~~                                                             ~~
~~   DRAGONQUEST Newsletter                   September 1996   ~~
~~                                                             ~~
~~   Volume 3 / Number 9                                       ~~
~~                   Special  WATER  Issue                     ~~

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/n9]


 Letters  -- Brent Jackson
          -- Dave Nadler

 Column: The BEASTIARY -- Gwragedd Annwn & Asrai

 Naval Skills for DragonQuest -- Russell Whyte

 Column: DQ ARCHIVE -- The Water Works



  This special issue is dedicated to Water Magics and water-based
addventures in DragonQuest.  The Navigator skill hints at the
possibilities of involving water in a DragonQuest campaign, and Water
Magics is the hardest college for a mage to join (because it has the most
General Knowledge spells).  But the promise of water-based adventure has
always seemed partly unfulfilled.  Ships themselves are given slight
description in the Goods Tables, and Water Magics is a pitifully weak
college in many respects.  The Navigator skill addresses some issues of
ship travel, but other areas are left to the GM.  Without a reasonable
guide, many GMs ignore potentially interesting parts of their campaign

  This issue presents a few options that may help you to expand the
possibilities of using water in your campaigns.  SPI had a supplement for
water based adventures in mind for development, but that will never be
seen.  Most GMs probably draw on other game systems and other resources to
work out the needed details for their campaigns.  This is the kind of
information that needs to be shared in the Newsletter: the ways that GMs
have addressed issues concerning water (skills, magic, creatures, etc.) in
their campaigns.


Re: The Book of History
[The item under discussion appeared in the June 96 issue.  -- ED.]

  It is my opinion that if an item is too powerful to ever let fall into
the hands of players, then it is too powerful to ever be in the hands of
an NPC as well.  Magical items need to have checks and balances.  If an
item exists that can achieve extremely powerful things, then there must be
limitations on how they may be used.  For example, the above item could
require Fatigue expenditure.  Opening the book uses 10 Fatigue and each
minutes reading uses another Fatigue point.  This is not enough of a
restriction in my opinion and so other limitations might be needed.  [Eg
the book can only be opened at midnight on a night of the full moon.  When
opening the book the opener must roll under twice MA.  If this roll fails
they get drained of 5 Endurance which cannot be healed but must be
recovered naturally (see Rest and Recuperation in the third book).
Another roll is required after every WP pulses of reading.  The book can
be shut at any time with no harmful effects.]
  The original description is not detailed enough : how long must you read
(and concentrate) to obtain detailed information ?  Can anyone read it or
only the person opening it?  The item also appears a little dry.  How
about some live like:  If the person who opens the book stops reading then
the book automatically shuts.  At the time when the book is able to be
read a high pitched whispering issues from it "Read me, read me, read me."

 -- Brent Jackson  (brent@advgroup.co.nz)

{It sounds as if this would be written up as a hybrid spell / mythical
beast.  I like the idea that it takes fatigue to read the book on-going
(kind of like a beast taking away your fatigue during a fight) and the
idea that opening the book is like a spell.  Then there may be some side
effects, like after spending so much time with the book, one starts to
have historical facts get mixed into one's individual memory, in other
words I remember being at the Battle of Hastings even though it happened
1000 years ago.
  If I had the time / knowledge, I'd gladly write this up with the stats
myself.  -- Dave Nadler}

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

Gwragedd Annwn & Asrai
 -- Jacqui Smith  c/o(keith@ihug.co.nz)

[These are two more of the Faery creatures of Tir-Nan-Og.  See the
articles in the February and May 1996 (v3/n2 & n5) issues of the DQ
Newsletter for more information and background about these creatures and
their world.  -- ED.]

Gwragedd Annwn (Gwrageth Anoon)
Natural Habitat: Streams, rivers.
Frequency: Uncommon.    Number: 1-10 (1)

Description: Gwragged Annwn are water faeries.  They are always female and
very beautiful.  Normally solitary, they have been known to take mortals
as husbands.  This is the only thing which frees them from the lake, river
or pool to which they are bound much as a sylvan is bound to its tree.

Talents, Skills and Magic:
Gwraggeth Annwn have the usual faerie talents, and in addition are usually
invisible if immersed in water.  They may in addition be mages of the
College of Water Magics, and may be Courtesans.

Movement rates: Substantial: 150  Insubstantial: 1750  Swimming: 350
PS: 8-10        MD: 14-18       AG: 16-22       MA: 18-22
EN: 8-12        FT: 16-24       WP: 18-24       PC: 18-24
PB: 25-30       TMR: 3/7

Weapons: Gwraggeth Annwn do not use weapons.

Comments: These are good fairies, protectors of the waters of Fairie.
They don't appreciate those who pollute those waters, because this causes
them pain, and they will use their magic on such people.  They can only be
harmed by destroying their lake, river, or pool.  More than one gwraggeth
annwn can be bound to a given body of water.

Natural Habitat: Ocean, Streams, rivers.
Frequency: Uncommon.    Number: 1-20 (1)

Description: Asrai are female water faeries like the Gwraggeth Annwn, but
are diminutive in size.

Talents, Skills and Magic: Asrai have the usual faerie talents, and the
ability to remain invisible when immersed.  They have no skills, and use
no other magic.

Movement rates: Substantial: 100  Insubstantial: 1750  Swimming: 300
PS: 3-4 MD: 17-20       AG: 18-21       MA: 10-15
EN: 3-4 FT: 8-10        WP: 12-16       PC: 10-14
PB: 20-25       TMR: 6

Weapons: Asrai do not use weapons.  Their touch can deliver a cold burn
causing D-4 damage.

Comments: Asrai are sweet little creatures, almost defenseless.  If taken
away from water they will after one hour dissolve into a pool of water.

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

This is a collection of skills for DragonQuest that involve ships and
naval adventuring.  This is based on ideas gathered from several game
systems, fantasy and historical novels, and my own uneducated opinions.
I've never been in the navy, nor am I a sailor, so, if there are any major
glaring errors, I apologize in advance.

1. Small Boat Handler
2. Rope Use
3. Naval Scientist
4. Sailor
5. Fishing
6. Changes to Navigator
7. New Weapons
8. New Craftsman Skills:
     Shipwright/Carpenter/Net maker/Sail maker
9. Races

~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~
1. Small Boat Handler (or Boater)
This skills confers the ability to handle small boats and other water-
based vessels.  This skill is limited to operating small craft (size
<25').  Anything larger would require a crew, and the sailor skill
(discussed below) to operate, or the Navigator skill to pilot.

At Rank 0 the player may choose from one of the following categories:
** Rowed craft -- This includes rowboats, canoes, kayaks, and other
     small craft propelled by oars or paddles.
** Rafts -- This includes rafts, pirous, and barges, and any other
     craft propelled by poles.
** Sailing dinghy -- This includes any small sailing craft with one
     mast that is operable by 1-2 people. These ships are usually
     fishing-boats or pleasure boats for lesser nobility or merchants

At Rank 5, and again at Rank 10, the player may choose one of the
remaining categories.  Optionally, the player may choose the same category
again, giving +10 to each roll for each specialization taken.

These boats are usually not taken out of sight of land.

Compass direction can be determined by viewing the stars. The success
chance is (20 + [5xRank])%.  If the roll is less than the calculated
chance, direction is known.  If the roll is higher, direction is off by 1
degree for every point the roll is over.  This skill is quite inferior to
the Navigator version, but this skill is less expensive, and is designed
for smaller craft usually used on lakes, rivers, or within coastal waters
if an ocean/sea port.

Position can be calculated from landmarks with automatic success if in an
area the player has studied for a period of (14 - Rank) days.  This
assumes access to charts/maps of the area, or access to someone who is
familiar. (ie, hang out at the fisherman's market and find a friendly old
sailor and buy him a few rounds!)

If the area is unfamiliar, a map can be used to determine position at ([2
x Perception] + [8 x Rank])%.  A roll under the chance means success, a
higher roll means you're lost (although the player doesn't necessarily
knows this!)

Like a navigator, a boater can maintain speed at (50 + [5 x Rank]) speed.

Weather can be estimated at (Perception + [3 x Rank])% chance.  (You're
not out to sea far enough to see weather patterns building).

Non-magical dangers (such as submerged logs/rocks, etc) can be spotted in
time to prevent mishap at ([2 x Perception] + [3 x Rank]).  If the roll is
from 1-20 over the chance, the player sees the danger just before it hits,
but is too late to prevent it.  Any higher, and the player fails to see

This skill also confers the ability to attempt basic repair and
maintenance of the craft. This can be anything from mending a rip in sail
or patching a canoe/rowboat, to serious work (ie, you blew the detect
trouble roll, hit a rock, and you're currently trying to fix the problem
sufficently to stay afloat.)  GM discretion must be used here. If the
player has time, tools, and appropriate materials, roll as follows:
   Basic repair: ([5 x Rank] + [2 x MD] + Perception)%
   Medium repair: ([4 x Rank] + [2 x MD] + Perception)%
   Hard repair:  ([2 x Rank] + [2 x MD] + Perception)%

   Inappropriate tools:       -20
   Inappropriate materials:   -50 (in other words, not very likely)
   Insuffient time, or
    otherwise rushed          -5 to -30
    (depends on circumstances, use your discretion. Missing the
    morning fishing could be -5; under enemy fire would be -30)

In a pinch, a boater can attempt to make a crude boat out of available
materials (ie wood, canvas, bark, etc).  The chance of success is
(Rank + MD + Perception)%. This will create something that basically
but will not be the slightest bit comfortable. It also will be somewhat
unstable. Every (12 - Rank) hours a mishap roll must be made to stay
Failure of this roll means the boat falls apart.

If the creation roll is over by less than 20, the boat won't work,
the player knows this, but it may still be able to float enough
to use as a flotation device to paddle with. If the roll is more than
20 over, either it falls apart upon hitting the water, or (GM's
will hold together until the first mishap roll, at which time it
starts to fall apart.

A boater must spend [200 + [25 x Rank]) Silver Pennies per year for
charts and maps. Failure to do so results in this skill being reduced
by 2 until such time as the money is paid, due to obsolete charts,
changes in waterways/river paths, etc.

Rank:         0    1    2    3     4     5     6     7     8     9    10
Exp. Cost   300  125  300  850  1400  2200  3400  4200  5300  6800  9500

~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~
2. Rope Use
This skills confers the ability to understand and create knots of various
types with ropes, twine, string, or other similiar material.  At advanced
levels, methods of creating rope and splicing two ropes together are

Rank   Skills
0-2    Identify basic knots, tie simple knots
3-5    Identify any knot in common use, most unusual ones
       Can create/tie any knot used on a ship
       Can evaluate condition of rope
       Can splice lines together to lengthen line
       Can tie up persons securely (ie only a thief/spy could get loose)
6-8    Identify/unravel almost any know
       Can create your own ropes, cords, lines
       Can repair rope (assuming materials and tools are available)
9-10   Can unravel any knot you see
       Can repair any rope that is repairable
       Can create special items such as spider-silk ropes
       Can tie anything/anyone up securely. (ie even a thief is hog-tied!)

Rank:         0   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9   10
Exp. Cost    25  50  100  200  200  400  600  600  800  800  800

~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~
3. Naval Scientist
This skill covers the tactical and strategic use of ships in combat. It
also covers leading a crew of sailors, marines, and navigators, both in
ordinary daily ship operations, and in battle.

Players with this skill are usually officers aboard a ship.  Warrant
officers may also possess this skill.  Petty officers and crew usually
will not be ranked in naval scientist.

Naval scientists must be able to read and write at least one language at
Rank 8, due to having to deal with maps, rutters, ships logs and letters
of marque, as well as the daily running of a ship/naval centre.

A naval scientist can command (12 + [Rank squared] + 4 x Willpower])
sailors, marines, and other crew and officers in tactical situations.

A naval scientist can attempt to "guess" the tactics an enemy ship is
about to employ.  The success chance is (Perception + [9 x Rank])%. If the
roll is over the chance, but not more than 20 over, the character doesn't
see it coming until its too late. Anything higher, and the GM can either
give them wrong info, or none, as seen fit.

A naval scientist is familiar with the daily operations of a ship, or
fleet of ships. This includes:
* a general idea of required maintenance and schedules (but not
necessarily how to do the maintenance - that's the crew's job!)

* provisioning for voyages (i.e. food, water, miscellaneous supplies)

* administering law and punishment at sea (includes marriage/burial too)

* general administration

* hiring of crew and officers for voyages

* storage of cargo for best balance and speed.

A naval scientist is familiar with signalling methods commonly used on
ships.  This includes colours (banners and/or flags) and semaphore.  Other
cultures may also use drums as a signalling device.  The ship's bell can
also be used for signals.  Signals allow basic messages to be transmitted
between ships, or between ship and shore.  Distance is line of sight, or
hearing range for drums/bells.

Punishment for offences is usually:
   Minor - lashes with a bullwhip or cat'o'nine tails
   Major - serious flogging with whip or death by hanging or keelhauling
           Note - instead of death, sometimes an offender is stranded for
                  life on a deserted island with a cask of rum, a knife,
                  a machete, a rifle or crossbow, and a month of food.

A naval scientist must maintain skill in Navigator at a minimum of one
rank less than the naval scientist skill.  There isn't much sense (to me,
anyways) of knowing how to command a ship, but not knowing how to steer

Leading marines in combat comes under the Military Scientist skill.

Experience costs are the same as military scientist.

~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~
4. Sailor
While the navigator skill covers piloting a ship, the Sailor is concerned
with crewing the ship.  This includes working the sails, rowing, and
general life aboard a seagoing vessel for extended periods as a crewman.

At higher levels, specialized areas can be chosen. These include:
       ships stores, division of loot
   Master at Arms
       in charge of ship's weapons and security. Often the guy who
       wields the whip for flogging offences
   Petty Officer
       non-commissioned officer, akin to a lead-hand role
       works on the ships guns, aims and fires in combat, does general
       maintenance, also covers storage of powder.

Sailors automatically have the rope use skill described above.

Sailors are able to climb up into the rigging without problems.  A roll is
required only in special circumstances, such as during battle, or a bad
storm has hit.  The exact roll is GM's discretion.

Sailors are familiar with using grappling hooks, and automatically hit the
target unless unusual conditions exist (bad storm, or trying to hook an
enemy ship for a boarding action).  If a roll is required, the following
stats can be used:
   Weapon       Wt.  PS  MD  BC  DM Range Class Use
 Grappling Hook  2   10  14  30   -   10    -   R
Add 4 for every rank in sailor.

This can also be used to entangle a character.  A successful hit means
it's wrapped around the target's legs.  Missing the roll by less than 10
means that instead of entangling, you hit your target in the shins for D-3
points of damage.

Rank:         0    1    2    3    4     5     6     7     8     9    10
Exp. Cost   250  100  200  500  800  1400  1900  2500  3500  4500  6500

~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~
5. Fishing
This is the ability to gather large amounts of seafood. This includes the
use of nets and traps (ie lobster traps).  Rod and Reel and spear-fishing
are separate skills altogether.

The ability to find schools of fish or other edible sealife is also part
of this skill.

~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~
6. Changes to Navigator
In addition to using maps, characters with proficiency in navigation may
also create maps and rutters (log books used to map routes).

In order to create maps, navigators must be able to read/write at least
one language at rank 8 or better.

~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~
7. New Weapons

Melee Weapons
   Weapon       Wt.  PS  MD  BC  DM Range Class Use Cost Max Rank
   Gaff          2   10  10  30   D   P     A    MC   5    2
   Belaying Pin  2   12  10  35   D   P     C    MC   5    2
   Cutlass       5   15  14  50  +4   P     B     C  50    7
   Machete       3   13  12  45  +2   P     B     C  35    5
   Epee          2   10  16  40  +1   P     A     C  30   10
   Foil          3   11  16  45  +2   P     A     C  30   10

Gaff -- Basically a hook attached to a wooden handle.  Can be used in
several ways: as a tool for moving bulk cargo; used in fishing (to hook
and land the big ones); as a weapon (in a pinch).

Belaying Pin -- A short rod, usually of iron or hard wood. Used primarily
on ships to fasten ropes to the rail.  (Pins are shoved into holes bored
into the rail for this purpose).  Can be used like a club in an emergency
(or a brawl).

Cutlass -- A short, heavy, single-edged blade with a basket hilt.  Your
classic swashbuckler/buccanner weapon.

Machete -- A large, heavy single-edged knife.  Sometimes known as a bush
knife.  Very popular in the tropical regions.

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.

Experience Table:
Weapon         0    1   2    3     4     5     6     7     8     9    10
Gaff          25   50  100   -     -     -     -     -     -     -     -
Belaying Pin  25   50  100   -     -     -     -     -     -     -     -
Cutlass      150  150  200  500  1000  2000  2000  2500    -     -     -
Machete       75   75  125  200   400   700    -     -     -     -     -
Epee         100  100  200  200   200   500   500  1500  2500  2500  2500
Foil         150  150  200  200   200   500   500  2000  3000  3000  3000

~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~
8. New Craftsman Skills
These skills are supplemental to the craftsman skill found in
Shipwright -- aka naval architect. Designs and build ships (25> feet)

Carpenter -- basic woodworker.  Can effect repairs to a ship if the
character also has boater skill, or, working with a boater's guidance, can
create boats <=25 feet.

Net maker -- makes fishing nets.  Usually taken in conjunction with
fisherman skill.

Sail maker -- creates and mends sails.

~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~  ~~ ~~~ ~~
9. Races

Swimming costs 25% more than listed prices. (Beings who worship stone tend
not to swim often or well. Of course, there are always exceptions.)
Stouts pay 25% more for swimming, tallfellows pay 10% less. All others are
normal.  Due to their high MD, halflings make excellent carpenters, net,
and sail makers.  Experience costs for those craftsman skills are -10% to
 -25% to listed swimming costs, -50% if a wood/forest elf. Wood elves take
boating at -25% cost as canoes/kayaks are popular river transit for them.
   Sea Elves
Similar to common elves (aka Sindar, for us Tolkien fans) except that
their skin tone in greenish, their hair and eyes are sea-green, and they
have gills.  Instead of bows, tridents, harpoons, and nets are the
preferred weapons of these people.  They can survive for entended periods
out of water, but tend not to like wandering too far inland.  Being
underground or in a desert tends to totally freak these guys out.  All
percentage rolls are at -10 due to the character's anxiety.

Use the following special abilities instead of the common elven ones:
1. Can see underwater as normal (150' range) if light can penetrate the
water.  Deep water they can see up to 50' distance.
2. Automatically have the swimming proficiency at Rank 10.
3. Can take Ranger for 50% if specialized in Ocean/Sea environments.
4. Can take Beast Master for 50% if sea creatures are chosen (includes
marine avians, fish, water mammals, etc.)
5. Any of the aforementioned skills (navigator, boater, sailor, etc) can
be purchased at 50% of listed price.
6. Due to their gills, sea elves can survive indefinately underwater, up
to 200' depth.  Many of the elders stay under for centuries, only
surfacing when the safety of the oceans is at risk.

Note - sea elves can take water mage at -25% to all costs.
       Sea elves NEVER take fire magic; They simply cannot cast the spells
       due to the natural water influence they possess.

NOTE: The swimming skill mentioned above is from an old issue of DRAGON.

Feel free to distribute this to anyone who wants a copy. All I ask is that
if any changes or additions are made, please let me know so I can update
my own notes.  Comments are always welcome, especially from people who
actually have experience in any of these areas!

Oh yes, copyright crap:  I freely place any of this info into the public
domain for anyone and everyone to share and use.  While I have been
inspired by existing rules, everything here is my own creation.  There is
no copyrighted material present.  The only thing I did not create myself
is the craftsman skill mentioned in an older DQ newsletter, which I added
a few new things to.  As mentioned above, feel free to email me with
suggestions or ideas to add to this.  Finally, distribute this freely to
any WWW/ftp site that wants it.  Please leave my name in as the original
author.  Otherwise, you can modify as desired.

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

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

The Water Works
ARCHIVE NAME:  archive.name
  Another DQ adventure finally surfaces (pardon the water pun).  I have
been working on getting this ready for distribution for more than 2 years
(very much as an off and on thing) and it's still only about 90% complete.
There are some rough edges yet, but a competent GM should be able to
smooth over them without causing too many waves (sorry).
  I have sent copies of this adventure to a couple of groups to playtest,
but never got much response as to how it went.  It is very difficult to
write an objective description of one's own work, but I think this is a
good aventure for DQ, and I hope that those who download it find it
  The premise is that an elderly water mage believes he has found the
location of a lost old alchemical factory (the Water Works), and he wants
a group to go and investigate.  This adventure was designed for a small
group (4-6) of relatively competent adventurers.  GMs with different PC
mixes can adjust accordingly.


======================SEEKING PLAYERS/GM=========================
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/n9 -- September 1996