|| DRAGONQUEST Newsletter Winter 2002
|| Volume 7 / Number 2
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 (still) in the process
of being updated. It will be part of the list site:
C O N T E N T S [v7/n02]
Editorial -- New Content
Dragon Magazine Articles, Intro -- Rodger Thorm
Travel & threads for DragonQuest -- Paul Montgomery Crabaugh
EDITORIAL: New Content
Things have been very slow on the DragonQuest front for the last few months. I,
myself, have been remiss in getting new Newsletters out because of some
technical problems here at my end. Things have been recovered now, with a bit of
free time, and I have unearthed the old Newsletter templates to produce some new
Until now, the Newsletter has only published original works, and while that is
certainly the direction that we want to be the primary focus of the Newsletter,
we're going to divert from that for the next several issues. The purpose of the
DragonQuest Newsletter has always been to preserve and promote DragonQuest.
Although the articles we will be publishing over the next few months were
in 'Dragon' magazine, they are not readily available to most players.
As is explained in the article below, there were nine DragonQuest related
articles that were originally published in 'Dragon' magazine in the early- to
mid-eighties. Over the next few months, we plan to reprint all of these articles
in the DragonQuest Newsletter in order to make them available.
[This was originally posted at the WebRPG discussion board. -- ED]
Subject: RE: DQN summer issues
Posted by: Brett
Date: 07/29/2002 23:12
I have been out of touch for a while and probably will be again shortly. Which
makes me feel bad because I have a slightly contrary thing to point out... If
you prefer the pure fantasy/heroic rules over more "realistic" rules then
reading farther isn't necessary...
I love the newsletter, keep up the great work!
Anyways, I was looking at the newsletter and the rules for horsemanship. Despite
the glorious appearance or horsemanship in movies, history actually points out
the repeated difficulties and losses experienced by cavalry attacking infantry.
Cavalry were adept at running down fleeing infantry but mostly avoided serious
combat with similarly armed/trained infantry men. One disadvantage was the shear
number of opponents capable of surrounding a horseman but mostly it was due to
the additional complexities of handling a horse in addition to fighting.
Horseman were limited to attacking the heads and shoulders of the attackers (the
easiest areas to defend!) while restricting their own ability to dodge and
protect their lower halfs.
A rule I propose instead of the bonus X horsemanship is a
(10-horsemanship%) penalty. This makes a rank 10 warrior as skilled from
horseback as from the ground. I also propose a skill check for riders wishing to
attack from horseback until they reach rank 4. Here is a link to my long since
updated website. It is just another horsemanship rule to consider... I would
already modify it again myself but maybe you will find parts of it useful.
DRAGON MAGAZINE ARTICLES, INTRO
-- Rodger Thorm
In the early- to mid-1980s, when DragonQuest was still present and viable, there
was enough interest in it that Dragon magazine ran several articles on the game.
These articles addressed different aspects of DQ and suggested some additional
rules that were though to be missing from the original rulebook. Some of these
included rules for swimming (two different articles), hunting, and learning
The authors were not part of the SPI team (although they may have been
playtesters), and their articles all seem somewhat at odds with SPI's style.
Nonetheless, some good material is present, even if it needs further
modification to be used in a DQ campaign.
An anonymous contributor recently made .PDF files of all nine Dragon magazine
articles available. These files are now posted as individual articles in the
Files section of the DQN-list group
as well as in a single .ZIP file containing all nine .PDFs which is in the Files
section of the DQ-rules group
The nine articles are:
Travel & threads for DragonQuest
The versatile Magician
The thrill of the hunt
Enhancing the enchanter
The warrior alternative
Learn magic by the month
Going up and getting wet
Getting in over your head
For a fuller background
These articles are also being converted into plain text files by a few other
dedicated members of the DQ community. These articles will be included as a
regular part of the DragonQuest Newsletter for the next nine issues (starting
with this one) to make the files accessible to as many people as possible. As
soon as we have the entire set of text files ready, those will be made available
Thanks to the following individuals for their help in collecting and preparing
these articles for the Newsletter: the anonymous contributor for supplying the
.PDF articles; John Rauchert, John Kahane, and Steven Wiles for text conversion
TRAVEL & THREADS FOR DRAGONQUEST
-- Paul Montgomery Crabaugh
(originally appeared in Dragon Magazine Vol. V, No. 11 pg. 68)
It is very easy to work up enthusiasm for SPI's DragonQuest. Although by no
means the most complete fantasy roleplaying game available, it is probably the
best in its $10 price range. Combined with the usual SPI-quality rules, it is
excellent, and promises to become moreso as supplements become available.
However, until the supplements are actually written, players and GameMasters
will find a need to fill in some of the gaps -- like overland movement. The
other aspects of an adventuring life are covered, including the chance of
encounters, the effects of exhaustion, and the need for supplies. The speed the
characters can travel at is left open, which, as you may have guessed, is the
subject of this article.
First, the assumptions. Scale is assumed to be 10 miles to the hex.
Movement is defined in terms of number of hours required to cross a hex. The
players have the choice of moving at a given rate of exercise (See Case 82.9 in
the rules), and are either on foot or mounted on horses. If on horses, the
players suffer Fatigue loss at one level less than they are moving at, while
their mount suffers the Fatigue loss at the normal level; for example, if a
party pushes forward at a Hard pace, the characters become fatigued at the
Medium rate, while their mounts suffer the Hard rate. Sea movement is not
covered -- that's another subject.
Two types of terrain exist: features which fill a hex completely, and those
which follow the hex sides. Hex-filling features are: Clear Terrain (including
Field and Plain), Woods, Hazardous Terrain (Cavern, Crypt, Rough, Ruin and
Waste), Mountain, Volcano, and Marsh.
Terrain Light Med. Hard Stren. Lost**
Clear 4/2 3/1˝ 2/1 1/˝ 10
Woods 5/4 4/3 3/2 2/1 8
Hazardous 6/4 5/3 4/2 3/1 9
Mountain (1) 10+1/p 8+1/p 6+1/p 4+1/10+1 5
Volcano (2) 12+1/p 10+1/p 8+1/p 6+1/14+1 6
Marsh 5/5 4/4 3/3 2/2 7
Stream (3) +˝/+1 +˝/+1 +˝/+1 +˝/+1 na
River (3) +1/+2 +1/+2 +1/+2 +1/+2 na
Slope* (3) +2/+2 +2/+2 +2/+2 +2/+2 na
(1)-- Visible in adjacent hex (normally, to map a hex, a party must actually move into it).
(2) -- Visible 2 hexes away.
(3) -- Hex-side feature; all others are hex-filling.
* -- Cast is for movement up the slope only, and is in hours, not dice; an exception to the usual rule for hex-side features.
**-- In each hex, roll the value listed or greater on a D10 to become lost; subtract one for each Rank of Ranger skill for that terrain type (but an unmodified 10 is always lost). When a party is lost, throw a 6-sided die to determine which adjacent hex it will move into, paying double the usual entry cost.
na-- Not applicable.
f/m-- Hours to cross, foot/mounted
f+x/m+y -- Foot crosses in f+(x dice) hours, mounted in m+(y dice)
+x/+y-- Additional penalty to cross hex-side: x dice hours for foot, y
dice for mounted; however, see * above.
One of the reasons for my fascination with DragonQuest is that the combat system
provides encouragement for sword-and-sorcery heroes in the classic style. In
most systems, armor is almost exclusively a benefit, so that characters walk (or
trundle) into battle surrounded by their very own Sherman tank. This can be
lethal in DQ, where armor cuts agility down twice: once for being armor and once
for being encumbering. You may end up almost invulnerable -- but with your
action points reduced to where you can only get in one blow to your opponent's
three or more.
Going without armor carries its own hazards, but at least it is plausible to
follow the lead of minimally clothed heroes such as Conan, John Carter, Red
Sonya and Rifkind.
However, some shopping for the latest styles quickly reveals that the DQ
shopping list caters to fairly ordinary street clothes -- not tuxedos and formal
gowns, but moderately heavy clothing that can, under the proper circumstances,
cost an action point or two that might be needed someday.
Therefore, herewith is provided a list of "minimum clothing": items of apparel
sufficient to avoid violations of any indecent exposure laws, but much lighter
than regular clothing (and, incidentally, more in line with most of the 25mm
miniature figures available).
Harness: made of leather, worn by either sex, weighs 2 pounds, costs 8 SP;
equivalent to a weapon belt. Favored by John Carter and (in a metallic version)
Ribbons: female option only; a collection of barely adequate silk ribbons and
such; weighs 1 pound, costs 1 SP. Worn by Elinore of Montagar.
Body Stocking: either sex, one pound, costs 4 SP. Worn by Rifkind of the Asheera,
Oscar Gordon and the Empress of Twenty Universes.
Loincloth: male option only, one pound, costs 1 CF. Worn by Tarzan of the Apes,
Conan of Cimmeria and others.
### End of DragonQuest Newsletter v7/n02 -- Winter 2002