Summary of issue content by Editor-in-chief:
Welcome to issue #49 of DRAGON magazine, the most conventional and unconventional collection of article and artwork we've ever put between two covers. And just what does that mean? Read on, and it will all be clear in just a little while.
The unconventional part is this issue's special inclusion, which doesn't have anything directly to do with playing a game but has everything to do with the world of fantasy. The offering is titled "A Hildebrandt Brother" and is the result of interviews and photo sessions conducted by staff member Bryce Knorr at the home of Tim Hildebrandt, who, as they say on the talk shows, needs no introduction. For an insight into Tim the person, read the interview. For some sights of the paintings which have taken him to the pinnacle of professional success, check out this month's cover - done especially for DRAGON magazine - and the selection of other paintings reproduced along with the interview. We are very, very proud of these pages, and we hope it shows.
To find the conventional part of #49, turn two pages after this one to the start of a special feature section on the related subjects of tournaments and conventions. The nine pages of text in this section include Allen Barwick's plea for fairness and consistency in the judging of role-playing tournaments; Philip Meyers' unfavorable assessment of the structure of last year's AD&D Open Tournament, accompanied by a response from Frank Mentzer of TSR Hobbies; preview stories on the Gen Con East and Gen Con XIV Conventions; information about two other special events of interest to gamers; plus the most extensive listing of upcoming conventions that we could assemble before going to press. Elsewhere in the magazine you'll find pre-registration brochures for Gen Con East and Gen Con XIV - a total of 22 more pages of very conventional stuff.
Does that mean there wasn't room for all the "regular" things you're used to finding inside DRAGON magazine? Not hardly. For starters, we've taken steps to satisfy all you honorable readers who've been asking for information on the Samurai non-player character. An updated and lengthened version of the character class, which made its debut in the pages of DRAGON magazine nearly five years ago, should make you very happy. For those of you who prefer a more detailed version of the Alchemist NPC, Len Lakofka offers just such a character in Leomund's Tiny Hut.
Also inside are many other special articles to help embellish an adventure or an entire campaign, including: Karl Horak's description of how to construct a three-dimensional world on paper, complete with a pattern you can use to build a 20-sided "sphere" with a hex-grid pattern already printed on its surface; lists of names, provided by author Glenn Rahman,which can be used to christen characters in a historically accurate fashion; Jon Mattson's system for converting AD&D monsters into creatures compatible with a Chivalry & Sorcery game; Paul Crabaugh's suggestions for expanding the scope of the Dragonquest rules, and Gary Snyder's guidelines for how to use the Wish and Limited Wish spells - both as a "giver" and a "getter." Following that article is a bit of "wishful writing" on the part of contributing editor Roger Moore which we hope you'll enjoy as well. Roger is also the responsible party for this issue's edition of Giants in the Earth.
Our other contributing editor, Ed Greenwood, is represented by an essay in Up on a Soapbox, describing how a DM can indoctrinate new players to a role-playing game without telling them any more than they absolutely need to know.
Administrators and agents involved in a TOP SECRET mission can now choose from a wider assortment of ammunition than offered in the official rule book, thanks to the latest installment of The Rasmussen Files. Other regular columns we could pack into these pages include Simulation Corner, where John Prados examines the issue of being a free-lance game designer; another bit of background for DIVINE RIGHT players by game designer Glenn Rahman in Minarian Legends; another Squad Leader scenario from Bryan Beecher; a pair of new dungeon-adventure timekeeping computer programs in The Electric Eye by Mark Herro; and another two pages of miniature-figure reviews by Bill Fawcett in Figuratively Speaking.
All in all, you have 120 pages of reading in store for you... and only a month until we'll do it all over again. - KM