Saturday, September 14, 2013

Review of Dragon Magazine #3

A latter day RPG gamer takes quick glance over Dragon magazine number 3 (1976!) working out if it's worth buying today.

Cover - a science fiction pencil sketch that I would rate at a 10 year old level. Not the best sales pitch!

Dragon Rumbles - A sardonically amusing defense by the editorial staff of their inclusion of fiction within the magazine. Getting defensive already!

Does anyone remember - Gary Gygax regales us with memories of defunct play-by-mail wargames. Zero use to the modern role player.

Notes on Women & Magic - Gadzooks the world was a different place back in '76. Female PC's should not have Charisma, replace this with "Beauty", and Lawful females may not "use Beauty". Sex as a weapon! This article goes on to lay out a series of feminine titles for the various character levels before explaining how women can use special sex specific charm spells on male opponents. Oh dear, it's somewhat back unenlightened.

The Search for the Gnome Cache - Chapters 3 and 4 of the fiction continue. It opens with smut, dodges past a bar room brawl that offered the chance of some action and finishes up with an uneventful start of a journey. Like the previous unexciting installments, meh.

Birth Tables - This article offers some good options for creating  some background for your character. From social rank of parents, monetary allowances, parental occupations and levels. This is a quickstart for building a character around your stats with a few rolls of dice.

Wargaming World - Entirely useless "current" affairs for wargamers.

Mapping the Dungeons - More names and addresses for DM's, my oh my, how carefree we used to be.

Out on a Limb - Readers letters, yawn. Although I liked the one moaning about the fiction!

A Plethora of Obscure Sub Classes - This is an interesting presentation of some new "unofficial" classes. Namely Healers, Scribes and Samurai. These are really just variants on existing classes, but do give you something to think about and consider for adding flavor to your game.

A new view of Dwarves - An interesting take on the Dwarf character, and presents a series of abilities that transform Dwarf from "poor fighter" to "something useful" to the party. It certainly does that, with new abilities and possibilities presented.

New Subclass, the Beserker - Wowzers, this may the first presentation of the Beserker class, not a lot of abilities associated with being a beserker but many behavior rules. I like this.

The Idiot Class - Errr. A class that specializes in acting goofy, in order to confuse the enemy. Printing this was a waste of paper.

The New Category: Jesters - See above. Only with "funny" spells including at 6th level, the "Die Laughing" spell...

GenCon IX's D&D Elimination - A report about a long gone con'. Useless.


That is all folks. This edition is better than the previous two ...but not by much. It has some interesting tables and even a class or two you might want to lift.

Worth 12c to a modern gamer.

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