||                                                            ||
||   DRAGONQUEST Newsletter                    November 1994  ||
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||   Volume 1 / Number 9                                      ||

The DQ Newsletter is for discussions of the DragonQuest role
playing game.  The key addresses you need to know are:

    Philip Proefrock (Editor, Article Submissions, Etc.)

    David Nadler (Distribution Coordinator)

    Drake Stanton (FTP Site Coordinator)

All articles are copyrighted property of their respective authors. 
 Reproducing or republishing an article, in whole or in part, in any other 
forum requires permission of the author or the moderator.  The DragonQuest 
Newsletter also maintains an ftp archive site:
which includes back issues of the newsletter and other articles of interest 
to DragonQuest players and GMs.


 Editorial  -- Philip Proefrock

 Letters  -- John Kahane
          -- Editors

 Column: The BEASTIARY
 -- Likshara -- John Kahane
 -- Ahl-at-Rab -- Charles Summerhill

 The Races of Oaerth -- Charles Summerhill
 Luck Characteristic -- Charles Summerhill

 -- Character Generation Spreadsheet -- Dave Nadler

EDITORIAL: The Canonical DQ Index

  I have a begun a project and I need everyone's input, even the lurkers out 
there.  I am trying to gather an index of all published DragonQuest related 
material, both SPI's material as well as third party items.  I am _not_ 
going to try to catalog all of the 'zine and private material in this index; 
that's a separate task.  (Although I certainly wouldn't mind getting copies 
of that material
as well.  I am just afraid that that list will always be much more 
incomplete, whereas the Commercial Index may be fairly complete in its 
coverage.)  I think all of us would find it useful to have a complete index 
of published DQ material.  Perhaps we can even come up with a way of making 
copies accessible at some point.

  I know that, in addition to the two SPI editions and the TSR edition of 
the game itself, there were several adventure modules (mostly by SPI), a 
GM's Screen, and the Frontiers of Alusia map/campaign setting.  And then 
Judges' Guild produced a couple of DQ items (which I have never seen, 
myself), SPI's Ares magazine ran articles and a couple of smaller 
adventures, and Dragon magazine had some articles, too.

  I also know that there must be more than that.  I'm sure there are some of 
you who have old magazine back issues with DQ related articles I don't know 
of.  Let me know what you have, or even articles you've seen, but don't have 
copies of.  We will try to track things down in order to get as complete a 
resource for everyone's use as we can.  I hope to have a preliminary draft 
of the
Index posted to the Archive in a month or two; then we will continue to 
update it periodically as needed.

  Personally, I would like to get photocopies of these articles (especially 
articles from SPI's _Ares_ magazine which I don't already have) for my own 
archives, so perhaps we can work something out if you have an article I 
don't have.  Send article sightings to:
     psproefr@miamiu.muohio.edu (Philip Proefrock)


  I saw the reprint of the posts that came out of the Internet side of 
things about the business with DRAGONQUEST and the Cold Iron issue, and just 
thought that I would comment on it.  You were quite right in that the 
designers of the game took an approach to this that stemmed from the 
English/Irish mythologies and how magic was interfered with by cold iron and 
all.  The DQ rules state, as you mentioned as well, that it's a minute 
quantity of cold iron that prevents a mage from casting spells, and I think 
this is where part of the problem lies for some folks.

  The rules don't state specifically *how much* iron will interfere with 
casting, but the guideline of "a few ounces" of iron is a good one.  I've 
never really had a problem with this issue at all in any of the campaigns 
that I've run (and I've been running DQ now since the game first came out on 
the market); my players have always accepted this, and feel it's a small 
price to pay in order to play a Mage, and fits well with the faerie fear and 
vulnerability to cold iron that is present in the game (and mythology). 
 Besides, if a Mage wants to avoid this, he or she can purchase a weapon or 
set of armour that is silvered or truesilvered (although it will be a bit 
more expensive), and the magical properties of silver and truesilver more 
than make up for the extra cost.

  I think the limitations that cold iron place on magic use and spellcasting 
is something that the GM can control, if he or she wishes.  If one feels 
that it's a "silly" rule (which I do not), then one can always discard it, 
but as has been pointed out, this places a very small limiting factor on 
magic, one that is plausible and fits in well with the mythologies from 
which the DRAGONQUEST game is derived.

 -- John Kahane   (John.Kahane@p5.f198.n163.z1.fidonet.org)

  There have been some recent discussions on DragonQuest topics in the 
newsgroup rec.games.frp.misc.  As John's letter (above) mentions, an earlier 
discussion was included in last month's newsletter.  But I know that not 
everyone who gets the newsletter has access to the newsgroup.  Our question 
for all of you is: should we try to collect these discussions  and circulate 
them as newsletter supplements, or just compile them for the archive, or is 
it not worth the bother?
  Let us know.
 -- Editors
 (psproefr@miamiu.muohio.edu)  (nadled@uh2297p01.daytonoh.ncr.com)

 -------------------_The_ _B_E_A_S_T_I_A_R_Y_---------------------
 -- John Kahane

  Just thought I would send along another little beastie that I came up with 
the for the DragonQuest campaign that I run.  This one, obviously, is 
classed under the Felines category, and is quite dangerous.  My players have 
told me over the last couple of years that the liksharan is one of the more 
dangerous feline predators that they've encountered in their time, and its 
natural speed and magical resistance are what give this beastie the edge. 
 As you'll see below....

Natural Habitat: Plains, Hills
Frequency: Uncommon              Number: 1-8 (3)

  Likshara (sing.: liksharan) are a form of carnivorous cat.  They are light 
brown, snub-snouted animals, and can grow as large as six feet in length 
(but average around 4 feet).  Their hides are specked with small, dark 
rings, they have short tails and very rounded ears.  Likshara weigh several 
hundred pounds apiece, but are highly agile for their mass and size.

Talents, Skills, and Magic:
  While likshara do not have any talents or magic, they do have the natural 
ability to see at night with a range of 150 feet.  In addition, likshara are 
very sure-footed, and rarely trip or fall
(requires an AGx5 or less roll).  Likshara are naturally magic-resistant, 
and increase their Magic Resistance values by +15%.

Movement Rates:  Running: 450
   PS: 22-26   MD: 25-30   AG: 28-34   MA:  1-6
   EN: 17-24   FT: 22-30   WP: 10-14   PC: 19-24
   PB:  8-11   TMR: 9      NA: Fur absorbs 2 DP

  The likshara can attack with its bite, with a Base Chance of 32%, and 
doing +1 damage.  The claws of the creature have a Base Chance of 65%, and 
do +3 damage.  The creature can attack with bite and claws in both Melee and 
Close Combat.  If the likshara attack with claws in Close Combat, the Base 
Chance is increased by +15%.

  Likshara are a form of feline creature that are said to have been created 
or formed during the time of the Wars of Binding, since they were not seen 
in the world before this time.  Carnivorous by nature, the likshara evolved 
in plains but gradually adapted to slightly mountainous terrain.  With their 
natural bonus to magical resistance and their great speed and skill with 
claws, the likshara are feared throughout the continent by lone travelers 
who will usually avoid the mountainous and hilly terrain where the likshara 
dwell.  The hide of a liksharan is quite unusual and is worth 150 Silver 
Pennies for one in good condition.

 -- John Kahane  (John.Kahane@p5.f198.n163.z1.fidonet.org)

Ahl-at-Rab (from the Races of Oaerth)
 -- Charles Summerhill  (charles.summerhill@grapevine.lrk.ar.us)

  {For some additional background on this new character race, see the 
article on "The Races of Oaerth" in this issue.  --  ED}

XX.XX Ahl-at-Rab are a warlike species of saurians who populate deserts and 
other wastelands throughout Oaerth.  They are a nomadic race, continually 
moving from place to place in search of food.  They are believed to be 
distantly related to the sea-dwelling Makara.

Sometimes called 'Sand Devils,' they are humanoid in form.  They are slow 
moving, but powerful creatures averaging about six-and-a-half feet tall, 
though seven foot tall males are not uncommon.  They have scaly hides which 
range in color from tan to dark brown.  A fin-like crest runs from the 
center of the forehead to the base of the neck, and is believed to help 
maintain body temperature.  Like all reptiles, the Ahl-at-Rab are 

These 'Sand Devils' live for combat and have a strong sense of honor and 
constantly seek glorious death in battle.  They will almost never retreat 
unless hopelessly outnumbered.

The Ahl-at-Rab are believed to be distant relatives of an extinct race of 
super-intelligent saurians, known only as the Old Ones, that once ruled most 
of the world.  The Ahl-at-Rab rarely practice Magic.  There is usually only 
one Shaman (plus assistant) per tribe. [Average Tribe Size: 20 to 100 
individuals; children would be at the rate of 1.5 or so per couple.]  A 
shaman would not always be found in the smaller tribes, and still only one 
per larger tribe (they are jealous of their secrets and power over the 
Tribe).  Those who do perform magic will almost always choose the College of 
Earth Magics (and always the Druidic branch).  However, rumors have been 
heard of some of the Ahl-At-Rab practicing magic of a College of one of the 
Entities (Black Magics, Necromancy, Greater and Lesser Summonings).

Special Abilities:

1. The Ahl-at-Rab possess poor sight, but this is more than made up for by 
two extra senses: the sense of infrared smell (like some types of snakes) 
and the ability to sense ground vibrations.  Range on "infrared smell" is 
similar to what a snake possesses.  They would have a range of about 30 feet 
in calm weather, less if lots of wind.  Ground Vibration sense should vary 
great depending on terrain.  Useful over distance only if the Ahl-at-Rab 
"put their ear to the ground".  Otherwise very short distance (good for 
fighting blind or against invisible foes).
2. If an Ahl-at-Rab character possesses the Ranger skill and chooses to 
specialize in Deserts/Wastelands, he pays one-half the Experience Points to 
progress Ranks.
3. If an Ahl-at-Rab character takes the Beast Master skill, and he chooses 
to specialize in Reptiles, Avians and/or Humanoids, he spends three-quarters 
the Experience Points to progress Ranks.  However, should he choose to 
specialize in other Animal types, he pays the normal Experience Points for 
that Rank. Should he choose to train any animals outside that group 
(Reptiles, Avians, or Humanoids) it will take twice the usual time to do so.

Characteristic Modifiers:

  Physical Strength  +2
  Dexterity          -1
  Agility            -2
  Endurance          +2
  Willpower          -1
  Fatigue            +2
     Movement Rate   -1
  Natural Armor      +1

Average Life Span:  40 to 60 Oaerth years.

Experience Multiplier:  1.1

 -- Charles Summerhill  (charles.summerhill@grapevine.lrk.ar.us)

 -- Charles Summerhill  (charles.summerhill@grapevine.lrk.ar.us)

  I have added several new races to my DQ campaign, and changed some of the 
others in various ways. What follows are those new and changed races (ones 
not changed are not included.)  The GM should carefully read the changes to 
the shape-changer; they are the most significant -- strangely enough they 
resulted from my original gaming group and the way that we all read the 
rules.  To be honest, I stole the Ahl-at-Rab and the Druas from a game 
supplement book called "Bestiary" from Bard Games.

  Oaerth is a co-creation between me and two other GMs over the last twelve 
years.  It is an unmapped, mostly undefined world that is not quite the same 
as Earth (duh!).  Most of our characters began in an alternative-history 
Earth, but after a few years they managed to travel to this world.  We have 
used it in all of our campaigns since.  And BTW, it is spelled Oaerth (with 
the 'a' and 'e' as one letter), so it is different than Gary Gygax's 
Greyhawk world as well.

          Oaerth Races
Experience Point Multiplier Table

  Ahl-at-Rab     1.1
  Druas          1.3*
  Elf            1.2
  Giant          1.5
  Halfling       1.1
  Human          1.0
  Runir (Dwarf)  1.1
  Shape-Changer  1.6
    (True Elf)   1.4
  Uruku (Orc)    0.9

[*Note that the Druas have a different Experience Multiple when learning 
Magic: 0.85]

  {Rather than including the entire set here, we will include a few of these 
races in the Beastiary column over the next few months.  The Ahl-at-Rab are 
included in the 'Beastiary' column in this issue.  A complete set of Oaerth 
character races will be posted to the Archive soon.  --ED}

 -- Charles Summerhill  (charles.summerhill@grapevine.lrk.ar.us)

 -- Charles Summerhill  (charles.summerhill@grapevine.lrk.ar.us)

[The following *optional* ability score is currently under playtesting.  The 
characters have used their Luck points very sparingly, and so far it seems 
to be working fine.  However, this could have unbalancing effects in a game 
and should be introduced with caution.]

XX.XX Luck is a measure of a character's ability to cheat what fate has in 

The Luck characteristic in an optional rule that allows the characters a 
chance to change certain _random_ events to something more in their favor. 
 Luck, like Fatigue, is a characteristic that will regularly increase and 
decrease during game play.

Each character (when initially generated) will start out with two points of 
Luck.  A character will gain one additional point of Luck at the completion 
of a successful adventure (unsuccessful adventures do not add Luck points). 
 A character may spend Luck points at any time to cause an unfortunate 
random event to either turn their way or not to happen at all. It is even 
possible to spend more than one point at a time to get a particular event to 
occur (or not to occur).

Some of the purposes that Luck can be used for include:

  *Cancel the effects of being Stunned;
  *Cancel the effects of a backfire;
  *Add +10% to the chance of success per point of Luck spent;
  *Add +10% to Magic Resistance per Luck point spent (including
     Active Resistance);
  *Any other reasonable purpose that the GM approves.

In addition to any of the other specific uses of Luck described above, a 
player may simply either re-roll, or have re-rolled, the results of the last 
die roll. For instance, if a character is struck
for a Grievous Injury, s/he may immediately call for a re-roll of the dice 
which would nullify the Grievous Injury (unless the re-roll is also a 
Grievous Injury, at which point the character in question could spend more 
Luck points or simply accept his/her fate).  However, only the last die roll 
can be re-rolled.  If a Grievous Injury was rolled, but the player chose not 
to change that result with Luck, and then the specific Grievous Injury 
result was the instant death of the character, only the particular Grievous 
Injury could be re-rolled; the fact that the attack was a Grievous Injury is 
then unchangeable with Luck.

Luck points are accumulated at the conclusion of each successful adventure 
(not unsuccessful adventures), as a bonus to each character. The exact 
amount has yet to be determined though Play Testing, but for the moment it 
is assumed to be 1 point per adventure. Under no circumstances can a player 
accumulate more than 4 Luck points total. Any other points normally gained 
are simply lost.

The GM should not feel obligated to allow the use of Luck in all situations. 
 Anytime that they are used, the use itself, as well as the effects 
provided, are completely up the GM.  The player should let it be known what 
s/he is trying to accomplish, and the GM will determine exactly what can be 
done.  Luck points are intended primarily to prevent the death of a 
character by the roll of a die.  Remember that when a character's Luck 
points are all used up, the character is effectively *out of luck*.

 -- Charles Summerhill  (charles.summerhill@grapevine.lrk.ar.us)

 ---------------------_D_Q_ _A_R_C_H_I_V_E_-----------------------
[Archive ftp site is at: ftp.netcom.com in the pub/drache directory. 
Archivist and ftp Guru: Drake Stanton (drache@netcom.com)]

Title of Archive

This is in response to Daniel Allbutt's request for an automated tool to 
help in character generation (Letters: v1n8).  I created a spreadsheet (in 
Excel 4.0) to simplify but not completely automate the character generation 
process.  In reality, the spreadsheet simply lists all of the skills 
(weapons & trades) along with their experience point cost by rank.  In 
column A, the skills are listed.  In column B, one can enter the rank 
desired, and in column C the total experience point cost is listed.  Columns 
D and out contain the point cost per rank for a skill.

On the bottom of the spreadsheet are three "summary" numbers.  The first 
"Used" is the sum of experience points to achiee the desired ranks entered 
above.  The second "Allowed" is manually input to show the number of 
experience points that can be spent to create a character.  The third 
"Available" shows the difference between "Used" and "Allowed" thus showing 
how many points one can yet spend in finishing the character.

The spreadsheet doesn't take into account some items like the first skill 
not having any cost for rank 0, or the halved cost of thievry if one is a 
superiorly ranked spy.  I started working on a second spreadsheet (which 
I'll also place on the FTP site) which is the character sheet.  My intent 
was to somehow link the selected skills from the EXPCHART.XLS file into the 
CHARSTAT.XLS spreadsheet.  Perhaps sometime in the future.

###   End of DragonQuest Newsletter v1/n9 -- November 1994