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Dragon # (4e) - Table of contents: EditorialAmpersandDragon Watermarked PDF Dragon Anniversary: Consult Limb Loss Subtable. All material published in DRAGON Magazine becomes the exclusive property of the publisher, unless special .. progress to 2nd level at EP, 3rd at past iterations of Dragon Magazine, you should expect to see many a monthly pdf compilation of the whole issue at the end of the month.


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Dragon #pdf - Free ebook download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or view presentation slides online. It was replaced with HTML articles starting with #, a full PDF magazine starting with #, and then return to HTML with # This entry describes issue Dragon Magazine - pdf, , MB. Dragon Magazine - pdf, , MB. Dragon Magazine - pdf.

Notation 7, read simply as Warrior captures Unicorn, can be used if only one such capture is possible. Ground tremors are common, and a sudden, violent eruption or the opening of a fissure in the earth is not unusual. After coming up with justifications for a goofy fighter or an absent-minded wizard, the jester was the easiest class for me to slip into. It cannot move to or capture pieces located on the upper or lower boards. Log In I am new here.

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Original electronic Scanned image These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher. The result of this OCR process is placed invisibly behind the picture of each scanned page, to allow for text searching.

However, any text in a given book set on a graphical background or in handwritten fonts would most likely not be picked up by the OCR software, and is therefore not searchable. Also, a few larger books may be resampled to fit into the system, and may not have this searchable text background. For printed books, we have performed high-resolution scans of an original hardcopy of the book.

We essentially digitally re-master the book. Unfortunately, the resulting quality of these books is not as high. It's the problem of making a copy of a copy. We mark clearly which print titles come from scanned image books so that you can make an informed purchase decision about the quality of what you will receive.

Original electronic format These ebooks were created from the original electronic layout files, and therefore are fully text searchable. Also, their file size tends to be smaller than scanned image books. Most newer books are in the original electronic format. Both download and print editions of such books should be high quality. To use them, you must activate your Adobe Reader software.

Click here for more details. Here is a sample of a page from a watermarked book: File Last Updated:. Publisher Average Rating. See All Reviews. Publisher Website. See all titles Need help? Common Questions FAQ. Contact us. My Library. Affiliate System. Capture is accomplished in the same manner. A Hero can also move up or down one board at a time, going to any square diagonally adjacent to the square directly above or below its former location.

A move back to the middle board is accomplished the same way. When located on the upper or lower board, a Heros only move is to return to the middle board; it cannot travel to any square other than the one to which it ascended or descended. A move. Thief The two Thief pieces for each side start the game adjacent to the Heroes2d1 and 2i1 for Gold, 2d8 and 2i8 for Scarlet.

A Thief moves and captures exactly as a bishop, going any number of squares diagonally as long as no piece interferes with its path of movement. It cannot move to or capture pieces located on the upper and lower boards. Thief Middle Board. Mage The Mage for each side starts on the square adjacent to the Cleric2f1 for Gold, 2f8 for Scarlet. On the middle board, a Mage moves and captures in the same way as the queen, able to follow an unobstructed path in any horizontal, vertical, or diagonal direction.

In addition, a Mage can move and capture, if applicable directly upward or downward across one or more boards. However, a Mage on either the upper or lower board is limited to a move of one square in a horizontal or vertical direction. A Mage located at 2c4 move up to 3c4, and on its next move could go downward two boards to 1c4.

If the Mage then remained on the lower board, it could only move to 1c5, 1d4, 1c3, or 1b4. The King for each side begins on the square adjacent to the Mage2g1 for Gold, 2g8 for Scarlet.

The King moves and captures similarly to a king in standard chess. In addition, the King may move and capture by shifting one square directly up or down.

A King that has moved to the upper or lower board cannot move upon those boards, and must return to the middle board before it can again move and capture normally. The Paladin for each side begins in the square adjacent to the King2h1 for Gold, 2h8 for Scarlet. On the middle board, a Paladins movement and capture abilities are a combination of those of a king and a knight.

It can also move upward or downward with a knight-like move, i. Upon the upper or lower board, the Paladin is limited to a king-like move and capture of one square in any direction.

A Paladin located at 3c4 can move between boards to any of the following squares: A Dwarf that reaches the opponents back rank is limited to horizontal moves on the board it occupies, and also retains the ability to move between the lower and middle boards in the manner described above. A Basilisk cannot move off the lower board or with the exception of the freezing power capture a piece on any other board.

The six Gold Dwarves start on the dark-colored squares of the second rank on the lower board; the six Scarlet Dwarves begin the game on the light-colored squares of the seventh rank on the lower board. The diagram below depicts a Gold Dwarf moving toward Scarlets side of the board.

Similar to a Warrior, a Dwarf can make a non-capturing move one square vertically ahead, and captures ahead diagonally. In addition, a Dwarf can make a non-capturing move one square in either horizontal direction, and it can capture an opposing piece on the middle board that lies directly above the Dwarf. If a Dwarf moves to the middle board by means of a capture, it retains the movement and capture powers it has on the lower board, but a Dwarf cannot move to or capture pieces located on the upper board.

It may return to the lower board by a move directly down to an unoccupied square; i. A Dwarf on 1d4 could move without capturing into 1d5, 1c4, or 1e4; it could capture an opposing piece located on 1c5, 1e5, or 2d4. A Dwarf on 2d4 could return to the lower board by moving to. The two Gold Basilisks start on 1c1 and 1k1; the Scarlet Basilisks start on 1c8 and 1k8.

A Basilisk moves one square at a time, either ahead diagonally or vertically or backward vertically. It captures by forward movement only. A Basilisk also has the unique ability of freezing an opposing piecebut not a friendly piecelocated directly above it on the middle board, such that the opposing piece cannot move until the Basilisk is moved or captured.

This freezing is automatic and involuntary; the player owning the Basilisk cannot choose not to immobilize the piece, and does not have to specifically declare that the freeze is in effect.

If the opposing King is the piece being frozen, the King is checkmated if any other piece attacks it and the opponent is unable to capture the attacking piece or interpose a piece to blunt the attack.

A Basilisk located on 1d4 can make a move or a capture into 1c5, 1d5, or 1e5. It can move to 1d3. The Gold Elemental starts on 1g1; the Scarlet Elemental begins the game on 1g8. An Elemental can move one square diagonally or one or two squares horizontally or vertically. It captures only on horizontal or vertical moves. It may move up to the middle board to make a capture by moving one square horizontally or vertically and then directly upward.

It may remain unmoving on the middle board if so desired, or it can return to the lower board by a reverse of the upward move, i. The upward move can only be made if a capture is involved, but the downward move can be made without capturing.

An Elemental on 1d4 can move but not capture into 1c5, 1e5, 1e3, or 1c3. It can move or capture into 1d5, 1d6, 1e4, 1f4, 1d3, 1d2, 1c4, or 1b4. It can capture upward into 2d5, 2e4, 2d3, or 2c4. An Elemental on 2d4 can move or capture downward into 1d5, 1e4, 1d3, or 1c4. At first, it may be difficult for players to envision and properly execute the upward or downward movement of pieces. However, thinking in three dimensions will come easily after one or two practice games are played.

Perhaps the hardest single concept to grasp is the idea of intervening squares on moves from one board to another. The general rule is this: If a piece is unable to vault over intervening squares in its basic two-dimensional move, then it is likewise unable to move between boards if a piece blocks the path it must take.

Specific applications for particular pieces are as follows: The Griffon, the Hero, and the Paladin all have the knight-like ability to vault intervening squares, and this applies on any upward or downward move made by those pieces. The square directly above or below the piece in question need not be vacant. The Mage can move from the lower board to the upper board or vice versa in a single move, but it cannot vault intervening squares.

Thus, in order for the Mage to travel upward from 1d4 to 3d4, the square at 2d4 must be vacant. The Elemental is something of a special case. Its move between boards is a two-step process, and it cannot vault over intervening squares. Its upward move begins with a shift of one square horizontally or vertically on the lower board; thus, at least one of the squares horizontally or vertically adjacent to the Elemental must be vacant in order for it to make an upward move.

The Elemental is even more restricted when moving down from the middle board; since the horizontal or vertical move is preceded by a move directly down, the square immediately beneath the Elemental must be vacant in order for it to make a downward move.

Two conventions of standard chess are not part of the Dragonchess rules. The Warrior is unable to move two squares ahead on its first move, and as such it is not possible for a Warrior to capture en passant as a pawn does. Also, because of the multiple boards, greater area of play, and larger number of men, castling is not possible in Dragonchess.

Movement and Capture Notation The method of recording moves in Dragonchess is basically the same as for standard chess, with certain differences explained earlier to account for the different names of the pieces and the multiple boards.

The following examples cover all the situations that could occur in a game: Read it as Warrior moves to 2f3. In most cases, a non-capturing move can be noted simply by naming the type of piece being moved W and the square it moves to 2f3. Read notation 2 as Sylph at 3e2 moves to 3d3. In this notation, a hyphen is used to separate the location square from the destination square. Notation 3 can be used if only one Warrior is capable of moving to 2e3, and if that move involves a capture.

Notation 4 is more specific, using the x to indicate a capture. Read as Warrior captures unspecified piece at 2e3. Read as Warrior at 2d2 captures at 2e3. Notation 6 includes the identification of the type of piece capturedin this case, the Unicorn located at 2e3. Notation 7, read simply as Warrior captures Unicorn, can be used if only one such capture is possible.

400 pdf dragon

In most cases, the proper notation would be 4, 5, or 6, or a minor variation on one of those. The important thing is to describe each move in such a way that the notation could only refer to one specific move by one specific piece. This will avoid possible confusion if the moves of a game are to be studied or replayed.

Read as Warrior moves to 2f8 and is promoted to a Hero. Read as Dragon captures unspecified piece at 2c4. To avoid the awkward Drx usage, this move could be written as Dr2c4 since any move by the Dragon involving a square on the middle board must necessarily be a capture from afar. Read as Unicorn captures Oliphant with check. Other Symbols Values of the Pieces The complexities of multiple-board play and the varying powers of the pieces in Dragonchess makes absolute valuation far more difficult than it is for standard chess pieces.

In chess, a pawn is valued at 1, knights and bishops at 3, rooks at 5, and the queen at 9. If the king were not of infinite value, its movement and capturing power would give it a value of 4. The approximate relative values of the pieces in Dragonchess is detailed below, to give players an idea of which exchanges are beneficial and which are not.

For instance, the trade of a Hero for a Griffon is roughly an even exchange, while the trade of a Basilisk for an Oliphant will generally result in a material advantage for the player losing the Basilisk. However, it should always be kept in mind that the true value of a piece in any game situation depends primarily on the pieces location and its role in the game, rather than on its theoretical movement and capture powers.

Double check dbl ch occurs whenever a move enables one or more pieces to give check at the same time.

400 pdf dragon

Discovered check dis ch occurs when the move of one piece opens a path that enables a different piece to give check. And mate, of course, is checkmate noted on the final move of a game, when the King is attacked in such a way that it cannot avoid being captured on the attackers next move. No special notation is given for the Basilisks freezing power, since it is not technically a move or a capture, and since it is automatically assumed that any piece occupying the square above the Basilisk is frozen.

Thus, a notation of B1e3 makes it clear that a the Basilisk now occupies square 1e3 and b any opposing piece located at 2e3 is thereby immobilized as long as the Basilisk remains where it is.

Strategic and Tactical T ips No single piece of texteven one many times longer than thiscould fully describe and analyze the myriad positions and situations that can occur in Dragonchess. However, some general strictures are apparent from an examination of how the various pieces move and capture, and certain basic facts of chess strategy apply equally to Dragonchess.

Mobility is all-important, and, just as in chess, control of the central squares is usually a prerequisite for victory. The rectangular board of Dragonchess makes the central squares area somewhat more difficult to define than it is in chessbut it certainly is.

It could be described as a 2-by-6 rectangle with 2d4, 2d5, 2i5, and 2i4 as its corners; or, a 2-by-8 rectangle extended out on either side; or, a 4-by-4 rectangle in the center of the middle board. In any event, the side that does the better job of controlling the center squares will have a greater amount of mobility and will more easily be able to bring pieces to bear upon critical squares anywhere on the playing surfaces.

In many instances, the square that a piece stands on is not as important as the squares that the piece controls. Players should be mindful of moving their pieces into positions where they command a large number of squares, thereby limiting the opponents ability to occupy those same locations.

In general, it is wise not to bring the big guns particularly the Mage and the Paladin into active positions until some of the minor pieces have been developed.

Making a lot of moves with the Mage for instance early in the game is usually a bad idea, because this delays the development of other pieces that could have been moved out instead, and because this could subject the Mage to a series of harassing attacks from the opponents minor pieceswhich are being developed at the same time that they are doing the harassing.

In chess, this phenomenon is known as a queen hunt, and it has led to the downfall of many a player who had visions of ravaging the opposition with sweeping moves of the queenbut instead ended up without a queen to move. It is no accident that each sides Dragon begins the game directly above the King of the same side. While the Dragons are obviously powerful offensive pieces, each must play predominantly a defensive role to begin withfor if one Dragon sallies forth on the upper board to wreak havoc upon the opponents middle-board pieces, the King may be left vulnerable to a quick but deadly attack from the opposing Dragon.

Dragonchess The power of the Basilisk to immobilize an opposing piece has a lot of potential for use in offensive and defensive strategy. To help protect one of your own pieces, move it to the square above one of your Basilisks.

Then, if it is captured, the capturing piece is frozen and you can capture it more or less at your leisure without necessarily having to make the return capture immediately. A well-timed Basilisk move can lead to an abrupt checkmate even if the opposing King is not the piece that is frozen, in a case where the Basilisk immobilizes a piece that was crucial to the defense of the King. Except for the fact that it occupies a square on the board, an immobilized piece can be treated as if it did not exist.

An immobilized Mage may be better than no Mage at allbut not by much. In general, the pieces on the lower board especially the Dwarves do not play critical roles in the opening or the middle game, but if the Dwarves havent already been moved too far forward, they can be very useful in the endgame when relatively few pieces remain on the board as defensive outposts, to prevent the opponents middle-board pieces from penetrating too deeply into the territory nearest your side of the board.

Do not underestimate the power of the Cleric. Of the five types of pieces that can move up or down to any of the three boards, the Cleric is the only one that moves and captures in the same fashion regardless of which board it occupies. The Paladin and Mage are limited in their mobility when not on the middle board, to such an extent that they will not generally spend much time on the upper or lower boardand the Heroes and the King, although they can move to the upper or lower board, cannot move on those boards, and the King especially can be easily trapped if left on the upper or lower board for any longer than necessary.

P utting Together a G ame For reasons that should be obvious, this presentation could not include actual components for a Dragon chess gamemaking a board and filling it with pieces must be left up to you.

For our playtesting and development purposes, we constructed a board from sheets of plexiglass with contact paper applied to form the checkerboard patterns. The boards were spaced approximately six inches apart, allowing enough room for hands to reach in and manipulate pieces. Through these holes we inserted threaded metal rods, fastened into place with connectors to space the boards properly and capped on each end with plastic knobs to prevent scratching the surface on which the entire board is placed during play.

It probably isnt necessary to build a three-dimensional board; three flat rectangles placed in a row on the tabletop could be used to represent upper, middle, and lower levels. But its a lot easier to visualize the up-and-down moves of pieces if the playing surface is actually composed of three levels. The pieces came from our collection of metal miniatures, and they do not in all cases exactly resemble the pieces they represent. For instance, we used centaur figures for Oliphants because we couldnt find any 25mm scale elephantsand even if we could have, they would have been too large for the board.

Any sort of pieces will do, even simple tokens, as long as each type of piece looks distinctly different from the others. The Great Dragonchess Playtest By Kim Mohan Its terrific to see Dragonchess get dusted off and shined up a little for the th issue since Dragon showed the world Gary Gygaxs vision for a fantasy chess game.

When I glanced back over the article, I got to thinking. I remember it like it was, oh, twenty-six years ago. The Board Roger made the board thats briefly described at the end of the article. With plexiglass and threaded rods and plastic knobs and all, it was an impressive sight. Boy, its big, I said. Roger looked at me like he was expecting a better compliment. And it looks nice too, right? Nice and big. The Pieces By planning ahead the way good playtesters do, Roger and I assembled a collection of pieces in advance of when we would actually need them.

Like the article says, we used figures from our well, Rogers lavish collection of metal miniatures: Dragonchess The ultimate goal was to paint the figures up real nice, but for now we went with a coat of primer on one sides pieces to distinguish them from the other, sort of like shirts and skins. To give the components as we playtesters call them some uniformity and stability, we glued the bases of the figures to coinspennies for the little guys, maybe up to quarters for the dragons.

Even back then, no one could find a cent piece. Now here they all were, spread out on the table next to the board. Eighty-four hunks of metal with eighty-four hunks of metal attached to them. I think if we ever lifted them all up at one time, they would have weighed ten or fifteen pounds. We never did lift them all up at one time. Okay, who gets to be gold? I said. You mean light gray?

I made the board, so I get the first move. Sure, you set up the light gray and Ill set up the dark gray. You mean the unpainted, said Roger. Unpainted is not a color, I shot back, getting the better of the artist. The Setup As you might imagine, arranging all the pieces on the board was pretty time-consuming. As you might also imagine, ten or so pounds of pewter and currency did some stressful things to our playing surface.

It should have been a clue that when we put our 4-inch-tall dragons down on the upper board, the whole apparatus quivered. We set up the middle board next, and by the time we were done that piece of plexiglass had begun to develop a noticeable sag through the middle of the long side.

Hey, the board is collapsing, I pointed out. Curving a little, not collapsing. For an editor, you sure dont choose your words very well. Pieces are leaning and sliding toward the center of the board even as we speak.

Its those pennies making everything heavier, opined Roger. I didnt figure on the extra weight. Admit it, man. You didnt figure on any weight. Should have used extra-thick plexiglass.

This is extra thick. It took me like a week to drill each of the holes for the rods. Yeah, suffer for your art. Now what have we gota board thats becoming U-shaped as we watch. So lets hurry up and play before the whole thing collapses, okay?

The Game Roger moved the Warrior in front of his Paladin ahead one square thats W2h3 for those of you scoring at home. We held our breath, waiting for it to slide down into the gully that the f and g files were becoming. It did move a few millimeters, but then it got hung up on the edge of the contact paper that distinguished the dark square g3 from the light square h3. Okay, I think its stopping there, I said. I then made the same move on my side, putting my Warrior on the dark square at 2h6, and I discovered the contact paper was kind of slippery.

My little Warrior, already listing toward the middle of the board, didnt stop moving until he was half into the next square. New rule, said Roger, bringing us back to our purpose. If you have to touch a piece to move it back where it slid from, that doesnt count as your move. Ill make a note of that, I said, pushing my Warrior back uphill. I dont think theres going to be a lot of interest in the curvy board variant, but for now I think its the only way were ever going to finish a game.

We made some more moves and actually tried to play a smart gamecontrol the center and all that. Thing is, when youre both trying to control the center, a lot of pieces end up in that vicinity. By the time we were in what passed for the middle game, the. The more the center sags, the worse the slope gets on the outside edges, I pointed out. Thank you, Mr.

Obvious, Roger replied. No need for sarcasm. Im just saying that, if this trend keeps up, my strategy for launching an attack from the perimeter is pretty well ruined by the fact that anything I put along the edge of the board is going to fall over and tumble into the gully. So come up with a new strategy then.

Okay, heres my new strategy. You build a board that doesnt collapse and let me know when its done. You have some responsibility here too, said Roger. Wasnt it your idea to put the pennies on the bases?

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Heck, no. Im telling the story, and I say it was your idea. Anyway, the pennies arent the problem. Its the pewter. Maybe so. I guess we could use plastic figures instead of metal ones. That would cut down on the weight, eh? Yeah, but plastic miniatures are for kids, man. Theyre just toys. Thats an idea thatll never get off the ground. Kim Mohan was the editor of Dragon magazine back in the day and for lots of days after that. He swears that everything in this article is more or less true.

Back in the day, character classes like the jester were marked as NPC classes, but I dont know anyone who obeyed that stricture. What was the fun of creating new classes but putting them out of a players reach? With that out of the way, its easy for me to peg why the jester class has so much appeal to me. Anyone who has played in a long-term campaign with me knows that I love playing colorful characters. My serious characters are usually the result of playing in campaigns like Living Greyhawk a goofy character might get a strangers character killed, so thats bad form , trying something different, or fitting in with a group that wanted to strike a serious tone.

All things being equal, though, I like playing oddballs. Ive played a half-orc cleric of Moradin who, due to overly protective adoptive dwarf parents, thought he was a very tall dwarf.

My character in a modern-day action game was a research scientist who bred epic-level bad luck in everyone around him. The one warlord I played had the tactical sense of a banana and the insight and perception of Mr.

What can I say, I like laughing at the table. Thus, the jester was the perfect class for me. After coming up with justifications for a goofy fighter or an absent-minded wizard, the jester was the easiest class for me to slip into.

I didnt have to come up with a weird back story or a hook. The class spoke for itself. Best of all, Roger Moore, the jesters creator, made this class work. The spell list is exactly the sort of stuff a troublemaking player wants to use. Climbing walls and picking pockets are the starting points for sending an adventure in a completely weird, unexpected direction.

Best of all, access to shields, leather armor, and spells made the class actually viable. You werent blasting enemies to cinders or pulling the fighter back from the brink of death, but a jester did pull his own weight. Of course, if youre going to play a jester, you have to go with a gnome. Ive always had a soft spot for that race because of its natural fit with the jester class.

With the release of the original Dragonlance trilogy, I had an entire mountains worth of evidence that gnomes were supposed to be played as complete goof balls. Unfortunately, Ive never had the chance to play the class on an extended basis. Once 3rd Edition rolled around, the jester didnt show up until I updated it for inclusion in Dragon Compendium by Paizo Publishing. So, in honor of those loonies and crackpots like myself, heres the original jester.

By Roger Moore Jesters are adventurous non-player characters with an overwhelming sense of the absurd. They roam from place to place, telling tales, pulling practical jokes, insulting the most fearsome of monsters and characters, and generally making nuisances of themselves. Because of their outlook on the world and their special powers, they may prove potentially useful or annoying to adventuring parties.

Any human or demi-human race may have jesters, but only humans, half-elves, and gnomes have unlimited advancement in the class. Half lings may go to 12th level before their jokes get boring, and elves may go to 10th level before their jokes get too exotic. Dwarves are not very humorously inclined and may only reach the 6th level.

Since half-orcs and their kin all think things like thumbscrews and iron maidens are marvelously comic feelings not shared by many other people , they may only attain the 4th level of experience.

Half-elves can advance without limit because they are able to draw from human and elven comedy and thus have a richer sense of humor. Gnomes are more adventurous on the whole than half lings are, and are more mischievous as well; thus, they can progress further than the latter.

A jester must be either neutral good, chaotic good, true neutral, or chaotic neutral. The intelligence and wisdom scores of a jester must each be at least 12, charisma must be at least 13, and dexterity must be 9 or better. Jesters tend to be smaller than the average height of their race.

The jester class cannot be combined with any other class at any time by the same character. Any change from the jesters alignment to a lawful or evil alignment immediately makes the jester a thief with only climbing and pickpocketing skills and no others, not even the normal thieving skills.

If he or she changes or is changed back to the former alignment or another acceptable one, the character may resume play as a jester after a rest of one month of game time. Jesters hit dice are six-sided, and they may have as many as 10 hit dice. Beyond 10th level, the jester gets two additional hit points per level. Jesters special abilities 1: One new language, over and above those already allowed to the jester NPC because of intelligence, may be learned at each odd-numbered level of experience, including first level.

To reflect the jesters naturally strange mind, the new language may if the DM desires be rolled randomly from the table on p. For the Loonies and Crackpots 2: Racial and dexterity bonuses for climbing, from p. From the third level onward, jesters may pick pockets as well as a thief of two levels lower. Racial and dexterity bonuses apply to this ability as well. Being the masters of wit and insult that they are, jesters may raise the morale of friends and lower the morale of enemies within a foot radius of the jester.

There is no saving throw against this ability. A jester who is engaged in altering the local morale conditions can perform other actions at the same time, like fighting, climbing, running, etc. Morale is altered through the skillful use of loud vocal commentary and hand gestures; thus silence, paralysis, hold, and other related spells can prevent morale alteration if used successfully against the offending jester.

Morale effects begin immediately after one round of verbal and somatic communication by the jester, and continue for as long as the jester cares to keep it up to a maximum of 6 turns, when he or she gets hoarse plus 28 turns. Only those creatures able to understand what the jester is saying will be affected. A jester who insults orcs in the hill giant tongue will have no effect on their morale, but a hill giant behind the orcs, if within 60 feet, will certainly be affected.

In the same situation, if another NPC was within 60 of the jester, was allied with the jester and understood the hill giant language, he would have an improved morale score at the same time the hill giants morale is lowered.

If the hill giant fails a morale check, he will leave ears burning and not return for at least 20 minutes. Jesters of any level are immune to insanity of any sort no matter what anyone else thinks. This does not include confusion spells and the like. Jesters are accustomed by trade to juggling small objects and doing tricks with them. The jester cannot do anything else in that round, but may do this up to three times in a round if necessary.

Only objects up to 10 gp one pound in weight may be so caught in this manner. The category of grenade-like objects could include vials of poison, flaming bottles of oil, acid grenades, or the third form of Otilukes Freezing Sphere. Even a poisoned dagger may be safely grasped if the jester catches it, provided the hilt itself is not poisoned.

The jester will not be struck by the item if he or she misses, unless the caster had made a successful to hit score in the first place. If the jester catches a dagger or dart but has no expertise with the. To perform this action, the jester must have at least one hand free and cannot be wearing any sort of glove or hand covering. At the 16th level of ability and above, a High Jester is also known as a Prince of Fools. He or she then gains the power to read and utilize scrolls of a magic-user or illusionist nature, with the same degree of skill as a 10th-level thief.

Other people nearby may not be so fortunate. Jesters are so skilled at casting their voices most commonly when using mannequins that they function as if they had a permanent ventriloquism spell, though this ability is not magical. The range of this ability is a 1 radius around the jester 10 feet indoors and 30 feet outdoors.

As with the spell, the jester may change his or her voice, make different sorts of noises, and so on, so long as the noises are something that could conceivably be made vocally. Jesters may only wear leather armor but they may employ small shields of any sort in combat. They tend to dress in bright colors, but might not necessarily be highly visible at extreme ranges. The weapons permitted to jesters are clubs, daggers, scimitars, slings, staves, and swords either short, long, or broad swords.

Oil may be used as a weapon, but jesters will almost never use poison under any circumstances but the most extreme. Too frequent use of poison changes a jesters alignment to evil irrevocably.

Jesters attack on the thief s combat table, but have none of the thief s benefits on backstabbing opponents. Two weapons may initially be chosen by a jester character at first level. The nonproficiency penalty is 3, and a.

Jesters gain 2 hit points per level after the 10th. M agic items Magic leather armor, magic small shields, and magic weapons of the permitted types may be employed by jester characters! Only those magic items usable by all character classes and restricted to none may also be used by a jester. At the Dungeon Masters option, jesters may have several special magical items that can be used only by the jester class. Other character classes attempting to make use of these items may suffer only minor damage, a mild form of insanity or confusion, or some other effect of a comic nature.

The Dungeon Master is left to his or her own best judgment and creativity in coming up with such items and their potentially useful or debilitating effects. M agic spells By dint of studious application, and a lot of luck, jesters may manage to commit to memory a small number of magic spells normally usable by magicusers, druids, or illusionists.

Jesters must research the spells they wish to know and may invent new ones if they desire ; upon learning each new spell, a jester is able to record it in a special spell book that cannot be used by anyone but another jester, so he or she can relearn the spell after it is cast.

This is very much like the way in which rangers learn and use their magic-user spells. Jesters can cast their spells while wearing leather armor. Jesters may take into service any sort of standard hireling as listed in the Dungeon Masters Guide, with the exception of any lawful or evil characters. Henchmen may be taken at any level and may be any character class except paladins, assassins, monks, and any other lawful or evil characters.

Jesters do not normally establish castles or citadels, and dont attract any followers even if they do. They can give performances at arenas in any city, as well as spontaneous shows at any street corner; payment by local crowds should be determined by the DM. A jester of ninth level or more may establish a fun.

Jester Table II shows the levels at which a jester may gain new spells and how many spells the jester may cast per day. Jester NPCs will use these spells to best possible advantage in causing the most amusing. Jester New level languages. Only in times of great danger or duress will the jester use these spells with an intent to cause real harm.

But in Dragon 75, Ed Greenwood took us all on an unforgettable tour, filled with vistas of infernal grandeur and dozens of the most fully realized villains to be found anywhere in the multiverse.

I ride on the Hells tomorrow. For the first time, Dungeon Masters gained a vocabulary and a set of imagery to describe what awaited characters who ventured into the Outer Planes.

Unlike the brief, focused forays contained in adventures such as Queen of the Demonweb Pits, the Nine Hells were presented as the ultimate sandbox. Heres whats here, these are the challenges, these are the sights, these are the threats, and these are the great powers who rule over these majestic and terrible domains.

Because of Ed Greenwoods The Nine Hells, thousands of characters have slogged across the burning sands of Avernus, skulked through. The master villain of many an adventure waited for the heroes in some hellish retreat. They comprise part of the common legends and lore players from all over the world can share and trade stories about. And it was Ed Greenwoods brilliant, evocative vision that brought the Nine Hells to your gaming table.

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Thanks, Ed! Now there is a fitting foe! Moreover, his lands would not be safe until it was no more, and so he set about tracking it. And a little later. There are more where that one came from, he thought to himself, standing over its smoldering remains. They could well come again, he said aloud.

Yes, agreed the paladin who had fought at his side. You have joined an endless battle, my lord. But if you weary of fighting it here, amid that which you hold dear, then come with meI ride on the hells tomorrow. As a DM, I have been reluctant to include devils until I had done some work on the Nine Hellsfor the simple reason that player characters, once they are introduced to devils and find out facts about them, are sure to want to carry the fight to the enemys home ground.

I am basically kind and fair what DM isnt? Not permitting them to make the trip, when they deserve to be given the try, condemns the characters to endlessly be on the defensive when fighting devils. Far more so than for instance the chaotic layers of the Abyss, the environment of the Nine Hells demands that the DM do considerable preparation before play moves to that environment. There are gaps and uncertainties in available official information about the Hells. Briefly, this article will.

The very name of the styx devil see the Fiend Folio Tome, pp. Sekolah is a giant white shark that hunts only the largest and fiercest of prey. The illustration in the DDG book suggests that a giant squid is part of such prey. Might Sekolah also hunt dragon turtles, or giant octopi? Or are there aquatic leviathans unique to the hells?

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There are other details a DM must resolve, too: Gruumsh and Maglubiyet are locked in unending battle with the armies they command, and these armies had best be geographically placed in relation to hells nine planes. In issue 64 of Dragon magazine, Mr.

Certainly, from a design standpoint, these deities are best removed, for if the archdevils themselves see the. DDG book are merely lesser gods, how do they exist amicably with Set, a greater god who conceivably has the power to lawful evil, remember?

If any deities are to be allowed in the hells, the suggestion from here is that they be confined to the first uppermost plane, which can serve as a universal doormat area for visitors and non-devils, and a staging area both for any standing armies or defenders of the hells, and for foraging parties who are to leave the hells on various missions.

Most player-character invasions of the hells, too, would arrive on the first plane. It is, however, necessary for the DM at invasion time to know something of the other planes of hell, since from those planes will come the reactions to any such invasions.

Here we depart from the official, and move into this writers attempts to make the Nine Hells a playable environment. Reality in the Realms In the Realms my campaign world , I have followed the idea of the shifts specified by Mr. Gygax in Dragon 64, removing all non-devil deities from the Nine Hells except for Sekolah. In the campaign pantheon there exists a greater god of lawful evil alignment Bane, by name who is worshipped by humans.

The problem of how to deal with such a deity vis--vis the archdevils has been avoided by separating the two the deity and the devils entirely. Bane does not attempt to hinder or control Asmodeus or the other devils because they serve his purposes acting on their own, freeing Bane to do his work elsewhere.

High-level clerics of Bane regard devils as a group of lawful evil beings who can be commanded into various services by the proper means, and who can be expected to act thus-and-so due to their lawful evil nature and the social organization of the hells, but who are self-interested and not willing servants of Bane or of the clerics. This is essentially no different from the way clerics of other deities regard the devils; the diabolical are never dealt with in safety and trust. To what extent Bane and the archdevils know of each other, or have contact, can remain vaguepart of a DMs design elbow roomfor now.

Bane is geographically separated from the Nine Hells, toohe is in Acheron. Using the rules Various hints about the nature of the Nine Hells are found in the rules, such as the suggestion by inference from the description of bone devils, and from the cold-related powers that Geryon and the bone devils possess that Geryons plane is a rather icy place.

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A vast number of writers have offered their own religious or primarily fantastic conceptions of the infernal regions those lands of the dead that are linked with evil spirits and, usually, punishment of the souls of the dead. The chief sources of geographically detailed descriptions of the hells are listed here, for DMs who want to develop their own versions: Libraries are the best sources for the above books.

Also valuable are modern fantasy versions of the hells drawn from the original sources, such as Inferno by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle a Pocket Books paperback, still in print. There are many other such examples in fantasy literature, and many comparable underworlds those in Ursula LeGuins The Farthest Shore and H.

Lovecrafts The DreamQuest of Unknown Kadath leap to mind also to be found therein that will yield ideas of flora, fauna, and physical conditions to a DM creating his or her own version of the Nine Hells. What follows is my own unofficial conception.

Servants and vassals Before plunging into a plane-by-plane description, a note regarding servant and vassal devils: These beings are useful in that they help to delay any direct intervention by archdevils in play, stretching out the fun and providing player characters with individual, significant foes of lesser power before bringing the big guns onstage. To characters such as powerful clerics in the Realms who are privy to such information, the role and descriptions of these servant devils is known to be as follows: Some devils, even those of sufficient power to attain archdevil rank, see their safest position in the present infernal regime to be that of lieutenant to an archdevil.

Their precise reasons for this attitude are known only to themselves, but it is thought that some prefer to maintain a low profile so that they can work behind the scenes, and others prefer to act in the name of an archdevil, thereby disclaiming responsibility for their own actions.

A DM should bear in mind that there is certainly some degree of silent cooperation between these servant devils, who wish to avoid being openly set against each other i. This cooperation must be obvious to the. A player character should not be able to play one devil against another like a Machiavelli might manipulate his courtiers; bear in mind that most devils are of reasonably high intelligence. Avernus The uppermost plane of the Nine Hells is ruled by Tiamat, the Chromatic Dragon, and serves as a home to all lesser unique devils.

These are devils with individual names and characteristics, and powers of greater magnitude than those of a pit fiend for all such unique devils of lesser power are soon destroyed by their enemies and the cruelty of their fellows , which are not otherwise placed in the hells as ruling archdevils or their direct servants.

There are approximately fifty of these lesser unique devils; embittered, frustrated beings who torment the lemures and spined devils of this plane and viciously attack all intruders.

Chief among them is Nergal, who like all of his outcast fellows plots and schemes constantly to win a higher rank, but through hopes of reward always eagerly and enthusiastically obeys commands issued by the archdevils. Most such commands concern the defense of the hells against all intruders, for the dukes of hell have no wish to deal with intruders on their own groundthe plane or planes they rulewhen such disorderly business can be conducted elsewhere.

The uppermost plane of the hells thus serves as a marshalling area and training ground for infernal armies, and is preferably to the devils the place in which intruders are dealt with.

It is a plane of darkness, consisting of rocky crags and hillocks, a desolate wasteland of stunted,. Many concealed pits lined with filth-smeared stakes and the like have been prepared for intruders. Avernus has no roads or buildings, but many caves and warrens have been dug out of the rocks; most are devils homes, as unwary travelers seeking shelter will soon learn. At irregular intervals the darkness is lit by fireballs as in the spell, varying in size and damage from 2d6 to 7d6 that form spontaneously from the vapors of the air, bursting at any height above the ground.

If one should notice a glowing, swirling effect in the air, one soon discovers that a fireball will burst in that location one round later.

The precise cause of these fiery discharges is unknown, but it is natural. A gust of wind spell will push a forming fireball away, but a dispel magic will not stop it from forming, or negate its effects. Editors note: DMs using Avernus in play should take note of the alterations in magic spell effects that are prevalent there and on the other planes of the Nine Hells.

That information will be part of the second installment of this article. Any non-devil lawful evil creatures not native to the hells such as the occasional beholder , if they are to be found in the infernal regions at all, will be found on Avernus unless specifically located elsewhere by order of an archdevil.

One noteworthy example of such creatures are the nycadaemons see. These have the power to move freely about the Nine Hells, but they are disliked and distrusted by the archdevils and may well be met with physical opposition if they appear uninvited on a plane other than Avernus. DMs should bear in mind that a nycadaemon might aid a party of adventurers traveling in the hells, to further its own ends.

Avernus is nominally ruled by Tiamat, the Chromatic Dragon. The mother of all evil dragonkind holds Avernus through the support of Asmodeus, but her actual authority extends only as far as her physical reach. Most of the inhabitants of the plane avoid her, not wishing to serve as her meals. Here she is attended by her bodyguards, five huge adult male dragonsone white, one black, one green, one blue, and one red for details, refer to the Monster Manual.

She is constantly guarded by these consorts, and when not plotting, feeding, enjoying cruel sport or facing danger, Tiamat will be found mating with one of them within a protective ring formed by the other four. She bears litters of 14 dragonets or mewlings: The scant remainder of her time is spent roaming Avernus; very rarely, she journeys to the palace of Asmodeus. Those of Tiamats offspring that are born and remain on Avernus occupy themselves with hunting down and bringing back food for Tiamat and her consorts while the Chromatic Dragon is in her lair.

Injured, weak, or disobedient specimens are soon eaten by Tiamat, or by others at her direction; she also dines on slain dragons, including slain consorts who have displeased her, and all newborn spawn who are multiheaded or otherwise chromatic in nature. The few of her spawn that survive to achieve huge adult status serve as replacements for her consorts.

Note that Tiamat will have full amounts of treasure as shown in the Monster Manual entry only while in her lair. She may seize small amounts of treasure when on the Prime Material Plane, but only quantities which she can transport herself, since her bodyguards are unable to accompany her when she leaves Avernus.

They guard her hoard in Azharul diligently in her absence, for she will notice if even a single bauble is gone! The treasure prized most highly by Tiamat is magicspecifically, magic-user spells of 1st to 5th level which are new to her.

With these she can increase her personal power, and consequently she is always seeking more powerful offensive and defensive spells which she can study, experiment with, and modify for her own use.

Note that Tiamat needs time and trial to modify a written magic-user spell from the standard form to her own verbal component only form of casting. While on the Prime Material Plane, she will reveal herself in the open only if she believes a fair chance exists to gain such spells in so doing. Otherwise, her visits to the Prime Material tend to be secretive affairs, for she feels uneasy without her bodyguards.

In the past, it is said, many men and some of other races worshipped Tiamat, and her visits were triumphs of worship, adulation, pampering, and the bestowal or riches and magical information to the extent of human experimentation and mastery upon the Chromatic Dragonbut if this was indeed so, it is no longer the case.

Nowadays, evil dragons will still acknowledge their allegiance to her, but this is a. Although Tiamat will battle attempting to kill and eat individual devils without hesitation, she will never knowingly attack an archdevil or a lieutenant to an archdevil. She rules her spawn by force and fear, but her will is enforced on Avernus by 40 companies of abishai under the command of Malphas, 29 similar companies led by Amduscius, and 3 companies of erinyes under the command of the pit fiend Goap.

Names printed in italic type indicate devils who are individually described in the text that follows. These forces are always busy, for Avernus is constantly dealing with intruders and the machinations of the rabble of devilkinformer consorts fallen from favor, and other unique devils too weak or too mistrusted to gain or hold a position in the hierarchy of the hells.

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These beings are constantly attempting to gather enough support to win at least a position in the service of Tiamat, perhaps by supplanting one of the incumbent vassal devils, and are always moving to avoid the armies searching for them.

Tales are told of a mysterious archdevil, Astaroth, said to be mightier in power than any devil save Asmodeus himself see Alexander von Thorns article, The Politics of Hell, printed in Dragon 28 and reprinted in the Best of Dragon Vol.

II anthology , who dwells elsewhere than the Nine Hells, apart from the present regime, working alone to advance his secret ends. This devil represents the greatest threat to Asmodeus; with Astaroths support, Mephistopheles, Baalzebul, or even a lesser archdevil such as Geryon could conceivably wrest control of the Nine Hells from the Great Devil himself.

But even the existence of Astaroth is uncertain; he is definitely not an avowed force in the hells at this time. Unique very rare NO. See below NO. Lawful evil SIZE: He is a being of long memory and cunning strategies. He can shape change at will into a dirty yellow unicorn with eyes of flame and a purple horn, a hawk-headed man he usually wears dark red or black robes when in this form , or his favored form: He does not need, and does not wear, armor in any of his forms.

When in unicorn form, Amduscias attacks with his horn acts as a sword of wounding, for 29 damage , or his hooves 2 per round, for damage each. His maximum movement rate in this form is 18; he can bolt from a standing start, and some say that when horses spook or gallop uncontrollably, it is because Amduscias has affected them.

In humanlike form Amduscias has average Dexterity, and two or three attacks fists for 12 each and beak for 18, or weapon and beak. Amduscias is ambidextrous and can wield two weapons if they are small e.

This devil has above average Strength when in humanlike form, and a. This beak is, however, terrifically strong and sharp. His move in this form is Amduscias prefers to fight in wolf form; his movement rate is 18, and he attacks with two raking foreclaws and his jaws, or his hind claws and tail. If in a position to do so, he can use all six of these attacks in a round, against as many targets. The claws do damage each, the jaws , and the tail constriction damage per round plus additional damage if Amduscias uses it to immerse a held victim in water, batter a victim against a rock, etc.

The tail will loosen its grip if it is severed, or if it is dealt 17 points of damage in any single round or 26 points of damage over a succession of rounds. Amduscias can change forms in one round during which he can do nothing else except speak , and is restricted to the forms described.

He can use the spelllike powers listed below, one at a time, once per round. Note that as with other devils verbal, somatic, and material componentsas spell-casters on the Prime Material Plane know themare not necessary.

Amduscias spell-like powers are: Amduscias can cause fear save vs. Once per day he can use a symbol of stunning. Amduscias is sometimes called the Reconciliator of Foes, because he is a skillful actor and negotiator, and Tiamat often employs him to mediate in disputes between devils or her kin. While in any of his forms, Amduscias can speak and understand perfectly any language cf. When encountered, Amduscias will only have treasure with him if he is in his human-like form; if so, it may be of any type.

Amduscias regenerates 2 hit points per round. He leads 40 companies of abishai, and, like his fellow duke Amduscias and the pit fiend Goap, is likely to be found traveling about Avernus enforcing Tiamats will. None of Tiamats dukes have permanent encampments or fortresses, but instead they maintain a commonly held system of guarded, safe caves where their forces can rest or gather. Malphas appears as a powerful, dark-complexioned man dressed in black velvet studded with gems of considerable value; his robes have gems of all sorts, g.