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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Obscure TSR art related to B1-B3, pt IV

Advertisement in Strategic Review for the first issue of The Dragon

     My original Holmes set was one of the last printings, which is not surprising because it was a birthday present in early '82. This set included the second printing of B2, which I still have though it is missing a few pages. This printing has an excellent illustration of a wingless dragon on page 6 by David C Sutherland III (DCS III). Later, when I got B1 (Moldvay version), I noticed this same dragon on page 6 of that module. So I've been familiar with this picture for a long time, and previously wondered why it was used despite neither adventure having a dragon. Later via the Acaeum I learned it was used in each case as filler to replace deleted text (described in more detail below), which explained the random usage. What I didn't know about was the original appearance of this art in the last issue of Strategic Review, as noted today on DF by paleologos (who also pointed out the previous artwork I have featured under this topic). He further postulates it is a fire lizard from the Blackmoor Supplement, which are described as "of identical appearance to dragons, without wings", and suggests placing it in the Cave of the Unknown in B2!

Here's a summary of the wanderings of this "dragon":

-Strategic Review #7, Apr '76 (last issue), page 11. Advertisement pictured above, for the first issue of The Dragon, which first appeared in Jun '76.

-Second printing of B2, 1980, page 6. The first and second printings of B2 are for the Holmes rules. The 1st printing is distinguished by a sentence on the cover indicating that the module can be used with AD&D, and pages 5-6 have a small section on "Using this module with AD&D", the text of which I posted here a while back. The second printing deletes the references to AD&D and fills in the space with two illustrations, one of intertwining snakes (by an unknown artist) and one of the DCS dragon.

-Fourth printing of B1, 1981, page 6. The first three printings of B1 are for the Holmes rules and have a monochrome yellow cover. The third printing is revised version for the Moldvay rules, with a brown color cover. The DCS dragon was inserted on page 6 to fill in a deleted section, also titled "Using this module with AD&D".

Previous entries in this series: pt I, pt II, pt III 

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