Gary Gygax Q&A, Part IX - Page 84




What's on your mind?

  1. #831
    Quote Originally Posted by A'koss
    1d6/10', 20d6 max.
    Don't forget the "Death From Massive Damage" rule. It's somewhere in the 1e DMG...

    Quote Originally Posted by A'koss
    No N20 hits in AD&D.
    But there is in B/X D&D, and you did say older editions.
    In AD&D, he could easily have been grappled/overborne (either by using the extra-crunchy rules provided in the 1e DMG, or the simpler ones from Dragon magazine, or the DM's own house rule equivalent).
    Either way, no sane DM would have let a PC take on an army unless he was carrying some kind of artifact with suitable powers. High-level PCs may be very heroic, but they're still mortal.

    Quote Originally Posted by A'koss
    However, how many mythological and fantasy characters (that is, the kind of characters D&D is supposed to model) run around in nothing but their non-magical clothes or a simple loincloth *cough*Conan*cough*?
    D&D doesn't model any one single novel or genre. It's very much a pastiche, with lots of original stuff added on top. How does Conan fit into the same world as D'Artagnan, King Arthur, Gandalf, and Elric of Melnibonee? Even 3e, with its focus on intricate details, cannot do justice to all those characters at once. Either the character has to be changed to fit the game, or the game has to be changed to fit him. But because they all originate from different universes (which obey different laws), the characters are what must ultimately bend to the rules. In pastiche-land, the closest you'll get is an approximation, but that should be good enough to have fun, don't you think?

    Besides, it's not hard to make a Conan character in old-school D&D. Take a fighter with very high STR/DEX/CON, dual-class him as a thief, and give him an innate effect equivalent to Bracers of Defense. If it's a PC instead of an NPC, you can give him an XP panalty to offset the BoD freebie. It might not be perfect, but it's workable, at least it works for me.

    One thing you seem to not have grasped though, is that old-school D&D isn't really about the rules. They're there and they're useful to have, but they exist only as guidelines to help the DM manage his adventure/campaign. Ultimately, the ball is in his hands as to what is possible or not, and how it gets resolved. And that, my friend, is precisely why some of us continue to play old editions even though WotC's D&D remake is mechanically more consistent.
    "It's okay; Gary sent us."

 

  • #832
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRRNeiklot
    I must be thinking of C&C.
    Are you sure...

    Actually, you're wrong.
    How exactly?

    But it's a 2nd edition rule. Regardless, almost every game I ever played in had this house rule in 1e.
    So, in other words, I'm not wrong...

    Yeah, well, when you have an 18/00 strength and a 100 hit points, who needs armor?
    Now, how does a D&D character survive to gain 100 hp with no armor and no magic? There is a whole lot of mythological and fantasy characters who either never wore any armor or at least never any magical varieties. Fafrd and Grey Mouser? Many Greek and Norse heroes?

    I'm just saying that in my games, we never survived "falls from orbit."
    All kidding aside, that's perfectly fine if you want to house rule lethal falling damage and N20 always hits, but I'm just saying that's definitely not the case in the RAW. And what I'm getting at is that in the RAW, even 1st ed HL characters would be looked upon as superheroes/demigods to the ordinary man/soldier...

    But you're right, this is definitely treading into foreign waters so I'll leave it at that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    All I can say is...

    AARGH! Blasphemy
    Oh, if you think that was blasphemous, the jedi knight AD&D class I created would probably have had me burned at the stake. (Keep in mind though we're talking about a kid who was in his mid-teens at the time - be merciful! ).

    Cheers!

    A'koss.

  • #833
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    They run like scared rabbits when the odds are against them, is how. (at least in game)

    Im sure there are those who would rather be a dead lion than a live rabbit, but me, Id rather be a live lion.

    Quote Originally Posted by A'koss

    Now, how does a D&D character survive to gain 100 hp with no armor and no magic? There is a whole lot of mythological and fantasy characters who either never wore any armor or at least never any magical varieties. Fafrd and Grey Mouser? Many Greek and Norse heroes?
    Peter

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  • #834
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    Okay, really, this'll be the last ride on this train...

    Quote Originally Posted by Silverleaf
    Don't forget the "Death From Massive Damage" rule. It's somewhere in the 1e DMG...
    Uh... I don't think so. But if you can find it, I'll happily concede the point.

    But there is in B/X D&D, and you did say older editions.
    Actually, I qualified that particular rule as AD&D in my post as I don't remember how BD&D handled it. I'll take your word for it though...

    In AD&D, he could easily have been grappled/overborne (either by using the extra-crunchy rules provided in the 1e DMG, or the simpler ones from Dragon magazine, or the DM's own house rule equivalent).
    Heh... I'll just have to assume you're right here as I've never, ever, tried to make heads or tails of the AD&D grapple/overbearing rules. And for those of you who whine about how difficult 3e makes grappling, just glance over the AD&D rules sometime... (sorry Gary! )

    D&D doesn't model any one single novel or genre. It's very much a pastiche, with lots of original stuff added on top.
    I've always said that D&D models only one thing well... itself.

    This is not a bad thing! I've loved playing it and I'm sure you've loved playing it. However, it does not work well trying to model a lot of the settings it drew inspiration from. It's very much magic-gear based (far more than even LotR) and superheroic in nature (all editions). If you want to run a Conan/Lanhkmar/King Arthur style setting, D&D isn't the way (or at least the best way) to go.

    Just my 2 bits.

    A'koss.

  • #835
    Quote Originally Posted by gideon_thorne
    And you can do the same thing with Castles and Crusades. *shameless plug*
    I have heard a lot of good things about Castles and Crusades. A friend of mine got me one of the Spartan 300 as a gift. I am not playing with it, but I did get a regular copy of it and when I get time I will take a look at it. I am not getting anything else until after I get Gary's LA game though.

    Cheers,

    Llaurenela

  • #836
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    *chuckles* No worries. But when you need to know anything more about it feel free to ask. Or there are plenty of overly clever fellows on Dragonsfoot able to provide lengthy answers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Llaurenela
    I have heard a lot of good things about Castles and Crusades. A friend of mine got me one of the Spartan 300 as a gift. I am not playing with it, but I did get a regular copy of it and when I get time I will take a look at it. I am not getting anything else until after I get Gary's LA game though.

    Cheers,

    Llaurenela
    Peter

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    www.ravenchilde.com

  • #837
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    So, in other words, I'm not wrong...
    Well, 2nd edition WAS AD&D, though some would like to deny it (myself among them), but technically, it was still AD&D.

  • #838
    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    Thank you kindly

    No more need be said,
    Gary
    Gary,

    Thank you kindly good sir!!

    BTW I started with AD&D (1st Edition) and found the core books totally sufficient for my taste and have had an enormous amount of fun with them. I recently got the opportunity to play D&D (the original 3 books, with a few house rules) with a ref with 31 years of experience and it is an absolute blast. He has several campaigns: he plays a 3 books only game, a 3 books and parts of Greyhawk supplement I game and a 3 books, parts of Greyhawk, bits and pieces of the other supplements game with house rules comprised of things from Mythus and many other sources. He and his wife co-ref with larger groups and she plays with smaller groups. He just threw my group (the twelve of us) into an existing border area, gave us a little background info and away we went. Characters are all generated with 3d6 in order no adjustments aside from those in the rules. You role it you play it. He doesn't pull any punches and we are learning the rules as we go.

    He has never allowed thieves in any of his campaigns, but he does allow fighting men (& women), elves, dwarves and hobbits to use "thief abilities" with ability checks based on the backgound that was agreed on for the character when that character started and what the player has had "opportunity" to learn since and modified by other things. Anyone can try to pick a lock, it doesn't mean that they are going to succeed. Anyone can try to hide in shadows or move silently. For instance hiding in shadows or moving silently, he (the ref) makes the roll and the player finds out if he was successful by whether or not he gets away with it, i.e. he slipped past the guard without getting caught. You can hide in shadows and move silently pretty well without armour but with plate armour forget it, its not going to happen.

    On the subject of dice rolls for character creation, he has one hard and fast rule, "All players must roll their abilities, 3d6 in order, using my dice with me as the witness. Any roll I don't see rolled, didn't happen." He said that he has heard others say that "they would never let a player play with such and such numbers, why it would unbalance the game." His take on it is, you roll it, you get to play it and he will leave the debates about the odds of a given set of rolls to those who get their jollies that way. In 31 years amounting to over 20,000 hours of gaming he has seen a character with 4-3's and 2-4's as the "worst" character played and that character made it to 5th level before being killed and that was a spot of bad luck not the numbers and he has seen one character with 5-18's and 1-17 rolled by his rules as the "best" character played and that character was played to 10th level, built a stronghold and retired and is the oldest player built NPC in that campaign. His take on it is that numbers don't unbalance the game if you play by the rules, giving out too much magic and too much treasure for too little effort, that is what will unbalance the game. If a player makes a once in a lifetime roll and he witnesss it, he will never take those rolls away from the player good or bad. The funny part, the same player had the "worst" and the "best" characters mentioned above and both were rolled with the same dice 6 years apart. He swears that the player has equally fond memories of both characters.

    I close with saying that I have added a quote by a guy on Dragonsfoot to my signature, it fits the campaign I am getting to play in right now.

    Cheers,

    Llaurenela
    There are no numbers too low to play, there are players who are not inventive enough to play all numbers! http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/im...s/icon_lol.gif
    The GameMaster

  • #839
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRRNeiklot
    Well, 2nd edition WAS AD&D, though some would like to deny it (myself among them), but technically, it was still AD&D.
    Dear gawd, you're right. I totally forgot that they still used the "Advanced" moniker for 2nd ed. Naturally, my comments were directed at 1st ed...

    Thanks!

    A'koss.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    How true!

    No gamer needs me to validate his or her choice of a system that brings them enjoyment. As a matter of fact I do not believe the choice of an RPG is a meaningful measure of a person's worth...
    Exactly. Their choice of ice cream, fudge, or salt water taffy works much better, I understand.

    As for stirring the pot, sometimes that is good Observce the sudden influx of posts here
    Heh-heh. Like moths to a flame, so do posters rush to a flaming post. I think that's an ancient internet proverb...
    "Yes, but apart from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?"

    Psalm 73:26

    "Knowledge, logic, reason, and common sense serve better than a dozen rule books." -- E. Gary Gygax

    From the 1st edition PHB, p.8:
    "Rules not understood should have appropriate questions directed to the publisher; disputes with the Dungeon Master are another matter entirely. THE REFEREE IS THE FINAL ARBITER OF ALL AFFAIRS OF HIS OR HER CAMPAIGN."

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