|| DRAGONQUEST Newsletter January 2001
|| Volume 6 / Number 1

The DQ Newsletter is for discussions of the DragonQuest role-
playing game. The key addresses you need to know are:

Rodger Thorm (Editor, Article Submissions, Etc.)

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 website is in the process of being moved.
It will be part of the list site:


C O N T E N T S [v6/n01]

Editorial -- Restart

Letters -- Jason Winter

New DragonQuest Discussion List -- John Kahane

The Ascetic -- Ian Bacon


DragonQuest NET


It seems as though every other issue of the DragonQuest Newsletter
has been about making a new start, about things getting rolling,
about something new happening, so it should be no surprise that this
one follows in that same vein.

After all, it has been over a year since the last Newsletter was
released. Many of you may have thought that the Newsletter had
finally given way to the discussion group on WebRPG, or the web
pages, or some of the other DragonQuest resources.

There are other places that DQ players and GMs can go for informa-
tion about the game. Even at its peak, the Newsletter has been only
a once-a-month publication, and the pace of the 'Net is much faster
than that. But I still believe that there is a place in the mix for
the DQN. And I believe that there are still people who want to read
new things about DragonQuest and that there are still people who want
to write and share their ideas about the game.

To that end, a recent e-mail prompted me to think of a new way of
organizing the operation of the Newsletter to help keep it active.
I am proposing that there will be a group of editors who will each be
responsible for some aspects of material for the Newsletter. Getting
the Newsletter produced on a monthly basis is not impossible for one
person to do alone, but it would be easier if there was a team of
people working on it. I will act as editor-in-chief, overseeing the
whole, maintaining the mailing list, and the like. Individual editors
may be responsible for things such as New Rules, New Races, Character
and NPC Descriptions, New Creatures, Mini-Adventures, etc. Editors
would be responsible for creating content for their category as well
as editing submissions from others in that category.

There are also several related interest groups that should perhaps
also be represented editorially. The DragonQuest Players Association
is foremost on this list, and there are others as well.

I would also like to get all of the old back issues of the
Newsletter collected and posted to the DQnewsletter site Files section. 
I think that it would also be wonderful to assemble an index of articles
so that past information can be easily looked up.

Anyone who is interested in being part of the editorial team should
contact me to discuss what category they would like to be involved
with and how they can contribute to the Newsletter. Hopefully this can
lead to greater stability for the Newsletter.

On top of this, eGroups has just completed being swallowed up by
Yahoo!, so you may need to wrestle with Yahoo's new policies before
can again get access to the website and other features. As of this
moment, we have not yet seen all of the changes that this is going to
impose on Newsletter readers. Hopefully the transition will not go
roughly, and we will try to do what we can to assist anyone having
difficulties with the change of service. We apologize for this, but
the situation is beyond our control.

Rodger Thorm
DQN Editor

Subject: Re: DQ Newsletter

Hey. Sorry for the slow reply. As to helping out, that would be
As I said before, I really miss the newsletter. I had a few ideas
that I
thought would be a nice addition to the Newsletter as well. A new
feature or two like:

"Happenings in Alusia" Where each issue we could pick an area on the
Frontiers of Alusia map and perhaps describe the current goings-on in

"Talk about Castle Chilton". This could be rumors and such that
adventure leads/gossip/false rumors/etc. Each issue have a dozen or
listed that people could use. Have them be generic enough that they
be used anywhere if wanted/needed.

We could also have a regular feature where regions of Alusia could
just be
better defined. I.e. A a write-up one month on The Hills of Skoshi.

We could also have a Mini-adventure each issue. This would be
than perhaps anything from a paragraph or two to a page with a real
adventure. It could be a small cave with a family of bugbears, or
a hut on the side of an unused road with a hermit inside. That kind
of thing.

The above are just a few ideas I had had just lately. They should be
something though that appears every issue if possible so that people
come to expect them. I/we could start out the first few issues
them up myself/ourselves, and if it catches on, hopefully others
submit write-ups/rumors etc as well.

There could also be two issues at least initially (or perhaps after a
if we can get down a good, regular routine). The regular issue that
been sent out since the start, and perhaps a .pdf version with a bit
'pizazz' (heh, i know that's spelled wrong, but I have no idea on
correct spelling :-) Perhaps an included map with the mini-adventure

Anyway. These are just the ideas I had had before I mailed you about
this. let me know what your think, and any ideas you might have. I
interested to hear your feelings on the where you would like to see
newsletter go and what it should contain.

-- John Kahane <jkahane@c...>
Well, as some folks may have noticed, I started up a new DRAGONQUEST
forum and mailing list over on eGroups, now Yahoo! Groups, called
DragonQuest-RPG. The purpose of the DragonQuest-RPG forum is to
a place for gamers and fans of the old SPI fantasy rpg system a place
discuss the game, mechanics of the game, aspects of the game, aspects
fantasy in all its forms that relate to the game, and anything else
is vaguely DragonQuest-related in a friendly, "softly" moderated
that allows for both on-line as well as off-line reading, in both
individual e-mail and digest formats.

This forum and mailing list is not meant to conflict with or
with any other DragonQuest RPG mailing lists out there, but is meant
provide an outlet and place where folks can discuss things and upload
download files and other information and material about and
the DragonQuest fantasy rpg. If you would like to subscribe to the
DragonQuest-RPG mailing list, you can do this in one of two ways.
can go directly to:


and subscribe through the website, or you can send an e-mail to:


and join up that way.

I look forward to seeing folks in the DragonQuest-RPG forum, and
forward to discussing my favourite fantasy roleplaying game with
of similar interests.

John M. Kahane
Moderator, DragonQuest-RPG forum
e-mail: jkahane@c...

Character Type: ASCETIC
-- Ian Bacon <ibacon@c...>
The Ascetic

Asceticism denotes a system of practices that aims at the development
of virtue and strength of character through self-denial and
mortification. It has been an aspect of many religions and
philosophies. Methods of asceticism generally include exercises such
as celibacy, fasting, periods of silence, self-mutilation,
flagellation, performance of unpleasant tasks, self-castration and
withdrawal from human companionship. It is thought that these
practices gradually free a person's spiritual element from the body's
demands. Once control has been achieved, a harmony of the whole
person is experienced.

Thoughts on how to use the Ascetic in DragonQuest
The Ascetic is an NPC that has few valid reasons to interact with the
normal group of DragonQuest adventurers. The motivations of money,
glory and social status mean nothing to him. In this fashion Ascetics
can best be played as wanderers who by chance or design meet the
party and provide intelligence of one form or another. The difficulty
lies in eliciting this information. Offers of money or other material
considerations will merely insult the true Ascetics and turn him away
from the party. Time, consideration and careful planning are needed
to gain there cooperation. In a lesser role, with a random encounter,
they can simply add an element of danger and unplanned opportunity to
the shrewd (or unlucky) adventurer.

The motivation and background of the Ascetic NPC must fit his
calling. An Ascetic who has wandered in a desert region for decades
may know the location of the buried treasure but have little reason
to reveal it as its recovery will merely add to the burden of avarice
in the world. Conversely, he may choose to engage the party in long
conversation in an attempt to persuade them to abandon their quests
of this world and join him in the search for the next. However, the
unique abilities of the Ascetic can provide an interesting and
challenging alternative to the usual NPC enticements of proffered
coin or threats of violence in seeking assistance and advice.

It would be rare for an Ascetic to play a major NPC role, however, it
is possible. For example, an important prince could reject life at
court and then turn to the wilderness. His distraught parents could
then offer great rewards to the party to return him. Or, an Ascetic
could have stumbled across the location of a much needed magic item.
Finding this one person and then gaining information from him would
consume hours of play.

For the purposes of random encounters the Ascetic can be considered
to one category of pilgrim. It is suggested that no more than five
Ascetics be encountered at any one time.

An Asceticshas no plan other than to seek mortification of the flesh
and to become one with the world via a search for enlightenment. To
this end he/she will wander the world avoiding areas of human
habitation seeking wastelands and deserts. This brings Ascetics into
contact with strange creatures and even stranger locations. There is
a chance that any Ascetic met by a party will know unusual facts and
become a source of knowledge.

For some period of his life the Ascetic will turn from the wilderness
and spend time living in a city, begging and offering his skills to
passers-by. This is done to test his resolve by exposing himself to
the pleasures that only cities can offer. This choice can either
increase the affection to his calling or destroy it.

Ascetics will eschew comfortable clothing, sandals or any other
trappings of luxury. They will be seen, in all weather, wearing a
simple tunic or merely a cloak, with a breech clout for modesty. A
staff has become their symbol and only vanity (though it is best not
to phrase its usage in such a fashion). Food will be consumed
sparingly and only as a means of nourishing the body. Sleep is also
avoided, meditation is preferred. Most Ascetics are vegetarians, some
few will by choice eat meat as they believe it brings them closer to

Reflecting the medieval nature of the DragonQuest world 2/3 of
Ascetics will be men. Approximately half of Ascetics at any one time
will be travelling alone. This may change as circumstance and
motivation dictate. An Ascetic may wander in solitude for a time and
then join a band of his brothers only to leave them again.

The Ascetics lifestyle is hard. This has the effect of reducing
physical beauty. Take 25% of any Ascetics PB value and in any case
the maximum PB for an Ascetics is 9. The Gamesmaster may decrease the
Ascetics PB with age.

Due to their devotions Ascetics 'enjoy' a long life. Add 50% to the
normal life span. It must be stressed however, that Ascetics do not
fear death - some even embrace it.

The follower of the path will never use weapons or armour. Striking a
fellow living creature negates any progress and Ascetic has made (the
only exception to this is the hunting of food animals).

Skills & Abilities
Almost as a matter of course the Ascetic can gather and prepare food,
find water where none else can and determine his location and bearing
- he is never lost. In this sense he can be considered to possess the
Ranger skills of 60.4 (recognising plants and animals) and 60.1
('bump' of direction).

No Ascetic is a member of a College. If he was originally a member it
is totally rejected when embracing the way of the staff. Similarily,
Ascetics are never members of guilds, fraternities or any other
organised body.

The magic abilities of the Ascetic derive from years and decades of
contemplation and deprivation. They are not as direct as those of the
Magical Colleges but give the Ascetic contact with the underlying
forces of magic. These magical abilities are Talents, common to all

1. Perceive Mana (T-1)
The force that gives the Adept his power to manipulate reality is
Mana. It comes to him from the other planes. Ascetics can sense this
force over great distances, allowing them to know of regions of high
and low mana. At Rank 5 and higher they can both temporarily block or
enhance (equivalent to a mana rich area, 27.1) the access to mana for
one minute per Rank over an area of 100' radius from their location.
This Talent can only be used once in a 24 hour period.

2. Trance (T-2)
While in a trance state, Ascetics are immune to the effects of heat
and cold and require no food or drink. At rank 0 an acolyte suffers
the same discomfort as a normal human. Each rank adds 10 degrees (F)
to the range of temperature that can be experienced without harm, 70
degrees being the optimum temperature. For example, at rank 6 an
Ascetic can endure a 60 degree range, from 40 - 100 degrees. A high
ranked Ascetic can spend winter, on a mountain top, and experience no

3. Perceive the Future (T-3)
One of their more dangerous abilities is knowing the future. In
moments of clarity an Ascetics can correctly perceive the future of
an individual or of an entire nation. The truth is always known and
will be told without fear or favour. No matter how bizzare the
prediction it will always occur through the strange workings of Fate.

One should carefully consider the consequences before seeking
knowledge of the future from such a source. An Ascetic is never
capricious but his outlook is never yours and may give unasked for

Only a blind Ascetic can perform this task, and an offering, no
matter how small or trivial is required.

4. Perceive Reality (T-4)
A long life devoted to searching for purity gives one a firm grasp on
what lies beneath the perceived. An Ascetic will always recognise a
lie or half truth (but may not necessarily act on this knowledge). He
will also be aware when something is not as it should be. This latter
ability is played at the GMs discretion depending on Rank and the
subtlety of the deceit. Lastly, they will also know much of the area
they are travelling through.

5. Mental Protect (T-5)
An Ascetic possess the ability to cloak their thoughts so they cannot
be read. He is also immune to all forms of mental control.

Endurance and Fatigue
Ascetics have a great ability to ignore discomfort, fatigue and
injury. Exhaustion that would disable an ordinary human can be
disregarded with no loss of mobility or concentration. They are also
incapable of being stunned or rendered unconscious. Ascetics possess
double normal human fatigue and endurance. An additional 10% is added
to these characteristics per Rank.

Those who follow the staff are also capable of performing seemingly
superhuman actions. These can include lifting heavy objects and
enduring pain and injury (they can never be successfully tortured).

The normal catalogue of Rank with titles and so forth is completely
rejected by Ascetics - such titulature is an affront to their
calling. For the purpose of game play each decade passed equals one
level of Rank. Thus an Ascetic who has spent between 50 and 59 years
in the search is at Rank 5.

DragonQuest NET
For quite a while, one of the services of the DragonQuest Newsletter
was to keep a list of URLs to websites and other online resources
which contained DragonQuest-related information. With the abundance
of websites for DQ, and with so many online resources now available,
the Newsletter is actually a pretty inefficient way of keeping a
list. Therefore, rather than including a list of resources in each
Newsletter, we will, instead, try to review websites that have
recently come online (or that we have recently discovered) or websites
that have added new content.

If you are involved in producing a website with DragonQuest-related
material, and would like to have your site featured in an upcoming
issue of the DragonQuest Newsletter, please contact Rodger Thorm

DQN Subscriptions -- If you aren't on the list, send email with your
name and your email address to: dqn@n...


### End of DragonQuest Newsletter v6/n01 -- January 2001