Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Some OSR & Unorthodox Thoughts On Dragon Issue #212 - A Holiday Gift of Advice For GM's in July

So it might be considered Christmas in July today or the pre holiday Fourth of July jitters. But for me its been a bit of a trip down memory lane thumbing through some of my favorite Dragon magazine issues. This brings me to Dragon issue 212 & for me this was a turning point issue. 

The three stand out article for this issue is 'Hitting The Books' by Eric E. Noah which is advise  about turning your adventures into more like the fantasy novels that you read. Its a solid article but marks a turning point in the 2nd edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons mind set. This is perhaps the turning point in the division between story teller dungeon masters & the old school dungeon masters. The advise is solid but I used it for Vampire Dark Ages & Call of Cthulhu Dark Ages but not for Dungeons & Dragons. Much of the article seems almost in direct opposition to what Gary Gygax had said all of those years ago in his articles in Dragon. For me this is one of those points that marks the break point between first & second edition in their philosophy of dungeon mastering. The next article in this issue that really stands out is Reruns: Adventures that Improve with Age by Thomas M. Reid. Its basically an article on re running classic adventure modules & how to keep them fresh for the players. This for me was the break out article and its full of solid advise for the dungeon master.

The third article that has some solid baring on the dungeon mastering end of the spectrum is of course "Consider the Consequences" by Renee Stern. This article goes into the down & dirty advise for what happens after the adventurers leave the dungeon. Sure there's been a ton of other article on the aftermath of the adventurer's visit to the dungeon but this one is one of the best.  It was from this article that I looked over at my shelves to create my dungeon hit squad made up of a Ba erm Balor demon & his crack hobgoblin mercenary team to hunt down adventurers. This was all based around the Grenadier box set Monsters.

'Tricks of the Trade' by George Young is another article that goes into the storytelling aspect of dungeon mastering. To be honest I used most of these articles with my White Wolf story erm dungeon mastering. So at first Dragon issue 212 seems like its only gonna be grounded in the 90's heyday of  White Wolf games & their attitudes which seemed to seep into every aspect of the hobby during that time. Trust me this issue has a lot to offer the B2 Keep On The Borderlands By Gary Gygax dungeon master.
The advise from the Dragon article  
 'Reruns: Adventures that Improve with Age' by Thomas M. Reid is perfectly suited for running Keep on the Borderlands with many of the resources provided by Dragon foot member 

Couple this with the Vaults of Pandius article on the placement of adventure modules in Mystara & you are ready to go! There's also the addition of this article '
Modules and adventures in Mystara'  by Bouv which can help to get a campaign in full gear! All in all even though Dragon 212 is a product of its time it remains a very useful add to the dungeon master.

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