From the editor-in-chief's description of the issue:
One day about a year ago, the mailman brought us this gaudy blue-and-white envelope with FLIGHT OF THE BOODLES plastered on it. "Aha," we said, "someone has labored long and hard in his basement to make this game, and now we're supposed to do a review of it, right?"
Chuck Stoll of Louisville, Ky., dreamed up the rules and produced the game board and counters as a project for a graphic arts class. He sent us one of the few copies he had, just to see what we thought of it, and to find out whether we'd be interested in publishing it.
Chuck surprised us: It was a good game, and good games don't get dropped on our doorstep all that often. So, in return, we surprised Chuck: We accepted his offer to let us develop and produce it. The game doesn't have a thing to do with fantasy role-playing, but has a lot to do with having fun. Enjoy it.
It's been a rough winter in this neck of the woods, so you'll have to excuse us for trying to rush the spring season with this issue's cover painting by Dean Morrissey. It's the first bit of greenery we've seen since somebody took down our plastic Christmas tree sometime around Valentine's Day.
The flagship of our fleet this month is "All About Elves," another in contributing editor Roger Moore's series of overviews of the character races in the AD&D game. Roger, who's been seeing a lot of his typewriter lately, also gets credit for "The Jester," a new version of the non-player character class first described 'way back in issue #3 of DRAGON Magazine.
Ed Greenwood, our other contributing editor, has been playing with guns. In "Firearms," he comes to the conclusion that medieval-era explosive weapons can be incorporated into an AD&D world without unbalancing the game, because most of them take forever to reload, and when they're fired, they can be more perilous to the shooter than the shootee. See if you agree.
As promised last month, Gary Gygax finishes the list of cantrips for magic-users in "From the Sorceror's Scroll." And in "Outfitting the new agent," the master of swords-and-sorcery gaming steps into the world of the spy with some guidelines for TOP SECRET players.
It's okay to use "It's magic!" to explain a lot of the happenings in an AD&D adventure, but when things have to make sense, you'd better know your facts. Mike Holthaus drew up a quiz to test players and DMs on their knowledge of physical science and the realities of the natural world - which, even in a fantasy game, have to be taken into account.
If you're in more of a philosophical mood, check out John Lees' essay offering new definitions for the AD&D alignments. Also for AD&D enthusiasts is Michael Fountain's description of the Pooka, a creature whose origins are somewhere in the middle ground between fact and fantasy.
When Glenn Rahman designed The Trojan War, he was instructed to stick to the events near the end of that 10-year conflict. Now players can recreate the early years of the war as well with four "early" scenarios and rules for a campaign game. If you have to fight Achilles, aim for his heel.
This month's fiction offering is WearWolf, in which putting on a "suit" takes on a whole new light. And if you get the idea that we're putting you on with some of the other articles you'll find inside...well, it wouldn't be right to let April pass without a little foolishness, would it? - KM