From the editor-in-chief's description of the issue:
At the head of the parade is the striking piece of dragon-art which adorns the cover. The painting was commissioned especially as a frontspiece for DRAGON magazine from Carl Lundgren. A nationally famous fantasy artist, Carl has provided cover pieces for many paperback books. Name a few? Okay, you might find The Silver Sun by Nancy Springer, The Blessing Papers by William Barnswell or a reprint edition of One Million Centuries by Richard A. Lupoff on the shelves of your nearby bookstore right now. We are pleased and proud to have this painting as the cover for our milestone 50th issue.
Speaking of milestones, the day of judgement has come and gone for the entries in the Basic D&D Division of our International Dungeon Design Contest II. The winning entry, an interesting escapade in The Chapel of Silence, was designed by Mollie Plants of Morgantown, W. Va. It appears in the center eight-page section of this magazine, followed by a list of all the prizewinners and what they won.
In honor of our namesake, the feature section of #50 leads off with page after page of nothing but dragon stuff. Dragons aren't always as good-natured and cooperative as the subject of Corrina Taylor's "birthday portrait" painting on page 6 - but they're not all supposed to be, are they? Following Corrina's painting you'll find Gregory Rihn's Suggestions for making the dragon a more formidable physical fighter; Lewis Pulsipher's vision of "True Dragons" which are generated right from the first dice roll up; and Colleen Bishop's recommendations on how to tend to a baby dragon if you're left holding the egg.
If you've ever read about one of the small-press "fanzines" that cover fantasy role-playing but haven't been able to find a copy, check out th earticle beginning on page 23. Afterward, you'll be able to say you've read a little more, and you'll have all the information ou need to pursue the matter. David Nalle provided the information and opinions of "The 'Zines" - including what we think is a fair assessment of his own magazine.
Robert Plamondon's adaptation of Kzinti, the cat-like race which originated in author Larry Niven's series of Ringworld novels, is the longest Bestiary-type article we've ever published. And there's a regular Bestiary besides - Alan Fomorin's description of Giant Vampire Frogs, which are AD&D adaptations of the flying toad, a creature that exists in nature. The author's inspiration came from an article by SF writer Norman Spinrad in an issue of OMNI magazine.
One of the "little" ways to make a campaign distictive is described and demonstrated by Larry DiTillio in "The Glyphs of Crilion." Bazaar of the Bizarre, which is usually composed of several short items, is devoted this time entirely to a new artifact created by Mark Corrington called "Barlithian's Mirror." The prolific Mr. Pulsipher makes another appearance with a short bu tcomplete suggestion for how to determine whether or not a character can successfully avoid looking at a monster or into its eyes. The "Ups and Downs" of having and keeping a flying mount are listed and examined by contributing editor Roger Moore in the last of this issue's articles presented especially for use with D&D and AD&D games.
The regular colums we could find room to publish this month include an essay in Up on a Soapbox by Thomas Griffith on how a DM can handle unwanted behavior by players; a pair of reviews in The Dragon's Augury of games dealing with historical fact and future fiction, plus a page of Figuratively Speaking evaluations; and the latest installment of Minarian Legends by Glenn Rahman, designer of the DIVINE RIGHT game. John Prados outlines the struggles a young game company must endure and offers suggestions on how to keep small gaming "empires" alive in Simulation Corner, while in this month's editions of The Electric Eye, Mark Herro gives advice to potential buyers on how to get the computer best suited for their needs and their pocketbooks.
If the story line of Finieous Fingers seems to be moving along more rapidly than usual lately, that's not because the story has gotten any more exciting - gosh, how could it get more exciting? It's because J. D. has finally found the time to get back on a monthly schedule now that the long ordeal of Navy flight training is over. This issue makes three in a row, something we haven't been able to accomplish for a long time. Wormy is back, too (for the fourth issue in a row, if anybody's counting), as well as the second offering of What's New? from Phil Foglio and another two-page spread of cartoons at the head of the Dragon Mirth section.
Now you're ready to start celebrating with us. Just turn the page; the party doesn't start till you arrive. - KM.