Friday, June 28, 2019

Some OSR & Unorthodox Thoughts On Dragon Issue #211 An Underground Extravaganza

So last night I dug out my copy of Dragon issue 211 & began to go through it. Dragon 211 is significant for a number of reasons. This is a really good issue if your doing dungeon construction & contains a number of articles that centered around dungeon ecology. Not much has really changed since 1994 when this issue was published.

The article 'Dungeon Ecology'  By Buck Deason Holmes. is worth the  price of admission alone because i talks about using natural caverns as dungeon design fodder. 
Jeff Grubb's early experiences with role-playing games, in his artitcle First Quest Mammals & Dinosaurs has some nice ideas for creating prehistoric settings.The author's early experiences with the ideas of dungeons are pretty nice.  Roger E. Moore. doesn't get any credit today for creating some of the best articles on Dungeons & Dragons & Advanced Dungeons & Dragons to ever grace the pages of Dragon. 'Sight in the Darkness' is a great article on the uses of infravision in the dungeons. 'Fungi of the Underdark' by By Chris Perry. Illustrated by Terry Dykstra is the stand out article featuring :

These are perfect additions to an OSR game or adventure as players would have no idea what type of horrors their adventurers would be facing. I can see 
'Fungi of the Underdark' to be a great addition to Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea for the Underborea setting & dungeons. 
Then there's a quick overview & article on 
Topkapı Palace By Steve Kurtz.which is perfect for adding a very nice curve ball of an adventure location to any OSR campaign. Here the author talks about using it for  Al-Qadim . But I can see using this location for Lamentations of the Flame Prince as an other worldly dungeon destination. "The Wizards Three: A Night of Shadows' finds The archmages ElminsterMordenkainen of Oerth and Dalamar of Krynn exchange spells in Ed Greenwood's house. So here's what I find interesting three of the most powerful wizards are hanging out on the prime material plane. Could there be other times when these types of wizard's councils are held & could Oerth be far more strongly connected to a prime material Earth then we realize. 

For that matter could such mini wizard councils actually be recruiting cells of adventurers for missions, dungeon raids, & other tasks across the planes? Do dungeons themselves often have portals that connect into other ground realms on the prime material? So how do these high level mages connect with Mystara?  Well  since the 'Council of Intrusion' takes down the god level threats are there cells of lesser mages that watch over the plane of Mystara? Well in the Vaults of Pandius article 
Mages of Mystara, AC 1000 by Marco Dalmonte we get an overview of powerful wizards & mages of ninth level & above. These well might be the sort of mages that could be recruiting adventurers for the tasks that the immortals can't be bothered to handle but that still pose a threat to Mystara. This might well be another way of recruiting adventurers besides the usual we all meet together in a bar routine. It also provides a way of cementing a BCEMI Dungeons & Dragons campaign together using the setting. 
Dragon Issue #211 An Underground Extravaganza remains to me one of the quintessential dragon magazine issues because it addresses one of the broader concerns of the game namely the ecologies, issues, & other minutia of the game. This issue of Dragon magazine still has relevance today because its contents are still being used at the table top level.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.