D&D General Warduke. An attempt to provide an historical look at the character in print.

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Appearing only in third party merchandise like stickers and colouring books, Warduke wouldn't see his return to official publication until 2003, when Erik Mona made him a centrepiece of one of their Critical Threats articles in Dungeon Magazine #105.
Not sure if it's worth mentioning or not, but he was also on the cover of that particular issue.
 

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Stormonu

Legend
I think you mean Dragon Magazine #17 (1978), not Dungeon Magazine #17. Dungeon magazine didn’t even exist until the mid-eighties.

Also, I think you should include the Wardrums model. You did mention the Funko pop figure, which has nothing to do with written publications, after all.
 

Rabulias

the Incomparably Shrewd and Clever
I think you mean Dragon Magazine #17 (1978), not Dungeon Magazine #17. Dungeon magazine didn’t even exist until the mid-eighties.
Yes, I think that's the issue he meant. Pinning down the cover artist is a bit tricky, as The Dragon did not give detailed art credits back then. This post (Old School FRP: Photo) claims the artist to be John Sullivan, who also did the cover to The Dragon issue 10 and created (and provided a color illustration of) the Death Angel back in The Dragon issue 6.
 

I think you mean Dragon Magazine #17 (1978), not Dungeon Magazine #17. Dungeon magazine didn’t even exist until the mid-eighties.

Also, I think you should include the Wardrums model. You did mention the Funko pop figure, which has nothing to do with written publications, after all.
Fair point. I've included a line to that set.
 

Quartz

Hero
However, it should be noted, Warduke is labelled as an evil fighter both in the toyline and adventures. Strongheart and Warduke were able to work together on some level without inner-party conflict.

This is not actually a problem: the conflict between Law and Chaos in D&D is as important as the conflict between Good and Evil. I recall an adventure in an early issue of Dungeon (Iron Orb?) that touches on this and you can also see it in the Knight Protectors of the Great Kingdom, where champions of both Hextor and Hieroneous are members and loyal to the Great Kingdom and defend it against chaos, and also in the Oligarchs of Greyhawk City where some are Good and some are Evil.

And a nit-pick: it's intra-party or inter-party conflict.
 

This is not actually a problem: the conflict between Law and Chaos in D&D is as important as the conflict between Good and Evil. I recall an adventure in an early issue of Dungeon (Iron Orb?) that touches on this and you can also see it in the Knight Protectors of the Great Kingdom, where champions of both Hextor and Hieroneous are members and loyal to the Great Kingdom and defend it against chaos, and also in the Oligarchs of Greyhawk City where some are Good and some are Evil.

And a nit-pick: it's intra-party or inter-party conflict.
Thanks for the comment.

'Inner' lol. That's from 1984. I'll fix that up.

The concept of opposing alignments working together for a common goal is a cool idea. Unfortunately, in my past gaming experiences, it hasn't worked out so well.
 



jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
This is an enjoyable read--thanks for posting it. I agree that you're going to do very well in your studies! But if you don't mind, here are a few suggestions (from me as a professional editor) to make the paper even stronger. I apologize in advance if these comments seem really nitpicky, but trust me, they're the kind of thing that will really impress professors and take the paper to the next level!

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Your opening sentence assumes the reader knows what context Warduke was created for. This is fair for an audience such as the members of this board, but for a more general paper, you should spell it out. Otherwise, readers might be scratching their heads wondering if he's a movie or comic book character or something. Here's a suggestion for how to work it in: "Created in the early 1980s for Dungeons and Dragons, Warduke has become one of the game's many iconic villains who has regained popularity in recent years."

Warduke appeared in the fifth episode of the cartoon entitled In Search of the Dungeon Master; Warduke captured Dungeon Master and attempted to sell him to Venger for a high price.
The title of the cartoon episode where Warduke appears should be in quotation marks. Props to you for getting the capitalization right, though!

With the success of the toyline and their appearances on the show. Strongheart and Warduke would be reissued the following year under the Battle-Matic series. With the addition of two mounts, Destrier for Strongheart and Nightmare for Warduke.
First, you have toyline as one word here and at several other points in the essay. I would make it two words. Second, there should be a comma instead of a period after "show" (this is probably just a typo). Third, the final phrase (starting at "with the addition") seems to be part of the previous sentence and can be joined on with no punctuation. So the revised sentence would look like this: "With the success of the toy line and their appearances on the show, Strongheart and Warduke would be reissued the following year under the Battle-Matic series with the addition of two mounts, Destrier for Strongheart and Nightmare for Warduke."

Though Warduke would first appear officially in The Shady Dragon Inn, a game accessory for Basic D&D. Warduke's iconic helm is seen on the cover of The Dragon Magazine #17 (1978).
Again, there should be a comma instead of a period after "Basic D&D." Also, the name of the magazine should be in italics (same for the mention of Dungeon in paragraph 6).

The Shady Dragon Inn had a small paragraph dedicated to Warduke as it was a product-focused on an assortment of pregenerated characters.
"Product focused" should not be hyphenated in this context. That would make it a compound adjective (e.g. "product-focused design"), but here product is a noun modified by focused.

Though Warduke's stead's name is not in the book, the LJN toyline referred to the horse as Nightmare.
Should be steed, not stead (probably just a typo).

The adventure, designed for the Basic, Expert, Companion, Masters & Immortals (BECMI) edition of Dungeons and Dragons for levels 5 thru 10. The adventure centres around the Heartstone first hinted about in The Shady Dragon Inn.
Join these as one sentence ("The adventure, designed for BECMI, centres around the Heartstone").

His widow, Queen Leahra, needs to choose a new king and seeks council from Loftos, the High Patriarch of the Kingdom of Ghyr.
Should be counsel (advice) rather than council (a group of people who may offer advice).

Coupled with the original description in The Shady Dragon Inn, the friendship between the two characters is somewhat apparent.
You have a dangling modifier here; the friendship is not what's coupled with the original description. Here's a suggested way to make it clearer: "When the information in this adventure is coupled with the original description in The Shady Dragon Inn, the friendship between the two characters is somewhat apparent."

It describes Warduke as having a raspy, otherworldly voice before the battle. A possible reference to the original adventure and the creation of the supernatural twins, the players would have had to stand and fight.
This passage is a bit opaque. First, "it" as the subject of the sentence is a little confusing, as it's not clear what it refers to; I'm guessing you mean the article says this? Also, the second sentence seems like it should be part of the same thought, but the comma after "twins" made me a bit confused about what the players were fighting. I had to read it two or three times to get what I think was the meaning. Here's a suggested rewording to smooth it out a bit: "The article describes Warduke as having a raspy, otherworldly voice before the battle--a possible reference to the original adventure and the creation of the supernatural twins which the players would have had to stand and fight."

In Warduke's list of equipment, Warduke's Helm describes it as being presented to him by the Unnamable Hierarch and leader of the Horned Society. Whether this is a retcon or not is hard to confirm, as Warduke appears in The Realms and Mystaria, the possible home location for the Kingdom of Ghyr. The helm itself was given a significant stat increase as originally only listed as a helm; it is now at the major artifact subtype and a list of magical abilities to enhance its demonic elements. His sword though not named, still has some of its original flavours, now a +3 bane vs humans anarchic flaming burst bastard sword. The Development section of the article hints that Warduke is used as a counter to powerful player characters who portray the mightier than thou attitude and believe they can handle anything.
This passage is a little jumbled; it reads like you may have edited it several times and left in fragments of earlier versions. Again, I'll just give you a revised version with suggested changes in blue (let me know if the reasons for any of these suggestions aren't clear): "In Warduke's list of equipment, Warduke's Helm is described as being presented to him by the Unnamable Hierarch and leader of the Horned Society. Whether this is a retcon or not is hard to confirm, as Warduke appears in The Realms and Mystara, the possible home location for the Kingdom of Ghyr. The helm itself was given a significant stat increase: originally only listed as a helm, it is now at the major artifact subtype with a list of magical abilities to enhance its demonic elements. His sword, though not named, still has some of its original flavours, now becoming a +3 bane vs humans anarchic flaming burst bastard sword. The Development section of the article hints that Warduke is used as a counter to powerful player characters who portray the mightier-than-thou attitude and believe they can handle anything.

Fondly remembered by those who played Dungeons and Dragons in the 80s, Warduke is about to make a splash again in the gaming community as he and some of the other characters from the toyline; make their long-overdue return in The Wild and the Witchlight, an adventure to be released in September 2021.
You have a random colon in the middle of the sentence here. Also, the title of the adventure is The Wild beyond the Witchlight (you got it right in paragraph 1).

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I'd like to stress once again that these are all really small things, and the paper overall is clear and well-written. I offer these suggestions only in the spirit of showing you things to watch for when writing for a grade.

I actually hadn't heard of Warduke before reading this paper, and it makes me want to check out some of the adventures mentioned in it!
 

RealAlHazred

Frumious Flumph (Your Grace/Your Eminence)
I actually hadn't heard of Warduke before reading this paper, and it makes me want to check out some of the adventures mentioned in it!
Warduke is from an era of TSR where it seemed like they were shotgunning stratagems to merchandise products. The action figures weren't a bad idea, but they didn't have really solid setting properties yet -- the action figures came out in 1982, and the Forgotten Realms Box Set (which arguably was their first attempt to really set down a 'campaign bible' for a setting) didn't come out until 1987. As a result, the action figures were names and occupations without backstory; and, much like in an RPG, when you are given a name and an occupation, you write your own background. Later they expanded the action figures a little, but by then I suspect every kid who got them had already mapped out their own imaginary realm for the figures to live in.
 
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