||                                                            ||
||   DRAGONQUEST Newsletter                         May 1996  ||
||                                                            ||
||   Volume 3 / Number 5                                      ||

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 
DragonQuestNewsletter 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/n5]


 Letters  -- Brett Gilmer
          -- Keith Smith

 Column: The BEASTIARY -- Beoteine

 Invested and Magic Items -- Dean Martelle

 Magical Items -- Keith Smith

 Column: CHARACTER CORNER -- Jord the Barbarian

 Column: DQ ARCHIVE -- Name of Article



  Enough material has come in recently (and now that I have some time, I've 
been able to get this issue put together fairly quickly) so that this issue 
is going out earlier than usual.  We have been aware of the fact that most 
'real' magazines come out on or before the beginning of the month they are 
published for (i.e. a June magazine comes out at the end of May).  This 
shift may allow us to get onto that kind of a schedule.
  As an editor, I am particularly pleased to get larger submissions which I 
can break down and use in a number of issues.  Things like Keith and Jacqui 
Smith's magical items list give me several issues' worth of material.  I 
like it, because it makes it easier for me to schedule the Newsletter, but I 
wonder if it is better to spread an article like that over several issues, 
or if you would rather get a large article all at once.  Let us know if you 
have an opinion one way or the other about this.

[Here is another reply addressing the question of starting experience for 
non-mages.  This letter was inadvertently omitted from the previous issue of 
the Newsletter; my apologies to Brett.  -- ED.]

In the campaigns I play/GM, we have never given out benefits for lack of 
magic.  In fact, probably more than 50% of the characters do not have a 
college, and they are 100% contenders with the same experience, up until the 
point that characters have about 50,000 experience points or so.  With this 
much experience, the mages to start to show an advantage.  However, by this 
time I (as GM) have handed out some magic that will help the fighter (a cool 
sword, metal armor, etc.).  It is worthy of note that I give out very little 
magic in my campaigns, which begin with characters with about 1000 
experience points and generally "end" at about 50000.

The "Fighters" all put a 5 in MA, this gives them (on average) 13 more 
points to sink into Willpower, Strength, and Endurance.  With this they can 
use better weapons, and without the distractions of spells they can progress 

Now, I do play with house rules that (in the end) benefit fighters:
1) # of attacks/pulse
   - At rank 4 you are allowed 2 attacks/pulse (-10 base)
   - At rank 8 you are allowed 3 attacks/pulse (-20 base)
  This acts to favor fighters because mages are less likely to progress in 
their weapons after their spells do respectable damage.  It doesn't 
imbalance too much because when starting out nobody can attack twice.

2) I have made all spells such as walking unseen and invisibility special 
knowledge.  No character can learn a special knowledge spell unless they 
find someone to teach it to them.  As a result, no player characters _ever_ 
get these spells.  I don't know if this really benefits fighters or not, but 
it does weaken mages.  Spells of blending do exist, as do spells that 
increase stealth.

But, that aside, until the campaign has _lots_ of experience, the fighters 
are a little less fun to play, but are much more powerful when it comes to 
dealing damage.  For starters, they can go straight to endurance, killing an 
enemy in one shot.  A spell can never do that.  With multiple attacks per 
pulse and a few ranks in assassin, a fighter can rip most opponents to 
shreds, or at least fatigue an enemy mage before he can cast too many 

 -- Brett Gilmer

>  Can you give me a little more background about the Faery Creatures
>article?  Are these part of your campaign world, or is this an alternate
>world?  It appears to be especially Irish in tone (or am I mistaken?)
>and some additional context to help use these in a campaign might be
>helpful, too.

   The faerie creatures mentioned are not found on the home plane of Alusia 
but are on an alternative one called Tir-na-nog.  And yea, you're right, it 
is very Irish in nature.  We've got some other notes on the plane that we 
could upload. If you want them I'll try and dig them out. But basically the 
party reached it through an interplanar portal in a faerie hill.
   Tir-na-nog otherwise known as the Undying Lands (slain characters are 
automatically resurrected at 'midnight') is a plane of perpetual light. The 
sun does traverse the sky but as it sets in the west it forms a ribbon 
around the horizon then immediately rises in the east. The climate is 
perpetually Spring.
   The plane itself is a flat surface, boundless but not infinite. Thus 
someone going west would eventually reach the eastern shore.

 -- Keith Smith  (keith@ihug.co.nz)

[This month's 'Beastiary' column presents another of these Faery creatures 
from Tir-na-nog.  -- ED.]

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

 -- Jacqui Smith  c/o(keith@ihug.co.nz)

Natural Habitat: Fires, volcanic areas.
Frequency: Uncommon.    Number: 1-10 (1)

Description:  Beoteine are fire faeries.  They are composed of magical fire, 
and are like humanoid flames in appearance, constantly changing in size and 

Talents, Skills and Magic:  Beoteine do not have the faerie talents, but 
instead have the following abilities.  They are able to become invisible 
when immersed in fire.  They can transport themselves instantly from one 
fire to another, anywhere in faerie.  There is therefore a 10% chance that a 
given fire in faerie will acquire a flamen at some time after being lit. 
 Beoteine are usually adepts of the College of Fire Magics.

Movement rates: 275
PS: 10-30       MD: 17-27       AG: 19-28       MA: 15-30
EN: 5-25        FT: 16-26       WP: 15-25       PC: 25-30
PB: 15-25       TMR: 8

Weapons:  Beoteine do not use weapons.  Their touch, however, burns as 
magical fire, doing D-5 damage per pulse.  They cannot be harmed by any 
physical weapons save those made of cold iron, or those having a weapon of 
cold spell cast on them.

Comments:  Beoteine are capricious, playful creatures with a distinct 
tendency to pyromania.  They are fond of people who light fires, especially 

Invested and Magic Items
 -- Dean Martelle
[This is another of the articles by Dean Martelle originally published in 
the Riders' Hobby newsletter column Dragonquester's Notebook.  Although Dean 
is not on the 'Net, he has given us permission to republish these.]

  One of the big problems with DragonQuest is magic items.  Unless you are 
one of those lucky souls who have a pre-publication copy of Arcane Wisdom, 
you are stuck with invested items, and even then, it is not clear in the 
rules what can and can't be invested.  Here is where I hope to clear up this 
problem with some solutions that I've found in my DQ games.

  The items that can be invested in my game must meet all of the following 
criteria:  It must have a value of at least one gold shilling; A person must 
be able to grasp the item in his hand or touch a specific part of the item; 
It may NOT be composed in whole or in part of cold iron; It may not be a 
living thing or part of a living thing.  In the case of rings, the 
investment may NOT be activated if the ring is simply worn.  It must be 
taken off the finger and held in the hand to activate the investment.  To 
activate an invested item, the person using it must prepare the item by 
taking a pass action in combat or saying so in the adventure sequence. When 
held, an invested item uses a readiness point, so no 2-handed weapon while 
using an invested item (unless the item is a weapon).  To activate an 
invested item it must be prepared and the person must say the activating 
word.  This can be done even if in close combat.  The usual items invested 
include wands, rings, weapons, clothing (by grasping a particular hem or 
cuff), armor (by touching a given spot on the armor), pendants, bracers, 
bags, even saddles.

  One controversy in DQ is what the cast chance of an invested item is.  It 
is, of course, equal to the investor's, but I rule that the cast chance is 
computed using the circumstances of investment.  This lets all the colleges 
with neat bonuses from given circumstances get the most out of them.  It 
also lets NPC's use the same trick to the players' distress. Besides, if I 
had to recalculate the cast chance because of the phase of the moon, season, 
etc. it would drive me batty.  I also urge players and GM to keep a record 
of invested items, their charges, and location.

  Concerning the number of invested items a person can have, I have the 
following advice: If you do not have a copy of Arcane Wisdom there should be 
no limit.  If you do or you want a limit, I suggest that an Adept can have a 
number of invested items of his own making equal to his MA.  This of course 
does not count items invested and since drained of charges and an adept can 
discharge an item in order to re-invest it.
  If you find an invested item, only a Ritual of Magic Divination will tell 
you the spell, rank, and number of charges in the item.  You may have to 
perform the ritual multiple times in order to get all the information. If 
you want to  sell an invested item use the following formula for a base 
market value (in Silver Pennies):
  (Rank of Spell + Number of charges) x Spell Experience Multiple

  The last problem with invested items concerns Rune Magics since their 
spells require certain kinds of props for them to function.  After playing 
and running Rune Mages, my ruling is this:  Magics that require drawn runes 
may NOT be invested.  Spells that require a runewand may only be invested in 
a runewand.  Spells that require runesticks may be invested in other things, 
but the appropriate runestick must touch the item to activate the spell.  An 
alternative is that runesticks may be invested as one shot items.  The first 
approach seems to work better in play.

 -- Dean Martelle

 --  Keith Smith (keith@ihug.co.nz)
Golden Salt-Cellar
This salt cellar is made of gold and stands 3 inch high. The holes in the 
top are large enough to be used for sugar instead of salt.  Salt or sugar if 
used in the cellar and sprinkled onto food will neutralise any poison in the 
food when it is consumed.  It cannot be used to neutralise any poison which 
has been previously ingested or otherwise introduced into the body.  The 
cellar may only be refilled once a day.
  Value: 8200 sp

Lucky Red Socks
These bright red socks have been enchanted with Wiccan (Black) Magic to 
produce the same effects as an Amulet of Luck (+3 Magic Resistance, -2 SC) 
when a matched pair is worn.  One sock will not provide any benefits.  The 
effects will not stack with an Amulet of Luck or any other red socks.
  Value: 2700 sp

 --  Keith Smith (keith@ihug.co.nz)

CHARACTER CORNER: Jord the Barbarian

Jord the Barbarian
     PS:28     MD:17     AG:15     MA:0      WP:16     EN:17
                         PC:18     TMR:5     PB:19     FT:21

  Jord is a human male barbarian, Lunar aspected, first son (social status 
not real important to barbarians - you're either a warrior, chieftain, or 
shaman) and ambidextrous, for handedness.

  College: N/A
  Magic Resistance: 36%...(+20% vs. Illusions.  Barbarians don't believe in 
any magic, except that done by shamans.)

  Armor: Magic Leather (just 'cause they don't believe in it don't mean they 
won't use it!!)  Prot: 8 AG Mod: -1

  Weapons:              IV     SC     DM     CL     RG     USE    RANK
   2-handed sword       45     114    +10     B      P     M        5
    (he uses other weapons, but this is his favorite,
    it being magical and all)

       Skills                Rank
     Horsemanship             10
       Stealth                 8
      Alchemist                7
       Ranger                  8
         Spy                   4
        Thief                  4

  Traits and Appearance: Jord stands close to 7 feet tall, has heavily 
tanned skin and bleached white hair.  He is in optimum physical condition, 
but bears many scars.  He is very intelligent, but will go to great lengths 
to play the part of the "big dumb barbarian".

  Background: Jord was raised by an uncle after his mother and father were 
killed on a raiding party.  At the ripe old age of 14 he was sent off on his 
"Test of Manhood".  He was to spend 1 month on his own in the wilderness and 
then return.  Always the inquisitive type he wandered for 2 weeks, found a 
caravan, hooked up with a young (150 or so) elf mage and an eagle 
shapechanger.  He's had so many adventures since then that he figures if he 
went home it would bore him stupid!

 -- Michael W. Pusateri  (athion@nol.net)

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

ARCHIVE NAME:  archive.name

DragonQuest URLs:
(If you know of any other DragonQuest related sites, please let us know.)

 --DragonQuest Home Page
 --DragonQuest Newsletter Page
 --DragonQuest Archive
 --Files at Dark Matter (formerly Cerebus) Site

 --Shannon Appel's RPG Archives (DQ Index)
 --Surge's (Unofficial) Mirror Archive

###   End of DragonQuest Newsletter v3/n5 -- May 1996