||                                                            ||
||   DRAGONQUEST Newsletter                        June 1996  ||
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||   Volume 3 / 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.

C O N T E N T S  [v3/n6]

 Administrivia - Dave Nadler

 Editorial - Philip Proefrock

 Letters  -- Dave Nadler/Geoff Eldridge

 Column: The BEASTIARY -- Firbolg

 Magic Items, Part 2 -- Dean Martelle

 Column: CHARACTER CORNER -- Itaranashea- Ea

 Magic Item -- Michael W. Pusateri

 Column: DQ ARCHIVE -- New Races


Once again, my company is changing its name.  We are reverting to
our "true name" again, NCR Corp.  Consequently, e-mail addresses
must be changed.  I know that people have had a _lot_ of trouble
reaching me in the past, what with bounced messages and all.  So
I'd like to ask your help in helping me find the best address
format to use.  If you would, please send a test message to me
at three different versions of my address:

Then, if you would, please let me know if the message to any
of the addresses bounced back to you.

And as a reminder, if you have problems contacting me about the
DQ Netletter, please forward your message to Phil.  He'll make
sure to pass it along to me.  (although, for the sake of his
mailbag, no need to copy him on these "test" messages)

EDITORIAL:  Philip Proefrock
  Firstly, I need to appologize to all for the slightly ragged quality of
the last couple of issues.  Trying to get the Newsletter shifted to the
beginning of the month should ultimately be a good thing, but there have
been some glitches in the last couple of issues, and I think they were
due, in part, to trying to get these Newsletters out too fast.  This
month, due to a lot of outside factors, I was not able to get the
Newsletter out when I planned, but I will continue to try throughout the
summer to get to the point where a new issue comes out at the beginning of
the month.

  Secondly, I would also like to announce two forthcoming Special Issues:
August -- Water (Water Travel, Water Mages, etc.) & October -- Demons.
Your submissions on these two topics in particular (as well as any other
submissions) are encouraged.  We have a bit of material on these topics,
but more is always a good thing.  I would also like to encourage more
feedback letters about the content of the Newsletter.  The mailbag is
getting thin, and I would like this Newsletter to be a forum for
discussion of DragonQuest, as well as a place for sharing articles and
ideas about it.


[An exchange between our Duke of Distribution and a new subscriber...]

I've just seen issues V1N1 through to V2N10 and think its great that the
DQ community worldwide is lifting its head and saying "Here I am!! ".
After 15 years of playing with a regular group of 6-8 plus about 30
casuals over that time it's good to know that there are more people out
there who didn't let such a fine FRPG vanish despite the demise of SPI. I
haven't checked out the ftp site yet but on what I've seen of the
newsletter I'm looking forward to it.

 -- Geoff Eldridge

===     ===     ===     ===     ===     ===     ===     ===     ===
  I think you'll find that many of the other subscribers share your same
  "positive vibes" about the netletter.  We're always interested in
  hearing new thoughts, and in getting new contributions to the netletter.
  I'd like to ask a question of you to further this goal:

  What is it, in your opinion, that gives DQ its longevity and allows it
  to maintain its popularity even after the demise of SPI?

 -- Dave Nadler  (nadled@uh2297p01.daytonoh.NCR.COM)

===     ===     ===     ===     ===     ===     ===     ===     ===
  One of DQs strengths is the openness of the system - any character is
capable of developing in whichever way you desire (not restrained by
character classes etc), the rules show clearly the principles involved in
developing new skills, magic and beasties so that creative expansion of
the rules to cover new situations is positively encouraged, the encounter
tables invite limitless expansion, and elements from other RPGs can easily
be translated into the DQ system and incorporated into campaigns.
  The downfall of SPI probably aided this by removing the proprietal
nature of "Official Rules editions" and by now has  saved DQ players
hundreds of dollars - instead of buying this new supplement or that series
of character race books, DQ groups have concentrated on development of
their own campaign rules extensions. Most of these, from reading articles
in the newsletters etc. and from our own group's experience, are often
superior to the published modules of other RPGs in creativity and
  This probably means we're not all playing the same game in fact , but
it's certainly all Dragonquest - this diversity is a strength of DQ and
widens the choices of GMs of what to include and what not to include in
their own campaigns. The netletter is a great way of ensuring the growth
of DQ and finding contacts in other groups of DQ players around the world.

 -- Geoff Eldridge  (100231.1427@compuserve.com)

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

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

[This is another of the Faery creatures of Tir-Nan-Og.  See the articles
in the February and May 1996 DQN (v3/n2 & n5) for more information and
background about these creatures and their world.  The complete file with
all of the races and creatures of Tir-Nan-Og is now in the Archive (see
the Archive section of this issue for more information).  -- ED.]

Natural Habitat: Rough, Mountains
Frequency: Rare         Numbers: 1-16 (1)

Description: Giant-like humanoids, the Firbolg are usually around ten feet
tall.  They have pale skin, long blond or red hair, and the males have
thick beards.  Their skin and flesh are unusually dense, giving them
natural armour. Their voices are deep and resonant.

Talents, Skills, and Magic: Firbolg have the glamour talent, and instead
of the insubstantiality talent they have a "forget" talent.  This causes a
temporary and partial amnesia in one character, causing them to forget the
use of one weapon or spell for D10 pulses.  A firbolg may be also a Mind

Movement rates: Running: 400/500
PS: 18-31       MD: 10-25       AG: 6-23        MA: 4-30
EN: 15-25       FT: 18-32       WP: 12-23       PC: 5-23
PB: 5-13        TMR: 8-10       NA: hide absorbs 3DP

Weapons: Firbolg disdain armour and shields.  Their preferred weapons
include giant axes, two-handed swords, and halberds.  With a hand free a
firbolg will tend to bat away missile weapons, one per pulse, with a 50%
base chance.

Comments: Firbolg are the ancient enemies of the Daione Sidhe, and are
hostile toward most other faerie folk, including elves.  Among themselves
they are clannish folk, jealous of their territory, and liable to attack
intruders, especially if the party contains one of the Daione Sidhe.  They
have good reason for this hostility since they are one of the principal
targets of the wild hunt.

 -- 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.
Several tables accompanied this article, and are not republished here due
to space constraints.  Those tables, along with the text of both of Dean's
Magic Items articles, will be accessible in the Archive.  -- ED.]

  Included in Arcane Wisdom is the College of Shaping Magics.  This
college concerns itself with the making of magic items.  In this
installment I will use some of the things in Arcane Wisdom without quoting
directly from the text in order to give the DragonQuest player some ideas
on magic items to be introduced into a campaign.

  There are limits on what can be made into shaped magic items.  This
limit is due to the preparation rituals available to Shapers.  The things
that can be made into magic items include: amulets, weapons, armor,
clothing, furniture, talismans and minor artifacts (rings to paperweights
as long as it is a MADE thing), staves, wands, and large structures such
as  houses boats, bridges and castles.  The key requirement  is making or
fashioning by an intelligent being.  An uncut gemstone can not be made
into a magic item, but any  gemcutting or polishing, no matter how crude,
makes the stone an artifact and able to be shaped.  There are also limits
on what can be shaped into an item.  Magic spells can only be shaped  into
an item if they have an experience multiple and a fixed duration (not
instantaneous or permanent spells).  This excludes direct damage causing
spells and healing spells.  Magical talents may also be shaped into items
even though most of them are either instantaneous or permanent.  Non
magical abilities that can be shaped into items include skills, weapon
skills, languages and characteristics.  Animals, elementals, summonables
and demons may also be shaped into magic items at great expense.

  Magic rituals may NOT be shaped into a magic item.  Abilities that are
unique to a given species can not be shaped into a magic item either (i.e.
dragon breath or leprechaun teleport).

  Shaped magical items work like this:  Items with spell abilities work
whenever they are activated by using the item or wearing it, and the spell
continues working until the item is taken off or deactivated.  The rank of
a spell shaped in an item for range and effect purposes is equal to the
rank of the adept who contributed the spell (this may be the Shaper
himself).  Items with skills or languages work as long as they are worn or
wielded and give the wearer rank in the skill or language equal to the
rank shaped into the item.  A character may use their own rank in a skill
or language INSTEAD of what is in the item in order to gain experience or
any other reason.  Skills shaped in items are NOT cumulative with ones
characters have.  Weapon skills that are shaped into items ARE cumulative
with any weapon skills the characters have as long as the character has
the PS and MD to use the weapon.  {For example, if Laberas (PS: 16, MD:
15, Claymore-Rank 5) were to find a magic claymore with 4 ranks of
claymore skill shaped into it, he would be effectively Rank 9 with that
claymore.  If he were to pick up a battle axe with 4 ranks of battle axe
skill shaped into it he would be Rank 4 with THAT battle axe.  If he were
to find a giant glaive with 6 ranks of glaive skill shaped into it he
could only use it as an unranked weapon because he does not have the PS or
MD to use the weapon.}

  If an item has characteristics shaped into it those characteristics are
added to the character's as long as the item is being used.

  When someone contributes spell, talent, or skill knowledge to a magic
item it is NOT lost to that individual; it is DUPLICATED in the item by
the rituals of Shaping Magic.  Magic items require a great deal of time
and energy to create. Months and years of time are common and the Shaper
may have to spend Endurance points to make an item.  Shaping is not done
lightly.  As a consequence, cursed or crocked magic items (as found in D&D
or AD&D) are virtually unknown in DragonQuest.  The Shaping Mage has 2
ways to protect items from unauthorized use.  The first involves giving an
item a ward by Magical Aptitude.  This means that only someone with the
required MA or higher can use the item.  The second is by giving the item
an individual true name.  To use the item the wielder must invoke the
item's true name aloud.  As with all other true names, no physical or
magical means will force the Shaper or the Namer who warded the item to
reveal that name.  Nor will it show in the aura or magical divination.

  Shaped magic items can be found in many ways and forms.  To help
determine what a group finds you can use the following guidelines.  For an
item with a magical ability roll 1d10.  On a roll of 1-6, the rank of the
spell is equal to the die roll.  If the roll is 7-0 start at rank 6 and do
the following: roll a d10, if the number is odd, stop, but if the number
is even, add one to the rank and roll again.  If you reach rank 20 stop
there because no spell can be ranked higher than 20.  This gives a range
that concentrates on rank 6 which is spell mastery level.

  Enchanted weapons will have a bonus to hit of % equal to the rank and a
damage bonus of +1 per 3 ranks or fraction thereof.  Weapons of cold,
fire, shadow, and star have special damage bonuses against certain beings
(see DQ rules for details).  Another common enchantment for weapons is a
Runeweapon spell.  Such a weapon has no bonus to hit or damage, but such a
weapon can't be dropped, disarmed, or broken.  They also appear to be
small wands until activated.  Enchanted armor adds 2 per rank of the spell
to the defense of the wearer and stop 1 additional hit for every 4 ranks
or fraction.

 -- Dean Martelle

 Name:  Itaranashea- Ea  (Tara for short)
 Race: Elf     Aspect: Winter Stars
 Armor: Reinforced Cloth (looks like street clothes) Prot: 3

 PS:12   MD:18   AG:27   MA:10   WP:14   EN:15  FT:23

Weapons: Rapier =      Rnk 10      Skills: Assassin:   Rnk 4
         Main Gauche=  Rnk 10              Alchemist:  Rnk 5
         Dagger =      Rnk  8              Healer:     Rnk 2
         Sap=          Rnk 3               Thief:      Rnk 7
         Unarmed =     Rnk 8               Spy:        Rnk 4
                                           Courtesan:  Rnk 6
                                           Troubadour: Rnk 6
                                           Horsemanship:Rnk 6

  Tara rarely leaves the city of Nvym-Dar.  If she does, it is only to
travel to another city for a while, until the political climate in Nvym-
dar is more conducive to her business; or, if a chosen target resides in
another city.  Tara is an assassin, but she never strikes from behind, or
without warning.  Those methods are without style or honor, only humans do
those kinds of things.  She dislikes humans; they breed like rabbits, and
have no chance of living long enough to attain wisdom of any sort.  Tara
sees humans as the cause of most of the ills in the world.  She will never
kill an elf.  She considers dwarves honorable and sensible, but dull.
Giants, in her opinion, are worse than humans, and Shape Changers are just
humans with an attitude problem.
  Tara does contract work for a Guild known as The Black Hand.  She
considers it uproariously funny that humans would pay her huge sums of
money to kill another human.  The fact that the do, is only proof to back
up her opinion of them.  Elves never do such things, having long ago given
up murder as a means of settling disputes.
  When the Black Hand selects target that Tara accepts, she without delay,
will start insulting the target.   Using her troubadour skills she will
taunt the victim mercilesley, writing and posting suggestive poetry about
the town.  Or writing and singing songs about the victim, and his/her
family or loved ones.  And the stories she concocts, and tells in every
tavern, are truly outrageous.  Eventually the victim gets so enraged that
he challenges Tara to a Duel of Honor.  After such a taunting, most
persons feel that nothing less than a duel to the Death will do.  With her
agility of 27, thus her ability to attack and evade in the same pulse,
Tara has never lost a duel.  The victim is killed, in front of witness,
from the front, so there can be no doubts that the victim was killed
fairly and justly.  When contracts are few and far between, Tara also does
a bit of cat burglary to suppliment her income.
  Her goals in life are to survive her Walkabout*, and to save enough
money to buy herself a noble title, and thus be able to target some of the
higher ranks of human aristocracy, who consider it beneath them to soil
the blades of their weapons with the blood of a peasant (i.e. anyone not

*  Walkabout is the Elven practice of forcing their children out of the
Elvish lands, to wander the world at large for 5,000 years.  ( No Elf in
their right minds would leave the Elven lands if not forced to).  If they
survive, they are welcomed back into the lands, having learned that there
is no place in the world as peacful, beautiful and tranquil as the Elvish
Lands.  They have also learned the ways of humans, because like it or not,
the elves must deal with himans from time to time.  And if the elf does
not survive, then that is a sign of weakness, or inability, and that
individual would have passed those traits on to their children.  Walkabout
is a very effictive weeding out practice.

 -- Steven Patten  (Darkcaer@AOL.COM)


The Book of History
(GM NOTE: This item is too powerful to ever let fall into the hands of
players!!!  It works best as the object of a quest for a powerful mage.)

The book is about 2 feet thick and always appears old and dusty, when
opening a user must be thinking about a certain period of history.  The
book opens to the middle and there is the information.  As you begin
reading, the history is very general (EG: The great war of Corant was
fought in 343 in the area of Venn), but the further along you read (and
concentrate) the more in depth the information goes, up to and including
individual actors and their thoughts.  The book offers no commentary, just
reports the facts as they stand.  As you can see, this can get out of hand
quickly with enterprising young adventurers, especially when they realize
that anything that happened only a few seconds ago is history!!

 -- 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)]

Title of Archive
ARCHIVE NAME:  faeries.Z
  The complete list of all of the races of Faerie (by Jacqui & Keith
Smith), some of which have already appeared in the "Beastiary" over the
past few issues, is now available as a single file.  There are a number of
races and creatures, which provide an extensive base which a GM can use to
flesh out a new land (or even another plane) with strange, new beings.
  It would be difficult to introduce all of these new types into an
existing campaign, but even a well established campaign might become home
to just a couple of the creatures from this compendium.
  There is an obvious level of detail behind these creatures which gives a
nice consistency to the whole.  Hopefully we will see more material about
this special campaign setting in the future.

The Psionicist race is a new addition to the archive (in the Races
subdirectory).  It was mentioned in last month's column, but no
description was given.  Here is the description:

ARCHIVE NAME:  psionic.Z
  The Psionicists are a strange race.  They, like shape changers, are
offshoots of human stock, but their transformation gives them psionic
abilities.  They also tend to develop physical mutations, some of which
can be rather extreme.
  In brief, these characters are generated with some additional tables for
the psionic abilities and the mutations.  The tables are fun (and more
than a little reminiscent of some of the character design tables from
"Gamma World"), and there are some very humorous descriptions of the
various physical mutations that these characters may have.  Reading
through the mutations is a little bit like reading a David Letterman
version of the DQ Grievous Injury Table.  However, I'm not sure how I
would introduce these characters into a mainstream DQ campaign.

Game Master needs two players for a play by e-mail DragonQuest campaign.
The game uses Second Edition rules and has a move frequency of about one
turn a day from me and as many communications between each other as you
wish.  If interested please contact Dale Begley at dab@informatics.jax.org
for more information.

The DragonQuest Adventures newsletter is coming soon...

I'm a subscriber of the DQ newsletter, and I thought that perhaps some of
the subscribers would be interested in several of the JG supplements that
I've got for DQ.  If you are interested, they are listed on my web-site:
http://hawkwind.ncsa.uiuc.edu/ or people can e-mail me directly for
Quincey Koziol  (koziol@ncsa.uiuc.edu)

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

 --DragonQuest Home Page
 --DragonQuest Newsletter Page
 --DragonQuest Archive
 --Shannon Appel's RPG Archives (DQ Index)
 --Surge's (Unofficial) Mirror Archive

###   End of DragonQuest Newsletter v3/n6 -- June 1996