Sunday, June 6, 2021

Matters of Metal & Survival In Sword & Sorcery - Dragon issue 70 February 1983

 Sometimes when its the weekend, there comes a time to pile on the Sword & Sorcery goodness. In this case it was the classic Dragon magazine,  Dragon issue 70 released in February of 1983.And when it comes to an essential NPC character for the PC's this issue has it in spades. 

This issue has as its editor Kim Mohan during this time & it was a time when Ed Greenwood was coming into his own. And this issue has the Smith NPC. Doesn't seem like a vital NPC for your adventuring party does it?! 
Think again! This is the guy who fixes & straightens your fighter's sword, creates those delicate little adjustments to your thieves tools, & gets your armor's kinks out. And yes the armorer takes care of all of the overview details. But the smiths who work under his supervision make sure all of the details are done. The fact that these gents seemed to be over looked time & again is a crying shame. Why?! Because of all of the little details that the DM can bill the player's PC's for! That's right you wanna make sure those treasures are spent. The Smith is perfect because every village had one along with his apprentice. 
When it comes to the smiths of the gods then the Dwarves of legend & mythology come alive. These beings were artists whom the gods courted. And their depiction is dangerous & callous. 
Ed Greenwood's NPC  depiction is solid & reminds me of a recent viewing of a classic Disney. 
When a smith works with a wizard of high rank the results can be well.. magickal. 

The Eighty one classic Dragonslayer has one of the Eighties most iconic magical weapons. But today it's seldom mentioned! The smiths of yore were formidable men of renowned courted for their wares. And it would high time to remind players of this. 
For a Sword & Sorcery game such as Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea. Smiths are paramount for a snow bound & heady alien landscape such as Hyperborea. A good smith is worth their weight in good for being able to forge tools, weapons, armor, and other wares ensues steady wages & favors. The community with a good smith on Hyperborea is assured survival! 

And what about all of those wonderful toys of Edgar Rice Burroughs Barsoom?! The ladies of Barsoom may have created & assembled the parts & pieces of the  weaponry of Mars. But it was lame & shunned smiths who created those pieces, the artisans who carved the brave deeds into the pieces, worked brass, iron, etc. to create the weapons. The smith are never mentioned by rest assured they are busy working in the atomic furnaces of Barsoom! 
A good example of the science fantasy version of the smith is the recent depiction of the  Mandorian Disney show in the Mandorian Armorer. 

In Robert E. Howard's Kull stories the smiths play a vital role in the defense of Atlantis during its waning days. The fact is that Smith's should never be taken lightly but these days even in OSR game adventures they seldom get even a nod. 

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