From the editor-in-chief's description of the issue:
This issue of DRAGON Magazine is specially for those of you whose versions of "fantasy" have more to do with planets than planes of existence, more with lasers than longbows. Counting the cover painting and a spread of 23 pages inside, this magazine has more science-fiction material in it than we've ever used in a single issue before.
Our center 16 pages are filled with Exonidas Spaceport, a setting described in meticulous detail by author Jeff Swycaffer and designed for use in Traveller games. Rather than presenting one narrow situation for characters to figure their wasy into and out of, Exonidas is a package of opportunities, an environment from which dozens of different sorts of adventures could spring. Everything we and Jeff could think of is included in the package, all the way from a diagram of the entire solar system down to where everyone sits in the offices of Torman and Son.
Jim Holloway and his talented airbrush (or maybe that should be "talented Jim holloway and his airbrush") provided this month's cover, a portrayal of the climactic scene from Skitterbugging, a science-fiction tale which precedes the Exonidas section. Between the story and the spaceport is a page devoted to descriptions of the people and things from the story in Traveller terminology. Further connections are left for you to make: Could the skitterbuggers prosper in a place like Horitheur? Are there mist wasps holed up in the hills of Theury?
All that talk about outer space doesn't mean there isn't plenty of material inside for fans of the D&D and AD&D games. First and foremost among the "fantasy" features is From the Sorceror's Scroll, wherein Gary Gygax introduces you to the magic of cantrips and provides official descriptions of two new AD&D items, the Advanced Illusion spell and the Philosopher's Stone.
We don't need a fortune teller to be sure that A.D. Rogan's article on gypsies will be well accepted by AD&D gamers. The historical and legendary characteristics of gypsies combine to make a potent and playable new character type. Speaking of potent, check out the Demonic Knights of Doom, as described by Rob Kuntz in the debut of a new regular feature about happenings in the WORLD OF GREYHAWK Fantasy Setting. When one of these guys asks you whose side you're on, you'd better have a quick answer - and it better be the right one.
Following in the format of his articles on dwarves in our last issue, contributing editor Roger Moore presents "The halfling point of view" and "The gods of the halflings." Just in back of that seven-page section is a detailed story on particular poisons from Larry Ditillio's campaign that we hope you'll find easy to swallow.
Making up monsters is easy. Making up good monsters is something else altogether, as Lew Pulsipher points out in "Make monsters, not monstrosities." After you've read about Lew's guidelines, turn to the Bestiary and see how well you think this month's monster makers have done.
A quintet of characters from famous fiction, ranging from the (almost) ordinary to the extraordinary, are offered for your edification in Giants in the Earth.
Reviewer Tony Watson gives his evaluations of Starfire III: Empires and Demonlord in Dragon's Augury. Chris Henderson looks at new releases from the world of literature in the most colorful installment of "Off the Shelf" we've ever published, and two more pages' worth of miniatures and other game accessories are covered in Figuratively Speaking. And miniatures are also on Phil Foglio's mind, as you'll see in "What's New." Now, get the lead out and start reading. - KM