Gary Gygax Q&A, Part IX - Page 97





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  1. #961
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    Spiked Armor: Stupid?

    It isn't, really (although it's not all that historical, either, but, hey; it's fantasy)! There are a lot of places where spikes wouldn't get in the way, and could be used as "Off-Hand Weapons", as the rules describe...

    1) Spiked Steel Codpiece. This pre-athletic supporter deflects and injures an incoming enemy knee. "You knee me in the groin? Okay, take 1D6 damage, plus my STR Bonus, Orc-face!"

    2) Spiked Greeves. Spikes at the top, protecting the kneecaps. When the knee is bent, the spike is exposed, allowing a knee to the groin to do even more damage (and not be an Unarmed Strike, which provokes an attack of opportunity). What is it the original Oriental Adventures called greaves? Shinobi?

    3) Spiked Bracers/Dastana. Bracers covering the arm from wrists to elbows, with the spikes attached to the rears of the elbows, where they are out of the way, when the arms are straight, but make an elbow smash even more (puncture) damaging.

    4) Breastplate Shoulder Spikes. A pair of spikes coming off the breastplate over each shoulder, in a reverse "C" (so that they wouldn't prevent the vambraced arms from being raised). Shouldering someone aside becomes a real attack.

    5) Spiked Helmets. Now these are historical! Headbutts, in melee, are not all that uncommon!

    6) Spiked Gauntlets. If you're going to wear gauntlets, there's no reason not to wear these. They can't be disarmed, easily, and are better than an Improved Unarmed Strike (in most cases).

    Now the typical D&D armor seems to be the "spiked all over" type, which is less useful, and certainly not what you want to be caught out in the woods in ("Help! I'm stuck!") Still, if you're fighting Ropers, Giant Purple Worms, Remorhaz, or anything else with Improved Grab/Swallow Whole, then I can see it... Even if it seems a bit silly.

 

  • #962
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orius
    Well, I'm no expert on the marketing of RPG by any stretch of the imagination, but from reading the bits on the background of the various D&D settings that was presented in Dragon 315, I got the impression that TSR spent a great deal of time during the 2e era trying to come up with the next Dragonlance. ...

    ...
    The DL novels and modules were indeed a windfall, but the main problem at TSR after the release of 2E was loss of core audience. That is what caused the downward spiral.

    Gary

  • #963
    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    The DL novels and modules were indeed a windfall, but the main problem at TSR after the release of 2E was loss of core audience. That is what caused the downward spiral.
    Yes, though from what I understand it wasn't a loss that happened all at once, but in several places over the years. There were those who first didn't bother to to move on to 2e, especially since TSR for a year or so continued to support both editions of AD&D, from what I understand. Then there were those who were disappointed by a number of mediocre 2e products and sort of trickled out of the audience. Finally there was the group that was angered about TSR's aggresive lawsuit policy, though I'd guess they were probably a small number of gamers that didn't have the impact the other two groups did.
    PbP info here: http://www.enworld.org/forum/5396456-post81.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steverooo
    1) Spiked Steel Codpiece. This pre-athletic supporter deflects and injures an incoming enemy knee. "You knee me in the groin? Okay, take 1D6 damage, plus my STR Bonus, Orc-face!"
    you win!
    don't quote me on that.

    I am the D&D guru on Wikipedia (because no one else wanted the job!) so check out the D&D Wikiproject!

  • #965
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    Ignore BOZ
    don't quote me on that.

    I am the D&D guru on Wikipedia (because no one else wanted the job!) so check out the D&D Wikiproject!

  • #966
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orius
    Yes, though from what I understand it wasn't a loss that happened all at once, but in several places over the years. There were those who first didn't bother to to move on to 2e, especially since TSR for a year or so continued to support both editions of AD&D, from what I understand. Then there were those who were disappointed by a number of mediocre 2e products and sort of trickled out of the audience. Finally there was the group that was angered about TSR's aggresive lawsuit policy, though I'd guess they were probably a small number of gamers that didn't have the impact the other two groups did.
    To the best of my knowledge and belief, the problem began with the release of 2E, as it sold at only c. 50% of the number an OAD&D core rules book had done. Plainly put, about half of the audience for AD&D was gone at a stroke.

    Later flooding of the remaining audience with books that were not always of first rate value simply pared away the base audience still further. T$R chased a diminishing audience with an increased number of products, hoping to make up in quantity of different SKUs sold what was lacking in volume from a smaller number. In the publishing business that is a hopeless plan.

    Gary

  • #967
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    Quote Originally Posted by BOZ
    you win!
    Not al all...if your PC has plate armor. The steel kneecap will bend and break spikes

    Unlimbering a spiked codpiece would also be quite a trick

    Cheers,
    Gary

  • #968

    Spiked armor

    Quote Originally Posted by Steverooo
    1) Spiked Steel Codpiece. This pre-athletic supporter deflects and injures an incoming enemy knee. "You knee me in the groin? Okay, take 1D6 damage, plus my STR Bonus, Orc-face!"
    Awesome!

    On spiked armor...
    Examine some historical scale armor if you can. Generally you will see that the lower edge of each "scale" is curved, and frequently the scale is bevelled so that the lower edge rests on the scales beneath, lifting the rest of the scale away from the backing material.

    This arrangement actually requires a lot of work. Scales were individually cut from sheets of metal, in a square (main part of scale) plus triangle (lower edge of scale) shape, in 2 parallel rows, with pointed ends interlocking/meshing.

    Scale armor made with flat pointed scales was faster and easier to make, but was dangerous, as the many scales acted like small knife blades, lacerating the wearer.
    Thus the curved lower edge to remove the point, and bevelling to direct the lower edge into the lower scales, instead of leaving it to "radiate" outward as an exposed edge.
    (This bevelling may have contributed to the "upward thrust weakness" theory of scale armor.)



    This I think is a sensible backdrop for consideration of "Spiked Armor".

    The instance of Rome vs Carthage at Zama is a very specialized case. You have what are essentially custom made suits of armor made specifically for that conflict, paid for by the treasury of Rome.

    Clearly, this historic use lends itself to somewhat fantastic use in AD&D as a special defense against grapplers, constrictors, and the like, but the wearer of such armor would have to worry about accidental injury both to himself, and his fellows.
    "My heart it ceases...my breath undrawn...
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    Gary: Here is some of the wisdom I have garnered over the years:

    If you love the work you do it is much like play, not work, so you can enjoy so much more of your life that way.
    Gaming is likely the second best thing in life. If you don't know what the first is, I ain't a'gonna tell you.
    Don't play with bumble bees.
    A deal isn't done until the check has cleared the bank.
    The bit of writing you like best in a work you are doing is likely the part that should be tossed out.
    Cash is always better than credit, save when it comes to creative credit. In that case get both!
    Be careful if asked for advice, as it's likely the one asking won't want to hear what you have to say. Besides, likely your advice isn't all that good anyway.


    E Gary Gygax 1938 - 2008

  • #969
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanguinemetaldawn
    ...

    ...

    This I think is a sensible backdrop for consideration of "Spiked Armor".

    ...


    ...but the wearer of such armor would have to worry about accidental injury both to himself, and his fellows.
    A fine historical example in regards the scale armor.

    As for spiked armor, falling down on turf or being driven into a tree or wooden structure of any sort would be tatamont to a death warrant for the wearer.

    Cheers,
    Gary

  • #970
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    Wrong

    I wrote the initial draft in 1972, a revised and expanded one in 1973, and the game was published at the end of January 1974. All of that is a matter of record, and any serious researcher should know those facts.

    Gary
    Heh, I was born in 1972!

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