This issue’s highlight is pretty well timed as I have just begun reading Jon Peterson’s history of gaming, Playing at the World. We also just marked the 40th anniversary of the angry old man that is Dungeons & Dragons. In that context, this issue moves from pretty terrible to excellent.
Now This is a Cover!
Oh thank god we are starting to see some real craftsmanship in the covers. This one by Ken Rahman, or Elrohir as he chose to call himself is really wonderful. It takes a typical fantasy trope and adds whimsy to it while also showcasing an artist at the top of his craft.
Unfortunately, like many issues of Dragon, the quality of the covers doesn’t reflect the quality of the content. This issue is filled with lots of meh fiction and a long ridiculous article by M.A.R Barker on military formations from Tekumel. Yawn.
Elrohir? Great work by Ken Rahman despite the elvish pseudonym.
Uncle Gary Gives a History Lesson
This here is the meat of the issue thought. Uncle Gary, gives us a brief summation of the history of the hobby. It is both filled with positivity, anger, and a shot at Uncle Dave. I never had the pleasure of meeting the man, but I hope that he was this lovable curmudgeon in person too.
Why does Uncle Gary always sound angry in The Dragon?
Here we have yet another gem by Erol Otus. The Prowler is one of the dumbest monsters I have seen in the magazine so far, but the illustration is wonderful. One thing I would love to see is some enterprising OSR folks take Erol’s lovingly created monsters and give them some weight with stats.
If only Erol had art directed everything for Dungeons and Dragons.