From the editor-in-chief's description of the issue:
This issue's special inclusion is brought to you through the efforts of the guy who invented the wheel. Without that idea to pave the way, we wouldn't have been able to take two wheels and turn them into the (drum roll, please...) DRAGON Magazine Combat Computer. Now, instead of going around in circles trying to determine who hit whom, all you AD&D Dungeon Masters can get a "to hit" reading with a simple twist of the two cardboard discs. Better make plans now for what to do with all the time you're going to save...
...For instance, you could put together a mission for player characters to find one of the "Seven swords" described for us by Ed Greenwood's old friend, Elminster the sage...
...And maybe this scenario will involve a trip through the home territory of one of the "Landragons" created by Ronald Hall - or the electrum dragon, another new species of dragon-kind from the imagination of the aforementioned Mr. Greenwood.
Then, when the characters succeed at the tasks you've placed before them, they'll probably come home with lots of loot. That's the time to invoke the principles of Lew Pulsipher's article, "A player character and his money..."
Maybe someone will want to spend some cash to buy a new horse and be sure it's properly attired, in which case Gary Gygax's From the Sorceror's Scroll column on "Warhorses and barding" will come in handy. Maybe someone will want to line the pockets of a bureaucrat, or pay to help a politician get elected; if so, the semi-facetious figures outlined in Leomund's Tiny Hut can inspire you to create characters to fit those circumstances.
We've been promising our readers - and ourselves - that sooner or later we'd start publishing full-scale computer programs dealing with role-playing games. All things do eventually come to pass; Inside is an article on "Programmed character creation" plus a BASIC language program for use with the D&D game - the first of many "computer packages" we're planning for the months to come.
Secret agents in the crowd (that's okay, you don't have to raise your hands) will get a kick out of Arlen Walker's three-piece feature on the origins and organization of those famous adversaries, UNCLE and THRUSH.
All of that, and more, awaits you inside - plus a 32-page insert filled with everything you need to know about the GEN CON XVI Game Fair. You're gonna need all the time you can save, just to finish this issue in time for the next one. - KM