-priest. The create food spell brings forthappropriate kinds and amounts of food asdescribed for the create food and water- but does not cause any water or liquid ofany kind to appear.

Hold animal becomes hold underseaanimals for sea-priests. The spell worksthe same as hold animal with regard tonumber of creatures, saving throws, dura-tion of spell, etc. Normal or giant-sizedfish, crustaceans, and reptiles are affected,but not monsters such as eyes of the deepor sea mammals such as dolphins. Theweight restrictions for the hold underseaanimal spell are: 400 lbs. (100 lbs. for non-fish) per fish per caster can be affected;e.g., an 8th-level caster can affect up tofour 3,200-lb. fish or a like number of 800-lb. reptiles or crustaceans.

Speak with dead is as given in the PHB,but when cast by a sea-priest the spellfunctions underwater. The material com-ponents are the sea-priest�s holy symbol

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and scent-oil.As insects are unavailable underwater,

the sea-priest uses the summon crusta-ceans spell rather than summon insects.The summon crustaceans spell attracts aswarm of normal crustaceans to attack thefoes of the caster. The crustaceans includelobsters, crabs, shrimp, and barnacles.The damage done by the crustaceans andeffects on a victim�s attack rolls, armorclass, and spell-casting are the same as forthe summon insects spell. The crustaceanshave a movement rate of 4. The crusta-ceans disperse and the spell ends if thevictim is able to enter an air-filled area oroutswim the swarm. The material compo-nents needed for the spell are the caster�sholy symbol and a crab or lobster claw.

The frond spell is to the sea-priest whatthe tree spell is to the land-based priest.Frond performs exactly as tree with re-gard to the caster�s armor class, hit dice,and abilities while transformed. By meansof the frond spell, the sea-priest can as-sume the form of a large frond of sea-weed, kelp, sea lettuce, or even red algae.The material components for the spell arethe caster�s holy symbol and a small pieceof the plant the caster wishes to imitate.

fish that have four hit dice or less, ofwhatever sort the caster names when thesummoning is made. The caster may trythree times to summon three differenttypes of fish. The caster may only sum-mon normal or giant-sized fish, such assharks, swordfish, barracudas, etc. Thespell fails to summon sea mammals orfantastic creatures. Spell range, creatureactions, and chance of a creature typebeing within range are the same as animalsummoning I.

4th Level: Fish summoning I replacesanimal summoning I on Table 1. By meansof this spell, the caster calls up to eight

The giant crustacean spell is the sea-priest�s alternative to the giant insect spell.By means of this spell, the caster can turnone or more normal-sized crustaceans intolarger forms resembling those in the MC.This spell works only on crustaceans.Starfish, jellyfish, and other types of smallsea creatures are unaffected. Only onecrustacean can be altered at one time (i.e.,a single casting cannot affect both a barna-cle and a lobster), and all crustaceansaffected must be enlarged to exactly thesame size. The number of crustaceans, thesize to which they can be enlarged, andtheir statistics are the same as for thegiant insect spell.

Note that barnacles are a special case forthis spell. Barnacles do no damage but areoften attached to a ship�s side and bottom.If one or more of these barnacles is en-larged by a giant crustacean spell, it slowsthe ship and may even sink it. For everyship-attached barnacle enlarged by a giantcrustacean spell, a ship�s speed is reducedby one-half (fractions rounded up) and itsseaworthiness is reduced by 10%. Animmediate seaworthiness check is madeupon the enlargement of one or more

barnacles. For example: A caravel has abase movement rate of four and a seawor-thiness of 7.0%. If two barnacles on its sideare suddenly enlarged, the ship�s basemovement rate becomes one (4 2 = 2 forthe first barnacle, then 2 2 = 1 for thesecond barnacle), and its seaworthiness isreduced to 50%. If the ship fails its sea-worthiness check, it means the enlargedbarnacles have either capsized the vesselor caused it to ride so low in the waterthat the waves swamp it.

Hallucinatory forest retains its name forthe sea-priest. The forest produced whena sea-priest casts this spell is an illusoryforest of seaweed. The illusory seaweedappears to be perfectly natural and isindistinguishable from real seaweed. Un-like the normal hallucinatory forest, thereis no guarantee that anyone or anythingwill detect the sea-priest�s hallucinatoryforest for what it is. There is a 5% chanceper intelligence point of a creature view-ing the illusion that the viewer will recog-nize it as an illusion (e.g., non-intelligentcreatures have no chance of seeing thehallucinatory forest for what it is, while acreature with an 18 intelligence has a 90%chance of seeing it as an illusion).

Repel crustaceans is the sea-priest�sversion of the repel insects spell. The spellcreates an invisible barrier to all sorts ofcrustaceans. Normal crustaceans will notapproach within 10� of the caster. Giantcrustaceans with hit dice of less than one-third of the caster�s experience level arealso repelled. A crustacean with more hitdice can enter the protected area if it rollsa successful saving throw vs. spells, but ittakes 1-6 hp damage from passing themagical barrier. The spell does not affectany other sea creature besides crusta-ceans. The material component of thisspell is a bib worn around the neck of thesea-priest.

5th Level: Fish growth is the same asanimal growth; except that it affects fishonly. The spell does not affect crustaceans,sea mammals, mermen, locathah, hippo-campi, or any other fishlike creature.

Fish summoning II is much the same asfish summoning I, only the spell allows thesummoning of either more fish or fishwith a greater number of hit dice. Thespell summons six fish of eight hit dice orless, or 12 fish of four hit dice or less, ifsuch are within range. As with fish sum-moning I, the caster may try three times tosummon three different types of fish, andonly normal or giant-sized fish can besummoned. Spell range, creature actions,and chance of a creature type beingwithin range are the same as animal sum-moning II.

The crustacean plague spell is used by asea-priest to perform the functions of theland-based insect plague. The crustaceansinclude barnacles, crabs, lobsters; andshrimp. The crustacean plague does dam-age, obscures vision, disrupts spell-casting,and causes morale failure as per insectplague. The victim of the crustacean

plague must leave the water or be withinthe area of effect of an airy water spell tobe free of the crustaceans. The materialcomponents are a crab or lobster claw anda small piece of fish.

6th Level: Fish summoning III is muchthe same as fish summoning I and II, ex-cept this spell allows the summoning of upto four fish of no more than 16 hit dice,eight fish of no more than eight hit dice,or 16 fish of no more than four hit diceeach. As with fish summoning I, the castermay try three times to summon threedifferent types of fish, and only normal orgiant-sized fish can be summoned. Spellrange, creature actions, and the chance ofa creature type being within range are thesame as for animal summoning III.

Anti-fish shell is far more appropriate tothe underwater world than the anti-animalshell. By casting this spell, the sea-priestbrings into being a spherical (or hemi-spherical, if standing on the sea floor)force field that prevents the entrance ofany sort of living creature that is whollyor partially fish (excluding strongly magi-cal or extraplanar creatures). Thus, ashark, a hippocampi, or a merman wouldbe kept out, but a dolphin, an undeadmammal, a dragon turtle, or conjuredcreatures could pass through the magicalbarrier. The spell requires the caster�s holysymbol and a small sea anemone.

The conjure fish spell is to the sea-priestwhat a conjure animals spell is to land-priests. The total hit dice of the conjuredfish cannot exceed twice the level of thespell-caster. Guidelines for hit dice for theconjure fish spell are the same as those forthe conjure animal spell. Only fish such assharks, tuna, swordfish, etc. may be con-jured. Sea mammals and fantastic crea-tures are not conjured using this spell.

The difficulties in conjuring a fire ele-mental underwater are obvious. There-fore, the conjure fire elemental spell ischanged to conjure water elemental. Inthis case, it is 65% likely that an 8-HDelemental appears, 20% likely that a 12-HDelemental appears, 10% likely that 16-HDelemental appears, 4% likely that two tofour uncontrolled and uncontrollablewater weirds appear, and 1% likely that awater elemental of 24 HD will appear.

The heroes� feast spell simply becomesfeast. When the sea-priest casts this spell,he brings forth a great feast that serves asmany creatures as the sea-priest haslevels. Each underwater race has a differ-ent idea of what a magnificent feast wouldentail. Therefore, when a sahuagin caststhis spell it would include delicacies suchas dolphin fins, hippocampi or mermentail, kraken tentacles, etc. Tritons, on theother hand, would balk at eating mermenor hippocampi. Their feast would includeonly favorite fish, shellfish, and seaweeddelicacies. The feast requires the samelength of time to complete and has thesame beneficial effects as the heroes� feastspell. The feast spell produces a sweetcaviarlike substance that produces the


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Table 1Sea-Priest Spell List

1st level 2nd level 3rd level 4th level 5th level 6th level 7th level

Bless Aid

Combine AuguryCommand Chant

Animate dead

Continual light

Create food*


Cloak of bravery

Control temperature,10� radius

Cure serious wounds

Anti-plant shell


Air walk Animate object

Anti-fish shell*

Blade barrier

Animate rock

Astral spell


Cure light wounds Charm person ormammal

Detect charm

Cure blindness/deafness

Cure disease

Commune Conjure fish* Conjure earthelemental

Detect lieDetect evil

Detect magic

Detect nets *

Detect poison

Endure heat/cold



Float * *

Find traps

Heat metal

Hold person

Dispel magic

Feign death


Glyph of warding

Hold underseaanimal *

Inkjet* *


Fish summoning I*

Giant crustacean

Hallucinatory forest*

Hold plant

Commune withnature

Control winds

Crustacean plague *

Cure critical wounds

Dispel evil

Fish growth*

Conjure waterelemental*

Feast *

Find the path



Part water




Holy word


Control weather

Faerie fire Know alignment Imbue with spellability

Lower water

Neutralize poison

Plant door

Protection from evil,10� radius

Repel crustaceans*

Speak with plants

Fish summoning II* Speak with monsters Reincarnate *

Invisibility to undead Messenger

Light Obscurement

Locate fish or plants* Resist fire/cold

Manta ray watch* Locate object

Magical vestment

Meld into stone

Negative planeprotection


Raise dead


Plane shift

Stone tell

Transport via plants

Turn wood

Wall of coral*



Swarming doom*


Weather summoning Sunray

Whirlpool* * SymbolTransmute rockto mud

True seeing

Spike stones

Word of recall Transmute metal towoodWind walkStarshine

Sticks to snakesTongues

Spell immunityPlant growth


PrayerRemove curseRemove paralysisSpeak with dead*Spike growthStone shapeSummon crustaceans*Water breathingWater walk

* Altered version of a standard spell.* * New spell.

Slow poisonSnake charmSpeak with fish*Spiritual trident *Warp woodWater devil*Wave * *Withdraw

Siren song* *Remove fear

Protection from evil Shellskin*

Purify food* Silence, 15� radius

Invisibility to fish

CT: 5 Duration: 1 turn/lvl.Save: Neg. AE: One creature or

objectA priest can place float upon his person,

an object, or any single creature. Thepriest can float a maximum of 200 lbs. perlevel of experience. When cast, the spellcauses the priest, object, or creature tofloat upward toward the surface of thewater at a movement rate of 3. This move-ment rate is in addition to or subtractedfrom any other (e.g., a priest or creaturethat normally has a swimming movementrate of 12 can swim toward the surface ata rate of 15, or dive for the bottom at arate of 9). Horizontal movement is notempowered by the spell, but the recipientcan still swim or be pulled laterally. Oncecast, the spell requires no concentrationand the caster can cancel it at will. If the

same effects as the nectarlike drink of theheroes� feast spell. The material compo-nent for this spell is the sea-priest�s holysymbol and specially prepared fish eggs.

The sea-priest creates a wall of coralinstead of a wall of thorns. The wall ofcoral spell creates a barrier of hard, roughcoral with many razor-sharp edges. Thedimensions of, damage inflicted by, andduration of a wall of coral are the same aswall of thorns. A passage can be batteredthrough the wall of coral in four turns.

7th Level: The creeping doom spell ischanged to swarming doom for the sea-priest. When the swarming doom spell iscast, the sea-priest calls forth a swarmingmass of 200-1,200 (2d6 × 100) small crusta-ceans, jellyfish, and sea urchins. Theswarming mass forms a globe about 30� indiameter. Upon command from the caster,

the swarming globe moves toward anyprey within 240� at a rate of 3. This spellinflicts damage and is reduced in size asper the creeping doom spell.

The reincarnate spell remains un-changed. However, when a sea-priest castsa reincarnate spell, use Table 2 hereinrather than the one provided in the PHB.

New priest spellsThe following spells are used primarily

by sea-priests. However, any priest withaccess to the appropriate sphere may begranted the use of one or more of thesespells.

Float(Alteration) ReversibleSphere: Elemental Level: 2Components: V,S,M Range: Touch

22 JANUARY 1991

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1 d 1 0 001-0304-0809-1213-1617-1920-2324-2829-3132-3435-3637-4041-4445-5859-6162-6465-6869-7071-7576-8081-8586-00

Incarnat ionDolphinMermanUrchin (yellow)LocathahSting rayUrchin (black)VurgensTritonPungi raySwordfishMoray eelUrchin (green)Same race as spell-casterManta rayJellyfishUrchin (red)IxitxachitlUrchin (silver)SharkSahuaginDM�s choice

Table 2Sea-Priest. Reincarnation Table

subject of the spell is unwilling, or theobject is in the possession of an unwillingcreature, a saving throw vs. spells is al-lowed to determine if the float spell affectsit. This spell works only in liquids or liqui-fied matter (water, quicksand, molten lava,etc.) and cannot cause objects or creaturesto float into the air. Objects affected by thespell will float on the surface of the waterfor the duration of the spell or until thespell-caster negates it. Creatures affectedby the spell will also float on the surfacebut have the option of swimming or div-ing. The spell does not empower any crea-ture with water walk or free actionabilities.

The reverse, plunge, causes objects tosink into the depths (movement rate asabove). The plunge spell can be devastat-ing to ships and swimmers. Naturally, afloat spell can be used to counter a plunge,and vice versa.

The material component is a small splin-ter of driftwood for the float spell or asmall pebble for plunge.

W a v e(Alteration)Sphere: Elemental Level: 2Components: V,S Range: 0CT: 1 turn Duration: SpecialSave: None AE: Special

When a priest casts this spell, a waveoriginates from him and moves in thedirection he faces, in a 60° arc. The waveis 1� high per level of the caster, and ittravels for 60� plus 30� per level of thecaster on the open sea, reaching inland for10� per level of the caster. Ships caught inthe wave spells area of effect must make aseaworthiness check to avoid capsizing,though at a + 30% bonus at 1st level; thisbonus decreases by 5% per level there-after, so that normal seaworthiness checks

are made for a wave cast by a 7th-levelsea-priest. The -5% penalty is applied forevery level after 7th level as well, so aseaworthiness check is made at a -20%penalty against an 11th-level sea-priest�swave; which is 11� high and travel for 390�on the sea. The wave causes 1 hp damageper level of the caster to any land-basedbeing struck by it if the wave rolls over-land, but it does no damage to swimmerson the open sea.

Wave spells are unaffected by sea orweather conditions. Thus, a wave can bemade to run at a right angle to or com-pletely counter to the direction of anyother waves. Wave spells affect the sur-face of the water only and have no moreaffect on underwater creatures than natu-rally occurring waves.

Siren Song(Illusion/Phantasm, Enchantment/Charm)Sphere: Charm Level: 2Components: V,S,M Range: 300�CT: 2 rnds. Duration: 1 turnSave: Neg. AE: Special

The victim of this spell hears haunting,beautiful music and is overwhelmed by adesire to find the music�s source. Thesound is illusory and is, therefore, impos-sible to find. The victim wanders aimlesslyin the area of effect looking for the sourceof the music. The desire is so all consum-ing that the victim will ignore food andtreasure, though not obvious dangers.(The victim may be caught by hiddendangers, of course, and many who wadeor swim out into the sea risk drowning orattack.) The victim fights all attempts toconstrain him by either friend or foe. Inthe first round of combat, the. victim issurprised, strikes last in the round, andfights at -2 on attack and damage rolls;thereafter, he fights at -1 on attack anddamage rolls but normally otherwise.Should the victim be injured in combat orforced out of the area of effect, the spell isnegated and the victim returns to normalimmediately.

To use this spell, a spell-caster need notbe underwater, but must be within 60� ofthe sea or the spell fails to work. Also, thevictim of the spell must be in the area ofeffect when the spell is cast; this areaencompasses a globe with a radius of 60�+ 30�/level. Those who wander into thearea of effect after the casting are unaf-fected. The victim is allowed a savingthrow vs. spells. The saving throw is modi-fied by the intelligence of the victim. Themore intelligent the creature, the morebeautiful the music seems. Creatures withintelligences of four or less (semi-intelligent) roll with a + 2 bonus on theirsaving throw. Those with intelligences 5-7(low) roll with a + 1 bonus. Those withintelligences of 8-12 (average to very) rollnormally. Those creatures with intelli-gences of 13-14 (high) save with a -1penalty. Those with intelligences of 15 orgreater receive a -2 penalty on theirsaving throw. The caster can affect one

creature for every three levels attained(e.g., one at 3rd level, two at 6th level,three at 9th level, etc.

The material component for this spell isany large, empty sea shell.

Inkjet(Alteration)Sphere: Protection Level: 3Components: V, S, M Range: 0CT: 1 Duration: Instant. 1Save: None AE: The caster

When cast, the spell gives the priest theability to jet away for one round at amovement rate of 18 in the direction he isfacing, like a giant squid. The spell-castermust be careful about his direction andnot accidentally jet into an obstruction.Jetting into a solid object, such as a coralreef, the bottom of a ship, or into the seafloor causes 3-18 hp crushing damage.Jetting through plants, such as seaweed or kelp, causes 2-8 hp damage from beingwhipped by the fronds. If within 10� of thesurface of the water, a spell-caster may jetstraight upward and actually leap out ofthe water like a dolphin to a height of 1-8�.Ixitxachitl clerics and sahuagin priestessessometimes use this leap technique to at-tack anyone who leans too far over theside of a ship or dock.

At the moment priest jets away, heleaves behind a great cloud of inky dark-ness. The cloud is a large oval shape, 60�high, 60� wide, and 80� long. The cloudreduces visibility to zero within its con-fines. It lasts for five rounds, suddenlydissipating at the end of the fifth round.The cloud cannot be negated by a light orcontinual light spell.

The material components for the inkjetspell are a small (not necessarily living)squid and a black pearl.

Whirlpool(Alteration)Sphere: Elemental Level: 6Components: V,S,M Range: 0CT: 1 turn Duration: 1 turn/lvl.Save: Neg. AE: Special

By use of this spell, a priest causes alarge whirlpool to come into being. Thespell is effective against both surface andunderwater creatures and objects. Thespell requires the use of a specially con-structed ball of sharks teeth that is 1� indiameter. The ball is taken to the appropri-ate depth (10� for every level of the spell-caster) or is placed on the sea floor orocean bottom if the depth is insufficient.The whirlpool spell is then cast, and theball of teeth begins to rotate, slowly pick-ing up speed with every rotation. Once thespell is cast, the ball stays in place andcannot be moved. The bail will rotate fortwo turns before the whirlpool forms (thetwo turns count against the spell�s dura-tion). The caster has these two turns to getout of the area of effect, or he may getcaught in his own whirlpool.

The whirlpool has a radius of 100�, plusanother 10� per level of the spell-caster.


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The center of the whirlpool, called thevortex, is 1� per spell-caster�s level wide atthe surface, narrowing to 1� wide justabove the ball; the vortex is 10� deep perlevel of the spell-caster. If the ball has notbeen placed deep enough in the water, orif the water is of insufficient depth andthe ball is placed on the ocean floor, thedepth of the vortex is shortened accord-ingly. If the ball is placed too deep, thevortex fills with water immediately afterforming and the whirlpool collapses onitself and is destroyed. When the spellsduration expires, the ball of sharks teethdisintegrates and the whirlpool collapsesin on itself and disappears in one round.

Anything entering the area of effect isinexorably drawn into the vortex of thewhirlpool in one turn. Movement is in aspiraling fashion at a rate of 12. Once inthe vortex, ships and underwater vesselsmust make seaworthiness checks to avoidcapsizing; apply a -5% penalty to suchchecks for every level of the spell-casterabove 11th level. Characters caught in the

vortex suffer 1-6 hp damage per roundfrom battering.

Swimmers and ships may fight the pullof the whirlpool�s current, but their move-ment rate must exceed 12 to escape. Forswimmers, use the information on swim-ming on pages 120-121 of the PHB; forships, use the information on ocean voyag-ing on page 126 of the DMG. To determinehow long a swimmer or ship may fight thewhirlpool�s current, deduct the swimmer�sor ship�s movement rate from the whirl-pool�s movement rate (12), then divide thewhirlpool�s movement rate by this numberfor the time in rounds. For example, ahuman with a swimming rate of nine iscaught in a whirlpool. The swimmer willbe drawn into. the vortex in four rounds(12 - 9 = 3, 12 3 =4). Swimmers whose

movement rates exceed 12 can avoid beingpulled into the whirlpool.

Swimmers and ships with a maximummovement rate of 12 make no progressand only keep themselves the same dis-tance from the vortex. Swimmers mayswim at full speed against the whirlpool�scurrent for four rounds, after which theymust make a constitution check everyround. If a swimmer fails a constitutioncheck, he is considered exhausted and cando nothing but keep his head above wateruntil the whirlpool takes him under. Shipswith a maximum movement rate of 12hold their own against the whirlpool forfive turns. After that time, a seaworthinesscheck must be made at -10% per turn inthe whirlpool. This check reflects thegrowing exhaustion of the sailors androwers as they fight the whirlpool�s cur-rent. If a seaworthiness check is failed, itmeans the sailors and rowers have col-lapsed with exhaustion and can do nothingmore.

Anchors&ArrowsContinued from page 14

each make a DL check, penalized by add-ing the ship�s turning penalty, with allfractions rounded up. If either crew failsthis check, the ships collide and each iscrippled. A ship already crippled sinks.

TacticsWith BATTLESYSTEM rules for naval

fights, adventurer-admirals need to learnhow to win these fights. Historically, therewere two philosophies of naval tactics.The Mediterranean peoples preferred tofight in carefully arranged lines of battle,with rams and catapults. After these en-gines had disabled the foe, marines sys-tematically boarded each enemy ship. (TheVikings scorned that caution. Theyboarded enemy ships recklessly, hoping towin through the prowess of their war-riors.) The object of line battle formationswas to attack the foe�s flank and rear,while defending one�s own. Without gun-powder weapons, the �broadsides� posi-tion was often useless; in fact, rammerspreferred to face the foe�s side.

When lines of ships confronted eachother, they had two options. Attackerscould attempt to sail straight through theenemy line, then return from behind, orthey could attempt to maneuver aroundthe foe�s flanks. To defend against theseattacks, fleets formed �hedgehogs,� circleswith their forecastles facing outward.Defenders also took up positions aroundreefs, shorelines, and islands. Navies ex-ploited numerical superiority by forming

24 JANUARY 1991

two lines, one behind the other, so that ifthe attacker foiled the first formation, asecond was available. However, in narrowstraits, large numbers of ships were ahandicap: One ram attack could crushthem all together.

Even the less-sophisticated Norse style ofsea battle required some art. Norse cap-tains were like generals who designedtheir own battlefields, customizing everydetail to suit their plans. Each ship chosewhen and how to board its enemy, soships that carried many marines couldsurround foes, while vessels with fewmighty defenders could sail between ob-stacles or friendly ships to protect theirflanks, forcing enemies to attack one byone. The Vikings were known to lash shipstogether for defense, making floatingfortresses.

In a battle of sailing ships, each captainmust decide how to use the wind. Aggres-sive admirals prefer to attack from thewindward side, the �weather gauge.� Thislets them sail straight against the foe, orhold still and refuse battle. If the �weatherfleet� does not come forward, its enemycannot reach it except by oar. Unfortu-nately, the �weather gauge� prevents shipsfrom withdrawing and forces them to sailstraight into enemy missile fire. The fleetwith the �lee gauge� can remain orderlyand flee if it desires. When both admiralsseek one side of the wind, a long competi-tion of maneuvers can result with nocombat. This is an excellent chance for the

side with higher discipline and faster shipsto win without fighting.

Last notesFew gamers own navies of tiny ships, so

you can make naval BATTLESYSTEMcounters by cutting out pieces of card-board to the size of a ship on theBATTLESYSTEM game scale, as per Table1. Snip off the two front corners on eachship to make a pointed prow. You can alsofold cardboard into three-dimensional ovalhulls or build ships from toothpicks.Model kits and lead miniatures may alsoprovide more attractive ships.

Pirates, sea monsters, and enemy na-tions provide reason enough for PCs tobecome admirals. Yet not all navalBATTLESYSTEM scenarios need be mili-tary. Peril haunts the most routine voyagesin the ancient world, and PCs may findthat their fortunes depend on merchantfleets. Emperors may dispatch great naviesto search the world for riches and curiosi-ties. Guiding these flotillas through nar-row seas, battered by storms and hemmedby reefs, can be exciting too.

Remember, The Odyssey began whenthe war ended.

BibliographyHough, Richard. Fighting Ships. New York:

G. P. Putnam�s and Sons, 1969.Leckie, Robert. Warfare. New York:

Harper and Row, 1970.

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Alien worlds and worlds unreal


Questar 0 - 4 4 5 - 2 1 0 1 6 - 8 $ 4 . 5 0Its execution is peppy rather than so-

phisticated, and author Wm. Mark Sim-mons sometimes shows more daring thanskill in his world-building. Nonetheless, Inthe Net of Dreams comes about as close aspossible to translating the sheer experi-ence of fantasy gaming into novel form.

The concept isn�t totally new: We�ve seenother giant game-computers into whichplayers can plug their consciousnesses andplay out their fantasies. But theCephtronics Dreamworld is a better-realized game construct than most; Sim-

mons knows his game mechanics andpopulates his realm with all the familiardenizens of dungeon, tavern, and wilder-ness. Some of these are even recognizableas AD&D® game borrowings: Orcus, com-plete with wand; the Wand of Xagyg (�incase of Armageddon, break glass�); andDreamworld creator Robert Ripley�schoice of character class (�Bard nevergot final approval for public use�).

The game has been in business for fiveyears when the real-world programmerssuddenly lose control of the system, leav-ing participants trapped inside the game.Ripley is summoned out of retirement totrace the �Anomaly,� but forces both inside

26 JANUARY 1991

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and outside the game world are assem-bling against him. Simmons� fantasy questis rambling but fast paced, and his treat-ment of the computer-intelligence aspectsof the plot is spirited as well. There�s a fairdose of humor and pun-craft, but it servesas an effective background rather than thetale�s centerpiece. If anything, there�s morehere than will fit comfortably in a singlenovel (and despite a solid ending, Simmonsleaves a tag line that virtually demands asequel).

The style is breezy, sometimes almosttoo breezy for the more serious elementsof Simmons� narrative, and not all the setpieces are successful. But the book as awhole is a clever and winning yarn. In theNet of Dreams is what gamers may havehoped for, but didn�t get, from Kevin An-derson�s Gamearth books. Tracking downa copy may be a challenge, though; at leastin its first printing, there�s no name on thenovels copyright page, which means thatcollectors or lawyers may have corneredthe market by the time this sees print.

FIRE ON THE BORDERKevin O�Donnell, Jr.

R o c 0-451-45030-2 $4 .50It�s the middle of the 24th century, and

the Terran Association is 1,200 worldsstrong�but there are a couple of smallproblems. One is the alien WayholderEmpire, which has abruptly informed theTerrans that it�s going to destroy a numberof the Association�s worlds as part of awar-training exercise. The other is theSagittarian Guard, which is defying ordersnot to resist and is doing its best to stopthe Wayholder devastation.

Kajiwara Hiroshi is under orders to stopthe Guard, but he�s also acting as its leader,in a sense, as a clone of Hiroshi sent to spyout Guard resources is co-opted into therebel movement. Yet both Hiroshi and hisduplicate (rechristened Daitaku) are actingwith honor by the lights of the nearlyforgotten samurai codes they follow, as issecondary protagonist Darcy Lee, a crackpilot also drawn to the Sagittarians.

Fire On the Border is three sorts ofnovel at once: a solid, square-jawed battlestory crowded with firefights and split-second timing; a sophisticated strategicconflict in which vast fleets, the economyof war, and the craft of intelligence are allelements of the plot; and a surprisinglyintrospective examination of the individ-ual�s obligations to self, to superiors, andto survival. It�s a logical but demandingcombination, and O�Donnell does an excel-lent job of keeping the pace even andsmooth while juggling the various aspectsof his narrative.

Only when O�Donnell strays too far fromOctant Sagittarius, the disputed segmentof Association space, does the novel be-come less than convincing. The full scopeof Terran colonization is at best impliedrather than made explicit, so that on re-flection the book doesn�t have as muchcontext as it should (a little like getting a

European's-eye view of World War II).But the sins of omission are minor com-

pared to the virtues of what made it intothe story. Campaigners in the various SFgaming universes should find Fire on theBorder a challenging and readable re-source, and the samurai lore may also beof interest to those with Oriental worldsand characters. This is one novel thatamply demonstrates the principle that waris as much a mental as a physicalstruggle�and that the adversaries are notalways who we expect them to be.


brochure that came with The BlackThrone tried to classify or categorize thebook, which struck me as rather odd untilafter I�d read it. Collaborators Zelazny andSaberhagen have, between them, managedto come up with a story that simplydoesn�t fit any of the usual pigeonholesnormally found on a fantasy editor�s desk.Instead, it goes into the long-forgottensecret compartment with Edgar AllanPoe�s initials scratched on the inside.

Roger Zelazny & Fred SaberhagenB a e n 0-671-72013-9 $4 .95

Neither the letter nor the marketing

Readers will need at least a modestacquaintance with Poe�s works to makemuch sense of the novel. Saberhagen andZelazny propose that the eccentric Poewas a refugee from an alternate Earth,switched for our worlds Edgar Perry aspart of a mysterious arcane conspiracy.And in Poe�s original dimension, what weknow as the stuff of bizarre fiction is veryreal and very dangerous. Perry meets aremarkably deadly orangutan and itskeeper, penetrates a compound carefullyguarded against the Red Death, obtainsadvice from a corpse that is not quite deadwith the aid of a strange young womannamed Ligeia, and narrowly escapes therazor-sharp blade of a slowly descendingpendulum.

The focus of this involved and exoticquest is Annabel Lee, a young woman ofextraordinary will whose psychic powersprovided the initial link between Perryand Poe, but is now sought as the keyelement in a strange alchemical schemefor creating gold. The relationship be-tween Perry and Annabel is as peculiar asthe rest of the story; there isn�t enoughcharacter development to make it work asa romance, but it�s hard to imagine anyother motivation sufficient to keep Perrycommitted to rescuing her in the face ofincreasingly spectacular opposition.

Zelazny and Saberhagen have done agood job of capturing the relentless, off-kilter, and slightly ornate character typicalof 19th-century fantasy and science fic-tion. The Black Throne reads much asmight an undiscovered manuscript fromthe pen of Poe, H. G. Wells, or Sir ArthurConan Doyle. What they haven�t done is togive the novel any sort of context. Is itsimply intended to be a �synthetic� 19th-century yarn? The extensive catalogue of

scenes and characters from Poe�s workmakes that explanation unlikely. Yet there�sno apparent rhyme or reason to the bor-rowings, or at least none accessible to ageneral reader.

So while players of the right specialtyrole-playing games (perhaps using GDW�sSPACE: 1889� game or Chaosium�sCTHULHU BY GASLIGHT* supplement)may want to acquire the book purely onthe basis of its unusual setting, mostgamers will be safe in passing it by. Sa-berhagen and Zelazny have written a novel that�s much more likely to pleasegraduate students in literature than it is tosatisfy the average lover of fantasy.


S p e c t r a 0-553-26466-4 $4 .50David Gerrold�s newest novel is a num-

ber of things: a vivid space adventure, arugged character yarn, a biting blackcomedy, and a convoluted riddle story.That�s a lot to pack into one book. For themost part, the components are wellpacked.

Strictly speaking, the title isn�t quiteaccurate. According to Alliance tradition, astarship isn�t named until it�s seen andsurvived a battle; as the story opens, theLS-1187 hasn�t yet been blooded.

That doesn�t stay true for long�butwhen the ship does meet the enemy, it hasthe singular misfortune to survive withoutfiring a shot. Never mind that the oddswere impossible and the initial contactaccidental; the LS-1187 is branded a jinxedvessel.

Executive Officer Jonathan Korie istherefore trapped. His superiors won�t lethim resign, but neither will they court-martial, transfer, or promote him. Instead,they assign the LS-1187 to the toughest,deadliest captain in the fleet and send itback out with mysterious and criticallyimportant orders.

Gerrold succeeds admirably at creating ahigh-strung atmosphere aboard the LS-1187 very much like that of the M.A.S.H.TV series, in which the characters usehumor as an antidote to and defenseagainst the danger surrounding them. Asin M.A.S.H., situations can range from theoutrageous (notably an involved �exor-cism� sequence) to the emotionallycharged (Korie�s confrontations with Cap-tain Hardesty, also known as the StarWolf); yet at both extremes the charactersare equally convincing.

Just one thing keeps Voyage of the StarWolf from being entirely satisfying. Ger-rold has pulled a number of names andreferences from other sources into thenovel: Harlie, the ship�s sentient computer,is descended from a namesake in an ear-lier Gerrold novel, and crew membersHodel and Fontana are named respectivelyfor a noted California radio interviewer(now deceased) and a Star Trek writer-producer. This isn�t just window-dressing,as Hodel and Harlie in particular are im-


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portant characters, and those who don�tknow their origins won�t see them thesame way as those who do.

That�s unfair to Gerrold�s readers, andit�s hard to brush the issue aside. But ifVoyage of the Star Wolf doesn�t standentirely on its own, it�s still more thanabsorbing and clever enough to give SFgamers more than their money�s worth inideas and entertainment.


S p e c t r a 0-553-28832-6 $4 .50There�s a substantial difference between

authentic Celtic mythology and the lorefound in most supposedly Celtic fantasynovels. Even the AD&D game�s Legends &Lore sourcebook takes liberties (note thechanges to the 2nd Edition version, andcompare the AD&.D game�s two Morrigansto the one in Tom Deitz�s novels). Yet whileMost Ancient Song bills itself as a retellingof the oldest of Irish myths (and is the firstin a series as well), it adopts a style andvision that seem determined to undermineits authenticity.

The names are traditional enough.Nuada, Dagda, Diancecht, Mathgen: All arefamiliar to us as Irish or Celtic immortals.Here, though, we meet them long beforetheir ascension to godhood, as they arriveto colonize a remote island that is appar-ently somewhere in the northern Atlanticocean. (AD&D game players might findthis an intriguing campaign premise.)

The writing style, by contrast, is unaf-fected and modern, littered with contrac-tions and glib speech patterns. It�s neitherformal nor ornamental enough to conveyan aura of power and age, but neither is itstraightforward and simple enough tocarry the tone of a fable or legend.

Then there are the Fomor, traditionallyadversaries of the Irish folk. Here they�reportrayed as a mechanized society ofgenetic mutants possessing a variety ofadvanced biochemical weapons. The au-thor says this is a free interpretation, butthe scientific images again work against amythological view of the book. (It doesn�thelp that the benign immortal Lir�s powersare described in traditional magical terms,giving the conflict a magic vs. technologyflavor.)

What�s most frustrating about MostAncient Song is that, as a novel, it�ssmoothly and entertainingly told: Thematter-of-fact writing is appealing andpleasant. As a �plain� fantasy, it�s satisfy-ing. But, as the mythological retelling itpurports to be, the book is misleading atbest. Author Casey Flynn (really veteranIrish fantasist Kenneth Flint under a pseu-donym) has done both his source materialand his readers a disservice.

TIGANAGuy Gavriel Kay

R o c 0 - 4 5 1 - 4 5 0 2 8 - 0 $ 2 1 . 9 5The short description of Tigana is that

it�s a Shakespearean novel. The setting, the

28 JANUARY 1991

blend of romance, soul-searching, andintrigue, and the character of the storytell-ing all carry a resonance that recallsShakespeare�s treatments of magic, ro-mance, and royal conflict. There are dif-ferences in detail and degree, but Kay�snovel definitely has just the right vividnessand density to warrant the comparison.

Tigana was once the brightest of severalprovincial states on a peninsula strategi-cally located between several largerrealms. As Kay�s tale opens, it�s nowscarcely a memory; the sorcerer-king whoconquered it a generation past has usedhis powers to wipe the name virtually outof existence. Only a handful of people onthe entire peninsula can remember orspeak of Tigana, and only this small bandhas any hope of restoring Tigana to itsrightful name and rule.

That makes identity the prize in a multi-layered struggle, for while Kay�s conspira-tors are planning strategies for Tigana�sliberation, they also face individual andpersonal challenges. The young musicianDevin must untangle his complex relation-ship with fellow performer Catriana.Erlein di Senzio must come to terms withthe powers he conceals and the dutyforced upon him by an ancient binding-spell. And Alessan bar Valentin must makedangerous and costly choices as he tries tostage-manage a complex game of politics,intrigue, and wizardry.

These, though, are only a few of thestrands in Tigana�s many-faceted web. Inaddition to a large and varied cast, Kaypacks his narrative with a wealth of im-ages, themes, and symbols that build onand reinforce each other in ways thatcomplement rather than becoming repeti-tive. An example: The Peninsula of thePalm is so named because it�s shapedrather like a hand, albeit one with onlythree fingers. It�s not at all coincidentalthat wizards on the Palm come into theirfull powers only after sacrificing the thirdand fourth fingers of one hand.

It seems almost petty to note that Kay�sapproach to magic is one that gamersshould find intriguing, and that the free-wheeling, Italianesque character of hissetting ought to be highly attractive todesigners of Renaissance-flavored cam-paigns. One might better observe thatTigana is one of those rare novels that canbe read several times over without ex-hausting its capacity to surprise and en-lighten, and even that is a considerableunderstatement.


A c e 0-441-75511-9 $3 .95So much of current fantasy and SF is

series fiction that we may be starting totake the series form for granted. Thenalong comes a book like Scorpio Rising, toremind us of the rules and conventionsthat allow good episodic storytelling tostand out.

First rule: The central characters should

be distinctive but easy to identify with. InAlex McDonough�s case, both Scorpio andLeah qualify handily. Scorpio is alien butnot overly grotesque, and his somewhatretiring manner counters much of theunease with which he might otherwise begreeted. Leah, from 14th-century Franceand of Jewish ancestry, is more worldlywithout being too self assured.

Second rule: Each adventure should beself contained. McDonough�s device is thatScorpio and Leah are time travelers, mov-ing from one era to the next by means ofan orb whose workings they don�t com-pletely understand. This second entry inthe series opens as they arrive in Elizabe-than London, and concludes as they de-part barely ahead of deadly pursuers. Butthe London episode is still a completestory with two parallel plots: While Leahand Scorpio attempt to master the orb�selusive powers, royal astrologers John Deeand Edward Kelley see the pair as a usefulvehicle for winning influence from theunpredictable Queen Elizabeth.

Third rule: Continuing elements of theseries should be given significant atten-tion, but not at the expense of an individ-ual episode�s plot. Here again, McDonoughdoes a credible job of balancing his story.Though fully half the book goes by beforeScorpio�s pursuers, the Hunters, arrive inLondon, McDonough manages to inter-twine their chase neatly with a schemehatched by the unsavory Kelley so that theHunters become a part of the overall plotrather than being superimposed on it.

When so many multivolume series arespecializing in cliffhanger endings andplots that stretch out for several volumesat a time, Scorpio Rising is a welcome ifmodest counterpoint. While the novel maybe only marginally more ambitious than,say, a Doctor Who adventure, it�s at leastwell crafted and competently executed.Series novelists�and RPG campaigndesigners�could do worse than to takeMcDonough�s work as a model.

Recurring rolesThis issue�s Department of Things Con-

tinued includes a prequel, a sequel, and*three additions to ongoing series. Theprequel is Patricia C. Wrede�s Dealing WithDragons (HBJ/Jane Yolen, $15.95), andWrede again demonstrates that there�snothing like a dose of courtesy and com-mon sense for turning fairy-tale conven-tions on their ears. New readers shouldlike this as much as those who scooped upcopies of the earlier Talking to Dragons.Two sequences in particular, one involvingwizards and buckets of water and anotherconcerning an impatient jinn, are espe-cially clever.

Transition (Spectra, $4.95) is VondaMcIntyre�s sequel to Starfarers, but it�s asequel of an unusual kind. Where the firstbook was mostly a novel of Earth-basedintrigue spilling into the realms of space-flight, the new book is a tale of survivaland decisions set far out among the stars.

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McIntyre�s characters are as well drawn asbefore, and their discoveries point the waytoward a third volume that promises to bejust as different and just as absorbing.

Best of the ongoing-series arrivals isBarry Hughart�s Eight Skilled Gentlemen(Foundation, $21.95/$10.95). This is thethird adventure of ancient Chinese sage LiKao and his assistant Number Ten Ox. Asreaders might expect, it�s a frenetic combi-nation of wild comedy, harrowingly dan-gerous detective work, and obscure magicof immense and mysterious power.Hughart�s style has been turning moreinformal with each new book, but thisseries is still at the very top of the Orientalfantasy lists.

By contrast, Lord Conrad�s Lady (DelRey, $4.95) is rather forgettable. The goodnews is that it ties up most of the looseends left hanging at the end of LeoFrankowski�s fourth Conrad Stargardbook, but the bad news is that it does verylittle else, instead mostly recycling pre-vious ideas.

New books from Charles de Lint areusually much more reliable, and TheDreaming Place (Atheneum/Dragonflight,$14.95) is no exception. De Lint kicks off ayoung-adult fantasy imprint similar toWalker�s Millennium line with a compellingstory involving stepsisters who find them-selves the targets of a dying spirit-being�shunger. Another recent de Lint title,

Ghostwood (Axolotl/Pulphouse, $10.00), ismore unusual if slightly less satisfying.This limited-edition, trade paperback bookfollows up material from the earlierMoonheart as well as from two shorterlimited-edition pieces. While it�s as in-tensely atmospheric as all of de Lint�swork, there are too many characterswandering through Tamson House for himto cover them all effectively. (ContactPulphouse Publishing at: P.O. Box 1227,Eugene OR 97440; though the edition wassold out by press time, they can recom-mend likely sources.)

In a completely different vein, V. E.Mitchell�s Enemy Unseen (Pocket, $4.50) isone of the meatiest Star Trek novels tocome along in ages, with a thoroughlynasty batch of villains and an impressivelyconvoluted locked-starship mystery torecommend it. Mitchell packs two or threebooks� worth of plot into one dense story;this is one Star Trek tale that can�t be readwhile your brain is coasting along in neu-tral gear.

Finally, The Calling of the Three (Ace,$3.95) begins a new Ru Emerson trilogythat finds a loose-knit California familypulled into a world where they mustquickly learn to cope with magic and withrenegade nobles of several political per-suasions. Two points stand out: The magicsystem, though rather lightly explained, isdistinctive (the trilogy�s collective title,

Night-Threads, describes it succinctly), andour heroes aren�t the only folk from ourworld who�ve been drawn across therealities into the conflict.

A quick thanks is in order to those whohave written in recent months, readersand authors alike. In particular, regardingthe latter: Dennis McKiernan properlynotes that dragons are alive and prosper-ing on Mithgar, not extinct as implied inmy comments on Dragondoom (issue#159). And Margaret Weis has history onher side regarding the idioms in DragonWing (also noted in #159).

As always, your comments and sugges-tions are welcome even if time doesn�tpermit replies to everyone. Correspon-dence and review materials should bedirected to:

John C. Bunnell12320 SW Center St. #32Beaverton OR 97005

Out of Supplies?

Write for a free catalog from theMail Order Hobby Shop, c/o TSR,Inc., P.O. Box 756, Lake Geneva WI53147 U.S.A.

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Convention Calendar Policies

This column is a service to our readersworldwide. Anyone may place a free listingfor a game convention here, but the follow-ing guidelines must be observed.

In order to ensure that all conventionlistings contain accurate and timely infor-mation, all material should be either typeddouble-spaced or printed legibly on stand-ard manuscript paper. The contents ofeach listing must be short and succinct.

The information given in the listing mustinclude the following, in this order:

1. Convention title and dates held;2. Site and location;3. Guests of honor (if applicable);4. Special events offered;5. Registration fees or attendance re-

quirements; and,6. Address(es) and telephone number(s)

where additional information and confirma-tion can be obtained.

Convention flyers, newsletters, and othermass-mailed announcements will not beconsidered for use in this column; weprefer to see a cover letter with the an-nouncement as well. No call-in listings areaccepted. Unless stated otherwise, alldollar values given for U.S. and Canadianconventions are in U.S. currency.

WARNING: We are not responsible forincorrect information sent to us by conven-tion staff members. Please check yourconvention listing carefully! Our widecirculation ensures that over a quarter of amillion readers worldwide see each issue.Accurate information is your responsibility.

Copy deadlines are the last Monday ofeach month, two months prior to the on-sale date of an issue. Thus, the copy dead-line for the December issue is the lastMonday of October. Announcements forNorth American and Pacific conventionsmust be mailed to: Convention Calendar,DRAGON® Magazine, P.O. Box 111, LakeGeneva WI 53147, U.S.A. Announcementsfor Europe must be posted an additionalmonth before the deadline to: ConventionCalendar, DRAGON® Magazine, TSRLimited, 120 Church End, Cherry Hinton,Cambridge CB1 3LB, United Kingdom.

If a convention listing must be changedbecause the convention has been can-celled, the dates have changed, or incor-rect information has been printed, pleasecontactus immediately. Most questions orchanges should be directed to the maga-zine editors at TSR, Inc., (414) 246-3625(U.S.A.). Questions or changes concerningEuropean conventions should be directedto TSR Limited, (6223) 212517 (U.K.).

❖ indicates an Australian convention.❉ indicates a Canadian convention.❁ indicates a European convention.

30 JANUARY 1991

* indicates a product produced by a company other than TSR,Inc. Most product names are trademarks owned by thecompanies publishing those products. The use of the name ofany product without mention of its trademark status should notbe construed as a challenge to such status.

GAMICON ALPHA, January 19,1991Sponsored by SFLIS/ICON, this gaming con-

vention will be held at the Iowa Memorial Unionat the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Eventsinclude AD&D�, CALL OF CTHULHU*, BATTLE-TECH*, and STAR FLEET BATTLES* games, aswell as seminars and panels by guests (includingRoger E. Moore) and a silent auction. Registra-tion: $8 (fee includes all games). Send an SASEto: GAMICON, c/o SFLIS, Student ActivitiesCenter, IMU, University of Iowa, Iowa City IA52242. Call Nigel at: (319) 354-2236; or Ahmad at(3191 351-7963. No collect calls, please.

ROACH-CON �91, January 19This convention will be held at La Roche

College and is sponsored by Project Achieve-ment. Events include AD&D®, TOP SECRET/S.I.�, and BATTLETECH* games, as well asmovies, vendors, and a miniatures-paintingcontest with an entry fee of $2 per figure.Registration: $5 preregistered, or $7.50 at thedoor. Write to: ROACH-CON �91, La Roche Col- lege, Box 22, Allison Park PA 15101; or call Bobat: (412) 793-6028 or (412) 341-6450.

JANCON �91, January 19-20This two-day gaming convention will be held

at the Quality Inn Conference Center in NewHaven, Conn. Events include AD&D®, BATTLE-TECH*, and DIPLOMACY* games, with minia-tures painting, movies, and a dealers� room.Other activities include a banquet on the 20thand a benefit game with all proceeds going toAlzheimer�s research. Send an SASE to: JANCON�91, P.O. Box 822, Shelton CT 06484.

PANDEMONIUM VIII, January 19-20 ❉This convention will be held at the Ryerson

Hub Cafeteria, Jorgenson Hall, Ryerson Poly-technical Institute, in Toronto, Ontario. High-lights include two game auctions, over 50games, a miniatures contest, and many localdealers. Prizes will be awarded to tournamentwinners. Registration: $10 (Canadian)/day. Writeto: PANDEMONIUM VIII, c/o 17B Wales Ave.,Toronto, Ontario, CANADA M5T 152; or call:(416) 597-1934.

WINTERCON �91, January 19-20The Gamer�s Alliance of Miniatures Enthusiasts

and the Midwest Masters RPGA� Club are spon-soring this convention that will be held at theReunion on the campus of the University ofNebraska-Lincoln. Events include two RPGA�tournaments, with BUCK ROGERS® XXVc�,AD&D® Oriental Adventures, WARHAMMER40,000*, STAR TREK TACIXAL SIMULATOR*, andmicroarmor games. There will also be a multicate-gory painting contest. This convention is free!Write to: Hobbies Etc. (c/o Rufus), 905 N. 16th St.,Lincoln NE 68508; or call (402) 477-7006.

PROJECT GENESIS �91, January 20-21This two-day convention will be held at the

Ramada Inn in Fresno, Calif. Tournaments andopen events include AD&D®, BATTLETECH*,STAR FLEET BATTLES*, CALL OF CTHULHU*,and CHAMPIONS* games. Other activitiesinclude computer gaming, Japanimation, aminiatures contest, and a swap meet. Registra-tion: $10/weekend, or $8/day. Dealers, gamemasters, and swappers are wanted. Write to:PATCO, c/o Phillip S. Pittz, 5415 E. Washington,Fresno CA; or call: (209) 255-1668. Please makechecks payable to Phillip S. Pittz.

ADVENTURERS� INN II, January 26-27This gaming convention will be held at the

Stockton Growers� Hall in Stockton, Calif. Amedieval/fantasy atmosphere highlights thisgathering of gamers. Events include gaming,SCA demos, a 36-hour campaign, a costumecontest, and a dealers� area. Registration: $15/weekend until Jan. 1, or $13/day or $201weekend at the door. A $3 discount goes toanyone in medieval/fantasy costume. Write to:ADVENTURERS� INN, P.O. Box 3669, Turlock CA95381.

CANCON �91, January 26-28 ❖Australia�s biggest and best convention will be

held at the University of Canberra, ACT, Austra-lia. Our special guest will be Jean Rabe. Eventsinclude miniatures, board games, RPGs, RPGA�Network events, and a costume parade. Regis-tration: $20 (Australian). Most events cost $2.Write to: CANCON, GPO Box 1016, CanberraCity, ACT, 2601, AUSTRALIA.


This convention, organized by TRoA, will beheld at Sofiendalskolen, Aalborg, Denmark.Events include AD&D® 2nd Edition, CALL OFCTHULHU * , D&D®, MERP * , ROLEMASTER * ,SHADOWRUN*, STAR WARS*, WARHAMMERFANTASY BATTLE*, WARHAMMER FANTASY-ROLEPLAY*, and board games. Registration:DKK 50/weekend, or DKK 30/day, GMs arewelcome! Write to: TRoA, Hvikildevej 20 A, 9220Aalborg Oest, DENMARK.

PSURREALCON �91, February 8-10The Norman Oklahoma Science-Fiction Assoc.

(NOSFA) presents its third-annual convention atthe Sheraton Hotel in Norman, Okla. This year�sguests include Mercedes Lackey, Algis Budrys, Mark Rogers, David Lee Anderson, Keith Ber-dak, and Donna MacKenzie. Activities include adealers� room, an art show, an auction, panels,two video rooms, gaming, and filksinging.Registration: $12 until Feb. 7, or $15 at the door.Single-day rates are available. For hotel reserva-tions, call: (405) 364-2882. Send an SASE to:PSURREALCON, Oklahoma Memorial Union,Rm. 215A, Norman OK 73019.

CONNECT-A-CON, February 16-17This SF/fantasy/gaming convention will be

held at the Sheraton Westgate in Toledo; Ohio.Guests of honor include Jean Lorrah, DennisMcKiernan, and Rob Prior. Events includegaming, a writers� workshop, a short-storycontest, a costume contest and masquerade ball,a murder-mystery contest, a huge dealers�room, a 24-hour movie room, an art show andauction, and a gaming auction. Registration: $151weekend before Dee 31, or $20/weekend there-after. Write to: CONNECT-A-CON, P.O. Box 4674,Toledo OH 43620.

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DUN DRA CON XV, February 15-18This convention will be held at the Oakland

Airport Hyatt in Oakland, Calif. (Mention thecon for special room rates.) Events include over120 role-playing games, plus seminars, boardgames, tournaments, miniatures, SCA demos, aflea market, a figure-painting contest, a hugedealers� room, and plenty of open-gaming space.Registration: $25 until Feb. 1; $30/weekend or$15/day at the door. Write to: DUN DRA CON,386 Alcatraz Ave., Oakland CA 94618.

ECONOMYCON IV, February 16-17This convention will be held at the Smart

Plaza, Road Suites 17 and 18, in Mesa, Ariz.Events include AD&D®, BATTLE FOR MOS-COW*, SQUAD LEADER*, and BATTLETECH*games. Other activities include computer games,Japanimation, open gaming, and a MiniaturesFest featuring WWII microarmor, AmericanCivil War, British colonial, and SF miniaturesgaming. There is no admission fee, and allevents are free. Send an SASE to: ECONOMY-CON IV, c/o Roaming Panther Game Co., 2740 S.Alma School Rd., #16, Mesa AZ 85202.

GENGHIS CON XII, February 15-17The Denver Gamers� Assoc. presents this

convention at the Sheraton of Lakewood. Eventsinclude VICTORY IN THE PACIFIC *, CIVILIZA-TION*, KINGMAKER*, ASL*, and BATTLE-TECH* games, with official RPGA� Networktournaments including PARANOIA*, D&,D®, andAD&D® games. Other activities include minia-tures events, auctions, art and figure-paintingcontests, seminars, demos, and the PUFFINGBILLY* railroad tournament. Guests includeJean Rabe, Darwin Bromley, and Richard Berg.Registration: $15/weekend preregistered. Writeto: Denver Gamers� Assoc., P.O. Box 440058,Aurora CO 80044; or call: (303) 680-7824.

ORCCON 14, February 15-18This convention will be held at the Los

Angeles Airport Hilton. All types of family,board, role-playing, miniatures, and computergames are featured. Get bargains at the fleamarkets, auctions, and exhibitors� area. Alsofeatured are seminars, demos, and specialguests. Write to: STRATEGICON, P.O. Box 3849,Torrance CA 90510-3849; or call: (213) 326-9440.

ECLECTICON 5, February 16-18This SF/fantasy convention will be held at the

Sacramento Hilton Inn in Sacramento, Calif.Guests of honor include Greg Bear, Rick Stern-bach, and Rhea Stone. The dead guest of honoris Jules Verne. Registration: $25 until Jan. 15, or$30 thereafter. Proceeds will benefit the Sacra-mento Public Library and the Children�s BurnUnit of the University of California at DavisMedical Center, among other charities. Therewill also be a blood drive at the convention onFeb. 17th. Write to: Publicity Committee,ECLECTICON 5, #176 P.O. Box 19040, Sacra-mento CA 95814; or call: (916) 421-8365.


This convention will be held in the PalmettoBallroom on the Clemson University campus inClemson, S.C. Events include RPGA� AD&,D®,other AD&.D®, SHADOWRUN*, TOP SECRET/S.L�, and war-gaming tournaments, as well asopen ROLEMASTER*, SPACEMASTER*, andTORG* games. Registration: $10 before Jan. 20,or $15 thereafter. Write to: NOT-A-CON III, 726Riverbank Commons, 250 Elm St., Clemson SC29631; or call: (803) 653-5030 and ask for WayneChastain, Andy Berg, or Jeff Peake.

32 JANUARY 1991

TOTAL CONFUSION V, February 22-24This convention will be held at the Sheraton

Worcester Hotel and Conference Center inWorcester, Mass. Events include AD&D®,GURPS*, BATTLETECH*, CALL OF CTHULHU*,DIPLOMACY*, ASSAULT*, CAR WARS*, DCHEROES*, and AXIS & ALLIES* games. Over120 games are scheduled. Other activities in-clude a costume competition and a miniatures-painting contest. Registration: $8/day or$20/weekend preregistered, or $10/day at thedoor. Write to: TOTAL CONFUSION, P.O. Box1463, Worcester MA 01607; or call: (508) 987-1530.

GAMER�S DELIGHT �91, February 23 ❉The Quebec Gamers� Assoc. (A.Q.J.S.), will

hold this convention at John F. Kennedy HighSchool in Montreal, Quebec. Events include anAD&D® tournament, plus board games andminiatures. There will be three playing sessions.Registration: $13 (U.S.) before Feb. 15, or $16(U.S.) at the door. A.Q.J.S. members will receivea $2 discount. Write to: A.Q.J.S., Box 63, StationM, Montreal, Quebec, CANADA. H1V 3L6; orcall Larry at: (514) 278-5292.

CHIMERACON VII, March 1-3This seventh annual SF/fantasy convention will

be held at the Union of the University of NorthCarolina in Chapel Hill, N.C. Guests of honorinclude Fred Chappell, Alan Wold, and Gavin andYvonne Frost. Write to: Shannon Turlington, c/oCHIMERACON, 306 Avery UNC-CH, Chapel Hill, NC27514; or call: (919)1933-2912.

EGYPTIAN CAMPAIGN �91, March 1-3This gaming convention will be held at the

Student Center of Southern Illinois University inCarbondale, Ill. Events include RPGA� AD&D®tournaments, miniatures judging, and a gameauction. Registration: $8 preregistered, or $5/day. Admission on Friday, the lst, is free to all.Send a business-size SASE to: S.I.U. StrategicGames Society, Office of Student Development,Southern Illinois University, Carbondale IL62901-4425; or call: (618) 529-5317.

GUILD FEST �91, March 2-3This convention will be held at the State

University of New York at Binghamton campus.Events include CYBERPUNK 2020*, AD&D®,GURPS*, and RUNEQUEST* games, with adealers� room. Registration: $3/day or $5/weekend preregistered; $4/day or $7/weekendat the door. Write to: Gamers� Guild, P.O. Box2000 c/o SUNY-Binghamton, Binghamton NY13901.

BASHCON �91, March 8-10This sixth annual convention, sponsored by the

Benevolent Adventurers� Strategic Headquarters,will be held at the Student Union Auditorium atthe University of Toledo�s main campus in Toledo,Ohio. Over 150 game events will be featured,including RPGA� tournaments, plus movies, aminiatures contest, an exhibitors� area, two auc-tions, and an honored speaker or two. Registra-tion: $3/weekend or $1 for Friday, $2/day forSaturday and Sunday. There will be no preregistra-tion. Games cost $.50 each. Send an SASE to: UT-BASH, c/o Student Activities Office, University ofToledo, Toledo OH 43606-9987.

OWLCON XII, March 8-10Rice University�s WARP and RSFAFA will hold

this convention at Rice University in Houston,Texas. Tournaments will be held for RUNE-QUEST*, PARANOIA*, CALL OF CTHULHU*,CAR WARS*, TRAVELLER*, DIPLOMACY*,

ILLUMINATI*, CIVILIZATION *, BATTLETECH *,STAR FLEET BATTLES*, ASL*, WORLD INFLAMES*, and AD&D® games. Prizes will beawarded for some tournaments. Registration:$10 preregistered, or $12/weekend at the door.Single day prices vary. Write to: RSFAFA,OWLCON, P.O. Box 1892, Houston TX 77251.

SILICON VI, March 8-10This convention, sponsored by the Society for

Interactive Literature, is dedicated to live-actionrole-playing games. It will be held at the Annap-olis Holiday Inn in Annapolis, Md. Four live-action games will be run: �Cafe Casablanca;�Small Town,� �Steeplechase,� and �See Jane RunAgain.� A mini-game, �MASKS,� will be runFriday night. Registration: $35 until March 1, or$40 at the door. Write to: Terilee Edwards-Hewitt, 3454 S. Utah St. B-1, Arlington VA22206-1942.

AGGIECON XXII, March 2 1-24The largest and oldest annual SF/fantasy

convention in the Southwest will be held on thecampus of Texas A&M University in CollegeStation, Texas. Guests include Fred Saberhagen,Lynn Abbey, Keith Parkinson, Marv Wolfman,and Steve Jackson. Activities include RPGA�tournaments, a dealers� room, game shows, ahall costume contest and masquerade ball, SFfilms, Japanimation, video rooms, and live-actiongames. Registration: $13 before March 1, or $16thereafter. One day passes are $10. Write to:AGGIECON XXII, MSC Cepheid Variable, Box J-1,College Station TX 77844; or call: (409) 845-1515.

CONTEST VIII, March 22-24Sponsored by the Tactical Simulation Society,

this convention will be held at the Holiday InnHolidome in Tulsa, Okla. Events include AD&,D®,AXIS &. ALLIES*, and other role-playing, board,miniatures, and computer games, with a largedealers� room and an auction. Write to: TSS, P.O.Box 4726, Tulsa OK 74104.

SIMCON XIII, March 22-24This gaming convention will be held the

University of Rochester� River campus in Roch-ester, N.Y. Role-playing events (including an R.Talsorian-sanctioned CYBERPUNK* tournament),miniatures events, board games, and a minia-tures contest are scheduled. Registration: $7before March 4, or $10 thereafter. Collegestudents with an I.D. receive a $2 discount.Write to: SIMCON, CPU Box 277146, RiverStation, Rochester NY 14627.

SCRYCON �91, March 23Sponsored by The Seekers of the Crystal

Monolith gaming club, this convention will beheld at the Oakwood School in Poughkeepsie,N.Y. Events include RPGA� AD&,D® games,alternate games, a painted-miniatures contest, and a used-game flea market. Registration: $6preregistered, or $8 at the door. Send an SASEto: SCRYCON �91, P.O. Box 896, Pleasant ValleyNY 12569. Space is limited; preregister!

GOTHCON XV, March 29-3 1 ❁This convention, sponsored by the Bifrost,

Chaos Apes, Skymning, and Ygdrasil gamingclubs, will be held at Munkebacksgymnasiet,Ernst Torulfsgatan 1, in Gothenburg, Sweden.Events include AD&D®, CALL OF CTHULHU*,MEGATRAVELLER*, PARANOIA*, ROLEMAS-TER*, MERP*, RUNEQUEST* (3rd Ed.), ASL*,CAR WARS*, DIPLOMACY*, and ILLUMINATI*tournaments, as well as several independent

Continued on page 34

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WGA4 Vecna LivesAD&D® GREYHAWK® moduleby David �Zeb� CookVecna was the most powerful wizard of his

age, and he became the most powerful and evillich of any age. Legends say that he was de-stroyed centuries ago and will never return�but the legends were wrong! As the world goesmad under Vecna�s coming, who will bravealmost certain death to fight him?Suggested Retail Price: $9.95/£6.50Product No.: 9309

FROA1 Ninja WarsAD&D® FORGOTTEN REALMS� moduleby Nigel D. FindleyThe Oriental lands of Kara-Tur are rocked to

their foundations by a series of ninja wars thataffect noblemen and commoners alike. Fewhave meddled in ninja affairs and lived to tell ofit. Don�t miss this module that examines thosesecretive assassins, the ninja!Suggested Retail Price: $9.35/£6.50Product No.: 9307

HWA2 NightrageD&D® HOLLOW WORLD� moduleby Allen VarneyThis second HOLLOW WORLD� module

further explores the myriad cultures and king-doms of this new campaign setting. Take yourPCs on an incredible journey across this newworld on a quest to discover Ancient Nithia andfind out what really happened to the greatfeathered serpent.Suggested Retail Price: $8.95/£5.95Product No.: 9310

CrusadeEmpires Trilogy, Book Threeby James LowderThe barbarian horde has turned and set its

sights on the western Realms. Only King Azounof Cormyr has the strength to bring the westernfactions together and forge an army to chal-lenge the horsem*n. But Azoun had not reck-oned that saving the Realms might mean losinghis beloved daughter!Suggested Retail Price: $4.95Product No.: 8480


MC8 Monstrous Compendium,

The fiends, an assortment of vile beasties

Outer Planes appendix

from the lower outer planes, are back-and

AD&D® 2nd Edition accessoryby Lots O�Folks

they�re not happy. This Monstrous Compendiumbinder is packed with 74 of everybody�s favoritefoes, foes that can make the mightiest charac-ters weep with fright. These creatures will fitinto any AD&D® campaign�but be careful:

34 JANUARY 1991

They may take it over!Suggested Retail Price: $12.95/£7.99Product No.: 2118

PHBR5 The Complete Psionics HandbookAD&D® 2nd Edition accessoryby Steve WinterThis manual describes a completely new set

psionics rules for the AD&D® 2nd Edition game.Within its pages you�ll find a psionic-usingcharacter class and rules for mental powersthat are available to all PC classes. Psionics areback, so don�t miss this one!Suggested Retail Price: $15.00/£9.99Product No.: 2117

SJR2 RealmspaceAD&D® SPELLJAMMER� accessoryby Dale �Slade� HensonThis sourcebook covers the solar system that

contains the planet Toril (where the wholeFORGOTTEN REALMS� campaign is set) andcontains information on Selune, the beholderplanet, the secret of the Tears of Selune, andElminster�s hideout among the stars! A full-colormap of Realmspace is also included.Suggested Retail Price: $10.95/£6.99Product No.: 9312

SJR3 Dungeon Master Reference ScreenAD&D® SPELLJAMMER� accessoryby TSR StaffThis valuable accessory contains tables and

charts commonly used in any SPELLJAMMER�campaign, making it vital to any DM who wantsto run a SPELLJAMMER� campaign quickly andsmoothly. Take your heroes to the stars!Suggested Retail Price: $8.95/£6.50 + VATProduct No.: 9313

25CS1 Deimos MandateBUCK ROGERS® XXVc� moduleby TSR StaffDeimos, one of the moons of Mars, holds the

key to many of RAM�s secrets. In this adventure,your PCs will explore the mysteries of thissatellite�and strike a blow for the forces ofNEO against the hated operatives of RAM.Suggested Retail Price: $6.95/£4.50Product No.: 3569

25CREF1 Character Record SheetsBUCK ROGERS® XXVc� accessoryby TSR StaffThis 48-page booklet is essential for all players

of the XXVc� game. In it is everything playersand GMs need to keep track of their space-goingPCs and NPCs.Suggested Retail Price: $8.95/£6.50 + VATProduct No.: 3570

The military forces of the world are closing inon the vital oil resources of the Middle East.When the armies assume battle formations, theworld watches with apprehension. Take a sidein this political-military game!Suggested Retail Price: $19.95/£13.99Product No.: 3032

A LINE IN THE SAND gameTSR military strategy gameby TSR Staff

FirstbornDRAGONLANCE® Elven Nations Trilogy,

Volume Oneby Paul Thompson and Tonya CarterSilvanos, august founder of the elven nation,

Silvanesti, is dead and buried in a crystal tomb.Leadership falls to his son, Sithel, himself thefather of twin sons�and the rivalry that de-velops between these two princes reaches aclimax when their father dies!Suggested Retail Price: $4.95/£3.99Product No.: 8337

Web of FuturesTSR Booksby Jefferson P. SwycafferThe tall man-shape with saucer eyes was

covered from head to toe with dark, gleamingfur. And Maddock O�Shaughnessey�born liar,tavern-goer, and idle fisherman�was picked bythis alien to save men�s lives, to collect theirsouls, and to roam the future.Suggested Retail Price: $3.95/£2.99Product No.: 8217

Unless otherwise noted:® and ™ denote trademarks owned by TSR, Inc.©1990 TSR, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

BUCK ROGERS and XXVc are trademarks used underlicense from The Dille Family Trust. ©1990 The Dille FamilyTrust. All Rights Reserved.

Convention CalendarContinued from page 32events. Other activities include a live-actionchess game, dealers� rooms, fantasy artists, andan auction. Registration: 150 Swedish Kronor($30) before Feb. 15 (140 SKr for SWEROCmembers), plus tournament fees. No preregis-trations accepted after Feb. 15. One-day tickets,if available, will be sold at the door for 75 SKr($15)/day. Write to: GOTHCON XV, c/o BertilJonell, P.O. Box 154, S-43900 Onsala, SWEDEN;or call: +46 300-61004.

ROUNDCON VI, April 5-7The Round Table Gaming Society will host this

convention at the Russell House at the Univer-sity of South Carolina campus, in Columbia, S.C.Events include an AD&D®, a SHADOWRUN*, aPUFFING BILLY* (including 1830*, RAILBARON*, and a Mayfair railroad game), and aboard-game tournament. Other one-roundtournaments will be held for CHAMPIONS*,TALISMAN*, TITAN*, B-17 SQUADRON*, CIR-CUS MAXIMUS*, and AD&D® games. Prizes willbe awarded for all tournaments. Registration:$5/weekend before March 1, or $7/weekendthereafter. Write to: Round Table Gaming Soci-ety USC, P.O. Box 80018, Columbia SC; or callTrella at: (803) 779-1924.

How effective was your convention listing?If you are a convention organizer, pleasewrite to the editors and let us know if our“Convention Calendar” served your needs.Your comments are always welcome.

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�Forum� welcomes your comments and opinionson role-playing games. In the United States andCanada, write to: Forum, DRAGON® Magazine,P.O. Box 111, Lake Geneva WI 53147, U.S.A. InEurope, write to: Forum, DRAGON Magazine,TSR Ltd, 120 Church End, Cherry Hinton,Cambridge CB1 3LB, United Kingdom. We askthat material submitted to �Forum� be eitherneatly written by hand or typed with a freshribbon and clean keys so we can read andunderstand your comments.

I read with interest Tom Schlosser�s �Romanceand Adventure!� article in DRAGON issue #161.I was quite surprised that Mr. Schlosser feltromance in a AD&D® campaign needs to becontrived. In the many campaigns I�ve playedover the years, I would never have thought itwas anything but natural.

In my first campaign, I played a young femalebard who became interested in and later fell inlove with a thief. Several weeks into the cam-paign, my brother, a paladin, discovered therewas hanky-panky going on, resulting in a �cross-bow wedding.�

Another instance involved a triangle in whicha psionicist and a mage had an affair goingwhen a new character, a beastmaster (beastmis-tress?), managed to move in and conduct a long-term romance with the psionicist.

In yet another campaign, a druid and a shape-changer had a several-month-long romance thatended with their retiring together, gettingmarried, and building a home. In the samecampaign, a second couple planned to retiretogether, but one met with an untimely death onwhat was to have beentheir last adventure.

These are but three of the many campaignromances that have taken place in my livingroom. I can�t think of a campaign we played inthat didn�t involve at least one. They all blos-somed independently of the DM and contrib-uted vastly to the game and player interaction.In almost no case was there any relationshipbetween the two players outside the game.

If campaign romances are as rare as Mr.Schlosser seems to believe, I think there mustbe a lot of very dull games going on out there.To me and to other members of my gaminggroup, romance is just as natural within thegame setting as it is in real life.

Carol McGarrilAlexandria VA

I have just finished reading �The Enemy at theGates� in DRAGON issue #160. I enjoyed thearticle and have a few suggestions and com-ments to add to it. My only reservation is in theamount of magic, wishes, and fantastic beaststhat Mr. Collier uses. A campaign with magic ascommon as he suggests would have no need forcastles, catapults, or anything similar; it wouldprobably already have magical mass production,communication, and transportation to make itequal to [cities in] modern or high-tech cam-paigns. Mages are fairly rare because it takes aspecial combination of intelligence, magicalaptitude, and patience to be a member of thatclass, and those who do qualify would probablyresent being used as �foot soldiers� or commonlaborers in the city dungeons. A city is more

likely to have a small special-missions corpscomposed of mid-level mages and a few hon-ored, high-level wizards in its service becausethose groups would have more opportunitiesfor study and adventure than the mundaneguards or workers. Dragons and flying mountsare very rare, hard to keep, and always long forlives of excitement and travel, and this is one ofthe few things an adventurer can offer that acity guardsman cannot. Flying devices might bemore practical, but they are subject to breakingand I find it hard to envision a city having 112of them. Finally, a wish coming from a mortalsource could probably not build indestructibletowers of gold, though a wish of omnipotencemight (see �If You Wish Upon a Star . . .� inDRAGON issue #146).

By modifying some of the characteristics ofthe ancient medieval castles, I think that it�spossible to defend them against practically anyspell. A good start would be to mix metal withthe wall bricks and mortar, then give the bricksa thin coating of lead. This would protectagainst passwall, phase door, stone to flesh,transmute rock to mud, etc., as well as keepingout some of those pesky detection spells. Toprotect against earthquake, disintegrate, andsappers, the walls could be made thicker andlower, and the foundations sunk deeper. Specialbolts to keep the gate from shrinking couldprotect against reduce, and a drawbridge,portcullis, and additional bars on any doorswould protect against a single knock spellopening the front door of the castle. Since thegreatest danger from teleportation, poly-morphing, and astral or ethereal travel is that ofa few people getting through and opening thegate, a gate-opening system that requires sev-eral people to operate it might help. One of myfavorite ways to defend against undergroundattackers is to grow a huge pudding, slime,ooze, or similar monster under the city and feedit all of the city�s garbage and waste. As themonster continues to expand, it might even beallowed to grow up into the city walls, givingattackers a nasty surprise and keeping outastral or ethereal visitors. All of these sugges-tions, though, are merely examples. Dependingon their situation, each town will have to tailorits defenses to meet its own needs.

Jason WilliamsSilver Spring MD

James R. Collier�s �Enemy at the Gates� de-serves comment. It is a fairly broad examinationof the theme of tactics in a world where magicworks�always a good topic.

First, his errors: Some of the spells he de-scribes just don�t work the way he has themoperating. Improved invisibility (or normalinvisibility, for that matter) cannot be cast onobjects (area of effect: creature touched). Norcan protection from normal missiles be castupon castle walls, for precisely the same reason.

Polymorph self limits size changes from hippoto wren. Becoming a bee is not possible withthis spell, unless you started out very small.

Commune is not a communications spell. Itlets the caster ask one �yes/no� question perlevel of the caster of the deity or designatedservants of the deity. While it is of use to deter-

mine the accuracy of intelligence reports aboutthe enemy, it hardly is in the same group astongues or speak with animals/dead/plants/monsters spells.

I�m not exactly sure why he lists castinglegend lore among the duties that low-levelmages can perform. It�s a sixth-level spell, andhence a minimum of 12th level is needed to castit. Also, this is one of the spells whose compo-nents are important. A magical item or some-thing of equivalent value to the caster has to besacrificed to whatever power answers the spell.You don�t use it to check junk.

�A giant hurls only rocks.� Since when? A gianthas hands and brains; anything a human canthrow, a giant can throw, too, proportionately

A city that maintains a large aerial cavalrycannot withstand a long siege. Sir William ofFarcastle�s griffon cavalry burns a huge numberof calories lugging around barding and armoredriders, then going out and fighting all day.Figure about two cows per griffon per week.Add in the [needs of the] four dragons, and theherds start thinning real fast. Cut the griffonsand dragons off from the herds by siege, andthat cavalry quickly ceases to be effective.

Detect spells of various sorts can be negatedby one amulet, making the clerics and wizardsstanding around the gates useless (not to men-tion reducing the city�s income because thewizards are standing around instead of makingmagical items).

Mr. Collier overlooked one very useful spell:simulacrum. Players often mistakenly think thehuman/humanoid limits put on clone apply tosimulacrum as well. But simulacrum can beused to duplicate just about any creature, and itgives either side with access to the spell theability to �ally� themselves with monsters whoseloyalty isn�t in doubt�a few strategically placedtrappers, for instance.

A phalanx of 60 rust monsters advancingupon an invading or defending army can bedevastating, possibly ending the battle before asingle ounce of metal has been transmuted torust. The more metal in the armor of the armyfacing the monsters, the worse the modifier ison the morale check. This tactic works betterfor the attacker. Once inside the city, invading rust monsters can start working on locks,pulleys, and grates holding the gates in place.

The friendly djinn guarding the city is lesseffective than one helping the invaders. Assum-ing many parts of the city are subject to fire,envision a djinn creating a whirlwind just out-side the city. When the winds are about toburst, a flying creature able to take damagefrom the wind dumps crateloads of red-hot nailsinto the windstorm. There will be an inferno asthose nails ignite various buildings.

Cities and castles are part of the culture onwhich game worlds are based. To prove thatthey could not exist due to magic is not what Iintend. However, this game was built on a �go tothe dungeon and loot, loot, loot� basis, andmagic in this game favors the invader ratherthan the defender. What we need are someofficial defensive spells so campaign A doesn�tneed 7th-level casters while campaign B needs12th-level casters.

S. D. AndersonWhittier CA


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36 JANUARY 1991

I recently participated in a group that playsAD&D and D&D® games. The campaigns hadone interesting feature worthy of note: Therewas no thief class.

Needless to say, I was extremely surprised(and disturbed) to hear this, but the DM�s expla-nation not only satisfied me, it got me thinkingabout my own campaign. His reasoning wentsomething like this about the non-attractivenessof the thief class to the average player:

1. Thieves are, have been, and always be,feared, hated, and illegal.

2. Thieves, in order to train, must go to athieves� guild, a wretched hive of scum andvillainy.

3. The thief�s party never trusts the thief notto rob its members, especially since �mostthieves tend towards evil� (1st Edition PlayersHandbook, page 27).

4. Thieves are significantly weaker than theother three major classes, especially in the BasicD&D game.

5. Thieves are often looked down upon bytheir party for the above four reasons.

7. Thieves, because of their very characterclass, are forced to constantly lie. �Uh, yeah, I�ma fighter. I just like leather armor and can�tafford a shield.�

6. Thieves must train young urchins if theywish to build a hideout or stronghold. The thiefthen becomes like fa*gin, a master of cutpurses.

So, in that group, there were fighters, clerics,mages, and a group of characters skilled instealthy endeavors and dungeon adventures.These characters stayed at the very front of theparty, not at the back �guarding the rear.� Theywere called scouts, and they could be of anyalignment (the non-good part always botheredme about thieves). Instead of the pick pocketsskill, they possessed sleight of hand, virtuallyidentical to the former but with a better nameand perhaps being a more useful skill. (The DMmay not allow a character to conceal somethingusing the pick pockets skill.) Scouts can climbwalls and open locks. But they can be proud oftheir profession. They just aren�t thieves.

The 15th-level scout in our Basic D&D partyhad leather armor +2, a ring of protection +2and an 18 dexterity, for an AC of 0. He also hadweapon mastery, so he was safe to guide theparty and even a limited amount of front-linecombat was all right.

Thieves� guilds still exist, containing mages,fighters, and scouts who feel that the worldsomehow owes them a living. As that DM toldme, a thief, like an assassin, is not a characterclass but a profession. [Note the scout PC classfor the AD&D® game in issue #1 61, �ScoutingFor New Options.�]

Dirk WatersBranford CT

Being a DM, I hate to see dissention amongplayers. In most campaigns I�ve seen, there iscompetition among the players that all too oftenresults in somebody�s character getting killed. Evilcharacters tend to be the ones who disrupt gameplay, so I simply discourage those alignments, butI do not rule them out. Another problem be-tween players is when they want power and thatis all. If your group has fun �roll-playing,� thenthat�s fine, but I think most people would havefun role-playing. Keep in mind that several of thegreatest game characters don�t have an 18 in anyability, like Tanis, Tasselhoff, or even Raistlin[from the DRAGONLANCE® saga]. If the playersdon�t care about their PCs� stats, then you�ll allhave more fun.

Another major problem is jealousy, usuallyinvolving powerful magical items or higher

stats. To solve the powerful magical item prob-lem, you can simply exclude or make thenextremely rare (once-in-a-lifetime things). If a PCalready has an item, then simply have a 15th.level thief come along and acquire it. As forhigher stats, don�t allow your players to tellother players their PCs� ability scores. If theydo, punish them in some way, such as takingaway experience points. I always tell my playersthat your characters don�t have numbers on thebacks of their heads for all to know.

John L. Stanton, Jr.Jacksonville AL

I am writing in response to John Wall�s letterin DRAGON issue #159. I am currently involvedin a D&D campaign in which my character is akender, adapted to the D&D game from thedescription in the DRAGONLANCE® saga books,and I have never played a character that was somuch fun and yet so much of a risk to herself.Thistle (my character�s name) has an immensecuriosity about everything, and a great deal oftrust in the good intentions of everything andeveryone else. Needless to say, she was verynearly killed on several occasions, in situationsthat I thought were risky. One good examplewas when, in a desert, my character found achest buried in a sand drift and opened it tofind that its contents had been almost entirelystolen by bandits-except for a small, sealed pot.�A trap!� I thought. �This looks really interest-ing!� was Thistle�s reaction, who promptlyopened the pot and was nearly killed by poisongas (�What a pretty color. Why is the worldspinning around like that?�)

You will note that I said nearly killed. The onefactor that spared my kender�s life, time andagain, was that she was watched over by akindly DM. In battles, and from traps and spells,my character faced the normal risks run by alldungeoneers. But on those occasions when mycharacter acted against all reasonable judgmentfor the sake of role-playing, our DM kept an eyeopen to see that the manner in which my char-acter was affected was not unfair.

I do not really think that this gives my charac-ter an unfair advantage over the other charac-ters, biased though my opinion may be. So longas we did our best and acted as sensibly as ourcharacters� personalities permitted, our DMconfessed that she was not going to let a freakroll of the dice spoil the campaign, although ourcharacters still run the risks in a battle or situa-tion in which the odds were against us, or whenthe situation occurs through our own stupidity.I suspect that my character might wind upbeing throttled by one of the other characters anyway, as they seem to resent my character�shabit of finding items they �lose.�

Another thing about playing such charactersas kender and gully dwarves�yes, we have oneof those as well�is that they encourage role-playing, both in their players and in the othersin the campaign. It is very simple to picture thereaction of a mage who has had his spell book�borrowed,� or that of an elf who has juststepped on a gully dwarf. No one in our groupseemed to mind that we had come out of theadventure with very little treasure; they wereall too busy, no doubt, thinking of differentways to cook a kender.

What I am trying to say is if you are DMing agame with characters whose personalitiesdictate that they do something that seems rash,a little intercession will prevent tragedies with-out spoiling the challenges of the game.

Bonnie PattersonRuskington, Lincolnshire

United Kingdom

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I would like to expand upon a paragraph fromMichael Griffith�s letter in DRAGON issue #154,in which he stated: �If we [DMs] didn�t do so[play evil NPCs in a �nasty and relentless� man-ner], you would be facing mindless hordes ofeasy targets, and while this may be great forattaining experience points, it does little toenhance the actual role-playing experience forall concerned.�

I�ve been playing AD&D games for almostseven years, about half that time as a player andhalf as a DM. I�m currently engaged in my thirdextensive campaign. My group meets once aweek, and we keep in touch between gamesthrough a local BBS run by one of my players.In a room aptly named �The Dragon,� we discussthe current game, the campaign, and the rules.

Recently, one of my players quit mycampaign�via the BBS�without giving a clearreason, simply leaving an �I quit� message. Hermost recent complaint before quitting was thather character hadn�t gotten any �goodies� dur-ing the last adventure and had gotten �only�experience points. She had just come from aMonty Haul campaign, as I could tell fromhearing about her character in that campaign.

In my campaign, she played a drow fighter/magic-user who almost always abandoned theparty during fights or potentially threateningsituations�not always during lethal encounters,but ones that could cause damage to the PCs.Forgive me if my interpretation of dark elves iswrong, but I see them as the most naturallyvicious race in the AD&D game, always readyfor the kill. Admittedly, PCs may deviate from arace�s natural tendencies, but this player de-lighted in bragging about how her formercharacter, also a drow fighter/magic-user, was

the terror of the land, and I know that is whatshe wanted to achieve in my campaign.

So we had a conflict of playing with differingstyles. I do consider myself a hard DM, but onlybecause I want my players to rely on goodplayer skills and not the magical items theyreceive during the course of an adventure. Istress this to my players constantly, when theyfirst come into the campaign and during in-between game discussions. The players arequite aware that mine will never be a MontyHaul campaign.

I believe that a player�s ability to wield acharacter is more important than his character�sability to wield weapons, spells, magical items,or whatever. I despise Monty Haul campaignsfor supporting weak play. Good players who arejust having a loose game is another story, but ina campaign where 3rd-level godly mortalswreak havoc with six artifacts apiece, the gamebecomes a complete joke.

The pinnacle of my Monty Haul career as aplayer occurred when my 2nd-level fighter andother party members stole 6.7 × 1050 (that�sright: ten to the fiftieth power) gold pieces fromunder a sleeping Tiamat. And how did we carryall that gold away? In our backpacks, of course.And that was only my second AD&D game. Thegame grew progressively and incredibly worse,and we quit that DM after about five or sixgames. Another player took over as DM for afew years, and finally I did. My first DM showedme how ridiculous Monty Haul can get and howweak of a player you can be to play in such acampaign. I was a complete beginner (�Just rollthe twenty-sided when we tell you to. That one,the one with the most sides and the �20� on it.�).

A good AD&D campaign is kept alive by

players who know how to survive withoutrelying on their characters� �goodies.� A DMshould challenge his players frequently lest theyrest upon their laurels and their magical items.Don�t make life a constant struggle for thecharacters, but don�t let them �rod, staff, andwand� their way out of every situation, either.Player skills are the most valuable asset in anyrole-playing game, not winning an empire orattaining pseudo-deity status.

Robert T WahlBrowns Mills NJ

I would like to offer accolades to MichaelGriffith for his letter in DRAGON issue #154 onthe cunning use of evil NPCs and the reluctanceof the player characters to accept such actions.I, too, am a DM who plays evil NPCs with ex-treme stealth and cunning. I, however, acquiredthe label �character killer.� The road to prosper-ous and high-level characters should be pavedwith pain, injury, and often severe humiliationat the hands of an enemy. I, though, will also bethe first to admit that there is such a thing asgoing too far.

Some time ago, I ran a campaign involving fivePCs of mixed classes and alignments, one ofwhich was a fighter/mage with an exceptionallyhigh strength and constitution. The adventurewas out of hand from the moment it began. Ilost control of the campaign because I foundmyself catering to the challenge of the fighter/mage and, for all intents and purposes, ignoringthe rest of the party. It ended up that the otherfour PCs conspired to attack the fighter/magebecause they were so bored with the campaign.Needless to say, they died.

What I would like to know is how many DMs


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have made the mistake of playing into the hands For lack of time and want of safety, everyoneof a crafty PC such as this, and not having the passed by the crates, except for the DM's char-foresight to improvise and deviate from your acter, who casually stashed them in his portableoriginal plans to allow other PCs to join the fray? hole. Another player mentioned, �Yeah, we�ll

Lastly, I would like those of you who have split it up later,� but was confronted with, �No,made amateur mistakes such as these to tell me it�s all mine; you passed it up.�how you did combat with the possibilities of this Personally, I cannot fathom how to put uphappening again. From the campaigns that I with these unfair practices, and I would like tohave been in and have seen, there is always one know how you other players feel about thesecharacter who seems to run amok, regardless of situations. The fun and spirit of the game cer-who DMs. tainly do suffer, and the ultra-characters that

Your feedback on this problem would be result certainly do not deserve their achieve-appreciated. ments or recognition.

Ron �Winston� Dippel Michael RepkaCleveland OH Tyler TX

I would like to find the opinions of this publi- I have been an avid AD&D game player forcation as well as those of other role-players on the last 11 years. A complaint that I have fre-the subject of solo gaming or a variation of such quently heard is that of players becoming toothat involves the DM playing one of his PCs as a powerful for the DM to handle, often because ofcharacter with a party of adventurers. the magical items they carry. Often a DM will

Through my unfortunate experiences of allow a powerful magical item to fall into theplaying in short campaigns (mainly hack-and- hands of a character to �spice up� a boringslash) with these type of self-Dungeon-Mastered campaign. Soon the magical item becomes acharacters, I find that they have become ex- further problem, and so the campaign goestremely powerful for any character at any level. Let me say that I believe that magical items,Several of the offending characters have re- properly handled, can make a campaign inter-sorted, to the players� delight, to using magical esting and more exciting. Some DMs will notitems for any situation. If an item does not even allow players to find a potion until 3rd-4thalready exist, it is created, then �found� by the level or a wand until 6th-8th level. This isDM�s character. I personally believe that this wrong. Players often have a real need for helpdefeats the purpose of a fun gaming session. I ful potions (healing and the like) at lower levels;realize that the option not to play with the these are the levels where the loss of 6 hp cansuperpowered characters is open, and, as of easily mean death!late, I have chosen it. I am just getting tired of What all DMs should remember (and I�mlistening to: �My 11th-level character has a page- boggled as to why they don�t) is that they areand-a-half of magical items.� the sole judges as to what goes on in their

I have observed several sessions of the type campaigns. Everybody makes mistakes, but if awhere the DM plays one of his characters as a game imbalance is created, it is the job of thePC. This practice is grossly unfair to the other DM to straighten out the error or imbalance. Ifplayers, as well as extremely helpful, for the a character has an item that is too strong for thepower-hungry character of the DM. I see no party or makes the owner outshine the otherway possible that this method can be employed characters, take it away! Don�t let players ham-so that the true spirit of adventure gaming is string you! There are a multitude of ways inachieved. After all, how can the DM play if he which magical items can be removed fromalready knows everything? Though this may characters. The following are a few examples:occur only within my group, it must befall even �Require that the item make a saving throwthe most honest DM to try not to injure his (as per the Dungeon Master�s Guide) each andpersonal character. Several times a dragon has every time it is exposed to lightning bolts, fire-used its breath weapon on the party, and one balls, cave-ins, and similar damage.character was immune�guess which one? The �Require that a saving throw vs. loss be mademost irritating problem with this technique is if the owner is knocked into the ocean, caughtthat the DM�s character reaps all the rewards in a sandstorm, buried in a mudslide, etc.from the risks that no one else would take. The �There are creatures such as jermlaine andDM�s character knows there is nothing but disenchanters that can drain items of all theirtreasure behind the door, so he�ll open it first. magic. An opponent could use a rod of cancel-One party happened across three crates of lation, or an enemy spell-caster could employ atreasure (known to be so because of a ring of Mordenkainen�s disjunction spell.X-ray vision), in an attic of a dangerous tower.

38 JANUARY 1991

�Characters possessing valuable items thatare obviously magical in nature will drawthieves and enemies that desire the item them-selves. A 2nd-level fighter flaunting his flamingsword in town is almost asking for high-levelenemies to steal it away in the night or attackhim outright. After fighting off thieves andjealous creatures, the owner of the item maycurtail its obvious use or bring it only on partic-ularly difficult quests.

�The DM may introduce defects, side effects,or magical limits on any item. After all, it is hiscampaign and who is to say that each wand andsword is not unique to itself? Swords that onlygain magical bonuses at night or items that addmonths or years to the owner�s age when usedcan be introduced. When an item�s uniqueabilities and defects are discovered by theplayers, it often makes for a more interestingcampaign than when players find an item, lookit up in the DMG, and say, �Well, it has buttons, Iguess we found another rod of lordly might.� ADM can use an item�s history or lore to make iteven more fascinating. Some items may onlywork in a certain terrain. Perhaps that rod oflightning the party recovered from the frostgiant�s lair doesn�t work in hot areas such asjungle or desert surroundings. Let the playersdiscover this the hard way. [See �Magic GoneHaywire,� DRAGON issue #163.]

�When stocking high-level dungeons, supplyenemy guards and monsters with magical itemsthe party has difficulty using, if you must givethe monsters magic at all. For example, theparty should not be able to defeat 12 evil guardsarmed with magical swords and grab 12 magicalswords at one time. Perhaps the guards useswords +1 that can be used only by lawful-evilcreatures. A magical ring or weapon employedby a giant may be too large or heavy for thecharacters to employ. In the AD&D WhitePlume Mountain module, there was a giant crabthat wore an armband that made it psionic-proof. It was noted in the module that the magicof the armband was keyed to that particularmonster alone. Obviously some items will becreated with their monstrous users in mind!

The type of magical items found by an adven-turing party, especially a low-level party, shouldusually be items with a limited number of uses.These items include potions with only a fewdoses, scrolls, wands with 20 or fewer charges,and similar things. Create special versions ofmagical items that will melt, shatter, or crumbleafter a predetermined number of uses. Aboveall, your players, even through magic divining,should only have a vague idea of the number ofcharges in a wand or item. Items such as magi-cal armor or magical weapons should be gainedonly after a terrible fight and extremely goodplaying or problem-solving on the player�s part.Powerful magic should be earned, not stumbledacross!

Magic is one of the things that makes theAD&D game great. Rather than keeping magicalitems away from your players for a ridiculousamount of levels, let your players have a smalltaste of different items and put a little variety inyour game! This will keep the rest of the partyfrom having to watch Vorko the Fighter pull outhis flaming battle axe +5 and save the day yetagain. As the game progresses, let the moreadvanced characters utilize and keep morepowerful magical items. It is the job of the DMto keep the campaign flowing in a balancedmanner, making things neither too easy nor toohard for the players. A little creativity caneliminate the problem of super-characters andproduce a memorable campaign.

Rick MaffeiRidgewood NJ

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Sulamir 26, 2000 AY: The departurefrom Starpoint was a grim one. I couldn�t

and she might not have tolerated a longerstay, no matter how helpful it was to mycrew�s morale. There would be other stopselsewhere, away from the Empire.

take the chance of being discovered. Em-

We are now sailing to the southwest,toward East Portage. I decided to remainwithin the skyshield. I have no doubt inmy mind that the Heldannic Knights are

press Eriadna might have been watching,

aware of our emergence into this era.They would certainly intercept us if webreached the skyshield. Fortunately, theirbest ships are built in the void and cannot

an Alphatian explorer and his crew asthey journey across the D&D® KnownWorld in their skyship. The information

This series chronicles the adventures of

herein may be used to expand the D&Dcampaigns using the Gazetteer series.

by Bruce A. Heard

The port authorities did not seem tomind our presence; after vague formali-ties, some of the crew went down, alter-nating shifts again. I thought it would be acomfort for Lady Abovombe to leave herquarters and visit the city with me. Talasarhad spent many hours with her, providingcounsel and spiritual help. I was greatlyrelieved to see that Abovombe had finallypartaken of my potions. She is clearly ather best now. Her looks could melt the

Sudmir 17: I have conducted furtherresearch on the Myoshiman monolithduring the days of our journey betweenStarpoint and East Portage. By luck, theEmpress did not request this �gift� fromLord Katayama. I have devised a contrap-tion for controlling the effects of the magi-cal monolith. With a simple commandword, Talasar or myself can now allow ordisallow the invisibility to take effect.

Sudmir 19: We entered the sky aboveEast Portage this dawn. As usual, a multi-tude of busy merchantmen crowded theport, some unloading their cargo andothers picking up valuable merchandisefrom the west. I observed nearly any kindof flag at the docks, and several new ones,too. With pleasure, I noticed the ImperialBanner was still the most common.

Several medium-sized ships were beingpulled out of the water and loaded ontolarge wooden cradles. Scores of logsplaced ahead and under the ships allowedthe massive hulls to move forward, pulledby hundreds of draft horses. The shipswere to be slowly dragged 140 miles over-land in this manner until they reachedWest Portage, on the opposite coast of thenarrow Isle of Dawn. This was quicker forsurface vessels than circumventing the Isleof Dawn. This is proof that skyships suchas the Princess Ark are a blessing for allnavigators.

reach the Princess Ark within the atmos-phere of this world.

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heart of the coldest man.We landed near a huge, paved avenue

that divided the entire town of East Por-tage, from the port to the west gate. Theavenue was wide enough for two seagoingships and their horse carriages to passthrough at once. Elephants and a numberof other large creatures were also used asdraft animals, depending on the ships.Heavily armed caravans lead the ships,often followed by impressive baggagetrains and other travelers.

We took a stroll to the commoners� mar-ket. It was quaint. I offered Abovombe aselection from a �bird of fortune� at one ofthose stuffy Ochalean shops that one canonly find in a small, isolated street. It is alocal custom to pay the shop owner tohave his bird pick one of several thousandscrolls in the shop. The scroll often turnsout to be a poem, a luck sign, or someobscure saying. Lady Abovombe read herscroll, smiled, and placed it in her pouch.Tradition demands that he poem be keptfor oneself, but I wondered what it said.

I then took her out for dinner at TheSilver Snake, a native place of my knowl-edge. Amazingly, it was still there after allthese years. Dinner was pleasant, butAbovombe still showed a bit of coldness inher eyes. I was about to reveal how painfulthat was to my heart when I felt my daggerquiver in my sleeve. Danger was close.

Suddenly, Abovombe screamed, grabbedmy arm, and pulled me to the ground. Aswarthy man hiding behind a pillar hadstepped forward and tossed a dagger atmy back. Abovombe was quicker andsaved my life. The man shouted, �Death tothe Profaner!� and escapedinto thecrowded street. The dagger stuck into awooden pillar that had been behind me,the blade oozing a black, oily substance.

After an interminable string of abjectapologies from the owner, we left andreturned to the Princess. I wondered whatI had gotten myself into this time. I couldalso not stop thinking that Abovombesaved my life, and that perhaps she stillhad some feelings for me!

Sudmir 20: It was quite inconvenientthat I was unable to see my aggressor, forthis denies me the option of tracking himwith my crystal ball. According to LadyAbovombe�s description of the man andhis accent, he must have been a Thothian.So far, I cannot see in what way I woulddeserve such treatment.

Raman, our chief engineer, erudite inthe matters of ancient history, confirmedthe dagger to be Thothian�that is, ancientThothian. Raman had years ago been partof an archaeological expedition in UpperThothia and had unearthed items of thisnature. Sages in the expedition then begandying mysteriously during the excavationof King Haptuthep�s tomb. Eventually, anative was caught while attempting to slitthe throat of a sage who had fallen ill theevening before. The native had a weaponidentical to the one hurled at me.

Unfortunately, the man never revealed

Raman studied some hieroglyphs on thewall and unveiled an interesting parablewhich gave away the mechanism of asecret passage. We entered the passageand followed a long stairway down to alarger chamber. It seems the expeditionpicked up a false treasure, a lure left bythe builder of the tomb to fool the graverobbers. This new chamber contained alarge sarcophagus, treasures, and statuesof ancient Thothian mythology. Especiallyworrisome was a series of alcoves inwhich stood the mummified remains ofpriests and acolytes who remained in thetomb at the time it was sealed. In darkplaces such as ancient tombs where necro-mantic magic may be powerful, one mustbe naturally suspicious of any corpses.

My dagger quivered again. Ramissur andthe boltmen took position against thecorpses. However, unleashing lightningbolts in such closed quarters could bedisastrous, and I ordered the boltmen outimmediately. About then, a large slab ofstone slammed shut with a thunderousrumble. Low voices rose from the corpses,chanting a strange hymn. The corpses didnot move-but the walls did. They seemedto fade away into darkness, revealing aneven larger chamber, a throne room lit byglowing braziers.

The mummified priests came alive,

whom he worked for. He died mysteri-ously within the hour of his capture.Magic was ineffective in retrieving theman�s soul for further questioning. Ru-mors flew among the native workers thatfrightening, ancient curses were at work.The tomb was dug up at last, however,and its treasures were shipped back toAlphatia. All of the sages in the expeditiondied of mysterious causes in the followingthree years. Raman himself nearly lost hislife in a fire that ravaged his personallibrary. Many ancient Thothian scrollswere destroyed in the blaze.

Lacking any other clue as to the natureof this problem, I have ordered an immedi-ate departure toward Upper Thothia, intothe neutral region.

Sudmir 25: We located the old excava-tion site that Raman described. It lay in adeserted, rocky valley; the tomb was aban-doned, and no sign of life was visible. Sandfilled most of the entrance left by thearchaeological expedition.

Raman, Myojo, Ramissur, and a squad ofboltmen came with me to study the tomb.Removing the sand from the entrance wasno major problem, and soon we startedsearching the dark monument for clues.

The expedition team had been quitethorough in stripping the tomb of trea-sures or anything else worth studying. Wevisited a number of chambers and gal-leries. Extra attention was brought to thechamber where the assassin had beencaught, deep inside the tomb. The cham-ber had only one entrance, so the assassinmust have used a secret passage or magic.It was Myojo who found�or, rather,smelled�the answer.

progressively regaining their former livingappearances. On the throne was a blackfigure, King Haptuthep presumably. Anunsettling, evil glow flickered in his eyes,almost overwhelming my senses.

As the king spoke, Raman translated hiswhispered words with some difficulty.�You, sage, are a thief in my abode. Andyou, sorcerer, are a profaner. Your magicalpowers are useless here, and your felinelackey is an insult to the Immortals.�

I inquired of the being as to what I hadthat belonged to him, and he went on.�That magic you used to empower yourship with the ability to fly is mine. It wasstolen centuries ago when your peopleinvaded my land. You have been the last tokeep it, and you committed a sacrilegewhen you invoked its power.�

I was properly nettled. �Why have youwaited so long to manifest your anger,may I ask?�

�My servants searched your empire foryou for decades until an old friend ofyours came to me. She revealed manythings about you and your servants, Synnis her name. Now you shall become myservants.�

Naturally, I didn�t wait any longer andtried to web this sinister character. I feltthe magic go off, but nothing happened, orat least nothing that I was aware of. If wehad been standing within an anti-magiczone, I would have felt nothing at all. Andthat�s what tipped me off. I�ve seen thiskind of trick before. He was merely tryingto make me believe that magic didn�twork. This was one pharaoh who had losttouch with reality. Alphatian wizards arefully aware of the powers of hypnosis. It isthe oldest trick in the grimoire!

Myojo swung wildly at the approachingpriests, and Raman tried to fend off a fewothers with his torch. I feigned being awizard incapable of casting a spell,dropped to my knees, and implored hisroyal highness for mercy.

The king stood up, already rejoicing athis victory. Then I added, �Oh, what theheck!� and fired my wand of disintegrationwith quite a bit of conviction. It workedperfectly well.

With a cry of rage, the king reeled back.He survived, so to speak, since he wasundead as I had suspected. The marchingof the dead priests was illusory, and sowas most of the room. The old king ap-peared for what he truly was�a horriblydesiccated body with glowing eyes, nodoubt a lich. His left arm and shoulder hadbeen obliterated by the wand, unveilingbones darkened by centuries past. Heuttered a quick word and disappeared.

Sudmir 26: We had no trouble empty-ing the chamber of its treasures andscrolls. As I expected after yesterday�sencounter, King Haptuthep�s royal sar-cophagus was empty. The king�s lich prob-ably has another lair somewhere inThothia. We removed the other corpsesand gave them a more permanent burial.

It was evident that his chamber had


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been regularly visited. There were manygifts, some quite recent, that could nothave withstood the passing centuries. Thelich probably maintained a group of livingfollowers, fanatics devoted to their ancientking. I must have encountered one ofthem in East Portage. Well, I am not in thelich-hunting business. This will have to beleft to the proper authorities in Edairo.

The most interesting discovery, however,concerns this ancient scroll of which theking spoke, which I obtained decades agoduring the war. I am worried that, as aresult of my use of the scroll to enchantmy ship, the Princess Ark may be morethan I first thought. But what could thescroll have been? I fear that I was not inpossession of the entire spell when I con-ducted the original enchantment of theship. According to my findings in thetomb, it seems I must perform a furtherceremony to complete the full enchant-ment. I will have to study these newscrolls further. As an echo to my thoughts,a low groan seemed to arise from thePrincess Ark's hull.

To be continued . . . .

If you have any comments regarding thiscolumn or the D&D game�s Known Worldas designed in the Gazetteers, please sendyour inquiries to: Bruce A. Heard, D&DColumn, TSR, Inc. P.O. Box 756, Lake Ge-neva WI 53147, U.S.A. We cannot guaran-tee that all letters will get answers, butthey always get our attention.

Myojo Katamura(Attaché to the Admiral)

History: Myojo comes from a familytraditionally devoted to the life of war-riors. The Katamuras are vassals to theKatayama clan on Myoshima, and Myojowas sent to serve in Lord Katayama�spersonal guard. While still a teenager,Myojo gained great honor when he de-flected an arrow meant for his shogun.Unfortunately, his awe and admiration fora nonrakasta (Haldemar) has made him apariah to his kin. His two former compan-ions, Kenju Fuurifesu (the shogun�s cousin)and Jiro Tomokato (Myojo�s brother-in-law)are now dead, and consequently all Kata-yama and Katamura will seek to slayMyojo if given the opportunity.

Personality: Myojo is a naturally braveand proud warrior. He was loyal to Kata-


he made a small fortune, returned anddabbled for some time in politics, gave upthe risky and expensive life of politician to

ated a mobile theater and sold it a fewyears later, returned to Eriadna High andgraduated in Ship Building, joined anarchaeological expedition in UpperThothia, ran a plantation in Aegos where

world. He was a soldier for a short time,studied Basic Magic at Eriadna High, cre-

History: Born to a family of horsetraders, Raman became a jack-of-all-trades.He raised horses with his elders when hewas a teenager, but soon grew bored andleft to learn about the marvels of the

Raman, Naboni(Chief Engineer)

and Bravery (Wi).man Etiquette (In), Blind Shooting (Dx),

D&D game statistics: S 16, I 13, W11, D 17, Co 15, Ch 10 (14 to rakasta); HD2 + 1; AC 0 (with Dex and magic); hp 16;MV 90� (30�); #AT 1 or 2 (katana or daikyugreat bow); Dmg 2d6 +4 (Myojo reachedskilled-proficiency in his mastery ofswords) or d6, Save F2 +2, ML9, AL N.Languages: Myoshiman (common andpoetry) and Alphatian (treat as an Intelli-gence skill). Skills: Tracking (Wi), Myoshi-

yama until Haldemar demonstrated hisdaring and power when he bent to his willa ferocious monster (see DRAGON® issue#161). In absolute awe, Myojo wantednothing else but to serve his new master.Myojo is otherwise hot tempered, arrogantwith foes or underlings, and generallyhaughty with nonrakasta other thanHaldemar. He does not trust Xerdon,whom he senses could be a rival to Halde-mar, and considers Leo the gnome aninferior being.

Disposition: Goodwill toward Halde-mar; Neutral toward Talasar; Antipathytoward Ramissur, Raman, Tarias, Ashari,Lady Abovombe, Xerdon, and Leo (givenin order of preference).

Appearance: Myojo is a rakasta, a cat-headed humanoid. Short gray fur covershis body and face. A rather good lookingmale by rakasta standards, Myojo is slimbut well muscled, with keen yellow eyesand large pointy ears. Myojo usually wearstraditional Myoshiman armor completewith kabuto war helm, modified to bearHaldemar�s family colors (gold crescentover a crimson and sable background).Myojo bears multiple scars on his chest, atestimony of his fight against Synn, thenight dragon. The wound becomes verypainful in the presence of wights, wraiths,and other powerful undead.

Equipment carried: Myojo�s armorwas given to him by his father; it is lightbut effective armor +2. His favoredweapon, a katana, is a very fine sword+1. He also owns a small gong of dispel-ling (12 charges, casts dispel magic, 12�radius at level 10), and a ceremonial waki-zashi (short sword).

44 JANUARY 1991

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become a poet, then opened his own li-brary, which eventually burned down in afire. Nearly penniless, he joined the Impe-rial Navy as a last recourse.

Personality: A snob and a bit pedantic,Raman is the blase type. He is 50 years oldand has an opinion on everything andeveryone. Thanks to his education andextensive experience in life, Raman doesreasonably well as a sage. He is quiet,rational, and despises disorder and non-conformist thinking (such as Leo�s). Heloves poetry, literature, and famous quota-tions, although (much to his consternation)he does very poorly as a writer himself.He tells endless stories about his tribula-tions that often put listeners to sleep.

Disposition: Goodwill toward Halde-mar, Talasar, and Xerdon; Neutral towardLady Abovombe and Myojo; Antipathytoward Tarias, Ashari, Ramissur, and Leo.

Appearance: Like many people of theethnic Ambur background, Raman has acopper skin, dark brown eyes, and shortblack hair. He is small and bit overweight.Raman grows a neatly trimmed goateethat he pulls at when lost in thought.

Equipment carried: Wand of light-ning bolts (8d6) and Zigomar�s instantlibrary (Raman�s pride and joy). This largeivory tube contains a scroll listing a collec-tion of books. A read magic is required todecipher�the scroll. Uttering a title on thescroll makes the corresponding bookappear next to the tube. �Keep� is thecommand word that either returns thebook or enters a new one into the scrollsarcane memory. Any summoned bookmust remain within 30� of the tube orcrumble into dust. The scroll memorizesup to 1,000 books. Raman protects thetube with a wizard lock.

Spells memorized:Level 1— Read languages, read magicLevel 2� Knock, wizard lockLevel 3— Dispel magic

D&D game statistics: S 11, I 16, W 14,D 11, Co 12, Ch 10; 6th-level Magic-User; AC9; hp 15; MV 120� (40�); #AT 1 (dagger); Dmgby weapon type; Save MU6; ML 9; AL N.Languages: Common Alphatian, Thothian,and the Ambur dialect. Skills: Horse Hus-bandry (In), Ship Building (In), Literature (In),Archeology (In), Linguistics (In), Ethnology(In), and Zoology (In).

Abovombe, Daughter ofMananjary(Ambassadress from Cestia)

History: Lady Abovombe is the thirddaughter of Mananjary, the king ofManaraka on Cestia. Raised to become adiplomat, she always preferred the tradi-tional life of dragon hunter. Whenever shehad an occasion, she would leave thepalace and join dragon-hunting raids in-cognito. While still a teenager, she mas-tered the fighting techniques used againstNight Dragons.

She joined the Princess Ark expedition in

1965 AY in Cestia. Lord Katayama ofMyoshima abducted her when she was 27,and she spent 34 years in a Myoshimandungeon while the Princess Ark voyagedinto the Hollow World, then was hurledinto the future to the year 2,000 AY. Synnthe night dragon then brought her back tothe ship to torment Haldemar. Haldemargave her two potions of longevity, rejuve-nating her to the biological age of 41.

Personality: Despite the years of hard-ship in Myoshima, Lady Abovombe still isa sophisticated and proud person. She can,however, switch quickly to her more rug-ged side, as dictated by the situation. Sheis equally at ease within a palace as amonga party of crude, ruthless warriors. Herpassion and hot temper prevent her fromsucceeding as a diplomat, and she hasgotten her in trouble when dealing withadversity, such as when she was throwninto the Myoshiman jail. Her willpowerand tenacity allowed her to endure andsurvive despite her condition. She nowdespises all Myoshimans.

Disposition: Goodwill toward Halde-mar, Talasar, Xerdon, and Ashari; Neutraltoward Leo and Raman; Antipathy towardRamissur and Tarias; Hatred towardMyojo. Lady Abovombe is in love withHaldemar but doubts his true feelings forher, and her growing friendship with

Talasar is confusing the issue for her.Appearance: Now in her forties, Lady

Abovombe is still sensual and elegantdespite three decades of captivity. Sheoften keeps her jet-black hair tied in abun. Her dark skin makes quite a contrastwith her steel-gray eyes. Although shedoesn�t look strong, Abovombe�s strengthand endurance surprise many. To thecrew�s delight, she speaks with a charmingnative Cestian accent.

Equipment carried: Lady Abovombedoes not normally carry any item of im-portance when on the ship. She will takealong the following objects when expect-ing danger: short sword +1, bolas +2,bolas of sunlight, ointment of soothing,and a ring of safety.

D&D game statistics: S 14, I 13, W10, D 15, Co 16, Ch 16; 4th-level Fighter;AC 8 (with Dex); hp 28; MV 120� (40�); #AT1 (short sword +1 or bolas +2); Dmg byweapon type (1d6 + 2 or d4 + 3/entangle;Abovombe reached master-proficiency inher mastery of bolas); Save F4; ML 11; ALL. Languages: Cestian, Night Dragon (read-ing only), and Common Alphatian (treat asan Intelligence Skill). Skills: Detect Decep-tion (Wi), Tracking (Wi), Horsemanship(Dx), Leadership (Wi).

Continued on page 102


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A letter from Anthony Ragan, of LosAngeles, Calif., prompted us to check outproblems with PC/MS-DOS games designedbefore the introduction of DOS 4.0 andDOS 4.1. Anthony�s problems were withMines of Titan, from Infocom (Media-genic), which crashes when running underDOS 4.0.

Hundreds of games were written beforeDOS 4.0 hit the market. DOS 4.1 was thenreleased because DOS 4.0 was bug-infested. Both DOS versions occupy morememory than previous versions, whichmeans that many games written beforeDOS 4.0 will crash when you run them..

We talked to Pam Barnett at Mediagenic,who discussed this problem with the Con-sumer Service technicians at her company.They offered the following suggestions: Ifyou are running under DOS 4.0 or DOS4.1 and your game crashes, remove unnec-

Bytes, bits, and (tid)bits

essary drivers or TSR (Terminate and StayResident) programs. Check your AUTO-EXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files. If youreduce the number of buffers and filesordered when your computer boots, you�llsave memory there as well.

You might also boot from your floppydisk using a system disk. This is a disk thatcontains only the DOS files, affording yourcomputer its minimum memory configura-tion. Then switch to your hard-disk driveor insert your game disk and play on.

Mediagenic cautions that DOS problemsdiffer. The company is more than willingto talk with individuals regarding prob-lems in running games under DOS 4.0 orDOS 4.1. If you are trying to play a Media-genic (Activision or Infocom) game and itcontinually crashes, give these helpfulfolks a call at: (415) 329-7630.


BattleTech: TheCrescent Hawk’sRevenge( A c t i v i s i o n )

Computer games� ratings

X Not recommended* Poor** Fair* * * Good* * * * Excellent* * * * * Superb

MicroProse Sof tware180 Lakefront DriveHunt Valley MD 21030( 3 0 1 ) 7 7 1 - 1 1 5 1

Rai l road TycoonPC/MS-DOS version

* * * * *



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We now have a favorite simulationgame: Railroad Tycoon. Not since theappearance of SimCity last year has asimulation generated as much excitementaround our game central. Playing timeswere never less than two hours; severalsessions ran over eight hours. Time seemsto become meaningless when you startbuilding your railroad empire.

Railroad Tycoon requires several ses-sions to learn. A great amount of detail ispacked into this game, even when playingat the lowest of the four skill levels. Youprobably won�t realize all of the game�sfeatures for several turns. We stronglyadvise you start your railroading quest atthe Investor level, where you run trains in�non-conflict situations.� This means yourtrains won�t run into each other (even onsingle tracks), there is friendly competitionbetween you and other developing rail-roads, and the basic economy is in effect.This mode ensures that stations in moder-ate to large cities will purchase all in-coming cargo. Other reality levels includeFinancier, Mogul, and Tycoon. Each leveladjusts the amount of money you earnwhen you deliver cargo to a station.

The manual consists of 180 pages ofextremely well-written instructions. Alsoincluded is a tutorial, plus historical rail-road facts.

You may start your railroad in the west-ern United States, eastern United States,England, or Europe. After three weeks ofcontinuous play, we continue to manageour third railroad empire attempt that westarted in the western United States.

The difference between a U.S. railroadand one overseas lies in the cargo thattrains carry. In order to drive economies,certain industries require specific consum-ables. For example, should one of the citiesyour railroad services possess a refinery,delivery of petroleum rewards your ef-forts with cash. The farther the distancebetween pickups and deliveries, the higheryour delivery payment. Should you beginyour railroad in England, the goodsshipped include: chemicals, cotton, coal,steel, hops, textiles, beer, livestock, manu-factured goods, mail, and passengers. IfEurope is more to your liking, you�ll dealwith: nitrates, wool, coal, fertilizer, tex-tiles, steel, wine, grapes, armaments, mail,and passengers. (We haven�t attemptedoverseas railroads yet as we are still tryingto succeed in the United States.)

The railroad sounds produced throughthe Roland sound system are alsofantastic. Wait until you hear the blast andecho of your train�s whistle. The graphicdisplays are intelligently designed andcolorful. We recommend you have at leastan EGA system.

There are five game-speed options, fromfrozen to turbo. The latter speed is notrecommended if you want to read theimportant messages routed to you duringthe game. These messages range fromtrain messages that report the arrival anddeparture of trains or the delivery of

4 8 J A N U A R Y 1 9 9 1

BattleTech: The Crescent Hawk’s Revenge (Activision)

priority products, to news reports that canaffect the operation of your railroad. Forexample, there are financial news reportsconcerning railroads stock prices andcompetitors� railroad maneuvers. Localnews informs you about priority ship-ments needing pickup.

A few of the animated sequences can beoverridden by striking the space bar. Afteryou�ve seen a bridge built to span a riveror a train wreck eight or nine times, you�llprefer continuing with the game withoutthese cut-scene interruptions.

You can improve a railroad station byadding a restaurant, a hotel, a switchingyard, a maintenance shop, food storage,livestock pens, goods storage, a post office,or an engine shop. Add that post office,and watch your mail delivery and pick-uprevenue increase. Add that restaurant andhotel, and watch your passenger loadspick up. An engine shop allows you tobuild any of the available trains at thatlocation, instead of awaiting a new trainfrom a far-away terminal. We suggest thatonce you have selected the area for arailroad that you plan your station build-ing wisely.

The abundance of detail in RailroadTycoon prohibits us from addressing eachfeature in this review. Suffice to say thatthe manual contains 176 pages of guide-lines and suggestions. Add a 14-page tech-nical supplement and two double-sidedreference cards, and you�ve got severalhours of learning ahead of you. We feelthat the combination of the manual, thetutorial, and the excitement generated inbuilding your own railroad empire offsetsthe time required.

You can engage in rate wars as yourrailroading experience grows. Try dis-patcher operation for a true feel of rail-

road traffic control. And attempt to buyout your opposition through smart stockpurchases.

Railroad Tycoon has it all, from excite-ment to strategy. We strongly recommendthat MicroProse convert this simulation toother platforms, specifically the Macin-tosh, Amiga, and Atari ST computers.Several other games have now been per-manently removed from our hard disk inorder for Railroad Tycoon to remain asone of the most accessed programs on oursystem. If you own a PC/MS-DOS machine,railroading could become one of yourmost favorite activities.

This game was reviewed on a PC/MS-DOS 80286 computer with the Rolandsound system, an EGA board, and an EGAmonitor. The game requires 512K RAM(640K if using VGA graphics), with CGA,EGA, VGA/MCGA, or Tandy 1000 colorcards and a color monitor. A mouse isrecommended. Three 5.25� disks areincluded.

Spotlight Softwaredistributed by Cinemaware4165 Thousand Oaks Blvd.Westlake Village CA 91362( 8 0 5 ) 4 9 5 - 6 5 1 5

BrainBlasters * * * * *Amiga 2600 version $39.95

Usually, when a game company offerstwo games in one package, the consumerreceives two lower-quality games for theprice of one better-quality software enter-tainment. This is certainly not the casewith BrainBlasters. These two games arehighly playable, and they offer appealinggraphics and great music and sound.

The first game, Xevious 2, has you fly

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through different levels, blowing things tooblivion. Along the way, you can pick upcash and power up items to make youmore powerful. The Amiga�s graphics rivalsome of the arcade shoot-em-ups.

As you get to the ending of each level,you enter a shop. The proprietor is visiblein the upper left-hand corner of yourscreen. This animated creature shows youwhat can be bought or sold. Watch out,though: The big bosses at the end of eachlevel are almost invincible. You�ve got tofind their weak spots. Xevious 2 is welldone with attention given to game details.

The second game, Bombuzal, is athinking-man�s Pac-Man. The player takesthe form of a creature that must detonatebombs on tiles. Each level has differentlayouts of tiles with a few bombs on someof the tiles. You must detonate all of thebombs before the timer runs out. Shouldone bomb detonate, it might blow upother bombs around it.

Some tiles are indestructible while oth-ers break up after you have stepped onthem. Some tiles are slippery, while othertiles are fitted with slots that allow you tomove the bombs. Some objects you find(such as teleporters, spinners, and robots)will hinder your progress.

The game can be played in either 2-D or3-D mode. We preferred the 2-D modebecause your on-screen character is fareasier to control. We enjoyed this gamebecause each level requires you to con-sider each move. You must figure out howto detonate the bombs without beingtrapped on an isolated tile and withoutbeing blown to bits.

Both games offer a good balance ofstrategy and action, and are a great buy.

Electronic Arts1820 Gateway DriveSan Mateo CA 94404( 4 1 5 ) 5 7 1 - 7 1 7 1

Imperium * * * *

Atari ST version $39.95Imperium is a war-gamer�s delight. If you

enjoy strategic thinking and do not requirea graphic display for your hard work,Imperium could well be your ticket togrand space adventure. However, if youenjoy fast-action games, Imperium is notfor you.

This adventure is icon- and window-driven. Icons allow you to save and loadgames, establish alliances and embargoes,review your wealth, deploy your forcesand fight, check maps, and gather newsand reports. Windows can be set aroundthe screen. Within the windows are selec-tion areas where you either type in dataor click a button to retrieve additionaldata. All icons and all but one window,with attendant information, are displayedin monochrome. We feel far more colorcould have been employed in this offeringand would have been highly effective indelineating gamer selections. As it is, only

the map-window features the entire galaxyin color.

A highly effective soundtrack happens tointerfere with the game�s interface. Whenmusic is playing, it becomes somewhatdifficult to close the game�s windows. Youmust stop the music from loading, andcontinually click your right mouse buttonfor your on-screen cursor to appear. Theon-screen cursor is used to close the win-dow that activates the music. We foundthat turning the music off through thegame menu was the best action to take tospeed up game play.

In Imperium, you set out to either domi-nate the entire galaxy or live to a ripe1,000 years of age. You control all ele-ments, from political to military, as younot only endeavor to spread your ownempire�s influence but also to preventother empires from influencing your ownterritory.

Invasion forces, building your ownfleets, ensuring your subordinates remainloyal to your cause�all require a greatdeal of constant checking and updating.Thankfully, you can have the computercontrol your empire�s economics, defense,and diplomacy.

There are hundreds of hours of playingtime packed within this software package.We must stress the strategic aspect of thegame and not its graphic elements.

Yes, there is copy protection, but it ismanual based. You can simply read therequired information from various profileswithin the manual and enter the data toproceed through the game. Imperium isquite an offering. Its user interface isunusual and sets its own standard of oper-ation. If nothing else, we hope this reviewhas encouraged you to check it out at yourdealer to see if its elements match yourgaming needs.

Starflight 2: Trade Routes of theCloud Nebula * * *

PC/MS-DOS version $49.95The blasted Spemin have threatened

Arth once again! Unfortunately, theseslimy and somewhat cowardly aliens havean unlimited fuel source and a brand newweapon. Your objective is to get into deepspace and locate not only the technologythe Spemin are using, but to acquire it aswell as their fuel source.

To take on the Spemin, naturally you�regoing to have to train your crew and up-grade your ships. Interstel only has somuch money�certainly not enough toaccomplish this task. So, its going to be upto each captain, his ship, and the crewmembers he commands to drum up tradeand make money to carry out these up-grades to both personnel and spacecraft.

The vastness of space is yours to ex-plore. Given that not all the wonders youencounter are going to be friendly innature, it is a good idea to upgrade yourship and crew as soon as possible. Despitesomewhat sparse funds, we found wewere able to upgrade our laser weaponry

one notch, as well as our drives. We alsomanaged to train our communicationsofficer to achieve a higher level. It is yourcommunications officer�s responsibility totranslate any incoming messages. Thesealien messages can provide you with anynumber of outstanding hints, as well aswarn you of pending trouble.

You must crew your spacecraft with acaptain (who can fill in at any position,should that become necessary), a scienceofficer (who scans planets and obtainsanalyses of its condition as well as anypresent civilizations), a navigator (whomaneuvers your craft through space aswell as prepares the ship for combat), anengineer (who repairs damage and han-dles any acquired jump pods), a communi-cations officer (who hails spacecraft andquestions other ship captains using vari-ous voice inflections), and a doctor (toheal, heal, heal your crew!).

Crew positions are selected from thespecies found on Arth; Human, Velox,Thrynn, Elowan, and Android. Each spe-cies has special attributes. The Android,for example, is highly skilled in navigationand engineering. However, if the Androidis selected, it cannot be trained to higherskill levels. Other races can be trainedwhen you have enough cash (SPs) on handto accomplish that.

As you travel about space, you�ll alsolearn when to recommend planets forcolonization. Recommend well and youearn SPs. Recommend poorly and you�ll befined, sometimes quite harshly. Just find-ing planets worthy of colonization effortswill take some time.

Starflight 2 is a good science-fictionadventure for beginning or mid-rangegamers. There is nothing supremely chal-lenging about the game. It is quite slow attimes, but this was not caused by ourcomputer. The various game modules thatmust be accessed during play can slowdown your command actions. The userinterface is through the keyboard only.There is no mouse or joy-stick support.

Starflight 2 is a one-action-at-a-timegame. This is not realistic. For example,let�s say you are cruising through a solarsystem after having left a planet. On theplanet, two of your crew members sus-tained injuries in combat with one of theplanet�s life forms. You have a doctoraboard, but in order to access the doctor,you must disengage from maneuvering(being accomplished by your navigator).Your ship halts in space (forget inertia!).Now you scroll through the navigator�scommands to the Bridge option, whichtakes you to the menu that allows you tocommand any of your crew members.Once selected, you scroll through the crewpositions and access the doctor. You canthen select Treat, and he�ll start work onone crew member and one crew memberonly. Don�t forget, you�re still motionless inspace while you determine who should behealed. In order to travel onward, youscroll back up through the menus to the


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nately, just about every INIT that occupieshigh memory in the Macintosh causes thiscombat simulation not to run. Also, if youare using your CD desk accessory and areplaying music in the background throughyour AppleCD SC drive, the game againrefuses to run. And don�t even think ofrunning MultiFinder, as Armor Alley findsthat unacceptable as well. It�s no big dealto turn off the music, but we object tohaving to remove our INITs that conflictwith this simulator,

Why is it that other game publishers canproduce software that acknowledges andnegates memory-address difficulties? Weuse our Macintosh IIx for a number offunctions that require INITs, CDEVs, andD/As to be available for use at any time. Asfar as we know, few computers are usedsolely as game machines. A game thatrequires your computer to be used forentertainment purposes only probablywasn�t made to account for the multiplicityof computing needs.

Stratego(Accolade, 408-985-1700)On Macintosh IIx, 256-color mode

We bet most of you have played MiltonBradley�s STRATEGO board game at onetime or another. Accolade has released thecomputer version of this great strategygame for the Macintosh and, for approxi-mately 30 minutes of play, it was dyna-mite. The colors were fantastic. The playwas authentic, Avoiding the enemy�sbombs and trying to find its flag was agreat deal of fun.

Then we ran into a fatal crash. We se-lected one of the predesigned strategies,Wheel of Danger, This strategy had someof our most powerful folk up front, withthe flag protected within a wheel ofbombs. Unfortunately, once the strategyhad been selected and we grabbed our

5 0 J A N U A R Y 1 9 9 1

This review was made using a MacintoshIIx computer.

Ishido is the finest puzzle game of theyear. We simply cannot leave its environ-ment long enough to peek at other newofferings. This game is a must for thosewho enjoy puzzles and superb game cod-ing to produce an offering as delightfullygraphic as it is playable.

Stratego (Accolade)

Ishido: The Way of Stones * * * * *Macintosh version $54.95

The beauty and simplicity of Ishido willleave most gamers stunned. Its grace andcomplexity offer challenges that will findyou engrossed for hours at a time. Acco-lade, which also brought the superiorShanghai to the Macintosh computer, hasoutdone itself with Ishido.

national, this once-obscure but highlypraised game was rescued by Accolade,which repackaged it and made it afforda-ble for all gamers. Thankfully, a PC/MS-DOS version of the game is also available,so Ishido should reach thousands ofgamers.

The object of the game is to master thestones. You are presented with a gameboard containing 96 squares. Onto thisgame board you�ll place one of the 72stones contained in your pouch. Thesestones must match one another in color orsymbol. When you place one stone next toanother stone, there must be a match. Thereal strategy comes into play when you tryto place a stone next to three other stoneswhose colors and symbols are different!

The graphics on the color Macintoshversion are superb. The richness of thestones and playing board are very realis-tic You can also select from other playingboards, backgrounds, and stone types. TheEgyptian environment was as rich as theChinese environment, in our opinion.

You can play either the ancient or themodern game, and you also have the op-tion of playing with a partner in coopera-tive mode. Sometimes two heads are farbetter than one in this puzzle game thatrequires concentration and strategy skills.You can challenge your friend or the com-puter in the challenge game, and evenenter tournament play. The few strategyhints provided are truly an asset for thoselearning Ishido.

Succeed with a four-way placement, andthe Oracle of the Stones will issue insightinto a question or the situation that wasposed prior to the successful stone place-ments. You can interpret these answers inany way you wish and save them for fu-ture reference.

You can also edit your stone sets, back-grounds, and boards. This can provide thecreative gamer another outlet to pureenjoyment.

Accolade550 South Winchester BlvdSan Jose CA 95128(408) 985-1700

This one-command-at-a-time feature isquite debilitating as far as game enjoymentgoes. Starflight 2 offers some enjoyablemoments, but the game does not offeranything stunningly new.

This game was reviewed using EGAgraphics.

to get moving.navigator and once more access Maneuver

Originally developed by Publishers Inter- Ishido: The Way of Stones (Accolade)

Armor Alley(Three-Sixty Pacific, 408-879-9144)On Macintosh IIx

We don�t mind resetting our MacintoshIIx Control Panel to two or 16 colors, andthe game is not copy protected. Unfortu-

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first piece with our mouse to move it intoenemy territory, the game froze. That littlewatch icon appeared on-screen, and every-thing locked up. We could do nothing butreboot our system. We tried this sameprocedure three times, with identicalresults.

If you purchase Stratego, just don�t playthe Wheel of Danger strategy. Odds areyou�ll lose.

News and new products�computer games

From Accolade (408-985-17001 comesAltered Destiny. Modern-day hero P. J.Barrett suddenly finds himself with asurprising new identity when he enters aworld unlike any he could imagine andfinds that the future of an alien universerests on his shoulders. Designed byMichael Berlyn (of Suspended, Cutthroats,and Infidel fame), the game costs $59.95for PC/MS-DOS versions (an Amiga versionis expected).

Activision (415-329-0800) presents threenew PC/MS-DOS games. The first is Shang-hai II: Dragons Eye. The game features 13tile formations modeled after the Chinesecalendar, nine beautifully detailed tile sets,a layout construction set, and three modesof play. The price is $49.95. The secondnew offering is BattleTech: The CrescentHawks� Revenge. Jason Youngblood is backto rescue his kidnapped father and facethe newest threat to the Inner Sphere: theClans. There are 27 scenarios of 31st-century political and military strife, set onfive planets, with over 50 �Mechs, tanks,aerofighters, infantry, and other units.Multiple endings mean replayable games.Its price is $49.95. The third game is F-14Tomcat. This is a dogfighting simulation inwhich you fly a tour of duty from one ofseveral aircraft carriers. You must earnthe right to attend the Top Gun school.The price is $49.95.

Britannica Software (800-572-2272)presents Eye of Horus, an arcade-adventure game set in ancient Egypt. Youcan transform from man-god to hawk orback again at will, in search of the sevenmissing pieces of your father�s body. Themissing pieces must be returned to theburial chamber so peace can be restoredto the land. This game is for the Amiga,Atari ST, and PC/MS-DOS computers; theprice is $39.95 and for the Commodore 64/128 it�s $29.95.

In Britannica�s Archipelagos, you enterthe earths hazardous atmosphere andbegin to destroy radioactive nodes andobelisks. The object is to reclaim the once-beautiful earth. The price is $39.95 for allformats.

MicroProse Software (301-771-1151) hasadded Legend Entertainment to its Medal-ist International marketing division. Leg-end will be producing Spellcasting 101:Sorcerers Get All the Girls and Time Questunder this label. Steve Meretzky is devel-

52 JANUARY1991

News and new products�video games

Atari (408-745-2000) has announcedreleases for the Lynx portable video-gamesystem. Slime World is a scrolling adven-ture game for as many as eight gamerswho enter a world filled with slime tocomplete six quests. Klax is a one-playerstrategy game. RoadBlasters finds youdriving through 50 rounds of action whileusing guns to destroy enemies and collect-ing fuel to continue the game. Xenophobeallows as many as four players to clearalien-infested bases, search for weaponsand valuable objects, and make it back totheir ship alive. Rampage allows fourplayers to become one of four monstersthat earn points by destroying buildingsand eating tanks and soldiers. Zarlor Mer-cenary finds you involved in an intergalac-tic shootout where players collect moneyto buy more powerful items. Rygar issimilar to the arcade hit in which theplayer becomes a dynamic warrior in avariety of action-packed battles.

Atari has also contracted six outsidefirms to develop software for the Lynx.U.S. Gold will produce a sub-atomic war-fare game named E-Motion, and originaltitles Rotox, Gold; and Italy 1990. APTIGame Systems has designed two multi-player games called Battle Universe andAlternate Earth. Battle Universe pits play-ers against each other for control of theuniverse, while Alternate Earth has play-ers racing to save the Earth from destruc-tion. Telegames USA will contribute anaction-packed, multiplayer game thatincorporates driving, stalking, and shoot-ing skills. Shadowsoft Inc. is creating Bugs;players must overcome a barrage of obsta-cles and invading bugs. Cyber Labs willintroduce an action game in which playersmanipulate a vehicle in two- or three-dimensional space, and a first-person,mythological game where players mustovercome obstacles to advance.

NEC Technologies, Inc. (708-860-9500)has announced the release of Ninja Spirit($61.99) for the TurboGraphx-16 system.Ninja Spirit features four power-up items,including a multiplying Alter Ego thatprovides as many as five extra lives on thescreen simultaneously. These extra ninjasfollow a players every move, whether in

Taito Software (604-984-3344) presentsRastan for the Apple IIGS computer. Youventure to an ancient world of danger andbecome Rastan, the bravest warrior inLograth. You must confront and slay hor-rid gargoyles, dragons, and otherwretched creatures if you are to save theland from the tyrannical Castle King.There are four levels of danger, and onlyyour Fire Sword can keep you alive.

The Software Toolworks is moving to: 60Leveroni Court, Novato CA 94949. You canreach it at: (415) 883-3000.

oping the former game. the air or on the ground. You battlethrough dark forests, deep valleys, andeerie caves to find and destroy an evil half-man/half-beast. Other villains include amysterious monk, the ghost of a fugitivewarrior, and a two-axed ogre.

Clue corner

Curse of the Azure Bonds (SSI)1. If a character can somehow attain a

20 in constitution (with the help of theGirdle of Dwarves), that character willregenerate hit points at the rate of onepoint per turn.

2. Those who show some backbone maybe able to get around some rakshasa.

3. In Myth Drannor, don�t trust every-thing you see.

4. Have at least one female character inyour group.

5. If you find some Dust of Disappear-ance, hang on to it for emergencies or forthe final battle.

6. In the Tower of Dracandros, if youfind an odd-looking object in a pool, getit-someone wants it!

7. If you see some shambling moundsdragging a body, attack them.

8. Anyone can take the test of thesphere, but be careful.

John C. WilliamsAshland OH

1. The best way I�ve found to win thisgame is to obtain powerful magical weap-ons and items. It�s best to have at leastthree fighters who can use these weapons:a Long Sword + 3 Frost Brand (found inthe Fire Knives� armory), a Long Sword+ 4 (hidden behind Dagger Falls), andanother Long Sword + 4 found in ZhentilKeep.

2. In Dracandros�s Tower, you shouldfind Plate Mail +3, a Shield +2, a Wand ofFireballs, a Wand of Ice Storm, a Ring ofProtection + 3, and Bracers AC 2. Themost powerful item you�ll find in the gameis also here, a Ring of Wizardry.

3. In Yulash, you�ll locate Plate Mail + 3,a Shield + 2, a Cloak of Displacement,Gloves of Thievery, an Ioun Stone, and aclerical scroll.

4. Not only will you find a Long Sword+4 behind Dagger Falls, but several otheritems as well.

5. To beat the Zhentarim, you�ll needexperience. Try roaming Zhentil Keep andattack everyone you see. You can find aWand of Paralyzation, 20 Arrows +2, aShield + 2, and yet another Long Sword+ 4. If you need help getting out, checkthe map in the back of the Journal. Also,there are several magic user scrolls in thegame that you�ll want to obtain. Makecertain you have the Fireball spell. You canroam Yulash or the caves near Shadowdaleand Essembria for other magical items.

Alan BesterSt. Louis MO

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1. In Shadowdale, go into the dungeon(Search) and fight as many encounters aspossible. Have your magic-user or clericmemorize Detect Magic. If you are lucky,you will find a magical sword after a bat-tle. This sword is poisoned; if you hitanyone, he must make a saving throw vs.poison or die.

2. The cleric can also find a magicalmace in Shadowdale. It is a Mace +2; ifyou hit anyone with it, he must make asaving throw vs. death or be killed.

Andy AhnnAnaheim CA

1. Upon leaving Tilverton, it is possibleto go too quickly after the members of theNew Alliance and get in over your head. Ifyour party does not have Neutralize Poi-son, going after the red wizard in Hap isrisky. The red wizard has a number ofwyverns as pets. Instead, explore the citiesfor adventure and obtain experience.

2. When exploring the dungeon nearAshabenford, be certain that your party isfully protected by a Fire Resistance spell.You are likely to meet at least one draco-lich and numerous salamanders in thosecaverns.

3. Stupid monsters, such as hell hounds,shambling mounds, and otyugh, are notafraid to charge through Stinking Clouds.If the monsters are some distance away,oblige them and cast the spell in front of

1. In the Village of Haptooth, Parlay andAct Nice or Meek to avoid combat with thedrow. For an easier fight in the barn, killat least four drow patrols. Take the mapfrom the efreet in the barn. It will showyou the way to Dracandros�s tower.

2. If your party has at least one femaleadventurer, you could find an ally in thecaves below the tower. Take note of anyarrows you find and follow them. Youshould Parlay with any female drow youencounter. When you encounter Crimdracthe dracolich, cast only Magic Missiles orFireballs at him. Through the southerndoor of his room is the entrance to thetower.

3. When you have either fought theblack dragons on the roof or Parlayedwith them, Save the game and Rest.

David RakonitzMenlo Park CA

4. If you explore around Dagger Falls,you will find a magic shop that is identicalto the one in Zhentil Keep.

5. In the burial grounds of Myth Dran-nor, you can avoid some conflicts with thethri-kreen by parlaying, then telling themthat you serve Tyranthraxus. When possi-ble, avoid spiders or attack them from adistance. A Cloudkill is a good way toclean up spiders if a group of them areswarming around your party.

your party. Through the door is one extremely toughdrow. Have your magic-users cast Hasteand Enlarge on everyone, and cast MagicMissiles at the drow. any any drowweapon you can use. Don�t read any papernotes that are lying around. Beware of theTrial of the Sphere. When you fight somewyverns in a room on the lowest level,Dracandros should be through the south-ern door. Good luck!

Daryl FraserBrisbane, Australia

Dragon Wars (Interplay)The first thing you are going to need in

order to survive is magic. Head due westuntil you reach the far wall. You�ll gainsome experience points along the way.There is a small hut along the wall. Enterit and have your characters who possessLow Magic take one scroll of each spell.Do not take extra scrolls! Leave and Useeach scroll, and the spells are added toyour characters� repertoires.

Second, find the magic pool thatreenergizes your power points. It�s in themiddle of the south wall. Memorize thepath to this pool�you�ll be making many arun for its borders!

Third, get some help for a fightingchance. In the northeast corner of the cityis a bar. Listen to the rumors (some willsave you from a watery grave), and ask forvolunteers. Let Ulrick join the party. He�ll


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Altered Destiny (Accolade)

become a trustworthy member for life.Fourth, in the middle of the northern

wall is the arena (you�ll hear the screams).Make certain that you have full powerpoints and have saved the game just be-fore you enter. Make sure you have noitems (extra scrolls, weapons, and so on),and you will be given 12 items�yes, 12items�including your choice of weaponsand armor. Don�t turn down this chance atfreebies. Fight the gladiators, and have thespell-casters cast Lesser Heal on the fight-ers. Don�t worry about the party gettingstunned, as you�ll live to fight in your newarmor another day. You�ll have to defeatthe gladiators someday to obtain Citizen�sPapers, but for now go for more experi-ence points along the way.

After surviving Purgatory, you�ll stillhave to master the rest of the EasternIsles. Purgatory will seem like a stroll

through a park!Scott Hermansen

Oak Park IL

1. In the fire in the Underworld, you willfind a chest with a potent weapon.

2. You need the aid of a dragon to findthe secret island off Mudtoad.

3. If you have an Arcane Lore of sevenor greater, you can befriend the Humbabain Purgatory. He might join your party!

4. By standing in the fire in the Under-world area, you can gain some personalitypoints. First, enter the fire and walkaround until all of your characters exceptyour most powerful fighter have died.Second, save the game, then reboot andequip your lone fighter with a singledragonstone. Third, have your fighter usethe dragonstone while in the fire, and allof your characters will be resurrectedwith 25 more personality points tacked onfor good measure.

5. On King�s Island, you will find theword of Mountaineering. You can use thissword if you have a Mountain Lore skill oftwo or greater.

Secret of the Silver Blades (SSI)

6. Ulrik�s twin brother, Barsad, is astrong and powerful spell-caster. Heknows both Sun and Druid magic. Barsadcan be found by talking to the blind oldman in the Slave Camp.

7. The key weapon in the game is theBlack Sickle (which is classified as a two-handed sword). It may be found in thethird level of the Kingshome dungeon.Beware, for it is guarded by the DeathKnight and a host of Stosstrupen.

8. Discard all dragonstones before enter-ing Necropolis, for they are monstersmagnets and are of no use to your party.You can find them again when you leave.

Matt Kirby and Will PlatYarmouth ME

I recommend at least four dual-classcharacters: two paladin/magic-users, aranger/magic-user, and a cleric/magic-usert ransferred f rom Curse o f the AzureBonds. This gives your party an edge.Have at least two dual-class magic-usersmemorize Hold Monster before enteringthe Well of Knowledge. The hatchling andsub-adult red dragons can be dispatchedwith a combination of Ice Storm, Cone ofCold, and weapons. The ancient reddragon may be overcome with the HoldMonster spell. If that doesn�t work, trybackstabbing, because this is the toughestdragon in the game. Keep your hit pointsas high as possible in case you lose theinitiative with the red dragon. Also, don�trest in the mayor�s house after returningfrom the Well of Knowledge. The welloffers safe rest. Head directly for Marcus�house upon returning to New Verdigris.

Christopher CarterBrooklyn NY

1. Journal entry #1 of the dragon�s lair iscorrect. Within the lair, you�ll find theAmulet of Eldamar. You cannot win thegame without it.

2. Find help in a small box in the mine.

3. The staff was broken into eight piecesand these sections are hidden in the eightupper levels of the mine. You need to usethe mine shaft to get there. Behind thealtar is a secret door to the temple�s trea-sury. Be certain you go to Derf before youstart getting pieces of the staff.

4. To find the staff, go: 1st west (on deadadventurers); 2nd west (in a chest); 3rdnorth or east (in the wyvern�s lair); 4thsouth (in a pouch); 5th north (in a box); 6thwest (guarded by lizard men); 7th south(on dead mage, but watch out-umberhulks are nearby); 8th south (in Oswulf�stomb; journal entry #35).

5. On the 8th level is a broken teleporterthat will take you to the 9th level.

6. Go east on the 10th level to get to thedungeon.

7. To hit an iron golem, you need at leasta + 3 weapon. Lightning slows themdown, but fire heals them.

8. You need three keys to get to theDreadlord. They are in the 1st, 4th, and7th levels of the dungeon. You start fromthe 10th level and work up.

David BarrySt. Clair Shores MI

Ultima VI (Origin)1. The Wizard of Oz can be found in the

catacombs under the Lyceum. If you re-trieve this book and give it to Lord British,he will give you many gems.

2. Also under the Lyceum is a bookcontaining several of the mantras. Thereare many words in the book; try themuntil one works for each rune.

3. To join the guild, you must make a setof panpipes and play �Stones.� The mayorof Yew can tell you where to get a Yew log.Take the log to the sawmill east of Minoc.There it can be turned into a Yew board.After this process, take it to Julia, who canmake it into a set of panpipes. �Stones� is67898978767653 in its numeric form.

4. The Glass Sword, which hits for 255points of damage, is in Trinsic with severalother useful items.

5. If you are having trouble opening thejail cells in Yew, just keeping Moving thekeys from the table to the front of eachdoor. Then, Use the keys without pickingthem up.

6. You need the boat of the humblestman in New Magincia if you want to get tothe Avatar�s shrine. You should look for hisshield south of his house. It�s under aplant!

Alex IngleSeattle WA

NOTE: The Lessers have moved. Theirnew address is: The Lessers, 521 CzernyDrive, Tracy CA 95376, U.S.A. Send allcorrespondence to their new address. TheBeastie Award will be published in nextmonths column.

That�s all for this month. Don�t forget tovote for your favorite game of the year.And continue to send in your game hints!

D R A G O N 5 5

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Sidra Ironfist stood looking down at

ilon Songsmith was dying. Brown hairclung to his face in limp, sweat-soakedstrands. His skin was gray-tinged, likedirty snow. Breath was a ragged chok-ing sound, his body trembling withthe effort to draw air into his lungs.

her friend. Her strong, calloused hands gripped the hiltsof her swords until her hands ached. Sidra�s solid grayeyes stared down at her friend and willed him to live. Sheran a hand through long yellow hair and turned to thewizard leaning against the wall.

Gannon the Sorcerer was tall, as tall as Sidra. His hairwas yellow, his eyes the fresh blue of spring skies. But hisface was set in cynical lines as if he had seen too much ofthe world, and it all disappointed him. Today his eyes heldanger and sorrow. �I will not let him die like this,� Sidrasaid.

�It is a death curse, Sidra. You cannot stop it. The bardis a better friend to me than any man alive, and I am justas helpless,� Gannon said.

�Can nothing stop it ?� Her eyes searched his face,demanded he give her some hope.

�It is the most powerful death curse I have ever seen. Itwould take days for another curse-maker to remove thespell. Milon has only hours.�

Sidra turned away from the sorcerer and his compas-sionate eyes. She would not let Milon die. He was herbard. They had ridden together for eight years. Even witha bard�s safe conduct, accidents could happen. If you rodeinto battle, unarmed, you took your chances. But this�this was a coward�s way of killing. By all laws, Milonshould have been safe in the tavern. Harming a bard, savein self defense, was punishable by death.

Someone had hated him enough to risk that. But who?And why?

Sidra Ironfist knelt by the bed. She reached out totouch Milon�s forehead with one scarred finger. She couldfeel the heat before she touched his skin. The magicalfever was eating him alive.

She whispered to him, though he could not hear her, �Iwill not let you die.� She turned to the sorcerer. �What ofthe curse-maker who placed the curse?�

Gannon frowned. �What of him?��Could he remove the curse?��Well, yes, but why would he?�Sidra smiled, tight-lipped. �I think we could find ways

to persuade him.�Gannon nodded. �We might at that, but how to find

him in such a short time?�There was a knock on the door. Sidra pulled her long

sword from its sheath and called, �Come in.�A woman hesitated at the doorway. Her hair was

streaked with gray, and she wore the robes of a whitehealer. �I was told you had an injured man.� She caughtsight of the bard and stepped into the room past Sidra�sbare steel. �That is not a wound.�

Sidra sheathed her sword. �Tell her, Gannon.�He explained briefly. Outrage showed on the healer�s

face, then anger, a white burning anger that Sidra foundcomforting and frightening all at the same time. �By all


by Laurell K. Hamilton

Illustrations by Timothy Standish


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the civilized laws, bards are sacred. A death curse on onesuch as this is an insult to all we hold dear.� The healerasked, �Who has done this?�

�Unknown,� Gannon said, �but we will find out.�Sidra said, �Yes, we will find out.� There was some-

thing in her voice, in the steel gray of her eyes, that wasfrightening.

The healer stepped away from the tall warrior woman.�You look like calm death, warrior.�

�Can you keep him alive until we return?��I will keep him alive, but be swift. There will come a

point from which no one can bring him back.�Sidra nodded. �Keep him alive, healer. He�s important

to me.��That I knew when I saw your face, warrior.�Sidra looked away from the healer�s wise face. She was

uncomfortable that anyone could read her so easily.�Come, Gannon.� She was through the door and on thestairs before Gannon had time to move. He jogged tocatch up with her. �Where do we begin?�

�Malhari.�Malhari was a big, beefy man. The muscle of his mer-

cenary days had run to softness but not to fat. He was stilla formidable man. His black hair was close cropped,framing a nearly perfect roundness of face. His right armended abruptly a span above the wrist. A metal-studdedleather sheath hid his stump. It had given the tavern itsname: The One-Armed Man. His dark eyes caught themas they came down the stairs; no words were needed. Hecalled one of the bar-lads over to pour drinks and mo-tioned them into his office - s m a l l , neat, and orderly, theway Malhari had run campaigns years ago.

He eased his big frame into a chair and motioned themto sit. They remained standing. �What has happened toyour bard, Sidra?�

�A death curse. He has only hours to live.�Malhari�s eyes went wide. His fingers curved over the

metal studs as another man might drum his fingers.�Why come to me?�

�Where in Selewin do you go for a death curse?� �I go nowhere for such things. Curse-makers are un-

lucky, Sidra. You know that.�She sat down across from him, hands spread on her

legs. Gannon remained standing like a guard at her back.Sidra said, �You did not pay for that splendid house in thehills from this small inn. You are the person in Selewin tocome to for information, for a price. Tell me what I needto know, Malhari. Do it for friendship or money; I don�tcare which.�

�If I am what you say I am, and if I had your informa-tion, how much would it be worth to you?�

Sidra�s eyes narrowed, as if from pain. �Not friendshipthen, but money.�

�You cannot spend friendship on a cold winter�s night.��I think you would be surprised what you can do with

friendship, Malhari .� She did not wait for the puzzledlook on his face to pass but threw a leather pouch on thedesk. �Gold, Malhari, twenty-five pieces.�

�And,� he said.Sidra hesitated.�You would quibble over the life of your friend?� Sidra

60 JANUARY 1991

�Your word means nothing. Gannon, if you please.��With great pleasure.� The sorcerer smiled. There was

something of fearful anticipation in that smile.

Malhari was having trouble talking. �I give you myword, I will not.�

�You are a fool,� Gannon said.The blade tip bit into Malhari�s neck. Blood trickled

down his throat. Sidra said nothing.The innkeeper�s breath caught in his throat. �For you,

Sidra. Bardolf has a house on Silk Street.� He stared intoher eyes and saw death. �Take the money, Sidra. I giveyou this information freely.�

She smiled then. �No, Malhari. If it was a gift, then thebonds of friendship would constrain me. This way it isonly money, and I owe you nothing.�

He tried not to swallow around the point of the knife.�I don�t want you to sell this information to anyone else,�Sidra said.

Sidra nodded. Bardolf had thought to bed a warrior.Sidra had broken his arm for the insult. Neither she norBardolf mentioned the incident to Duke Haydon.

�He is Duke Haydon�s favorite son, bastard or not. Wecannot kill him after he has cured Milon. I will not riskeverything we have worked for in one act of vengeance. IfMilon dies, things are different. But our true purpose is tosave the bard, not to get revenge.�

Gannon said, �Agreed. We save the minstrel. If thecurse-maker just happens to perish,� he smiled, �well,that is an added bonus.�

Sidra smiled. �Even a duke�s son can have an accident.�She bent close to Malhari�s face. �Tell me where he is.�

�You wish more information from me, Sidra? I am abusiness man.�

Gannon cursed. �When we worked for Duke Haydon,I detected magic on Bardolf. I thought that it was notquite enough to warrant training as an herb-witch. But acurse-maker! It suits him.�

Sidra�s words came careful and neat, soft and angry.�You have grown soft, Malhari. In the old days, I couldnot have taken you without your at least clearing a bladeof your own. I will kill you if I want to.�

He said nothing but felt the blade dig into his throat ashe swallowed. �You have paid a fair price. The one youseek is Bardolf Lordson. I saw one of Bardolf's lackeys talkto your bard tonight. Bardolf is powerful enough to havedone the spell.�

�If Milon dies because of this delay, I will kill you.��You will try,� he said.Sidra leaned toward him, and suddenly Malhari was

staring at six inches of steel. The knife caressed his throatwith no pain or blood, yet. He did not try to move,though he had several secreted blades of his own. Heknew better than to try.

�This is a seller�s market, Sidra. Supply and demand.��Our friendship is no more, Malhari.��I know.�

pounded her fist into his desk twice�violent, painful, butit helped the anger. It kept her from drawing steel andslitting his throat. Her voice came low and soft, the whis-per of steel through silk. �That is three times your usualpay.�

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Sidra stepped back from the man, quick and careful.“Please, Sidra, I would not tell. I swear to you.”Gannon made a broad sweeping gesture, hands up-

raised to the ceiling and brought his hands down in a fastclap, pointed at the man.

Where Malhari had sat there was a large black tomcatmissing one front paw. It yowled once and fell silent. Si-dra had never seen horror on a cat’s face, but she saw itnow.

Gannon said, “It is a permanent shapechange,Malhari, unless I remove it.” He knelt, eye-level with thecat. “It is almost a curse, but not quite.”

The big cat just stared at them, yellow eyes dazed.Sidra said, “Come, we haven’t much time.”Precious minutes had passed before they stood in an

alley that spilled into Silk Street. They were in a wealthypart of town. It was well known that Bardolf was theduke’s favorite son, and the grand house showed it. Thewealthy could afford magical guardians, things that nor-mal steel could not touch. Sidra’s long sword was suchordinary steel. The short sword was not.

Sidra unsnapped the locks on the hilt, and the shortsword sprang to her hand, rising of its own accord. Thesword said, “Ah, free.” Without moving, it gave the im-pression of catlike stretching.

“I may have work for you tonight,” Sidra told it.The sword hissed, “Name me.”“You who were Blood-letter when the world was new.

You who were Wound-maker in the hands of a king. Youwho were Soul-Piercer and took the life of a hero. Youwho were Blood-Hunger and ate your way through anarmy. I name thee blade mine. I name thee Leech.” Forevery name the sword had taken, the legend had endedwith the blood blade slaying its wielder.

The sword chortled, “I am Leech, Leech. I am thebloodsucker.” The sword’s voice dropped to a whisper,“Feed me.”

Sidra pressed the naked steel against her bare forearm.The sword felt like any steel against her flesh. Gannonassured her that, once activated, Leech gave off an aura ofevil. “Feed gently, Leech, for we have much work to do.”

There was always the chance that Leech would take toomuch and kill her. It had happened to others, great he-roes. But the sword bit once into her arm. Blood pouredin a sharp painful wash down her skin. The blade said,“Sacrifice made, contract assured.”

Sidra ignored the wound. It would heal in a moment ortwo to join the dozens of shallow white scars that criss-crossed her hands and arms. She did not bother to cleanthe blade. All blood was absorbed cleanly. It truly didfeed.

Gannon stepped close, and the sword struck at him.Sidra held it two-handed, saying, “Behave.”

“You don’t frighten me, little knife,” the sorcerer said.“Not afraid,” the sword whined. “No fun.” The sword

turned in her hands as if looking for something. “Whereis bard? Bard fears Leech. Baard,” the sword called, draw-ing the word out in a sing-song, “Baard.”

“Silence, Leech.” Sometimes the blood blade seemedaware of everything that went on. It would spring from itssheath ready for action. At other times it acted as if it had

He shrugged and grimaced. “There will be many sorce-ries I cannot do with injured hands. I can still levitate andteleport, but not much else.”

“Our luck is low tonight.” She touched his shoulder. “It

He hesitated only a moment, then drew them frominside his cloak. The palms were scorched and hung heavywith huge watery blisters.

Sidra drew a hissing breath. “Gannon, can you go onlike that?”

Gannon was walking toward them, cape pulled closeabout him. The door looked just the same to Sidra. Asorcerous ward was always invisible until you tripped it,unless you had eyes that could see magic.

The sorcerer stepped into the alley, and Sidra said, “Letme see your hands.”

The sword did not stop but only hissed an accompani-ment as the sorcerer touched the door. Gannon’s backbowed outward, and the sword hissed a crescendo. Sidraslapped the sword’s sheath, and it made a muffled soundand fell silent.

Sidra nodded, and Gannon walked alone into the street.He pressed his hands wide and moved them toward thedoor. Leech began to hum a drum roll. “Brrrrrm, brrrrm.”


He concentrated a moment, staring at the door, and thensaid, “Fire, powerful enough to kill whatever touches it.”

Sidra gave a low hiss. “I thought death wards had to bemarked as such? ”

“By law they do.”“Can you get us past it?”“Yes, but stay well back while I’m testing it.”Sidra knew what would happen if he failed to negate the

warding. He would die, and he didn’t want to risk her lifeas well. But Gannon had risked himself before, as hadthey all.

“All windows are barred, no traps that I could see.”She asked Gannon, “What kind of warding is on the frontdoor?”

She returned to Gannon. “Two doors: this one andanother that leads into a small yard. Both doors are postedwith warning signs. They’re both warded.”

It was the law in Selewin that you had to post signs forwardings. There had been too many innocent peoplekilled.

Sidra sheathed Leech but left its locks undone in caseshe needed it quickly. The blade did not fight beingsheathed; it was strangely content tonight. It hummed oneof Milon’s own tunes—Leech’s favorite—“Lord Ishamand the Goose Girl.” There were two versions: one for thetaverns and one for the prince’s halls. Leech, of course,preferred the bawdy version.

She persuaded the blade to stop humming and scoutedthe house. She was a flicker of shadow, gone before youcould look directly at it.

been asleep until called. Sidra wondered what, if any-thing, the blood blade dreamed of. She doubted she wouldenjoy the answer, and she knew Leech would lie about itanyway. Blood blades were notorious liars.

She told the sword only that the bard was away. If thesword knew that Milon’s life was at stake, it would de-mand a larger blood price.


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is up to you, Gannon. I cannot ask you to go on.��No one asked me to come.�She nodded. It was his choice, and she would not tell

him to stay behind.The door looked ordinary enough except for the sign

next to it that read, �Warning, WARDINGS in place.Please ring bell.� A brass bell hung from a bracket by thedoor, its cord swinging uneasily in the night wind.

Sidra knelt beside the door and touched the roughwood. No fire, no warding�Gannon had done his job.The lock was cheap and easily picked. All that money on asorcerous ward, then skimping on the lock itself. Bardolfwasn�t spending his money wisely.

She reached for Leech, and it leapt to her hand. Shieldheld close, she pushed open the door. They had juststepped into the inky blackness when Gannon said,�Someone teleports nearby.�

There was no time for stealth. If they hoped to trace theteleport, they had to find the point of departure quickly.Gannon said, �This way.� Against all caution, she let thewizard lead in a mad flight up the broad stairs. Two dimlanterns threw pools of shadow and light on the steps. Sheglimpsed her own reflection in half a dozen gilt-edgedmirrors. Glass and gold were both rare and costly. Bardolfwas well off indeed.

Light spilled from a room at the end of a long hallway.Dark rooms with closed doors led up to that one shiningdoor. Sidra pushed past Gannon so she could enter theroom first.

It was a bedroom. Silks and pillows were strewn overthe carpet like a child�s toys, used and carelessly forgotten.A huge candelabra hung from the ceiling, and it sparkledlike pure gold. A sobbing woman knelt on the carpet. Herraven-black hair was thrown over her face, and she curlednaked near a pile of clothing.

Gannon strode to the middle of the room and picked upa now-blank scroll. He sniffed it as if he were a hound onthe scent of a fox and said, �I have it.�

There was no time, and Sidra stood beside the sorcerer.As the woman glanced up, Sidra had a glimpse of a lovelypale face that was bruised and battered.

The world spun and Sidra caught her breath. Theyfaced outward, back to back. Sidra crouched, sword andshield ready. Then she recognized the throne room ofDuke Haydon. Bardolf had run home to his daddy.

Someone shouted orders, and the room was suddenlyfull of the red and silver of Duke Haydon�s guards. Sidrawondered if they would have time to explain before some-one died.

It was the head of the guards, Jevik, who recognizedthem and called, �Hold!� He strode forward through hismen and stood before Sidra. He sheathed his sword, andshe did likewise. Leech complained about missing such alovely fight.

Jevik only blinked. He had fought beside her and tastedthe sword�s humor before. �Why are you here like this,Sidra?�

�It is a long story, Jevik. But we give chase to an out-law .�

�What sort of outlaw?��One who would kill a bard.�

62 JANUARY 1991

�Did this bard give up his safe conduct?��He never had the chance. He was attacked in his

room, alone.�Jevik waved the guards back and said, �And how did

you trace this outlaw here?��Gannon traced a teleport.��Come, we will talk to the duke,� Jevik said.The guards had formed a wary but respectful line to

either side of the newcomers. Lord Haydon himself satupon his throne. His beard was still as full and gray asbefore. He did not shave because it was court fashion tobe smooth-faced. And he did not waste sorcery on lookingyounger than his years.

He smiled a greeting at them and extended his hands.�Sidra Ironfist, you who saved my castle and all that Iown.� She bowed and took his hands. He touched handswith Gannon and saw the sorcerer wince. The duke drewa sharp breath when he saw Gannon�s hands. �Go withone of the guards and use my own healer.�

Sidra did not like the idea of Gannon being separatedfrom her. He looked at her a moment, smiled, and fol-lowed a guard from the room. He was right, of course.When a noble offers you hospitality, you do not refuse it.

�Now, Sidra, tell me what has brought you here sounexpectedly.�

She told the story quietly, leaving out only the name ofthe curse-maker.

Haydon�s eyes were a glittering icy blue when she fin-ished. �It is against all civilized laws to harm a bard. Howare we to hear of the great deeds of heroes if bards are notsafe in battle?�

He asked her then, �And do you have a name for thisoutlaw?�

�Yes, my lord. It is Bardolf the Curse-maker.�He opened his mouth, then closed it. An angry flush

crept up his neck. �These are grave accusations, Sidra. Ifyou leave now and say no more of this, I will let it pass.�

�It pains me to have to bring you such news, DukeHaydon, but it is the truth. I swear it.�

He took a deep breath that shook with rage and perhapsa touch of apprehension. Sidra wondered if others hadcome before her and told tales of evil against Bardolf. Ifso, they had been bullied into silence. Sidra would not bebullied. She did not want to believe that Haydon wouldsimply kill her out of hand, but if that were the case, shewould not die easily.

At last the duke said, �You will persist in this lie againstmy son?�

�It is not a lie, my lord.��Jevik, have my son sent to me now.� The guardsman

half ran from the room.Gannon was back with his newly healed hands before

Bardolf was escorted in.Bardolf strode in just ahead of Jevik. He was short, with

the soft lines of a man who has never done physical labor.His sensual pouting mouth was set in a confident smile. Hewas dressed all in brown silk worked with black pearls.When he saw Sidra and Gannon, his smile vanished.

Jevik led him in front of the duke, then stepped backleaving Sidra, Gannon, and Bardolf in a semi-circlearound the throne.

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Bardolf greeted his father first and then very correctlyturned to Sidra and Gannon. �Sidra Ironfist and Gannonthe Sorcerer. How good to see you again.� He stared up athis father, eyes unreadable. �Father, what is this allabout?�

Haydon sat very still upon his throne and kept his faceblank. He was a noble and knew how to hide his emo-tions. He told his son of the accusations. Confusion thenanger crossed Bardolf s face. Sidra would almost havebelieved the act herself. Some people had a true talent forlying.

�Would you convict me of such a vile crime on theword of an information peddler?�

The Duke smiled. �No, Bardolf, not on that alone. Iwant you to take an oath for me.�

�Of course, Father.��Swear by the birds of Loth and the hounds of Verm

that you did not harm Milon Songsmith.��I have never taken such an evil oath!��It is only evil if you have something to fear. Swear,

Bardolf, swear to it.��If you insist.��I do.��I swear by the birds of. . . I swear.� He stared up at

his father, a sort of pleading look upon his face.Haydon�s noble mask slipped, showing pain in his eyes.

�Swear.� His voice held a note of begging.�I cannot, Father.��If you are innocent, the oath means nothing. You are

guilty then.��I cannot take the oath you ask. Perhaps another to

Mother Cia.�Haydon looked down at the floor and drew a deep

breath. He seemed suddenly older than he had a momentbefore. �Only the oath to Loth and Verm is bindingenough for this. Will you swear?�

�No, Father.�The duke�s face seemed to crumble. The tears that

threatened in his eyes were chased away by anger. Thesame anger he had been willing to use against Sidra, toprotect his child, now turned against his son. �Why, Bar-dolf? Have I not shared my wealth with you?�

�Yes, Father.��Then why?� He stood and walked the few steps to

stand before his son�the son who could still look him inthe eye and lie, even now.

Bardolf said, �You gave me crumbs from your table,Father. I wanted my own table. My own money. My ownlands .�

�I have given you all that and more.�Bardolf shook his head. �They are mine until I anger

you. Then you take them away as a punishment, as if theywere sweets and I were a child.�

�There are honest ways to make money!��Not enough money.��Not enough, not enough!� Haydon raised a hand as if

to strike him. Bardolf cringed, throwing up a hand. Theduke stepped back. Sidra watched the man gain control ofhimself. It was a painful thing to see. When he spokeagain, his voice was soft and controlled. �Do you knowthe penalty in Meltaan for killing a bard?�

�Yes.��You will be executed, and your blood money will do

you no good.��Father, even if I cured the bard and gave back the

money, my client would see me dead.��Who, who will see you dead? Who ordered such a vile

deed? ��I cannot say. As your son, I beg that you do not ask

me again .�Duke Haydon said, �No! No son of mine would do

such a thing.� A soundless tear trailed down his face; hisvoice remained firm, but he cried.

Sidra looked away.Bardolf s face showed fear. �Father?�Haydon turned to Sidra. �Do with him as you see fit.

Let all here be witness. Bardolf Lordson is no son ofmine.� Tears flowed in silver streaks down Haydon�scheeks. Everyone in the room was pretending not to see.

Bardolf knelt before the lord, touching the hem ofHaydon�s robe. A tear trailed down his face. �Father,please. If I cure the bard I will be killed.�

Duke Haydon jerked his robe free of the man and leftthe room. All but two guards left with him.

Sidra had wanted to call after the duke, but what couldshe say? �Thank you, Duke Haydon, for being just andlaw abiding�? The man had just signed the death warrantof his favorite son. �Thank you� did not even come closeto covering that.

Bardolf stood slowly, rubbing his eyes. Sidra and Gan-non moved to stand beside him. Bardolf tensed to run andfound himself entangled in a spell. He could not move hisarms or legs. Sidra said, �Nicely done, Gannon.�

The sorcerer shrugged. �Healed hands do wonders fora person�s magic.�

Sidra stepped near him and asked, �Do you know whata blood blade is, Bardolf?�

The younger man�s eyes flared wide, showing white.She could see the pulse in his neck jump.

Gannon hissed near his face, �Answer the question.��Yes,� he whispered.Sidra said, �What is it?��An evil sword that can suck a man�s soul.� All the

color had drained from his face.She leaned against the cool marble throne and asked,

�Have you heard the song �Blade Quest�?�Bardolf whispered, �Yes.��I think Milon captured the essence of a blood blade in

that song: dark, hungry, evil.�Leech chuckled.Sidra drew the sword. It gleamed in the torchlight. She

said, �Leech, I want you to meet Bardolf the Curse-maker.�

The sword hissed, �Fresh blood, yumm.� Sweat beaded on Bardolf s face, but his words were

brave. �You can�t feed me to that thing.��I think I can.� She bent close to him, the naked blade

quivering near his neck. She held it two-handed, nottrusting it. She spoke low and close to his frightened eyes.�The duke, your father, has decreed that I can do any-thing I want to you. Up to and including taking yoursoul.�


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6 4 N O V E M B E R 1 9 9 0

�No, please.��Gannon.� Gannon unlaced Bardolf 's sleeve and began

to roll it upward. The skin was pale.Leech crooned, �Blood, fresh blood, new blood.�The man struggled until sweat dripped down his face,

but he could not move. Only his head was free to thrashfrom side to side.

�Please, please don�t let it touch me.��Tell us who hired you, agree to cure the bard, and you

will live.��I won�t live. He�ll kill me. Or have me killed.��But he is not here, and I am. I�ll kill you now.�Bardolf shook his head and closed his eyes. �Please,

he�ll kill me.�Leech hovered over the flesh and said, �Blood.� Bardolf

opened his eyes and watched the blade come closer to hisarm. �No!� The point bit into his flesh and he screamed.Blood spurted out from a cut artery. Leech chortled in arain of blood. Bardolf cried, �Lord Isham! Lord Ishamhired me!�

Sidra didn�t remove the sword but watched it lappinghis blood.

�Get it away! Get it away!��Why would Lord Isham want Milon Songsmith

dead?�Bardolf swallowed, closing his eyes against the sight of

the sword in his arm. He looked as if he might faint.When he finally spoke, his voice was as pale as his skin.�The song that Milon wrote about him. Lord Isham tookinsult.�

Sidra asked, � �Lord Isham and the Goose Girl�?��Yes. Now, please, get that thing away from me.�Sidra drew Leech back from the wound, but he did not

want to come. She fought the sword two-handed as itstruggled and cursed. �Not enough, not enough. Freshblood, not enough.�

The sword was quivering, fighting against her, and shecould not sheath it. Gannon said, �Sidra.� He bared hisarm.

She said, �No.�Leech stopped shrieking and began to wheedle, �Just a

little more, a taste, fresh taste.�It was a very unhealthy habit to disappoint a blood

blade.Sidra held the blade carefully and said, �Gannon, I

would not ask this.��You did not ask. Do it. I have often been curious.�She laid the blade tip against his arm, and it bit deep

into muscle. The wizard winced but stared as the bladewiggled in the wound like a nursing calf.

Sidra pulled Leech free of the wound, and the swordsaid, �Ah, good, yumm.� Gannon ignored the sword andstared curiously at his wound as the edges knit together.Soon there was nothing but a whitish scar.

She sheathed the short sword and turned to Bardolf.�Are you willing to cure the bard now?�

Bardolf nodded weakly. �Anything you want. Just keepthat sword away from me.�

Leech chuckled.Gannon stood on one side of him and Sidra on the

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other. Then Gannon released the spell hold, and Bardolfnearly fell. With Gannon steadying him against the dizzi-ness, they teleported to the inn.

The three appeared in front of Milon�s bed. His skinwas gray, his eyes sunken and black-smudged. If he wasbreathing at all, Sidra could not tell it.

The healer gasped.Sidra�s heart felt like lead in her chest. �Are we too

late?�The healer shook her head. �There is time.�Sidra pushed Bardolf forward against the bed. �Cure

him or the blood blade will taste your soul.�Bardolf half fell to his knees beside the bed. He laid a

hand on Milon�s forehead and over his heart. The curse-maker�s face went blank. It was the tranquility Sidra wasaccustomed to seeing on a healer�s face. She found itstrange for a curse doer.

Milon took a deep, shuddering breath, then his chestrose and fell. Bardolf stood up, looking relieved. Gannonforced him to stand back from the bed.

The healer touched the bard�s forehead. �The fever hasbroken; he sleeps. With a few days� rest, he will be well.�

Sidra asked Gannon, �Can you take that one to thejail?�

�I think I can manage.� Gannon placed a hand onBardolf 's forehead and spoke one strange syllable. Thecurse-maker�s eyes went blank, and he followed obediently

as Gannon moved to the door. He turned back and asked,�What of our feline friend?�

�Do as you think best.�Gannon smiled, a broad cheerful smile. �I will attend

to it with pleasure.� He left with Bardolf following behind.Sidra knelt by the bed and smoothed the sweat-

darkened hair from Milon�s forehead. The healer moved ashort distance away, giving them privacy. Sidra whisperedto the bard, �I did not let you die.�

Leech was singing softly in its sheath. The words cameup faint and hollow. �Lord Isham went a riding, a riding,a riding. On his great bay stallion he went riding over hisland. First he met a milkmaid, a milkmaid . . .�

Sidra asked, �Leech, have you ever tasted the blood ofa province lord?�

The sword stopped in mid-song and whispered, �Never,but I hear they�re quite tasty.�

�We will be visiting Lord Isham.�Leech asked, �When?��Very soon.� Sidra fought the urge to smile. One

should never smile when contemplating another�s death.The sword giggled, and Sidra found herself laughing withit. She saw the healer make the sign against evil. Sidrasighed. Evil had many faces. Some were just more obvi-ous than others. She brushed her lips on Milon�s foreheadand whispered, �Very soon.�

She made it sound like a promise.

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©1990 by Allen Varney

The state of the art in superheroics, Part 2

Mostly, I don�t get it. T-shirts, underwear, consumers buy anything with a comiclunch boxes, notebooks, trading cards, character�s picture on it? Is this the mass-collectors� plates, pen and pencil sets, market equivalent of the vestments thatchildren�s vitamins�why do millions of designate membership in a holy order? A

Western answer to Polynesian tribalrulers, who cover their faces with tattoosor scars to denote status?

Understand, I�ve nothing against licensedmerchandise. But I have never understoodhow a Walt Disney cartoon character�sface on a popsicle box makes the popsiclessell better, let alone taste better. I do noteat presweetened breakfast cereal with abat emblem on it, nor peanut butter witha big red �S� logo. My closet holds noillustrated T-shirts, except one my mothermade depicting �Globbo,� a character fromone of my own games. Other than that, Ihave no garments adorned with characterpictures or product logos (what writerPaul Fussell calls �legible clothing�). I guessI�m out of step with pop culture.

Except in one way. I don�t know why, ifyou like a comic-book superhero, youtherefore want to eat peanut butter, ce-real, or castor oil bearing that hero�s pic-ture. But I comprehend at once thepleasure of role-playing the hero. Thepeanut butter, one hopes, just sits there;but a role-playing scenario lets me re-livethe pleasure and excitement of the hero�soriginal stories. In this column, we look ata new edition of one of the major licensedsuperhero RPGs, along with its new support line

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DC HEROES� Role-Playing Game,Second Edition

Mayfair Games $2516-page �Read This First� guide, 72-page

Rules Manual, 64-page Character Hand-book, 96-page Background Roster Book,32-page adventure, three-panel Game-master�s Screen, 75 color plastic-coatedcharacter cards, 8½ �Action Wheel,�two 10-sided dice, boxed

Design: Greg GordenSecond edition: Ray Winninger with

Thomas Cook�Exposed!� adventure: Dan GreenbergIllustrations: DC Comics staff

I reviewed the first edition of this gamefor The Space Gamer magazine in 1985,and to this day that review bugs me. Itwas lengthy, comprehensive, fair�and sowishy�washy that readers thought itpanned the game, when actually I haveplaced the DC HEROES game on the In-tense Personal Admiration shelf of mygame library. It�s just that . . . the troubleis, it�s . . . [waves hands vaguely in theair] . . . I see that five years has not im-proved my wishy-washiness. I�ll try againanyway.

Overview: DC Comics editor RobertGreenberger writes in this game�s Back-ground Roster Book: �The bedrock of theDC Universe still remains the coreheroes�For the record, the �core charac-ters� are considered to be Superman, Won-der Woman, Batman, the Flash, GreenLantern, and Green Arrow. We haveadded to that list with the revampedAquaman, Atom, Hawkman; and thenewly-minted Starman.�

The second edition lets you play all theseand almost 250 other characters in the DCUniverse�nearly everybody except theLegion of Super-Heroes, the Doom Patrol,and a few others. We also get some heroesoutside the standard continuity (Sgt. Rock,�Mazing Man, and the Watchmen). Thisedition�s selection of characters improvessignificantly over the roster of its 1985predecessor. In that way, it is symbolic ofthe entire game.

Components: At its 1985 debut, theDC HEROES game boggled the industrywith its large quantity of material at areasonable price. Going by its componentsalone, the second edition also offers asuperb value: 278 pages of text, a GMscreen, two decks of coated cards, an�Action Wheel,� and dice, for a price you�dexpect to pay for the text alone. The valuehas also improved in that Mayfair�s edito-rial staff has banished the first edition�snotorious layout and textual errors to thePhantom Zone.

Mechanics: This is one of thoseuniversal-table games, where every actioncomes down to a die-roll on a single chart.TSR�s MARVEL SUPER HEROES� game isone of the few other survivors of a wholespate that appeared several years back.DC HEROES designer Greg Gorden, who

Attribute Points have to be logarithmic inorder to fit both heroes and normals on thesame Action Table, the chart used to re-solve any action with a single die roll. Thisis the tricky part of the DC HEROES game�sdesign, but once you master it, you knowalmost the whole system-the greatstrength and weakness of one-chart games.

Character attributes provide �ActingValues� and �Opposing Values.� Cross-indexthese on the table to find a number to beaton a roll of 2d10. Roll the dice, count howmany �column shifts� you get on the table,then go to the Results Table, the other halfof the DC system. Cross-index the charac-ters� �Effect Values� against their �Resist-ance Values� to obtain a value in ResultAttribute Points, or RAPS. These RAPS(increased by column shifts from theAction Table) tell how much damage ahaymaker does, how long a magic spelllasts, how much information an interroga-tion gathers, or whatever.

It sounds forbidding, but it�s just twosteps up from those �Mileage BetweenMajor Cities� charts on road maps, and nomore complicated than reading a sliderule-not that I recall how to do that. Mostof the other rules are trivial adjuncts tothe Action and Result Tables.

The system has not changed betweenfirst and second editions, except that nowyou can use the �Action Wheel� to figurethe numbers instead of using boring old

had previously worked on Victory Games�JAMES BOND 007 role-playing game,adapted that game�s ideas in a unique andthoughtful approach that gives DCHEROES� one-table system unusual vigor.(The same design philosophy appears inconcentrated form in Gorden�s most re-cent system, West End Games� TORG�game.)

The bedrock of the DC system is Attrib-ute Points, or APs. These measure not onlycharacters� abilities but weight, distance,time, money, information, and literallyeverything measurable. Six APs of time isfour minutes; of distance, 200 yards; ofweight, 1½ tons. (The second edition hastinkered a lot with the original AP quanti-ties.) If you have a Strength of 6 APs, youcan lift 6 APs of weight, or throw 4 APs ofweight for 2 APs of distance, or throw 1AP of weight at 5 APs of speed, and so on.Everything in the game interrelates in thiselegant way.

Attribute Points increase logarithmi-cally� that is, as the rules put it, �Eachadditional AP of measurement is worthabout twice as much as the AP before it.Therefore, a Character with a Strength of6 is twice as strong as a Character with aStrength of 5.� An ordinary human hasStrength 2; Batman has Strength 5; Won-der Woman, Strength 16; Superman,Strength 25. The strongest characters arethe Monitor and Anti-Monitor from theCrisis on Infinite Earths mini-series, withStrengths of 28 and 30 respectively. (AStrength of 30 can lift 30 APs of weight, or100 million tons.)

columnar tables. (The numbers don�t quiteline up in the wheel�s windows, but it stillworks okay.) As before, combat remainsfast-paced and fluid.

Hero Points: The game awards theseas experience, but they serve far broaderfunctions here than conventional �experi-ence points� in other games. Characterscan spend Hero Points to gain initiative,temporarily increase attributes andpowers, and reduce damage taken. It costsHero Points to build gadgets and to buynew powers. They�re almost a currency,and more so in the second edition where�pushing� a power now costs three pointsper AP gained. This is a fair fix of theearlier silly rules, where a good die roll letBatman lift a DC-9 airplane.

The pregenerated heroes start play with10 to 200 Hero Points, and they can earn100 or more in a successful adventure.They need them all, because there�s al-ways a heavy Hero Point flow during play.Sometimes so many Hero Points get blownin a single phase, maybe on a singlepunch, that it�s like the Weimar Republic,where townspeople hauled hyperinflateddeutsche marks in wheelbarrows to buyloaves of bread.

Character generation: This is muchimproved in the second edition. Playersspend Hero Points on selections from avery extensive list of powers and skills,now given a �Factor Cost� to differentiateplot-shattering powers like ContinuumControl from non-starters like Super Ven-triloquism. These powers can now havecost-changing bonuses and limitations a laHero Games� CHAMPIONS® game. Charac-ter advantages, drawbacks, and motiva-tions lend individuality even to thenonpowered supporting cast.

The second edition designers also en-courage heroes with personalities, not justpowers. In an elegant streamlining of thefirst edition�s rather bizarre options, play-ers get Hero Point bonuses for definingtheir characters� backgrounds, physicaldescriptions, and personalities. The de-signers realize that this, as much as a listof powers and skills, is what makes a funand memorable superhero.

One may quibble with certain powercost ratings (Spirit Travel, an astral form,is among the cheapest in the game!), andwith the approach that makes, for exam-ple, Earth Control, Flame Control, and IceControl three different powers instead ofone Control power with three options. Butin general this is a good, balanced system,much broader than the existing DC Uni-verse requires. It produces a wide varietyof superheroes without taxing the player.

Gadgets�zero for three: Most majorrole-playing systems seem to have a blindspot, a particular rule or system that justwon�t work right no matter how manytimes the designers fiddle with it. In theCHAMPIONS game, it�s Growth or (maybe)the vehicle rules. Players of Chaosium�sCALL OF CTHULHU� game lament thetime needed for character generation vs.


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how long the character survives. In theAD&D® game, it�s�well, fill in the blankyourself. Every DC HEROES game playerknows its blind spot: the gadget rules. Thesecond edition is Mayfair�s third try atgadgets, and the rules still don�t work.

Gadgets, like characters, are defined bytheir APs of attributes, powers, and skills.You buy these with both Hero Points andthe owning character�s money. The morereliable the gadget, the more expensive itis. Most ordinary gadgets break downabout one time in 10 uses.

To make a gadget, you use the gadget�sAP values to figure its Hero Point cost anddollar cost, spend the Hero Points, then pitthe owning hero�s Wealth APs against thedollar cost in a check on the Action Table(the hero is trying to buy the parts). Toreduce the price at the expense of moretime, buy each ability separately. Once theparts are in hand, check the hero�s Gadg-etry skill to see how long it takes to �in-stall� the gadget�s abilities. The baselinetime is one week, but a good roll couldreduce that to a few hours.

How well does this work? See for your-self. The Batman wants to build a minia-ture bat-camera. He buys the camera�s 1AP of Body and 12 APs of Recall power ata cost of 13 APs�something under$200,000. That�s for one camera, yeah.This is the same cost as the Batmobile. It�sa good thing Bruce Wayne is a billionaire!Of course, he can buy the Recall power inone week for $100,000 (12 APs), and theBody the next week for $50 (1 AP), saving$99,950 for a week�s wait.

To build the camera, the Batman mustpit his Gadgetry skill of 12, an impressivevalue, against the camera�s 12 APs of Re-call. He has a 50-50 chance. If the playerrolls 10 or less on 2d10, the task has de-feated Batman; the camera�s intricacy isbeyond him. If the player rolls 11 or 12 on2d10, Batman has to spend a solid week,doing nothing else but eating and sleeping,to build the camera. It probably breaks if

it takes more than 100 photos, about fourrolls of film.

All this may sound like a Pentagon pro-curement scandal, but it points up the rootproblem that has always kept DC HEROESgadgets from working: Fundamentally, thedesigners just don�t want heroes to havethem. �If Gadgets with long durationswere easy and cheap to build,� designerGreg Gorden wrote in the first edition,�they could be very inexpensive replace-ments for permanent Powers.�

So what? What else puts nonpoweredheroes like Batman in the same (Justice)League with titans like Green Lantern andCaptain Atom? Gadgets are practically self-balancing. Villains steal them; heroes don�talways have them to hand (no powerarmor allowed in fine restaurants); andtheir batteries run out or their warrantiesexpire. A game master can keep them inline as easily as any abusive power. Loosenup, guys.

Evaluation: In that 1985 review, whenone-table game designs were proliferatinglike comic-book mutants, I spent pagestalking about the problems of the single-chart approach: You can�t memorize therules. There are lots of tiny little rules oninterpreting the table, and the table givesvague results. That�s where readersthought I was condemning the game.

Five years later, that whole argumentseems, if not wrong, beside the point.Whatever a universal table�s limitations,the DC HEROES game has overcome themby cleverness and by sheer longevity. Itcombines broad combat options withspeed of play. It quantifies noncombatinteraction, such as interrogation, betterthan any game I know. Its AP systemshows true ingenuity and, in the secondedition, improved realism. The back-ground roster is immense, and the�Exposed!� adventure (by the talentedDan Greenberg) is both entertainingand educational for novice game mas-ters. Philosophic objections and gad-get rules notwithstanding, this is onesharp design.

so the game still resides on myIntense Personal Admiration shelf.But the problem is . . . you see, Ijust . . . [more hand waving] . . .oh, darn!

The continuing saga: The big-gest change between the firstand second editions isn't the

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rules. It�s the universe. After the first

The result is a completely different DCUniverse. Everybody has changed, andnearly everyone has shuffled group affilia-

edition, DC Comics finished its big Crisis

tions. Big-time villains have died. LexLuthor is no longer a mad scientist in

on Infinite Earths universe-cleaning lim-

power armor but the worlds wealthiest

ited series. Two or three more giant

man. S.T.A.R. Labs has become a vaguelysinister conglomerate, and the U.S. intelli-

multititle runamuck crossover series fol-

gence community looks different after the�Janus Directive� story line. For unclear

lowed. John Byrne overhauled Superman,

reasons, magic is now less powerful thanit was, and the Spectre is no longer anultimate power. The Green Lantern Corps

George Perez revised Wonder Woman, and

is gone. Superboy? Who�s Superboy?

Batmania hit the nation. Hot titles cooled

Free-lancer Michael A. Stackpole raninto this trend when he updated the Bat-man Sourcebook supplement for the DCHEROES second edition (see the following

off, and new ones captured the buyers�

review). Of the eight years of Batman backissues Stackpole was researching, DC

fickle affections.

editors declared five years� worth, all thework of a particular writer, null and void.Another issue revised the origin of thesecond Robin, Jason Todd. Then, justbefore Stackpole�s deadline, an issue ofThe Question featured a completely neworigin of Batman�s foe, the Riddler. Stack-pole got caught off guard.

�Is this for real?� Stackpole asked DC.Yes, said DC, it�s part of the canon now. SoStackpole wrote that Riddler origin�butnow, a year or two later, DC has goneback to a previous origin. The canon, likethat of the early Hindus, apparently un-dergoes frequent revision.

Reading vs. gaming: These changes,whether cosmetic or systemic, make inter-esting reading if you follow DC comics. Butdoes this maelstrom work as a campaignbackground? Sure, the DC HEROES Back-ground Roster book does a fine job of de-scribing the universe and its heroes. Butnote how much this description differsfrom the first edition. And each monthsworth of DC titles puts it further out ofdate.

Suppose you start a DC Universe cam-paign, then next year�s mega-crossoverseries or a revised villain origin makesyour current subplots obsolete. Do youthrow the plots out, or do you decideyou�re not playing in the �official� DCuniverse? Presumably the �official� uni-verse was the reason you bought thegame, but the subplots are what yourplayers want to play.

This review began by recognizing theappeal of a licensed game background thatallows players to re-create their favoritestories. But that background should bestable, a known quantity. For instance,West End Games has set its STAR WARS?

HEROES game�s second edition for thelicense; get it for the system. Though the

The RPG in the time between the first two

game closely simulates its subject and

Star Wars movies. Even if later films in the

provides plenty of background on the DCUniverse, that universe carries fatal risks

series appear, the existing material still

as a campaign background.

works. The DC Universe�s planned obsoles-

But if you find other superhero RPGs tooslow or complex for your taste�and if youdon�t mind one-table systems�use the DC

cence, by contrast, makes an official cam-

HEROES rules as a fast-paced superheroic

paign unstable. Even as players relive their

combat system for your own campaignworld. Sure, you may take your inspira-tion from DC�s universe, but soon your

favorite stories, the campaign history may

campaign will probably diverge to becomeyour own creation. That new world will

be shifting like mercury.

entertain you as much as the comics youbased it on.

This leads inevitably to a peculiar set of:Recommendations: Don�t get the DC

The Batman Sourcebook, secondedition

DC HEROES game supplementMayfair Games $1096-page softcover reference bookAuthor: Michael A. StackpoleAdditional material: J. Santana, Louis J.

Cover and illustrations: DC Comics staff

Prosperi, Jack A. Barker, and RayWinninger

Mayfair supported the first edition ofthe DC HEROES game vigorously if un-evenly. Though DC is apparently a fussylicenser (DC recently returned the forth-coming Justice League sourcebook for asecond complete rewrite), it appears May-fair is gearing up for the same pace on thesecond edition. Did Mayfair just want tolead with a strong product, or was it capi-talizing on the Bat-craze that still grips thecomics market? Either way, the new linebenefits from this polished update of oneof the original edition�s best supplements.

Mike Stackpole designed FASA�s newLEGIONNAIRE� RPG and many othergames, and he has written six or sevennovels set in the universe of FASA�sBATTLETECH® game. In his spare time,this talented writer has updated this com-prehensive 1986 reference guide about theCaped Crusader. Along with updated statsfor everybody, everything, and every placeimportant to the Batman mythos, TheBatman Sourcebook includes essays onBatman�s relationship to the new, post-Byrne Superman, his role in the JusticeLeague(s), and that perennial topic ofarguments at comics conventions, �Is theBatman Sane?� (In the latter, Stackpolealmost weenies out from answering thequestion, but finally argues yes.)

Ray Winninger�s �Double Jeopardy,� asnappy adventure for a game master and

one player, leads the Batman on an intricatetrail of clues to a confrontation with an oldnemesis. (Hint: The GM often gets to flip acoin.) Too bad the ending falls a bit flat, butthe development to that point should keepthe Batman�s player working hard.

The Batman Sourcebook maps all ofWayne Manor, most floors of the dyneFoundation, and all four levels of the Bat-cave. It even lists the issues in which Bat-man picked up those two trophies wealways see in Batcave scenes: the giant1947 penny and the Tyrannosaurus Rex.Now, that�s complete!

Unfortunately, graphics designer Gre-gory �Ike� Scott, fresh from giving May-fair�s new edition of the CHILL� game astylish and scary veneer, adapted the samebizarre approach to this book. All the titleslook like ransom notes! It�s good to see thatin later DC HEROES game supplements,Mayfair has abandoned Scott�s peculiaruse of boldface type.

The Otherwhere QuestMayfair Games40-page solo adventure bookletAuthor: Ray WinningerCover: Arne Starr

$ 7

I�ve seldom enjoyed Mayfair�s solo adven-tures, with their hundreds of tiny para-graphs of flat prose and their brief, linearplots with limited replay value. This soloadventure lets you take the role of any ofEarths three Green Lanterns, though yourchoice is immaterial to the plot, and sendsyou into an alternate dimension called theOtherwhere. There you must find theMacGuffiner�er, Harmony Beacon�that willre-energize the Forever Barrier, saving theThurians (characterless good guys) fromthe Subjugators (offstage bad guys).

This solo features a couple of nice ideas,such as Combat Tables that let opponentsuse different fighting tactics, and a PowerRing Table that simulates the famous ring�sopen-ended Omni-Power. This serves as auseful teaching device for the DC HEROESgame mechanics. But as I traveled theOtherwhere (that is, moved from squareto square over a flat diagram), I concludedthis one-shot plot feels as flat as the Other-where itself.

The Law of DarknessMayfair Games $848-page adventure moduleDesign: Scott Paul MaykrantzCover: Paris Cullins and Mike DeCarlo

Most of the New Gods don�t appear inthe DC HEROES game�s second edition, butMayfair has quickly remedied the lackwith this far-ranging adventure featuringHighfather, Orion, Lightray, and otherresidents of New Genesis.

That incorrigible Apokolipsian,Darkseid, is still trying to conquer theuniverse, and this time he�s accidentallyblown up Supertown�s Source Wall, so theNew Gods must travel to Earth, where


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Granny Goodness (looking, as the textsays, �like Dr. Ruth after a 30-year prisonsentence�) is hypnotizing everyone in NewYork City into doing calisthenics. Theheroes fight Acidic Blobs, Slow-Down Gas,and the Deathmaker robot from Studio X,then it�s off to Gotham City to fight hordesof rats, or maybe to Metropolis to fighthordes of Para-Demons, then to DeSaad�slair to fight hordes of Bug Warriors and aDevolution Cube, then to the big climacticfight with Darkseid himself. Just let mecatch my breath!

Once again, the adventure�s ending fallsslightly flat, but getting there should be aroller coaster ride worthy of the originalJack Kirby stories of the New Gods. Butdon�t try to run this plot with a differentgroup of heroes!

PHBR3 The Complete Priest�s Handbook,by Aaron Allston. TSR, Inc., $15. Is thereanything so unlikely as a �generic priest�?This 128-page AD&D® game supplementprovides noble priests, outlaw priests,fighting monks, amazon priestesses, andother �priest kits�; priest personality ar-chetypes like the crusader, philosopher,hypocrite, and earnest novice; 60 samplepriesthoods of deities for agriculture,birth, disease, elemental forces, hunting,literature, oceans, oracles, trade, wind,wisdom, and more; and rules for designingnew faiths for your campaign. There arenew weapons and equipment, martial-artsrules, and adventure hooks for priestcharacters. Never thought of an all-priestcampaign? Then you never saw The Com-plete Priest�s Handbook. Bravo! (Or do Imean �Hallelujah�?)

Short and sweet

Invasions: Target Earth, by Cyrus Harris.Iron Crown Enterprises, $8. Watch theskies? Too late, they�re here! This cam-paign sourcebook for Hero Games� CHAM-PIONS game tells how to game a large-scale, multiscenario alien invasion,

whether by robots, aliens, or (no kidding)giant ants. Learn how to set up the in-vaders� command structure and firepower,then follow every phase of the invasionfrom arrival to aftermath. The nicelyillustrated sourcebook section details a 13.scenario invasion by Demonicus Rex andhis otherdimensional thugs, and it pays lipservice to five other traditional invadingarmies. The scenario outlines here needfleshing out, but Invasions takes you along way toward turning your campaignworld upside down and righting it again.Much of this book adapts easily to othersuperhero RPGs, too. Start filling yourgame�s skies with enemy ships.

If you corres-pond with usat DRAGON®M a g a z i n e ,please labelthe outside of

Letter! your envelopeto show what

your letter contains � a letter tothe editor, �Forum� submission,request for guidelines, gamingarticle, short story, artwork,cartoons, or subscription corre-spondence. This ensures thatthe letter you send gets to theright person. In the UnitedStates or Canada, write to:DRAGON Magazine, P.O. Box111, Lake Geneva WI 53147,U.S.A. In Europe, write to:DRAGON Magazine, TSR Ltd,120 Church End, Cherry Hin-ton , Cambr idge CB1 , 3LBUnited Kingdom.

DRAGON is a trademark of TSR, Inc.©1990 TSR, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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The Amazing Spider-Man® was the firstcomic book I ever read and collected on aregular basis. Of course, after a while, myinterests changed and I stopped readingabout Spidey�s exploits. That was over 10years ago, but recently, Jeff Grubbdropped a copy of The Amazing Spider-Man #340 on my desk and said the ladyvillains therein would make a great�MARVEL-Phile.� I read through it andfound myself caught up in the life of PeterParker again, just like I was years ago.

Jeff was right, of course. The �FemmeFatales� really gave Spidey a run for hismoney in that issue, and now they cankeep vour campaign�s heroes on their toes

KNOCKOUT�Leader of the Femme Fatales

F EX(20) Health: 110A GD(10)S IN(40) Karma: 40E IN(40)R EX(20) Resources: GoodI GD(l0)P GD(10) Popularity: � 2

POWERS: Other than her strength,Knockout has no discernable powers. Shedoes however, wear a suit of metallicarmor that acts as Excellent (20) bodyarmor against physical attacks.

TALENTS: Knockout has the Martial ArtsA and Leadership skills.

72 JANUARY 1991

WHIPLASH�Criminal (mercenary)

F GD(10) Health: 56A EX(20)S TY(6) Karma: 22E EX(20)R TY(6) Resources: TypicalI TY(6)P GD(10) Popularity: � 2

POWERS: Whiplash has no knownpowers of her own. Her costume containsthree retractable steel whips (Incredible(40) Material Strength) in each arm. Incombat, they do Remarkable (30) BluntAttacks damage. The whips are apparentlystored in her gauntlets when not in use.Her padded costume also provides Good(10) body armor from physical attacks.

TALENTS: Whiplash is a Weapon Special-ist with her whips.

The MARVEL-Phile’s Marvel characters and the distinctivenames and likenesses thereof are trademarks of the MarvelEntertainment Group, Inc. and are used with permission.Copyright ©1990 Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc All RightsReserved.

MINDBLAST�Telekinetic criminal (mercenary)

F TY(6) Health: 28A TY(6)S TY(6) Karma: 61E GD(10)R GD(10) Resources: TypicalI TY(6)P IN(45) Popularity: � 3

POWERS: Mindblast�s lone power is Tele-kinesis. Her rank for this power is Incredi-ble (451, but she has not (as of this writing)used it to directly attack a foe. It is proba-ble that she has not yet developed thatPower Stunt. She does possess the follow-ing Power Stunts, however:

�Flight for herself only at Typical (6)airspeed; and

�A coruscating energy shield that sur-rounds her body and provides her withGood (10) protection from physical andenergy attacks.

TALENTS: Mindblast has displayed noparticular talents.

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BLOODLUST�Criminal (mercenary)

F EX(20) Health: 92A RM(30)S GD(12) Karma: 34E RM(30)R PR(4) Resources: TypicalI EX(20)P GD(10) Popularity: � 5

POWERS: Bloodlust�s only power is herExcellent (20) Material Strength claws. Incombat, Bloodlust inflicts Excellent (20)Edged Attacks damage. Also, Bloodlust�scostume has enough padding to give herTypical (6) protection from physicalattacks.

TALENTS: Bloodlust is a Weapon Special-ist with her claws, and she possesses theMartial Arts E and Acrobatics skills.


CONTACTS: At the time of this writing,the only contact revealed for the FemmeFatales is a mysterious scientist named Dr.Turner. He employed the Femme Fatales toharass Spider-Man, so that Spidey wouldreturn to Turner�s lab. Turner�s plans forthe Web-slinger are unrevealed.

HISTORY: As this is the first appearanceof the Femme Fatales as a team, they haveonly a brief history to report.

Recently, Spider-Man was asked to at-tend a public ceremony welcoming anambassador from an Eastern Europeancountry. The Femme Fatales attackedSpidey at the airport. They directed a feinttoward the ambassador, but their truetarget was Spider-Man. The Web-slingerfought them to a standstill, but as policereinforcements arrived, the Femme Fa-tales fled the scene. It is a safe bet, how-ever, that the Femme Fatales andSpider-Man will meet again.

More information will doubtlessly berevealed about the Femme Fatales andtheir powers as time and plots move along.For more information on Whiplash andBloodlust, see Marvel Comics Presents #49.

ROLE-PLAYING NOTES: In their battleagainst the Web-slinger, the Femme Fatalesshowed sound tactics. Bloodlust and Whip-lash kept Spidey off guard and didn�t allowhim to take the offensive. Meanwhile,Knockout and Mindblast prepared toadminister the coup de grace. They alsotook advantage of the situation, using theambassador�s arrival to cover up their truemotive�attacking Spider-Man. Mindblasteven attempted to roast Spidey by tele-kinetically holding him above the ambassa-dor�s plane, which was leaking fuel, whileKnockout tossed a lit cigarette lighter intothe pools of fuel.

In your campaign, the Femme Fatalesshould use similar techniques to beat yourheroes. They work together very well andpair up to take on foes they outnumber(Bloodlust with Whiplash and Knockout

with Mindblast are suggested pairings). Ifyour heroes mess up or underestimatethese ladies, be sure that the Femme Fa-tales make them pay the price. Thesevillains use their brains, not just theirbrawn.

The Femme Fatales might appear inyour campaign as hired muscle on any of anumber of missions. Perhaps the localMaggia boss has someone�probably yourheroes�that he wants taken out of thepicture. Maybe a mastermind villain islooking for some super-powered muscle toprotect him or to help him wipe out thosepesky heroes who keep cropping up at allthe worst times. Or maybe the FemmeFatales just arrived in your heroes� townand want to show everyone just what theycan do. And what better way than bytrashing the local heroes?

A note to those of you who have writtento me requesting stats on all the amazingmutants hopping around the MARVELUNIVERSE� these days: Pick up The Un-canny X-MEN� Special! boxed set (TSRProduct No. 6896) by Jeff Grubb. In it,you�ll find a Roster Book full of up-to-datestats on everyone from the Mutant Libera-tion Front, the Brood Mutants, and theResistants to the X-Men, X-Factor, and theReavers. Also included is a campaign bookfor running your own all-mutant cam-paign, an adventure book containing theadventure �School�s Out,� by Rick Swan,plus four full-color maps of such legend-ary locations as the X-Men�s Mansion,Excalibur�s lighthouse, and more!

Send any comments or questions to: TheMARVEL-Phile, DRAGON® Magazine, P.O.Box 111, Lake Geneva WI 53147, U.S.A.


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Special maneuvers for AD&D® 1st Edition game fighters

Elrion Drowslayer hid in the rocky pass,at the base of a narrow path leading to anatural stone bridge. The bridge archedacross a canyon, the only entry to theArch-Mage�s mountain sanctuary. Threeogres guarded the bridge. Beyond themwas a spire of stone riddled with twistingpassages, laboratories, lairs, and thedungeon in which Elrion�s comrades wereentrapped. With luck, they still lived.

The bridge had been carved eons ago,with no cover or rails, by Aerdrie Faenya,the goddess of the winds. The ogres hadno missile weapons, but they were at leasta bowshot away. Elrion�s arrows had longbeen exhapsted, and he could not rely onstealth to get past the sentries. He wouldneed his quickness and fighting skills. Sob e i t .

by Cory S. Kammer

Elrion bellowed a challenge and sprintedfrom hiding, runesword in hand, his elvenboots dancing silently across the rockypath. As he had hoped, two of the ogrescharged him with their own insults, swing-ing their clubs in high orcs. As the firstdrew near, Elrion feinted, then thrustsharply, drawing blood and driving theogre over the brink. An instant later, hisshield arm rang with sudden pain asElrion�s second assailant was upon him.The impact of its club, just barely parried,numbed his shield arm and shoulder. Witha quick riposte, a second blow was de-flected sideways, and Elrion thrust hisblade deep into the ogre�s breast. The ogrecrumpled, and Elrion paused to free hissword.

Instead of signaling for aid, the finalogre stared impassively. Its massive armsflexed, one hand patiently resting on hisupright mallet, as if posing for a portrait.But as Elrion closed, its two mighty handsclosed on the tremendous hammer andhefted it above the ogre�s shoulder. Thething grunted obscenities in its nativetongue. Bending under the ogre�s swipe,Elrion caught the maul on the overlongcrosspiece of his long, sword, wrenched,and levered it from the beast�s grip.

Weaponless, the creature was no matchfor Elrion. It was a short battle beforeElrion, spotted with blood and covered inscratches, stood alone. Elrion then set offacross the great span toward the darktunnel at the end. Knowing it premature

to feel triumph, he hoped his skills wouldserve him as well in the battles to come�and he prayed that his comrades still lived.

For simplicity�s sake, the drama of battleis lost in AD&D® 1st Edition games. Fight-ing is divided into an attack roll against anarmor class, followed by a damage roll.Feints, parries, and ripostes are assumedto occur during the space of a round tofacilitate the game. But this is unfair tofighters. Mages, clerics, and druids domi-nate combat with fabulous spells that alterreality, and thieves can slink and hidebefore striking critical backstabs. Until theadvent of specializations, fighters had nospecial skills in battle other than a betterchance to hit.

Enter Oriental Adventures. After itsappearance, the whole new world of mar-tial arts and special maneuvers emergedfor those who adventured in the mysticrealms of Kara-Tur. The special maneuverswere made simple to use, with few addi-tional die rolls; the emphasis was on versa-tility, fun, and creativity. Each newcharacter could have his own distinctivemartial-arts style. Always seeking to simu-late the feint, thrust, dodge, and parry ofreal melee combat, this became the per-fect avenue to create special combat ma-neuvers for fighters.

This article expounds on how gamerscan utilize special combat maneuvers toimprove play and versatility. Potentially,each fighter can create a combat styleunique to himself.

Special combat maneuvers are actionsand abilities acquired through intensivetraining and skill. Some maneuvers areactions that must be announced at thestart of each round during a fight (Feint,Parry, Evasion). Others are always in ef-fect (All-Around Sight, Resist Unconscious-ness, Dexterity). Sometimes combatmaneuvers are risky because failure leavesthe character in an exposed or dangerousposition. Some are weapon-based skills,and others deal with intellectual and phys-ical power.

Maneuvers are categorized into princi-pal methods of fighting. All special combatmaneuvers are ranked from easiest tomost difficult to master within each cate-gory. The lower a maneuver�s number, the

easier it is to master and execute. Whenchoosing a maneuver, a character mustselect them in a progression from #1 onup. A more difficult maneuver can belearned only when those before it aremastered.

If a character wishes to be schooled inabilities from several categories, all ma-neuvers must be learned in order. Forexample, Kyrik Wulfgar begins his careerlearning skills in the Movement category.After learning Feint, Parting Blow, andDrive, he chooses to improve other skills,so he next masters Dodge and Evasion inthe Grappling category. At this point, hedecides to return to the Movement cate-gory to learn the Speed maneuver, whichis possible only because he previouslyearned the first three skills. Should helater decide to extend his expertise toanother category, Kyrik will start at thebeginning maneuver yet again.

Special combat maneuvers are the dis-tinct province of the fighter class. Each isearned by expending one weapon profi-ciency slot. There is no limit to the num-ber of skills that may be learned, but acharacter must be proficient with at leastone weapon type before attempting them.Players must consider their choices care-fully, because even a 16th-level fighter hasonly nine slots to divide among weaponproficiencies, specializations, and weaponmaneuvers. Nonweapon proficiency slotscannot be used for these maneuvers.

Training for maneuvers is long andrigorous. First, an individual must seek aqualified teacher who knows the specialmaneuver desired. In a large city, theremay be fighting schools where a variety ofdisciplines are taught. In an isolated com-munity, a character may be restricted tothe skills of a few well-trained individuals.Characters with military training mighthave received their skills through constantdrilling with their units; thus, specificskills might be quite common to a region.It is quite likely an entire adventure couldhinge on locating or rescuing the masterof a difficult maneuver, just as a magemight go on a quest for an arcane tome.

Having found a suitable instructor, thestudent begins strict training, similar tolevel-advancement training. Mastery of askill is earned in 1-4 weeks, depending

D R A G O N 7 5

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upon a character�s performance in prioradventuring. Special combat maneuverscan never be acquired through self-training. Coupled with level training, train-ing time for combat maneuvers may bereduced by one week, but the total train-ing period may never be less than a week.

Training costs are highly variable. Thedegree that a maneuver is known through-out a region will affect the price of train-ing, as well as the teacher�s predispositionto his student. Generally, the base cost perweek of special-maneuver training isequivalent to the costs for level training.The prices tend to escalate the more oneexcels in a category, because few fightersever achieve those higher pinnacles of skilland they treasure their unique standings.Costs for rare maneuvers may be excep-tionally high.

Special combat maneuvers were in-tended to function as a special ability ofthe fighter class. A DM may decide otherfighter subclasses merit, special combatmaneuvers as well, but these subclassesmust satisfy their other class requirementsbefore expending weapon proficiencies formaneuvers.

Monsters are also candidates for usingspecial weapon maneuvers. Some logicmust be used, or variety will be lost ifevery creature possesses them. For themost part, humanoids of lawful alignmentsand of average or better intelligence areprime choices to adopt combat maneuvers,because of their intellect and tendencytoward regimented training. With theirwarlike organizations, orcs and hobgoblinscommonly acquire special maneuvers.This can make those one-hit-dice orcssurprisingly tough. Ogres, bugbears,gnolls, and trolls, who tend to be disorgan-ized, should be without maneuvers, exceptfor the rare leader types among them. Notall chaotic alignments should be excludedfrom special maneuvers, though. Thedrow, for instance, are chaotic evil butenjoy a structured society that encouragesexcellence in combat; they could learnweapon skills.

A DM must use common sense in assess-ing those situations in which combat ma-neuvers are effective. Some skills arealways in effect, but events might circum-vent their use. A character stumbling intoa pit of spikes will be impaled, so it isimprobable that he could use his Fall ma-neuver to roll when hitting the groundand suffer only half damage. Obviously, itis ridiculous to attempt stunning or inca-pacitating a red dragon by pummeling;and entangling a creature with no limbs isimpossible, if not pointless. The DM dic-tates whether or not it is possible to use agiven maneuver in each case, just as hewould judge the effects of a spell. As arule of thumb, an opponent must be fromhalfling to ogre size in order for a specialcombat maneuver to work against it.

Additionally, remember that these arehighly experimental additions to the game.Adjustments may have to be made to

76 JANUARY 1991

maintain game balance. Campaigns relyingheavily on fighters will benefit from hav-ing more versatile characters, but thestrength of the opponents might need tobe increased (or fewer combative situa-tions might be encountered, limiting theuse of such special maneuvers). Campaignswith few fighters will benefit as the war-riors will be better able to fill their roles todefend their allies and attack foes. If fight-ers come to overshadow other classes,however, these maneuvers should betrimmed down or left unused.

The descriptions of special combat ma-neuvers follow and are arranged by cate-gory, from least difficult to most difficult,as given on the Special Combat ManeuversTables.

BalanceFall: This maneuver enables a character

to roll with a fall or to position himself tolessen damage from a fall. Once learned,this maneuver is constantly in effect. Acharacter thus protected suffers only halfdamage from falls; his carried equipmentreceives a +2 bonus to save vs. fall.

Instant Stand: Knowing this skill al-lows a character to instantly regain hisfeet, whether he�s knocked off balance,prone, or recovering from a fall. Thecharacter loses only the ability to movethat round and suffers no defensive penal-ties. Only nonbulky armor may be wornwhen executing an Instant Stand. At theDM�s discretion, this maneuver is allowedto function in magical bulky armor, due toits greater flexibility and lesser weight.

Prone Fighting: This maneuver hasmany functions. First, a fighter with thisskill is empowered to fight as effectivelywhen knocked to the ground as if he wereon his feet. The only limitation is that noother special maneuvers except InstantStand may be used when fighting in thismanner. Second, all die rolls made to es-cape a grappling-attack gain a +1 bonus.Third, this maneuver allows a character toovercome penalties when fighting in tightplaces, such as a cavern with a low ceiling,due to the character�s practice in fightingin unusual or off-balance positions. Allfunctions are constantly in effect.

Dexterity: After an initial training timeof double the normal length, a fighter isintroduced to a regimen of exercises thatcreates greater agility, nimbleness, speed,and flexibility. He gains one point on hisdexterity score. This reflects commitmentand hard work, and it takes an hour perday of exercises to keep this bonus. Fail-ure to keep this regimen causes theseskills to atrophy quickly. A character whomisses training for more than three con-secutive days loses the benefit of the dex-terity bonus and requires two day�s ofdouble workouts for every day missed, ormust begin intensive retraining as if theskill had never been learned. A new profi-ciency slot need not be used, however.

If the DM allows a paladin or cavalier togain this skill, the results differ. When the

paladin or cavalier advances a level and isallowed his 2d10 roll for additional dexter-ity percentile points, he receives a bonusof + 5% to this roll, thanks to the maneu-ver. No other benefit is received, not eventhe gaining of a full dexterity point, but noadditional training is necessary, either.

MovementFeint: To employ this maneuver, a char-

acter must announce that he intends tomake a feint before making an attack roll.A normal attack roll is then made. If theblow hits the opponent, the character�snext attack on the same opponent will beat +2 attack bonus. This is a consequenceof drawing the opponent�s attention awayfrom the point at which the character willstrike next. Against a rival countering witha Riposte, there is no chance whatsoeverto land a feint; however, the Riposte willbe at a � 4 attack probability.

Parting Blow: By saving at least oneattack and allowing all melee opponentstheir remaining attacks, an individual maystrike the final blow in a round. Shouldthe attack hit successfully, the attackermay withdraw 10� without any opponentspursuing or striking at him (unless he isrestrained or surrounded). This allows thecharacter to close the distance with adifferent opponent, lend aid in anotherportion of the battle, or get a head start ifhe intends to flee on the following round.If the Parting Blow fails, the character isstill engaged in melee combat.

A fighter with multiple attacks who fellsan enemy with his first blow may useParting Blow to move up to 10� and attacka second foe within that range, as long ashe is allowed another attack in that round.

It is possible to strike a Parting Blow butlose initiative in the following round. Anopponent who closes in such a case ne-gates the previous round�s Parting Blowmovement advantage.

Drive: By strength and skill, an attackermay attempt to push or direct his oppo-nent backward. On a successful hit, theopponent may be driven back 1� per levelof the attacker. If the distance an oppo-nent is pressed back is greater than 3�, thevictim must save vs. paralyzation to re-main on his feet. In addition, should avictim be driven over 3� into a solid objector wall, he takes 1 hp damage. A victimmay also be pushed over a brink. Shouldan opponent remain standing, he maymelee with his attacker normally.

Because of the aggressive nature of thisattack, should the Drive fail, the attackeris exposed and loses any bonuses to armorclass due to dexterity for the remainder ofthe round.

Speed: Through concentration andmuscle control, the character gains doublethe amount of melee attacks and twice hisnormal combat movement rate. This ma-neuver is very tiring and can be done onlyonce per day for five rounds. After thistime, an individual can fight normally for1-4 rounds more, then must rest for 2-8

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rounds, during which time he can move atonly half speed and can only defend him-self (no spell-casting or psionics). He mayfight and move normally thereafter.

Missile Deflection: This maneuvermay be executed with a shield or with aweapon 3-6� in length. Lightning-fast re-flexes allow a defender to deflect up totwo missile attacks per round. If a largeshield is employed, three missiles may beavoided. The skill always functions, butthe defender must be aware of his assail-ant. The attempt to deflect missiles mustbe announced before the to-hit rolls forthe missiles are made. If the defendersaves vs. paralyzation, he has successfullydeflected a missile attack and sustains nodamage. A failed save allows a standardchance to be hit.

Missiles that cannot be deflected includeexceptionally large ones, such as giant-hurled boulders or catapult missiles, andmissiles created by magic, like Melf�s min-ute meteors, fireball, or magic missilespells. Enchanted missiles, such as arrowsor quarrels, subtract one per magicalbonus of the missile from a defender�ssaving throw.

DefenseParry: This maneuver may be used

once per round per attack permitted tothe fighter. If parrying with a meleeweapon, all of the character�s bonuses toattack from strength, magic, or specializa-tion may be subtracted from the adver-sary�s attack roll. Should an attacker roll anatural 20, the penalty from a parry isnegated. The Evasion maneuver maynever be coupled with a Parry.

Weapon�s Length: A character usingthis maneuver, and employing a thrustingweapon (e.g., spear) of equal or greaterlength than his foe�s in melee, may strikethe first blow when closing with a foeregardless of initiative rolls or weapon-speed factors. If the blow is successful, theopponent is also forced to remain justbeyond the thrusting weapon�s reach,unable to close with the character. Failureto deal a successful blow allows the oppo-nent within the character�s guard, and theopponent hits with a +2 bonus. The ma-neuver cannot be reestablished after fail-ure until a round when the opponent failsto attack successfully. Additionally, if theopponent attempts to rush the character,the character may remain in place butthrust at the attacker, striking first anddoing double damage as if his weaponwere set for a charge. Both of these func-tions are effective against only one at-tacker, and both require sufficient room inwhich to wield the thrusting weapon.

Shield: With this special maneuver, thefighter�s training has granted him superiorprowess with a shield, giving a +1 bonusto armor class, beyond any other bonuses,which is always in effect. Magical anddexterity bonuses are counted as well.Thus, a nonmagical medium shield offers a+2 bonus to armor class, and a shield +2

offers a +4 bonus to armor class. Shieldsmay counter only a specific number ofattacks per round, as outlined in the 1stEdition Players Handbook (page 36), andthis does not change with this maneuver.

Riposte: This maneuver is an attack aswell as a defense. To use this skill, a char-acter must withhold at least one attackallowed to him in a round and have anequal or greater initiative roll than hisantagonist. The character waits until hisfoe begins his assault, then parries withhis weapon and rapidly strikes his ownblow. The success of the Riposte is deter-mined just as a normal Parry maneuverwould be; if the Riposte deters the oppo-nent�s attack, the character�s subsequentattack is at a +2 bonus (strength andspecialization bonuses still apply). If anopponent�s blow lands despite the parry,the Riposte is negated and the charactermakes his attack with normal bonuses.

Weapon Catch: When parrying aweapon thrust with his melee weapon, acharacter tries to catch his opponent�sweapon in place by leverage. The charac-ter�s weapon must be of at least half thesize and weight of the opponent�s weapon.If Weapon Catch is announced at the startof a round, the opponent�s weapon iscaught and rendered ineffective if hisattack fails and if the character makes asuccessful attack roll (which does no dam-age to the opponent). The opponent maydrop his weapon or may sacrifice his nextattack to automatically pull his weaponfree. Should the opponent�s weapon betrapped with an entangling weapon, a1d20 dexterity check is required to breakfree.

An individual who has caught an oppo-nent�s weapon may strike a blow with hisfree hand at a +2 attack probability, ei-ther during the same round (if he hasattacks left to make) or during the nextround (if the opponent has not released orfreed his weapon). He may disarm his foeinstead. The opponent is allowed a save vs.paralyzation to retain his weapon, but thecharacter�s bonuses to hit with his meleeweapon are subtracted from the oppo-nent�s save. The DM should administer thismaneuver carefully, with an eye towardrealism and logic.

StrikePummel: When using Weaponless

Combat System I from Unearthed Arcana,blows from fists do 1-4 hp damage ratherthan the usual 1-2 hp. If using WeaponlessCombat System II, small, soft objects inflict1-4 hp damage; small, hard objects inflict1-6 hp; and all large objects inflict 1-8 hpdamage on any hit, plus applicablestrength bonuses.

Crushing Blow: This maneuver isconstantly in effect. Damage from pum-meling attacks are at an additional +½ hpper level. This bonus also applies to shieldsmashes. Furthermore, when using Weap-onless Combat System II (from UnearthedArcana), the chance to stun a victim is

+1% per level greater than normal. Themaximum chance to stun is 95%.

Vital Area: This carefully aimed pum-meling attack increases damage by 1 hpper level. This bonus is used instead of the+½ hp gained from the Crushing Blowspecial maneuver. The force of the blowalso will incapacitate a victim�s limb (se-lected randomly, excluding the head) on aroll of four or more better than needed tohit his armor class. Again, this bonusapplies to shield smashes, and the chanceto stun an adversary remains the same asunder Crushing Blow.

Stun/Incapacitate: On a successfulpummeling attack, besides damage gainedas per Vital Area, the impact may stun orincapacitate the victim if he fails to savevs. paralyzation. If the save fails, the oppo-nent is stunned for 1-6 rounds; if a secondsaving throw vs. paralyzation fails, thevictim is knocked unconscious for 2-8turns. This bonus does not apply to shieldsmashes, and the normal chance to stunwhen pummeling is disregarded whenattempting this maneuver.

GrapplingDodge: This maneuver may be used in

place of an attack, bestowing a bonus of+2 to a character�s armor class against allmelee attacks. The defender must beaware of all of his attackers. The dodgemaneuver is not negated until the charac-ter attacks. This skill constantly gives +1to saves vs. breath weapons and othermagical attacks that may be dodged, or a+2 if the user currently has this maneu-ver in effect. This maneuver cannot beused if the character is wearing any armorother than non-bulky.

Evasion: This lets a character evademelee attacks directed at him in a round inwhich he has the initiative. Such attackscan be normal melee attacks or magicalattacks that affect a 10�-square area orless. The character�s evasion chance is 3%per level and can never exceed 45%. TheEvasion chance is rolled for a characterbefore the to-hit roll is made by an at-tacker. This special combat maneuvercannot be used while the character iswearing bulky armor.

In the event a fighter/thief-acrobat takesthis skill, he gains an additional 2% bonusto his thief-acrobat evasion ability eachtime he earns a new level; this is subject toa thief�s armor class restrictions.

Slam: A fighter with this maneuverthrows his body weight into an opponentto knock him off balance. With a success-ful attack, the Slam staggers the defender,giving him a -2 to hit and -2 to his initia-tive for his following attack. A failed at-tack leaves the character off balance,applying a -2 to his next attack initiative.

Clinch: A character may execute thismaneuver when he has initiative for theround. Provided an opponent�s attackmisses, the fighter exploits the opening bypinning the opponent�s weapon arm to hisside or behind his back, with no attack roll


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Special Combat Maneuvers Tables

Balance Grappling1. Fall Dodge1.2. Instant Stand 2. Evasion3. Prone Fighting 3. Slam4. Dexterity 4. Clinch

Movement1. Feint2. Parting Blow3. Drive4. Speed5. Missile


Mental Training1. All Around Sight2. Mental

Resistance3. Blind Fighting4. Intelligence

Defense1. Parry2. Weapon�s

Length3. Shield4. Riposte5. Weapon Catch

PhysicalTraining1. Ironskin2. Resist Unconsci-

ousness3. Perception4. �Health and

Fitness5. Strength

Weapon Skill1. Entangle/Fast

Draw2. Stun3. Weapon Breaker4. Hit Location5. Secondary


Strike1. Pummel2. Crushing Blow3. Vital Area4. stun/


necessary. Successive attacks made by thecharacter are at +2 to hit, and the oppo-nent�s dexterity bonuses are neutralized.The opponent�s future attacks must beused to negate the hold; any method men-tioned in Weaponless Combat System IImay be used to do so. Once applied, thismaneuver is in effect until the opponentbreaks free.

Mental TrainingAll-Around Sight: The character�s

training attunes him to his immediatesurroundings so he is able to detect oppo-nents on all sides, provided they are notinvisible. Characters with this maneuvermay never be struck from behind or suf-fer a penalty from a back attack in melee.Missile attacks still strike normally. Thisskill constantly functions but is negated bywearing a great helm or similar device.

Mental Resistance: The mental exer-cises and ordeals of the individual�s train-ing have toughened and strengthened hiswill so that he receives + 2 bonus on allsaving throws against mental attacks,including: charm, hold, and illusion spells.This maneuver is always in effect.

Blind Fighting: In darkness, whenblinded, or faced by invisible enemies, acharacter with this skill suffers only a -1penalty on attack rolls and saves. Whilethis maneuver is always in effect, any ofthese instances can be combined with asilence spell to render the character effec-tively blind again.

Intelligence: After undergoing anextensive initial learning program of atleast three times the normal trainingtime, a fighter gains + 1 to his intelli-gence score. However, if a mind is notconstantly challenged, it gets lethargicand knowledge is forgotten. To keep fulleffectiveness, a fighter must spend 1½hours of study or reading a day. Aftermore than a month without sufficientreading, study, or research (at the DM�sdiscretion), this ability will be lost. toregain it requires two full days of studyfor each week of reading missed, or ex-tensive retraining as if the skill had neverbeen learned (a new proficiency slot neednot be used).

Physical TrainingIronskin: By physical training and

toughening, a character makes himselfmore resistant to physical damage, im-proving his armor class by one step. Dex-terity bonuses, rings or cloaks ofprotection, bracers of defense, shields,and like items may be used with this skill,but Ironskin cannot be used when wear-ing any type of armor.

Resist Unconsciousness: When acharacter applying this maneuver reacheszero hit points or lower, but not below -9hp, he may function for two segments perlevel before falling unconscious. The charac-ter might have time to call for aid, bind one

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wound, drink a potion, or even slay hisattacker before blacking out. Note that acharacter in negative hit points continues tolose 1 hp each round, nonetheless.

Perception: Perception instructs anindividual to focus his senses more effec-tively. He gains a +2 bonus on 1d20 rolls(or + 10% on 1d100 rolls) to: find secret orconcealed doors; hear noises; find traps;penetrate an assassin�s disguise; save vs.illusions lacking visual, audible, tactile, orolfactory sensations; and all similar situa-tions that affect the senses. Likewise,surprise rolls are modified by +2, but aroll of a 1 always fails. Some of the skillsthat will benefit from this maneuver mightnot be possessed by a fighter who is notmulti- or dual-classed.

Health & Fitness: Following doublenormal training time, consisting of run-ning and aerobic exercise, an individualsstamina is increased enough to gain onepoint on his constitution score. An addi-tional hour of exercise is necessary eachday to retain this bonus. Neglect allowsthe body to lose its form quickly. Missingexercises for more than three consecutivedays disallows the constitution bonus andrequires two days of double workouts forevery day missed. The other option wouldbe to retrain as if the maneuver werenever learned, but the character need notexpend a new proficiency slot.

As with the Dexterity maneuver, thisability changes if a DM allows cavaliers togain special maneuvers. When a cavalierachieves a new level, then makes his 2d10roll for additional constitution percentilepoints, he benefits by gaining +5% to theroll. No other benefit is gained, not eventhe full point of constitution, but no addi-tional training is required outside thecavalier�s normal regimen.

Strength: Already physically fit, afighter may now build on his physicalpower. An initial training time of twicenormal duration is required. Throughstrength-building exercises and weightlift-ing, an individuals strength score willincrease by one point, or one level ofexceptional strength (18 percentile) to amaximum strength of 18/00. Only half anhour of additional exercise per day isrequired to sustain this ability. In all otheraspects, this maneuver behaves as theprevious skill, Health & Fitness.

Assuming cavaliers and paladins areentitled to gain special combat maneuvers,they receive bonuses to their strengthpercentile as detailed under Health &Fitness, with the same restrictions.

Weapon SkillEntangle/Fast Draw: This maneuver

is exceptional in that there are two possi-bilities to choose from. Entangle is oftenpreferred, but few characters use weap-ons with entangling attacks; therefore,Fast Draw is offered as an alternative.Should a character wish to gain both skills,he must learn each as a separate skillbefore advancing to the next weapon skill.

8 0 J A N U A R Y 1 9 9 1

Entangle allows a character hitting suc-cessfully with a weapon possessing entan-gling capabilities (like a morning star withchain, a whip, a flail, or a net) to entanglean opponent�s weapon and disarm him,unless the foe saves vs. paralyzation. If anadversary�s saving roll turns out to be oneless than was needed to save, then boththe opponent�s and character�s weaponsare hopelessly entangled, taking a fullround to disengage them. Normal damageis scored on a successful hit in any case.

Fast Draw is the art of unsheathing orsheathing a melee weapon with blindingspeed. The character must specify whichweapon this skill applies to, and theweapon must be a distinctive type, not ageneral class. From that time on, the indi-vidual may switch to or from that weaponin an instant without penalty. In an at-tempt to startle an opponent, a charactermay Fast Draw his weapon, receiving a-1 penalty on his opponent�s surprise roll.If the rival is also skilled in Fast Draw, thispenalty is negated.

Stun: This risky move allows an at-tacker to guide his blunt weapon, swordpommel, spear butt, or like weapon toland a blow that inflicts subduing damage(as per the rules on pummeling in the 1stEdition DMG, page 72) and stuns an enemyfor 2-12 segments. A stunned opponentloses all shield and dexterity bonuses, maynot attack, and may not use spells or psi-onics. A missed Stun attack leaves theopponent an opening to strike at + 2 onhis next attack. If an adversary is cur-rently stunned and subsequently stunnedagain, the following stun attacks add 3-18segments to the time he is stunned.

Weapon Breaker: This jarring strokewith a melee weapon will break a de-fender�s weapon unless it saves vs. crush-ing blow. Additionally, the defender mustsave vs. paralyzation or drop the weapon.The weapon breaker may operate againstshields or armor as well, destroying ashield or weakening armor by one step ofarmor class if it fails a saving throw vs.crushing blow. Shields will be ruined, butarmor may be repaired although anymagic dweomer will be lost. The maneu-ver causes no loss of hit points. Of course,the character�s weapon should be solidand heavy enough to break the opponent�sweapon, and the opponent�s weapon mustbe breakable. Magical bonuses of theopponent�s weapon are added to its savingthrow.

Hit Location: Targeting a specific area,an attacker with initiative strikes a blowfor maximum damage. The targeted areaneed not be determined, eliminating theneed for hit location charts, as it is as-sumed that the fighter�s superior trainingand skill guides his thrust to the least-protected area on his victim. This attack ismade at -4 attack penalty. If this maneu-ver is coupled with the Stun maneuver,the penalties are cumulative. Combiningthis skill with Weapon Breaker penalizesall the defender�s savings throws by -2.

Secondary Weapon: This maneuverallows the character to fight two-handedwith none of the usual penalties for suchfighting. The weapon wielded in the pri-mary hand may be any of the sort that canbe used one-handed. The secondaryweapon may be any type, 2� or shorter inlength. At the DM�s option, he may rulethat specializations are not effective forweapons in the secondary hand.

For fighters who favor only a few weap-ons, special combat maneuvers are a bless-ing. Fighters have always had a multitudeof weapons proficiency slots available tothem; through personal experience, it isapparent that at some point the slots be-come excessive. A character with an intel-ligent long sword, vorpal weapon will usethat weapon to the exclusion all others.Despite the fact a character is proficientwith the morning star, long bow, pike, andbattle axe as well, the only weapon he willuse is that long sword. Special combatmaneuvers eliminate wasted weaponproficiencies, enhance the capabilities of acharacter�s favored weapon, and providebonuses in situations where a charactermight normally be vulnerable.

Just as two mages differ in spell choices,special combat maneuvers allow fightersto evolve in completely separate direc-tions. A few maneuvers can change ge-neric character stats into a fighter offormidable skill.

As always, the DM makes the final deci-sion on special combat maneuvers. He maychoose to eliminate specific maneuvers orentire categories that are inappropriatefor his campaign. The variety of specialcombat maneuvers added to the fighterclass opens a new realm of play. Don�tforget to riposte!

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by Jerold M. StrattonArtwork by Terry Dykstra

82 JANUARY 1991

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Many game masters are of the opinionthat using prepackaged, commercial ad-ventures in their carefully constructedcampaigns is similar to forcing a squarepeg into a round hole. I believe that well-constructed campaigns are the most suit-able for commercial adventures and thatcommercial adventures can enhance acampaign and aid the game master. If aworld is created with care, the designercan more easily make decisions aboutintegrating adventures into the world.Also, there is nothing to restrict gamemasters to using only adventures writtenfor one game system; adventures fromother game systems are also useful. Thereare two major reasons for using commer-cial adventures. The most obvious is that alarge amount of adventure material can begained with only a small amount of work.The second is that it allows the gamemaster to run adventures in styles he doesnot feel comfortable creating himself.

How to get startedFirst, find an adventure that you would

like to run. Chances are you have alreadycome across adventures in the local gamestore and thought �This would be good ifit weren�t for . . .� If the basic premise ofthe adventure is something you like, theadventure can probably be integrated intoyour campaign. There are three steps tofitting an adventure to a world:

1. Read the adventure: Make sure youunderstand what is happening and why itis happening. Why do the antagonists actthe way they do? Why are the itemswhere they are? Why are the events tak-ing place when they do? The author didnot write this adventure with your worldsplayer characters in mind; your playersmay do things the author did not expect,and you must be prepared to wing itwithin the module�s context.

2. Find what you like: Determine whatappeals to you about the adventure. Is itthe genre? the plot? the locale? If it is amystery based in Las Vegas, is the idea ofrunning an adventure in Las Vegas whatappeals to you, or is it running an adven-ture in a backdrop of glamour and gam-bling? If the latter is the case, then theadventure could be moved to Atlantic City,Lake Tahoe, or a city in a fantasy world.You should look past the trappings to thereal draw of the adventure. When youknow what you like about the adventure,you know what not to change.

3. Find what you need to change: Exam-ine the adventure again, with an eye forways to mesh the adventure with yourcampaign. Examine the characters, crea-tures, items, locales, geographical features,events, and histories (both stated andimplied), and modify them to suit yourworld.

With regards to the characters andcreatures involved, will using certain NPCand monsters from your world ratherthan using the author�s NPCs and monsterschange their motivations or actions in any

way? Are any characters, PCs or NPCs, inyour world similar to any of the module�sgiven characters? If so, replace some ofthe stock characters with your own. TakeMung, the wilderness guide whom themodule recommends your party hire, andreplace him with Trasker, the barbarianhireling of a PC in your group, makingsure that Trasker knows all that Mung wassupposed to know. This is a great steptoward making the adventure look like itwas written just for your world.

You can also modify the adventure tomake it more suited to your style or tosimply be different. You may make somecreatures more powerful, weaken some,and completely rework others. NPCs thatthe author largely ignored can be givenlarger roles, while some the author put inthe spotlight can be downplayed.

You may have to modify the history ofcertain items, magical or otherwise, tomake them fit your world. You may alsowant to simply get rid of some items,either because you do not want the PCs tohave them (no spheres of annihilation, forexample) or because they simply do nothave a place in your world (no dragon-lances in a non-DRAGONLANCE® sagacampaign). You can also replace stockitems with similar items that already havehistories in your world, or with items thatyou want to introduce to the campaign.Whatever you do, make sure it doesn�tadversely affect the adventure. If youreplace or modify an essential item, makesure that you somehow make that itemunnecessary or move its responsibilitysomewhere else. A ring of comprehendlanguages, for example, could be replacedwith a multilingual NPC critical to theadventure�s success.

When changing locales, make sure themodule�s locale could exist in your world.You could use dimension travel, planartravel, or time travel to get the charactersto the exact location of the adventure, butthis turns the adventure into a dimension-travel, planar-travel, or time-travel adven-ture. This is not always bad, but it�susually best to place the adventure some-where within the confines of the �normal�world of your campaign. A GANGBUS-TERS� adventure based in Chicago couldbecome an AD&D® adventure based in afantasy city of your campaign, preferablya city with a reputation for organizedcrime. You must also ensure that the geog-raphy of the adventure fits the geographyof the area where you place it. Geographycan usually be modified after you find aplace for the adventure, but importantgeographical features may limit the possi-ble locations (if the module requires avolcano or a seaport, you need a volcanoor a seaport).

Look at the history involved, too. Wouldcities, towns, and villages have developedthe same in your world as they did in theauthor�s? Would they have the samenames? If your world is based on Celticmythology, a town full of Spanish names

will appear out of place. You should editthe snippets of history the author occa-sionally mentions, modifying them withyour knowledge of your worlds history.Tales of great battles with giants thusbecome tales of great battles with hobgob-lins. Also, a background history is oftenimplied in various parts of the adventure.If, in your world, ghouls congregate onlyaround areas of ancient battles, and partof the adventure involves meeting a largenumber of ghouls, there is an impliedhistory: A battle occurred in the adventur-ing area sometime in the past. You mustensure that such a history could existbefore putting the situation in the adven-ture. You may even want to make such ahistory important to the adventure toanchor that adventure firmly to yourworld.

Now look at the events in the module.Would the reasons for the adventure�sexistence make sense in your world? Politi-cal tensions, religious battles, abandonedstrongholds-all can generate, adventuresand (if the backgrounds are genericenough) can be modified to fit the eventsof your campaign. Think of adventures interms of their plots, and you can use themregardless of genre. Here are some adven-tures whose basic structures are wellsuited to most genres:

1. An immensely powerful being orgroup becomes interested in the powerfulbeings of this world, and sends them tofight for survival on a patchwork planet,continent, or city complex far from home(MHSP1 The Secret Wars, for TSR�sMARVEL SUPER HEROES� game).

2. Lost on a previously unexploredplanet or continent, the players mustinteract with numerous alien races in theirbid to find a way home. On the way theydiscover that, to help the races survive,they must fight a mysterious villain andbring the races together to fend off anattack from outside (the Volturnus series,for TSR�s STAR FRONTIERS® game).

3. An expedition is lost in an unchartedjungle. In their quest to save the group,the characters come face-to-face withunimaginable horror and confront a villainfrom the worlds forgotten past (The Pitsof Bendal-Dolum, from Cthulhu Classics,for Chaosium�s CALL OF CTHULHU®game).

Crossing genresOne of the advantages gained from using

commercial adventures is the ability toswitch genres within a campaign. If youwant to give your fantasy game a taste ofhorror, go out and buy a good horroradventure. If you want to give it a taste ofmystery, buy a good mystery adventure.Simply convert the game mechanics toyour own game system, but keep thetheme. Crossing genres increases thenumber of commercial adventures availa-ble for your campaign, but you must keepan eye out for special circ*mstances.Situations tailored for one genre can have


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difficulties in another. A major villain inone of TSR�s TOP SECRET/S.I.� adventuresmay have gone to great lengths to con-struct a cell to hold her enemies. Thissame cell may be worthless against a 3rd-level wizard with a knock spell. If thevillain is altered to be someone who origi-nated from the fantasy campaign world,she will have taken different precautionsagainst escape: a permanent silence spellcast over the area by an allied mage, per-haps, or part of the locking mechanismkept out of range of a knock spell.

You should also be careful not to lose thefeel of things when converting. Rememberthat the simple conversion of statistics willnot always be the correct thing to do. Youshould also keep in mind what the statis-tics mean in relation to other characters.

For example, if you use this article�sguidelines to convert Thor�s strength of 25from the AD&D 1st Edition Legends &Lore (page 106) to Hero Games� CHAMPI-ONS® system, you wouldfind out howmuch he can lift (about 1,500 lbs.) andthen check what strength is necessary tolift that amount in the latter system (this isalso 25). However, remember that a scoreof 25 in the AD&D game is the limit forany personal characteristic. When con-verting Thor to the CHAMPIONS game,you will probably want to increase hisstrength even more so that he is one of thestrongest beings on your world. Keep theproper balance and feel of things in mindwhen converting.

Genre by genreEach genre has its own idiosyncrasies

and special problems. Only a few prob-lems are noted here, but these are amongthe most important points. Each sectionfirst looks at going between game systemswithin the same genre, then using adven-tures from that genre in other genres.

Fantasy: Fantasy is the most popularRPG genre, so you will have lots of extramaterial if you use commercial fantasyadventures. Remember, though, that if youcross game �systems, mechanics like spelllevels, psionics, and spell-casting willchange greatly. High-level spells in onegame might can be low-level spells inanother. Ensure that the adventure canhandle the spells used in your campaign,and that the spells necessary to completethe adventure are available. If the adven-ture assumes unlimited spell-casting (gen-erally with a spell-point system) or the useof different spell components, variousthings within the adventure may changealso. For example, if a spell requires afrog�s leg in one game and a dragon�s leg inanother, the frequency of that spell�s cast-ing will probably change.

When going from fantasy to other gen-res, you need to remember that mostfantasy adventures virtually require aspell-caster in the party. Psionics, super-powers, and technology sometimes makeup for a lack of magic; take this into ac-count if transferring to genres or games

84 JANUARY 1991

without magic. Also, NPCs in fantasy ad-ventures may have too many magicalitems, even for other games using magic, ifmagic is less common and more mysteri-ous in your campaign (as it often is in thehorror genre, for example). You will thenneed to reduce the amount of magicalitems carried by the module�s NPCs, possi-bly replacing them with technologicalitems or skills if essential.

Modern Era: This category includesespionage, detective, police, and militarysystems. One thing to watch when usingadventures from different modern-eragame systems is the varying level of tech-nology across these games. If the module�sauthor expects the PCs to view the villainswith their mini X-ray cameras, and thebest your PCs can come up with is a 1932flash camera, you will have to modifysome situations and events.

When using these adventures in cam-paigns of another genre, remember thatthe adventures probably assume a com-plete lack of magic on the part of the PCs.A single AD&D game locate object orpasswall spell might drop the playing timeto a couple of minutes if care is not taken.It shouldn�t be too hard to add precautionsagainst magic, but keep in mind that it willprobably have to be done. Also, most ofthese adventures are tailored to above-average (but still normal) characters whor*ly mostly on cunning, intelligence, andskill against similar NPCs. Care must betaken to keep an adventure interesting inother genres with tougher characters.Modern-era adventures most suitable forconversion are those requiring deductionand reasoning, which is generally ex-pected of players in any game system.

Science Fiction/Superhero: Science-fiction and superhero adventures areprobably the easiest to convert from gameto game within a single genre. SF adven-tures tend to have few restrictions as towhat can happen and how it can happen,since science fiction encompasses a widerange of possible scenarios. Superheroadventures are easy to convert betweengame systems because the genre has beenso well defined by comic books, and mostsuperhero games fall within the comic-book framework.

When using science-fiction and super-hero adventures in other genres, look outfor the level of technology involved. If youare converting such a module to a fantasyworld and plan to keep the technologylevel of the NPCs (they�re part of an alieninvasion, perhaps), you must be sure thatthe PCs have enough resources, magical orotherwise, to balance the NPCs. If youreplace the technology, be creative; it neednot all be replaced with magic. For exam-ple, a science-fiction pirate with an inter-stellar corsair equipped with a massivecomputer and a crew armed with lasersand vibroblades might become a fantasyRPG pirate with an ocean-going corsair, acrew armed with crossbows and rapiers,and a reliable sage. Much technology can

thus be replaced with its medievalcounterpart.

Trickery can replace special powers. If avillain in a superhero adventure is sup-posed to be able to teleport, and you don�twant this in your detective campaign,make the villain a master of disappear-ance. His house will have many secretdoors and passageways to effectively�teleport� him to different areas. Awayfrom home, he could use manhole covers,crowds, and carefully planned getawaysinvolving vehicles that can be hidden inother vehicles�driving a Porsche into asemi-trailer, or a motorcycle into a van.Even the most amazing powers can bemimicked with careful planning and thecorrect circ*mstances.

Horror: When using adventures fromone horror game system to another, becareful that you do not violate what thatgame considers the �rules� of the un-known. Many horror games have verystrict views on the unknown forces thatthe PCs combat. When converting a CALLOF CTHULHU adventure to a �standard�ghost-story adventure, you may have touse demons in place of the majorCthulhoid monsters.

When using horror adventures in cam-paigns of other genres, your major prob-lem will probably be the lack of detail oncertain areas of the adventure. PCs inhorror adventures are rarely as powerfulas their counterparts in other games(weakness feeds the horror atmosphere ofthe game). Thus, where the author expectsthe PCs to be forced to go one way, thefantasy PCs in your campaign may decideto go another way (�So there�s a vampire.Let�s kill him and see where he camefrom!�). You should find these situationsand take care of them before running theadventure. The most common ways ofdealing with this are:

will be forced into the correct directionafter all.

1. Expand the adventure as necessary.2. Modify the adventure so the players

3. Replace the locale with one you arealready familiar with, making it easier towing it when the players go in unplanneddirections.

There are other things to be watch.Most horror games do not include a powerlike a 1st-level cleric�s undead-turningcapability in the AD&D game. Most adven-tures will not be written with this possibil-ity in mind, so you should pay closeattention to it when converting a horroradventure to fantasy.

Funny/Comic: It can be fun to occa-sionally take an adventure from a tongue-in-cheek game system such as West EndGames� PARANOIA� or GHOSTBUSTERS�adventure, modify it to suit your needs,and surprise your players with an off-the-wall adventure in another genre. Themain thing to worry about is whether ornot your players are up to such an adven-ture. Some players resent sustained comicrelief in an otherwise serious campaign,

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especially if they don�t get to play thatoften. If your players do not want anadventure of this type, don�t force it onthem. If in doubt, simply ask or have an-other adventure ready in case the firstadventure doesn�t seem to be going overwell. Converting a serious module to acomic game system has some advantages(e.g., a CALL OF CTHULHU module for theGHOSTBUSTERS game), but too muchseriousness could damage the humorousatmosphere. A good dose of realism andfear, however, can often heighten a ses-sion�s comic and heroic effect.

War games: War-game scenarios makevery good backgrounds for role-playinggames, especially for wars set in moderntimes. A war-game scenario based on theBattle of Normandy, for example, wouldmake a great background for a superherotime-travel adventure. You will have tomake your own decisions about whathappens as far as the battles are con-cerned, possibly modifying the expectedoutcome depending on the actions of thePCs. See the STAR FRONTIERS adventure,SF2 Starspawn of Volturnus, for a goodexample of dealing with war in a PC-oriented adventure.

Crossing game systemsWhen crossing game systems, some

game mechanics in a given module mustbe converted to your own system. Afterreplacing some of the original NPCs anditems with those from your campaign, thisproblem will be lessened, but some char-acters, items, and situations will remain tobe dealt with. Not everything must beconverted to your game system, however.Characters in encounters that involve onlyconversation do not need conversion, andneither will combat encounters that willgive the PCs no serious trouble. You caneasily fake this from your own experience.

Anyone who will return later in yourcampaign should be converted. Likewise,the people or things involved in pivotalencounters that can give the PCs a hardtime should be converted. If the possibilityexists in combat that the PCs could lose orthat the PCs could be weakened enough tolose later, don�t fake it; the situation willget too confusing if you don�t have thingswritten down. Once you decide who andwhat to convert, the question becomeshow best to convert them. These fourmethods that give the best results:

1. Use your own judgment, possibly incombination with the next three methods.

2. Drop specific rules in the originalgame system to use rules for the sameeffects in your own game system.

3. Translate effects and statistics fromthe original game system to their real-world counterparts, then to your ownsystem�s statistics.

4. Translate statistics in the originalsystem to percentage values, then back tostatistics in your game system.

Using your judgment: The simplestway to convert items and characters from

one game to another is simply to use yourown judgment. You must be familiar withboth games to do this, and must be at easewith the system you use regularly. Thissystem works best for things that you aremodifying drastically. For example, if youare using CALL OF CTHULHU game mon-sters to create a Lovecraft mythology inyour world, but are drastically changingthe monsters� looks and abilities, thismethod will probably be the way to go.

Specific rules: The simplest things toconvert are situations and items that havespecific rules in your game system. Fallingdamage is a good example of this. If theAD&D adventure states �The pit is 30 feetdeep; characters falling in take 3d6 dam-age� but you are using CHAMPIONS gamePCs, you would look up falling damage inthe CHAMPIONS rules and note damage tobe 15d6. A D&D® game�s saving throw vs.poison would become a GAMMA WORLD®game�s resistance roll. Standard animals,weapons, armor, and supplies can easilybe replaced, as most games list all stand-ard items and their statistics. Within thefantasy genre, many of the monsters (skel-etons, goblins, dragons, etc.) are also dupli-cated. You do have to be careful that thenames don�t cover completely differentmonsters. While goblins in one worldmight be short humanoids appearing ingreat numbers, in another world theymight be huge monsters appearing insmall groups. In that case, you could re-place the goblin with another monstersimilar to the original game�s interpreta-tion of goblins, or rename the monsterand create or convert it as normal.

Games and reality: Some conversionswill not be quite as easy as the previousones. Character abilities are a good exam-ple of this. Many have similar names with-out quite the same meaning. TheCHAMPIONS game, for example, has threecharacter abilities describing intellect andmental faculties: intelligence, ego, andpresence. FGU�s SPACE OPERA� game hasnine: empathy, intelligence, psionics, intui-tion, bravery, leadership, general technicalaptitude, mechanical aptitude, and electri-cal aptitude. How can abilities with vary-ing meanings be correlated?

The best way is to look at what thecharacters can do. Games often tell how todetermine a character�s IQ from certainmental capabilities, usually involving intel-ligence tests. You can use this to determineintelligence in other games. Determine theIQ of the character in the first game, thendetermine what statistics are required forthat IQ in the second.

Easy stuff should be done first to lay thegroundwork for some of the harderthings. As an example, suppose you haveto convert the SPACE OPERA game�sscores for strength, physique, and consti-tution to the AD&D game�s strength andconstitution scores. Strength is the firstone. In AD&D games, strength measuresalmost nothing but carrying capacity�brute force. There is a table in the AD&D

Player�s Handbook that lists strength val-ues and carrying capacities. Take theSPACE OPERA character�s carrying capac-ity (determined from strength, physique,and constitution) and determine, from thetable in the Player�s Handbook, what valueis needed to lift that amount. You nowhave the character�s strength. From there,go on to work out the rest of the abilities.

Numbers to percentages: If you areusing an adventure from another gamesystem in your campaign, and you haveaccess to the rules this adventure waswritten for, you can be much more spe-cific when converting the adventure. Ifyou know the dice used for determiningcharacteristics, events, and actions, youcan determine the exact chances of certaincharacteristics being generated, certainevents occurring, or of certain actionsbeing successful.

On the linear die roll tables provided inthis article (1d4, 1d6, 1d8, 1d10, 1d12, and1d20), the chance of getting any singlenumber is given in parentheses after thecolumn title (e.g., the chance of getting a 5on 1d8 is 12.5%). On the V and bell-curvedie-roll tables, the chance of getting eachnumber is given in the �Single %� column(e.g., the chance of getting a 13 on 3d6 is9.7%). For both sets of tables, the �Cumu-lative %� column gives the chance of get-ting that number or less (e.g., the chanceof getting 7 or less on 1d12 is 58.3%). Todiscover the chance of rolling a certainnumber or greater, look in the �Reverse%� column (e.g., the chance of rolling 19or greater on 2d10 is 3%). To find thechance of rolling a certain collection ofnumbers, add up their individual percent-ages. The chance of rolling a 4, 5, 7, or 9on 1d10 is 10% + 10% + 10% + 10% = 40%.The chance of rolling a 4, 5, 7, or 9 on 3d6is 1.4%+2.8%+6.9%+11.6%.=22.7%.Suppose that the adventure states that a 6or greater is required to save vs. an event.You know that the game system uses 2d6for saving throws. You want to convertthis to a game system that uses 1d20 forsaving throws, to be able to keep the char-acter�s ability modifications correct (frommagical rings, dexterity, etc). Also, you want the saving throw to be vs. a numberor less. Look at the 2d6 table. The chanceof rolling 6 or greater is found on the�Reverse %� column: 72.2%. Now, go tothe 1d20 table. The nearest percentage to72.2% is 70%, which is 14 or less. If youwanted to have the players roll high, itwould be 7 or more.

If you want to convert statistics usingthis method, you can do it using the �Cu-mulative %� column. For example, consti-tution in AD&D games is rolled on 3d6. Ifyou wish to convert an AD&D game con-stitution of 13 to a STAR FRONTIERS gamestamina, find the chance of getting 13 orless on 3d6: 83.8%. Since the STARFRONTIERS game uses percentile dice todetermine abilities, just look up this per-centage on that game�s ability table. Thisgives a stamina of 60.


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When converting statistics, you mustsometimes combine many statistics in onegame to get a statistic for another, or gofrom one statistic to many. Going fromSPACE OPERA game�s nine mental statis-tics to the AD&D game�s three (charisma,intelligence, and wisdom) requires deter-mining which statistics in the formercorrespond to those statistics in the latter.Make a list of the statistics in the gamesystem to which you are converting; aftereach of those statistics, list the relevantstatistics in the first game system, in orderfrom most relevant to least relevant. Forexample, to convert an AD&D game statis-tic (in boldface) to a SPACE OPERA gamestatistic (in regular type), you might list thefollowing:

nical Aptitude, Mechanical Aptitude,Electrical Aptitude, Psionics

Intelligence: Intelligence, General Tech-

PsionicsCharisma: Leadership, Empathy, Bravery,

Wisdom: Intuition, Empathy, Bravery,

When determining AD&D game intelli-gence, SPACE OPERA game intelligencewould be the main factor. A high aptitudescore might make up for a low intelli-gence, however, or vice versa. Likewise, inorder to have psionic ability in AD&Dgames, a high intelligence, wisdom, orcharisma is required, so SPACE OPERAgame psionics might influence intelligenceas well.

Intuition, Psionics

Final wordsOne of the main problems you may have

crossing game systems will not be crossinggenres, but crossing between mythic gamesystems and realistic game systems. Amythic game system assumes that the PCsare the major characters in the adventure.If the majority of the PCs don�t survive tothe end of the story, the story probablywouldn�t have been written about them.PCs often get breaks that are not realistic.Even if the-PCs do die, their battles anddeeds make stories, myths, and legends tobe handed down for generations.

In realistic game systems, it is not as-sumed that the PCs are going to survive tothe end of the story. In these games, thechances of death and injury are considera-ble. A single sword stroke might kill ahealthy character. Realistic game systemsshift part of the focus of the adventurefrom the story to PC survival. When usingan adventure from a mythic game systemin a realistic game system, combat sce-narios should probably be toned down, asshould most damage-causing events. PCsmay have to be given strong inducementto finish the adventure. When survivalbecomes more important, PCs in a realisticgame system might not take the initiativeas often as PCs in a mythic system.

On the other hand, when using adven-tures from a realistic game system in amythic system, you may find that many of86 JANUARY 1991

Table 1:Linear Die Roll Probabilities

1d4 (25%) 1d8 (12.5%)� 11 2� 32 4� 53 6� 74 8

1d6(16.7%) 1d12(8.3%)� 11 2� 32 4� 53 6

� 74 8� 95 10� 116 12

1d10 (10%) 1d20 (5%)� 11 2

� 32 4� 53 6� 74 8� 95 10� 116 12� 137 14� 158 16� 179 18� 1910 20

Cumulative %12.5%25%




Cumulative %8.3%





Cumulative %5%



Reverse %100%87.5%75%




Reverse %100%91.7%83.3%75%




Reverse %100%95%90%85%80%75%70%65%60%55%50%45%40%35%30%25%20%15%10%5%

Table 2V and Bell-Curve Die Roll Probabilities

2d6 Single % Cumulative % Reverse %2 2.8% 2.8% 100%3 5.6% 8.3% 97.2%4 8.3% 16.7% 91.7%5 11.1% 27.8% 83.3%6 13.9% 41.7% 72.2%7 16.7% 58.3% 58.3%8 13.9% 72.2% 41.7%9 11.1% 83.3% 27.8%

10 8.3% 91.7% 16.7%11 5.6% 97.2% 8.3%12 2.8% 100% 2.8%

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Table 2 (cont.)



Single % Cumulative % Reverse %.5% .5% 100%

1.4% 1.9% 99.5%2.8% 4.6% 98.1%4.6% 9.3% 95.4%6.9% 16.2% 90.7%9.7% 25.9% 83.8%

11.6% 37.5% 74.1%12.5% 50% 62.5%12.5% 62.5% 50%11.6% 74.1% 37.5%9.7% 83.8% 25.9%6.9% 90.7% 16.2%4.6% 95.4% 9.3%2.8% 98.1% 4.6%1.4% 99.5% 1.9%.5% 100% .5%

Cumulative % Reverse %.1% 100%.4% 99.9%

1.2% 99.6%2.7% 98.8%5.4% 97.3%9.7% 94.6%

15.9% 90.3%23.9% 84.1%33.6% 76.1%44.4% 66.4%55.6% 55.6%66.4% 44.4%76.1% 33.6%84.1% 23.9%90.3% 15.9%94.6% 9.7%97.3% 5.4%98.8% 2.7%99.6% 1.2%99.9% .4%100% .1%

Single %.1%.3%.8%







Single % Cumulative % Reverse %1% 1% 100%2% 3% 99%3% 6% 97%4% 10% 94%5% 15% 90%6% 21% 85%7% 28% 73%8% 36% 72%9% 45% 64%

10% 55% 55%3% 64% 45%8% 72% 36%7% 79% 28%6% 85% 21%5% 90% 15%4% 94% 10%3% 97% 6%2% 99% 3%1% 100% 1%

the �nudges� that the author gives the PCsbecome less necessary. In a mythic gamesystem, the heat of battle and the chancefor glory are often enough to move PCstoward the climax of the adventure.

Another problem comes up when con-verting adventures to a game very differ-ent from its original game system. Thisinvolves overestimating the effects of oneaspect of the adventure�most often inoverestimating the effects of technology ina primitive setting. For example, manymodern weaponry systems have beenadded to the AD&D game, and quite a fewgive large damage values for handgun fire,ranging from 1d8 to 2d6 or more. A real-world deer-hunting bow (equivalent to along bow in AD&D game terms), whenused correctly, propels its arrow with thesame velocity as a .22 rifle bullet. Thebullet won�t do more damage than thearrow. The gun has a higher fire rate andis easier to shoot (that�s why it overtookthe bow and arrow in our own history),but the bow is a deadly weapon in itself.Similar problems occur when convertingmartial-arts systems into games with onlynormal hand-to-hand fighting.

Be sure to replace rather than redo. Thisdrastically cuts the amount of conversionwork and makes you that much morefamiliar with the characters, things, andplaces. Don�t replace what originally drewyou to the adventure, however. Put lots oflittle notes in the margins of the module,so you�ll remember what you�ve changedwhen you start running the adventure.Keep notes about what rules cover theevents being talked about, what savingthrows are required, and what pages youmight want to refer to in your rule booksor other references.

Use works of fiction as adventuresources. The methods given here forcrossing genres and game systems will alsowork for taking ideas from source otherthan role-playing, such as films, books,and the real world. Life is interesting�andnever let the PCs forget it!

D R A G O N 8 7

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Can one ever be sure what�ll step through that gate?

�Far beyond these realms, Sir Knight,are multitudes of beasts from which yourmighty horsem*n cannot protect us. Oursalvation lies in the hope that our enemies,in their wickedness, cannot muster thesorcery necessary to bring them downupon us.��a comment to His Most Honorable Lord-ship, Holmer the Earl of Walworth, KnightCommander of the Shield Lands, fromGeoffrey of Willip, Wizard Apprentice tothe Court, while inspecting the Knights ofthe Holy Shielding.

Until now, the lives of the highest-levelplayer characters have been a little dull.They clean out a nasty giant�s lair beforebreakfast, slay a few dragons at midday,and dine later with the gods themselves(with whom they�re on a first-name basis,of course). Well, take heed, you mightywarriors and wizards�prepare to runscreaming from the battlefield. The mon-sters of the outer planes have arrived!

With the release of the Monstrous Com-pendium, Outer Planes Appendix (MC8$12.95) this month, the beasts from be-yond the Astral plane can exert theirsubstantial influence in your campaign.Since we introduced the compendiumconcept, audience demand for these mon-sters has grown and grown. The packagehas 96 pages, with 74 unique monsterentries and all the information necessaryto use the outer planes with the AD&D®2nd Edition game. But don�t just mix thesecreatures in with your other monsters forthe sake of alphabetic consistency; thesecritters are in a class by themselves.

There are several entries devoted tomonsters from the upper planes. These areextremely powerful beings devoted to thecauses of goodness. Two creatures, theplanetar and solar, are arguably the mighti-est beings in the appendix. With their min-ions, they keep tabs on the upper planes,protecting them from evil influence.

However, a far larger portion of theappendix is dedicated to the evil monstersof the lower planes, collectively referredto as the fiends. It is far more likely thatPCs will face the fiends in their adven-tures, so more space was devoted to them.All the races of fiends are described, onewretched monster at a time.

There�s some new background history,as well. The horrible baatezu race of theNine Hells is locked in a bitter war ofannihilation with the foul tanar�ri of theAbyss. Their struggle has been absolute,all encompassing, and virtually eternal,

by Timothy B. Brown

plunging their respective planes and allthose between into further despair andruin. Other races in the lower planes aremere pawns in this ancient Blood War.Both sides see the Prime Material plane astheir future battlefield.

When planes collideCare must be taken when integrating

these powerful monsters into your cam- paign. The monsters of the outer planesare beyond the norm and so deserve verycareful attention. There should be distinctreasons why the characters deal withbeings from beyond the Astral plane.Except on their own planes, encounterswith outer-planar creatures are never�random.�

An encounter with an outer-planarbeing should be no less than the focus ofan entire adventure. A priest mightachieve an audience with a solar only aftera lengthy ordeal against evil. In order toface a mighty pit fiend, the journey to thelower planes alone would test the limits ofthe most powerful party of adventurers.Take care never to let interaction withouter-planar beings become commonplacein your campaign.

In any situation in which the PCs arepitted against the overwhelming talentsand abilities of a fiend, there are severalimportant elements to keep in mind:

1. Fiends are geniuses. And they�re an-cient geniuses, to boot. Don�t make themistake that the powerful outer-planarmonsters are sedentary, mindless guards,stupidly awaiting those who will defeatthem and take their enormous treasures.Wrong, wrong, wrong! A pit fiend is notjust a huge ogre that has scads of hitpoints and a few spells to cast. A powerfulfiend has spies everywhere, vast armies ofunderlings to do its bidding, and the fore-sight to protect itself in thousands of sub-tle ways. If a party is hunting one down,the fiend will certainly catch wind of theirefforts and set up an elaborate trap, es-cape, or ambush. It may, in fact, have beenpreparing for eons, knowing all the timethat this confrontation would come.

2. Fiends are never alone. A group ofadventurers might think themselves veryclever to have tracked down a single fiendfor the slaying. But they may have achange of heart when that single fiendgates in six more fiends, and they each inturn bring six more! Most of the powerfulfiends have the ability to gate others oftheir race to their location, at will, and doso as a matter of course. Again, when

dealing with the fiends, the hunters caneasily become the hunted.

3. Fiends are nearly impossible to kill.Even if the PCs manage to confront apowerful fiend and injure it, they will bevery hard pressed to finish it off. Asidefrom their impressive array of protections(sub-zero armor classes, regenerationabilities, high magic resistances, spell-likeabilities, and more, depending on the fiendin question), most have the ability to tele-port without error at will. A highly intelli-gent fiend won�t ignore its own damagejust to press the fight unless it has beenutterly enraged.

4. Fiends can choose their own ground.Again, using their teleportation and detec-tion abilities, intelligent fiends onlypresent themselves for battle when theodds are in their favor. They will not standand fight against a fresh party that hasloads of spells and hit points. The craftyfiends would sooner wait and attack whenthe party is weak and exhausted aftersome other encounter. Powerful fiendswill send scores of minions to their deathsjust to wear a party down for the kill.Also, remember that fiends like to extendthe hunt as long as possible, taking greatpleasure in the torment and terror theycause.

5. Fiends never forget. Even whenbested by mortals, fiends never staybeaten for long. They will be back instrength, when they feel the time is right.It may be a week or a century, but theywill not be denied their revenge, no mat-ter how much time passes.

If the DM keeps these elements in mind,fiends can become the most feared andrespected evil monsters in any campaign.Those PCs that delve into the outer planesand confront the creatures there mightwell get themselves involved with forcesso powerful that they�ll never fully re-cover, and fiends will dog them for therest of their days.


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by Skip Williams

If you have any questions on the gamesproduced by TSR, Inc., �Sage Advice� willanswer them. In the United States andCanada, write to: Sage Advice, DRAGON®Magazine, P.O. Box 111, Lake Geneva WI53147, U.S.A. In Europe, write to: SageAdvice, DRAGON Magazine, TSR Ltd., 120Church End, Cherry Hinton, CambridgeCB1 3LD, United Kingdom. We are nolonger able to make personal replies; sendno SASEs with your questions (SASEs arebeing returned with writers� guidelines forthe magazine).

This month, �Sage Advice� splits somehairs regarding spell-casting and combat inthe 2nd Edition AD&D® game and exam-ines a few other fantastic mysteries.

If a wizard casts a stoneskin spellon himself, then is struck in meleewhile casting another spell, is thesecond spell disrupted or is thewizard able to maintain concentra-tion because the stoneskin�s protec-tion negates damage?

The second spell is disrupted, as a suc-cessful hit ruins a spell in progress (Play-er�s Handbook, page 85). Note that asuccessful attack�not damage�is thecritical factor here. Game logic assumesthat even a nondamaging hit can disruptconcentration. It�s tough to keep yourmind focused on something as complex asa spell when someone�s using your headfor batting practice, even if the blowsaren�t hurting you. Many kinds of non-damaging hits can disrupt spell-casting: ahand clamped over the mouth, an arm-lock, or just being knocked down. How-ever, damage always breaks concentration.If, for example, a spell-caster takes damagefrom a fireball or breath weapon, anyspell in progress is lost even if the castermade his saving throw and took only halfdamage.

These distinctions also are important togame balance. Spell-casters are intended tobe vulnerable to physical attacks duringspell-casting, and their opponents must begiven a chance to anticipate the spell anddisrupt it before it goes off. Spell-casterscan�t get around this limitation by usingspells such as stoneskin. Likewise, spell-casting monsters that are immune to nor-mal weapons (such as liches and vampireswith character abilities) can have theirspells ruined by any successful attacker.Some DMs even allow �attack� bonuseswhen characters make attacks specificallyto disrupt a spell. The reasoning here is

that a nondamaging jostle or cross block iseasier to make than a potentially lethalblow. While this sort of ruling tends to bean equalizer when the target spell-caster isa high-level evil patriarch with an armorclass in the negative numbers, it can beunreasonably tough on a 1st-level wizardwith AC 10. Apply such bonuses carefully,if at all. I suggest that bonuses be limitedto +4 or less, and you might considerapplying them to the target�s armor classrather than to the �to hit� roll. If you usethe armor-class adjustment method, do notallow an armor class to be adjusted toworse than 10.

Will the damage inflicted fromround to round by a Melf�s acid ar-row spell prevent spell-casting?

Yes. Damage makes the concentrationrequired for spell-casting impossible. Thisis one thing that makes Melf�s acid arrow auseful spell. However, the acid can bewashed off before the duration expires.

How are infravision and ultra-vision supposed to work? Do theywork like infrared goggles that de-tect heat, or like �starlight� opticsthat simply gather large amounts oflight?

Strictly speaking, infravision is the abil-ity to �see� infrared light or heat. Theexact game effects of infravision dependon the rules your DM is using; see pages118 and 119 of the Dungeon Master�sGuide for the rules governing this kind ofvision. Ultravision is a bit harder to de-scribe, but generally it is considered to bequite a bit like �starlight� optics. Creatureswith ultravision have eyes that can gatherlarge amounts of-light and can also detectultraviolet light and use it to enhance theavailable normal light. Ultravision gener-ally is useful only outdoors at night.

What happened to psionic abili-ties? I seem to remember readingsomething about an upcoming psi-onic rules supplement.

A new rule book, The Complete Psioni-cist is due in early 1991, This book willfeature a boatload of new psionic abilities,a detailed combat system, a new psionicistcharacter class, and other goodies.

How many attacks would a spe-cialist with a two-weapon fightingstyle (from The Complete Fighter�sHandbook) get each round?

The specialist gets the one or more

..attacks each round with the weapon in his�good� hand; this varies with his class,level, and weapon specialization. Thespecialist gets one attack each round withthe weapon in his �off� hand, regardless oflevel, class, or specialization.

Game logic assumes that no one is coor-dinated enough to launch multiple attackswith each hand; there�s a limit to howmuch activity a person�s brain can directin a single round of melee. Game balancealso requires such a limitation, as war-riors are not intended to be walkingblade barriers.

Specialization in the two-weaponfighting style from The CompleteFighter�s Handbook reduces thepenalty for attacking with twoweapons. Can the specialist furtherreduce the penalty to nothing if hehas a high dexterity score?

Yes. The rules on page 96 of the PHBapply to the character, except where modi-fied on page 64 of The Complete Fighter�sHandbook. Note that high dexterity scorescannot turn the penalty into a bonus, nomatter which rules you are using.

How many punches can a charac-ter throw in one melee round? Doesfist fighting require a weaponproficiency?

This is entirely up to the DM. Contraryto popular belief, fist fighting is not uni-versal and was unknown in several pre-gunpowder cultures; American Indians,for example, generally resorted to wres-tling in unarmed combat, so DMs havegreat latitude here.

I suggest allowing any character to makeone attack on the punching/wrestling table(PHB, page 91; or DMG, page 59) withoutpenalty each round. Since the punching/wrestling table allows for single-blowknockouts, I suggest that this kind ofcombat be treated as a special case thatfalls outside the normal weapons rules.However, fist fighting and wrestling can betreated just like any other weapons thatrequire proficiencies. If this is the case,the proficiency should be available to anycharacter class. If a character spends aweapon proficiency on punching, heshould get the extra melee attacks listedon Table 15, PHB, page 26, if he is a high-level warrior. Punching specialists woulduse Table 35, PHB, page 52.) Any character(under any punching system) attackingwith both fists would use the attackingwith two-weapons rule (PHB, page 96).


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Note that wrestling generally requires twohands.

The punching/wrestling table al-lows for results on an attack roll of1. Don�t 1s always miss?

A roll of 1 always misses in normalcombat. However, punching and wrestlingare not normal combat, and 1s can hit.This is an exception to the general rule.

Is it acceptable for a character towish for special abilities, such asthieving or spell-casting abilities? Ifgranted, would these abilities bepermanent or temporary? Wouldsuch a wish turn the character intosomething that had the desiredpower?

This is entirely up to the DM. You�velisted a couple of reasonable approaches tothe problem. If wishes are fairly rare inthe campaign, and the DM feels that theneed is justified, a special ability such aslock picking might be granted for a limitedtime, say as much as a month (but morelikely a few turns or hours). If wishes aretrue rarities or if the DM really approvesof high-powered player characters, it�s fineto make the ability permanent, but I sug-gest that the ability be low powered, aboutone-third to one-half of what the averageplayer character in the campaign might

have. It�s also a good idea to make the levelof power fixed, not subject to improve-ment though experience. It certainly isacceptable to twist such wishes by chang-ing the character into some creature thathas the desired ability; such changes mightbe permanent or temporary. It also is fineto have a creature possessing the desiredability appear and serve the character fora short time.

�Sage Advice� has discussed wishesbefore; check out this column in issues#133 and #162 for general information.

What armor class do the variousBigby�s Hand spells have?

Each �hand� has AC 0, in either versionof the AD&D game.

How can a necklace of adaptationallow a character to exist in airlessspace? Wouldn�t a character in avacuum just explode?

In a fantasy game, being thrust into avacuum does not necessarily cause cata-strophic decompression. The AD&DSPELLJAMMER� rules, for example, as-sume that anything in space carries itsown atmosphere. In any case, the necklacehas the power to sustain the character inairless space for as much as seven days.What happens to the character at sevendays plus one second is up to the DM.

Can a wizard with a Zagyg�s spellcomponent case (from the Un-earthed Arcana tome) pull compo-nents for nonwizard spells from it?

The wizard can get the components forany spell he knows from the case. If he isa multi- or dual-classed character, he canget nonwizard spell components. If thewizard does not know a certain spell, hecannot �think of� the proper componentsand cannot get them from the case.


If your gaming group is too small,or if you�ve just moved into theneighborhood, finding friends whoare also gamers can be a problem.However, your local hobbies andgames shop may have a bulletinboard where gamers can advertisetheir groups and meeting times.The hobby store may also know oflocal game conventions where youcan meet dozens of other gamerswith the same interests. The Con-vention Calendar in this issue mayalso be of help. Don�t sit at homeand wish you knew more gamers.Go out and find them today.

92 JANUARY 1991

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94 JANUARY 1991By Barbara Manui & Chris Adams

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Princess ArkContinued from page 45

LettersI am concerned about the future of the

Princess Ark. I loathe the idea of seeingthe end of the D&D column in DRAGON®Magazine, and I think it should go on aslong as possible. So I have two questions:How does �The Voyage of the PrincessArk� end, and what happens to the log?

I certainly agree the column should goon as long as possible, provided that itbrings something new to the reader. If theseries were to meet its end, I suppose thePrincess Ark could head into space�thatis, with its log book. Don�t forget that it isreally up to you to decide whether or notthe log book should ever become availableto PCs. If yes, the party could hear legendsabout it and go on a quest to find it. But ofcourse, that is another story!

I�ve been a long-time fan of the D&Dgame. However I�d like to point out thatthe rules are difficult to use. The gamerules are generally simple, but findingthem is a problem. The rules are spreadamong five different boxed sets, and theyare very poorly indexed. Although the D&D Known World is probably one of thebest game worlds I ever played in, I mustadmit that the game�s organization isappalling. I would love a simpler, moreflexible alternative to the AD&D game; sofar, the D&D game has fallen short of thisgoal. Is there anything planned in futureto address that problem?

Yes! Our writers have had the samecomplaint for years, including yours truly.Fall 1991 should finally see the release ofthe D&D Rules Cyclopedia, a 304-page,hardback compilation of all D&D rulesfrom Basic to Masters. If everything worksout, it should also include beefed-upmonster descriptions, a complete listing ofskills, a small atlas of the Known World,optional rules, and a complete guide onhow to convert D&D game material to theAD&D 2nd Edition game. How�s that?

I found a strange sentence in the D&DHOLLOW WORLD� boxed set. Page 119 ofthe Dungeon Master�s Sourcebook revealsthat Yagrai�s chief ally is Halav, enemy ofall humanoids. Am I missing something?

Errare humanoidurn est! The authormeant �Yagrai�s chief foe is Halav, enemyof all humanoids.�

How do you explain that Haldemarreferred directly to Nithians in his logbook when describing the �Old Nithian�scroll? I thought all memory of Nithianshad been magically wiped out.

Direct memory about ancient Nithia waswiped out when that empire wasdestroyed. However the spell affected onlycurrent memory not future knowledge. Inthe following centuries, Nithian rumswere dug up in Ylaruam and Thothia. Asmall number of sages (Raman is the last

102 JANUARY 1991

of them) deciphered the hieroglyphs andthus discovered that culture�s existence.There is, after all, an Emirate of Nithia innorthern Ylaruam. Ancient Nithia nowbelongs in the exceedingly obscure realmof Known World archaeology

Could you come up with a plausiblereason why a desert setting lies next to aNorse region in the Known World?Although I understand this is part of theD&D Known Worlds fantasy, how couldyou explain it otherwise?

A segment of the Elemental Plane of Fireseems to coincide with the generallocation of the Ylaruam desert, so the hotweather there is magical in nature. As faras the Northern Reaches are concerned,assume that the intersection of cool windscoming down from the MakkresMountains and the icy sea currentsflowing from the north create a coldmicroclimate. The Hardanger Rangeshields the northern weather pattern fromYlaruam�s.

Exactly which colonies or nations lie onthe Isle of Dawn, and where do theirboundaries lie? Do these states havecapitals? Also, on the Isle of Dawn, what isthe �Provincia Septentriona� depicted onthe TM2 Trail Map, and how does it relateto the other colonies?

See the map of the Isle of Dawn forspecific boundaries. As for a list ofcolonies and nations, starting from theNorth on Thyatis� side: City State ofHelskir (only covers approximately a72-mile area); Northern Territories ofDawn (wilderness claimed by Thyatis);Grand Duchy of Westrourke (archduke�scapital: Newkirk); Province of Redstone(colony, administrative center: RedstoneCastle); Province of West Portage (Colony,admin. center: West Portage); County ofKendach (similar to Helskir); ProvinciaSeptentriona (colony, admin. center:Laticea); County of Furmenglaive (similarto Helskir); Provincia Meridiona (colony,admin. center: Caerdwicca).

Continuing from the North, on theAlphatian side: Confederation of Dunadale(capital: Dunadale); Dunadale Bogs(wilderness claimed by Alphatia, under theDunadale Confederation�s administration);Kingdom of Hillvale (capital: East Portage);City States of Ekto and Trikelios (bothsimilar to Helskir); Kingdom of LowerThothia (capital: Edairo); Upper ThothianTerritories (unclaimed wilderness, neutralterritory).

The Northern Territories of Dawn, theDunadale Bogs, and the ProvinciaeSeptentriona and Meridiona are largelyunpopulated regions. These dependencieswere essentially created for administrativepurposes. They may be subdivided intodominions as their populations develop.

I would like to know how manyGazetteers there are beyond GAZ13 TheShadow Elves. I�m a bit confused about the

I would also like to know if you have anyproduct for a jungle setting. In DRAGONissue #160, the HOLLOW WORLDsupplement is pictured as a boxed set, andI take it that Nightwail and Nightrage areextra games within the Hollow World. Ifso, how many more are involved?

As I live in New Zealand a lot of thegames are not available here. Do you havea mail order system? If possible can I get aTSR mail order catalog sent to me?

Drow and Shadow Elf. Could you clear upsome of this confusion?

GAZ13 The Shadow Elves is �it� for themoment. The shadow elves are the D&Dsetting�s equivalent of the AD&D game�sdrow, sort of. Shadow elves are paleskinned; drow have black skin. Shadowelves also have abilities and magicalpowers different from drow.

Nightwail, Nightrage, and Nightstormare part of the HOLLOW WORLD BloodBrethren Trilogy. More modules will bepublished for the HOLLOW WORLD set inthe future.

The HOLLOW WORLD boxed set offersseveral jungle settings. The Dawn of theEmperors boxed set (look for theHinterlands) and GAZ4 Ierendi (withAloysius Island) are the only two KnownWorld jungle settings. There is littleinformation on these two regions,however.

For everyone overseas who isexperiencing difficulties acquiring copiesof current or older products, TSR has amail order department where you can alsoget a free catalog. Just send your addressto: The Mail Order Hobby Shop, P.O. Box756, Lake Geneva WI 53147, U.S.A.

Like many other D&D enthusiasts, I was abit distraught at the absence of commentaryon the D&D Known World until the presentcolumn, �The Voyage of the Princess Ark.� Itwas a much-needed overview of the worldnot yet touched on by the Gazetteers. Thisinformation can give DMs like myself achance to see what lies beyond the realmsspecified in the Gazetteers.

Personally, I would like the Princess Arkcolumn to continue exploring the outerKnown World. The SPELLJAMMER� andHOLLOW WORLD sets cover theirrespective territories adequately. Anoverview of the Known World presented inthe Masters Set would be more beneficial,since it would touch on areas not yetexplored, helping to �explain� littlequestions that arise as the world is beingexplored/developed, like why �The Arm ofGod� (Masters Set) is now referred to as�The Arm of The Immortals� (HOLLOWWORLD set).

The Arm of God became the Arm of theImmortals simply because D&D hasImmortals but no gods. By the way, theSPELLJAMMER set does not deal with theD&D universe. Although this excellentsystem works perfectly well in a D&Dsetting, it is first and foremost an AD&Dproduct.

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P h o t o g r a p h y b y M i k e B e t h k e

©1990 by Robert Bigelow

Silent deaths and shadowrunning

Last month in this column, you readabout a bill that could conceivably changethe face of our hobby. For those whodidn�t read that article, I recommend thatyou do so before you read here any fur-ther and become totally confused.

Here is an update on what has occurredsince last month. GAMA (Games Manufac-turers Association, an organization consist-ing of game manufacturers, distributors,shops, and clubs) has hired a lobbyist tohelp protect the interests of both gamersand collectors. So far, this energetic younglady has approached many members ofCongress or their staffs to help them un-derstand the feelings and wishes of thehobby industry. The anti-lead bill not onlyendangers our hobby but could do seriousdamage to the model-railroad industry andthe modeling community at large. Theseindustries use lead to produce weights andscenic accessories such as tree trunks,vehicles, houses, roads, and interior detailson car or truck models. A cease-and-desistlaw would either stop production of allthese things or would make them muchmore expensive.

The amendment to the bill has nowtaken solid form and reads as follows:

�Proposed amendment to S.2637 and HR:Section 402, subsection (j) shall be amend-ed by adding the following paragraph:

� �(4) the administrator shall, by regula-tion, exempt from the restrictions on thelead content of toy or game pieces de-scribed in paragraph (9) of subsection (b)all pre-owned and newly manufacturedcollectable items as well as the materialsused for the creation of such items whenintroduced for adult use!

�This exemption shall include, but is notlimited to, molds, mediums, figurines andaccessories-assembled and in kit form,war gaming figurines and accessoriescreated for adult competitions and all pre-owned period toys.

�All newly manufactured items must

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incorporate into their respective packag-ing the words �collectable item, containslead, not suitable for children under theage of 12.� �

This bill and its amendment will allow usto continue to purchase miniatures of ourfavorite characters, monsters, or armies ofany period. It also places certain responsi-bilities on us as gamers. We must makesure that our figures are never left wherechildren can get to them and chew orswallow them. It also means that if we gettired of figures or must otherwise disposeof them, the figures should be given to agaming club or to someone who wants thefigures rather than be dropped in thetrash. When you throw figures out, thelead can leech into the soil. You can alsospray your figures with base coats of paintseveral times to seal in the lead.

I encourage you to become politicallyinvolved in this matter. Send a letter toyour local congressman supporting thisamendment, and use the format describedin last months �Through the LookingGlass� column: Also, check your localhobby shop. If it does not have one of thepetitions available, point out the danger ofthe bill and ask him to either contactGAMA or make up a petition for his cus-tomers. These petitions should include aspace for printed names, addresses, states,zip codes, and signatures. When thesepetitions are filled, they should be sent toGAMA, P.O. Box 591, Grinnell IA 50112, orthey should be sent to your elected repre-sentative. With a little luck, all of us willget what we want.

Miniatures* product ratings

* Poor** Below average*** Average**** Above average***** Excellent

Now let�s look at some of the productsthat this bill would forbid or restrict.


Iron Crown EnterprisesP.O. Box 1605Charlottesville VA 22902

7010�SILENT DEATH* game * * * * *Over the years, many space-combat

games have appeared. Most of these wereeither board games or miniatures gamesadapted from board games, and oftentheir game mechanics fell apart when theywere used with miniatures. Iron Crownhas changed much of this with the intro-duction of the SILENT DEATH* game.

The SILENT DEATH* game is aminiatures-oriented game with provisionsfor use as a board game. The game grewfrom an earlier system for use with IronCrown�s SPACEMASTER* RPG. It is one ofthe first totally contained miniaturesgames to hit the hobby field in manyyears. Included in the box are rules, maps,counters, dice, and miniatures. You don�tneed to purchase anything else to enjoythis game, but you probably will want topurchase additional ship miniatures asthey become available.

The box contains six 17� × 22� hex mapsheets. The maps are of random star clus-ters printed on slick paper and includeboth small and large hexes over the stars.When all the sheets are put together, theyform a huge battlefield that can accommo-date large numbers of ships. The sheetsheld up well under our gaming club�susage, including folding, unfolding, andheavy play. I highly recommend that youlaminate these sheets to insure their sur-vival in spite of spills or normal gamingaccidents. The extra cost and increasedstorage space should be balanced against

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the fact that replacement sheets are notcurrently available.

Also included are a multicolored countersheet and a scenario booklet with all thepaperwork to play the game. The sce-narios are fairly easy to use and vary fromsmall duels to multiship battles. The sce-nario sheets have perforations so they canbe easily separated and used (I recom-mend that you pick up some documentprotectors to protect these sheets). Thesimple but very effective teaching andtraining scenarios allow you to introducenew people to your group. The countersheet contains at least two each of all thefighters and laser satellites, one each ofthe combat and life pods, and a largenumber of torpedo and missile counters,all of which are coded and easy to read.The last major part of the sheet is an aste-roid belt that is a large-scale obstructionwhen left together, but can be broken up.

The instruction book is 32 pages long,excluding the pull-out ship players� sheetsin the center. These pullout sheets and acopier machine will make it easy to havelots of player and damage sheets availableat all times. The book includes simple step-by-step rules and a play-it-as-you-learnscenario. With a competent teacher, youcan learn the game in about 20 minutes(many of our club members read the bookand played a full game successfully in lesstime than that). The dice system that de-termines damage is simple, and dice areincluded. Even firing orcs are easy todetermine. Advanced scenarios and ashort campaign are also presented.

Adding to the fun of the game is theshort history of the Empire included in thebook. This loose, feudal organizationmakes it easy to build a variety of differ-ent conflicts. The frontier provisions allowthe entry of pirates and mercenaries.Economic wars and system disputes in-crease the game�s scope even further.Combine this with a �sales brochures�description of different fighters and attackcraft, and you can custom build systemsand defenses.

Last, but not least, is the large variety ofmetal miniatures and plastic stands in-cluded in the game. The arsenal includes:four each of the Pit Vipers and SpiritRiders; two each of the Thunder Birds,Night Hawks, Salamanders, and Seraphs;and one each Shryak Shuttle and Eppinggunboat. These miniatures are well done,with flash present on only two of theships. I still contend (as noted in issue#163) that the ships are not quite in scalewith each other, but this does not detractfrom the game. The number and varietyof these ships allows you to play out mostof the available scenarios.

The set contains almost $26 worth oflead miniatures, if you were to buy themseparately. Combine this with all the othercomponents, and you have a product wellworth your Christmas money. This game ishighly recommended at $40.

Thunderbolt MountainMiniaturesP.O. Box 37024 RoselawnCincinnati OH 45222-0024

Thunderbolt MountainMiniatures70 Harcourt St.Newark, NottinghamUNITED KINGDOM NG 241 RF

1005�Amazon Queen onThrone * * * * *

January releases include ThunderboltMountain�s new sculpture entitled, �Ama-zon Queen on Throne,� a diorama scenebased upon the ancient legend of the

Amazons. The Amazons were rumored tobe a fanatical and ferocious tribe ofwomen fighters skilled in many weapons.Their devotion to fighting principles wasso great that legend says they each re-moved the left breast to be able to fire abow. This tribe held men in contempt andconsidered them fit only for housekeep-ing, babysitting, and mating. Their queenwas chosen by her fighting prowess. Anymale trespassers to this realm were eithersentenced to death or became a playthingof the tribe members.

The diorama is in 54-mm scale and de-picts a captured barbarian in front of theAmazon queen. The base of the diorama is57 mm × 60 mm, and is 5 mm high.

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Amazon Queen on Throne (Thunderbold Mountain Miniatures)

Sleeping Astrologer (Black Dragon Pewter)

Sculpted square blocks form the floor, anda molded, ornate carpet leads from thefront edge of the base to the dais on whichthe throne sets. The barbarian kneels withhis chains piled on the ground.

The throne rests on a raised block. Thethrone itself consists of a U-shaped baseand chair, upholstered arms includingbuttons and appropriate indentations, anda pillow upon which the queen sits. Theback of the throne is a huge, shell-typestructure that fits nicely between the armsof the throne. This shell is made of ribbedand formed sections with symbols en-graved on them. It has a large disk in itsmiddle, and its forward sweep can provideshade as well as protection.

Four figures are included in the

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diorama. Two of the figures are pet oce-lots, although the figures could be paintedas onyx statuettes. The other two figuresare the queen and her barbarian captive.The queen sits in a reclined position withher right arm extended (when the figure isplaced on the throne, her right hand restson the head of an ocelot). Her outstretchedlegs rest on two pillows molded to thebase. Her left hand supports her chin,with her elbow on the armrest. She isdressed in sandals and a short costumethat can be compared to the Amazons inDC�s Wonder Woman comic, including thetiara, the wrapped and interlaced hair-style, and the arm and leg bracelets. Herright breast is exposed but covered by acoiled-snake piece of jewelry. The muscletone is well done, and the only detractionis a slight mold line on her left arm.

The barbarian male wears a fur loin-cloth and a disk belt. The figure is kneel-ing with his wrists chained around awooden pole behind his back, which isattached by more chains to his belt. Hishair hangs straight down to his chest, andhis face shows pain and determination.This is a striking figure. Muscle detail isexcellent, with only a slight mold line.

This is an excellent display diorama that,with work, could become a keystone in aminiature collection. The pieces all fittogether with minimal filing. Paint eachsection before you glue them all together,and a higher quality piece will result. Thisis an excellent diorama and is well recom-mended even at its $19.50 price. Remem-ber to include an extra $1.50 for shippingand handling if you live in the U.S.

Black Dragon Pewterc/o Gallow Pewter Sculptures Corp.166 N. Franklin St.Hempstead NY 11550

319�Sleeping Astrologer * * * * *The holiday season and the period there-

after frequently produces a drastic in-crease in pewter sales. Pewter has alwaysbeen a good gift idea, and shops of everykind now seem to carry a growing num-ber of different pewter sculptures. Manyof these are simple pewter copies of exist-ing lead fantasy-gaming figures, and theyare presented as �unique gifts� or �collec-tor�s items� but can be seen in store afterstore with no verification papers. How-ever, pewter collectors� pieces are sculp-tures produced in limited numbers beforethe mold is destroyed. Generally, thesefigures have a �run� of between 100 and4,000 individual castings.

The �Sleeping Astrologer� is one suchfigure. The figure is sold through a direct-mail subsidiary of Gallow Pewter, an oldand respected name in the field. The fig-ure submitted for review is #453 of 3,000and includes a certificate of authenticity.The numbers on both the base of thefigure and the certificate match. This isimportant, as a figure with a wrong certifi-cate can be worth up to 25% less. Alwaysmake sure the numbers match beforeleaving a store, or make sure that thecompany has a return policy if you get thefigure through the mail.

The figure is massive in both size andweight, being just over 100 mm from itsbase to the top of its head. The circularbase measures 58 mm across, is 12 mmhigh, and is molded to look like roughstone blocks supporting a metal-ringedfloor. The top of the base holds an inscrip-tion that reads: �How Can I Fear The NightWhen I Have Seen The Stars.� The flooralso holds a thick tome and a small book,both under the chair on which the astrolo-ger sits. A conical wizards hat, completewith stars and moons, sits on the floorbeside the chair.

Rising from this base is an ornate pedes-tal over 75 mm high. The pedestal top isangled slightly like an old desk, and has aninkwell, a feathered quill, a partially un-rolled scroll, a small book, and a multiface-ted crystal ball set in an ornate base. Thedetail is painstakingly done.

The focal point of the piece is the astrol-oger, who wears a long, high-necked robeover a shift. The robe is open slightly infront, with a hem of runic symbols run-ning vertically on the front opening. Theback of the robe and shift have a sewnflap. The robe shows creases and folds asit conforms to the man who wears it.

The astrologer sits with his right armsupporting his head, while his arm restson the pedestal. His left arm is drapedover the back of his chair, which has acurved back and symbols carved in it. Theastrologer�s face is calm in his repose, withonly a few lines showing. The figure isbald with a long, flowing beard. Separa-tions are visible between the right handand the head, and his fingers are wellsculpted. Curled in his lap is a cat that is asdeeply asleep as its master. The astrologer

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must have been sleeping a long time, assomeone has laid a �Do Not Disturb� signat his feet. This humor adds to the sculp-ture�s value as a collectible. The only badspot on this figure is the mold line on theback, which has a slight mismatch andsmall gap, although I doubt that a piecelike this would go out to a customer with-out this single fault being buffed out. It isa very good value at $110.

Grenadier Models Inc.P.O. Box 305Springfield PA 19064

Grenadier Models UK Ltd.19 Babage Rd.Deeside, Clwyd, Wales

9701�Shadowrunners *****Much of the gaming industry today

seems to be stuck in a pessimistic mood.The hobby itself is booming, but the gamecontent of many newly released gamescontains a dark future story line thatemphasizes everything amoral or bad insociety today. These games feature noheroes, simply those who are out forthemselves. Of these games, the one that Ido enjoy is FASA�s SHADOWRUN* RPG,and it also seems to be the best supported.

The set submitted for review contains 10figures representing the most commonlyplayed SHADOWRUN characters. These25-mm lead figures form a basic shadow-running party and allow a group to under-take most tasks they may be given. Thecast in order of appearance are:

Male Street Samurai�Clearly seen arethe cybereyes, ropy muscle replacement,hand razor in the semi-retracted position,and a predator pistol, grip forward on thefigure�s left side. The figure is also wearinglong pants and boots, spare armorpouches on the left leg and right side onthe belt, and grenades on a chest strap.The figure has a permanent scowl on abattered face, short hair, and heavy armorcovering dermal plating that can be seenon his stomach. His right arm is stretchedout pointing, and his left hand hovers overhis pistol.

Street Mage�The street mage wears athree-piece suit, complete with tie andwide lapels, spats on his shoes, and a longtrench coat with symbols on the lapels. Hisfacial expression is grim. A monocle restsover his right eye. He is topped off with awide-brimmed hat covered with symbols,and he carries a magic wand in his righthand. Be especially careful when you paintthis piece, or you could lose much of thesubtle detail.

Burned-Out Mage�The burned-outmage is in a pose that brings to mind aswashbuckler swordfighting, with his lefthand over his head and right hand holdingwhat looks to be a .44 magnum instead ofa rapier. Two thermo-eyes are visible, withwhat could be either wiring or a scar over


Shadowrunners (Grenadier Models)

his right eye and armor or plate in hisforehead. He wears a mismatched suitwith arcane symbols on the legs, a vest,and a coat (with symbols on the lapels)that falls past his knees. A satchel hangsby a shoulder strap. Other straps suggestother, unseen things.

Elven Decker�The elven decker is oneof the simpler-dressed figures in the set.He wears a floor-length coat edged infeathers at the shoulders, an open shirt,simple pants, and knee-high boots. Bothhands hold a personal computer keyboardin front of him, and the input jacks arevisible on his forehead. He has long hair, awidow�s peak, and high, hollow cheeks.His face appears to be almost serene.

Shaman�The shaman is the most inter-estingly clothed figure in the set. Dressedin a long coat and tunic that is patchedand laced, he also wears simple calf-lengthboots and a body suit. A pistol is carriedon his right side. Crossed ammo bando-liers sit low over his stomach, and hischest is covered in joined-reed armor suchas that worn by several of the Indiantribes of the 1800s. A components baghangs from his belt, and he has feathers inhis hair and fur trim on his clothes.

Female Street Samurai�This figuremanages to maintain a feminine form inspite of the enhanced muscles and bio-feedsystems visible on both arms. The cyber-eyes are much smaller and not so protrud-ing as the male�s She is dressed in a one-piece bodysuit covered by hardenedarmor that conforms to her shape andonly becomes visible from the back. Shewears a communicator on her left wristand holds what looks like a Beretta model101-T in her left hand. Her right hand isdrawn up in front of her chest with razorknives extended. A compartmentalized

belt is slung on her hips, and her longboots are probably assisted. Her facialfeatures appear to be relaxed. What looklike data jacks can be seen on a shavedsection of her right forehead.

Mercenary�This figure has no exposedskin except for the bottoms of his nose,cheeks, and mouth. The rest of his head iscovered by a helmet that includes largegoggles and a radio on the front right side.His shoulders and chest are covered byextra armor pads, and he wears camou-flage down to his laced boots. Twopouches are on his right boot, and a pouchand knife are on his left boot. He has kneeprotectors and a belt visible only from therear. He carries an Ingram LM6 with asmartgun attachment; extra ammo is inpouches on his right side. The gun is in aport-arms position.

Rigger�This character has a smug lookon his face and a helmet covering most ofhis head, complete with ear covers and plug points. His cybereyes are clearlyvisible, and there is no other exposedflesh except for his hands. He wearsmultilayered, tight-fitting clothes withwide lapels, a thigh-length coat, knee-highboots, and knee protectors. He is pullinghis left hand out of his coat pocket; in hisright hand he carries a hand gun pointedat the sky. Former Wage Mage�The moststriking part of this figure is her face. Ifyou look closely, you�ll see what could beeither a look of horror or intense concen-tration. Her left hand is out as if casting aspell, while her right hand holds a protec-tion spell. Her long hair covers the bandfor her tiara, complete with gem, and herentire body is covered with jewelry. Shewears a molded brassiere and a half-length, hard-armor jacket that is open inthe front. There are no obvious compart-


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A-9 Cruiser (GHQ)

ments for spell components, and her long,open-slit dress exposes her left leg.

Ork Mercenary�Standing about a headtaller than the other characters and hav-ing considerably more bulk, the orkdoesn�t seem to have many of the extragadgets common on the others. He isarmed with a short sword on his belt, along sword slung over his back, and anAK-94 held in the ready position in hisright hand. He wears a beret instead of ahelmet and has skin-type boots and pock-ets on his pant legs. Extra armor is wornunder his wrap-around jacket and at theshoulders, but it is barely noticeable.Crossed belts on his chest and spare ammopouches finish out his attire. He has abaleful glare, and his tusks, two up andtwo down, are clearly visible.

This set is highly recommended foranyone who plays FASA�s SHADOWRUN*RPG. There are some mold lines that willneed to be filed, and all of our figuresneeded trimming on their bases in orderto stand straight, but there was no flashand the figures are cleanly molded. Takeyour time and paint carefully, as there is awealth of fine detail on these figures thatcould be covered up by carelessness.These figures can also be used in some ofthe other �dark future,� games so theyhave extra value. These are highly recom-mended at $9.95 per set.

GHQ2634 Bryant Ave.Minneapolis MN 55408

UK-36 Mk VI B +AA Tank ****UK-37 A-S Cruiser * * * * ½UK-38 A-10 Cruiser * * * * ½UK-39 A-13 Cruiser * * * * ½

The history of tanks began in World WarI when the British used them against theGermans. The Germans were shaken, butwatched several bog down and dismissedtheir importance. This event was tochange war forever, but no one seemed toknow what the object lesson was.

British tank policy between World Warswas based upon political policy. Vehicles

were to be made to: 1. Police the Empire;2. Put down guerrilla warfare; 3. Pacifyareas; and 4. Fight a major war. Thesepolicies dictated that tanks be small,cheap, and light. In addition, the tanksupporters were divided as to whethertanks should only support infantry or beable to cover large amounts of area likethe old cavalry.

The Mark VI tank was used in all areasof the British Empire, with heavy use innorth Africa and fighting in France in1940. It was the end of the line of highlymaneuverable light tanks and weighedonly 5.2 tons. It was crewed by three menand normally carried two heavy machineguns, or one light cannon and one ma-chine gun. These tanks were almost al-ways used as early recon units since theycould be easily destroyed.

The Mk VI miniature is only ½� longand just over ¼� wide. The tracks areexcellently done with individual linksclearly visible. The suspension is correctand raised high enough not to be ob-structed by paint. Thin plate armor isvisible with a wealth of rivet detail. Carry-ing baskets and small tools are visible;turrets, plate lines, rivets, and hatcheswith hinges are detailed. Detracting fromthis excellent work is a single mold line bythe gun, and the fact that it is the B ver-sion, which was grossly underarmed butwas unfortunately the most numeroustype. The AA (anti-aircraft) version is welldone, including a tank commander in anopen hatch, but I have not been able tofind mention of this vehicle in my library.The main difference in the body of theanti-aircraft version is a circular turretand a large box on the rear.

The cruiser tanks were designed tooperate on the screening and flankingprinciple; they were not meant to fightother tanks. Tank columns were designedto operate as mounted infantry or cav-alry, seizing single objectives and disrupt-ing enemy lines. Their armor was ofmedium weight, and the main guns wereof small size. These designs were fieldedin 1936.

The A-9 cruiser was an intermediatedesign that was made in small numbers,but was used into 1941 in the African

1 0 8 J A N U A R Y 1 9 9 1

Mk VI B+ AA Tank (GHQ)

desert. The vehicle weighed only 12 tonsand moved at a maximum of 25 MPH. Thetank was armed with a 21-pound gun (37mm), a coaxial machine gun, and two smallturrets with a machine gun on the lowerfront hull. The A-10 used basically thesame body with no front turrets and aBese heavy machine gun. The A-10 hadalmost double the front armor, and thetank weighed 13.5 tons. The main gunremained the same.

The A-13 was the first significant changein this line. The A-13 was the first Britishtank to use the Cristie suspension, whichconsisted of large road wheels rather thanthe shocks, springs, and small wheels. Thegun remained the same, but armor wasreduced to 15 mm and speed went up to30 MPH.

These miniatures reflect their real coun-terparts exactly. The A-9 has full detailingof the six small road wheels and springs.The body reflects the sloped sides andturrets characteristic of this tank, and ithas well-defined hatches, muzzles, andguns. The mufflers are obvious and showthe height at which the tank was made towade through water. The main turret issquare, with almost no slope but having aridge that runs front to back. Tool boxesand racks are excellently detailed.

The A-10 miniature differs by its lack ofhull turrets and built-up driver�s and gun-ner�s front plate. Rivet detail is superb.

The A-13 is a slightly longer and wider tank with completely different suspension.The Cristie suspension is clearly shown,with the rubber edge visible. The bolt thatholds the wheel on is also visible. The firstplate of the recessed hull is shown, thatalso connects the Bese heavy machine gun.The muffler is no longer visible, as it islower and vented to the side. The body isof a more square design, with all hatchdetail clearly shown.

These tanks are excellent models foreither playing or display, with one smallfault: The barrels are thin and should notbe bent too many times or they will break.If you want to recreate the fast-movingbattles of France in 1940, or of northAfrica, these tanks are needed. Theirquality makes them highly recommended.The cost is $5.50 per package of five.

(PDF) Dragon Magazine #165.pdf - DOKUMEN.TIPS (111)


(PDF) Dragon Magazine #165.pdf - DOKUMEN.TIPS (112)

10-561�Billidum and the OgreMarauders and Spiderhaunt * * * *

The new Horde novels from TSR chroni-

Ral Partha Enterprises, Inc.5938 Carthage CourtCincinnati OH 45212

Ral Partha Enterprises, Inc.c/o Minifigs1/5 Graham Rd., SouthhamptonENGLAND SO2 0AX

10-560� The Horde: Yaemun�sHoekun Clan Warriors * * * * ½

cle the story of an army of horsem*n whotry to conquer the world. If this storysounds familiar, it should, as it was in-spired by the Mongols of history. Thesehorse troopers swept westward fromeastern Asia and conquered huge areas ofthe Eurasian continent.

Ral Partha, with TSR�s help, has staged askirmish using the BATTLESYSTEM�rules. This skirmish is fought using twoboxes of figures, each of which representone side. The set-up and scenario instruc-tions are included in a story-based hand-out included in each box.

Set #10-560 represents Yaemun�s Hoekunforces. The box contains 19 25-mm cavalrytroops, including three different horsecastings and three different figure cast-ings, including the leader, Yaemun.

All of the figures require some assembly.Yaemun is dressed in the woven platedescribed in the novel, Horselords. Hishelmet covers the back of his head andpart of his face, and it has some ornatemarkings on the brow. A shikoro, or neckguard, extends from the helmet to hisshoulders. His face is stern, and his mous-tache shows clearly. The breast and backplates are plain; only buckles mar thesmooth surface. He also wears a thighguard, bagged pants, leather boots, gloves,and reinforced sleeves on both arms. Araised mace is in his right hand. Separatebows in holders and quivers of arrowsmust be glued to his belt. His horse is notarmored and has a braced saddle andcorrect tack, though no reins are visible.The horse is in mid-step, with its tailslightly droopy. The mane and tail areboth excellently done.

The common tribesmen�s horses are thesame as the leader�s, except that provi-sions, ropes, and jugs hang from the sad-dles and the horses are moving at a trot.The troopers are dressed in hats withneck flaps, long robes cinched with beltsand buckles, pants, and leather boots.They hold bows, and empty bow holdersare molded to the left rear of each figure.Separate lances in the box can be glued totheir backs.

Also in the set are �valiant men,� the eliteof the clan fighters and the far-Easternversion of knights. The men in the kitwear plate armor wired onto leather,forming a very flexible plate. These fig-ures wear helmets and neck guards with-out nose and forehead protection.

1 1 0 J A N U A R Y 1 9 9 1

(PDF) Dragon Magazine #165.pdf - DOKUMEN.TIPS (113)

Otherwise these men are dressed as theclan leader. Valiant-men figures can attackwith either swords or lances in their righthands. Weapons are separate and must beglued on. The horses are also fully ar-mored except for their breasts, confirmingthat these are the shock troops that gointo battle first. These are highly recom-mended at $29.95 per set.

Set #10-561 contains a young hill giantand 12 marauding ogres. According to thescenario book, these creatures have calmlyeaten breakfast, consisting of the clanhorses, when they left the feast to returnhome and were caught in a trap on theopen plain by clan horsem*n.

The young hill giant stands 65 mm highand is almost 40 mm at the shoulders. Hisbody is heavily muscled and is coveredwith a thin layer of engraved body fur. Hisface is Neanderthal in appearance andcomes as a separate piece that joins to theneck that juts forward from the shoulders.His arms must also be glued on, and somefilling is needed to make the junctionbetween the arms and shoulders lookrealistic. The figure is clad only in skin�boxer shorts� and fur boots. He is armedwith a huge log that must be fitted into hisright hand after some light flash is cleanedoff the fist. This figure almost looks like agiant gorilla.

The ogres come in three different poses.One figure is a leader, differing from theother fully armored figures only in theposition of his arms. As with each of thefollower types, you must pick out onehead from the 12 available and oneweapon from the five types available.These weapons include spears, axes,maces, swords and spiked clubs/two-bladed axes.

bodies, all wearing plate armor over ani-mal skins, stomach protectors, left armand hand protection, and rope sandals.Knives are worn on their right hips. Theirleft arms stick out almost vertically, andtheir right arms are almost parallel totheir bodies. All hands are open and arecapable of holding weapons.

Ogre group #1 consists of five ogre

Group #2 consists of six figures. Theirarmor appears to be buckled over bare,hairy skin. Shoulders, chest, stomach, andgroin are all covered by overlappingplates, while the forearms and wrists areuncovered. The legs are bare, and the feetare clad in a slipper-type shoe. Thesefigures have their left arms up as if gettingready to throw something. Their rightarms are straight from their sides. Allhands are empty.

The 12 ogre heads have an Oriental lookand come in four basic types. Two aregrowling, with lips pulled back, and twohave their mouths open. One head has nohelmet and has flat hair, one has a top-knot, and the other two have differenthelmets on.

The spare weapons and heads in this setallow you to make a custom army and

allow you to rig your attacks to displaymixed weapons. These figures are just atthe right range at $24.95.

There is one caution on both these sets.No instructions are provided as to whereto place weapons, etc. By closely observingthe pictures on the back of the box, youcan place most of the equipment withoutproblems.

l indicates a product produced by a company otherthan TSR, Inc. Most product names are trademarksowned by the companies publishing those products.The use of the name of any product without mentionof its trademark status should not be construed as achallenge to such status.

Free Catalog!

Write for your free catalog ofgames and gaming supplies! In theUnited States and Canada, write to:TSR Mail Order Hobby Shop, c/oTSR, Inc., P.O. Box 756, Lake GenevaWI 53147, U.S.A. In Europe, writeto: TSR Mail Order Catalogue, TSRLtd, 120 Church End, Cherry Hin-ton, Cambridge CB1 3LB, UnitedKingdom. Our catalog is free �send for it today!


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