||                                                            ||
||   DRAGONQUEST Newsletter                       March 1995  ||
||                                                            ||
||   Volume 2 / Number 3                                      ||

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.




 Letters  -- John F. Rauchert
          -- Jerry Stratton

 Enhancements to Ensorcelments & Enchantments -- Russell H. Whyte
 Further Discussion on Invested Items in DQ
 Spelljamming -- Jerry Stratton
 Water Magics Modifications -- Joe Gregg


EDITORIAL: Phil Proefrock

This month's issue is lacking an entry in the "Beastiary" column.
We need more submissions for this column!  In an attempt to expand
the scope of the Beastiary, it has been suggested that we include
character backgrounds and descriptions.  Whether this should be a
part of the Beastiary or a separate column of its own will remain
to be seen.  You should see this begin in the April or May issue.

Fortunately, we are starting to get more things for the
Newsletter.  As was mentioned in the February issue, the April
issue will be a special issue devoted to Shape-Changers.  We
already have a couple of articles, but if you have some additional
information on the topic, now's the time to send it!


As I mentioned last time, I'm testing out a new method of sending
the netletter.  When I receive the copy from Phil, I normally
remove all the carriage returns and new line characters except
between paragraphs.  I thought this would make a more readable
document on the receiver's end.  Unbeknownst to me, Phil goes to
great pains to make sure each line is less than 60 characters long
thus ensuring the content will fit on most screens and/or print

So, here's the question.  How readable is this and the previous
issue of the DQ Netletter?  I'm just forwarding on Phil's copy
without removing any extra characters.  Let me know if this
issue (and the last one) come across OK or if there are weird
line-breaks that mess up the document at your end.  Thanks.


Re: Canonical DQ Index

In one of those Ares magazines (I don't remember which, maybe Nr 6
or 10) was a description of products under development, one was a
world generation system by Steve Jackson.  I had an opportunity to
talk to Steve when he was the guest of honor at Calcon (Calgary's
gaming convention) and he said that he had indeed developed a
world generation system for DragonQuest but SPI went belly-up
before it came out.  I tried to find out what happened to the
original notes but all he would say is that most of that work
found its way into GURPS.  I personally would pay big bucks for
the original.
 -- John F. Rauchert  (john.rauchert@sait.ab.ca)

{The following is an excerpt from a recent discussion with Jerry
Stratton.  Jerry is the maintainer of the Cerebus site, and some
of the Archive materials will be made available there, too.  --ED}

>Is there someone currently maintaining this archive?  Are you in
>contact with other DQ players (other than those we know of who
>are Newsletter subscribers)?  Are you interested in getting
>additional material for the Cerebus archive?

I'm maintaining the archive.  I'm not in contact with any other DQ
players, and I don't play myself anymore.  I have a soft spot in
my heart for DQ, however, and continue to pull stuff down off the
net when it arrives.  Of course, that's few and far between.  If
you have additional material, I almost certainly would like to
put it on Cerebus.

If you have ftp access to the net, you can put stuff on Cerebus in
the 'incoming' directory. You won't be able to see it once you put
it there, but it's there, and I'll move it to the correct place

If you only have e-mail access to the net, you can send text
submissions to me, or directly to Cerebus at

And you can finger or e-mail help@cerebus.acusd.edu for more info.
I look forward to seeing more DQ stuff!

 -- Jerry Stratton  (jerry@teetot.acusd.edu)

{Editors' Note:  Jerry is not a member of the Newsletter staff;
the Cerebus site just happens to have a DQ area, which he
graciously maintains.  If you send material to the Cerebus site,
please also send it to one of the editorial staff so that we can
let everyone know about it.  -- ED}

 -- Russell H. Whyte  (russell.whyte@sheridanc.on.ca)

Enhancements to College of E&E
I blatantly prefer this college, but find it a little lacking
compared to other colleges in some areas.  These are some
suggestions to beef it up.  I do not have a separate college for
shaping/creating magic items.  I placed that area under this
college.  Some of the following reflects this way of thinking.
Feel free to modify/use/discard as appropriate to your campaign.

(T-2)  Detect Magic
This talent allows the adept to discern whether a given item is
enchanted.  It does not give any details about the enchantment.
At the GM's discretion, it may also show the general domain of
that magic (white/grey/black, elemental, etc.).  The exact
college/spells will not be known.  This is a simple yes/no.  If
successful, the adept knows if it's magic.  If unsuccessful, the
adept doesn't sense any magic.  The degree of enchantment is not
shown.  A coin with a permanent light spell will register the same
response as Thor's hammer.
The success chance is Perception + 4 per Rank.
The experience multiple is 200.

General Knowledge Spells
(G-10)  Silence
Range:       15 feet + 15 per Rank
Duration:    10 minutes * D5 * Rank
Exp. Mult.:  300
Base Chance: 20%
Resist:      May be actively and passively resisted
Effect: (15 + 15*Rank) foot diameter sphere around target.  All
sounds are nulled.  This also includes spellcasting.  If target
fails resistance roll, spells cannot be cast until this wears off.
This effect does not affect adepts of Sorceries of the Mind or

General Knowledge Rituals
(Q-5)  Analyze Magical Item
  This ritual, which takes one hour to invoke, will determine any
enchantments or abilities which an item possesses.  These can
include Modifiers to hit/damage/initiative/spell casting/etc.;
Special abilities (extra flame damage, bonus against orcs, allows
user infravision, etc.).  Note that this does not explain how to
use these, it simply shows what abilities it has.  If successful,
the adept knows the realms of magic used in creating the item.
  If you blow the roll, you either don't understand the item, or
you get the abilities wrong, at the game-master's discretion.  I
prefer getting it wrong.  It usually is good for keeping players
in line.  Imagine analyzing a new mace, thinking it's specially
enchanted against undead, only to discover it summons undead
  Base chance is (40 + MA + Rank).  Experience Multiplier is 150

(Q-6)  Lesser magical item creation
I include in this category the ability to create lesser-powered
magical items.  This includes the special alchemy items from the
Black Magic College, charged items such as wands, rods, magical
potions, scrolls, and any other temporary or counted-use item.
Experience multiples do not apply, as I usually require special
items/materials used in the creation of items.  For example, an
amulet of protection from undead would require blood or bones (or
whatever) from an undead creature.  The adept can only create this
item on a new moon, it takes 3 days to build, and requires 500
silver pennies in spell-casting materials (incense, coloured
chalks, special inks).  A fully equipped lab with proper tools
must be available.  This stuff can be rather automatic to create,
just make creating it complicated to keep under control (i.e. the
undead remains must be freshly gathered to be useful).  In other
words, you want to create an amulet protecting the wearer from a
creature, you gotta go kill one of those creatures that day to get
the raw materials!  Who said this was supposed to be easy? :-)
  This can be overbalancing, depending on player ingenuity.  GM
discretion and a bit of planning is required to keep this under
control. This ritual will NOT create magical swords, armor, rings,
or any other permanent magic items.  That takes special knowledge
rituals and a lot of endurance!

Special Knowledge Spells
(S-13)  Fear
Same as the S-13 Fear spell in College of Celestial Magics

Special Knowledge Rituals
(R-1)  Warding
Same as the Warding Ritual (see rule 32.4) with the following
exception: This version allows the caster to place more than one
spell in a Warding.  The exact number is Rank/4, rounding down.

 -- Russell H. Whyte  (russell.whyte@sheridanc.on.ca)


David Novak:
As far as the rules interpretation of environmental bonuses being
added to the cast chance of an invested spell, I think the rules
are quite explicit.

>From [32.3], paragraph 4, "Whenever a spell is released from an
object in which it was invested, the spell is treated as if it was
being cast by the character who originally stored it in the
object.  It always emanates from the spot occupied by the object,
but is treated in ***ALL*** (emphasis added) other ways as if cast
by that character as he was *when he originally invested the
object* {with the spell power ..."

At least the 2nd edition copy I have states fairly clearly that
the release of the spell from an investment should be treated as
if cast by character who made the invested item AT THE TIME WHEN
HE ORIGINALLY CAST IT.  Thus, environmental bonuses are allowed by
the rules.

The problem with the rules are that this is rather unbalancing.
Most of the DQ groups that I have played in do not allow the
environmental bonuses when using an investment.  MA bonuses and a
backfire chance of 40% are allowed since the MA bonus is intrinsic
to the caster and the caster would be investing the spell as if in
adventure sequence, not tactical sequence.  However, these are all
house rules from campaigns with medium to high levels of magic.
AFWIW, those with whom I have gamed, would never say that I have
ever tried to bend the rules in favor :-)

 -- David Novak  (trumpet@peak.org)

 - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - -- - - - - - - -- - - - - - - -- - -
Philip Proefrock:
I think Cameron King had some good points in his letter about
Invested items in DragonQuest, and the differences between his
approach and mine have as much to do with the campaign flavor as
with the actual interpretation of the rules.  His point of view
makes as much sense as my own, but my campaigns have dealt with
magic as a special but very available medium; a different kind of

David Novak's position is equally valid in my opinion.  But I
think that the interpretation the rules more closely imply is that
if the Investing adept increases his Rank with a spell, an object
which was Invested by that adept does NOT suddenly change and
become better, too.

Invested items are self-limiting because of the number of charges
they have.  Players tend to hoard their magic because it may be
needed for something more critical later on.  Flying spells seem
to be the most abused type of investments, at least in my
experience.  (There's nothing worse than having the party decide
to fly from point A to point B and bypass all the fun encounters
you had envisioned for them along the way...)  I have periodically
introduced 'real' (i.e. limitless charge and permanently
magical items from time to time, which have become the really
valuable magical items in my campaigns.

I guess the answer ultimately depends on the tone of the campaign.
I haven't had anyone get out of control about enchanting each and
every bit of stuff they are carrying, yet.  I suppose that the
possibility of a backfire (and I am known for my 'creative'
backfire results) helps to limit that, too.

 -- Philip Proefrock  (psproefr@miamiu.muohio.edu)

 -- from the Cerebus DQ Archive
Copyright ) 1992 Jerry Stratton.  Distribute freely, at no cost to
the user or profit for yourself.


Spelljamming (S-14)
     Range:  Self
     Duration:  Concentration/maximum of 1 hour + 1 hour per Rank
     Exp Multiple:  600
     Base Chance:  5%
     Resist:  May not be resisted
Effects:  The caster links to a vessel of some kind, and turns
this vessel into a spelljamming vessel.  Any vessel will work.  To
move the vessel requires 1 Fatigue Point per tonnage/rank per
hour.  Speed in wildspace is the jammer's Magic Aptitude, millions
of miles per hour.  Speed can be doubled or trebled with a good
roll.  Within a larger object's Gravity Plane, the vessel may move
Magic Aptitude miles per hour relative to this object.  Speed
perpendicular to a Gravity Plane is in hundreds of miles per hour.

WILDSPACE:  Any area that is not included in a Gravity Plane.  Any
creature flying under it's own power will move at its normal
movement rate (in miles per hour) times 100,000 miles per hour.  A
creature that normally moves at 10 miles per hour will move at 1
million miles per hour.

GRAVITY PLANE:  Objects have a Gravity Plane that follows their
contour.  This plane extends in the direction perpendicular to the
plane of the object, twice the depth of the object.  The correct
plane to use is the  largest dimension of the object.  Spheres
(such as the Earth) have a plane extending equally outward.
Earth's plane extends twice its diameter, for 7,776,057 feet above
the Earth's surface.  This is approximately 1,500 miles.  Thus,
for a spelljammer with a 15 Magic Aptitude to leave Earth's
Gravity Plane will take 1 hour: 1,500 miles divided by 1,500 miles
per hour.  At Magic Aptitude 21, with a doubled speed, it will
take 1,500 divided by 4,200, or 21 minutes.  It will take the same
amount of time to land on the Earth, coming in from wildspace.

 -- from the Cerebus DQ Archive

 -- Joe Gregg (gregg@espresso.rt.cs.boeing.com)

The College of WATER MAGICS

Background on these changes ----------------

  It seemed to us that the original College of Water Magics
required a lot of Magical Aptitude for not much adventure
usefulness.  We needed their magic so the GM's always had to
provide them as NPC's or wharf shop proprietors.  When TSR
published the Shaping Magics rules, their ability to sell
investments cheaply at the waterfront disappeared (if you chose to
implement the new restrictions - only Shapers could make
investable items).

  We reasoned that the tremendous need for their services would
have driven research to find a way to get their magic to the
multitude of fishers & seafarers in a mostly-water world.  If
investments aren't readily available, what other medium could a
Water Mage expect to use cheaply?  It took about 0.005 seconds to
answer that: potions!  Here is a liquid investment medium that
naturally applies to this branch of magic.

  Aside from that, other branches offered some adventuring
abilities that we felt were missing from a College that had such a
high MA requirement.  A PC Water Wizard could not compensate for
weak magic offense & defense with lots of skills or weapons
because so many of their starting characteristic points had to be
in MA.  We changed the spells & rituals to give more useful
abilities to them without making other Colleges into comparative

Overview of the College ---------------------

  Like other Elemental Colleges, Water Mages cannot practice their
art where their element cannot be or has trouble being.  Their
modifiers depend on the prevalence of water in the area of the

  Talents include weather prediction and Detect Water, which with
other skills can be used to identify something about the water &
what else is in it.  For this, the sense of smell is more
important than the sense of sight.

General Knowledge Spells:
* G1, Water Breathing.  Puts gills on the target's neck, magically
conforming to the needs of the target.
* G2, Water Swimming.  Magical fins & tail appear, becoming more
full at higher ranks & complete above rank 15.  Still need to
* G3, Water Purification.  Make drinkable water from any liquid
that is not part of a living being.
* G4, Talk to Sea Mammals.  Speak with them & they are well
* G5, Talk to Sea Creatures.  Speak with them.  No other promises.
* G6, Fishing.  Catch one fish with a created pole, line, & lure.
An inverse version is known to sea adepts, so beware of treasure
you see near the beach.
* G7, Sea Blessing.  Modify all die rolls by one in your favor
while on or in a medium or larger body of water.
* G8, Mage Wind.  Same as the current spell:  get & control a
* G9, Rust Metal.  Corrodes non-noble metals with specific damage
to armor & weapons, and general effects on pounds of other metal.

General Knowledge Rituals:
* Q1, Bind Water.  Same as the current ritual: control some water.
* Q2, Ship Binding.  Construct or repair a ship.  This takes a
while to do the first time, & less time to renew it even if
underway.  Any rigging must be provided by other means.
* Q3, Waters of Vision.  Like the current spell, but it reflects
more than one vision or location-scrying with rank, & more than
one user may command the visions.

Special Knowledge Spells:
* S1, Water Play.  The caster joins other beings in the water in
some minutes of play, becoming exhausted.  Recovery of all fatigue
and freedom from nightmares & other feelings result quickly.
* S2, Water Warming.  Adjust the temperature of a volume of water
with potentially interesting effects.
* S3, Water Jet.  Essentially a "Bolt of Water."
* S4, Summon Sea Mammal.  Bring one mammal to you & get it to
perform a service.
* S5, Summon Sea Creature.  Bring any one sea creature to you &
get it to perform a service.  Afterwards it makes normal animal
* S6, Summon Fantastic Creature.  Summon an aquatic being whose
existence is due to magic/extraplanar origin.  It won't attack the
party if it isn't attacked.
* S7, Repel Water Creature.  Any aquatic creature flees out of
* S8, Waterspout Spell.  Form many small waterspouts according to
rank that spin & hold a creature each, or one large spout that
does some damage.
* S9, Maelstrom Spell.  A whirlpool sucks beings & vessels to the
bottom where they are battered severely.
* S10, Summon Sea Sprites.  Get a number according to rank that
will gladly perform simple, helpful actions.

Special Knowledge Rituals:
* R1, Bind Weather.  Modify weather in the area according to rank.
* R2, Summon & Bind Water Elemental.  The usual.  Don't backfire.
* R3, Become Fish.  Be the fish of your dreams for a time and size
that increase with rank.  Retain your knowledge & other mental
skills.  You could train in fish form in other physical skills...
* R4, Make Potion.  A potion of various types can be made
according to rank with this ritual.  At higher ranks, other
Colleges' adepts can assist to put THEIR knowledge into potions.
There is no Investment Ritual for this College.

The full details of range, BC, duration, etc. will be sent when we
get another block of time to type them up.  Yes, we have them on
PC format.  No, we don't have a way to connect that via our Unix

Feel free to comment on this!  We have playtested it & it can be
fun.  We are open to suggestions.

 -- Joe Gregg (gregg@espresso.rt.cs.boeing.com)

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

College of Monastic Studies (Monk) -- John Forrester

  from the introduction:
"This college is concerned with the enhancement and adjustment
of the physical traits and capabilities of the adept.  Adepts
of this college disdain the use of all 'artificial' aids and
will only use them until they can do without them.  They will
only wear clothing to blend in with the societies they frequent
and prefer not to wear footwear if they can avoid it.  They cannot
abide armor and will only wear leather at most.  They will use
melee weapons only until their unarmed combat skills (including
magical bonuses) exceed those of the weapon they choose to use."

###   End of DragonQuest Newsletter v2/n3 -- March 1995