Gary Gygax Q&A: Part X - Page 33


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  1. #321
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  • #322
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    Hello Gary,

    I have been spending time the last two days with my new LA essentials set and have a few questions.

    I downloaded an Avatar sheet and have been doing character creation - I am assuming a few things on the sheet are from the full rules and not part of the essentials (Intellect, Capacities/Handicaps). A lot of things I like here, especially in simplicity of stats, the harm setup for both health and armor (finally the common sense that armor might need mending), etc.

    I do have a question that confuses me though - I rolled up a Human Mage order Avatar that I wanted to also be strong in combat, so I chose Abilities (in order) Enchantment, Arcana, Weapons, Learning, Metallurgy. After all the setup, I had an Avatar with stats Health 57, Precision 56, Speed 15, with Enchantment 17, Arcana 14, Weapons 39, Learning 25 and Metallurgy 12, and 62 AEP's.

    The question I have is about activating energies during combat situations. With an Enchantment of 17, if I am reading right, would have a slightly less than 1 in 5 chance of activating just on the base score. The use of activations as I read are also supposed to be adjusted based on conditions, ranging from +10 for Danger Clear and Present to +100 for actual harm. If this is the case how could my Avatar ever hope to activate a Flame Gout (for instance) while in combat? It also seems like even using every merit gained to increase enchantment ability would still take almost a year (assuming 1 evening a week game at the 250 per 3-4 hour session mentioned in the book) to increase to a level where the Avatar would even have a decent chance to activate his energies under combat/stressfull situations.

    Is this a purposeful subduing of magical abilities for lower power Avatars? Or I am misreading this?

    Thanks,
    John W.

  • #323
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    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    That sort of campaign is hogwash in terms of the FRPG, proper for a comic book superhero system where the characters can become tremendously powerful and need such opponents to make the game even vaguely interesting. In short, I think the concept is childish and not worth pursuing by mature gamers.

    Cheers,
    Gary
    I whipped out my old gold box DnD Immortal Rules the other day. There was no way even the lowliest of gods could have been killed by a party of 36th level characters. At best, they could 'banish' the entity, but even that was unlikely. I liked these rules, since it was connected to DnD, but at the same time your character had moved to another reality. When I was 8 years old, and given my first red box set (even though it said for ages 10 and above) I created a character called Treetop the Ninja (Fighter, level 1). It took me until I was 15 to reach level 36th, and then he became an immortal. The Immortal Rules were so different from the first four boxes, that I changed his character name and the features of the body he created to inhabit. In my mind he became so much more powerful, that I felt I had to divorce his new existence from that of the mortal world. He left all attachments to the old kingdom. Why would an immortal want to take over an inhabited planet when he could create and control his own worlds?

    I think a party could have an interesting 'god-killing' game, but the immortal's status would have to be redefined. Such as when Conan would meet alien beings that the locals would worship as gods, and prove them wrong by striking it down in a barbaric rage. If ran properly, the DM can draw up an adventure with an ageless creature that has fanatical followers and plans to take over the world. Its powers are so great that the followers believe it to be a god, but it can be harmed and even killed with the right weaponry.

  • #324
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    Quote Originally Posted by seskis281
    I do have a question that confuses me though - I rolled up a Human Mage order Avatar that I wanted to also be strong in combat, so I chose Abilities (in order) Enchantment, Arcana, Weapons, Learning, Metallurgy. After all the setup, I had an Avatar with stats Health 57, Precision 56, Speed 15, with Enchantment 17, Arcana 14, Weapons 39, Learning 25 and Metallurgy 12, and 62 AEP's.

    ...

    Is this a purposeful subduing of magical abilities for lower power Avatars? Or I am misreading this?
    I think you did something wrong... I've never seen the Essentials boxed set, but IF it works the same as LA, Enchantment should be (4 x Speed), or about 60%. A better place to ask is here: LAddicts.

  • #325
    Hey Colonel, I have a question regarding henchmen and hirelings in 1e AD&D for you. A few PC's in my campaign are beginning to hire mercenaries and acquire a henchman or two for accompaniment on adventures.

    When do you suggest giving the player the character sheet for the henchment they hire? Right away? After a few adventures when the henchman and the PC have cemented their relationship? Do you give the player an increasing amount of information about the henchman over time after staring out with, for example, only class and level?

    Also, regarding hirelings, if a PC hires a group of 0 level mercenaries or acquires followers due to reaching "name" level do you give them any information regarding the hirelings' stats (although in the case of 0 levels this would besically be limited to Hit Points) or are those the sole purview of the DM?

    Thanks in advance.

    Gray Mouser
    "Still, it appears that someone doesn't like us," Fafhrd opined.

    "Was that ever news?" the Gray Mouser retorted.

  • #326
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    Hi Gary! Just wanted to say I finally started reading City of Hawks, and just 10 pages into it I am reminded how much I enjoy your D&D related fiction. Your descriptions of Greyhawk City are wonderful for my game and the planar politics of the Gord novels is what I base mine on when I run the Greyhawk campaign. I used Vuron in my last campaign as he tried to use some friendly help to start the Paladin of the group down the path to corruption.
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  • #327
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnRTroy
    Why end D3/Q1 with that goal then? Lolth was worshiped by most of the drow, so I'd assume she was a demonic deity. Zuggtmoy as well.

    And even though Gord was a series of novels and not a game campaign I saw that as a pretty cool archetypical 1st edition campaign going from 1st level to the ultimate end of a campaign, eh? He did say "a deity", not a pantheon.

    Is this a perspective you've changed with over time? While I hate the "cool, we can kill all the gods" mentality, I also dislike the alternate "gods can NEVER have stats and are totally beyond mortal ken" approach either.
    JRT My good Friend...

    You must concentrate on reading the actual content of a message, and then understand its meaning.

    A campaign where the PCs are meant to slay a deity is, as I said, utter hogwash, unless it is a superhero RPG with truly super supoerheros.

    I have said repeatedly in print that the D3 module was Dave Sutherland's interpretation of Lolth, and most certainly not mine. In truth I thoroguhly disapproved of the work but Brian Blume had it produced. Steam power indeed

    As for the Temple of Elemental Evil, Zuggtmoy is unkillable. she can be set free or sent back to the Abyss, but the PCs can not destroy her.

    Gord the Rogue is a demi-deity when he is dealing with similar figures, something that no reasonable AD&D campaign is able to emulate based on the AD&D rules. the material is not gaming but fiction novels.

    I stand foresquare behind what I posted prior to this

    Cheers,
    Gary

  • #328
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    Heh, I remember you disliking Q1. But in this question, another one appears.

    May I ask though what the ultimate goal was to be of Q1 before you discarded it? It's easy to assume, for instance, that there was a Q1 already planned, and it involves Lolth on her home plane. So what would have been the ultimate goal of the GDQ series if not the death of Lolth? Banishment? There had to be some kind of ultimate goal, I guess. :\

    (As an aside--I actually just purchased the ToEE computer game after playing the demo and seeing how accurate it was to the modules, save for the update in the game system. Looking forward to that--I'll actually have to avoid digging out my old module so I don't cheat.)

  • #329
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    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    I have said repeatedly in print that the D3 module was Dave Sutherland's interpretation of Lolth, and most certainly not mine. In truth I thoroguhly disapproved of the work but Brian Blume had it produced. Steam power indeed
    Hmm, I had no idea about that, since I always thought the little forward you wrote in it was quite complimentary. In addition to what JRT asked, why did he get the job of doing that module? Iirc, it was something about things resembling (at that time) ToEE too much, and, if memory serves, you saw some of the work he was doing and gave it a green light. I'd check the module, but I don't have it handy at the moment. Of course, I'm generalising and glossing over the details as I have heard, so I don't mean to be offensive in any way. Thanks Gary, as always, very much appreciated!

  • #330
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnRTroy
    Heh, I remember you disliking Q1. But in this question, another one appears.

    May I ask though what the ultimate goal was to be of Q1 before you discarded it? It's easy to assume, for instance, that there was a Q1 already planned, and it involves Lolth on her home plane. So what would have been the ultimate goal of the GDQ series if not the death of Lolth? Banishment? There had to be some kind of ultimate goal, I guess. :\

    (As an aside--I actually just purchased the ToEE computer game after playing the demo and seeing how accurate it was to the modules, save for the update in the game system. Looking forward to that--I'll actually have to avoid digging out my old module so I don't cheat.)
    Ciao John!

    Dave brought into the TSR offices, then at 723 Williams St., a towel that had a marvelous design that was perfect as a demonweb, so that's how he got into the project for creating the Q1 module. My outline for the whole was for a demi-plane outside of the Abyss, a great spiderweb with encounters at junctions along the way to the center, Lolth's abode there in the middle. The PCs would need to gather pieces of an artifact based on the four elements in the web in order to be able to face the demoness and send her packing back to the abyss. Of course, that would have called back the Elder Elemental God from his place of banishment...

    Being far too busy at the time to oversee the project, and as Brian Blume thought Dave's work great, I gritted my teeth and went on.

    Cheers,
    Gary

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