Summary of issue content by Assistant Editor:
Return with us now to those action-packed days of yesteryear, as the superhero of gaming magazines strikes yet another blow for life, liberty and the pursuit of experience points with CRIMEFIGHTERS, a set of rules for role-playing adventure in the era of the pulp heroes.
If you thought a pulp hero was some rare strain of paper golem, then the game setting might take some getting used to. But Dave Cook, a member of the design staff of TSR Hobbies, Inc., did extensive research into the subject while drawing up his rules and attempted to incorporate as many specifics as possible. Still Crimefighters greatly resembles the original D&D game in the number of things left to the Game Master's discretion. "The Case of the Editor's Envelope," a sample scenario supplied by Dave, helps to illustrate how an adventure can be designed and played. And DRAGON staff member Bryce Knorr's brief essay on pulp heroes and the people who created them will flesh out the history of this segment of Americana. Good reading and good playing - and if you find yourself at the wrong end of a dark alley, you're on your own.
You're also on your own (no peeking!) with the AD&D exam awaiting at the front of this month's article section. As a belated followup to the Dungeon Master Evaluation Form (issue #43), we present 50 questions designed to separate the players from the page-turners.
Some of you may recognize the kindly old gent pictured on page 6. A black & white rendition of this Todd Oleck painting is used to introduce "From the Sorcerer's Scroll," the column written by E. Gary Gygax, publisher of DRAGON magazine. Artist John Blumen went right to the head of the class in his first appearance in - or rather, on - the magazine by supplying us with this month's cover painting.
A "Sorcerer's Scroll" column many issues ago was the inspiration for a couple of letters written by Steven Kienle to Mr. Gygax. The resulting article is the foundation of a special section starting on page 9 which deals with adventuring on the other planes. In addition to Steven's observations, Karl Horak adds new meaning to "soul searching"; Patrick Amory postulates the existence of seven strange creatures from obscure planes; and our Bazaar of the Bizarre is stocked with magic items which travellers between the planes might find...interesting.
Appearing for the first time in this issue is Figuratively Speaking, a photographic and analytical look at miniature figures and accessories. Reviewer Bill Fawcett will provide ratings and general comments on figures and other items from as many different manufacturers as possible. The figures are professionally photographed to yield the best quality reproduction, so you can literally see what you're getting in a Figuratively Speaking review.
Creating a time frame for a world and designing a calendar to fit it might seem like an awesome task to any DM contemplating such an effort. But contributing editor Ed Greenwood presents and describes his creation, The Calendar of Harptos, in a single page. By retaining some of the aspects of our normal Gregorian calendar, Ed's calendar is familiar and unusual at the same time.
In this month's Leomund's Tiny Hut column, Len Lakofka takes a close look at the abilities and liabilities of the thief class. Two formidible females, Camilla and Medea, are depicted by Katharine Brahtin Kerr in Giants in the Earth, Merle Rasmussen, author of the TOP SECRET game, reveals a few more of his valuable papers in another installment of The Rasmussen Files, and Sage Advice is back with a page of questions and answers about the AD&D rules.
John Prados provides an in-depth look at the history of Simulations Publications, Inc., and a description of the new trends emerging at SPI, in Simulation Corner. Merk Herro examines electronic and computer-program sports games in The Electric Eye, and Bryan Beecher sets forth rules for replaying the Russian conquest of Berlin in his latest Squad Leader scenario.
Dragon's Augury, made up primarily of reviews by Tony Watson this month, features games based on land, in the sea, and in outer space, plus a pair of adventures designed for TRAVELLER.
Our five pages of comics in this issue include the next two pages of Pinsom, which made its debut last month; a double-page spread of Wormy; and the continuing saga of Jasmine.
Now, go forth and become Crimefighters heroes. Here's hoping that all your contacts are sweet, honest guys, and the secret formula ends up in your hands at the end of the chase. - KM