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

C O N T E N T S  [v3/n7]


 Column: The BEASTIARY -- Bone-Eater Bird

 Constable/Detective Skills -- Dean Martelle
 Energy and Detect Aura -- Vincent Yanda


  Lots of change and commotion to report this month.  We have new
addresses for both editorial and distribution of the Newsletter, and the
major DragonQuest Website has also moved!
  Firstly, after graduating, your editor now has a real job, and this has
necessitated a change from the University's system to a commercial ISP.
Effective immediately, the new address for Philip is:
This is the address which you should use for submissions of articles,
letters, and other items for the Newsletter.

  Next, the DragonQuest Home Page which Daniel Allbutt maintains is now
found at:
Dan's email address is new, too, and those of you who want to contact him
directly can find his new address in those pages.

  And last, but not least, the new, best address for subscription and
distribution questions about the Newsletter is:
This isn't really a move, but just changing over to a more efficient email
address for Dave (which, hopefully, is less likely to bounce).

  If you have any trouble reaching us, old addresses may work for a while
still, and we will all be trying to work out the bugs, so keep trying if
you don't get a reply.

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

Bone-Eater Bird
 -- Philip Proefrock  (psproefrock@ntsource.com)
  The bone-eater bird is usually not a predator, but it can attack people
or their animals (especially horses) when other food is not readily
available.  It is also noted that the bone-eater bird will spear small
animals with its beak and kill them for food.  Bone-eater birds often
gather in small flocks of 4-20 birds, especially when they are going to
attack a larger prey.
  The bone-eater bird is roughly the size of a barn owl or a large hawk,
with up to a 52 inch wingspan.  It has mostly brown feathers, with a white
ruff around the neck. Its beak is long and pointed and is a bone white

Move: 800 (flying)
PS: 4-6    MD: 18-20    AG: 19-21    MA: None
EN: 6-7    FT: 9-11     WP: 7-9      PC: 17-20
PB: 8-12   TMR: 16      NA: None

Weapons:  When it attacks, the bone-eater uses its narrow, sharp beak and
strikes like a woodpecker.  Because it strikes vital places where bone is
close to the skin surface (joints, skull, etc.) a -3 modifier is applied
to the die roll for every attack a bone-eater bird makes.  It has a 40%
chance to hit and does D-3 damage.
  However, the bone-eater bird is more of a carrion feeder, and will only
attack a living target when extremely hungry.  Otherwise, these birds are
happy to feed on the bones of already dead prey.
  Because of the strong acid it produces, the body of a bone-eater bird
may be worth up to 100 sp to an alchemist (although if it has been dead
for more than 3 days, it looses its value).

 -- 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.]

The purpose of the Constable/Detective is to solve crimes and other
mysteries.  The Constable is a valuable addition to a city watch and in
some ways a precursor to modern police officers in method.  A Detective
can work with a city watch but is more likely to be a consultant such as
Sherlock Holmes or a private investigator such as Mike Hammer or Sam
Spade.  [Glen Cook's Garrett ('Old Tin Sorrows,' et al) is an example of
such a character in a fantasy setting.  -- ED]  To the best of my
knowledge such a skill has never been detailed out in a fantasy game
before and provides a whole new  area for adventures.

A Constable is a specialist in local law enforcement.  Such a person is
usually provided with powers of search and arrest.  A detective is a
specialist in the solving of mysteries and gathering of information.  The
skills of Constable and Detective are quite similar but they are ranked
differently.  They are treated as two different skills and ranked

A Constable/Detective has a bonus to perform special strikes with certain
weapons.  These weapons include quarterstaff, war club, sap, net, bola,
and unarmed.  This bonus is (Rank x 2)% for a Constable and (Rank)% for a

A Constable/Detective can gain information from witnesses or suspects by
interrogation.  For a Constable this chance is PC + (10 x Rank)%.  For a
detective the chance is  (2 x PC) + (11 x Rank)%.  In both cases add the
WP of the person being interrogated if they are willing to help, and
subtract (2 x WP) if the person is hostile or does not want to divulge the

A Constable or Detective can analyze evidence or the scene of a crime for
clues.  GM's discretion is critical in the use of this skill.  FIrst a GM
should describe the scene to the player and then let them draw what
conclusions they can and then make a roll for additional information.  For
a Constable this chance is PC + (8 x Rank)%; for a Detective the chance is
(2 x PC) + (10 x Rank)%.

A Constable or Detective can memorize faces and give a detailed
description up to (3 x Rank) days after seeing the person or being.  For a
Constable this chance is (2 x PC) + (12 x Rank)%; for a Detective this
chance is (3 x PC) + (10 x Rank)%.

A Constable or Detective can detect an ambush in an urban or other
artificial setting.  This chance is (2 x PC) + (5 x Rank) for a Constable
and PC + (6 x Rank) for a Detective.

A Constable has the ability of presence.  By virtue of his legal authority
he can persuade people or divert crowds.  The chance is WP + (6 x Rank) -
WP of person or crowd.

A Detective has the ability to shadow or follow a person and not be
noticed.  The chance is PC + (2 x Stealth) + AG + (5 x Rank)%.  Add 2x
Troubador rank if the Detective is in disguise.  The person being shadowed
gets a (1 x PC) roll to notice the tail if the Detective makes his roll
and a (5 x PC) roll if he fails his roll.  Of course, spells such as
invisibility and walking unseen will modify this further.

If a character's Constable rank is higher than his Detective rank, the
character expends one-half the normal experience necessary to acquire or
improve the Detective skill.  The reverse is also true.

A Constable uses the same experience point costs as Spy.  A Detective uses
the same experience point costs as Assassin.

 -- Dean Martelle

 -- Vincent Yanda  (cougar@tamu.edu)

Detect Aura has become very simple for me to GM as I have explained it
(more to myself than anybody) as a way of seeing energy.  Detect Aura
picks up Magical, Physical, and Spiritual (all living things have souls
and dead have pale, fading reflections of their former soul).  What this
boils down to is a VERY simple way of determining "what" people see...
The hard part is deciding "how" they see it.  Different colleges of magic
will look different as they use mana in different ways.  Physical energy
is a bit more tricky.  An arrow flying through the air is using energy and
would show up to DA, which gives a kind of "motion detector" type of
sense, but is short range, easily blocked by objects, and requires a
separate roll to try this AFTER one successfully uses DA.  The spiritual
side tells you their current mood, aspect, general character, and overall
strength of their life force (i.e. how powerful they are as a whole.  A
dragon or deity would be BLINDING in this regard).  This doesn't allow you
to discern if they are lying or not, but it does allow you to function as
a polygraph, seeing if they become anxious after they ask you a question.

Example:  A skeleton would show up on a magical level (animation spell), a
physical level (those bones moving about use energy), and a spiritual
level (there is still a shard of the old soul there, although it will most
likely be pale and "decaying").

All you have to do is decide what colors, shapes, movements, etc. that the
aura appears to the player, and Detect Aura is done.  The hard spell that
I would think would warrant discussion is Limited Precognition (Sorceries
G-2)...  How do you give enough information to make the spell worth
ranking without giving away game info or giving information that may not
come to pass?

 -- Vincent Yanda  (cougar@tamu.edu)

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

 --DragonQuest Home Page
 --DragonQuest Newsletter Page
       (the DQN site will be moving soon)
 --DragonQuest Archive
 --Shannon Appel's RPG Archives (DQ Index)
 --Surge's (Unofficial) Mirror Archive

###   End of DragonQuest Newsletter v3/n7 -- July 1996