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||   DRAGONQUEST Newsletter                   September 1995  ||
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||   Volume 2 / Number 7                                      ||

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 Rauchert
          -- Russell Whyte

 Detect Aura -- Dean Martelle
 Non-Combat Blow -- "Legion"




 Addendum: ### Questionnaire ###

EDITORIAL:  Who are you?
  We have made contact with a DragonQuest celebrity, of sorts.  As I
mentioned in the last Newsletter, we have contacted Chris (Gerry)
Klug, the designer of Second Edition DragonQuest.  (We will have an
interview with Chris in the Newsletter in the next month or two.)
But I think that all of the Newsletter subscribers are also
important for DragonQuest.  After all, you (we) are all the ones who
have kept the flame of DQ alive.  So while we are talking to Chris,
we would also like to take this opportunity to find out about
everyone else who is subscribing to the Newsletter, as well.

  In part, this is also to try to get more discussion about the
materials we are distributing in the Newsletter.  I would like to
encourage more feedback, discussion and debate about the articles in
the Newsletter as well as questions about the interpretation and
application of the DQ rules.  I am explicitly *not* trying to start
flame wars, but I would like to see more discussion and dialogue
along with the new material, and hopefully this can be the
springboard to start this discussion off.

  Some information from Chris about the demise of SPI was collected
and posted to the rec.games.frp.misc newsgroup.  I will be posting
that article to the Archive soon.  I had a couple preliminary
questions for Chris, but then Chris had a couple of questions about
the DQ Newsletter and its readers, which I will share with all of
you.  This shows the picture of the Newsletter community at this
point, but we would like to find out a bit more about everyone.

*How many people are subscribers to the newsletter?
  Right now, I believe we have about 70-80 subscribers getting the
Newsletter (Dave Nadler will have the exact number) [Currently, we
have 75 addresses to which the newsletter is sent-DN] each month.
There are several subscribers I know of, however, who are
representing a number of others who don't have their own online
accounts, so I would say we are reaching over 100 DQ players.

*Do you have any geographical information about them?
  We don't have a complete listing of where all of our subscribers
are.  Some accounts have some information, though, and I know from
that that we have subscribers in Australia, Canada, France, Italy,
New Zealand, Sweden, and the UK.

*Has there ever been a DragonQuest con?
  I don't know of any, but I've never been that big a follower of
cons.  Does anyone else have any other information?

  This brings up the question, who are these people who are still
involved in DragonQuest?  With this in mind, appended to this
month's Newsletter is a DQN Reader Survey Questionnaire.  We'd like
to find out who is reading the Newsletter and how we can make the
Newsletter more useful.  Please take a few moments to fill out the
questionnaire at the end of the newsletter (or just answer the
questions.  You don't need to use the form; it's the answers
themselves that we're really interested in).  If you know someone
who regularly reads the Newsletter but who doesn't have their own
account (someone who you share the Newsletter with), we'd like to
get their feedback, too.  [And best of all, it's virtually postage-
paid (except, perhaps, for some people who subscribe via commercial

  We won't publish the entire list, but we will compile the results
and let you all know what the online DragonQuest community is like.

  Also, if there is a con that you are planning on attending, you
may want to post an advertisement in the Newsletter, and maybe meet
some other DQ players (maybe even a pickup game of DQ?).  And,
especially, if you are *running* a DQ event at a con (or if you know
of one being run), let us know so that we can publicize it in the
Newsletter, too.  For that matter, anyone interested in starting an
online game is more than welcome to post that information in the
Newsletter, too.

  Remember, please take a minute to reply to our survey.  We want to
know who you are and how we can make the Newsletter better for you.


Subject: Errata for my article April/95
{Reshaping the Shape-Changer}

  Well, I'm finally back to what I enjoy doing the most.  Believe it
or not this is the first time in the past 6 months I can actually
sit down and concentrate on gaming.  It also gave me a chance to re-
read my article in the April newsletter.  I must have sent you an
earlier version because I noticed two errors in the text.

  First, under Ability 10. the following line should read --
Similarly, if the shape-changer exceeds the time limits given in
Ability *9* [not 7 as indicated] --.

  Second the last paragraph should read --A shape-changer's
characteristics are not modified, though a new set of
characteristics must be generated (see Ability *7*) [not 5 as
indicated] --.

Perfection would be boring  :)

I personally like your Idea of a FAQ for DQ.  Yet, I wonder if there
would be a problem with people using different editions when it
comes to rules interpretation?  I don't mean to harpie on this point
but I think we all should be starting from the same basic set of
rules and then go from there.

Regarding the DQIndex, I have a friend that has most of the
Adventure Gaming mags, and he could not find the White Magicke
article in any of them, so the quest is still on.
 -- John Rauchert  (john.rauchert@sait.ab.ca)

Welcome back!  Hope you enjoyed the summer.  Are you planing any
more special issues, and what are the topics, if any?  I could have
used the shapechangers articles a long time ago :-).

An issue on naval related items could be fun.  I got the Rolemaster
Naval Warfare book a couple of months ago, and am trying to convert
some of the info to DQ.  I'll let you know when I have something
organized enough to share.

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

[We would certainly like to set up more special issues.  Of course,
they will depend on what topics we can get a broad selection of
material for.  Your suggestion of a naval related special issue
seems like a good one to me, since I've always thought that the
Navigator skill was something the original rules left kind of
  Suggestions for any other special issues you would like to see are
certainly welcome.  Once we get a few, we'll put them in a
subsequent Newsletter and then see what responses we get on them and
when we can schedule them.  -- ED.]

 -- Dean Martelle
[Editor's Note:  This is the first of a series of articles from the
"Dragonquester's Notebook" which originally appeared in a newsletter
from Rider's Hobby in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  We just recently got in
touch with Dean (who is not on the 'Net), and he was very willing to
let us reprint these articles.  Other articles from this series will
be in forthcoming Newsletters.  -- ED.]

   Many times has the Dragonquest GM heard the words, "I'm detecting
aura on..."  The GM also has to deal with the inevitable question
which may have very little relationship to the aura detected.  In
this article I will explain a little about how I run Detect Aura.

   What is an aura anyway?
   An aura is an energy field that surrounds and is part of every
living thing.  This field grows weaker after an object's or being's
death but does not disappear until a lot of time (about 1000 years
or more) or a chemical change (such as burning or rot) takes place.
What an adept sees when they detect an aura is an image similar to
Kirlain photography, an almost ghostly colored image.  As per the
Dragonquest rules, the adept immediately knows what kind of being
they face when they detect its aura.

   How do I get out of answering silly questions?
   What I do is this: I don't let a party ask them in the first
place.  I ask them what sort of information they want to learn; then
I tell them what they have found.

   Some things a Detect Aura can determine include:
* Lie Detection -- any insincerity on the part of the speaker shows
up instantly in the aura.
* Magical College Affiliation -- a Naming Mage, and to a lesser
extent other adepts, can detect what college a being belongs to by
its aura (I suggest at least Rank 6 for other colleges to try this).
* Alignment between Light and Darkness -- this one is a secialty of
Celestial Mages.
* Health or well-being of a living thing -- Earth Mages are good at
this one.
* Magic -- If the object is enchanted in any way it shows up in the
* How other things are associated with the object -- for example, a
Detect Aura may show a trap attached to a door or a hobgoblin
leaning up against it, it may even show what last passed through the
door, but it will not show exactly what is in the room.  Illusions
have no aura to detect.  If anyone rolls a successful Detect Aura on
an illusion they are informed that it is an illusion and get a 5%
bonus on attempts to disbelieve (or maybe +10% is better).

   Are there things you can't ask?
   Yes there are:  An object's individual True Name, anything about
the object's future, anything not connected directly to the object
(in physical contact with the object), where an object was at a
particular place and time (although you can get some ideas about
former owners and their sequence), exactly what enchantment is on an
item (that's what magic divination is for), or to do other things
there are other detection spells for.

   How often can I detect aura?
   A good rule of thumb is one die roll every 24 hours on a given
object or area.  This cuts down on constant re-detecting that would
make the percentage chance of the talent a joke...

   When can I ask for a Detect Aura?
   Since most colleges of magic that have this ability have it as a
talent, it can be used any time.  Rune Mages, however, have to cast
the Detect Aura as a spell and must announce their intention and
perform a cast check.  In compensation, a Rune Mage's spell is much
more reliable.  (All a Rune Mage needs to do is cast the sell and
the aura is detected.)

   If my character has Detect Aura as a talent, is it always on?
   Yes, it is.  In fact, as a GM, I use it to provide information to
the players of any nature I see fit (it must be correct, but it can
be deceiving).  It is a great way to keep things moving along or to
give a arty one last warning or clue.  If you are a player, inform
the GM of circumstances when you would like a Detect Aura roll made.
Also ask the GM to treat Detect Aura as another sense that you keep
alert, like hearing or vision.

   Can a character use a Detect Aura to "see in the dark"?
   Yes, if the character has it as a talent, successfully detects
the opponent, and they don't actively resist.  This is in keeping
with Detect Aura being a magic sense.  This can also save a few

   Is a Detect Aura cumulative with skills or spells?
   Not in most circumstances.  A Ranger's Detect Aura is not added
to his chance of detecting an ambush, nor a Thief's to detecting a
trap, but it is rolled in both those cases (if possible) as a backup
to those.  (This would be a separate roll.)

   Things to remember:  A Detect Aura works only on living or
formerly living things.  You can only roll once every 24 hours.  The
depth of your reading depends on the effect of your success (you get
more information on double and trile effect).  If you detect an aura
on an item that is not apparently living or formerly living matter,
you have got something with a spirit or a demon contained in it
(look out!).

   The Detect Aura is a general purpose detection ability and to be
GM'ed as such.  It is very handy but has its limits.

 -- Dean Martelle  (no Internet address)

 -- "Legion"  (legion@netins.net)

If a target is completely unaware (sleeping or unconscious) and the
attacker is not under any physical threat or time pressure (i.e.,
there is no combat ANYWHERE around him), then the attacker gets to
make what is called a "non-combat blow".  The attack is resolved
normally, including all modifiers for stance, but all damage results
are upgraded one class: a miss becomes a hit to fatigue; a hit to
fatigue becomes an endurance shot; an endurance shot becomes a
grievous injury; and a grievous injury kills the target outright.
This rule only applies if the attacker is the same general size as
the target (it don't matter how hard you hit the dragon, one shot
won't kill him....besides, dragons are never completely unaware,
even when sleeping).

I would even allow these attacks against conscious but completely
unsuspecting targets, subject to a perception check by the target,
and possibly a stealth check by the attacker, if appropriate.

The rationale for this rule is simple: fatigue damage is done when a
target is braced for a blow, expecting it, and doing his best to
avoid it.  After you've been battered about enough, you can no
longer move around as effectively, and start getting cut up much
more seriously.  Damage then starts going to endurance.  If the
target is completely unaware ("caught flat-footed"), they will get
cut up about as badly.  This rule should NOT apply to all surprise
situations, where the target may be expecting an attack, but is not
sure where it will come from.

 -- "Legion"  (legion@netins.net)

 ---------------------_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)]

The Fall of SPI
  This article originally appeared in the rec.games.frp.misc
newsgroup, and the content is derived from the author's conversation
with Chris Klug (who was an SPI employee when this happened).

  For those of you who have wondered what happened to SPI (and why
it happened the way it did), this article answers many questions.


  Visit the DragonQuest HomePage on the World Wide Web!  This site
has lots of stuff for DragonQuest, including:
    *Back issues of the DragonQuest Newsletter
    *New Colleges of Magic
    *New Skills
    *A collection of DragonQuest Art by April-Ashlee Rickets

The DragonQuest HomePage

ADVENTURERS NEEDED -- Master of Water Magics seeks diligent group of
individuals to seek out lost alchemical manufactory.  Wilderness
exploration experience and good references required.  Generous
arrangements offered to the right group.  Meet Mr. Farrago Partienna
at the "Three Oars and an Anchor" Inn, Cape Bage (Thursdays) to
enquire further.

###   End of DragonQuest Newsletter v2/n7 -- September 1995
        --Questionnaire Follows:
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