The Dragon #19 Vol 3.5

A very arty abstract cover – apparently by Dave Sutherland

What’s new

  • Price increase from $1.50 to $2 – the first ever price rise for Dragon mag

Sorcerer’s Scroll

  • The origin of Gamma World


  • Editorial talks about GenCon XI – attendance affected by rain and proximity to Origins
  • Guest editorial by Gygax about GenCon – he gives kudos to Origins and especially the MDG organisers, mentions only 1 group surviving round 2 of the D&D tourney. Of interest, in this age of cosplay, he notes the bad taste of people dressed up in WW2 uniforms
  • The Battle for Snurre’s Hall – comprehensive report on the Origins 78 tournament (ie the G modules) with a write-up by the winning team with DM editorial comments
  • Competitive D&D – article by Bob Blake about how to score a tournament including the system they used for the Origins G modules and the GenCon D modules
  • D&D Player Personalities – pretty pointless article by what seems like a dubious DM
  • Planning creative treasures – good ideas about adding flavour to treasure, eg linking items in a chest to some other room in the dungeon somehow
  • Treasure location charts – yet more random tables


  • Wish spells – how to categorise and possibly deal with them as a DM
  • Australian mythos – ie Aboriginal stuff
  • Systematic magic – an article which has a good idea – basically the notion of specialisations, ie choosing a spell type and progressing to learn the spells of that type as your level progresses. And then it mixes in a complicated way of using your ability scores as a form of spell points system. Which sounds horrifying!
  • Spell determination for hostile magic users – when the DM is controlling a spell casting monster, this is basically some random tables to determine what spell of their repertoire they should cast

Ads of note

  • Full page ad for the G series with a line at the bottom that states “Plus three new modules to be released at GenCon!” – this again puts into question the whole dating of Dragon mags – Gencon was in August – does this mean the October Dragon mag came out 2 months before in August? Absolutely not. After all, the editorial is a report about Gencon! But what it does mean is that if something appears in a Dragon mag in a review or ad, that generally means it was fact as of roughly 1-2 months before. (And that’s why module S1 is coming up next!)