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Ohio Wanted: A group to game with.

( ha ve played the 0&05 ga me for seven
years, the AD&D~ game for four years.
I also have played many others. Please
write: Sean O'Connor, 3454 Folk Road ,
Lot 268, Springfield, OH 45502.

Oklahoma Seeking AD&D game adventurers in the Tulsa, OK area. I prefer older players, you need not be
experienced. OM has to years of experi.
ence, fellowship of three players have
11 years combined. The campaign is in
the true D&D game fash ion . Call: J'lall
at 4796427 and leave a message.

Pennsylvania Wanted: Game masters

with AD& D game groups that meet
regularly in Beaver County or the immediate vicin ity. Write to: Phillip Held,
RD 11, Box 353, Hookstown. PA 15050,
01' c8 11412-575-4692.

Genghis Con XI, February 1618

Gcnghis Con returns to the Ramada
Hotel, Westminster, CO, staged by the
Denver Gamers Association. Gaming of
all kinds will be held, including sane
tioned RPGA Nctwork events, miniatures competitions, and a Puffing Billy
tournament. Registration is $15 for the
weekend until J an. 31, $20 thereafter.
For information: Denver Gamers Asso
ciation, P.O. Box 11369, Denver, CO
80211, or phone 303433-3849.
Total Confusion, February 23-25
Thtal Confusion will be held at the
Sheraton Worcester Hotel and Conference Centcr in Worcester, MA. Events
include AD&D game, GURPS, Battle
Tech, Diplomacy, and Car Wars. Multiple and single round RPGA AO&O
game tournaments will be run . Guests
will be R.A. Salvatore. Verne
Wetherholt, Jay Tummelson, and Steve
Glimpse. For more inform ation contact:
Thtal Confusion, P.O. Box 1463, Worces
ter, MA 01607.

Texas ARGH (Association of Roleplaying Garners of Houston) is looking

for RPGA' Network members interested in forming a Network Club.
ARGH publishes " Arghazine;' a quarterly club magazine, and we hope to
sponsor a local convention with RPGA
Network sanctioned events. Help us
bring the RPGA Network to Houston in
a big way! For more information, con
tact Stephen Bonario, Association Direc tor, at 7829 Cook Rd .. Houston, TX
77072, or call 7136666341.
Virginia Need adult DM with two open
ings for AD&O game players in Rich
mond, VA area. Please hurry! Bruce and
Diane Schabinger, 1808 Glencove Lane,
Richmond , VA 23225.
General Wantcd : Penpals from those
long.distance pisces or from short dis
tances. I'm mainly interested in the

Chimera Con VI, March 2-4

The campus of the University of North
Carolina in Chapel Hill is the site of
this gaming cxtravaganza. Activities
include a one-round RPGA Network
tournament. For information send
SASE to; Chimera Con VI, 625 Hinton
James, UNCCH, Chapel Hill, NC
Egyptian Campaign 90, March 24-25
This convention will be held at the
Student Center at Southern Illinoi s
University in Carbonda le, IL. Events
include an RPGA AD&D game tourna
ment, miniature judging, a nd a games
auction. Prc.reg is $8 for both days. For
more information and a pre-reg form
send a business-si7.ed SASE to sm
Strategic Games Society, Office of Stu
dent Development, SIU, Cat'bondale IL
62901-4425, or call John Hults at 618
ConnCon 90, March 31.April 1
The Ramada Inn in Danbury, CT is the

A&D game and computer products, but

I'm willing to learn others. I'm a 15
yearold male OM/player, a nd I'm very
energetic when it comes to roleplaying.
Girls are welcome to write, too! Hsnk
Gorbsky, 10 H ickory Lane, Garnerville,
NY 109231906
Gen eral I am not going to make it to
college if I am forced by m y parents to
move ALL of my 0&0 game stufT out
when I leave. Therefore, [ am willing to
sell my ENTIRE collectio n of modules,
rule books, and everything e lse. Almost
everything is in mint cond ition, some is
even shrink-wrapped. This stufT will go
very cheap, so call or send me a SASE
today. Contact: Elton C. 'I\vork, 3273
Appleton Road, Scottville. MI 49454, or
phone 616757-2647 or 6167573947.
General Looking for players and game
masters to start PBMs for the AO&D
game, TOP SECRET/S. I. ... game, Para
noia, and Star Wars. All agcs welcome.
Contact: Mutant Foddcr, 141 Cam pbell
Ave., Yorkville, NY 13495.

site of this event. It will reature role

playi ng, board games, and miniature
battles. RPGA Network AD&O tournaments include Grand Masters, Masters,
and Feature, and a benefit event. Spe
cial guests include Jean Rabe, RPGA
Network Coordinator. Preregistration is
$15 and includes three free games. Send
a SASE with all inqu irics to: ConnCon,
c/o Hobby Center, 366 Main Street,
Danbul'y, CT 06810.
OurCon 2, April 20-22
This gaming convention will be he ld on
the campus of the University of North
Carolina in Chapel H ill. This year we
will ofTer three RPGA Network sa nc
tioned AD&D game tournaments.
Please send a SASE for registration
materials. Write to: OUl'Con 2, 605
Jonesferry Road, Box SS7 , Carrboro,
NC 27510.
Crawley Fest-Con 90, June 30
A gaming convention will be part of the
annual Crawley Festival in Crawley,
Eng land. An RPGA Network tour na
ment will be among the fe a tured activi
ties. For more information, contact
Crawley FestCon, 36 Deerswood Road
West Green, Crawley, England, West
Sussex, RHU7JN.


Volume 10. Number I

Issue #51, January. 1990



Th~ Caves of Confection - by Rick R~id

To sa tisfy a town's sweet tooth, a band of brave adventurers must face the
forces that lurk within the sugar mines in t his scenario for the AO&~ game
or the O&D'" game.
Ill ustrated by James Holloway.

7 The BOOT HllL@l Game -

About the Cover

A ship comes out of hyperspace to

lind itself bombarded by wella rmed satellites, kicking off our
science fictio n series.
Art by Kevin Ward.


by Steve Wjnter

Get ready to d.uw, pardner, th is Wild West role-p layi ng game is being
re-released in a bigger, better fo rmat.
On A Roll

Dice manufacturer Lou Zocchi wanLS to make a 24 -sided die, and he wanLS
RPCA" Network members to g ive h im a reason to do it.
The Living City - by Wes Nicholson

The Network's Au stra lian Regional Director gives us The Downunda

Patisserie, a tasteful Havens Bluff business.


Do You Speak Togo? - by Thomas Kane

T his fantasy language based on J a panese will fit into any oriental
role'play ing game.


Th~ New Rogues Gallery - by Skip Olson and Lonnie Matney

Sandor the Smasher, dwarven king of Shalimar, and his war ham mer, Havoc,
arc bad news for giunl.s a nd a powerfu l force for good.
The living Galaxy - by Roger E, Moore

The editor of DRAGON(I) Magazine begins a column dedicated to science

fictio n role-playing games.


Jack Beuttell

Spy School - by David Myhre

Agents attending the O"ion Academy can learn new skills under the
direction ofcr8ck Orion operaLives.

J ea n Ru be

4 Notes From HO -

Associate Editor
Skip Williams

by Jean Rabe

The Network is kicking ofT the New Year-and the beginning of its 10th year
in operation-wit h a membershi p dr ive_

Guy McLi more

Lett~rs - from the members

2 Classified Ads and Convention Announcements
9 With Great Power - by William Tracy

Production S taff
Angelika I.okotz
Paul Hanchette
Sylvia Deering
Sharon Simonis
Debbie Pou tsch

A lesser-known division of The Avengers, called The Great Lakes Avengers, is

presented for your gami ng pleasure.
Inside Front Mailer Cover - Membership Form
Back M aller Cover - Tournament Request Form

Notes From HQ

It's Time For The 10-Year-Old To Grow

Ringing in 1990 is a special occasion for
the RPGA'" Network because it marks
our 10th year in operation. The Net
work h as c hanged during those years,
continually fi nding better ways to serve
the members by offering more tournaments a nd programs and by providing a

Newszine to meet the needs of players

and judges. We're not quite satisfied
yet. We're going to keep working to
make the RPGA Netwo rk better and
stronger. And we're goi ng to need your
help to accomplish that.
The management at TSR, Inc. founded
the RPGA Network in 1980, and appointed Frank Mentzer the first Net
work Coordinator. The first issue ofthc
Newszine, at that time called the RPGA
Newsleller, came out in the summer of
1981. It was a IB-page black and white
quarterly magazine. The Network was
quick to involve itself in tournaments,
offering Network memberships as prizes
at con ventions such as GEN CON
Game Fair and GEN CONSouth
Game Convention .
Kim Eastland was the second Network Coordinator, and during his term
the newsletter, now called
POLYHEDRON' Newszine, was edited
by Mary Kirchoff, who is now in charge
of TSR's book department. More tournaments were offered, and the Newszine
grew in size. Kim was followed by Linda
Krause, who held the position for only a
few months, a nd later by Penny Petti
cord, who implemented a formal point
system for players and judges of Network tournaments. 1 was appointed the
next Network Coordinator, coming on
board at the end of March, 1987 .
Many of the Network's members have
been with the organization since the
beginning, and have witnessed the
growth in our tournament program, the
inception of RAVENS BLUFF' , The
Living City, and improvements to the
Newszine. We have pictured a few of the
first Newszine covers as our contribu
tion to Network nostalgia.
We want to celebrate the Network's
an niversary by doing something special
at GEN CONGame Fair (we're not
revealing what yet), and by sponsor ing
a different contest in each issue of the
Newszine that comes out th is year. Our
first contest is:




The 1990 Membership Drive

Remember several paragraphs ago
when I said we needed yo ur help to
make the Network become bigger and
stronger? Well, here's your chance to do
your part and reap some rewards. The
prizes we arc offering are great. And
everyone who recruits a member wins.
But, please, don't participate because of
the prizes- they're j ust our way of rewarding your efforts. Participate he
cause you believe in the Network and
want to contribute to its s uccess. I have
maintained that you only get out of a ny
organization what you put into it. I
hope you take the time to put a lot into
this membership dri ve. The Network
needs more members so it can be more
of a force in the gaming industry world
wide. In addition, more dues paying
members equates to more money, mean
ing the Network can better its programs
and produce more products like The
Gateway 1b Ravens Bluff, The Living
City, which premiered at last year 's
GEN CONGame Fair.
Last year's membership drive was not
as successful as the Network had hoped.
We divided the world into several regions, ofTering prizes for each region ,
and giving as t he grand prize a tr ip to
GEN CON Game Fair. We 're going to
t ry something a little different t his
time, something that won't put as large
a drain on the Network's budget yet
w ill benefit everyone who participates.

Rules, Regulations. Etc.

The contest will run from January 8 to
March 30. All membership forms postmarked by March 30 will count. All
members of the Network, including
those who are recru ited dUring the
contest time frame , are eligible to compete in the membership drive. The in
side front mailer cover of this issue has
a membership form, wh ic h you can
photocopy and give to pros pective memo
bers. Please note the sponsor line on the
bottom of the membership form. Put
your name a nd membersh ip number on
this line on each form you g ive a prospective member. This is h ow HQ will
determ ine who brings in the most mem o
bers. Do not collect the forms or money
Continued on page 30




Memberships, Money. And Missives
Every time I rend this magazine r feel
guilty because I don't send you submissions. So, I am sending you th is letter.
Maybe some of the rolc-players in the
U.S. don't know that in Spain we playa
lot of games, and that some games are
translated into Spanish, such as the
D&D game, MERP, RUNEQUEST, and
CALL OF CTHULHU. In fact, there are
people here who have played roleplaying games s ince the begi nning, and
we even have the original 0&0 game
first edition rules.
The reason for the absence of Spanish
members in the RPGA '~ Network is that
in the Spanish ed itio n orthe 0&0
game, th ere isn't any publicity about
the association.
Xavier Garriga
Ba rcelona , Spain
The Network has members throughout
the world and is be8inning to set up
Region al Directors in other countries.
The Network even sponsored an international tourlla ment for members at last
summer's GEN CON'J Game Fair. But
you're right, Xa vier, we hovell't been
publicized enough outside of the United
We 're working to change that, however,
through our adverti,~ements in
DRAGOND Magazine, by sponsoring
Network lourflaments through TSR
distributors in. many COllfl/ries, and
setting up overseas branches. Such
branches already exist in Finland and
During the next several months you
will see more of our efforts to get noticed
around th e globe. And we'd be happy to
receive publicity s uggestion s from our

I write th is letter to protest your

membership fees. American me mbers
pay considerably less for memberships
than garners in any other country. As
fa r as I can tell, there is no reason for
this. While mailing costs are slightly
higher to foreign countries, this does
not account for the dramatic difference
in price, not to mention the loss of special offers. Does air mail really cost $20
more in postage? For only six issues?
DRAGONMagazine has a flat rate for
the United States and Canada and a

price of $20 more for a foreign


POLYHEDRON- Newwne (the ollClaI newslell(!l

TION" Nelwork) IS publIShed bomonlhly by fSA.
Inc The ma1bng adchess lor all cOf'espOndence IS:
PO. Box 5 15. Lake Genella. WI 531 47, Telephone' (414) 2483625

'!bny Pace
7b begin with, U.S. Network memberships always have been lower priced
because we mail bulk, that is a U.S.
postal rate that is about the equivalent of
fourth-class and requires the sender to
haue a minimum of2oo pieces of mail. III
addition, international rates vary baRed
on distance. For example, a Calladian
one-year membership is $22, while a
membership sent surface mail to other
countries is $25. Renewal rates are a little
Lower because we do flot haue to contend
with the price of/he membership kit that
each new member gets. Further, you must
consider that it costs more {or us to mail
a membership kit-complete with pin,
card, certifical.e, and other materials,
than it costs to mail one Newszille, which
is another reason why postage costs alld
membership costs vary between renewalR
and new memberships.
The membership form on the inside of
the mailer couer of/hi s iSS lle lists a variety of plans with different prices, which
we hope will be more accommodating 10
our members.
In addition, we mentioned in response
10 Xavier's letter above that we are working to set up Network branches in CO W ttries. We hope this is One way to bring
down the cost of iniernatiOlwl memberships.

Needing An Incentive
I just finished reading Alan Block 's
letter in issue 149 , and I would like to
put in my two cents on the topic of the
past RPGA Network membership dr ive.
Every state seems to have local conventions of some type, a nd for most me mo
bers GEN CONS Game Fair is only a
couple of days away by car. Tha t is,
unless, you live somewhere like ...
For the past three years I have been
stationed in Hawaii , and for the past
two years I have tried earnestly to form
a Network club. The response has been
abysmal. My fault? I think not.
Consider that most ofOhau is mili

POLYHEDRON Newszone oS ma iled I,ee to a ll

RPGA" membe rs US membershop rales are $15

flCr yell ' (bulk

mao del,ve,y only).

IOfClgn rates are

$25 per year (su ,face ma il) Of $4 5 per yea r {all

ml"lr~ All pflCCS Jre subject to change wd hout
MI'<.:e Ch,mges of address for the delillery 01
membership ffii;!Crrals must be ,ecl)llled at leaS! 30
days prOOf 10 the elfechve date oIlhe change 10
'nsure "Jf\, r1t'-~rupled dclivery
POLYHEDRON News.zrne wek;omes unsobcrt(!d
s-ubmiSSIOflS 01 wr<t\etl rnater~ and artwork, No
r~POn$>bol~y lor such s-ubmiSSlOfls C3n be as5UfTlC(j by lI' e publlsh!!r ,0 any !\Iont No submrS'
SIOIIS NIl! be r"'"rned unless accomparved by a



Slarnped eoveIope 0/ SUfliclenl

U"'~ spocoa! ,mar{ICfT.lI<I!s 10 !tie co."II'ary are

:naae::r or to publicallCl". mllle"als 5O.bmo1led 10

me Pt.ruhsher lor PI.bhC3liOO 'n POlYHEDRON

NewsLone are accep1e(15OIeIy upon The conGlIOO
tl>al the ~e<>a<s mily be ed.led aoa published oro
POlYHEDRON Ne-.o.-s.zrne or used III RPGA'"
Neiwork ,....o<;lo"ed loornamenls. convemoons.
and eveoIs wrthout COSI to the Pul:*sher. AI OCher
outoclll.OO fights may be reserved by the authof
c.r.eJ)ll!lat. upon pubhcatoon. the Publisher IS
9 . ;mled 3 I"SI lighT 01 reiusallO pu.d\ase any and
a~ $ir.1C:1 puU>(;ai!Of1 f'!1llS offered IOf sale by The
So:e!y 10' p.lI))OSeS 01 SUbm oSSlOf1S 101
oubIocm'Cl1 ,11 POlYHEDRON N(!wszine and upon
proo< wllnen ag reement . au1hOfs may be Qramed a
rKl,,e~c"'''lIe ,iglll to "SII TSR copynQhted maTer .,; y, fh propnr x~now:C( l oemenT. hOlNal/er. any
USI! 01 SU'1 c~y"ghled material rn lhe submossion
beyond tI,e f\l!w"",,rr.e without TSR 's lurther pr>Ol
VI/Hell appro',al os pr oh !b.1ed
In 100 elle;"ll an a,t:cle subm:tled 10' p\Jo:'crUOO r1 ,n
POLY HEDRON Nc,,"'U;ne CO"t3'I1S ma:oILal COpy'
rrghte<.J hy ,SR. Ir.c . 10 sucl'o an c xto'll as 10 m ake
rl1Il1[)facl;calto sep;lrate thO'S" ma:errals hom Ihe
submrS&:on. T$R Vi:, relaU1 copyr ,Uh' ownersh ip 01
lhi! art.cH:! upon subffi'SSlon lor put;rk..ilIO()(l .
f lo-Never. of TSA rT\fl kes uw ot Iho materialS
COOIa:rred on tile ande for My prO<'!LICI 01 COtM1&r'
C,a/ puroose beyonrJ RPGA.'" NeTwork usa. TSR will
OiIV the authO< The then <.:urren! Icc l or such
prO(1)cI or pu. pooo



k>r.ers addressed 10 ~e RPGA Nc1YriOf k 01 to

!SA. Ir>(;.. wil. be COI,Sidcreo as submrss:ons and

m ay be prrnled ,n wt-.oIe 01 rn part at Ihe diSCIehOn
u1 !he 00I0r unless the< soecrlic."lIly ',-queslS

OIherwose:n ... r~"'9.

Unless SlaTed. !he upot'llOfl$ exp,essed
m POlYHEOHON Nl'WS.{cne ate those or ltd!
ontJ:IIldlJai aulhofs. and 00 J"Kl! Il()(:eSS.;Ir;ly .e11ceO
Ine oprlK)flS oIISR. Inc. The RPGA ~!e{wotk. III ts


doslgnales reg'Siered tradcmal ks owned by

~ desognales :radem<irkS owno!d by TSR. Inc.
Musl OIheo prodUCl na.'T\e$ arc tmdemafk$
owned by the oompan:es po.rbfi<; those
oroduct$ Usc 01 me name 01 any orodocl wolnouT
mcntron of Iradernmk status ~houl d no! be con
Slr ued as a chatle"{le !O such slat us,
"' 1990

rS R, Inc. All R,ghls Aesl!fved,

Continued on next page

tury personnel or their dependents. This

means that t here is almost nothing that
the RPGA'" Network can offer as an
incentive to join . Strike one: military
personnel get the same 10% discount
that RPGA Network members get.
Strike two: there are NO local RPGA
Network sponsored tournaments on the
island, or if there were they were the
best kept secret in th.: history of man
kind . Stri ke three: convention space is
so expensive that there are no local
Something to consider is an increased
emphasis on member submissions. Artidel!. NPCs, ideas, etc. afC the cu rrent
St81)\e of t he POLY HEDRON'
News:tine, but why n ot include an er
rata column for RPGs?
In issue 149, it was stated that the
RPGA Network must become more of a
force in the ga ming industry. Perhaps
expanding the size of t he
POLYHEDRON Newszine by a few
pnges and stw'l ing 11 "Furum" C')lum n
to spur dialog between members would
assist in this growth . Wh ile this may
seem trivial to some, the
POLYHEDRON Newszi ne is my only
real contact with the RPGA Network
membership (and I know my situation is
not unique).
Perhaps RPGA Network submissions
could be put together into a computer
udvt!lltm'c like Pool of Radiance or
HiUsfar: With such a game put into
general distributio n, interest in the
RPGA Network is bound to grow.
Eric Scott Vaughn
Aiea, Hawaii
Eric, to our knowledge the Network
hasn't sponsored tournaments in Hawaii, but let's work together to change
that. Convention sites are expensive, bId
there are places available-perhaps free
of charge-where you could set up a oneday gaming fe st for a start. Maybe you
could use a place on your base. Some
military bases on the U.S. mainland
hold Network tournaments. Try contacting a public library or other public
building. By starling small, with a oneday event, you at least will meet other
gomers and can work from there. The
Network has a pool of one- and tworound tournaments avoilable for a variety o{ game systems that are ideal {or
one-day conventions. Next, you mentioned trying to start a Network club.
Thke advantage of the POLYHEDRON'"
Newszine's Classifled Ad service, where
you can submit an aduertisement look-

ing for Network members in your Slate.

There's no charge {or the ad. In addition, there is a Network play-by-mail
club which is still looking {or members.
It is: Dragonslayers Unlimited, e{o
Jeff Young, 88 Mallard Run, Maumee, OR 43537.
A s {or increasing the size of the
POLYHEDRON Newszine and putting
more emphasis on member submissions
(like we d id with last issue's larger-sized
anniversory special), well, help IlS get
more members, which means more revenue, and we can do things like this more
often. In addition, the second Liuing City
prod/lct, which has been giuell the gree"
light, will be comprised solely o{ member

Too Many Open Thurnaments

Many a member has expressed t heir
troubles, comments, and tales about the
Network point system, memberShip,
Hnd the membership drive. I, lou, de
cided to take the time to give feedback
and my own opinions.
The thing about being a member is
that you get to do all of this neat stuff
(Le. tournaments, contests, etc.> that
non members can't do. The problem I
sec here is tha t the Network has opened
u p too much. I mean in the way of tournaments. For example: At the 1989
GEN CON Game Fair, 27 of the total
36 RPGA Network sanctioned tourna
men ts were OPEN TO ALL. If you ask
me, that's taking some of the private
privileges supposed ly on ly available to
us as members. If a nonmember really
wants to play in a tournament, he can
join the Network a nd see what he's been
One reason that everyone-Mr. Block
from issue 149 or !lny others who have
written in-have failed to point out is
why it's great to be a member: RPGA
Network clubs. People who a rc in Net
work Clubs get a tournament to play in
at t he GEN CON Game Fair. T hose
same people got to help play test the
AD&JY!I2nd Edition game. Hey, I would
have loved to have play tested it.
As I near the end of my letter, I would
like to say the Network olTers more now
than it used to. I joined two years ago
a nd there wasn't an Introducto ry
Newszine or a fu ll-color membership
pin. If there are any doubts in your
mi nd why you shouldn 't join the Network, forget them .
Bill Black
Lexington, K Y

Bill, we open many tournaments to the

generalgoming public at GEN CO~
Game Fair so people can be exposed to
Network euents, which hopefully will
prompt them to join. Also, the Network
is given sllch a large area at the gome
{air, that we probably couldn't /ill it
solely with members. However, we are
closing more events next year, and as our
memberlihip grows we will close still
A Special For Members
Jay Tummelson , Linda Bingle, and I
have formed a company which has acquired the r ights to a number of gaming
products, including not on ly the
T IMEMASTER and S'I'AR ACE roleplayi ng games and modu les, but a lso
the SANDMAN instant adventure mystery ga me and the WABBIT WAMPAGE
gAm~s . Our company, 54 40' Orphyte,
Inc., is st'!\ing these products by mail
order and at gam ing conventions. We
have plans to expand the available
modu les for the role-pl aying games and
market a TlMEMASTER board game.
Naturally, we also wilt be working on
tournament scenarios for our game
systems sui table for RPGA Network
Because J ay, Linda, and I have seen
fir st-hand again and again how much
the RPGA Networ k and its members
benefit the hobby of role-playing gaming through the POLYHEDRON
Newszine and t hrough san ctioned tour
naments and products, we wanted our
company to be the first-after TSR-to
recogni:r.e the pivota l role of t he RPGA
Network and discount all retail gam ing
purchases from our company to active
members of the Network. We even will
extend thiA discount to sales of a n invcmory ofC H1LL r ole-playing games
and modules we have obtained, al though our company did n ot obtain the
rights to this system, a nd, thus, supplies are limited to existing copies.
Network members need only sh ow us
the ir membership card at conventions
or include their membership number on
a m ai l order form (avai lable from us)
when maki ng a purchase to obtain the
10% discount.
Donald Bingle
54 0 40' Orphyte, Inc.
PO. Box 2108
Naperville, IL 605672108



For a Few Gunfights More

by Steve Winter
In the next few years, TSR, Inc. pl ans to
republish some of its older role'playing
games in new formats . One of these
"classic reprints" is the BOOT HILL~
game, the very first role-playing game
published after the D&D~ game. The
release is scheduled for Octoher, 1990.
Instead of the familiar box, the pack
age will be a 124-page softcover rule
book . There won't be any dice or
counters or a poster.size map, bu t the
page count-up from 36 in the boxed
version-will let us do some expansion.
Garners who played the origi na l game
remember that it was a nicely detailed
set ofrulcs for conducting Wild West
shootouts and brawls, but the roleplaying aspects were a bit thin. This
new edition \the third, not counting the
change of art on the box as a separate
edition) will expand the rules considera
bly and still leave room for one or two
The BOOT HILL game has been a
favorite of mine since I first discove red
it, Getting to work on the reprint is a
real plum for me. I began revising sections of the game years ago (around
1983, I think) for my own use, primarily
with an eye toward speeding up play for
conventions. Those changes were all
well-received by the people who played
them, and I just kept adding things as
time went on_ When this project was
listed on the schedule, I raised my hand
and said, "I've got a wh ole box full of
material at home-give this one to me
and the work's half done."
With that for a lead-in, yOI1 a re correct
in assuming that there w ill be :Klme
changes, Let me summari ze the most
important points.
The percentile dice which WCt'C used
throughout will become a 20-sided die.
With only a few exceptions, every number used in the game was di visible by 5,
80 this change has no effect on anything
ex~pt speed of play. P lus, with only one
die to roll. it will fall on t he floor or bowl
o,'er the miniatut-es only half as onen_
Slrangely enough, of all the change!! r
plan to make, I expect this one to get the
biggest reaction, good and bad. Some
people are very attached to their percenti le dice; I'm not one of them.

The old characteristics of Speed, Gun

Accuracy, Throwing Accuracy, Bravery,
Strength, and Expel'ience are replaced
with just four: Strength (physical power
and stamina), Coordination (speed and
dexterity), Observation (mental sharpnes.'! and alertness), and Luck (that
intangible something that keeps some
peoplt, alive whi l ~ othel's are moving
into Boot Hil \). The first three a re determined almoiSt identically to the original
characteristicll, except with a 20-sided
d ie. Luck is determined by rolli ng a d20
and dividing by 2. Anytime one of these
characteristics is called di t"l-ctiy into
play, the plnyer roll:; ld20. A result
equal to or les!'> thtln the ch aructeristic
score {which might be modili ed by circumstances l weans success, while anything cls~ menns fa il m e of one sort or
Imother. Fast li nd eHSY nre the key
Each statting character also gets to
choose three skil ls from a list of 52 work
skills and five weapon skills. Work
skills are those related to earning a
living in the everyd3Y world: assaying,
cow handl ing, gambling, a nd saddlemaking, to name just foUf. E ac h of these
skill s has a IIcore similnr to a character
istic score, determined by modifying a
Id20 r oll. Wor k ski ll s arc ulled the same
way charucler istic scores are. Weapon
skills, on tht1 other hnnd, always start
with a score of I. A character's weapon
s kill score is added directly to the appropriate characteristic !Cot'e when the
character uses that weapon. The five
weapon skills are r ifle, pistol , knife!
sword, bow, and brawl ing.
The game is intentionally uncluttered. One or the mo ~t C<lmmon com
plaints about the old BOOT HILL rules
was how t hey bogged down ill a gunfight involving more than two characters_ A western gunfight should be fast
and furious, not !llow and plodding. Th~
game, after all, is ahout gunslingers
with ligh~nin g rcflexes, not pikcmcn
dueling in a bog. The game has not been
simplified for the sake of beginners or
youn gsters (though keeping it simple
can't hurt when new players are
needed). Instead, it's been streamlined
to keep the important action moving at
a sharp pace.
The proposed outline for the book
(with explanatory notes) follows.

C hapter 1: Creating Char acters (just

what you expect).
C hapter 2: Gunfights (no sense wast,
ing time, let's get to the s tuff everybody
wanttl right away).
Chapter 3: Fistfights (actually, this
chapter covers all combat that doesn't
come under Gunfights, including brawling, knife fights, and exp losives).
Chapter 4: The Wild West (this is a
s hort history lesson on the American
West as it really was and a s Hollywood
and some great western writers have
portrayed it).
Chapter 5: Horses (yes, they get a
chapter of their own-horses have characteristics and can learn skill s just like
characters, and a good one is mighty
Chapter 6: Cavalry & Indians (and
all sorts of other NPCs- not everyone
was a gunfighter).
C hapter 7: The Western Campaign
(this may be the most important section
of all-it includes tips on how to start
your campaign, how to keep it going,
what to fill it with, how to resolve problems, and where to find new ideas).
Chapter 8: ?!?!?!?! (this one's a surprise tha t I'm not ready to unveil yet,
but it will set this game apart from
everyth ing else like it).
Chapter 9: Adventures (these may be
reprints of some classic modules like
Ballots and Bullets or Burned Bush
Wells 01" tournaments from past
GEN CONe Game Fair competitionsthat decision is still open).
Appendix: Promise C ity and E I D0r ado County (even though we can't
include a postersized map, we can put
in a good assortment or building layouts
suitable for photocopying and arranging
however the referee wants, plus the
campaign map at reduced size).
That's th~ plan, at least so far, We're
nlways interested in hearing what our
customers want, however, so don't be
stingy with your stamps_ We do care
what you think, even if we can 't re
spond individually to every letter. So if
you have an opinion, let u s know. We're
always here when the mailman rings.

On A Roll
A Dicey Contest for the Membership

Lou Zocchi and his dummy, Woody,

pose during a visit to HQ.

For years, dice manufacturer Lou Zoechi has been looking for a n excuse to
create a 24-sidcd die. A few tables in the
AD&D~ 2nd Edition Game have 24
entries; not cnough to j ustify an expensive mold for a new die .
Undaunted, Zocchi, president orGamescience of Gulfport, MS, still wanted
to make the die. So he approached lhe
RPGA'" Network, asking its members to
create uses for his new dice.
The Network is comply ing by sponsoring 8 conte!'ll. Zocchi ill providing the'liided d ice will be given to the
win ners before the dice go on sale at
mnjor conventions t his summer.

Specifics on the contest are presented

at the end of this article.
Zocchi , whose company exhibits a t
major gaming conventions in the U.S.,
produces 4-, 6., 8., 10-, 12-, 20-, a nd 100sided dice.
Zocchi maintains he can make a die
wit h as many sides as he wa nts. " I was
at ORIGINS at Ba ltimore one year,"
Zocchi recalls. "1 was walkin~ by t he
Armory booth a nd I h eard someone
talking a bout having a 30sided die by
GEN CONe Game F a ir. I went home
and got some cardboard. I cut it into all
kinds of shapes to make a 30-sided die. I
cou ldn't do it. I went to GEN CON

Game Fa ir, and there was t he 30-sided

die. I was fil led with admiration ."
Zocchi t hought a IOOsided die would
be more marketable, so he began work
ing on one. He started by purchasing
several golfball!l and counting the dim
pies to see if a lOO-sided die could be
made like a gol f ball. But most balls
have 348 dimples, not a multi ple of 100.
Zocchi's determi nation eventually
prevai led, a nd his loo-sided Zocchihe
dron hit the market, " I solved it me
chanically. It's si mple. But it's an
industr ia l secret I don 't share. The first
time I laid it out I made a 79sided die.
With one minor adj ustment I made a
l oo-sided die, I have made 50sided dice.
Now r want to make a 24sided die."
Zocch i has made improvements to his
IOOsided die to make it more random .
The improved die goes on sale this
Zocch i's company has been manufacturing dice for abo ut 10 years. He has
turned the work into a science by producing dice he claims are more uniform
a nd more t ru ly random than dice produced by ot her manufacturers. He explained t hat some companies take the
dice out of t he molds, dip t hem in paint,
and then toss them into something
si milar to a rock polisher. This rounds
the edges on all the dice and leaves the
paint or ink in the numbers so all the
numbers can be clearly read. Zocchi
says the t umbling process unevenly
shaves material off a die and makes it
te nd to roll certain numbers more oRen.
" We ink our di(.'C by hand," he said,
" It's labor intenRive, but it leaveR the
edges sharp a nd crisp, which I cL~ the
edges do what they're supposed to do,
absorb energy when t hey roiL" or
course, his dice are more expensive than
round-edged dice, And since ma ny
garners choose not to spend the extra
money Zocchi a lso stocks cheaper dice
from other ma nufacturers.
Zocchi got his first exposure Ul gam
ing when he was stationed with the
U.s. Air Force in J a pa n in 1959. " I saw
an ad in a Sears and Roebuck catalog
for a Gettysburg ga me. I wonderd who
would want Ul play The South , The
South would have to lose." But Zocchi
bought th e game and discovered the
action in war games didn't necessarily
repeat history,

Several years laler Zocch i became a

game tesler for Avalon Hi ll , ed iloo the
wargame magazine, T he General, and
created his own game, Boule of Britain.
The game was published , s hined
hands between game com panies, a nd
finally came back to Zocchi, who pur
chased the company Gamescience and
began to create and sell his own games.
Zocchi has interests othel' th nn gam
ing. He is a jazz musician, pl ays the saw,
!s a ventriloquist (when his frie nd Woody
IS present), and is a stage mag icia n.

Dice Contest Rul es

Each entry must cons ist of a table with
24 items. Anything goes if it is tasteful:
treasures, combat tables, ra ndom (IC.
curences, business inventories, ct. al.
A ta ble must fit into one of the following categories: m e dieval/h istorical;
rantasy; science fiction; es pionage;
s u per hero; horror; or humor.
The contest is open to a ll Network
me mbers, a nd each member can subm it
as many tables as he wants, However,
each table must be on a separate sheet of
paper. It is all right to inclu de several
e ntries in t he same envelope, All entries
must be typed, dou ble spaced. Computer
printouts are acceptable if they can be
t!llsi ly read. All entries become the property of t he RPGA Network. The best
entries will be published,
The deadline for submitting tables
is May 1s t, 1990.

Th e Prizes
There will be up to 100 winners (Zocchi
makes lots of dice a nd we want to give
away lots of prizes). So, while multiple
entries increase your chances to win
they won't garner you m or e tha n on~
24-sided die.
In addition, the first, second, a nd
third place winners will rece ive a
"gem" loo-sided Zocchihedron, which is
not yet in production. And, the RPGA
Network will give the first place winner
a year's extension of his or her Network
members hip, and will give the second
and third place winne rs a s ixmonth
extension .
Send all entries to: Dice Contest,
RPGA Network, P.O. Box 515, Lake
Geneva, WI, 58147.

The Great Lakes Avengers

Mister Immortal

by William Tracy



expanding, and one such expansion is
The Great Lakes Avengers, a lesserknown chapter of the Avenger;; which
watches over the midwest. In addition
to the new superheroes listed below, the
team also has as members Hawkeye

and Mockingbird.

Big Bertha
a.k.s. Ashley Crawford













Popularity: 1/0 outside the


Great Lakes
RM (30)

Talents: Unknown .
Powers: Alter Ego. Through some as of
yet unknown means, model Ashley
Crawford is able to increase her body in
density and size. As Big Bertha, she has
a weight and body size that rivals the
Blob. While in this larger form, she has
Amazing Body Armor against physical
attacks and Good Leaping Ability.
As an established power stunt, Big
Bertha can catch bullets or blunt weapons that are thrown at her in the fatty
folds of her dense flesh. She can then
expand her muscles, causing the caught
projectiles to fly back at her assailant.
Th hit her assailant she must make a
successful FEAT roll on the Good
column. This attack only does a maxi
mum of Good blunt throwing damage.
Background: Very little is known
about Big Bertha's background except
that she is a successful model in her
Ashley Crawford identity. She has contacts in the fashion world. She has not
demonstrated the use of any partieu lar











( 10)

(2 0 )


( 10)



(6 )








(40 )


(6 )

Popularity: 110 outside the
Great Lakes
Resources: Unknown

Popularity: 110 outside the
Great Lakes
Resources: Unknown

Talents: Martial Arts Band E, Acrobatics and Tumbling

Talents: Unknown

Powers: Immortality, Unearthly rank.

Berserker, Good rank. This power
allows him to add a + 1 CS to Fighting
and Strength when it is in effect.
Background: Mister Immortal's origin
and background arc unknown. He is
slightly mad and suicidal, not hesitating to take wild risks in a fight.
Thi s unbalanced state of mind is prob
ably caused-at least in part- by his
Immortality powers. He is short tern
pered, and he usually enters a berserk
rage when fighting someone who has
just "killed" him.

Powers: Flight, Feeble rank. He is not

able to carry anyone while he flies.
Teleport Others. Doorway can some
how cause his body to become a gateway
between two points in space. Only
normalsized living beings can move
through Doorway to use him as a teleportation gateway. When he is in his
gateway form he only can be harmed by
mystic, mental, and energy attacks. He
cannot move or take any other actions
while people are using him as a telepor.
tal. This ability has a Remarkable rank
Background: Unknown


Dinah Soar










(30 )


( 10)







(20) (20) (0) (0)

Popularity: 110 outside the
Great Lakes
Resources: Unknown

Popularity: 110 outside the
Great Lakes
Resources: Unknown

Talents Unknown.

Talents: Unknown.

Powers: Flight. She can maintain

Typical air speed because of her w ings.
Sonic Generation, Excellent rank. Her
hyper.sonies also can be used to disori
ent or calm a person.

Powers: Enlongation, Unearthly rank .

Plasticity, Remarkable rank.
Body Armor, Remarkable protection
against physical attacks.
Duo-Dimension, Remarkable rank.
Flatman truly is nat.

Background: Dinah Soar's past and

origin are a mystery. Her odd physical
appearance could indicate that she is a
mutant or a nonhuman. She is not able
to communicate verbally.
She seems to have a fondness for Mr.

Background: F latman is the Deputy

Leader of the Great Lakes Avengers.
Nothing else is known about the hero.


by Rick Reid

The Caves
of Confection

Notes for the OM

Thi s lighthearted adventure is designed
for six l st-3rd level Basic D&D game

characters. Statistics for AD&D game

monsters also are provided for OMs who
wish to run t his adventure as an AD&D

game scenario; AD&D game statistics

appear in shaded areas.
At the beginning of the adventure, it
is assu med the PCs will come to the
Keep at Ongoin, intending to rest and
buy provisions. However, you should

fee l free to concoct another reason for

t he PCs to go t here if it 8uits your needs

Even the most stalwa rt ba nd of ad
venturers must stop sometimes for
rest and provisioning, and according
to you r maps, the nearest city is the
Keep at Ongoin.
The Keep at Ongoin is much like
every other heavily fort ified city that
you have encountered in your trav
cis. The standard high, thick stone
walls surround the town , a nd the
only e ntrance is a pair of barred
wooden gates.
Following standard procedure, you
a pproach the gates and s hout for
entrance. After a wait of aeveral
minutes, you shout again. Still no
response. Getting impatient. you
dismount and bang on t he gates.
Almost immediately, a muffled voice
from the other side replies, " What's
t he password?"

Part I : Keep Ongoin

After the PCs have taken several
guesses at the password, a nother muf
fled voice responds, "Try 'Pancake.' " If
someone in the party replies "Pancake:'
both gates swing open r evealing an
e mpty cobblestone street leading into
the center of town. If the PCs pass
through the gates, they are set upon by
a mob of villagers shouting "Sweets!
Sweets! Give us your sweets!" A mob of
more t han 200 r us h from their h iding
places behind the open gaLes, swarm
over the PCs, pull them from their
horses, and rip through their packs and

An adventure for 6 D&D game

or AD&D game characters,
levels 1-3
Illustration by James Holloway


Villagers (207): AC 9; HD 1; hp 3 each;

MV 120'(40'); HAT 1; 0 special; Save as
Normal Human; ML 6; AL N; XP 5
each; SA hit indicates grab and hold
until victim makes an open doors roll, if
th ree or more villagers hold a victim he
is pulled down.

-- --- l
I~-----------~_C 10; HD 1; MV 12; .;'AT 1; Dmg
Pummel/wre;;tre; THACO 2/); rnL Ave.
(810); SZ 1\1; AL NC (but cfUzed); Xi>
L5 eacb
---- - .
._.---- --After several minutes of this mayhem, a
shrill whistle bl ows and a troop of
guards rushes into t he melee, pulling
the villagers otT the character s and
berating them: "Leave them a lone;
they're tourists!" When the guards have
succeeded in disentangling the last
vi llager from t he rnckus, a portly gen
tleman with a long-, cu rling white mus
t ache approache!; the party. Turning to
the villagers, now shnffiing a round with
downcast eyes :tnd guilty looks on their
faces , he says, " Is this any way to treat
guests? I'm ashamed of you! Now I want
you to apologize to these nice people
right now!" Several of the villagers
mumble insincertJ apologies whi le the
guards help the PCs up, d ust ofT their
clothing, and help t hem gather up their
belongings. While this is goi ng on, the
villagers slink away, occasionally giving
the pes a hungry glance.
When order has been restored , the
portly gentleman introduces himself as
Farfel, mayor of Ongoin, and a pologizes
to the group for the actions of the towns
people. Theil with a wistrullook ill h is
eyes, he asks, "Ah, you don't happen to
have any gumdrops, do yo u?"
When the party has replied in the
negative, t he mayor gives a loud sigh
and says:


--- -----~ -

"Ah, I thought not. Oh welL Pl ease,

let me escort you into town while I
try to explain the behavior of the
townspeople. You see, for years On
goin has had the reputation of pro
vid ing the finest sweets, candies, and
desserts in the realm. In ract, the
king himself would not th ink of us
jng any other peppermint candy for
his indigest ion but that which we
manufacture. But now that has all
changed. You sec, we obtain the raw
materials for our creations from a
series of most wonderful caverns to
the north of to wn. Within t hese
caverns- dubbed the Caves of Con

fection by the locals- run veins of

pure rock sugar, bubbling pools of
caramel, and natural springs or choc
olate sauce.
"Needless to say, with such a trea
sure at our disposa l, it was only
natural that our village should base
its economy on t he creation of
sweets. But several days ago, a group
of sugar miners came running back
into town with stories of horrible
creatures that had ta ken up resi
dence in the caverns. A battalion of
guards WIIS sent to invest igate, but
never rd.uflwd. [ had no choice but
to post the mines ofTlimits, even
though it meant the death of our
industry. The vi llagers, raised on a
diet of sugary treats, were dri ven
hair mad by the absence of their
accustomed diet a nd took to rioting
and worse things. In desperation, I
sent away for a wagonload of sugar
from the closest village. But it, along
with another wagon of kitchen uten
sils, never arrived. Attempts were
made to provide substitutes, hoping
our customers would not notice the
difference. But as you can see the
results were less than successful."

With this statement, the mayor points

out several shops advertising such
things as: "Salt Cakes," "Vinegar
Buns," " Mustard Pies:' " Brinefilled
BonBons;' "Fish Balls;' and " Meat
Wafer s." All t he shops have a large
closed sign in front.
"Th ma ke matters worse," the mayor
continues, "This is the year my wife
is to host the annual Mayors' Wives'
lea Party for a ll the mayors' wives
in the area. Without a ny teacakes or
lady fingers for the guests, her party
will be the social disaster of the year.
"But, th is is not your problem.
Unless, of course, you want to take
on the job of cleaning out the
caverns- for which you will receive a
handsome reward and the undy ing
gratitude of the townspeople, not to
mention my wife. Well, what do you
If the characters agree to take on this
task, the mayor shows them the road
leading north from town to the caverns.
If they wish to obtain fur ther prov i.
sions, a trader's shop contai ns all basic
equipment at twice book price.

Part II: The Caves of

A. The Entrance
After a journey of about a half hour,
th rough roc ky t errain dotted with
growths of thick shrubbery, you ap
proach the race of a to wering cliff. At
t he clifT's base is a dark, roughly
circular entrance about 12 reet in
diameter. 'l\vo vaguely humanoid
figures stand to either s ide of the
entrance, ba rely concealed by
scraggly bushes. An overpoweringly
sweet smell fill s the air.
As til(' PCs approach the entrance, they
see that the figures are nothing more
than wooden cutouts, pa inted to resem
ble fierce goblins, and propped up
against the clifT. They will a lso see,
directly above the entrance, a crudely
painted wooden sign reading "Cave of
C<lod Eats-Monsters WelcomeHumans Co Home." Looking into the
entrance, t he characters see a 12foot by
12foot cave extendi ng 30 feet north and
end in g in a "T " inter section. Walls,
floors, and cei ling are hard and rocky.
Closer examination reveals a sprinkling
of sugar covering the cavern floor.

B. Equi p m ent
Approximately 10 feet into the ca
vern , a ser ies of two doze n spikes are
dri ven into the west wall at eye
level. Twelve battered metal helmets
and 12 lanterns hang from the
The helmets were worn by the suga r
miners as protection in the event of
fall ing rock candy. They are painted
with names such as "Stinky:' "Shorty,"
"\Vaffieears," and " Fred." The lanterns
are filled with oil and still usable.

C. Billy
After a distance of 40 feet , the cavern
takes a bend to the easl. As yo u
approach the bend, you hear a loud
slurping noise coming rrom a round
the corner.
Silting on the cave floor, suck ing on a
piece of rock candy is a young boy with
red hair and freckles. When the boy
nolices the party, he hides his candy


and tells them to "Get your own." I[the

you ng lad is questioned nicely or bribed,
he reveals that his name is Billy and he
lives with his Grandpa in Gogoin. He
tells the PCs that he was tired of not
having a ny ca nd y, so he snuck away
a nd came to the mine to get some.
Billy got h is candy from the rock
sugar veins directly a head. He brags to
the PCs tha t he snuck past all the monsters wo rking in the mine a nd grabbed
a piece ofT t he n oor without being noticed. If asked abo ut the number of
creatures in the mine, he puffs up his
chest and says, "Oh, about a hundrod."
If Billy is threatened, grabbed , or told
to go home, he starts yelling, "Ow! Ow!
Ow!" in a loud voice and tr ies to run
away. The ensuing commotion is sure to the m ine wo~kers fro m the sugar
mines (area E) to Investigate. If Billy is
left alone, he foll ows the party for
aw hile, the n wanders oIT.

D. Chocolate Stream
After several feet, the passage
branches off to the north lind con
tinues cast. From the east passage
yC;)U pick up faint sou nds of digging,
picks bangi ng, and occasional voices.
Th. the north, you detect a sweet, but
faint , odor.
If the PCs. take the north passage, read
t he followmg:
A thick, cloying odor of chocolate
wafts from the entrance of this cham
ber. Inside the 40foot diameter room
an 8foot wide stream of thick, brown'
flu id flaw s sluggishly from a n open
ing in the east wall, runs across the
chamber, and disappears into a simi
lar open ing in the west wall. Several
buckets a nd ladles lie on t he floor.
Propped up against the south wall
a rc 12 humanoid figures, apparently
composed of the same brown mate
rial, wra pped in red bows. Across
from the stream, there is an opening
in the north wall.

Billy: AC 10; HO Ih; hp 2; MV 120'(40');

tAT 1; D 1 (kick or bite); Save as

Normal Human; ML 6; AL N; XP 5


AC 10; liD 'f",; hp 2; I\IV 12; t AT L

Dmg pummel; THACO 20; Int Ave.
(810); SZ M; AL N(Gl; XP 15

The stream, which only runs to a dept h

of three feet at t his particular spot, is



E. Sugar Mine
The passage opens into a huge cav
ernous area, almost 120 feet in diam
eter. The r ough rock walla are
impregnated with thick veins of a
clear crystaline substance with a
very sweet odor. A dozen lar ge, hairy,
dogfaced creatures work the veins
with picks and shovels, a nd load the
debris into wheelbarrows. T he the
biggest creature wheels the wheel
barrows out an opening in the north
Until the party takes !!Ome action, the
creatures (gnolls>will not be aware of
their presence. The sound of digging


.. 1



not actua lly chocolate, but is composed

of runoff from the sugar mines mixed
with naturallyoccu ring s ubterranian
vegetation and minerals giving it the
taste, appearance, and texture of real
chocolate. The 12 fi gures are t he origi.
nal guards sent to investigate the d isturbance at the mine. They were
captured and dipped alive in th e choco
late. Examining the figu res reveals a
small tag on each one reading: "To Our
Master, 1\vink-Eat In Good Health ."




Utensils & dishes ~ .

"Chocolate" atream'





Marshmallow ~

ieYler ~

Ledie ok ntlt ~

Shrubbery . . . .

1 square. 10 Ceet


and picking echoes loudly throughout

this chamber a n d mixes w ith the gnolls'
cursing and grunting. The gnolls are
mining the rock sugar for the Snack
Dragon, and their fear of h is anger is
the only thing that keeps the m work
ing .
Ifthe party moves to aUack , the
gnolls reciprocate, sw inging thei r picks
and shovels. If the gnolls lose more than
half their number, one gn oll throws
down his pick , and in crude Common
cries out, "That's it! We don't have to
put up with this! Come on, we're going
on strike!" With that, the other gnolls
toss down thei r weapons and foll ow
their leader out the chamber and to the
cave entrance.
Any gnolls t hat are captured and
questioned reveal that the boss of the
caves is a "big lizard that eats like a
pig." The only reason they are wo rk ing
is that he threatened to c at them if they
didn't keep his appetite sati sfied. If the
party asks directions to the big boss, the
gnolls gesture in the direction of the
north passage. There are t hree wheel
barrows, six picks, six shovels, and a lot
of rock sugar in the room.
Gnons (12): AC 5; HD 2; hp 15, 13,
3@12, 10 2@9, 6,2@5,4;MV90'(30');
IAT 1; D 27; Save as F ight er 2: ML 8 ;
AL C; XP 20 each
AC 5; HD 2; hp 15, 13 , 3@12 , 10,
2@9,6,2@5,4;MV9; NAT 1; Dmg 2
7; 1'HA CO 19; Int Low (57 ); SZ L ; AL
CE; XP 35 each

intense heat, the Snack Dragon (area J)

has programmed them to bake treats to
satisfy his voracious appetite. Raw
materials from the sugar mines (area
E), the chocolate stream (area D), the
marshmallow geyser (area H ), and t he
orc rooms (a rea I), a re delivered here to
be baked into desserts and goodies. The
zombies ignore the PCs unless they
interrupt t hem from t hei r current task
of baking dozens of gi ngerbread orcs
(cookies). If attacked, they reciprocate
by flinging batter, pans, bowls, and hot
On one of the tables is a thick leather
bound tome en titled Cook Book of the
Dead. It contain!! instructions for sum
moning a Sweet lboth Demon, a large
dessert. Anyone attempting to read
from the book will lind his hand perma
nently stuck to the pages. V ictims can
not put down the volume until they
have gathered all the ingredien t.s listed
in the recipe (over 2,000 obscure spices
and condiments) and m ixed them ac
cording to in!!tructions.
Zombies (B): AC 8; HD 2; hp 16, 2@14,
9, 2@8,6,4; MV 90'(30'); NAT 1; D 18
(cla w) or 14 (hurled object); Save as
F ighter I ; ML 12; AL X; XP 20 each; SA
a lways lose in itiative; SO immune to
sleep and charm spells.
AC 8; H D 2; MV 6; NAT 1; Dmg 18
(claw) or 14 (thrown object): THACO
19; Int Non (0); SZ 11.1 ; AL N; x.p 65
each ; SA always lose inititive; SD
immune to skcp, e/wrm. hold. death
magic, poisons, and cold, holy water
~icts 28 points damage

F. Kitchen of Doom
A b last of inten se heat emina tes
from this room, accompa n ied by
clanging and banging sounds.
This 80foot diameter room was used as
a hakery, with heat provided by natu
redly occuring veins of magma which
flow a long the walls. Several large iron
doors were built into the walls, and the
items to be baked were placed into cav i
ties behind the doors and heated by the
magma. Two 40foot long and 20foot
wide wooden tables, covered with bowls,
spoons, and baking pans, are situated in
the cente r of t he room.
The room is currently occupied by
eight bakery zombies wearing white
hats and aprons r eading " Ki ss the
Cook." As they are able to work 24
hours a day and can withstand t he

G. Gramps
A bobbing yellow light can be seen in
the north passage. The light seems to
be m oving in your direction, but
before you can take a ny action, the
stillness is shattered by a gravelly
voice yelling, "Billy! Billy!"
The voice belongs to Billy's (area C)
gTandfather, who is looking for the
wayward lad. He carries a thick cane in
one hand and a lan tern in the other. H is
eyesight is very poor, and if approached
by the PCs, he lashes out at t hem with
his cane, mistaking them fo r monsters.
Gramps' hearing is just as bad as his
eyesight. He carries an earhorn tucked
in his belt, which he uses only if reo
minded of its presence. Anything the

PCs say to Gramps is lik ely to be inter

preted as a n ins ul t. If th e party is a ble
to relay to Gramps who they are a nd
the nature of their inte ntions, he starts
in on one of his longwin ded stories of
his own youth when he was an adven
turer, punctuating his ta le by gTabbing
one of the PC's swords and swi nging it
wi ldly aro und his head.
If the group can convi nce Gramps t hat
they have indeed seen Billy a nd have a
general idea as to his wh ereabouts,
Gramps continues south, shouting a nd
banging on the wal ls with his cane.
Gramps: AC 10; HD Ln; hp 2; MV
90'(30'); IAT 1; D 14 (ca ne); Normal
Human; ML 6; AL N ; x.p 5
AC 10: H O Ih ; hp 2; MV 9; IPir 1;
Umg 14 (cane); THACO 20; Int Ave.
,I (8 10); SZ M ; AL N(G); XP 15

H. M a r s hmallow Fluff
The walls, floor and ceil ing of this
40foot diameter cavern a re covered
with a thick , gooey white substa nce.
There is a 12inch diameter hole in
the center of the floor a nd a n exit
directly across the chamber in the
north wall. A 6-foot wide stone ledge
jutts from t he east wall, about 12 feet
above the ground.
A large p ile of sticks and small
rocks sits on the ledge; it resembles a
nest of som e type. An undistinguish .
a ble lump squats in the nest 's center.
The entire affair is covered with the
gooey white substance.
The PCs are in the cavern containing
t he marshmallow geyser. Thick veins of
sugar, heated by bubbling underground
pools, simmer under the surface u ntil
the ir consistancy is that of thick marsh
mallow . Periodically, the bubbling mass
erupts from the hole in the fl oor, spraying the room and its contents with a
thick coating of marshmallow.
The lump in the nest is a m arshma l
low harpy, which has grown quite fond
of the taste of marshmallow. She at
tempts to lure the characters into the
room with her song. If she is successfu l,
she waits for t he geyser to erupt a nd
coat her h apless victims in mar sh mal
low, rendering them immobile. She can
then eat them at her leis ure.
Once the PCs have entered the room ,
check each round for an e ruption. A l or
2 on Id6 means the geyser has erupted,


and anyone caught in the room must

save 'IS. paralysis or be rendered immobile. Even if the save is successful, the
character's movement a nd attacks are
cut by half. The harpy is immune to the
efTects of the geyser, and wi ll only leave
her nest. to attack in the event that the
majority of the grou p is rendered immobile, or if they try to leave the room.
If the harpy is defeated, the character!> can search her nest. In side are 36
!lticky gold pieces, a bib w ith a picture
of a lobster on the front (new magic
item ), a vial of clear liquid (new magic
item), and a toothbrus h.

Marshmallow Harpy; AC 7; HO 3 '" ;

hp 21; MV 60'{20')lflying 150'/50'; tAT 2
claws, 1 weapon, + ;;pN:ia l; 0 14114/ 1

6; Save as Fighter 6; ML 7; AL C; XP
50; SA song causes saving t hrow 'IS.
spell or victim is charmed.
AC i ; lID 7; hp 21; j\IV 0, FI15 (C);
liAT3: Umg 1:1/ 1:1/ 16; THA CO 1:3 :
rot Low (57); SZ M; AI. CJ<':; XP 14.00:
SA can sing in COnluut, SOllK casues
saving- throw vs. s pell or victim is
cIJarmcd- clwrf/!p<I victims immedi
ately pl"Oceed toward the har p}" and
allow themselves to be s la in. t he
charm lasts until the sfl n)!" s tops,
touch causes s avc vs. s pell or victim
is charmcd fOI" 20 + 1d 10 hours, the
charm is broken when the hurpy is

New Magic Items

Bib of Good Eating: Whe n WOI'n , the

wearer is compelled to eat only good,
nutritious meals, forsaking any s nacks
or sweets. A sucessful save vs. spell
negates the bib's elTects.
Potion of A ppetite Control: Anyone im
bibing this dear, colorless, liquid will
experience an immediate feeling of
fullness for a period of 1324 hours
(1d12 + 12), and has nO desire for food
during that time.

I. JinSll Orcs
After a distance of several fee t, t he
northern passage c ur ves towa rd the
west. The western passage is litte red
wit h butter knives, for ks , and soup
spoons. Ahead you notice several
openings carved into the north and
f'Quth walls.

The openings lead into the rooms or a

tribe of jins u orcs. If the party stops to
investigate the si lverware, or passes by
the openings, the orcs pour out of the
rooms and attempt to capture and sub
due them. The orcs, employed as
guards, waiters, cooks, and dishwashers
by the Snack Dragon (area J), arc a r
mored in pots, pans, and roast plattels
and brandis h meat grinders, potato
peelers, cheese graters, egg beaters, a nd
apple corers a s weapons (plunder from
the wagolls hound for Ongoin). The orcs
attempt. to oVI'l"ll" hclm the PCs a nd
c:l pture them alive to present to the
s nack dragon. During the fighting , the
orcs continua lly call fO l the PCs to sur
render. Because of the overwhelming
number of o rcs, the PCs s hould be e n
couraged to do so.
All t he rooms arc roughly 12feet
square and contain the following:
1. A huge tub of soapy water and a tall
pi le of di rty dis hes. Six orcs are was hing
dis hes in here.

2. Numerous bags of flour, spices, herbs

a nd seasonings. Severa l barrels contai n
vinegar, va nilla extract, sugar water,
and maple syrup.
3. A large fi re pit dug into t he cente r of
the room is filled with burning wood.
Above the fire is an iron caldron being
stirred by two orcs in white aprons. The
orcs arc boil ing refined l'Ock sugar to
make cara mel.
4. A long wooden ta ble piled high wit h
various types of cookbooks. Six orcs are
pouring over the books, jotting down
notes and recipes.

5. The e nli re floor of t his room is lay.

e red with l>truw. '{'welve orcs a re ly ing
on t he floor, resting fro m t he ir duties.
Each arc is alternately polis hing his
weapon and licking a cinnamon stick.
6. This room is piled high with a jumble
of cooking ute n s ils, kitchen implements
and dinne rwa re. S ix orcs are attempt
ing to m ake some sort of order out of the
s hambles.
Jinsu Orcs (36): AC 6; H D 1; hp 5 each ;
MV 120'(40'); IAT I ; 01 6; Save as
Fighter 1; ML 6; AL C; XP 10 each

AC 6; liD 1; hp 5 each: j\IV 9; IAf 1;

Dmg 1.6; THA CO 19; l nt Avc. (810);
I SZ 11.1 ; AL LE; XP 15 each

--" ..

J. Lair of the Snack Dragon

As yo u a re lead down t h e twisting
passage, a loud roar of "FOOOOO D!"
reverberates down the corridor from
ahead. T he orcs, now vis ibly shaken ,
hurry you alo ng throug h an archway
set into t he stone wall .
Sitting o n an immense pi le of dirty
dis hes, frosting bowls, no nretu rna ble bottles, wra ppers, cake
plates, pie pans, cookie tins, and
candy molds is a large cottoncandy
pink dragon. The dragon 's chocolatesmeared jaws are firm ly wrapped
a round the protruding stick of a n all
day sucker. Rows of sugar donuts
ring h is twin horns and h is long
spiked tail is curled protectively
aro und a pot of jellybea n s. A
severely-stained bib is tied aro und
his thin neck, a hsorbing l he frequent
dribble of drool that leak s from the
corner of his mouth. Above the
dragon, a large opening in the ceiling
a llows the moonlight to s parkle ofT
his sugar-coated scales.
The dragon looks you up and down
with a hung ry eye, removes the
s ucker from his mouth , waves at the
OICS, and issues a command, " Prepare t he kitchens! I have a recipe for
carmel-covered adventurers dipped
in toasted al mo nds that I'm dyi ng to
t ry! "
At this command , the orcs exit the
room, leaving you to face the dragon.
With the same hungry g leam in his
eye, t he dragon address you.
"I s uppose good manne rs dictate
th at I should introduce m yself before
I eat you. 1 am 1Wink, a ve ry rare
snack dragon. Most of my race, unfortUnAtely. d ied out because t hey
could not find enough s weets to s usta in t hem. We have qu ite a voracious
appetite, you know. But lucky me! [
came across this wonderous cave in
my travels. It contains enough
s weets to s ustain me for years. Isn't
that wonderful!"
At this point, if the PCs take no action
agains t the d ragon, he starts poking
them with his sucker stick to see if they
a re "juicy" enough . The c h a r acte rs must
try to defeat 1\vink before the orcs ret urn in six turns to bake them. 1Wink is
very intelligent (but greed y ) a nd not
easily tricked, nor will a n out-and-out
attack be likely to succeed. One possible
solution would be to get him to use e ither of the magic items found in area H,

--- -- .-. -- -~ -- -


causing him to lose his appetite or desire for sweets and possibly vacate the
If the PCs attack Twink, he uses his
breath weapon in an attempt to encase
them in a tough candy shell. A strength
of 18 or better is needed to break out of
the shell. Twink does have one weak
spot, his stomach. There is a 5% chance
that any successful attack will hit his
stomach, causing him to double over in
pain for Id6 rounds.

If the characters manage to defeat the

snack dragon, or convince him to let
them escape, they can climb up the pile
of trash and exit out the hole in the
ceiling (this is how Twink entered).
Once out of the hole, the PCs can circle
around to the front of the cave and the
road back to town .

Snack Dragon (Twink): AC 3; HD 6**;

hp 40; MV 90'(30')/flying 240'(80'); II AT
2 claws, 1 bite or breath weapon; D 1
6,1.6/3.24; Save as Fighter 6; ML 8; AL
N; XP 725; SA breath weapon usable
3X/day, cone of candy coating 2' wide at
mouth, 80' long, and 30' wide at end,
victims must save vs. breath or he
coated and immobilized for 2dl2 turns,
18 strength to break out.

AC 3; HD 6; hp 40; M V 9, Fl24 (C);

IIAT 3; Dmg 16 + 1116 + 1/3-24 + I;
THACO 15; lnt Ave. (810); SZ L; AL
N(E); XP 1400; SA breath weapon 3/
day, cone of candy coating 2' wide at
motlth, 80' long, and 30' wide at end,
-- -

-- - -- -

banquet to be held in their honor the

following evening when the villagers
have "calmed down."

victim::; must save vs. breath or be

coated and immobilized for 2d12
t.urns, feat of strength to break Ollt.

.. ~ . - . - ----.--- - - -

Part Ill: The Reward

When the party returns to the village,
the mayor meets them to listen to their
story. Unless the PCs have defeated the
snack dragon, or banished him from the
caves, they are not eligible for their
reward. If the PCs were successful, the
mayor rings the town bell, calling the
villagers to assemble. He relates their
story to the townspeople, highly praising the PCs' bravery. When he gets to
the part of the story where the PCs
defeated the dragon and freed the caves,
the villagers shout, "Sweets! Sweets!"
and bolt for the caves, trampling the
mayor and the PCs. After apologizing to
the party, the mayor invites them to a

The banquet is a rousing success,

consisting of every sort of delicacy
imaginable. And just when you think
you could not eat another bite, the
mayor taps his spoon on his wine
glass and calls for "dessert." As you
gape in astonishment, six carts
draped in fine linen are wheeled out
in front of you. The coverings are
whipped off with a flourish, reveal
ing lifesize peanutbutter fudge
statues of your party.
"Dig in!" the mayor beams, "They're
all yours!" With weak smiles you
reach for a piece of ear. Seeing your
disappointed looks, the mayor gives a
chuckle and nudges you with his elhow, "I think you'll like the filling the
best;' he whispers, "Gold coin Tthink
the cook said it was!"
The DM is free to assign whatever man
etary reward he thinks is reasonable for
his campaign; 200-500 gp for each character is a good rule of thumb.

Enter the Gates of

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The Living City

Th e Dow nunda Patisserie
r - -- -

- - - - - - - . - - --

--- ---

- -- - - - - ,

- -- - - - - _. -- - by Wes Nicholson

The Dowllunda Patisserie is found in

middle clU~fI business district of
R,well::! Bluff. nearer the upper class
area than the poor (IUnrtcr. The proprie
tor is Jemima ChiBoim, a middle-aged
widow whose cutiullry skill!!! are fast
becoming Ii legend. J cm im1:t lives above
the shop with her three children. Derek,
Allison, and KarL Derek and Allison
help out around the shop, hut Karl isn't
old enough to be trusted w ith all the
sweet temptation:!.
The shup specinlizes in /ine cakes for



........!. ....

nny occasion. as well as sma ller cukes

and fresh bread. Poople go to great
cfTorl tu buy 00(1 of Jemima'~ cheese
loaves fre~h from the oven, and t here
Ilre never any len by 9:15 in the morning. Othe,' produci!~ are not as popular,
out arc still gobbled up.
,Jem ima is uffectionately known as
"Mother Hubbard " to the local populace
because her shelves arc always bare by
closing time.
There are three sections to the shop.
The front section is open to the public
and has IU"ge glllss cases where 1:1.11 the
day's offerings a re displayed. The bock
of the shop is divided into a kitchen and
preparation area, and is near a storage
room where nil the inwedicnt.'1 for Jemima';; delicacies ure kept. This room is
protected by a glyph ofwarciing which a
friendly cleric provided in lieu of paymenl for a birthday cake for her bis hop.
Those breaking into the storage room
must save vs. spells or be charmed, as if
th ey were under u charm person spell.
Charmed individuals go sll'aight to the
Ravens Bluff chief constable and turn
themselves in for their crime. Jemima
and Derek know the key to the glyph.
Many wealthy residents of Ravens
Bluffhavtl specillloccasion cakes prepared by Jemima rather thnn by their
own staff, and this has provided
Jemima with enough money to send
Karl to school. Derek and Allison
missed out on formal school ing, but
both a re wise beyond their years.
The only magic item in the shop is the
oven, which adjusts itself automatically
so that every cake and every loaf come
out perfect. The oven was a gift. from a
wizard for whom J emima expertly

1 sq. =5ft.



Warded Door






Lounge Chair

Bread Bins



Cooling Rack

I Bench

10 0 01 Cake Cabinet




Desk & Chair



Linen Press


cooked an anniversary t'ukc such U.i

Haven s Bluff had never seen , and will
never see again. Never to cook another
ca ke like it Wit" part of t he rlcul for tIlt'
ove n.
The following item., arc in the !ihop
C\'cry mOI'ni ng:
C hcese loaves
(al ways gone by (9: 15)
Kibble loaves
Small cukes
fruit s lice (cherry, apple, a pricot) is]!
Cup cakes
Creom pull'"
Rock cakes (especially (,)1' dwar ves) bp
Mini llpl)llge (especially for elves) !,!"p
Large cakes
Banana und walnut. (in season)
Orange, Chocolate
with creum
Rlack forest

When t,he mood takes her, J em imll

makes a batch of something !ipecia l,
such a s: rock cake with dwarf spirit
icing (3 b'P) or sponge cllke with essence
of pine (3 b'Pl. These specilll s never last
on the shelvcs for more than one houl".
r n addil ion, special orders are ac
cepted, t.he price ranging from 10 ~'P to
whatever the customer can afford .
As t he shop is frequent.ed by pL'<lple
from all over town, J emima gets to hell I'
much ubou t what is going on. She is not
a gossip, but "he is II mine of
informatio n- if her customer s clIn get.
her to talk.
All ruces are welcome in the
Downunda Patisscrie, but Jem ima and
the children keep a careful eye on all
halflings who enter. Haltlings are
treated politely and are given personal
attention for the entire time they are in
the shop; that is hecause Jemima
doesn't want the halflings to become
overl y tempted by her wares and empty
the shelves' contents into their pockets
when she isn't. watching.
For reMons unknown, Jemima is not
very well disposed toward adventurers,
and anyone r ecognised a s un adventurer
will bc served politely, bu t quickly, and
gotten out of the shop.

Jemima Chisolm

oLevel Female Hu man





1:1 ( 16 to nw n Qver 4(1)

Specilll abilities: None

I,unguagcs: Common, H u.U1ing

AC Normal: 10
AC Rear: 10
Hit Points: 4
Alignment: Neutral Good
Weapon Profil:ie nc ies: None
Special Abilities: Cooking
Languages: Common, Elv l1<h, Dwnrv
ish, HaIning
,rcmima is 39 years old, 5'4" lall. and
weighs l29 pounds . She has bright blue
eyes which are always twinkling and
!<lrawherry bl ond hair th ut i:; going
slightly b'Tay, She enme to Ravens OI utT
with her three children a few years ago.
1'he only item they brough t with th em
was a gem wh ich J emi ma used to buy
the shop. No one k nows where she ca me
from or why, and unyone rude enough to
ask will be boiven t.he cold shoulder. She
docs not speak of her dead hw;band.
Apart from this, she is a bright, friendly
per:;on who has a kind word for every
one except adventurerll. She is well
known in the poor quarter, which is
surprising since poor peopl(l cannot
anord her wurel!. Perhaps the rumors
that she onen cooks a few extra batches
of cakes a nd ~ nd :; them to the poor
quarter are true . J emima loves hcr
three chi ldren a nd will do anything to
protect them fro m "undesirable types."
Derek and Allison lire kept as busy m~
po:;sible to preven\. a ny silly notions of
running away to b<.'Come udventu rcrs.
Karl goes to school, and Jemima has
high hopeI! that he will hecome a clois
tered cleric when he is old enuugh.
Jemima's cooking is her only other
interest in life, and she keeps the family
well fed . The children are rationed to
three small cakes a week :;0 t hey don't.
get fat..

Derek Chisolm
o Level Male Hu man





AC Normal: 8
AC Rear: 10
Hit Points: 6
Alignment: Neutral Good
Weapon Proficiencies: None



Derek is 19 years old, 6 ' 4 " ta ll. a nd

wl)ighs 197 pounds. He htl:; his mother's
cyes und jet black hair. H e is the d rleilt
ch ild a nd has had to be the lIla n of the
hOU:;l' sinet' the family a r rived in town.
He doesn't mind this respon:;ihili ty
I';i nce it gives him a sense ofp urJlosc. I'll'
is ha ppy with his life a mi is devotcd to
hi s mother and siblings. Derek spoil s
Kllrl at every opportullity. He al so dues
h is hest to head otT any yo un~ llIan
t.I'ying to sec his kid sisier. In Derek's
eye!;. no mun is good enough for hCI' and
nonc ever will he, He is a ware of his
mother's fear that he willlC'(\ve for a lif"
of adventuri ng, but he ha s no such
intention .

Allison Chisolm
a Level Female Huma n

18 (20 to men under age 25)

AC Normal: 7
AC Hear: 19
Hit Points: 3
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Weupon proficiencies: None
Special abilities: None (yet)
Languages: Common, Elvish , Dwarv
ish, Halning
Allison is 17 years old, 5'1l ~ tall, and
weighs III pounds. She h as bright blue
eyes and fiery red hair. Allison is stun
ningly beautiful and she k nows it , but
she is not snobbish about it . She love:;
her fa mily, but craves adventure, especially with attractive young men . Alii
son does not have a mean bone in her
body and is friendly to everyone she
meets. It is likely she will sneak IIWOY
and join a band of young a dventure rs,
Magic fascinates her, but with t he
" right" teaching, she would make an
accomplished thief. Like Derek, Allison
spoils her younger brother. Allison is
the only fa mily member who will speak
of her father, but only if no other fa mily
me mbers are present and s he is sure the
story will go no further.
Arvend Chisolm was a mercenary who
got drunk once too often an d killed a
noble by mistake. He was executed, and
C')1!tinued on page:n


Do You Speak Togo?

A Language for Oriental Fantasy
by Thomas Kane
KawamiyaJosef fingered the one token
that remained of his life as a gajin-an
iron manacle on his wrist. He sipped his
tea and watched the two bounty hunters
experiment with ways of sitting on the
goza straw mats. One grim slaver squat
ted like a dog; the other was trying to
stretch both legs straight out and lift
his torso with his hands.
KawamiyaJ05crs laced mail flexed
into supple curves as he bowed to his
dsimyo. Neither orthe two Westerners
bent, although the squatting, bearded
onc extended his hand, perhaps expect
ing the daimyo to shake it. Then he
glared at KawamiyaJosef. "You can't
translate for us, you son of an otyugh.
You're our runaway! Get someone else.
You'll lie right and left."
KawamyiaJoseftold his lord what the
bounty hunters had said. The copper
ring of truth he wore forced him to be
honest. He saw the daimyo's sl ight nod.,
and that one movement both instructed
him to continue translating and indicated severe displeasure with the guests.
The bearded slaver put his hands on
his hips. "Very weH, you know what we
came for. Say: 'Joe-yeah, I mean youis our thrall, a nd we want him back. He
rows in our ga lley.' Say: 'Have someone
else translate, and we'll make a deal.' "
KawamiyaJosefpondered on ways to
translate that. Requests and proposals
were difficult to express in Kozakuran
because it was insulting to demand
things directly. Both slavecatchers
gazed hungrily at Kawamiya.Josef. He
waited several minutes, and then trans
lated their remarks into the euphe
misms and ornate evasions of Oriental
to ngues.
"That's not what I said! Completely
different words. You little cheat. I know
what you're sayi ng. I can talk to t hese
squintyeyed people, I've been learning
their language, and when we pay our
little visit to t he whipster, I'm gon na
tell him about every single lie you
spat." Then the slaver spoke in a man
gled version of Kozakuran, using un
grammatical words, which could
approximately mea n , " King. You hire
scumslave servants to translate. Do
what I tell you. We work together, you

and I. I grasp your blade in token of

The daimyo's face remained passion
less as he avenged the insult. He drew
his katana, swept it through the a ir a nd
sheathed it again. all in one fluid mo
tion. A head tumbled to the fl oor. The
living bounty hunter scrambled back
wards, shredding the straw seat in his
frenzy. "Josef! Josef, I'm not with him.
Joe, old buddy, friend, you can talk
Easttalk, please, tell that guy we didn't
mean it." Kawamiya-Joser smiled and
said nothing.
GMs of western fantasy campaigns
onen include runes or words rrom Mid
die English in their worlds, so GMs of
oriental campaigns might use bits or
Eastern languages. Authentic names
and phrases evoke t he spir it of the Ori
ent, and when gajin characters visit
oriental lands, languages become espe
cially important. The tongue described
here is a fantasy language, based on
Japanese, but including severa l Chinese
words and rhetorical customs. Some
Japanese grammatical rules have been
simplified, so that Occidental OMs and
players can understand easily. This also
makes the language adaptable to all
oriental campaigns. OMs can alter this
language to reproduce the language of a
specific country. For example, in the
AD&D:!I game world of Kara'1\lr, KOla
kura and Wa would speak pure J apanese, Shou Lung and '1\1 Lung would
use Chinese, and the universal Trade
'!bngue would combine both. This orien
tal tongue is called "'Ibgo," a word
which means "Eastern-Language." It
can add atmosphere to Bushido, AD&D
gam e Oriental Adventures or a ny other
oriental fa ntasy game.
'Ibgo can be espec ially usefu l when
gajin PCs a.r e struggli ng to learn a n
oriental language. You can insert seem
ingly trivia l oriental words into the
adventure, a nd then give western PCs a
written or iental document to see how
much they remember. Perhaps they
could find oriental directions for using a
magic machine or a written description
of a cleverly trapped dungeon.

words can be hard to render into Roman

letters. Therefore, severa l rules govern
oriental pronunciation. Most consonants
sou nd the same in oriental tongues as
in English. Pronounce oriental vowels
like Italian ones-the "A" as in "car,"
the "E" as in "bed;' the "I" as in " me
dium," the "0" as in "no," and the "U"
as in "fluke." Some letters are "long"
and should be enunciated for twice as
much time as the shorter ones. This is
indicated here by doubling the letter.
Remember to prolong these sounds, not
stutter them. "kk " sounds like "cuhhh,"
no "keke:' "00" is pronounced "oh h;'
not "ouu." Obviously, long Jetters sou nd
confusingly like short ones, but the
distinction matters. A "jooro" is a wa
tering pot, but a "joroo" is a legal pros
titute. "Shoojo" means "young gi rl ,"
but a "shoojoo" is an ape. Finally,orien.
tals place equal stress on each syllable.
The Japanese say " YO-KO-HA-MA,"
while gajin tend to mispronounce that
word "yo-ko-HAma."

Putting Them Together

Orientals create new words by merg
ing several older ones. The new words
are simply descriptive mixes and often
contain metaphors or amusing associa
tions. The word for "tax" is "lei" which
indicates a "big brother" with devilish
horns inspecting the rice crop. "'lbru,"
which means " to take," combines
" hand" and "ear," because of the an
cient custom where warriors ripped off
their captives' ears. A tribe of South
Sea island people named westerners for
the obscenity that their sailors constantly used. OMs may make up words
as minor re wards for PCs-all charac
ters would enjoy having their names or
favorite sayings made part of the Ian
guage. Newlyinvented words may in
spire whole adventures. \Vizards could
hire adventurers to investigate supernatural invocations. with the PCs researching people's names, since t hey
indicate the traits and histories of their

The Grammar
Since orientals write in pictograms, as
opposed to a phonetic alphabet, their

Oriental languages employ an en

tirely different structure from western
ton gues, in which words can be used in


many gram matical contex~s. The same

word ca n serve as a verb, an adjective,
or a noun . An example of this concept in
English might be "fight." You can " fight
someone" or "watch a fight." In Togo,
the word "hane" can mean " wing,"
"winged," or "flew." Or iental sente nces
employ ~h e same word order : subject ,
object , ve rb. This can be a nother way to
confuse gaj in , who are u sed to more
freeform sentences with verbs some
where between subject and object . If
characters phrase their statements
carelessly, they may say the exact oppo
site of what t hey mean .
An oriental language can 1)(' spoken
five ways: insulting. abrupt, normal,
polite, and very pol ite. ~: lite or ientals
demonstrate their power by speaking
harshly to lessers. People normally use
the polite language for talking to equals,
and when conversing with superiors, one
must constantly fawn and avoid the
point. Most western languages are pe.
remptory a nd painfully direct when
compared to eastern tongues. When
gajin use telepa thy or spells to communi
cate with orientals, their messages will
seem haughty a nd crude. (fwestern
characters study an orientallanbruage,
the GM will have to decide what level of
politeness t hey learn.

Verbs and Adjectives

Orientals Ilse short endings to express
different form s of verbs. Dictionaries
and word lists u sually print verbs in
thei r infiniti ve form, with the ending
"u." The ending " te" can he used like
the i'; nglish "i n~(' Other verbs end with
some form of the word " masu." Thgo has
no words for "yes" and " no," because
the " masu" indicates whether a verb is
positive or negative, and what te nse it
is in. These words a lso make verbs
u ndemand ing enough for polite conyer
sst-ions. " Masu " e ndi ngs a re shown on
the table below.
Verb Endings Table

Mean ing
mashita masen deshita
masen deshoo

The J apa nese use an extremely com

plica ted set of rules for adject ives, a nd
these var iations should be ignored in
gaming. Th make an adjective negative,
foll ow it with the word " nai." For exam
pie "shita nai ," means "not alive." In
polite levels of conversation, Orientals

use the prefix.adjective "0" before refer

ring to anyo ne e lse's possessions. This
disavows an y inte ntion to steal the
object under discussion.

oriental speech. When gajin PCs meet

fln oriental who speaks Com mon, the
NPC mi.c:ht try to force western words
into eastern formats.

The followin g sentences illustrate

'fuga: Ki doku ho irmasll
Literal translation: Bottle poison
Common: Th is bottle holds poison.

Oriental Numbers

'fugo: 00 shita nai ka?

Liter al trans la tion: King not alive isit- true?
Common: Is the k ing dead?
'lbgo: Anata na ossharmasu ireu.
Literal translation: You name say to
Common: If you want to enter, tell me
your name.
'fuga: Lung mekmosen deshoo
Literal traMlation: Dragon watching.
Common: May be the dragon isn 't
A GM can use t hese rules to make
gajin PCs feel app ropriately foreign
during eastern adventures. Even west
erners who study oriental languages
may make embarrassing mi stakes.
These rules also help a GM imitate

The oriental version of " one, two,

thrcc, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine,
ten" is " ichi, ni , san, shi, go, roku,
shichi, hachi, kU,juu." Th{> Japanese
borrowed these number!:! 1""00} China, but
changed "shi:' or four, to "yon;' because
in J apanese, the word "sh i" implies
" death." One hu ndred is " hyaku;' one
thousand is "sen ;' and te n thousand is
"man," These numerals can be added
toget her to make other numbers. For
example, filteen would be "juugo."

Unfortunately, many unre la ted oriental
words sound very similar. Many words
ha ve two pronunciations, one fo r nor
mal use, and the other for formi ng
larger words. For example, the word for
"east " is " higashi." When it is used as
part of anot her word, it becomes "to;' as
in "Thkyo," which means "eastern
capitol ." These compound fragm ents
have been included to hel p GMs make
up new oriental words.

Word List



advance/move okuru



,~ ha

fore st



























ra nk/grade
r a ys










s hoojo





rice paddy







si rH




















dai or 00







' ha







blue/wee n
bow (wea pon)

city ward

















chuu i

ch uui



mou~h/ope n




s hin


, ha






dru g
dual Muicide

eldest girl
eldest tlOn




s hila



















na rau









suigi n
nak n
gun ....

















y uki

s hitsu










s hi




(ichi-jikan means 1:00, etc.)
ta n t
gurU in
water pot
ts uku

















t . ;uk i
ku chi

s moke
spir it














ji g~ ~u


lcgit _imate



h~ 'art

hCll vy
hoi v
hot spr ing


ta noshii





This can also be used as a genera l

commandverb, meaning " do what I just
said." When you request something
from a supe rior, it is pol ite to begin the
sentence with " doozo," which means
*'" No pun intended. This has no relationship to firearms.
t Th is word is often used in the names
of weapons.
tt This suffix is roughly equivalent to
the Spani sh "senor:' in that one uses it


to indicate respect for anyone, not just a

superior. Polite orientals faste n the

word "san" to a ny personal name or

profession. A scribe should be called

"daishoya-san," and Mr. Oki is ad

dressed "Ok i-sn n." Orientals ind icate
complete devotion by eliminating "san"
and placing the word " sa rna" before a
name. For example, n deity is called

"sama-karoi: '

Chinese Names
Most garners have an insatiable need
fo r names. People, places, items , and
times need titles, and in a prope r orien
tal world, th is requ irement increases
manyfold. Oriental people can have
dozens of names, indicating family,
rank, political alliance, occupation ,
religion, and even status as alive or
dead. This leads shameful numbers of
roleplayers to stringi ng random sylla
bles together in imitation of oriental
words, and prompted DRAGONIII Mags
zine to publish a list of J apanese na mes
titled "Wuddya Mean, 'J ack The Samurai,''' by Barbara Curtis, in issue '121.
However, many oriental fa ntasies are
based on Chinn, and Chinese names
sound quite different from J a pancse
ones. A table of com mon Chinese names
is below. Each character will have two
of these, the family name (which comes
first) and a personal one .
Chinese Names (Roll d%)



Che ng




Nam e




Hsl u



Ka i


Su i







Ssu ma




































T, u

Shorik i






H igh Pine
First Mountain
Many Generations of
Yuurakuchoo Have-Pleasurc-'Ibwn

Japanese Family Names

Autumn Mountain



Cities, Places
Morning Su n
Field of One Thousand
White Eyes (city ward)
Chuuooku Lord Choouu's ward
Big Paddy
Lotl.y Wisdom
Small Pine
Pinetrec Paddy
Matsumoto Pine Origin
Matsumura Pine Village
Matsushita Below the Pine
Matsuzakaya Pine H ill Shop
Black Eye
Second Shrine

Great Righteousness

Natural Features
Big Mountain
Amidst the Mountains
(a lakel
Original Mountain


The followin g table lists titles of

places, dynasties, and legendary ka
tanas. These names cannot be deter
mined randomly since most of them
have a definite meaning which describes the object or person named.

Big Shrine
Lord Data's ward
Big Valley
Mountain Gate (temple)
Lower F ield
Lower Island
White Tree Shop

Old River
Old Field



Stone Field
Stone River
Upper R iver
Tree Vi llage
Small Spring
Little Forest
Black Field
Shrine River
Shrine Origin
Below the Shrine
Original Village
Forest Mountain
Middle Village
Small Rivel'
Big Woods
Big Spring
Big River
Big Tree
Big Forest
Lower VjJlage
Righteous Power
Rising River
Paddy Village
Thmple Origin
Door to the Paddy
Door to the Mountai n
Upper F ield
Mountain Temple
Mountain Stream
Below the Mountain

Arne Lung

Rain Dragon

Male Bla de
Lightning Vessel
Female Blade
Mo Yeh*
"'Indicates a Chinese name .



The New Rogues Gallery

Sandor the Smasher, King of Shalimar
by Skip Olsen and
lonnie Matney

Sandor The Smasher

9th level Male Dwarf Fighter


I sn7


17 (magically raised)


CON: 18
eHA: 16 (magically raised)
AC Norma l: -4
AC Rear: -1

Hit Points: 89
Alignment: Lawful Good
Age: 146
Weapo n Proficiencies: Dagger, Axe,
Ha mmer, Broad Sword
Special Abilities: Blind-fighting, Endura nce, Survival, Tracking, Mountaineering
Magic Ite ms: HolJOC, the mystical war
hammer"', helm of alignment detection"',
girdle of invisibility, boots of speed,
scarab of defense"', tran sparent plate
"'New item
Languages: Common, Dwa rvish, Elvish, Halfling, Gnomish, Goblin
Sandor is a proud king, s tanding 4 '3"
tall and weigh ing 135 pounds. Unlike
others of his r ace, he keeps his graysteaked black beard trimmed short.
However, he wear!> hi.<;jcl blnck hair
long. His piercing black eyes and
scarred, rudy complexion attest to his
rough , warrior's life. He has one nota ble
scar running from the top of his head,
down his front to h is navel and down
his back to his waist. He received this
when he was cleaved by a great sword
head to waist for a cr ime he did not
commit. Sandor was subsequently
raised by a mysterious de ity who
watches over him. Sandor asked the
deity to leave the scar, as it reminds
The Smasher of his unending fight for
The Smasher was horn Sandor
Breakenrock in the settlement of Deep
mine in the Iron Mountains and soon
became known fo r his strength and
stamina. He spent long hours in the

m ines, breaking rocks and are with h is

New Magic Items
sledgehammer; he produced four times
as much as any of his coworkers.
Havoc, Ihe Mystical Wa r Hammer; An
His young life cha nged when a band
unknown deity forged Havoc thousands
of orcs bur ned his village and killed the
of years ago. The hammer was believed
women and ch ildren while the men
to have been carr ied by a deity, w ho has
were worki ng the mines. His rage was
been wlltching over Sandor.
unstoppable, and thunder and lightning
Havoc is Lawful Good, h as a combined
danced across the sky as he tr acked
ego of 30, a nd commun icates telepathi.
down the orcs. Orc bodies crum pled
cally with its wielder.
beneath his sledgehammer. So great
Havoc is a +3 weapon; +4 vs. evil;
was his destruction, t hat the orcs fled
+5 vs. giants. Havoc's blows de liver 4fearin g to !;tanti agai nst him.
13 O d lO +;j); 5-16 (ldl2 +4) vs. evil; 8 Still in shock and rage, Sa ndor re23 (Jd6 +5) vs. giants
turned to the mines And continued to
If Havoc's wielder has an 18 or better
smash rocks for three dnvs without rest
strength , he can hurl Havoc up to 60
He finally collflp~ed from exhaustion, .
feet. Havoc returns to the wielder's
and when he rlltUl'ncd to Deepmine he
hand whether it str ikes the target.
saw the graves of his parents and
Strength bonuses for damage a pply
s iblings.
whether Havoc is used as a me lee
During the next several years Sandor
weapon or hurled.
wandered in the wilderness. eventually
When the wielder cries " Havoc" in
m eeting a stranger who directed h im to
battle, a clap of thunder s pl its the heav.
the keep of Eltan the ranger lord, a
ens and all enemies within 100 feet of
human who trained people to be war.
the wielder must save vs. spells or be.
riors. Sandor's tuition had been mysteri.
come una ble to attock during the follow.
ously paid for.
ing round. Enemies who fail their saves
However, Sandor's sword ski lls were
automatically lose initiative and fig ht
far from exceptiona l, and he was some.
with - 2 uti;u: k 1'011 and da mage penal.
times " punished" by being assigned to
ties for the following t hree rounds.
break roc ks in the courtyard. He took to
Any ev il creatu re touching Havoc
h is punishment with relish. After one
suffers 8-64 (&18) poin ts of damage, and
such punishment session, and as he had
automatically flees (jflt survives) for
neared the end of his training, Sandor
IdlO minutes.
was summoned to Elton's chamber,
All other beings who touch Havoc
where the r anger prese nted him with
without the wielder's perm ission suffer
an unusual gift.
3-24 (3d8) points of damage.
" I took you into my academy only
Havoc can detect euil continuously;
because your mysterious benefactor
c~st a lightning bolt once per day, three
helped me once long ago," the ranger
times per week, for 3-18 points of dam.
said. " He left th is for me to give to you
age; serious wounds once per day,
when yo u were ready for your destiny.
three t imes per week; commune with
My heart tells me now is the time."
Sandor's unkno wn guardian deity once
Sandor was overcome with awe when
per month (nine questions).
he saw the W('spon, /I huge war hammer
wit h a lightning bol t engraved on its
Helm of Alignment DeteClion; This item
head. Through the next severa l months
allows the wearer to to cast a know
he learned all the properties of the
alignment spell at will , once per turn.
h ammer and that his " mysterious benefactor" was an unk nown deity.
Scarab of Defense: This item improves
The dwarfs adventur es have been
the wearer 's armor class one place.
numerous and led him to becoming king
These items work in conjuction with all
of Shalimar and a know n scourge to all
protective items except each other.
evil . The Thorinson Clan of Yetam (see
issue 127) are some of his many
Transparent Plate Armor: Sandor's
unknown deity gave him this armor.
The suit is nonmagical and gives the
wearer a base armor class of O.



[1D\VD[]lJ~ @mDm~

The Database Is Your Friend-heh, heh, heh

by Roger E. Moore
When t he Traveller game was released
by GDW more than 10 years ago, it
gave m e my first taste of the uni verse of
sciencefi ction role-playing games. Since
the n , many such games have appeared,
each with its own style a nd fl avo r; but
t he majority of them are cut from the
same cloth-space opera. Starships
drive into the endless galactic night.
Interstellar empires span t housands of
diffe re nt worlds. Alien jungles team
with monstrous and hostile life. Desper.
ate men and women stake their fortunes and lives on their laser weapons
a nd wits. It's the glorious, terrifying,
awe-i nspiring futufe of humanity.
But I discovered a basic fact about awe
ins piring futures: they are complicated.
It took a lot of work to bring the galaxy
to life. It helped. to have player s who
were fa ns of TV shows like Star Trek
and of movies like A lien and Star Wars.
These players had an easier t ime the campaign as believab le. But the
burden still fell on me, the game master,
to make the campaign work.
This article a nd those that follow in
this column, "The Livi ng Galaxy," are
for everyone who is involved in or is
thinking of starting a science fiction
role playing gam e campa ig n.

Plain Talk About ... Data

Fantasy scenarios rarely involve any
sort of detective work or library research , except for an occasional visit to
the local sage. Only as PCs e nter the
high-tech cultures of the 20th Century
and beyond does research become im
portant in game adventures. If you
don't do your homework in Cha08ium's
Call ofCthulhll game, t he Mi-Go will
have you and your friends as a light
lunch. Gsngsters mow down the uninform ed in TSR's GANGBUSTERS"
game, and corporate assassin s termi
nate the careless in R. Talsorian's Cyberpunk game. With high technology
comes a despe rate need to know the
facts, a nd you won't have a detect lie,
commune, or legend lore spell available
to you when yo u visit either Miskatonic
University, the Ch icago Public Library,
or the Net . At least one PC is needed on

each team who enjoys the smell of Ii

brary air or is adept at hacking into
As the size of t he role-playing universe expands, the amount of potential
information on that universe also
grows. In science fiction role-playing
games, the ability of the cultures involved to store and retrieve da ta is
assumed to be a lmost unlimited . Data
isn 't just useful-it's everything. In the
ory, player characters in such campa
ings should have the entire su m of
human a nd alien knowledge at their
fingertips, all stored inside t he nearest
user-friendl y computer terminal. It
doesn't mutter if the PCs arc mutant
squirrels in TSR's GAMMA WORLD:!)
game, modern-day monster hunters in
Chaosium's Call ofCthulhu game, or
interstellar adventurers in GDW's MegatraueLler game.
There is a lmost no way to duplicate
this sum of knowledge in ga me terms.
People today talk about "wall-to-wa ll
data" when descr ibing the problems of
dealing with more information than
they want or need. How can a GM sort
through t he staggering mass of knowledge ava ilable to PCs in theory a nd
select the bita that they absolutely need
to know, and make it all r ealistic?
Imagi ne, for example, the problems
facing t he GM of a sh ipload of starfar ing adventurers hot on the trail of
the Lost Starship of the Kojak Nebula.
The PCs eagerly lean over the shoulder s
of their computer wiz as he searches by
modem fo r more information .
" I'm trying t he followi n g keywords!"
yells the computer wiz's player. " I'm

" Uhhh ..." says the GM, who made
up the advent ure on the spur of the
m oment, and now must decide how
much information to give out. How can
he make the adventure work n ow?

Limits On The Infinite

Before starting a science fiction scenar io, the GM must decide wh at limits
exist on informationgathering in his
particular campaign. Fortunately, some
basic limits already exist in the real
world, and these adapt rea dily:

1. The more information that's available to the PCs, the harder it will be to
find th e part of it that they need.
2. The more obscure the information
being sought, t he harder it will be to
find it anyw here.
3. The more important a piece of information is, the harder it is t o find it.
(Thi s is one ofthe many versions of
Murphy's Law.)
4. If a particular piece of information
is especia lly important to the PCs, but
is on a sensitive topic, som eone may
have elim inated or sabotaged many
databases' references to that particular
topic. Deliberately created false information ("m isin formation") exists and
for ma ny reaso ns, not the least of which
are national or corporate security,
greed, criminal inte nt, and paranoia.
5. No matter how up.ta-d a te a data
base is, it is always out of da te. If a
world does not have instantaneous
trave l or comm unication with the rest
of the galaxy, the particular da tabases
found on thu t world will be relatively
complete ollly concerning t h at world.
GOW's Traveller game often played up
on this outdated-data them e in its adventur es. ("But the computer said this
world didn't HAVE nuclear weapons
yet! How can it use them against u s?")
6. Incorrect data exists in euery database. Humans and aliens create libraries and program computers, and to
err is not only human, it is u navoidable.
7. Some data is simply not availa ble
on any computer system or in any li
brary fil es. This information , of course,
is almost always the most critica l information in the adventure. I t is the " big
secret " that the PCs are going to find
out at the end of their quest , and this
knowledge may well destroy the PCs if
t hey aren't careful. This da ta isn't in
the files because no one knows about it
yet (and GMs don't want to spoil the
Think a bout these proble ms when you
are designing your scenario. You don't
want to totally frustrate the players as
ifthey were playing in an a lternate
version of West End Games' Para noia
game, being driven to distraction by
The Computer at every t urn . But you do
want to keep a r ealistic grip on how
much useful data the PCs get at each
step of the game.


Information retrieva l is best done by

keyword searches, th e way you flip
through an encyclopedia or dictionary.
GDW's Traveller game made good use of
this concept by having game booklets
entirely devoted to computer-library
references on subjects that might be
interesting to adventurers (legends,
unusual planets, alie n races, Imperial
history, valuable cargoes, etc.). As each
bit of da ta was called up, the GM would
hand a slip of paper to the computeruser with whatever data he was able to
find printed thereon : very neat, simple,
and clean.
Finding t he righ t keywo rd is tricky,
though . Take the PCs looking for the
Lost Sta rship of the Kojak Nebula. The
keywords STARSH1P and NEBULA
will produce nothing usefu l to the PCs;
it's like look ing up KANSAS in an
encyclopedia to find the street address
of a fr iend in Thpeka . BIG
TREASURES is almost certainly useless. LOST S TARSHIPS looks good, but
the database might bury the data
among u listi ng of hundreds of other
ships lost in space over t he centuries.
The people who put the shipboard computer 's database together may not have
thought t hat th e Lost Starsh ip of the
Kojak Nebu la was even important
enough to be worthy of mention (it
wasn 't very big, after a ll), a nd nothi ng
at all may available on it. KOJAK
NEBULA might be a good reference,
though again it is hard to say if you will
find that lost starship in that one section; it's like hunting for a detailed
description of the wreck of the R.M.S.
Titanic by looking under ICEBERGS or
ha ve to start check ing computer da tabases on every planet t hey find , or even
(groan) trudge over to some local library
and actua lly look at a book .
'Ib succeed in a database search in a
science fiction game, the players must
be clever a nd able to secondguess the
GM. T he sh ip's computer database
might not have much on the Lost Starship of the Kojak Nebula, but if you
went to the Kojak Nebula and looked
for LOST STARSHIPS refe rences on
worlds in t hat region , you might find
somethi ng useful.

Pfio r Proper Planning

All this points up an important rule in
dealing with the Galactic Informati on
Explosion: Plan ahead_ Set up the
elements to yo ur adventure before the
PCs climb aboard their starsh ip- in

fact , long before t he players even reach

your home fo r the evening's game.
The search for information can, in a
good a dventure, power the players and
keep them interested in the quest. Look
at two good examples of adventure
staging tha t are closely tied to informa
tion re trieval : the old Traveller game
adventu re, Twilight's Peak , and the Call
of Cthulhu. module, Shadows of Yog
Sothoth. In each adventure, the PCs
start with little clue as to t he adventur e's big secret. In the for mer, the se
cret is the location of a n a lien base
hundreds of thousands of years old,
filled with items of incredible power
(there's a catch or two, of course). In the
la tter, the secret is a plot to cause
Cthulhu's isl and to r ise a nd tu rn its
best-known inhabita nt loose upon the
world . Do t he PCs start out knowing
everything they need to know? Of
course not. They start with a minor clue
that reveals a little about the main
secret and leads to another clue located
elsewhere, which tells a little more a nd
leads to yet a nother clue .
One game designer described this
process as similar to peeling a n onion ,
with layer upon layer of mystery being
slowly pulled away to reveal t he fi na l
secret. In the Traveller module, PCs can
check d ifferent library keywords to put
together the pieces of t he puzzle that
will allow them to find the legendary
Twilight's Peak.
Each piece of info rmation t hat the
PCs find leads to its own miniadventure in a well-staged adventure
plot. Sometimes the PCs may reach a
dead end or red herring in their search
for information . Sometimes they di s
cover traps within the infor mation
itself, set by t hose who want no one to
uncover the final big secret. But there
should always be a cha nce for the PCs
to find what they need to know to fini sh
the adventure and meet the big secret
face to face- and maybe get blown to
bits by it. (But tha t's what adventu res
are all about, right?)

The Sceptre of Zonos

Here's an example of a n adventure
plot set up for use with science fiction
cam paigns that use space travel a nd
multiple inhabited worlds. Each part of
t he advent ure is reached only by locating and evaluating the data available,
then fo llowing up to see where everyth ing comes out. I make no claims to
or igina lity or brillia nce for th is adven
ture, but you should get the basic idea

on using data retr ieval in an adventure

staging by looking it over. Also note
how the information that t he PCs ga in
at each step of the way is limit ed. Each
piece should whet the player s' appetites
for more data and drive t hem forward .
This adventure begins at a computer
console on a stars hip some where be
tween worlds. Bored with routine ship
duty, a computerwise PC is skimming
the computer database in search of
ancient legends and mysteriespa rt icularly profitable ones, as t he
ship's maintenance bills are eating into
everyone's salary :
"Following the discovery of pre his
toric ruins on Da nfi rt h V II, a n a r
chaeological team unearthed a n
extraordinary number of artifacts
from the great undergrou nd chamber s there, among the m the Sceptr e
of Zonos, which was kept a t the State
Museum a t Zonas un til it disa p.
peared during a revolut ion . The
Sceptre was one of the IInest examples of craftsmanship known from
the race now called t he Nova Folk;
its reported value was in the millions
of credits. Several legends were at
tached to the Sceptre, chief a mong
the m being that the Sceptre was
hau nted by the spirits of the Nova
Folk . Little informati on rema ins on
the Sceptre, as the revolution produced considerable chaos. A betterk nown exam ple of myth making and
prehistoric artifacts is t h e Infinite
Eng ine of Birkoffs World, which is
reported to be hau n ted by dead interstellar ent ities that were sucked into
its electromagnetic hydrogen scoop
a nd destroyed for fuel ...."
The Infinite Engine is merely a dead
end in the main adventur e, being a n
a ncient ramscoop starship that has been
thoroughly explored; it is now a touri st
attraction on a minor world. The
"ghosts" in the engine are m erely stories spread by loca ls for the sake of
attracting more tourists.
The real adventure lies w ith the Scep
tre of Zonos. The PC decides to investi
gate before telling a nyone a bout it, a nd
punches in the keywords SCEPTR E OF
NOVA FOLK. The GM correctly a nticipa ted all of these keywords and ha nds
little slips of paper to the player, giving
prev iously prepared bits of informa tion
on the world of Danfirth V II, the Scep.
tre, a nd the nowex.t inct Nova Folk (who


died out during a war in which t hey

caused the suns of their colony worlds to
nare up and r oast all inh abitan ts in
each system; only the ir homeworld and
Danforth VU escHped).
Zonos turns out to be the only city of
any importance on Danfirth VII, built
inlo t he very ch ambers once hollowed
out by the Nova Folk. The rest of the
Earthsized ice world is uninhabited,
t hough robot mines a re everywhere.
'rho Sceptre wag last seen in the Museum of Zonoli, so the quest for t he Sceptre should continue there.
The PC shares t his information with
his crewmatcs, who a ll decide to make
their way to Danfirth VII and look for
the Sceptre. One clever PC checks the
computer databalle to Bee what sorts of
impOlt.'i Dunfirth VII has, so the PCs
can turn a profit as merchants on th eir
way to the adventure ("I'll try DA N
not thought of an answer to this before
hand, but he is able to improvise after a
quick glance at his more extensive
notes on that world (" Industr ial mining
equipmen t, vitamin supplements, and
basic machine parts for starship e ngines
are always needed.").
The PCs eventually arrive at Danfirth
VII, the largest moon of a giant planet

similar to Jupiter. There the PCs sell

their cargo of vitamins and starship
widgets, then explore the city of Zonas.
The computer at the Museum ofZonos
has more information on the Sceptre,
and the PCs learn of t he circumstances
surrounding its finding and disappear.
ance (though, oddly, there are no ru mors
nbout the Sceptre being haunted). Tho
Sceptre was isolated from the rest of the
museum's works for some reason, and
after a time was taken off display; no
reason for this appears in the database.
The Sceptre vanished just hours before
the mUflCum ifAclf was taken over by
revolutionary Ruu rds. Little real damage
was done to the museum and its displays, as the guards were fanatic nationAlists who wanted to prelerve the site
(their dc:scendants now run t he mu
seum). The museum's former curator a nd
h is staff also diSflppeared before the
guards arrived, and it j", bcljev~d they
fled the city with t he Sceptre.
The PCs are learning a lot. Unfortu
nately, t he computer at the museum is
programmed to note whether anyone
accesses its files on the &Cplre. The
computer t hen releases a specia l message to t he museum's di rectors, a small
but radical group that would like to
recover the Sceptre for reasons of pres

tige. This group sends an agent or two

to follow the PCs just in case t hey come
u p with somethi ng. Following people
like this is a common practice oft his
group, as the PCs are not tho first to
hunt for the Sceptre. T he r adical group
has left the particulars of the Sceptre's
d illappenrance unchanged in the museum's computers to aid nthers in locati ng
it. However, the group's computer experts have carefully edited out refer
ences to the Sceptre being h aunted, as
th is belief is hardly a pleasant one.
If a computer-literate PC ties into a
nonMulleum database a nd looks up old,
obscure news articles from the time of
the revolution , he finds out something
else: The curator who vanished when
the Sceptre did was considered strange
lor hi~ belief that the Sceptre was
haunt.ed. Most legends and rumors
about the Sceptre originated from the
curator's beliefs, which became stronger
over time. He confided h is beliefs to his
family a nd closest friends, who told
about his crazy ideas in t h eir memoirs.
The curator eventually took the Sceptre
off public display, which angered many
local residents, as the Sceptre was a
very popular attraction . Then came the
revolution, and mention of the Sceptre
s lowly faded from the news.


Where do the PCs go next? A search of

the local starport's database might be in
order for records of ship arrivals and
departures during t he revolution. However, the records from that time ar e
incomplete and worthless,
The information search broadens. and

a streetwise PC locates a retirement

home for union employees of the starport. Posing as a galactic historian, the
PC finally find s someone who remembers seei ng the museum curator and his
co-workers at the starport on the eve of
the revolution (the PC h as photos of the
museum personnel from computer files).

The old woman was a dock supervisor.

The curator, she ~ays. was quite mad; he
clutched a ci()th,wl'upped bund le and
gave orders to his staff as ifhe fcared

for his life, but he often spoke gibberish.

She assumed the stress of the day's
events had worn on the man. The mu
seum staff boarded the ship, and it took
ofT. That is all she knows.
If the PC is especia.lly char isma tic the
old woman then confides in him. She
bas been questioned by the directors.
whom she despises. and has never told
th em one secret. The old woman 's eyes
sparkle. "I know where t hat sh ip went;'
she says. " It never len the system; it
didn't have an interstellar drive. The
last thing that crazy old man said as
they were shutting the door on his ship
was, "lb the sun!' "
'Th the sun? Back in the starport, the
crew's astrogator checks the local star
system 's layout and promptly finds that
a tiny asteroid lies in a dose orbit
around the sun. The a.ster oid has not
been previously explored and is not very
impressive, being only a few ki lometers
long. Besides, it is unbel ievably hot, so
hot that it can be approached only by
starships, even space suits won 't protect
crewmen from the star's radiation and
heat. In a fi t of excitement, the PCs
board their ship a nd t a ke off for the
asterord. Bu t on t he way out, t he PC
commun ications officer hears a sad
report on the local ne ws stat ions: someone ha s murdered an old woman at a
retirement home.
The tr ip to t he asteroid is uneventful
after that. T he asteroid appears unremarkable except that it glows a fai nt
red from the sun's heat. (This might be
a good time to have the ai r conditioning
overload and qui t.) As the PCs get
doser, they discover two facts:
1. The asteroid is in captured rotation ,
mean ing t hat it keeps one side a lways
facing the sun.
2. There is a tiny ship appar ently

docked to the " night side" of the aste

roid, shielded from the sun by the asteroid itself. Close inspection and another
computer check shows the ship is an old
in-syst em transport with markings
ty pical of t he pre-revolutionary government of Danfir th VII.
We'll assume the PCs approach the
asteroid and study it, and eventually
send out a crew in space suits to cheek
out the old ship. They can use spacesuits so long as they stay in the sh adow
of the asteroid, out of the sun's radia
tion and heat. The ship is mer ely teth
ered by cables to the asteroid to hold it
in place. PCs who board the ship find it
in vacuum and a ll of its crew deadexcept for the museum curato r, who is
not aboard. It's about this point that
anyone remaining on the PCs' starship
detects a new starship a pproac hing
from the dir eet ion of Danfirth V II. Another com puter check reveals the new
sh ip is an ar med pri vate yacht.
As the P Cs on their own ship deal
wit h the intruder, which turns out to be
crewed by some of the current museum
stafTand its hirelings, the other PCs
access t he database on the old stars hip.
Video and audio interna l-security tapes
are found and saved for later investigation . The intr uder ship flees for the time
being after a brief exchange of lasers
and missiles with the PCs. The tapes
are taken aboard t he PCs' sh ip and
played back. As the old woman said, the
curator seems to be :l raving' lunatic. He
is shown by the sh ip 's internal camer as
to be speaking what sounds like gibberish at t imes, and his stafT seems afraid
of him _Finally, the tapes show the curator donning a spll-cesuit, carefully opening the ship to vacuum (killi ng the
sleeping crew) and leaving throug h the
If anyone scan s t he night side of the
asteroid for unusual features, a circula r
depression is located only a short dist ance away_ It looks like a.crater but is
too precise in shape to be natural.
From this point on, the PCs are not
likely to use their database, though t hey
m ight recall from earlier checks that t he
Nova Folk sometimes used asteroids as
bases and bad learned to move asteroids
around their colony systems. PCs going
to the circular area find that it is a holographic projection covering a dock ing
bay large enough to permit entry of their
ship, and in they go_
The big secr et is only a short distance
away now. The PCs soon will learn that
the Nova Folk were clever as well as
genocidal (and suicidal). They figured

out how to create tremendous solar

fl ares by fi r ing enormous lasers right
into a star's sur face from a dose sola r
orbit. For some reason the Nova Folk
decided to have a civil war , and they
unleashed this weapon against all t he ir
rebel worlds, incin erating their populations in less than an hour. The home
world had earlier and secretl y placed an
asteroid with a sun-blasting superlaser
around each colony world's sun . In most
cases, the homeworld Nova Folk were
a ble to activate these flare-cau sing
weapons by sending a suicide sh ip
whose crew activated the laser in the
rebel system. The flare wo uld melt the
asteroid, destroying it completely, t hen
scour the rebel world minutes later.
This plan fa iled in the Danfirth VII
system, thanks to alert defensive starships, so an alter native plan was developed. The homeworld Nova Folk called
a truce and sent a ship of amba.$sadQrs
to t he rebels of Danfirt h V II , offer ing a
beautiful scepter to t heir ruler as a
token of peace. The rebel leader d is
trusted the gift and h ad it locked-up.
War broke out again shortly thereafter,
a nd biological warfare soon m anaged to
slay all of the rebels as well as their
oppressors on the homeworld .
The Sceptre itself is a mind-reading
and mind-control device programmed to
force any intelligent being grasping it
to get to the asteroid as soon as possible
and activate the superlaser, destroyi ng
a ll life in the system. It is, of course,
many hundreds of thousands of years
too late on its mission. But what does a
self-aware crystalline device know
about time? The curator's body lies
inside the mai n control room, dead of a
heart attack just before he reached the
super laser's controls. Danfirth VII was
saved by luck.
But now the PCs have arrived, and
one of them might grasp the Sceptre
next . ...
What will happen to save t he adven
turers, not to mentio n the whole populat ion of Danfirth VTI? Will the P Cs
capture or destroy t he murderous museum staff? Can the PCs deactivate the
Sceptre? Does t he superlaser even
work? These problems are for the GM
and players to resolve. But you saw how
the PCs often came back to one computer database or another to advance
the plot.
The database is your frie nd. Make it
work for you in your next adventure.


Spy School
Espionage Classes For Agents
by David Myhre
The TOP SECRETIS. I. '~ game syste m
docs not provide for all types of agents
to acqu ire S pedalty Sk ill s which could
be essential to the c<lmplction of espio.
nage missions. However, game masters
can make that provision by sending the
a gents to spy school.

Undercover Campus
New agent train ing at the Orion Acade my lasts s ix weeks.
Its operation falls under the control of
the Ganymede Bureau's G4 Branch .
The Academy is in the Southeastern
United States and ser ves the needs of
t he Capricorn (North America), Aqua rius (Central A merical, and Aries (South
America) Bureaus. The Ganymede Bureau operate!! additiona l agent train ing
centers in other Orioll Bureau areas.
The Academy is known locally as
Langford Seminary Colle ge for Indepen.
dent St.udy. It. resembles a small, r ural
The largest campu s bu ilding is " The
Mansion," which houses the dining
area, kitchen , admin ist.rative offices,
library, communications center, a nd a
small armory. Meals are served in the
mans ion's combination cafeteria and
dining room. In the eve ni ng, the dining
room doubles as a movie theater where
espionage and detective films are shown
Ot.her, nondescript buildings arc used
for classrooms. The largest is a gymna
sium. Beyond it are living quarters for
Academy staff members.
Because the school is next to a quarry
and not. far from a hunting lodge (both
owned and covertly operated by Orion),
demolition and fi rearm classes arc held
without fear of the noise attracting t he
attention of nearby residents. Survival
classes are held in the woods surround
ing t he Academy.

The Staff
The Academy's director is codenamed
Headmaster. He has been at t he Acad
emy longer than any of the instructors.
No one at t he Academy k nows h is real
name or exactly when he arrived at the

school. It is rumored he was an Orion

Fou nda tio n Section Diredor, part oft.he
Headmaster is 5'8" tall, thin framed,
and has thinning gray hair. H is cold blue
eyes stare out. over a large, red handle
bar moustache. His slight. British accent.
colors h is soft, baritone voice. Headmas
ter's usual attire is a tweed suit, always
neatly prl'AAed, white shirt, a nd a regi
menl-al t ic. H C11(Jrlla ti lc r only was seen
wearing a black suit once; that was the
day after three new agents blew them
selves and an instructor into very sma ll
pieC!f!s during a demolition exercise.
Ot her cur ren t members of the Acad
emy stair include instructors, security
personne l, techn icians, and general
stafL The Academy inst ructors also are
referred to by Orion codenames. NPC
instructor statist ics are not presented so
each referee can tailor the instructors to
his or her campaign.
Camisndo teaches demolitions a nd
all the heavy weapon skills. He fill s in
to assist Shamrock in teaching sma ll
arms use to rook ie agents. Camisado
stands 6 ' 6 ~ tall and weighs 250 pounds.
When he demonstrates how to use a
light machinegun, he handles it as
easily as if it were a rifle . Cam isado
calls all of his students "Trooper."
Cyph er teaches t he spycraft subjects
of cryptography, WEB procedures, Orion
procedures, interrogat.ion, a nd Spanish.
A Colombian native, he is a dedicated
ma n who takes very seriously his reo
sponsibilities orturning raw recruits
into agents. Cyphe r prefers kn ives to
guns beca use knives are silent. He
always carries thrf'e t.hrowing knives in
a hidden belt sheath. Cyphcr has been
known to h ave a special interest in
agents who have fought a ga inst t hose in
the drug trade. Rumor hal; it that his
brother was k il led for speaking out
against the drug cartels.
Ferret specializes in covert skills
such as disguise, stealth, shadowing,
and sur veillance. He is 5'9" tall, weighs
180 pounds, and has an average build.
He is in his early 305, and wears his
brown hair cut in a moderate style.
Because he has no remarkable features ,
most people do not remem ber him five
m inutes after they meet him . This cult.i
vated blandness is one of the reasons
Ferret has been so successful. He dou

bles as head of the school's security

Gizmo teaches all of th e Academy's
mechanical skill courses, including
Tinkering. Her blond hair, Southern
drawl, and down-home Alabama outlook
conceal the high intelligence which got
her through the Massachusetts Insti
tute ofThchnology. She usually wea rs
light hlue covera lls, t he pockets of
which arc fi lled with screwdrive rs,
wrenches, wires, and other electronic
oddities. She repairs and controls the
Academy 's vehicles. G i7;mo has been
seen in the company of Wheels on many
Lilac teaches French, Italian , and
1<' irst. Aid . She is from 1<' ra nce , on loan
from t he Gemini (Western Europe) Bu
reau . The delicate woman appears cold,
unemotional. and Uncaring; attitudes
fostered by one of her previous assign.
ments when nil of her teamma tes were
killed. She has been assigned t o the
Academy to keep her out of the fiel d for
a while. She is the newest. instructor,
having arrived two mont.h s ago. Lilac
also serves as the Academy's staff
Mr. Ki is the closeeombat and muscle
powered ra nge weapons instructor. He
doubles by teaching exotic and obscure
weapons skills. From Japan, he is ru
mored to be a Ninja. His students know
him to be mysterious and inscruta ble.
Mr. Ki always wears a wh ite gi with a
white belt. He is unusually polite, put
ting a Mr. or Ms. in front of each agent's
codename. Despite h is sk ill with weap'
ons, Mr. Ki refuses to use firearm s on
missions, believing that a n agent.'s best
weapon is his mind and body, not his
Shamrock, a proud Irishman who
laughs a lot, is the current small arms
instructor. He was retired from active
duty three yea rs ago when he com
manded a Tita n Team and lost most of
hi s lefl.Jeg to an anti.personne l mine.
The artificial limb works well e nough
that new agents cannot usually tell (114
INT check) that t he leg isn 't real. Sham
rock wears a camouflaged jumpsuit.
with an enamel four leaf clover pin on
the collar.
Wheels teaches offensive driving
s kills. If something has tire s, Wheels
co n drive it. He has been at the school


for almost three years and is "about

ready to hit the road:' although the
other instructors aren't sure what he
means by that. His dark blue jllm pslIit.
normally open to the waisL exposes a
tiedyed Tshirt. Wheels speaks like he
just dropped in from the sixties; his
vocabula ry includes the te rms " Fal'
Out" and "Groovy," He has been seeing
Gizmo socially.
All instructo rs serve a minimum of
onc yea r, but. no more tha n four years.
The only exception is Shamrock, who
has been assigned to the Academy per
manently because of his injury.
Security personnel wear da rk blue
jumpsuits and do not display a ny type of
identificat ion on t hei r clothing. However, each has a regular SW ' watch, ID
card, and card case. Gua rds are typi.
cally armed with dart gu ns loaded with
sleep darts. In emergencies, othe r weapons are available in the armory and
stashed at various places throughout
the cumpus grounds. Gua rds have un restr icted access clearances.
Academy technicians, such as me
chanics, armorers, communication
equipment operators, and general
equipme nt repairmen, wear !,'Tay jumps ui ts also devoid of ide ntiricat ion_ Each
has been through security checks and
are cleared for access into most areas of
t he school.
General stafT members wear white
jumpfi uits. They fill maintenance a nd
Bervice suppor t positions, induding
meal preparations, clea ning, and
groundskeeping. They also have been
t hrough security checks and are cleared
for access into many areas of the school .

Introducing The Academy

The Orion Academy can serve a number
of uses in a TOP SECRE1'/S.I. ~ game
campaign and, wit h a name change,
could be modified for use with other
espionage role playing game;;. F or example, PC agents can meet at the school
and be established as a team. The Academy also can be used by experienced
agents who must go back to school to
learn new skills or become more proficient in old skills. PC students could
de velop useful contacts with instructors.
In add ition , veteran PC agents or
wounded agents can be recalled to the
Acade my to teach classes to rookie

The Students
For security reasons, no new agent
knows the location of the Academy.
Each agent is transported to the school
in a private, windowless jet. The age nt
can make a n educated guess about the
school's location, based on the nora and
fauna, but even this would be difficul t ,
as plants and animals from other parts
of the U_S. and from other countries are
placed on the grounds to confm;e CUriOllS
rookie agents. Agents who actually
decipher the Academy's position gl-aduate from spy school with top ho nors.
When new agents arr ive, t hey are
assigned codenames based on a particular theme_ For example, one class was
named fo r melee weapons; Stilletto,
Switchblade, Dagger, and Dirk. Students are instruc ted to use on ly their
Orion codena mes and not reveal the ir
real names and back!,'TOltnds to a nyone
in the Academy_ Students disregarding
the order are dismissed.
When classes begin the students are
given "Treen jum psui ts, modified Orioncomm S W-l watches. 10 cards, and card
cases, which they are requ ired to wear
and cany. The S W 1 watches only have
the low power setti ngs. The 10 cards
have a non-removable red stripe running do wn the center. The card ( ase
docs not have the explos ive charge.

The Curriculum
Basic curricul um, some of which is
elective, includes operation of Orion
Foundation equ ipment, weapons use,
Orion procedures and history, u narmed
combat, WEB methods and procedures,
and various other espionage trlldecrall
s kills not normally learned as part of a
regular profession. Graduates are given
a O-level skill in these areas.
The three mandatory classes arc First
Aid, Orion Prucedures"' , and WEB Procedures"'_ An agent who does not have
the First Aid skill when he arrives at
the Academy will learn the s kill at 0
level; an a gent who al ready has the
skill at 0 or 1. raises it nne level.
In addition to the mandatory courses,
student agents must study two ranged
weapon s kills and two close combat
skills from the followin g lists.
Ranged Weapons
Basic Firearms/Pistol
Knife Throwing

Close Combat
Basic Melee

Students also must select o nc skill

from each of following cate go ries_
S pec ialty I
In te n-ogation

Specialty 2
Pi c kpocket
S u rveillance
Su r vival

Basic Heavy Weapons
Btibery *
Escape Artistty*

Technical 2
Gu nsmithing*
Martial Arts
Seduction '"
Stree t~m ar ts*

,. Denotes new s kill
The fol low ing are new skills not listed
in the TOP S ECRET/S. !.'" game set.

COST: 2/3/5

AT'l': I NT

PRE: -

This ski ll is used when an age nt wants

to reme mber tt certa in p iece of Orionrelated informa t ion or to de te rmine if
a n ite m of Orion-issue equipment was
used properly. Actions which would
require an ORION PROCEDURES roll
include trying to remember where the
Pisces Bureau headquartel's is located
or if the agent was able to operate his
S W-I properly to reach un overhead
satelli te.

COST: 2/5/9

PRE: -

This skill is used when an agent wants

to identify someone who mig ht be a
known WEB agent. or recogniJle evi
dence which could lead to u WEB sponsor ed operation. For example, a
successful WEB PROCEDURES roll
might allow an agent to connect the
company name of Spinner Enterprises
to a WEB plot currently under investigation_


COST: 31214

PRE: -

This s kill a llows an agent t o know

when, how, what, and how much toofTer
someone in a specific situation. The
Wealth advantage gives an agent a +5
modifier per poi nt spent on the advantage when using Bribery.


COST: 4/5/6

PHI!;: 9

Th is is a specialty skill. with Luck pick

iog as a prereq uisite sk ill . The agent
with this skill can esca lle ["rom ropes,
handc ufTs. st l"Uight jackets, a nd other
uncomfortahle situations by popping
joints a nd relaxing muscles. Double
joi nled agents get a + 15 mod iller to
t heil' skill check. Clumsy agu nts s uffer
a - 10 modil1er penalty.
COST: 4/2/4

This is a mechnn ical ski ll and require!!

Basic Tool Use as a prerequisite. 'l'hi s
skill enables an agent to rcpair UI' mod
ify fi relll'ms and to construct silencers.
If the agent lacks the proper tools, a
-20 modifier is a pplied to I'epair at
tempts. A Gunsmithing likiU averoged
wi th a Metalworking sk ill allows the
age nt to build firearm !:! if all the neces
sory components and tools are avui lable
und a successful skill check is made.
Th~ rcfm'ee has the option of declaring
that a particular weapon is too badly
damaged to repair.


This is a spt.'Cialty skill which enahles

an ngent to locate, identify, and neut ra l
i1.e or bypass intrusion d e t~tio n sys
tern!!. Lockpicking, Demolition , or
Safecracking skills arc n eeded to defeat
the physical security (locks) of the target , therefore Lockpicking is considered
a prerequisite. Electronics or Surveil
lance skills give a +5 modifier per level
to the Seclll"ity Systems sk ill ch(.'Ck rol l.
Usc whichever skill is more appropriate
for the modil1er based on the circum
A1'1': WIL
COST: 3 /3/6

PRE: -

This is Ii s pecialty skill which allows an

agent to attempt to use his or he r physi.
cal charms to learn information 01' to
convince a target to do something. At
tractive Appearance III!OWS a +5 modi
fier per point spent on t he advantage.
The Sensuality advantage allows a + to
modifier to the WIL check. Unatt ractive
agents have a -5 modifier per point
s pe nt un the disadvantage. Uncouth
agents have a -20 modifier. PreSence
cnn be II +5 or -5 modifie r, depending
on the total of the other modifiers. All
modifier!! are cumulative when using
this skill.

PRE: -

Agents with this specia lty sk ill know

where the black Inarket usuHlIy can be
found and how to deal with it. They also
can gain in formation a nd servicc from
members of the crimi na! clement. This
skill can lead agel1 ts to WEB crimi nal
act ivities si nce they can move in the
saine circles a s the W B agents. If an
agel1t with t hi s sk ill is not fluent in the
language of the area, the sk ill is used at
112 the sk ill level.



COS1': 4/3/6

COST: 3/2/5

NIT:: 112 INT COST: 5/3/6

PHE: 3,5,7

One catagory of new skills, called

UNUSUAL WBAPONS, is not one of
the Academy 'fi form a l classes, and is
only taught in independent study
courses to ,;tudents with an avid desi re
to learn abou t obscu rc weapons. No
more than two obscw'c wcapons should
be allowed pel' agcnt team. With the
referee's permission , using an obscure
weapon as the aglmt's primary (perhaps
only) weapon could be the agent's ego

War Boomera ng
Plastic Chakram
Metal Chakram

A1'1': MOV

These di sks arc similar to plastic death

rings, but have sharpened outer edges
to caase cutting or slashinu damagc and
do l1<)t contain drugs or poison . Pl astic
chakram can be safely cal'ried thro ugh
a melal detector. Metal chakram do
mol'c damage. Both types arc ava ilable.
COST: 3/4/6


Thi s weapon is also know n as a Chinese

repeati ng crossbow. In welltrained
hands, it is capable of firin g 12 bolts in
15 st.'Conds. The chokonu fires
s pecialiymade, light bolts thut calise
1d4 wound damage, not the 11.16 of u
regu lar cros..'lbow boll. How(Jver, the cho
konu has a magazin(J which holds 12
bolts. Reloading takes two rounds. The
s pecinl bolls cost three dollars ench a nd
only can use standard tips . Other tips
will not feed through the mag-tlzine. The
cost of the cho-konu is so high because
the weapon is considered rare.



40/ 100/200

Spec .
11.16 B
Id4 W
Id6 W

PRE: -

COST: 3/416

PRE: -

This skill is lIsed to throw flat , curved,

thl'owing missiles used by Austt'a lian
ahor igine tribes. "Toy" boomerangs will
return to t he thrower, but on ly do ld4
poinL~ of bruise damage and have a
CCV of 5. Wtlr and hunting boomerangs
do not return when thrown .



Th is skill allows the age n t to t hrow the

South AllIel'ical1 cnlangli ng weapon . ;\
bola consists of two or th,'ce balls a t
tac hed to rope !'Itrands. When thrown
succesfifully, it entangles t he legi' or
arms of t he target, causing Id6 points of
bruise damage. It will cau se the upper
01' lower body to be wrapped with the
rOlle, "cstl'icting the actio ns 0 " move
ments of the target.


PRI~ :

COST: 514/5

A1'1': MOV
COST: 3/4/6

Th is is a mechanical skill with prereq

uisites o fBu ~ic j\l t.'C hanic, l\.lctalwor k
ing, and Electro nic!!. This skill enables
an agen~ to rework, rebuild, modify,
improve, or construct uquipment on an
emergency ba sis uut of almOSL anything
" found " while on :J mission. Devices
s ubjected Ln Lhe attentions of a Tinker
ing agent may be smuller, have more
functions, or have a completely different
appearance. They might even work. If
the agent lacks the proper tools, a -20
modifier is applied to the T inkering
attempt. Age nts with a Basic Science
Deb'Tee get a + LO mod ifier; those wi t h
e it her an EIt.'Ctrical or Mechanicnl Engi
neering Degree get a +20 modifier.
Modifiers arc not cum ulative. The sk ill
level in Tink ering cannot be higher
than the lowest level currently held in
any of the t hree prerequisite ,;kills.


/\'n : r.,'lOV





Notes from HO
C()ntinued {rom page 4

and mail them in. Each new member

should mail in his or her own fOI"m a nd
payment. HQ will record the number of
new members cDch member brin gs in.
The winners will be announced in the
July/August issue of the Newszine and

wi ll be given a s pecial award a t

GEN CONe Game Fair.

Recruit members honestly. Tell the m

about t he benefi ts of being in th e
RPGA" Network and about the
Newszine. That is the best way to get
people to join . Do not sign your Il ame
and number to a bunch of membership
forms and set the m out at conve ntio ns
or hobby s hops. Those conventions a nd
hobby shops-and other mem bers who
see them-let u s know who does th is.
HQ does not consider this recruiting
members and will not award (l prizo to

someone found doing this.

'rhe Grand Prize is the original piece of
artwork used as the cover of
POLYHEDRON'" Newszine '50. Th is
piece or art-the Newszine's first. color
cover- will be matted and rramed a nd
mailed to the Grand Prize Winner in
April. This is a rare opportunity to
acquire an original piece of art by Jeff
Easley, the TSR, Inc. staff artist whose
work graces t he covers ohhe AD&DS
2nd Edition Game books and other
prodUcts. The piece is a collector's item

and feat ures the characters rrom the

Living City's Thysmiths shop. The piece
has a watercolor background with an
animation eel overlay and is signed by
the arti st.
Second place is a $100 gin certificate
to the Mail Order Hobby Shop; third
place is a $50 gift certificate to the Mail
Order Hobby Shop; and fourt h place is a
$25 gift certificate to the Mail Order
Hobby Shop.
Everybody wins in t he membership
drive because members partici pating
recei ve a onemonth extension on their
own memberships for every new memo
ber they recruit. The more me mbers you
recruit, the longer you extend you r own
mem bersh ip. And iryou recrui t. a lot. of
m~mbers you could win one or our top
Severa l Network members told m e
they didn 't participate in last year's
drive because they didn't think they
had a chance to win. There's no excuse
now. r challenge each member to recruit
at least one person to join t he Network
du ring the first three months of 1990. It
m ight be someone new to the hobby, a
friend you have gamed with for years
and who reads yo ur Newszines a nd
competes in to urnaments but never
bothered to join, or it might be someone
who belonged years ago a nd let his or
h er me mbership lapse. Just get out
there and recrui t them. Do it to extend
your membership, or do it for a chance
at the Grand Prize. Above all , do it for
the Network.

T-Sh irt Winner

Our last contest was a competition to
write the best caption ror a cartoon
featurin g a dancing sword, a magic
u ser, and a fighte r. We received a multi
tude or entries from throughout the
world, and nearly all of them made
reference to the sword. One of the most
unusual entries was a postcard-sized
coaster reoturing a Marilyn Monroe
lookalike. The winner, who coincidentally also was the individual who submitted the most entries, was Mark
Ericson of Wisconsin . His winning caption is displayed to the len.

What Do You Think

"So he said, Jr yo u're so powerful,
make me a dancing sword."

It's importa nt to the Network staff to

learn wh at the members think about
the POLYHEDRON Newszine. We want
to know if we are giving you the mix of
articles for various game systems that
you enjoy and usc. We can't print what

yo u want to see unless yo u tel l us what

you like.
Set aside a few minu tes a nd jot down
some oryour feelings abo ut the
Newszine and abo ut some of the fea
tures you would like to see printed. We
read e very letter that comes to the Network .

Welcome Aboard
I'm pleased to announce tha t the Network has hired an a ddi tio n al staff memo
ber. Skip Williams, associate editor or
the New!;zine, has come on board to edit
tournaments, Newszine submissions,
and perform a my riad of other tasks to
help keep the Network running
smoothly. During the past fe w years the
Network expanded its tour nament pro
gram, improved the Newszine, began
offering more services, revamped the
club prOb'Tam, and incrC06ed the offer
ings a t GEN CON Game Fair and
othe r conventions. Bul we hadn't in
creased the stafTto help keep up with
the workload. Fortunately, t hat situa
t ion has changed, and S kip and I will
work to keep up wit.h th is increased
workload, while still trying to improve
services and remain sane.
Skip has worked as a freelance editor
for t he Network for nearly t he past
three years, and has served as an editor
fo r the Newszine s ince issu e 140. In
addition, he has volunteered uncount
able hours to help the Network at can
ventions throughout the midwest and
with other projects.
Skip has co-authored several Network
tournaments. is DRAGON Magazine's
"Sage Adv ice" columnist, and will be
the author of next month's Notes From
HQ column, where he will discuss submitting articles to the New szine and ror
consideration for ruture Living City

Next Issue
In POLYHEDRON Newszine 152 , we
will re lease a list of our RPGA Network
Regionll l Directors and the ir a ddresses,
along with the states and countries they
are responsible for. Al so featured will be
an AD&D 2nd Edition game New
Rogues Gallery and an advent ure for
West End Games' Paranoia game.
Take Care,

J ea n


The Oownunda Patlsserle

Continued (rom page 17

all his possessions were forfei ted except

the gem that Jemima had hidden. The
family left in shame for what Arvend
had done.

Karl Chisolm


older- depending on whether his alignment is acceptable to any temple his

mother allows him tojoin . Ifhe does not
join a temple, he probably will he lp out
in the shop when he leaves school.
Karl's main occupation when not studying is playing Papers a nd Paychecks
with h is friends .

Karl is 13 years old, 5'5 tall, and

weigh s 143 pounds. He has piercing
gray eyes and jet black hair. As the
baby of the fam ily, he is spoiled, and he
loves it. He loves his famil y more for
what they do for him than loving them
for themselves. Like all teenagers, he
knows exactly what he wa nts to be-a
great hero. Jemima is not worried about
this, as she believes Karl will grow out
of it.
Karl is dil igent in his lessons, and he
might become a cleric when he is

PCs can buy any treat s they like in

the Downu nda Patisserie , and if t hey
are careful and don't reveal themselves
as adventurers they might get some
useful information from Jemima or
from other customers. If a ny PCs manage to get Allison alone and offer her a
pl ace in the party, she wi ll join as a first
level thief or magic user, provid ing a
party member will appt'entice her in
eit her class or maybe in both .

o Level Male Human


AC Normal: 6
AC Rear: 10
Hit Points: 2
Align ment: Chaotic Neutral
Weapon Proficiencies: None
Special Abilities: None
Lan guages: Common, El vish


RPGA'" Network


Let The Network Wear On You


Be a sharp dresser and show your gaming colors at the same time by
wearing one of the Network's new T-shirts. The shirts, which are a
calion/polyester blend, display the Network's blue and green logo on a
black field. And best of all . th ey are only $8 each.
They are designed by Network member and artist Ray VanTilburg .


W 0

Don 't delay another moment! Make your fashion statement now by filling out the order
Make sure you stale the size yo u want.

N8me: _____________~~~-----------------

For Credit Card Orders:

1...... _1


Address: ____________-;;:::::;;::;-_________________

Membership Nu mber: _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _
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APG ... Notiworio. po. eo. 51 5. lake G_VI. WI S3 147

MOI.O .'1'IU., 8LoooftOClSl.

_I'LLGIT "'''nlH
Of' Y !


Tournament Request Form

Tournament Types
'Iburnament types which can be requested a re Feature, Masters, Grand Masters, Benefit, and Team. Masters and.
Grand Masters tournaments are open to members only. 1b participate in a Masters tournament, a judge or player
must be at least 3rd level ; for a Grand Masters tournament, a judge or player must be at least 5th level. Masters and
Grand Masters tournaments are not available to first-time conventions. All proceeds from Benefit tournaments must
go to a charity of the convention organizers' choice.

Conventions which attract fewer than 200 garners are usually limited to four Network tournaments. Exceptions will
be made if those conventions provide some of their own Network-sanctioned events. large conventions are nollim
itcd to four tournaments; use a dditional forms and include a page number in the upper left corner of each form to
request more scenarios . The Network cannot guarantee that a ll tournament requests will be filled due to limited
ava ilability of some scenarios. All requests should be made at least six months in advance of the convention.

Tournament Fees
The Network will provide onc complete copy of a tournament fo r a fee of $5 a round. For example, a three-round
AD&DS game tournament carries a fee of$15. If the convention provides some of its own tournaments, which must
be approved by HQ before sanct ioning is granted, t hi s fee is waived. Convention organizers should submit tournamenls six to eight months prior to the date oftheir convention. The Network reserves the right to use submitted
tournaments for one year at conventions throughout the world, and will frequently use them longer if the authors
Additional fees: Convention organizers requesting morc than one copy of a tournament will be charged $2 per round.
For exa mple, an additional copy of a three-round AD&D game tournament carries a fee of $6. These fees are necessary to help HQ cover postage costs.
The Network provides gift certificates for tournaments it sponsors at conventions. For a three-round tournament. we
provide $15. $10. and $5 gift certificates for lst, 2nd, and 3rd places. respectively. For a two-round tournament, we
provide $10 and $5 give certificates for 1st and 2nd places. And for a one-round tournament, we provide $5 gift certificates for 1st place. These certificates can be redeemed through the Mail Order Hobby Shop or at the TSR booth at
Tournaments Avai lable
The Network has tournaments for a variety of game syste ms. Here is a list of many of the systems:
AD&Dgame, D&Dgame, GAMMA WORLDgame, BOOT HILLgame, TOP SECRETIS. I. '" game,
MARVEL SUPERHEROES'" game, all produced by TSR, Inc., Paranoia by West End Games, Runequest by Avalon
Hill, GURPS by Steve Jackson Games, James Bond by Victory Games, 1\vilight 2000 by GDW, 2300 by GDW, Mega
Traveller by GDW, Space 1889 by GDW, Thenagers From Outer Space by R. Thlsorian Games. Teenage Mutant Ninja
'furtles by Palladium Books, Revised Recon by Palladium Books, Warhammer by Games Workshop. Champions by
Iron Crown Enterprises. Chill by Mayfair, DC Heroes by Mayfair, Harnmaster by Columbia Games, Star Trek by
FASA, Ars Magica by Lion Rampant, and more.
All sanctioned tournaments must use the Network's scoring and a dvancement system-No Exceptions. Further, scor
ing sheets, which are provide by the Network, must be properly completed and returned within a few weeks after
the convention. All Network members who participate in sanctioned tournaments are awarded points in the Network's international ranking syste m of players and judges.
Send this form to: RPGA' Network, P.O. Box 515, Lake Geneva, WI 53147



The RPGA'M Network is an international organization of gaming enthusiasts

dedicated to excellence in rOle-p laying games. If you're looking
for Gamers who share your interest in role-playing games.
and jf you want to know more about what's coming from TSR, Inc..
join the RPGA Network. It was created just for you! And for about
the price of one game. you can enjoy all of
N et work the following . ..


As a member of the RPGA Network you will receive .. .

An attractive RPGA Network pin.
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A l-year subscription to POLYHEDRON" Newszine.
In each bimonthly issue of this award-winning 32page
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members, gel updates on RPGA Network meetings and
activities, and read exclusive illustrated articles about your
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An Identil ication Card with your membership number and
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A 10% discount on all your gaming needs from

The opportunity to attend-and even run-ollicial APGA
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recognized lor your talents worldwide.
Inlormation on how to start your own local APGA Natwork
Information about how you can participate in
RAVENS BLUFP', the Living City. a major APGA Network




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