||                                                            ||
||   DRAGONQUEST Newsletter            October/November 1996  ||
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||   Volume 3 / Number 10                                     ||

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.

C O N T E N T S  [v3/n10]


 Letters  -- Peter Cordner
          -- Stuart M. Castergine
          -- Peter Wyche
          -- Steve

 The Care and Feeding of Demons -- Dean Martelle
 Weapon Descriptions -- John Davis  (JRDA@wpo.nerc.ac.uk)

 Column: DQ ARCHIVE -- Update: The Water Works



  Once again, circumstances conspire to keep us from putting out 12 issues
of the Newsletter.  There were no other submissions for a 'Demons' special
issue, so that project has been suspended, but the last of Dean Martelle's
articles ('Care and Feeding of Demons') is included here.
  This issue is for October and November, and issue #11 for December will
be out before the end of the year.  We are still trying to be as useful a
resource as we can be for DragonQuest players and GMs.  In order to do
that, of course, we have to keep the Newsletters coming, and we will
continue to do our best to get them to you in a timely manner.
  The support we have received is strong, and we appreciate the thanks and
the accolades.  We are always trying to expand and improve what we can do
to make DragonQuest material accessible and useful to you.


Curator of the DQ newsletter --

        I, along with several friends of mine, are working on an
UNOFFICIAL DragonQuest update.  We originally planned on developing DQ
with the express intention of cleaning up a few grey areas, adding new
artwork, and then distributing it at conventions and the like.  HOWEVER,
the project rapidly grew until those involved were willing to spend the
time to make an entire new version, with any nuggets of wisdom we OR
ANYONE ELSE may have come up with.  Editing aside, I felt as though I
should at least ask your permission in using any sort of info in the DQ

        Also, I am quite willing to listen to ANY SUGGESTIONS that people
may have towards the development of a few key additions...

        1)      a mass combat system derived from the hex-based system,
                that ideally should retain the flavor of the personal
                combat system (with a naval counter-part)
        2)      the addition of spells to all colleges (I always thought
                a master mage should probably know more than the 40
                or so spells alloted to his school, so it was generally
                agreed upon to expand the lists)
        3)      a religion skill, called (tenatively) "Piety".  This
                poses a few problems, as it is unclear yet whether a
                priest is a mage (with a college independent from his
                religion -- i.e. Thorax the Great may worship the God
                of Trickery, and he is an Illusionist, but God does
                not grant spells) or a priest, with definable spells
                derived from worship
        4)      addition of the College of Light Magics -- DQ references
                the powers of Light, but then gives them no powers.
        5)      minor skills, like Blacksmithing or Swimming

  Some preliminary work is already underway, and if you wish, I can send
you some of what we've come up with.  In any case, your reply will be
looked forward to, as (hopefully) any nuggets of wisdom you wish to impart
from you or your fellow players, here and across the 'net.

 -- Peter Cordner  (scordner@scf.usc.edu)

Subject: New Weapon Skills, Correction/Disagreement

In the last issue in the new weapons section, the author gives
statistics and descriptions for Epee and rapier. The descriptions are as

>Epee -- A pointed weapon, similiar in use to a rapier.  Basic weapon for
>teaching fencing.  Hilt is usually a simple cross-bar or a disk.
>Foil -- Bigger than an epee, smaller than a rapier.  Hilt is larger,
>covers more than epee, but doesn't fully cover the hand.

As a competitive foil fencer of many years, I must point out that these
descriptions are exactly backwards.  It is the foil that is the smaller
and lighter of the two weapons.  Furthermore, the foil was never anything
other than a teaching weapon.  It is a very thin, light edgeless blade
with a rectangular cross-section.  Using one in real combat would be
laughable.  It would be only slightly better than trying to kill someone
with a sharpened car radio antenna.  There was never a true combat weapon
known as the foil.

The epee is a thrusting weapon with a triangular cross-section that is
the same size and weight as a light dueling sword.  Basically, it is a
light rapier.  There is little practical difference between the two, and
I consider the skill rather redundant of the rapier skill.

 -- Stuart M. Castergine  (scasterg@dispatch.com)

[Having recently begun to learn to fence myself, I am embarrassed to admit
that this one got past me.  Thanks for catching the error. --  ED.]

Fellow Dragonquest players and GM's

  I send greetings from a long playing group in Canberra, Australia.  When
I came across the pointers to the newsletter last week on the Internet I
was overjoyed to find some material on the game.

  We play the game every second Friday night with myself as GM, although I
did start life as a player.  The biggest problem I had was developing
scenarios for the group to play.  I am hoping that this newsletter and the
other materials found on the internet will solve this problem.

  It appears that our group like others have been enhancing the basic
system to suit our gaming needs and the world in which the players exist.
I have been doing a lot on this side lately as I flesh out the work I
inherited from the previous GM.  By way of an example, we developed the
Weaponsmaster rules to permit people who were not inclined to be Mages
have a long term goal for their characters.  [Peter has also indicated
that he will be sending these rules for the Newsletter to publish in the
near future. --  ED.]  It runs along similar lines to the warrior article
in an earlier issue, but solves the same apparent problem from another

  For now my best wishes that the newsletter continues for some time and
that many new ideas can be discussed through this forum.

 -- Peter Wyche  (Peter.Wyche@hr-m.b-m.defence.gov.au)

Subject:  Limited Precog article for newsletter.

  Continuing the discussion on Limited Precognition, this is how I play

  When one of my players successfully casts a Limited Precognition spell,
I roll two sets of percentile dice.  The first number tells me how far
into the future the caster sees, and the next number indicates the clarity
and or usefulness of the information, all on a scale of 1 to 100 of

  For Example:  Otto is rank 9 in Limited precognition.  At the start of
the day ( 6 AM) he casts the spell successfully.  I look on my list of
encounters for the day, and see that I have an ambush by five Saurime
listed to occur at 6 PM. ( I determine time by rolling D12 for time and a
D6 for AM or PM.)  I roll my first set of percentile dice and get 75.
Since Otto can see up to 10 hours into the future, and I rolled 75, he
sees 7 and a half hours into the future ( approx 1:30 PM).  The next die I
roll is for clarity or usefulness of information.  This time I roll a 92,
indicating that the information Otto receives is fairly useful.   So,
based on these rolls, and the fact that nothing will be happening at 1:30,
I tell Otto that he sees the trail they are following winding around a
mangrove tree, with still pools of water, marsh lilies and skunk cabbage
all around.  He recieves no warning of the impending ambush however.

 It is up to Otto to infer from my description that the party will be
traveling through marshy terrain later in the day, which can be fairly
useful to know.   If Otto is smart however, he will realize the time
limitations of this spell, and try to cast it again at noon when the party
takes a break from traveling.

 -- Steve (Darkcaer@aol.com)

 -- Dean Martelle
[This is the last of the articles we have by Dean Martelle.  Although Dean
is not on the 'Net, he has given us permission to republish these.  These
were originally published in the Riders' Hobby newsletter column
"Dragonquester's Notebook."  -- ED.]

The Care and Feeding of Demons, or how to GM members of the College of
Greater Summonings.

  Eric Goldberg, one of the designers of DragonQuest, said once that there
were two colleges in the game that were out of balance: Black Magics and
Greater Summonings.  Based on my experience I can see his point.  However,
lots of things can be done to bring Greater Summonings in line (and even
liven up the game a bit).

  A few points to remember:  When creating a Greater Summoner, the minimum
Magical Aptitude (MA) is 8.  Since MA is a modifier for spell magic not
ritual magic, a Greater Summoner does not need more than 8.  In addition,
since so much of the college is ritual magic, a Greater Summoner can get
away with using cold iron weapons and armor, at least whenever he is not

  With the general knowledge rituals, given optimum circumstances, a
Greater Summoner can add 85% to his chances of summoning.  Again, with
optimum circumstances, he can add 45% to the special knowledge rituals.
As a GM you can rest assured that your player character Greater Summoners
will do all these things to the best of their ability.

  The first way to make a Greater Summoner's life difficult is to make an
encounter roll during ritual purification.  If the adept's concentration
is broken, he will have to start over, and if he's on a midnight deadline,
he will have to miss it or go in with less than full ritual purification.
GMs should roll this one honestly (no encounter is no encounter) but make
it stick if there is trouble.

  Ritual of Summoning Succubi (Q-2) is often abused by Greater Summoners.
There are a number of ways to deal with this.  I have lowered the base
chance of Q-2 to 5%.  Succubi have a one-track mind.  They want to have
sex with some human (or elf, dwarf, shapechanger, etc.) so they can
produce a new minion for the powers of darkness.  If run correctly, a
Greater Summoner who keeps a succubus around for too long (say about 3
days) will have that succubus trying to seduce any of the male party
members or the summoner.  If that doesn't work, the succubus will
certainly use magic to get a partner.  This can be embarassing if the
victim is a local notable.  These things can happen as long as the
succubus is not bound or in the presence of her summoner if bound.

  The other thing I do is to give each succubus a personality.  This is
usually a wildly exaggerated sexual stereotype.  Some successful ones I
have used include the femme fatale, the "innocent" schoolgirl, the damsel
in distress, the "liberated lady," the priestess of a different habit, and
the leather lady.  (Note: to female players succubi exaggerate everything
about sex.  These stereotypes are for the players' fun and remember you
are the party's best defense against these things.)  Succubi are an MCP's
dream until they kill.

  Another thing that I do with succubi is that the ones summoned have
minimum characteristics.  The summoner may add one point per rank to any
of the succubus' characteristics as long as the upper limits in the rules
are not exceeded.  Yet another note from 'Arcane Wisdom' is  that succubu
can't stand the touch of flint.  Use of cheap flint weapons by NPCs will
keep a Greater Summoner's "pets" from getting completely out of control.

  [Q-3]  The notes about succubi also go for incubi with one other note.
In most male dominated societies the incubus will have to resort to magic
much more quickly.

  [Q-4]  The ritual of summoning heroes can be a source of endless
problems for the GM or endless fun.  The key is what you allow the Greater
Summoner to summon.  One way that I've found works is that sometimes each
month the stars are right for summoning a hero.  That gives the Greater
Summoner a number of heroes they can summon (1 per month is about right)
and a good time to do so.  When a hero is summoned I always have it appear
fit and ready for combat but not necessarially in a good mood (roll
reaction).  I consider any other condition a dirty trick.  As a GM those
first few should be given a full set of stats.  As you develop other
heroes, stat them out too, *then* allow the Greater Summoner to discover
them.  Never forget to include a base chance for summoning.

  I draw my heroes from everything I read.  Don't limit yourself to
fantasy heroes.  A most memorable hero summoning was when Wolverine was
summoned to Alusia.  Some other neat possibilities include: James Bond,
Davy Crockett, Indiana Jones, Lazarus Long, Bruce Lee, Speaker-to-Animals
(Chmee), James T. Kirk, John Carter of Mars, and about a dozen comic book
heros at least.  (Did I forget Sherlock Holmes?)

  The R-1 through R-6 rituals summon the big boys.  If the Greater
Summoner is cagey, he can summon demons with no chance of backfire.  This
little stunt can be compensated for in the ways mentioned in the rule
book, but one more measure I've discovered works very well: the Reaction
Roll.  Whenever a demon is summoned I make a reaction roll for it.
Sometimes I subtract something from the roll based on what I read in the
demon's description in the rule book, but I *always* make the roll.  If
the demon rolls a bad reaction it is a good time to be elsewhere.  If the
demon is bound in spite of resistance due to a bad reaction, it amy co-
operate with the party to a point then turn on them in a very gruesome
way.  A good reaction can be interesting also.  One party summoned
Alloces, a Duke who can't be bound and got a good reaction from him.  He
helped them assault an evil temple but he had them drilling like boot camp
soldiers for a week.  (5:00 am reville was a shock.)

  Things to remember are that Demons will always try to extract some kind
of payment for their services and that most will lie and cheat if given a

  The shield used to prevent backfire can have other uses too.  They can
be used to trap a demon on this plane or as a ward against them.  A semon
will not directly attack a person holding a shield of its type.

  Having a Greater Summoner in the party can be risky business, but that
is what adventuring is all about.

 -- Dean Martelle

 -- John Davis  (JRDA@wpo.nerc.ac.uk)
{A while back, I spotted a thread in the rec.games.frp.misc newsgroup
about the descriptions of several weapons.  I recognized all of the weapon
names on the list, and it occurred to me that the initial thread was
probably started by someone who was playing DragonQuest.  Once I found out
I had guessed correctly, I asked John to forward the results of his survey
for everyone's benefit.  -- ED.}

Ok I've been rumbled.  I have returned to the game after some 10 years
absence and have been buying up rules, modules and accessories over the
last few months.  Our group of about 6 old-types will commence the quest
soon in Nottingham, England.
  Details on the weapons recieved so far include the following definitions
from a number of good 'Net-folk':

> O dachi
I suspect this is a "No-dachi", which is a Japanese great-sword.  Picture
an oversized Katana and you'll get the idea.

> Sai
This is a martial arts hand weapon, usually used in pairs.  It looks like
a trident head with a short, straight handgrip.  The tips are usally blunt
(save possibly the point of the center tip), as it is primarily used as a
parrying tool.

> Tulwar
This is a form of middle eastern shamshir (scimitar), typically with a
large disk (whose plane is perpendicular to the grip) for a pommel.

> Sarissa
 It is a spear about 15  to 18 feet long, with a simple narrow point, and
a spike on the opposite end.

> Bearpaw
This is another (particularlly gruesome) martial arts weapon, and is
similar to the Indian Bagh Nahk or "tiger claws".  It is a pair of rigid
spiked half-gloves that have a curved set of wicked curved hooks extending
beyond the wearer's fingers.  They are so-named "Bearpaws" because the
make the wearer's hands resemble the paws (and claws) of a large bear.

 -- John Davis  (JRDA@wpo.nerc.ac.uk)

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

Update -- The Water Works

  Evidently there have been some problems in getting the Water Works
adventure files posted to the Archive.  They are now also available at
http://www.ntsource.com/~psproefrock/ftp (which hopefully will work).
This is an experimental site (since I'm still setting it up), so if you
can't access the files, send email to me at dqn@ntsource.com, and I will
try to get the files to you directly.


======================SEEKING PLAYERS/GM=========================
[This list is also available online at http://www.ntsource.com
The following individuals are interested in finding other DragonQuest
players or GMs in their area:

Chicago IL        Philip Proefrock     psproefrock@ntsource.com
  (looking to begin new campaign, or join existing one)
Denton TX         "Krow"               karstenm@iglobal.net
Montreal, Canada  Serge Rancour        rancour@mainserver.discovland.net
  (seeking players for existing campaign, in English)

======================DRAGONQUEST URLS:==========================
NOTE: New URLs for the DragonQuest Home Page and the DragonQuest
Newsletter Home Page!  (If you know of any other DragonQuest related
sites, please let us know.)

 --DragonQuest Home Page
 --DragonQuest Newsletter Page
 --DragonQuest Archive
 --Files at Negative Space (formerly Cerebus) Site {questionable}
 --Shannon Appel's RPG Archives (DQ Index)
 --Surge's (Unofficial) Mirror Archive

###   End of DragonQuest Newsletter v3/n10 -- October/November 1996