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Page 1: Dragon Magazine #155
Page 2: Dragon Magazine #155
Page 3: Dragon Magazine #155
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Issue # 155Vol.XIV,No.10March 1990

PublisherJames M. Ward

EditorRoger E. Moore

Fiction editorBarbara G. Young

Assistant editorDale A. Donovan

Art directorPaul Hanchette

Production staffKathleen C. MacDonald

Gaye O�Keefe Angelika Lokotz

SubscriptionsJanet L. Winters

U.S. advertisingSheila Gailloreto Zimmy Volp

U.K. correspondentand U.K. advertising

Sue Lilley

SPECIAL ATTRACTIONS

91 02 02 63 04 2

Insert

4 75 05 25 8

7 17 98 99 5

1 0 4

The Realms of FaerieOver the hills and far away, always just out of reach.

Wild in the Woods � Eric OppenElves who don�t like other elves: the wild grugach.

The Elfin Gods � Denise Lyn VoskuilFour new deities of light, magic, arts, and death.

In the Frost and the Snow � David S. ReimerA chilly reception is the best that you�ll get from the snow elves.

The Folk of the Faerie Kingdom � Vince GarciaThe �Little People�� from atomies to sylphs � and their queen.

The Ecology of the Satyr � Gordon R. MenziesWanna party? A satyrical look at fantasy�s nature boys.

The Crypt of Istaris � Richard FicheraIf you fail, everything goes! A DUNGEON® Adventures module.

OTHER FEATURES

Thank You For Your Cooperation � Jon PickensI spy, you spy�but why? Take our TOP SECRET/S.I.� game questionnaire.

The Game Wizards � Anne BrownSome words on Greyhawk from a mouse that (quietly) roars.

The Voyage of the Princess Ark � Bruce A. HeardThe Princess has landed�maybe permanently.

Father, Dear Father, Come Home With Me Now � fiction by JohnMorrisseyA sad thing it was for her father to be taken by the faerie host, but perhapsa wizard could help. . . .

The Marvel®-Phile � Dale A. DonovanIt�s back, and so is the champion of the British Isles!

Role-playing Reviews � Ken RolstonTrust in the Force, Luke; West End Games is coming!

The Role of Books � John C. BunnellWhat happened when the U.S.S. Enterprise finished its five-year mission?

The Role of Computers � Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk LesserDoes your Mac need some excitement? Feed it a few new games.

Through the Looking Glass � Robert BigelowTreat yourself to a grav tank and some DRAGONLANCE® Heroes.

DEPARTMENTS

5 Letters6 Sage Advice8 Forum

COVER

56 Editorial 84 Convention Calendar68 Gamers Guide 102 Dragonmirth78 TSR Previews

Dropped and forgotten by the wizard who owned it, a magical ring lies among theleaves in a deep forest�but faeries have a way of finding magical things. CarolHeyer�s talents make a welcome return to our cover as she offers a bit of what makesthe faerie world an unforgettable place.

4 MARCH 1990

Page 7: Dragon Magazine #155

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 CBl 3LD, United Kingdom.

Nice adviceDear Dragon:

In DRAGON issue #152, Jon Enge of Visa,Calif., asked for information on sculpting. We atFortress Figures are happy to help get peoplestarted in such a creative endeavor. We are arelatively new company devoted to sculpting 25mm science-fiction and fantasy figures.

For more information, please write to: For-tress Figures, c/o Metalcraft Miniatures andMore, 1000 North 9th Street, Elwood IN 46036.

Leslie A. KingUpland IN

Nice tryDear Dragon:

A friend once told me of the witch NPC. Hesaid that it had appeared in a past issue ofDRAGON Magazine. I was wondering if youcould either send me information regarding thisclass or tell me which issue had it (if it is not outof print). It would be much appreciated.

I also have a great name for the letterscolumn. How about �Bloodletters�?

Tommy TuckerHarwood MD

beast entry in the latter has four legs. I wouldassume that the four-legged displacer beasts arein error, though it should make no difference toany campaign whether they have four or sixlegs. Then, too, Dale Donovan and Skip Williamssuggest that you only think you see four legs,because the rest are displaced so that the beastis actually “two feet a way” from where youthink it is, nyuk, nyuk. I blame society for theircondition.

Nice namesYo, Dragon!

I have recently (and sadly) ended a campaignin which I played a standard low-intelligence/high-strength fighter, and I discovered a systemfor naming such fighters. All of these fightersshould be named after a sound that their weap-ons make (e.g., Thug, Smush, Bamboosh, etc.).Whadaya think?

Justin BarkerLas Cruces NM

That's nice. (Bamboosh?)

Nice artDear Dragon:

DRAGON Magazine is well known for itsexcellent fantasy covers, and the short para-graph about the artist and the picture is always atreat. As fantasy lovers and artists, we wouldlike to see the original artwork's size and mediaincluded as information given on thecover piece. It wouldn't take a lot of space orwork on your part, and it would certainlysatisfy the curiosity of a lot of up-and-comingfantasy artists. It would also settle a lot of argu-ments ("You know, he did that with an air-brush!" "No way, dude, it's watercolor!").

J. S. Hall & David FloraMorehead KY

The last witch NPC class we printed was inissue #114. It was a revamped and expandedversion of the witch NPC that appeared in issue#43 long ago. Note that this class was deliber-ated made more powerful than normal PCclasses so that it could could better challenge thosePCs; it is not recommended for use as a PC.

And I think we'll just stick with "Letters.”

Nice legsDear Dragon:

I am writing this letter to ask why the pictureof the miniature on page 93 of issue #152 [a RalPartha advertisement] shows a displacer beastwith only four legs, when it clearly states in theMonstrous Compendium volume one, that thedisplacer beast has six legs.

Corey HurbertVictor Ville CA

If the information your looking for isn'tincluded in the cover blurb on the "Table of Contents" page, just write a letter to the coverartist directly. See "Worth a Thousand Words,"in issue #152, for details.

To the pointDear Dragon:

Okay, where's the alleged arrowhead on thecover of issue #150?

Jason WelebnyOakdale NY

Hmmm. I also noticed that the displacer beastsin the Monster Manual I and on the cover of theMonstrous Compendium binder seem to havesix legs, but the one shown on the displacer

See the two cornstalk stubs forming a Y shapeat the bottom of the page? Look at the bottom ofthe Y: then look to your left, slightly down,about 1/3”. The black arrowhead is pointing attwo o’clock.

DRAGON® Magazine (ISSN 0279-6848) 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.), 44-223-248066 (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 72089, Chicago IL 60678, 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.

© I990 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.

DRAGON 5

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SAGE ADVICEby Skip Williams

well known for their questionable reli-gious dogmas long before the D&D® andAD&D games came on the scene. No majorreligious sect or denomination officiallyopposes the D&D game or any other role-playing game. These few individuals havebeen able to fool a lot of people into believ-ing their propaganda by pointing to a fewitems in the old AD&D game books andsaying, �This is a satanic game.� The unsus-pecting public, being uninformed aboutrole-playing and disinclined to actuallyread the books themselves, started buyingthis vituperation.

The demons and devils in the old Mon-ster Manuals were a prime weapon in thecampaign of misinformation directedagainst gaming, so they were droppedfrom the new edition. It�s possible thatdemons and devils will be revised into aformat that preserves their usefulness inadventure design and does not give thegame�s detractors cheap ammunition, butthat format hasn�t been found yet. In themeantime, the revamped dragons andgiants�which have been given a tremen-dous boost in the Monstrous Compendium�should do a nice job of filling the role ofultimate adversary.

Do monster shamans who castclerical spells get bonus spells forhigh wisdom? How does one calcu-late a monster�s wisdom score?

This answer is up to the DM, but onlytrue clerics should get bonus spells. Forexample, creatures such as dragons thathave the ability to cast clerical spells donot receive bonus spells due to high wis-dom because they are not members of thecleric class. Generally, a creature�s wisdomscore falls into the same range as its intelli-gence score; see the introductory sectionof the Monstrous Compendium, Volume I.

May I have permission to photo-copy the sheets in my MonstrousCompendium, volume I, becausethey are badly misdrilled? Also,aren�t there supposed to be twodifferent pages in the vampire�sdescription?

You can photocopy TSR�s game productsif you are doing it for your own use andnot for sale. You can also get a replace-ment booklet by returning the misdrilledcopy and requesting a new one. Send it to:The Mail Order Hobby Shop, c/o TSR, Inc.,P.O. Box 756, Lake Geneva WI 53147,U.S.A. Put the words �defective product�somewhere on the package. Enclose a

Monstrous Compendium

If you have any questions onthe games produced by TSR,Inc., “Sage Advice” will answerthem. In the United States andCanada, write to: Sage Advice,DRAGON® Magazine, P.O. Box111, Lake Geneva WI 53147,U.S.A. In Europe, write to: SageAdvice, DRAGON Magazine,TSR Ltd., 120 Church End,Cherry Hinton, Cambridge CB13LD, United Kingdom.

This month, “Sage Advice”looks at what ails the denizensof the AD&D® 2nd Edition Mon-strous Compendium, then of-

fers more advice on the AD&D2nd (and 1st) Edition rules.

6 MARCH 1990

After purchasing the first twovolumes of the Monstrous Compen-dium, I cannot help but have thesneaking suspicion that devils anddemons are not going to appear inany of the new monster tomes. I, forone, would be disappointed if thesemost villainous of villains are to beexcluded from the AD&D game. Inshort, are devils and demons goingto appear in any AD&D 2nd Editionreference books, or has societyreared its ugly head once more tothwart creativity and enjoyment?

The answer, in short, is at present thereare no plans to include devils, demons,and similar creatures in the AD&D 2ndEdition game. Society has not reared its�ugly head.� In fact, society is the source ofcreativity and enjoyment�gamers, gameproducers, and game columnists are partof society. Society as a whole is not downon gamers; some people I know who makeit a hobby to study the anti-role-playingmovement tell me the whole brouhaha isthe work of less than a dozen people, mostof them in the United States, who were Continued on page 86

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DRAGON 7

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“Forum” welcomes your commentsand opinions on role-playing games. Inthe United States and Canada, writeto: Forum, DRAGON® Magazine, P.O.Box 111, Lake Geneva WI 53147,U.S.A. In Europe, write to: Forum,DRAGON Magazine, TSR Ltd, 120Church End, Cherry Hinton, Cam-bridge CB1 3LB, United Kingdom. Weask that material submitted to “Fo-rum” be either neatly written by handor typed with a fresh ribbon and cleankeys so we can read and understandyour comments.

Mr. Foottit would lose his bet about the NPCshaving magical items. PCs are a special case,defined as being the most aggressive charactersaround and thus hired to do the dirty jobs. AnNPC fighter who reached 9th level largely byfighting humans might well prefer not to dealwith mystical monsters; thus he hires the PCs. High-risk jobs generally require incentives to getpeople to undertake them. The soldier whofights in wars and defends castles will acquireexperience points but not the sorts of treasuresadventurers do.

The most honestly played and DMed charac-ters will end up with far more money and magic

The fact is that in a party melee situationagainst a horde of NPC warriors, the typicalmelee combat character continuously faces twoor three NPCs at a time. If the party is not beingoverwhelmed, the PC in trouble gets help fromanother member who isn�t in trouble.

Describing a party vs. horde scenario wouldhave taken much more space and had greatercomplications. A way to keep the PC fighting theproper number of foes had to be developed.The arena/boxing ring fit the bill perfectly.

For the sake of Mr. Foottit, there are a num-ber of places where in �real life� 40 NPCs mighthave to fight no more than two at a time: on abridge, a narrow corridor in a dungeon, at asmall breach in a castle wall, or in an equallynarrow pass.

In my original letter about Eriana and the 40NPCs, I noted that if they could rush her, thefight would quickly end. Ted Collins and TomFoottit in issue #150 went to great lengths todemonstrate that assessment was correct. Yes, ifthey all attacked at once she�d die, and if the lastone in had an Atchisson assault rifle, the first 39would go with her.

What the scenario was supposed to do was topoint out how several minor magical items usedin conjunction made a character who was notthat much better than any of the NPCs de-scribed (three extra levels, one stat high enoughto give a bonus, and better than twice the hitpoints) virtually invincible.

In fact, the scenario was based on a game IDMed in which a halfling fighter PC was slaugh-tering 7th-level guards right and left. The mod-ule was RS1 The Unconquered, so the situationwas not that contrived.

8 MARCH 1990

I am a DM running a campaign with four PCsbetween levels 4 and 7. By starting with themodule N4 Treasure Hunt, I have solved theproblem of alignment. This module starts withthe players as zero-level civilians with no set

at any level than the tables for equipping high-level characters will grant. It�s not that unusualto find so large a difference between the itemsEriana had and the items the NPCs lacked.

Mr. Foottit asks, �Who says that these fightershave no to-hit or damage bonuses?� and �Whosays that the NPCs can only face Eriana two at atime?� Well, I say. I designed the scenario, andone of the perks of that job is that I get to saywhat this or that character has or lacks. For therecord, the 40 NPCs have�excuse me, had�nostatistic bonuses or magical items, and had toattack her two at a time.

Now, unfortunately, I have to deal withStephen Jorgensen�s letter, and it�s hard to arguewith a man who is essentially correct. I�d proba-bly start the penalties he suggests with the thirdfoe, not the second, keeping in mind the philoso-phy found in the �cinematic combat� optionfound in Steve Jackson Games� GURPS® rules.

He�s quite correct about what would occur ifall the NPCs were specialized or better withtheir weapons, something I didn�t think of untila day or so after I mailed my letter.

The only other point is a double quibble: Thefatigue rules from the Dungeoneer's SurvivalGuide are optional, but any stat losses are notgoing to affect her to-hit and damage scores, asthey have no effect on the gauntlets of ogrepower she wears. As long as she wears them,her strength is l8/00. However, her dexteritywould drop if she failed the constitution checks,making her easier to be hit.

Jorgensen�s comments on the inherent prob-lems of having �normal� characters who canabsorb more damage than a storm giant are tothe point. One suggestion here is to define luck/skill hit points by level or hit die. A characterloses luck/skill hit points first, up to his level ofdamage per blow. Using Eriana as an example,she could take up to 8 hp per blow as luck orskill damage and any additional damage as�body� damage. Body hit points would be de-fined as the characters 1st-level hp. Thus, onegood blow could incapacitate Eriana (remainingluck points keep her alive until or unless she ishealed or slain while helpless) though this isbeyond the 1-8 range the NPCs could have done.

Lastly, I�d like to comment on Bill McCul-lough�s letter in issue #150. I�ve dealt withpower gamers coming into my campaign a fewtimes. Unless one of these guys is supplying theplace where you game and you must have himin the game to play at all, let those who can�tplay by your style play elsewhere. After a fewweeks, they will either slip back, playing charac-ters you can handle, or form a rival power-gamer campaign. Unless all the local players aregod-character junkies, you will end up with acampaign that has a core of solid, dependableplayers. From that, you can build up a sizablegame as the months pass.

I can virtually promise you if you try to play astyle you hate, your game world will comedown around your ears.

S. D. AndersonWhittier CA

With respect to all the letters to �Forum�concerning dragons, I�d like to know whateverybody is so excited about. I swore that Iwouldn�t become involved in all this, but withthe last letter in issue #150, I just couldn�t helpmyself. It seems that every time I read thiscolumn, I find one letter or another telling us allabout how this or that dragon could eitherutterly destroy a well-equipped party of adven-turers or else be destroyed. In this latest trav-esty, the dragon in question seems more like acoven of witches or an entire thieves� guild thana large reptile. Mr. Myers has this dragon sport-ing a spy network that could put many anassassin�s guild to shame! And the traps! Whydon�t we just house all the dragons right in townand save them the trouble of having to shop forthe latest gadgets?

Look, isn�t a dragon supposed to be lying in acave on top of his huge mound of treasure, faraway from man and his petty affairs? Theheroes are supposed to trek up a mountainsideand gain access to this hidden lair. The dragonwakes up (usually because somebody steps onthe equivalent of a dry twig), breathes histerrible breath weapon, claws and bites a fewtimes (possibly taking a few party memberswith him), then dies from the mighty blows ofsome knight or wizard or something.

Let�s all keep in mind that the toughest 1stEdition dragon is only in the neighborhood of 10to 12 HD. Special abilities aside, it is absolutelyludicrous to assume that such a creature shouldbe able to give a well-equipped party of adven-turers of equal level any more than a marginallytough workout, not to mention the previouslymentioned 25th-level party. I fail to understandwhy people assume that just because it is adragon, it should have some special right tohave it�s life preserved by the DM.

The point is that no matter how tough youmake the dragon, a party of adventurers isgoing to come along and kill him. I imagine that

Continued on page 74

alignment or class. As the players go throughthe module, the DM keeps track of their PCs�actions. At the end of the module, the charac-ters are declared 1st level, with the alignmentand class that they acted most like. The charac-ters almost never end up acting out of align-ment after this, and it can be seen how theparty works together with a variety of align-ments within it.

Also responding to the anonymous letter inissue #152 about the ineffectuality of castles in acampaign featuring magic and flying creatures,I agree. But I would like to point out that ratherthan abolishing castles, this situation justchanges the way in which castles are built. TheTower of the High Clerist, in DRAGONLANCEmodule DL8 Dragons of War, is a good exampleof this. Almost fully roofed and magic resistant,it is highly defensible and protected. If this isnot enough, the entire place is designed to standeven if every gate in the place is breached. It isa vast maze with huge numbers of magical andmundane traps and tricks. A small number ofknights who knew the place could easily protectit against huge armies.

James WiseSchenectady NY

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The point of view

of the grugach-

the wild elves

by Eric Oppen

The most unusual surface-dwelling elvenrace of AD&D® game worlds is the gru-gach, or wild elves. More primitive andmore secretive than other elves, they leadlives apart from other civilized beings,deep in wilderness forests.

The fair-colored grugach are muchthinner and smaller than most elves. Thisdifference in size is seen as an advantage,as the grugach can easily slip throughtangles of underbrush that would stop orslow down larger beings. Their small sizeand light weight also make climbing treeseasy for them.

A matter of trustPsychologically, the grugach are very

10 MARCH 1990

different from other elves. Secretiveness isa trait all elves share to some extent inregards to other races, but grugach extendit to cover all nongrugach and, to a lesserextent, grugach from other tribes. Non-grugach elves who visit a grugach encamp-ment are shocked to find themselvestreated as though they were humansvisiting an elven enclave�unthinkabletreatment to those elves.

There are several reasons for this atti-tude, one of them being the primitivesocial structure of the grugach. The gru-gach divide all beings into frana�an �ingroup� that is trusted implicitly, andmalza�an �out group� of potential ene-mies. This has parallels in drow society

(see �Children of the Spider Goddess,�DRAGON® issue #129) as well in manyprimitive human societies. For almost allgrugach, the �in-group� is their own tribe;less often, it includes other grugach.

The relative poverty of the grugach isanother reason for their distrust of outsid-ers. They dislike and fear wealthier be-ings, since the grugach themselves have solittle that they can afford to lose. Manygrugach terms for outsiders could betranslated into English as �city slickers� or�rich spoiled brats,� although the intenselydisparaging overtones could not be trans-lated so easily. Grugach feel, with somereason, that wealthier beings might eithertake advantage of them or, through sheerirresponsibility or ignorance, endangertheir tribes.

The last major factor in grugach mis-trustfulness is their relative isolation fromother intelligent races. The deep, darkforests they favor as living spaces areseldom visited by others without strongmotivation. Being so isolated, they have noeasy way to differentiate between, forexample, the noble scion of a human royalfamily and a similar-appearing outlawedhuman confidence trickster. Therefore, alloutsiders are treated more or less as beingon probation when visiting the grugach, atleast until the visitors can satisfy the wildelves of their good intentions (if any).

Another important mental differencebetween grugach and other elves is thegrugach inability to use mages�s spells. Thereasons for this are unclear, but elvensages postulate that the grugach lackcertain structures in the brain that allowthe possessor to cast such spells. As fewgrugach are able to cast spells (these fewbeing the rare fighter/druids), they do notcomprehend or share the usual elvenfascination with magic. Many magic-usingelves visiting the grugach are shocked tofind that their hosts are unable to castspells. Unfortunately, their shock is oftenexpressed in behavior that the proudgrugach see as patronizing.

Home sweet tribeGrugach society preserves many archaic

features not found in other elven cultures.The gray elves have a poetic term for theirkin: �children of the eldest elves,� referringto the grugach�s resemblance to theearliest-known ancestors of all elves.

Young grugach do not get the leisurelygrowing-up time other elven childrenreceive. As soon as they are capable, theyare pressed into community service, help-ing out any way they can. This early expo-sure to a hard, harsh world makesgrugach easily the hardest workers of allelves. As the other elven races haveachieved prosperity, they have been ableto allow their youngsters a more leisurelychildhood. The grugach see this as effete.The grugach leaders who assign tasks arenot particular about the manner in whichthose tasks are accomplished, so long asthe tribe benefits. Grugach pride demands

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DRAGON 11

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a very individualistic approach to every

The basic unit of grugach society is thetribe. Any settlement of grugach, usually

problem (giving them their chaotic bent).

averaging 50 individuals, is considered atribe. Although individual grugach moveeasily from tribe to tribe, usually by mar-rying an individual from another tribe,tribal identity is usually quite solid, cen-tered around a symbolic totem-animal forwhich the tribe is named, or around aplace where an important tribal eventoccurred. Thus, a campaign world couldhave grugach tribes with names like thePurple Eagle tribe or the Orc-Skull Foresttribe. When a grugach joins a new tribe,he submits to a simple initiation adminis-tered by the tribe’s druids. From thatmoment on, he gives all his loyalty to thattribe. To betray the tribe is the greatest ofall grugach crimes.

These tribes are loosely run, allowingthe individual a great deal of indepen-dence. The usual form of tribal govern-ment is a primitive democracy. The tribalcouncil, consisting of all adult members,decides most questions and arbitratesmost disputes. In emergencies, the tribe’sdruids usually take charge.

Most tribes require members to sub-scribe to a simple, clear ethical code. Thiscan be summed up as follows:—Help your fellow tribe members first,

other grugach second, and everybody else

—Never kill unless it is necessary, andlast, if at all.

never hesitate when it is necessary to kill.— Treat your fellow tribal members as youwish to be treated.—Never trust outsiders, except possiblyfor druids.

Blatant failure to observe this code willprovoke banishment, if other punishmentshave failed. Grugach do not execute othergrugach for any crimes, though non-grugach are not so lucky.

A tribe will often be seminomadic, mi-grating twice yearly between the huntinggrounds occupied in winter and the smallclearings where the summer vegetablegardens are. Tribal territories are looselydefined, and grugach trespassers aretaunted but not harmed.

Day-to-day life among the grugach isprimitive. In the summer, the usual gru-gach dwelling is a sort of wigwam or tentpitched near the vegetable gardens. In thewinter, a tribe may have a settlement ofwooden cabins or Navaho-style hogans inthe hunting grounds, often partially sunkinto the earth for greater warmth. Gru-gach settlements are deliberately made Editions game's Unearthed Arcana) ought todifficult to find and are usually overgrownwith vegetation and fortified. Dead trees,dragged into the proper positions andelaborated upon, look perfectly natural

but form a sort of barbed wire that effec-tively stops or slows most nongrugachwho do not know the right way in. Trapswill be placed along all paths to a grugachsettlement, to discourage uninvited guests.

This seminomadic life precludes thegrugach from large-scale metalworking;forges and mines are not portable, and thepopulation is much too small to supportany such endeavors. Grugach smiths gen-erally confine themselves to repair work,leaving the manufacture of anything muchlarger than arrowheads or small knives topeoples with whom they trade.

Hunters, not fightersThe grugach depend heavily on hunting,

even in summer, for many of the thingsthey must have to survive. A grugachwarrior will be far more proud of slayinga large game animal than of winning abattle. Any animals that grugach kill areutilized in every possible way—meat iseaten, bones make tools or weapons (oftencombined with metal implements), fursare worn or traded, sinews are used forsewing, hooves make glue, etc. Any gru-gach PC (created as per the AD&D 1st

have almost all of the proficiencies in theWilderness Survival Guide that apply tohis native environment.

Because of their small size, the grugach

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The grugach that outsiders are mostlikely to encounter are fighter/druids,because of their membership in whateverdruidic organization exists in their area.Other druids respect them for their har-mony with nature�s ways, and druids ofhigher rank than the grugach themselvesmay attain are the nongrugach that thewild elves are most likely to accept. Ingrugach society, tribal leaders are usuallydruids. The grugach say: �In the body ofthe tribe, the brains are the druids.�

If the tribe�s brains are the druids, thetribe�s hands and arms are the fighters.Unlike other races, grugach warriors donot see themselves as fighters but ashunters. A grugach fighter would be ex-tremely proud of slaying a cave bear or awooly mammoth single-handed, but if he

realize that they often dare not imitatelarger peoples� hunting tactics, and theirrelative lack of access to mage spells onlymakes this matter more urgent. In anyconfrontation between a bear and a gru-gach, the wild elf will be in serious trou-ble. For this reason, as well as forefficiency�s sake, the grugach are skilledtrappers and snarers. Any grugach childwill soak up a great deal of trap lore longbefore reaching an age to go out and run atrapline unassisted. By the time adulthoodis reached, a grugach will know moreabout the way traps work than anyonebut a thief.

killed a whole tribe of orcs or hobgoblins,all one would hear would be: �Hunh! Thatwas no challenge! Those creatures were sonoisy that even a human could hear them!They were so stupid that they fell into atrap that a baby bear could have seen! Idid them a favor by killing them�puttingthem out of their stupidity!�

Behind the scenesGrugach warriors usually belong to

intertribal secret societies, which arequasi-religious in nature and usually ad-ministered by one tribe�s druids. Thesesecret societies do a lot to prevent inter-tribal warfare, since lodge siblings arestringently pledged to not harm eachother or allow each other to come toharm.

The initiation of a new member into asecret society is like a manhood ceremonyof many primitive human tribes, but com-bined with a good deal of cheerful horse-play. Secret societies usually meet in aspecially designated cabin in winter or inclearings in the forest in summer. Afterinitiating any new members, the meetingusually turns into a celebration duringwhich each hunter recounts the story ofhis most recent exploits. The wild partyingthat secret societies sometimes indulge inis seen by the tribes as a necessary releasefrom the constraints of their lives. Sinceall grugach secret

societies are on good terms with eachother (more druidic influence), a grugachmay easily be a member of three or moresecret societies at once. Secret societieshave all sorts of names, from serious oneslike the Hunters� Conclave to silly ones likethe Purple-Feathered Three-Toed Sloths.Often, secret society members submit totattooing on the face and arms.

Although they will fight when threat-ened, grugach warriors prefer to gainglory by bringing in more meat than any-one else. When a warrior�s achievementsin the hunt are sufficiently spectacular, hewill often receive a new name from hissecret society in commemoration. Thegreatest grugach heroine of all was knownas Lilthiniel Owlbear after she single-handedly slew three mad owlbears thatraged through a grugach camp. Unless ananimal is needed for food or trade, orposes a threat, the grugach leave it alone.Hunting for sport is alien to their thinking;they consider it wasteful.

charge of critiquing all trap-related train-ing the guild offers. A low-level grugachthief or assassin might also be asked toaccompany higher-level guildmates in aforay against a target known to dependheavily on traps for defense.

Though those who steal from grugach

Even a low-level grugach thief or assas-sin might hold a higher status within aguild than his level would normally allow.This comes from his familiarity with traps.A guildmaster might place a grugach in

Once they�ve arrived in the cities, theirpoverty and lack of sophistication forcesthe grugach exiles into the slums. Therethey eventually come to the attention ofthe thieves� guild, either for pilfering fromthose who�ve bought protection or fortheir skills with snares. After inductioninto the thieves� guild, the grugach findtheir small size and familiarity with trapsvery useful, and the chance to revengethemselves on society by helping thethieves is very appealing.

The grugach assassins (fighters andfighter/thieves) found in nongrugachsettlements are much like the exiled gru-gach thieves. The only difference betweenthem often lies in whether the thieves� orassassins� guild is the first to recruit thewild elf. With their small sizes and beard-less faces, grugach assassins often disguisethemselves as elven or human children toget close to wary targets.

Among the grugach tribes, thieves arealmost invariably multiclassed as fighter/thieves. The grugach�s penalty for theftfrom fellow tribal members is permanentexile. Since the druids and the secret soci-eties have well-developed messenger serv-ices from tribe to tribe, a grugach expelledfor cause from one tribe has little chanceof joining another. Consequently, thosefew grugach thieves are embittered exileswho�ve made their way to cities or towns.

Exiles forever

1 4 M A R C H 1 9 9 0

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are hated, fighter/thief grugachs act asassassins and scouts against forces thatthreaten the tribes. Tribal leaders some-times maintain schools for such trainingfor suitable young wild elves. It is ru-mored that some grugach druids formliasons between their tribes and certainassassins� guilds where the majority ofmembers are half-elven or elven. For aconsideration, these guilds will train gru-gach assassins as fighter/thieves. Theirtribes find the assassins� abilities to spy onenemies very useful. Many a humanoidtribe�s plans came to nothing because of askillful grugach agent. Tribal leaders, withpragmatism forced upon them, also haveno compunction about using assassins toput any human or demihuman who is athreat to the tribe�s survival out of the wayfor good.

Allies & enemies

grugach have considerable respect forthem. At the same time, the barbaric loveof combat for its own sake is alien to the

Woodland-dwelling barbarians haveenough in common with grugach that the

Grugach revere druids of any race�even if it is with some suspicion�andparticularly revere humans of levelshigher than the grugach themselves canattain. High-level human and half-elvendruids often act as middlemen betweengrugach tribes and those who wish totrade with them.

Though they do not practice warfareamong their individual tribes, grugachfrom different tribes do not wholly trustone another, a byproduct of their distrustof nearly every other being. Instead offighting, grugach from �rival� tribesmerely avoid each other or, at worst,insult each other, set nonlethal traps, anddrive off game animals. However, thedruids and secret societies help to sootheintertribal suspicions a good deal. Andeven tribes that will not speak with oneanother will usually set aside their differ-ences in a fight against a nongrugachenemy that threatens the survival of oneor both.

The dwarves are also distrusted by thegrugach because the wild elves feel thatdwarves in general are out to cheat them(and some are). Grugach experience withdwarven merchants reinforces this stereo-type, since the dwarves seem to be arro-

The different lifestyles of dwarf andgrugach also contribute to misunderstand-ings. The grugach shudder at the thoughtof entombing themselves in musty ca-verns, away from the sun, trees, andwind. The wild elves� reactions to thedwarves� descriptions of their homesrange from polite disbelief to horror. Notunnaturally, this irks the dwarves, whoare at least as proud as the grugach areand fail to see why a bunch of fur-cladelven savages should dare to turn up theirnoses at the dwarves� mighty mansions.

Grugach and dwarves generally don�t getalong. Although they must work very hardto survive, the grugach are utterly unableto understand the driving, single-mindedeffort that the dwarves are willing toexpend. Dwarven obedience to superiorsalso arouses grugach suspicion and dis-dain. Grugach leaders lead more by per-suasion and example, and they wouldnever expect the instant obedience adwarven leader considers acceptable.

Grugach regard almost all other hu-mans, as well as all nondruidic elves, witha great deal of mistrust. Grugach proverbswarn: �When you�ve shaken hands with anelf, count your fingers!� and: �There wasan honest human once�if an object wasred hot, out of reach, or fastened down,he wouldn�t steal it!�

Rangers are not revered as are druids,but they, too, gain much respect fromgrugach, particularly if the grugach havebenefited from the work of rangers in thepast. However, such appreciation is rarelyexpressed openly, as it is difficult for gru-gach to tell a good-aligned ranger from anevil hunter.

grugach, and they are well aware thatwith their woodland skills, barbarianspose more of a threat than other humansdo. Grugach avoid contact with barbariansin most instances.

18 MARCH 1990

antly flaunting their wealth and appear tobe intent on skinning the grugach out ofevery copper piece for their goods.

Often a grugach tribe or secret societywill swear a formal vendetta against anearby tribe of orcs or similar humanoids,in response to some particularly gratui-tous atrocity. Once this step is taken, thehumanoids have a fight for sure. Advance-

ment in some grugach secret societies isachieved by bringing in a certain numberof fresh orcish or humanoid heads orscalps. Evil humanoids are the only beingsthat grugach kill on sight.

Wild elves and halflings seldom crosspaths. The grugach and halflings are bothrare races, and the halflings� love for openmeadows and farmlands seldom leads them into the gloomy forests grugachprefer. When the two races meet, grugachget along best with tallfellows. For themost part, though, grugach barely knowhalflings exist, and grugach often mistakethem for human children.

Grugach despise orcs and half-orcs evenmore than other elves do. Other elvesdetest orcish vandalism and slaughter ofwildlife because it destroys beautifulwoodlands. Yet these elves do not regardorcs and goblinkind as life-or-death threatsto the elven race, instead seeing themmore as long-term annoyances. But thegrugach view orcish behavior with horror,as anybody would who witnesses thewanton destruction of his means of liveli-hood. Orcish attacks on grugach settle-ments do nothing to increase theirpopularity with the wild elves. Like allelves, grugach have long memories, andsince their lives are hard enough already,they hold grudges against anyone whowantonly makes their lives more difficult.

The other causes of gnome-grugachfriction are much the same as withdwarves. Gnomes visiting grugach settle-ments do well to keep their itch for profitunder control, as well as any urges theyfeel to flaunt their wealth.

The grugach do not like gnomes muchmore than they do dwarves, but for differ-ent reasons. Dwarves, say the grugach, atleast understand dignity, but the gnomeswouldn�t know dignity if it came up andbit them. Around outsiders, the grugachprefer to behave with deadpan solemnityand impassive courtesy, which makesthem irresistable targets for a gnome witha prank in mind. What a gnome considersa harmless prank, a grugach considers agrotesque insult. Many a gnome jokesmithhas been notified by hails of grugacharrows and sling bullets that the grugachsense of humor, well developed though itis among themselves, does not extend tojokes at their expense.

The adventuring lifeGrugach go adventuring for a variety of

reasons, just as other races do. One possi-ble reason for a grugach to take up the

Continued on page 23

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DRAGON 19

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Four new additions to the elven pantheonby Denise Lyn Voskuil

Unearthed Arcana describes five mem-bers of the Seldarine, the elven pantheonof the AD&D® game. In the gods� introduc-tion, it is noted that there are other godsand goddesses in this pantheon who covera variety of spheres of influence. Thisarticle details four new members who canbe used to suit any DM�s campaign.

Those deities in the Seldarine valueindependence highly, and thus they oftenwork separately. Yet all of the deities de-scribed herein (as well as the other mem-bers of the Seldarine) will work togetherin times of need without being compelledto do so. Once a year, all of the Seldarinemeet in a huge grove in Arvandor, �The

Araleth

20 MARCH 1990

Araleth Letheranil (god of light)Lesser god

ARMOR CLASS: -2MOVE: 15HIT POINTS: 310NO. OF ATTACKS: 2DAMAGE/ATTACK: 2-16 (+ 14), or 2-24

(+ 14) vs. larger-than-man-size foesSPECIAL ATTACKS: Magical weapons and

items, unusual spell use SPECIAL DEFENSES: Spell use, spell

immunitiesMAGIC RESISTANCE: 80%SIZE: M (6 ½)ALIGNMENT: Chaotic goodWORSHIPERS� ALIGNMENT: Good and

neutral alignments (elves)SYMBOL: Shaft of lightPLANE: OlympusPRIEST: 12th-level cleric/9th-level druidWARRIOR: 10th-level rangerMAGE: 14th-level mage/l4th-level illusionistROGUE: 10th-level bardPSIONIC ABILITY: Nil (immune to psionics)S: 21 (+4, +9) I: 24 W: 22D: 20 C : 2 2 CH: 22

Naturally, the light-god AralethLetheranil is also considered to be the godof the sun, moon, and stars. He frownsupon unnecessary usage of darkness spellsand encourages elves to combat evil, espe-cially any darkness-loving creatures-darkelves are considered to be prime targets.Because of this, he is a favorite of elvenand half-elven adventurers.

There are many tales of Araleth�s fightsagainst evil beings. Perhaps the most fa-mous is that of his battle with Lolth, theDemon Queen of Spiders. After the Alignment Wars had driven many evil racesunderground, the drow elves adapted andflourished. Lolth, their goddess, hated thegood races and began to develop plans todestroy them. When the drow had grownquite strong, she, through her clerics,

High Forest� on the outer plane of Olym-pus, for a discussion of elven society anddoings on the Prime Material plane. This isfollowed by a great festival which may lastfor weeks on end. Note that the gods andgoddesses, during this time, continue tolisten to occasional pleas and grant spellsto their priests.

organized the dark elves into a great armynumbering in the thousands. Aralethrealized what was happening and warnedhis own clerics. They, in turn, assembledmany gray, high, and wood elves to holdback the dark forces. Fighting took placeat night and on gloomy, cloudy dayscaused by the dark elf clerics. When thesun came out, the drow withdrew into theunderground, sometimes (foolishly) fol-lowed by the opposing forces. Dark elf

Kirith

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magic-users, realizing the extreme disad-vantage caused by their sensitivity to light,tried to develop a way to venture about inlight without penalties. The long strugglethat took place is called the War of theElves. However, that is a misnomer, forlarge groups of humans and other demihu-mans came to the surface elves� aid whenthey realized the severity of the situation.

into her abdomen. The demoness was

When it seemed that the good forceswould be victorious, all of the drow magic-users were called back into battle. Sud- denly, Lolth appeared on the earth andjoined the fray. Araleth knew that herpresence would be too much for the demi-humans and humans to overcome, so hewent to the battlefield that day, fought hisway through the dark elven army, andattacked Lolth and the clerics and magic-users surrounding her. The combat wasfurious, with Araleth�s sword and spellscutting down powerful drow and wound-ing the demoness, and Lolth�s magic, webs,and fangs taking their toll. Before the godknew what had happened, Lolth jumpedat him and sank her fangs into his shoul-der, pumping venom into the wound. Hecried out and plunged his magical sword

Melira

22 MARCH 1990

NO. OF ATTACKS: 1DAMAGE/ATTACK: 3-12SPECIAL ATTACKS: Magical weapons and

Kirith Sotheril wears rainbow-stripedrobes and has golden hair; her eyes con-tinually change color, from hazel to greento blue to violet and back again. If anyonewithin 10� looks into her eyes (an auto-matic action if surprised or unless the PCstates he is not looking at her eyes), shecan implant a suggestion (save at -2) with

modes (applies only to campaigns usingpsionic talents)

S: 11 I: 25 W: 25D: 19 C: 18 CH: 24

MAGE: 25th-level mage/25-level illusionistROGUE: 11th-level bardPSIONIC ABILITY: 360; all attack/defense

neutral magic-users (elves)SYMBOL: Rainbow-striped spherePLANE: OlympusPRIEST: 8th-level cleric/l4th-level druidWARRIOR: Nil

ALIGNMENT: Neutral goodWORSHIPERS� ALIGNMENT: Good and

MAGIC RESISTANCE: 98%SIZE: M (5 ½)

to hit, spell use

items, unusual spell useSPECIAL DEFENSES: +4 or better weapon

ARMOR CLASS: -1MOVE: 15HIT POINTS: 298

Kirith Sotheril (goddess of magic)Lesser goddess

forced to return to the Abyss, for she wasnear death. Though in great pain, Aralethslew many great spell-casters and warriorsbefore he went back to Arvandor. Becauseof his presence, the forces of good wereheartened, and destroyed much of thedark army. The drow, reduced to a frac-tion of their original number, fled backinto the Underdark. Araleth still bears adark scar on his right shoulder whereLolth wounded him, and he uses it toremind his followers of the need to de-stroy evil.

This god uses a long sword +5 in battle.It inflicts double damage upon evil crea-tures, or triple damage if they are fromthe lower outer planes. He can cast acontinual light, sunray, or rainbow spellonce per round at will. When he uses therainbow spell and chooses its bow form,he can pick any color as often as hewishes (up to the limit of seven arrowsallowed by the spell). He is immune tospells that create or alter light or dark-ness, including fire- or lightning-basedspells.

Araleth has silvery hair and golden,glowing eyes, and is clad in white robes.He is enveloped in a white, shimmeringaura. Gods with whom he occasionallyassociates include Seker and Frey (seeLegends & Lore, pages 48 and 101-102), astheir objectives are quite similar.

Good and neutral mages make up thebulk of her worshipers. As would be ex-pected, all of her clerics are also membersof the mage class.

her next words. She can use this poweronce per round.

Before battle, Kirith will cast a prismaticsphere upon herself; the prismatic sphereis harmless to all elves in her service, andthe spell moves with her wherever shegoes. During the fighting, Kirith will castspells or strike with her dagger +4. Shecan regain spells she�s cast at the rate ofone spell level per round. For example, ifshe casts an eighth-level spell in the thirdround of melee, she is able to use the sameor another eighth-level spell again afterthe eleventh round. Within a 180-yardradius, she can detect all magical itemsautomatically (not withstanding any pro-tective spells, lead casing, etc.), and shecan determine what powers those itemshave.

Continued on page 24

Naris

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Wild in the WoodsContinued from page 18

adventuring life is exile from the tribe, aspreviously noted. Since exiles seldom havea chance of acceptance in other grugachtribes, the exile must join nongrugachsociety. Exiled grugach will generally tendto be bitter and morose, and are far moreprone to black moods than other elves.

Another reason for a grugach to adven-ture is the disintegration of a tribe, eitherthrough plague, warfare, or other calam-ity. Some grugach who survive such disas-ters attempt to join other tribes, but ifsuch are not available, a few have beenknown to join up with other elven villagesor druidic communities. It is not much of ajump from this point to becoming a regu-lar adventurer. These grugach are morecheerful than those in forced exile, andthey tend to treat their new �in group�much like their old tribe.

A grugach might take up a quest for histribe, druidic society, or secret society.

Tribal leaders might send warriors ordruids to recover something stolen from

the tribe, to avenge an attack, or to obtainsomething the tribe needs desperately. Ifthe players wish to run an all-grugachcampaign, the DM can set up a series ofadventures designed for them

Finally, grugach, like everyone else, areprone to restlessness and a desire forwealth. Grugach exposed to other racesfrom an early age might become boredwith their tribes and hire out as guards tomerchants, in return for aid when civiliza-tion is reached Druids, of course, wouldhave their druidic organization to helpthem make it in the outside world. A fewtribes (but very few) would even encour-age some grugach to leave and gain moreexperience in the world, in hopes thatthose grugach would return to better lifefor their fellows.

Grugach, when away from their fellowadventurers or with people they don�tknow, are reserved and dignified. Theyare not prone to random mischief. Oncetrust has been established, they are loyal(if occasionally difficult) companions.

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The Elfin GodsContinued from page 22

Melira Taralen (goddess of fine arts)Lesser goddess

ARMOR CLASS: -3MOVE: 18HIT POINTS: 315NO. OF ATTACKS: 1DAMAGE/ATTACK: 2-20SPECIAL ATTACKS: Magical weapons and

items, unusual spell useSPECIAL DEFENSES: Spell use, spell

immunitiesMAGIC RESISTANCE: 86%SIZE: M (5½)ALIGNMENT. Chaotic goodWORSHIPERS� ALIGNMENT: Good and

neutral alignments (elves), and thosewho enjoy the fine arts, especiallybards

SYMBOL: LutePLANE: OlympusPRIEST: 12th-level druidWARRIOR: NilMAGE: 18th-level illusionistROGUE: 23rd-level bardPSIONIC ABILITY: Nil (immune to psionics)S: 10 I: 24 W: 21D: 23 C: 20 CH: 23

This goddess is the patron of lovers ofthe fine arts, including half-elven bards.

In addition to her normal spell-castingabilities, Melira can cast each of the fol-lowing spells once per round: audibleglamer, Tasha’s uncontrollable hideouslaughter, rainbow pattern, Leomund’slamentable belabourment, permanentillusion, and Otto’s irresistible dance. Me-lira possesses a special lute that has thepowers of all of the magical bard instru-ments from the 1st Edition Dungeon Mas-ters Guide. She can, once every threerounds, animate object as a 20th-levelcleric. She sometimes fights using her longsword +3, which does double damage toevil creatures that use sounds, song, orillusions to lure, trick, or harm other

beings (e.g., harpies, evil bards, shriekers).She is immune to all spells that affectmovement, to all sound-based spells orpowers, and to illusions.

Melira Taralen is pretty, vivacious, and askilled artist and performer. She has flaxenhair and bright blue eyes. Her robe is anequally bright blue, and her sword andlute are with her at all times.

ARMOR CLASS: -2MOVE: 12HIT POINTS: 320NO. OF ATTACKS: 1DAMAGE/ATTACK: 5-20 (+7)SPECIAL ATTACKS: See belowSPECIAL DEFENSES: +3 or better weapon

to hit; also see belowMAGIC RESISTANCE: 84%SIZE: M (6�)ALIGNMENT: Neutral goodWORSHIPERS� ALIGNMENT: Good and

neutral alignments (elves)SYMBOL: White shieldPLANE: OlympusPRIEST: 20th-level cleric/l2th-level druidWARRIOR: 6th-level rangerMAGE: I2th-level mageROGUE: 10th-level bardPSIONIC ABILITY: Nil (immune to psionics)S: 19 (+3, +7) I: 23 W: 25D: 20 C: 22 CH: 20

Although it may appear to be a paradox,Naris Analor is the elven god of healing,suffering, and death. Because every elfwill die, he knows that they will all eventu-ally pass into his care. His worshipers areoften adventurers who pray to him in thehope of eluding death (though elves do notfear it). The friends and relatives of adeceased elf usually pray that the elf�sspirit be speeded to its resting place.

Naris wears two jeweled rings, one oneach hand. The ring on his left hand isiron and bears a black gem. It can projecta harm spell once per round, to a range of180 yards. On his right hand, the ring is

Naris Analor (god of healing, suffer-ing, and death)

Lesser god

shaped from a band of mithral and setwith a clear, glowing jewel. This ring cancast a heal spell once per round, also to an18� range. His long sword +4 can draintwo levels from any evil being who hasharmed a good or neutral elf withoutcause (at the DM�s discretion) within thepast year. Naris is immune to all deathmagic and to any baneful necromanticspell.

Naris has silver hair and blue-gray eyes,and wears white and gray robes withsilver trim or design. As would seem natu-ral, this god often works and consults withLabelas Enoreth, the elven god of longev-ity (see Unearthed Arcana, page 114), astheir spheres of influence are related.

Any elven character may, when upon theverge of death, ask Naris to aid him with aheal spell. Saris rarely (1% chance) com-plies, and a character can be healed in thisway only once in his lifetime. If the charac-ter is cured, he will be, within the next twoweeks, geased (no save) to fulfill some taskfor the god that is appropriate to the char-acter�s level and abilities.

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Clerical Quick Reference Chart

Sphere of Raiment SacrificeDeity control Head Body Color(s) Holy days Frequency FormAralethAraleth light bare robe white spring equinox semiannually beautiful itemsKirith magic hood robe rainbow stripe full moon monthly prayers, knowledgeMelira bards, fine arts bare robe bright blue before a major festival varies songs, poetry, dancesNaris healing, death cowl robe white & gray new moon monthly prayers, crafted items

Kirith�s sacred animal is a cat; Melira's is a nightingale. The others do not have sacred animals. Places of worship differ: Araleth�sis a wide clearing, Kirith�s is a small valley or glen, Melira�s is a grove (especially if festivals are held there), and Naris�s is in the deepforest. Naturally, clerics of any of these and other elven deities may be male or female.

24 MARCH 1990

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A new elven character race: the snow elves

b y D a v i d S . R e i m e r

If snow elves have remained virtually unknown inmost AD&D® campaigns up to this time, it is only be-cause of their extremely secretive natures and pur-poseful seclusion from society. In most campaigns,however, snow elves can provide the DM with an excit-ing NPC race and the players (DM willing) with newand challenging player characters.

An icy historyMost closely related to their only ally,

the valley elves, snow elves are an aloof

Chilling appearancesThe appearance of the snow elves has

perhaps given the other elven races rea-son to doubt their lineage as being trulypure. They are the shortest lived of theelves, with average lifespans of 750 years(900 being incredibly ancient). Addition-ally, snow elves are the tallest of the elvenraces and generally tower above humans.Females occasionally reach 6�4�, and it isnot unknown for males to have grown to7�. While very thin, snow elves are ex-tremely wiry and tough individuals. Snow-elf PCs gain one point to both dexterityand constitution, but lose two points ofcharisma when dealing with all races buttheir own due to haughtiness and disdainof lowland society. Snow elves have lightbrown or tan skin, white or pale blondhair, and silver eyes. They strongly favorwhite clothing and bone jewelry, tradingfor silver from valley elves.

In addition to the standard elven charac-teristics of resistance to sleep and charmspells, infravision, moving silently, anddetection of secret doors, snow elves havedeveloped several unique adaptations totheir hostile environment. All snow elvesgain a +1 on their saving throws againstany form of cold attack or condition. Theyalso gain +1 to hit with any spear orjavelin, but gain no to-hit bonuses with thesword or bow. Snow elves also have theability to set traps with a 90% chance ofsuccess, providing they are in snowy,mountainous regions. Each trap, of anytype, does a maximum of 2d6 hp damageper level of the elf who sets it.

Snow elves could best be described asneutral with insufferably arrogant tenden-cies. With the exception of the valleyelves�whom they tolerate and occasion-ally befriend�snow elves actively dislikeall races other than their own, and they goout of their way to make that fact knownif given the opportunity. Drow incite akind of madness in snow elves, and onlyoverwhelming odds will prevent a snowelf from attacking any drow or drow ally.

26 MARCH 1990

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people. Accepted by neither elves normen, they have simply withdrawn fromboth and carried on their lives. They in-habit the snow-covered Crystalmist Moun-tains of the WORLD OF GREYHAWK®setting, but might be found in similarareas elsewhere in the Flanaess.

The rift between the snow elves and

During their ages of seclusion, snow

their cousins stems from the same warsthat drove the drow underground. The

elves have focused their studies on fields

snow elves were deceived into allowingpassage (for a large profit) of the drow

that would aid their survival in the harsh

through a mountain pass they controlled,not knowing�so they claimed�that thedrow were serving Lolth and had recentlydeclared war on their cousin elves. Whilenever formally condemned by their rela-tives, the snow elves have been universallyshunned by them ever since. Valley elves,themselves largely disliked by others,tolerate snow elves perhaps because eachviews the other as sharing a similarplight�neither race is considered �trueelves� by their cousins.

Mankind�s quarrels with the snow elvesalso stem from twilit history. The snowelves were ever taller and more haughtythan other elves�or even men�and theysought once to dominate or destroy themen who entered their mountain valleysand homes, earning forever the hatred ofthe more numerous race.

Snow elves develop classes as do anyother sorts of elves. They may becomefighters, rangers, druids, wizards, or

Dwelling in tight-knit, extremely isola-tionist families or clans of 3-30 members,snow elves are very territorial and hostiletoward trespassers. These clans live insmall villages consisting of 2-10 dome-shaped huts of woven trees, covered withfurs and skins and packed on the outsidewith snow. Such villages house membersof one clan only and lie generally near thecenter of that clan�s territory. Territoriesaverage two square miles in size for eachmember of a clan�s village. Communitiesnumbering more than 30 undergo abranching off, wherein two or more fam-ily groups pack their belongings in earlyspring and set out in search of new terri-tory. This prevents overpopulation andstarvation in a rugged environment thatoffers no bountiful harvests for largecommunities. Such branching off is now arare event.

The cold clans

environment in which they are fated todwell. Thus magic, particularly the magicof cold, has waxed while clerical studieshave waned. Druids and rangers havebecome prominent. All the while, snowelves have become more reclusive andsecretive as lowland societies have grownunaware and indifferent. Indeed, the snowelves might be a dying race.

thieves. Level limits for snow elves aregiven in the table herein. By tradition,males are most often found as fighters,rangers, and thieves; females are usuallywizards, and either sex may becomedruids. Fully half of any clan will belong toa character class (the rest are zero-levelcharacters). Those snow elves having aclass will be 1st level, usually fighters (ifmale) or wizards (if female). Half-elveswhose elven parents were snow elves aretreated as any other sort of half-elf,though they are extremely rare.

Higher-level characters are often en-countered in snow-elven clans. For everyfive snow elves, there will be an additional2nd-level male ranger, a 2nd-level femalewizard, and a 2nd-level druid. With agroup of 10, there will also be a 3rd-levelmale ranger. Groups of 20 will be headedby a 4th-level male ranger, a 3rd-levelfemale wizard, and a 3rd-level druid. Thelargest groups (25-30) will be led by a 5th-level male ranger (the �father�), a 5th-levelfemale wizard (the �mother�), and a 4th-level druid (the �priest�) with a 2nd-leveldruid understudy. Mixed-class snow elvesare uncommon, with a 10% chance per elfof having a second class; classes are mixedas per any other elf, with the druid classbeing substituted for the cleric.

Snow elves have no ability to workmetal�no small surprise as they use butdislike fire�and disdain all metal armor,including studded leather and even elven

DRAGON 27

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chain. They prefer to wear leather, skins,or their own special garb. Snow elves arerenowned for their ability to manufacturea strong and beautiful type of armor fromthe hide of the white dragon. Due to theircarefully guarded secrets for curing andtreating, this armor grants AC 4 whilehindering movement no more than elvenchain. Only the 7th-level druids are taughtthe secrets of its crafting, and all armor ismanufactured at the shrines. Other snowelves (including any PC) will have noknowledge of the construction process.The higher-level druids at the shrines willalways wear this armor, though othersnow elves may also: 2nd-level ranger,15%; 3rd-level ranger, 20%; 4th-levelranger or 3rd-level druid, 30%; 5th-levelranger �father� 75%; any other 5th-levelranger, 45%; and 2nd-level druid, 5%. Thevalley elves will occasionally own a set ofthis armor as they are the snow elves�connection to the outside world, givingthem metal weapons and tools, and certainalchemical products. Magical suits areknown to exist, though they are obviouslyvery rare.

Adventurers passing through an areainhabited by snow elves are 35% likely(+10% per day) to encounter traps set bythe elves (snares, deadfalls, and triggered avalanches of snow or rock) or to be at-tacked. Snow elves use hoar foxes (90%) or

28 MARCH 1990

trained bears (10%; any available sort) aspets and guards.

Half-elves who have snow-elven parentssometimes take up the career of a bard.Though such characters wander widely,they are shunned by snow elves for theirhuman �taint.� These bards are almostlegendary to other races due to theirrarity. They often play an instrument usedto some degree by nearly all snow elves.The keras (Keh-rahz) is a large instrumentvery similar to the alpenhorn used bySwiss shepherds. Keras range in size from4� to just under 20� and are usually madeof wood (although the best are said to beconstructed from the tusk of the woolymammoth) with bone mouthpieces. Intheir native environment, snow-elvenclans often use keras to communicateacross vast distances, having developed acomplex code for signaling. Some of thelargest of these instruments may be foundat the shrines and are sounded only intimes of great need or grand celebration.The bards use the smaller versions of thekeras to play mournful and powerfulballads as majestic and sad as the moun-tains themselves.

Snow-elven clans, while not at all inter-dependent, will not hesitate to aid oneanother in repelling invaders or raidinghigh-altitude settlements. Clans often cometogether in spring and fall for various

festivals and religious holidays. A snow elfwill never turn another of his kind awayempty-handed, although the proud snowelf only rarely admits the need of an-other�s assistance.

Though a snow-elf PC will, of course,travel as he likes, a snow-elf NPC willseldom be encountered below the snowline. Occasionally, their clans will dwell forbrief periods just below the tree line in thedead of winter. Snow elves will never beencountered in a city, and they go into the

foothills or lowlands only on urgent clanbusiness or to raid for food.

Matters of worshipSnow-elven religion centers around their

secluded druidic shrines. These holyplaces, tucked in the wildest and mostremote nooks and crannies of the moun-tains, house elven druids of the highestlevels. The shrines are reportedly places ofgreat power, and each is headed by adruid of no less than 11th level, assistedby one 8th-level �assistant,� three 7th-level�attendants,� four 5th-level �caretakers,�and a host of 2-20 lesser druids and ser-vants. Druidic spells cast from these areasare reported to be of double strength andduration. It is also rumored that theshrines gain this special power by beinglocated in areas of �elemental weakness��a misgiven name, for these houses of

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SPECIAL DEFENSES: Immune to fire, cold,

Tarsellis Meunniduin always appears asa tall, blonde male elf, deeply tanned andclad in luxurious furs. Though he is alegendary hunter, Tarsellis is deeply de-voted to the wilds and the creatures thatdwell therein. Thus, he spends a greatdeal of time and energy roaming the wil-derness in search of evil creatures andgreat monsters to slay or drive from hisdomain.

SYMBOL: Snow-capped mountainPLANE: Olympus (see below)PRIEST: 12th-level druidWARRIOR: 22nd-level rangerMAGE: 8th-level wizardROGUE: 8th-level thief, 12th-level bardS:24(+6,+12) I:19 W:20D:25 C:25 CH:19

nonevil rangers, druids, and dwellers inthe wilderness (elves)

ALIGNMENT: Chaotic neutralWORSHIPER�S ALIGN: All nonlawful and

lightning; elemental controlMAGIC RESISTANCE: 75%SIZE: L (8')

combat

NO. OF ATTACKS: 1DAMAGE/ATTACK: 3-30SPECIAL ATTACKS: Never misses in

ARMOR CLASS: -4MOVE: 15HIT POINTS: 290

(god of mountains and wilderness)Lesser god

Tarsellis Meunniduin

The shrines are considered by all snowelves to be extremely holy areas and willbe aggressively defended. Most often,these shrines are dedicated to TarsellisMeunniduin (a lesser elven deity detailedhereafter), though a few are said to honorother gods. Tarsellis Meunniduin is thechief deity of the snow elves. They, in fact,explain away some of their differences totheir elven kin as due to their being directdescendants of his (such is the haughtinessof the snow elf). While most scholars ofelven lore remain rather skeptical on thispoint, Tarsellis does not seem displeasedwith his �children�s� dedicated worship.

worship are centered on fissures betweenthe Prime Material plane and one or moreof the various elemental and para-elemental planes, particularly those ofEarth, Air, and Ice. The elven druids of theshrines, dwelling as they have in suchclose proximity to the elements over theages, have developed heightened powersin summoning and controlling elementalsand para-elementals while near theirshrines or homes. This talent applies onlyto NPC snow elves, because it is a skillgained individually and requires decades(at least) of study and association. Despitethe elves� familiarity with fire, this elementremains distasteful to even the most pow-erful snow-elven druids.

Tarsellis was once great friends with(and, indeed, was superior to) the elvengod Solonor Thelandira, and the twowould often hunt together in the days ofold. But before the elves yet walked theearth, Tarsellis fell in love with a beautifulbut dark goddess named Megwandir.Solonor objected to Tarsellis� romance, nottrusting the dark goddess, and the ensuingquarrel has left the two gods bitter eversince.

Tarsellis both hunts and fights with agiant spear that strikes for 3-30 hp damageand never misses. Only he can wield thisweapon. Attacks based on heat, cold,wind, lightning and other natural forceshave no affect on Tarsellis. Any elementalsummoned in his presence can be immedi-ately controlled by him. If pressed, Tarsel-lis can summon all woodland creatures ina two-mile radius to aid him.

A solitary figure, Tarsellis Meunniduin is

considered somewhat of a rustic by theother elven deities. He spends the greatershare of his time in the mountains andforests of the Prime Material plane, andhis worshipers build temples and shrinesto him there. His followers offer him fursof the finest quality and bring live animalsof the greatest size as presents to thedruids of his temples. Snow elves considerTarsellis their patron deity.

Above all else, Tarsellis detests drow. If aworshiper of his prays for aid while doingdamage to the drow, there is a slight (1%)chance that Tarsellis will send help in oneform or another. The reason for this ha-tred is traceable to his quarrel with So-lonor. For the goddess Megwandir�sonamed before the elves yet walked theearth�has come to be known as Lolth,and no longer dwells with the elven dei-ties. The feelings Tarsellis once felt forMegwandir have become hatred.

Snow Elves: Class Level Limitations

DruidUUUUU

UUUUU

UU

202122

Ability *161718

18/5118/7618/9118/9918/00

19

Fighter5566689

1011 13 U13 15 U13 17 U13 18 U

11 U11 U12 U12 U12 U12 U12 U12 U

Wizard Thief Ranger579

101111121213141414

* All prime requisite ability scores for any given class must be at least equal to thisvalue in order for the character to achieve the level shown.

DRAGON 29

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FAERIE KINGDOMThe FOLK of the

A full list of faeries and faerie-folkby Vince Garcia

Art by Robert Klasnich

Some of the most fascinating creatures within the AD&D game include the diminutive andmagical faerie folk. And while their place within any number of outdoor adventures should beguaranteed, fairies rarely appear in campaigns.

One reason, perhaps, is that the faerie folk do not lend themselves easily to adversarialencounters. Orcs, ogres, dragons and the like are easily cast in such roles, but the reclusivefaeries require more thought on their handling.

To offer the DM a few ideas on making greater use of these creatures, a brief ecology of eachtype of fairy follows, along with an idea on how it might be encountered in the travels of anadventuring party. Abbreviations used in each brief ecology are: FF� FIEND FOLIO® tome.MM�Monster Manual; MM2�Monster Manual II. [The AD&D 2nd Edition Monstrous Compendium was produced after this article was written, but it may be consulted for details.]

Atomie (MM2). The typical atomieresembles a 1�-tall, lanky humanoid withgreenish skin and a narrow head whosedominant feature is a pair of oversized,green-pupiled eyes. Atomie attire is simple,yet practical: a skirt made of plant fiber.Atomies often carry small crossbows orspears. These frolicsome creatures arefound in mountain lowlands within pleas-ant, green meadows, usually near largeoaks and a pond, stream, or other watersource. Within the hollows and branchesof the great trees they favor, atomies buildcomfortable chambers and stout treehouses in which they sleep during thehours of daylight. These outer dwellingsare almost always camouflaged to hidetheir presence from observers below. Atother times, when there is a lack of largetrees, atomies may build undergroundburrows with entrances through the hol-low trunks of trees.

At dusk, the atomies awaken and spendthe evening gathering food or frolickingabout in the moonlight. The eyesight ofthese creatures in darkness is comparableto that of normal creatures in daylight.Atomies greatly resent the intrusion ofstrangers (excepting their cousins, thegrigs) into their meadows, and they usu-ally make a combined attack to drive awayunwelcome guests by summoning a hordeof mosquitoes, flies, ants, and other both-ersome insects, followed by a meetingwith nearby animals�wild cats, badgers,

raccoons, bears, etc. The atomies them-selves may attack with their small weap-ons, making good use of their invisibility,pass plant, and blink powers.

Set up: On the first leg of a trek into themountains to find the lair of a greendragon, the adventurers make camp in asmall meadow as dusk approaches. Asdinner is prepared and night falls, theparty is set upon by a voracious horde ofstinging, biting insects that chase off thehorses (which were believed to be se-curely staked down), then turn on the PCs,possibly causing the group to abandonequipment (which is not to be found uponlater search) as it retreats to safety andseeks the recovery of the steeds.

Boggart (MM2). It is said by some thatboggarts begin as buckawns who, turningto evil at death, fall into this transitionalstate between their previous lives and theultimate form of a will o� wisp. Whethertrue or not, the malevolent boggarts are aserious danger for parties traversing darkforests or swamps (the boggarts� preferredhunting grounds). The sly creatures, whosometimes band together in small groupsfor protection, frequently approach trav-elers in their humanoid form, offeringtheir services as guides through the landswith which they are familiar. Those ac-cepting this assistance are led immediatelyinto some sort of trap, for the creaturecannot retain a single form for long. The

boggarts may lead their charges to severalhidden confederates, who attack withtheir ability to cause confusion, or theymay drive the PCs into pits or ensnarethem in nets.

In their semi-undead form, boggartsrequire not only the life-force of livingcreatures, but meat as well to survive.Thus, the primary attack of the boggart isthrough a touch that delivers an electricalcharge. The waning life-force of the at-tacked creature strengthens the boggart,giving it 1 HD for each two levels of ahuman or humanoid it manages to slay.Upon reaching a total of 9 HD, the boggartleaves behind its immature form andbecomes a full-fledged will o� wisp. Fallingshort of this in a battle, the boggart de-vours its prey to nourish its corporealbody. A less-popular mode of attack ismade by discharging a small lightning boltevery other round. While this may sufficeto obtain meat, the boggart does not ab-sorb the life energies of its prey if thisattack is used.

Set up: While trying to find their wayout of a marsh, the adventurers meet upwith a shabbily dressed halfling who vol-unteers to lead them out in return for aweek�s rations. He then takes the groupinto an area of quicksand, where twoother boggarts and a mature will o� wispwait to attack. [See also “The Rotting Wil-low,” in DUNGEON® Adventures issue #5,for another boggart set up.]

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Booka (FF). A popular legend, not givenmuch credence by sages, is that booka arethe spirits of scullery maids who were laxin their duties during life. Perhaps thisstory came about through the booka�shabits, which include a curious devotionto secret, nocturnal cleaning and straight-ening of the homes of those of gooddisposition.

For whatever their reasons, these help-ful, inoffensive, spritelike creatures havebeen encountered virtually everywhere,from forests and fens to large cities. Inreturn for taking up lodgings in the eavesor attic rafters of a home, the shy booka(acting only when things are dark and theinhabitants are asleep or away) do suchthings as sweep, polish, and mend. Theyask nothing else in return, although per-sons aware of their presence do well toleave small snacks for them, which areeaten, and the plates washed and putaway afterward. Booka are so shy that it issaid that if an occupant of a home so vis-ited tries to find or catch them in the actof cleaning, they will immediately departand will not return.

Set up: Soon after a PC builds a house,she is informed by the DM that an un-known being is apparently picking up andcleaning the residence while the characteris asleep or out adventuring. The un-known �being� is a pair of booka, who willcontinue to do so unless they are activelysought out.

32 MARCH 1990

Buckawn (MM2). Long ago (some bardssay), after Rhiannon, Queen of the Faeries,created the faerie folk, she received giftsfrom her children. From the leprechauns,she was given a fiddle and flute that wouldplay themselves. The sylphs gave her apair of wings. The elves gave her magicand poetry. And when their turn came,some of the brownies offered up giftsfrom the forest �fruits, nuts, wreaths ofholly, and a magical oaken ring conferringpower over the grass and trees. Otherbrownies stepped forward with nothing,and Rhiannon asked why they bore nogift. To this they answered that their giftwas the love they had, for her. The firstbrownies jeered at their brothers, butRhiannon was pleased with their answer,and turned with displeasure to those whohad mocked them. These jeering brownieswithered and became buckawn.

Buckawn are a selfish and xenophobicform of brownie. Their usual habitat issimilar to that of their cousins, althoughthey favor more isolated mountain mead-

Brownie (MM). These halflinglike faer-ies dwell most often in isolated lowlandmeadows often bordered by forests orgroves. Brownies are shy creatures; theirhidden dwelling places are somewhat of amystery, although it is believed that theclandestine creatures reside in comfort- able ground burrows.

Unlike some faeries, brownies do ex-press a curiosity about strangers in spiteof their shy nature, observing passers-byfrom a state of invisibility or concealment.They appear to be particularly well dis-posed toward small groups including elvesor halflings. In such cases, there is a 20%chance they will cautiously advance andtry to make friends. At other times, whenthey are less eager to make their presenceclearly known, brownies secretly makethemselves useful by repairing equipmentor mending leather goods as the owners ofthe goods sleep.

When a group of PCs makes friendswith brownies, the group will find thefaeries extremely friendly and helpful.Brownies offer their services as guidesthrough the areas they know in suchcases. It has even been known that a par-ticularly adventurous brownie has left hishome and attached himself to an elf orhalfling of good alignment, willingly ac-companying the character on one or moreadventures.

As a general rule, when faced withadversaries, brownies do not often fight.Instead, they use their abilities to hide orescape, resorting to a small sword only asa last resort.

Set up: Making camp in a small meadow,the adventurers awaken the next morningand discover that someone has mended abroken saddle stirrup and polished a rustysuit of chain mail during the night. De-pending on the party�s actions, it may bepossible to coax the shy brownies into theopen.

ows where they are less likely to be dis-turbed. Unlike the curious and friendlybrownies, buckawn resent any intrusioninto their territory; travelers who do somay face attack initially by a horde ofsummoned insects, then by the poisoneddarts of the buckawn. Failing this, thebuckawn may use their magical powersand cunning to steal small goods or causemischief.

Set up: Arriving at a green meadow atone side of an isolated mountain lake, theadventurers make camp. That evening, ahidden buckawn uses a dancing lightsspell to cause a guard to investigate asmall, glowing light in a bush. In the mean-time, invisible buckawn quickly rummagethrough the party�s baggage, making offwith coins, gems, and equipment. Aninsect attack follows shortly thereafter.

Dryad (MM). One legend of the druidsis that the Queen of Faeries planted manygardens during the worlds creation. Atthe center of each grew a great tree hold-ing a seed of Rhiannon�s essence. Thephysical manifestation of this essence wasthe dryad, a tree nymph watching overthe garden. Whether this tale is true ornot, most druids look upon dryads as thespiritual essence of a forest. As such, theyare sacred, and no druid will allow adryad to come to harm.

Perhaps as a result of Rhiannon�s moth-ering of the forest, dryads are somewhatlustful. They are known to seek matesfrom human and demihuman males ofexceptional beauty. Those falling prey tothe charm of a dryad have reported sink-ing into a fog to become one with theforest around them, seeing and feeling allthat befalls it. This sensation was reportedto last up to several years, after which themale was returned to the world in posses-sion of exact knowledge regarding theforest in which he was captured.

Some stories suggest that a tie betweenthe dryad and her consort remain afterthis. One legend is told of a ranger whowas summoned from a great distance by adryad to fight against a black dragon thathad taken up residence in her forest andfrightened its usual inhabitants.

At other times, dryads may not activelyseek a consort but can aid an adventuringparty if the forest is to be benefited bydoing so. Thus, while dryads usually re-main close by their trees, it is possible forthem to traverse the length of their woodsto lead helpers to a camp of enemies.

Set up: While traveling through a forest,the party is approached by a dryad whoasks them to attack a small tribe of goblinsthat have fortified a hill near her tree. Thedryad may even use her charm power tohelp convince the dominant male in thefellowship to assist if his group seemsreluctant, though she will not steal themale away. [See also “The Ecology of theDryad,” in DRAGON® issue #87, and“Hooves and Green Hair,” in DRAGON issue#109, for more information on dryads.]

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Faerie dragon (MM2). Among the mostunusual of dragons is this mischievouscreature, the origin of which has longbeen in doubt. Some believe the faeriedragon is merely an unusual cousin of thepseudo-dragon, while others believe it acreation of the Faerie Queen. Most ofRhiannon�s druids, however, considerfaerie dragons to be creatures usuallynative to the Realm of Faerie; just howthey get to the Prime Material plane is stilla mystery. It is believed by some thatfaerie dragons are part of the FaerieQueen�s troupe when she leaves her realmto visit some of her �children.� These curi-ous little dragons probably wander offfrom the gathering and merely forget toreturn home.

Having thereby found a new place tolive, faerie dragons either frolic about fora time or spend a few days enjoying thesun. Eventually, they build lairs within thehollows or branches of large trees. Astheir sense of humor is foremost amongtheir talents, faerie dragons often chooseto dwell with a group of fun-loving pixies,increasing the effectiveness of their jokeson outsiders all the more.

flies down to have a quick snack.

Set up: Having spotted a group of adven-turers heading in the direction of a beehive, a hungry faerie dragon casts a phan-tasmal force spell over the hive, causing itto appear as a chest. As an unsuspectingthief approaches and draws away theangry bees, the chuckling faerie dragon

Unlike others of dragonkind, faeriedragons do not covet large amounts oftreasure. To be sure, they delight in spar-kling objects such as jewels, but suchtreasures take second place to the faeriedragon�s first and greatest love-bakedsweets. Just as leprechauns fancy finewines, faerie dragons have sweet toothsthat often prove to be too much for them.The lengths to which faerie dragons willgo to get at these delights (pure honey forone, or baked apple pie, which is the ulti-mate) are legendary.

Gray elf (MM). The rarest of elves, grayelves have been traditionally known as

faeries. This may be less for their similar-ity to traditional faerie creatures and morefor their mystique, rarity, and beauty.Most of these elves trace their origin notto the Queen of Faeries, but to other dei-ties, casting doubt that they should belinked with the faerie folk. Yet there are afew ancient legends asserting that at thedawn of time, a goddess created a race ofimmortal elves very similar to the grayelves, but possessing vastly different andmore powerful magics. These elves fellfrom grace, the legends state, and becamethe mortal gray elves of today. Perhaps itis from these ancestral elves that the link-ing to the faerie folk comes.

Set up: Many weeks from home, in amagical and unexplored forest they�vediscovered, the fellowship comes upon theancient ruins of a beautiful stone city ofelven design. Archaic lettering within atemple offers clues where artifacts anddocuments may be found.

Grig (MM2). Grigs are an unusual butgood-natured sort of sprite with an insec-toid appearance. Just how they acquiredlegs similar to those of a grasshopper hasalways been a mystery. Some believe grigsare not actually faeries but came aboutthrough the experimentations of somewizard. Others believe their appearancecan be traced to some transgressionagainst the Queen of Faeries. Still othersconsider their appearance an example ofRhiannon�s sense of humor. The grigsthemselves, however, seem neither toknow or care, spending their lives content-edly frolicking about pleasant lowlandmeadows, often with a colony of atomies.Their dwelling places are similar to thoseof the atomies, although grigs often preferbuilding small, comfortable hollows in thesides of small hills.

Unlike atomies, the usually friendly grigsare prone to play jokes. A group of adven-turers who wander into an area wheregrigs reside is as likely to be the butt of aprank as it is to get a friendly greeting.

Grigs usually spend the daylight hoursasleep in their hollows, venturing forth atnight to gather mushrooms (their favorite

34 MARCH 1990

food), or to play and dance. On this lastnote, it is said that only the renownedleprechauns are able to put on a moresplendid fiddle performance.

Set up: Making camp in a small forest,the party begins cooking dinner but isdistracted by a whistling emanating from abush (actually a ventriloquism effect from

an invisible grig). While the party�s atten-tion is momentarily diverted from thefood, a few invisible grigs make off with dinner and any other small items left inthe open. As the group begins a fruitlesssearch, the grigs carefully replace theitems, have a good laugh on the party�srediscovering them, and make their pres-ence known. If the group laughs alongwith them, the grigs spend the eveningwith them, subjecting at least one of thefellowship to Otto’s irresistible dance.

Killmoulis (FF). Some doubt killmoulisare actually faeries, for they appear topossess no innate magical abilities as dothe rest of the faerie folk. The small sizeand behavior of the killmoulis, however,are similar enough to other faeries thatthe common people accept them as such.

Killmoulis dwell not in isolated woodedareas, but in cities and townships in ornear mountains or forests. For reasonsunknown, they prefer lairing in locationswhere industry or technology may befound, such as in lumber or flour mills. Asdo the booka, killmoulis make themselveshelpful by mending, polishing, or cleaningitems, or killing small rodents. In returnfor these gestures, they appropriate what-ever foodstuffs are handy.

Like the booka, killmoulis are shy andretiring, hiding in rafters and beneathfloorboards. Unlike the former creatures,however, they appear to be less likely tomove on if discovered, and are moreprone to playing jokes. Likewise, if dis-turbed, the killmoulis do not leave thearea of their lair, but fight back with in-creasingly baneful tricks (depending onhow actively others seek to root them out).

The greatest banes to these creaturesare cats, dogs, and rats, all of which willkill and eat killmoulis on sight. Whenpossible, killmoulis will slay these crea-tures, hiding the remains in secure places.

Set up: On passing through a smallmountain town, the adventurers hear thatthe owner of the local lumber mill hasoffered a reward for someone able to exorcise �spirits� that haunt the place.Upon investigating, the party is told thatsmall items have been disappearing andthen showing up again the next morning.Food and drink left out in the open havevanished. In addition, the cat that wasonce used to catch mice is nowhere to befound. If they hide themselves in the millthat evening, the PCs may catch sight ofone of the creatures sharpening a saw,thus realizing that the situation is notbaneful. The PCs may relay the informa-tion to the mill owner or may seek to rid

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the place of the creatures� presence�butnot with ease.

Korred (MM2). Korreds are among themost unusual of the faerie folk, uniquelypossessing both great strength and power-ful magical abilities with natural stone.Their origin is, of course, traced to theQueen of Faeries. One song of the bardsclaims the korreds were created whenRhiannon and her troupe visited a forest.Some dwarves, hoping to observe thefaeries� dance, had hidden themselvesaround the glen where the Faerie Queenheld court. Discovering their presence,Rhiannon turned them into cloven-hoovedfaeries, and the unlucky dwarves joinedthe get-together properly, dancing for theentire company�s enjoyment.

Since then, korreds have proven to besome of Rhiannon�s most privileged ser-vants, frequently being sent by her to aidher druidic followers when they face somegreat struggle, or to fashion a druids�circle as a place for her druids to gatherduring special times of worship. Korredsare further said to roam the earth, observ-ing its events and reporting them to theirQueen.

Each seven nights, the korreds in anarea gather in a secluded glen to playmusic and dance in Rhiannon�s honor(which perhaps is a lingering penance fortheir original intrusion). Those who make

Leprechaun (MM). The best known offaeries, leprechauns are some of the mostfascinating of Rhiannon�s creations. Alegend claims that a group of halflingsonce sought to steal the Faerie Queen�streasure. Caught in the act, the tinythieves pleased Rhiannon with a perform-

the same mistake as they�investigatingsomething in which they have no part�must save vs. spells or join in the dance;druids of Rhiannon are immune to thissort of charm. Victims suffer 1-4 hp dam-age each round due to the dance�s physicaldemands. The korreds maintain the dancefor 3-18 rounds, then flee, leaving theintruders either dead or exhausted.

Those who attack the korreds face atough fight and can count on little helpfrom their charmed comrades. Even if thedance is interrupted, those charmed bythe korreds remain disoriented for oneturn and are unable to take any action.

Set up: Having made camp in the foot-hills, the group hears the eerily beautifulsounds of korred flutes. Investigating, thePCs mount a small hill to observe fourkorreds playing and dancing around aroaring fire in a wooded glen below. If theparty immediately departs, no harm willbefall them. If they continue to watch,however . . . [See also “The Ecology of theKorred,” in DRAGON issue #119, for moreinformation.)

Set up: Spotting a small item of value hecovets, a leprechaun cheerfully ap-proaches the adventurers from the side ofa trail, making small conversation untilwithin reach of the object he wants. He

If leprechauns have a weakness, it is afondness for fine wines, especially those ofhalfling vintage. It is possible to coax aleprechaun into the open by tempting himwith an uncorked bottle of fine liqueur.

are magical), leprechauns have spawnedmany tales from humans who have ob-served the leprechauns dance and playaround a roaring fire (where ale and foodflow freely). A few legends relate thatmortals invited to attend these feasts havefound a year or more has passed whenthey left the gatherings, believing only anight had gone by! While usually quitegood at keeping their presence hidden,one clue that leprechauns have passedthrough an area is the presence of faerierings�circles of mushrooms and otherfungi 10-20� wide that are left behind aftera gathering of leprechauns have playedand danced through the grasses.

Most often when leprechauns are met,the mischievous creatures either play ajoke or else steal some small item of value.Nevertheless, there are tales of mortalswho, having aided the �little people� insome way, were rewarded with a portionof gold or a magical shamrock, which issure to bring good luck (treat as a double-strength luckstone). In all such cases, thereward was unexpected.

It is the leprechauns� love for and hoard-ing of valuables that has often causedthem to be on the defensive against thegreed of those who covet their treasure.As a result, all leprechauns are said tohave buried one or more pots filled withgold, jewels, and other goods (value1d100 X ldl00 gp). These caches ofteninclude magical rings, potions, or scrolls. Itis said that one who manages to capture aleprechaun can force it to reveal thewhereabouts of its treasure. Catching one,however, is difficult as leprechauns areglib, wiry, and skilled in using the powersof invisibility and illusion to their benefit.Some can even turn pine cones and stonesinto gold or jewels in order to gain free-dom (a total of 100 gp in value), althoughthese creations revert to their originalform a day later. And woe is said to followone who kills a leprechaun, for reportedlya curse of bad luck befalls such characters( -2 to all saving throws until an atone-ment is made).

ance of storytelling, rhyme, and music,allowing themselves to continue living. Asthe Faerie Queen seems wont to do, theintruders were transformed into faeries-in this case, leprechauns.

These creatures are almost always en-countered in the most idyllic of woodlandsand meadows, and their most commondwelling places are hollows at the bases oflarge trees, about which are large patchesof shamrocks. Renowned for their musicaltalents with fiddles (quite a few of which

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then makes a grab for it (treat as pickpock-eting attempt by a 10th-level thief) anddisappears in a flash back into the forest.The party may be able to coax the lepre-chaun back out or follow him to his lair,where they may observe others of his kindin a dance and are invited to join in thefun�to find a year has passed at thedance�s end. [See also “Huddle Farm,” inDUNGEON Adventures issue #12, foranother set up involving a leprechaun.]

Pixie (MM). Pixies may be found inisolated sylvan woodlands at all elevations.Playful creatures, they bear no ill willtoward anyone and are very curious folkas a general rule. The tricks for whichthey are famous are never calculated to dogreat harm, but are only meant to provideamusement or to lead enemies away. Ifforced to actually harm a creature, pixies(who are able to attack and remain invisi-ble) employ small bows from a maximumdistance of 30�. Apart from the normalwar arrow, there are two special onesthey may use if the need arises, as notedin the Monster Manual.

Due to their ability to cast ESP and knowalignment, pixies always know when anenemy is present. Likewise, they alwaysknow the best sorts of jokes to play. Pixiesare particularly adept at creating an illu-sion of someone�s heart�s desire, only tohave it melt away when touched. Thosewho heartily accept the pixies� jokes canoften make friends with the little crea-tures after their initial pranks. Thesepatient individuals are made guests ofhonor at pixie feasts of nuts and fruits.

Pixies usually dwell in small, balconiedtwig-houses that hang from the branchesof large trees (although pixies in colderclimates often place their homes in handycaves). They are certainly among the mostmagical of faeries, and pixie royalty isespecially so. Pixie kings are said to beable to use one magic-user spell each oflevels 1-7, while pixie queens may dolikewise with druidic spells.

Set up: In a high mountain glen, theadventurers are discovered by a group ofinvisible pixies. While a fighter in the frontrank catches sight of and climbs up tofetch a magnificent sword stuck high in atree (an illusion, of course), a magic-userobserves his dagger floating up just out ofarm�s reach. All hear the giggling voices ofmany small creatures. If the group handlesthe encounter with a sense of humor, thepixies can make up for the incident byproviding information on ruins or a mon-ster�s lair the party seeks within theforest�after a proper period of feasting,that is.

Quickling (MM2). The most commonlegend regarding the origin of these bane-ful faeries is that they were once brownieswho dabbled in magics best left alone.Some druids, however, tell a slightly differ-ent story�one which is tied to the crea-tion of the buckawn (detailed earlier).

Their legend states that, having earned thescorn of Rhiannon for mocking otherbrownies who pleased her, some of thebuckawn rebelled against their chastise-ment and left the gathering of faeries.Upon their departure, these defiantbrownies stole a book of dark magicbrought to the Queen by the elves. Study-ing the book, they learned some of itssecrets, and became the cursed and eviloutcasts from the faerie folk they now are.

While scornful of other races, quicklingsparticularly hate all creatures of faerie(including gray elves), and they will nothesitate to attack them on sight. Druids,especially those of Rhiannon, are specialtargets of quickling wrath. It is said thatthese creatures will cooperate on a short-term basis with evil races that seek toharm their enemies.

Set up: On their way to the lair of drowrecently terrorizing other elves, the adven-turers discover the surrounding woodsare guarded by quicklings. These quick-lings assist the drow in their fight againstthe nearby gray elves. [See also “Encoun-ter in the Wildwood,” in DUNGEON Adven-tures issue #19, for an encounter with aquickling-led band of monsters.]

Satyr (MM). Also known as fauns, satyrsare certainly accepted as faerie creatures,although it is universally acknowledgedthat they have no ties to the Faerie Queen.Instead, these faeries trace their creation

to the Greek deity, Dionysus. These beingsare most often found in grassy lowlandmeadows in areas where worship of theGreek pantheon of gods once flourished.Satyrs spend their time tending goats,making wine, frolicking, or just playingtheir wind pipes. Their favored dwellingplaces are old, abandoned temples to thegods, which they jealously protect fromintruders.

Satyrs are both lustful and sometimesgreedy, and have been known to charmattractive female humans and demi-humans to be their consorts. Through thepower of their bardlike piping, they mayalso cause creatures to sleep, thereafterfilching a few valuables and making off tothe safety of their lair.

Set up: As the group rests for the night,a satyr who has discovered their presenceattempts to lull a guard to sleep and carryoff some treasure. Whether or not he issuccessful, the party may trail the satyrback to an old temple he uses for a lair,where he is aided by a charmed druid ofArtemis. [See also “The Ecology of theSatyr,” in this issue, and “The Chest ofthe Aloeids,” in DUNGEON® Adventuresissue #21, for more on satyrs.]

Sprite (MM). Some believe sprites arecousins of the pixie race, although theyare not as magically versatile as and are abit larger than pixies, as well as more shy.

It is a common myth that sprites, who

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are able to detect good/evil, slay evil crea-tures on sight. It is more typical of them tofire envenomed arrows at such intruders,putting them to sleep. The sprites thenremove the creature�s goods and leave thecreature bound some distance away.Sprites have also been known to bring evilintruders to a local druid or dryad thatthey trust, leaving disposition of the sleep-ing prisoner to him or her. Only underextreme circumstances will sprites kill ahelpless creature of any sort.

Sprites aren�t much more enthusiasticover good creatures who venture close totheir glens; they will almost always hide,resorting to their sleep arrows only ifdisturbed. Sleeping victims are then re-moved from the sprites� lairs (which usu-ally consist of large hollows carved intogreat trees) in the hope they will go else-where upon awakening.

Set up: An adventuring party containingan evil character wanders too close to ameadow frequented by sprites. As a re-sult, all are put to sleep by invisiblearchers. The good or neutral party mem-bers later awaken in a valley a mile awayto find their comrade gone. They eventu-ally discover the evil compatriot heldsecurely by a nearby treant, whom theymust deal with in order to free theircompanion.

Swanmay (MM2). More than one storyhas been told of a person who wandered

into the land of Faerie and never moresought to return to the world of mortals.Swanmays are said to have originated inmuch this way. The most common tale isthat swanmays were once maidens of pureheart who, after many adventures andencounters, made their way to the courtof the Faerie Queen. There, they pleasedthe Faerie Queen with either a story orsong and were granted a wish, which(according to legend) was usually a requestto remain within Rhiannon�s enchantedrealm. But alas, that is the one wish eventhe Faerie Queen cannot grant, for theRealm of Faerie is closed to mortals butfor short visits. Instead, Rhiannon pre-sented these mortal women with a tokenof some sort�a ring, magical feather,gown, etc.�which granted the ability tobecome a beautiful swan. Many maidensthus honored have chosen, because oftheir love of nature, to remain in a forestas its protector and as a representative ofthe Faerie Queen.

Many people falsely believe that theenchanted item presented to the girl byRhiannon also confers the knowledge andabilities of the ranger character class. It istrue, however, that many of these maidensin their mortal form were themselvesrangers before undertaking the journey tothe Queen�s court. Likewise, some swan-mays with druidic powers have even beenreported.

The gift is also thought to allow the

38 MARCH 1990

swanmay, once each new moon, to enterthe Realm of Faerie for a short time if sheso desires. It is also said that those with noright to the item who use it to venture intoRhiannon�s realm risk her unbridled wrathat such an intrusion.

Set up: Passing through a forest on theirway back home, the adventurers are ap-proached by a swanmay in human form.The swanmay advises them of the pres-ence of a nearby tribe of orcs led by apowerful witch doctor. The girl representsherself as a ranger or druid and asks thegroup to join her in overcoming this baneto the forest, keeping her true nature asecret if at all possible.

Sylph (MM). Sylphs are perhaps therarest of faeries and are certainly amongthe most powerful with respect to theirmagical abilities. These gossamer-wingedcreatures of great beauty function asRhiannon�s messengers to her servants,delivering her pronouncements and sum-monings as well as carrying advice to herdruids. Because of these duties, sylphsmay enter and leave the Realm of Faerie atwill.

More than once, sylphs have beenknown to aid good creatures in somestruggle against evil. It has even beenrumored that, during times of great cata-clysm, sylphs have brought mortals to theFaerie Queen to receive counsel.

Set up: With the odds stacked againstthem in a tough outdoor fight, the adven-turers are saved by a pair of timely fire-balls from a sylph. The creature thenmakes her presence known, informing thegroup that this fight heralds the rise ofgreat trouble across the land. The partythen becomes involved in a long campaignand may even journey into the Realm ofFaerie for a short while to be told byRhiannon where an artifact may be foundto aid in overthrowing their enemy.

The Faerie QueenAlmost all faeries trace their origin to

the nature goddess Rhiannon, who createdthem in an ancient time predating re-corded history. The Faerie Queen dwellswithin an alternate Prime Material planeconsisting of endless magical forests,glens, and rivers. The few mortals to havejourneyed there relate that even the mostbeautiful of sylvan woodlands pale incomparison to the indescribable splendorof Rhiannon�s kingdom. No instances, forexample, are known of anyone�s desiringto return home after having caught aglimpse of the Realm of Faerie, although itis apparently impossible for mortals toremain there for more than a short time.

There are said to be many gates intoRhiannon�s world. For instance, a doorwayin the side of a small hill that opens intothe sumptuous and magical den of a lepre-chaun is thought to be one example ofhow pockets of the Faerie Realm coexist soclosely with the world of mortals. It istrue, however, that while faeries of all

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sorts can see and venture through theotherwise invisible gates into the FaerieRealm, only Rhiannon�s messengers (thesylphs) may shift between planes at will.The path for mortals to take into theRealm of Faerie, then, is most alwaysthrough a gate shown them by a faeriecreature�none of whom will do so exceptunder the most unique circumstances.

RHIANNON (Queen of Faeries)Greater goddess

ARMOR CLASS: 0MOVE: InfiniteHIT POINTS: 350NO. OF ATTACKS: 1DAMAGE/ATTACK: By spellSPECIAL ATTACKS: PolymorphSPECIAL DEFENSES: Immune to natural

forces; never surprisedMAGIC RESISTANCE: 100%SIZE: MALIGNMENT: NeutralSYMBOL: SpiralPLANE: Prime Material (alternate)PRIEST: 35th-level druidWARRIOR: NilMAGE: 35th-level mageROGUE: 30th-level bardPSIONIC ABILITY: Nil (immune to psionics)S : 2 0 I : 2 5 W : 2 5D:20 C:25 CH:25

Rhiannon always appears as an inde-scribably beautiful elven creature with apair of gossamer wings. She is adornedwith wreaths of holly and floral garnish-ings, and her most striking feature is herlong, flowing hair, which changes colorwith the seasons: yellow in spring, brownin summer, red in fall, and white in winter.

About her flitter a number of songbirdswhose chirpings have a calming effect onall beings, making even the most hostile orevil creature passive and docile whenwithin 20� of the Faerie Queen. Rhiannonis also attended by a host of faerie crea-tures, including: 2-8 faerie dragons, 2-12korred guards, and 3-18 sylph messengers(all with maximum hit points). No fairy ornormal animal will harm her, nor is sheaffected by any sort of force found innature (fire, electricity, etc.). At will, shecan summon or control weather. She mayalso summon 1-4 of any sort of faeries toaid her if she desires.

Rhiannon occasionally leaves her realmto hold court in sylvan forests wheremany of her �children� dwell. Duringthese visits, it is a rarity that any but faer-ies attend, although she has been knownto favor a single of her high-level druidswith an audience at such gatherings.

The Faerie Queen greatly resents unin-vited visitors to these events, and the usualfate of intruders who tarry and observe isto be turned to trees, animals, or faeries ather discretion (a save vs. spells at -6 isallowed�unless faced on her own plane).She does, however, appear to show great

latitude toward maidens who are pure of permits some druids of Rhiannon (all ofheart who seek her out. On rare occasions whom are female) to be of good alignment.when she is successfully found by a mortal Druids of Rhiannon use a slightly differ-girl, there is a 5% chance that the maiden ent experience table than do normalis granted a wish if she pleases the Queen druids, and receive a number of specialof Faerie with a song or vivid tale of her bonuses and abilities in addition to losingadventures while seeking her out. It is this some powers usually gained by otherfavor toward good-aligned maidens that druids. See Tables 1 and 2 for details.

F

789

11

8-sided HDExperience Experience for accumulated

levelSpecial

points hit points abilities1 0 12 2,500 2 A3 5,000 3 B4 10,000 45 18,000 5 C6 28,000 6

50,000 7 D80,000 8

130,000 910 190,000 10 E

Table 1Druids of Rhiannon: Experience and Powers

270,00012 500,00013 900,000

1,300,0001,700,000

16 2,100,00017 2,500,00018 2,900,OOO19 3,300,00020 3,700,00021 4,100,00022 4,500,00023 4,900,000+

12131415

15+115+215+315+415+515+615+715+8

GHIJKLMN

1415

11

Key to special abilitiesA. At 2nd level, the character receives the ability to turn away normal animals

(including huge species such as mastodons, and giant but nonmagical specimenssuch as giant badgers) in the same manner a cleric might turn undead. The range ofthis effect is 30�, and 2-12 creatures are affected each round until the druid fails herroll. Table 2 is used to determine success.

B. Like other druids of 3rd level, the character gains the knowledge to identifyanimal types and pure water. In addition, the druid gains the nonweapon profi-ciency of plant lore.

C. At 5th level, the druid acquires the healing nonweapon proficiency.D. Like other druids, the character gains immunity to charm spells thrown by all

woodland faeries at 7th level. No other abilities are gained at this time.E. At 10th level, the druid gains the ability to shape change once per day into any

normal fish, fowl, reptile, or mammal as might exist in our own world. The trans-formation takes one round and lasts until the druid wishes to change back to hernormal form.

F. As druids of Rhiannon are solitary, no necessity exists for them to best anotherdruid to advance beyond 11th level. All such characters, however, defer to higher-level druids, submitting to their leadership when they meet.

G. At 16th level, the character gains all abilities of �normal� druids reaching thislevel. Note that her size decrease may be taken to one-tenth normal. She also mayask a service from faeries she meets, excluding satyrs, swanmays, and quicklings.

H. At 17th level, the character may summon a korred to aid her for an hour. Thispower is usable once per week. No other abilities are gained.

I. At 18th level, the character can commune with nature in an outdoor area fivemiles in radius once per day, and further gains immunity to all disease. She can alsosee and enter gates to the Realm of Faerie. No other abilities are gained.

J. At 16th level, the character can grow a pair of gossamer wings once per day,allowing her flight at a base 15� movement rate. The duration of this is two hours.No other abilities are gained.

K. At 20th level, the character may perform the equivalent of a commune spell

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with her deity, but only if a forest or nature itself somehowbenefits. This may be done once per month. No other abilitiesare gained.

L. At 21st level, the druid may shape change once per weekinto any sort of fairy except a faerie dragon, sylph, satyr, swan-may, or quickling. The druid gains all accompanying abilitiesand armor class, while retaining half her normal hit points. Theduration is up to 24 hours. No other abilities are gained.

M. At 22nd level, the druid may resurrect any dead, normalanimal once per day (note there is a 20% cumulative chance perraising that the animal will fail its system-shock roll and will notreturn to life). No other abilities are gained.

N. At 23rd level, the character may, during the night of a newmoon, enter the Realm of Faerie without need of a gate andjourney to the court of Rhiannon.

T a b l e 2D r u i d i c A n i m a l T u r n i n g

D r u i d � s A n i m a l � s h i t d i c e

l e v e l 1 o r l e s s 2 - 3 4 - 5 6 - 7 8 - 9 1 0 1 1 - 1 4 1 5 +2 - 3 10 13 16 19 20 20 20 204 - 6 7 10 13 16 19 20 20 207 - 9 4 7 10 13 16 19 20 20

1 0 - 1 2 2 4 7 10 13 16 19 201 3 - 1 5 2 2 4 7 10 13 16 191 6 - 1 8 2 2 2 4 7 10 13 161 9 - 2 1 2 2 2 2 4 7 10 13

2 2 2 2 2 2 2 4 7 102 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 4 7

DRAGON 41

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The Ecologyof theSatyr

Taking a light look at Mr. Fun himself

by Gordon R. Menzies

Art by Martin Cannon

42 MARCH 1990

troop of elves!�

�Let�s go after the sheep,� Marsena fin-ished. �And then let�s get out of here,�

�No! Let�s go investigate�it might be a

Marsena, the elder of the two and in herseventeenth year, had obviously heard thenoises as well. She stared into the distancewith wide eyes, her hands trembling asthey clutched at her wooden crook. Likeher sister, she was dressed in plain brownhomespun, with her feet and shins pro-tected by knee-high leather boots, as wastypical of her calling as a shepherdess.�They could be robbers, Adalia, she whis-pered hoarsely. She looked away to seetheir flock drifting across the far hill. Thesheep were moving steadily away from thesounds of the conflict but were at least notin a panic. Their two dogs, Coran and Pip,pranced around the dirty puffs of white,hedging them in but not impeding theirprogress.

The sounds of fighting drifted over therolling, grassv hills, urged on by a playfulwind. Adalia jerked her head in the direc-tion of the noise; her long, thick braid flewoff her shoulder and thumped heavily onher back. She was certain she heard it thistime. No clang of steel on steel rang out,but the shouts and grunts common to anyconflict were unmistakable. There wereother sounds, too�husky voices thaturged the combatants on. �Marsena, doyou hear it?� she asked, breathless.

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The entire gathering roared with laugh-ter, slapping their knees and clutching attheir sides. The loser slunk away butreturned almost immediately. His headlowered in respect, he knelt before thelarger and offered him a newly craftedcudgel. For his effort, the weapon wasaccepted and he received a cuff on theshoulder that knocked him off his hoovesagain. Strangely though, he was smilingwhen he got up. The music began anew.

Marsena wanted to dance like she had

Adalia�s eyes were aglow with excite-ment. The 14-year-old had dropped hercrook and was already hurrying across thegreen, dogs and sheep forgotten.

Marsena dropped her crook as well.�Adalia! No!� And her feet carried herswiftly after her sister�and toward themusic and the gaily colored tents. . . .

Clack! The heads of the two combatantscame crashing together, their horns lock-ing for an instant. Horns! thought Mar-sena. They aren’t elves or men at all!Stranger still, their lower portions were sovery goatlike that it caused Adalia to gaspupon seeing them. From their hiding spot,the girls could see at least a dozen of thecreatures. Most were capering about,drinking and shouting, either urging onthe two who were fighting or else laugh-ing at their efforts. One creature, his furthe purest white, was playing animatedlyon a set of reed pipes, the source of thestrange and wonderful music.

The two combatants circled one anotheras the girls looked on, then the largerstood his ground. He was a huge brutewith black flanks, knotted muscles, and aclose-cropped beard. Grinning at the youn-ger, leaner creature who circled him look-ing for an opening, he laughed and caughtthe wineskin another had tossed him, andhe drew a great mouthful. The youngerleapt at him then, grasping him about thewaist with strong arms, but the youth wasin turn seized and lifted right off hishooves. He landed in a heap before thelarger creature, who now sprayed thefallen one with the wine he had retainedin his mouth.

�Don�t be silly! They aren�t elves. . . .�The words died on her lips as the same

teasing wind that had carried the soundsof the fighting now brought a sweet strainof music to their ears. It was a quick,lilting little melody that rolled about thegrass and tumbled down the hills. Mar-sena found herself wanting to dance afterit, and a childlike smile crossed her lipsbefore she could contain herself.

Perhaps these were elves . . .The sounds of fighting continued but the

music didn�t stop. Instead the two movedtogether and merged, each complementingthe other, each urging the other to an evensharper intensity. Maybe the noise wascoming from a group of practicing acro-bats and performers. Yes, that was it.Marsena could see their gaily colored tentseven now in her mind.

never wanted to before, but even nowfaithful Coran was pulling on her clothing,her dress in his teeth, breaking the spell.Before the creatures caught sight of them,she dragged the younger girl away to tellthe villagers what they had seen.

From “The Wildlands As I RememberThem,” from the memoirs of MarsenaCrostman, mayor of Arkright:

Satyrs are magical creatures whoseupper bodies are almost perfectly human,except for their exceptional brawniness,their long ears, and the presence of twosmall horns on their foreheads. The lowerbody of a satyr is goatlike, the fur ofwhich is generally a shade of brown orred but has been known to be black. Rareexamples of white fur have also beenrecorded. Regardless of its coloring, thefur always matches that on the rest of thebody. The horns and hooves are always jetblack. The upper body, aside from beingmuscular, is also very hairy, and to satyrsbeards are commonplace�the mark of anadult among the members of the race.Satyrs value their beards almost as muchas dwarves, but beards never denotesocial status. Goatees are frequently worn.The faces of satyrs are quite handsome.

Most satyrs roam the woods and mead-owlands in small, lusty bands¹, carousingand wenching wherever and wheneverthey can. They are overly fond of music

and drink; it is a sad satyr who cannotcarry a tune or hold his own in a drinkingbout. Typical examples of the race willcarry some sort of wind instrument and awineskin before they even think of carry-ing a weapon. Of course, their ability tobutt with their horns almost precludes thisneed.

There are no females of the race. Satyrsare born of a union between satyrs anddryads. Although satyrs frequently enjoythe company of females from other races(especially lonely human shepherdesses),for some reason the incidents of half-satyrs are extremely rare. This is good, forthe typical satyr attempts to woo justabout every female he meets.²

Little is known of the youngest years ofa satyr3, though they often recall beingextremely shy as children (and just aspowerfully inquisitive about their forestworld). An adolescent satyr will generallyseek out his father�s band, and if he findsit or any other such band, the youngster isalways accepted, having proved himselfworthy simply by surviving. He will growand mature quickly after this, being con-sidered an adult and full member of theband at the age of 15 or so.

Obviously, given the male-dominatedsociety satyrs live in, with no positivefeminine influence save for those firstyears, they are always gruff, masculinecreatures. They hide their true emotions,

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though they tend to be quite outgoing4.Satyrs don�t understand male-female lovebeyond its physical aspect, and marriage isa totally alien concept to them�they areforever bachelors. No satyr could hope to restrain himself from the charms of a newfemale that happened along.

Relationships with other males are quiteanother thing. The physically strongestsatyr in any band is always the leader5 ;druidic types6 never rise beyond the titleof �advisor,� and even then they are rarelyconsulted, despite the respect the rest ofthe band holds for them (it is considered asign of weakness in a leader to seek toomuch advice or magical assistance). Theleader of the band has no verbal title towhich he is referred, save when the bandis dealing with other races. In this case, hewould be given the title �Chief.�

A leader reigns in one-year spans, re-newed or lost each spring in a specialceremony known to the satyr as the Rutt.Basically, the Rutt is a trial of eliminationthrough bare-handed combat among allmature members of the group. Satyrs consider the use of their horns legal in thiscontest. The battles are never to the death,as the intent is to humble the loser andacknowledge the superiority of the win-ner. Eventually, the overall leader is estab-lished and given homage by all, in theform of food and drink, musical instru-ments, weapons, and similar gifts a satyr

44 MARCH 1990

would consider useful. The leader is alsogiven first choice of all willing females theband comes across.

This type of conditioning affects thesatyr beyond his natural social group. Toentice a satyr to join a party of male ad-venturers, the respect that the satyr asso-ciates with friendship must first beestablished. This is done in only one way�the prospective �friends� must be battledto determine dominance (friendship willoccur, all other things being equal, nomatter who wins). However, if the satyrwins, he will expect to be consideredsuperior to his friends in all ways, and hewill want to make all the decisions for thegroup. Thus, a satyr will always considerhimself better or worse than everyoneelse, fighting everyone he meets to estab-lish this. Magic is disdained during suchcontests as much as is the use of weapons,as both are considered to be the mark of acoward. As during the Rutt, satyrs will notfight to the death during such battles. Aparty�s alliance with a satyr will always bea rough-and-tumble experience at first.

Female humans, elves, and the like havean even more difficult time with satyrs, asthey are considered good for one thingand one thing only. A female who cannotdefend herself, or one who isn�t obviouslythe partner of another male, will becourted tenaciously. The satyr will singand play for her, vigorously proclaiminghis love for her, though he would offer hisaffections just as copiously to any otherfemale who happened by. Male defendersof a lady�s honor will be battled to deter-mine dominance, with the winner havingthe �right� to woo the female. Satyrs arecompletely unable to conceive of this asbeing wrong. Females who manage to putoff the satyr�s overtures are forever con-sidered honorary males, as a �real woman�couldn�t possibly turn the satyr down.This putting off may take some time, asevery satyr considers himself a Casanovaand will certainly be a problem in themeantime.

All satyrs are musically inclined, andmany make their own �Pan pipes� fromlocal materials. But once in a while, a satyrwill craft and master a set of magicalpipes7 ; the one who does soon rises to anexalted position within his band, thoughhis chance at seizing leadership is nogreater than others (resorting to the use ofthe pipes during the Rutt would brandhim a coward). These magical pipes areknown to cause listeners to fall asleep, beseized with fear, or to become entrancedshould certain melodies be played onthem, but even without these effects,satyrs find the pipes useful in wooingwomen, making friends with other sylvancreatures, and threatening their enemies.A satyr lucky enough to craft a set ofthese magical pipes may never possessmore than one, nor can he craft anotherfor someone else. The construction of aset of pipes (magical or otherwise) takes a

Skerrit, the god of the centaurs, is alsohonored by the satyrs. They refer to Sker-rit as the Hunter in the Green, and the

It would seem that satyrs have little timeto spare for matters of theology, but theydo have several holidays that pass as reli-gious in some sense. The Festival of Pangenerally follows the Spring Rutt in whichthe band leaders are determined. Pan ishonored but once a year and is consideredto be the patron god of wine and music.Individual groups of satyrs gather in se-cluded glens to hear humorous tales ofPan�s many exploits, narrated by theirdruidic priest or by their leader if a druidis not present. Contests of music anddrinking bouts follow this, the winners ofwhich are crowned with wreaths of springleaves. Furthermore, a great bonfire isbuilt, into which are hurled skins of goodwine and finely crafted musical instru-ments. This sacrifice of material goodsbrings an end to the ceremony.

However, the presence of a satyr willalways mean one thing: a lot of fun. Thesatyr sings and dances on the gloomiestdays, but this may well serve to irritaterather than cheer fellow adventurers. Heis especially well received by those withthe baser instincts of drinking and wench-ing in mind, for these are part of everygood satyr�s personality.

Sometimes a satyr, probably seekingmore excitement in his life, will agree tojoin a group of adventurers. In general, asatyr makes for a tough opponent, so thepresence of such a creature is rarely unde-sired in an adventuring party. His ability tosurvive and dwell in harmony with na-ture8 makes his company a boon to thoseseeking to traverse a sylvan wilderness.Mind you, satyrs are rarely as reliable as ahuman ranger would be, or as reassuringas the presence of an elf. Satyrs have shortattention spans; they are very much crea-tures of the moment and rarely planahead. Although they are suitable compan-ions for a short stint, they can rarely stayinterested in an adventure long enough tocontinue it for more than a week at most.They will certainly leave when it suitsthem, often without so much as a word ofexplanation.

The pipes never give off a magicaldweomer because in fact, the magic comesfrom the satyr�s intuitive knowledge ofmusic. The finely crafted reed pipes aremerely a focusing agent for the magic.Many a thief has been disappointed aftergoing through the dangers of obtainingsuch a set.

full week, wherein no other activities savethe basic functions of living can be pur-sued. If lost or destroyed, another set maybe made, but under these conditions only.No more than one satyr in any band willpossess and be able to employ the magicpipes. If another happens to gain the abil-ity, he goes off on his own to seek another�pipeless� band, into which he will alwaysbe happily accepted.

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ceremonies dedicated to him take placeeach month on nights of the full moon.Satyrs band together in large clearings in 10 equalling a 0 on the last roll).isolated groves on these nights, with some-times as many as a dozen different groups.Ritual mock hunts and fierce wrestlingcontests are held in the moonlight arounda roaring fire. The winners that come outof these two events are called Hunters forthe entire month to follow, the titles to berenewed or lost at the next gathering.Hunters are given choice food in the in-terim and are honored as the Chiefs per-sonal bodyguards. Tales of the greathunting exploits of Skerrit are then relatedby the most prominent druidic priestpresent. These stories are followed by afabulous feast of wild game hunted downearlier that day. Afterward, before dawn,the bands disperse into the trees.

As can be seen, though the satyrs are aflighty and frivolous race, they are well intouch with the land and their patron gods.Unlike many races, however, they unfortu-nately have no stories of creation�eitherof the world or themselves. Sadly, noteven the satyrs themselves can give us anyinsight toward the secret of their origins.

be determined by rolling 1d20, multiplyingthe result by 10, then adding 1d10 (with a

of the Dryad,� and issue #109, �Hooves and

between dryads, satyrs, and humans.3. Young satyrs reach maturity at about

the same rate as human males, stayingwith their dryad mothers until they areabout 12 years old. Then they are left inthe care of their satyr fathers, who trainthem in all matters important to a satyr(e.g., wenching, drinking, frolicking, musicmaking, etc.).

4. Because of the satyr�s state of mindand social values, charm spells have quiteinteresting effects depending on the sex ofthe spell-caster. If a satyr fails his savingthrow against a male spell-caster, he imme-diately attacks the spell-caster to establishdominance and is thereby acting accord-ingly to the �friendship� the spell implies.If he does make his saving throw, hemight attack anyway�but the spell willensure that the attack will be immediate.

Failed saves against a female spell-castermeans the satyr will be even more obnox-ious in his attempt to woo her. Here thesatyr will become the jealous lover, keep-ing all males away from his �true love.� Toreflect the satyr�s spell-strengthened vigor,

2. See DRAGON® issue #87, �The Ecology

Green Hair� for more on the relationship

7. Every satyr who tries has a 10%chance to be able to craft the magicalpipes, but if there is already a magicalpiper present, few will feel the need toeven try. Upon occasion (1%), a prospec-tive musician crafts a set unintentionally,and he will then leave for another band.

8. All satyrs should have some trackingability, at 20-80% accuracy. Satyrs haveany of the usual bonuses or penaltiesassociated with tracking creatures in thewilderness.

give him +2 on all attack rolls when bat-tling �competitors.� The lovesick creaturewill go to great lengths for his lady andwill generally be as great a pain in theneck as possible.

5. Leaders (the satyrs with the most hitpoints of their bands) always have at least16 strength, with a maximum of 18/50.Roll 1d6: 1-2, 16 strength; 3-4, 17 strength;5, 18 (nonpercentile) strength; 6, 18/01-50strength.

6. There is a 20% chance that any bandwill possess a �spiritual guide� among itsnumbers. This satyr is a special NPC sha-man with either clerical or druidic powersof up to 6th level. Satyr shamans do notseem priestlike at all in behavior, as theyuphold the �highest ideals� of satyrseverywhere�and one can easily guesswhat those �ideals� are!

Footnotes1. Satyrs live to be over 200 years old.

The age of any one satyr in a group may

DRAGON 45

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THANK YOU

FOR YOUR COOPERATION

Got a moment? The TOP SECRET/S.I.� game needs youby Jon Pickens

TSR needs some information, and the folks here are hopingyou�ll lend a hand. We�d like for you to give us your opinion onespionage role-playing games, particularly on our TOP SECRET/S.I.� game. All you have to do is to read the following question-naire, write down your responses in the answer block on theresponse form at the end of this article, then mail either theresponse form or one photocopy of it to:

TOP SECRET/S.I.� Game Surveyc/o TSR, Inc.P.O. Box 756Lake Geneva WI 53147U.S.A.

Please fill in the answer box completely, writing the number ofyour answer in the proper box. Put a 0 (zero) for all questionsthat you don�t answer or if none of the answers apply. Make sureyour name is on the response form (send only one form perperson). Use the �Comments� space on the response form foradditional comments (you may attach extra sheets of paper ifnecessary). Questionnaires received later than July 1, 1990, willnot be counted in this survey.

I. General information

1. Do you play espionage role-playing games? 1 = No, no inter-est in subject; 2 = No, don�t like available products; 3 = Iwould, but I don�t have time; 4 = I would, but I don�t have agroup; 5 = I do, TOP SECRET/S.I.� rules; 6 = I do, TOPSECRET® 1st edition rules; 7 = I do, other system (name in�Comments�).

2. If you play espionage RPGs, how often do you play? 1 =more than once per week, 2 = once per week, 3 = twice permonth, 4 = once per month, 5 = less than once per month.

3. How long has your group been playing your current espio-nage RPG? 1 = no current group; 2 = less than 6 months; 3= 6 months to 1 year; 4 = 1-3 years; 5 = over 3 years.

4. How many players attend an average espionage RPG session?1 = no group; 2 = 1-2 players; 3 = 3-4 players; 4 = 5-6players; 5 = 7+ players.

5. What is your age? 1 = under 16; 2 = 16-18; 3 = 19-21; 4 =22-25; 5 = 26-35; 6 = over 35.

6. Are your players: 1 = generally the same age as you; 2 =generally younger than you; 3 = generally older than you.

Rate the following activities according to how often you do them:1 = Never, 2 = Seldom, 3 = Occasionally, 4 = Often, 5 = Allthe time.

7. Watch espionage/detective movies8. Watch espionage/detective TV shows9. Read espionage/detective fiction (Ludlum, LeCarre, McInnes,

Fleming, etc.)10. Read espionage/detective non-fiction (Ballantine Espionage

Library, etc.)11. Read action-series novels (Remo Williams, Nick Carter, Mack

Bolan, etc.)12. Read espionage/detective comic books

II. Espionage role-playing

Rate your interest in the following adventure types on a scale of 1(no interest) to 5 (high interest).

13. Combat missions/SWAT team14. Investigation/mystery15. Interaction/negotiation16. Counterintelligence17. Item/person recovery18. Players vs. players19. Convoluted �wheels-within-wheels� plots

Rate your interest in the following adventure formats on a scaleof 1 (no interest) to 5 (high interest).

20. Solo adventures21. Adventures for 1-3 agents22. Adventures for 4-6 agents23. Single main integrated plotline (64-128 pages)24. Collection of loosely linked adventures (8-16 pages each)25. Collection of unconnected adventures (8-16 pages each)26. RPGATM Network tournament anthology27. Collection of short subplot encounters (1-2 pages each)28. Detailed setting with suggested plotlines29. Adventures for inexperienced players30. Adventures for players with beginning characters (lowest

Continued on back of this page

DRAGON 47

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ability ratings and basic equipment)31. Adventures for players with above-average characters (me-

dium ability ratings and moderate amount of equipment)32. Adventures for highly rated and well-equipped agents

65. The Shadow66. G.I. Joe67. Green Hornet68. Get Smart

III. TOP SECRET/S.I� game systemLast Question: What would most improve the TOP SECRET/ S.I.� game system? Use the �Comments� section of the card foryour reply.

Rate the TOP SECRET/S.I.� boxed set for the following elementson a scale of 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent); if you don�t have this set,answer each of these with a �0�.

33. Cover art34. Interior layout and look35. Rules clarity36. Rules completeness37. Playability and fun

If you play the TOP SECRET/S.I.� game, rate your interest in thefollowing existing settings on a scale of 1 (no interest) to 5 (highinterest).

Please write the number that reflects your answers fromthe Question Section of the magazine on this surveycard. Write only one number in each response box.

Name

Address

City

38. 1930s pulp adventures39. Web vs. Orion (modern, fictional)40. Commando (modern paramilitary)41. F.R.E.E.Lancers (metabilities/bionics)

State/Province, Zip/Postal Code

Country

Rate your interest in the following potential new products on ascale of 1 to 5: 1 = definitely won�t buy, 2 = probably won�t buy,3 = might buy, 4 = will probably buy, 5 = will definitely buy.

42. Player-character record sheets (1 page each)43. Game ratings for real agencies (CIA, KGB, Interpol, etc.)44. Covert operations fact book about the war against terrorists45. Compendium of spy tricks and sneaky ideas46. Equipment sourcebook with diagrams and much information47. Weaponry sourcebook focusing on latest weapons48. Vehicle sourcebook focusing on aircraft, helicopters, hover-

craft, yachts, etc.49. Atlas of espionage showing sensitive sites, target areas, etc.50. Administrator�s design kit, with emphasis on quick-design

interiors and practical adventure design51. Terrorist accessory, a companion to the fact book, which

translates the information into game terms52. Rogues Gallery: Famous NPCs, the �Mohawk� team, etc.

Rate your opinion of the following Sourcebook/expansion ideas ona scale of 1 (bad idea) to 5 (great idea).

53. 1940s private eye (Sam Spade type)54. World War II (OSS/Resistance/home defense)55. 1950s-60s Cold War56. 1980s private eye (Magnum/Equalizer type)57. Private mercenaries58. Occult investigators

Rate your opinion of the following special sourcebook ideas on ascale from 1 (bad idea) to 5 (great idea).

59. James Bond60. Nick Carter61. Mack Bolan (The Executioner)62. Remo Williams (The Destroyer)63. Mission: Impossible64. The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

48 MARCH 1990

Comments:

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The Game WizardsStraight from the mouse�s mouth

by Anne Brown

that the adventurers are trying to find her,too, but can�t, and they go through thisbig, creepy cavern system looking for her.The cavern was the leader�s home at onetime, but she hasn�t been there in at least60 years, so all kinds of monsters havemoved in. I sure hope there aren�t anymice living down there, because it soundsdangerous! Hey, this module comes withthose fold-up buildings, too�it has some-thing that looks like a temple. But thatcavern has some scary traps and monsters(including one called a �deadline� thatsounds horrible from these notes). Thatevil leader is a tough one, and she soundslike she�ll stop at nothing to take over theCity of Greyhawk.

Ah, here are some notes between Anneand Steve. What a plot�those evil guysjust don�t quit! They�ll take over the city inFlames of the Falcon if someone doesn�t

What could that mean?There are some other notes about the

three adventures that also have me wor-ried. �Adventurers won�t know whom totrust,� �Spies are everywhere in the city,��Cult members have infiltrated importantcity offices,� and �The adventurers mayhave gotten in over their heads.� C�mon,you guys! Someone better head straightfor the City of Greyhawk and figure outwhat�s happening. This isn�t your ordinaryadventure series. The fate of an entire cityis at stake.

This is making me hungry. I�m going tolook for a snack. Well, fans, this is Bixbythe Mouse signing off. If I ever find acomputer terminal tapped into the maga-zine files again, I�ll write more. Till then,may your wastebasket be full of juicytidbits!

see that!Hmm. What really worries me is this

note that Anne wrote. She says that Fal-con�s Revenge will be released in March,Falconmaster will be released in June, andFlames of the Falcon will come out inOctober� �just in time to get thingscleaned up so Zeb�s module for Decembercan make a mess of the city all over again.�

leader sounds awfully mean. The cult�s noteven sure what she looks like, because

stop them! Oh, good, someone�s helpingthe adventurers. Wow, this is something

these adventurers. The cult members have they�ll never expect�I�ll have to keep thisthis wild plan that has something to do part a secret! And there�s another fold-upwith the fact that the cult can�t find its building in this one that sounds like aleader. If the cult does find her, the city�s great place to raise a family. Can�t wait to

the city is in serious trouble, becauseinnocent adventurers who are passingthrough town find themselves caught upin this big mess that no one knew existed.A cult is sneaking around town spying on

really going to be in trouble, because the

some of the cult members say she lookslike a snake, and others say she looks likea falcon. The only way to learn the truth isto play the adventure!

Well, these adventurers will have theirwork cut out for them, because this mod-ule takes them through almost every cor-ner of the city, including the slums, themarketplace, and the sewers. If the adven-turers are smart, they�ll find the cult�shideout and defeat the giant undeadsnakes and the other horrors down there.

The really neat thing is that the packagecomes with these little cardboard build-ings that you fold up to represent thebuildings in the adventure. And this ad-venture doesn�t cost any more than other64-page adventures! The buildings are partof something called the Cities of Mysterysystem. I�ll have to get my hands on thebuildings in that boxed set�they soundlike they�re just the right size for my fam-ily and friends.

Uh-oh . . it sounds like the bad guyswill find their leader, because I just foundthe notes for Falconmaster The bad part is

Munch, munch, munch. . . . Hey, this thing works! It�s turned on!I wonder where it goes. . . that�s great!

It goes straight to the DRAGON® Magazinefiles. This is my big chance�I�ve alwayswanted to be a gossip columnist. I wonderif this file could be dropped into the maga-zine without Roger noticing. . . well, we�llfind out.

Ahem. This is Bixby, TSR�s residentmouse, coming to you live from the com-puter terminal in Anne Brown�s cubicle.Being a mouse has certain distinct advan-tages in a place like this�like ransackingthe wastebaskets for midnight snacks, andreading all the notes and printouts that thedesigners and editors throw away. Youprobably didn�t know that mice are inter-ested in role-playing games, did you? Well,I�ve seen things in those wastebaskets thatgamers everywhere would love to hearabout. And now�s my chance for a scoop.This is hot�even hotter than the time I gottrapped in the refrigerator overnight withnothing but some sour milk and sevenbottles of taco sauce. Oh, the heartburn,Anyway, let me tell you what I found inAnne�s trash while I was looking for emptyyogurt cartons.

Anne�s been working on this game ad-venture for the City of Greyhawk. Theadventure�s pretty long, because it�s goingto be published in three separate modules.From her notes, it sounds like she�s writ-ing the first two parts, which are calledFalcon’s Revenge and Falconmaster. SteveWinter will be writing Flames of the Fal-con, the third part. Anyway, it sounds like

50 MARCH 1990

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The VOYAGE of the PRI

Tslamir 28, 1965: The crew was back at work when, soonafter dawn, a scout brought news of Talasar�s return. Thepriest, who has a knack for the grandiose, certainly made a

triumphant arrival. He had left with a few dozen men but re-turned with hundreds? There came drummers, trumpeteers,soldiers riding elephants, and a horde of totally mysteriouspeople. Talasar and his men were carried on palanquins, obvi-ously enjoying their ride. Several perfectly shaped trees fol-lowed, carried by an army of bearers.

It so happens that Talasar was captured by natives, whom wetotally failed to notice in our preliminary observation. The na-

52 MARCH 1990

Part 3: To seek out new life and new civilizations

by Bruce A. Heard

This series chronicles the adventures of an Alphatian explorerand his crew as they journey across the D&.D® Known World intheir skyship. The information herein may be used to expandD&D campaigns using the Gazetteer series.

tion sequence. I ordered the crew back on board to get some

From the Journals ofPrince Haldemar of Haaken

Lord Admiral of the Mightiest EmpireCaptain of the Ever-Victorious

Princess ArkImperial Explorer, etc. etc.

Tslamir 21, 1965: Makeshift repairs have been finishedsince our unfortunate encounter at the citadel. The Princessneeds a complete hull overhaul, and the sails� enchantments threaten to fade. Fortunately, we escaped the Isle of Oceaniawithout further difficulties and have now reached the easterncoast on the Isle of Cestia. Heavy forest and hills, however, haveprevented us from landing the Princess where she could beproperly cared for. We are veering to the west in search of aquiet bay.

Tslamir 24, 1965: We have reached a large bay with lowerhills. No sign of active, intelligent life can be seen in this region.In honor of Xerdon�s fallen boltman, I�ve named this placeRamissur Bay. I plan to land the Princess tonight in a clearingthat was sighted this morning. The moon hasn�t reached firstquarter yet, but the night should be clear enough.

Tslamir 25, 1965: The landing was a success, consideringthe difficulties. Night landing with a damaged vessel has rarelybeen practiced. I sent the forward scouts ahead with the land-ing raft, and they revealed no impending danger. Three squadsof boltmen and dispel wardens under Xerdon then secured thelanding site. Raman, the chief carpenter, followed with his menand tools. They installed the wooden beams to hold thePrincess’s hull off the ground, then placed the magical globes atthe edges of the dry dock. Finally, I maneuvered the ship downinto the landing joists. By then it was almost dawn, but the shipwas properly secured and nearly hidden by the surroundingtrees.

Our cleric Talasar took half the crew and a squad of boltmeninto the forest in search of trees that could be used to replacethe foremast, which had been damaged during the final battleagainst the night dragons. Raman�s crew began their work onthe hull. I remained on board the Princess with the remainingboltmen and the rest of the crew to oversee the repair of thesails and the enchantment operations. The enchantment tookuntil sundown, at which time I reached a break in the incanta-

rest, while Xerdon and his boltmen set up camp around thePrincess. Talasar and the away team have not yet returned.

This is the most dangerous part of the operation. While theincantations are in a hiatus, all sails are off the masts. Theymust not be disturbed, for the magic would then be completelyspoiled. The Princess will have to remain stranded for the night. Tslamir 26, 1965: I should have known better. Near mid-

night, Xerdon quietly warned his men and sent a messageaboard that movement had been sighted in the forest aroundthe ship. It lasted a few hours but nothing else happened. Thisis when I noticed the real danger. Were it not for the stars thatdisappeared for an instant in the sky, I would not have realizedthe threat. The creature of darkness from the Isle of Oceaniamust have been tracking us ever since we left the citadel, seek-ing revenge for the death of its kin. With hardly a thought, Icast a ball of fire at the dragon. It roared with rage, whichalerted Xerdon�s guards and awoke the crew. Unfortunately, thebeast was very hard to see. It swooped twice on the boltmen,and both times it seemed that several men disappeared into thedark wings.

Then the unexpected happened. A signal of light went off inthe forest nearby. Whizzing balls were hurled from the sur-rounding trees and hit the dark dragon several times. The ballsproduced blinding flashes upon impact with the dragon, causingit to lurch in its flight and wail in pain. A faint glow remained

on its hide, apparently from a sticky substance within the balls.Almost immediately, a cluster of bolts shot up at the dragonfrom every point of the landing site. Xerdon and his guardswould not miss such an opportunity for revenge.

But such was not the end of the dragon. It escaped, and it willmost certainly return. At the end of the battle, Xerdon and hismen searched the edge of the woods, but nothing was foundthere except dozens of broken jars attached to ropes. All ofthese were smeared with the strange glowing substance we hadseen cast upon the dragon.

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NCESS ARK

tives are none other than the descendants of the ancient Oceani-ans! They fled centuries ago and constructed a new civilizationhere on the Isle of Cestia. Talasar was able to communicate withthese people and describe our battle against the dragons. Talesof the death of one of these beasts caused great joy among thenatives�I�ll call them Cestians �who then honored Talasar andhis men.

It was a group of Cestian scouts that routed the dragon twonights ago. The Cestians have developed a nonmagical substancethat produces a blinding flash, which they hurl at their targetsusing jars attached to rope slings. They must still fear the drag-ons of darkness to carry these heavy jars around so routinely.

Andrumir 4, 1965: The Cestians are a fine bunch. They

COURSE OF THE PRINCESS ARK1. Alphamir 15th, 1965 AY2. Sulamir 10th3. Sulamir 25th4. Sudmir 3rd5. Sudmir 25th (end of part 1)6. Vertmir 7th7. Vertmir 17th8. Tslamir 8th (end of part 2)9. Tslamir 21st

10. Tslamir 24thhelped repair the Princess, then invited us to meet their king.Some of their warriors joined the ship�s crew and began theirtraining as sailors and boltmen. Learning our language and thework aboard the Princess will take time, but we need reinforce-

11. Andrumir 7th (end of part 3)

Next Course: Due South-West (end of part 3)

DRAGON 53

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ments. Their abilities with the antidragonballs are welcome, and it is a honor forthem to serve on the ship that defeated anight dragon. While the other Cestiansreturn home on foot through the forest, Iset sail to the south with their guide,Abovombe, who provided directions totheir capital. She is a rather sophisticatedlady, which is a shock as we did not expectto find a civilized, educated people in suchan isolated region.

Andrumir 7, 1965: We finally arrivedat the capital city of Cestia. After the rug-ged, hilly terrain and heavy forest ofRamissur Bay came a series of plateaus onwhich the Cestians grow their crops. Theplateaus are well irrigated, with manysmall canals and dams. Farming communi-ties cluster at the crossroads.

The city, which the Cestians call Tulear,is a large urban center with high walls.Unusually high towers rise at many pointsof Tulear, each of them pointing huge,jagged stone spikes in every direction�notunlike the mountains of Oceania. Barbedchains stretch from tower to tower overthe houses below. Abovombe explainedthe chains were a simple defense againstthe wings of low-flying dragons. Thespikes are designed to wound dragons that

come too close. (I could also see problemsfor skyships that attack such a bastion ofingenious traps.)

We landed at the gates of Tulear. There,Talasar and I reached the palace by way ofa palanquin and met King Mananjary. Likemany Cestians, King Mananjary is a tallperson with dull brick-red skin and blackhair. We used magic to communicate, andwe learned that the Isle of Cestia has fourkingdoms, the largest being King Manan-jary�s Manakara. The kingdom on thesouth of the isle, Androkia, is very hostileto foreigners. Here live the descendants ofthe island�s original natives, who werepushed back when the ancient Oceaniansfled their home isle. Two other Oceaniankingdoms lie to the north: Morovoay onthe western shore, and Ambiroa on theeastern shore. (The ancient Oceaniansapparently split up after their arrival andformed separate, sovereign nations.) Mostof the population of all kingdoms remainshidden in the mountains or in the forests,for fear of the dragons� return. Nonethe-less, wars here seem to be as common asrainstorms. The people of Manakara,Morovoay, and Ambiroa seem to hate eachother; it wasn�t clear why. On behalf ofHer Imperial Majesty, I formally estab-

lished diplomatic ties with King Mananjaryand bid him farewell.

Shortly after casting off, I summoned aninvisible messenger and sent it to Sunds-vall with our last position and royal greet-ings from King Mananjary. Our course isnow due south.

To be continued....

If you have already designed the areascovered by the flight of the Princess Ark,simply ignore the information given here(the skyship simply went by, assuming thatthese areas were already well known tothe Alphatians). If you have any commentsregarding this column or the D&D game�sKnown World as designed in the Gazet-teers, please send your inquiries to BruceHeard, D&D Column, TSR, Inc., P.O. Box756, Lake Geneva WI 53147. We cannotguarantee that all letters will get answers,but they will certainly have our attention.Your input into the development of theD&D Known World is welcome.

See Imperial Navy Boltmen and Bolas ofSunlight on next page.

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Bolas of Sunlight

These items were originally devel-oped by the Cestian warriors to protectthemselves against the night dragons ofOceania. Each bola consists of threesmall jars attached at the ends of three4�-long cords. The other ends of thecords are knotted together. Each jarcontains a different substance (aboutone pint per jar). The two first jarscontain two volatile substances which,when mixed, produce a blinding flash.The third jar contains a glowing adhe-sive that retains its properties for 1d6rounds after being exposed to the air.

A Cestian warrior holds the centerknot of the cords and carefully whirlsthe triple bola until the proper throw-ing speed is attained; this produces acharacteristic whizzing sound. The bolais then released. The impact againstany target is sufficient to break the jarsand mix their contents. The bolas ofsunlight require a full round of prepa-ration and a clear space of at least 5�radius around the thrower. Theweapon causes no physical damage, butit has a chance of entangling a human-size target or catching the wings of avery small dragon (see regular bolas onpages 3-4 of the Players Companionbook). Hurling this type of bola re-

Bolas of Sunlight TableCost:150gp Encum.: 30 cn

Ranges Skill level�/60/90 Basic�/50/120 Normal�/40/150 Expert�/30/180 Master�/20/210 Grand Master

quires special skills on the part of thewarrior and a minimum Strength of 16.An untrained user has a 75% chance ofeither breaking the jars or beingtrapped in the cords, and he wouldattack with a -5 penalty to hit.

The flash of light causes temporaryblindness for 1d4 rounds. A successfulSave vs. Paralysis prevents the targetfrom being blinded (save at -5 duringthe night or in darkness). The flash oflight is particularly suitable againstcreatures of darkness, such as shadowsor night dragons (against night drag-ons, the flash causes 3d6 hp damage).The adhesive substance has the effectof revealing invisible or otherwisehard-to-see targets but causes no dam-age. The substances used in the bolasare extracted from various plants grow-ing on the Isle of Cestia and are notmagical. The bolas do not work under-water, and they cannot be used at lessthan the ranges indicated in the Bolasof Sunlight Table (in other words, bolasof sunlight can be used only at longrange).

Imperial Navy Boltmen

The Alphatian navy commonly uses troops armed with wands of lightning bolts.These experienced troops are well trained in the arts of aiming and firing suchweapons, and they understand the limitations and risks involved in using suchmagic. They neither use it inconsiderately nor without orders.

The wands typically contain six charges each and can be recharged, normally by anavy magist after a battle. If a warship hasn�t engaged in battle for several days, it islikely that the boltmen�s wands are fully recharged as per navy regulations.

Boltmen Table

Armor ClassHit DiceMoveNo. of AttacksDamage/AttackNo. AppearingSave asMoraleAlignmentXP Value

Boltman8MU1 or E1120'(40')1 wand6d61 squad (1d6+6)MU1 or E110Any20

Officer4MU3 + or E3 +120'(40')1 wand or spell8d6 or by spell1Per class/level10Any150+

Boltmen are usually 1st-level magic-users or elves. Each wears knee-high boots,white knickerbockers, a laced shirt, a red padded jacket with epaulets, and a blackvelvet cloak. A boltman wears leather headgear and carries some equipment on hisbelt in a leather case. His equipment normally includes one or two daggers, a scoreof darts, his wand, food, and other minor field equipment (rope, hooks, spade,bandages, waterskin, torches, etc.).

Officers are higher-level spell-casters who use wands having more charges andcausing more damage than normal boltmen�s wands. Officers wear magical head-gear made of very thin metal over leather. This does not provide physical protec-tion, except perhaps from the sun, but does provide magical protection granting a+ 2 Saving Throw against any magical attack.

Each Imperial boltman squad usually has its own officer. Each boltman and officerhas a different word to activate his wand, and has sworn never to reveal this word.However, many boltmen who have fought together know each other�s magicalwords. Officers ensure that these words get changed, especially after a major battle.See the Boltmen Table for game statistics on officers and enlisted boltmen.

In addition to the boltmen, various specialized troops may be added to the squad.They have the same game statistics as those of the standard boltmenbut use different magical items. Dispel wardens use wands with six charges of dis-pel magic. Protection wardens use wands with six charges of protection from nor-mal missiles. Light marines use wands with 20 charges of magic missiles (ld6 + 1damage/round). Heavy marines are not commonly seen; these are low-level fighterscomplete with chain or plate armor and bastard swords. Heavy marines are usedonly during large-scale battles. Otherwise, non-spell-casting troops handle moremenial tasks, especially in the navy (sailors, carpenters, KP personnel, etc.).

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Your own back yardA few years ago, I ran a super-hero

campaign for some friends in Louisville.Knowing nothing at all about New YorkCity or the other common super-herolocales, I did the easy thing and set thecampaign in my hometown. It workedperfectly. Everyone in the group identifiedwith the places where their heroes foughtcrime and escaped deathtraps.

Two years ago, I ran an adventure usingWest End Games� GHOSTBUSTERS� game;the setting was Walworth County, Wis.,where I now live. Again, the gamers imme-diately grasped the campaign setting, andeveryone had a hilarious time battling anundead dog-god that had possessed afamily car (they even burned down ahouse once belonging to one of the play-ers). The Ghostbuster HQ was located inour very own TSR building in Lake Ge-neva; TSR itself was assumed to have gonebankrupt�what a concept! (God forbid.)

Using your local area as the setting for arole-playing campaign is worth a try inany gaming group with almost any RPG.Some ideas for setting up such campaignsfollow:

Super-hero settings: In the MARVELS U P E R H E R O E S ® a c c e s s o r y , M A 2Avengers™ Coast-to-Coast, guidelines aregiven for setting up your own franchisedversion of the Avengers in your own city.Other super-hero games lend themselvesequally well to local heroes. You can pickout well-known landmarks for adventuresettings: airports, rivers, parks, officebuildings, sports arenas, universities,science laboratories, museums, factories,industrial parks, military bases, unusualbuildings, and tourist spots. Tourist bro-chures and road maps of your city, county,and surrounding states would also helpthe campaign. Perhaps the player charac-ters are students at a local high school orcollege, and they must indulge in theirsuper-heroics between classes and exams.

Supernatural investigation: I men-tioned GHOSTBUSTER campaigns above,but investigators using Chaosium�s CALLOF CTHULHU® rules or the like might alsofind unusual pickings in your county. Agiant meteorite might have slammed intothe earth beneath your home eons ago,and horrific aliens have at last begun toooze out from their long-buried lander. Orit�s the Night of the Living Dead, and yourbattle-weary group must fight for survivalon a planet of carnivorous zombies. Later,shape-changing ghouls from the sixthdimension establish a beachhead in a localfarm or park. It�s always something. (Don�t

56 MARCH 1990

Espionage thrillers: This one seemsto be a little harder to grasp as the themefor a local-area campaign, but you couldalways set up an adventure series inwhich spies, saboteurs, terrorists, madscientists, and crime lords take an unusualinterest in your local community. Theymight know something that no one elseknows (except for the game master, ofcourse). Perhaps a well-meaning computerhacker tied into a foreign country�s de-fense system (a la Wargames). Or maybelocal college students built a small nuclearbomb, then lost it to an extremist group orto agents from a foreign power. Whatreally goes on at the local industrial parkor military base? In real life, the Nazislanded saboteurs on Long Island by sub-marine in World War II, and espionageagents from the Soviet Union and Cubamay have worked their ways into placesyou�d never imagine. If you like paranoia,this campaign would work well. The TOPSECRETS/S.I.� game might work best forgame mechanics here.

forget bizarre and hostile creatures fromprehistoric mound-building cultures, too.)

Dark-future survival: The balloongoes up, the bombs come down, and theplayer characters must fight for survivalon the highways and in the back alleys ofthe near future. Steve Jackson Games� CARWARS® game, R. Talsorian�s CYBERPUNK�game, GDW�s TWILIGHT:2000� game, andTSR�s F.R.E.E.Lancers setting all portraydifferent ways in which things could turnout for the worse. How will your commu-nity be affected? (Though the game�s RedDawn background is somewhat hard toswallow, West End Games� THE PRICE OFFREEDOM� system might be worth a look,though it does not now seem likely thatSoviet paratroopers will take over yourhometown anytime soon. But hey, we canalways pretend.)

Fantasy adventuring: Yes, fantasyadventuring, as in goblins, orcs, dwarves,elves, wizards, dragons, the works. Thinkabout it: What would your communitylook like if our world had been settled byfantastic creatures, or if the dinosaurs hadstayed around to evolve into dragons? Ifyou get some local-area maps from theU.S. Geological Survey, you can carefullyalter them to remove excess houses androads, then add a few monster lairs, sor-cerers� towers, and so on. Presto! A newcampaign world with virtually anyfantastic elements you like. Maybe ogreslive in a nearby cavern, and giant fishswim in the lake down the road from yourhome (the elves, of course, inhabit thelocal woods). Look at FASA�s SHADOW-RUN� game for more ideas, though any

figures for local National Guard and CoastGuard forces. It wouldn't hurt to adaptone of the previously described campaignsto miniatures form, and this would givehours of fun at conventions or at home.

In short: If you need to give your gamecampaign a kick, you may find that theshock value of using your own hometownas the setting will do the trick. The ideadoes tend to grow on you after you'vethought about it for a bit. It also gives youa different way of looking at the oldneighborhood�and that is almost worththe trouble of setting up the game itself.

Never let your life get boring�that'swhat gaming's all about.

Miniatures games: You can evenexpand this concept into miniatures cam-paigns. I have heard that the Americanmilitary has conducted practice war gamesin which it is assumed that Soviet or Cu-ban invaders have attacked New Englandor Florida; you could set up scenarios forultramodern microarmor or naval cam-paigns using landscapes of your area and

Alternate histories: How would yourtown be different if the South had wonthe American Civil War? If Cromwell hadwon the English Civil War? If the Axispowers had won the Second World War?For a one-shot adventure, pick out amodern-era RPG such as TSR�s TOPSECRET/S.I. or GDW�s TWILIGHT:2000game and make a few conversions tocreate new weapons and equipment foryour alternate-history world. The playercharacters could be students or research-ers who are testing a transdimensionaldevice that can enter alternate realitieswhere things turned out quite differently.Much work will be involved in detailingeach campaign setting, but some goodalternate-history settings can be found inmany SF novels, such as Philip K. Dick�sThe Man in the High Castle, Len Deigh-ton�s SS-GB, Ward Moore�s Bring the Jubi-lee, and the recent SF anthology, HitlerVictorious. If you can find an old copy ofthe TIMEMASTERTM game or its supple-ments from (now-defunct) PacesetterGames, you might get some other interest-ing ideas.

fantasy system will do

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he child huddled on the doorstep,drenched by the spring rain and shiv-ering in the morning chill. Waterdripped from the lank ends of her redhair and the tattered fringes of theshawl drawn tightly about her skinnyshoulders. Her legs were mud to the

Father,DearFather,

HomeWithNow

Me

Come

knees. She wiped a drop from the end of her nose withone red raw hand and looked up with wide blue eyes. Shewas a sight to melt the hardest heart. But not Conhoon�s.

The wizard glowered down on her. She had interruptedhim at his morning porridge, and severe was his mood.�What is your business, girl?� he demanded gruffly. �Is ita curse you�d be wanting? Speak up, the way I can hearyou over the dripping of the water.�

�Please, sir, it�s me Da,� she said softly.�Is it, now? And who�s your Da?��Finbar O�Farrissey, sir, if it please your honor,� the

child said with a dank and clumsy attempt at a curtsey.�O�Farrissey�s girl, are you, now?� said Conhoon,

cocking his bald head to study her more closely, combinghis fingers through his untidy beard in a reflective man-ner. �Come in and sit you down by the fire.�

She accepted his invitation eagerly, squilching past himand seating herself on a rugged, unsteady joint-stool,extending chapped hands and muddy feet to the warmth.The sound of her chilled, shuddery breaths, and the sightof steam rising from her soaked garments softened Con-hoon just a bit.

�Give us your shawl, girl, the way I�ll put it to dry,� hesaid, taking up a cloak that lay in a heap on the floor,�and wrap yourself in this.� When the tattered shawl wasspread before the fire, and the child was enveloped in theheavy cloak and had ceased to shiver, Conhoon said,�You�re warm enough. Tell us your name.�

�Kate, if it please your honor, sir.��And how old are you?��It�s twelve years old I am. But I�m close to thirteen.�Conhoon looked at her gloomily and shook his head at

the swift passing of the years. Finbar O�Farrissey was theyoungest son of Rory O�Farrissey, who was the youngestson of Fergus O�Farrissey, a man the wizard rememberedwith a warmth and gratitude he felt toward few others inthis world. A stout lad, Fergus had been, strong armedand quick witted, loyal to friends and respectful to wiz-ards. It pleased Conhoon to recall how he had aidedFergus in winning the hand of Eileen of Druim nDen, thefairest woman in all Meath, and bringing her safely to hissnug house in the woods of Fidh Cuille, where the song ofinnumerable birds made sweet the day and melodious thenight. Less than a century ago it was, but Fergus wasgone now, and Eileen a memory, and Rory an old stick ofa man sitting by the fire chewing on the emptiness in hismouth and living in his pale and fading memories. It washard to have friends among the people, Conhoon re-

flected. Seventy or eighty years, and that was the end ofthem. They didn�t last at all.

A loud, moist sniff from his visitor brought the wizardout of his reverie, and he said sharply, �Tell us, KateO�Farrissey, how is himself?�

�It�s gone he is, your honor, sir. Isn�t that why I�m

By John Morressy

Illustrations by Allen Nunis

DRAGON 59

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60

here?� the girl replied.�Sad I am to hear it, and him a young man with his life

before him. How many did he leave behind?��Only me,� said the child simply.Conhoon softened a bit more. �A terrible thing it is,

surely, for a child like yourself to be left alone in theworld. How did you manage the burying of the poorman?�

�There�s nothing to bury. It�s not dead me Da is, it�sgone with the fairy host.�

Conhoon started, and his thick brows went up. �Doyou tell me so?�

�I do.� Kate gave a solemn nod and went on in calmand measured tones. �A great wind there was that night,and the fairies in it on their way to do a mischief. It�s wellknown to all that the presence of a human being on suchoccasions will bring success to the fairies at whatever deedthey�re out to do, and didn�t they see me Da go out tocalm the pigs, and sweep him up like a bit of straw andcarry him off with them? But you�ll get the Da back,� sheconcluded confidently.

�Will I, now?��You will. Didn�t you make a solemn promise to old

Fergus that whenever an O�Farrissey was in trouble inthis world or the other, you�d cross land and sea to savehim?�

Conhoon frowned and made a deep grumbling noiseexpressive of frustration and discontent. His softenedfeelings resumed their customary adamantine state. Awizard�s work, as far as Conhoon was concerned, was notto get people out of trouble. Do that once or twice, andthey expected you to do it all the time. It spoiled them.

�I expressed my gratitude to Fergus O�Farrissey inwords sweet to hear, but devil a word did I say about in-terfering with the Good People,� he said.

�A promise is a promise, your honor, sir, and surely agreat wizard like yourself wants to be known as a man ofhis word.�

�I keep my promises, girl,� Conhoon growled.�And haven�t I told that to every soul I met on my

way? �Me Da�s been taken by the fairies, but the goodConhoon will get him back. He promised to help theO�Farrisseys long ago, and he keeps his promises, doesConhoon,� I told them. �And,� says I, �you can tell that toeveryone. Conhoon will bring back me Da, because hepromised.� She pulled the cloak closer around her andsmiled an innocent smile of surpassing sweetness.

Conhoon glowered at her. Twelve years old and cunningas a hag, he thought sourly. Hard it was to have a promisedropped at your feet after eighty years, or maybe ninety;harder to have it brought home to you by a chit of a childwarming herself at your own fire; hardest of all to knowthat if you try to squeeze out of it as any sensible manwould, you will be known for the next three centuries asConhoon the liar, breaker of promises, deceiver of chil-dren, betrayer of friends, cheapskate.

And the worst of it was, this was all his own doing. If hehad been content to repay favor with favor, there would beno child sitting at his own hearth, on his own joint-stool,wrapped in his own cloak, hurling in his teeth his ownwords spoken in the exuberance of kindness so many years

MARCH 1990

Conhoon swallowed the angry words he wanted toshout and withdrew in silence to his workroom. Twelve

�I�ll earn my keep, and take no charity from yourself,�Kate said grandly, giving the wizard a look befitting aqueen in the company of an uppity swineherd. �Whileyou�re off with your book, I�ll sweep the house, and afterI scrub the floor and clean the pots, I�ll make a grandsupper. Where�s your broom?��

Conhoon pondered the question for a moment, and then threw up his hands and said, �You will have to find itfor yourself, girl. It�s little use I have for a broom.�

�That is easy to see. It�s better off I�d be with a shovel,�said Kate under her breath. She finished the porridge, setdown the pot, emptied her bowl of milk and put the bowlbeside the pot, then she rose and turned to the wizard.�Be off with you now to your book, the way I can get thishouse fit for decent people to live in. Go on, go on,� shesaid impatiently, with a shooing gesture.

�If it please your honor, unless I get a bit of porridge,it�s a terrible disturbance I�ll be to you with my groaningand fainting,� said Kate, eyeing the rapidly cooling bowlof porridge set before the wizard.

�Finish the pot, girl. And take a sup of milk for your-self.� Conhoon watched as she dug in. �I suppose you�llbe wanting a place to sleep, too,� he said accusingly.

�I�ll be no trouble to you. There�s a fine bush at theend of the path. I�ll crouch in the wet under it until you�reready to help me Da,� she said without looking up.

�You will not!� Conhoon cried in exasperation. �Is itheartless I am, to let O�Farrissey�s girl sleep in the rainand muck when there�s a fine snug spot on the floor infront of the fire?�

�It is not. Dealing with the Good People is a delicatebusiness, and I will be long making ready for it. I will tellyou when we�re leaving,� said Conhoon in a stern voice.�Now I will hear no more out of you. I will finish myporridge, and then I will consult my books, and there is tobe no disturbing me.�

�Is it today we�ll be leaving to find me Da, yourhonor?� Kate asked brightly.

ago, before he knew any better. By his strength and hiscleverness, Fergus O�Farrissey�then a mere stripling,but as full of promise as the young Cuchulainn�hadsaved Conhoon from great embarassment, and probably agood bashing, at the hands of a tricky giant. Conhoon, inturn, had helped Fergus to locate the fair Eileen, providedhim with a charm to win her love, helped him escape herthree brothers and overcome the twenty-nine kings whowere paying court to her, and brought the lovers swiftlyand safely to the cottage deep in the bird-bright, song-sweet wood of Fidh Cuille, with a spell to keep them un-seen to men for nine years. That was gratitude beyond allexpectation, surely. Any fair man would have consideredhimself paid, and well paid, and overpaid, by such wiz-ardly assistance and accepted no more. But when Con-hoon had gone on to make a rash, extravagant promise ofhelp to the O�Farrissey�s generation after generation,Fergus had not raised a finger to shush him before thewords could be spoken. That was people for you, thoughtConhoon. There�s no gratitude in them at all, not even inthe grateful ones.

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years old, and a tongue to her like a pooka�s granny. Ifthis is what the O�Farrisseys have come to, he told him-self, the People Outside Us should have carried off the lotof them the day after old Fergus had done for the giant, and saved a hard-working wizard a deal of trouble. Noneed to wait until the day after, either. A pity they didn�tsnatch up Fergus the minute that giant hit the ground.

Conhoon spent the entire day sequestered with hisbooks, assuaging the emptiness of his stomach with scrapsof bread and cheese that lay about his workroom in vari-ous stages of petrifaction. By suppertime his hunger wasraging, and his mood was even more sour than usual. Thechild had spoken, with a child�s unthinking confidence, ofmaking a grand supper, and for his stomach�s sake Con-,hoon hoped she had managed it. He was starving. But ifshe had provided a good meal, he would be obliged toacknowledge her success with kind and grateful speech,and invite her to share it, and treat her decently, and thatwould destroy his appetite and ruin his supper altogether.He had no wish to be a charming man and was not fondof people who were, especially wizards. It was not thebusiness of a wizard to go about grinning like a cat andbowing like a flunkey and fluting a lot of windy politenessat everyone in earshot. Wizards� work was cursing andspelling, and there was no smiling or bobbing or flatteryin it.

He thought darkly on these things as he made his waythrough the gloom, until his concentration was disruptedby an unfamiliar aroma in the air. He inhaled moredeeply, and his mouth began to water. Torn between frus-trated irascibility and a growing appetite, he hurried to-ward the kitchen and cried out in astonishment when heentered.

The room was clean. It was spotless. Surfaces unseenfor decades revealed themselves to his widening eyes. Notonly were they visible, they were shiny.

�What have you done, girl?� he asked in a voicehushed by surprise.

�I�ve done what needed doing. Sit you down and haveyour supper while it�s hot,� Kate replied without so muchas glancing at him.

Looking around cautiously, like a man awakening instrange surroundings, Conhoon seated himself at the ta-ble. The unfamiliar surface, stripped of memorials to pastmeals, gleamed nakedly. Kate placed a bowl of stew beforehim. Savory steam rose from it in a tantalizing slow swirl.He closed his eyes and sniffed hungrily at the fragrance,and then a new aroma joined it. He looked on the tableand saw a round loaf of bread, and beside it a dish ofgolden butter beaded with clear droplets of cold water.

�Bread? Is it bread you�ve baked?� he asked faintly.�Didn�t I have to? There�s no eating stew without a bit

of bread to sup it all up.�Conhoon nodded. He took a small spoonful of the stew

and nearly wept with delight. Having done all his owncooking, he had not tasted anything so palatable at thistable for half a century. The bread was a fitting accompa-niment for the stew. Not even thirteen years old, and thebest cook in Ireland. Conhoon ate quickly and noisily, andheld out his empty bowl for more. When he finished hissecond helping and presented his bowl for a third, Kate

�When I�m ready,� Conhoon replied.�It�s no hurry you�re in, I�m thinking,� said Kate un-

On the fifth night following Kate�s arrival, Conhoon satdown to his supper in a more than usually thoughtfulmood. He had refreshed his knowledge of the fairy hostbut still had no idea of their present whereabouts or theirultimate destination. There was no more to be gainedfrom his books; the next stop was a spell, and he was un-certain which of the many possibilities open to him wouldbe best, and least demanding of his powers.

�When are we leaving to find the Da?� Kate askedafter a silent meal.

But the child could cook. There was no disputing that.Her cooking and baking were so good that they almostmade up for her mad dedication to tidiness. Almost. Itwas a delight to the nostrils to smell the aromas that filledthe house when she was preparing supper, and a benefac-tion to the stomach to eat one of her meals; but it was anaffront to his wizard�s soul to be surrounded by suchcleanliness. He longed for the familiar sight of a greasydish, an encrusted cooking-pot, a mound of unidentifiablerefuse in a corner. Those were the touches that made ahome.

All this Conhoon knew. What he did not know waswhere the host was going or how to find out, and he didnot wish to waste a lot of time and magic blunderingabout the countryside in fruitless search. With each day ofunrewarding study his mood grew blacker. In contrast, hiscottage grew daily brighter, cleaner, and more cheerful.This only added to his sense of urgency. If he did not getthis scrubbing, scouring, swabbing, broom-wielding, dust-hating, pot-walloping wee creature off the premises soon,the place would not be fit to live in. As it was, his work-room was the last stronghold of normality in the house,and Conhoon was certain that if he had not barred entryby means of a spell, Kate O�Farrissey would have been atwork with broom and dustrag and mop the instant hisback was turned.

shot him a withering glance and took the bowl and spoonfrom him. Conhoon withdrew in sullen silence to hisworkroom.

He spent much of that night and the next four days inporing over his books, seeking the best way to deal withthe fairy host. They were the most feared of all the fairies,because they were numerous and powerful, and usuallyup to no good. When a great wind came rushing over, itwas a sure sign that the fairy host were astir and miserywas on its way to some unsuspecting, and probably unof-fending, mortal. In their playful mood they might contentthemselves with stealing crops or cattle, or knocking downa chimney; but now and then they would carry off a child,or steal an old couple�s life savings, or drive a young brideshrieking mad on her wedding day, turning her hair whitein the process. For some reason�perhaps they were su-perstitious, but no one knew for certain�they alwayssought to capture a human and bring him or her alongwith them on these expeditions, believing that it assuredthe success of the enterprise. Sometimes they kept thehuman for two or three centuries; sometimes they re-turned him or her the next morning. There was no tellingwith the fairy host.

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der her breath, just loud enough to be heard.�Little good it will do to run after the Good People

before I know where to run, girl. The fairy host go wherethey please and do as they like, and devil a man knowsfrom one minute to the next where they�ll turn up. If Iknew that, I�d be after them like a shot off a shovel.�

Kate looked at him in innocent surprise. �Is that what�skeeping you? Then pack your bag. I heard the leader ofthe host say that they would travel the ridge aboveDuradh Faithlenn, then down Leitir Cro, and after a dayand a night of dancing on the plain of Meanmbragh, theywould arrive at O�Rahilly�s barn and do a mischief to hiscows.�

�Why did you not tell me this before, girl?� Conhoondemanded.

�Little you cared for what I had to tell you. I no soonerhad my foot in the door than you were off to your books.�

Conhoon ground his teeth and glared at her. After atime he said, �I know the O�Rahilly. We will leave in themorning.�

Kate sprang up. �I will heat water, the way you�ll havea lovely bath before you��

�Bath!?� Conhoon cried in alarm.�That is the word I used. And when you�re finished, I

will comb out your beard.�Conhoon jumped to his feet. �You will not touch a hair

of my beard,� he said, covering it with his hands.�I will wash it and dry it and comb it out. It looks like

something you would find in a dark corner of a hermit�scave.�

Conhoon made a contemptuous scoffing sound and aback-of-the-hand gesture. �A wizard does not care forappearances.�

�Easy to see, that is. The O�Farrisseys have their pride,and I will not be seen on the high roads with a man wholooks like he has a rat�s nest hanging from his face,� saidKate defiantly.

�Then leave! Go on, girl. I�ll be glad to see the back ofyou. It�s destroyed I am with your washing and scrubbing!�

�I�ll go this minute, in the dark itself. And when peopleask me �Where�s the wizard Conhoon, him who promisedto help the O�Farrisseys in their need?� I�ll tell them whochose to turn his back on a promise and sit at home withhis hands in his nasty old beard.� She stalked to the door-way, turned, and with the scorn of majesty said, �And it�s�little I stand to lose, I�m thinking. Five days I�ve beenhere, and I�ve seen no magic at all.�

�Are you thick, girl? Do you think a wizard sits in hiskitchen all day doing tricks?� They glared at each otherfor a moment, then Conhoon went on. �Sit you down. Iwill find your Da, but I will not have my beard interferedwith.�

�Do as you please. I will heat water, the way it will beready if you think better of it,� said Kate, taking up thebucket and heading for the well.

Later that evening�having nothing better to do, as hetold himself and growled at Kate�Conhoon took a bath.As he sat before the fire in a grand soft robe that Kate hadwashed some days previously, he began to think morekindly of her suggestion that he wash his beard. Purely forthe sake of convenience and comfort�which he was be-

62 MARCH 1990

�You will not see them. The Good People do not show

Conhoon knew that his best hope was to be trickier. Heset his mind to the task and spoke no word until theypaused to rest the horses. As he sat on a flat stone, deep inthought, Kate offered him a slice of buttered bread. Heaccepted it without a word and chewed on it slowly.

�How will I recognize the fairy host when I see them?�Kate blurted at last, unable to control her patience anylonger.

Conhoon nodded and gave an ambiguous grunt, butsaid nothing. Glad as he was to see Kate O�Farrissey tak-ing a reasonable and enlightened view of his power, heknew the ways of the fairy host well enough to have noillusion of easy triumph over them. All the wizards ofIreland together� if they ever did get together�would behard put to make one small fairy go a single step out of hisor her chosen way. The only sure method of gainingpower over a fairy host was by counting them, and theywere aware of that danger and well protected against it,not only by their natural shiftiness and fleetness of footbut by their trick of keeping constantly in motion, millingand darting and hopping and mixing up among them-selves so that a man could be looking directly at a crowdof them and not be sure whether he was seeing twenty ortwo hundred. A tricky lot, the fairies.

�Ah, but you�re a match for the likes of them,� Katesaid with easy certainty.

�Don�t be presumptuous, girl. When you deal with thePeople Outside Us, nothing is certain but tricks and sharppractice,� Conhoon warned.

Kate clapped her hands and gave a joyous shout. It wasthe first time since arriving on the wizard�s doorstep thatshe had expressed anything but impatience, disapproval,and mistrust, and he found the change a welcome im-provement. �I�ll have the Da back by suppertime!� sheexclaimed.

They left for O�Rahilly�s farm early next morning. Theroad was dry and the weather fine, and Conhoon an-nounced that on horses of such excellence as his, theycould expect to be at their destination before sundown.

�And don�t you look ten times the wizard you did witha briar patch hanging from your jaw?� Kate exclaimed.�It�s noble you look, entirely. The Good People will eatyou up like jam.�

�Will they, now?� said Conhoon thoughtfully. Hesmoothed his beard in placid silence, and after a time hedeclared, �Sure, they will.�

The grooming of Conhoon�s beard was a process ofunexpected duration and complexity. Loud were his criesand bitter his accusations as Kate dragged the combthrough the tangles, but when the work was done, theresult was pleasing. Conhoon stroked his beard like a manpetting his favorite cat, and grudgingly conceded that theundertaking had been a sound idea.

of life� it would not hurt to give the thing a good soakand let the child comb it out. It would surprise the fairiesto see him tidied up, and that was all to the good. In deal-ing with that lot, a man needed every advantage he couldget.

ginning to perceive as very nice and desirable conditions

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themselves to ordinary folk,� Conhoon said absently.�I will see them. I was born in the dead of the night,

and I have the gift of seeing ghosts and fairies.�Conhoon cocked his head and studied her with new

interest. �Then why do you ask me, girl, if you can seethem for yourself?�

�Only two I have seen, and them at a crowd in a fair,the way I could not get a good look at them. And theywere ordinary fairies, not part of the host,� Kate ex-plained.

Conhoon stroked his beard in a meditative gesture.�Some of the fairy host are beautiful,� he began, �andthem as beautiful as angels. Golden the hair of them andblue the eyes; pale as milk the skin of them, slender thehands and feet, straight the legs, round as shield-bossesthe knees, and soft the voices of them as a harp playing ina gentle wind. There is nothing more beautiful than thebeauties of the fairy host, and a pity it is that their man-ners are no match for their looks. And even the ones thatare not as beautiful as the most beautiful are pleasing tothe eye, and it is only upon close study that you can seethe oddities of them.�

�Describe to me the oddities.��Easy to say. In the males of the fairy host, one shoul-

der is higher than the other by the thickness of a grey cat�swhisker, and one eye lower than the other by the sameamount; one arm is longer than the other by the distancebetween a flea�s toenails, and one leg shorter than theother by the same amount. And never the same arm or legor eye or shoulder from one day to the next.�

Kate was silent for a time, considering this information,then she asked, �And what about the women of the host?�

�Easy, too. In the, females of the fairy host, one shoul-der is lower than the other by the thickness of a grey cat�swhisker, and one eye higher than the other by the sameamount; one arm is shorter than the other by the distancebetween a flea�s toenails, and one leg longer than the otherby the same amount. And never the same arm or leg oreye or shoulder from one day to the next with them,either.�

After a longer silence, Kate said, �It�s confused I am bythis information.�

�It is the nature of the fairy host to confuse,� Conhoonsaid, rising to his feet and stretching. �Being found out isa great annoyance to them. For that reason, it would bebest to say nothing about your power to see them.�

�What could they do to me?� Kate said boldly.�They would pluck out your eyes.�After that, Kate was very quiet. Neither she nor Con-

hoon spoke another word until that afternoon, when Kategave a sudden sharp warning hiss, rousing the wizardfrom his musings.

�There they are,� she said.Conhoon jerked his head up, looked about, and saw

nothing but a broad green-meadow bordered by trees. Heraised the medallion of the Wizard�s Guild, which he worearound his neck, and peered through the tiny Aperture ofTrue Vision at its center. There they were indeed, thefairy host, dancing and hopping and leaping and skippingand gliding and twirling and bounding, all in motion,slipping behind and between and around each other like

the bubbles in a millrace. There were scores of them,maybe hundreds, or a few dozen, or a thousand. No mancould say, the way they darted about even when theyseemed almost to be standing still.

Conhoon let the medallion fall and rubbed his eye. Thefairy host was gone from sight. He spoke the words of aseeing spell and they burst into view once again, in alltheir bewildering profusion.

�Stay here, and do not let them know you can seethem,� he said to Kate. �I will go and speak to them.�

�I saw me Da!� she said excitedly. �He was in themiddle of them, dancing with a lady!�

�They will dance a man silly, that lot, and leave him ona hillside as weak as watered milk. How did your Dalook?�

�It�s happy he looked,� said Kate with obvious concern.�The poor man�s beglamored.��He is, surely. The Da has not had a smile on him since

I was old enough to walk.��The O�Farrisseys were never a light-hearted family,

well I remember that. Do you wait here, and I willencounter the fairy host. We will have your Da back tonormal this day, girl.�

Conhoon dismounted, and leaving his horse in Kate�scharge, walked toward the lively assembly. They had seenthe arrival of man and child�they missed nothing, thefairy host�and many an eye was on him as he ap-proached, hand raised in friendly salute. But even in curi-osity the fairies swept and swirled, no more countablethan snowflakes in a wild eddying wind. The wizardsearched but saw no trace of Finbar O�Farrissey.

A man stepped forward to meet him. He was of an agesomewhere between youth and senectitude. His hair wascoal black, thick and glossy, his skin smooth, his move-ments brisk and nimble; but his black eyes were like mir-rors in which everything in this world and several othershad at one time or another been reflected. They werebeyond all surprise. He was dressed plainly but elegantly,in soft, fawn-colored breeches, a velvet coat with gleamingbuttons, and buckled shoes. His ruffled shirt was as whiteas moonlight.

�A good day to you, traveler,� he said with a pleasantsmile.

�A good day to yourself and all here,� Conhoon re-plied, returning a smile equally genial. He stopped andlaid a hand on his beard.

�That is a lovely white beard you have on you,� saidthe fairy.

�I thank you. You're a fine-looking man yourself, andyour friends, too.�

The fairy smiled even more pleasantly. He came a stepcloser and looked curiously at Conhoon. �Tell me now,how do you see me?� he asked.

�I see you because I�m a wizard. And if anyone tries topluck out my eye, it�s great sorrow will come upon thefairy host,� Conhoon replied.

�Ah, now,� said the other thoughtfully. He retreated astep and went on, �Glad I am that you made that factknown to us. There�s so many going about, do you know,with a bit of fairy ointment on this eye, or a pinch of ashesfrom a fairy hearth on that one, and them peeking and

DRAGON 63

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prying into our business and seeing things it�s not goodfor them to see. It�s concerned for our privacy I am.Surely a man like yourself understands such things.�

�I do,� said Conhoon. He kept his eyes fixed on theman, partly out of caution and partly because the continu-ous motion of the others was enough to make him dizzy.

�Good to hear. Will you join us for supper, my goodwizard?�

�I am not here for supper. It�s Finbar O�Farrissey I�vecome for, him you took from his home ten nights agowhen he came out to see to his pigs.�

�Ah, that one. Yes, I know the man,� said the fairy. �Apresentable man, the O�Farrissey.�

�Whatever he is, his daughter wants him back. It is awicked thing to take a man off and leave his poor daugh-ter alone in the world, and her a child not yet thirteenyears old,� said Conhoon, frowning.

�That�s as may be. I have plans for the O�Farrissey.He�s to marry my youngest daughter.�

Conhoon�s frown deepened. �A bad thing it is for ahuman to marry into the fairy host.�

�It is not. Didn�t my oldest daughter marry OenghusMac Oc ages past, and the two of them happy eversince?�

Conhoon�s eyebrows went up. �Your daughter? ToOenghus Mac Oc?�

�I am Ethal Anbhuail, king of the fairy folk, and Caerthe bride of Oenghus is my daughter. And now I havemade a match for my youngest, and I would not be happyto have it unmade by anyone, wizard or not.� There wasan edge to the fairy king�s voice that had not been in itbefore.

�King or no king, you must not trick a poor silly mortalinto marrying your daughter,� said Conhoon firmly.

�There is no trickery in it at all. My sweet Edain is theloveliest creature to walk the earth these three thousandyears. One look at her and a man faints with desire andcannot eat nor sleep. There�s a trail of sleepless, starvingmen behind us everywhere we go, if I�m not careful. Doyou understand now why I want no humans looking atus?�

�I do, and thoughtful it is of you. But if your daughteris so beautiful, why do you pick a poor plain farmer forher husband, and him a widower with a twelve-year-olddaughter waiting at home for him?�

The fairy king threw up his hands in a gesture of petu-lant perplexity. �Don�t you think I wanted a king or ahero, or a demigod like Oenghus? It�s herself picked himout, wizard, not me.�

�And is there no talking to your daughter?��There is not. But if it�s a consolation to the child, you

can tell this to O�Farrissey�s daughter: her Da will be backwith her every other year.�

�It�s a strange kind of marriage you�re getting the maninto,� Conhoon said suspiciously.

�There�s no strangeness in it at all. My daughterschange into swans every other year. It�s something theygot from their mother. The husbands have little to dowhile their wives are paddling about in a lake, so O�Far-rissey will have a year at a time to see his kid. It�s morethan enough for any decent child, I�m thinking.�

64 MARCH 1990

Conhoon stroked his beard as he pondered the informa-tion. At length he announced, �I will tell Kate what yousay. Do you wait here till I return.�

He crossed the meadow and came to where Kateawaited him under the trees. She jumped up and ran tomeet him, crying, �Me Da! Where�s me Da?�

Conhoon led her back into the shade. They seatedthemselves, and he outlined the situation. Kate listenedwith rapt attention, and when he was done, she shook herhead with all the gravity of a senior statesman consideringthe phraseology of an abdication statement.

�It�s long I�ve been hoping he�d find a good strongwoman and marry her. I�m destroyed with the work. Butfairy women are useless on a pig farm, and a king�sdaughter the worst of the lot. I�ll have twice as much onmy hands,� she said gravely.

�You�ll have every other year off to catch up,� Conhoonpointed out.

�Shame on you, man, and you her own father. She�s

Finbar put his arm around her slender waist and drewher closer. �Conhoon would not do such a cruel thing toan O�Farrissey. Hasn�t the man sworn to help us when-ever we have need, in the world or out of it?�

�He doesn�t like me. I can tell,� she said.�Beautiful is the fair Edain above all women, and fortu-

nate beyond words the man who lives out his lifetime withher at his side,� Conhoon said, with a deep bow to thelady. �But what about the daughter? Wicked it would beto encourage a man to go off with you and leave this poorhelpless child behind in the world.�

�Kate may be poor, but she�s no more helpless than abear,� said Finbar darkly.

�I�m thinking he�s a hard man and a hard wizard,come to drive us apart, my dearest Finbar,� said Edain ina voice as sweet as the praise of angels and as sad asautumn.

�Conhoon, my brave Conhoon, a treat it is to seeyou!� he said loudly, beaming upon the wizard. �Edain,my darling, this is Conhoon of the Three Gifts, an oldfriend of the O�Farrisseys and a wizard of great power andwisdom.�

When Conhoon rejoined the host, he found a womanstanding at one side of the fairy king and a red-hairedman at the other. The man he recognized at once as Fin-bar O�Farrissey. The woman, from the beauty, of her faceand the perfection of her form, could only be Edain,daughter of Ethal Anbhuail. O�Farrissey greeted himwarmly.

�Little chance of it. She�d have me feeding the swansthe years I wasn�t sweeping the house after her.�

Conhoon nodded. He had some knowledge of the waysof fairy princesses, and Kate�s statement was sound. �I�lltry to talk to the woman. And to your Da. But you mustknow, there�s little I can do but plead. There�s no magicworks on the fairies. The only way to get the upper handwith the fairies is to count them.�

�Do you go back and talk to them, then, and talk for aslong as you can, and don�t mind me at all until you seeme wave my shawl over my head,� said Kate.

�I will. And mind you don�t let them know you can seethem.�

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only a chit of a child, twelve years old, motherless formost of her life,� Conhoon remonstrated.

�And better off for it, when her mother practiced theblack art against friend and neighbor and husband, andtaught it to her own kid. Kate can take good care of her-self. And it�s closer to thirteen she is than twelve.�

Edain took Finbar�s arm and said, �Come, my Finbar,and let us be away from here. He�ll try to twist yourthinking with his wizard�s tricks, and turn you againstme.�

Conhoon knew that if they left now, he might be forcedto spend the rest of his life in fruitless search. He had tokeep them here until he could think of something. �Fin-bar, my boy, have you forgotten my great deeds on behalfof old Fergus? Can you rush off without hearing oncemore how I overcame the three magical brothers of thefair Eileen of Druim nDen and outwitted the twenty-ninekings who sought her hand?�

Finbar looked thoughtful. He turned to Edain and said,�It�s a grand story.�

�There�s a trick to it, I�m thinking,� she insisted.The fairy king spoke up, saying, �Trick or not, if it�s a

good story, I will hear it. Tell us your story, Conhoon.�Conhoon was not a master storyteller, but he knew

enough of the art to know that he must capture his audi-ence from the very first word, and so he decided to beginwith the escape from the three fearsome brothers. Thetwenty-nine kings he would deal with later on. One byone, if need be.

�Eileen was the loveliest lady in all of Ireland�outsideof the Good People� but her three brothers were gifted instrange ways, and two of them were of a most peculiarappearance,� he began. �The oldest one of the three wasColm the Speedy. A plain man he was, and to look at himyou would not suspect the great gift he had. Colm couldrun so fast that he could cross a river at flood withoutwetting the soles of his feet, and him carrying one of hisbrothers under each arm. With all the speed of him, Colmwas the first of the three brothers to catch up with us inour flight.�

�And no wonder,� said the fairy king.�But I did for him,� Conhoon said.�I have no wish to hear of it. I want to go far away from

this place with my darling Finbar,� Edain said, pouting.�Be quiet, daughter, the way I can hear the story,� the

fairy king said sharply; then, to Conhoon, �Tell us howyou did for Colm the Speedy, wizard.�

�I put a magic on him that made the soles of his feet asslippery as greased eels. No sooner did I say the wordsthan he slowed, and then he stopped in one spot, and hisfeet moving too fast to be seen all the while. The waterwas boiling and churning under him, and the steam risingin great clouds all around him, and devil a bit of progressdid he make. And then he began to sink, and it took allhis charioteers to save him from drowning.�

�Bravely done. Oh, bravely done,� said Finbar.�Ah, but by then wasn�t the second brother on us, and

him a terrible man to see. Handy Sean was his name, andhe had four arms, and two hands to each arm, and tenfingers to each hand, and the strength of ten men in each finger. There was no coming near him for strength and

�A hundred and sixty-two,� she greeted him.�What are you talking about, girl?��The fairies. I counted them, and there�s a hundred

and sixty-two. Now you can make them give me my Da.��Do you mean you can count the fairies?� Conhoon

asked in a hushed voice, blinking in wonderment.

DRAGON 65

�Give her a hug from her Da, would you? Tell her I�llsee her this time next year,� Finbar said cheerfully.

Conhoon glared at him. Edain smiled gloriously andwaved a farewell, and the wizard turned on his heel andstalked away from them, muttering. Kate resumed herplay, moving off out of earshot of the host to meet himunder the trees.

�I will in good time. First I must go and comfort thepoor abandoned child,� said the wizard, with a sternglance at Finbar.

When silence was restored, Conhoon continued. �Rightfor Fergus he went, and his arms whirling about, andswords flashing in the sun, and him a terrifying sight alto-gether. Fergus stepped in front of Eileen and raised hissword, prepared to fight and die for his love��

�This part is to my liking,� Edain whispered.��But before the first blow was struck, I spoke the

words of a spell, and Handy Sean was as stiff as a bundleof kindling with the rheumatism. Fergus sheathed hissword and gave him a thump with his fist, and off hewent. Ah, but the third brother, Eoghan of the SharpEyes, saw where we were going and got there himselfahead of us. A dreadful man, Eoghan, with twelve eyes inhis head, and twelve pupils to each eye, and each one sosharp that he could get up on a cloudy Monday morningand see clear to Thursday afternoon. There was no escap-ing Eoghan of the Sharp Eyes, and no way to fight him,with him seeing where every blow was going to land be-fore you drew back your arm to strike it. The fair Eileencried out in terror, and Fergus went pale in the face at thesight of Eoghan in our path with a spear in each hand.But I did for him,� said Conhoon.

It was the proper moment for a dramatic pause. Hefolded his arms, nodded profoundly, and cast a cool glancearound at his listeners. He noticed Kate skipping andhopping and picking wild flowers in the very midst of thefairy host. She moved among them with no sign that shewas aware of their presence in the meadow. She lookedup, caught his gaze on her, and stopped in her frolickingto remove her shawl and wave it over her head.

�My bold Conhoon. My hard Conhoon, tell us howyou did for Eoghan of the Sharp Eyes,� the fairy kingurged.

�I don�t care a pin what he did,� she replied.�Will you be still, the two of you?� snapped Ethal

Anbhuail.

agility. It was said that Handy Sean could fight off a thou-sand men with swords in four of his hands while he jug-gled twenty feathers with two other hands and employedthe remaining pair in the making of sweet music with theharp and the lute to accompany his singing.�

�A formidable man,� the fairy king observed.�But I did for him.��You will never guess what he did,� Finbar whispered

excitedly to Edain.

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�It�s something me mother taught me before she wastedaway. She said I wasn�t to tell anybody, especially the Da.�

�A good thing you did not.��Do you go to them now, and bring back the Da,� she

urged him.�I will speak to them. But you must know this: I can

make the fairies release your Da, but I cannot force him toleave them if he�s unwilling.�

Kate looked thoughtful. �It would be like him to staywith the fairies, the way he�d loll about all day and do nowork at all. He�s a great one for taking things easy, theDa.�

�It�s a good man�s failing,� Conhoon said.�Small comfort that is to the one who has to do all his

work and her own besides,� said Kate sharply.,�I will go now,� said the wizard, backing off.The fairy host was still swirling about in the meadow

with a kinetic animation that caused Conhoon to marvelanew at Kate�s feat in counting them. The child wasgifted, surely. A shame she had to spend her days indrudgery and let her natural talents waste away.

The trio of Edain, Finbar, and Ethal Anbhuail awaitedhim: Edain with ill-concealed hostility, Finbar with non-chalant bonhomie, and the fairy king with mainfest eager-ness, which he articulated by blurting, �Will you tell usnow what you did to Eoghan of the Sharp Eyes?�

�I may or I may not: First I would speak about yourreleasing the O�Farrissey to return to his daughter,� saidConhoon.

�I�ve told you, wizard, I have plans for him, and hewill stay with us. You cannot have him back.�

�I can, and I will, and not all hundred and sixty-two ofyou can stop me.�

�What�s that? What do you say?� cried the fairy kingin sudden alarm.

�You�ve been counted, that�s what I say. And now I willtake Finbar O�Farrissey back to his home and his daugh-ter, and you may go where you please.�

�Wait a minute, my fine Conhoon,� said Finbar, step-ping forward with a swift flurry of soothing gestures.�Would you break the heart of a fairy princess?�

�He would,� said Edain bitterly.�Sure you would not, now. And would you take an

O�Farrissey from the best life he�s ever had? You promisedthe old one that you�d help the O�Farrisseys, and do you call it a help to tear a man from the arms of the fairestcreature in all of Ireland and cast him back into the worldof rain and pigs and cold and labor, and nothing for it inthe end but a sore back and an empty belly? It�s my en-emy you�d have to be to do such a cruelty to me,� saidFinbar, a rueful expression on his ruddy face, a plaintivekeen in his voice.

�And what about your kid?� Conhoon demanded.�Ah, now, there�s your way to help the O�Farrisseys,

do you see? You can take her on to keep house for you.She�s a great hand at the cooking and cleaning and wash-ing and all the things that, a great wizard like yourselfcan�t be bothered with. She can do a man�s work; thatone.�

�She�s had to, surely,� Conhoon observed. �Do it, Conhoon, and you�re free of all obligation to

66 MARCH 1990

�Fine gifts they are. Look at this,� said Kate. She tookup a twig about the thickness of a finger. Lifting the ringfrom Conhoon�s palm, she slipped it over the twig. Atonce, smoke began to curl up from around the ring, andthen the twig burst into flame. Conhoon cried out inamazement and alarm. �And the buckles and buttons arejust as tricky. The buckles will take you wherever you tellthem to, but they�ll not bring you back,� she said.

�Ah, but the buttons will,� Conhoon pointed out.�They will, but they�ll do it at the same time, the way

�And what are you doing with all that?� she de-manded, pointing at the baubles. �And where�s the Da?�

�He�s gone with the fairies, girl. It�s what he chose, anddevil a thing I could do about it. But I bluffed them intogiving me these gifts.�

�And you can have all my pigs,� Finbar said.Conhoon weighed the offer for a moment, then ex-

tended his hands. �Agreed,� he said.They were gone in the wink of an eye, leaving Conhoon

with a golden ring, a pair of silver buckles, and nine gold-and-diamond buttons in his outstretched hands. He stoodblinking, taken aback by the suddenness of it, then turnedto rejoin Kate.

�And will they bring me back?��They will not, unless you�re wearing the buttons off

my coat. But I mean to give you the buttons, too.��And I will give you this lovely ring for your finger,�

said Edain, taking a golden ring from her slender fingerand offering it to the wizard.

�It�s little use I have for buckles.��These are not your ordinary buckles. Put them on

your shoes, and they will take you over land and sea,anywhere in the world you want to be, in the time it takesto snap your fingers.�

�Don�t let him take my darling Finbar!� cried Edain.�Save me with your power!� Finbar appealed to the

fairy king.Ethal Anbhuail held up his hands for attention. �Hear

me, wizard. I am not entirely certain that you have thepower to take this man from us if he chooses to stay, but toavoid nastiness and strife, I will make a generous offer.Leave us the O�Farrissey and I will give you the bucklesoff my shoes.�

�I will throw in a pot of fairy gold,� said the king with asweeping gesture of magnanimity.

�Easy to do, when you know the gold will turn to dryleaves before a day is out. No, I will have the O�Farris-sey.�

�Fine words from the king of the fairies. It�s other in-centives I had in mind.�

the O�Farrisseys forever. I give you my word, and theking of the fairy host as my witness.�

Ethal Anbhuail came forward to stand at Finbar�s side.�You must do as he asks, wizard. It�s the only way to keepyour word to old Fergus,� he said.

Conhoon looked up into the cloudless sky and strokedhis beard slowly and reflectively. At last he said to the fairyking, �And what incentive would you be offering me todo such a kindness to all here?�

�A kindness done is its own reward,� said Ethal piously,his eyes lowered.

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you�ll be torn in two if you use them. They�ve cheatedyou with their gifts.�

�And how do you know all this?�She shrugged. �I see things. It�s something I got from

the mother�s side.�Conhoon looked gloomily at the objects in his hand.

With an angry growl he flung them from him, and theyvanished the instant they left his fingers. �Your fathergave me his pigs. They won�t disappear,� he snapped.

�It�s generous he is with his pigs. What�s to become ofme?� Kate asked.

�Your Da said you�re to be my housekeeper.��He�s quick to find work for me. He�d have me clean-

ing and washing and mending and cooking for you, wouldhe, and him off dancing with the fairy host? I�m better offon me own, even without the pigs.�

�You�re hasty, girl. That�s what your Da said, but I

have a better idea. You�ve got a gift, and a shame it wouldbe to let it go to waste. So I�ll let you be my apprentice.�

She gave him a narrow suspicious look. �And whatdoes that mean?�

�It means you�ll clean and wash and mend and cook forme, just like a skivvy�but when your work is done, I�llteach you to be a wizard. By the time you�re grown towomanhood, you�ll be the match of any wizard inIreland.�

She pondered the offer for a moment, then stuck outher hand. �I�ll do it,� she said. They shook hands sol-emnly, and as they turned to mount their horses, sheasked, �Why didn�t you think of this when I knocked onyour door, I�d like to know, the way you could have savedus all this traveling? Ah, never mind. Let�s go and get thepigs.�

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MARVELMARVEL

THE MARVEL ® - PHILEDipped in magic, clothed in science

by Dale A. Donovan

Yes, it�s back. After a year�s absence, thecolumn devoted to the best and the bad-dest characters of the Marvel Universeagain graces the pages of DRAGON® Maga-zine. Why? Simple�I believe it deserves aspot here. The MARVEL SUPER HEROES�Advanced Set is one of my favorite gamesystems, and I always looked forward tothe next �Phile� column. Now �The Marvel-Phile� has returned and is here to stay.What I hope to do is to keep you informedon the ever-changing characters of theMarvel Universe, with character updatesand statistics for some of the new or moreoffbeat individuals that appear in Marvelcomics.

To start things off on the proper foot,this month I�ll give you an update on Cap-tain Britain, a man who�s learned an awfullot about himself lately, and I�ll introduceyou to Roma, a lady who has been gettingaround the Marvel Universe quite a bitthese days.

CAPTAIN BRITAIN�Brian Braddock

F IN (40) Health: 245A RE (30)S UN (100) Karma: 70E MN (75)R GD (10) Resources: GD (10)I IN (40)P EX (20) Popularity: 100 in Britain, 20

elsewhere

POWERS: Until recently, Braddock be-lieved his powers were derived from hiscostume. This is untrue, as noted in� L i m i t a t i o n s . �

Force Field Generation: Captain Britain(Cap) has Incredible protection versusphysical, Force, and magical attacks. Cap isstill subject to Slam and Stun effects fromthese attacks.

True Flight: Cap can fly at up to Shift-Xspeed.

Limitations: Cap�s powers are limited inthat they are directly linked to the mysticalenergies inherent in the British Isles. Thefarther he journeys from his home islands,the weaker he becomes. His current cos-tume stores these energies within itself,allowing a certain leeway before powerdegeneration sets in (see �Costume�).

EQUIPMENTCostume: Cap formerly believed that all

his powers were granted by his red, blue,and white costume. He recently discov-ered that his suits (he has worn severalthroughout his career) merely amplifiedhis own intrinsic superhuman abilities.Each such costume stores the mysticalenergy that gives Cap his powers. Allow a6-8 hour lag time before Cap is detrimen-tally affected by his absence from Britain;after that, decrease Cap�s strength, endur-ance, force field, and flight by -1CS foreach hour he spends away. It is possiblefor his force field and flight capabilities tovirtually disappear, while his strength andendurance drop to �normal� levels for aman of his build (S: EX (20), E: RM (30)).

SKILLS: Brian Braddock has an Excellentknowledge of physics and of Britishfolklore.

HISTORY: Brian Braddock was employedas a research assistant at the DarkmoorResearch Centre when a criminal namedReaver attacked. Braddock attempted toescape on a motorcycle, but he ran off acliff and lay near death. In a vision, Merlinthe Magician and the Goddess of theNorthern Skies (Roma) appeared to himand bade him to choose between the twomystical objects they presented: the Swordof Might or the Amulet of Right. Braddockchose the amulet and was instantly bom-barded with the mystical energy thatawakened his latent powers. Merlin andthe Goddess declared that Braddock wouldbe Britain�s champion, garbed him in a

costume symbolic of his role, and gavehim a mystic star-scepter to amplify hisabilities.

Cap battled various criminals and super-human menaces for a time, then mysteri-ously disappeared. He was subsequentlyfound by the Black Knight. A victim ofamnesia, Cap accompanied the BlackKnight on a quest to save Camelot, a jour-ney that took them across various dimen-sions. During this quest, Merlin returnedCap and his then-companion, the elf Jack-daw, to Earth. En route, Merlin trans-formed Cap�s star-scepter into a lattice ofmystical �micro-circuitry� and inlaid thatinto what was until recently his currentcostume.

Once back on Earth, Cap battled anextradimensional madman, Jaspers, andhis foul machinations. Cap eventuallytriumphed, saving the world, althoughpart of the price of victory was Jackdaw�sdeath. Cap returned to England and wassoon reunited with his sister, Betsy (Psy-locke, Lady Mandarin). He also met andeventually became the lover of the youngadventuress Meggan.

Soon after that, Cap learned his fatherwas from Merlin�s home plane, Other-world, and that his super-powers camefrom within him, not his costume. Thisallowed him to realize his full potentialand greatly increased the levels of hisabilities.

Meanwhile, the former X-MenNightcrawler and Shadowcat were recu-perating on Muir Isle, Scotland, frominjuries suffered in battle, when anotherformer X-Man, the second Phoenix, re-turned to Earth from extradimensionalentrapment. Arriving in England, Phoenixwas pursued by the Warwolves, agents ofher recent captor, Mojo. Phoenix was alsothe target of the villainous mercenarygroup, the Technet. Cap, Meggan,Nightcrawler, and Shadowcat aided Phoe-nix in fighting off her assailants.

Having learned of the X-Men�s apparent

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deaths (see Roma�s entry for details), these carry on its tradition of battling evil.five heroes decided to join forces in an Recently, when Excalibur was acciden-attempt to battle evil and live up to the tally transported by Widget (a new �mem-heroic legend of the X-Men. They took the ber� of the team) across dimensions, Capgroup name �Excalibur� from King Arthur was without his costume. In an alternatePendragon�s famous sword, hoping to England that had recently lost its own

champion, Captain Marshall, the Queenrewarded Cap for a service he and Excali-bur had performed by bestowing uponhim Marshall�s costume. This is the cos-tume he currently wears.

ROMA�Guardian of the Multiverse

F GD (10) Health: 80A EX (20)S GD (10) Karma: 155E IN (40)R RM (30) Resources: UN (100)I AM (50)P MN (75) Popularity: 5

POWERS: The full extent of Roma�spowers is not known at this time. Thefollowing are abilities she has demon-strated in the past; individual Judges mustflesh out Roma�s powers. As a cosmicbeing, she should be a mystery to anyheroes who meet her. Keep in mind thatRoma must be very powerful to fulfill herrole as Guardian of the Multiverse, andshould therefore have access to mostspells and magical devices in any of anumber of dimensions.

Roma�s magical powers are given in aform compatible with the MHAC9 Realmsof Magic supplement. If you do not usethis supplement in your campaign, treateach spell simply as a mystical Poweroperating at same rank as the spell.

Mastery Level: Master of the OrderSchool of Magic

Astral Projection: Monstrous (75).Foretelling: Monstrous (75).Mental Barrier: Amazing (50).Shield—individual: Amazing (50).Any other personal spells Roma may

possess should be ranked from Incredibleto Monstrous.

Personal

UniversalInvisibility to Mechanisms: Monstrous

(75). This spell allows the recipient tobecome totally undetectable by any me-chanical means. Cameras would not regis-ter an image, tape recorders would notrecord the voice of the recipient, etc.

Restore Life: Unearthly (100). Roma canuse this spell to restore the vital forces oflife to one or more recently deceasedbeings. Roma has resurrected up to ninepeople at once.

Teleportation: Unearthly (100).Any other Universal spells Roma may

possess should be ranked from Incredibleto Monstrous.

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MARVEL

DimensionalDimensional Aperture: Unearthly (100).Shape-Shifting —Unlimited: Amazing

(50).Group Spell-Scrying: Monstrous (50).Group Spell-Sensing: Incredible (40).Any other Dimensional spells Roma may

possess should be ranked from Incredibleto Monstrous.

EQUIPMENTSiege Perilous: This device was in Roma�s

possession until recently, when she�loaned� it to the X-Men. Whether it�s aunique device or whether Roma has accessto others like it is unknown at this time.This device was apparently destroyed byDonald Pierce, the leader of the evil cy-borg group known as the Reavers.

The Siege Perilous, a large red gem in agold frame, is a mystical gateway thatsomehow �transforms� anyone who passesthough it. The result of the transformationis determined by the life and deeds of theone passing through. Little else about thisdevice is known at this time.

HISTORY: Roma is the daughter of Mer-lin and lived together with him in Other-world, their home dimension and that ofCaptain Britain�s father. It has not beenresolved at this time whether Merlin is thesame sorcerer who aided the originalBlack Knight in King Arthur�s legendaryCamelot.

Merlin and Roma (in her guise as God-dess of the Northern Skies) played a piv-otal role in the life of Brian Braddock.They acted as Cap�s patrons and advisorsin addition to their other duties, such aswatching over a number of other uni-verses and each world�s own version ofCap (such as Captain U.K.).

Years later, Merlin was killed when hismystical might had been depleted after afierce magical battle, and Roma succeededhim as Guardian of the Multiverse. Sheguided Captain U.K. (who had migrated toMarvel Earth) to an alternate Earth thatwas in need of a champion, and reunitedCaptain U.K. with her husband, whomRoma had saved from death on their na-tive Earth.

More recently, Roma was made a pris-oner in her own Starlight Citadel by thebeing known as the Adversary. Romasucceeded in contacting Colossus of theX-Men, and the X-Men, plus the inventor/sorcerer called Forge and then-ally Made-lyne Pryor, eventually defeated theAdversary�though it cost the X-Men,Pryor, and Forge their lives.

Free once more, Roma returned her res-cuers to life, a fact unknown to the worldthat had witnessed their sacrifice on televi-

sion. To maintain the illusion, Roma cast aspell on her rescuers, rendering them com-pletely invisible to all mechanical sensors.She also lent them the use of the Siege Peril-ous, a mysterious mystical gateway.

Well, that�s it for this month. I�d like toknow what you think of �The Marvel-Phile� in general and this column in partic-ular. I�d also like to know who (or what)else you�d like to see in these pages. Send

your comments and requests to:The Marvel-Philec/o DRAGON MagazineP.O. Box 111Lake Geneva WI 53147U.S.A.

Marvel, Marvel Super Heroes, and all Marvelcharacters, names, and likenesses are trade-marks of Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc.Copyright 1990 Marvel Entertainment Group,Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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F o r u mContinued from page 8

sooner or later, we�re going to have the sameproblems with the 2nd Edition dragons thatwe�re having with the 1st (but it�ll be a while).When that time comes, if the DM can�t handle it,then he shouldn�t be running a game.

On another topic, I�ve just finished reading the�Forum� letter in issue #151 submitted by anunknown author. Those of us who like castlesare no different from those who like magic,weapons, ships, cars, planes, or whatever. Wedon�t really like them because they make sense;we like them because they�re neat! To me, it�snot an issue of whether or not a castle can beeffective, but more a matter of how I can makeit effective.

Now I hate to sound like one of these peoplewho will fanatically defend a concept to theexclusion of all reason, but our unknown authorseems to have overlooked a few simple ideas.First of all, adventurers are supposed to beuncommon. Similarly, an army flying around onpegasi or griffins should be equally, if not more,uncommon. The walls of a castle are supposedto keep the riff-raff out (�riff-raff� meaningmarauding tribes, orcs, kobolds, and on rareoccasions, ogres and opposing human armies).In this respect, a castle is more than effective. Infact, in a fantasy setting, a castle is even morepractical than in reality, because humanoids arecommonly the only attackers and are the easiestto keep out because of their disorganization andlow intelligence.

However, Mr. Unknown�s campaign seems tohave more than the average number of gate-crashing adventurers and monsters. But if weshift gears a little bit, most (if not all) of theattack modes mentioned in his letter can beeliminated.

First of all, if it�s cheap and easy to destroy acastle, it is equally as cheap and easy to buildone. In a fantasy setting one need not spend fiveyears digging foundations and moats when thework can be done by the aforementioned ex-perts (dwarves, orcs, etc.) in no time at all�notto mention using move earth, dig, or conjureelemental spells. Given the easier job of digging,more elaborate foundations can be designedwhich can prevent tunneling�say, undergroundwaterways or superdeep moats.

As for knock, passwall, phase door, etc., asimple look at the spells will solve this problem.For the price of a simple dead-weight bar andsome thin metal sheeting, one can cancel allthree of the above spells. I�m going to assumethat the outer wall can be flown over, so I�ll roofoff the exposed areas and segment the arrowniches so that fireballs won�t spread. If I�mreally serious, I�ll buy some magical effects tohelp support the structure, use illusions, charmmy own creatures, and maybe research somespecial magical defenses that nobody couldpossibly know about until it�s too late. Ofcourse, I�m going to hire a mage to do some ofmy own summoning and spell-casting, and athief to advise me in the area of his expertise. Infact, as long as we�re going to get nasty andstart a fantasy war, I imagine that your troopsare going to pay all kinds of hell standingaround on an open plain waiting for your spell-casters to sneak up on the gates. Cover can be awonderful thing!

Obviously the point here is not that there aredefenses. The points are that there are just asmany defenses as there are attacks, and that thedefender has a much greater advantage. Theattacker has absolutely no idea what defensivemaneuvers are being used, and he must find out

the hard way. Also, the defender pretty muchknows all the methods of attack, whereas theattacker is not so lucky. Special spells can beplaced on structures, much as a mage createsmagical items. The castle�s owner can spendyears doing whatever he likes, whether it beresearching special magical effects or just dig-ging more extensive dungeons. Inversely, any-thing an attacker uses for assault must beportable and is thus predictable. The defenderis also better off financially. His defenses can bepaid for over years and years, whereas theattacker must finance his operation on the spot.I imagine that one would have to pay a prettypenny for the casting of an earthquake, conjureelemental, or disintegrate spell.

As one can imagine, it might be a lot of funthinking up and designing castles, then makingone�s players attempt to assault them. One couldalso possibly find from all this that there couldbe an adventure or two to be had.

R. J. WenzelLancaster CA

What do AD&D game players enjoy out of agame? In my limited experience as a DM, I�vefound that most players soon grow tired of gold,magical items, and easy battles. The PCs mustcome in contact with danger. When the playersfeel that they have genuinely defeated the odds(and not by DM intervention), that is when theyreally start to enjoy themselves.

In my game, I disallow resurrection. If acharacter is raised every time he dies, thereremains no challenge in the game and mostplayers quickly lose interest. The limitation onthe number of times you can be raised rarelyenters the game (has anyone�s character everdied more times than the number of constitu-tion points the character had?)

To avoid these problems, an adventure mustbe difficult, challenging a character�s intelli-gence, strength, and luck. But the character�sluck is bound to run out sooner or later, and thePC�s player will become frustrated with thegame. In all my playing (both as a player and asDM), I have yet to see the balance struck.

Do other groups suffer from these problems?What are your views about resurrection? Howoften if ever do characters die �permanently� inyour game? Some feedback on these topicswould be appreciated.

Ahmed G. AminCairo, Egypt

I am writing in regard to Dan Humphries�letter in issue #152. As a DM of seven years, Ifind that players should be allowed to have evilPCs if they want. In fact, I am for abolishing thealignment system altogether because it limitscharacters too much, The players should justdescribe their characters� personalities. If theysay their PCs are brave, daring, and follow thelaw, then have their PCs kill other characters�don�t stop the game. You should kill those PCsby giving each monster fighting them 10 morehit points or something like that. Of course, acharacter who plays a paladin cannot say his PCis selfish and greedy.

One of my most successful adventures wasmeant to turn people away from being greedy�the main cause of cheap characters. The adven-ture ended with one of the PCs killing the otherover a pair of high-hard (instead of high-soft)boots. Both players had fun.

About people saying that the AD&D game isan evil thing to play and makes people evil: Ihaven�t heard much about this lately. If AD&Dgames make people Satanists, and if someonecan get hard facts to prove it, then good for

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them. I believe everyone is entitled to hisopinion.

While I am writing this, I would like to saysome things about the druid class and somechanges I propose. If you keep it the way it is,the name should be changed from �the Hiero-phant Druid� to �The Hypocrite Druid.� Onemajor change is that druids should not be al-lowed to wear armor. This is because all armorhas metal (which ruins druids� spells) or leather.Leather is made from cow hide. Druids wouldnot want to kill a cow just to get armor! Smallwooden shields should not be allowed, either.Instead, I believe that at the 3rd level, the cere-mony spell should be extended to include hal-lowed tree, which allows the druid (or anarmorer, if the druid does not have that non-weapon proficiency) to make a small woodenshield that will allow the druid�s shield to blockfive attacks instead of one (with a - 1 to armorclass as usual).

Larry LidzBala Cynwyd PA

I am writing in regard to Alex Martin�s letterin issue #152. I found the letter to be very nearto my own beliefs about the AD&D game. Inthis age of drugs and violence, parents arejustified in worrying about their kids� hobbiesand interests. I believe most parents wouldaccept D&D, as mine did, if only their childrenwere better at explaining the concept of role-playing games. Many times children will dropthe subject of D&D around their parents. Thisgives parents the impression that their childrenhave something to hide. No parent I have evermet disapproved of D&D after they fully under-stood what was involved in playing the game.

For this reason, I would strongly advocate aneffort on TSR�s part to publish a pamphlet onrole-playing games�a pamphlet not just forparents, but for anyone not familiar with role-playing. I believe this would go a long way ingiving the game a more positive image.

In Michael J. Natale�s letter he referred to aperson who told him that the D&D game was anevil game. He later remarked that this personobviously didn�t know beans about the game. Ithink for the most part that the people whofavor the outlawing of AD&D games don�t havea clear idea of what the game is all about.

One issue that is being discussed rather heav-ily is the effect evil characters have on the D&Dgame�s image. I agree that getting together withfriends only to talk about torture is a littletwisted, but the line must be drawn some-where. A positive image is important, but so isfree will. If people want to play evil characters,let them. Ignorant people will hate the game nomatter what. In the United States, at least, Idon�t think we have a lot to worry about. I don�tsee AD&D games getting banned anytime soon.If the issue ever did come up, gamers as a wholewould assuredly make plenty of noise. I havenever met a sheepish gamer. Even the playerswho play pacifist priests have a strong sense ofpersonal freedom. I won�t even mention theones that play paladins.

Wesley CrowellDecatur AL

Most campaigns that I have seen fall into theeclectic category, pulling in ideas from a num-ber of sources. With appropriate changes andthe mixing of ideas from various sources, this isperfectly reasonable. A source of ideas availableat SF conventions (at the coasts at least) haslargely been neglected, which is a pity since a

visual medium helps game play.This is the anime (or Japanimation or Japa-

nese animation) room, where a number of filmsand series are being subtitled in English by fangroups here in the States. Not all are translated,but there is usually a translator in the room toexplain the more difficult sequences. Here are afew anime movies that are likely to be shown atconventions, with notes on useful, game-relatedmaterial they contain:

Totoro of the Neighborhood: This one hasthree kinds of non-undead ghosts and a druidceremony.

Lupin III: Some of the nastiest traps, hiddenclues, and bizarre treasures that an adventurercould find are found in this one.

Urusei Yatsura: This one contains particularlynasty curses, bizarre supernatural creatures, afew magical items, and the sorts of problemsthat result when a genielike creature tries to behelpful (but whose competence is not all thatshe thinks it is). Plotlines can be found hereinfor R. Talsorian�s TEENAGERS FROM OUTERSPACE� game.

City Hunter: Though the plotlines are more inthe line of a TOP SECRET/S.I.� campaign, someare adaptable to AD&D game settings.

Supernatural Beast City: This movie is usuallyshown after midnight, as it is not family fare.Look for bizarre monsters and spells.

Dragonball: With four movies and two TVseries, this has quite a few usable plotlines. Themagic spheres in the title are a natural for along-term plotline in AD&D games, as are anumber of the spells, magical items, martial-artstechniques, and NPCs.

Saint Saeya: This one contains hundreds ofnew spells, magical items, and NPCs, with adviceon �How to Kill Waldorf.� The series involvessuch things as the Greek gods and the Ring ofthe Nibelung, things with which many AD&Dgame players are familiar.

Dagger of Kamui: A few subtitled versions areout now, because a �kidsvid� professional trans-lation altered the plotline beyond recognition.Look for hints on the campaign use of ninja andmagical weapons.

Yoma: This deals with the earth spider, ninja,magical weapons, and �spawn of the earthspider.� The plotline is suitable for AD&D Orien-tal Adventures campaigns as is.

Ranma ½: Some really creative curses thatcould force role-playing can be found. Since thisis a parody of martial-arts movies in series form,some bizarre martial-arts styles and weaponsresult.

Dragon Century 1 and 2: A new kind ofdragon is introduced with good supporting lore.Really nasty demonic-style monsters ar alsoincluded. Where can I get a miniature ofCarmine?

Miroku: This contains new spells orientedtoward the Oriental Adventures approach, areally nice magic sword, and an adventuresuitable for the new AD&D SPELLJAMMERTM setof rules.

Mellowlink, Dougram, Orguss, Macross,Mobile Suit Gundam, War In The Pocket, Dan-gaioh, Patlabor Heavy Metal L-Gaim, AuraBattler Dunbine, Dragon’s Heaven: All of thesemovies or series have giant robot designs usablewith FASA�s BATTLETECH® games; in fact, manyhave suspicious similarities to BATTLETECHgame �Mechs.

Demon Wind Kejiro: Would you believe magi-cal swords made of wood? New spells, mainlynature-oriented, are also featured.

Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, E. E. Doc Smith’sLensman: Both give some interesting ship and

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gadget designs, some of which could easily beplaced in GDW�s TRAVELLER® or TSR�s STARFRONTIERS® setting.

Dirty Pair: The troubleshooters could beplaced in any setting with appropriate changes,though the essence of both Kei and Yuri shouldremain unchanged.

Yotoden (trans. “Legend of Magic Sword”): Theentire series of three videos can be used as a setof adventures for AD&D Oriental Adventuresgames without changes, or with only minorchanges as a �mainline� AD&D game. The sagahas a number of magical weapons, gruesomemonsters, interesting NPCs, and spells. Some ofthe spells used in the videos correspond toexisting AD&D game spells, such as Ryoan�s useof a dispel evil spell in the first installment.

Gregg SharpBuckeye AZ

While watching David Copperfield (the magi-cian) a couple of weeks ago, I decided thatmagical tricks might come in handy in theAD&D game. Here is a nonweapon proficiencythat would go under the rogue class in theAD&D 2nd Edition game: sleight of hand (1 slot,dexterity check required, + 0 modifier). A thiefor other character could use this to do tricks toentertain, distract, etc. The type of tricks useddepend mainly on the DM and the time periodof the campaign. Like the juggling proficiency,no proficiency check is needed when doingtricks normally, but a check is needed whentrying a �spectacular� trick.

After doing some research, I came up withsome guidelines for using this skill, based ondifferent time periods in history. Early magi-cians had very few tricks, no matter where inthe world they were. The primary trick wascalled �cups and balls� (also called the �shellgame�). This trick used three cups (or nut shells)and some balls or rocks. During the trick, a ballwould appear to jump from cup to cup, thenmultiply to three balls. Other tricks includedcutting a string and restoring it whole, and theapparent thrusting of knives into the body.

Medieval magicians used these old tricks plusa couple of others. Because they traveled morethan the early magicians, medieval magicianshad to pack light and carry less equipment.Many of their tricks were done with itemsborrowed from the audience and with smallfowl (pigeons and doves). With the coming ofprinted playing cards, an infinite number of tricks could be done.

After this time period, magicians developedthe more elaborate stage tricks used today.

Bob KeefoverOmaha NE

In issue #151, Mr. Henits made some veryderogatory statements about the AD&D game. Ihave been playing this game since 1985, andbefore that I played D&D games for one year. Iwas 10 at the time, and even then I found itunchallenging and weak.

In the AD&D game, you can be a member ofsix races and nine character classes, and this iswithout materials in DRAGON Magazine, acampaign setting (e.g., the DRAGONLANCE®saga), and anything the DM can devise.

In the D&D game, you can be one of sevencharacter classes (if I�m not mistaken). No com-parison to the AD&D game.

And I am neither a �bedwetter� nor a �wee-nie,� as Mr. Henits so eloquently put it. Youknow what they say�Those who can, do; thosewho can�t, play the D&D game.

Dan SlivinskiSt. Thomas, Ontario

�Simple.� Whenever I read an article in �Fo-rum,� this is the word that I hear when readersdescribe the original DUNGEONS & DRAGONS®game. To begin with, I was reading issue #151and noticed that the comments before mine(specifically written by Joseph D�Amico) had alsobeen written in response to Ivy K. Reynolds�opinions on the D&D game in issue #144. I readhis letter with interest and I thought that it hadbeen clearly written with his points wellexplained�until the last paragraph, when I sawthe words �less-serious role-players,� �a simplergame,� and �easier victories,� all of which re-ferred to the D&D game. Some letter-writersimply that the AD&D game is not realistic.Given that the D&D and AD&D games arebased on dragons, magic, and high-level war-riors who can survive the onslaught of 50 orcs, Iam curious as to what these writers wouldconsider �realistic.�

As for the implication that D&D game playersare less serious, I believe that you would need aserious disposition to play characters up to 36thlevel. Then there�s the claim that the D&Dsystem has �easier victories.� To prove that thisis not true, let�s compare the magic-user class ineither system. I am sure that Joseph D�Amico isaware that the D&D system has fewer spellsthan the AD&D game (consequently forcingD&D game magic-users to be much more inno-vative than their AD&D game counterparts),does not offer magic-users the choice to special-ize in schools of magic (as per AD&D 2nd Edi-tion game mages), and only has one choice ofweapon for magic-users.

However, the words that bothered me themost were �a simplier game.� With due respectto the knowledge of these people, I must ques-tion their experience with the D&D game. Toquote from the D&D Immortals Set DM’s Guideto Immortals, page 13:

�By similar logic, the boundary of a trispacemay appear as a three-dimensional solid (if itcontains dimensions 2 through 4, or 3 through5) or as a two-dimensional flat surface (contain-ing dimensions 1, 2, and 3, the first being un-seen). A dispace may similarly appear two- orone-dimensional, and the boundary of a monos-pace (always one-dimensional) can only be seenif its dimension is one that can be observedfrom the Astral Plane.�

The preceding paragraph may seem confusing(maybe it is not to some). However, it is defin-itely not �simple,� as some writers believe theD&D game to be.

I did not write this to prove that either gameis superior in one way or the other. I am awarethat my last comments in issue #151 said thatthe D&D game�s weapon-mastery system issuperior to that of the AD&D game�s weaponspecialization, and I still believe that. Regardless,the AD&D system has many bonuses, includingextended character classes, clearer priestlydescriptions, etc. I think that both games repre-sent two generations (and styles) of role-playing.You could compare the AD&D game to a brand-new sports car, and the D&D game to an oldercar in mint condition. In either case, the systemsare both very good. In this letter, you will noticethat I do not discredit the AD&D system, butmerely refute the arguments of those peoplewho believe that the D&D system is not worthyto be played by veteran and novice gamersalike.

Robert MorrisonCalgary, Alberta

This is in response to Daniel J. Stephan�s andJeff Cliber�s criticism of my article �The Cor-rected Cavalier,� in their �Forum� letters (issue

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#152). I�d like to explain some of the reasonsbehind my suggestions.

Dropping the 0-level cavaliers: It�s true thatsquires are not turned into knights overnight.But this is true of all PCs. All are assumed tohave gone through �basic training.� The cavaliershould not be treated differently, since it onlycreates a very weak fighter.

Dropping the +3 hp bonus and ability to stayconscious at negative hit points: I�m still notconvinced that the cavalier should have anyability to take more damage than any otherfighter. Both Daniel and Jeff argue that thecavalier is the most physically fit person in theworld. I disagree. In terms of physical fitnessand clinging to life, the barbarian should beabove all fantasy classes. The rigorous life of amedieval knight was nothing compared to theharsh life of a Mongol, and the Mongols provedit by slaughtering the Teutonic knights atLiegnitz. Viking berserkers and Apache war-riors outdid the knight in stoically facing pain.The cavalier�s combat skills should be slightlydifferent from, but not superior to, the otherfighter classes.

Dropping the protection from fear radius:Daniel argues that the cavalier�s fearlessness inbattle will inspire his comrades, rendering themimmune to fear. If this is true, why is this powerlimited to those of only good alignment andwithin 10� instead of all within sight of thecavalier? And why is this power limited tocavaliers? The other fighters can be fearless andreckless, too, but they don�t inspire others. Inany case, this dubious morale trick would haveno bearing in cases of magical fear, whichattacks all characters directly. As noted in myarticle, I have no objection to the cavalier him-self being immune to fear. It is an ability oflimited usefulness, like the paladin�s immunity todisease. Thus Jeff�s example of a cavalier fleeingfrom a mummy would not happen, even if usingmy revised cavalier.

Dropping the 90% resistance to mind attacksand the +2 save vs. illusions: Both Daniel andJeff argue strongly to keep these abilities in theclass. I�m not convinced by their arguments,since those arguments are based solely oncombat training. This isn�t enough to grantthese kind of powers. A barbarian would knowmore about how things react when hit with aweapon since he is likely a skilled hunter, but hegains no bonuses for it. I�ve had experience inrunning cavaliers, both as a player and as a DM,since the class first appeared in DRAGON Maga-zine and after the Unearthed Arcana revision. Ifound that these bonuses unbalance the cavaliermore than any other single ability.

Class type: It is ridiculous to call the cavalieranything but a fighter. They both use the samecombat tables, saving throws, hit dice, strengthbonuses, constitution bonuses, and magicalitems. Their skills are all combat related. Cava-liers are closer to the original fighter than theranger or paladin, who have several noncombatskills. Jeff objects to the word �subclass,� imply-ing it means �lesser.� Okay, call them �fightervariants� or something similar. Why dither oversemantics?

Starting money: I recommend this change,since one lucky roll would give a 1st-level cava-lier full plate armor, a heavy war horse, andweapons, with a minimum of 130 gp. It is ridicu-lous for a starting character to have so much,not to mention unbalancing.

Proficiencies: I recommend that the Wilder-ness Survival Guide’s land-based riding profi-ciency replace the Unearthed Arcana‘s cavalierskills, since it is more detailed. The changes tothe weapons rules were to make sure that the

cavalier takes knightly weapons (lance, sword,horseman�s weapon) and to simplify themounted bonus. Actually, on thinking furtheron the subject, I�d now recommend removingthe weapons of choice bonuses completely. Thiswould allow the fighter, who can specialize, tostay equal in power to the cavalier, who wouldbe limited to nonspecialized attacks.

Armor: Daniel argues that the cavalier mustabsolutely always wear the heaviest armoravailable, out of pride. Okay, send that man inplate armor to the desert. Following the WSGrules, after one or two fights, the cavalier willbe down with heat stroke. Better yet, send himto a humid jungle, where his gear will rustaway. If the cavalier isn�t allowed a little flexibil-ity, the DM cannot run adventures for cavaliersin warm areas.

Service: I don�t agree that all PC cavaliersmust be in service to a liege. This limits the PC�sbackground and freedom of action, and thuslimits role-playing. If the player and DM agree,the PC can be a knight of the realm, but heshould have the option of being a free-willedadventurer, a knight errant free to do heroicacts or dastardly deeds, as alignment dictates.

Recklessness and retreating: Being highbornand militaristic, cavaliers are often the leadersof armies. As such, they must not be required tocharge headlong at every enemy. They alsomust be allowed to retreat if necessary to savetheir troops from being slaughtered. There aremany historical examples to justify this. Whenadventuring on their own, however, cavalierscan be required to be more reckless.

Race: I concede that drow could be cavaliers,if raised aboveground. A drow would still haveproblems with sunlight and prejudice.

Followers: This change was done to preventthe cavalier from being saddled with followersat low level. Without a castle, the cavalier hasno place to house his troops and has no realneed of them. The table was drawn up to sim-plify the process.

Increasing ability scores: I recommend drop-ping this ability because it isn�t justified. Anyother fighter could claim to be training contin-ually to raise his scores. For all other classes,raising ability scores comes rarely and nevercheaply; allowing the cavalier to do so destroysthis whole concept.

Paladins: As was done in the AD&D 2ndEdition game, the cavalier�s powers should bekept separate from the paladin�s. Requiring thepaladin to be a cavalier limits the paladin�sbackground; he cannot rise from the poor,downtrodden peasants as a champion. Also, thecombination of powers is too strong for one PC.

Most of all, my revision of the cavalier wasdone to keep the class�s power equal to theothers; players resent it when one of them has asuperpowerful dominant PC. The ideal party ismade up of PCs with strengths and weaknesses,so each is dependent on the others. The cavalierhas too many strengths and damn few weak-nesses. It has been argued that my revisionmakes the class �less fun.� Looking at thosearguments, I find many of them thin andstretching logic to justify the cavalier�s inflatedpower. �Less fun� here really seems to mean�less powerful.� Sure, it�s great fun for theplayer whose 1st-level cavalier has full platearmor, 17 hp, a heavy war horse, 180 gp, immu-nity to fear, and near-immunity to mind attacksand illusions. It�s not much fun for the otherplayers whose PCs are trudging along behindthe cavalier, with poor armor and a handful ofgold, wishing they had more to do.

David HoweryDillon MT

DRAGON 77

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

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MARVEL SUPER HEROES is a trademark of the MarvelEntertainment Group, Inc. All Marvel characters, names, andthe distinctive likenesses thereof are trademarks of theMarvel Entertainment Group, Inc.©1990 Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

78 MARCH 1990

Page 81: Dragon Magazine #155

STAR WARS®: The Roleplaying Game continues!©1990 by Jim Bambra

In DRAGON® issue #131, I enthusiasti-cally reviewed STAR WARS®: the Roleplay-ing Game, from West End Games. STARWARS: The RPG (herein simply called theRPG) provides fast-paced heroic adventurein the spirit of the Star Wars movies with-out becoming bogged down in time-consuming and complicated mechanics.The RPG, to its credit, won a 1987ORIGINS� Award for best role-playingrules and the 1987 Gamers� Choice Awardfor best role-playing game. And true to theStar Wars tradition, it has been far from

quiet on the RPG front. Since those headydays of 1987, the RPG has received exten-sive support from West End Games.

A wide range of miniatures is available,covering the major characters from themovies, player-character types, and hordesof Stormtroopers and other Imperial lack-eys. Also available are three high-qualityboard games: the STAR WARRIORS gameof ship-to-ship combat (see DRAGON issue#136); the ASSAULT ON HOTH game,which recreates the epic battle featured inThe Empire Strikes Back (see DRAGON

issue #151); and the BATTLE FOR ENDORgame, a solo game dealing with the attackon the Imperial bunker on the forestmoon of Endor. All three games boastneat, fast-playing mechanics combinedwith excellent graphics and components.

Slightly different, in that they use illus-trated books to represent the action, arethe LIGHTSABER DUELLING PACK game(see DRAGON issue #151) and the STAR-FIGHTER BATTLE BOOK game. In thesegames, each of two players flicks throughan illustrated book that depicts the action

DRAGON 79

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as though the player was actually there.The LIGHTSABER DUELLING PACK gamepits Luke Skywalker against Darth Vader;the STARFIGHTER BATTLE BOOK gamehas a Rebel X-wing Starfighter against anImperial TIE Interceptor. These two gamesplay well and have the added advantagethat their compact format allows them tobe played almost anywhere.

But the RPG has also been treated tomore mainstream support, and a widerange of adventures and supplements isavailable. These add to the core rules andprovide detailed background and adven-ture situations that greatly increases theRPG�s prestige.

STAR WARS® Sourcebook144-page hardbound book; $18Design: Bill Slavicsek and Curtis SmithDevelopment and editing: Jeffery L. Briggs

and Paul MurphyAdditional development: Peter Corless,

Greg Costikyan, and Doug Kaufman

This, the first supplement for the RPG,provides information and game statisticson the major characters from the movies,information on all kinds of hardware fromlightsabers to combat starships, back-ground on droids and aliens, and descrip-tions of Imperial and Rebel outposts. Theextensive background material is pre-sented in a highly readable and entertain-ing format. Short vignettes portray people

80 MARCH 1990

and creatures in action, and provide color-ful insights into the STAR WARS universe.This sourcebook is an invaluable referenceguide for every GM of the RPG, whoshould not be without it.

Rules UpgradeDesign: Greg Gordon and Bill Slavicsek

The four-page Rules Upgrade is notavailable as a separate product; instead, itappears as an insert in all but the mostrecent STAR WARS adventures. It set outto redress and redefine some of the game�srules in order to make them more playableand to deal with problems encountered byvarious groups of players. In places, theoriginal game was perceived as being toogenerous in its handling of heroic actions.Player characters could take on hordes ofStormtroopers and cheerfully blast themwithout too much fear of being hit inreturn. To top it off, Stormtroopers�blaster skills were rated too low, makingObi Wan Kenobi�s comment that �OnlyImperial Stormtroopers are this accurate�sound very misplaced. No doubt the es-cape from the Death Star sequence in thefirst Star Wars movie had a lot to do withthis, but it is worth bearing in mind thatSkywalker, Solo, and company were meantto escape aboard the bugged MillenniumFalcon so that they would lead Imperialforces to the Rebels� secret base.

The Rules Upgrade addresses these

areas and similar aspects of space combatby more rigidly defining the combat se-quences and by making the resolution oftasks more flexible. New options are alsoadded that allow characters to combinetheir skills to increase their individualeffectiveness. In terms of combat, charac-ters become easier to hit, and Storm-trooper fire becomes far more effective. Asquad of Stormtroopers working in unisoncan now be reasonably expected to hitRebel characters.

All in all, the Rules Upgrade was a suc-cess, putting more zap into the RPG andgoing some way to solve the problem ofStormtrooper accuracy.

STAR WARS® Rules Companion80-page perfect-bound book; $15Design: Greg GordonDevelopment: Michael Stern and Bill

SlavicsekEditing: Bill Slavicsek

The Rules Upgrade has now been super-seded by the STAR WARS Rules Compan-ion. This book builds on many of theprevious rules alterations and covers areasof the game that were only hinted at previ-ously. Unfortunately, the designer anddevelopers expect players and GMs tohave a working knowledge of the RulesUpgrade, which gives this product anincomplete feel. For example, the Hasteaction is defined only in the Rules Up-

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grade. I also found some of the new rulesdifficult to grasp�not because they don�twork, but because they are not explainedcompletely. If more effort had been takento provide clear examples of the rules inaction, it would have improved thisproduct tremendously.

Enough of the nit-picking. Here�s whatthe Rules Companion contains: new move-ment and combat rules, rules for convert-ing starships between the RPG and theSTAR WARRIORS board game, new droidconstruction rules, a capital ship combatsystem, new and revised Force rules, andan adventure outline.

Overall, the new rules add to the gameby expanding the options available to PCsand GMs. The new Force rules improveupon the original ones and make the DarkSide more powerful and attractive. Com-bat between AT-AT walkers and snow-speeders is now more easily managed. Theadventure is interesting but needs to befleshed out for play.

The Rules Companion redefines the RPG,but there are areas where more carecould have been taken to make this redefi-nition into a painless operation. On thewhole it succeeds; just be prepared towork out what some of it means. Never-theless, no player or GM should overlookthis product as it turns the RPG into amuch more rounded and flexible system.

STAR WARS Campaign Pack32-page booklet, four-panel color GM�s

screen, and large floor plan of theRebel ship Long Shot; $12

Design; Paul MurphyDevelopment: Bill SlavicsekEditing: Jonatha Ariadne Caspian

The Campaign Pack addresses itself tothe best way of setting up a STAR WARScampaign. It points out the benefits to begained from long-term campaign play andprovides GMs with solid and useful advice.It then goes on to provide a campaignsetting featuring a group of Rebel agentsoperating behind Imperial lines. Theirmission is to disrupt Imperial shipping,garrisons, and space stations; they mustalso rob Imperial stores and cause asmuch mayhem as possible to the Imperialwar effort. In addition, the charactershope to divert Imperial forces from thefront lines of the war against the RebelAlliance by becoming an embarrassingthorn in the Empire�s side. The campaign�sbasis is sound, and the major NPCs arenicely detailed. Five adventure outlines areprovided to get GMs started, and one ofthe outlines is later developed as a ready-to-play adventure (and as an example tonovice GMS). The Campaign Pack contains

colorful staging tips and enoughStormtroopers to keep even the mostgung-ho Rebels happy.

The GM�s screen is a useful device. Itassemblies summaries of the game rules(usable with the Rules Update and theRules Companion), character templates,

spacecraft performance data, and otheroften-needed information in one handyplace. As an added bonus, it lets GMsfudge and manipulate rules away from theeyes of prying players.

With its useful tips on campaign designand background, plus its adventure out-lines and GM screen, the Campaign Packfills a worthwhile and valuable niche inthe STAR WARS range.

STAR WARS® adventuresAll adventures for the RPG follow a

similar format. Designed to capture thespirit of the movies, they move along at acracking pace, with characters beingcaught up in and swept along by events.They all start off with a scripted piece ofdialog for each player that effectivelydumps the characters into the middle ofan action sequence, thereby giving playersplenty of motivation to sit up and payattention to the GM. From then on, plotdevices keep the action moving, withoccasional recourse to credulity-strainingcoincidences and overt GM manipulation.

Firefights, space battles, and other fea-tures of the movies abound, making forrapid action and intense character involve-ment. Fast and furious plot developments,with lots of scope for heroic actions, arethe order of the day. Players used to morethoughtful and investigative styles of role-playing may find STAR WARS adventurestoo restraining, but to anyone willing toenter into the spirit of the movies, themajority of adventures offer fine gamingopportunities and most do involve someinteractive role-playing.

In addition, these 40-page adventuresscore high in the graphics department.They are well laid out, with clear pull-outmaps and large, full-color inserts depictinga variety of locations, from Star De-stroyers to the infamous Mos Eisley can-tina. Each of the adventures that follows is$10, except for the Galaxy Guides, whichare $13 each.

Tatooine ManhuntDesign: Bill Slavicsek and Daniel

G r e e n b e r g

Tatooine Manhunt is, to my mind, thebest of the STAR WARS adventures. Itblends locations from the movies withinteresting NPCs and a well-developedplot. The PCs travel to Tatooine to findAdar Tallon, a hero of the Old Republic.But time is against them as scores of

bounty hunters have converged on theplanet searching for Adar Tallon, the Impe-rial traitor. The color insert is used to goodeffect to show an aerial view of the centralpart of Mos Eisley on one side and the MosEisley Cantina on the other. The Mos Eis-ley section gives characters the opportu-nity to engage in detective work andinteractive role-playing as they search forAdar Tallon. The Tatooine desert sectionsare nicely done; with star appearances bythe sand people and banthas.

DRAGON 81

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Gilbert

the base, tension runs high. Space combat

Like Tatooine Manhunt, Strikeforce:Shantipole has an excellent Star Wars feelto it. This time around, the vastness ofspace and an asteroid field are given thestar treatment. Commander Ackbar (laterto become Admiral Ackbar in Return ofthe Jedi) is in charge of a secret Rebelspace station. The PCs� task is to journeyto the asteroid field and deliver a messageto Commander Ackbar. In true Star Warstradition, Imperial forces have entered thesystem, and a desperate battle to evacuatethe base and remove information vital tothe Rebel cause commences. As ImperialStormtroopers attack and begin to secure

Strikeforce: ShantipoleDesign: Ken Rolston and Steve

Tatooine Manhunt does an excellent jobof capturing the flavor of the Star Warsmovies. It uses many of the scenes fromStar Wars IV : A New Hope to great effect,and the overall staging and presentationelements of the adventure are first class. Ifyou only buy one STAR WARS adventure,make sure that it�s Tatooine Manhunt.

and fights with Stormtroopers abound inthis adventure. The action moves swiftly,and the NPC interaction works well.Strikeforce: Shantipole is another fineSTAR WARS product.

StarfallDesign: Rob Jenkins and Michael Stern

Fighting hordes of Stormtroopers andrunning a gantlet of Imperial vessels maybe a day-to-day reality for many membersof the Rebel Alliance. But sooner or latersomething is going to go drastically wrong,and the heroes may well be captured andflung into the detention center of a StarDestroyer. Well, what are they going to donow? And what are you (the GM) going todo�ask the players to create new charac-ters? Will you improvise settings andevents as you play through their escape?Armed with Starfall, you can relax be-cause all of the hard work has been donefor you.

In Starfall, Rebel prisoners must escapefrom a Star Destroyer while ensuring thesafety of the Rebel Alliance�s brilliant navalarchitect, Walex Blissel. Additional compli-

82 MARCH 1990

Battle for the Golden SunDesign: Doug Kaufman

cations turn the adventure into a raceagainst time, and this makes a routineescape into something much more involv-ing and dynamic.

The insert depicts a cutaway view of themain areas of the Star Destroyer, and thecopious background information providedin the text makes it easy for the GM to runthis adventure even when the Rebels headoff in totally unexpected directions. Muchof this information is reusable, furtheradding to the usefulness of this adventure.

Starfall can be run as scripted or used aspart of another adventure; as such, it�s avery useful product. Like the two previousadventures, it does an excellent job ofturning scenes from the movies into agood slice of adventure gaming.

Battle for the Golden Sun was voted thebest role-playing adventure in the 1988ORIGINS Awards. As such, I approachedthis adventure with high expectations,having been very impressed with previouswinners of this award. Unfortunately,Battle for the Golden Sun didn�t quite liveup to my expectations. While there isnothing inherently wrong with this adven-ture, it didn�t grab me as much as theadventures previously reviewed.

Battle for the Golden Sun contains somenice elements. It�s set on a water worldthreatened by Imperial forces, and it usesa variation on the Force and Force powersto good effect. In fact, it contains the bestuse of the Force in any STAR WARS adven-ture, making the Force an integral part ofthe story instead of just a means for PCs toemploy magical powers. The scripting ispretty tight, reducing the options of thePCs, but it moves along nicely and con-tains some well-staged combat sequences.The underwater elements and the fea-tured alien race are handled less success-fully. I would have liked to have seen moreinformation on how to successfully stageunderwater settings, as well as a moreinvolved look at the alien race.

Overall, Battle for the Golden Sun movesat a rapid pace but at the cost of a morefully realized setting. While by no means abad adventure, it is not quite up to thestandard set by the three previously men-tioned adventures.

OtherspaceDesign: Bill Slavicsek

Otherspace takes the Rebels into astrange dimension lying between Real-space and Hyperspace. Here lies an alter-nate reality inhabited by creatures frombeyond time and space. Drawn into thisstrange dimension, our heroes have todeal with the bizarre events awaiting thembefore they can return to Realspace. Aswell as dealing with the immediate prob-lem of survival in a bizarre reality, theheroes of the Rebellion have to piece to-

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gether various pieces of data in order tofigure out exactly what is going on. Thereare also a number of intriguing locationsto be explored and dealt with. The adven-ture moves fairly quickly with sufficientevents to keep players interested. Setoutside of the mainstream Star Wars uni-verse, Otherspace makes for an interestingchange from previous adventures.

Scavenger HuntDesign: Brad Freeman

Scavenger Hunt involves some tongue-in-cheek role-playing with a journey to anisolated system inhabited by galactic junkcollectors. While the light-hearted aspectsof the adventure work well, the plotcreaks in places as it struggles to tie all thepieces together. Scavenger Hunt containsplenty of interaction with weird alienraces. Danger and the ever-present threatof failure and its consequences to theRebel Alliance keep the PCs on their toesand ensure that they must use their role-playing skills to survive. Characters whorely solely on their blaster skills are goingto fail dismally.

Scavenger Hunt is an interesting andhumorous adventure, but it�s hard to resistthe impression that fresh ideas for theRPG are beginning to dry up. [For another

view on this module, see DRAGON issue#154, page 63.]

Riders of the MaelstromDesign: Ray Winninger

Riders of the Maelstrom involves a re-turn to more standard Star Wars settings.It features intrigue and adventure aboardthe Kuari Princess, a luxury liner that pliesthe starlanes. Space pirates and a threat tothe survival of a secret Rebel base add atouch of high drama and keep eventszipping along. The opening sections ofRiders of the Maelstrom are very tightlyplotted, with the PCs being driven inevita-bly towards the ensuing scenes. The latersections are more open-ended and provideplayers with a number of choices beforeconverging for the ending. Riders of theMaelstrom offers plenty of opportunitiesfor sneaking around and performing he-roic actions, and it is certainly worth alook by all Star Wars fans.Galaxy Guides 1-3Design: Grant Boucher, Jonatha Caspian,

Christopher Kubasik, Bill Slavicsek, C. J.Tremontana, and Michael Stern.

These three 80-page volumes provideinformation on the characters and loca-tions featured in the movies Star Wars: A

New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.Galaxy Guide 1 deals with the first movie.The second one shows the worlds of Yavin(the scene of the climatic battle betweenthe Death Star and the Rebel Alliance) andBespin (the location of Cloud City, featuredin The Empire Strikes Back), and the thirdcomprehensively covers the charactersfrom the second movie.

The Galaxy Guides are well written anddo a thorough job of detailing the majorand minor characters. The text is neatlybroken down into both colorful vignettesand factual, game-orientated information,making it easy to absorb and fun to read.Many of the characters featured hereinhave been killed in the movies, therebyreducing their usefulness as straight role-playing aids; as a means of elaborating andexpanding the background of the StarWars universe, however, they are veryhelpful. GMs running the Tatooine Man-hunt adventure will find plenty of usefulinformation pertaining to Tatooine and itsinhabitants in Guide 1. And the locationsand characters from the other two guidescan also be used as the basis for variousadventures. With their eye to detail andentertaining writing styles, the GalaxyGuides provide an excellent source ofreference and background material forthe Star Wars universe.

DRAGON 83

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CONVENTIONCALENDAR

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-

6. Address 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, pleasecontact us immediately. Most questions orchanges should be directed to the maga-zine editors at TSR, Inc., (414) 248-3625(U.S.A.). Questions or changes concerningEuropean conventions should be directedto TSR Limited, (0223) 212517 (U.K.).

quirements; and,

indicates an Australian conventionindicates a Canadian conventionindicates a European convention.

* 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

CALCON V, March 9-11Calgary, Alberta�s largest gaming convention

will be held at the Sandman Inn. Tournamentsinclude AD&D®, BATTLETECH*, GANGSTERHEAD-TO-HEAD*, TUNNELS AND TROLLS*,PARANOIA*, TOON*, DIPLOMACY*, STARFLEET BATTLES*, CAR WARS*, SYSTEM 7*,and SPACE: 1889* games. Special events includean auction, videos, a miniatures contest, artists,computer gaming, and playtesting. Registrationfor the weekend is $12 at the door. Games costsvary from $2 to $6. Write to: CALCON V, Box22206, Gulf Canada Square RPO, 401 NinthAvenue SW, Calgary, Alberta, CANADA T2P-4J6;or call Paul Spenard at: (403) 276-9926.

GAMEFEST �90, March 9-11The Gamemasters Guild of Waukegan, Ill., is

hosting this event. RPGA� sanctioned events arescheduled, as well as D&D®, STARFLEET BAT-TLES*, and BATTLETECH* games. Other eventsinclude historical and fantasy miniatures andboard games. Call: (312) 336-0790.

OWLCON XI, March 9-11Rice University�s WARP and RSFAFA will hold

this convention at Rice University. Tournamentswill be held for RUNEQUEST*, PARANOIA*,CALL OF CTHULHU*, TRAVELLER*, DIPLO-MACY*, ILLUMINATI*, CIVILIZATION*,BATTLETECH*, STAR FLEET BATTLES*, ASL*,WORLD IN FLAMES*, and AD&D® games. Opengaming and other tournaments are also availa-ble. Prizes will be awarded for some tourna-ments. Registration will be held in Sewall Hall.Preregistration fees are $10 for a three-daypass. Registration at the door will be $12 for athree-day pass; $4 for Friday or Sunday, and $5for Saturday. Write to: RSFAFA, OWLCON Pre-Registration, P.O. Box 1892, Houston TX 77251.

DARK ICE: MINICON �90, March 9-12The University of Alaska�Anchorage Gaming

Society will be holding its seventh semiannualconvention in the Lucy Cuddy Center on theUAA campus. Events include many RPGs andboard games, including an AD&D® 2nd Editiontournament, with GAMMA WORLD®, CARWARS*, BATTLETECH*, WARHAMMER 40,000*,WARHAMMER FANTASY BATTLE*, TALISMAN*,DIPLOMACY*, and RISK* games. Other activi-ties include a science-fiction and fantasy contest,a miniatures painting contest, two other con-tests, and open gaming. Registration: $10 forthree days; $12 for three days or $5 for one dayat the door. Write to: DARK ICE: MINICON �90,P.O. Box 92897, Anchorage AK 99509-2897; orcall: (907) 248-0414.

SCRYCON �90, March 10Sponsored by the Seekers of the Crystal

Monolith Gaming Club, this eighth annual one-

day tournament will be held at OakwoodSchool, 515 South Road, Poughkeepsie NY.There will be AD&D® and other games, a minia-tures contest, and a flea market. Preregistrationis $6, or $8 at the door. Write to: SCRYCON �90,PO. Box 896, Pleasant Valley NY 12569. Space islimited, so please preregister!

NEW ENGLAND REGIONAL BATTLETECH*CHAMPIONSHIPS, March 10-11

This convention (previously listed as theNORTH AMERICAN BATTLETECH* CHAMPION-SHIPS) is a two-day event devoted solely toBATTLETECH* gaming. It will be held at theGamemaster, 212 Massachusetts Avenue,Arlington MA 02174. Prizes donated by FASACorporation will be given to the top four Mech-Warriors, Open gaming will be available Fridaynight, March 9, for early arrivals. Call the Game-master at: (617) 641-1580.

CONTEST VII, March 16-18Sponsored by the Tactical Simulation Society,

CONTEST VII will be held at the Holiday InnHolidome, 8181 E. Skelley Drive, Tulsa OK.Events will include 3-D D&D® games, a nonsanc-tioned IFGS Bar Game*, AD&D® 1st and 2ndEdition tournaments, and CHAMPIONS*, CALLOF CTHULHU*, SPACE: 1889*, SKY GALLEONSOF MARS*, STAR FLEET BATTLES*, RISK*,RUNEQUEST*, Napoleonics, WARHAMMER40,000*, WARHAMMER FANTASY*, CYBER-PUNK*, and TEENAGERS FROM OUTER SPACE*games, with a dealers� room, a computer room,a miniatures contest, a games auction, and opengaming. Registration is $8 until March 1, or $10at the door. Send a SASE to: TSS/CONTEST VII,P.O. Box 4726, Tulsa OK 74159.

THE FIFTH BRITISH PBM CONMarch 17

This showcase for the postal game hobby hasmoved to a much larger venue, the Old Horticul-tural Hall in Vincent Square, London SW1. Theexpanded event list includes trade stands anddemonstrations, competition and participationRPGs, war games, computer games, modem andboard games, and live-action role-playing. Theguest of honor will be Joe Dever. Registration:advance tickets are £2 from the the British PBMAssoc., £3 at the door. Write to: British PBMAssoc., 55 Eden Rd., London, UNITED KING-DOM E17 9JX; or call: 01-521-5814.

METROMEET IV, March 17This role-playing and war-gaming meet will be

held in the Student Union I Building, on thecampus of George Mason University in Fairfax,Va. Sponsored by the GMU Gamesmasters,events include AD&D® and BATTLETECH*tournaments, CHAMPIONS* games, and opengaming. Other activities include a dealers� roomand a Japanimation room. Registration: $5 at thedoor. Write to: Gamesmasters, Student Organi-zations, George Mason University, 4400 Univer-sity Dr., Fairfax VA 22030-4444.

GUILD FEST �90, March 17-18This convention will be held at the State Uni-

versity of New York at Binghamton. Events in-clude CYBERPUNK*, SPELLJAMMER�, CARWARS* or GURPS AUTODUEL*, PARANOIA*,and AD&D® games. A video room is also likely.Game masters are welcome! Registration: $3/dayor $5 for both days in advance; $4/day or $7 forboth at the door. Write to: Gamers� Guild, Box2000, c/o SUNY-Binghamton, Binghamton NY13901.

84 MARCH 1990

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NEOVENTION NINE, March 23-25This convention will be held at the University

of Akron Student Center in Akron, Ohio. Eventsinclude a wide selection of of games and tourna-ments, a two-day auction, a dealers� room, and apainting contest. Write to: NEOVENTION NINE,P.O. Box 1634, Akron OH 44309.

ONEONTACON �9O, March 23-25The Gamers� Guild of the State University

College at Oneonta, N.Y., with funding from theStudent Association, will host its first conven-tion at the Hunt Student Union of the OneontaState campus. Events will include SHADOW-RUN*, MEGATRAVELLER*, CHAMPIONS*,AD&D®, STAR TREK*, and other RPGs, wargames, and miniatures games. Other activitiesinclude a dealers� area, a figure painting contest,and open gaming. Write to: Gamers� Guild, c/oStudent Assoc., State University College,Oneonta NY 13820.

SEMICONSCIOUS, March 23-25This convention will be held at the Day�s Inn-

Fall River in Fall River, Mass. Events include acharity carnival, a masquerade band bash, adealers� room, an art show, an open gamingroom, a video room, a trivia bowl, and more.Registration: $15 before March 15, $25 at thedoor. Write to: SEMICONSCIOUS, PO. Box 528,Dighton MA 02715; or call: (508) 669-6832 or(301) 346-7229.

CONQUEST II, March 24The Sacramento Area Gaming Association

announces this fantasy/SF/historical conventionwill be held in the Events Hall of the SerbianOrthodox Church in Fair Oaks, Calif. Eventsinclude AD&D®, BATTLETECH*, STAR FLEETBATTLES*, WRG*, and STAR TREK* games,with demonstration games, open gaming, aminiatures-painting contest, and a dealers�room. Registration: $7 for preregistered non-members plus $2/tournament, $8 for nonmem-bers at the door. Write to: SAGA/CONQUEST II,P.O. Box 276144, Sacramento CA 95826.

UNIVERSICON IV, March 24Brandeis University�s fourth annual charity

convention, sponsored by the Brandeis SF andComic Book Club, has been moved to the newlyconstructed Hassenfield Conference Center onthe Brandeis campus in Waltham, Mass. Guestsinclude George Takei, Mike Gold, and others.Events include tables for AD&D®, DC HEROES*,PARANOIA*, CAR WARS*, and TOON* games.Other activities include a movie room, a cos-tume contest, a dealers� room and auction,panels, and the charity auction, with newgames, original art, and more. This year�s pro-ceeds will be donated to Greenpeace. Registra-tion: $6 at the door. Write to: Jeff Zitomer, MB1430, P.O. Box 9110, Waltham MA 02254-9110;or call: (617) 736-7192.

ABBYTHON 8, March 24-25The Community Center in Abbyville, Kans.,

once again becomes the Guild Hall for theAbbython Adventure Guilds eighth annual 24-hour RPG marathon. New members are wel-come, and the best players will be-awardedprizes for their efforts. Admission is $7. Writeto: ABBYTHON, Box 96, Abbyville KS 67510.

EGYPTIAN CAMPAIGN �90, March 24-25This convention will be held at the Student

Center of Southern Illinois University at Carbon-dale. A wide variety of events are offered,

including an RPGA� AD&D® tournament,miniatures judging, and a games auction. Prere-gistration is $8 for both days; one- and two-daypasses are $5 and $10 at the door. Send a SASEto: S.I.U. Strategic Games Society, Office ofStudent Development, Southern Illinois Univer-sity, Carbondale IL 62901-4425; or call: John P.Hults at (618) 457-8846.

GRYPHCON �9O, March 24-25The University of Guelph Games Club will

host this convention at the University Center, Uof G, Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Events includeAD&D® team tournament and individual compe-tition, single round events, and numerous RPGs,board games, and chess. Other activities includean amateur art show, a miniatures competition,movies, and a game auction. Registration: $7/dayor $12 for the weekend by March 1; $lO/day or$18 for the weekend at the door. (All fees are inCanadian funds.) Write to: GRYPHCON �90, Box63-0631, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario,CANADA N1G 2W1; or call the Games Club at:(519) 824-4120.

KETTERING GAME CONVENTIONMarch 24-25

This convention will be held at the Rose E.Miller Recreation Center in Kettering, Ohio.Events include extensive board gaming, FRPGs,miniatures, a dealers� area, and a game auction.Admission is 50 cents/day for those 12 andunder, $2/day for those 13 and over, or $3 forboth days. Write to: Bob Von Gruenigen, 2013Gay Drive, Kettering OH 45420.

NOVA XV, March 24-25This science-fiction and gaming convention

will be held at the Oakland Center Building ofOakland University, Rochester, Mich. Guestsinclude Lawrence Watt-Evans, Dave Ivy, andTom Dow. Events include D&D®, CHAMPIONS*,GURPS*, STALKING THE NIGHT FANTASTIC*,BATTLETECH*, SHADOWRUN*, CYBERPUNK*,and CAR WARS* games. Other features includea vast hucksters� room, Japanimation, an artshow, a masquerade ball, SCA demonstrations,and numerous panels. Registration at the doorfor a weekend pass is $4.50, and a one-dayticket is $2.50. Write to: NOVA XV c/o RichardTucholka, 235 W. Fairmont, Pontiac MI 48055.

COASTCON XIII, March 30-April1This convention will be held at the Mississippi

Gulf Coast Coliseum and Convention Center inBiloxi, Miss. Guests include Joe W. Lansdale,Sandy Peterson, Robert Petitt, Walter Irwin, George Alec Effinger; Gregory Nicholl, andSidney Williams.-Events include gaming, adance, an art show, an auction, filksinging, adealers� room, movies, a costume contest, a live-action RPG, and a charity auction. Registrationis $20 at the door. Write to: COASTCON XIII,P.O. Box 1423, Biloxi MS 39533.

I-CON IX, March 30-April1The East Coast�s largest convention of sci-fi,

fantasy, and science fact will be held on thecampus of the State University of New York atStony Brook on Long Island. Scheduled guestsare Steve Jackson, Alan Dean Foster, RobertBloch, C. J. Cherryh, David Kyle, Timothy Zahn,Patricia McKillip, Sam Moskowitz and manymore. Events include an art show, print shop,dealers� room, two movie tracks, a writers�workshop, gaming, Japanimation, comics, mediaguests, science and tech speakers, artists, au-thors and editors, two video rooms, film pre-views, and slide shows! Registration: $18 until

March 15, or $20 at the door. One-day passesare available at the door. Send a SASE to: I-CONIX, PO. Box 550, New York NY 11790.

PENTECON �9O, March 30-April 1The Cornell Strategic Simulations Society is

sponsoring the 2nd annual PENTECON to beheld at the Cornell campus in Ithaca, N.Y. Eventsinclude TITAN*, DIPLOMACY*, CAR WARS*,and AD&D® games, as well as many other RPGsand war games; a dealers� room, open gaming,and bridge are also offered. Preregistration is$8. Write to: Cornell Strategic SimulationsSociety, c/o Peace Studies Program, 180 UrisHall, Cornell University, Ithaca NY 14853.

POINTCON XIII, March 30-April1The Military Affairs Club at the U.S. Military

Academy is sponsoring this convention, whichwill be held at West Point, New York. Eventsinclude AD&D®, BATTLETECH*, DIPLOMACY*,SUPREMACY*, ADVANCED SQUAD LEADER*,TWILIGHT 2000*, microarmor, WARHAMMER*,TMN TURTLES*, AXIS AND ALLIES*, minia-tures, and board games galore, with paintingcontests, a military film festival, seminars, theWest Point Museum, and a dealers� area. Regis-tration: $5 at the door. Dealers and game mas-ters are welcome! Write to: Cadet MatthewGreen, Military Affairs Club, Box 1061 USCC,West Point NY 10997; or call: (914) 938-5130.

CONNCON �9O, March 31-April 1This will be held at the Ramada Inn in Dan-

bury, Conn. The guest of honor is Jean Rabe,RPGA� Network Coordinator. Events includenumerous RPGs, board games, miniaturesbattles, RPGA� Masters and Grandmasters levelevents, a three-round tournament, a �membersonly� event, a benefit event, and more. Otheractivities include seminars on gaming and gamemastering, a miniatures-painting contest, acostume contest, and more. Registration: $15,which includes three free games. Write to:CONNCON, P.O. Box 444, Sherman CT 06784.

COOKEVILLE COMIC AND GAME CON IMarch 31-April 1

This convention will be held at the TennesseeNational Guard Armory in Cookeville, Tenn.Events will include AD&D®, CHAMPIONS*,STAR TREK*, DC HEROES*, and other games.Prizes will be awarded. Vendors are welcome!Registration: $6. Write to: Eric Webb, c/o Big D�sComics and Games, 323 N. Washington Ave.,Cookeville TN 38570; or call: (615) 528-6070.

CONTRAPTION, April 6-8This convention will be held at the Troy Hilton

in Troy, Mich. The guest of honor is Barry B.Longyear. Registration is $20 at the door. Deal-ers are welcome! Write to: CONTRAPTION, PO.Box 2285, Ann Arbor MI 48106.

STELLARCON XV, April 6-8This sci-fi/fantasy/horror convention will be

held at the University of North Carolina atGreensboro. Featured are guest speakers, pan-els, discussions, and writers� workshops. Con-firmed guests are Hal Clement, Dennis andKristina Etchison, Sam Grainger, Joe Lansdale,Frederik Pohl, Richard and Janice Preston, AllenWold, and others. Other activities include adealers� room, art and costume contests, SCA,Japanimation, schlock theater, fan clubs, modeldisplays, a cabaret, open gaming, and films.Registration is $l0/day, or $25 for the weekend.

Continued on page 101

DRAGON 85

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Sage AdviceContinued from page 6

letter giving your name and address, andstate where and when you bought theproduct. Note that a replacement �vam-pire� page was run in DRAGON issue#150; you can also get one by writing theaddress above.

There seem to be several problemswith the new dragon descriptions.Does the combat modifier reallyapply to both attack and damagerolls? If so, how can a really bigdragon ever miss? How much dam-age do black dragons really do withtheir breath weapons? What does the �MT� column mean on the blackdragon�s statistics table? Why areseparate body and tail lengths givenfor each dragon type? What is thecorrect tail length entry for greatwyrm bronze dragons? How manytimes can a dragon use its breathweapon each day? The text on drag-ons seems to imply that dragonshave no limit on how often they canuse breath weapons, but the dragonturtle�s description strongly impliesthat the limit is three times per day.

A dragon�s combat modifier applies onlyto its damage rolls; the reference to attackrolls is left over from an earlier version ofthe manuscript. From age category fiveon, one digit has been dropped from theblack dragon�s breath weapon rating;starting from age category one, thecolumn should read: 2d4+1, 4d4+2,6d4+3, 8d4+4, 10d4+5, 12d4+6,14d4+7, 16d4+8, 18d4+9, 20d4+10,22d4+11, and 24d4+12. The �MT� is atypo; it should read �MR� for magic resist-ance. Only a dragon�s body length is con-sidered when calculating a dragon�s sizerating, since the tail is very thin. Also,damage to a dragon�s tail does not reallyharm the dragon; only hits on the bodyand wings are telling enough to reduce thedragon�s hit points. This makes dragons alittle less vulnerable to mob tactics. Agreat wyrm bronze dragon�s tail is 100-110' long. In the core AD&D 2nd Editionrules, a dragon can use its breath weaponthree times a day, once every threerounds. To make fighting dragons less of acertain thing, however, I suggest you makethe interval between breath weaponsvariable (roll 1d3 for the number of inter-val rounds). An alternate method for de- termining the number of a dragon�s breathweapons used each day is discussed in�The New Ecology of the Dragons,� inDRAGON issue #146.

Will statistics for Tiamat and Baha-mut be given in future volumes?

To my knowledge, Tiamat and Bahamut,the Chromatic and Platinum dragons, arenot scheduled to appear in any volumes of

86 MARCH 1990

however, appear in the revised Legends &Lore tome.

the Monstrous Compendium. They might,

What kinds of materials can a bur-rowing dragon dig through?

Generally, a burrowing dragon canburrow only through things found in itshome terrain. Thus, a white dragon canburrow through ice and snow, and a brassdragon can burrow through sand. Notethat all dragons can dig, but only burrow-ing dragons do it fast enough to be given amovement rating for doing so.

How is the age category of a ran-domly encountered dragon generated?

I suggest rolling 2d4. This keeps hatch-lings safely at home and restricts the re-ally powerful older dragons to setencounters placed by the DM, probablyclose to their lairs, which they tend toguard jealously.

How come dragons are allowedarmor classes better than -10 whenthe DMG limits characters to -10?

Dragons aren�t characters; they�reamong the most powerful beings on thePrime Material plane. If your campaignallows PCs to live and grow for more thana millennium, as dragons do, go ahead andlet them break the AC -10 barrier afterthey�ve adventured for 1,000 years.

What is the spell detect gems, andwhy do gold dragons have it?

There is no such spell. The gold dragon�sability is explained in the monster�s de-scription. Precisely why gold dragons havethis ability is unrevealed.

What does an alignment of �nil�mean? Just neutral?

The �nil� alignment rating is a holdoverfrom an early draft of the MonstrousCompendium material. Originally, a ratingof �nil� indicated that a creature was notintelligent enough to have an alignment atall. However, the �nil� rating was droppedduring rewriting and should have beenreplaced with the neutral alignment.

Do fireballs or other heat-relatedattacks do any additional damage tocreatures such as frost giants orwhite dragons?

No. Unless a creature�s description lists aspecial vulnerability, or unless an attackform�s description lists a special damagebonus, assume the target of any magicalattack is affected normally.

How can a fire giant be totallyimmune to red dragon breath,which can do up to 24d10+12 hp

damage, and still be vulnerable tofireballs, which do a relatively pal-try maximum of 10d6 hp damage?

This was the subject of heated discus-sion during the game�s production. Ulti-mately, the winning argument had two

points. First, dragon breath is not magicalfire; the flame produced inside a dragon isnot the same as the fire in a fireball orwall of fire spell. Second, making firegiants immune to fire would imbalance thegame because so many attack spells arebased on fire. Still, there are plenty ofnonfiery attack spells, so your campaignisn�t likely to suffer if you decide to makeyour fire giants completely fire resistant.

Will wolverines, whales, andsharks be included in future vol-umes of the Monstrous Compen-dium?

Yes. Sharks and wolverines are includedin volume 2 (TSR product #2103), which isavailable now. (Sharks and wolverines arenot listed in volume 2�s alphabetical index,but the information is there.) Whales areincluded in volume 3 (TSR product #2104),which is also available.

What is a werebear�s intelligencerating? The listing says exceptional,but the number rating is given as(11-12) while the introduction saysthe range for exceptional intelli-gence is 15-16.

The numbers in the werebear�s statisticsare wrong. Werebears are exceptionallyintelligent (15-16).

What is the experience-point valuefor a noble genie? How areexperience-point values figured,

anyway?A noble genie is worth 6,000 xp; the

number is listed but in the wrong column.Complete experience-point tables are givenin the 2nd Edition Dungeon Masler’sGuide, page 47.

Shouldn�t liches have 10 + HD nowthat wizards are limited to 10 HD?Isn�t 7,000 xp a bit low for a high-level lich?

You can give a lich 10 hit dice, or youcan assume it picks up an extra hit die inthe process, of becoming a lich. Accordingto my calculations, an 11-HD lich shouldbe worth 12,000 xp (base 2,000; AC 0, + 1;high intelligence, +1; immunity to anyspell, + 1; hit only by magical weapons,+1; level 3 or greater spells, +2; paraly-sis, +2; fear, +2). Liches that possess anduse magical items against the party areworth an extra 1,000 xp, and high-levelliches should be worth an extra 1,000 xpper level over 11th.

Shouldn�t soldiers have more than1 hp? After all, farmers have 1-6 hp.

Common soldiers are usually militiamenor part-time soldiers, so they have l-6 hp,just like the farmers they actually arewhen they aren�t fighting. Professionaland veteran soldiers have l-10 hp perlevel.

Why was the huecuva renamed?Can creatures with infravision auto-

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matically recognize these creaturesfor what they are?

The creature was accidentally renamed�heucuva� while volume 2 was in produc-tion. Since it is impractical to reprint mostof volume 2 to get the correctly spelled�huecuva� in proper alphabetical order,the creature has been officially renamed.Heucuva (the name is the same in singularand plural forms) appear to be commonskeletons when viewed with infravision,no matter what guise they have adoptedusing polymorph; a party using infravisionwill simply not be able to distinguish themfrom regular skeletons. Note that torch orlantern light, which is necessary for mak-ing maps, spoils infravision and keeps allcharacters with infravision from seeing aheucuva�s skeletal form. (The shadow castby a polymorphed heucuva will be that ofthe shape it has assumed, not that of askeleton.)

How much damage does a korreddo? The number range is given as 3-6 hp damage, while the damage-dicetype is given as 1d2+4.

A melee hit from a korred does 5-6(ld2+4) hp damage.

There seem to be a few errors inthe rear-claw damage ratings for thevarious great cats.

There are. The correct (single claw)ratings are: cheetah, 1-2; jaguar, 2-5,(ld4+1); leopard, 1-4; common lion, 2-7(ld6+1); mountain lion, 1-4; spotted lion,2-8 (2d4); giant lynx, 1-3; tiger 2-8 (2d4);smilodon 2-8 (2d4).

Aren�t one leader and three assist-ants for every three orcs simply toomany leaders and assistants?

Yes. The correct number is one leaderand three assistants for every 30 orcs.

AD&D® 2nd Edition rules

Can a rope trick spell be castdownward or sideways, so that thecaster has to climb down or acrossto get into the extradimensionalspace? How big is the extradimen-sional space? Can the spell be castunderwater to form an air pocket?

The rope must always be cast upward.The extradimensional space is big enoughto hold eight man-size creatures and isabout 10� high, 10� long, and 20� wide. Thespell can be cast anywhere there isenough space to allow the rope to rise therequired 5-30�. However, if the spell is castunderwater, the extradimensional spacewill fill with water.

How many pinches of dust of dis-appearance are commonly found atone time?

Five to 50 (5d10), just like dust ofappearance.

Will a wish to increase an abilityscore subject the wizard casting thespell to a three-point penalty tostrength even if he is increasing hisstrength by one point?

Yes. The wizard suffers the penalty if heraises an ability score (his own or anybodyelse�s). In the unusual case you pose, thetemporary subtraction comes from thewizards new strength score.

How does spell-casting affect me-lee? Is there a bonus for attacking aspell-caster while he is casting aspell?

A spell-caster may not attack during anyround in which he casts a spell, and hemay not use his dexterity bonus to benefithis armor class in order to avoid an attackwhile casting that spell (he�ll ruin his spellif he does so). The spell-caster is not other-wise impaired, however, and attacksagainst him are made normally.

Can a spell-caster use the samespell more than once per day bymemorizing it more than once?

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Yes, but each spell memorized fills one�slot.� For example, a wizard who canmemorize three first-level spells couldmemorize a magic missile spell threetimes, but could take no other first-levelspells.

AD&D® 1st Edition rules

I understand that a magic-user cancast only the spells in his book, buthow often can a spell in a book becast? A friend told me that a 1st-

level magic-user can cast only onespell per day, but the DMG says thata 1st-level magic-user has a book off o u r s p e l l s .

You seem to be confused by the differ-ence between the number of spells amagic-user can have memorized at anygiven time and the number of spells thathe can have written in his spell book.

The number of spells that any magic-user can have memorized at any one timeis given on the Spells Usable By Class AndLevel chart in the PHB (page 26). To usethe chart, find the level of the spell-caster(first column). The total number of spells his brain can hold is given to the right ofhis level. For example, the �Magic-usersSpell Level� line for a 4th-level magic-userreads: 3 2. This means that a 4th-levelmagic-user can memorize up to three first-

level spells and two second-level spells.When a magic-user prepares for an

adventure, he studies his books and com-mits spells to memory, up to his �full load.�When he casts one of these spells, thememory of it goes away (as explained onpage 40 of the PHB), and he must memo-rize it again before he can cast it again.The number of spells a magic-user canhave in his spell book is determined by hisintelligence score.

There are two ways, however, that themagic-user could cast a spell without mem-orizing it first. The first is by using ascroll�a temporary magical writing. Anytime after a magic-user has studied a scrollwhile using a read magic spell, he can readthat scroll aloud and cast the spell writtenon it, whether or not he has that spellmemorized. A spell written on a scroll canbe cast once only; the writing disappearswhen the spell is cast. (See pages 100-101of the 1st Edition PHB and pages 127-128of the 1st Edition DMG for more informa-tion on the use of scrolls.) The second is toread the spell directly out of the spellbook. This causes the spell to disappearfrom the book (so that the magic-usercannot memorize it again until he canwrite it into the book again) and may alsocause other spells to disappear from thebook (see page 80 of Unearthed Arcanafor more details on casting spells directlyfrom books).

The information on spell books onpage 79 of Unearthed Arcana doesnot match the information as origi-nally presented in DRAGON issue#62. Is this an error or an editorialc h a n g e ?

The information in Unearthed Arcana iscorrect and applies to all spell books. Thiswas an editorial change based on playtest-ing results.

88 MARCH 1990

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Sentient swords and final frontiers©1990 by John C. Bunnell

to find (and high marks go to the writerwhose cover copy doesn�t ruin the effect).

But do consider reading Sword-Maker(and its predecessors) for Roberson�sunique and sophisticated perspective onthe nature of exceptional blades. �Magical�somehow fails to describe what the Sand-tiger, master sword-dancer and adven-turer, has learned to call a jivatma �ablade imbued at first blooding with its

Jennifer RobersonDAW O-88677-379-2 $4.95

Don�t even think about opening thisthird novel in Jennifer Roberson�s Sword-Dancer series without first reading theprevious volumes. Otherwise, you�ll spoilone of the most gut-wrenching pieces ofcharacter choreography you�re ever likely

SWORD-MAKER victim�s innate aptitudes. But the result isstrikingly like the AD&D® game�s conceptof semi-intelligent or empathic weapons,those between �ordinary� + 1 blades andthe self-aware, speaking swords that canbe a PC�s most annoying foils.

Tiger, though, distrusts the blade he hasawakened in a forced death-duel with Del,his partner in more than swordcraft.Manipulated by remorse and by Del�soriginal teachers, he undertakes a missionto destroy the elusive menace preying onan obscure mountain village, only to dis-cover that the wizard behind the attackscovets the jivatma that Tiger bears.

It�s hard to classify Sword-Maker; on onehand, it�s a nearly perfect sword-and-sorcery saga in the classic mold, but Ro-berson�s writing carries an intensity far

stronger than any you�d find in a typicalblood-and-thunder yarn. The relationshipbetween Tiger and Del (whose presenceremains powerful, though the currentnovel opens shortly after their duel) con-veys intriguing complexity and authenticresonance. And the sword-lore is bothdetailed and mysterious, providing DMswith invaluable insights for managingempathic weapons.

Some will balk, not unreasonably, atSword-Maker’s price. Roberson is a risingtalent but can�t yet be ranked at the verytop of her field-which is where the $4.95label puts her. Still, it�s unfair to fault thenovel for being shrewdly agented, andreaders will get solid value for their dol-lars even after acquiring the full saga. TheSword-Dancer books succeed on three

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counts: as adventures, as personal sagas, like dry wit when he and Uhura (whom heand as gamers� reference tools. That�s rare scarcely knows) are kidnapped by alienenough to be worth the investment. terrorists.

THE LOST YEARSJ. M. Dillard

Pocket O-671-68293-8 $17.95The Lost Years is a study in paradox.

While the novel purports to fill in the gapin Star Trek continuity at the close of theU.S.S. Enterprise’s five-year mission, ele-ments of the narrative throw continuity tothe winds, confusing readers rather thanenlightening them. The result is an objectlesson for managers of all manner of fic-tional worlds.

According to the introduction, the bookbegins a trilogy of novels by differentwriters; Dillard also mentions eventschronicled in earlier Star Trek novels bystill other hands. The implication is thatthe published novels are all canonical withrespect to each other (FASA�s licensedgaming supplements for its STAR TREK®:The Role Playing Game also support thisassumption). And the novels, of course,presume the accuracy of the original TVepisodes as well.

This would be fine except for four majorcontinuity problems. First, according toDillard, Kirk never returned to Earthduring the five-year mission�yet he al-ludes to events in two Diane Carey novelsduring which he goes sailing in the Baha-mas. Second, one major plot involves anescaped Vulcan katra pulling a stuntnearly identical to that of Sargon andHanoch in the TV episode �Return to To-morrow� �yet McCoy, given several op-portunities, misses the connection andspends most of his time acting helpless.Third, Dillard inexplicably resolves one oldromance for McCoy but ignores anotherfrom one of her own books. And fourth,Dillard�s previous novels treat Spock�sdiplomat father Sarek as a distant, stifflyformal figure�but here he displays Spock-

Individually, any one such complaintcould be dismissed as nit-picking, butcollectively they badly weaken the viabilityof Star Trek’s �consensus universe� �thecore of events and stories from whichnovelists and gamers can extrapolatefurther adventures. It�s the shared back-ground that makes playing in the U.S.S.Enterprise�s world distinctive, and if thatbackground cannot be relied upon, thenthe participant�s sense of connection weak-ens as well. (That logic applies to novelsderived from game worlds like theDRAGONLANCE® and FORGOTTENREALMS® settings as it does to the StarTrek universe.) By itself, The Lost Yearsisn�t really a bad novel, but it�s far fromthe definitive tale it claims to be.

LAYING THE MUSIC TO RESTDean Wesley Smith

Questar O-445-20934-8 $3.95I don�t quite know how to classify Dean

Wesley Smith�s first novel. It�s not preciselylight adventure, though it moves easilythrough a plot balanced between livelyaction and plausible suspense. It�s notquite a romance or a ghost story, thoughthe tale includes elements of both. Andwhile it�s definitely a time-travel yarn,Smith�s style runs closer to mild-manneredfantasy than to hard science fiction�rather like a more informal, less-affectedversion of Spider Robinson.

The initial setup favors the ghost story,as middle-aged �Doc� Kellogg Jones findshimself recruited to solve the puzzle of apiano-playing spirit who haunts a remotemountain lodge in the Idaho wilderness.But the puzzle quickly expands to involvea woman claiming to be from the futureand an antique mirror that�s also a kind oftime machine. Before long, Doc findshimself trapped in a time loop focused onthe Titanic, seeking the missing woman,the ghost�s would-be husband, and clues toa conflict between rival groups of timetravelers.

What makes Smith�s story remarkable isits calm seamlessness in the face of theunconventional. Attempts to combine SFand the supernatural usually fall victim tocomic-book illogic or excessive mysticism.Laying the Music to Rest does neither;through Doc�s eyes, events take on realitysimply by happening. As in real life, expla-nations take a back seat to first-hand expe-rience. And as in life, the story�s enddoesn�t leave all the plot threads neatlytied, so that while the book stands reason-ably on its own, a promised sequel still hasample ground to explore.

These are rare qualities in written SF,and gamers may find them impossible toemulate. But that shouldn�t stop themfrom trying, nor from enjoying the novelon its own well-executed merits. DeanWesley Smith�s storytelling makes thecomplex appear effortless, no mean feat

90 MARCH 1990

THE SHINING FALCON

Judged as a science-fiction novel, Ru-salka might be termed distant but intrigu-ing. Its landscape is eerily alien. Cherryh�swriting retains the tightness and intensitytypical of her better work, and her mortalcharacters are as driven as any she�s cre-ated. But as the fantasy tale it�s intended tobe, the book must be counted a curiosityand not a triumph.

The Shining Falcon is another matterentirely, and it isn�t because Josepha Sher-man places her saga in nominally imaginarylands rather than using real Russian placenames as Cherryh does. Sherman�s novelretains the folk-tale atmosphere that Ru-salka discards, and the mythical entitiesthat Cherryh makes into �things� take on

The best example of the mismatch isfound in Sasha Misurov, a young man withwhat Cherryh describes as the awakeningpowers of a wizard. But these psychictalents bear little resemblance to the ar-cane and alchemical sorceries we expectfrom the folklore, and the magic system�strikingly similar to that of Cherryh�sSword of Knowledge series�thereforefeels out of step with its surroundings.

The supernatural spirits and creaturespopulating the story fare little better.Cherryh treats them chiefly as elementalforces without face or soul, translatingmany names to end in �thing� (Water-Thing, Cellar-Thing, etc.). Even therusalka, or ghost-woman, is more shadethan personality in spectral form. Only asshe gradually returns to life (in singularlyconfusing fashion) does Eveshka take onan identity.

similar and yet so distinct from each other.Both draw on the folklore and legend ofold Russia; both combine oddly matchedromance with dangerous magical adver-saries; and both spend considerable timeexploring the vast wilderness of theirnative lands. Yet veteran novelist C. J.Cherryh and relative newcomer JosephaSherman tell their tales using vastly differ-ent styles, so that while Rusalka may be amore complete treatment of the setting,The Shining Falcon is by far the morereadable and entertaining novel.

The difficulty with Rusalka is that Cher-ryh almost completely separates hersource material from its cultural roots.The names in and the bones of the plot areRussian, but the narrative style, the inter-nal logic, and the characters arise fromother traditions entirely. It�s described asfantasy, but the book is constructed as if itwere science fiction.

Josepha ShermanAvon O-380-75436-3 $3.95

It would be hard to find two novels so

$18.95C. J. Cherryh

Del Rey 0-345-35953-4

RUSALKA

for a first novel. One can only wonderhow much better he�ll get as he gainsexperience.

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more character in Sherman�s wilderness.Finist, prince of the city-state of Kirtesk,

is the novel�s title character. Like others ofhis ruling line, he can assume a birds format will, but all is not quiet in Finist�s realm.His witch-cousin Ljuba covets his throne,and Finist himself must find a, bride inorder to produce an heir. Meanwhile,intrigue in neighboring Stargorod forcesyoung Maria Danilovna and her family toseek exile in the vast forest separating thekingdoms.

Sherman weaves a traditional yet spar-kling tale of romance harried by enemiesboth mundane and magical. Better still,her writing incorporates the friendlycourtliness of the old stories as well as afaintly modern touch, so that her charac-ters� speech sounds authentic to the ear.But the cast is noteworthy for more thandialogue. Ljuba is an intriguing, emotion-driven villainess, Finist charmingly blendsnobility and playfulness, and the treacher-ous Alexei displays plausibly narrow-minded ruthlessness.

Rusalki and leshy populate Sherman�stale as they do Cherryh�s, but in The Shin-ing Falcon, they communicate moreclearly and possess explicit motivationsand goals. That doesn�t make Sherman�screatures friendlier toward humans, but itdoes mean that readers need not guessabout their intentions along with those ofthe main cast.

Perhaps the best comparison betweenthe two novels is this: Reading Rusalkamay give interested gamers enough back-ground to design Russian-flavored fantasy�monsters.� But without reading The Shin-ing Falcon as well, placing such beings in acampaign is merely window dressing, andrunning them accurately and intelligentlywill be a lost cause.

GATE OF DARKNESS, CIRCLE OFLIGHT

Tanya HuffDAW 0-88677-386-5 $3.95

This is an unexpected book�first be-cause Tanya Huff�s previous novels, set ina traditional fantasy realm, are quite un-like the mild yet dangerous adventure shenow unfolds in modern Toronto; andsecond, because it sets a unique precedentfor literary cross-pollination. Music in-spired by popular SF and fantasy novels isincreasingly prevalent these days, but Huffdraws her climax from a song originallycreated for a completely different fantasyuniverse.

Huff�s heroine is unconventional. Due toa childhood accident, Rebecca�s minddoesn�t grasp abstracts, so she takes every-thing she sees and hears at face value andrelies on step-by-step lists and rituals tocomplete day-to-day survival skills. Thusshe isn�t hampered by disbelief when sheencounters a murdered sprite and learnsthat Darkness has invaded the city. Sur-rounded by new and old friends�a pep- pery bag lady, a perceptive social worker,a ragtag folk musician, an adept of Light

92 MARCH 1990

called to their aid, and a cat who doesn�tneed speech to convey his attitudes�shesets out to restore order.

The tone is equally distinctive. WhileHuff doesn�t shy away from the DarkAdept�s grimness and power, she concen-trates on finding the best in situations, andshe conveys a perceptive air of wryamusement throughout the adventure.This isn�t to say that the novel is humor ofthe same stripe as Terry Pratchett�s orEsther Friesner�s work, but Huffs touch isdefinitely lighter than fellow CanadianCharles de Lint�s.

Huff�s most daring ploy, though, is bor-rowing �Winds Four Quarters� fromMercedes Lackey (Oathbreakers) as thecatalyst for her final confrontation be-tween Light and Darkness, and funnelingthe song through a character based onLackey herself. It�s an eminently logicalresolution, but two caveats are in order:Huff makes one slight change to the lyricsto fit a Goddess with three aspects, notfour, and the written scene misses some-thing without the actual music behind it.

If there�s a moral to that last observa-tion, it�s that fantasy and SF media�novels, recordings, games, and art-arebecoming more and more interdependentover time. Today, the overlaps are fairlylimited (one doesn�t get music automati-cally with Gate of Darkness, Circle ofLight), but perhaps eventually the mediawill grow together such that the games,books, and audiovisuals will all come inone package. When that happens, bookslike Huffs won�t just be good; they�ll bemagical.

PEOPLE OF THE SKYClare Bell

Tor 0-312-93131-X $18.95There�s mild irony in the fact that Anne

McCaffrey provides a glowing testimonialon People of the Sky's dust jacket. In purestructure, Clare Bell�s novel strongly re-sembles McCaffrey�s original tales of Pernand its dragons. But a closer look reveals astrikingly intelligent, thoughtful storybehind the jacket copy, one with a richertexture and a subtler hand than the Pernadventures.

According to Bell, the world of Onewaywas first settled by a group of Hopi Indi-ans who migrated from Earth on the in-structions of a mysterious (perhaps alien)kachina-god. Now the settlers are mostlyforgotten and live unobserved in Oneway�sremote, deep canyons, far from the plan-et�s main technological developments.Kesbe Temiya, piloting an antique �gooneybird� aircraft, finds this lost tribe whenbad weather forces her to land in theirterritory�and she also finds the Aronans,giant butterfly-like insects that serve asthe Indians� mounts and shape much oftheir new culture. What follows is a narrative rich in sev-

eral kinds of lore: the Hopi legends thatare part of both the colonists� heritage andKesbe�s, the new rituals and traditions

evolved from their Aronan connections,and the startling scientific knowledge ofthe Aronans� own nature. Bell has clearlydone her homework on Southwesternculture, and she possesses the scientificcredentials to make that part of her taleequally convincing.

The result is a novel that�s not just solidscience fiction, but solid human dramabesides. Kesbe is a fresh, eye-openingheroine, and the Pai Yinaye are a multi-faceted group, ranging from lively youngflier Haewi Namij to the shaman Sahacat.And Bells characters are uniformly com-plex, with none immune to growth andchange as events unfold around them.

Its very distinctiveness and depth proba-bly makes People of the Sky less than idealfor adaptation to an RPG campaign; whereMcCaffrey�s Pern is a world of high-energyadventure, Bell�s Oneway is a planet ofcomplex (though no less compelling) cul-tural evolution. But the contrast itselfmakes Bells novel worth a look as a coun-terpoint to the Dragonriders saga. It�s acomparison in which both worlds comeout winners.

Recurring rolesFirst on this month�s list is the Mercedes

Lackey update. Magic’s Promise (DAW,$4.50) continues the story of legendaryHerald-Mage Vanyel in the lively yet intro-spective style that is becoming Lackey�strademark. It�s not often one can find thismuch thoughtful soul searching in thesame book as a dangerously twisted mur-der mystery and enough magic to powerhalf a kingdom.

Reap the Whirlwind is harder to evalu-ate. Lackey gets co-author credit with C. J.Cherryh for this third volume in theSword of Knowledge series, and theyproduce a solid yarn that mixes inter-wizardly political wrangling with a barbar-ian invasion plot. The real problems withthis series lie outside the text: The abys-mally proofread cover copy utterly fails todescribe the novel, and the five-centurygaps between books are irritating ratherthan intriguing.

And �Winds Four Quarters� (previouslymentioned in the review Tanya Huffsbook) is only one of Lackey�s lyrics re-corded to stunning effect on Magic, Moon-dust, and Melancholy (Firebird Arts &Music, $10). Other songs on the cassetteinclude a stirring ballad of BarbaraHambly�s Darwath and the comic �Mis-Conception,� which should give all thoseinsane mage-geneticists lots of ideas. Cata-logs and information for this small-presspublisher of fantasy and SF music areavailable by writing Firebird at: P.O. Box14785, Portland OR 97214-9998, U.S.A.; orby calling: l-800-752-0494 (toll free).

In other quarters, Rick Cook�s The Wiz-ardry Compiled (Baen, $3.95) proves thatits predecessor was more than a one-jokebook. This time, Wiz Zumwalt is stuck in aparallel story line while most of the funcomes from the band of SCA computer

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94 MARCH 1990

programmers recruited to translate hismounds of weird notes into a user-friendlypackage of magical software. There aretouches of warmth in the tale as well, andsigns of another sequel to come. If it�ssustained, this series could steal the thun-der from Christopher Stasheff�s saggingWarlock cycle.

Warning signs are flashing on anotherseries: Divine Right (DAW, $3.95) waitsuntil the very last story to introduce theplot point highlighted on its cover copy,and promptly ends the book. While thisfifth entry in the Merovingen Nightsshared-world sequence otherwise main-tains the pace of earlier collections, thecliffhanger tactic feels forced, and chiefconspirator C. J. Cherryh may be runningout of plots.

Howling Mad (Ace, $3.50) is the secondoriginal novel from comics-writer and StarTrek novelist Peter David, and it�s as muchfun as the first. A framing device givesDavid walk-on status in this yarn about aloner called Joshua, who�s bitten by awerewolf in the opening chase. The catchis that Joshua is a wolf to start with, andthere are plenty of clever touches as Davidexplores his reverse twist. One standoutinvolves a vampire destroyed by a devi-ously subtle pun.

It�s always satisfying to find a newwriter who isn�t limited to one world orstyle, and Alis A. Rasmussen�s A Passage ofStars (Bantam, $3.95) begins a dense SFtrilogy eons removed from her earlier

Labyrinth Gate. Heroine Lilyaka findsherself on a nonstop chase among thestars where double and triple identitiesare the rule. Rasmussen peppers the ad-venture with knowledgeable martial-artslore, and she creates a unique sidekick inthe form of a robot who �speaks� in classi-cal music. This is versatility in spades andvery welcome indeed.

Emma Bull also trades fantasy for SF inher second novel, and early reviews havepredicted all manner of awards for Falcon(Ace, $3.95). This, too, is a dense book, thefirst half a straightforward high-tech taleof family intrigue and the second an art-fully twisted chase involving the beststarship pilot ever created. It's not a quickor effortless read, but it solidifies Bull�sreputation as a major talent.

There�s just time and space left to thankthose who�ve written with comments orsuggestions in the past months. I may notanswer all the mail personally, but I doappreciate the feedback and the input. Asusual, letters, comments, and books forpossible review in this space should bedirected to yours truly at:

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

And until next time, may all your char-acters live happily (or at least adventur-ously) ever after.

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©1990 by Hartley,Patricia, and Kirk Lesser

Hey, Mac�got anything new?

These days, most publishers are provid-ing gamers with superior software enter-tainment. This is one reason why youdon�t see very many negative reviews inthis column. This issue we have goodnews: two new Macintosh fantasy role-playing games (FRPGs) have appeared.Roth are exciting and well worth yourtime and money. One is designed more fornovice adventurers, the other for interme-diate and advanced gamers. Let�s sort thesword play from the foul play.

Reviews

A really neat little feature of Citadel isthat, should you successfully run itsmazes, you�ll come across a map book.Until this time in the adventure, you�vehad to map using a pencil on a piece ofgraph paper. Now you can access the mapon your Macintosh and, using the pencilicon, draw the map as you go along. Yousimply turn the map�s pages to see anylevel you have mapped.

In the game�s manual are numerous tipsthat are useful once you are inside theCitadel. Three level-one characters areavailable at the start, but we found ourown characters more engaging. You cancreate as many characters as you wish andmay employ up to six on your adventure.

We enjoyed adventuring with five charac-ters, which allowed one NPC to join us.

The unique character-creation system

Computer games ratings

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

Postcraft International, Inc.27811 Avenue Hopkins, Suite 6Valencia CA 91355(805) 257-1797

Citadel *****Macintosh IIx version $49.95

One reason the Apple Macintosh is mak-ing inroads into both business and homeenvironments is because of its graphicsinterface, now being mimicked by manyother computer systems. The most recentMacintosh-based FRPGs all take advantageof this interface. Citadel goes one stepfarther-it employs fantastic animation,iconology (the process of command repre-sentation through the use of graphic sym-bols called icons), and digitized sound.Plus, Citadel is a fine adventure that offerspuzzles, over 60 opponents, character

Citadel by a wizard, Nequilar. Naturally,Nequilar has a nefarious army of destruc-tive creatures.

Synd, who has been imprisoned in the

for color display. Citadel does not cur-rently support color, but you won�t findthat written anywhere in the manual.You�ll be playing along, viewing the fineblack-and-white display, when you decideto move a character icon from the tavernto your adventuring party. Suddenly, asyou move your icon, the backgroundgraphic is obliterated by various lines andgray blocks. This is not good. The fix issimple for gamers running on a MacintoshII or later computer model: You enter yourControl Panel and select Monitors, then setthe display to black and white. From thatpoint on, your game will run normally,

The challenge is to find and rescue Lady

File Edit Options Party Raury

building, NPC interaction, over 200 differ-ent weapons and 50 spells, and 3-D mazes.

The only drawback we found appearswhen the game is run on a Macintosh set

Citadel (Postcraft International): Entering the 3-D maze.

DRAGON 95

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sets this game apart from other computer-based FRPGs. You travel to the Nurseryand access the upper menu to decide theprofessions of your character�s motherand father, as well as his race, sex, andalignment. When this is accomplished, abutton on the screen flashes, reading�Birth.� Once you have activated that icon,an initial display shows just what kind ofchild the parents have brought into thismystical world. The icon then changes to�Age,� and you watch as your child be-comes older with an increase in someattributes.

Attributes displayed include Strength,Intelligence, Health, and so on. After se-lecting �Age,� a pie graph appears withfour activities. You now select the type andamount of activities your child engages into become proficient in one of the fourclasses: Fighter, Thief, Wizard, or Cleric.The four activities required for theseclasses include labor, play, study, andprayer, respectively.

After that, you select your character�sclass, then how many years of apprentice-ship you wish your character to take, byspending some of the gold that is yourbirthright. Naturally, the more years ofapprenticeship, the better your characterwill be in his chosen profession. Don�tforget that your character is basicallyunequipped. Save some of that gold to buyneeded weaponry, armor, torches, and thelike. We found two years of apprenticeshipwas about right for all characters, leavingus with ample money to equip them withbasic items and still allow them to survivethe early portions of the Citadel�s mazes.You repeat this for all characters.

The first stop in your character�s villageshould be the tavern, where you assembleyour adventuring group. You grab eachcharacter you want with your mouse

File Edit Options Boron

cursor and pull them over to the adven-ture box in the upper left-hand corner ofthe screen. If you assigned a password toyour character, you will be asked for thatpassword.

The hostel in the village is the placewhere you can rest and train your charac-ters. Both the tavern and the hostel re-quire money, and training also requires acertain number of experience pointsearned before your character(s) can ad-vance in level. Other than casting healingspells or buying restorative graces fromthe temple, resting at the hostel is the onlyway to bring your adventurers back to fullhit-point status. Staying in the hostel re-quires two gold pieces per night.

The shop enables you to buy or sellitems, and you can request the shop man-ager to identify items you�ve picked up inthe Citadel (this costs money, too). Also beaware that there is a limited supply ofitems in the shop, so check out all of theitems for sale before purchasing anything,and use what you buy to best effect.

The bank in the village allows you todeposit or withdraw funds as well astransfer gold pieces from one character toanother. You�ll need all your money at thetemple, which can not only cure yourcharacters but also raise them from thedead and �uncurse� objects.

The final place of interest is the camp,where each character can stow objects inhis own cache or in the party�s cache. Weequipped our cleric and our wizard withbows, but since only four arrows can becarried in a quiver, we bought as manyarrows as we could and stored them in thecache, so we could quickly rearm whenwe left the Citadel�s mazes. Keep in mindthat everything discussed here is graphi-cally displayed. There are no commands totype in; you simply move the mouse arrow

Citadel (Postcraft International): The heat of combat.

96 MARCH 1990

to whatever item you wish to activate andeither click or drag.

Now it�s on to the Citadel. You�ll be askedto verify your ownership of the game byusing a code wheel that comes in thegame�s package. Two icons will be dis-played on-screen, one for the upper codewheel and the other for the lower codewheel. These icons must be aligned, andyou must then enter the code letter fromone of five windows found in the center ofthe code wheel. If you are correct, thewall in front of your adventuring partydisappears, and you�re into the maze.

One fact worth noting about the charac-ters� items window: When you click yourmouse icon on an object, it turns white onblack instead of black on white. This isknown as selecting an object. When anobject is selected, you can wield it, wear it,open it (especially useful for putting thingsinto backpacks, quivers, and pockets),examine it, or transfer it to another char-acter. If you have no room to put thingsthat you find, and your hands are full,don�t expect to be able to carry anythingelse out of the Citadel. Keep at least onepocket and one of your four availableareas within a pack open for bags of goldor special items.

Combat is truly unique. When youencounter some nasty denizens of theCitadel, the battle window appears on-screen. Your characters are readily identi-fiable as icons that display their facialfeatures, current hit points, full hit points,and weapons in hand. You grab your char-acter with the mouse and drag him to anopponent. A line will appear between yourcharacter and his opponent when you arewithin range to strike. Release your char-acter, and let him fight the opponent. Wefound that it was far better for all charac-ters with fighting skills to go after oneopponent together and not worry aboutother enemies until that foe was doneaway with. By moving our archers out ofrange of the enemy, they could shootarrows at the enemy until they either ranout of arrows or were confronted at closerange by a monster or two. By the way,bow skill is important. At the start of theadventure, make certain your archers areshooting at enemies away from your fight-ers. Odds are that your bow skills will below, and you don�t want to endanger yourown fighters by hitting them with a strayarrow or two! By ensuring that ourarchers also packed hand weapons, wemade sure they weren�t defenseless, eventhough they were lousy fighters.

Magic is also handled uniquely. Clericalmagic requires mediation on the combin-ing of the elements Earth, Air, Fire, andWater. The cleric can memorize his spellsby this meditation and have them storedup, ready for later use.

Learning mage magic is different, and itrequires a spell book for best results. You�llfind at least one spell book early in theadventure. This book contains two marvel-

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ous spells, Haelen (healing) and Bless. Thelatter is a shield of protection that�s greatfor keeping monsters at bay for an houror so. Your mage must open the spell bookand memorize the selected spell, whichdoesn�t take long. A mage can also copythe spell to vellum parchment and handthe scroll to another character, who canthen cast the spell at any time he wishes.However, to copy the scroll you must buyboth the paper and the special ink, andthat is extremely costly. Don�t expect tocopy many spells until you learn how toincrease your bank account.

Additional features of the game includekeyboard equivalents to all mouse andmenu items. You can also split your partyduring the game if you wish.

Citadel is extremely enjoyable, full ofaction and adventure. The good news foreveryone is that versions for PC/MS-DOS,Atari ST, and Commodore Amiga com-puters are also planned. If you don�t havea Macintosh, find a friend who does andurge him to purchase Citadel. And plan forweeks of activity centered on finding LadySynd. You won�t be disappointed!

Xor Corporation7607 Bush Lake RoadMinneapolis MN 55435(612) 831-0444

TaskMaker * * * *

Macintosh IIx version $49.95This is a great adventure game! No, it

doesn�t possess state-of-the-art Macintoshgraphics, and it doesn�t run in color on amember of the Macintosh II family. But itdoes possess digitized sound effects, and itis definitely worth the price of purchase.In fact, this is one of the few adventuregames we intend to keep on our internalhard disk so that we can continue ourquests whenever the mood strikes us. Theprogram is not copy protected, so we don�thave to keep a key disk or a special codewheel handy every time we wish to con-tinue our adventures. But probably best ofall, TaskMaker is not a hard game to play�at least, not in the beginning. This means awise programmer set about designing agame that encouraged continued playerparticipation, not the immediate demise ofcharacters leading to gamer grumpinessand storage of the offering.

You can create as many characters asyou wish and save them to your disk.Naturally, if you are running Taskmakerfrom your hard drive, there is probably nolimit to the number of characters you canplay. With the handy save-game feature,you can save your quest at any time. Youcan also close out your quest should yourcharacter die, and simply open a savedgame and start at the saved point all overagain.

In this game, you are out to become theMaster of the kingdom. You�ve experi-enced both the kindly hand of the king,now dead, and the oppressive fist of other

F i l e E d i t O p t i o n s T o w n

Citadel (Postcraft International): Gone shopping.

would-be rulers. The only true power leftin the world is he who is known as theTaskMaker. He will guide a true knight tobecome the ruler of the Kingdom. Youhope that you are that knight.

Character generation is started by re-questing �New Character� from the Filemenu. You are then presented with a listof attributes from which you select fivefor your character. Examples of attributesinclude athletic, aggressive, talkative,independent, practical, etc. When five areselected, you must save your character todisk before the game can start.

A neat aspect of the game then comesinto play as you outfit your character. Apicture of your character arrives on-screen with each part of its body tagged.By clicking on the word �Head,� you cansee if your character has a helmet. If he isnot currently wearing a helmet but hasone available in his pouch, the helmetwould be shown in a window located inthe upper left of the screen. If you wantedto equip your character with the pouch-secured helm, you would click on thehelm�s name, then click on the command�Install� Any changes to your character�sarmor class, aiming skill, and damageabilities are immediately indicated.

If your character is carrying a wideassortment of weaponry and wishes tocheck out the capabilities of each, you cando this from the Outfit window. By install-ing separate weapons one at a time, youcan determine the capabilities of each oneas opposed to other weapons and selectthe best weapon for the job. For example,in caves with twisting corridors, a +2crossbow would probably not be as effec-tive as a power spear. Both inflict the sameamount of damage, but the power spear isbetter for close-quarter work than themissile weapon.

You can also throw any weapon youwish at an opponent. Simply make certainyour character is facing the direction youwish and order the command �Fight.�Whatever is in your hand will hurtle inthe direction you are facing. Should youmiss with your weapon and your oppo-nent continues to advance upon you, wesuggest you outfit again immediately torearm yourself.

Now you�re on your own. In the lowerright corner of the screen are attributegraphs. These bar graphs reveal the cur-rent conditions for your character�s food,health, spirit, strength, agility, intellect,and stamina. As you use up your attrib-utes, each black bar shortens and turnsgray. Through the use of rations, brainpower, home-cooked meals, and otherassorted goodies you�ll find in the game,you can sustain yourself. You don�t wishyour health to decrease to zero, or you�llfind yourself in Hell. If you�re in Hell, all ofyour possessions have been left at thelocation where you departed this good life,and they�ll end up in the hands of thosewho�ve done you in!

We recommend that during a fight youalways keep an eye on the upper left textwindow. Here, each action you commandis displayed, followed by its effect. When ahostile opponent strikes a blow againstyou, the text window informs you of yourcurrent health. As this value slips, youmight wish to immediately use somethingin your possession�like a Health Potion oran Instant Vacation�to sustain your lifeand carry on the attack. The Instant Vaca-tion is one of our favorites, as it renews allof your attributes when ordered.

The graphics are reminiscent of a gamewe reviewed several years ago calledOrbQuest. You have a top-down view ofyour area, in black and white and shades

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of gray. You press an arrow key (or pointyour mouse cursor to a specific area andpress the mouse button), and your charac-ter moves in that direction. Opposingforces can be seen coming toward you.Surrounding territory is unveiled throughline of sight. If you aren�t turned to face aspecific area, don�t expect to see anythingcoming at you from that direction!

The command list can be accessedthrough the Commands menu or by typingin the first letter of the command. Forexample, �Action� would be typed as A.

When you have completed all 10 tasksassigned to you by the TaskMaker, youbecome Master of the land. For example,the first quest is to retrieve a package theTaskMaker has safely hidden in the villageof Skysail; the second is to recover a seem-ingly unimportant chess set. Each timeyou complete a quest, the TaskMakerrewards you with a helpful gift.

Should you complete all 10 quests, anadditional menu appears called Master.Now you can become Ethereal wheneveryou wish and walk through those wallsyou could never get through before. Youcan modify a surrounding area�s floor type(changing brick to soil, for example). Youcan also select anything or anyone youwish and place it in front of you with theAdd Person command. There are also X-Ray Vision, Stop Time, Place Object, andEnhanced Identify spells.

The game includes a brief but helpfultips section at the back of the manual.You�ll have to learn how to decipher mes-sages as you go about saving the Kingdom.Also, watch out for the Ex-Ray ring�itisn�t what you think it is! We might alsomention that you should be careful howmuch alcohol your character drinks, as itcould affect his capabilities.

The best piece of initial advice we canoffer is that you must explore everything.Curiosity in this case could kill the cat, butoften your inquisitiveness will lead you toanother clue or another special item thatwill help you conquer the 10 quests.

Once again, it is proven that those whowrite game code specifically for one com-puter system and don�t rely on a port ofanother system�s code usually publish abetter-than-average game. TaskMaker issimple enough so that anyone new toMacintosh gaming will have an enjoyabletime learning how to play it. But the gameis also packed with enough puzzles and,encounters to make a seasoned adventur-ing veteran rarely leave his Macintoshwhen involved in a quest. TaskMaker is agreat deal of fun and receives a high rec-ommendation from us, despite graphicsthat don�t meet today�s higher-standards,

Atari Corporation 1196 Borregas AvenueSunnyvale CA 94088-3427(408) 745-2000

Lynx * * * * *

Video game system $179.95(Price maybe higher until more readilyavailable)

You quite simply won�t believe the newAtari Lynx, the worlds first color portablevideo-game system. It is, in one word,awesome. Atari has responded to theother portable game machines released byother companies with a bombshell of itsown. The Lynx is going to send ripples ofenvy throughout the home video-gamemarket-and cries of pain from thosecompanies that can�t possibly compete onthis level.

The entire game system weighs aboutone pound and is nearly the size of a VHSvideocassette. Internal speakers playstereo digitized sound. The high resolutionLCD (liquid crystal display) color screen is3½� long and possesses a resolution of160 x 102 pixels. There is also an externalpower adapter that can be used to powerthe Lynx when playing at home. Other-wise, six AA batteries power the unit. Acigarette-lighter adapter and a portablepower system will soon also be available.

The developers also integrated manytasks into the hardware that are usuallywritten by the actual game programmers.For example, the Lynx can automaticallyscale objects on the screen to match thegamer�s perspective without having theprogrammer worry about coding sucheffects. For the consumer, this means thatmore memory can be used for the actualgame itself without worrying about pe-ripheral tasks.

The Lynx contains brightness and vol-ume controls as well as an eight-directional joypad. Also included are twosets of fire buttons and three functionbuttons. The fire buttons are positioned sothat a left- or right-handed player can usethe Lynx by pressing a function buttonthat flips the screen.

Another exciting feature is the ComLynxcable that gives multiplayer capabilities.For example, two Lynx units are inter-faced with the ComLynx cable, and amultiplayer game is loaded. When eitherplayer�s on-screen character walks in frontof the second player�s character, a perspec-tive view of the other character is viewedby both gamers�from their own charac-ter�s first-person view.

The Lynx loads games into its memoryfrom small game cards that measure just alittle over 2� square. Each card can holdas much as eight megabytes of informa-tion. The games provide as many as 16colors on-screen from a palette of 4,096colors. The first game offerings weredeveloped by Epyx, which played themajor role in getting the Lynx designedand produced. Among the games availableis California Games, which allows theplayer to surf, race in BMX, battle it outwith footbags, or head into the halfpipefor some high surfing. action. The graphicsput many desktop computer systems to

shame. Another game available is BlueLightning, a fast-action aircraft game inwhich the player must fly 10 differentmissions while destroying or avoidingenemy planes and ground obstacles. An-other release is The Gates of Zendocon, aspace-action game in which you must flythrough 50 universes while facing 50different types of enemies using lasers,bombs, and shields. Electrocop is afantastic 3-D game in which the playermust maneuver through mazes in order toreach weapons and information to rescuethe President�s daughter. In Chip’s Chal-lenge, the player must navigate through150 mazes and many different enemies toreach his love. Atari is also working withmany third-party developers to produceeven more stunning games for the Lynx.

Before you purchase any portable gamesystem, look for the Lynx in the electron-ics or games section of your local com-puter or toy retailer. We honestly feel thatthe Lynx throws the Gameboy into theprehistoric age due to the Lynx�s far supe-rior (and color!) graphics. This systemmust be considered an equal to the new16-bit machines that dominate the market.The only difference is that the Lynx canbe taken and played anywhere. In ouropinion, software developers should beeager to produce games for this machineas it opens the doorway to the technologyof the future�today!

OriginP.O.Box 161750Austin TX 78716

Knights of Legend XApple II version $49.95

There is no question in our minds thatthe game�s author, Todd Mitchell Porter, isan extremely talented programmer andgame designer. There is no doubt in ourminds that this game required years ofcoding and testing. Unfortunately, there is

also no doubt in our minds that Knights ofLegend simply does not work well in theApple II environment. Please keep in mindthat all of our comments regardingKnights of Legend refers only to the AppleII version. We intend to review any otherversions that are released for 16- or 32-bitsystems. At least in systems that allow formore code per floppy disk and more mem-ory, play action should be continuous.

The problems facing this game are sev-eral. First of all, this is a massive adven-

ture, arriving on three double-sided AppleII disks. Immediately, one begins to thinkof how he might. copy the files from the5.25� media to 3.5� media (if one is luckyenough to possess both 5.25� and 3.5�Apple II drives). For those with only 5.25�capabilities, our sympathies go out to you.We initiated our review and attempted tokeep the game operating in the lowestcommon environment, that being a two-disk system of the 5.25� variety, but thedisk swapping was absolutely insane. Not

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interact with other citizens is exceptional.The purchase of armaments, and the on-screen displays of your characters and thenasties that oppose you have all beenthought out in great detail. The problem isthat there is too much detail for a systemthat requires so many disk swaps. We�regoing to hope for another version of thegame and then complete a new review ona system that takes full advantage of the.game�s creativity and FRPG environment.And whoever is responsible for testinggame disks should take a stab at trying tocopy files from the master disks onto 3.5�disks and see why they�re so buggy!

After spending hours and hours in theextremely slow process of game play, wefound other problems. For example, weleft a city through its eastern exit gate, butwhen the outdoor map arrived on-screenwe were on the west side of the city. Com-bat is excruciatingly slow; the combatmoves must be predetermined for eachcharacter, including what kind of swingyou make and where you wish your attackto hit. And the creatures you�ll encounterseem particularly rough for new adventur-ers. This latter remark should probably betaken with a grain of salt, though, as wemoved out far and wide beyond the firsttown. Probably most novice adventurerswould take stock of their initial surround-ings and only venture a few miles fromthe first city to scout the area. Usually theweaker creatures and other adversariesare in territory close to �home, having beenplaced there to enable players to obtain afeel for the game and to aid in increasingexperience for the young party.

This adventure has a great deal of poten-tial, though. The manner in which you

only do you need to swap disks simply toget through the opening animation se-quence, but when you start operatingwithin the realm of Ashtalarea, the diskswapping can drive you bonkers.

We tried to back up the disks to 3.5�drives, but the game didn�t want to locate individual files. What it does look for aredisk names, which means you have toname your 3.5� disks with the same nameas the master disks in your 5.25� drives.So, for six 5.25� disks, you�ll need six 3.5�disks. We had a total of two 3.5� diskdrives and two 5.25� disk drives. We werehoping to maintain our /CHARS disk andthe MASTERA disk in the 3.5� drives.However, when using the standard disk-copying method from the Apple IIdesktop, none of the files copied correctly.The code directing the graphics wasbutchered during the copying procedure,disabling the screen displays. It didn�tmatter which of the six master disks wecopied, the same problem occurred whenthe computer� read the data from the 3.5�drives.

MicroPlay (MicroProse)180 Lakefront DriveHunt Valley MD 21030(301) 771-1151

Savage ****Commodore 64/128 version $29.95

Many Commodore 64/128 games leavegamers cold, as the C64/128 is an 8-bitsystem and does not possess the capabili-ties of the newer 16- and 32-bit computerand game systems containing state-of-the-art graphics and sound capabilities. But weshould have known that MicroPlay (a partof MicroProse) wouldn�t bother with analso-ran kind of arcade game for con-sumers. Add in the fact that UnitedKingdom-based Firebird developed thisoffering, and you have great action.

Savage is one of the best C64/128 arcadegames we�ve played lately. Especially ofnote is the game�s music, which is of ex-traordinarily high quality. The graphicsprites are well designed, and play is fast.Plus, you don�t have to memorize a bunchof awkward keyboard commands to oper-ate your on-screen character.

The object is similar to most arcade/fantasy games: survive the dungeons,gather items of wealth and items that willhelp you reach your goal, fight a nastynastie to progress to the next level, thentake on the ultimate creatures. You�ll alsobecome an eagle to fly the final labyrinthsto battle the wisplike ghosts and assorteddemons as you fight to maintain your linkto your Maiden and free her from herprison.

Yes, Savage is savage�on both yourjoystick palm and fire-button finger. If youaren�t quick, you�re dead. You earn extrapoints and bonus lives by battling andwinning over those who confront you.Savage is a very good arcade/fantasy gameand is well named!

News and new products

Cinemaware (805-495-6515) has releasedIt Came From the Desert, a science-fictionspectacular inspired by the classic 1950s�B� movies such as The Blob and Them.This is the first interactive creature fea-ture for home computers. The game takesplace in the California desert communityof Lizard Breath, a backwater town devoidof cultural development. The tranquil livesof this small town�s inhabitants are shat-tered as a meteor strikes nearby and re-ported sightings of giant bugs surface.There�s human drama and challengingarcade sequences, including a fully inter-active movie script with multiple storylines and in-depth character development.This thriller is for the Commodore Amigafor $49.95.

Dynamix (503-343-0772) has hinted atsome new offerings that it will release.The first is Dragon, an interactive moviethat incorporates a point-and-click userinterface. The second new offering is RedBaron, a World War I flying simulation forPC/MS-DOS computers and will supportVGA graphics. Red Baron encompasses amore complex technology than the compa-ny�s A-10 Tank Killer flight simulator re-

lease, and you�ll become embroiled inaerial dog fights. Commodore Amiga ver-sions of these games can be expected inlate 1990.

Sierra has also announced other newofferings to be released in the near future.The first is Sorcerian, a wide-ranging role-playing game with stunning graphics andmusic from Japan. There are 15 separaterole-playing adventures with Sorcerian;you�ll search for a lost talisman, battle thesinister Medusa�s Neck that has turned anentire town to stone, and more.

The second new offering is Code Name:Ice Man, in which gamers must rescue anAmerican ambassador from a group offanatical terrorists. You experience a fu-turistic nuclear attack submarine simula-tor as you guide a sub around the globeand into combat with enemy warships.

The third Sierra game is The Colonel’sBequest, a murder mystery set in theroaring �20s in New Orleans. The talehappens in real time with events occur-ring constantly. Taking the role of LauraBow, you interact with other charactersand listen in on conversations to discoverthe clues to the real story of the Dijonfamily.

These Sierra games will be released forPC/MS-DOS, Atari ST, Commodore Amiga,Apple IIGS, and Macintosh computers.

Clue corner

Ultima IV (Origin)Go to the back of Lord British�s Castle

armed with a �Y� (up) spell and some windchange spells. Enter the locked room witha ladder, go down and back up, and theballoon should be waiting for you.

The 8th moon phase is Magincia.The Shrine of Spirituality is in Moon

gate 5,5 (near Minoc).Heywood and Faultless (in Maginca)

know the mantra of Humility.Rick Jackson

Newport News VA

Remember when Neil Reicher stated inour July 1989 column that the Shrine ofHumility is protected by hordes of de-mons? True enough; however, Dan Hat-trup, of Overland Park, Kans., knows of ahorn buried somewhere that will keepthose demons from appearing. All youhave to do, once you�ve found the horn, isto �Use� the horn�and you�re all set!

The Lessers

Visit the Seer Hawkwind often to seeyour progress on the paths of virtue. Hewill tell you when you are ready to go tothe shrines and become a partial Avatar.

Don�t use the Skull of Mondain any-where other than O�J�, O�, J�.

Never exit the balloon without firstdescending, or your game will bed e s t r o y e d .

Go to Lord British on the second floor ofBritannia for healing, help, and informa-

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tion (ask about virtues and principles).When talking to characters, try

[HEAL]th, [JOB], [NAME], [LOOK], and[JOIN]. Also, use any words that they utterin your replies to them. Answer questionstruthfully.

If you need gold fast, try the dungeonsfor best results.

If you are an Avatar, have all eight inyour party equipped with mystic weaponsand armor, then go and find them again.You will have double the amount of each.Sell the extras. Repeat when needed.

Go through Magincia, head south, and

just before the bridge you�ll find theShepherd.

At the Buccaneer�s Den (try south ofLock Lake or east of Trinsic), you canobtain some powerful magic wands andmagic bows. The Shrine of Sacrifice possesses Night-shade that�s easy to obtain.

Although guarded by numerousDaemons, the Shrine of Humility is locatedsouth of Moonglow.

Chris CarmanOxford OH

That�s it for this month, fellow gamers.Don�t forget that hundreds of DRAGON®Magazine gamers are anxiously awaitingyour game hints to get them through theiradventures. Send your hints and tips to:

The Lessers179 Pebble PlaceSan Ramon CA 94583

Until next month; fellow adventurers,game on!

Convention Calendar SYDCON, April 13-16Continued from page 85

Inquiries are now being accepted for the deal-ers� room, for advertising in the conventionprogram, and for additional sponsors. Write to:STELLARCON XV, Science Fiction Fantasy Soci-ety, P.O. Box 4, Elliot University Center, UNCG,Greensboro NC 27412.

DEF-CON II, April 7-8�The Year After� will be held at the Howard

Johnson�s in Portage, Ind. Activities includeAD&D® 1st and 2nd Edition, CHILL*, TWI-LIGHT: 2000*, MARVEL SUPER HEROES�,CYBERPUNK*, GURPS*, PARANOIA*, BATTLE-TECH*, CAR WARS*, and BLOODBOWL* games,with open gaming and miniatures-dioramacontests. Prizes will be awarded. Registration is$6/day, or $11 for both days; at the door, it willbe $7 for one day and $13 for both. Write to:Dave Machin, 713 Juniper Road, Valpariaso IN46383; or call: (219) 759-2530.

MOUNTAINTOP �90, April 7-8The Gaming Club at Lehigh University will

host its second annual convention at the Univer-sity Center on Lehigh�s campus in Bethlehem,Penn. Several RPGA� Network sanctionedevents are scheduled, along with BATTLE-TECH*, GURPS*, AXIS AND ALLIES*, andTALISMAN* games. Other activities include aminiatures contest, a swap meet, vendors, and afantasy artwork sale. Prizes will be awarded totournament and contest winners. Registration:$6/day or $10 for both if registered by March15, $9/day or $15 for both days thereafter.Write to: Brett King, Box 286, Lehigh UniversityBethlehem PA 18015; or call: (215) 758-1409.

LEPRECON XVI, April 13-15This art-oriented SF/fantasy convention will be

held at the Sheraton Phoenix in Phoenix, Ariz.(phone 602-257-1525). Guests of honor are RickCook and Jim Fitzpatrick. Gaming events in-clude AD&D® (Monster Mash and more),BATTLETECH*, micro-armor, WARHAMMERFANTASY*, GURPS*, STAR WARS*, EMPIREBUILDER*, and SHADOWRUN* games, andmany RPGA� Network events. Other activitiesinclude workshops and panels, a miniatures-painting contest, a used-game auction, check-outgames, and open gaming: Registration: $20 untilthe convention. Write to: LEPRECON, PO. Box26665, Temple AZ 85282; or call: (602) 968-7833.For gaming information, write to: Don Har-rington, 3505 E. Campbell #14, Phoenix AZ85018; or call: (602) 952-1344, before 10 P.M.MST, please.

This convention will be held at Globe HighSchool in Sydney, Australia. Events will includeAD&D® games; two RPGATM Network events (forthe GAMMA WORLD® and JAMES BOND 007*games); and CALL OF CTHULHU*, PARANOIA*,RUNEQUEST*, TOON*, and freeform games.Write to: Diane Leithhead, GPO Box 1560,Sydney, NSW, AUSTRALIA 2001.

AMIGOCON V, April 20-22This convention will be held at the Embassy

Suites hotel in El Paso, Texas. The guests ofhonor are Poul and Karen Anderson, and theartist guest of honor is David Cherry. Otherguests include Arlan Andrews, Gail Gerstner-Miller, Robert E. Vardeman and many more.Registration: $12 until April 15, $15 at the door.Write to: AMIGOCON, PO. Box 3177, El Paso TX79923; or call: (915) 593-1848.

GAME FAIRE �90, April 20-22The 11th-annual Faire will be held at the

Spokane Falls Community College in Spokane,Wash. Events include tournaments, micro-armor, historical miniatures, a video room, adealers� area, RPGs, board and family games,and a used-game auction, with SCA talks anddemonstrations. Registration: $10 prepaid forthe weekend, $12 for the weekend at the door,or $5 for Friday or Sunday, and $6 for Saturday.Proceeds will go to the Wishing Star Founda-tion. Write to: Merlyn�s, N. 1 Browne, SpokaneWA 99201; or call: (509) 624-0957.

JAXCON SOUTH �90, April 20-22Jacksonville�s Cowford Dragoons are hosting

the South�s oldest full-service gaming conventionat Jacksonville Florida�s Civic Auditorium. Fea-tured are: RPGA� AD&D® adventures, withAD&D®, SNIPER�, CIVILIZATION*, GHOSTBUSTERS*, SEEKRIEG*, Napoleonics, BATTLE-TECH* CALL OF CTHULHU*, WRG*,ILLUMINATI*, SPACE: 1889*, TRAVELLER*,ELEMENT MASTERS*, WARHAMMER*, ROBO-TECH*, STAR WARS*, and microarmor games.There will also be computer and board gaming,a swap meet/flea market, a dealers� area, and

movies. Write to: JAXCON SOUTH �90, P.O Box4423; Jacksonville FL 32201.

OURCON II, April 20-22This year�s convention will be held on the

campus of the University of North Carolina inChapel Hill. There will be three RPGA� AD&D®tournaments, as well as open gaming, boardgames, miniatures, and CLAY-0-RAMA. Write to:OURCON II, 605 Jonesberry Road, Box SS-7,Carrboro NC 27510.

UBCON �90, April 20-22UBCON �90 will be held on the the State Uni-

versity of New York Buffalo, Amherst (North)campus, and is sponsored by the UB Strategicand Role-Playing Assoc. Events include anAD&D® tournament, with many other strategyand role-playing games. Other activities includea movie room and an auction. Registration: $5,not including entry fees for cash-prize tourna-ments. Write to: Martin Szinger, UB/SaRPAConvention Director, 210 Curtis Pkwy., BuffaloNY 14233; or call: (716) 833-4610.

WERECON XII, April 20-22This year�s convention will be sponsored by

the Detroit Gaming Center and the City ofDetroit Recreation Dept., and will be held at theLighthouse Center in Detroit, Mich. The guest ofhonor is Ramon Moore. Other guests includeErick Wujcik and some of Detroit�s best gamemasters. Events include a complete schedule ofRPGs and tournaments (sorry, no dealer room).Registration: free, game fees from $1 to $4.Write to: Erick Wujcik, P.O. Box 1623, Detroit MI48231; or call: (313) 833-3016.

LITTLE WARS �90, April 27-29The Historical Miniatures Gaming Society

(HMGS) is proud to announce that this year�sconvention will be held at the Zion LeisureCenter in Zion, Ill. This is a miniatures-orientedconvention with games spanning history andbeyond. Registration: $6/day, or $8 for theweekend, with a $2 discount for HMGS mem-bers. There will be event fees. Judges are wel-come. Write to: Robert Bigelow, c/o Friends�Hobby Shop, 1411 Washington St., Waukegan IL60085; or call: (708) 336-0790.

NAME THAT CON III, April 27-29Sponsored by the St. Charles SF/Fantasy

Society, �III� will be held at the Holiday Inn St.Louis-Downtown. Guests of honor are GeorgeAlec Effinger, Todd Hamilton, Wilson (Bob)Tucker, and Laura LeHew. Events include pro-gramming, a masquerade, filking, a play, work-shops, an art show, a hucksters� room, videos,and a charity auction. Registration is $16 untilMarch 1, or $20 thereafter. Write to: NAMETHAT CON III, P.O. Box 575, St. Charles MO63301; or call either Marie at: (314) 724-0808; orCheryl at: (3140 946-9147; no collect calls, please.For hotel reservations, call: (314) 421-4000 or(800) 465-4329.

us know if our “Convention Calendar” served yourneeds. Your comments are always welcome.

How effective was your convention listing? If you are aconvention organizer, please write to the editors and let

DRAGON 101

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Grenadier’s Fire Giant

Welcome to the second installment ofthe gift-idea column started in DRAGON®issue #152. I realize that most of you havelong since spent your Christmas moneyand are now facing the prospect of payingoff your holiday debts. This column hassome miniatures that might let you focuson fun for a change.

Reviews

Miniatures� product ratings

* Poor* * Below average* * * Average* * * * Above average* * * * * Excellent

GHQ2634 Bryant Avenue SouthMinneapolis MN 55408

VT1 Terrain Maker: The GamingScenery Videotape * * * *½

In issue #152, we reviewed a series ofhex scenery products made by GHQ calledTerrain Makers. These hex-shaped pieceswere given a three-and-a-half-star rating,partially because of the work it takes tofinish and landscape these hexes. Therating was also based on the lack of cer-tain specific instructions (e.g., how tomodify the hexes and apply the finishes

104 MARCH 1990

Some post-Christmas gift goodies�for yourself

©1990 by Robert Bigelow

needed to produce usable terrain).GHQ has remedied this latter problem

through the production of a new video-tape. Terrain Maker: The Gaming SceneryVideotape is a 40-minute VHS tape thatgoes through the process needed to makea successful battle board. Step-by-stepinstructions are given on how to produceeach type of hex, including ditches. Itstarts with a simple road hex, then goesthrough the process needed to form dif-ferent types of river and beach scenes andbanks, and the careful process of makinghills. The tape includes tips on manufac-turing different types of trees�even palmtrees. The majority of the tree types areusable in 5mm only; larger-scale treesshould be purchased separately.

One of the most interesting parts of thetape is a detailed set of instructions onhow to transfer and convert the terrainfrom a real map or illustration into a fin-ished battle board. While this may seemsimple to many of us, to a beginner it canbe a very difficult maneuver. The tapesshows how to cut table-size templates andfigure out the actual hexes needed tomake the board. While the tape is directedprimarily toward GHQ material, the meth-ods can work for many different scalesand types of terrain as well.

This tape is directed mostly towardhobby shops with the intention of allowingcustomers to borrow the tape. If yourhobby shop is unable or unwilling to pur-chase or stock this tape, it is available

directly from GHQ for $24.95. A series ofterrain manuals will appear as well, start-ing in spring 1990.

Scotia Micro Models32 West Hemming StreetLetham, AngusScotland DD8 2PU

Simtac, Inc.20 Attawan RoadNiantic CT 06357

SF-01 Large Tank With HeavyHull * * * *

SF-04 Primitive Grav Tank * * * *Scotia is producing a growing line of

science-fiction miniatures. The types ofvehicles and weapons are generic, so youcan determine your own stats for theweapons and vehicles.

SF-01, a large tank, comes as a three-piece package consisting of a top, a bottomplate, and an unspecified gun. The scale islisted as 1/300th or 5mm scale. The vehicleis 1¾� long, ¾� wide, and ¾� tall. It�s aheavy miniature in more than just name.

The bottom is slightly beveled on allsides and is covered by a large number ofraised blocks of different sizes and shapes.Some of the blocks appear to be crackedby design, although there is one with amold flaw. The top piece of the hull is alsocovered with these blocks (possibly equip-ment modules and access panels). The

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vehicle�s front slopes down at an angle.There is an observation bubble on theroof, two exits on the side, and one largeexit in the rear between two engines. Thegun is a nonturreted, multibarrel, gatling-gun-type weapon with good detail on thebarrel, including cables and cooling fins.

Several spots on the miniature havemolding lines or flash that must becleaned, including the front and rear ofthe vehicle and the gun�s ends. The enginedetail is good on the gun side of the vehi-cle but not so good on the other. Also, thetank has a potential battle problem sincethere is no provision for the turret toturn.

This vehicle is amazingly flexible with alittle scratch work, extra weapons andturrets, etc. It could be used as an APC aswell as a tank and would fit with the fig-ures in Games Workshop�s 5mm line. Withwork, this could be a gem. It costs $3.50.

SF-04 is a primitive grav tank that comesin two sections, the body and the gun. Thebody is relatively small, measuring only¾� long by 3/8” wide. The height with gunis 3/8”. The vehicle looks like an earlymodel grav tank. It has a boxlike, chunkylook with unmatched plates on both sidesand lower front but none on the upperstructure. There are forward-facing lights,a hatch cover on the front slope, and agrill on the rear deck. Several lift units aremolded into the bottom of the miniature,which is skirted at the edge.

The gun consists of a long-barreled, side-mounted howitzer in an open position.One man may be positioned in the struc-ture to the side, but an automatic loaderinside is more likely. There are no obviousfire-control mechanisms except for whatappears to be a telescopic sight next to thebarrel and a small circular screen.

There are mold flash and mold marks on

M-3 Miniatures’ Trucks, Hovers, and Crosses of Davion

these units, the most glaring being on therear door/hatch, which is split, with thelower half sunk in. Scotia took the extratime to put lifters (antigravity units) on thebottom, but the miniature is hollow andopen to the bottom, which defeats thepurpose of the extra bottom detail. Mostof the problems can be fixed with a littlework, though.

These vehicles would be assigned tothird-rate units on backwater planets. Theunits also fit in well with Steve JacksonGames� OGRE® or GEV® games as back-upfield units. Older vehicles are frequentlyforgotten in the �more bang for the buck�buying sprees but can add new dimen-

sions to a campaign or prolonged war.These vehicles can be purchased for $3.50per pack of five.

Scotia’s Large Tanks With Heavy Hull

FASA CorporationP.O. Box 6930Chicago IL 60680

5951 Aeneas TOG Light Tank * * * * *5954 Spartius Renegade LegionMedium APC * * * *

Our next set of miniatures comes fromthe embattled worlds of FASA�s RENEGADELEGIONTM universe. This game of rebellionin outer space is providing an increasingnumber of vehicles whose use can crossover into other games.

Set #5951 represents one of the mostpopular of TOG light tanks, as per FASA�sCenturion Vehicle Briefing. The vehicle,for game purposes, is fast, maneuverable,well armored, and has a potent punch.The turret mounts a gauss gun, a lasersystem, and rockets for added firepower.

The Aeneas came packaged in a group ofthree vehicles. Each vehicle was composedof four pieces, including a two-piece clearplastic hex base that fits into the bottom ofeach tank. Some minor work on the standwill adjust it properly. The body of eachtank is 1 1/8" long by 5/16” wide. The tankhas a shield-type ridge (like a bumper)with a sloped front that leads up to ahatch just below the main gun barrel. Thesides have many vents and two morehatches apiece. The bottom has six clearlift units. The turret is approximately ½�long and ¼� wide, not including the mis-sile rack. There are two main guns on thefront of the turret, and one large hatch onthe center of either side.

These vehicles are of excellent quality,with no flash evident except at the ends of

DRAGON 105

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The Heroes set consists of 10 figures,representing the prominent heroes from

the DRAGONLANCE Chronicles. All figuresare done in soft lead, and all except Laur-ana have round bases. These bases are

to represent the DRAGONLANCE saga�scharacters. Now, Ral Partha has satisfiedthese demands with the release of theDRAGONLANCE Heroes set.

the number of modules increased, so didthe demand for figures that could be used

5938 Cartage CourtCincinnati OH 45212

10-502 DRAGONLANCE® Heroesboxed figures set * * * * *

With the DRAGONLANCE Chroniclestrilogy came the series of AD&D®

DRAGONLANCE modules that used thecharacters and settings of the novels. As

page 91 in the Centurion Vehicle Briefingsignificantly and does not seem wideenough to allow a person to exit the vehi.cle. The rear also differs from the illustra-tion in that the outward panels that go tothe skirt are missing. The front of thevehicle is split to roughly half the unit�slength, then shows crew hatches andaccess panels. The bottom has well-doneengraving on the lift units and panels but

is not spectacular.The turret is 3/8� wide by 5/16� long.There are obvious sensor units on the leftside� and a rocket pod on the right. Gundetail is excellent as were the hatches.

This is an interesting APC that is well done and has many possibilities in othergames. It is highly recommended at $6.00per pack.

Ral Partha Enterprises, Inc.

width). The sides present a modestrounded slope with hatches or access

panels clearly visible. The access panel onthe side differs from the illustration on

light tank. The stands for these vehicleshave mold defects that put them at an

angle, but this is easily corrected.Each Spartius is 1 3/8� long by ¾� widealong the rear (the front tapers to a ¼�

gines and armor in the front to protect thetroops. This is comparable to either theM-2 in the U.S. or the MICV 80 in GreatBritain. The Spartius is fast and heavilyarmored, and can lay down fire fields forthe troops it deploys, though its troopshave a close fit.

These miniatures come three to a pack-age, with the same four-piece set-up as the

features that prevail in our equipmenttoday. The troop compartment is locatedin the rear of the vehicle, with both en-

gade Legions, as per the Centurion VehicleBriefing. This vehicle presents many of the

the most versatile weapons of the Rene-

and front. I highly recommend these vehi- cles at $6.00 per pack of three. Set #5954 has the Spartius APC, one of

Briefing, most notably on the upper sides

the barrels. They do differ slightly fromthe illustrations in the Centurion Vehicle

1 0 6 M A R C H 1 9 9 0

Ral Partha’s DRAGONLANCE® Heroes

Ral Partha did a good job matching the

Caramon is leaning forward aggres-

figures to the descriptions in the books, asthe following shows:

sively, as if fighting. He wields a long

Goldmoon is standing in a relaxed posi-tion, holding a lute in her right hand and a

sword in his left hand with a shield on his

staff and symbol in her left. The figure haslong, flowing hair with braids over her

right arm. A plate-mail suit covers his

shoulders. A simple blouse and belt with abuckle that blends into an elaborate, fur-

entire body, except for his full-length

trimmed loin cloth and pouch complete

boots. His tunic, worn under his shoulder

the clothing. For outer wear, she has a full-length fur-trimmed cloak, and her buck-skin boots are also fur-lined and

plates, flows naturally. The simple belts

fur-trimmed.

and buckles are clearly visible. Caramon

Flint is clothed in a set of brigandinearmor that covers him from his shoulders

wears a winged helmet, and his face bears

to just below the waist. The rivets andindividual pieces are clearly visible as is

a look of grim determination.

the weapons harness that crosses the backand front. The helmet is horned and splitslightly to allow for his hair. Flint has adetailed beard but is somewhat thinner inthe body than I�d expected. He looks likehe is growling, and he is shaking his leftfist. His right hand holds a battle axe.Simple boots, a shirt, and forearm buck-lers-finish his wardrobe,

textured with a rocklike surface that lendsitself well to painting and detailing. Laur-ana�s base is square shaped and is not asneatly done, being slightly crooked alongthe sides.

Photography by Ral Partha

Tasslehoff stands at the ready, with asling in his left hand and a rock in hisright. He is clothed in simple pants andbuckle boots, and is wearing a sleevelessfur coat. His face has a look of foreboding.His hair is pulled back into a topknot thatflows down his back. He is also carryingwater containers and provisions on hisbelt.

Tika is wearing a chain-mail shirt that iscut off just above the waist in the frontbut which extends down in the back.

clad in a tight-fitting material that shows

Under the chain is a shift that extends toher knees. Her wide belt holds a dagger

hints of the muscles underneath. A simple

and a sword sheath. Her hair is coveredby a metal skull cap that is part chain and

belt holds a breech cloth, a sheathed

is peaked. Her right leg has a plate protec-tor, and her left leg is bare. Both her feet

sword, and a buckskin-fringed pouch. On

are covered in simple boots. A sword isheld aggressively in her right hand.

his back is a buckskin-fringed quiver full

Laurana is wearing very simple clothes,a form-fitting body stocking with simple

of arrows, with individual shafts and

boots. Over this stocking, she has a chain-mail shirt and a vest. Long hair flows

feathers showing. His head and hair are

down her back and covers her shoulderprotectors. Both arms and hands are pro-

unclad except for a headband. A look of

tected by gauntlets, and she bears a spearin her right hand and a sword in her left.

grim determination is on his face as he

Riverwind is dressed simply with buck-skin and a furred shirt showing a lot of

holds a bow in his right hand. His arm

detail, stretching from his shoulders tobelow his waist. From waist to boots, he is

Page 109: Dragon Magazine #155

Raistlin is the picture of a mage casting a

Finally, there is Tanis the half-elf. Hereaches across his shoulder with his righthand to grab an arrow from his quiver. His

spell. He wears a long, fringed, hooded

cloak goes from shoulder to floor and isheld by a simple clasp. Tanis is dressed as

robe with a cape reaching to his ankles.

a typical ranger in leathers and fur-linedshirt and boots. The vest has a design

His boots are plain, but his belt is woven.

worked into it, as does his dagger scab-bard. The belt has a pouch attached.

His face is set in concentration. Clutched

Tanis�s face is finely chiseled with a neatlygroomed beard, although he appears

in his upraised left hand is his staff, which

gaunt. His left hand clutches his bow.

ends in a large gnarled hand clutching a

Ral Partha has done its usual fine job onthis figure set. The only problems noted(aside from Laurana�s base) were small

crystal ball. A wealth of well-detailed spell

amounts of flash from the vent holes(holes made in the mold to allow the metal

components hangs from his belt.

to flow) and a lack of detail on Tanis�sboots and Sturm�s shield.

With the detailed pictures available forpainting guides, these figures will makeeither a very good collectors set or anexcellent player-character set that can beused even for non-DRAGONLANCE cam-paigns. The set retails for $10.95.

Grenadier Model, Inc.P.O. Box 305Springfield PA 19064

Grenadier Models UK Ltd.19 Babage Road, DeesideClwyd, WalesUnited Kingdom CH5 2QB

Gren-713 Fire Giant * * * *Giants are a favorite target of adventur-

ers everywhere; and now Grenadier hasadded a new target with its fire giant: Thesample submitted for review is of anarmor-clad giant that measures a hefty

muscles are clearly shown, as are the bowguards.

Sturm is a typical example of a knight orhigh-level fighter. He is dressed from neckto boots in a chain-mail shirt and leggings.The boots are heavy leather with platesprotecting the front of the ankles andshins. Plate also protects his thighs andshoulders, with an ornate breastplate andgroin protector. He is wearing an engravedhorned helmet, and he has a stern lookthat is backed up by his raised rune-sword. Leather gauntlets protect bothhands, and a plain shield is on his left arm.This shield has no engraving on it tomatch the illustration on the box. I recom-mend that you get a magnifying glass andcarefully trace out a design on anothersheet of paper before attempting theshield freehand.

2 5/8� (65mm) high by 1 ¼� (30mm) wide atthe shoulders. The figure is in a slightlycrouched position with a feral snarl andfangs. A ragged beard covers a high-cheeked face and pug nose. The head iscovered by a small, banded helm thatextends to cover the back of his neck.

The detail on the figure is good butshallow. When we attempted to paint thefigure, much of the hair was obscured byprimer that was applied in only one thin

The body of the giant shows bare skinon the arms from the shoulder down and

coat. Some of the scaly hide detail will

on the backs of the thighs. Both areasshow excellent muscle detail with short

disappear unless you are very careful. The

wiry hair visible on the arms. The gianthas banded plate on his shoulders, and his

figure is a good buy for the variety that it

waist armor extends to mid-thigh. The restof his body is armored by a scaly pebbled

provides when used with figures by other

hide. The general consensus around myhobby shop is that the hide closely resem-bles the skin on a toad or a fire salaman-

companies; it costs only $3.50.

der. The giant�s battle axe has a head15mm across.

M-3 Miniatures33 Mario CourtPlymouth MI 48170

1004 Cooler Trailer Truck **

1013 Troop Hovers * * * *

1102 Cross of Davion * * * *

Those individuals who don�t recognizethe name M-3 Miniatures should not feelleft out. M-3 Miniatures is a one-year-oldcompany that has developed a set ofscience-fiction miniatures to go with an as-

yet unreleased set of miniatures rules. Inthe interim, the packages are being sold asgeneral-duty miniatures.

Set #1004 is labeled as �Cooler TrailerTrucks� and comes with four vehicles thatform two units. Each unit consists of a six-wheel truck cab and trailer. The cab is alarge crew-truck type with a flat-slopedcubic shape resembling contemporarySoviet truck cabs. The unit has tanks onboth sides that could be fuel tanks orpower cells. There is also a large tool boxbehind the cab. Window and side detail isgood, but the roof has a lowered centerand a visible tilt toward the driver�s side.The wheels at the rear of the cab do showa mold line. In addition, one cab in my sethad a deformed set of rear wheels and thesort of deck that occurs when the molddoes not fill properly.

The trailer is 1¼� long, of which ¾� isthe tank unit. The front part of the traileris a container or crew section completewith vent and a pair of etched doors. Onthe roof of the front is a weapon thatcould be a heavy machine gun or cannon.The right front has a deck and tool box.The rear tank area is oval shaped with atop access. This trailer does have somemolding problems. The kingpin is moldedslightly off center, so the trailer is tilted onthe cab. The rear trailer wheels need to beslightly lower, as the trailer rides at adownward angle and the top and rear areslightly malformed. The price is $4.75.

Set #1013 is labeled �Troop Hovers� Thelarge rubber skirt that traps the air cush-ion on each vehicle is very clearly done,even to the mold mark in the front. Eachcraft is 1 5/8” long and ¾� wide. An in-scribed deck on either side of the cabinleads to the rear engines. The rear enginescould be either small jets or turbofans.

FASA’s Spartius Renegade Legion Medium APC Photograph by FASA

DRAGON 107

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The cabin has beveled sides and front withsmall armored windows in the front andsides. There are no noticeable doors, butthere are hatches on the sides between thecabin and rubber skirts. The two uprightfin stabilizers on the roof are of almostuniform thickness, with some pitting andno visible control surfaces.

This model could be used in eitherOGRE, GEV, FASA�s BATTLETECH®, orother games. With the addition of a smallturret from a scrap box, you could convertone to a support vehicle and have a potentunit at a cost of two for $4.75.

Set #1102 is labeled �Cross of Davion.�This package contains two aircraft withlanding gear up. The body length is 2 3/8�

from nose to the end of the T-tail assembly.The body is based on a wedge shape, withtwo large jet intakes located at mid-body.The cockpit starts just behind the noseand has excellent visibility. The wing spanis 1 ¾�, each wing set at right angles to thebody. Underside detail is very good, with avisible weapons bay, wheel wells, andwing and tail control surfaces. Top detail isalso good but not as deeply engraved, andit will be covered if the primer and topcoat are applied too heavily. In addition,there is some slight pitting that requiresnormal work to repair. The price is $4.75per package.

Unfortunately, all of the units sent forreview had problems of some sort thatshould have been caught by quality con-

trol. M-3 expressed surprise that I had somany problems with my samples andoffered to replace the units. M-3 alsostated that there had been a short periodof problems due to employee turnover butthat most of the problems had beensolved. Inspection of my store stock seemsto support this, but I would carefullycheck any packages before purchase andcall any problems to the attention of theshopkeeper or clerk.

c/o Alliance MiniaturesP.O. Box 2347Des Moines IA 50310

Tabletop Games

Tabletop Games53 Mansfield RoadDaybrook, NottinghamUnited Kingdom

BP-10 Alaric MancleaverTabletop Games, long known for its

15mm historical and fantasy figures, isentering the 25mm fantasy field in a bigway. Recently it acquired the rights to theold Asgard 25mm line and is now produc-ing large numbers of those figures, somewith modifications to improve the pieces.

At first glance, this barbarian figureappears to be just another barbarian.Thick, ropy muscles appear on his uncov-ered legs and arms. A huge sword is held

in both hands by the figure in a down-ward slashing pose.

On a closer look, the figure is definitelynot typical. The huge swords pommel hasa skull on a shield. The sword itself is athick blade that does not taper to a point,requiring about 10 minutes worth of trim-ming and filing (be careful as you work, asthe metal is somewhat brittle). The barbar-ian has a slightly exaggerated expressionon his face, and his hair flows into thespaces between his head and arms and thepommel of his sword.

The rest of the body, from the neck tojust below the groin, is covered in chainmail. His necklace has several bear teethand a small skull. The chain mail iscinched at the waist by a simple belt and issplit down either leg. The barbarian�s feetare clad in sandals with straps. He has noscabbard for his sword.This figure has overly exaggerated angu-

lar detail. You will have to work on thisfigure slightly to bring it up to normalquality, but it will make an make an inter-esting contrast figure. The price is $1.25each.

That�s it for this month. If you have anyquestions, write to me at:

Robert Bigelowc/o Friend�s Hobby Shop1411 Washington StreetWaukegan IL 60085

108 MARCH 1990

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