From the editor-in-chief's description of the issue:
Playing an AD&D adventure is, as we so often say, an exercise in imagination. But all the imagination in the world isn't going to help when you (or worse yet, the DM) can't remember which spells you've cast and which ones you have left. What is going to help is SPELLMINDERS, our latest AD&D playing aid, which you'll find in the center of this magazine.
The idea for SPELLMINDERS came from Bill Fawcett, one of our regular contributors and his associate Lance Davenport. They compiled the information which appears on the counters and made the sometimes difficult decisions about which spells should be represented more than once. Only magic-user and cleric spells are included in this original set, but if we get enough positive feedback from you, we'll print up illusionist and druid spells in the same form sometime soon. Let us know what you think of the idea - either way.
And we might even throw in the new, official cleric spells from the latest edition of Leomund's Tiny Hut. Yep, I said official. Our esteemed columnist, Len Lakofka, thought that clerics deserved more spell abilities than provided for them in the AD&D rules. So he wrote up some new spells and sent them to Gary Gygax for his evaluation and approval - and Gary sent them to us, along with his permission to portray them as new rules.
This month's cover, "Escape from Skull Keep," was painted especially for DRAGON Magazine by Clyde Caldwell, whose first appearance as a cover artist was on the front of issue #53. At that time, I didn't see how he could do any better - but now that i've seen Clyde Caldwell painting number two, I can't wait for number three.
Dwarves may be, ahem, a short subject. But we've gone to great lengths inside, starting on page 23, to give the little guys their due. Contributing editor Roger Moore supplies most of the material for a special section on dwarves and the deities they worship. This is the first set of articles in a series of studies on non-human races which will appear over the next several issues. We'll get to your favorite sooner or later.
Mythical monsters and fictional figures from ancient Greece occupy a big part of our feature section. "The Blood of Medusa" is Michael Parkinson's description of the legendary creatures and characters spawned by the lady with the strange hairdo. Following that piece are four portrayals of NPCs from the same era, but certainly not the same family tree.
Surrounding the SPELLMINDERS section in the center of the magazine is "In the Bag," another tale of the tribulations of Boinger and Zereth from the pen of J. Eric Holmes, who is both a well-known fiction writer (check out your local bookstore) and the author of a new book on fantasy role-playing (ditto).
Next in line is a trio of treatises on archery. Robert Barrow offers some facts and figures based on real experience, concerning how far an archer can shoot and how easily he can hit what he's aiming at. Carl Parlagreco presents a short system for "Making bowmanship more meaningful," and the third article in this section proposes a way to differentiate between bows of different strengths and the varying amounts of damage their arrows can cause. But if hand-held weapons are more your character's style, forge ahead into David Nalle's essay on the design and development of the sword.
"Being a bad knight" is the first article we've ever published on the KNIGHTS OF CAMELOT game, and it comes straight from the source - Glenn Rahman, the author of the game's original rules. And, for Traveller fans, there's "Anything but human," Jon Mattson's system for creating alien characters.
Topping off issue #58 is a special two-page "What's New," Phil Foglio's whimsical tribute to Valentine's Day, and a one-page "Wormy" which is, as usual, a tribute to the talent and imagination of Tramp. - KM