Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Recaps & Roundups part 51: The Dungeoneer #5

The Dungeoneer #5 is cover dated April/May 1977.  I have it alongside the other D&D products from April, but given the way dating usually works on periodicals it probably came out a couple of months before that.  The contents are detailed below.

"The Arcane Elders, Chapter V" (author unknown, but probably J. Mark Hendricks): Lute the Bard and Ralph the Halfling reunite with Rohcyl the Sorcerer and his new-found barbarian friend Theoran. Together they all vow to defeat the druid who has enslaved Theoran's people. With one chapter left, this seems to be trying to wrap up. There's very little here in the way of setting info.

"The Goodies Bag": Two new magic items:

  • "The Pipes of Caleb" by Jennell Jaquays: These pipes were created by an ancient Patriarch of the same name, who used them to charm spider-like monsters called Harvestmen and lead them away from the lands of mankind. Apart from charming these monsters, the pipe protects the bearer and all within 5' from all Harvestmen. It can also charm other spider-like creatures, and enhances the bard's charming ability.  This is a very specific item, and if it ever makes it into my campaign I'll be sure to make it unique.
  • "The Ring of Slime Control" by Jennell Jaquays: This ring can summon and control all slime creatures: oozes, puddings, green slime, molds, jellies, slugs, worms, fungi, shambling mounds, etc. They can also control a new type of monster called an Aquazombie. Unfortunately, this ring also places its user under the control of the Slime God.  As with the previous item, this one should probably be unique.
"Monster Matrix": Both of these monsters are new. One, the Aquazombie, is a part of this issue's adventure, "Night of the Walking Wet".
  • "Harvestmen" by Jennell Jaquays: Like a cross between a giant spider and a human hand, these creatures were the result of a union between a spider demon and his high priestess in ages past. They ate their mother and spread across the land, until the cleric Caleb (mentioned above) defeated them. They attack by leaping and trying to crush their victims, pinning them helplessly to the ground unless they are strong enough to escape.  They also have a bite that can either poison or paralyze, and they can cast webs (like the spell).  Any group larger than 10 will be led by a Harvest Mother, which has double the Hit Dice or a regular Harvestman, and can lay eggs.
  • Aquazombies" by Jennell Jaquays: These zombie-like creatures are also known as "The Walking Wet" or "The Walking Dead".  (It's given both ways, but I suspect the former is the correct name.)  They aren't actually undead, but rather people who came into contact with the Slime God and were forced into symbiosis with an alien slime creature. Their main combat ability is to infect those they strike with the slime, turning them into Aquazombies as well. No doubt there'll be more about these creatures and the Slime God when I get to "Night of the Walking Wet".
"More Tricks and Traps" by Jennell Jaquays: This is a continuation of the article from last issue, and simply presents a list of tracks and traps to add to your dungeon. These include a teleport door, a room that removes the intelligence from magic swords, a living corridor that eats people, a room with a magnetic ceiling that grabs up weapons and armour, a room that turns all of its inhabitants invisible, underground cave forests, tunnels leading to the Starship Warden of Metamorphosis Alpha, winds that extinguish torches, a bridge over a molten pit with illusory walls, elevator rooms, and a room with giant statue, each of which reacts differently (fighting, asking riddles, etc.).  The majority of these are variations on ideas I've encountered before, and I doubt I'll have to go to much trouble to include them in the campaign.  I'd hazard a guess that the official modules have all of these ideas covered.

"A Change in the Elemental" by Jim Ward: This article suggests a number of variant elemental types: acid, gas/hydrogen, wind (a stronger form of air), molten lava, jungle plant (with poison thorns), sand, glue, darkness, light, and lightning.  I'm down with pretty much all of these, except for the Glue Elemental and the Jungle Plant Elemental.  All of the others are related to the classical elements, or to energy of some kind.  But Glue? Jungle Plants? They don't really fit, and if I ever use them they may not be true elementals.

The rest of the issue is taken up by the first half of the adventure "Night of the Walking Wet". The second half is in issue #6, so I'm going to hold off on talking about it until I cover that issue. 

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