From the editor-in-chief's description of the issue:
Here's hoping you don't have to trek through a forest to get to the store for this issue of DRAGON Magazine. As far as we know, the only forest that contains moving trees is the one around which Mike Malone's module was created. But it's probably best not to take any unnecessary chances...
"The Wandering Trees" was the second-place winner in the ADVANCED D&D division of International Dungeon Design Contest II. It's a change of pace, in a lot of respects, from what we have come to call a "normal" module. (Which is about as hard to define as a "normal" game player...) And it worked out sort of nice that our special inclusion for the chilly month of January is an adventure through a forest that is alive with greenery (an other things besides!).
This issue's cover painting is by Dean Morrissey, whose name will be familiar to veteran readers as the creator of many of our previous covers. Perhaps this is a scene which would have been better presented around the Fourth of July - but there may not even be such a holiday in the world where this Betsy Ross resides.
Another unusual adventuring environment is the subject of this month's lead article by contributing editor Ed Greenwood. "Modern monsters" addresses the many questions of how to put AD&D adventurers into a 20th-century scenario and make sure that both the characters and the civilization they encounter live to tell about it. No, you won't find out how much damage a tactical nuclear weapon does, but Ed has covered everything up to that point pretty well.
After going forward into the present, you can return to the annals of history with Mike Kluever and his article detailing the history of shields through the ages.
TOP SECRET agents and administrators will be glad to see that Merle Rasmussen, author of the game's original rules, has taken to upon himself to answer some often-asked questions in "Spy's Advice," the latest installment of The Rasmussen Files. In addition, Mark Mulkins makes a case for a new bureau in the TOP SECRET system designed specially for agents who have visions of 007 in their heads, with his essay entitled "In Search of James Bond."
AD&D enthusiasts will appreciate the latest edition of Leomund's Tiny Hut, wherein Len Lakofka proposes some variant rules for shields and offers a means to determine a character's weapon skills. Those of you who have a campaign running in the WORLD OF GREYHAWK setting will be more informed about goings-on in that world after perusing From the Sorceror's Scroll by AD&D creator Gary Gygax. And for those of you who think the world can never have enough enchanted objects, Pete Mohney presents a system for "Random magic items."
There's a two-part Up on a Soapbox column inside, wherein Brian Blume puts forth his opinions on why it doesn't pay to be an evil character, and contributing editor Roger Moore offers some thoughts on the continually controversial subject of females and fantasy role-playing. Speaking of females, this month's Giants in the Earth column features a trio of women (and one male sidekick). So even if there aren't any female players in your group, you can still have female characters in your game.
The final installment of Minarian Legends is a chronology of the major events in the history of the continent of Minaria, as described by the person who ought to know - Glenn Rahman, co-author of the DIVINE RIGHT game on which this article, as well as the rest of the series, is based.
Also taking his final bow as a regular contributor this month is John Prados. The latest, and last, installment of Simulation Corner presents John's thoughts on "The art of illustration" and how it affects the quality, and the consumer acceptance, of a game design.
Bringing up the rear, as usual, are our colorful cartoons: The continuing saga of Wormy and the latest look at "What's New?" from Phil Foglio. Doesn't he look good in a +2 towel? - KM