Gary Gygax Q&A, Part IX - Page 85




  1. #841
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    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    Hey!

    I have a lot of fun playing DUNGEON! now and again, trying to make a tour of all levels without getting eliminated.
    I loved Dungeon! as a kid. That was the game that my parents bought to decide whether we could play D&D or not (thank God they were proactive and decided to see for themselves instead of making judgments on RPG's based on the irresponsible gossip of the day). They played and liked it. Soon after, they bought us the Basic box (Erol Otus cover) to keep us occupied at our Grandmother's while they took a holiday. Just recently, I won Dungeon! on eBay since our old copy was either lost, sold, or otherwise removed from my parents' premises. I cannot wait for it to arrive and play it again. Awesome board game!
    "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."

 

  • #842
    Quote Originally Posted by A'koss
    Uh... I don't think so. But if you can find it, I'll happily concede the point.
    Okay, you got me man. I can't find it, though honestly it's been a while since I've played 1e. I distinctively remember seeing it in an AD&D book though, so perhaps it was in UA or the 2e DMG.
    It's worth noting that you can use the Massive Damage rule, or at least that concept, no matter what the edition. I think it's a good, simple rule, especially since you can scale it up or down to set the desired "grittiness" level for your campaign.

    Quote Originally Posted by A'koss
    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...
    It varies by BD&D edition (yes, there have been a few of those: '77 Holmes, '81 Moldvay, '83 Mentzer). I use the Moldvay book, where the rule of thumb is: you always miss on natural 1, and you always hit on natural 20 (again, except in cases where a magic/silver weapon is needed). I also believe, but can't confirm, that AD&D 2e also has the same rule of thumb.

    Quote Originally Posted by A'koss
    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! )
    Well don't quote me on that. I never used those rules in the DMG. I'm just going on the basis that a sane DM would make sure the fighter was eventually brought to his knees and captured or slain, even if it took a few hundred soldiers to do the job. AC helps you survive attacks, but it's not a cure-all. The odds are simply not in his favor, and the sheer numbers of the opposition should grant them non-trivial bonuses. In fact, in a situation like that, I would be tempted to use the "squad combat" mechanism from module M5 Talons of Night, which allows a trained unit of low-level NPCs/monsters to attack as a single entity of much higher level.

    Quote Originally Posted by A'koss
    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.
    There was actually a Lankhmar setting (and modules) for AD&D. There's an interesting discussion about it here:
    http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=194162
    It sounds pretty good, but I don't know how faithful it is to Lieber's world.

    Conan can probably be done in a similar fashion too. Middle-earth is harder to pin down, but I'm sure many have used some modified version of D&D for that. Heck, I think there was a d20 M-E project happening on this very site a while back... And on Dragonsfoot, there have been several discussions in the Classic D&D forum on how to handle M-E. OD&D/BD&D are particularly well-suited to this kind of thing, since they're quite generic (read the monster, spell and magic item descriptions, you'll see what I mean...) and thus those games make a good "starting point". AD&D though is much more specific and one would need to deal with a lot more "cruft" if he wanted to use it to model something outside or on the edges of its design parameters.
    "It's okay; Gary sent us."

  • #843
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silverleaf
    There was actually a Lankhmar setting (and modules) for AD&D. There's an interesting discussion about it here:
    http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=194162
    It sounds pretty good, but I don't know how faithful it is to Lieber's world.
    Actually, I have all the 2e Lanhkmar stuff. While the adventures aren't bad, the rules are an ill-fit however. Sometimes it tries to use standard D&D levels of magic and other times it tries to be a low magic game. For example, there's one 15th level fighter with a magic sword and an AC -5 in one module, and in another a 14th level Thief with a AC 9 and no magic items. There are some new classes, including Wizard classes, but basically using the same D&D spell list. It's D&D wearing Lanhkmar's clothes. Fafrd has about 25 levels to his name... and an AC 6. Grey Mouser has even more levels, some rule-breaking proficiencies IIRC and an AC 4. I think at the very least you need a system that grants class-based AC bonuses.

    My feeling is that the same can be said for Conan and LotR. And you would need to completely revamp magic for those two settings as well. Ideally you'd want a system that made characters difficult to actually wound, but once wounded treated more like a real-life wound.

    Just my 2 bits,

    A'koss.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A'koss
    Hmmm, I'm not sure I buy that (and I apologize in advance if this is getting OT). BD&D characters and AD&D characters are very much like superheroes as well. High level character could destroy entire towns of LL foes, fall from orbit, possess superhuman attributes, etc. You certainly have more options and "powers" in 3e to be sure, but I certainly wouldn't call the early edition characters "historical human archetypes" by comparison. They're all geared towards representing mythological and fantasy archetypes anyway.
    Here's one of the effects the Internet has had on my game. Learning about how Gary & others played D&D & AD&D made me realize that--in some ways--I played a very different game than they did. (Although neither my group's way or Gary's way was the RAW!)

    Thanks, Gary. Not only for giving us the games that started the hobby, but for helping me find--so many years later--a new appreciation for those same games. And by doing it by just being another gamer discussing things online. And thanks for your latest thoughts on the hobby as embodied in the Lejendary Adventure game.

    Uh oh, now I sound like a hopeless fanboy. Politics is verboten so that way out is blocked. Maybe I could dredge up some material from my younger & stupider Gygax-bashing days... Let's see...the UA...certainly there's something there... Nah. Can't open it or it will finally fall apart completely...

    OK. I'll just get back on topic: Any progress on getting a collection of stories from the early days as published in Dragon & elsewhere into print?

    I was looking into The Record of Lodoss War--an anime (originally novels, I think) based on the author's D&D campaign--and I thought how cool it would be to see something like that based on a book of your old Greyhawk stories. Or maybe not. Hard to imagine Robilar & Mordy in anime style.

    The really sad thing to me, too, is that I've never heard tales from Marc Miller's home Traveller campaign or Steve Jackson's home GURPS campaign, &c. It makes you wonder if a game designer doesn't enjoy his own game so much that he can't help but tell some tales about his own sessions...

  • #845
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    Quote Originally Posted by A'koss
    ...

    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.
    But of course!

    At least I wasn't forced to listen to you extol the merits of the "really cool new class" as I have in regard to many similar creations at various cons. At such events the spirit of camaraderie prevents me from being brutally frank

    When my sons Ernie and Luke were DMing the playtest of the Lost City of Gaxmoor we played from noon until 7 PM on Saturdays. The number of players varied from as few as 12 to as many as 24. The majority were eager and enthusiastic young teens. I was, of course, the old man of the party, with a scattering of 30- and 40-year-olds levening the youthful band. The whole of those young gamers had a great time playing the 3E game, and because of that I didn't mind the rule-playing that prevailed. However, it was impossible to not mentally compare and contrast that group with similar ones Rob Kuntz and I ahd DMed in the 70s. The only difference in reality was the rule-playing in lieu of occasional thinking by the contemporary band of heroes. The level of enjoyment was the same, and the after game war stories were as if they sprang from that earlier decade.

    Enough of this rambling!

    Cheerio,
    Gary

  • #846
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    Quote Originally Posted by gideon_thorne
    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.
    Absolutely!

    All of the sensible players in my campaign knew well the strategic retreat, and my own PCs were often winging their way away from danger

    Quoting Monty Python was usual: "Run away! Run away!"

    Cheers,
    Gary

  • #847
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    Quote Originally Posted by Llaurenela
    Gary,

    Thank you kindly good sir!!

    ...
    And another thanks to you for the account of the OD&D game campign. I suppose you know that I had been playing pretty much the same sort of campaign as a break from the LA and C&C game systems...but we are now back to the LA game, playing in the C&C-designed Castle Zagyg, Yggsburgh setting. Anyway, the OD&D rules are meant to have house additions, because they are sketchy, and the DM is there to be the judge and referee, write statutes as needed for the group

    Cheers,
    Gary

  • #848
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zudrak
    Exactly. Their choice of ice cream, fudge, or salt water taffy works much better, I understand.
    Whilst I much prefer a creme brule or a Napoleon

    Heh-heh. Like moths to a flame, so do posters rush to a flaming post. I think that's an ancient internet proverb...
    Yuppers! About the only topic likely to draw more attention is one dealing with sex

    Cheers,
    Gary

  • #849
    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    And another thanks to you for the account of the OD&D game campign. I suppose you know that I had been playing pretty much the same sort of campaign as a break from the LA and C&C game systems...but we are now back to the LA game, playing in the C&C-designed Castle Zagyg, Yggsburgh setting. Anyway, the OD&D rules are meant to have house additions, because they are sketchy, and the DM is there to be the judge and referee, write statutes as needed for the group

    Cheers,
    Gary

    Gary & all,

    Happy 4th of July!

    Cheers,
    Llaurenela

    OD&D The One True Game & Forever the Best One!!
    OD&D the original and most versatile
    OAD&D the standardized tournament version

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    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*?
    Barbarian sub-class, Unearthed Arcana.
    Words of wisdom from Gary Gygax:

    From my perspective wanting less in the way of rules constraints comes from being a veteran Game Master who feels confident that more good material comes from imagination and player interaction with the environment than from textbook rules material.
    more words of wisdom:

    • Rashness and foolhardiness are harbingers of death, as is timidity, in such adventure setting.
    • Those that complain about real challenges might be better off playing Candyland with their little sister
    • First and foremost, munchkinism arose as a contemporary of the OD&D game. Nothing in the rules of that or any other version of the game was needed to make it flourish.
    • There is no relationship between 3E and original D&D, or OAD&D for that matter. Different games, style, and spirit.
    • [E]xperience has taught me that everyone has their own gaming preferences, and it is not a matter of "good" or "bad" in all, save in light of one's own preferences.

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