The Dragon in Review, Issue One Hundred Fourteen

By Keith Senkowski
On October 11, 2015

In honor of the month I am going to carve out some time to look at some of the Halloween issues of The Dragon. The magazine has often been hit or miss with it’s holiday focused issues. Many simply play lip service, making me wonder if perhaps they didn’t have much of an editorial calendar. Being driven by mostly outside submissions this isn’t too surprising.

Compelling Cover, Right?

The cover of this issue is by David Martin and really fantastic. It even works with the logo of the magazine at the time. It also reflects the main article in the issue, Witches, which gives it a decent tie to the Halloween theme, but isn’t very overt. If I saw this on the magazine rack I wouldn’t realize it was a Halloween issue, just assume it is another fantasy themed issue.

I would buy this cover at a glance. I love this cover, but it doesn’t exactly scream Halloween.

Witches

Speaking of witches, Dragon does love the NPC class and the Witch NPC class in particular. What I find interesting about the “class” is they call it out as being super powerful, but I highly doubt anyone play-tested this class. I mean just look at the level progression and spell list:

 

TSR loooooooves their NPC classes.

So basically it is a wizard that can brew potions and has a limited spell list. How exactly is that impressive? These bits always amuse me.

Graveyard Tables

Speaking of amusing bits, these graveyard tables are the only other Halloween oriented articles in this issue. Unfortunately, one look at these things and you realize not a ton of thought went into them. I have always felt that tables like these are subtle ways to build worlds and deserve thought and care. These tables don’t reflect any of that.

Kind of a hot mess.

Odds and Ends

Some other tidbits in this issue I enjoyed are an advert to order these T-shirts. Honestly, WotC/Hasbro should do this again. These classics are exactly that, classic.

There is a kinda weird article on Elven Cavaliers. They basically read like rangers, which is dumb, but I was amused by how the article opened. I’m not sure if that first sentence is targeted at setting or players. Either way it is amusing.

Lastly, did you know that lions and dinosaurs have the same hit location table? Not other animals. They get other groupings. Man, role-playing games are wonderfully absurd, don’t you think?

I really want one of these shirts.