Reading old Dragon Magazines in 2020

I discovered that old issues of the Dragon magazine are available free for download. When reading about old versions of Dungeons and Dragons there are often references to the Dragon Magazine.

I entertained myself browsing through the first 100 130 issues (June 1976 to August 1985) and took notes of articles I find can be of value today.

  • OD&D is mostly covered up to #25
  • After #25 most things refer to AD&D 1e (which for most practical purposes is quite compatible with OSR clones and Classic D&D)
  • There is virtually no content to be found specifically written for Classic D&D
  • There is a separate Dungeon magazine which also is downloadable for free, and which almost only contains D&D modules (adventures), so I have only noted a few such modules from Dragon magazine.

This is a list of articles I found in Dragon #1 – #130 that I found particularly relevant in 2020.

You are most welcome to give feedback on my list!

About D&D

#pagesTitle or type of article
77Gary Gagax on D&D
823On Realism (Joke)***
1615-16,21Gary Gagax on Realism, Game Logic and more****
1636Game Balance***
2417-19Gary Gagax on Melee in D&D****
2628-Gary Gagax on OD&D and AD&D****
28Gary Gagax on OD&D and AD&D****
3512-13TSR plans D&D and AD&D****
3916-18Women want equality***
5214-15On Classic D&D by Holmes/Moldvay****
7645-52Index of previous Dragon Magazine
7726-29On Classic D&D by Mentzer****
8438-44On Companion D&D by Mentzer****
9512-13The influence of JRR Tolkien on D&D and AD&D***
1028-10Realms of role playing***
1038-10What the 2nd Edition will be like by Gary Gagax
10356Profile: Gary Gagax (never sleeps)***
10763Profile: Elmore
11241-64Index of previous Dragon Magazine
12240Gary Gagax “Farewell”**

Creatures (new AD&D 1e)

Creatures for AD&D 1e can probably be used with little effort in OSR gaming.

#pagesTitle or type of article
27The Horast
3043Crust
3239Crawling Claw
3356Frost
3518-19,42-43Angels
36Krolli
376-Neutral Dragons
3810-Dragons
427-15Demons, Devils, Spirits
4244Necroton and more
4488-Ice, various creatures
4566-Dust Devil, Sand Lizard
4810Sea, various creatures
5166Piranha Bat
5248-49Rhaumbusun (Crocodile-basilisk)
5430Jabberwock
5559
60
61
62
Devil Spider
Surchurr
Dyll
Poltergeist
***
**
**
****
6148-49Umbreas and more
626-11Dragons (faerie and more)
6528-30Dragons (yellow, orange, purple)
6620-21Oriental (different spirits)
6656-57Vultures, Hawk, Skeleton animals
7412-15Landragons (non flying dragons)
9020-23Bats, 6 types****
918Goristro Demon
9444-54Creature Catalogue II
9538-39The many shapes of Apes***
10140-55Creature Catalogue III**
10220-28A collection of Canines (dogs)
1108-14Dracolich
11542-45Snakes
11638-44Sea Creatures
11864-67Spiders
11946-53Creatures of the Woods
12434-37Aaracockra
1347-14Dragons
13742-49Prehistorical animals
13822-35The ungrateful dead
13970-74Rare beasts of Forgotten Realms

Creature Lore

#pagesTitle or article type
1414-Interview with a Rust Monster
2531-33Interview with an Iron Golem
2542Vampires, Variety of**
2636Lich, Blueprint of****
507-12Dragons: Fighting strategies
7115-18Mind of the monsters
766-8On Beholders
7866-68Ecology of Mind Flayers
806-8Psycology of Dopplegangers
8127-28Ecology of a Basilisk
8718-20Ecology of a Dryad
8822-24Ecology of a Rust Monster
9229-31Ecology of Ettins***
9424-26Ecology of Chimera
9522-26Ecology of a Cockatrice****
9725-27Ecology of a Gorgon
9919-20Ecology of Will-i-wisp
103
105
35-46
24
The Centaur Papers
10433-36Ecology of the Ochre Jelly
10616-17Ecology of the Maedar
10932-34Ecology of a Displacer beast
11550-54Ecology of a Harpy****
11632-35Ecology of a Minataur
11733-36Ecology of an Anhkheg
11942-44Ecology of the Korred
12456-57Ecology of a Gelatinous Cube
12510-12Ecology of the Greenhag
12629-34Undeads
12641-43The ecology of the Shade
12921-23Drow
13136-39Ecology of the Aboleth + Stats
13142-46Ecology of Hook Horror + Stats
13417-22
24-26
28-30
33-36
Give Dragons a Fighting Chance
Serpents (Dragons) and Sorcery
Dragotha (a Dracolich)
Ecology of the Red Dragon
13654-56The Golems Craft
13727-32Ecology of carnivorous plants
13942-43
86-89
Golems (hiding)
Ecology of spectator (+stats)

Greyhawk

#pagesTitle or article type
5218-24Birthplaces in Greyhawk
56
57
18-
13-
Countries
6314-17Sea Barons and more countries
86
87
88
89
90
30-34
23-27
8-11
20-24
24-28
Gods of the Seul Pantheon

Knowledge

These articles are mostly not about rules but other useful knowledge.

#pagesTitle or Type of article
2032-Demonic Possession
2250-54Pole Arms
2512-13Social classes in D&D
3221-Celts
3926-27Bows*****
4541-43History of Dwarves
4549-51Castles*** (historical)
5013-Raising a Dragon
526-13Clerics
5855-59Swords*** Quality of swords?
5916-20Gypsies** Special “class” rules of limited use.
5949-55Halflings
606-14Elves
6128-33Gnomes
6325-31Humanoids (and their Deities)
6351-54Plan before you play
6367-71Coins*** (historical)
6547-53Celtic mythology
6556-62Law***
6563-65War
6818-22Ice Age Adventureing
697-15Runes
7224-29Barbarians*****
75
76
8-33
23-44
Hell and Devils
7554-57Orcish language
8014-16Five things to DMing Success****
8022-28Castles
8512-14
15-17
Clerics: Special Skills & Thrills
Dragon Magazine #85
Clerics must be deity-bound
****
**
9030-33Political Game
9036-60Gladsheim / Norse Mythology + Module****
9118-34The Nine Hells Revisited
926-10Clerics – missions and playing
9312-17World Building
9324-30How to pronounce monster names
9410-16Large Scale Logistics
978-Deities and their faithful
986-10Dragon Hoards
9811-13Dragon Teeth
9815-16Dragons of Dragonlance
9822-24Detailing a fantasy world
9828-32Knowing whats in Store*****
998-10The neutral point of view (between good and evil)
10536-42,55Parallel gaming worlds
1068-12The laws of Magic*
10716-21The six abilities
10722-25Increasing ability scores
10812-20The Role of Nature
10928-30A dwarf’s beard is more than hair
11122-26Out-of-control campaigns
11310-26Welcome to Hades
1159-36Thieves
11538-40Clerics: Weapons of choice**
11628-30Aquatic Elves
11716-17Feuds and Feudalism
11740-42Fun without Fighting
11743-45Henchmen, Hirelings & Followers
1188-14,18-20Gladitorial Combat
11910-29Druids (several articles)
12244-45DMs ten commandments***
12316-30The Mystic’s College
12514-16Woodlands of the Realms (trees)
12518-19Code of Chivalry
12542-45Glory, Danger and Wounds
12615-24Vampires
1288-14Welcome to Waterdeep
13070-78If looks could kill
13228-32Trap Design
13327-33Roman Pantheon + stats
13518-19Usages of Rope
13526-29When Game Masters go Bad*****
13618-20The long arm of the law
13628-32Inns (with price lists)
13634-38Fifty ways to foil your players
13755-58Festivals
13844-49Plague
13936-40Speaking with Spirits

Magical Items

#pagesTitle
2624-Deck of Fate
3035-36Extranous Magic Items
7336-40100 Unusual Magic Items
7418-24Blades of the (Forgotten) Realms
7718-24Curses and nasty items
8034-36Treasures rare and wondrous
8228-30Magic Jewelry (13 items)
8626-28A few magic items
8914-18Six very special shields
9152-62Treasure Trove (47 magic items)
9949-52Seventeen new treasures (Magic Items)
10230-34,89-Nine Wands of Wonder
11546-47Nine magical harps
11746-47Nine magical masks
11748-51Magic rings
12564-67Magical maps of Greyhawk
12726-31Bows and Crossbows
13310-11Arrows (and Quivers)
13520-24Arrows

Modules (Adventures)

A few I found interesting.

#pagesTitle or article type
7842-56Citadel by the Sea
8035-45Adventure + City
9246-53Adventure
10243-54Valley of the Earthmother

Rules, Lists

These are optional rules, items and other lists.

#pagesTitle or type of article
3219-20Permanent Damage
2419Diseases
2923Rewarding Heroism*
2924-25Taverns & Inns + Menu*****
31Criticals & Below 0HP
324-5Poison
3430-31Beware of Quirks and Curses: Magic items are not always nice****
3847-48DM Hostile Magic Users
3934-35Criticals
43Witches
4860-62Instant Adventures***
5410-Ruins
59
60
6-10
16-21
Cantrips***
?
5957-60Poison
6842-53+last 3Weather (Greyhawk)
776-13Tarot cards
787-33Psionics
816-17Poison
8214-19Healing Herbs
8310-19Gems
858-11First Aid
9946-48Magic Swords
10416-19Pick Pocketing (lists)
10622-23Doors: Open them if you dare
10714-15Reactions*
10828-29Cantrips for Clerics
10842-26The plants of Biurndon
11227-31Cloaked in Magic
1148-21Witches
1169-27Maritime Adventures
11722-24Dungeoneers Shopping Guide****
11822-29Jousting rules
12417-32Aerial Adventuring
13040Ingredients of (alchemists) potions
13377-80Berserkers (NPC class)
13646-48Recharge of magic items
13716-24Treasures of the Wild
14054-55Knives

Random World

#pagesTitle
1715Sights and Sounds***
2110Random Town Events***
4130Doors***
4932-33Names***
8030-34Random Treasures/Items
10514-18Wayfarers***
10530-35The well equiped victim***
11422-24Grave Encounters**
11548-49Dungeon floor design***
11560-61Doors (50 of them)****
12116-19Japanese Names**
13122-30Random Natural Caves
1368-14Random City
1378-14Hunting – whats for dinner
13734-41Weather system
13750-52Encounter tables wilderness (pre history)

Fiction / Short Stories

These should be Fantasy short stories.

#pagesTitle or type of article
1-7The Gnome Cache
214-Short Story
423-25Roads from Jakalla** Ok D&D, not much of litterature.
518-24Short Story
612-14The Forest of Flame****
712-15Short Story
1222-30Short Story
1322-28The Stolen Sacrifice*****
1510-11Short Story
15
16
23-
25-
Green Magician (1/2)
Green Magician (2/2)
2442-43Monty Haul and the
Best of Freddie
***
Power game session
31Short Story
356,39-40Oasis****
386-Short Story
447-Short Story
467-Short Story
5450-51Short Story
5524-36The coming of the sword
5836Short Story
6031-32Short Story
6673-74Friends in High Places***
7111-13The blink of a Wizard’s eye*
7371-72Short Story
7911-12The Ordeal* (and not fantasy)
8118-22Short Story
8265-69Short Story
8326-30Short Story
8457-63Short Story
8528-35Valkyrie Settlement
8556-62A stone’s throw away (Dragonlance)
8659-63Short Story
8859-63Short Story
8955-61Short Story
9186-93Short Story
9355-61Short Story
9457-63Short Story
9560-67Desperate Acts
9863-67The forging of fear*****
9963-67Short Story
10022-32Short Story
10162-66And Adventuring To …
10564-68On the Rocks at Slabs
10869-75The Grey Stones
10970-75Valkyrie
11066-76The Wizards’ Boy
11362-71A Difficult Undertaking
11849-56Across the Fog-Grey Sky
11963-73The Pawns of Crux
12047-50Dragon Meat**** (humourous)
12151-63Love and Ale (Dragonlance)
12263-67The Prince’s Birthday
12363-67Palimpsest
12557-63The passing of kings
12644-49Well Bottled at Slab’s
12836-42The Spirit Way
12958-64The old ways are best
13042-49Shark Killer
13141-45Out of hand
13449-55Eyes of Redemptions
13555-60Karl and the Ogre
13641-45The curse of the Magus
13857-64Between Lightning and Thunder
13947-49The visitor
14047-51Flesh and Blood

Art – B/W

#pagedescription
2926
38
Three warriors and a horse
Warrior – roman style
**
***
3520Bowman in Chainmail**
398Dark Paladin****
4512
16
18
61
Alchemist
Coat of arms (Shield + Two axes)
Anvil with sculpture
Castle against night sky
****
***
***
*****
5957Poisoned nobleman***
6322
28-30
Bandits
Goblins (3x)
**
***
6660Nobleman with Drinking Cup**
7110
19
22
54
Two old wizards
Elegant man with flute
Rogue with sword
Lich / Death god
****
**
***
****
727
10
58
Mounted knight
Female knight on Unicorn
Man with sword at wall
****
***
***
8022Castle****
8538
45
49
58
77
Viking on Longship
Executioner
Orc with axe
Hung in tree by mob
Ruin: Gate & Trees
***
**
**
**
**
928
22
24
45
Priest with warhammer
Witch or Sorceress
Dwarf with warhammer
Hiding elf / Hunters with bows
***
**
***
**
944Wizard (?)***
9829-32
62
Shop interiors: Smith, Leather, Tanner
Blacksmith
****
****
12019Angry dwarf with club****
1315
41,42
Two knights jousting
Dwarves
***
***
13213
24
40
53
A few ships
A Demon (?)
Woman drawing, man standing
Man and witch (?)
**
***
****
***
13448
69
Barbarian (?) with Dragon
Ogre
***
**
13545Wizard****
13918
19
26
27
36
Woman – tottooes in face
Wizard
Old Merchant
Two village women
Ritual and demon
***
****
***
***
**
14017
25
29
31
Old man in library
Portraits of priests/shamans (2)
Coat of arms (Dragons and swords)
Wizard (and dead/defeated man)
****
****
**
***

Art – Full Color

#pagedescription
666
7
Old man inspecting sword(s)
Monk in armory
****
****
7281Mounted knight and goblins***
9059Elmore: Dragon & Warriors*****
13315Warrior + Death Knight(?)****
13423Fighter / Dragon***
1377Hydra & Warrior***
13915Wizard***

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