||                                                            ||
||   DRAGONQUEST Newsletter                      Summer 1995  ||
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||   Volume 2 / Number 6                                      ||

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  -- David Nadler
          -- Joe Saul
          -- MosaJustin

 Column: The BEASTIARY

 Secondary Skills -- John Kahane


  I appologize to all of you who eagerly waited for the next issue
of the DQ Newsletter... and waited, and waited, and waited...
  It was fully my intent to keep the Newsletter going over the
summer while I was away from my home for an internship, but
somehow, all those lofty plans never came together, and thus, this
is a "Summer" issue, sort of combining June, July, and August.
We'll resume the normal sequence with a September issue at the end
of the month, and so on.

  There are still new things going on in DragonQuest.  (Still
amazing for a game which has been "dead" for over ten years!)  The
biggest news for the readers of this newsletter came out of a
discussion thread in the rec.games.fr.misc newsgroup earlier this
month.  A long-running thread on the fall of SPI brought a
response from Chris Klug (who you'll find listed on the title page
of your copy of DragonQuest as Gerard C. Klug, Designer of the
Second Edition).  Shortly after that, we got a request to add
Chris to the Newsletter.  I don't usually make a habit of pointing
out new subscribers, but this is a case where I think the
exception is warranted.  Chris has told me he is somewhat
interested in supporting the Newsletter, and so I hope that in the
coming months we'll have some commentaries and articles from him.

  There are also several new colleges of magic which will be
coming available and which will be reviewed and discussed in the
coming months, but we still need shorter articles, variants,
debate, discussion, beasts for the Beastiary, character
descriptions for the Character Corner, magic items and other
treasures in order to keep the Newsletter going.


Subject: Speeding up fight sequences

OK, I'll admit that I'm a DQ player who is more interested in
"character development" than the "hack and slash" element of

Even with that bias, I still see the place of the fight sequences
in DQ, since that is one way of having a character develop.  My
problem isn't so much with the combat rules, as much as with the
time it takes to apply all the rules.   It really bugs me when,
like this past weekend for example, the "2 minute" fight scene
takes twice as long to play out that a "1 day" non-fight sequence.
In talking about this afterwards with another player and the GM,
we came away with a technique that may speed up the fight
sequences. (to be fair, the GM was actually looking for a way to
make a tactical sequence less dependent on raw stats, but that's
another topic).

My spin on the modified technique is as follows:  Instead of
having an "IV", place everyone in one of X "speed" categories.
For me, "X" would be three.  These three categories would be slow,
moderate, and fast.  When a tactical/fight sequence begins, the GM
has all "fast" characters act at the same time.  Each character
states their action, makes the role, and gives the GM the results.
The GM acts for NPCs and antagonists that also have "fast"
reactions.  Then, the GM tallies all the results, tells everyone
the outcome, and moves on to the "moderate" characters.  Why does
this speed things up?  This past weekend, for example, we had four
player characters and at least one antagonist involved in each
fight.  This meant five times we went through "who goes next -
what will you do - what is your roll - here are the results" for
each pulse.  This would be reduced to at least three and often
times two "What Happens" sequences.

Anyway, just wanted to find out what others think about this and
what else can be done to flesh out this idea.

 -- David Nadler  (nadled@daytonoh.ATTGIS.COM)


[The article including the Intellect stat drew more responses than
most Newsletter material.  None of us want to see the Newsletter
devolve into a flame-war forum, but I think that discussing the
merits of the contents of any article in the Newsletter can be a
good way to broaden the discussion overall.
  I would like to encourage John Kahane (the author of the
Intellect stat) to give us some more detail about the
implementation of the stat within his campaign; I think that the
value of the stat probably comes from the way it is used in his
campaign, and some of that detail may have been left out of his
original article.
  Is the experience cost alone enough of a control to limit the
number of secondary skills a character may have sufficient control
for a GM?  Or is there another option which might be used?


"Can I make an Intellect roll to avoid getting into a flame war?"

I have a couple of comments regarding John Kahane's "Intellect"
optional characteristic proposal in v2n5; neither of them,
unfortunately, positive.

First, the characteristic seems like it would be even more of an
invitation to weenie abuses than Perception is.  One of the things
I've always liked about DQ is that the designers *avoided* the
tradition of including an "Intelligence" characteristic; players
can't roll their way out of puzzles like in AD&D (for example),
but have to think their way out.  While it is true that this makes
it difficult to play a character who is smarter than the player,
the damage done to the roleplaying experience by having one guy
say "I want to make an Intellect roll" while the other players are
trying to think the problem through outweighs the benefit of being
able to play a smarter character.

Second, if you're going to have a new characteristic which is so
critical to the character's personality -- and believe me, the
ability to reason *is* -- you should at the very least let the
player decide how many points to put into it.  It is ridiculous
for a player to craft a character with, say, a burning desire to
acquire knowledge, engage in erudite debate, and found a
university, and then have this PC saddled with an Intellect of 7.
The three-fold Physical Beauty proposal *does* have provisions for
officially fudging the numbers, but I guess Mr. Kahane figured
that the Intellect stat was too important to allow that.
Unfortunately, it is also too important *not* to allow player

As written, this option would seem likely to do a lot more harm to
a campaign than good.  If Mr. Kahane uses it in his own campaign,
I assume he has safeguards in place -- but we haven't seen them in
the rules he submitted.  I wouldn't touch it with a giant glaive.

 -- Joe Saul  (jmsaul@umich.edu)


  I think that trying to use intelligence/intellect in the DQ
system is trying to pull the bad parts of the D&D system into this
successful realistic system.  I have been playing role playing
games since I was nine, and I have never found a way to use
intelligence.  No matter how intelligent a character was, if the
player was stupid so in turn was the character.  For example, if a
player has a wizard and the wizard's INT. is 18 (using D&D) then
that wizard is very smart and understands many things.  But if the
player doesn't know the difference between a duke and a baron then
neither will the character.  But the understanding of magic is
widely variable from world to world, so a character with a high
magic aptitude can have an understanding of magic and the skill
required to work it without (the player) actually having it.
Thus, the only practical use for intelligence is the character's
understanding of magic, and if we already have that in DQ then why
bring in intelligence?

 -- MosaJustin@aol.com

 -------------------_The_ _B_E_A_S_T_I_A_R_Y_---------------------

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

  The jaculus is a medium sized snake-like reptile with small
wings.  The jaculus is not a true flyer, but it is able to use its
wings glide from heights.  A jaculus will be from 3-7 feet long.
Its skin tends to be mostly mottled greens and browns giving it
camouflage when it is in the trees.

  The jaculus attacks by diving onto its victims from trees or
other high places.  Its usual prey is large animals (cattle, deer,
horses, etc.) but riders on horseback are also tempting targets.
However, it is more likely that the jaculus would attack the horse
than it would the rider.

  Several jaculi will often be found together (a lone jaculus is
rare) and it is common for several of them to drop onto the same
victim at the same time (within a few Pulses). In this way, they
are able to bring down the larger animals which they prefer.
Although the jaculus is mildly poisonous, it will usually only
latch onto its victim for a few Pulses (long enough to feed) and
then drop off and slither away.

  Jaculi are found only in warmer climates, including forets,
jungles, and the like.

{Add to Lizards and Kindred [69.1]}
Move: 175 (running)
PS: 6-10     MD: 16-22    AG: 20-24    MA: 6-8
EN: 10-13    FT: 15-20    WP: 12-15    PC: 20-25
PB: 6-9      TMR: 4 (and up to 12 when flying) NA: None

Weapons:  In its preferred mode of attack, the jaculus dives onto
its prey (into Close Combat) from behind.  Its Base Chance to hit
is 45% and the damage is +2.  If its strike succeeds, it begins
feeding and will draw blood (doing D-2 damage per pulse) from its
victim for 3-5 Pulses unless it is struck off of its victim.
There is also a 65% chance that the victim will be poisoned by the
jaculus' bite.  The jaculus' venom does D-4 damage for 2-4 Pulses.

Talents, Skills, and Magic:  The jaculus is not a tool user.  It
has no special skills, talents, or magic, other than its limited
gliding ability.  A jaculus is able to travel up to 150 feet to
another tree or to nearby prey when it drops from a tree.

GM's Notes:  Individually, a jaculus' attack is probably not a
fatal thing, but several of them can easily bring down a large
beast, after which their nest will have its corpse to feed on for
several days.

[This is another of the creatures found in the book "Medieval
Beasts" and interpreted for DragonQuest.  (See the May 1995 issue
for more information about this series of Beasts.)  -- ED.]

 -- John Kahane  (john.kahane@p5.f198.n163.z1.fidonet.org)
This material is copyright (c) John M. Kahane 1984, 1986, 1990.

[Part 1/2]

     Within the context of the DragonQuest RPG system, there is
the set of skills that is listed in Section VII of the rules, what
can be considered to be the Primary Skills.  This Section provides
an additional set of skills that characters can choose to begin
with, and that the character can pick up during the course of
his/her adventuring life.  For the sake of simplicity, these
skills are considered to be Secondary Skills, since they allow the
player character to take individual skills that might be single
aspects of the Primary Skills, but without the need to actually
take the Primary Skill in question.
   The Secondary skills consist of a series of skills that are
independent of one another, but may have similarities to some of
the sub-skills that are provided within the context of the Primary
Skills.  Each character is able to choose a certain number of
Secondary Skills at the beginning of play, and the character can
also gain additional Secondary Skills during the course of play
and can spend Experience Points to increase these skills during
the course of play.

[130.1]  The player character will begin play with a number of
Secondary Skills equal to his/her Intellect divided by 5, rounded
   The player character can purchase additional Secondary Skills
during Character Generation at a cost of 10 Experience Points (15
or 20 points for certain Secondary Skills at the GM's discretion)
for each Secondary Skill, and this skill will be Rank 0.  The GM
should not forget to apply the relevant Racial Multiplier to this
cost.  The player character may never have more than his/her
Intellect in Secondary Skills at one time, although if the
Intellect score of the character is raised during the course of
play, the maximum number of Secondary Skills that the character
may possess will rise accordingly.

[130.2]  Each of the Secondary Skills that is provided within this
rules section must be established at a Rank that the character
purchases with Experience Points.
   When the player purchases his/her Secondary Skills, each skill
begins at Rank 0.  The character can spend (10 x Rank) Experience
Points (and taking into account the appropriate Racial Modifier)
to increase the Rank of the Skill by one.  No character may
purchase a Secondary Skill at a level higher than Rank 5 at the
beginning of play.

[130.3]  Each Secondary Skill has a Base Chance at which the
character must succeed on a D100 roll to use the skill.
   In order to utilize one of the Secondary Skills, the character
must successfully roll below the Base Chance of the skill on D100.
The Base Chance to use any Secondary Skill is equal to
[(Characteristic) + (Rank x 3)]%.  In the context of this formula,
"Characteristic" refers to the Characteristic most appropriate for
use with the skill.  Thus, in the case of Arcane Lore, Magical
Aptitude (MA) would be the most appropriate characteristic to use,
while with Animal Lore, Intellect itself would be most
appropriate.  The GM may rule in some instances that a different
multiple will be more suitable for the Characteristic or Rank
aspect of the skill.
     It should be noted that a Secondary skill is meant to be
complementary to the Primary skills that exist in the GM's
campaign.  Thus, if a character has the Herbalist skill, then the
Herbal Lore or Herbalist Secondary skill's Base Chance of success
is added to all Herbalist Primary skill rolls and useages, where
appropriate.  If the character did not have the Primary Herbalist
skill, the roll is treated as is for the purpose of skill use.

[130.4]  The maximum Rank that a Secondary Skill may achieve is
Rank 10.
   Secondary Skills, like other skills within the context of the
rules of DragonQuest, have a maximum Rank of 10.  The only
exception to this rule are Secondary Skills that are magically-
related, such as Arcane Lore, Demon Lore, and other such skills.
These skills all have maximum Ranks of 20.

[130.5]  The player character can purchase new Secondary Skills
during the course of play.
   Once play begins, the player character can purchase and learn
new Secondary Skills.  The character must spend a total of one
week (two weeks in the case of certain skills, at the discretion
of the GamesMaster) in order to learn the new Secondary Skill, and
must pay an instructor a fee of 25 Silver Pennies (up to 100
Silver Pennies in the case of certain skills, at the discretion of
the GamesMaster) to learn the new skill.  It will cost the
character 20 Experience Points to learn the new skill at Rank 0.
The GamesMaster can charge the character up to 100 Experience
Points for learning a new skill, at his/her discretion.

[130.6]  The player character must spend Experience Points, time,
and perhaps money to increase his Rank with a Secondary Skill.
   A character must spend a number of days equal to the Rank s/he
is to achieve with a skill practicing it.  If the character wishes
to acquire the services of a teacher or instructor for this skill,
s/he may do so at a cost of (Rank x 30) Silver Pennies.  A player
character may practice up to two Secondary Skills at the same
time.  If the character is taught by someone of greater Rank in
the skill, decrease any Experience Point cost by 10%.
   The base experience point cost to increase a Secondary Skill is
10 Experience Points.  Each Secondary Skill will have a rating
accompanying it called the Experience Factor (EF).  This EF will
be a number ranging from 0.1 to 5.0.  The Experience Point cost to
increase the Rank of a Secondary Skill is equal to the (Base EP
Cost x the EF x Rank to be achieved).  The minimum Experience
Point cost to increase a Secondary Skill is 10 points.
   It should be noted that the time factor associated with
learning any Secondary Skill can be altered to weeks, depending on
the skill and the discretion of the GamesMaster.  This is
suggested in the case of such skills as Arcane Lore and such other
skills that require excessive amounts of time.

[130.7]  The following list provides a summary of some of the
Secondary skills that are available, with their Experience
Modifiers and their relevant Characteristics.  In the event that
two Characteristics are provided, use their average.  Note that
this list of skills for use as Secondary skills is not meant to be

SKILL NAME                        Factor    Characteristic

Acrobatics                         1.2            MD/AG
Acting                             1.5            WP
Administration                     1.5            IN/WP
Ancient Lore                       5.0            MA/IN
Animal Doctoring                   1.8            IN/PC
Animal Handling                    3.8            IN, PS
Animal Lore                        2.1            IN
Arcane Lore                        5.0            IN/MA
Archery                            4.5            MD
Artist                           2.5-3.5          IN/MD
Assassinate                        3.5            MD
Astrology                          2.3            IN/MA/DV
Bargain                            3.2            IN, WP
Barter                             3.2            WP
Bowyer                             2.8            MD, PC
Brawling                           2.2            na
Bribery                            1.5            WP, PC
Compose Lyrics/Music               2.2            IN, MD
Concealment                        0.8            MD/AG, PC
Contortions                        3.8            MD, AG
Cooking                            3.2            IN, PC
Counterfeiting                     3.5            IN, MD
Courtly Grace                      3.5            IN, WP
Culture                            3.0            IN
Dance                              2.2            AG, EN
Debate                             3.0            WP, IN
Diplomacy                          3.5            IN, WP
Dodge                              4.5            MD, AG
Evaluate (Specific)                3.5            IN, PC
Falconry                           3.2            IN
Fencing                            3.8            MD, AG
First Aid                          3.8            IN, PC
Fishing                            1.4            IN/MD, EN
Fletching                          2.5            MD, PC
Foraging                           2.8            IN/PC
Forgery                            3.0            IN/MD
Gambling                           2.2            IN
Gaming                             2.4            IN
Heraldry                           3.5            IN, WP/MD
Herbal Medicine                    4.5            IN
Herb Lore                          4.2            IN
History                            3.0            IN, PC
Hunting                            4.5            IN, MD
Interrogation                      2.5            PS/EN/WP
Intrigue                           4.2            IN, PC
Knife-Throwing                     2.5            MD
Mapmaking                          2.8            IN/PC/MD
Merchant/Trader                    2.8            IN, PC
Oratory                            1.1            WP
Persuasion                         2.5            WP
Plant Lore                         3.3            IN
Scan                               2.2            PC
Scouting                           3.5            IN, AG
Search                             3.0            PC
Seduction                          2.5            WP, PB
Snares                             2.5            MD
(Specific) Lore                  2.5-4.5          IN/MA
Streetwise                         2.1            IN/WP
Theology                           1.8            IN
Traps                              3.8            IN, MD

[EDITOR'S NOTE:  Rules for the characteristics of Devoutness (DV)
and Intellect (IN) (which are refered to in this article) were
discussed in an article by John Kahane in the May 1995 issue of
the DragonQuest Newsletter.
  GMs who are not using these characteristics in their campaigns
should be able to interpolate other appropriate characteristics
for the use of these skills in their campaigns.]

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

###   End of DragonQuest Newsletter v2/n6 -- Summer 1995