I’ve started to collect Dragon Magazine. It’s interesting, because its guaranteed that none of what I read is usable out-of-the-box, which means I’m free to interpret all the rules and spells and thoughts from ages past in ways that make sense to me without worrying about the exact conversion.
I also find really neat things, a few of which I’m going to share today.
A Chance Statblock
We’ll start our adventure in Dragon Magazine #220. This was the issue I read that convinced me I had to have them all. I had bought a handful cheap from a local game store and they had sat on my shelf for months. I needed something to read at work, so I snagged one and flipped through between calls.
#220 is what I consider a good volume, especially in that era. There were a lot of articles that were a step or two above just straight 2e numbers. And then we get tot he prize, such a prize, I had to go around showing my family. In an article about assassins, I had in front of me a 2 page statblock for Vlad Taltos.
Your reaction to that find puts you into one of two camps. You are either someone who hasn’t read Jhereg yet, or you’re super excited about this and want to read Jhereg again. One of the coolest characters in the book that consistently holds the title of “favorite.” If you don’t know it, read it. I can’t recommend it enough (if you live near me, I have a copy I can lend.) It’s a reverse murder mystery and it is one of the best written books ever. Seriously. Srsly. check it out!
A Tale of Tucker and friends
The Tale of Tucker’s Kobolds is one I’ve heard and shared before. It’s one of my favorite D&D stories. If I had been asked, I probably could have said it came from a Dragon magazine article, but now I know for sure, as I found the original in the editorial. So good.
Advertisements still work
One of the cool things about looking at the actual magazines as opposed to just the articles online is you can see the advertisements. Some things have changed, some things have stayed the same. It’s really cool to see games I played as a kid get reviews as if they were brand new, proudly exclaiming their 16 bit graphics and such.
What’s really cool and something I didn’t know about is that there were a lot of RPGs, even advertised in Dragon magazine. While I want all the things, one thing caught my eye and I really really want it, but it’s really hard to find, even via piracy.
When I was growing up, we would watch a movie called Wizards. Not the nintendo movie, the animated post-apocalyptic, yet still somehow about world war II, gritty fantasy movie. And flipping through a Dragon, I found they had made an RPG. Man, I want this book so bad. I’m keeping my eyes open, but I don’t have much hope. we’ll see though.
So that was 3 things that has caught my eye. I’ve seen plenty, of course, and I’m sure I’ll see more. I splurged this week and I have 16 more Dragons I have yet to flip through. If you’re interested in anything in particular, let me know and I’ll see what I can do to expand this type of quicky into real content.