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Vol. XVI, No. 4

September 1991
9 The burned world: Athas
A journey into TSRs all-new DARK SUN universe.
James M. Ward
10 The Monstrous Side of the DARK SUN World Timothy B.
Brown and William W. Connors
Man-eating halflings? Half-giants? Insect folk? And theyre player
Roger E. Moore

Fiction editor 19 A Letter From the Wanderer Troy Denning

Thousands of undead roam Athas, and no two are ever alike.
Barbara G. Young

Associate editor
24 Random Magic For Organized Minds Timothy B. Brown and
William W. Connors
When you pick up a spell scroll on blasted Athas, dont expect to find
Dale A. Donovan water breathing.
Art director
Production staff
Gaye OKeefe Angelika Lokotz
Tracey Zamagne
30 Bazaar of the Bizarre Ed Greenwood
Elminster reveals the secrets of a dozen new magical staves from the

Janet L. Winters 36 Magic Mangling Made Easy Gregory W. Detwiler
Dont get mad at those magic-users. Get even!

U.S. advertising
Roseann Schnering
41 The Voyage of the Princess Ark Bruce A. Heard
In the Great Hule, they dont suspect their government of lying. They
count on it!

U.K. correspondent
and U.K. advertising
46 Out of Your Chair, Into the Action! Michael A. Ventrella
Live-action role-playing: A look at some very interesting weekend
warriorsand wizards.
Denise Lyne
50 Get Your Priorities Straight! Royce Wicks
Want to play AD&D game alignments in a completely different way?

55 The Role of Computers Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk Lesser

Death Knights of Krynn: If you think youre a match for Lord Soth,
you could be dead wrong.

67 A Little Knowledge fiction by Jerry Oltion

He knew just enough to open the floodgates into trouble: a tale of the
DARK SUN universe.

77 The Sociology of the Flind Spike Y. Jones

What looks like a gnoll, but is a heck of a lot meaner?

87 The Role of Books John C. Bunnell

Maid Marian meets Muffy Birnbaum, and other tales of adventure.

113 Through the Looking Glass Robert Bigelow

What happened to the anti-lead bill in Congress? Its not gone yet!

5 Letters 90 Forum 102 Dragonmirth
6 Editorial 95 TSR Previews 104 Twilight Empire
62 Sage Advice 96 Convention Calendar 108 Gamers Guide

Gerald Brom, whose artwork has brought so much of the DARK SUN setting to
life, reveals a scene from the world of Athas. The creature with the bell is a belgoi,
perhaps announcing the arrival of the wagon in the distance. But for what purpose?
Visit the DARK SUN world and find out.

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What did you think of this issue? Do you have his merry band of 100 kenders in order to Canada, the United Kingdom, and through a limited
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a question about an article or have an idea for a depart on a great adventure. trade in the United States is by Random House, Inc., and
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States and Canada, write to: Letters, DRAGON kender band had found all of the things there to the book trade in the United Kingdom is by TSR Ltd.
Send orders to: Random House, Inc., Order Entry
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U.S.A. In Europe, write to: Letters, DRAGON Waldorf had become a lich! The wand had (800) 733-3000. Newsstand distribution throughout the
Magazine, TSR Ltd., 120 Church End, Cherry malfunctioned and just happened to cast a spell United Kingdom is by Seymour Press Ltd., 334 Brixton
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and nasty undead. Subscriptions: Subscription rates via second-class
Of course, Waldorf wanted revenge on his mail are as follows: $30 in U.S. funds for 12 issues sent
enemies, who had seemed to come out of the to an address in the U.S. or Canada: 16 for 12 issues

Mail call woodwork to kill him. Thus, Parev, Megahnan,

Hanibal the Minotaur (46th-level warrior), and
sent to an address within the United Kingdom; 24 for 12
issues sent to an address in Europe; $50 in U.S. funds
for 12 issues sent by surface mail to any other address,
The following letters were actually received Nicodemis (20th-level sage) wandered the multi- or $90 in U.S. funds for 12 issues sent air mail to any
other address. Payment in full must accompany all
by the editors of DRAGON Magazine and, except verse, slaying the enemies of their lich leader.
subscription orders. In the U.S. and Canada, methods of
for minor editing, appear as they were written. The first to fall was Fist Xavier Redlance. payment include checks or money orders made payable
Megahnan polymorphed Xaviers pet cloud to TSR, Inc., or charges to valid Mastercard or VISA
dragon (14 HD) into a salamander and swallow- credit cards: send subscription orders with payments to:
Dear Mr. Moore, TSR, Inc., P.O. Box 5695, Boston MA 02206, U.S.A. In
I am writing in regards to your editorial in ed him whole. Next, Megahnan broke Redlances the United Kingdom, methods of payment include
issue #168. This column was entitled This is holy avenger +6 with the ancient hammer of cheques or money orders made payable to TSR Ltd., or
only a test. I found the entire tone of the article Kharas, then finished him off with a 46th-level charges to a valid ACCESS or VISA credit card; send
bolt of plasma. subscription orders with payments to TSR Ltd., as per
degrading and ridiculous. The self-justifying that address above. Prices are subject to change without
nature of the column was pathetic. In reality, no Next, Megahnan used his ring of Mirv finding prior notice. The issue of expiration of each subscription
one reads DRAGON Magazine because you are to locate the human known as Mirv the Outra- is printed on the mailing label of each subscribers copy
geous. Megahnan quickly coughed on Mirvs of the magazine. Changes of address for the delivery of
such a brave editor or your job is so intellectual- subscription copies must be received at least six weeks
ly dangerous. I doubt that the editors of Time, band, infecting them with the horrid burning prior to the effective date of the change in order to assure
Newsweek, or U.S. News and World Report fever from the DRAGONLANCE saga, then uninterrupted delivery.
would waste valuable space writing articles turned to face Mr. Outrageous himself. Me- Back issues: A limited quantity of back issues is
gahnan won the first attack and slew Mirv with available from either the TSR Mail Order Hobby Shop
designed with the sole purpose of glorifying and (P.O. Box 756, Lake Geneva WI 53147, U.S.A.) or from
validating their positions. one hit from his sword of infinite slaying. TSR Ltd. For a free copy of the current catalog that lists
It should be stated that, yes, you do a good Thirdly, Hanibal captured Shamogroth available back issues, write to either of the above
job, but thats what you get paid for. If you feel Darkmane while Parev killed Darkmanes band addresses.
Submissions: All material published in DRAGON
insecure in your position or are currently of 89 barbarians with his newest 42nd-level Magazine becomes the exclusive property of the pub-
lacking in self esteem, please see a trained spell, spirit rollingpin. Darkmane fought Hanibal lisher, unless special arrangements to the contrary are
professional and move on to more important and killed Nicodemis (who was along for the made prior to publication. DRAGON Magazine welcomes
fun) in the process. Hanibal became mad and unsolicited submissions of written material and artwork:
topics. however, no responsibility for such submissions can be
Name and address ran Darkmane through with a footmans assumed by the publisher in any event. Any submission
thoughtfully withheld dragonlance. Shamogroth died a coward, accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope of
screaming for his mommy. sufficient size will be returned if it cannot be published.
by the editor We strongly recommend that prospective authors write
Lastly, Waldorf, Hanibal, and their new slave, for our writers guidelines before sending an article to us.
I assume this means that you couldnt answer Thor (mentioned in issue #152) killed the hun- In the United States and Canada, send a self-addressed,
any of the questions on the test. dreds of other characters who dared to try to stamped envelope (9 long preferred) to: Writers
challenge Waldorf in 1989. To top it all off, Guidelines, c/o DRAGON Magazine, as per the above
Speaking of intellectually dangerous, you address; include sufficient American postage or Interna-
might want to get out the Letters columns of Waldorf and his new twin dragon steeds, Tiamat tional Reply Coupons with the return envelope. In
DRAGON issues #137, #149, and #152 to follow and Takhisis, fought a hard battle with the Europe, write to: Writers Guidelines, c/o DRAGON
the next tidbit. powerful being known only as Dungeon Mas- Magazine, TSR Ltd; include sufficient return postage or
IRCs with your SASE.
ter. Of course, Hanibal was there to help in the Advertising: For information on placing advertise-
battle, so the DM died also. ments in DRAGON Magazine, ask for our rate card. All
Dear Dragon, So, now that Waldorf lives again, he will begin ads are subject to approval by TSR, Inc. TSR reserves
to control, mold, and shape the world of the right to reject any ad for any reason. In the United
Recently, Parev Dotrose (a 564th-level magic- States and Canada, contact: Advertising Coordinator,
user and 34th-level illusionist) teamed up with Greyhawk as he wishes. TSR, Inc., P.O. Box 756, 201 Sheridan Springs Road,
Megahnan Whitewolf (a 567th-level mage of Lake Geneva WI 53147, U.S.A. In Europe, contact:
I sorta knew this would happen, sooner or Advertising Coordinators, TSR Ltd.
high sorcery) to perform the greatest deed of DRAGON is a registered trademark of TSR, Inc.
1991: the great resurrection of Waldorf, king of later. Registration applied for in the United Kingdom. All rights
the nuke! to the contents of this publication are reserved, and
Parev and Megahnan traveled to the Realms nothing may be reproduced from it in whole or in part
Dear Dragon, without first obtaining permission in writing from the
by way of spelljamming and sought out the publisher.
cleric known as Darklight Moonbeam. They I have come up with three solutions to the designates registered trademarks owned by TSR,
were escorted to Moonbeams temple by a fleet custody battle in issue #168 (Letters). First of Inc. designates trademarks owned by TSR, Inc. Most
all, take into consideration these questions: Did other product names are trademarks owned by the
of toxic dragons and welcomed by Darklight companies publishing those products. Use of the name of
himself. After a nice dinner, Darklight allowed everyone in the party agree that Sir Ronis was any product without mention of trademark status should
them to gaze upon his most recent creation: a to care for the orc? Did Sir Ronis leave the baby not be construed as a challenge to such status.
wand of Waldorf resurrection +36. Needless to orc behind without telling Andre and Gwendo- 1991 TSR, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
lyn when he would come back? Is Sir Ronis able Second-class postage paid at Lake Geneva, Wis.,
say, the two mages were speechless. U.S.A., and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send
Megahnan convinced Darklight to help in the to handle the responsibility of raising Norb? address changes to DRAGON Magazine, TSR, Inc., P.O.
plan to bring Waldorf back to the land of the Box 111, Lake Geneva WI 53147, U.S.A. USPS 318-790,
living. So, Darklight gathered up his gear and Continued on page 84 ISSN 0279-6848.

lots of cows and cow byproducts present,
too, but these were worked into the
Saturday was set aside as the day for
everyone to arrive, unpack, get into cos-
tume, meet fellow players and the staff,
get registered, pick up gemstone money
(large colored stones in a nice red pouch),
and acquire rumors, clues, treasure, and
allies that might prove useful on the fol-
lowing days adventure. There was an
archery range, too, and weapons training
for all fighters to show them how the live-
action games combat system worked (it
used predetermined dice rolls). The wiz-
ards had to get their spells in the siloah,
wizards towerand nobody knows where
the thieves went, but a lot of pockets were
picked that afternoon (Ive got spells that
are gonna kill! said one wizard victim).
Some character types were so well pre-
sented as to be perfectly obvious. If you
were over six feet tall, did a lot of body-
building, and went bare-chested to the
convention, you were likely to be a bar-
barian. If you dressed completely in black,
you were almost certainly a thief. Between
these extremes, the range of costumes was
Crom, count the dead! fantastic. Among the players, fighters
or, How I spent my summer vacation predominated, with thieves second and a
smattering of spell-casters last. There
were very few clerics, which produced a
The convention announcement started Interphaze III was held at Folklore Vil- problem on the following day. Everything
it. Interphaze III, it said, was a live-action lage, an ex-school and barn which had went off well, aside from amusing little
gaming convention to be held not too far been converted into a community activi- quirks like all the fighters assaulting the
across the state near Dodgeville, Wis., on ties center that offered square dancing, thieves guild, and the cursed scroll that
June 22-23, 1991. Your editors (who were crafts, and other good stuff. It and the turned one group into mindless zombies.
proofreading the Convention Calendar campground down the road were the I spoke with several of the NPCs
for the April issue) were intrigued, so we setting for the convention, out in the roll- convention staff members who adopted
wrote for more information, gathered our ing Wisconsin countryside. The festivities game-master roles such as the fortune-
gear, and set off to see just what a live were organized by David Doc Bradshaw, teller, the local wizard (Greensleeves, a.k.a.
role-playing game was really like. who came as the wizard Greensleeves. the Grand Moca), the tax-loving sheriff (his
It was great! But Im getting ahead of About 30 gamers from five states were barbarians collected some gemstone tax
myself. present. This being Wisconsin, there were money from me, which I was more than

happy to share with them), and so on. All our group was assembled (two barbarians, barians not to attack the dragon right
staff members wore gold armbands for an elven archer, a human ranger, a thief/ away. Besides, we had to figure out the
easy identification. As game masters, they mage, and a monk-notice, no clerics), we secret of the Acid Rock, which ate mens
could check the success of pocket-picking set off to find the Eye of Odin and rescue souls (this title turned out to have a clever
attempts and sell magical items (the po- a cursed gold dragon. homonym on which the solution rested,
tions were Pixie stix, straws full of pow- Our first encounter was with a peasant but Im not giving it away here). After that
dered candy). mob that had been struck with a poly came the orc blowgun ambush (Crom!
To my surprise, I discovered that there morph into cows spell. The peasants fol- etc.) and the recovery of the Eye of Odin,
was a game going on within the game. lowed us across a field littered with, um, which we managed with the severe maim-
Many, if not all, of the staff members were orc droppings, but they stopped when we ing of half our party. We might have gone
involved in a regular AD&D role-playing crossed under a smoking bridge. On the back for the dragon, but we accidentally
campaign with Doc Bradshaw in Minneso- other side of the bridge, we met Death, broke the staff of the magi and decided to
ta, and they were playing the parts of who demanded a toll in order to pass. We try next year. We would have all died were
their game characters reincarnated into all survived, even the barbarian who at- it not for our healing potions, but we were
their current bodies. It was wonderfully tacked Death, and received an acid-firing luckier than the party following us, which
confusing; I spoke with one druid/ gauntlet with which we accidentally shot had no clerics either and was almost
vampire, for instance, and the fortune- someone in our own party (lucky for us, slaughtered by the orcs in the trees,
teller was a druid, too, or maybe a the squirt-gauntlet was filled with water). (There were some definite lessons there
vampire, and something else-my notes Right after that, we met the elven belly about having a well-balanced party.)
arent clear on this, but you get the idea. dancers again, who were caught in some Not bad for a four-hour adventure, eh?
The little kids werent forgotten, either. webs and begged us to release them. This The whole thing was great fun, with lots
They had their own magic show, a dino- the barbarians immediately did, which of puzzles and entertainment to go with
saur pinata, candies and food, and lots of was unfortunate as the elven belly dancers the orc-bashing, and everyone acted mas-
people to abuse with Nerf weapons. were actually agents of the Spider Queen terfully. My thanks go out to Doc Brad-
Saturday evening, an incredible four- and managed to poison and/or web- shaw and his family, to the other NPCs
course medieval banquet was offered, entangle most of our party. And they and game masters, to the elven belly
complete with two highly talented elven could teleport and put poisonous spiders dancers, and to all the players there, espe-
belly dancers with swords. There was on your back, too. We had to guess their cially Roderick Silverfletch, Orth the Bar-
more, but for some reason I just remem- names in order to escape across the log barian, Shirak (of the two swords), Dareth
ber the elven belly dancers. The barbari- into Muckmoor Swamp. The swamp, by Veleve (the thief/mage), Onilon the monk,
ans certainly enjoyed the show, and they the way, lived up to its name with every and Belbourn P. Centaur (the other barbar-
showed their appreciation by stamping squooshy footstep through the mud and ian). I had a great time, and maybe I can
their feet and roaring until the barn tall grass (the convention staff did warn us see you all again next year. I might even be
shook. What else was there-oh, yes, there about this, however). It was while crossing a barbarian then, myself.
was a juggler, a harpist, and an entertain- the swamp that we saw the orcs. Crom, count the dead!
ing magic show that involved embarrass- The orcs made a pathetic attempt to
ing a paladin (the barbarians liked that hide in the trees on the swamps other
part, tool. And medieval court dancing, side, but we lured them out with wild
which I discovered to my surprise that I cries of Crom, count the dead! from the
liked. And there were some elven belly barbarians and Firing again at the orc in
dancers. I dont want to forget them. chain mail! from our elven archer. When
At dawn the next day, everyone stum- it was over, we met the stone golem
bled out of their tents at the nearby camp- (Crom, count the dead!) and the dragon
ground and got ready for the quests (just (Lets take im! His breath weapon cant
like your characters do in regular role- get everybody!). Again, the heavens
playing, except they never use tents). Once smiled on us and we convinced the bar-
Photography by Roger E. Moore

The Monstrous Side
of the
One of the problems we faced in the First, we begin by going over the exist-
ing Monstrous Compendium appendices
designed for this setting. In addition, the
next few pages here provide Monstrous
development of the DARK SUN universe
was a shortage of space. We had so much and finding out just what is available Compendium entries on the player-
material about our new campaign setting there. Some of the creatures detailed in character races of Athas.
that some tough decisions had to be made. the various appendices do very well as As with the monsters in the table, the
One of the toughest had to do with mon- DARK SUN world monsters. The table shattered environment of Athas has taken
sters. In most AD&D campaign worlds, shows monsters from the various appendi- its toll on the demihumans as well. The
you can count on seeing the same mon- ces that are also found on Athas, the halflings of this world, for example, have
sters (Oh, lookan orc.). While this is all DARK SUN world. Many of these monsters little in common with their distant cousins
well and good in most settings, it just are assumed to have adapted to this eco- on other worlds. They are not the peace-
wouldnt do for the DARK SUN setting. logically ravaged land. For example, the ful, quiet folk familiar to most AD&D
The world of Athas had to be new and ettercap is described as living in heavily game players. Rather, they are feral
different; it had different people and dif- wooded forests. Since such areas are few hunters stalking the thin band of forests
ferent character classes, and it needed and far between on sunburnt Athas, we that still cling to life on the barren land-
different monsters. can assume that ettercaps have been scape. They are hunters, carnivores, and
Of course, we didnt have the time or forced to dwell in badlands, canyons, and powerful psionicists.
space to put a complete Monstrous Com- similar areas. Nonetheless, the nature of With this stockpile of monsters in hand,
pendium in the boxed set. This is not to the monster remains largely the same. DMs should have no trouble at all in filling
say that such a product is not on its way; Many of the monsters on the list are out their DARK SUN campaigns. Of
even as you read this a team of designers marked with an asterisk to indicate that course, DMs should feel free to add their
is hard at work on the DARK SUN Appen- they often have wild psionic powers in own creatures to the mix provided here.
dix to the Monstrous Compendium (tenta- DARK SUN campaigns. The strength and After all, the gladiatorial pits and burnt
tively scheduled to appear in stores nature of these powers are left to the stretches of the Athasian wilds are filled
around February 1992). Until that product desires of the DM. with creatures the likes of which have
is available, it is possible to assemble a In addition to the monsters culled from never been seen before.
collection of monsters that will work just earlier appendices, the DARK SUN boxed
fine for DARK SUN campaigns. set has a number of creatures especially

Monstrous Compendium DARK SUN World Monsters Table

Volumes 1 and 2
Aarakocra* Bat Centipede Giant-kin, cyclops* Plant, carnivorous Skeleton
Aerial servant Beetle Dragonne* Golem Rat Snake (except sea,
Anhkheg Behir* Elementals, all Hornet Remorhaz Spider
Ant Bulette Ettercap* Kenku* Roc Wyvern*
Ant lion, giant Cats, great Ettin* Lizard Sandling Yuan-ti*
Basilisk Cave fisher Genie, all* Pseudodragon* Scorpion Zombie


Bhaergala* Meazel* Rhaumbusun Strider, Giant Thessalmonster Thri-kreen*


Fire minion* Horax Skrit Slig* Tylor* Wyndlass
Hatori Insect swarm


Beetle Bonesnapper Dragonfly, giant Dragonnel Horgar Plant, carnivorous
(cactus, vampire)

Kara-tur Appendix (MC6)

Goblin spider* Jishin mushi

* May possess wild psionic powers.

Note: No creatures from the SPELLJAMMER or RAVENLOFT Monstrous Compendium appendices are found on Athas. Fiends from
the Outer Planes Appendix (MC9) can usually travel to and from Athas at will but do so rarely, only when summoned by dragons or
great wizards.

Dwarf, Athasian
DIET: Omnivore
INTELLIGENCE: Average (9-11)
ALIGNMENT: Lawful neutral


THAC0: Normal 19
Uhrakkus 17
Uhrnius 15
Uhrnomus 11
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1d2 or by weapon type
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Special resistances
SIZE: S (4 tall)
MORALE: Elite (13-14)
XP VALUE: Normal 35
Uhrakkus 175
Uhrnius 420
Uhrnomus 2,000

Athasian dwarves are short but extremely powerful demi- Habitat/Society: A dwarfs chief love is toil. A dwarf is never
humans. They average 4-5 in height and tend to have a dis- happier than when there is a cause to work or fight for, some-
proportionately large muscle mass; a full-grown dwarf weighs in thing he can approach with stoic single-mindedness for weeks,
the neighborhood of 200 lbs. Lives of hard work in the hot sun months, years, or even decades at a time. The task to which a
leaves them with a rich tan and rugged, calloused hands and dwarf is presently committed is referred to as his focus. A
feet. Athasian dwarves live up to 250 years. dwarfs focus will always be a feat requiring at least one week to
The dwarven language is harsh and guttural. Most non- complete. Actually, a dwarfs commitment to his focus is based in
dwarves complain that it eventually causes them to go hoarse his physiology; those who complete their lives before they com-
after speaking it for two or three hours. plete their foci live out their afterlives as banshees in the wastes,
haunting their unfinished works!
Combat: Dwarves approach combat with the same single- Free dwarves organize around their families. Blood ties are ties
mindedness that they do everything else. They show no mercy, of honor and respect. Debts from one dwarven family to the next
seek no quarter, and generally view every conflict as a fight to are passed down from generation to generation. The typical
the death. dwarven community has 30-300 dwarves in it. For every 10
Dwarven weapons tend to be sturdy and strong, like dwarves dwarves there is one uhrakkus (sub-leader) with 3 HD and a steel
themselves. In addition, the prodigious strength of these crea- weapon. For every 50 dwarves there is one uhrnius (leader) with
tures makes their weapons especially deadly. Although dwarven 5 HD and a magical weapon of some type. Every uhrnius will
hammers, axes, swords, and other weapons vary greatly in type, have either psionic or clerical abilities. For every 100 dwarves
they usually do 1d8 hp damage. The attack rolls and damage rolls there is one uhrnomus (over-leader) with 10 HD, having the abili-
for these weapons will vary based on the materials from which ties of both a psionicist and cleric, a magical weapon, and 1d4
they are built (see the DARK SUN rules book). In addition, the other magical objects at his disposal.
dwarves strength typically grants a +2 bonus to damage.
Most dwarves shun the use of heavy armor. They sometimes Ecology: Dwarves dwell in virtually all types of terrain on
employ shields if the weapon they wield does not require both Athas. Dwarven communities rarely grow larger than 100-200
hands to control, and use breastplates made from bones or chitin individuals, the total of a dozen or so honor-bound extended
(granting them AC 7). families. The location in which a dwarven community springs up
By nature, dwarves are nonmagical and never use magical is dependent upon the focus of its founder.
spells. This restriction does not apply to clerical or templar
spells. In addition, they are generally more resistant to poisons
and disease than other races. For the average dwarf, this is re-
flected in a +4 bonus to all saves against magical attacks, ill-
nesses, and toxins. Individual dwarves will have higher or lower
bonuses, as detailed in the DARK SUN rules book. Athasian
dwarves do have infravision, enabling them to see up to 60 in
the dark by detecting differences in heat levels.

Half-giant, Athasian
ORGANIZATION: Solitary or community
DIET: Omnivore
ALIGNMENT: Varies; see below

NO. APPEARING: 1 (1d4+1) or 4d10

HIT DICE: 3+12
THAC0: 17
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1d6 or by weapon type
SIZE: H (13 tall)
MORALE: Steady (11-12)
XP VALUE: Normal 120, Chieftain 975,
Leader 270, Psionicist 2,000

Half-giants are a race of enormous demihumans who have

adapted to a variety of lifestyles in the many harsh terrains of
Athas. The origins of the race are unclear. While it is known that
the race is spawned from the union of human and giant and the
nature of that union was certainly magical, its original purpose is
unknown. Left to themselves, the original half-giants have multi- tures that are nearby. As a very young race, half-giants have little
plied, especially near the shores of the Silt Sea. cultural identity of their own, instead clinging to customs and
Standing 10-12 tall, a single half-giant weighs approximately lifestyles that appear to be successful for other races.
1,600 lbs. It is an immensely powerful creature nearly as agile as Half-giants are subject to rather rapid and often inconvenient
its human forebears. Its facial features are human, but locked changes of alignment. This tendency makes them very hard to
into a naturally dour, even menacing expression. A half-giants deal with on any but the shortest term. When first encountered,
thick hair is often braided, especially among the women, or kept an individual or groups attitudes toward law and good must be
in a single tail behind the head and down the back. Clothing var- determined (roll 1d6 twice; 1-2 = lawful, 3-5 = neutral, 6 = cha-
ies with occupation and climate, though leggings with leather otic; 1-2 = good, 3-5 = neutral, 6 = evil). Then determine which of
shoulder harnesses are common. the two is fixed (roll 1d6; 1-3 = attitude toward law and chaos is
Half-giants communicate through speech, and most can speak fixed, 4-6 = attitude toward good and evil is fixed). The other atti-
the Common tongue. They also have their own language which, tude may change according to the situation. If the PCs remain in
to human ears, seems very slow and drawn out, and translations contact with the half-giants and are generally prosperous and
are riddled with redundancies and seemingly unnecessary adjec- successful, the floating attitude may gravitate toward that of the
tives. No matter what the tongue, the half-giants voice is pitched adventurers. However, there is no guarantee, and half-giants
very low and sometimes difficult to understand. may make radical attitude changes that affect the situation
quickly and without warning. All personal items, such as clothes,
Combat: Great size alone makes a half-giant a formidable war- armor, weapons, food, etc., cost double for half-giant characters.
rior. One can strike bare-handed for 1d6 hp damage or may em- Transportation and lodging are also considerably more expen-
ploy a weapon. Any successful weapon attack receives a +4 sive when they are available at all. In areas not dominated by
bonus to damage because of the half-giants great strength. half-giants, things such as buildings, furniture, wagons, boats,
There is a 25% chance that any half-giant will have a psionic etc. arent made to support their weight. Even in cities, they tend
wild talent. The nature of the wild talent should be determined to camp outside to avoid destroying things.
as described in the Complete Psionics Handbook.
When encountered in a community, there will be one leader Ecology: A half-giant derives his great size from his giant heri-
for every 10 half-giants (round fractions down). Leaders have tage, though he is also cursed with the marked stupidity of that
5+20 HD, THAC0 15, AC 8, and can make two bare-handed or line. The cynical nature of his giant half, however, is tempered
weapon attacks per round. In communities where there are 30 by his human background, which gives him a greater interest in
or more half-giants, there are also one chieftain and one psioni- communication and cooperation. Half-giants are far more kind
cist; Both have 7+28 HD, THAC0 13, AC 8, and can make two than their tyrannical, bloodthirsty giant kin. A half-giant is natu-
attacks per round. The psionicist will be level 3-6 (1d4+2); deter- rally curious and gentle (though that attitude can swing back and
mine his powers according to the Complete Psionics Handbook. forth with its alignment).
Half-giants are capable of reproduction; a female can give birth
Habitat/Society: Half-giants are found all over Athas. Their to a single infant once per year; twins and triplets are rare. A
size and strength make them sought after as guards and brute half-giants maximum lifespan is around 220 years.
warriors. However, they collect into communities of their own as
well, often adopting the culture and customs of those other crea-
Elf, Athasian
DIET: Omnivore
INTELLIGENCE: Average (8-10)
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic neutral


THAC0: 19
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1d2 or by weapon type
SIZE: M (7 tall)
MORALE: Average (8-10)
XP VALUE: Normal 35

The dunes and steppes of Athas are home to thousands of

tribes of nomadic elves. While each tribe is very different cultur-
ally, the elves within them remain a race of long-limbed sprinters
given to theft, raiding, and warfare.
An Athasian elf stands 6-7 tall. They are slender, lean, and
generally in terrific physical condition. Their features are deeply
etched into their weather-toughened faces, and their skin is made Habitat/Society: Elves are all brethren within each tribe, but
rough by the windblown sands and baking sun of the wilderness. they regard all outsiders as potential enemies. There is no racial
Elves typically dress to survive in the desert environment. Even unity among the elves. An elf from outside the tribe is just as
when at an oasis or in a city, elves tend to prefer their native garb, much a foe as a human, halfling, or thri-kreen. Acceptance of an
designed to wrap the wearer against the brutality of the elements. outsider by an individual elf or tribe can be achieved, but trust
Infravision enables elves to see up to 60 in darkness. develops only over time.
The elven language is one of short, clipped words. It has a Individually, tribal elves are conditioned to run quickly over
rapid staccato pace and is difficult for novices to pick up. Elves sandy and rocky terrain. An elf warrior can cross better than 50
are often forced to speak very slowly when conversing with miles per day. An elven war party on the move is a deadly force
those who are not native speakers of their language. with endurance and maneuverability. Elves use no beasts of bur-
den for personal transportation.
Combat: Elves are lightning fast in combat, a fact reflected in
their lower armor class. Their reflexes make them dangerous en- Ecology: While most elven tribes make their living through
emies, and their savage nature shows itself in their brutal battle herding, some have turned to commerce and others to raiding.
plans. Even an unarmed and outnumbered elf will fight like a Elven traders are rightly considered the most capable on Athas.
wild animal when cornered and provoked. Not only can they barter and deal with a variety of races, they
Elves prefer long, slender weapons; swords and pole arms are can move and protect their goods across the vast wilderness.
favorites. Typically, an elfs weapon inflict 1d6 hp damage, al-
though the material from which it is built will have some effect Half-elves: Elves and humans travel many of the same roads on
on that. No elf weapon will be cumbersome or heavy, however, Athas, so it is not at all unusual for children of mixed parentage
for they value mobility in combat more than strength of attack. to be born into the world. A half-elf is generally taller than a man
An ancient elven fable, roughly translated, tells the story of an and stouter than an elf, but based solely on his countenance a
elf who could strike three times with his lighter weapons before half-elf can pass for either an elf or a human.
his enemies were aware that he was present. This philosophy is Neither fully human nor elven, half-elves often never find ac-
reflected in all elven attacks. ceptance with either race. Rarely do half-elves congregate in
Elves are masterful warriors, naturally skilled in the use of great enough numbers to form communities of their own, so
their long bows and long swords. Elves gain a bonus of +1 to they remain outsiders, forever wandering and without a people
their attack rolls with these weapons, but only with those weap- or land.
ons of native tribal make and design. In order to qualify for this
bonus, a weapon must be crafted by members of the elfs tribe;
no other will do.
Elves gain a bonus to surprise opponents when in the wilder-
ness or wastes of Athas. In desert or steppe encounters, when an
elf or party of elves approaches a nonelven group, opponents
suffer a penalty of -4 to their surprise rolls. Elven raiders often
make use of this ability to stage ambushes and set traps for un-
wary travellers.

Halfling, Athasian
DIET: Carnivore
INTELLIGENCE: Very (11-12)
ALIGNMENT: Lawful neutral

NO. APPEARING: 3d10 (1)

THAC0: Normal 19
Hunter-chief 17
Forest-chief 15
Tribe-chief 11
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1d3 or by weapon type
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Special resistances
SIZE: S (3-4 tall)
MORALE: Average (8-10)
Hunter-chief 175
Forest-chief 420
Tribe-chief 2,000

Beyond the Ringing Mountains are jungles that flourish even direction of their clerical leaders.
under the heat of the Dark Sun. This is the undisputed territory Halfling culture is fabulously diverse but difficult for other
of the feral halflings. races to comprehend. A complete history of their culture, if such
A halfling is a very short humanoid, standing about 3 in a thing existed, would present volume upon volume of complex
height. They are muscled and proportioned like humans, but social change, inspirational clerical leaders, and in-depth person-
they have the faces of wise and beautiful children. Halflings live al studies of the halfling and his duty to his jungle home. Conspic-
to be as much as 120 years old and weigh 50-60 lbs. uous by their absence would be references to great wars of
The halfling language is a collection of hoots, howls, shrieks, conquest or tremendous monetary wealththe yardsticks by
and cries that sounds very much like the constant chatter of the which other races measure cultural success. Halfling culture
animals that share their forest domain with them. Thus, halflings cares for the individuals inward being, his identity, and spiritual
lying in ambush of other creatures can often converse without unity with his race and environment. Their culture does not pro-
fear that their words will be recognized by outsiders, who think vide for more traditional values, and vices such as greed and ava-
them nothing more than the sounds of the untamed jungle. rice are particularly discouraged.
Halfling villages tend to house a tribe of 20-200 residents. For
Combat: Halflings look upon other demihuman and humanoid every 10 halflings there is one hunter-chief who has 3 HD and
races as stock for the stew pot. They seldom show their enemies psionic powers. For every 50 halflings there is a forest-chief who
any respect in combat, resorting to what outsiders might call has 5 HD, with clerical or psionic powers. For every 100 halflings
dirty tricks in order to overcome physically stronger foes. there is a tribe-chief who has 10 HD, clerical powers, and 1d3
Halfling weapons tend to be organic in nature, built mainly magical items. Every tribe has a minimum of one tribe-chief,
from the wood of the forests and the bones of its animals. They many of whom are also psionicists.
place a special value in weapons made from certain animals, be-
lieving that such arms will have an advantage in attacking other Ecology: Halflings greatly value the land around them and
creatures of that type. Thus, a halfling heading out to explore a strive to avoid the ecological ruin that dominates the rest of
land frequented by elves might take along a dagger fashioned Athas. Oddly, this view allows for the land to be disturbed and
from the thigh bone of an elf. Most halfling weapons inflict only altered, even used for a halflings own gain. However, halflings
1d4 or 1d6 hp damage. Halflings have a natural affinity for slings recognize that natural riches belong to the land and should nev-
and thrown weapons, gaining a +1 bonus to their attack rolls er be moved away from the places where they are found.
when using such weapons. Halflings are carnivores who view all other living creatures as
Like dwarves, halflings naturally gain a +3 bonus to all saving potential meals. Similarly, they assume that others look upon
throws against magical attacks, poisons, or disease. Individual them the same way. Thus, any friendship that a halfling forms
halflings may have higher or lower bonuses as indicated by the with someone of another race is guarded, with the halfling al-
DARK SUN rules book. ways on the lookout to avoid a trap that might force to him to
end up as a meal for his companion.
Habitat/Society: Halflings possess a great deal of racial unity.
Though divided politically into separate villages and communi-
ties, halflings have a great respect for their race as a whole. Polit-
ical differences between them are settled peaceably, under the
Mul (half-dwarf)
CLIMATE/TERRAIN: Any land (mainly urban)
FREQUENCY: Very rare
DIET: Omnivore
INTELLIGENCE: Average (8-10)
ALIGNMENT: Any neutral

THAC0: 19
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1d3 or by weapon type
SIZE: M (6-7 tall)
MORALE: Champion (15-16)

A mul is a powerful crossbreed of a human and dwarf. As a

race, muls are unique in that they cannot reproduce; they are
infertile for life and so have no family groups or communities
that are purely mul. The individual mul, most often born into
slavery on command of its parents owner, is a naturally great
warrior, bred for combat.
A mul gets what are, perhaps, the best attributes from each of sleep per day unless there is an emergency that calls for long
its parents. From his human parent, he receives height and agili- stretches of unbroken activity.
ty. From his dwarven parent, the mul gets incredible strength
and endurance. At maturity, a mul stands as much as 6 tall, Habitat/Society: Muls are usually born into the slave pits of a
weighing 240-300 lbs. Each is fair skinned, though sometimes noble house. Because muls are terrific warriors and laborers,
tending toward a coppery coloration. A muls eyebrow ridges are they are in demand. When possible, owners call for the birth of
pronounced, and the ears are usually pointed toward the back of muls among their slaves to swell their ranks.
the head; otherwise, facial features are basically human. Regard- In such instances, muls are usually taken away from their par-
less of sex, most muls are naturally bald, but those who arent ents directly after birth, given instead to specialized wet nurses
usually shave their heads as a mark of racial unity. Since many among the slaves. Often, a muls parents have either died or been
muls are born into gladiatorial careers, tattoos of decoration and sold off before he is old enough to know them. Raised with ade-
ownership are common, quate food and shelter, it can still be argued that they are raised
Being of mixed parentage, a mul is usually fluent in both Com- with little love or affection, explaining their characteristic inde-
mon and the dwarven language. Its not unusual, however, to pendence and gruff personalities.
find a mul who does most of his talking with his sword. Mul gladiators are perhaps the most prized slaves among slave
owners. When they are in training, such muls are often pam-
Combat: A muls enhanced physical abilities make him a capable pered with the best food and accommodations available. As such,
fighter. A mul can attack once per round with his fist, causing 1-3 they are very expensive to maintain. It is a wealthy noble who
hp damage, or he may attack with a weapon. Any weapon attack can boast more than a few muls in his gladiatorial stable.
receives a +1 bonus to damage because of the muls strength. Muls are noted for retaining much of the stubbornness of their
There is a 50% chance that any mul will have a psionic wild dwarven parent. In captivity, a mul who sets his mind on escape
talent. The nature of the wild talent should be determined as de- will generally succeed quickly or be killed or sold; handlers rec-
scribed in the Complete Psionics Handbook. ognize their single-mindedness and seldom wish to fight it.
A muls endurance is well documented. A mul can exert him- Those muls who have gained their freedom most often make
self for long periods of hard labor that would exhaust most other their living as warriors. Independent mul priests and psionicists
races. A mul can perform heavy labor, including stone construc- are not unheard of, however.
tion, quarry work, running, or similar activities, for 24 hours
without stopping. He can perform medium labor, including Ecology: Muls are born sterile. While they can and often do
lighter construction, mining, climbing, or jogging, for 36 hours. take mates and live in loving relationships, they can never have
Light labor, which includes combat training, walking unencum- children of their own. The only way a mul can be born is to a
bered, or similar activities, can be undertaken for 48 continuous mixed pair of dwarven and human parents. Even then, the risk
hours without stopping. If a mul paces himself to normal activi- to the mother is grave; large-boned mul babies are difficult to
ties no more difficult than walking, he can continue without rest carry to term, and one in ten pregnancies results in the death of
for up to 15 days. Regardless of the preceding type of exertion, both mother and child. A mul can expect to live 85 years.
eight hours of sleep will let a mul become fully rested, ready to
begin work again. Of course, such exertion is tiring and uncom-
fortable for the mul, so all muls prefer a standard eight hours of

DIET: Carnivore
INTELLIGENCE: Average (8-10)
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic neutral


HIT DICE: Larva 1+3, Child 2+3, Young
3+3, Young adult 4+3, Adult
5+3, Mature adult 6+3
THAC0: Larva 19, Child/Young 17, Young
adult/Adult 15, Mature adult 13
NO. OF ATTACKS: 5 or 2
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1d4(x4)/1d4+1, or 1d4+1/by
SIZE: L (11 long)
MORALE: Fanatic (17-18)
XP VALUE: Larva 65, Child 120, Young 175,
Young adult 270, Adult 975, Ma-
ture adult 1,400

Thri-kreen are a race of insect men often referred to as man- creatures for 1d8 rounds. Creatures classified as huge or gargan-
tis warriors. Native to the harsh grasslands and deserts of Athas, tuan are affected for only one round.
thri-kreen have marked out nations for their hunting tribes. Thri-kreen who are of age category young or older can leap
Mature adult thri-kreen are roughly 7 tall at the shoulder and up and forward astounding distances. These thri-kreen can leap
11 long. Of the six limbs protruding from their midsection, two 20 straight up or up to 50 forward. They cannot leap backward.
are used for walking; the other four end in four-fingered hands. Mature adult thri-kreen can dodge missiles fired at it on a roll of
The tough, sandy-yellow exoskeleton is extremely hard. A thri- 9 or better on 1d20; these thri-kreen cannot dodge magical ef-
kreen has two multifaceted, black eyes, two antennae, and a fects, only physical missiles. Magical physical missiles (arrows,
complicated jaw structure that manipulates food while it is being thrown axes, etc.) modify this roll by their magical bonus.
chewed. The antennae help the individual to maneuver through There is a 50% chance that any thri-kreen will have a psionic
brush and grasslands in the darkness (they also serve to lessen wild talent, described in the Complete Psionics Handbook.
any melee-combat penalty from darkness or blindness by 1 hp; Thri-kreen can use most magical items, though those designed
missile combat is not affected). Thri-kreen often wear harnesses to be worn by demihumans will not function for a thri-kreen,
and even some forms of clothing, but they never wear armor. because he cannot wear it properly. Unless otherwise stated, as-
The native thri-kreen language is made up of clicks and the sume magical items are designed for use by demihumans.
grinding of its jaw appendages. While it is difficult for other crea-
tures to speak this tongue, it is just as difficult for a thri-kreen to Habitat/Society: Thri-kreen organize into hunting packs;
imitate more standard speech patterns. Thri-kreen speak their there are no permanent thri-kreen communities. Packs range
own language, but some understand the common tongue. over wide territories that they call their own. When encoun-
tered in groups of eight or more, every even multiple of eight
Combat: A thri-kreens chitinous exoskeleton gives it AC 5 natu- thri-kreen consist of two mature adults, two adults, one young
rally. Unarmed, he can attack with four claws and one bite attack adult, one young, one child, and one larva. All remaining thri-
per round. Each claw strikes for 1d4 hp damage, and the bite kreen in the group are mature adults.
inflicts 1d4+1 hp damage. If using a weapon, the thri-kreen can
attack with its weapon and bite. A thri-kreen masters the use of Ecology: Thri-kreen are carnivores. They generally do not hunt
the chatkcha, a crystal throwing wedge used by the race, when other intelligent creatures for food, but will do so in times of
he becomes an adult. The chatkcha can be thrown up to 90 yards need. The mantis warriors have a well-known taste for elves,
and will return to the thrower if it misses the target. When it which keeps both races at an uneasy peace at best.
hits, a chatkcha inflicts 1d6+2 hp damage. The gythka, a pole Once hatched, thri-kreen start as larva and move one step
arm with a blade at either end, can slash for 1-6 hp damage through the life cycle per year. Larva and child thri-kreen can
against man-sized or smaller targets, or 1-10 hp damage against a cause a maximum of 1 hp damage per attack. Young and young
larger target. The gythka can be thrown as a spear to inflict adult thri-kreen can cause a maximum of 3 hp damage per at-
1d6+2 hp damage. tack. Thri-kreen seldom live to more than 35 years.
An adult or mature adult thri-kreen also has a venomous saliva Thri-kreen have no need of sleep. Thri-kreen characters can
attack. Those struck by the thri-kreens bite must save vs. paraly- remain active through the day and night.
zation or be paralyzed. Smaller than man-sized creatures are
paralyzed for 2d10 rounds, man-sized for 2d8 rounds, and larger
The dark undead of Athas, the AD&D DARK SUNTM world

by Troy Denning
My beautiful niece, Tyra, I have known necromancers to suffer condition upon their passing!
At your mothers behest, I am writing the delusion that upon their passing, they Quite rightly, your mother fears that
regarding your recent interest in necro- themselves will suffer the terrible fate of your safety will be in grave danger if you
mancy. As Im sure your investigations so undeath. Others believe that, save for pursue this inquiry any further. She has
far have revealed, it is a most ghastly and themselves, the entire world is inhabited asked me to convince you to give up your
perilous field of study. Not only are the by undead disguised as living beings for studies in favor of the wealthy (if not
objects of your interest dangerous, unpre- the sole purpose of misleading them. A handsome) husband she has chosen for
dictable, and abominations of the natural few scholars of the necromamic arts even you. Your mother also begs me to remind
order, the subject itself never fails to tor- become confused and mistake undeath for you that a suitable heir to the Merchant
ment those who pursue it. immortality, and actually aspire to this House of Orien will not be someone whose

Artwork by Gerald Brom DRAGON 19

mind has been corrupted by the study of to affect the undead differently than living certain categories of undead, but this is a
necromancy. creatures. They rarely need food or water, reflection of normal racial proclivities
I have no intention of doing as your and can withstand incredible temperature toward common types of motivations and
mother asks. The study of the undead is a extremes. Often, they are unaffected by behaviors. No force, natural or supernatu-
much-neglected field of endeavor on normal weapons, and blows that would ral, determines whether a member of a
Athas, and one that holds more secrets to destroy a living man merely slow them given race will become a certain type of
the history of our world than any other down. It is not unusual for them to be undead.
discipline. Despite the terrible danger to immune to certain types of magic or psi- Given this warning, then, here follows a
you, to say nothing of the stress it is sure onics, and the mere touch of an undead discussion of the different categories of
to place on your young mind, I encourage can be devastating to living flesh. undead on Athas.
you to pursue the study of undeath as far Unfortunately for living beings, their Skeletons and zombies: Skeletons
as your courage takes you. living state makes undead murderously and zombies are what I call walking
Though my own knowledge of necro- jealous. Given the opportunity, most un- dead rather than true undead. They have
mancy is limited, I have encountered a dead will attack an intelligent, living being no intelligence and no independent will;
considerable number of undead during upon sight, although they often leave they are always the servants of some
my travels. Herein, I have written down all unintelligent creatures alone. Even the other being and have simply been ani-
that I know of these dissolute creatures, in most noble undead are short tempered mated to serve his purposes. I mention
the humble hope that it will serve both to and intolerant of living beings. them here only for the sake of complete-
further your knowledge and to help you Uniqueness: No two undead are alike, ness, and so that you will know to look for
guard against the unfortunate accidents any more than any two people are alike. some more nefarious and powerful being
that so often befall students of your field. Although certain undead may bear resem- lurking nearby when you encounter them.
blances to each other and might even be As general rule, skeletons and zombies
General nature categorized as the same type by students tend to be man-sized or smaller, as it re-
Intelligence: Obviously, the undead of of necromancy, dont make the mistake of quires more energy to animate larger
Athas were at one time living beings. In believing that they are the same. corpses. Of course, this does not rule out
my opinion, to be properly called undead, Two elves, for example, may resemble the possibility of running into a mekillot
the subject must also have belonged to an each other to such an extent that only a skeleton or a zombie giant. When this
intelligent species when it was alive. This member of their own tribe can tell them happens to you, as it certainly will during
species may have been classified as either apart. However, one of them might be a your studies, may I suggest a hasty re-
an old or a new race, as long it was intelli- powerful defiler, and the other might be treat. Anything that can animate a giant
gent. I have met (and fled from) undead of an equally clever thief. Obviously, the two must be very powerful indeed.
the human, elven, dwarven, halfling, gith, men will have very different powers, Thinking zombies: These are intelli-
half-giant, giant, mul, and baazrag races, despite their surface similarities. gent zombies and can usually be told from
among others. All were equally terrifying. So it is with undead. The skills they true zombies by the hateful spark burning
Of course, we have all encountered learned in life stay with them in undeath. in their eyes. They have only a semi-free
various animals roaming about long after In life, one man may have been a psionicist will, however, due to the nature of their
they died, as well as mindless zombies and and another a fighter. As undead, they creation. Thinking zombies are formed
skeletons, but I believe that these are might both be raaigs (described later here- when a creature dies while under some
more properly called walking dead than in), but the psionicist will still attack with powerful compulsion to perform a given
undead. Walking dead are either too his mind and the fighter with his weapons. task (such as when under the influence of
obtuse to realize that they have died or, They will have all the abilities they pos- a geas or quest spell). Such a creatures
more often, are the tools of wicked sorcer- sessed in life, in addition to the powers spirit continues striving to complete the
ers who have animated the unfortunates their particular undead form bestows task assigned to it.
for their own nefarious purposes (some- upon them. Thinking zombies are free to choose the
thing that I trust a lady of your integrity Every undead creature is a distinctive strategy that they use to complete their
has no intention of doing). True undead being, with unique abilities based on its quest and are sometimes quite creative in
have an intelligence and a will of their powers and skills in life. Like any free- their approaches. They will never, under
ownwhich, of course, makes them dou- willed, intelligent creature, it will have its any circumstances, allow themselves to be
bly dangerous. own motivations and pursue its own ends diverted from their mission. Many think-
Driving spirit: When a person dies, after death. ing zombies are giants and half-giants, for
usually his spirit separates from the body their great size and strength makes these
and fades away. Some mystics and psioni- Categories two races favorite targets for the sort of
cists claim that the spirit goes to the gray. Although each undead is a unique indi- coercion that produces thinking zombies.
I assume this is simply another way of vidual, they can be categorized according Faels: Faels are formed when a glutton-
saying it fades away. Having never died, I to general type in much the same way that ous person dies and his spirit still hungers
am not certain that my assumption is men can be categorized according to for the excesses he knew during life. They
entirely correct, but it seems safe. whether they are elves, halflings, etc. often appear at feasts, parties, and other
Sometimes, however, when a powerfully You will no doubt find that certain races occasions where great amounts of food
motivated person dies, his spirit does not tend to fall into certain categories of un- and drink are expected to be consumed.
perish. Instead, it either continues to re- dead. From this, you may conclude that At first, they try to remain inconspicuous,
side in the dead body (most necromancers race is the sole factor in determining what though they are never far from the food
classify such as corporeal), or it sepa- kind of creature a being becomes upon table or the wine-cask.
rates from the body and does not fade passing. Do not make this mistake, as it As the evening progresses, they begin to
away (in which case it is classified as in- will surely lead you down the path of drink more, eat more, and eventually
corporeal). errorand, hence, into peril. begin chasing living beings away from the
This spirit refuses to accept its destruc- From my experiences on Athas, the type food and drink. Once the consumables are
tion. The body dies, but the spirit con- of undead that a person becomes upon his gone, they demand more of any living
tinues to strive after what it pursued in demise depends upon the nature of the beings still present, attacking if the beings
life. In essence, by an act of willpower, it compulsion that prevented his spirit from are unable to provide the food. Although it
defies death and enters a state that is going to the gray, not upon what race he might seem that the best way to handle a
neither life nor death. is. Of course, it cannot be denied that fael is to let it eat itself to oblivion, this
In this state, the forces of nature seem certain races have tendencies to fall into strategy never works. Faels have an infi-

nite capacity for consumption.
Obviously, many faels come from elven
stock. This is why one of the most insult-
ing things you can say to an elf is that he
eats like a fael.
Raaigs: Raaigs are one of the most
intriguing specialties of necromantic study.
Along with meorties (told of later), they
hold the distinction of being the most
ancient of undead, and I believe they
guard some of the most intriguing secrets
of Athasian history. Without exception, all
raaigs are thousands of years old. They
are incorporeal spirits sustained by an
unwavering and unshakable faith in their
ancient godswhich, of course, no longer
exist on Athas. Who can say what hap-
pened to these ancient deities? Did they
ever exist? Did they die? Did they leave, or
simply fade away as mortal spirits do
now? This is one of the great secrets that
necromancy stands to uncover.
Raaigs are always found inside a shrine,
be it an ancient stone building, a copse of
woods, a deserted grotto, whatever. They
are extremely uncommunicative and will
permit only those whose moral character
follows the precepts preached by their
ancient, long-lost deity to enter their tem-
ples. Sometimes, a raaig may even deign to
speak with such individuals, though only if
the individuals somehow prove themselves
exceptionally worthy. All others are
turned away.
All raaigs are of the old races (human,
elf, dwarf, giant, and halfling).
Meorties: Like raaigs, meorties are
thousands of years old and provide an
intriguing window into Athasian history.
When a great king of the ancients died, his
body was specially preserved with salts
and limes; it may or may not have been
swathed in cloth. It was then laid to rest in
a secret crypt with vast amounts of trea-
sure, so that the king might continue to
watch over the welfare of his realm.
The spirits of such rulers continue to
abide with their bodies, sustained by the
duty with which they were charged upon
death. Unfortunately, encounters with
such meorties usually yield little historic
information. Meorties emerge from their
crypts only to avenge violation of the
ancient laws governing their long-
forgotten kingdoms. When one tracks you
down, discussing history is the last thing
on its mind.
I should note here that both the bounda-
ries and the laws of these ancient king-
doms are mysteries to us. It is quite easy
to incur a meortys wrath for some action
that seems perfectly innocent, such as
cooking over a wood fire or taking a drink
of water without spitting a mouthful on
the ground. To make matters worse, that
same action might bring no response a
few miles away, when you cross the an-
cient border into some other lost kingdom.
To avoid inadvertently offending these
ancient kings, it is usually best to follow
local customs that have developed in re-
sponse to meorty attacks over many long
years. Generally, the stranger the custom, Tlizes: A tliz is created when an ex- world, use the procedure below:
the more likely it is to reflect an ancient tremely powerful defiler dies before com- 1. Treat DARK SUN world undead as
law that the local meorty is enforcing. (It pleting his magical studies. The spirit fully detailed NPCs, not merely as crea-
has occurred to me that by carefully sur- lingers in his body, continuing his studies tures. Fill out a character sheet for each
veying these local customs, it might be for centuries. Tlizes tend to be rare, since NPC describing him before he became an
possible to map out the borders of the most defilers are hunted down and killed undead being, detailing everything you
ancient kingdoms. Perhaps this would be by sorcerer kings or the Veiled Alliance would for a normal NPC: race, sex, ability
an area of interest to you, my dear.) long before they reach a level high enough scores, character class, level, hit points,
Finding a meorty in its crypt is even to become tlizes. Strangely, tlizes are a spells, psionics, etc.
more hazardous than violating the lost valuable source of information for histo- 2. Give your NPC a history. It doesnt
laws of its kingdom. A meorty assumes rians and necromancers. They live for need to be too detailed, just a name, an
that anyone entering its crypt is doing so centuries (some since the time of the an- occupation, a general idea of where he
for the express purpose of theft. Once a cients) and are possessed of scholarly lived, what he wanted out of life, and
person has seen a meortys crypt, the minds. Beware when dealing with tlizes, anything else you feel would help you
meorty will do all in its power to kill that however. As informative and polite as they understand him better.
person before he can reveal the location to may seem, they harbor no fondness for 3. Decide when and how the being died.
another. In addition, anyone who manages living beings. If a tliz is cooperating with If you are making a raaig or a meorty,
to steal something from a crypt will be your studies, it is because doing so suits its your character must have lived 2,000
hunted down and punished. In general, own ends. years ago or more. Otherwise, he could
you would be wise to confine your study have died anywhere between 2,000 years
of meorties to indirect methods. I hope that this information serves you and a few hours ago.
All meorties are of the old races (human, well in your studies. Only you know what 4. Consider the characters motivations
elf, dwarf, giant, and halfling). is best for you, though I do share some of in life and choose which kind of undead
Racked spirit: Racked spirits are the your mothers anxiety regarding the dan- you think he would have become.
incorporeal, tortured remnants of persons gers of your research. If you choose to 5. Give your creation some special un-
who committed an act that violated the pursue these interests, please heed my dead powers. For low-level undead (1-5th
basic nature of their character. Their warnings and consider my direction. You level), one or two powers should be suffi-
guilty spirits cannot rest even after death. could enrich the lives of us all with your cient. For mid-level undead (6th-12th
These tortured individuals are perhaps the discoveries, or fall prey to a monstrous level), three or four powers should be
most dangerous of all undead, for in their evil of which no sane being would dare good. Undead of 13th level and higher
agony they have become so bitter and speak or imagine. In all events, I remain should have a minimum of five special
twisted that their only joy is destroying your fond uncle, and place my trust in undead powers, with an additional power
living, happy beings. The most common your judgment. for every five levels above 13th. Special
type of racked spirit, of course, is the undead powers might include such things
dwarven banshee, created when a dwarf as the following: immunity to all but metal-
forsakes his life purpose. Creating Athasian undead lic weapons, the ability to pass through
Dhaot: Dhaots are incorporeal undead As should be apparent from the Wander- solid objects, superheated touch that
created when an individual with a power- ers letter, while the undead of the DARK causes extra damage, the ability to drain
ful love of home or some other special SUN campaign bear a superficial relation- life levels by touching a creature, the
place dies far away. When the body dies, ship to the undead of other game settings, ability to transfer hit points from the
the spirit is overwhelmed by a desire to at their cores they are beasts of a different victim to the creature, immunity to certain
return home. Unfortunately, the spirits nature. Each one is a unique individual, types of spells or psionics, the ability to
sense of the physical world becomes se- striving for its own goals, motivated by cause fear or darkness at will, etc. Because
verely limited when separated from the individual desires that your characters each undead is unique, these powers can
body, and it often wanders the wastelands might or might not understand. Remem- be anything you wish. For more ideas, you
for years before finding its place. ber, too, that the categories described by might look at the undead listed in the
Once it reaches its home, the dhaot finds the Wanderer are based on how the un- Monstrous Compendium. You might also
it still cannot rest until the body it aban- dead creature came to be in its state, and decide to give your undead some special
doned is also returned to the home. The have very little to do with the creatures vulnerabilities appropriate to his nature,
dhaot chooses an individual with the abili- current powers. No two meorties, for such as suffering double damage from
ty to retrieve its lost body and harasses example, will be alike. One might resemble cold-based attacks, being paralyzed for
him until the bones have brought back. a conventional mummy in appearance and 1d4 rounds by contact with a bronze
The desert is filled with the dhaots of ability, and another might be closer to a weapon, being dispelled for 1d4 days if
halflings who died outside their beloved conventional vampire. forced to look at its own reflection, etc.
forests. To create undead for the DARK SUN Always remember that regardless of the
extra powers granted to your undead
creature, he retains all of the ability
scores, class benefits, hit points, spells,
psionic powers, etc., that he possessed as a
living NPC.
6. Decide what your undead creatures
current goals and ambitions are, based on
his old personality and his new instincts as
an undead.
7. Remember that all undead are affect-
ed normally by spells, turning, psionics,
etc., as listed in the standard AD&D rule
books. (Although the Wanderer makes a
distinction between walking undead and
true undead, this has no effect in terms of
the rules.)
Randomized spell lists for DARK SUN campaigns
It is sometimes necessary for the
Dungeon Master to randomly generate a
number of spells. Perhaps the party has
just found an ancient spell book or a scroll
with several magical spells on it. Or the
DM needs to determine the spells available
to an NPC wizard or priest, or even to a
newly created player character. The spell
tables in this article should be useful in
any of these events,
In DARK SUN campaigns, the methods
of random spell generation presented
elsewhere do not work; some spells are
more common on Athas, others are rarer,
and some simply do not exist. With this in
mind, a series of tables has been put to-
gether to allow DMs to quickly determine
what spells are found in, say, a recently
unearthed spell book.
The following tables list all wizard and
priest spells (with abbreviated names)
from the AD&D 2nd Edition Players
Handbook, broken down by frequency:
common, uncommon, and rare. Spells
marked with an asterisk (*) are given in
the DARK SUN rules. When randomly
filling a scroll or wizards spell list, begin
by determining the level of spell desired.
Once that is done, roll on Table 1, then
find the correct level and frequency table
to determine the exact spell known.

Table 1
Spell Frequency Table

01-75 Common
76-90 Uncommon
91-00 Rare

by Timothy B. Brown and William W. Connors

Wizard Spells

Table 2 Table 4
First-Level Spells Third-Level Spells

Roll Common Uncommon Rare Roll Common Uncommon Rare

1 Affect n. fires Alarm Color spray 1 Clairaudience Blink Explosive runes
2 Burning hands Armor Dancing lights 2 Clairvoyance Delude Illusionary script
3 Change self Audible glamer Gaze reflect. 3 Dispel magic Feign death Item
4 Charm person Cantrip Identify 4 Fireball Hold undead Secret page
5 Chill touch Detect undead Message 5 Flame arrow Infravision Sepia snake s.
6 Erase Comp. languages N.s magical aura 6 Fleet feet* L.s tiny hut Water breathing
7 Detect magic Find familiar Ventriloquism 7 Fly Melfs minute
8 Enlarge Grease Wizard mark meteors
9 Feather fall Hypnotism 8 Haste Monster sum. I
10 Friends Mending 9 Hold person Phantom steed
11 Hold portal Shocking grasp 10 Invis., 10 R. Prot. normal
12 Jump Spider climb missiles
13 Magic missile Spook 11 Lightning bolt Spectral force
14 Mount Taunt 12 Non-detection Suggestion
15 Phant. force Unseen servant 13 Prot. evil, 10 r. Vampiric touch
16 Wall of fog Prot. evil 14 Slow Wind wall
17 Read magic Roll again 15 Tongues Wraithform
18 Shield Roll again 16-20 Roll again Roll again
19 Sleep Roll again
20 T.s floating disc Roll again

Table 5
Table 3 Fourth-Level Spells
Second-Level Spells
Roll Common Uncommon Rare
Roll Common Uncommon Rare 1 Charm monster Contagion Detect scrying
1 After self Bind Blur 2 Confusion Dig Enervation
2 Blindness Continual light Fools gold 3 D. door E.s b. tentacles H. terrain
3 Darkness, 15 r. Deafness Irritation 4 Enchanted weapon Extension I Illusionary wall
4 Deeppockets Detect invis. L.s trap 5 Fire charm Fear Magic mirror
5 Detect evil Fog cloud Magic mouth 6 Fire trap Fumble Rainbow pattern
6 Detect psionics* Glitterdust Mirror image 7 Ice storm Imp. invis. R.s m. enhancer
7 ESP Hypnotic pattern Rope trick 8 M. creation L.s secure shelter Solid fog
8 Flaming sphere Know alignment Roll again 9 M. globe of invul. Massmorph Wizard eye
9 Forget Melfs acid arrow 10 Phant. killer Monster sum. II Roll again
10 Imp. phant. force Misdirection 11 Plant growth O.s resilient s.
11 Invis. Prot. cantrips 12 Psionic dampener* Poly. other
12 Knock Ray of enfeeble. 13 Raze* Poly. self
13 Levitate Scare 14 Stoneskin Shadow monsters
14 Locate object Shatter 15 Trans. sand-stone* Shout
15 Pyrotechnics Spectral hand 16 Wall of fire Vacancy
16 Strength Stinking cloud 17 Roll again Wall of ice
17 Summon swarm Wizard lock 18-20 Roll again Roll again
18 T.s u.h. laughter Roll again
19 Web Roll again
20 Whispering wind Roll again
Table 6 Table 8
Fifth-Level Spells Seventh-Level Spells

Roll Common Uncommon R a r e Roll Common Uncommon Rare

1 Adv. illusion Avoidance Airy water 1 Control undead B.s grasping Banishment
2 Animal growth B.s interposing C. other plane hand
hand 2 Finger of death Charm plants Duo-dimension
3 Animate dead Conjure elemental Dismissal 3 Forcecage Delayed blast Mass invis.
4 Chaos Demi-shadow L.s lam. belab. fireball
monsters 4 Limited wish Doom legion* M.s mag. mansion
5 Cloudkill Distance distortion Magic jar 5 M.s sword D.s instant Sequester
6 Cone of cold Dream Sending summons
7 Domination Extension II Shadow door 6 Power word, stun Monster sum. V Vision
8 Feeblemind Fabricate Wall of iron 7 Spell turning Phase door
9 Hold monster False vision 8 Teleport w/o error Prismatic spray
10 Major creation L.s secret chest 9 Vanish Reverse gravity
11 M.s faithful Monster sum. II 10 Roll again Shadow walk
hound 11 Simulacrum
12 Rejuvenate* Passwall 12 Statue
13 Telekinesis Seeming
14 Teleport Shadow magic
15 Trans. rock-mud Summon shadow
16 Wall of stone Wall of force
17-20 Roll again Roll again Table 9
Eighth-Level Spells

Roll Common Uncommon Rare

1 B.s clenched fist Antipathy- Clone
Table 7 sympathy
Sixth-Level Spells 2 Glassteel Binding Demand
3 Incendiary cloud Create tree of life* Symbol
Roll Common Uncommon Rare 4 Mass charm Maze Trap the soul
1 Anti-magic shell B.s forceful hand Enchant an item 5 Mindblank Monster sum. VI
2 Chain lightning Contingency Geas 6 Permanency O.s telekin. s.
3 Conjure animals Death fog Legend lore 7 Poly. any object Ottos irres. dance
4 Control weather Demi-shadow Lower water 8 Power word, blind Prismatic wall
magic 9 Sertens spell Screen
5 Deathspell Ensnarement Part water immunity
6 Disintegrate Extension III Reincarnation 10 Roll again Sink
7 Globe of invul. Eyebite
8 Guards and wards Glassee
9 Invisible stalker Mislead
10 Mass suggestion Monster sum. IV
11 Mirage arcana M.s lucubration Table10
12 Move earth Programmed Ninth-Level Spells
13 O.s freezing s. Project image Roll Common Uncommon Rare
14 Permanent illusion Repulsion 1 B.s crushing hand Crystalbrittle Astral spell
15 Stone-flesh Shades 2 Energy drain Foresight M.s disjunction
16 Trans. water-dust T.s transfrm. Imprisonment Succor
17 Roll again True seeing 4 Meteor swarm Monster sum. VII Weird
18 Roll again Veil 5 Power word. kill Prismatic sphere
19-20 Roll again Roll again 6 Shape change Temporal stasis
7 Time stop
8 Wish

Priest Spells
Table 13
Table 11 Third-Level Spells
First-Level Spells
Roll Common Uncommon Rare
Roll Common Uncommon 1 Air lens* Call lightning Cure blind./deaf.
1 Animal friendship Bless 2 Animate dead Continual light Feign death
3 Create food &
2 Create water Command Detect snares &
water Cure disease Neg. plane prot.
3 Cure light wnds. Detect evil 4 Dispel magic Hold animal Remove curse
4 Detect magic Entangle Shillelagh 5 Flame walk Magical vestment Remove paralysis
5 Detect poison Faerie fire 6 Glyph of warding Snare Starshine
7 Locate object Speak w/ dead Water breathing
6 Endure heat/cold Invis.-animals
7 Merciful shadows* Light 8 Meld into stone Spike growth Water walk
8 Prot. evil Locate 9 Plant growth Tree
animals/plants 10 Prayer Roll again
9 Purify food & drink 11 Prot. fire
Magical stone
10 Roll again Pass w/o trace 12 Pyrotechnics
11 Remove fear 13 Stone shape
12 Sanctuary 14 Summon insects
15+ Roll again

Table 12
Second-Level Spells Table 14
Fourth-Level Spells
Roll Common Uncommon Rare
1 Aid Chant Roll Common Uncommon Rare
1 Animal sum. I Call woodland Abjure
2 Barkskin Enthrall Detect charm
3 Charm person/ Find traps Heat metal beings
mammal 2 Cloak of bravery Detect lie Free action
3 Control temp., 10' r. Divination Hold plant
4 Dust devil Goodberry Messenger
4 Cure serious wnds. Halluc. terrain Lower water
5 Fire trap Know alignment Withdraw
6 Flame blade 5 Giant insect Imbue w/ spell Reflecting pool
Obscurement Roll again
7 Hold person Silence, 15' r. ability
8 Produce flame Trip 6 Neutralize poison Plant door Roll again
9 Resist fire/cold Warp wood 7 Produce fire Prot. lightning
8 Prot. evil, 10' r. Speak w/ plants
10 Slow poison Wyvern watch
11 Snake charm 9 Rejuvenate* Spell immunity
12 Speak w/ animals 10 Repel insects Tongues
13 Spiritual hammer 11 Sticks-snakes
14+ Roll again 12 Roll again
Table 15 Table 17
Fifth-Level Spells Seventh-Level Spells

Roll Common Uncommon Rare Roll Common Uncommon Rare

1 Air walk Anti-plant shell Atonement 1 Animate rock Creeping doom Astral spell
2 Animal growth Commune Magic font 2 Changestaff Holy word Chariot of
3 Animal sum. II Commune w/ Plane shift Sustarre
nature 3 Confusion Restoration Exaction
4 Conjure elemental* Moonbeam Quest 4 Control weather Succor Gate
5 Control winds Pass plant Raise dead 5 Earthquake Symbol Resurrection
6 Cure critical wnds. Rainbow Roll again 6 Fire storm Roll again Trans. metal-wood
7 Dispel evil Spike stones 7 Regenerate
8 Flame strike True seeing 8 Reincarnate
9 Insect plague 9 Sunray
10 Sandstorm* 10 Wind walk
11 Trans. rock-mud
12 Wall of fire

Table 16
Sixth-Level Spells

Roll Common Uncommon Rare

1 Aerial servant Anti-animal shell Forbiddance
2 Animal sum. III Conjure animals Part water
3 Animate object Create tree of life* Transport via
4 Blade barrier Fire seeds Turn wood
5 Find the path Heroes feast
6 Heal Liveoak
7 Speak w/ monsters Stone tell
8 Trans. water-dust Word of recall
9 Wall of thorns
10 Weather sum.
A wizards staff
is to lean on
by Ed Greenwood
Ive noticed a certain tendency, Elmin-
ster said dryly, to speakin your world,
that isonly of mages whose Art is mighty
indeed. Those who can reshape All That Is
with but one wave of a finger . . . like
myself, for instance.
The old mage almost smiled for a mo-
ment. Then he frowned at me, fiercely.
This tendency is natural, but it must be
tempered by an occasional glance or two
at wizards of lesser power. Tis they who
will wield power in years to come! Tis
they who are the more numerous and the
more in need of attention. So heed ye.
Elminster turned in his chair and waved
one hand in an intricate pattern. There
was a flash, and an instant later he was
holding a staff that had not been there
before. He raised its smooth wooden
length until one end pointed in my direc-
tion, then raised his eyebrows.
There was a click beside me, as my
ready tape recorder began to record all by
itself. Elminster did smile this time. I
thought it would work. He nodded with
satisfaction and set the staff down as he
indicated his empty glass.
As I rose to fill it, he leaned toward my
machine and began to speak. And so I
learned much more of fledgling mage-craft
in the Forgotten Realms, including details
of a dozen magical staves whose powers
are useful but more limited than those
hitherto known. These Ive described
hereafter, with their AD&D game statis-
tics. Elminster tells me that all appear as
plain wooden walking-staves, are usable
by all sorts of wizards only (unless other-
wise noted), and are fairly numerous in
As a reminder, magical staves usually
have 19+1d6 charges when found. Most
are about 5-6 long, 1-1 in diameter,
and made of wood. Spell effects, unless
otherwise stated, are at the 8th level of

Rilantavers staff
The elusive trickster Rilantaver long ago
vanished from his usual haunts around the
Sea of Fallen Stars and is believed to have
perished in some misadventure. Elminster
suspects he merely decided to make his
home on some other plane of existence.
His legacy to Art in the Realms includes
some spells (of spectacular effect but
minor power) and the process of making
the sort of staff named for him. Many
were made in Amn and Starmantle, where
Rilantaver ran a business of sorts to fund
his carefree travels and shady pursuits.
A Rilantavers staff affords +3 protec-
tion on saving throws and armor class for
up to six beings touching it. This power is

30 SEPTEMBER 1991 Artwork by Larry Elmore

automatic and drains no charges. away). These functions are all automatic Staff of displacement
Upon command, the staff can detect and continuous, and do not drain charges. This magical staff functions at all times
magic in a 20-radius sphere centered on A staff of battle can repel (as per the as a cloak of displacement when up to
the staff. The staff bearer can clearly see sixth-level wizard spell repulsion) all crea- three beings hold it. This +2 protection
magical auras, but the staff does not en- tures within 10. This power drains two functions continuously and drains no
able others not touching it to do so. No charges per use and can be exercised only charges.
charges are SO drained. once every six rounds. The repulsion lasts The staff can also, upon command (a
The bearer can also exercise telekinesis for only two rounds, after which affected silent act of will not requiring a gesture or
on any object touched by the staff. This creatures are free to return. utterance), enable a single creature grasp-
function must be exercised as the touch is Once per day (144 turns), a staff bearer ing the staff to jump, as per the first-level
made, is activated and ended by silent can designate any successful hit to be a wizard spell. This function drains one
force of will, and drains three charges, thunderstrike. The decision must be charge and may be activated as often as
plus one charge per round after the round made immediately upon the staffs striking desired, once per round.
of activation. Moving creatures and objects of its target, and the blow instantly drains The staff can also, by touch, part water
require a successful attack roll to be eight charges from the staff (insufficient in a 5 cylinder. This cylinder is centered
touched, and any living, conscious, unwill- charges will produce no result). A thun- on the staff and extends 4 beyond either
ing creature receives a saving throw vs. derstrike can be heard as a deep, boom- end of it, enabling beings to breathe air
spells each round to break free of the ing noise; it is a magical force sufficient to while submerged. Magical processes re-
power. Telekinesis is identical in effect to deal double damage to any opponent of plenish the air continuously to keep it
the fifth-level wizards spell, but the staffs man-size or smaller (no saving throw) and fresh and drain one charge per round
weight limit is 1,000 lbs. Once telekinetic triple damage to all larger creatures. Any from the staff while performing this func-
control over an object or creature is lost, it creature struck must make a successful tion. This function requires the utterance
cannot be regained except by touching the dexterity check on 1d20 to avoid being of a secret command word to activate the
target again and reactivating the power. thrown to the ground, and also make a staff. The function ceases upon the mental
XP Value 3,000 successful strength check on 1d20 or be command of any being grasping the staff,
stunned for 1-3 rounds. If stunned, the and it may be used as often as desired.
Staff of battle victim reels helplessly; gains a -3 penalty Finally, all staves of displacement can
This staff is a +3 weapon that cannot be to his armor class; is unable to attack, cast temporarily negate (but not destroy) wiz-
cut by any blade. Its magical speed enables spells, or concentrate; and is liable to drop ard locks and hold portal spells, regardless
its bearer to strike first in any round, and any held weapons or other objects unless of the level of the being who cast them.
it attracts all missiles (even magic missiles) a dexterity check on 1d20 is made for The touch of the staff causes the guarded
passing within 10' of any part of it. Such each. door or portal to glow with a faint radi-
missiles avoid striking any living being but If used against nonliving objects, a thun- ance for 1d4 rounds; during this time, all
touch the staff and are absorbed harm- derstrike does one point of structural creatures who wish to do so may pass
lessly. If a staff of battles attack roll (ad- damage and forces any object struck (e.g., freely through the guarded area. When
justed with its bonus) is 20 or greater, any a door, sword, shield, or armor) to save vs. this free passage ceases, any creatures
armed opponent that it strikes must make crushing blow at a -3 penalty or be caught passing through the guarded area
a successful dexterity check on 4d6 or be crushed or shattered. may proceed but must suffer a system-
disarmed, the opponents weapon flying XP Value 1,000 shock roll. This function operates automat-
out of immediate reach (10+1d10 feet ically, whether passage is desired or not,

and drains one charge per level of the Once every 66 days, a staff of miracles book of the Realms, from the FORGOTTEN
caster of the hold portal or wizard lock. allows the bearer one limited wish, at a REALMS boxed set).
XP Value 6,000 cost of 12 charges (insufficient charges XP Value 3,000
will cause failure of function). When this
Staff of divergence function is used, a roll of thunder will be Staff of scrivening
This staff is a defensive weapon. Upon heard overhead. The staff bearer is not One end of a staff of scrivening will
its crafting, this staff must be set to guard aged by use of this power of the staff. The transfer a written spell of any level and
against one type of attack (typically fire or limited wish is akin to the seventh-level type, even a spell forever denied to the
lightning). It is effective against only the wizard spell. If death is involved, it cannot staff-bearer for reasons of class, from its
chosen type of attack, of both natural and be directly caused by the spell, and it can original text to another surface, such as a
magical origin, regardless of the attacks only be undone or reversed for one crea- blank page of the staff bearers spell book.
intensity. ture. If the limited wish involves the undo- The original text must be touched.
Any attack of the chosen type directed ing of acts, spells cast, words said, etc., it This function is by touch, drains two
within 9 of any part of a staff of diver- can only reach back into the immediate charges, and takes four rounds. In the
gence is automatically turned away to a past to a maximum of one turn. first round, the original text must be
spot or target within 90, as chosen by the XP Value 4,000 touched; in the second, the staff must be
staff bearer. If no one is holding the staff, moved to the surface to be written upon;
or the bearer does not choose a destina- Staff of night in the third and fourth, the staff must be
tion for the attack, determine where the A staff of night is not (despite folk beliefs continuously touched to the surface to be
attack takes effect using random methods. to the contrary) an evil item; like all the written upon. One charge per round is
This function of the staff drains three staves detailed herein, it has no alignment. drained, and if the process is interrupted,
charges per use, and can be used only six Anyone grasping this staff is automatically the charges used thus far are lost, and the
times in any 24-hour (144-turn) period. afforded infravision to a range of 90. By attempt to write the spell fails. Writing
Divergence is effective against spells and wordless mental command (at a cost of requires no special spell inks or move-
magical item discharges employing the one charge), this staff can dispel any magi- ments of the staff, nor even adequate
attack form guarded against, but it cannot cal spell radiance whose area of effect it light. The end product is always an exact
guard against all spells or all poisons. It contacts (e.g., light, continual light, or duplicate of the original, including any
could be crafted to ward off all acids, but faerie fire, but not glowing magical auras, faults. A spell concealed by a secret page
all flaming attacks and all electrical/energy as from swords). Radiances of normally spell cannot be written by use of this sort
discharge attacks are by far the most permanent duration will return 2-5 turns of staff, but the staff can be employed to
common attack types guarded against by after this function is exercised. copy a secret page spell itself.
such staves. The bearer of a staff of night can also At a cost of one charge per round, the.
A staff of divergence has an additional create darkness in a 10-radius sphere bearer of a staff of scrivening can read
power, usable at will and requiring no centered on the midpoint of the staff. magic (as the first-level wizard spell). Note
charges. It can emit a faerie fire radiance Such darkness is equal in effects to that that this power does not reveal the auras
of any hue desired. The staff must be held created by the second-level wizard spell of magical dweomers, nor does it identify,
to change the intensity and color of the darkness, 15 radius, and it moves with activate, or reveal glyphs or symbols.
radiance or to end it. These processes the staff. This function costs one charge Anyone touching a staff of scrivening
require concentration that precludes spell- per use and can be ended by mental when a glyph or symbol is discharged is
casting for each round of change. command of the bearer; it can also be automatically protected against all effects
XP Value 1,000 continued indefinitely, even if the staff of that glyph or symbol. This protection
is no longer in contact with a living drains six charges per spell effect being
Staff of miracles being. defended against.
These mages staves were once common, Once every seven days, the greatest All staff functions are activated by silent
being made in Myth Drannor and else- power of a staff of night may be used. The force of will and require physical contact
where, but few know the secrets of their bearer of the staff will feel (by a faint, with the staff and concentration that must
crafting today. When grasped and or- continuous tingling) that this power is precede spell-casting.
dered, such a staff glows with a brief blue- readied. A command word must be spo- XP Value 3,000
white radiance and allows a +4 bonus on ken to activate this power, and doing so
saving throws for up to four beings touch- drains six charges from the staff each Staff of silence
ing it. This protection lasts for the round time. Within one round, an umber hulk A staff of silence drains one charge per
in which the staff is touched and the fol- will appear. It will fight or otherwise per- round when activated. It can be used
lowing round, and drains the staff of four form at the staff bearers bidding for three continuously, as long as the activator re-
charges each time this power is activated. rounds, then vanish again. The umber tains hold of the staff. Activation and
A staff of miracles may heal (as the sixth- hulk will always have 60+ hp and obey deactivation are by silent act of will and
level priest spell) once every 24 hours. diligently and loyally in undertaking even take only an instant.
This function drains five charges. obviously dangerous tasks (if directly This type of staff conceals all noises
The staff may also be used to delay death asked to harm itself, it will do nothing). created by the bearer from all other be-
once every 24 hours. This function, which The bearer of the staff is rendered im- ings, including footfalls, spell incantations,
drains six charges, is similar to the deaths mune to the confusion power of the gaze the sounds made by things the bearer
door spell from the AD&D 1st Edition tome, of all umber hulks while the staff is breaks by direct contact, and so on, within
Unearthed Arcana, and permits a dead grasped, at all times. If the umber hulk a 12 radius.
being, if touched within three rounds of summoned by the staff is slain while in The bearer may also invoke a special
death, to be brought to 1 hp, despite any service to the staff bearer, the staff will sort of deafness upon himself to provide
wounds, dismemberments, or even decapita- instantly crumble to dust, its power gone total protection against all spell, magical-
tion. Breathing, bleeding, and all life func- forever. item, or monster attacks that rely on
tions are magically halted for seven turns; if Lord Aumry of Shadowdale (husband of sound (e.g., the roar of an androsphinx or
curative magic or other means are applied to the witch Sylune) once bore such a staff. the singing of harpies or bards). This
the unfortunate being during this time, It was stolen from his tomb by Lashan of deafness prevents real deafness from
actual death may be averted. A system-shock Scardale, who is thought to still be alive being inflicted upon the staff bearer (ex-
roll may apply if the DM judges it appropri- and in hiding, and he may well still possess cept by physical damage of his auditory
ate in some cases. it (see Lashans Fall, in the DMs Source- organs), but does not prevent truename-
based magic (as per Unearthed Arcana, exploded or ceased to function because its rected downward or it bursts in a location
page 63) from affecting the staff bearer, or stored sounds were not discharged. Acti- that spills its occupants out for a fall (if the
similar magic from taking normal effect. vation of a sonic blast drains only one bubble fails due to weight overload, this
Other creatures, even if they touch the charge; the blast itself is powered by the protection does not apply). A spell, magical
staff, are not protected by the staff in any sound energy stored by the staff. item, or artifact power of any sort cast
way. XP Value 1,500 into or out of a sphere will be negated, but
Once per day (144 turns), the bearer of a it will destroy the sphere. If a sphere fails
staff of silence can release the sounds it Staff of spheres due to such contact, it negates any magic
has swallowed and stored in a sonic blast This rare and strange sort of staff was (including spell-like creature powers)
attack. This attack has a cone-shaped area devised by Elminster himself long ago, entering or leaving its area in that round,
of effect, extending from one end of the when he was in Myth Drannor at the not just one spell or effect.
staff up to 60 distant, widening from 1' in height of its greatness. All the staff does is Spheres are not prisons; any conscious,
width at the tip of the staff to a 30- create spheresgiant, transparent, float- mobile being can easily break a sphere to
diameter circle at the farthest extent of ing bubbles that glow with a faint silver- escape (securely bound creatures cannot,
the cone. It is activated by will and occurs blue radiance. These bubbles are 6 in nor can caged creatures, if the sphere is
instantly, its effects ceasing at the end of diameter and, upon their creation, can be formed around their smooth-edged cage).
the round of activation. commanded to remain floating and mo- Mages typically use such spheres as travel-
The sonic blast sounds like a high- tionless, to follow or precede the staff at a ing storage for coins, food, weapons, or
pitched shriek. It can cause deafness (last- certain distance, height, and orientation, even open spell books, for which the
ing 2-5 turns) and stun (lasting 1-6 rounds) or to follow a straight-line journey away sphere provides handy reading light.
all creatures in the area of effect who are from the staff wielder, in any direction. Spheres can also be used to convey food,
able to hear and who fail saving throws vs. A bubble can carry any collection of treasure, or other items to creatures one
poison against each effect. The sonic blast things of up to 140 lbs. total weight, in- does not wish to approach too closely.
also deals physical damage to living and cluding living manner (if this limit is ex- A sphere has a movement rate of 16
nonliving objects, equal to one structural ceeded, the bubble will instantly burst). when traveling free (that is, not linked to
point or 2d12 damage (a successful save Any pointed or sharp objects allowed to the location of the staff that formed it),
vs. spells equals half damage). Any tiny contact the surface of such a bubble will but it can never develop sufficient velocity
object may, at the DMs option, be flung also destroy it. A bubble gives off enough to break or move objects in its path, nor to
2d10 feet away from the staff by the blast. light to read by, but not enough to blind deliver a weapon in an attack. Spheres can
Any creature who fails a dexterity check any creature or affect undead. serve to deliver lit oil pots or torches to
on 1d20 may be hurled off its feet and If cast around beings, a sphere allows intended destinations, as nonmagical flame
thrown l-10 farther away from the staff. the enclosed creatures clear vision and does not affect a sphere.
There is no known overload point for breathing, and it protects them with a Such a staff can create a maximum of
such staves. A staff of silence has never feather fall spell if its movement is di- one sphere a round. Each sphere drains

one charge during its creation, which A staff of surprises can emit a prepro- where), blink, or teleport (including re-
requires an entire round to complete. grammed sound or speech, of up to seven lated spells or creature powers, such as
XP Value 4,000 seconds duration or 15 spoken words. the dimension door ability of a boggle) are
This utterance can be a message, warning, prevented from doing so for one round. In
Staff of surprises incantation, threat, or an intent to deceive other words, for the round that follows
This type of staff is usable by all intelli- others into thinking a particular being or the staff attack, they cannot escape by
gent creatures who know the command monster is near. If the sound is a spell magical means and may be attacked nor-
words of the particular specimen they are incantation, no spell can be cast or set mally by the staff wielder and his compan-
holding. Each staff function can be used in off, but the sound can be an activation ions. Creatures not able to use such
combination with all other staff functions, word for a magical item if touch or will- abilities or spells are merely slowed for
but only one function can be activated or power is not also required. The staffs user the one round following the staff attack.
deactivated per round. Each function determines what sounds will be pro- A staff of the moonglow operates as a
drains one charge whenever activated, but grammed. +4 weapon when used under an open,
programming item functions requires A staff of surprises can also emit a visual moonlit sky. If used under a starlit sky or
only the necessary spell-casting, speech, illusion of any man-sized creature or ob- under a night sky in which the moon is
and concentration; no charges are ject. This image must be created by casting concealed by weather, it functions only as
drained. Activation requires a command any illusion -producing spell upon the staff, a +1 weapon. Underground, it has no
word; deactivation requires that the word which absorbs an illusion contacting it if bonuses, except that in all locations and
be spoken backward. the staffs command word is spoken at the conditions, the strike of a staff of the
A staff of surprises can, upon command, time. The illusion will be as good as the moonglow does double damage to all
suddenly grow a blade from either end of cast original (i.e., ranging from vague and undead; it also counts as holy: silver, and
itself, doing 1d8 hp damage (1d12 to crea- fuzzy to utterly lifelike) and can move, magical for attack purposes, and it affects
tures larger than man-size) when used as a gesture, and act; range and area of effect trolls and other creatures susceptible to
weapon. The weight and balance of the are as per the original spell or power. The fire damage as though the physical dam-
staff do not change. image cannot speak or be made to react to age of its striking were caused by flame.
Such a staff can also suddenly extend in its surroundings in any way, but it lasts These staff properties drain no charges.
length up to 60, to serve as a pike, sliding for up to seven rounds (less if the pro- XP Value 3,000
pole, bridging or reaching aid, etc. It will grammer desires or if the staff wielder
remain utterly straight and rigid, and can ends it sooner). Touching the image will Staff of vision
withstand 16 hp damage or 777 lbs. not dispel or disrupt it. This rare type of staff drains one charge
weight before breaking. XP Value 4,000 per round when activated and held by a
living creature. It is usable by all intelli-
Staff of the moonglow gent creatures and is controlled by force
Devised long ago in the early days of the of will. A staff of vision may be activated
northern city of Silverymoon, staves of and used within the same round. Shutting
this sort are most often found in the hands down any power of the staff requires only
of Harpers and elves. They are activated an instant, but switching from one power
and deactivated by silent act of will com- to another requires an entire round be-
bined with physical contact, and can be tween the uses of the different powers.
used by all races and classes of intelligent Such a staff can empower any one crea-
beings. ture touching the staff to detect invisibility
At a cost of one charge per round of use, (as per the second-level wizard spell, with
the wielder of a staff of the moonglow can an effective range of 90), use infravision
pass without trace (as per the first-level (as per the third-level wizard spell), or
priest spell), find the path (as per the sixth- have true seeing (as per the sixth-level
level priest spell), or have free action (as wizard spell, with no ointment necessary).
per the fourth-level priest spell). Such staves never allow X-ray vision and
A staff of the moonglow can also (at a cannot be used continuously for very long,
cost of one charge per round of use) be as their effects are mentally tiring. A staff
made to glow with a pearly, blue-white of vision can be used by a being only for
radiance. This light fills a sphere 30 in as many rounds at a time as the user has
radius, centered on the midpoint of the intelligence points. After using such a staff
staff. Besides providing illumination for for six rounds or more, any user must
reading and other sight-related tasks, this refrain from using it again for at least four
radiance allows a ring of shooting stars rounds, or wild hallucinations will result;
located within it to operate as if it were these preclude proper use of the staffs
underground, reveals the auras of all powers and might guide the affected being
magical dweomers within its area of effect into behavior dangerous to himself or his
as amber faerie fire glows, and causes all companions.
undead within it to attack at -3 to hit. All Each staff of vision has a secret com-
magical inscriptions and wizard marks mand word. Anyone who utters the word
located within the moonglow will shine while touching the staff to any being,
forth clearly and distinctly, even if normal- including himself, may call forth the spe-
ly invisible or magically concealed. cial power of this type of staff. At a cost of
Whenever a staff of the moonglow three charges, such a staff can cure blind-
strikes an opponent, the bearer can elect ness; unlike the third-level priest spell, the
(at a cost of two charges) to forego all staff will repair or restore damaged eyes.
physical attack damage in exchange for Insufficient charges cause this special
forcing the struck creature to stay. This power to fail.
power allows no saving throw and oper- XP Value 5,000
ates as follows: All creatures able to shift
out of phase (into the ethereal or else-
Sorcerers getting you down?
Heres what you can do about them
by Gregory W. Detwiler
Magic and magic-users are the mainstay
of many parties in AD&D games to even
the odds in battle. As wizards get to be
high in level, this turns into an unfair
advantage when the encounter is not
properly handled. Actually, spell-casters of
any class are quite vulnerable in battle,
not merely in terms of taking damage but
also in the chances of having their spell
preparations disrupted. Even before the
battle, or before the adventure for that
matter, things can happen that could total-
ly nullify the advantages of magic. This
fact of life can, by itself, turn a victorious
party into a doomed one. It certainly pre-
vents game disruption due to overly pow-
erful characters.

Interrupted spell-casting in your wizards pouch during the river is also useful if a players mage gets in the
Many DMs do not remember that a crossing and dissolve the sugar in it? For- habit of using a single spell such as fireball
magic-using character needs complete get about casting an insect plague spell. all the time. He will be forced to diversify
concentration for casting a spell (this also Did a grasshopper or caterpillar get into a and show more imagination, at least until
applies to a psionic character going into a backpack and devour the green plant he is cured.
combat trance). Any interruption, even a matter there? Say goodbye to casting Even if a magic-using character is not
mere shove, can spoil the dweomer (see hallucinatory terrain in rocky highlands or allergic to his own components, allergies
the 1st Edition Dungeon Masters Guide, desert. Ditto for dig, if that miniature can still cause him lethal problems. Simple
page 65, or the 2nd Edition Players Hand- metal shovel and bucket failed to save vs. hay fever can make him nearly useless in
book, page 85). electricity when that blue dragon an outdoor adventure. If mold or damp-
This has important implications, as it breathed on your wizard (material compo- ness has this effect on him, the same goes
means that even a nondamaging attack nents should have to make item saving for dungeon and cavern adventures. If
can harm the party if it spoils a spell. throws along with all the rest of the gear). hes allergic to the partys pack animals,
Mages frequently fight from the middle of And how many spells are lost if your hell stay as far away from them as he can.
a ring of protective fighters engaged in clerics silver holy symbol is picked up by One problem: Mages usually stay to the
melee. If one of those fighters is driven Nimblefinger Niles, or her holy water is rear with the animals in a fight, to be in a
back and bumps the mageno spell. If a drunk by a thirsty halfling porter? safe spell-casting position. If the mage
hacked-off bit of armor or loose piece of Possibly the worst part of having to use hangs around up front with the fighters,
equipment flies through the air and hits spell components is the fact that it means theres a much greater chance that hell be
the wizard, even if it does no damageno your character has at least a partial depen- hit in combat, with all that implies. And if
spell. If the noise of indoor combat makes dency on others. From merchants to jewel- the group is cornered and everyone is
a stone or bit of plaster fall from the ceil- ers to skilled craftsmen, there is a host of crowded together (pack animals included),
ing and hit the mageno spell. A bumpy people who can totally nullify your charac- therell be one mage who wont be using
ride on horseback or a wave splashing ters abilities if they bear him ill will. Un- his magic to get the group out of its
over a boat will disrupt a wizards or less he has the skill and knowledge to predicament.
priests spell as effectively as a direct hit recognize different types of animal hairs Finally, consider that the victim may be
from a sword. Thus, foes can disrupt spell- and plant leaves, tell real gemstones from allergic to some magical items because of
casting by throwing almost anything at the fake ones (this can be tricky if theyre their components. This would be especial-
caster: small sacks or pouches with flour powdered), or determine if objects of gold, ly true with potions and scrolls, as potions
in them, light (nondamaging) pebbles, even silver, or platinum have base metals and scroll ink are made of many weird
mud pies. The act of dodging a blow, worked in, a spell-caster will never be things. A character could get sick upon
which occurs if a spell-caster wants to totally sure of his spell components. Impu- drinking a certain potion, even vomiting
apply his armor-class bonus from dexterity rities in lumps of sulphur, saltpeter, and and going into shock if the allergy is bad
to prevent his being struck, negates his other substances can be very difficult for enough. And dont forget allergies to nor-
spell-casting. Think about it. even someone with alchemical knowledge mal items. This might keep a fighter from
Aside from free movement, many spells to detect at a glance. A spell-caster had drinking a potion of giant strength, or
require material components and the better be good to his component suppliers, prevent him from wielding that fur-
chanting of magic words. A silence, 15 or he may live (barely) long enough to trimmed mattock of the titans. Healing
radius spell can effectively shut up a regret it. A player whose spell-caster is an could be difficult if Keoghtoms ointment
magic-user, ruining his spell preparations. overbearing ass can be hit where it hurts! makes one break out in a rash. Magically
This clerical spell is only second level, Now for one of the most ignored sub- created items might have similar effects;
enabling low-level characters and crea- jects of all: rolling to determine if the the character could get sick eating magi-
tures to even the odds against high-level characters have caught any diseases. Sick- cally purified food or food made by create
foes. It is recommended that DMs allow ness is not a glamorous part of the game food and drink. Murlynds spoon and the
humanoid shamans to cast silence, 15 (unless it came from a mummys touch or mantle of Celestian could likewise produce
radius along with other second-level cleri- a hostile clerics cause disease spell), but literal poison to some hapless individual,
cal spells, just as humanoid witch doctors one form of illness is ideal in causing low- and the chap allergic to potions of water
are allowed (in the 1st Edition DMG, page budget but major problems. I am speaking breathing who finds himself on board a
40) to cast invisibility, another odds-evener. of allergies. Allergies can cause a great sinking ship is in a serious predicament
Neither of these spells does damage in and deal of trouble for any characters (imagine indeed.
of itself, but each can be an important a cavalier whos allergic to horses) but are
addition to a battle. (Of course, it helps if peculiarly suited to toning down spell- Magic-item nullification
the party does not have access to the spell casters. Among other things, wizards are Often, in Monty Haul games, it is the
vocalize, from the Complete Wizards often less athletic and have less robust magic of collected items, rather than the
Handbook, page 99.) health than fighters, so they should catch natural magic of party spell-casters,
Material components are used in a great diseases more often if any logic applies. which makes a group too strong. Fortu-
many spells, but there are many flaws in Perhaps in a magical universe, allergies nately, there are a number of solutions.
having to use them. A long, drawn-out are a form of curse rather than something The easiest thing to do (after insuring
wilderness adventure, whether in an that can be wiped out by a simple cure that no one gets a powerful magical item
underground cavern complex or the great disease spell. Finding a way to eliminate an in the first place) is to destroy the blasted
outdoors, means that the spell-casters will allergy can be an adventure in itself. things; magical items have to take their
be cut off from their sources of man-made Just think of all those awful things chances along with everything else.
spell components, such as the miniature mages use as spell components. Allergic to Among the magical items in the DMG is
platinum sword needed for Morden- bat guano or sulphur, are we? No fireball the rod of cancellation, which perma-
kainens sword, or the glass, amber, or spell for your wizard. If hes allergic to fur, nently ruins items dweomers. Theyre not
crystal rod used in the preparations for as many people are, hes allergic to one of much good in a long-term campaign, how-
lightning bolt. Once used, theyre gone the components for lightning bolt spells. If ever; magical items are so eagerly sought
and so are the chances to recast those insect cocoons are anathema, polymorph after by all that it is hardly credible that
spells. other spells are effectively out of reach. people would be so willing to ruin them or
Also, never ignore the potential for theft And if, through a curse or some other fell make many magical items that have this
or accidents causing the spell-caster to lose effect, a druid becomes allergic to destructive effect. Use them once in a
stored material components. Did water get mistletoehorrors! The single-item allergy while, but dont depend too heavily on

them. Ditto for trained or wild disenchant- back may jostle a mages arm, thereby
ers. (Note, however, the effects of a dispel causing the wand in the latters hand to
magic spell on a potion, and the temporary point at something or someone other than
effects of that spell, anti-magic shell, and a the intended target. Assume the party is
wand of negation on other magical items.) trapped in a small room at the end of a
Actually, the perils of magical and mon- long, straight corridor, and the mage is
strous combat are more than sufficient for pointing a wand of fireballs down the
ruining magic. Even in the old D&D corridor at an approaching monster. An
game, one solution had appeared: the rust inadvertent move by a fighter or a stray
monster. Think of all the magical items motion from a frightened pack mule, and
made of metal: almost all swords and the mages wand arm is struck aside to
other weapons (the heads of magical point at a wall inside the room. The fire-
spears, polearms, and arrows will be me- ball will still go off and expand out into the
tallic), many suits of armor, nearly all corridor, of course, but only after its
rings, and many miscellaneous knick- crisped everyone in the room. Its not just
knacks such as bracers of defense, horns a question of bumping the wizard, either.
of blasting, and Daerns instant fortress. A vagrant breeze at the wrong moment
Can anything be more fun than decoying can blow dust of sneezing and choking
characters to the top of a Daerns instant back at the party. Spell-casters in a well-
fortress with an aerial attack on one side, run campaign should be very careful with
while a rust monster sneaks in below from their magic.
the other side to bring the thing down One thing Ive always wondered about
under their feet? Magical weapons and since first reading of D&D and AD&D
armor get a saving throw of only 10% per game dragons is the neglect of one of the
plus. The +5 stuff in the DMG thus gets most striking aspects of dragon anatomy,
only a 50-50 chance of survival, while the as folklore has it: the poisonous and corro-
two +6 swords in the AD&D 1st Edition sive effect of dragon blood. Both European
Unearthed Arcana have a 40% chance and Oriental legends are full of tales of the
each of being rusted per strike, more than dangerous, unique, and useful qualities of
enough for a determined DM intent upon the blood of these fanciful beasts, yet the
game balance. You can assign any saving D&D and AD&D games hardly mention
throw you like for plusless magical this. Its not totally unknown in gaming
items; theyre totally at your mercy. Given (the DRAGONQUEST game, put out by
the fact that the rust monster has been late, lamented SPI, mentions it), but our
involved in the D&D and AD&D games games say nothing about it.
from almost the very beginning, all I can This is a serious omission. Given a beast
say about the excess magic items debate whose blood has the combined effects of
is: What in the world is all the fuss about? poison and acid (like the things in Alien
For nonmetallic magical items, an attack and Aliens), the DM can insure that any
against metal can still be useful. Many melee combat with such a beast will be
wands are tipped with metal (the wand of highly risky for both characters and their
earth and stone from Unearthed Arcana is gear. Any weapon will have to save vs.
a notable exception); this is a safe and easy acid each time it scores a successful hit on
way to insure game balance. Any clasp the beast (special purpose weapons such
holding a magical item to its owners belt is as dragon slayer swords should get a hefty
likely to be metallic, including belt and bonus). In a battle, the monsters blood
backpack buckles. might well get splattered all about, ruining
It is, of course, possible to come up with armor and other apparel, poisoning any-
monsters like the rust monster whose one with exposed flesh (such as wizards),
attacks destroy wood, cloth, ivory, or and even ruining some of the treasure.
leather instead of metal. In fact, these Characters should do a bit of cleaning up
already exist. Just check the Monstrous after the fight in order to forage for trea-
Compendium for the dietary preferences sure in relative safety. This adds substan-
of the various clean-up crew monsters tially to the amount of time characters
(see Pudding, Deadly, and Oozes/Slimes/ spend in the monsters lair, meaning more
Jellies). A simple illusion spell could trick time available for other monsters to show
wise characters into attacking the wrong up, and more time spent in exciting and
monster with the right weapons, and no resource-consuming combat. The less gear
one said a black pudding had to always be and magic the party has when it heads for
black (maybe one variety is white but home with the treasure, the more the
otherwise acts like a black one). As with players will be forced to use their wits
character saving throws, remember that a instead of sheer brute force.
small chance of failing a saving throw is Following folklore examples can be quite
not the same thing as having no chance of useful in the game. A tradition-minded DM
failing a throw. If the characters deity might not like using creatures such as a
feels the character is not paying attention rust monster in an ancient or medieval
to his alignment or is just too proud, let campaign, thinking they are more silly
him have it! than fantastic. But given dragons with
I noted earlier that pushing, shoving, corrosive blood, the peculiar talents of
etc., can spoil conventional spell-casting; rust monsters and puddings are totally
the same problem can apply to the use of unnecessary; besides, dragon blood has
magical items. A fighter who is forced corrosive effects on all materials, not just

metal. This can promote player caution. lar human being. This would involve
Fighters might be sure to wear metal breaking up a truly happy couple. But if
gauntlets when handling weapons stained one or more heroes worships a love deity
with dragon blood or some other fell such as Aphrodite, complying with the
substance. lord mayors demands might be out of the
As another folklore example, the original question. The cleric of such a deity might
basilisk was a poisonous beast with a gaze face a choice of losses: his spells (and
like the catoblepas (originally an oxlike divine backing in general), or his head.
beast). If slain by a weapon, the basilisks The possible ill effects of this incident
venom would magically go up the weap- range from unemployment with no refer-
ons shaft and slay the victor holding it. If ences to a full-scale civil war. This problem
the victor was mounted, his steed would must be delicately handled, and the DM
be slain as well. Forcing characters to should not stop play while the players
wipe off all weapons after a battle might write to Dear Abby for advice.
be irritating, but its worth it when some- Another example of faking it consists of
one in a hurry does a bad job or forgets outright bluffing. If the characters have
altogether. magical weapons that they are justifiably
proud of, you can find a threat that might
Faking it take those weapons away if theyre not
When you dont have magic, fake it. This careful. If you want to save a cornered
applies equally well whether youve got a NPC for a future adventure, have him
hero trying to bluff his way out of a fight, fiercely brandish a short staff and pro-
or youre a DM trying to think of new and claim it to be a rod of cancellation. This is
unusual ways to drive the players crazy. a good way to make magic-loving heroes
For a sample of this sort of thing, consider back off. This works better if Nystuls
the following variant on an old theme: magic aura is cast on the rod, in case the
The lord mayor of a town in a forest has party uses detect magic in an attempt to
summoned the party on a matter of great call the NPCs bluff. The ideal place for this
importance. His son went into the woods trick is in a dungeon complex that the
on a lone hunting trip and has been gone party knows is inhabited by at least one
for several days. Upon hearing the direc- monster that can be harmed only by en-
tion in which he went, the heroes recall chanted weapons. If charging after that
from previous outings that a dryad lives in NPC means risking the loss of the groups
that neck of the woods. As the lord may- only magical sword, the heroes will think
ors son is rather handsome, it seems twice before closing in for the kill. Think
probable that said dryad has charmed him as well of the blackmail potential if the
into an extended date. Off the heroes go, NPC manages to infiltrate the tower of a
looking forward to an undemanding res- wizard character and suddenly appears,
cue mission. They barge in on the dryads holding the rod over the wizards staff of
grove, discover the couple together, and a the magi and assuming a self-sacrificing
spell-caster of your choice hits the lad pose. Of course, once the NPC gets away
with the old reliable dispel magic spell. (at least for the moment), you should find
And nothing happens. The young man still some way of letting the heroes know how
maintains that he loves the dryad and they were tricked. A long-lasting vendetta
wants nothing more than to stay with her can make for a healthy campaign.
forever. I hope this article has thoroughly dem-
Obviously, the spell did not do what the onstrated that magic is not the all-
caster intended. Why not? What fell magic powerful force in the game that players
is at work here? More dispel magic spells hope it is or DMs fear it is. With careful
are cast, all seemingly ineffective. The study of all aspects of magic and a bit of
numerical odds for several spells failing advance preparation, the DM will find that
are ridiculous. So what happened? How it is relatively easy to counter the effects
could a dryad put that much force into of too much magical powerful in the play-
her spells? Is she really a dryad? Perhaps er characters hands. This will remove
shes really a fiendand a high-level one at what is perhaps the #1 source of game
thatin disguise! imbalance and force the players to use
Actually, the explanation is quite simple. their wits instead of brute magical force.
All dryads look like beautiful young wom- This, in turn, can only lead to an improved
en, and the lord mayors son is a lonely, game and more fun for all concerned.
handsome young man (the only unattach- [More details on the acquisition of spell
ed girl in town could give a medusa les- components may be found in Living in a
sons in horrid appearance), so the pair Material World, from DRAGON issue #81
have naturally enjoyed each others com- (reprinted in the Best of DRAGON Magazine
pany and have fallen in love. Two people Anthology, vol. 4, as Its a Material World).
falling in love without benefit of spell or Spell-component sabotage is also mentioned
philtre may be hard for characters in a in Revenge of the Nobodies, in issue #112,
magic-ridden world to appreciate. and the use of alternate or defective spell
Aside from giving players an object components is described in Variety, the
lesson in how the little things in life can Spice of Magic, in issue #147.]
make a campaign interesting, this scenario
is also good in its own right. Suppose the
lord mayor wants his son to marry a regu-
a pineapple slice, nor tiny Ochalean um-
brellas stuck into cherries. Talasar spent
his time demonstrating roast pig recipes
from his homeland to the crew. I couldnt
see Haldemar anywhere, however. I had
thought he was swimming, but it must
have been someone else. I did spy a bolt-
man courageously standing on a flat piece
of wood, riding on top of a large wave. Or
was that indeed the admiral? My eyesight
is not what it once was.
I sighed and returned to my duties. I had
been asked to gather information on Hule
and get it ready before the crews return
from R&R. I suppose everyone is entitled
to a vacation once in a while. Children . . .

A Report for the Admiral and Staff
by Raman Nabonidus, Chief Engineer
of the Princess Ark

It wasnt difficult to find material about

the Great Hule. Between what I could dig
up in my own library, some help from
Yarani, and an impromptu visit to a library
in Yenigaz, my writing table quickly be-
came very crowded with books, scrolls,
by Bruce A. Heard Eimir 5, AY 2000Raman: parchments, wax tablets, printed silks,
after the admirals visit to Hule, it was ivory engraved with minuscule runes,
This series chronicles the adventures of decided to halt our voyage for a few days. skullcap etchings, painted papyruses,
an Alphatian explorer and his crew as Xerdon has been feeling weak recently. sculpted marbles, and other literary bric-a-
they journey across the D&D Known Haldemar and Talasar took him down to a brac. Here is what I gathered from all this.
World in their skyship. The information small deserted island for some rest and The Great Hule is a strange nation, ruled
herein may be used to expand D&D cam- recreation. by people who call themselves Holy Men.
paigns using the Gazetteer series. From my vantage point far above them, I However, most of their holy philosophy
could see the officers and several boltmen seems to be based on lies and trickery.
FROM THE JOURNALS OF enjoying their time in an idyllic cove. Using the peoples fervor for their Immor-
PRINCE HALDEMAR OF HAAKEN Xerdon was resting under a silk tent, tals, these Holy Men have placed them-
LORD ADMIRAL OF THE MIGHTIEST EMPIRE sipping through a straw one of Talasars selves in a ruling position.
CAPTAIN OF THE EVER-VlCTORlOUS secret concoctions that he had carried Several Immortals are honored in Hule.
PRINCESS ARK with him from the ship. It must have been The greatest one is called Bozdogan. Ac-
IMPERIAL EXPLORER, ETC, ETC. a new formula, for I dont recall any pre- cording to certain scriptures I acquired
vious drink that required the presence of from an Ochalean dealing in obscure
42 SEPTEMBER 1991 Artwork by Thomas Baxa
antiques and lost tomes, the true goal of complex, extremely detailed hierarchy. still lies somewhere today. The scribe who
the Holy Men is to acquire for Bozdogan Grand deceit of the more subtle and wrote this tale conjectured Bozdogans
(or his Immortal companions) the greatest daring kind, especially involving a great wish was to give his trusted disciple more
number of followers. That is done through number of unsuspecting people, is what time in a quest to attain true Immortality
skillful deceit, which is a holy act in itself. truly makes the stuff of the legendary at his side.
Also according to the same sources, Hulean heroes, such as Hosadus, men- Nowhere in the ships archives could I
Bozdogan, also known as the Prince of tioned hereafter. The best deception re- find mention of the avatars death or Hosa-
Deceit (Sphere of Thought), found a way mains the one where the victim is duss success. It is hard to decide whether
to nourish himself from his followers ultimately content and largely oblivious. Hosadus is The Master. I could find noth-
trickery. Every time someone deludes Inside a set of translucent marbles bor- ing that says he couldnt be, but most of
someone else, Bozdogan gains some sort of rowed from the library at Yenigaz, in our references are many years old.
arcane power. The greater the number of which magical letters appeared when held The Master is currently very much in
people involved and the subtler the duplic- up to the eye, I researched details on the control of Hule. Much of his armies rely on
ity, the more food for Bozdogan. Petty history of Hule. There, among the colored humanoid tribes, particularly goblins,
lies or blatant frauds are worthless in this swirls, I discovered the mention of Hosa- though a vast corps of dervishes defend the
respect and could cause unrest among the dus. A great goblin horde, the Wolf-Riders many city-temples. Among these dervishes
people; such are frowned upon by the lead by the bloody Wogar, ravaged the are a number of elite troops armed with red
Holy Men. lands of Central Hule, circa BC 1271. Wo- steel scimitars, which are lighter and more
I found rudiments of Hulean philosophy gars horde captured Hosadus and others resilient than common steel weapons. These
written on a goblins skullcap dating back as slaves after slaughtering a great many dervishes have regularly repulsed barbarian
to BC 1,500. Hule has occasionally shrunk people. Late one evening, Hosadus acci- incursions from the north, thanks mostly to
as a result of invasions or wars, but its dentally overheard an old goblin shaman their red steel equipment. [See the notes on
slow expansion has mostly remained un- mention the Blue Knife, an ancient relic red steel in this column in DRAGON issues
checked. Hule is a mosaic of various mi- the goblins had been after for centuries. #171 and #172.]
crocultures that have fallen, one after the The quest for this object had brought The people of Hule view the brutal and
other, to the Hulean deceit-machine. them to Hule. bloodthirsty northern hordes as a great
The Holy Men do not necessarily belong Hosadus walked up to Wogar himself peril and have justifiably feared them
to the clergy, although many do. There are and declared the Immortals had sent them throughout their history. Hulean literature
an inordinate number of thieves among to him, for he, he said, knew of the Blue depicts barbarians as faithless, ignorant
the Holy Men, too. Holy Men are especially Knifes location. He animated a simple brutes incapable of understanding and
favored of Bozdogan, and they occupy sword enchanted with continual light, adopting the subtle ways of Hule. It would
official positions in Hules ruling class. then had it hover in the dark over his own be safe to presume these barbarians nour-
Unmistakable signs help determine who is hand as a omen of the Immortals. That ish a particular hatred for the bizarre
favored, such as being incapable of ever feat impressed the goblins beyond all hope practice of Holy Deceit that clashes with
uttering the words yes and no, black of their realizing his trickery. their simple, straightforward customs. For
and white: or is and have, or the Hosadus said the Blue Knife lay beyond them, Hulean-bashing is a both a useful
inability to use the letter e or numbers the Black Mountains to the east, then and praised activity.
of any kind, etc. beyond the Great Waste. There, they Given certain footnotes in a Zvornikian
These Holy Men maintain civil order and should seek the holy relic. Two thirds of Gazetteer, I conjecture that Hulean red ore
the orthodoxy of thoughts, providing the horde moved on, spurred by the unex- is mined and processed in Darkwood, but
enlightened rulership of the land through pected revelation, while the remainder this is a minor source of red steel com-
deceit. In Hule, lies are a holy thing, and stayed in Hule as followers of Hosadus. pared to that available in Slagovich. Hule
certain types of untruths constitute ritual Since then, descendants of Wogar became recently spent huge sums of money to buy
acts in the Bozdogan philosophy. To qualify the mainstay of Hosadus Honor Guard. Slagovichs stockpiles. Many other states
for holiness, lies must ultimately perform Their symbol is a blue dagger pointing compete for that precious metal, especially
at least one of the following functions: down over a sable background. these nations on the opposite side of the
Bring new followers to adopt the ways Legends say that Hosadus died, but Bay of Hule. There are rumors of other
of Bozdogan; Bozdogan returned him to the living a few mines existing on the Savage Coast, south-
Uphold and further the expansion of centuries ago, when Hule threatened to west of Hule, but if these mines exist their
the Great Hule; crumble before the aggression of northern owners have hidden them very well. In a
Uphold and further the goals of the barbarians. Newly reincarnated, he perpe- merchant diary dated AC 987, I also found
Holy Men; trated many other hoaxes that saved the mention of a Minrothad ship that bought
Bring the downfall of foreigners, infi- hagiarchy and caused dissent and chaos red steel, then sailed back toward the East.
dels, or wrong thinkers; or, among the barbarians. This concludes my study of the Great
Acquire wealth in the name of the There are clues in the tomes and scrolls Hule. For me to unveil more on this vast
Temple of Hule, usually by trickery, theft, I studied that. corroborate the legend of nation and its dealings with neighboring
extortion, and so forth. Hosaduss return among the mortals. What states, it would be useful to visit the Sav-
According to a Hulean lawyers manual, is certain is that fervor for Bozdogan age Coast and gather as much literature as
if someone can prove that certain lies increased drastically during that period. possible. This would reveal more about
were perpetrated for one of the reasons Hosadus, or perhaps someone claiming to what other people think of Hule as well. I
given above, any kind of misrepresenta- be him, became the architect of the great- would finally suggest visiting another
tion, libel, or deceit becomes perfectly est expansion in Hulean history. He found- library during our next voyage.
legal and even praised. Those who think ed his holy capital at the heart of a huge To be continued . . .
differently are wrong thinkers and are forest called Darkwood. This fortified city-
sent to the temple to learn the error of temple was far away from urban centers. Letters
their ways. It seems The Master now rules the vast The article Up, Away, and Beyond in
Of course, it is wise not to lie inconsider- Hule from there. issue #160 dealt with the basic principles
ately; a lie is a double-edge weapon. It is ill Other scriptures I gathered from of space flight in the D&D game, but did
advised to lie to Holy Men, and among Yavdlom scribes tell of a favor granted by not give any details of speeds attainable.
Holy Men it is heretical to lie to a Bozdogan. The Immortal gave Hosadus a The nautical ship speeds given in the
superiorwhich explains why the Hulean magical avatar as a substitute for his old Expert Set seem far too slow for space
ruling class is so rigidly classified in a and failing body. Perhaps the true body travel. The Voyage series implied that

flight is much faster above the skyshield. ganized to be more easily used. Here and other AD&D game stuff, but in this
If so, how much faster? Does speed in- again, very few changes will be imple- setting, everything suddenly looks differ-
crease beyond the moons orbit and out- mented to ensure all of your older acces- ent. It works great.
side the solar system, allowing for sories do not become obsolete. The You bet it does.
interplanetary or interstellar space travel Cyclopedia will also include the skills
in a reasonable time scale? Do other presented in the Gazetteers, an atlas of the I looked at the largest map in the Dawn
means of travel (teleport or gate for exam- Known World and the Hollow World, and of the Emperors boxed set and could not
ple) have to be used? a complete guide to convert AD&D rules locate Wendar or Denagoth. Was there an
I think you are trying to peg a number to D&D rules (and vice-versa)! error in the design of that map? Will there
where one is not needed. The explanation The bottom line is that you just need to be any corrections in a future article?
about speed in space given by Haldemar is purchase that one book. It should hit the Well, yes to the first question. That
conveniently vague for a reason. Exactly shelves in the U.S. in November. portion of the map is not totally correct.
what speed a ship may reach may not be Mea culpa; that one slipped by despite our
relevant in the game since what really Whats the name of the Known Worlds frantic efforts to cover both the empires
matters is when you get thereand that is planet? Or is that the name of the world of Alphatia and Thyatis before deadline.
the domain of playability, within the itself? For those unfamiliar with that region,
boundaries of a role-playing game and the Mystara. The Known World is the geo- Wendar and Denagoth are both located
schemes of your DM. graphical area located at the southeastern north of Glantri. They were presented in
Yes, speed in space varies with the prox- corner of the continent of Brun. Mystara D&D module X11 Saga of the Shadowlord.
imity of celestial bodies that exert gravity contains both the Known World and the Eventually, Wendar will be the subject of a
The farther away such bodies are, the Hollow World. Mystara also has two Gazetteer-type accessory Of course,
faster the speed of a ship. Speed would moons: Matera (which is similar to our Haldemar might just find a reason to fly
continue to increase past the moon and Earths moon) and Patera (also known as there first.
the Known Worlds planetary system. Myoshima, the invisible moon described in
There is no actual limit to speed or accel- the Princess Ark series). What are the next Known World Gazet-
eration (call that warp speed, if you like). teers that you plan to release?
If your DM wants your raft from outer Does the D&D Cyclopedia cover the Tentatively, we should have Gazetteer-
space to go faster than light, fine; the entire range of D&D rules, or is it a type accessories covering the following
consequences are your DMs problem. follow-up to the new D&D game set? areas in this order: the Heldann Freeholds;
As far as combat goes, if a ship gets in The Cyclopedia covers all the rules need- Sind; and Wendar. These were the ones on
your way, you will most definitely slow ed for characters of levels 1 to 36. which I received the most positive re-
down (call that impulse speed, if you want). sponses in the mail.
This should give at least some chance for Why wont the Immortals Set rules be
interception and space combat. In this case, included in the D&D game Cyclopedia? Are I am very pleased with the HOLLOW
simply use the speeds given in the Expert there plans for a new DMs screen? Why WORLD boxed set, though I do feel that
Set. It should not matter whether the speeds arent there any novels that feature the magic-users have been severely limited in
of fighting ships are actual speeds, since the people and the places of the D&D world? that setting. How about an article with
relation between the respective speeds still Surely with all the material that has been new spells or powers only achievable by
remains proportional. published for the Known World and the HOLLOW WORLD spell-casters?
Remember that the D&D game is not is a Hollow World, the writers who brought us The Spell of Preservation that shields the
science-fiction game, nor does it rely on the DRAGONLANCE, GREYHAWK, and Hollow World has its merits, but I can
true science. FORGOTTEN REALMS novels have plenty understand your feelings. You can simply
of background material. ignore the whole thing, but you would
The ads for the new D&D game (the The Immortals rules will be handled miss some of the Hollow Worlds particular
1991 black-box version) have gotten our separately in 1992 in Wrath of the Immor- flavor. Making new spells is also a viable
gaming group a bit concerned. Will the old tals. The topic deserves more than a sim- way of dealing with the limitation.
D&D rules go out of production, and if so, ple chapter in the D&D Cyclopedia. The In the meantime, you can buy off some
when? None of us are thrilled at the idea Cyclopedia is already quite full with the of your players by allowing their Known
of buying a whole new series of boxes. first four sets. And yes, we have plans for World cleric or wizard characters to cast
Here in the U.K., things can get expensive. an updated DMs screen, but it will be a extra spells in addition to those they can
On the subject of cash flow, we found while before it sees print. normally cast. An extra 1st-level spell for
DRAGON Magazine to be a good bargain Unfortunately, we live in a world suffer- spell-casters of levels 1-5, a extra 2nd-level
for game ideas. Unfortunately, most of it ing from AD&D game myopia. A lot that spell for those of levels 6-10, etc. (up to an
deals with the AD&D game, and convert- goes on in fantasy gaming seems to re- extra 7th-level spell for levels 31+), would
ing the material to the D&D game some- volve around that commercial behemoth. be a reasonable way of balancing out
times gets difficult. Will you print an This is why most of our novels are written Known World and native Hollow World
article on converting AD&D game infor- for AD&D game worlds. However, with spellcasters; they arent as good, but they
mation to D&D rules? the new D&D game, things are now now have more spells to play with.
The new D&D game does not affect the changing for the better. Our chances for
rules. These are the same rules that you having D&D novels are improving. Some Will there be any Gazetteer-like products
have grown accustomed to. The new game of us have been pushing hard for those for the HOLLOW WORLD setting?
offers radically different components, novels, but dont expect anything in the By the time this article reaches print, the
however, which should appeal more to immediate future. In the meantime, feel first HOLLOW WORLD guide book should
true novices. Although in your case the free to send your comments on the subject be out on the shelves. Look for HWr1 Sons
game is not absolutely necessary, you may to our marketing folks, here at TSR, Inc. of Azca (it has something to do with
want to acquire a copy so you could use it (P.O. Box 756, Lake Geneva WI 53147, GAZ14 Atruaghin Clans). The next one,
to bring new gamers in to your group. U.S.A) HWr2 The Kingdom of Nithia, is due out
The old boxed sets will eventually disap- this fall, followed next year by HWr3 The
pear from the market. They will be re- I play with the AD&D 2nd Edition rules, Milenian Empire and its sister module,
placed with the D&D game Cyclopedia. using the Known World as a main setting, HWr4 The Milenian Scepter. Happy?
This 304-page hardback book offers all of and really enjoy it. My players already
the material contained in these sets, reor- know everything about dark elves, Tiamat,

Out of Your Chair,
Into the Action! Live role-playing: the next big wave in gaming
1991 by Michael A. Ventrella

Stop, thief! Their smiles held no clue. and gaming conventions have been doing
The fog rolling in from Lake Ardynn Countess Montesque raised an eyebrow them for years. In England, its a fairly big
made the dirty, uneven cobblestones of slyly as she advanced. I knew I had no business; in America, groups such as the
Ravenholt slippery and treacherous that chance to escape. I felt someone dig International Fantasy Gaming Society
evening as I dashed past Madam Zaras. All through my cloak and pull out the dagger, (IFGS) provide a creative outlet for players
my years of training with the Thieves Here it is, my liege: tired of merely imagining a fantasy world
Guild were being tested at this point, As I I knew that voice. It was the Fox, that in their heads. However, all of these games
slipped from shadow to shadow, my feet double-crosser! are limited in one way: They all have
made little sound. Thank you, the Countess said to me as complex rules that require that a marshal
I darted past the Mages Guild and tried she took the weapon. Now lets see if it or Dungeon Master to be present with
to ignore the mysterious scents calling me works. each group.
in. I noticed the sage next door, peering I fell over in pain as I felt the dagger The IFGS, for example, will take a small
from her window, so I flashed my cloak enter my side. My life was being sucked group of player adventurers and give it a
her way, covering my face in the process. out of me, and there was no escape. quest. Along the way, the group will meet
Behind me came the sounds of pursuit Unless nonplayer characters (NPCs), fight mon-
as the dukes guards gathered in force. It Hold! I yelled. I need a rules marshal, sters, and do all of the other things that
seemed that a crowd of the local towns- My captors blinked and looked around. gamers have their characters do in regular
folk, eager for excitement and the possibil- Sometimes it takes a second or two to role-playing games. A game may last hours
ity of a reward, had also joined in the reorient yourself after being your charac- or even go overnight in rare instances. At
chasemuch to the annoyance of the ter for so long. I know where Bob is, all times, the marshal is watching, taking
captain of the guard. said Dame Hartor, rather, Michelle. She notes and answering questions. NERO has
He went that way! ran off as we smiled and waited. these sorts of adventures, too (we call
What happened? Bob eventually came over to me. Hes them modules), but that is only a small
Hes stolen the Dagger of Morgana! one of the marshals who can make deci- part of what the game is all about.
It was one of the druids! sions on game rules and resolve disputes. In the NERO world, everyone is a player.
So far, all was going to plan, The druids There are enough marshals around that it For an entire weekend, over 300 players
would be implicated, and we of the never takes long to find one. fill the town with barons, knights, squires,
Ravenholt Thieves Guild would finally Bob, I whispered, Does the dagger wizards, thieves, healers, gypsies, mer-
have the Dagger of Morganaa magical actually drain my life if I have a Mage chants, and beggarseach with his own
item rivaled in power only by the Amulet Armor spell on myself? personal goals, quests, and desires. Each
of Xylar. I was to meet the Fox behind the Bob smiled. No, but you certainly can of the five barons of the duchy of
toymakers shop, where he would take the pretend it does Ravenholt hires spies and makes plans;
druids cloak from me and provide me I turned back to my captors. Okay; I court intrigue runs rampant, and many of
with a new disguise and an alibi. said, Im ready now. As the marshal gave the adventurers in town find good employ-
Behind me, I could hear the assembled the play on sign I fell to the ground, ment there. Sometimes the tavern wench-
mob becoming unruly, arguing with the pretending to be drained. es are actually assassins, and woe to he
guards about which path I had chosen for who finds the Necromancers Guild!
my escape. I recognized the voices of Live games with NERO There are no alignments in the game,
many of my fellow guild members causing For our live-action games, the three- but evil, when discovered, is punished.
a majority of the distractions. All was year-old New England Roleplaying Organi- Necromancy and theft are against the law,
going to plan. This was going to be easy! zation (NERO) provides a campsite that is of course.
Ah, here he is now! made to look like a medieval town, NERO Because of this, the plot of a NERO
A trio of nasty-looking men with drawn also provides a book of rules and spells, game happens without much prodding
long swords surrounded me as I skidded but other than that, it basically leaves us from the NERO Executive Committee,
to a halt. Before I could react, I heard a players alone. No one told us to steal the which runs the events. The Plot Commit-
spell being cast and felt the impact as my Dagger of Morgana, nor did anyone follow tee may drop certain items and rumors
arms and legs refused to move. A Web us around with clipboards and dice. We along the way, but how the game ends up
spell! decided to do this on our own. As long as is anyones guess. There are enough safe-
The blue tabards of my captors told me we follow the rules, we have free will. guards in the game to discourage cheating
that they were knights of the barony of The idea behind live role-playing games and guessing.
Capulus. Were they going to arrest me? is not new; many science-fiction, fantasy,

Getting started buy them from the town weaponsmith
Lets suppose you were to join NERO (for game and real money). The NERO
Heres how it would look to you: Players Handbook has detailed descrip-
First of all, you would create your char- tions on how to make your own weapon.
acter. You can be one of four classes: fight- The goblin advances and swings his
er, scholar, templar, or rogue. The scholars sword. You pull out your trusty dagger. A
and templars are magic-users; within each dagger does only one point of damage,
spell-casting class, you can specialize in while a long sword (which the goblin has)
studying mage spells or healer spells. does two. The goblin knows this and
As you play, you earn experience points smiles, or at least you think he does be-
(usually awarded by marshals) that you hind his mask. What the goblin doesnt
can then use to buy skills for your charac- know is that one of the skills you bought is
ter Skill prices vary, based on what class a weapon proficiency that allows you to
your character has; for example, it is fairly do an extra point of damage once a day.
inexpensive for a mage to buy a Read The battle begins. Each of you call out
Magic skill, but quite expensive for a fight- what damage you are doing so the other
er to do so. player can keep track. Two! yells the
Because of this system of skill buying, no goblin. One! you reply, saving up your
two characters in NERO games are alike. proficiency for a really good hit.
Just because you know someones class The battle is exciting and ends with the
and level doesnt tell you automatically goblin dying. You lean over him and say, I
what powers he has. A fifth-level fighter search you. He hands you a few coppers
could have put most of his experience and a strange, locked box he had on him.
points into learning a few magic spells He also gives you an experience point chip.
instead of working on a weapon proficien- Not bad; only 19 more to go to make sec-
cy. Some of the skills you can buy include ond level.
spells (mage, healer, or spellsinger), armor You then have to remove some of your
repair, weapons proficiencies, crafts, pick- own hit points from your badge. You took
ing locks, first aid, and spell research. four points of damage, so you remove
Now that you have a character, you your two armor points and two of your
check in for a NERO game weekend. You body points. You only have four body
are given a small amount of starting points left; better find a healer quickly, or
money and a series of cards on a key ring you may not be so lucky in your next
that tell which skills you presently know. battle.
(When you buy new skills with your expe- If you die in battle or by execution, your
rience points, you get new cards.) This character can then be resurrected by the
system allows other characters and the Getting into fights... Healers Guildassuming you have enough
marshals to double check in case you The weekend game begins. You go to the money to pay for it and made the arrange-
claim to have a skill you dont have. You inn and request a room. Cap, a crusty old ments beforehand! You have a limited
will also be given a badge to wear, on sailor, runs his inn like a tight ship and number of resurrections based on your
which you can keep track of your charac- demands money up front. You have only a level; if you use them all up, then you are
ters statistics. silver and two coppers, and he demands a permanently dead and must start a new
One thing you might notice is that every- silver. Youd better earn some money by character.
one in the NERO game wears a costume. It tomorrow, or youll be sleeping outdoors
is required! It is amazing how good some where the goblins are sure to get you! . . . and getting healed
of the costumes are, and you may feel a Its Friday night and the town is buzzing. You walk into the tavern, which is busy
bit underdressed if the only clothing you Guilds are meeting, adventuring groups as usual. The Ravenholt Troubadours
have is a shabby tabard. The type of are planning strategy, the elves are per- Guild is performing in a corner. And over
clothes you wear also helps with your forming some ceremony, and the tavern is there is the duke himself, sitting with
armor rating. If all you have on is a cos- packed. Since you keep playing a charac- Baron Kent and Lord Montfern! They
tume, you get two points of armor. The ter until he permanently dies or you de- seem to be arguing over something; it
more armor you wear (and the better it is cide to retire him, many people are getting must be important, given how many other
made), the more points of protection you reacquainted since the last weekend. people are sitting nearby pretending
get. Were talking real armor here. Wear- You walk over to the tavern but only get theyre not listening.
ing a cloth shirt designed to look like chain a few steps before something jumps out at You find a spot to sit. Eleni, the
mail will not get you the points you would you. Its a goblin! You can tell by his ugly tavernkeeper, brings you an ale for a
get for wearing real chain mail. green face and the orange mohawk. copper. (Its actually a soft drink, of
Your armor points are displayed for all Goblins and other monsters are some of course; alcohol is not allowed at NERO
to see on the badge you wear. A dot repre- the NPCs in NERO. People who want to events.) You see a healer nearby and quick-
sents each point you have. After a battle, play NPCs get free admission, but they ly introduce yourself. She says her name is
you must remove dots based on how many must do what the NERO Monster Marshal Lita. You ask her for a healing spell.
points of damage you took. That way, if tells them. The masks or makeup can be There are no clerics in the NERO game
you see someone walking toward you uncomfortable, but not having to worry world; NERO does not have religions.
dressed in plate mail but he has only one about your character dying is a relief. Healers are assumed to get their spells
dot on his card, you should play it as if his Weapons in NERO games are soft bof- from the power of the Earth itself, and
plate mail has been ruined in battle. fer weapons, basically PVC piping cov- mages get theirs from the movements of
On the back of the card are your body ered with foam rubber, with very soft the stars. Spells in a NERO game are per-
points: our games equivalent of hit points, ends. No one in a NERO game has ever formed by throwing a small packet of corn
which are based on your level and class. been seriously injured using these things. starch wrapped in a tissue while saying an
This information is put on the cards back A game of football is more dangerous than incantation. The corn-starch dart is used
because such information would not be a NERO game fight, Players in NERO so that everyone can tell if you have been
available to anyone just walking by. games either make their own weapons or hit by the spell. In the middle of a battle, if

you hear a mage yell, I call upon the
dragons breath! and then see a dart
coming your way, try to dodge it! If it hits
anything in your possession, you have
taken the damage from the spell. If it
misses, you have made your saving
throw. If the mage says the incantation
incorrectly, however, the spell doesnt
work and you are safe even if the powder
dart did hit you.
Lita the healer states that such a spell
would cost five coppers. You tell her you
only have three and she accepts it, but
tells you that you then owe her a favor if
she ever asks it. You agree, and she casts
the spell, saying, I call upon rest and
warmth to cure light wounds. She then
breaks a powder packet on your shirt. (It
is necessary for her to break the package,
because spell-casters are limited in how
many spells they can cast a day, and this is
a way of keeping track of how many have
been used.) She gives you two body-point
dots for your badge.

Treasure beckons
As you are getting healed, a fighter in
chain mail comes up to both of you. With
her is a venerable mage with a long beard
and a rather shifty-looking individual.
They introduce themselves to you and
Lita, and you all talk for a while about used. Buying the required Pick Locks Another way to get into modules is to be
your pasts. The fighter then states that she skill does not guarantee success at opening hired by the Adventurers Guild, which
has heard that the goblins have hidden locks; it only allows you to make the at- might then send you out to escort a mer-
some treasure nearby and that the goblin tempt. The boxes are trapped with elec- chant through hostile territory or deliver a
leader has a map of the spot. She suggests tronic buzzers. In order to check for message to a diplomat at court. All of
going out in a group and searching for the traps, you actually do just that by opening these things could easily lead to an adven-
goblin encampment in the woods. it slightly, seeing if any wires or devices ture.
Should you tell her of the box you have? are inside, and somehow defusing the Some players arent interested in mod-
Perhaps theres a clue inside! You finally trap before opening the box. ules at all and prefer to be townspeople
decide that they can be trusted, and you The rogue picks the lock, then success- who can sell information or just run their
suggest that they go someplace where no fully disarms the trap inside. Inside the shops. The town of Ravenholt includes a
one can overhear you. You all travel to the box is a game card that explains what kind bakery, a restaurant, a tavern, a clothing
mages cabin, where you show the box to of trap was present and how much dam- store, an armorer, a weaponsmith, and
the shifty person, who turns out to be a age you would have taken had it not been many other shops that add to the atmos-
locksmith (or so he says). He smiles and disarmed. Theres also a strange amulet, a phere and fun of the game. In addition,
pulls out his tools. few copper pieces, and a map! there is the nobility, which rarely goes on
In the world of NERO, real locks are Tomorrow, you will go to the pawn shop modules as they are too busy dealing with
to have your amulet appraised for its their own subplots. If you wish to be a
value. You will also go to the Mages Guild townsperson, all you have to do is ask.
and have it identified to see if its magical. Players who show great role-playing and
However, you spend most of the night leadership skills may be asked to take on
decoding the map. (Outside the mages positions of nobility when those positions
cabin, you hear the sounds of battle, as a become available. Sometimes they refuse,
lich has called forth his undead to destroy preferring to work behind the scenes.
as much of the town as possible. You de-
cide that the knights can handle it and NERO games and live-action games like
wisely stay inside.) them are certainly the next wave of role-
After you decode the map, you notice a playing games. A NERO event trusts and
small note at the bottom that says See a depends on the fairness of its players
marshal when youre ready to go on this (those who cheat are discovered and
adventure. You decide to rest for the night kicked out easily enough), and it is unlike
and start in the morning. You head for bed any other live role-playing game out there.
with visions of treasure and adventures. If you would like more information about
NERO, write to: NERO, c/o the Gamemas-
On to bigger things ter, 3 Lake Street, Arlington MA 02174, or
This is just one way that a group may call (617) 641-1580. NERO can also be
get into a module. Some modules are reached through the ARGUS computer
repeating, in that more than one group network at: (617) 674-2345 (300-2400
can go through them; others are one-time- baud, 8-0-1 standard setting). Type in
only modules, which are usually major Go NERO.
ones because they can affect the big plot.

Playing AD&D game alignments as objectives, not rules

or flora may require the characters atten-

tion, protection, or preservation. Home-
land boundaries change, too, as the
character ventures through the world and
sees the arbitrary lines one society uses to
wall off another. Neither do Comrades
receive equal attention. Within an adven-
turing party, affection and concern wax
and wane for all sorts of reasons. Race
and Family will develop similar affections
or disaffections.
actor-director Stanislavsky, you must play Other lawful alignments also have these
objectives. The villainwhether on stage, seven elements in their loyalty hierarchy,
in a novel, in a movie, or in the AD&D but the player is allowed to reorder some
gamecannot know that he is the villain; elements. Lawful-good characters are
he can only know what his objectives are required to keep Sovereign, Comrades,
in the given circumstances. This is also Race, and Self in the above order, but
true for heroic types, who become terribly must slot other elements like this: Deity
obnoxious and melodramatic when they above Comrades, Family below Comrades,
know some deity is hanging over them. and Homeland anywhere.
by Royce Wicks As you will see, the principles proposed Thus, in a party of nothing but lawful-
here are not one more set of tables to deal good characters, those characters might
My son and his friends play a combat with. They have several advantages, the resolve moral dilemmas according to at
role-playing game whose rules they have chief of which is that they offer a dynamic least 42 moral priorities! All depends on
worked out over the summer months. He to a game that grew heavy with statistics the expression of those priorities, but lets
tells me that the great thing about their over the years. A close reading of the continue with the loyalty hierarchy.
game is that the characters dont have to AD&D 2nd Edition volumes emphasizes Lawful-evil characters order these four
bother about alignment. this very notion: play the dynamics of the elements top to bottom: Self, Sovereign,
Maybe I should be appalled at this next game, not the statistics only. Race, Family. Then they must slot Com-
generation of gamers. But who can blame The only solution is to provide each rades above Race, Homeland below Sover-
them when the alignment element of the character with a value system, a creed. eign, and Deity anywhere.
AD&D game has never been articulated Generally, the dynamic between good and The lawful-neutral character must slot
to the point of being playable? Paladins evil is one between selflessness and selfish- Comrades in the middle position and may
romp with thieves and look askance at the ness (i.e., loyalty and unreliability) set in a slot the other six elements as he pleases,
latters indiscretions, although they give an social hierarchy, while that between law so long as it does not create an alignment
occasional high-and-mighty lecture to a and chaos is between nature and luck. that could be construed as lawful good or
quick-fingered fellow who only wants to Consequently, the rules here have three lawful evil. The easiest way for the DM to
pursue happiness as he sees fit. A party of parts, regarding: 1) loyalty to either a begin checking for a false hierarchy here
mixed classes blurs the individual charac- social hierarchy or to superstitious beliefs; is by comparing the four required ele-
ters alignments, which mutates into the 2) expression of those loyalties and beliefs; ments in lawful-good and lawful-evil align-
ethos of the character with the loudest and 3) the effects of experience on a char- ments to the players selection. Similarly,
mouth, usually a lawful-good type. acters beliefs. the player can save the DM the trouble by
Is it important? Emphatically, yes. Other- creating a lawful-neutral alignment by
wise, our characters are nothing more Lawfulness is next to... altering the four elements at the outset.
than Colonel Mustards and Miss Scarlets All lawful alignments base their loyalty
chasing the dastardly Professor Plums. on seven hierarchal elements. In the order Neutrality is fun
The AD&D game remains a character- required of the lawful-good paladin, they The beloved neutral alignments are so
development game, and alignment must are: Deity, Sovereign, Homeland, Com- loved because players traditionally per-
contribute to the joy of creating highly rades (the adventuring party), Race, Fami- form nearly any reprehensible moral
developed characters. By using guidelines ly (or clan), and Self. action they please with these characters.
set forth here, you can make your next Suborders exist within several of these. However, neutrality under these new rules
lawful-good character far different than The Deity has servants of various ranks, as requires neutral characters to take action
the one you played last year. does the Sovereign (a beginning paladin is rather than avoid it. No more follow the
An earlier article, For King and Coun- normally ignorant of all the political subdi- leader for these troops. The general rule
try in DRAGON issue #101, deals well in visions that will eventually make demands is that the neutral good, true neutral, and
offering perspectives for fulfilling the on his services). Guildmasters, mages, and neutral evil beings differ from their lawful
descriptions of the varying alignments. high priests also may fall under the gen- counterparts only in that they observe at
And the AD&D 2nd Edition Players Hand- eral category of Sovereign. Simply because least three but not more than four of the
book again offers descriptions. Neither, a character has risen in level above a hierarchys elements.
however, solves the problem. former guildmaster does not cancel his A neutral-good character thus begins
You cant play descriptions. You cant social obligation to him; those obligations with a lawful-good arrangement but
play evil, you cant play good, you cant accumulate. Homeland represents a char- moves three or four of the elements to the
play lawful, and you cant play chaotic. In acters home terrain and its boundaries. A bottom of the priorities list as equally
the best traditional teaching of Russian mountain peak, river, or species of animal unimportant (they effectively fall off the
list). Some enormously diverse characters out of his home is to gag and tie him. certain foods or drink;
might emerge from the neutral-good char- The chaotic-neutral being is particularly 4. the adornment of armor or apparel;
acters you now know. Brutus the warrior careless. He may be of some help to the 5. the association with a particular race,
might see his priorities as Comrades, Race, party, but he shifts his loyalty between class, or sex;
and Self (ignoring the rest); Sasha the Self and the other elements. If he is some- 6. the favored (or unfavored) use of a
cleric sees hers as Sovereign, Homeland, times good to his friends, he may appear weapon or spell; and
Deity, and Family. Most of us would have to be chaotic good. But the chaotic-neutral 7. any mystical symbol, color, number,
trouble with Sasha since she has no con- being wants a little something for himself shape, plant, mineral, or spell.
sideration for the party; still, no one could that nobody else has. Turning your back Beings of chaotic alignments have one
deny that there is something good about on him only reminds him of this. principle/superstition from each of these
her. Self, if present, always comes last in The chaotic-evil personality assumes categories. Those who are neutral have
any arrangement. only one element: Self. The other elements three or four, such that the number of
The true-neutral character places Self at are unimportant and are used only to lawful elements plus the number of cha-
the center of his hierarchy and observes gratify the Self. The wily chaotic-evil char- otic principles/superstitions equals seven.
at least two but not more than three addi- acter might fool some of the party some of What distinguishes chaotic-good beings
tional elements above or below Self, in the time by appearing to be some other from chaotic-evil ones is that the formers
keeping with the general rule on the neu- personality. Before long, however, anyone believe their superstitions/principles en-
tral alignments mentioned before. Other can see this character seeks only self sure them of good luck; they live charmed
elements are equally unimportant. How gratification. lives. Those who are evil believe they live
does this effect my druid, you ask? Most Obviously, this whole setup looks more cursed lives, so most of their superstitions/
druids are played as nothing more than problematic for the lawful beings. Its not. principles are meant to prevent bad for-
medieval environmentalists, and repeated Here is the flip side. tune. However, a chaotic-good character
playing of the characters in this way is always begins with one superstition/
quite frankly a bore. Druids are nature Truth or superstition? principle that prevents bad luck. Con-
priests. Their intelligence and wisdom give Chaotic and neutral beings, unlike lawful versely, the chaotic-evil character has one
them a special relationship to the world ones, have principles or superstitions. that he believes brings him good luck. (A
around them; nonetheless, their priestly (One mans principle is anothers supersti- chaotic-neutral being believes that roughly
roles might be seen as ministering in some tion.) There are seven categories of super- half of his beliefs bring him good luck and
biased order to a social hierarchy. And stitions that regard: the others prevent bad.) Unfortunately for
dont misread the first sentence here: Self 1. the actions and responses of the the chaotic character, luck is not guaran-
is only at the middle of the hierarchy; the deities; teed by these often nonsensical and arbi-
character is not self-centered. 2. the movements of the land, heaven, or trary beliefs. Principles held through
The neutral-evil character evolves as the seas; many battles over many years may not
neutral-good character does. Thus, the 3. the ingestion of (or abstinence from) hold up, and his value system may create
neutral-evil character is simply a lawful-
evil character who ignores three or four
of the social hierarchys elements. Self is
always present and always comes first. Sir
Grinkle the paladin may decide that Angus
the rogue, with a loyalty order of Sover-
eign, Comrades, and Race, is not much
different than many of the lawful-good
personalities he knows. Perhaps he thinks
Angus is merely careless or lacking the
knowledge, training, and personal charm
that only a paladin could have. That is the
way naive paladins think, isnt it? Clever
Angus, however, has merely disguised his
ultimate motivation to give himself power;
Self actually came in first.

Anarchy rules
Lets take a look at the chaotics. Chaotic
personalities view other hierarchal ele-
ments as unnecessary social contrivances,
thinking that no one is better than anyone
else. They therefore have no social hierar-
thy. Deity, Sovereign, Homeland, Com-
rades, Race, and Family are either
coequally important or unimportant; Self
goes either above, on the same level as, or
below these factors.
The chaotic-good character places Self
one slot below these other elements
present, which all become important but
in no particular order. Though he likes
Comrades, this character is likely to ignore
every request his friends make once he
returns to his farm (Homeland) or en-
counters his long-lost sister (Family). His
sister might tell him that his friends need
him more, but the only way youll get him
Artwork by Jeff Menges
D R A G O N 51
its own moral dilemmas. sonal visits to his homeland. To maintain one would face 25! The poor fellow will
The neutral characters can be handled her new clerical spell power, a priestess have to retire just to keep his sanity. How-
in much the same way. Neutral-good be- may be required to fast every five days, ever, some tenets can be mere exceptions
ings with four superstitions/principles causing her to be weaker or slower on to originally held beliefs, to avoid unneces-
have a three-for-one split regarding good those days. sary complications.
and bad fortune; neutral-evil beings have Continuing our earlier example, by the The DM is advised to have a few stock
just the opposite. The true neutral will see time Dwinmar the dwarf reaches eleventh creeds to begin each new character.
it equally. Those who must add three level, he: 8) requires a seasonal boar hunt Thereafter, each new tenet will most likely
superstitions/principles have a two-for-one for personal relaxation; 9) learns that a arise in play during crisis situations. It is
split, with the true neutral getting a choice nonmagical weapon in any backstab at- more helpful in this way for the player to
on his viewpoint. tempt will be unlucky; 10) pays a semi- retain the characters history. Taking on a
annual honorarium to an order of new tenet need not be tied with a rise in
Your new objectives dwarven clerics that raised him from the class level, but the player might be given
This part of these rules concerns the dead; 11) believes circles with jewels en- additional experience points for taking on
creeds expression as character objectives. crusted inside are unlucky; and 121 thinks new restrictions before his characters
The principles and superstitions work as eating fish brings good luck. Note again level changes.
effective character objectives on their that as Dwinmar rose in level, the ratio of Both the DM and the player should
own. Principles ordinarily become a part bad-luck to good-luck tenets remains agree on the nature of each new tenet.
of a characters daily, weekly, monthly, or roughly the same as he began with. Fur- Above all, it should be playable. If a fighter
yearly routine. Superstitions arise sponta- thermore, his social obligations at #8 and agrees to train cadets for his liege in the
neously according to the encounter and #10 are extensions of Self and Deity, not winter months, but the party never goes
the deviousness of the DM. inclusions of social orders he doesnt adventuring in the winter, he has no real
The lawful loyalties, however, require recognize. obligation. On the other hand, if the same
demonstration by promise or oath. Trib- Obviously, each additional tenet added to fighter accepts betrothal to his sovereigns
utes, sacrifices, quests, services, taxes, and a characters value system creates new niece when she comes of age in five years,
time obligations are the usual demonstra- obligations-sometimes conflicting ones. this single promise creates a constant
tions of loyalty. In return, the character Experience becomes no longer the acquisi- pressure on the character toward his
expects to profit with protection, training, tion of new power alone, but of new re- future in-laws.
comfort, collegiality, rank, honor, and sponsibilities. A 10th-level chaotic
wealth. Thus, the character must state character will be saddled with 16 obliga- Conclusion
how his loyalty is expressed. tions pulling him this way and that (hed First of all, this optional alignment sys-
Lets make an example. Dwinmar, a have seven or eight if he were neutral). A tem does not create excess baggage. Like
dwarven thief, is neutral evil. He observes neutral 10th-level fighter/9th-level cleric the social and cultural rules that guide our
four loyalties and three superstitions. He would have 12 or 13 tenets, but a chaotic own lives, these playing objectives remain
orders his four loyalties as: Self, Deity,
Race, Family. He expresses his loyalties by:
1) acquiring one handcrafted item of jew-
elry each month; 2) invoking his deitys
name whenever slaying orcs; 3) compul-
sively spitting on all half-orcs he encount-
ers; and 4) feasting with his clan for three
days whenever hes in town. His princi-
ples lead him to believe that 5) circles
bring good fortune, 6) the gods disfavor
animal sacrifice, and 7) adventuring dur-
ing a full moon is bad luck.
Each character, growing in power and
experience, inevitably has new honors
heaped upon him and new insights to use
against foes, and perhaps new fears as
well. With each rise in experience level, a
chaotic character acquires a new obliga-
tion; neutral characters gain a new obliga-
tion every odd-numbered level. A chaotic
character with more than one class has
one obligation per level for each class
other than the one in which he has the
highest potential progression; for example,
for an elven fighter/thief/wizard, the wiz-
ard class is the one in which the highest
level can be obtained (15th). Neutral char-
acters gain one additional obligation for
every odd-numbered level other than the
one with the highest potential progression.
The obligation gained should come natu-
rally out of the games events. Special
attachments may form for a dagger be-
cause it saved the characters life. Being
overrun by hobgoblins wearing red helms
might create a characters fear for that
color. The honor heaped upon an elven
warrior by his chieftain may require sea-
an undercurrent in the characters life. cide with his moral priorities. aimless brother or fiendish cleric, the
They create specific moments in the cam- On the other hand, sudden alignment character faces a dilemma with his creed
paign that will individualize play. Thus, changes caused by magical or spiritual and blood ties. Similarly, a dwarf, natu-
when the party decides to don clerical intervention will not ordinarily attract the rally hating an elf, may in one adventure
capes to disguise their journey into a tem- partys sudden attention. The player come to owe the elf his life. However,
ple, Karlon the wizard decides wearing makes a quick review of his characters when the dwarfs clan elder notes that this
any blue clothing is bound to bring disas- tenets, reorders the priorities, and plays adventuring companionship violates the
ter upon the group. He may be right. He them. It is not necessary to sound the clans creed, the dwarf faces a dilemma
wont know unless he sticks by his beliefs. alarm by immediately playing like a mad- that no self-respecting DM will allow to go
Such moments are unlikely to come at man. A magically changed alignment ordi- unresolved. The dwarf will be made to
every encounter, and it would be foolish to narily causes initial confusion, and new pay. Loyalties and animosities will be
load up a campaign with moral conflicts. A loyalties or sentiments relative to good and found everywhere between families, clans,
test is necessary only for a player who bad luck change slowly, round by round. villagers, guild members, religious orders,
insists on playing his current character in From personal experience, I can say it sage and student, andof course
the same manner as a recently deceased makes great fun. It usually takes the other alignments.
one. Other occasions are those where the players time to figure out what has hap-
player is fond of playing only a single pened. They are uncertain of the cause of
character class. When he starts his new the alignment change or if indeed an align-
character, it is amazingly, boringly similar ment shift has happened. Check Your Mailing Label!
to his last one, even though the ability A corollary to this is that character-class
scores indicate a difference. Obviously, changes under these guidelines preserve If its time to resubscribe, fill out the
moral conflicts are important for much of the character. The character will reply card inside this magazine, or
advanced characters prone to abusing not be defined simply by what tasks he simply write your name and address
their wide-ranging powers. performs for the party but by his creed, on a sheet of paper, then send it along
Another point is that characters might beliefs, and loyalties. When the priority of with your payment to:
change alignment more subtly under these those tenets changes, he may have lost
guidelines. By forsaking obligations or some character-class powers but gained DRAGON Magazine
ignoring beliefs, the character may find either new freedom or greater responsibil- P.O. Box 5695
hes not gaining experience as quickly as ities. Not a bad deal. Boston MA 02206
others. A visit with his liege or mentor The characters creed reflects his cosmic DRAGON is a registered trademark of TSR, Inc.
may then disclose that he is not living up attitude, which is buffeted by numerous
1991 TSR, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
to his alignment: He then ought to either loyalties or animosities. The character
face up to meeting those beliefs or make might be obliged to honor his father, but if
alignment changes as necessary to coin- his father leaves the family gold to an

Death Knights of
Krynn (SSI)

Lord Soth is backand youve got to stop him!

Reviews of the game. For example, should you wish CK adventurers. To accomplish the latter,
to bring into DKK a character from your have CK on your hard disk drive so that
Death Knights of Krynn ***** CK game, he retains all of his items and DKK can easily access the saved game
Strategic Simulations, Inc. (415-571-7171) cash. Plus, DKK offers you the chance to code.
PC/MS-DOS version $49.95 raise your characters to higher levels, and Those wonderful characters from CK
When we received Death Knights of you have several new spells for your are all here, although Sir Karl is no longer
Krynn (DKK), we were more than a little mages and clerics. alive. At the celebration, Lady Maya (shes
concerned. After all, we had just reviewed You have returned to Gargath Outpost to actually a silver dragon, remember?) is
SSIs Eye of the Beholder, with its celebrate the first anniversary of the victo- eulogizing Sir Karl, her lover. Suddenly,
advanced user interface and rules based ry at the Battle of Kernen in CK. You play thunderheads amass overhead, and small
on the AD&D 2nd Edition game. How newly rolled characters or imported specks detach themselves from the clouds.
could we possibly return to the older user They increase in size and turn into a death
system, with its continuous need to access dragon accompanied by several beasties.
a command menu structure? Computer games ratings And there, riding the death dragon, is Sir
We did so quite easily, in fact. It was Karlbut hes dead! Seems as though Sir
wonderful to return to the lands of the X Not recommended Karl has been unearthed by Lord Soth to
DRAGONLANCE saga and continue the * Poor bring more warriors into the undead
adventures started in SSIs Champions of * * Fair realm. Former Solamnic Knights are now
Krynn (CK). Lord Soth is back with a * * * Good becoming Death Knights.
vengeance! The by-now familiar interface * * * * Excellent The undead Karl grabs the Dragonlance
has become almost second nature, and SSI ***** Superb it took you forever to attain in CK, and he
has added some enhancements to the play heads away with Maya in hot pursuit. The

other foes before you are far from ready
to leave; they want you dead. Battle is
joined, and other Solamnic Knights rush to
your aid. If you are using characters from
CK, we hope they are of high-enough level
to withstand the assaults of the undead
and their beasties. We preferred to create
new characters, as DKK starts them out at
about the fifth or sixth level of experience,
depending upon such factors as multiple
Our group, which has done extraordi-
narily well so far, started with the follow-
ing characters (their levels are indicated in
parentheses): a cleric/ranger (5/5), a
fighter/red mage (6/5), a Knight of the Rose
(5), a cleric/fighter/white mage (5/5/4), a
cleric/fighter/red mage (5/5/4), and a cleric/
thief (5/6). Obviously, the majority of our
adventurers are Qualinesti or Silvanesti
elves, with a single human (the knight) and
a kender (the thief). We have currently
completed about 60% of the game, and
our characters are now at ninth level and
are about to reach tenth level.
Clerics are obviously needed as you
pursue your quarry and are pursued.
Forewarned is forearmed. We strongly
advise that a couple of your characters Death Knights of Krynn (SSI)
memorize a Resist Fire spell for your first
encounter; rerolled characters will be able You might also find that recuperating nal also contains a complete description of
to cast it on individual party members and memorizing spells in Vingaard Keep is all clerical, druidic, and mage spells. There
before your wizard casts a Fireball to rid difficult to accomplish. Find a workshop are descriptions of the beasties youll
the screen of the nightmarish enemy and try resting there. One of the more encounter in DKK and many important
before you. interesting side jaunts youll take is to find gaming tables.
Should you survive the first battle, we a young knight. He holds the key to a lot Yet again, SSI continues to hold the inter-
also recommend those characters with of information that revolves around the est of gamers by releasing top-notch fanta-
clerical abilities memorize their healing High Clerists Tower to the west. First, you sy role-playing adventures. The AdLib and
spells. Theres a temple scenario that will must buy a candle and go through red CMS sound-board support is minimal at
ask you to use your healing skills on those doorways hunting this individual. If you best in DKK (we used AdLib, with VGA
who were wounded in the first battle. find yourself delayed or take the wrong graphics). However, this may be a blessing.
Should you decide to help, a special AC turn, youll never succeed. Avoid messages Many computer games now feature far
-1 ring will be received as your reward. that advise trying a door, concentrate too much in the way of music and sound
Give it to the character with the lowest solely on the red doors. And make certain effects, and such can destroy concentra-
number of hit points. you undertake this quest early in the day. tion and playing mood. We definitely rec-
The knights commander is Sir Bertil, Otherwise, youll find yourself involved in ommend DKK to fantasy role-playing
and youll find him talking to a less-than- noisy bars that can leave you with con- gamers. We cant wait for the next volume!
enthusiastic Sir Garren. Garren is carrying frontation after confrontation.
Karls old sword, but he doesnt agree with Some final words of warning. Dont Space Quest IV *****
the decisions being made by Bertil. Your enter Throtl Keep until your characters Sierra On-Line (209-683-4468)
interruption hasnt helped. are of a high-enough level to withstand PC/MS-DOS version $59.95
Bertil gives you three choices of an multiple assaults of powerful undead and Roger Wilco has returned, this time with
assignment. We took the temple assign- mages. In the High Clerists Tower, in the his son. Wilco Junior has been taken pris-
ment to help bury the dead, but the dead vaults, make certain you Fix, Save, and oner in Space Quest XII, and Wilco Senior
tried to bury us. Success in all DKK en- then Memorize after each battle. You must save him by using a time machine
counters requires a goodly amount of never know, when the undead might de- while hes being hunted by the Sequel
concentrated magic and powerful fighting cide to interrupt your rest periods. Police! This adventure will send Roger into
skills. As you proceed through the en- The fighting is almost nonstop as you try parts known and unknown, as he zips
counters, youll eventually be asked to find to prevent Seths minions from taking around and through Space Quests I-XII.
the Sleepstone, held by a dream merchant Sturms body out of the tower along with The humor in this graphic adventure is
in Kalaman. Your journey anywhere out- the bodies of other knights. Save Sir Dur- brilliant. Sierras attention to detail is
side city or fortress walls is plagued by fey, and he joins your adventuring party. If meticulous, down to the scene-stealing,
encounters. Most of the outdoor encount- you are winning the day, youll eventually drum-beating rabbit commercial that plays
ers involve the undead, so make certain run into an old acquaintance who is re- on the names of famous stores and soft-
your party has clerics who can turn them. sponsible for the undead knowing a great ware. The animation and music are of
If you find your characters cannot sur- deal about the tower. typical Sierra quality: amazing. We never
vive the first outdoor encounters in the DKK is a great deal of fun and packed had to use paper and pencil for mapping,
mountains north of Galgarth, try moving with excitement. Again, your greatest tool and the point-and-click commands are
your party as far to the east as possible. is to Save, Save, Save. Additional game easy to use.
Then move north toward Dargaard and details are received by reading the entries Sierra uses its icon-driven system, such
Kalaman. You should be able to avoid in the Adventurers Journal when asked to as the one in Kings Quest V, to make the
combat. do so by an NPC. The Adventurers Jour- game simple to operate. By clicking on the
Space Quest IV (Sierra On-Line)

right mouse button, the cursor changes of them? If you answered yes, try your game with hard-core action that makes
into various icons that can be used on hand at Zarlor Mercenary. This is a sure you will play this game many times.
Roger or the surrounding scenery. Click- vertical-view shoot-em-up that allows you There is plenty of space to be covered,
ing the left mouse button causes Roger to to blow up everything you want. Great and an enemy or item missed during one
perform the icon-designated action. A animation and detailed backgrounds make game session can be found during another
system icon allows you to adjust the detail this game a real winner for Lynx owners. turn at the Lynx. This is the first shoot-
level of the game for slower or faster The object is to fly over six different em-up on a portable game system we have
machines, the volume, and the speed at terrains, blowing away buildings, aircraft, seen that enables four people to play si-
which the characters move and talk. and vehicles. Your ship is equipped with a multaneously. Atari has done a good job of
Games can also be loaded, saved, quit, or shield that can withstand multiple hits, not losing game playability as a result of so
restarted. This type of command system and youve got some outstanding weapon- much interfacing by the players. If youre
has been criticized as it limits the actions ry. If you deplete your shields energy, one tired of brain drain games, this is a good
characters can perform, but we feel it is of your four available ships is lost. De- game to purchase to destroy worlds at
appropriate as gamers of all ages will want stroying enemies gives you zarbits, the home or in the car.
to play Space Quest IV currency used in this game. Zarbits can be
We continue to find challenges in this traded at the end of the current level to Queries and comments
game that requires wits as active as Roger purchase items at a shop. You can buy The number of respondents coming to
Wilcos mouth. There is also an arcade megabombs that destroy everything on the aid of readers who queried us regard-
scene that requires deft motor skills. For the screen, powerful lasers, back shooters, ing how to best the Mulmaster Beholder
those of us with less manual dexterity, the wing cannons, side shooters, speed-ups, Corps in SSIs Curse of the Azure Bonds
arcade sequence can be bypassed without power-ups, and even extra ships. Some- was phenomenal.
affecting the outcome of the game. Now, times, enemies lose an item that you can Your attack should take place after two
thats a thoughtful touch! pick up and use. At the shop, you can bonds have been removed, but before the
Space Quest IV is an enjoyable game. trade in any of these items for zarbits as game is completed. All of the hints indicate
The attention to detail and humor are well. that you should save the Dust of Disap-
outstanding, and the graphics detail and Up to four players can join in, making pearance that you obtain from the vault
music must be envied by other game pub- this game really exciting. However, with within the Fire Knives hideout beneath
lishers. The icon system is excellent. Tim- that many people assisting you, Zarlor the City of Tilverton. You should also hang
ing is everything in this game. If you find a Mercenary removes extra ships from play. onto other goodies such as Ice Storm, Fire
puzzle to be particularly frustrating, com- Two players will get three ships each, Shield, Lightning Bolts, and Fireball spells.
plete your actions in a different order. We while three or more players get only two Its also not a bad idea to have a scroll or
were stuck once, but switching the order ships each. two of the Haste spell.
of our tasks allowed us to continue. Space Before the game begins, each player can You must quickly eliminate the beholder
Quest IV is a great addition to a great choose a personality that is minutely de- who protects the entrance to the Corps. To
series of games. This review was made tailed and has a special weapon, such as a defeat the Mulmaster Beholder Corps, all
using MIDI sound and VGA graphics. laser, or side shooter. Players can team up of your characters must be healthy. Just
to complete the six missions. Should a prior to entering the Corps, cast Haste and
Zarlor Mercenary ***** player not believe in teamwork, a sudden Enlarge on your finest fighters, as well as
Atari (phone number n/a) blast from another players back shooter Bless and Prayer. Use the Dust of Disap-
Atari Lynx version Price n/a can urge him back into playing fair. pearance to make your party invisible;
Do you want to destroy things, and lots Zarlor Mercenary is a great multiplayer then go in and throw caution to the wind.
Clue corner spell cast on your party. Otherwise, you
move past them. Concentrate your fight- will drop through a pit to the second level.
ers on one beholder at a time, while in- The Bards Tale I (Electronic Arts) The secret passage on this level is accessi-
flicting damage on the dark-elf lords and 1. Seek the Eye deep in the Catacombs ble only by Open/Blast Portal spells or by
the priests through spells cast by your by defeating the spectre before entering the up staircase on level six. There is a
mages. Once the beholders have been Kylearens Tower. one-way, secret door that is activated by
slain, attack the remaining dark-elf lords, 2. For bundles of experience points for standing next to the skeleton in the pas-
then the rakshasa. Use your fighters parties with Mangars Mind Blade, seek the sageway. Leave one member of the party
against the latter, as spells are ineffective robed men in Harkyns Castle on the third with the skeleton to hold the door open.
against these beasties. level. The rest of the party can step into the
This battle is going to require about an 3. To enter Mangars Tower, one must doorway. There is a very good sword
hour or so of time. However, it is certainly obtain the onyx key from Kylearen. there. Grab it and back out of the door-
worth the effort. Each member of your 4. High-level characters are best off way. Regain your party member, then
successful party will earn about 75,000 XP. fighting vampires and other creatures that poke the skeleton with the sword icon.
The beholders also have +4 long swords, decrease the characters amount of levels, Armor items can then be found.
and the drow lords have +2 shields, +5 because it will require fewer experience Patrick M. Spera
drow long swords, and +5 drow chain points to advance levels without losing hit APO New York
mail. points. (serving in Saudi Arabia)
After you have taken care of the trea- 5. Seek the master key to pass through
sure screens, go to the opposite side of the Mangars gates. Eye of the Beholder (SSI)
room and go through the door. Pass 6. To find the lost stairs leading to the 1. Each level has a beholder quest that
through the next door, and you will be in fourth level of Mangars Tower, teleport to gives extra items or experience for suc-
yet another treasure room stocked with +4 north, +10 east, and +2 up. Then cess. On level five, the dwarven strong-
magical items. Dont Encamp in the trea- answer the Magic Mouth: Lie With Passion hold, put all your rations in the pantry;
sure room, as wandering monsters will And Be Forever Damned. Then, teleport to you can retrieve them when you are fin-
enter. As Rodger Wenzlaff of Yankton, +5 north and -7 east. The stairs should ished. On level six, the kenku level, put all
S.D., said, this battle was easier than be there. the kenku eggs in the room marked Nest:
killing an unarmed kobold with a 10th- 7. Seek the stairs leading under the gates 2. The Wand of Silvas pushes Xanathar
level paladin using a +5 Holy Avenger of Mangars Tower deep in the fourth level back one space and is the only magic that
sword. Yeah, right! below the tavern. affects him.
Kyle Erickson of Cavalier, N.D., was the 8. Do not fight basilisks. They are not 3. To kill Xanathar, use the Wand of
first to write to us with helpful hints for worth the experience points earned for Silvas to push him into his own spike trap.
our readers. Other early respondents who defeating them. Also remember that an invisible party
added to the information include: Glenn 9. Seek the Crystal Sword on the first doesnt trip eye beams.
Sutton of Circleville, Ohio; Sean Wallen- level of Harkyns Castle to defeat the Crys- 4. On level four, when entering the room
beck of Rome, N.Y.; R. Stephan Roberts of tal Golem in Kylearens Tower. containing all of the sayings about the
Lompoc, Calif.; Hans Cummings of Peters- Peter Robbins and Dan Liffmann king, close the right and left doors. This
burg, Va.; and Bruce Gebhart of Pierce, Andover MA will afford you a +3 battle axe, a real
Idaho. drow cleaver.
And now, a cry of despair: Citadel (PostCraft International) The Lessers
I desperately need help with The Bards 1. In my opinion, the optimum party
Tale II. I have three sections of the wand, consists of two fighters, a cleric, and a Death Knights of Krynn (SSI)
but I cant even get into the Destiny Stone wizard. Always have at least one dwarf, as 1. After Lord Soth is defeated, you can
dungeon because I dont know the answer they can see in near-dark conditions. This enter the challenge in the northwest cor-
to the riddle. In the Grey Crypt, I cant get is handy if your torches get blown out. ner of the room.
to the second level and I dont know why. Also, one member of your party should be 2. In the challenge, there is the Black Pit.
In the Tower of Dargoth, I am tearing my of neutral alignment, as he can handle evil In the pit is the amulet and an infinite
hair out trying to figure out the last four items safely. number of other treasuresif you survive
words to the code (reverse tiny and late, 2. You enter the castle on the second the wail!
no. seven.). level. Light your torches by holding them 3. You will find it hard to survive the
Lets get cooking on this query and help in front of a lit torch in a wall sconce. If challenge without a thief.
out Jon Timmons of Philadelphia, Penn. you are in a part of the castle that has wall 4. You can find a Cloak of Displacement
Send your answers to our address at the sconces, light a torch from a dying one in Turef. You may be asked to find a dwarf
end of the column. and pass it to a party member. Always in a purple hat. If you find the dwarf,
The second query this month comes have one of your party members hands wrestle him. Return him to his mother and
from Jason Dunn of Calgary, Alberta, free for this reason. receive your cloak.
regarding Ultima VI. This is by far the 3. Never select Trance for a Wizards Erik Moe
best game I have ever played, but it is also personal menu unless he is about to die. St. Louis MO
the hardest. I cannot find anyone or any The temple cannot wake him, so your
thing that represents Diligence in the character will be asleep until your cleric is 1. In Vingaard Keep, follow the first
Shrine of Diligence. Its all monsters! I of a level high enough to cast an Awaken road to the left (east) to find the Dream
have tried Seance spells on most of the spell. Merchant. It is marked by a half-open eye.
monsters, but that didnt work. And I 4. Once your Wizard has a spellbook, get Follow the second road to the left (east) to
always get No Response when I try to him some ink and parchment. He can buy a candle.
converse with them. I know that Exodus write scrolls and sell them at the store. 2. In the Dragon Pit, you can get Plate
best represents Diligence, but I cannot This is very handy, as the dungeons are +3 and a Shield +2 in the shrine. You will
find him in the Shrine. Thanks to anyone cash poor, and training costs a lot more at get a dragonlance on the way out. Equip it
who can offer me the aid I need. the higher levels. immediately, because you will need it.
5. The Open Portal spell works on walls 3. In the crazy dwarfs house, answer
as well as doors. water, hands, and ring. You will get a
6. On level one, the skull door is a trap. Mace +4 and a Girdle of Giant Strength
Do not activate it unless you have a Levitas (23).
4. You get the Rod of Omniscience in dexterity potion. Ultima VI (Origin)
Voice Wood and a Mace of Disruption in Ian Wojtowicz 1. To get into the thieves guild, either
Cerberus. Ottawa, Ontario pickpocket Homer or Phoenix (the lady
5. Use blunt weapons on the skeletal under Britain who has several glass
knights. The Mace of Disruption works Gold of the Aztecs (U.S. Gold) swords, magic helms, and so on). Ask
very well. 1. When you find yourself limbed by a Homer about the pirates treasure. To find
6. In the final battle with Lord Soth, you tree in the first arcade sequence, simply this treasure, you must enter two of the
face five Death Knights and five Iron Go- cut yourself free by pressing the fire but- three hardest dungeons: Destrad and the
lems. I recommend Haste, Fire Resistance, ton. Once you reach ground level, walk to Pirates Cave. Invisibility spells make Des-
and Globes of Invulnerability. your right and exit. You dont have to get trad easier. In the Pirates Cave, constant
Mike Hamilton rid of anyone in this scene. healing helps.
Madison WI 2. In the second scene, as soon as youve 2. Go as far to the left as you can on
taken a couple of steps, somersault over level one. Enter the maze, and explore the
1. Dont waste your magic on skeleton the bowman to avoid his arrows. We dont off limits. Ignore the first clouds and,
warriors. think you should take the time to slay this voil! Youve found the treasure.
2. There is a training maze in the individual. Exit to the right. 3. Captain John is at the bottom of Hy-
mountains between Gargath and Throtl. 3. The third scene is a little trickier. Stop thloth, which is better accessed from the
To find it, walk south through the moun- and wait for the bird to swoop, then jump far southeast of the gargoyle world. Learn
tains and as close to them as possible. all the way to the other side of the screen. to speak gargoyle and join with Beh Lem.
3. There is a cursed pirate ship with Youll find that this prevents the deadly Most dungeons are marked on the map;
great treasure aboard her. It is located on plants from hurting you. just look harder for them.
the far side of the lake near Kalaman. U.S. Gold Ian Rapley
Bob Nolan Seer Green, Bucks, U.K.
Columbia MD Kung-Fu Master (IREM America Corp.)
Chainsaw Freddy has some weak points. In Ultima VI, at any point when you
Dragon Wars (Interplay Productions) Although he is skilled with his chainsaw, become frustrated, talk to Iolo. Ask him
1. In the slave estate, you will find Mog, he is vulnerable to Bruce Leaps squat and three times about spam. Follow this up
a gaze demon, who loves art. Check for kick techniques. Wait in a squatting posi- by asking him about humbug not
loose floor boards and secret doors. You tion until Freddy brings his chainsaw humb, but humbug.
can find mirrors and equip them to resist down twice, then raises it again. Tom Heilman
Mog deadly gaze. The Lessers Cupertino CA
2. In Phoebus, go to the tavern and get
Valar. He is a good friend and a sun magic- Secret of the Silver Blades (SSI) War in Middle-earth (Melbourne House)
user, and he will be most beneficial. Out- 1. To gain experience, wander about the 1. The Scepter of Annuminas is west of
side the inn, you will find some wild dogs. ruins many, many times before you start Annuminas, on the shore of the lake.
Fight them to get past and obtain some tracking Marcus and his bunch. You may 2. The Red Arrow is south of Mount
treasure. stop when you have advanced two or Gram.
3. Dont enlist in the army. three levels. However, before seeing Mar- 3. The Dwarven Ring is north of Dol
4. Go to the temple and fight Stosstrupen cus, remember to buy lots of mirrors! Guldur.
and Mystalvision. You will certainly lose, Your characters lose lots of hit points if 4. The Silver Orb is in the ruins south-
but dont despair. You are thrown into jail. they are to be turned back to flesh. east of Mount Gundabad.
Keep moving in your cell to accumulate 2. In the mines (level 6), a nicely central- 5. If you do not go through the forest
days. You will be held captive and then let ized Fireball spell will wipe out all of the between the Last Bridge and the Ford of
out by a mysterious person. Search for the lizardmen. Vala is in the cage. She isnt Bruinen before you arrive at Rivendell,
treasury. Oh, should you run into a drag that great a fighter. I made the mistake of you can later add an extra member to
on, let it be fed or it will destroy the city giving her the Eyes of Charming, and she your company.
(we certainly cant have that!). Also, look spent entire fights using it on umber hulks 6. After you enter the copy protection,
for a shovel, as you will need it. After (to no effect). Anyway, she went bonkers you must press RETURN and the mouse
fighting Mystalvision, you will obtain some (perhaps it was something I did!), and I button. If you do not do both, your game
magical scrolls. had to kill her. will freeze. Perhaps this is true only of my
Lance Theaderman 3. A quick tip if you are playing only to game version, which is on the Apple IIGS.
Batavia OH win: There is a warning somewhere that if Sam Carter
you play the game at novice level, your Montara CA
Dungeon Master (FTL Games) experience points will suffer. Nonsense! I
1. If you happen to meet a monster started the game at Veteran level, but A last note: The hints for Champions of
behind a portcullis, dont open the portcul- when I entered the dungeon and started Krynn in issue #170 were actually meant
lis! Instead, attack the monster with small facing pyrohydras, I switched to Novice for Pool of Radiance. Sorry!
missile weapons (arrows, rocks, stars, level. (That means the monsters are killed Recall those times you were stuck in a
daggers). Sooner or later, these weapons with one Fireball spell.) Anyway, despite rotten dungeon, facing awesome foes with
will hit the creature. This tactic is quite running half the game at Novice level, all no idea as to what you should do? Save a
effective for characters with high dexteri- my humans finished at level 15, which is heromail in a hint! Send your game tips,
ty ratings. the highest attainable in the game. techniques, and hints to: The Lessers, 521
2. Some spells for wizards: OH VEN 4. As training and healing are free, there Czerny Street, Tracy CA 95376. Until next
cloud poison; FUL IRfireball; ZO are practically no expenses. At the end of month, game on!
unlock; OH EW RAclairvoyance; YA BRO it all, I had seven computer pages worth of
ROSfootsteps (cast the spell, walk a few magical items and something like 150
steps, then look behind you); OH KATH pieces of jewelry, five thousand gems, and
RAlightning bolt; OH IR RAadvanced 150,000 pieces of platinum. I tried to con-
light spell. vert the platinum to gems and I wiped out
3. Some spells for priests: YA IRshield; the Vaults supply of same.
FUL BRO NETAfire shield; FUL BRO Ching Sann
KUstrength potion; OH BRO ROS Singapore

by Skip Williams

If you have any questions on the games omnipotent deity such as this have omnipotent, not even in its own area of
produced by TSR, Inc., Sage Advice will such limits, and why would such a control. All deities share the limelight with
answer them. In the United States and deity need an avatar? Tezcatlipoca is other deity-class creatures who have the
Canada, write to: Sage Advice, DRAGON said to he unable to visit this Prime power to confound or even kill them.
Magazine, P.O. Box 111, Lake Geneva WI Material plane; isnt this another Avatars are handy for any deity, as an
53147, U.S.A. In Europe, write to: Sage contradiction? avatar can go places where the deity itself
Advice, DRAGON Magazine, TSR Ltd., 120 First, a careful rereading of page 6 of cannot go without recriminations. Also,
Church End, Cherry Hinton, Cambridge Legends & Lore will show that deities are note that deities can have multiple avatars
CB1 3LB, United Kingdom. We are no not unable to visit the Prime Material working at different locations at the same
longer able to make personal replies; plane, but they never do; this is because time (10 avatars at once for a greater
please send no SASEs with your questions doing so automatically would draw the deity). Likewise, Tezcatlipoca is not barred
(SASEs are being returned with writers attention and ire of the other deities. No from the mortal world any more than any
guidelines for the magazine). deity is inclined to risk destruction at the other deity. He is in the habit of using his
This month, the sage shares more in- hands if his or her divine peers. true formrather than an avatarto
sights into the workings of the gods in the The Aztec deities section does seem to accomplish various tasks. However, he
AD&D 2nd Edition gameand the work- be a bit muddy, but less so if you assume doesnt use his true form to visit the mor-
ings of more mundane beings, such as the words Prime Material Plane actually tal world.
player characters and monsters. mean the planet where the campaign
takes place or the valley of Mexico. Like If deities never visit the Prime
beings in other pantheons, the Aztec dei- Material plane, how can the cam-
The introduction to the 2nd Edi- ties are quite interested in mortal affairs bion Iuz live on Oerth (in the
tion Legends & Lore tome says dei- and wont tolerate direct divine interfer- WORLD OF GREYHAWK setting)? I
ties are unable to visit the Prime ence in them. Exactly how Quetzalcoatl run a campaign based in Oerth, and
Material plane, yet the Aztec deities will keep his vow is up to the DM. Perhaps Iuz is a major villain. With the ap-
are described as living on the Prime the other deities will respect it and allow pearance of the new Legends & Lore
Material plane. Are they exceptions him to return, or perhaps Quetzalcoatl tome, do I remove Iuz from Oerth
to the rule? Are these deities re- expects his followers to pave the way for and from the game, or leave the
stricted to their home planets? If so, him in such a way as the other deities demigod free to ravage the place?
how can Quetzalcoatl keep his vow cannot object. Do the new rules have information
to return to the valley of Mexico? If you carefully reread Ometeotls sec- on cambions? Where do I find rules
How can Ometeotl be barred from tion, youll find he is the embodiment of on Iuzs assassin abilities, or do they
going anywhere if hes the embodi- the universe only in a sense, not literally. just disappear now that the new
ment of the universe? How can an In any case, no deity in Legends & Lore is rules have come along?
Statistics for cambions are located in the
Monstrous Compendium, Outer Planes
appendix, under the heading Tanarri. If
you decide to treat Iuz like any other deity
and restrict his true form to another
plane, you hardly remove him from play.
As a demigod, he can have his worshipers
or even his avatar do his dirty work. (Yes,
Im aware that the GREYHAWK Adven-
tures hardback says Iuz has no avatars,
but if youre going to kick him off the
Prime Material plane because of what
Legends & Lore says, theres no reason
you cant give him an avatar.) Note also
that the Legends & Lore tome does not
necessarily consider the way things work
on Oerth; it is a general work describing
how deity-class creatures fit into most
campaigns. I cant think of a single reason
why you cant have Iuz continue to prowl
about the Flanaess, causing as much trou-
ble as ever. Also, since Iuz is pretty weak In the core rules, a single-classed reflected by a mirror?
as most demigods go, he probably can be fighterand only a fightercan specialize Beholders dont have gaze attacks. They
slain by mortal attacks, unlike the more in exactly one particular weapon. If youre have various magical rays that are gener-
powerful demigods described in Legends using weapon groups, the fighter must ated from their eyes, which is not the
& Lore. pick one weapon within the group as a same thing as a gaze attack at all. A be-
You have several options when dealing specialty. If youre using the rules in the holders eye-beam attacks, and most other
with Iuzs assassin abilities: 1) You can Complete Fighters Handbook, you can magical effects, cannot be reflected by a
continue to use the AD&D 1st Edition allow fighters to take more than one mirror.
games rules in Iuzs case; 2) you can give weapon specialization, but they still must
Iuz thief abilities instead; 3) you can treat choose their specializations one weapon at Do liches retain racial abilities,
Iuz as a thief using the assassin kit from a time. such as drow infravision? How does
the Complete Thiefs Handbook; or, 4) you Style specialization is actually just a magical aging, such as the casting of
can just drop the abilities altogether. weapon proficiency available to warriors, wish spells, affect liches?
rogues, and priests. Dont let the name All liches have very good infravision, or
How do the various deities from confuse you; a style specialization is a its equivalent (see the Monstrous Compen-
the Legends & Lore tome achieve general set of tricks for fighting a certain dium, Volume I). DMs are free to have
such high damage scores, such as way, not an intensive study of one particu- liches retain other racial abilities. Liches
Aress sword (3-30 hp) and spear (5- lar weapon. It is possible for a character to do age, though their lifespans last for
50 hp) without having titanic size have more than one style specialization. centuries. When subject to magical aging,
and strength? There are no rules for double specializa- such as casting a wish spell, a lich must
As explained in the Avatars section tions in the current version of the AD&D make a system-shock roll just as any other
(pages 4-5), a deity and its avatars ignore game. However, if you play a variant game spell caster does. The DM is free to set the
mortal restrictions. The hefty damage and allow all warriors (including rangers lichs constitution score at any appropriate
inflicted by a deitys weapons is a direct and paladins) to take weapon specializa- value for this purpose (18 or even higher
manifestation of the deitys power. In the tion, you might allow fighters only to is not unreasonable). However, if the lich
case of a war deity such as Ares, this spend two extra proficiency slots on one fails, its body is ripped apart by the force
power is quite potent. weapon (and one weapon only) and be- of the spell and the creature dies.
come double specialized. The effect of a
The Players Handbook, on pages double specialization is up to the DM, but On page 30 of the Players Hand-
26 and 52, makes it clear that only increasing the specialization bonus to +2 book, it says that mages cannot
single-classed fightersnot paladins to hit and +3 damage seems most rea- wear any armor, but page 182 of the
and rangerscan use weapon spe- sonable. If you use this unofficial optional Dungeon Masters Guide says magic-
cialization. However, the Complete rule, be prepared to start adjusting your users can wear magical elven chain
Fighters Handbook, on page 58, campaigns play balance, because your mail. Which is correct? Can mages
pretty clearly implies that all war- poor monsters are going to have a hard wear other types of armor made
riors (fighters, paladins, and rang- time going toe-to-toe with your campaigns
ers) can specialize. Did the rules fighters.
change when the Complete Fighters
Handbook hit the shelves? If so, I have a DRAGONLANCE campaign
why would anyone want to play a mage of levels 3/8/19, of robes
simple fighter? white/red/black. How many profi-
According to a short conversation I had ciencies does he have?
with TSR, Inc.s Dave Zeb Cook a while The character has only the proficiencies
ago, the rules in the Players Handbook due to a 19th-level wizard. When a Krynn
and Dungeon Masters Guide are intended mage changes orders, he loses two levels
to serve as the fundamental basis for the and becomes either a student wizard (if
AD&,D 2nd Edition game and are sup- his reduced level is three or less) or a
posed to remain unchanged until that far- member of the new order. The character
off day when a new version of the game does not retain spells, spheres, or levels
comes along. (There are no plans for an- from the old order. Furthermore, Krynns
other edition currently in the works, but deities remove all player characters of
no set of game rules stays current for- greater than 18th level from the world
ever.) While there is a continuous stream (see DRAGONLANCE Adventures, page
of new material planned for the game, all 13). Your mage is now an anomaly and a
of it is intended to supplement the core renegade, and is doomed to disappear
rules, not replace them. All of the rules in very soon unless he has managed to es-
the Complete Fighters Handbook are cape from Krynn, perhaps on a spell-
optional, but the phrase giving weapon jammer. Note also that your mage has no
specialization to all warriors is an error. special magical powerssuch as those
gained from Krynns moonswhile away
With how many weapons can a from Krynn.
fighter specialize? Is it possible to
specialize in both a fighting style What is the speed factor of a touch
(from the Complete Fighters Hand- attack?
book) and a weapon or combination If you wish to assign a speed factor to a
of weapons? How do you use weap- touch attack of any kind, I suggest you use
on specialization if you also are the rule on page 94 of the PHB, where a
using weapon groups from the Com- natural attacks speed factor depends on
plete Fighters Handbook? Is it pos- the attackers size. For a man-sized crea-
sible to double specialize? If so, how ture, the speed factor is 3.
do you get it and what bonuses do
you get for it? Can a beholders gaze attacks be

from elven steel? Does this exclude animals such as What is fair is up to the DM. However, if
If you carefully reread page 182 of the bears or wolves? you have the common sense to realize this
Dungeon Masters Guide, youll find it says A successful backstab requires an ele- situation is unfair, it shouldnt be too hard
that elven fighter/mages can wear elven ment of surprise. If an opponent spots a to figure out what to do about it. The -4
chain mail without restriction; this is the thief maneuvering for a back attack, the modifier for being a lone elf not in metallic
only case in which magic-users can wear opponent will not be caught unaware and armor already assumes the character is
this armor. This rule also is included in the cannot be backstabbed. Interpreting the moving silently (see PHB, page 22), so I
Players Handbook, page 45. Single-classed rules strictly, only humanoid creatures suggest dropping the -2 modifier for
mages cannot wear any armor at all. It bipedal, one head, two arms, two legs, tail silence in this case (you cant be doubly
probably will not cause play-balance prob- optionalcan be backstabbed. Game bal- silent). Generally, surprise chances
lems if the DM allows other multiclassed ance probably wont suffer if the DM also shouldnt be greater than 9-in-10 except in
(but not dual-classed) warrior/mages to allows common, four-legged animals to be extraordinary circumstances, such as if a
wear other types of armor made from backstabbed, but note that many animals thief sneaks up on a sleeping drunk.
elven steel; details on these armors must have good senses and are pretty hard to
be invented by the DM (using the DMG, sneak up on. Note also that the thief must I just finished reading most of the
pages 37-38). be able to locate and strike a vital spot to DRAGONLANCE saga paperbacks
get the damage multiplier from a backstab. and I really like kender! Are there
On page 69, the Players Handbook A creature the thief has never studied or rules for playing this race in the
says the rate of fire for thrown dag- encountered before probably cannot be AD&D game?
gers is two per round, but page 99 backstabbed, and neither can very large Indeed there are. Ask your game or
says the rate of fire is three per creatures, such as dragons and dinosaurs, book dealer for the DRAGONLANCE Ad-
round. or amorphous creatures, such as slimes ventures hardback (TSR product #2021).
You seem to have a first-printing Players and jellies. This tome is crammed full of information
Handbook, which was in error. The word for playing campaigns set in the world of
daggers at the top of the second column According to the rules, an invisi- Krynn. It was written for use with the
should read darts, which it does in the ble and silenced elf sneaking up on AD&D 1st Edition rules, so youll have to
second and subsequent printings. an opponent whose dexterity is 15 apply a little common sense here and
or lower can gain surprise on an 11- there to make everything work. There also
Can a thief who has been observed in-10 chance. (The normal chance of is information on kender and all other
by an enemy successfully backstab surprise is 3-in-10 with a -4 modi- major Krynn races in the Monstrous Com-
that enemy if the enemy ignores the fier for being an elf without metallic pendium, DRAGONLANCE Appendix (TSR
thief and attacks the thiefs party armor, a -2 modifier for being in- product #2104). You might also want to
instead? The rules say only human- visible, and a -2 modifier for being check out All About the Kender, in
oid creatures can be backstabbed. silenced.) Is this really fair? DRAGON issue #101.

thas, world of the dark sun. Ruled for

A Little
thousands of years by power-mad sorcerer-
kings, the cities of Athas have become vile
centers of slavery and corruption.
Only heroes of the greatest strength and

bravest heart can stand against the might of
these overlords.

The lightning bolt came out of a clear sky. Jedra, busy

haggling over the price of a new waterskin, flinched as the
bright blue flash illuminated the food and clothing and
harness stands around him. In the same instant, a thun-
derclap rattled the entire bazaar and echoed off the adobe
brick walls of the one- and two-story buildings surround-
ing it.
Jedra turned, ears ringing, to see a four-slave sedan
chair on the ground only a few yards away, the overweight
templar it had carried angrily brushing sand off his black
robe of office while three heavily muscled slaves frantically
righted the chair. The fourth slave lay on the ground, a
patch of melted sand a few inches across bubbling beside by Jerry Oltion
his smoking body.
The slave must have stumbled and pitched the templar
out, Jedra supposed, and the templar had killed him for it.
Case closed.
Activity had stopped in the bazaar, but as others came
to the same conclusion it picked up again. Jedra turned
back to the water vendor, a leathery old elf with an eye-
patch over his left eye, and said, All right, two ceramics
for the waterskin, but only if its full.
The elf peered at Jedra, no doubt trying to judge how
far he could push this young, skinny half-elf, but at last he
nodded. Done, he said, and he filled the teardrop-
shaped leather sack from a barrel at the back of his stand,
careful not to spill a single drop, while Jedra dug into his
pouch for two fragments of ceramic coin. They were the
last of Jedras money. If he was to eat today, he would
have to find work or scavenge something he could sell.
Taking the skin from the elf, he drained a fourth of its
contents in two long swallows, then slung it around his
shoulder by the strap, the weight of it comforting. At least
he wouldnt go thirsty today.
The templar was already gone when he turned around
again, as was the sedan chair and the slaves body. All that
remained of the incident was the small glassy pool where
the lightning bolt had melted the sand. Ever curious, Je-
dra kicked at it with the toe of his sandal, and a piece of
glass flaked off the top. It was several inches across and an
inch or so thick in the middle, but thinner around the
He bent down and picked up the fragment, then nearly
dropped it again when he looked into it. There, amid the
bubbles and streaks, danced a tiny upside-down image of
a thri-kreen.
He looked beyond the glass. The actual creature stood
across the way, its six-limbed, mantislike insectile body
glistening in the sunlight as it examined a gythka a pole-
arm with blades at either endat an armorers stall.
The thri-kreen seemed oblivious to Jedra and his glass.
Cautiously, lest he be less fortunate a second time, Jedra Illustrations by Tom Baxa
looked through the glass again, turning slowly and watch-

ing as the upside-down bazaar slid bybackward. No one A tall, massive half-giant with arms the size of Jedras
noticed that they had been turned on their heads, if in- legs swung a sack of grain off one shoulder just as Jedra
deed they had. Jedra put his free hand out beyond the ran past, catching him square in the back with it. He
glass to see if he could feel any sensation. staggered forward under the blow but kept his footing,
A point of bright light slid across his wrist, and when he only to slam into a compact, musclebound dwarf. The
paused to look at it, he felt a sudden sting of heat. The dwarfs blocky head reached only to Jedras chest, just
glass had burned him! high enough to burst his new waterskin with the impact.
Jedra rubbed at his wrist, but he smiled. The glass must He dodged around the dwarf, but the entire bazaar
still hold a bit of the lightning bolt that had created it. seemed out to get him now. A nobles order was almost as
That might be worth something to the right person. He good as law, especially an order the templars would so
glanced at a spice stand draped with herbs and roots, a obviously support. None of the crowd wished to be caught
stand that was rumored to be a black market outlet for the disobeying that order lest they be accused of aiding in an
things used in the creation of magic. The proprietor would escape. Such people often found themselves sharing their
probably buy the glass from him. quarrys fate.
He took a few steps toward the stand, then stopped, Jedra whirled and leaped back into the alley, dodging
realizing he was reluctant to part with his new treasure so dwarf and half-giant and bowling over the noble, but he
soon. A half-breed elf with no home and no magical train- skidded to a stop when he realized that the nobles cry had
ing didnt often find himself in possession of wondrous brought people running from the other end, too. He was
devices. He had no doubt he would have to sell it eventu- trapped. He looked to either side but saw only the closed
ally, but the day was still young and his hunger was still doors and shuttered windows of the row houses lining the
bearable. He would see what else the glass could do first. alley. Could he leap to a windowsill and from there to a
roof? Not likely, but he could think of nothing else to try.
He found a quiet spot just off the bazaar, in an alley lined He crouched to spring, but when he jumped it felt as if
with continuous mud-brick row houses. Their wooden doors hed kicked a hole in the ground rather than launched
and windows were closed tight to hold in the cool air from himself into action. He heard astonished gasps from the
the previous night, giving Jedra privacy to experiment. crowd and looked down to see a shimmering circle of
In just a few minutes he discovered the glasss major darkness beneath his feet. He had just enough time to
power, and the reason hed been burned: When held at scream before he fell through.
the right distance, it made things seem greater than they
really were, including the heat of Athass coppery red sun. He landed on his feet on hard-packed dirt, but the re-
Why most things remained only images while the sun mains of his abortive leap and a sudden rush of disorienta-
actually seemed to appear beneath the glass was a mystery, tion combined to send him sprawling. He threw out his
as was the reason why objects beyond arms reach of the hands to stop his fall, and the glass flew from his grasp to
glass were turned upside-down. skitter to a stop in a circle of ash next to a pair of dark
He had just ignited a dead leafno doubt blown into leather boots.
the alley from the kings garden, since few of the freemen Straining to see in the dim light, Jedra raised his head
living in the row houses would willingly spend the water to to find who the boots belonged to. A short, wiry man with
keep a plant alivewhen he felt a presence in his mind, as dark curly hair stood before him. The man bent down to
if someone were watching him. He had learned to trust pick up the glass.
that sensation; he looked up to see a human nobleman of Who are you? asked Jedra as he stood and took stock
about sixty years, his hair as white as his robe, standing at of his surroundings, though the circle of ash around the
the far end of the alley, mouth open in astonishment. mans feet told him plenty. He was a magician, and not a
Cursing his carelessness, Jedra stood and began to walk templar, either. Templars drew their power from the citys
quickly toward the bazaar again. The man must have seen sorcerer-king, but other magicians had to draw upon the
the leaf bursting into flame and would certainly draw the life-force around them. Every time a magician cast a spell,
obvious conclusion that Jedra was using the glass to power he drew his energy from the plant life and fertile soil
some sort of magic. around him. If a mage wasnt careful, he drew all the life-
Just as obviously, Jedra was not a templar, and by law force from an area, reducing it to ash.
only templars and the sorcerer-king himself were allowed The man didnt answer. He examined the glass careful-
to use magic. A commoner caught practicing it could be ly, nearly dropping it when he saw upside-down images of
sold into slavery, even executed. Unused to magic or its the room slide through it. Oho! he said. So this is
implications, Jedra hadnt even considered that danger. what caused all the commotion. Is it your work?
He considered it now. Suddenly sweating, he sprinted Jedra had no idea how to respond. He looked around
for the bazaar, hoping to lose himself in the crowd, but he him and saw that he was in a one-room house, with a cot
had hardly made it a dozen paces before the noble found in one corner, a plank table and two chairs in another, a
his voice. The shout of Stop him! pursued Jedra out of wooden chest and cabinet in a third, and a workbench
the alley, and he emerged to find everyone looking in his covered with scrolls and wands and unfamiliar tools in the
direction. None of the dozens of shoppers made a move to fourth. A window in one wall opened onto a shared court-
catch him, probably thinking him an ordinary thief, but yard and allowed a shaft of sunlight to illuminate the
when the noble emerged from the alley behind him and room. The window in the opposite wall was shuttered, but
shouted, A magician! Stop him! they sprang into action. Jedra could hear the mob shouting in confusion just be-

yond it. Obviously, the man had rescued him with some stripped off his ruined waterskin and used its tie to secure
kind of spell, but for what reason Jedra couldnt guess. the money bag around his neck, making certain it hung
Finally he simply said, Maybe. hidden beneath his tunic.
Good answer, the man said. Allow me to introduce Dornal tossed another money sack into his traveling
myself. I am Dornal, mage and member of the Veiled bag, tied it closed, and stepped to the back door. Com-
Alliance. ing? he asked.
Jedra considered making up a name, but there seemed Jedra couldnt see that he had much choice, not if the
little point in lying to a mage. Jedra, he said. templars were looking for him. I guess, he said, and
Dornal smiled. I was right to rescue you, Jedra. You followed the mage out the door.
have powers the Alliance would love to learn. You have
heard of us, havent you? Within hours he found himself sharing a cramped cabin in
Jedra nodded. Of course he had. The Veiled Alliance an upper deck of a merchant caravan headed for the city
was supposedly a league of mages opposed to the sorcerer- of Tyr. It was hardly a caravan, really, just a single enor-
king and his templars and to unscrupulous magicians in mous wooden wagon pulled by two equally enormous
general. They worked to put life-force back into the world mekillotslong, wide, lizardlike creatures with hide thick
rather than use it up to power their spells. They were a enough to turn arrows. The wagon they drew looked like
secretive bunch whose existence Jedra had only half be- a castle on rollers, complete with battlements from which
lieved until now. guards could fire on the raiders and wild beasts that
I was looking through the shutter when I saw you roamed the desert. Inside was a warren of decks and com-
practicing your burning spell, said Dornal as he squinted partments with enough cargo capacity to hold an entire
to see the images in the glass. I assume this is used for bazaars worth of goods.
that as well? He swung around toward the open window. This wagons cargo also included slaves, destined to
Dont look at the sun! labor and probably die on the ziggurat being built for the
The mage lowered the glass and studied at Jedra with sorcerer-king of Tyr. Jedra shuddered when he thought of
narrowed brows. the poor creatures huddled in darkness just a few decks
It magnifies things. Even sunlight. You could burn below his own. Had it not been for Dornals intervention,
your eye with it. he might have found himself in a similar situation.
Oh. Dornal examined the glass with renewed inter- The dry, musky smell of mekillot hide poured in
est. And what were you doing with it? through the single foot-square porthole in their cabin, but
Experimenting. closing the shutter would have been worse. Theyd only
Of course. just left the city, but Jedra was already sweating with the
A subtle change in the noise from outside made Dornal heat and he knew it would get much worse as the day
step to the window and peer through the cracks in the wore on. They needed all the fresh air they could get,
shutter, then he turned suddenly away. Theyve brought even if it did smell of dust and lizard.
in templars to search the area for magic. Weve got to go. They also needed the sunlight the window admitted.
He walked to the cabinet, pulled out a cloth traveling bag, Dornal was examining Jedras mysterious piece of glass,
and began to throw clothing and valuables into it. The holding it up to the light and branding lines into the tiny
lightning glass went into the bag, Jedra noticed. tabletop jutting out from the opposite wall.
Go where? he asked. It doesnt seem to need life-force to power it, he said.
We must leave the city for a time, said Dornal. I Truly astonishing. What else does it do?
risked a great deal in stealing you away right out in the You saw how it magnifies things, Jedra said. He was
open like that. Templars can trace the use of magic, and sitting on the edge of the cabins single bunk, trying to
they dont like to be publicly thwarted; theyll search for keep from getting sick with the swaying of the wagon.
us for many days before they give up. Yes, yes, and it makes distant things look smaller and
Days! upside-down, said Dornal. I fail to see the usefulness of
Thats right. So we would be wise to stay out of their that, unless you could actually make something become
path until that time passes. Dornal pulled a long, multi- smaller and upside-down. Is there a spell for that, perhaps?
colored tunic from the cabinet and tossed it to Jedra. I dont know, Jedra said. I dont think so.
Here, put that on. You dont think so. Dornal peered at Jedra through
Jedra complied, seeing the wisdom in that, at least. He the glass. You know, its becoming quite clear to me that
was about to argue about the idea of leaving the city when you know very little about this . . . this device. You didnt
Dornal tossed him a leather sack and said, Keep that out make it yourself, did you?
of sight. Jedra had been dreading this moment. He considered
Jedra nearly collapsed when he opened it and saw a lying, but he knew hed be caught in an instant. Reluc-
double-handful of silver and gold coins. Hed never before tantly he said, No. But I saw how it was made.
held even a single silver piece. A fortune this size would Did you now? Tell me about it. What spells were
take him a dozen lifetimes to earn, and at least a lifetime used?
to spend. If Dornal trusted someone hed just met with Dornal was obviously testing him. Carefully Jedra de-
such wealth, then the man must be a powerful mage in- scribed how the templar called down the lightning bolt
deed. And if so, then he certainly knew more about keep- and how he had found the glass afterward.
ing himself safe from templars than Jedra did. Jedra A lightning spell, Dornal mused when he was done.

Yes, I suppose there might be enough energy in a light- should talk, templar.
ning spell to make something like this, but if the templar The other slaves laughed. Jedra stared at the woman in
didnt fashion it on purpose, then I dont suppose he open amazement. She, a templar? Wrong, she said to
knows anything more about it than you do. the dwarf. I was a healer. My powers are psionic, not
Probably not. magical, and to be a templar youve got to know magic.
And you know next to nothing. Youre not a mage at Jedra knew next to nothing about psionics, the mental
all, are you? abilities that some people could call upon instead of mag-
No, Jedra admitted. Hopefully, he added, But I bet ic, save that such powers supposedly didnt require life-
I could learn. energy to fuel them. He had wondered if his own ability to
Dornal laughed softly, and his laugh sent a chill down know when people were watching him was psionic, but
Jedras spine. Oh, no doubt you could. Youve got po- hed never before found anyone who could tell him.
tential. I can sense it in you. But I see no point in training He was about to ask the woman beside him, but the
my own competition. He waved an arm, and Jedra felt dwarf wasnt through taunting her. You worked for the
his muscles lock into place. The wagon lurched, one of its templars, he said. Thats practically the same thing.
wheels no doubt falling into a circle of ash that suddenly Slaves work for the templars, too, she spat back at
appeared beneath it as the magician above cast his spell. him.
Unable to keep his balance, Jedra toppled to his side on But you got paid for it. Blood money, said the dwarf.
the bunk. Jedra normally wouldnt have gotten mixed up in some-
With effort, he could still speak. What are you do- one elses argument, but he wanted to talk with this wom-
ing? he demanded. an. Besides, he couldnt help noticing that, given a bath
Retrieving whats mine. Dornal knelt beside Jedra and a chance to brush out her shoulder-length brown hair,
and removed the money bag from beneath the boys tunic. she would be rather pretty. It was enough to make him
Thank you for carrying this past the gate guards for say, Does it matter? Were all slaves now.
me, he said, pouring into his hand a collection of crystals The dwarf growled, Yah, thanks to the likes of her.
and amulets that would have marked anyone as a magi- And maybe you, too, eh? You like templars, do you?
cian on sight. I wasnt sure wed make it past them Stunned by the sudden accusation, Jedra stammered,
unchallenged. Iof course not. I mean
Dornal had cast some kind of illusion on the bag, Jedra Stay out of it, the womans voice said clearly in his mind.
realized. He kicked at the magician with all his strength, I can take care of myself. Aloud she said, Leave him alone.
but his spell-bound leg hardly moved. You used me, he And leave me alone, too, or Ill heal your mouth closed
hissed. for you.
I did. Get used to it. Its going to happen a lot where Hah, the dwarf snorted, but Jedra noticed that he
youre going. shut up.
Wheres that? The woman turned her attention back to Jedra. So
For answer, Dornal pointed downward. Then he waved just how did trusting a magician get you here?
his hand again, and Jedra lost consciousness entirely. Jedra told her the whole story about the piece of light-
ning glass, ending with Dornals betrayal.
Jedra woke to intense heat and the smell of dozens of He told you he was one of Those Who Wear the
sweaty, unwashed bodies. The only light came from two Veil? she asked.
barred windows set in doors on either end of the hold, the Thats right .
doors themselves opening only into dim companionways, Well, that was his first lie. The Veiled Alliance really
but the boy didnt need light to know where he was. are honest magicians, for the most part. But theyre secre-
Dornal had sold him into slavery, probably for little more tive as thieves when it comes to talking about it, and they
than the cost of his passage. Hed taken back his tunic, hate people like this Dornal.
too; Jedra now wore a simple breechcloth. I wish Id known that before, Jedra said.
He sat up and looked around him. There were twenty She laughed again. We all wish wed known some-
or thirty others in the hold with him, all bound at wrists thing we didnt, or we wouldnt be here, thats for sure.
and ankles with heavy leather manacles and tied to the Whats your name, anyway?
wall with ropes attached to the collars around their necks. Jedra. Whats yours?
Jedra saw that the slave-master hadnt been picky; there Kayan.
were humans, dwarves, an elf, even one of the insectile Jedra looked up and down the slave hold, but the other
thri-kreen. slaves had already lost interest in the two of them. He
What did you do, cross the wagon master? a female leaned close to her anyway. Softly, he asked, How did
voice asked. He turned and saw a short, round-faced hu- you do that, when you spoke to me in my mind?
man woman sitting beside him. She wore a halter in addi- You mean sending thoughts? Its a simple psionic power.
tion to her breechcloth. It wasnt quite like hearing her voice, but Jedra under-
I trusted a magician, he said after a moment. stood her words perfectly. His intention to ask about his own
She laughed, but not unkindly. Not a wise idea, she ability vanished in a sudden, more immediate question.
said. How far can you reach with that? he asked excitedly.
A dwarf two people beyond her did laugh unkindly, but Depends on how well I can visualize the person Im
not at Jedra. In a voice like distant thunder he said, You trying to contact, she said aloud. If its someone I

know, I can talk to them almost anywhere. Otherwise, prised them all. With only a few hours of Kayans coach-
theyve got to be close. ing, he learned to send his thoughts to anyone in the hold,
Then you can call for help! even the thri-kreen. His control was terribleeveryone
She shook her head. Who would I ask? Most of the near his intended target heard garbled voices in their
people I know were the ones who put me here in the first heads, as wellbut the raw power behind his sending was
place. Theyd think it was real funny hearing from me more than Kayan had ever seen before.
now. Youd better stop, she suggested after a particularly
But there must be somebody strong blast had reached half the slaves in the hold.
Look, nobody I know is going to come after a caravan Theres no way the guards couldve missed that. They
just to rescue a couple of slaves. So unless you know might not care about a little telepathy among the slaves,
someone but theyre going to do something about it if you keep it
The Jura-Dai would. The voice was high and pure, up.
and came from directly across the hold from Jedra. He Jedra sighed. Hed been given a glimpse of something
looked up to see an elf staring at him. His eyes were set incredible within himself, then told to close his eyes. I
close in a narrow face, and his nose was slender and long. think I should try to contact the Jura-Dai, he said. You
Everything about him was long. Even bent at the knees, admitted my powers stronger than yours; I might be able
his legs stretched nearly across to Jedra, and his reddish to reach them.
blond hair reached the floor despite being braided. He No! Kayan pounded the deck between them with her
was like an exaggerated version of Jedra himself, whose fist. You dont know what youre talking about. Your
elven features had been rounded and shortened by his unfocused thoughts wouldnt make it beyond the first
human heritage. dune. Youve got to learn control first. She leaned back
What? Kayan asked. against the wall. Wait. Bide your time. Sooner or later
I am Galar of the Jura-Dai tribe. My people would an opportunity will come along, and then maybe you can
come for me if they knew I was here. use your talent.
Theyd attack a caravan just for you? Maybe, Jedra grumbled, but he supposed Kayan was
Galar laughed. There is plenty of treasure on board, right. He would waitfor a little while.
too. He soon learned that the easiest way to waitand to
Jedra said to Kayan, You can send a message to his escape the heatwas to spend as much time as possible
tribe! unconscious. He leaned back against the wall and let the
Kayan shook her head. I dont know anyone in his creaking of the wagon lull him to sleep.
tribe. So unless theyre traveling along right beside us, I
cant reach them. Jedra floated face-down in a pool of water. The bottom
You could try. was far out of reach, but the water was so clear only a
And get myself blasted unconscious by the guards? faint shimmering told him he was seeing through anything
Huh? How would they know youd done anything? but air. He drifted peacefully along, watching his shadow
She looked at him like he had drool on his chin. One of slip over the sand below, but when another shadow blotted
the guards is a psionicist. Thats one of the ways they keep out his own and he turned to see what cast it, he found
slaves in line. Hell be watching for escape attempts. himself suddenly sinking downward.
Oh. He thrashed his arms and legs, but the water wouldnt
Kayans expression softened. Look, Id try it in a support him. He hadnt been breathing while adrift; now
minute if I thought itd work, but I know my limits. I he needed to breathe desperately but couldnt.
cant contact any random elf out there. Thats just not the The foreign shadow extended itself toward him, and
way it works. suddenly Jedra felt a hand clasping his arm, pulling him
Jedra nodded, feeling hope drain out of him, but a upward. His head broke the surface, and he gasped in a
sudden thought checked his plunge into despair. Wait a breath, blinking in astonishment at his rescuer. It was
minute. These psionic powers of yoursare they some- Galar, still bound at the wrists, but behind him Jedra
thing you can teach? could see an entire tribe of elves. He saw their gaily col-
Well, youve got to have some inherent ability, but ored tents, their herds of long, beetlelike pack animals
otherwise, yes, its possible. Why? called kanks, their willowy children playing in the sand
Jedra nodded toward Galar. You could teach him. He Jedra sat up with a start, momentarily disoriented to
knows plenty of elves. find himself back in the slave hold of the merchant cara-
Kayan looked at Jedra as if hed just suggested escaping van. Hed seen a tribe of elves! He could still see them
by a trap door and then shown her one at her own feet. clearly in his mind.
But shed been a slave long enough to know how debilitat- Could his sleeping brain have used some sort of psionic
ing false hope could be. Well, she said cautiously, it vision to locate the Jura-Dai? It was possible; Kayan had
might be worth a try. told him he had other untrained skills besides telepathy.
Jedra turned to ask her, but she was still asleep, and now
Galar, they soon discovered, had all the telepathic ability that he was using his eyes again, the image in his mind
of a rock. He couldnt even make himself heard psionical- started to fade. He closed his eyes and tried to concen-
ly across the slave hold, much less across the expanse of trate. Yes, there they were, a whole tribe of elves camped
desert between him and his tribe. Jedra, however, sur- out near a desert casis. He could still see them, but he

knew he couldnt hold onto them for long. was surprised when the guard brought him to the cabin he
It was now or never, he realized. Concentrating hard on had shared for so short a time with Dornal. The guard
the elves in his vision, he tried to focus his thoughts in the knocked, and the mage himself opened the door.
way Kayan had taught him. He felt a hint of recognition, Well, hello, Dornal said, stepping aside. Do come
a faint twinge of contact. It was enough. He summoned in. The guard gave Jedra a shove, and he staggered into
all the energy he could muster into the single thought: the room.
Galar of the Jura-Dai is held captive in a caravan a day out Thank you, Dornal said, tossing the guard a silver
from Urik on the road to Tyr. coin. Jedra gasped. That was probably more money than
Retribution came suddenly and with such intensity that the man made in a month; Dornal was obviously buying
Jedra cried out as if he were being burned alive, for that his silence. Sure enough, the guard left and closed the
was exactly what it felt like. He writhed in agony, feeling door behind him.
his skin peel away in sheets of flame. The pain was worse You were holding out on me, Dornal said, almost
than anything hed imagined possible, and it went on and conversationally. You shouldnt have done that, because
on, far longer than it would have if hed really been on now I will have to use less subtle methods to extract the
fire. A real fire would have killed him by now. information I need. He waved his hands, and Jedra once
Then, as suddenly as it had come, the pain went away. more felt his muscles lock into place.
Jedra collapsed on the deck, gasping for air. The wagon lurched. He felt himself topple forward and
Kayan lifted him to cradle his head on her lap. You instinctively tried to throw out his hands to keep his bal-
had to try it,, she said. ance. Spell-crippled, his arms didnt move, but he none-
Dream, Jedra whispered through the memory of theless kept his balance, and Dornal, directly in front of
pain. I saw the elves in a dream, saw my chance. him, staggered backward as if Jedra had actually pushed
Your chance to get us all punished, the dwarf him.
growled, eyeing the door warily, but no guards appeared. Whats this? Dornal asked, astonished. He righted
Galar looked to Jedra and asked, Did you reach himself and waved his arms again, just as Jedra frantically
them? tried to imagine a fist slamming into the magician. Dornal
I dont know. Jedras whole body shuddered involun- rocked back on his heels with the blow, but the renewed
tarily with the release of tension. I couldnt tell. binding spell clamped down on Jedra with the force of a
Galar asked Kayan, Could he really have found them giants fist; he fell face-first to the deck, striking with a
in a dream? resounding thump. Blood gushed from his nose, and it felt
She shrugged. Who knows? Its possible, I suppose. as if hed bitten his tongue.
What did you see? Your pitiful little tricks wont help you, boy, Dornal
Jedra described the camp, with its colored tents and growled, kicking Jedra repeatedly until the half-elf nearly
pens full of kanks. fainted from the pain of broken ribs and a fractured skull.
Colored tents? asked Galar. Jedra tried to scream, but the binding spell wouldnt allow
Red and green and yellow, with blue and yellow ban- it. He tried to strike out psionically, but the pain prevent-
ners flying from their peaks, Jedra said. ed him from concentrating.
Galar shook his head sorrowfully. I dont know whom Satisfied at last that Jedra was subdued, Dornal
you saw, if indeed you saw anyone at all, but the tents of dragged him by the heels into the patch of sunlight shining
the Jura-Dai are the color of the sand. Their only marking through the porthole. Jedra felt the heat on his bare back,
is the tribe totem on the walls. Galar held out his arm to then a sudden burning. Dornal was using the lightning
show them a tattoo on his wrist: an angular, stylized rain- glass on him.
cloud with daggers for raindrops. Now, Dornal said, you will tell me everything you
Oh. Jedra pulled himself up to a sitting position. I know.
was stupid. Im sorry. He relaxed the binding spell enough to allow Jedra to
Dont be,, Kayan said. You didnt know. Id have speak, and the boy let out his breath in a long, gurgling
probably done the same thing in your position. scream. At last he found his voice. Stop! he shouted,
I didnt know, Jedra said sullenly. Thats starting to turning his head far enough to see the magician kneeling
sound like my motto. over him. Ill tell you anything you want!
Dont be so hard on yourself, she said. Youre You will tell me the truth, Dornal said, drawing the
learning. point of heat slowly across Jedras back. Starting with
Oh yes. Ill be a master by the time I die on the ziggu- what other powers you have and how you invoke them.
rat. With that, Jedra turned away and refused to respond Cursing and weeping with the pain, Jedra told Dornal
to any further words of comfort. what little he knew, but the magician obviously didnt
believe him. He held the glass over Jedras back, demand-
The wagon rolled on. Exhausted, Jedra slept, this time ing more, until Jedra wished he had some hidden knowl-
without any dreams of elves, and when he awoke it was edge to give Dornal so that the torture would end.
already morning. The guards brought wooden mugs of At last Jedra screamed, I dont know any more! Kill
water and bowls of thin gruel, but Jedra had barely eaten me or let me go, but stop hurting me!
half of his before they unshackled him and led him into Dornal leaned back out of the sunlight and scraped
the upper decks of the wagon. He expected to be taken to sweat off his brow with the edge of his hand. Youre in
the psionicist and reprimanded again for his offense, so he no position to make demands, he said. On the other

hand, Im beginning to think youre telling the truth. He Well youre going to have to, she said, because Im
gave Jedra one last burn just for spite, then went to the not going to help you get yourself hurt again.
door and shouted for the guard to put the boy back in the Jedra looked to Galar for help, but the elf only held out
hold. his slender hands in a gesture that said as plain as words,
What can we do?
This time his wounds were real. Jedra was dimly aware of
being locked up again, of warm hands touching him, of About midday the caravan came to an outpost. The slaves
Kayan and Galar discussing his injuries, but he was be- could hear shouts of joy from the wagon guards, but those
yond caring. He wanted only to die. shouts soon turned to dismay when the guards saw that
Even death was denied him. Jedra felt strength pouring the outpost had been raided recently. The wagon stopped
back into him with the same relentlessness with which it only long enough for the guards to sift through the ruins,
had been ripped away, healing and revitalizing his then started up again. That night when the guards
wounds. It took time; he was aware of the wagon moving brought water, the mugs were only half full. When the
again and of the day wearing on into night. He was aware slaves complained, one of the guards growled, Be glad
of Kayan holding onto him throughout. She was doing you get any. The raiders poisoned the well. Were all on
this, he knew. She was lending him her strength. half rations until we get to the next outpost.
He woke with the dawn, aching and hungry but healed. The slaves had been getting the bare minimum already;
Kayan looked gaunt with fatigue. When the guards came half that was hardly enough to keep them alive. They
with food and water he made her eat and drink most of made it through another day and a half before a sand-
his, despite her protests that he needed it as much as she storm blew up out of the deep desert and forced them to a
did. stop, and there they stayed for two more days, listening to
You gave me too much of your own strength, he said.. the howl of sand-laden wind battering against the wagons
Then, more softly, I didnt know such a thing was closed hatches. The second day they got no water at all.
possible. Their mouths and tongues were too swollen to allow
Of course it is, she said. Thats how healing works. speech. Theyve given up on their cargo, Kayan said in Jedras
All of my powers are like that. Sharing thoughts, sharing mind when the evening water time came and went with-
ability, sharing healthits all the same sort of thing. out a show of guards. Now theyre hoarding whats left for
Sharing ability? themselves.
She shrugged. Well, if youve got something you can I think its time we tried calling for help, Jedra answered.
do but I cant, and if Ive got something I can do but you No.
cant, then we can put our heads together and do them Why not? Weve got nothing to lose, do we? Were going to die
both at the same time. in this hold in a day or two anyway, unless we do something.
Jedra could feel sudden excitement building in him. Kayan said nothing. Jedra could hear her labored
What if you try to share the same ability? Does it get breathing in the dark beside him.
stronger? Lets at least say we died trying.
Depends on what youre trying to do. Why? After a long time, she answered, Lets see if we can try and
What would happen if we both tried calling the live to tell about it instead.
Kayan snorted. Will you forget that idea? Wasnt it The convergence felt a little like the sharing of thoughts,
enough that you almost got yourself killed? but this time their combined consciousness grew until they
Not if we can make it work this time. Look, youve felt like a single incredibly powerful being. The slave hold
got the control we need to actually reach someone. Ive took on a shimmery, not quite substantial quality, as if the
got the power to get us there even if we dont know just linked Jedra and Kayan existed on a higher plane that was
who were looking for. I was close last time, I know I was. only loosely tied to reality. It looked much like Jedras
A little more control and Id have made contact. underwater dream when he had seen the elves.
You think. Unlike in his dream, they could move freely here, di-
I know, recting their attention wherever they chose. Cautiously,
If youre wrong, then we both suffer the guards reac- lest they alert the psionic guard to their presence, they
tion. I cant heal you again if Im hurt too. drifted through the wagons walls and out into the desert,
The dwarf said, Whether hes right or wrong, youd searching for a tribe of elves.
better be able to take care of the guards before you try The sandstorm was a whisper of motion, nothing more.
anything. Another escape attempt and theyll probably In the dream, Jedra and Kayan became a swift, sleek-
punish us all. And if they do, I promise you, youll regret winged bird darting over the desert. The minds of other
it. travelers were great funnels down which they could slide,
Weve got to try something, Jedra said. Weve got only to find themselves looking out of strange eyes at the
to escape this caravan before we get to Tyr. interiors of wagons or tents. None belonged to the elves
I have no objection to escaping, the dwarf said. You they sought. They searched outward in ever-widening
just make sure we do escape when you try it, though. spirals, leaving the storm behind and speeding over the
Hes right,, said Kayan. Its a long trip. We can dunes faster than any real bird could fly, rising higher and
afford to wait for a better opportunity. higher to see more desert at onceuntil finally they found
I dont want to wait. an enormous well leading down toward dozens of tents

pitched at the base of a mountainous dune. Dornal had attacked him. The whirlwind spun into frag-
The tents would have been hard to spot if the dreams- ments, leaving a dark shadow of itself in its place. Jedra
cape hadnt exaggerated them out of proportion, for they and Kayan slid into the shadow and found themselves in a
were the same grayish yellow color as the sand. Their silent, unguarded cave. They had knocked the guard
walls were decorated with the stylized cloud raining dag- unconscious.
gers that Galar had shown them. Kill him, Jedra said.
Found them! they thought together. They dropped toward No, heal him so no one else knows anything happened, Kayan
the largest tent, felt themselves being drawn into the mind answered, including himself.
of the elf inside, and looked out through his eyes to see a They wound their way through the dark caverns of the
bard playing a harp to a dozen or more elves reclining on guards mind, sealing off whole sections of it as they
woven rugs. The elves clothing made up for the lack of passed. They let him keep just enough psionic ability to
color on their tents; men and women alike wore loose, monitor the slaves but not enough to harm them, and they
rainbow-colored blouses and pants. Desert life had dark- blocked his memory of the battle completely. They left
ened their leathery skin to a deep brown. him snoring peacefully in his cabin, then dissolved their
Jedras and Kayans host became aware of their pres- link.
ence, and quickly they sent, Galar of the Jura-Dai is a slave Coming out of convergence felt like losing half their
in a caravan caught in a sandstorm five days out from Urik to Tyr. intelligence. Jedra wanted to join again immediately, but
They had no time to listen for a response. The tent and the new fatigue in his dehydrated body warned him that
its occupants swirled as if they were smoke blown by the he had already paid a high enough price for their tempo-
wind, and suddenly Jedra and Kayan were adrift over the rary enhancement. Doing it again would have to wait for
desert again. The guard, they realized. He heard our sending. better days.
A whirlwind danced across the dunes toward them: the
guards attack on their minds rendered visible in the The sandstorm blew over in the night, and the wagon
dreamscape. Kayan and Jedra became a bird again, dart- moved out again the next day, reaching another outpost
ing in and out around the whirlwind, seeking some sign of by evening. This one was still standing, and for the first
weakness where they could press an attack of their own. time in three days the slaves received water. Their
Inside, the part that was still Kayan said, directly into his strength slowly returned, and Jedra and Kayan began to
mind. hope they might survive long enough to learn whether or
They flew over the top and down through the center of not their efforts had come to anything.
the funnel. The whirlwind writhed like a snake, trying to The other slaves werent even aware at first of what
throw them out, but they were faster. When they reached Jedra and Kayan had done, but since they had already
the point of the funnel they grew larger and spread their gotten away with it, the two finally decided to tell their
wings outward with the force Jedra had discovered when fellow prisoners. At first the others were cautiously opti-

mistic, but when another day passed without action, their hold. He grinned when he saw Galar and said, You look
mood began to grow ugly. The elves arent going to like walking death.
come, said one. So do you, Galar replied, and the two embraced like
We dont even know if they exist, said another. long-lost brothers.
Shouldve known better than to trust a half-elf boy, a You may all go free, the elf warrior said to the slaves,
third muttered. but take nothing with you. Everything in this wagon
A half-elf and a templar, the dwarf put in, feeding now belongs to the Jura-Dai.
us false hope so wed think they were with us. Galar nodded to Jedra and Kayan. These are the ones
Galar spoke up. If my people heard the call, they will who called you here, he said.
come. The warrior bowed to the half-elf and the human. In
They heard it, Jedra said. Give them time; they that case, you may take whatever you wish, and you may
were a long way away. But inwardly he wondered. Would travel with the Jura-Dai until you reach the safety of your
they come? own kind.
He got his answer that evening, when a sudden commo- Thank you, Jedra said. Theres one thing in partic-
tion broke out on the upper decks. Shouts and the pound- ular Id like to retrieve. He took Kayans hand and led
ing of running feet echoed down the companionways, and her out of the slave hold, up narrow companionways
the wagon lurched to a halt as a loud crack of thunder split choked with elves already hauling the wagons cargo away,
the air. and onto the passenger deck.
Link up, Kayan hissed, and almost immediately she Smoke seeped from beneath Dornals cabin door. They
and Jedra were back in convergence. The wagon became opened it cautiously, holding their breath against the
insubstantial, and their consciousness slipped away and stench of burned meat, and looked inside to see the magi-
upward to watch the battle. cians body lying on the floor, his charred flesh curling
The desert was covered with elves and their beetlelike from exposed bones.
kanks. Armed raiders swarmed like ants up the sides of Horrified at the spectacle but unable to look away, Je-
the wagon, hacking at the guards with swords and over- dra stepped into the room. The floor was barely scorched
powering them by sheer numbers. A silver eagle with around the body; it was as if the magician had burned
iridescent wings flew through the dreamscape, breathing from the inside out.
fire upon the defenders; the elves had a psionicist as well, How could we have done such a thing? he whispered in his
it seemed. A tiny whirlwind rose toward itthe greatly mind.
diminished wagon guard returning the attackbut even Wild talent can be unpredictable, Kayan answered.
as they joined battle a third warrior entered the dream. Jedra stared at the body until he was forced to breathe,
It came as a giant black bat, but the bat was different in then finally said, I think we need to tame it, then.
texture from the eagle and the whirlwind. It had a soft- The lightning glass rested on the floor near one crisped
edged fuzziness about it, as if it were somehow less sub- hand. Jedra picked it up and turned away, but Dornals
stantial than the others, and its face was recognizably traveling bag sitting open on the bunk made him pause.
human. He upended it, and along with the clothing out fell two
Dornal, Jedra realized. Does he have psionic power, too? small leather sacks. One held magical amulets, and the
Hes fighting with magic, Kayan said. Thats why he doesnt other was full of money.
look the same as the others. Jedra took them both and left the room. These will proba-
His insubstantiality in the psionic vision evidently bly be useful where were going, he said as he closed the door
didnt affect his ability to enter the fray. The bat swept behind him.
over the eagle and the whirlwind, spitting lightning bolts Where is that? Kayan asked aloud.
ahead of it like spears. It attacked indiscriminately, blast- Someplace where we can find a real member of the
ing both with multiple strikes until the eagle fell smoking Veiled Alliance, he said. He led the way out of the wag-
from the sky and the whirlwind blew away into nothing. ons interior and down the gangplank to the sand where
Then it turned its attention to Jedra and Kayan. the elves were piling their booty.
They had been hovering overhead as a bird again, but Kayan blinked in the sudden brightness. Why the
as the bat rose toward them their combined intellect fash- Alliance? she asked.
ioned a barrier, a sheet of glass that trapped the lightnings Because theres still too much we dont know, Jedra
fury and held the bat at bay. replied. He saw her puzzlement and went on. Ignorance
Lightning glass, Jedra thought. Exulting in his newfound got me into this mess. If it hadnt been for you, Id have
abilities, he bent the glass to match the shape of the piece never gotten out of it. But even now I know just enough
he had discovered in the bazaar, and suddenly the bat to be dangerous. If I if we are going to survive in this
beneath it glowed white hot, flared, and disappeared in a world, then we need to master the forces that shape it, and
cloud of greasy smoke. for that we need a mentor.
The dreamscape shook as if gripped by an earthquake, We? she asked.
and Jedra and Kayan tumbled out of convergence to find Jedra grinned. Well, after all weve gone through, I
the slave hold full of elven raiders, two of whom were justAm I assuming something I shouldnt?
slicing through their bonds. She shook her head and smiled. No. We sounds just
The leader of the elves, a heavily muscled warrior who fine to me.
bled from half a dozen sword slashes, advanced into the

A little gnoll-ledge can be a dangerous thing

The Sociology of
the Flind by Spike Y. Jones
Aidan, come away from the window. a tone strangely weary and tense for a that led outside to the lingering twilight.
But I heard a wolf, whined the boy. I man usually more energetic than some Ignoring the bards orders, Grainne
want to see it. It sounded strange. half his age. Go upstairs now. silently returned to the ground floor, the
Curiosity is fine in its own time, but Might as well not argue, Aidan said to others following at her heels. Mr. Farwan-
now you must come away from the win- his sisters, a sly look crossing his freckled derer, she began, but faltered when the
dows. Another eerie, laughing howl was face as he thought about the upstairs surprised bard spat a mouthful of wine
heard, still distant but approaching windows. Wed better just go. into the air. The nearly full bottle crashed
through the cool autumn evening. Its Halfway up the stairs, the eldest, to the rush-strewn floor.
time you were off to bed. Grainne, silently stopped her siblings. Child, what are you doing skulking
But its not bedtime yet, a third voice Through the railing, they saw the bard behind me? snapped the bard. He ap-
chimed in, to be followed by a fourth. shudder, then cross the room to take a peared more agitated than before. I
Fionas right, Mr. Farwanderer. We dont bottle of wine back to the fire. He settled thought I sent you away!
have to go to bed until the guests and the himself uneasily in his chair and began to Youre afraid of something! blurted
help start arriving in the common room. drink at an uncharacteristically quick Aidan, hoping to redirect the bards anger.
Father said so before he left. pace, pausing every few gulps to peer over Its the wolf outside, isnt it?
Tonight is different, replied the bard in his shoulder at the windows and the door Brendan Farwanderer paused, an angry
banishment on his lips. He saw the con- its normal timbre. After a few days of press their advantage. Rather, they retreat-
cern on the faces of his charges, then these skirmishes, Hrarfarr returned from ed a pace and took defensive stances as if
swallowed and nodded, visibly controlling scouting in the valley to announce that he waiting for something. Before I could turn
himself. I am . . . concerned. He bent had found the lair of the gnolls wed been to my remaining companion and suggest a
forward to put an arm across the boys meeting individually thus far. We soon prudent course of action, he bellowed his
shoulders. And yes, it is because of the made for the ruined citadel where he said barbaric war cry and charged forward, to
howlings. But those are not the sounds of the gnolls were, but darkness fell as we be bludgeoned to death from numerous
a wolf, and it is not the beast but the mes- arrived. Although we had set up some of directions in less time than it takes to tell
sage he brings that worries me. our previous ambuscades at night, we of it.
Hoping for the beginning of a story, decided that it would be best to use the Brendan was silent for a moment, re-
Grainne drew her little sister Fiona to the advantage of full daylight for this assault. membering, before he continued. Know-
childs usual seat at the foot of the bards We believedwronglythat the noctural ing that I had little hope of fighting my
chair, but when Aidan made to go to the gnolls would be at a disadvantage. way out, I realized what it was the flinds
board for a bottle to replace the one lost, The quality of Hrarfarrs scouting was were waiting for. Mimicking the actions of
the storyteller restrained him. No, boy, it soon proven, for our nearby quarry made the many defeated flinds we had slain, I
is probably best that I not drink any more the night almost unbearable with an dropped my sword and fell to the ground
this evening. And I cannot afford to sit hours-long chorus of the same laughing, in the center of the circle of my enemies,
down for this tale, as I have preparations barking howls that we heard earlier to- praying that I had not misjudged them.
to make. Attend as you will, for I shall be night. But there was a difference in the After removing from me anything that
moving a bit. sounds we heard that night, something could be used as a weapon and binding me
The bard began to assemble provisions more sinister that set our hair on end and securely, these flinds began arguing
and equipment on the rooms center table, denied us anything but the most fitful of among themselves, barking at the top of
gathering them from the shelves of the sleep. When the sun rose, we were still their voices with only occasional glances at
inns kitchen and storerooms with his tired, and only Hrarfarrs exhortations their prisoner. Before long, one, evidently
single hand, his right. The children hesi- prevented us from postponing our mission their leader, turned to me and began to
tated briefly before rising to their feet to until another day. ask questions in a variety of strange
follow him about. We crept into the ruins, seeking to tongues, the third of which, Orcish, I
At a time just after you were born, eliminate the perimeter guards one by one understood. Once he had found a lan-
Aidan, maybe ten years ago, I was on an and thus spring upon the main camp guage we held in common, he immediately
expedition in the Imbran Mountains. without warning. At first, this seemed to ordered all his tribe to conduct their argu-
There were six of us: three warriors, an be successful, as we encountered only ment in that tongue, for the benefit of our
enchanter, a priest of Marduk, and myself. solitary or paired gnolls as we had in the guest, he said.
At first, we had no clear goals but to find days previously. All surrendered, to be To my dismay, they were fighting over
adventure, win fame, and possibly make slain by Hrarfarr or the other fighters. We the method of my execution. One sugges-
profit. Eventually, we got ourselves hired had silenced more than a few guards tion was that I be sold to a party known as
for a mission; to remove a troublesome when Marduks priest noticed something the Human-Hunters, whom I was later told
band of gnolls from one mountain valley disquieting. Our most recent victim was were a clan of gnolls that stalked and ate
before they denuded it of all game. There armed not with the simple club wed en- humans to the exclusion of all other races,
was a single human village at the valleys countered to that point, but with a curious even keeping a few alive in pens to be
end, and a few villagers had been attacked weapon made of a pair of short iron bars used for ritual sacrifices to their evil god.
by these beasts when the former were out linked by a chain, which he used in a most But my captors were too revenge-hungry
hunting in the wilds. It was feared that the facile manner to disarm one of our fight- to allow others to sacrifice me as their
gnolls would turn on the settlement once ers before finally surrendering and being totem.6
other prey became scarce. despatched. This weapon the priest identi- That option discarded, some recom-
At first, we thought that it would be an fied as a flindbar, and he informed us that mended that I be entered into slavery,
easy thing to eliminate the gnolls, for we the creatures we faced were not normal suggesting some sort of ritual disfigure-
consistently found them in groups smaller gnolls at all, but a tougher and more intel- ment to avenge the deaths of those flinds
than our own. In a few of the encounters, ligent variety referred to as flinds.4 But we whose honorable surrenders my party
the gnolls we faced threw their weapons were already committed and so made had betrayed, but agreement could not be
away and dropped to the ground in sur- nothing of this information. reached on what the disfigurement would
render. After a few more of our little am- involve: eyes, ears, both, more, whatever.
The bard paused in his tale-telling to bushes, we found the tables turned on us. Hands? whispered Aidan, prompting
select a few dusty items from an alcove off The bard paused at a dark memory. The tears to well up in little Fionas eyes. The
of the inns common room. As he pulled flinds had sacrificed a number of their children involuntarily glanced at the place
out a short sword, his voice became own in order to lure us deeper into the where the bards left arm ended in a
deeper and quieter. ruins, to an area of their choosing. Upon stump.
Unfortunately for those creatures, one engaging our next pair of beastmen in No, not hands. A slave without hands is
of our warriors, Hrarfarr of Pah, was a melee, the toppled pillars and ruined of little worth, Aidan. Those who wanted
forest-wise barbarian whose mountain houses spewed forth flinds at all quarters.5 my hands removed suggested that only as
tribe considered surrender to be the most We were set upon by scores of them, a preliminary to other tortures.
dishonorable thing a man could do. Every those in the forefront wielding their flind- Finally, the hotheads won out over
time one of the gnolls put himself at our bars with blinding speed. Quite contrary those advocating slavery, and it was decid-
mercy, Hrarfarr immediately slew him. to our designs, they split our party asun- ed that I was to be slowly roasted alive.
And none of the rest of us said a word to der before we could assume a proper But before they completed preparations
censure Hrarfarr, for it was both a matter defensive posture. for my pyre, a ripple appeared in the
of honor for him and of logistics for us. In little time at all, Hrarfarr and I were ranks of flinds surrounding me, and one
We could think of no way to deal with a isolated from the others, surrounded and flind approached, accompanied by a trio
growing collection of prisoners, and to unable to retreat. After a few moments of foul undead.7
release our enemies into the forests would more, all other sounds of combat ceased; This one was apparently the highest-
have resulted in future attacks by an we two were the only surviving remnant ranking witch doctor in the tribe, and he
enemy forewarned. of our band. came making a demand. His son and ap-
Brendan Farwanderers voice regained Much to my surprise, the flinds did not prentice had been killed in one of our

earlier ambushes. As the shaman put it,
his son had been stolen from this world by
our party. As I had already been con-
demned to death, he demanded that my
execution be in the form of a ritual death
and rebirth as his new son: a man stolen
from the world of humans and forcibly
adopted into the clan of the flind.8
The leader of those demanding my
death was apparently the mightiest war-
rior of the lot whose name translated to
Grinds-Bone-To-Dust in Orcish. He stepped
forward and told the witch doctor, whose
name was All-Fear-His-Howl, that my fate
was sealed and that nothing could be done
to change his mind. The witch doctor was
not easily dissuaded and began to ha-
rangue the warriorat first in Orcish, as
they had both been speaking for my bene-
fit, but eventually reverting to their own
tongue as the argument became more
As the volume of their howling in-
creased, the two made threatening ges-
tures at each other. Grinds-Bone-To-Dust
swung his flindbar within inches of All-
Fear-His-Howls face, while the latter in
turn brought forth various magical tokens
and threatened dire enchantments in the
warriors direction. The fur on both of
them stood on end, making them look half
again as large and fearsome to me, the
object of their squabble.
Finally, the witch doctor gained the
upper hand when he gestured his undead
guardians forward to stand at his side,
then presented one particularly powerful
talisman that I later was told would have
summoned a special unholy assistant di- ening the tribe, or so they see it. This declaring the rest to be the property of
rectly from their demonic lord.9 treatment went on until I gained the skill the warriors, who immediately set to
The warriors fur immediately fell back with the flindbar needed to defend myself squabbling over who got first pick of the
to its normal place, and he seemed to against my more powerful relatives.11 disinterred remains. Once the flinds had
shrink in the face of the witch doctors In retrospect, it is well that I did not fall settled the question of rank, they began to
threat. Backing away, he made to leave. into the claws of common gnolls. The eat the bodies. Before my reeling stomach
But as his eyes lit upon me, the hatred he flinds, though they share many of the could betray me, the witch doctor pulled
obviously still harbored for the other flind manners of their less pleasant cousins, are me aside to demonstrate another atrocity.
was revealed. A shrewd look appeared on more likely to obey the rulings of their He forced me to carry the corpse he
him, and he raised himself erect to inform leaders and work together as a whole. had selected to the site of the massacre of
the assembled band that he respected All- Being now considered a flind, I was im- the farms inhabitants and, as I followed
Fear-His-Howls decision and would per- mune to outright murder. Had I been him, I was followed by his trio of ghouls,
sonally insure that I, whom he dubbed among gnolls, one group or the other all hoping to somehow get a taste of the
Long-Legged-Child, became a perfect would have done for me long ago, regard- body. I was ordered to place the corpse
example of a flind. For if I failed in any less of what the witch doctor had decided. next to the remains of the newly dead. All-
respect, he would slay not only me for my It was poor comfort that long year. Fear-His-Howl then began to perform
failing, but also the witch doctor and his At first, I was resolved to play the part some ritual over the bodies.
entire family line for forcing an imperfec- of a happy convert. But before the year After an interminable period, the ex-
tion on the tribe. was out, I could no longer play the role, as humed body began to twitch and rock,
Over the course of the next year, I was I was introduced to a practice that I could while the recent kills became flaccid and
forcibly taught much flind lore by my so- not be forced to suffer. During one of the empty of all contents, now little more than
called father, who feared that my mistakes tribes nomadic migrations, we came a a collection of bones and skin. And then,
would cost him his life. I learned even cross an isolated farmhouse that the war- suddenly, the jerking corpses eyes opened,
their history and the intricacies of their riors attacked. I could do nothing to save and it stood up, the horrible stench of the
language and social structure. I was treat- those who were murdered there. Instead dead assaulting my senses like never be-
ed not as a human changeling but exactly of eating the bodies of those they slew, the fore. The witch doctor had created a more
as a flind. Thus, I was bruised and beaten flinds abandoned them to go through the powerful undead servant in the form of a
many a time by males, females, and even gate to a recently dedicated cemetery ghast.13
those pups who realized they could get behind the house, where they immediately After seeing these depravities, I was
away with it, usually led by the offspring set to digging. awakened to the fact that I had almost
of Grinds-Bone-To-Dust who had appointed When they came upon the bodies there, resigned myself to spending the rest of my
themselves my tormentors.10 Violence is All-Fear-His-Howl stepped forward and life with these monsters. Nothing could
integral to the life of a flind, as I learned to inspected them all, claiming the one in the then convince me to continue in their
my grief; it is part of the process of tough- best repair as his own and magnanimously unholy company. I renewed my interest in

delivering myself from them. Eventually, I minute, the older one stood hunched in And his true grandchildren, uncle,
found an opportunity to escape when my the doorway, his unseen face apparently growled the able-bodied stranger in rough
tribe encountered a small tribe of orcs directed at the bard, who kept his back Common, having overheard the conversa-
that we set upon. While the flind tribe was stiffly turned to the newcomers. tion from across the room. They will kill
engaged in the wholesale slaughter of Long-legs, come, the old one said in a us all if you fail your tribe. Unless some-
their neighbors, I made good my escape. harsh, muffled accent, breaking the tense one from your own family doesnt kill you
As I have not encountered a flind in the silence. His mouth did not seem right, as if first, you who runs from adulthood.
years since, I made the assumption that I it were more an animals muzzle and un- The bard moved again, folding the mail
had been forgotten by them, or that they used to speaking human words. Leave shirt into his pack and easing the satchel
had written me off as if I were a bad debt. pups. Time now be adult! across his shoulders. The children were
As far as the children could tell, Brendan Yes, a moment, the bard said, then silent, stunned by the implications of these
Farwanderers packing was finished. He focused his attention on the children. His last statements. Finally, Grainne spoke up.
had collected all of the materials a man face was drawn and white. Every gnoll or Shouldnt we be doing something? she
would need for a journey of a week or flind must prove himself to his clan by whispered, her eyes on the visitors and
more, including a shirt of fine chain and stalking and killing a creature from his her arms reaching down for her siblings,
the sword hed handled earlier. For some tribes totem race, thereafter to be count- to pull them close.
reason, he didnt put on the armor or pick ed an adult. If he does not perform this We could call out the town militia,
up his pack; he merely stood, silently duty within the span of one generation, he Aidan suggested in a remarkably re-
staring at his equipment. is slain by the leaders of the tribe, to pre- strained manner.
Mr. Farwanderer began Aidan, but vent the taint of cowardice from spread- No, Aidan, said the bard softly. Grinds-
he never finished his thought. ing.15 I made good my escape before Bone-To-Dusts forces will be waiting for
Without warning, the door to the inn performing this task, but there is now a just such an excuse to slaughter all in this
banged open. The children jumped; the delegation from my tribe, undoubtedly town without fear of repercussions from
bard did not move. As a cold evening wind composed of Grinds-Bone-To-Dust and a the rest of the tribe. When your father
brushed past them, what appeared to be party of his sons and grandsons, waiting returns home from the markets of Thamox,
an elderly or crippled man shuffled pain- for me now outside. tell him this tale and tell him to circum-
fully in, supported by the strong arm of He paused. When he tried again to spectly prepare the defense of the town,
another, apparently younger, man.14 Both speak, his words caught on something and but warn him to make no overtly hostile
were wrapped from head to toe in thick he had to clear his throat before beginning moves. You should be safe enough alone
cloaks, with even their faces covered and anew. If I do not do their bidding, they until the tavern help and guests arrive in a
hidden inside dark cowls. Neither of them will slay my father and then do their best few hours, if I give the flinds no cause to
unwrapped himself, nor did either move to kill all of his kin, including any human doubt my willingness to comply with their
to sit near the banked fire or at one of the children they mistakenly count as All-Fear- bloody custom. And if you bar the doors
long benches along the walls. For almost a His-Howls adopted grandchildren. and windows, as I had meant to do.
Turning, Farwanderer gingerly picked
up his sword, then crossed the room to
put it back in its alcove. He returned with
a well-wrapped bundle that he placed on
the table.
The word flind is thought by some to
have once been merely the name of a
particularly strong gnoll clan. If so, that
clan is now a thing unto itself. Flind
means cannibal or gnoll-eater in Gnol-
lish.16 Flinds, though they are the masters
of all gnolls, hate their lesser cousins
scarcely less than they hate all other be-
ings. To become an adult, a flind must slay
a gnoll to prove the preys unworthiness
and the hunters superiority. The howling
that we heard earlier was that of All-Fear-
His-Howl, telling any gods, flinds, or gnolls
within hearing that his son will meet his
obligation tonight, or die trying. And thus,
I must go. The bards voice dropped to a
husky whisper, If the gods of man go with
me, I will return an adult in the eyes of
the flind a few days hence, and I will be
able to order my . . . kin, as it were, to
leave us in peace.
Removing the oiled cloth from the par-
cel, Brendan hefted a pair of chain-linked
iron bars in the lamp light. Then he left
the inn, closely following his father and
nephew in their all-enveloping cloaks.

Flinds and gnolls are detailed in the
AD&D 2nd Edition Monstrous Compendi-
um (under Gnoll) and in the AD&D 1st
Edition Monster Manual I (page 46) and
FIEND FOLIO tome (page 39). Also see
The humanoids in the Best of DRAGON no penalties. two ways: Normal gnolls enter into a duel
Magazine anthology, vol. V, pages 54-57. 3. The laughing, hyenalike howls of the that rarely continues to the death (see
1. Unlike some other evil humanoids, flinds and gnolls are social challenges that note l), while flinds leave the matter until
gnolls and flinds rarely continue a losing list the personal history of the howler, the two disputants enter combat with an
fight to the point of their own deaths. If including his lineage and family history, outside enemy, with the valor shown on
outnumbered or beaten, they attempt to his name and personal triumphs, and the battlefield deciding the matter.
flee or, if thats not possible, surrender by finally the descriptive threats of what will Any group subjected to an extended
throwing away their weapons and falling occur when the gnoll defeats an enemy in bout of gnoll-howling (longer than one
face down on the ground, leaving them- combat. In special cases, when a gnoll or hour) will have to make a morale roll in
selves to the attackers mercy. Because it is flind expects to face a member of his clan order to resist the urge to rout. This ap-
standard gnoll behavior, they recognize totem-race (see note 6 below), the chal- plies only to NPCs; player characters
the same sort of posture when performed lenge will be made longer by a detailing of should be told that they feel exceptionally
by enemies (including such variations as the clan history. uncomfortable, and the actions of any
standing upright with empty palms turned A normal challenge lasts as long as 10 NPCs in the group, including animals,
outward or with empty hands in the air, minutes (depending on the age and history must be rolled for. Even if the morale
or even approaching with an empty hand of the howler), while an extended chal- check is made, future checks will be at -1
out-thrust to be shaken). Usually, unless lenge can last longer than half an hour. As (cumulative daily, up to -10) during the
extremely hungry, enraged, or when at- it would take hours for all members of a next day. Thus, in an extended campaign
tacking a totem creature (see note 6 be- large group to make their challenges, against a large number of gnolls, the night-
low), they respect such behaviorfor a these howls will not be heard every time ly howling is almost assured to cause some
while, at least. one encounters gnolls, but only when desertions in the ranks of non-gnolls.
2. Gnolls have 60 infravision and prefer considerable warning of an attack is Those who can understand the barked
to hunt at night. Their senses are all deemed harmless. language of gnolls or flinds can ignore the
animal-sharp, so that they can follow a Tribal etiquette requires that howlers effects of this howling, as they can concen-
scent day or night almost as well as a take turns, with leaders making the first trate on the meaning of the howls instead
human could follow a visible trail during challenges, followed by the rest in de- of the nature of them. Of course, a long
the day. They can see quite well in the scending order of rank within the band. If, night of graphic death threats may not be
dark, and their hearing is as good as a as often happens, two gnolls begin their conducive to sleep, either.
watchdogs. If given a choice between challenges simultaneously, the two will 4. While the physical differences be-
attacking a human target in light or in raise the volume of their recital while also tween gnolls and flinds are apparent to
darkness, they chose the dark, as their expanding upon their personal glories in one versed in monster lore, to an ignorant
opponent is at a disadvantage. Gnolls and an attempt to force the other to stop howl- warrior in the middle of melee these two
flinds are not at all hampered by sunlight ing (an admission of inferiority). If neither races are indistinguishable. It is more
and, unlike orcs, fight during the day with gives in, the dispute is settled in one of likely that outward signs, like the flinds

preference for blunt weapons (such as and 1st Edition Legends & Lore, page 94), er) is when the other tribe is of equal or
flindbars), will serve to distinguish the two as the sacrifice of a creature that isnt of greater strength.
for the average adventurer better than the clans totem race is unlikely to win the The purpose of combat between tribes is
intrinsic body features such as the shape archfiends favor. Gnoll tribes led by flinds, not to kill the opposing tribe, but to either
of ear or the slope of brow, or differences as well as flind tribes themselves, some- gain slaves from among the survivors or
in lifestyle that are only exposed to those times keep specimens of the tribal totem merely to establish which of the two tribes
making in-depth studies. for just such purposes. is the stronger in a way that neither can
5. Although they travel in groups of The most common totem races are gob- dispute. To avoid such battles, obviously
2-12, gnolls and flinds are often encoun- lins, humans, gnomes, halflings, and elves weaker tribes will sometimes pay tribute
tered as solitary individuals who turn out (but not dwarves, as they are too stoic to the stronger in the form of slaves (taken
to be outrunners or stragglers from a during combat and torture to be interest- from among their own slaves, not from
slightly larger group. Gnolls are individu- ing). Some gnoll clans have totems that are the tribes members), especially if they
ally very independent, so an encountered stronger than individual gnolls, and their have slaves from the stronger tribes totem
group of 2-12 might be spread out over a tribes are composed of only the bravest of race.
few hundred square yards of woods, in gnolls, but they are rarely large tribes. Because they are trained in specific
pairs or alone in a round or two, all close Such clans include the ettin and giant tactics to use against their totem creature,
in on the sounds of an attack against one hunters. and because of the ferocity religious fer-
of their number. Still, while nominally Conversely, some large tribes have weak vor adds to their actions, gnolls have +1
chaotic, gnolls respond to strong threats totems, such as kobolds or nonintelligent to hit, damage, and morale when attacking
by grouping together to fight the menace prey like deer or zebras. These tribes have their totem race. Unfortunately, this feroc-
before splitting up again when safe. Flinds a low status among gnolls, but they are also ity means that gnolls attacking their totem
are far more organized, having standard quite long-lived due to the ease of conform- tend to lose themselves in the activity.
tactics and a rough (if abused) chain of ing to the demands of their religion. Thus, they wont accept the surrender of a
command. Flinds sometimes mimic this The large gnoll clans are divided into totem creature if it is offered in the heat
loose formation anyway to lure the un- numerous smaller tribes of 20-200 adult of combat.
wary into traps that normal gnolls would males (young and females are almost ig- 7. All gnolls and flinds worship the arch-
rarely think of nor be able to organize. nored by the males). Two tribes from the fiend Yeenoghu, and a few gnolls (two in
6. Gnoll society is divided into a number same clan will almost never fight with 100) and flinds (three in 100) become
of clans, each with its own clan totema each other, often joining together for short shamans or witch doctors who have a
specific race of prey that has religious periods of time to attack particularly large closer and more powerful relationship to
significance to the clan. Among other targets. Unrelated tribes are generally less their deity. Gnolls can be shamans of up to
ritual uses for these totem creatures is friendly; the only time a tribe of gnolls 5th level, or witch doctors of up to 5th
ritual sacrifice to Yeenoghu (AD&D 1st wont leap upon a tribe of a different clan level as clerics and 2nd level as mages.
Edition Monster Manual I, pages 19-20, (except when prevented by a strong lead- Flinds can attain the same shaman level as

normal gnolls, but as witch doctors they
can reach 3rd level as mages.
As with other tribal spell-casters, the
spell selection of gnolls and flinds is ex-
tremely limited. Unlike other races, these
spell-casters typically choose spells to
enhance their own power, not necessarily
for the betterment of the tribe. Gnolls do
not hold any great respect for their sha-
mans, but they do fear them, and fear is a
more effective form of command in the
chaotic gnoll society. Flinds respect their
spell-caster but still curse them in public.
Their favored spells include: command,
protection from evil (as gnolls often fear
each other more than good-aligned outsid-
ers), shillelagh, enthrall, hold person (to
emulate the paralysis power of their dei-
tys chosen undead henchmen), armor,
shield, invisibility, irritation, and strength.
In addition to their personal powers,
gnoll spell-casters have other ways of
instilling fear in lesser beings, the most
common of these being that they are often
(60%) accompanied by 1-6 ghouls that they
automatically control, as these undead are
a gift from their deity.
8. Those who surrender to gnolls will
usually be killed or made slaves, but a rare
few of those taken will be adopted into the
tribe to replace tribe members killed dur-
ing the capturing process. Such adoptions
are usually only made of gnolls from other
tribes, but there have been cases when
members of other races are so adopted
(this is more common among flinds).
9. Another gift that Yeenoghu occasional-
ly grants his most powerful shamans
(those of 5th level) is the ability to summon open proficiency slot. The flindbar can be source of food than they are to go through
a special form of guardian, a giant, glow- used for parrying and for normal strike/ the trouble of hunting on their own. While
ing, undead hyaenodon called a shoosuva. thrust attacks, getting two attacks per the scent of slightly rotten flesh is revolt-
For more details concerning gnoll shamans round and doing 1-4 hp damage on each ing to a human, gnolls and flindsthe
and the shoosuva, see The Humanoids, in hit. It cannot be used for called shots or worshipers of the prince of ghoulsfind it
the Best of DRAGON Magazine anthology, disarming attacks (as described on pages almost irresistible. If flinds are settled into
vol. V. 65-66 of the Complete Fighters Handbook), an area and are not desperately hungry,
10. The lair of a flind tribe is similar to but when used against small- to man-sized they sometimes bury their kills in a guard-
that of normal gnolls. It contains 10-100 foes holding weapons, successful flindbar ed area in order to age them as a deli-
males, females totalling up to 75% of that attacks automatically disarm opponents cacy. Most gnoll tribes have yet to take up
number, and young (who mature at five who fail to save vs. wands (with two- this practice.
years of age) up to twice the number of handed weapons granting the holder a 13. While Yeenoghu grants the gift of
females. Females are as powerful as males bonus of +4 on the save). ghouls and shoosuvas to both gnoll and
but are rarely if ever proficient with flind- Anyone without proficiency in the flind- flind spell-casters, one gift is reserved for
bars. In addition, there will be one slave bar who attempts to use one in combat his more intelligent priests. Some 20% of
(of any race) for every five males in the has (along with the normal nonproficiency flind shamans of 4th or higher level know
tribe. For every 20 normal male flinds, penalty to hit) a chance of injuring himself of a special ritual to create a ghast. A spell
there is one leader (as described in the when attempting any strike, parry, or caster with this spell in his repertoire
Monstrous Compendium), and the strong- disarming maneuver. If a 1 is rolled on the rarely has more than one ghast in his
est of these will be considered the attack die, not counting any modifiers at entourage, because ghasts are more inde-
chieftain. all, then the user of the flindbar has hit pendent than ghouls, obeying commands
Experience point values for the various himself, taking 1-4 hp damage and drop- only 50% of the time (although they will
flind types are: normal flinds65; ping the weapon if a save vs. wands is never willingly attack the shaman who
flindbar-armed flinds: 120; flind leaders failed. (If the DM is already using the created them). Another method of ghast
(all with flindbars; includes chieftain): 175. optional critical fumble system from the creation is described on page 19 of the
Experience-point values of shamans and DMG, page 61, a nonproficient flindbar FORGOTTEN REALMS supplement, REF5
witch doctors must be calculated using the user will suffer this fumble result on a roll Lords of Darkness.
tables on page 47 of the Dungeon Masters of a 1 or 2.) 14. Because gnolls are usually encoun-
Guide. 12. One group of scents that the gnolls tered at least partly if raggedly dressed,
11. The flindbar is a weapon similar to keen sense of smell is practiced at detect- one does not always notice the fact that
the Oriental nunchaku, but slightly smaller ing are those involved in the burial of dead their legs are short for their body length,
and less damaging. Anyone but a wizard humanoids. If the scents of freshly turned if one uses the human form as a standard
who is adopted into a flind clan can learn earth and dead meat reaches their snouts, for comparison. Although this makes a
this weapon in a few months if he has an they are more likely to seek out this gnoll look somewhat clumsy to differently

proportioned humanoids, it does not in totem animal, so it is unlikely that a player Letters
any way hamper their movements. The character will ever have to worry about Continued from page 5
normal walk of a gnoll resembles the the bonuses flinds receive when attacking
rolling stride of a human sailor returning their totems (the bonuses are the same as
From what I recall in the original letter, I have
to land after a long ocean voyage. When a those for normal gnolls). Because flinds come up with these solutions to the problem:
gnoll is at a run, he will bend deeply at the have dominated other gnoll clans for un- 1. Give Norb to Andre and Gwendolyn, since
waist so that his arms are almost brushing known centuries, they hold themselves as there will always be someone looking out for
the ground. This awkward, hunched run- if they were a different species, never him. Let Andre and Gwendolyn switch back and
ning posture becomes more pronounced stooping so low as to voluntarily mate with forth on adventures.
as a gnoll ages, so that the elderly (those their weaker cousins. This dominant posi- 2. Joint custody may also be a solution. It
over 30 years old) often maintain this bent tion is made easier by the flinds higher would be hard for Norb, but both parties would
attitude even when walking or just stand- intelligence and the use of the flindbar. be satisfied. (This should be a last resort.)
3. Give Norb to Sir Ronis, but on one condi-
ing still.
tion: to never leave Norb unless it was with
15. This requirement to kill a member of someone he could trust.
the totem race in order to be considered
an adult gnoll is not a hard and fast one. SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL Im still in favor of advancing the campaign by
Small or weak bands tend to ignore the 16 years to let Norb go adventuring on his own.
law in order to preserve their population, GAME CONVENTION! Its a heck of a lot simpler that way But a cruel
while tribes with totems such as a troll or A game convention is the perfect DM could force all three parents to live togeth-
hill giant usually relax the rule to allow a place to make new friends who en- er and care for Norb, who will no doubt love
party of adolescent gnolls to attack one of joy the same hobbies you do the arrangement and take every advantage of it.
(Norb, Im sure Daddy Ronis will be happy to
these creatures in concert, with all of the whether you like board games, buy you another Teenage Mutant Ninja Tarras-
survivors claiming the kill. Normally, this role-playing games, miniature war que if you would only tell him where you hid
initiation rite is undertaken when the games, or just shopping around. If his bill-guisarme collection.)
young gnoll is 8-10 years old, but some
youve never attended a game con-
(such as those in giant-hunting tribes)
vention before, please check out
dont perform this task until their prime Dear Dragon,
adulthood, 15-25 years of age. If a gnoll is the Convention Calendar feature in Im writing to talk about girls. It may not seem
adopted into a different gnoll clan, he is this issue for the game convention important, but for me as a player, a DM, and a
considered a child again and must fulfill nearest you. Take some of your own boy, it is. Where are girls at role-playing games?
gaming friends along, too and Im 15 years old now, and I have been playing
this requirement anew in order to become
AD&,D games for about a year. It may not seem
an adult of the new clan. make it an experience to remember. like much, but I have talked to long-time players
16. Many flinds have the gnoll as their and we have all had the same experience: Weve
never played with girls. When I DMed for a
group of about six people, I always encouraged
them to bring some girls along to the session,
but none came. I began to panic and took a
decision to go wandering around the streets and
asking girls what they think about the AD&D
game. Well, the results werent that good. Of the
70 girls I asked, about 80% looked at me and
[The editor apologizes, but he is unable to
continue with this letter. Its just too cruel.1

Dear TSR
I have come to write about a question. When
Bronson was the DM he brought us into the
fucher, and his character Lambirant was shot
by a .44 and he said it would only do 1d4 points
of dammage. Well I said no way. So he is telling
me a bullet does the same dammage of an
arrow. So we both desided to write to you
people down at TSR, well we hope you will give
us an idil of what a bullet would do. As in hit
point wise.
When all of the characters went back into
time Dacian who is my character brought 5
guns with him, as in .44, .45, and .357 magnum.
So before Dacian goes shoting the guns we
wanted to write you.

The best advice I can give you is that its never

too late to get a girlfriend.

Changing your address? If so, tell us

immediately. The Post Office will not
forward second-class mail without
prior notice, and we cannot replace
issues that are lost in this manner.
Please send us your address change
as soon as possible (with your most
recent mailing label) so that you wont
miss any issues!

A twin-engined hero with a nice touch

1991 by John C. Bunnell

Peter David
Bantam Falcon 0-553-29322-2 $4.99 Hughes for Americas war effort. But on three counts: maintaining a strong sense
Heres a novel with all kinds of potential when he finds the device hidden in a of period, showing Cliffs gradual mastery of
gaming hooks. Its got a superhero. Its hangar, it seems like the perfect means of the rockets abilities, and giving the novel its
translated from a motion picture script paying off the feisty promoter whos spon- own unique texture rather than merely
that was itself based on a series of comic- soring the series of air shows in which transcribing the screenplay. The Hollywood
book adventures. And the setting, Holly- Cliff appears professionally. setting comes across especially well, and
wood in the late 1930s, is just right for But bailing himself out of debt is the David has fun with cameo appearances by
certain kinds of pulp-adventure cam- least of Cliffs problems. The FBI, the local performers of the day, in bits that you wont
paigns. But the real reason to check out criminal syndicate, and screen star Neville have seen at the theater.
The Rocketeer is that its a lively, engaging Sinclairnot to mention Howard Hughes Superhero aficionados should find The
story thats a lot of fun to read. are all after the rocket pack, and after a Rocketeer among the best novels in its
Our hero is crackerjack pilot Cliff Se- string of dangerous confrontations and category, whether original or adapted
cord, whose brand-new stunt plane is the narrow escapes, both Cliff and his from the screenwell ahead, for instance,
chief casualty of a high-speed chase as the girlfriend wind up high over Los Angeles of the recent line of Batman mysteries.
story begins. What Cliff doesnt know at for a showdown in (and on) an enormous This is adventure done with respect as
first is what everyone was after: an experi- Nazi zeppelin. well as style, and its not to be missed.
mental rocket pack developed by Howard Author Peter David does a first-class job

Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and Carol Chase ROBIN HOOD
Michael Flynn Baen 0-671-72064-3 $4.95 Martin H. Greenberg, ed.
Baen 0-671-72052-X $5.95 If the milieu in Hawks Flight is based on Signet 0-451-17053-9 $3.99
I have very mixed feelings about Fallen a particular historical culture, I cant iden- The recent cinematic army of archers in
Angels. On one hand, its a lively chase tify it; there are elements that might be Lincoln green, robbing from the rich and
yarn, and there are a lot of sly in-jokes traced to India or the Middle East, but giving to the poor, all offered more or less
that veteran SF fans will doubtless chuckle other aspects of Carol Chases setting seem traditional interpretations of the Robin
knowingly over. But the near-future socie- Western in origin. Nonetheless, Chase Hood legend. Thats not the case in this
ty in which the tale is placed is far too builds a highly detailed, intriguing world collection; contributors to this Martin
simplistic to take seriously, and its played in this novel, even if her material is some- Greenberg anthology provide science-
much too straight to feel like satire. times a bit too dense for its own good. fictional Robins, magical Robins, and Rob-
As the book opens, theres a functioning Politically, the Pakajan peninsula is di- ins who abandon robbery for other
space habitat in orbit around Earth, but vided up into several city-states whose careers. But though most of the individual
its forced to operate without ground- frequently competing interests are the stories are clever, wise, or nostalgic at the
based support, as radical antitechnologists targets of exploitation by the Bcacmat right moments, the overall effect is more
have taken over governments and (among Empire to the east and the Massadarans to uneven than satisfying.
other things) pulled the plug on the re- the south. Not surprisingly, the guilds that Several of the tales take a comic turn,
sources needed to keep in contact. This control trade between the various cities generally to good effect. Among these, the
governmental switch has had two notable wield a great deal of influence, and its most outrageous is easily George Alec
side effects: glaciers racing down from the from the guilds that Chase draws her Effingers yarn about Maid Marians
Arctic have covered most of Canada and major characters. shopping-duel with interdimensional trav-
are working on the northern U.S., and a The reluctant hero of the piece is textile eler Muffy Birnbaum. Other winners are
great deal of subtle but powerful persecu- merchant Taverik Zandro, whose role in Laura Resnick, with a sly story that trans-
tion has been directed at science fiction the family business is uncomfortable at plants modern capitalism into medieval
and its fans, who are now considered not best. His father and older brother sneer at Sherwood, and Brian Thomsen, who pro-
merely peculiar but downright dangerous. his sense of fair play and business ethics, vides a crisp mystery thats partly hard-
Not surprisingly, though, SF fans are the but their own previous dealings have boiled detection and partly an exercise in
first to react when an accident causes a made a number of Taveriks customers less computer gaming. Less successful are
pair of astronauts from the orbiting colony than pleased. Despite the obstacles, Elizabeth Scarborough, who loses control
to crash-land in North Dakota. The govern- Taverik is doing fairly well for himself of an engaging but complicated premise
ment wants the marooned flyers, who when trouble strikes. His home city is the involving environmental witchery, and
were stealing hydrogen from the atmos- target of a coup by followers of the myste- Mike Resnick, whose monologue from
phere to replenish their habitats supply, rious Black Eagle, and a fellow merchants Robins Jewish mother has an even chance
but the fans have an involved scheme to startling secret may lie at the core of the of generating either a guffaw or a So
send them back into orbit aboard an un- power struggle. what?, depending on the reader.
tested orbital shuttle thats sitting idle in a Marko Kastazis true identity is hidden Best in a more serious vein are The
museum in California. beneath layers of deception and secrecy, One-Eyed King, in which Nancy Collins
As a caper adventure, this works reasona- and it takes Taverik most of the book to gives Robin a dark twin with backing from
bly well, with the SF crowd cast as geniuses unravel all of the riddles surrounding his even darker forces, and Vivian, a faerie-
at improvisational strategy while the govern- colleague. Less elusive, but more danger- edged tale of a boon that Robin Hood
ment forces play the Keystone Kops, ham- ous, is the Black Eagle, who seems to be a refuses to grant until the last possible
pered in their efforts by technology they demon-god opposing the true deity of the moment. Stories from Matthew Costello
cant use and bystanders who cheerfully Pakajans, one Zojikam. Chase is particular- and Barbara Delaplace are credible, if less
point them in the wrong direction. ly effective in setting up the opposing gods polished, while Clayton Emerys contribu-
The catch is that this government-by- and theologies, giving them clear, uncom- tion seems overly staged, Steve Rasnic
environmentalism makes very little sense, plicated attributes and a faint Old Testa- Tems strays too far into moralizing, and
particularly in its utter disdain for science ment flavor. Nancy Holders is simply odd.
fiction and its fans. Why, to start with, For the most part, the characters are as But though the individual stories suc-
does Green philosophy equal a general well developed as the world (especially ceed more often than not, the collection as
opposition to technology? The novel Taveriks self-serving father). Thats a bit of a whole suffers for lack of a firm context.
doesnt explain this, and its neither a a problem, in fact, as there are a great Its not a shared-universe book, where the
logical nor practical generalization. If many characters, and adequately portray- authors are working from a common
anything, SF fans as a group are likely to ing them all requires some awkward shift- vision of their chosen setting, but neither
be both more environmentally conscious ing and balancing of viewpoints. The plot is it an ordinary theme anthology, where
and more technically literate than non- is also on the complicated side, enough so the link between stories is usually less
fans. In the setting the novel postulates, that even the glossaries in the back arent specific and each writer is free to invent
theyd be running the country rather than entirely sufficient to keep the players and characters at will. In assembling this col-
fleeing the authorities. sides straight. lection, Martin Greenberg presents thir-
In short, Fallen Angels doesnt work as But despite its occasionally wobbly struc- teen different versions of Robin Hood,
speculation, and its not credible as social ture, Hawks Flight is a vivid adventure in Little John, Maid Marian, and the rest, but
criticism. The authors portray relation- a landscape that Chase has taken a lot of doesnt give us a means of measuring the
ships that are adversarial when they trouble to invent. In that respect at least, alternates against the real characters.
should be cooperative, and generalize its an impressive book, and any DM whos Thats less a criticism than an observa-
much too broadly about the groups they ever designed a campaign world knows tion, since identifying a single real Robin
describe. Niven, Pournelle, and Flynn have just how much work that kind of inven- Hood legend is almost certainly impossible
written a funny novel, to be sure, but its a tion takes. in the first place. All in all, The Fantastic
book whose laughs are dark and cynical, Adventures of Robin Hood is mostly enter-
and thats a bad sign. If this is how space- taining but best taken in small doses. Read
program advocates expect to build support all at once, the stories are unsettling. Tak-
for their visions, dont look for mankind to en one or two at a time, they may be eas-
get back to the stars very soon. ier to digest.
Continued on page 100
Forum welcomes your comments and opinions his rescue and subsequent revenge? In the Best expense of all others] is an amateur DMs
on role-playing games. In the United States and of DRAGON Magazine Anthology, vol. 2, is an mistake. Ive played for over 12 years and ran
Canada, write to: Forum, DRAGON Magazine, article by Gary Gygax on the difference be- my own campaigns for over 10 years. Second, a
P.O. Box 111, Lake Geneva WI 53147, U.S.A. In tween goodness and idiocy (Good isnt stupid: crafty PC is usually an excellent PC.
Europe, write to: Forum, DRAGON Magazine, Paladins &, rangers, originally from DRAGON There is one player in my current group who
TSR Ltd, 120 Church End, Cherry Hinton, issue #38). He used the example of a ranger who will risk anything to get power. In my kind of
Cambridge CB1 3LB, United Kingdom. We ask was required by the referee to guard a sleeping campaign, big risks can reap big rewards,
that material submitted to Forum be either wyvern until it proved itself to be evil by attack- especially if you are lucky or smart enough to
neatly written by hand or typed with a fresh ing the party. Mr. Gygax asked how many lives dodge the death factor. The majority of the
ribbon and clean keys so we can read and were being put at stake by that choice of action? players, though, seem to sit back and let things
understand your comments. At least those of the ranger and his party, as come to them. In order for them to be moti-
well as anyone else the wyvern may attack in its vated, I give them quests that must be followed
I am writing with some comments on Andrew lifetime if they fail to slay it when it is awake. voluntarily by the PC. I would prefer my cam-
Bartmesss letter (issue #162). First of all, Chris- Putting innocent lives in danger is much more paign to focus on inspiring emotions, such as
tian gamers are not as small a minority as you evil than using stealth or striking a sleeping the desire for revenge, companionship, love,
may think. I am a Christian Dungeon Master opponent. and glory, but sometimes that just isnt feasible.
(although some may call that a contradiction!), Like the wyvern, the soldiers are likely to be Some people cant motivate themselves, and
and all but one of my five players attend the hostile when they awake, so why not destroy they will probably never keep up with the
same church I do. the hostility while you have the chance? This crafty PCs. There are several things you could
But my main issue is that of the assassin. I find brings out a whole new side to the assassin: the do to solve this problem. One possible scenario
Mr. Bartmesss opinion of the assassin as nothing good assassin. Absurd as this may seem, it is involves a PCs partys need for a magical item in
more than a short-lived NPC to be rather one- much more easy to conceive of this than a good order to finish a certain quest. Give the item to
sided. True, the stereotypical assassin is consid- vampire, ghost, or lich (see issue #162, The one of the least motivated characters. I hate to
ered to be a cowardly backstabber who lasts Mind of the Vampire, for details). In Unearthed say it, but if this doesnt motivate him, maybe he
only a few rounds in a fair fight against the Arcana are rules for playing good drow and shouldnt be role-playing. I had one player who
brave paladin sent to destroy him. But this duergar, so if a player asks if he can play a good always showed up for a game, but just sat and
brings up some questions. assassin as long as the PC doesnt get paid for read his new magazines most of the time.
First, if dying is the hallmark of the assassin the work and kills only evil creatures, give him Another solution is to put more role-playing
class, why does anyone choose to be an assassin? a chance. You may even like it. and puzzle-solving into the campaign. My play-
Second, couldnt there be exceptions to the Matt Barrett ers are at the point where they can spend an
rule? I mean, are all assassins created equal? Port Angeles WA hour looking over what few notes they have
What about the street urchin whose town is and thinking about a puzzle before solving it.
invaded by legions of soldiers from a rival I would like to respond to Mr. Tosers letter in A not-so-prominent problem is having too
kingdom? He wants to defend the town, but the issue #163. He cites three characters from many players. Some players, in order to become
ruling magistrate has decided to sacrifice the modern fiction as examples of paladinhood. crafty or interested, need more actual convers-
town in favor of accumulating a larger militia While all of these threeJames West, James ing time with the DM. If you have too many
and striking back later. Our urchin is only 14, Bond, and Batman: The Dark Knightdo follow players, your time becomes too divided; some
hardly old enough to fight back against tens of strict and unyielding codes of ethics, none are players feel left out and get bored. DMs, regard-
thousands of trained soldiers. Feeling stealth is lawful good. less of what some think, are only human.
the only alternative, he joins the assassins guild Even though West and Bond do work for their Have logic behind everything your enemies
to learn the skills. He has no intention of taking respective governments, neither is particularly do, but dont feel bad about cheating with
pay for his work; his only desire is to cause a responsive to the demands of his employer. It is statistics. If most of the things that happen in
tremendous amount of havoc. Note that with the nature of covert agents like these to work your campaign have logical steps and riddles,
the percentage chance to assassinate, he could around the law, and both are constantly getting then anyone can solve them if they think about
wipe out a single camp by starting with the into trouble for questionable activities. Each has them. Dont make puzzles or who-done-its too
lookouts and then going to the men sleeping in also engaged in a personal vendetta at least hard to solve for any but the best players.
their tents. He may be using the skills of an evil once, a very unpaladin-like activity. In addition, dont hold back on adjusting hit
class, but is he committing evil acts? The Dark Knight is another story. I certainly points. In a major battle that is the crescendo of
Some may say that striking an unarmed, agree that he has gone insane, but I do not feel your current quest, write down the damage the
undefended opponent is evil, but consider this: that he was, ever lawful good. He always seeks PCs do to the enemies that they really hate, but
How many of your characters have used rings, justice, but he breaks every law he has to get it dont let those numbers constrain you. Keep the
spells, or potions granting invisibility? There are with no hesitation. He is a vigilante and was monster alive until it seems to be the right time,
dozens of magical items and spell effects that considered a terrible criminal at the beginning when only a few PCs are conscious but most of
allow or improve stealth, including the spells of of his career. the others arent dead. All of this will build up
invisibility, improved invisibility, and pass with- All of these characters are good examples of more emotion, even though it might not seem
out trace, and the following magical items: rings dedication, an important characteristic of a like it would at first.
of invisibility and inaudibility, cloaks (and boots) paladin. None, however, quite fit the bill. Each Dont penalize your crafty players for what
of elvenkind, dust of disappearance, and hats of quests for the greater good by bending the they do, because then your good players skills
disguise. If stealth is evil, how is it that elves are rules. I would consider them chaotic good will drop to the level of your bad players. Try to
known for being good and yet manufacture Batman currently being chaotic neutral. James give the lethargic players a slight majority of the
cloaks and boots of elvenkind, have thieves as West might possibly be neutral good. A paladin magical items that are needed for the quest. If
characters, and have rules for moving silently cannot say the end justifies the means. you bring a sister, brother, lover, etc., into the
when alone? In no way is stealth evil. Michael Kellam campaign, try to make the less-enthusiastic
Now to the subject of attacking sleeping Mesquite TX players the center of attention a little more
opponents. Who out there has cast a sleep spell often than the crafty players. If a good player is
on an opponent to allow themselves or their I am writing in response to Ron Winston really that good, he should be able to weasel his
party a few extra hits? How many people have Dippels letter in issue #165. First, I dont really way into the role-playing scenes between the PC
finished off an unconscious opponent to prevent think that this [catering to one character at the and NPC. Put monsters in the game that cant be

handled by the crafty player, like a monster that a player who wants to keep his adventurer as longer control. They are compelled toward evil
can be hit only by magical weapons or spells an undead. These DMs should not spite this through contact with the Negative Material
that the slower PC alone has. Give the slower decision, but rather should point out that no plane or through the undead being that created
PCs a slight advantage in combat by giving them one in their right mind would want to be a them, such as a vampire. Viewed this way, a
magical weapons or armor. Develop cities and vampire in the first place! The restrictions far player character transformed into the undead
actual role-playing, along with more riddles and outweigh the perks. Simple items like holy becomes an object of horror and outrage and
personalities. Perhaps they shouldnt know who symbols, scented plants, and wooden sticks can can lead to epic quests in order to free his soul
their enemy really is until they piece it together harm vampires. More common things like from the prison of his own body.
themselves. sunlight and running water are lethal! Vampires Robert W. Heym
I will admit, though, that my campaign went cannot enter any dwelling without being invited Murray Hill NJ
for nine years before I could have 50% puzzles by the owner, which limits dungeon explora-
and personality interaction with 50% action. It tions a great deal. With an undead around, NPC Regarding issue #164s editorial, What you
can be frustrating at first, but it is really worth morale checks would all fail (who would allow a are in the dark, I was wondering what it means
the practice and can be the deciding factor vampire to sleep in his hotel?). The vampire when one person is a wizard, dwarf fighter,
between the DMs having fun or just being a would be put on every paladin and good clerics ranger, bard, thief, and paladin. I came to the
robot to the players. hit list, and the diet (pardon the pun) sucks! I conclusion that I made all these different player
Personally, I feel that motivating players is one would also point out that magical weapons characters when I was in different moods.
of the most unconquerable and painful prob- affect vampires like anyone else, and magical Razzmarock, my chaotic-neutral wizard, came
lems a DM can face. Motivation is a personal weapons are in no small supply in AD&D out after reading Dragons of Spring Dawning.
thing that you can just barely push or encour- games. Bane the dwarf came after reading AD&D
age in a person. Sooner or later, depending on Maybe vampires have no place in PC rosters, comics. Sebnat, my ranger, appeared to me
how often you play, you might have to stop but lets be mature about getting rid of them. when I was out playing Swordtag at a friends
inviting the person to your games or have to John H. Goins house. Valton the bard came from a book of
talk to him face to face about his motivation. Milan TN short stories I have long since forgotten. Ragnon
After all, if someone doesnt really feel like the thief, one of my favorites, hit me when I
playing with some enthusiasm or motivation, In response to Robert Vaughns recent letter in read about Tasselhoff Burrfoot. Finally, Pardue
why waste your time? You dont play games so Forum, issue #163, I feel that the raising of the paladin was an idea I got after I read about
that you can be frustrated, or at least not the undead should be viewed as undeniably and the Crusades. What do you think about my
last time I checked. irrevocably evil, and should certainly not be mood theory?
Mark D. Krieter undertaking for anything as frivolous as paladin W. N. Knierim, Jr.
St. Charles IL training. Dayton TN
First, it depends on how you treat dead char-
In issue #162, a letter from James Massaro of acters and NPCs in your campaign. If the car- Egraine is a magic-user and my favorite
Elizaville, N.Y., prompted an unusual response. cass is simply the empty husk, no longer having AD&D game character. In the past eight years,
He claimed that a PC in his party had become a any attachment to the persons soul or spirit, she has grown and matured in her skills, but
vampire and was told, quite bluntly, that the then it truly doesnt make a difference; creating her unpleasant manner remains the same.
character should be killed off or banned from undead would be little different than making a Inclined to act before she thinks through a
play. This bothered me, and I would like to offer golem. However, if the paladin must first ask the situation, alert and wary, Egraine has been a
some alternative solutions. persons soul for permission before raising challenge to play and remain true to her
In several horror stories, a vampire main them, this is clearly not the case. The soul must chaotic-neutral alignment.
character provides added drama. I call attention reinhabit the rotting carcass when it is re- My first DM suggested an outline of the char-
to the rejuvenated Dark Shadows. In its second formed as a skeleton, vampire, or the like. acters past to help with beginning role-playing
or third episode, Barnabas Collins (a vampire in Therefore, just get the dead persons permission so from the first Egraine had a life outside of
the leading role) was temporarily cured of his before first raising them, as Mr. Vaughn sug- the game. In time, writing about this character
undead condition through medical science. I gests, as well as their gods permission (though and her struggles grew into what it is todaya
also remember a movie starring Christopher most gods Ive met are on too tight a schedule to five-volume series of books. Unfortunately,
Lee as Dracula, in which the vampire hunter answer every call). Your problem is solved. Egraines life story can never be published.
(Peter Cushing) was allotted enough time to Indeed, if the two principal parties dont mind, When my husband read some of it, he said,
purify himself after being bitten. who am I to question? But where does this stop? Shes you. (I hope not!)
I concur that a fully powered, free-willed PC Could a high-level paladin be raised to fight a I think that in writing, playing role-playing
vampire throws the campaign out of balance, particularly vicious foe? The gardener, since no games, or acting, we draw upon something
but no more than magic weapons/armor +20 one has his green thumb? (Imagine: Say, isnt from ourselves when creating a characteriza-
or permanent spell affects. Still, the character that Sven? I thought he died. Oh, he did, poor tion, whether or not it is a part wed admit. I
should be given a chance. fellow, but no one can make coffee like he can!) dont like to overanalyze. For me, writing,
1. Is vampirism a disease? If so cure disease And, since we did get their permission . . . sketching, or playing any of my many charac-
should be able to lessen the vampire PC's The point is, paladins dont need such elabo- ters is for the fun of it.
powers and remove a few of the vulnerabilities. rate measures to prepare themselves for bat- Although my sons, who encouraged my inter-
2. Is the bite of a vampire poisonous? Spells tling the undead. The paladin rides into battle est in role-playing games all these years, have all
and potions that affect poison should also affect armed with faith in his god, his holy symbol gone off to work and college, Egraine still lives. I
the bite. acting as focus for his gods great and righteous have over 25 pounds of typewritten pages to
3. Is it a curse, magical or otherwise? If so, power, and weapons to smite vile creatures prove it.
remove curse or such spells could be used. back to whatever nether region they sprang For your survey [in issue #164s editorial], I
4. Even if no common spell might work, rare from. That faith cannot be taught in the sterile play a female magic-user or paladin half the
potions, spells, items, herbs, medicines, etc., can environment of the temple, but only in battle time and a male fighter the rest. At 49, I know
be sought out. can his true mettle be shown. no one my age who shares this hobby.
One could think of dozens of other cures, but However, a paladin need not be completely I encourage other parents to take an interest
you get the point. It might not be easy for an thrown to the wind when it comes to fighting in their childrens RPG, but not take it over. In
infected character to regain his humanity, but in undead. He would most likely have seen undead fact, why not begin with reading this issue of
game terms, it is a quest worthy of the best before, though probably not fought them, when DRAGON Magazine?
heroes. The idea behind fantasy role-playing is he acted as a squire and henchman to more Elizabeth Caetta
to put your characters in precarious situations experienced paladins as part of his early train- Barberton OH
and see how they fare. ing. Most classes lack even this experience, yet
Mr. Massaro was told to have a brigade of warriors and wizards and rogues manage to
paladins and devas continuously hound the PC fight and overcome undead and advance in
vampire. How absurd! No deity ever declared levels.
all-out war on real undead threats like Count The undead, when handled well, should be
Strahd. Why should the rules of supernatural objects of sheer horror, not just for the dangers
nature be altered when the same condition they pose to player characters but for the
manifests itself upon a PC? wretched souls locked into the ghastly prison of
Still, a Dungeon Master will have to deal with their own decaying fleshflesh that they no


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MS 39759.


This live-action RPG convention will be held at
the Days Hotel in West Haven, Conn. Players
will take the roles of characters from movies
Iike Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon. Regis-
tration: $35 preregistered. Write to: Cruel Hoax
Prod., c/o Lawrence Schick, 226 N. 2nd St., New
* indicates a product produced by a company other than TSR,
Inc. most product names are trademarks owned by the Freedom PA; or call: (717) 235-2929.
Convention Calendar Policies companies publishing those products. The use of the name of
any product without mention of its trademark status should not DEFCON II, Sept. 27-29 NJ
This column is a service to our readers be construed as a challenge to such status. This gaming/murder mystery weekend will be
worldwide. Anyone may place a free listing held in the Sheraton Inn in East Brunswick, NJ.
for a game convention here, but the follow- ANDCON '91, Sept. 12-15 OH The feature event is a live-action mystery in
ing guidelines must be observed. This convention will be held at the Holiday which players can interview suspects and
In order to ensure that all convention Inn in Hudson, 0hio. Besides having many role- search the scene of the crime for clues. Other
listings contain accurate and timely infor- playing, board, and miniatures games, ANDCON events include AD&D, MACHO WOMEN WITH
mation, all material should be either typed is also the national play-by-mail convention. GUNS*, CHILL*, ROLEMASTER*, and CYBER-
double-spaced or printed legibly on stand- PBM companies from around the country will PUNK* games, with costume and miniatures
ard manuscript paper. The contents of be holding and demos. Registration: contests. Registration: $6/day, $15/two days, or
each listing must be short and succinct. $15/weekend. Write to: ANDCON 91, P.O. Box S20/weekend preregistered; $10/day or $25/
The information given in the listing must 142, Kent OH 44240; or call Andon Games: (216) weekend at the door. Write to: DEFCON II, 16
include the following, in this order: 673-2117. Grove St., Somerset NJ 08873; or call Pete at:
1. Convention title and dates held; (9O8) 249-0570 from 6-10 P.M. weekdays, or 10-
2. Site and location; GAMEFEST 91, Part 3 10 weekends.
3. Guests of honor (if applicable); Sept. l3-15 IL
4. Special events offered; The Gamemaster's Guild of Waukegan, Ill. VALLEYCON XVI, Sept. 27-29 M N
5. Registration fees re- presents this convention at Friends Hobby This convention will be held at the Regency
quirements; and, Shop. Events include miniatures games and Inn in Moorhead, Minn. Guests include Marga-
6. Address(es) and telephone number(s) fantasy and adventure role-playing games. ret Weis and Erin McKee. Activities include an
where additional information and confirma- Registration: $6/day, or $9/weekend. RPGA art show and auction, video rooms, RPGs, pan-
tion can be obtained. Network and HMGS members will receive els and workshops, a banquet, and a live game
Convention flyers, newsletters, and other discounts. Write to: Gamemasters Guild of show. Registration: $5/adults, $4/13-17 yr. olds,
mass-mailed announcements will not be Waukegan, c/o Friends Hobby Shop, 1411 $3/3-12 yr. olds, preregistered. Children under 3
considered for use in this column; we Washington, Waukegan IL 60085; or call (708) free. Dealers are welcome. Write to: VALLEY
prefer to see a cover letter with the an- 336-0790. CON XVI, PO. Box 7202, Fargo ND 58108.
nouncement as well. No call-in listings are
accepted. Unless stated otherwise, all TACTICON '9l, Sept. l3-15 CO NOWSCON '9l, Sept. 28-29 OH
dollar values given for U.S. and Canadian This convention will be held at the Ramada This convention, sponsored by the Northern
conventions are in U.S. currency. Hotel of Denver/Boulder, Colo. Events include Ohio Wargaming Society (NOWS), will be held at
WARNING: We are not responsible for games of all kinds, RPGA tournaments, auc- the Brookpark National Guard Armory in
incorrect information sent to us by conven- tions, figure-painting contests, seminars and Brookpark, Ohio. Events include an RPGA
tion staff members. Please check your demos, and a live-action RPG. Registration: $15/ tournament, AD&D, and American Civil War
convention listing carefully! Our wide weekend preregistered. Write to: Denver miniatures games. Other activities include a
circulation ensures that over a quarter of a Gamers Assoc., P.O. Box 440058, Aurora CO dealers area and a game auction. Registration:
million readers worldwide see each issue. 80044; or call: (303) 363-8967. $15/weekend or $l0/day, both of which include
Accurate information is your responsibility. a one-year membership in the NOWS. Event
Copy deadlines are the last Monday of EMPEROR'S 21st BIRTHDAY, Sept. l4 IN fees are included. Write to: NOWSCON 91, P.O.
each month, two months prior to the on- This convention will be held at the Century Box 29116, Parma OH 44129.
sale date of an issue. Thus, the copy dead- Center in South Bend, Ind. Events include an
line for the December issue is the last RPGA AD&D tournament, Napoleonic minia- NOVACON, Oct. 4-6 TX
Monday of October. Announcements for tures games, and a dealer's are. Registration: This gaming convention will be held at the
North American and Pacific conventions $7. Write to: Mark Schumaker, P.O. Box 252, Memorial Student Center on the campus of
must be mailed to: Convention Calendar, Elkhart IN 46515; or call (219) 264-7019. Texas A&M University in College Station, Tex.
DRAGON Magazine, P.O. Box 111, Lake Events include AD&D, CHAMPIONS*, TRAVEL-
Geneva WI 53147, U.S.A. Announcements FRON 007, Sept. 14-15 LER*, CYBERPUNK*, TWILIGHT: 2000*,
for Europe must be posted an additional This convention will be held from 10 A.M. to GURPS*, AXIS & ALLIES*, CAR WARS*, STAR
month before the deadline to: Convention 10 P.M. at the Stadthalle in Frankfort Bergen FLEET BATTLES*, DIPLOMACY*, TITAN*,
Calendar, DRAGON Magazine, TSR Enkheim, Germany. Activities include role- TALISMAN*, CIVILIZATION*, and microarmor
Limited, 120 Church End, Cherry Hinton, playing games in German and English, SCA games. Other activities include 24-hour Japani-
Cambridge CB1 3LB, United Kingdom. demos, live-action RPGs, a miniatures-painting mation and open gaming. Registration: $8/
If a convention listing must be changed contest, a PBM meet, and SPACE HULK* and weekend. Write to: MSC NOVA, Box J-1, College
because the convention has been can- BLOOD BOWL* tournaments. Registration: DM Station TX 77844-9081; or call: (409) 845-1515.
celed, the dates have changed, or incor- 3/day, or DM 5/weekend. GMs and those in
rect information has been printed, please costume are admitted free of charge. Lodging is
RUDICON 7, Oct. 4-6 NY
contact us immediately. Most questions or available. Write to: 252," c/o Martin Kliehm, In This convention will be held on the campus of
changes should be directed to the maga- der Roemerstadt 164, D-6000 Frankfurt am the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in
zine editors at TSR, Inc., (414) 248-3625 Main-50, GERMANY; or call (49) 69-574579. Rochester, N.Y., and is sponsored by RWAG and
(U.S.A.) Questions or changes concerning the RIT student government. Events include
European conventions should be directed WOLFCON 91, Sept. 20-22 MS RPG and war-gaming tournaments, miniatures-
to TSR Limited, (0223) 212517 (U.K.). This convention will be held at the University painting and art contests, a large dealers room,
Inn in Starkville, Miss. Our special guests are historical miniatures games, and a con party
v indicates an Australian convention. Michael Stackpole and Sandra Santara. Events complete with a costume contest. Registration:
indicates a Canadian convention. include panels, FASA-sponsored tournaments, a $5/weekend. Dealers are welcome. Write to:
indicates a European convention. live-action RPG, a costume contest, and a mas- RUDICON 7, c/o Student Govt., 1 Lomb Memori-
querade. Dealers are welcome. Registration: al Dr., Rochester NY 14623.

CON*CEPT 91, Oct. 5-6 west Airport Hotel in Tulsa, Okla. Events include tration: $15 in advance, or $20 at the door.
This convention will be held at the Nouvel an AD&D 2nd Ed. tournament, with Write to: CONTRARY 91, 626 N. Main St., East
Hotel in Montreal, Quebec. Guests include Diane RAVENLOFT, BATTLETECH*, CHAMPIONS*, Longmeadow MA 01036; or call: (413) 731-7237.
Duane and Peter Morwood. Activities include SHADOWRUN*, and AXIS & ALLIES* games, as
panels, exhibits, a dealers room, a masquerade, well as a dealers room, combat demos, and a CON OF THE LIVING DEAD 91
an art show, an auction, and gaming. Registra- movie room. Registration: $8/weekend in ad- Oct. 25-27 TN
tion: $20 before Sept. 21; $23 at the door. Write vance, $12/weekend at the door. Write to: Sponsored by World of Games and Hobbies,
to: CON*CEPT 91, P.O. Box 405, Station H, WARP, 5103 S. Sheridan, Tulsa OK 74145; or call: this convention will be held in Memphis, Tenn.
Montreal, Quebec, CANADA H3G 2L1; or call (918) 743-1025. The site is yet to be determined. Events include
(days): (514) 453-9455. CALL OF CTHULHU*, VAMPIRE*, GHOST-
SKELETORN 91, Oct. 5-7 This convention will be held at the Salem, CHILL*, and murder-mystery games. Other
This convention will be held at the Oatley N.H., Econolodge between Boston, Mass. and activities include a costume contest, a minia-
Public School in Oatley, Sydney, Australia. Concord, N.H. Events will include TITAN*, STAR tures competition, and trick-or-treating. For site
Events include AD&D, BATTLETECH*, CALL FLEET BATTLES*, and TWILIGHT: 2000* games, location and registration information, write to:
OF CTHULHU*, CYBERPUNK*, and TRAVEL- with an APPA Baseball tournament. Other C.O.L.D., c/o World of Games and Hobbies, 2796
LER* games. Prizes will be awarded, and demo games and a dealers room are also featured. S. Perkins, Memphis TN 38118; or call: (901)
games will be run throughout the weekend. Registration: $15/weekend preregistered, or $15 365-2080.
Other activities include a dinner and social. for Saturday and $10 for Sunday at the door,
Registration: $12 (Australian) plus $4 to $6 per plus event fees. Write to: Denice Keller, c/o GAELCON 91, Oct. 26-28
event. Write to: SKELETORN 91, 79 Thurlgona Econolodge, 1 Keewayden Dr., Salem NH 03079. This convention will be held at the Royal
Rd., Engadine NSW 2233, AUSTRALIA; or call Hospital Kilmainham, Kilmainham, Dublin 8,
Russell: (02) 579-6412. COGACON 91, Oct. 12-13 OH Ireland. Events include AD&D, CALL OF
This convention will be held at the Masonic CTHULHU*, PARANOIA*, WARHAMMER FAN-
Oct. 5-6 OH include board, miniatures, and role-playing games, plus trade stands and special guests.
This convention will be held at the University of games, including RPGA Network events. Regis- Registration: 3/day, or 8/weekend. Write to:
Toledo, Scott Park campus, Ohio. Over 150 role- tration: $5/day; no preregistrations, please. Irish Games Assoc., c/o 49 Russell Ave., Clonliffe
playing, strategy, tactical, and miniatures games Write to: Terry Hollern, 1660 Evinrude Ave., Rd., Drumcondra, Dublin 3, IRELAND.
will be run. Other activities include an auction, Columbus OH 43229; or call: (614) 882-5241.
demos, painting contests, nonstop movies, open KETTERING GAME CONVENTION V
gaming, and a dealers area. Send an SASE to: P.E.W. KHANU I, Oct. 12-13 PA Oct. 26-27 OH
Toledo Gaming Convention IX, 2115 N. Reynolds, This convention, organized especially for This convention will be held at the Charles I.
Toledo OH 43615; or call Larry at: (419) 536-0592. gamers who enjoy political, economic, minia- Lathrem Senior Center in Kettering, Ohio.
tures, and board games, is being held at the Events include FRP, board, miniatures, com-
NECRONOMICON, Oct. 11-13 FL New Villa Inn in New Cumberland, Pa. Other puter, and RPGA games. A special feature is a
This convention will be held at the Holiday activities include a dealers area and our guest Masters of Gaming tournament based on Dou-
Inn Airport in Tampa, FL. Guests include Piers of honor, Craig Taylor. Registration: Fees vary ble Exposure, by Piers Anthony. Write to: Bob
Anthony, Andre Norton, Richard Lee Byers, and from $5 to $11, depending on date and length of Van Gruenigen, 804 Willowdale Ave., Kettering
Joseph Green. Activities include a banquet, a fan registration. Write to: M. Foners Games Only OH 45429; or call: (513) 298-3224.
cabaret, panels, an art show and auction, a Emporium, 200 3rd St., New Cumberland PA
dealers room, dances, and an auction to benefit 17070; or call: (717) 774-6676. NOVAG VI, Oct. 26-27 VA
Wildlife Rescue. Registration: $15 until Sept. 15; This gaming convention will be held at the
$20 or $8/day thereafter. Write to; NECRONO- BORDERCON 91, Oct. 18-20 MO Elks Lodge in Fairfax, Va. Events include histori-
MICON 91, P.O. Box 2076, Riverview FL 33569. Cohosted by the Role-Players Guild of Kansas cal miniatures, board, microarmor, and role-
City and the Heart of America Historical Minia- playing games. Other features include food
QUAD CON 91, Oct. 11-13 IA tures Gaming Society, this convention will be vendors, dealers, and 24-hour gaming. Registra-
This convention, held by the Riverbend held at the Rodeway Inn in downtown Kansas tion: $8/weekend or $5/day. Write to: NOVAG VI,
Gamers Assoc., will be held at the Palmer City, MO. Events include RPGA sessions, with c/o Wargames Hobby, 101 E. Holly Ave., Suite 5,
Auditorium, in Davenport, Iowa. Guests include AD&D, PARANOIA*, CALL OF CTHULHU*, Sterling VA 22170; or call: (703) 450-6738 after 1
Sam Lewis. Events include BATTLETECH*, TORG*, SHADOWRUN*, TALISMAN*, WAR- P.M. EST. Ask about lodging information.
LEGION*, CALL OF CTHULHU*, RIFTS*, and games. Guests include Harold Johnson and Tim This SF&F/gaming convention will be held at
historical games, with a silent auction of game Beach of TSR, Inc. Other activities include a Americanos Centre in Menasha, Wis. Write to:
materials, a miniature-painting competition, a dealers area, an auction, and a miniatures STAR CON 91, 1112 N. Lake St., Neenah WI 54956.
dealers room, and food. Registration: $4/day or contest. Registration: $10 before Sept. 20; $13
$7/weekend before preregistered; $5/day or thereafter. Send an SASE to: BORDERCON 91, WIZARDS GATHERING II, Oct. 26 MA
$10/weekend at the door. Game fees range from P.O. Box 7457, Kansas City MO 64116-0157; or Sponsored by the Southeast Mass. Adventure
$2 to $4. Send large SASE to: The Game Empori- call: (816) 455-5020. Gamers Society, this convention will be held at
um, 3213 23rd Ave., Moline IL 61265; or call: the Days Inn in Fall River, Mass. Events include
(309) 762-5577. No collect calls, please. CUBECON 91, Oct. 19 PA AD&D, RAVENLOFT, SPELLJAMMER,
Sponsored by the BCCC Gaming Guild and the D&D, MERP*, TORG*, STAR FRONTIERS,
TITANCON 91, Oct. 11-13 VA Circle of Swords, this convention will be held at BATTLETECH*, SHADOWRUN*, and AFTER-
Sponsored by the Historical Simulation Socie- Butler Community College in Butler, Pa. Activi- MATH* games. Other activities include contests
ty, this TITAN* game convention will be held at ties include RPGA events, with board, minia- for modules, art, and miniatures painting.
Old Caball Hall, on the campus of the University tures, and role-playing games, as well as a Registration: $5 until Oct. 12; $7 thereafter, plus
of Virginia in Charlotte, Va. Our Game Point dealers area and a miniatures-painting contest. game fees. Cheaper visitor rates are available.
Average system insures continuous TITAN* play Registration: $5 until Sept. 5; $7 thereafter. Send Write to: WIZARDS GATHERING, P.O. Box 6030,
for all to see, and is used to determine Team an SASE to: Circle of Swords, P.O. Box 2126, South Station, Fall River MA 02724.
Champions and seeding of individuals for the Butler PA 16003; or call Dave at: (412) 283-1159.
Individual Championships games on Sunday. GENERICON 91, Nov. 1-3 MN
Trophies will be awarded. Registration: $5 until CONTRARY 91, Oct. 24-26 MA This convention will be held at the Coffman
Oct. 4; $10 at the door. Write (and make checks This convention will be held at the Quality Inn Memorial Union on the University of Minnesota
payable) to: Brian Bouton, 5 S. Dooley Ave., & Conference Center in Chicopee, Mass. Events campus in Minneapolis. Activities include a
Richmond VA 23221; or call: (804) 358-5517. include several first-run RPGATM events, with costume contest, a post-Halloween dance, a
AD&D, GURPS*, CALL OF CTHULHU*, SHA- miniatures competition, war and role-playing
WARP II, Oct. 11-13 OK DOWRUN*, TORG*, and RUNEQUEST* games. games and tournaments, an art show and auc-
Sponsored by the War and Role-Playing Games Other activities include a Halloween costume tion, a dealers room, panels, and the return of
ASSOC., this convention will be held at the South- party, a painting contest, and an auction. Regis- the Star Trek room. Registration: $10 preregis-

tered, and $15 at the door. Make all checks
payable to U of MN Gaming Society. Write to: LAGACON 12, Nov. 9 PA
GENERICON 91, c/o David Rust, 1826 Alameda This convention will be held at Kaspers Ark,
St., Roseville MN 55113; or call: (612) 340-0139. north of Lebanon, Pa. Events include AD&D,
ASL*, and BATTLETECH* tournaments, with
This SF/gaming/comic-book convention will be MAN*, RED EMPIRE*, and other introductory
held at the Palace Station hotel/casino in Las games. Vendors will be present. Ask about
Vegas, NV Events include AD&,D, GURPS*, group discounts. Write to: Lebanon Area
CHAMPIONS*, CAR WARS* and other board Gamers Assoc., 806 Cumberland St., Lebanon
and role-playing games. Other activities include PA 17042; or call: (717) 274-8706 from 5-9 P.M.
open gaming, panels and seminars, guests, week nights and 9-9 on Saturdays.
movies, and a large dealers area. Registration:
$20 preregistered, $25 at the door. Make checks WATCON 91, Nov. 9-10
or M.O.s payable to VEGASCON. Write to: Sponsored by WATSFIC, this convention will
VEGASCON, 4210 Chatham Cir. #1, Las Vegas be held at the University of Waterloo campus in
NV 89119-6869; or call: (702) 733-7470. Waterloo, Ontario. Events include AD&D,
CHAMPIONS*, and AFTERMATH* games, plus
ROCK-CON XIX, Nov 2-3 IL board and miniatures events. Other activities
This convention will be held at Rockford include panels, seminars, and all types of gam-
Lutheran High School in Rockford, Ill. Guests ing and prizes. Registration: $10/day (Canadian)
include Jim Ward, Tom Wham, and John Olson. or $16/weekend preregistered, and $15/day or
Registration: $5 for one or both days, with no $20/weekend at the door. Write to: WATSFIC, c/o
game fees. Write to: ROCK-CON XIX, 14225 Room 215 (Clubs Room), Campus Centre, Uni-
Hansberry Rd., Rockton IL 61072. versity of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, CANA-
DA, N2L 3G1; or call Ronald at: (519) 884-3842.
URICON 91, Nov. 2 RI
The University of Rhode Island Gaming Club COWBOY CON II, Nov. 16-17 OK
announces this convention will be held at the This convention will be held at the OSU Student
Memorial Union in the U. of R.I. campus in Union in Stillwater, Okla. Events include AXIS &,
Kingston, R.I. Events include D&D, SHADO- ALLIES*, PANZER LEADER*, STAR FLEET BAT-
Registration: $4 general admission, $3 for URI WARHAMMER* games. Other activities include a
students before Oct. 19; or $5 and $4 thereafter. movie room and a dealers room. Registration: $2/
Write to: Mark Oliver, 87A Ninigret Rd., Narra- day or $5/weekend preregistered; $3/day or $6/
gansett RI 02882. weekend at the door. Write to: Con Chairman, c/o
Cowboy Campaigners Club, 040 Student Union,
A.U.G. CON III, Nov. 8-10 NJ Box 110, Stillwater OK 74978; or call Wes at: (405)
A.U. Gamers present this convention, to be 372-9448.
held at the Sheraton Tara Hotel in Parsippany,
N.J. Events include RPGA Network events, a U-CON, Nov. 15-17 MI
charity game, and board games. Other activities This convention will be held at Washtenew
include a costume contest, a miniatures-painting Community College in Ann Arbor, Mich. Events
contest, and a dealers room. Prizes will be include a wide variety of historical miniatures
awarded to the best players and GMs. Registra- and strategic games. Registration: $5/day or $7/
tion: $7/day or $18/weekend before Oct. 20; $8/ weekend; at-the-door prices slightly higher.
day or $20/weekend thereafter, and $10/day at Write to: U-CON, PO. Box 4491, Ann Arbor MI
the door, Write to: A.U. Gamers, P.O. Box 218, 48106-4491.
Flanders NJ 07836.
GAME FAIR XIV, Nov. 8-10 IL Sponsored by the Northeastern Indiana
Sponsored by the Illinois Central College Game Gamers Assoc., this convention will be held at
club, this convention will be held at ITOO Hall in the Grand Wayne Center in downtown Fort
Peoria, Ill. Events include AD&D, BATTLE- Wayne, Ind. Events include an RPGA AD&D
TECH*, AXIS & ALLIES*, CHAMPIONS*, CAR tournament, the NIGA Spotlight tournament,
WARS*, WARHAMMER FANTASY ROLEPLAY*, historical miniatures games, painting and cos-
WWII naval miniatures, and SQUAD LEADER* tume contests, door prizes, and a flea market.
games. Other activities include open gaming, a Registration: $5/day or $8/weekend preregis-
dealers area, an auction, and painting contests. tered; or $6/day or $10/weekend at the door.
Registration: $2/day, or $3/weekend. Write to: Write to: PENTACON, P.O. Box 11176, Fort
GAME FAIR XIV, P.O. Box 308, Groveland IL Wayne IN 46856; or call Steve at: (219) 356-4209.
61535; or call: (309) 387-6233 evenings.
NUCON 91, Nov. 22-24
SCI CON 13, Nov. 8-10 VA Sponsored by NUGS, this convention will be
This SF/gaming convention will be held at the held at the University of Newcastle, Newcastle,
Holiday Inn Executive Center in Virginia Beach, NSW, Australia. Events include AD&D, CALL
Va. Guests include Lois McMaster Bujold and OF CTHULHU*, CYBERPUNK*, SPACE: 1889*,
Vincent DiFate. Events include panels, readings, and TOON* games. Registration: $3 (Australian)
videos, a costume contest, an art show, a hospi- per session, for up to eight sessions. Write to:
tality suite, and gaming. Registration: $20 until NUGS, 2/16 Upfold St., Mayfield, NSW 2304,
Oct. 1; $25 at the door. Dealers are welcome. AUSTRALIA; or call Rodney at: (049) 633230 or
Send an SASE to: SCI CON 13, P.O. Box 9434, Matthew at: (049) 676610.
Hampton VA 23670.

IMPACT 1.3, Nov. 9 NE How effective was your convention listing?

This gaming convention will be held at the If you are a convention organizer, please
Holiday Inn Central in Omaha, Nebr. Events write to the editors and let us know if our
include tabletop and role-playing games. Regis- Convention Calendar served your needs.
tration: $5. Write to: IMPACT, P.O. Box 4486, Your comments are always welcome.
Omaha NE 68104.
Role of Books trap). No sooner do Scott and Liz meet technique, but those looking for a compel-
Continued from page 88 than they spontaneously join forces and ling story are better off elsewhere.
fall in lust. And Douglas Craigs encounter
STREET MAGIC with Alice not only produces a similar EXTREME PARANOIA: NOBODY
Michael Reaves mutual attraction, but inspires Craig to KNOWS THE TROUBLE IVE SHOT
Tor 0-312-85125-l $18.95 come out of an alcoholic funk. Only in Ken Rolston
In addition to his credits as a novelist, Dannys case does the chemistry fail to West End Games 0-87431-162-2 $4.95
Michael Reaves has done a good deal of click at once, and thats because Reaves Transcript of a conversation smuggled
writing for film and television. That may needs to delay it so the story wont climax out of Alpha Complex:
explain why Street Magic feels more like a too quickly. TROUBLESHOOTER, WHY HAVENT YOU
screenplay than a novel: It has enough plot Whats really frustrating about this is COMPLETED YOUR MISSION?
and action for a full-length movie, but its that all six players are thoroughly likeable; This is a very dangerous mission,
characters are waiting for actors to bring Reaves may not give them enough to do, Friend Computer, requiring tact and diplo-
their roles to life. but he tells enough about them to make macy for its success.
In typical cinematic fashion, the cast them sympathetic. Most of the novel, in TACT? DIPLOMACY? WHATS WRONG WITH
comes in pairs. Danny Thayer and his fact, is description, and most of the de- CONCENTRATED LASER FIRE?
newfound friend Robin are the teenagers scription is well done. The San Francisco Well, as you know, Im evaluating a
driving the plot. Hes a runaway fleeing his setting has the right blend of fog and Mission Report prepared by Trouble-
abusive father; shes an exile from Faerie bustle, the portrayal of teenage street life shooter Ken Rolston.
who insists that only Danny can open the is properly matter-of-fact and horrifying, SO?
way back. Freelance detective Scott Rus- and the magic has the right degree of Troubleshooter Rolston and I both work
sell is hired to track Danny down, and he inner and outer pyrotechnics. As an exer- under High Programmer Roger E. Moore,
is joined in the hunt by tabloid journalist cise in visual imagery, Street Magic is a and if I say something my fellow Trouble-
Liz Gallegher. Meanwhile, Douglas Craig striking success. shooter doesnt like, he may decide Im a
and Alice Kopfman are watching from the As a novel, though, it goes by entirely Commie Mutant Traitor and direct concen-
sidelines, looking for evidence of Faeries too fast. In part, thats because its a short trated laser fire at me.
existence in the corridors of Alices com- book, with under 250 pages of larger-than- ARE YOU IMPLYING THAT TROUBLE-
fortable San Francisco bookstore. average type. But the real difficulty is that SHOOTER ROLSTONS MISSION REPORT, CON-
But by splitting his tale three ways, there just isnt enough substance under- CERNING THE RECENT HEROIC ACTIONS OF
Reaves forces the relationships between neath the dazzling scenery, and that CITIZEN HOMER-R-ICK AND HIS MISSION
the couples to evolve too fast. No sooner makes the tale incomplete at best, rather TEAM AGAINST A WHOLE ARMY OF COMMIE
does Danny discover Robins identity than like a gaming scenario awaiting a band of MUTANT TRAITORS, TREASONOUS ROBOTS,
hes roped into the scheme to reopen the player characters. Would-be module writ- EVIL HIGH PROGRAMMERS, AND SO FORTH, IS
passage to Faerie (Reaves calls it a galli- ers might well study the books use of NOT BRILLIANTLY WRITTEN AND ACCURATE

100 SEPTEMBER 1991

IN EVERY DETAIL? Troubleshooter Rolstons report.
Of course not. It is accurate in all par- VERY GOOD, TROUBLESHOOTER. CONSIDER
ticulars and authentically portrays life IT YOUR NEXT MISSION.
within the world of Alpha Complex. Trou-
bleshooter Rolston is clearly an expert in Recurring roles
our technology, customs, and report Its a good season for mysteries, it seems;
preparation. no less than three are lurking on the
INDEED. WHY SHOULD TROUBLESHOOTER shelves this time around. Simon Greens
ROLSTON OBJECT TO SUCH AN ANALYSIS OF Hawk and Fisher are back in The God
HIS MISSION REPORT? Killer (Ace, $3.95), and this third entry in
Well, this Mission Report is also being Greens series of sword-and-sorcery detec-
distributed to certain Outside audiences as tive yarns involves an intriguing premise.
a recruiting tool, to entice them to visit As is becoming usual for Green, the puzzle
Alpha Complex and thus come under Your is less distinctive than the atmosphere, but
all-encompassing protection. theres reliable entertainment here.
A LAUDABLE GOAL. DO YOU HAVE A PROB- P. N. Elrod builds far trickier whodunits,
LEM WITH IT, CITIZEN? and the fifth Jack Fleming vampire adven-
Certainly not. But those readers have ture, Fire in the Hood (Ace, $3.95) is no
been told that the Mission Report is a exception. This time, too, Jack is forced to
novelthat is, a continuing narrative of confront his powers head-on, in one of the
events unfolding in an organized fashion, sharpest portrayals of vampiric ethics Ive
most or all of which are connected in a seen. Elrods storytelling has grown stronger
logical sequence. with each of these books, and readers
I SEE. IS THAT NOT IN FACT THE CASE? should keep a sharp eye out for her further
Ideally, Friend Computer, Trouble- works, in this series or otherwise.
shooter missions should indeed proceed in Mixed marks go to Diane Duane and
such a fashion. In reality, however, such Peter Morwood for Mindblast (Avon,
unpredictable events as equipment mal- $3.95), first in a series about partnered
function, intervention by Commie Mutant police officers whose beat is the solar
Traitors and members of secret societies, system. As usual, their dialogue and plot-
and difficulties in obtaining necessary ting is crisp and clever, but theyre
clearances or mission equipment may stretched over a background too thin to
result in massive deviations from the support them. Thats a rarity from this
planned mission schedule. As you know, team; with luck, future volumes will fill in
this was especially true of the mission the gaps.
Troubleshooter Rolston describes. Speaking of gaps, followers of Diana
IN OTHER WORDS, TROUBLESHOOTER Paxsons Westria cycle should take note:
ROLSTONS REPORT IS FILLED WITH EXTRA- The Mistress of the Jewels (Tor, $4.99)
NEOUS DETAILS, DESCRIBES EVENTS NOT brings the first two books in the series,
CHARACTERISTIC OF THE SMOOTH OPERA- long out of print, together in a new single-
TION OF ALPHA COMPLEX, AND THEREFORE volume edition. As the newer tales chroni-
WILL NOT ENTERTAIN ITS INTENDED AUDI- cle the recovery of the lost elemental
ENCE OF PROSPECTIVE CITIZENS? jewels of Paxsons mythical realm, so does
Not exactly. this double novel relate their earlier
OBVIOUSLY A COMMIE MUTANT TRAITOR Jennifer Roberson, meanwhile, brings
ATTEMPTING TO DIMINISH MY PROTECTIVE the tales of Tiger and Del to a rousing
INFLUENCE OVER POTENTIAL LOYAL CITI- conclusion in Sword-Breaker (DAW, $4.99).
ZENS. PLEASE EXECUTE HIM AT ONCE. Duels are in plenty here, both physical
Id really rather not do that. The some- and magical, but the resolutions are not
what disjointed nature of the Mission always what one might expect, and the
Report really isnt Troubleshooter Rolstons final scene rings a couple of sly twists on
fault; rather, its a function of his desire to traditional storybook endings. More sword
accurately describe Alpha Complex and and sorcery should achieve this combina-
the Troubleshooter lifestyle. Further, many tion of adventure and intimacy.
names, places, and objects in Alpha Com- The Shield of Time (Tor, $4.99) picks up,
plex have amusing connotations among to some extent, where Poul Anderson left
Outside readers, and Outside audiences off in The Year of the Ransom some time
are very susceptible to these puns. back. This time, veteran Time Patrol agent
AS YOU SAY. THEN YOU WILL RECOMMEND Manse Everard takes center stage, with
THAT TROUBLESHOOTER ROLSTONS REPORT young recruit Wanda Tamberly from the
BE MADE REQUIRED READING FOR ALL PRO- earlier book emerging as a romantic inter-
SPECTIVE CITIZENS OF ALPHA COMPLEX. est. But theres literally no time for the
Begging The Computers pardon, but relationship to develop, as the Patrols
until the prospective citizens actually enemies have managed to erase its very
become Citizens, we cant require them to existence from most of the future. Only
do anything. sharp detective work and daring action
A GOOD POINT. HAVE YOU A SUGGESTION? will restore what should be, and Anderson
If we leak this conversation to High is at his best when hes recreating real and
Programmer Moore, he can have it distrib- alternate pasts. Time-travel fans will want
uted to a great many prospective citizens to be sure to catch this one.
who may then be motivated to obtain
102 SEPTEMBER 1991 By Barbara Manui & Chris Adams
104 SEPTEMBER 1991
106 SEPTEMBER 1991
110 SEPTEMBER 1991
encourage the adoption of the amendment
exempting lead figures. Send photos of
well-painted lead figures, and let the Con-
gressmen see that miniatures are not toys
and we respect our environment.
Also, September is our last guaranteed
good-weather month before the winter
miniatures-painting season. Now is the
time you should be checking your house
for a good painting location. The spot
should have good sunlight, good ventila-
tion (without freezing out the rest of the
house), a large flat spot for a painting
board, and several bright lights. Also think
about the security of your figures. Youll
have to protect them from such hostile
1991 by Robert Bigelow forces as toddlers teeth, savage mauling
Photography by Mike Bethke by the family pet, or the righteous wrath
of a parent reminding you that you did not
clean up your mess. These problems can
turn pristine armies into discolored fishing
weights. When all these requirements are
met, then you are ready for painting.

c/o Stone Mountain Miniatures
P.O. Box 594
Broomfield CO 80038

DSF-200 Ventauran Star Legion

Legion Officers ****
DSF-205Legionnaires Set 1 * * * *
Stone Mountain Miniatures is better
known to the historical gamer rather than
the fantasy gamer. Its chief claims to fame
are a well-done line of historical figures
for several periods and a large selection of
buildings for use with their miniatures.
Now it enters the science-fiction field with
the production of the Denzien line figures,
licensed from England.
Ventauran officers and legionnaires (Denzien) The figures submitted for review repre-
sent units hostile to Earth and her allies.
An update on the Congressional anti-lead bill The figures in these packs are dressed in
identical space suits, with the major differ-
ences being in their positioning and weap-
ons carried. Each space suit consists of
Lets start this months column with the exempting hobby lead figures be added large boots with thick, ridged soles and toe
answer to one of the most-asked questions Many of you sent letters, and this, com- and heel plates. The legs are jointed and
of the last year: What happened to the bined with lobbying by some miniature protected at the knees, with additional
anti-lead bill? For those of you tuning in companies, got this bill sent to committee, padding on the fronts and backs of the
late, a bill was introduced to Congress last where it sat. shins and the fronts of the thighs, The
fall to protect the environment. One part End of story, right? Wrong! My sources groin and rear are protected by an inflexi-
of this bill was worded in such a way that tell me that the bill is alive in the commit- ble carapace that acts as the anchor for
all lead miniatures and other lead hobby tee and might return to haunt us in the the legs and chest pieces, showing a joint
goods would be taken off the market fall session. Whether it makes it or not at the waist that allows bending and turn-
within a year of the bills passage. Gaming depends on whether we continue to keep ing. The breast plate is formed of a piece
as we know it would change radically. the pressure on by sending polite letters to with overlaid armor protecting the upper
Companies would have to use alternate Congress. Any hobbyist who works with chest and connecting at the back. A line
figure materials and would be forced to lead should protest Senate bill S2637 or goes from the belt to mid-back; this is the
raise their prices to recover their losses. connecter hose for the backpack. The
Many of the larger figures would cease to Miniatures' product ratings shoulder joints are covered by plates simi-
exist, and detail on miniatures would lar to those of an American football player.
decrease, since plastic, for example, is not * Poor The arms are covered by a series of joint-
known to hold sharp detail. At the time, ** Below average ed pieces, and the hands are in sealed,
we encouraged you to write your senators *** Average jointed gloves. The helmets have large,
and representatives to express your con- **** Above average heart-shaped face screens; each has a
cern and request that this wording be ***** Excellent bulge on the right side that could be a
retracted from the bill, or an amendment communications port or laser tracking
up with the faceplate and that the gun is beard. A ring is on the outstretched right
secure against the left arm. hand. His left hand clutches a gnarled oak
Both sets of figures were well done, with staff held slightly off the ground. The top
virtually no flash except between the legs of the staff is notched as if for a crystal,
of one figure. Special care should be taken although none is in the kit and it is
to check all pieces before cutting away marked as optional.
what looks like flash. I trimmed one offi- This is a quality figure, but not quite as
cer, only to find what I thought was flash good as some of the previous miniatures
was actually the rifle strap. These figures sent to me. I recommend that if you pur-
scale out at 25 mm and can be used for chase this figure, you get a crystal or glass
any game from TSRs STAR FRONTIERS gem for the top of the staff, and a pearl or
to GDWs TRAVELLER* or MEGATRAVEL- a gem for the outstretched hand. This is a
LER* games. With their hex-shaped bases, good buy at $9.
you can quickly determine facings. They
are $6 per pack.
Houstons Ships
P.O. Box 14522
Thunderbolt Mountain Oklahoma City OK 73113
C + G-24Cloudships and
656 East McMillan ****
GunboatsU.S.S. Eagle
Cincinnati OH 45206-1991
Most people have seen pictures of the
U.S.S. Eagle, a tall sailing ship presently
Wizard with Staff (Thunderbolt Mountain) Thunderbolt Mountain attached to the U.S. Coast Guard as a
Miniatures cadet-training vessel. But, in the alternate
70 Harcourt Street history of GDWs SPACE: 1889* game, the
Newark, Nottingham Eagle is a very effective enforcer, a fully
UNITED KINGDOM NG 241 RF armed cloudship.
device. All the figures have small pins The miniature looks like a flat-bottomed
molded in mid-back, each pin used to 1008Wizard with Staff **** boat with wings. The front wings have a
secure the backpack communications and The newest addition to the Thunderbolt total length of 15 mm and are rectangular
oxygen units, with controls molded on the Mountain Miniatures line is a wizard with in appearance. The hull itself is 33 mm
rear. a staff. The lead figure is scaled in 54 mm long from stem to stern, 10 mm wide, and
DSF-200 contains four officers. Two but stands over 60 mm tall, from his boots 3 mm tall, not including cabins and stacks.
officers differ only slightly, with M-16-like to the top of his pointed hat. The figure Tail plane surfaces are 18 mm in size and
assault rifles pointing at the ground from comes in two pieces, the wizard and the have a standard H-shape with the prop
their right hands and with their left hands base. The base is 61 mm x 37 mm x 5 mm centered.
on their hips. A third officer in the same high; its a flat surface with two holes for Detailing on this miniature includes
pose has his helmet removed; his bald the pegs on the bottom of the wizards planking, liftwood vents, rocket launchers
head is egg shaped, with pointed ears, feet, which hold the figure in the base on the bottom of the hull, and a forward
sunken cheeks and eyes, a sharp chin, and after gluing or light melting with a solder- cabin, Side detailing includes portholes
a scowl. A fourth officer has his left hand ing iron (be careful, as you can melt the and a weapons mount, but a mold line
out, signaling someone to stop. His head is figures foot!). Also on the base are several needs to be cleaned up and smoothed
cocked slightly to the right, and an small stones and several large chunks and outnot a difficult project, but one that
advanced combat rifle, like a combination pieces of a tablet with runes and designs. needs to be done. Cabins are visible, as is
grenade launcher and large pistol with The base is not without its faults. A ridge- the top detail, which includes deck plank-
scope, IS in his right hand. This officer also line runs completely around the base, and ing with offset board ends. One gun for-
wears an extra belt ammo belt over his it must be filed off and smoothed to match ward and one aft are visible; these are not
right shoulder. the curve of the base. There was also extremely detailed. Wing-mounted weap-
DSF-205 represents the grunts of the some pitting, but that is easily fixed. ons are also visible but, again, are not very
legion. This pack of four troopers contains The wizard figure stands with his hand detailed.
the heavy weapons platoon. All are out, as if reaching for something. His This miniature is highly recommended
dressed as noted earlier, except for differ- leather boots have creases and stitched for anyone who plays the SPACE: 1889*
ences in pockets or ammo packs. Figure #1 sections. His pants have flared, rolled cuffs game and wants to fight air battles. These
carries the same advanced combat rifle as that come to the top of the boots. Over miniatures are 1/1200th scale and can be
the fourth officer previously noted, with a these pants is a flowing robe that stretches used with many other models. You will
pistol strapped to his right side. The weap- to the ground and is split at the sides. The have to work on the stand and mounting
on is cradled in his arms and pointing left, sleeves billow out to huge, flowing cuffs of this model, but the piece is eminently
while he faces straight ahead. Figure #2 with runes on the hems. The robe is playable without having to worry about
has the same rifle and pistol, but is facing creased and wrinkled as if there is a wind breaking fine detail parts. Do be careful
and firing to the left. Figure #3 is firing a or the wizard is moving. There is some anyway, as there is a high amount of tin in
well-detailed laser cannon and carries a slight pitting on the lower part of the the miniature. With the information sheet
power pack in place of the pistol. The robe. The robe is cinched by a wide, stud- enclosed, it is a good buy at $2.50 each.
figure faces and fires to his left. The last ded belt, and a pouch with ornate designs
figure comes in two parts: a weapon and hangs from the belt on the right. Over all
right arm, and the rest of the kneeling this is a flowing cape that reaches from his
body. The figure is also equipped with a shoulders to the base. A conical hat with a
pistol. The bazooka-like assault weapon wide brim completes the clothing.
(with laser-type gunsight) and the attached The wizards face shows signs of strain.
arm are glued to the kneeling figure at the His eyes and nose are detailed, and he has
shoulder joint. Special care should be a long moustache that reaches to mid-
taken to make sure that the sight is lined chest and blends into his waist-length

114 SEPTEMBER 1991

Frantz Fusion Gun on Ground Mount (Stan Johansen)

chain mail is cinched by a thin belt and date larger figures. For smaller scales, you
chain buckle. Her sword sheath almost can build weapons platforms for the fig-
blends into the hilt; there is an obvious ure. This is a good model for use with
break in the pattern, but no deep crack. forts, defensive positions, and pillboxes,
The sword pommel looks more showy and its a good buy at $7 each.
than useful.
Muscle detail is lacking on legs and
arms, with a skin and leg finish and tone Lance & Laser
more commonly seen with nylons than on PO Box 14491
Armored Warrior (Black Dragon Pewter) legs developed for fighting and climbing. Columbus OH 43214
There is some small pitting in different
areas. Facial detail is very good with a T-023Tamerlin *****
serious, almost arrogant look. Her hair Were going to finish off the submitted
goes down in waves to about mid-back. TALISLANTA* game figures by presenting
Black Dragon Pewter This figure is well done but does not the best one last (this game is produced by
2700 Range Road look quite right, as if the legs were too Bard Games). Tamerlins stories and charts
North Bellmore NY 11710 long for the body. This is a good piece, but form much of the players knowledge
not great unless you are collecting pewter gained through one supplement, The
9623Armored Warrior **** figures. Price is $30. Chronicles of Talislanta. This character
Pewter collectors, take heed of the new was also a wizard and adventurer of high
address of Black Dragon Pewter. This esteem, as proven by the fact that many of
organization has reorganized to fill your Stan Johansen Miniatures his entries start with a magical entrance.
orders better and provide better company 128 Barberton Rd The figure is of lead and scaled for use
support. Their plans include staying indef- Lake Worth FL 33467 with 25 mm figures; it is 24 mm to its eyes
initely at the above address. and 33 mm to the top of the visiting mini-
We present here a new figure in this SM020Frantz Fusion Cannon on dragon. It stands on an oval base and is
companys pewter line, that of an armored Ground Mount **** one of the busiest figures I have seen in a
female warrior. The figure, in free scale, This model has the same gun assembly long time, not even surpassed by Ral Par-
measures out to just over 77 mm tall and as the gun and grav vehicle from issue tha Imports Complete Adventurer.
almost 20 mm across the shoulders; she #172. The multibarreled gun with steel To begin, if you have a copy of The
wields a sword bigger than most 25 mm bands and wired power supply remains, Chronicles of Talislanta, look on the back
AD&D game figures. as does the radar laser sight and control page. The miniature is almost a perfect
The figure wears mid-calf, fur-lined arm. The breech block, the power box and recreation of the line drawing there. If
boots; her legs are bare from there to her controls on the right side, and the seat are you are looking for an excellent wizard
upper thighs. Her main garment seems to still the same. The ground mount has figure, see if this fits your bill.
be a short shift with short sleeves, covered three grav discs, spaced in a triangular The feet of the miniature are covered by
by a chain mail dress with a low neckline pattern, and a round main plate with a high boots that end at the shins. These
and breastplates. The upper chest is bare clear-cut diamond pattern. A towing hook boots show buttons on the side and appear
except for a necklace of intricately done is at the plates rear, and a major power to be made of two different types of mate-
wire. A chain mail bracer is on the left supply and control box on the lower deck rial. Puffed pants with ragged edges can
wrist, and a glove is on her right hand, completes this model. It also has the same be seen with close examination, and the
which rests on the hilt of her sword. Her crew as the grav tank. upper part of his body is covered by a
head is covered by a helmet that is a com- This model is highly recommended for long shirt with plain, billowing sleeves. His
bination of Byzantine and Norman helmets use with any SF game systems. For bigger coat is trimmed by an embroidered seam
with studs and a reinforcing strap. Her scales, the seat can be bent to accommo- that is visible on the model but is very

116 SEPTEMBER 1991

Tamerlin (Lance & Laser) Mercenaries of Dresda (Alternative Armies)

shallow, and all his pockets bulge. His belt the other larger figures coming out now. ures are very large compared to those
is of tooled leather. A dagger is evident, The squire is clad totally in chain mail from companies like Ral Partha, but do fit
tucked in the belt behind a component from just above the mouth to his feet, within Mark Copplestones range from
bag. His right hand grasps a staff with a including gloved hands. His feet have Grenadier. They are a bit expensive at $6
demons head crowned by horns and a stirrups on them, and one hand holds a per pack.
jewel. The figures head is covered by a pennant. His pennant is mounted on a
full cap that even shows a jewel over his lance and has a large amount of flash in
forehead and more shallow detail on the the notches and lower shaft. The squire is Grenadier Models
hem. As an extra wrap, he wears a cape also wearing a jerkin, split to allow easy P.O. Box 305
that flows behind him. movement and riding, that features a clasp Springfield PA 19064
The figures face is serious, as if he were on one shoulder and a favor tied to his
concentrating. A full beard and moustache sleeve. His head is covered by a Byzantine- Grenadier Models UK Ltd.
are here, with the detail of individual type helmet, and a sword in a scabbard is 19 Babbage Road
strands, and his mouth is open slightly as at his side. His horse is trotting with legs Deeside, Clwyd, Wales
if to cast a spell in conjunction with somat- held up by molded tufts of grass. Tack UNITED KINGDOM CH5 2QB
ic gestures. Besides the small dragon detail is good, except for the filled spots
perched on top of his pack, there is a between too-thick reins and muzzle and a 1410Wood Elf Command ****
bedroll, frying pan, and waterskins all mold line through the saddle and the As the genre of large-scale figures con-
strapped on correctly. Unfortunately, you horses head (this latter part is easy to fix). tinues to grow and armies rise to fight on
cant see into the pack. These is no noticeable cup in which to the fields, command units become a neces-
I found no flash on this miniature, and tuck the lance and pennant, so the squires sity. Command units must match in style
there are no evident mold lines. The detail arm will get sore lugging the lance around and size the figures they lead. This com-
is excellent. I can give no higher recom- all day. mand pack fits the requirements well.
mendation other than saying that this The knight is riding what appears to be The wood elf command unit is scaled for
figure has become my mage character in a horse armored only in cloth; the mount the larger 28-30 mm format compatible with
the only AD&D campaign that I get to play is probably very hot. A mold line runs Games Workshops figures, which is not too
in. Its an excellent value at $1.50 each. across the horses head, saddle, and hind- surprising considering that the designer was
quarters but is easily removed. The reins a former GW sculptor. The figures are made
are too big and solid. The horse is not of lead and represent commands for two
Alternative Armies moving fast but still is supported by a tuft groups, plus a trumpeter.
6 Parkway Court of grass. The knight himself seems to be in Group one consists of figures #604 and
Glaisdale Parkway, Nottingham a joust, as one hand is positioned as if #605, representing the boar tribe. The
UNITED KINGDOM NG8 4GN holding a lance. Imagine his surprise when standard bearer is dressed in roll-down
(Available to hobby stores in the U.S.A. he is unhorsed, as there is no lance for boots and has bare legs up to his loincloth,
through Armory Distributors) him in the package. The knight is dressed which drops front and back to his knees
in plate over chain on his lower body, with and is secured by a wide belt. His chest
FL-8Mercenaries of Dresda **** stirrups, pointed boots, and a cloth- and arms are bare, but his back is covered
This pack contains two figures, showing covered breastplate. His arms are covered by a simple round shield. His hands are
a knight and his well-armored squire or with chain mail and small plates. A gloved; in his right hand is the standard
yeoman. These figures are molded of lead heaume (great helm) and feather are and totem, and the left hand holds a
and scale out at about 30 mm to the eyes, worn, dating from the late 13th century in sword with curved crossbars and an elon-
which places them head and shoulder our time, and he has a long sword at his gated hilt. His face is gaunt and serious.
above 2.5 mm figures made by U.S. com- side. The hair is swept back. There is some
panies but compare favorably to the out- These are nice simple figures for playing flash between the arm and his body.
sized scale used by Games Workshop or but are not of collector quality. The fig- The chief of this group holds two long

pointed ears both have earrings, and he
wears a necklace.
The elf hero has no clothing except
boots, a loincloth, and belts. He also has a
wristband and has a shield strapped
across his back and a pouch on his right
side. A sword is thrust straight out in his
right hand while he guides the eagle with
his left hand. A look of concentration is on
his face, and his hair blows in the wind.
There was a little flash on the sword hilt
and the elfs right leg, but it was easily
cleaned up.
The disadvantages of these miniatures
come with the giant eagles. Both birds
have very good feather detail with feather
veins visible and have almost identical
wingspans. The eagle with the hero is in a
possible attack position, with talons down
and its head and back set as if to peck.
Wood Elf Command (Grenadier Models) The eagle with the bowman is in flight,
with its legs back and its head streamlined
swords similar to the standard bearers ly closed. He wears a breastplate and has a in a good representation of flight.
He is dressed identically to the standard small shield hanging from his belt; other- But the parts to these birds dont fit
bearer, except that his loincloth is studded wise, he is identical to the other elves. together easily, and filling is required
and he has a cape on his back. In addition If you have other elven sets in this scale, where the wings join the body. Even this
to the same serious look and gaunt face, this is a well-recommended group to lead would not be so bad except that the wing
his hair is braided and he has an ornate them. If you game in 25 mm mostly, skip span is only 102 mm, and the eagles have a
pendant on his chest. This elf is shouting a this set unless you dont mind varying body length of 50 mm. Realistically, this
challenge. sizes. The price is $5.95 per group. would not be sufficient to carry an elf
Group two represents the clan of the without magical assistance.
stag. The standard bearer generally re- 1413Wood Elf Eagle Rider *** When all the trimming of flash is done,
sembles his opposite from the boar clan. 1417Wood Elf Hero Eagle not much magic will remain. These are a
His sword is slightly curved and sheathed. Rider *** must only if you need scouts for your
Both gloved hands extend the standard in In any war, air power is important. The elves. The price is $5.95 per pack of eagle
front of him as if leading an attack. He wood elves use sharp-eyed eagles to spot and rider.
wears a cloak held on by two buttons and their enemies and deliver troops, also
a chain across the chest. A water skin serving as archery platforms. Unfortu-
hangs from his thin belt, and earrings are nately, Im not sure these miniatures Ral Partha Enterprises, Inc.
visible. His hair is swept back from his would be useful even in a fantasy world. 5938 Carthage Court
serious face. The elf rider, scaled to 28 mm, is dressed Cincinnati OH 45212
The stag-clan leader points to the front in tight-fitting leggings and a long tunic.
and wears a cape, a full tunic, and a He clutches a bow in his left hand and 11-408Tro11 ****
breastplate. His hair is braided, and eye- guides the eagle with his right. Bracers Last month, we reviewed an armored
brows arch under braided locks and curly and wristbands are on both arms. A full troll. This month, we check over the old-
hair. quarrel of arrows is located on his back in fashioned kind, the standard AD&D game
The trumpeter blows a long, curved a woven holder, and his hair flies back as troll. This 25 mm lead figure is from Ral
horn carved to resemble a flared fish. His if to tangle in their shafts. His expression Parthas line of licensed AD&D miniatures.
cheeks are puffed, and his eyes are slight- shows anger and purpose. His sharp, The troll is walking hunched over, but if
straightened out it would be just short of
Wood Elf Eagle Rider & Hero (Grenadier Models) 40 mm (9 tall in scale). The figure is un-
clothed, with well-detailed ropey muscles
and warty, rough skin. Ribs are easily seen
on the chest, and veins and muscles in the
neck stand out. His mouth is open in a
howl, with teeth separations visible. The
gaunt cheeks and sunken eyes complete
the face, topped by straight hair.
The figure I was given for review is not
quite up to Ral Parthas standards, and,
neither were the same figures at my store.
Mold lines and flash extend down from
the chest and stomach, with some flash
extending to the groin. Flash was evident
in one semi-closed fist, and tight, unbreak-
able flash extends between the left arm
and the body.
Even so, I still recommend this figure, if
only for its game-use potential, and its not
expensive at $3.50 each.
118 SEPTEMBER 1991
Troll (Ral Partha) Lesser Golems (Ral Parta)
11-416Lesser Golems **** The kobolds in this pack represent the them for anyone who uses figures for
Golems are servants created by wizards common, poor folk in the kobold world. AD&D game combat, either in individual
to do their bidding; as long as the task is These kobolds are made of lead in 25 mm fights or for fantasy miniatures battles.
simple, golems can do it. This pack repre- scale, but measure only 15 mm tall. The However, you will have to buy four or five
sents the lesser golems of the AD&D figures come seven to a pack, with four packs to get the number of troops needed
game, those of flesh and clay. These minia- different poses. All of the kobolds are for most miniatures rules unit organiza-
tures are made of lead and scaled in 25 dressed in loincloths, ragged shirts, and tion. These are a good buy at $5 per pack.
mm, and they fit the bill. foot wrappings. Their faces match the
The clay golem is a massive, muscled AD&D game descriptions, and their bodies Thats it for this month. If you have any
creep with no neck. He stands just under are heavy, complete with long, nonprehen- questions you want to ask me or you need
35 mm, so he is tall by game stats (about sile tails. All are mounted on square bases. to reach me, my address is:
8). His sculpted muscles give the impres- The pack includes two kobolds thrusting Through the Looking Glass
sion of an ideal man. The golem wears a with short spears while holding square, c/o Robert Bigelow or Friends Hobby
sumo-type loincloth and nothing else. His woven shields. Swords hang from belts on 1411 Washington St.
mouth is a slit, and his eyes look out from their right rear. Another kobold holds a Waukegan IL 60085
sunken sockets exuding hatred. His low- large spear as if on guard; he also holds an (708) 336-0790
ered right hand is clenched in a tight fist, ornate shield with studs and has a short M,W,Th,F from 2 P.M -10 P.M.
while his right hand is open slightly. The sword. He looks like a leader. Two other S,Su 10 A.M. -5 P.M.
arms are stretched out from his sides. kobolds are attacking with spiked clubs, I wont guarantee Ill be able to answer
Raised mold lines on both sides will re- using shields but having no swords. The all your questions, but Ill try.
quire some careful work to avoid ruining last two kobolds are attacking with short
the detail. swords and holding shields, but are posed * indicates a product produced by a company other
than TSR, Inc. Most product names are trademarks
The flesh golem, on the other hand, is differently. owned by the companies publishing those products.
thin, and his musculature is more human- There was no flash or heavy mold lines The use of the name of any product without mention
like. He wears ragged, rotting clothing on these figures, and I highly recommend of its trademark status should not be construed as a
from his waist to the dragging cutoffs on challenge to such status.
the ground. Patches and suture lines cover
his body, with some separation of flesh
Kobolds (Ral Partha)
visible. His head is devoid of hair and his
face is grim of expression and bears an
uncanny resemblance to Tombstone of
Marvels Spider-Man comics fame. The
right hand and arm are raised as if to
strike down. There are no visible mold
lines or flash on this miniature.
These miniatures are highly recom-
mended as well-done playing pieces. No
evil mage should leave home without one.
The price is $3.50 per pack.

11-421Kobolds * * * * *
Kobolds are everyones favorite punch-
ing bag in AD&D games. Whenever par-
ties get together, piles of dead kobolds
result. These little guys must have either a
cloning machine or litters of thousands to
withstand the casualties they take and not
become extinct. No matter how they do it.
you love to hate them.