Q&A with Gary Gygax - Page 279
  1. #2781
    A couple of Chainmail questions:

    When the combat tables say "1 die per man", do they mean 1 die per man (20 dice per figure) or 1 die per figure (1 die per 20 men)? (I've known people to interpret it both ways.)

    Under Heroes, does "They have the fighting ability of four figures" mean that they are equivalent to 4 men or 80 men?

    I understand that hero v. hero would be resolved on the Fantasy Combat Table. Hero v. normal forces would be resolved on the regular Combat Table. (The hero being classed as heavy foot, armored foot, light horse, &c. as fit the particular hero.) But were heroes & other things from the Fantasy Supplement ever used with the man-to-man rules? If so, how?

    OK, that was three questons...

  2. #2782
    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    Well...

    I suppose that the Drow ambidexterity would extend to hand-thrown missiles, so you were not off base there. An ambidextrous character can attack twice, yes, but of course that means no shield
    Of course! As a matter of fact, I very rarely assigned shields to my characters. I always meant for them to have a sort of a roguish flavor. I mean, if you look at movies like "Krull" and such, NONE of the "good guys" had shields or helmets or even plate mail. Thus, I tried to follow suit whenever possible. Armour heavier/bulkier than normal chain I tended to shun. Plus, there's just so much more you can do shieldless than shield-burdened.

    In any event, the Drow in question was (and still is!) a Fighter/Assassin. Stealth is crucial. Can't climb walls, move silently, hide in shadows, etc. shielded.


    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    and a penalty on the second attack is usual, eh?
    Erm, what? Are you referring to the "off-hand" attack? I took the Drow's ambidexterity to mean they had NO off-hand and, thus, no off-hand penalty.


    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    You were well out in left field though claiming speed potions were cumulative. I can't blame you, though, as I have attempted to bulldoze GMs in like manner when i was power gaming
    Ah, if only that'd been in the rulebooks, I would have had a better childhood!

    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    Realistically, a drow character would care about losing 1% of his lifespan on a regular basis, don't you think?
    You mean .01% of his life, surely. There I go again, rules-lawyering like a madman. Actually, I had only meant for this muti-speed thing to be a sort of "secret weapon". Afterall, where was he to get replacements for the spent potions on a regular basis? Hence, it was only ever used once.

    FWIW, I had worked the rules that mulit-speed (and/or haste) would equate to quadrupling the years of life lost. Thus:

    1 potion = 1 year lost
    2 potions = 4 years lost
    3 potions = 16 years lost

    Etc..............


    The bottom line was, if you had the years to spare and/or a healthy supply of potions of longevity/elixirs of life, this was the "secret weapon" for you. Or for me, anyway. The real tricky bit was figuring out how to store 9-score darts on your person!

  3. #2783
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFisher
    A couple of Chainmail questions:
    I'm not Gary, but I'm pretty sure I know the answer to these.

    When the combat tables say "1 die per man", do they mean 1 die per man (20 dice per figure) or 1 die per figure (1 die per 20 men)? (I've known people to interpret it both ways.)
    Usually, once you establish how many men a figure represents, the word man means figure.

    Where the combat tables say "1 die per man," it means "1 die per figure."

    If you have an army of 20 figures, do you really think they expected you to roll 400 dice?

    Under Heroes, does "They have the fighting ability of four figures" mean that they are equivalent to 4 men or 80 men?
    80 men is rather extreme, even for a hero. It's 4 men. Besides, that's why D&D Heroes have 4 hit dice (and Superheroes have 8 hit dice).

    I understand that hero v. hero would be resolved on the Fantasy Combat Table. Hero v. normal forces would be resolved on the regular Combat Table. (The hero being classed as heavy foot, armored foot, light horse, &c. as fit the particular hero.) But were heroes & other things from the Fantasy Supplement ever used with the man-to-man rules? If so, how?
    Gary will have to answer the historical question, but I'm sure they were. I imagine this is the sort of question that led directly to D&D. "Okay, I know how a Hero fights 20 men. But what if the Hero fights only four men?"

  4. #2784
    Thanks for your response, SuStel.

    Quote Originally Posted by SuStel
    If you have an army of 20 figures, do you really think they expected you to roll 400 dice?
    All I can say is that I've seen people play it that way. Typically they'd have less than 20 figures on the table & they would be resolved in parts. (e.g. First reslove these three figures v. these two over here, then resolve those two figures v. those two over there.) Eventually every figure has taken some casualties so they're rolling less than 20 dice per figure.

    Quote Originally Posted by SuStel
    80 men is rather extreme, even for a hero. It's 4 men. Besides, that's why D&D Heroes have 4 hit dice (and Superheroes have 8 hit dice).
    Ah, but if a hero is equivalent to 4 men, but you normally roll 1 die per 20 men, that means you'd have to roll 0.2 dice per hero.

  5. #2785
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    Gary

    Was it your choice to include references to Baba Yaga in the 1e DMG? Was it intended for her to be a historical figure on Greyhawk? Was there any particular reason for the choice?

  6. #2786
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Mouser
    Heh, true enough. Speaking of Vancian Role-Playing, I was wondering if you've ever played the Dying Earth RPG? I personally have not, although from what I have read about it the game sounds like it would be a fun time if you had a group of Vance fans playing.

    Gray Mouser
    Hi 'Mouser,

    Regretably I haven't had the chance to see, let alone play, the Dying Earth RPG. Not many GMs hereabouts, and it's a foregone conclusion I haven't the time to manage a new game system and run a campaign...

    Cheers,
    Gary
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  7. #2787
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Mouser
    Hey Gary, I picked up my first issue of Dungeon last year when Rob published an updated version of Maure Castle. It credits both Rob and yourself for the adventure but I was wondering if you had gotten a chance to revisit the place of Mordenkainen's petrification with said Archmage and his comapanions or if you simply helped Rob update the manuscript but didn't engage in any play testing.

    BTW, the "Swords and Sorcery - in Wargaming" essay was quite good. Glad they republished it as I was 3 when it first appeared

    Gray Mouser
    As you likely suspected, I reviewed the ms. but didn't do any play-testing. Actually, considering Rob's veteran status, not much of that sort of thing is needed.

    Glad you enjoyed the essay. I suppose you weren't much into wargaming when it was originally published

    Heh,
    Gary
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  8. #2788
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Mouser
    Colonel, I was just thinking. My first D&D adventure in The Keep on the Borderlands still has a place in my memory. Do you recall your first D&D adventure? The PC you used? The setting/scenario? How about the first time Mordenkainen was taken out for a spin? Any recollections there?

    Gray Mouser
    Well,
    My first PC was a fghter named Yrag, back in 1972. Mordenkainen came into being about the first month of 1973. That's about all that I can recall with any level of certainly. I was very much engrossed in game creation then, devising mechanics and writing rules and in between time making dungeon levels and populating them for the ever-growing group of players I had continually knocking on the door for adventure sessions.

    Cheers,
    Gary
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFisher
    A couple of Chainmail questions:

    When the combat tables say "1 die per man", do they mean 1 die per man (20 dice per figure) or 1 die per figure (1 die per 20 men)? (I've known people to interpret it both ways.)
    Read "man" as "figure" and you have it. One die is just that...

    [QUOTE]Under Heroes, does "They have the fighting ability of four figures" mean that they are equivalent to 4 men or 80 men?[QUOTE]
    Heroes are used only in Man-to-Man play, so one is equal to four normal men.

    I understand that hero v. hero would be resolved on the Fantasy Combat Table. Hero v. normal forces would be resolved on the regular Combat Table. (The hero being classed as heavy foot, armored foot, light horse, &c. as fit the particular hero.) But were heroes & other things from the Fantasy Supplement ever used with the man-to-man rules? If so, how?
    i am quite at a loss to answer that, as the Hero and all the other Fantasy supplement figures were employed only in the play of Man-to-Man games, never in the mass system where one figure equalled 20.

    OK, that was three questons...
    "I've answered three questions,
    and that is enough..."

    Cheers,
    Gary (alias Charles Dodson)
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  10. #2790
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuzenbach
    Of course! As a matter of fact, I very rarely assigned shields to my characters. I always meant for them to have a sort of a roguish flavor. I mean, if you look at movies like "Krull" and such, NONE of the "good guys" had shields or helmets or even plate mail. Thus, I tried to follow suit whenever possible. Armour heavier/bulkier than normal chain I tended to shun. Plus, there's just so much more you can do shieldless than shield-burdened.

    In any event, the Drow in question was (and still is!) a Fighter/Assassin. Stealth is crucial. Can't climb walls, move silently, hide in shadows, etc. shielded.
    Only in the movies. while berserkers might have gotten by with such foolishness, once warfare became as organized as it had been before the Dark Ages, the value of armor was fully understood. the Swiss Pikemen had littlesave for front rank men, but their weapons kept opponents at bay, their crossbowmen keeping enemy missile units occupied.

    Erm, what? Are you referring to the "off-hand" attack? I took the Drow's ambidexterity to mean they had NO off-hand and, thus, no off-hand penalty.
    Does anyone use common sense? Even an ambidextrous person can't hammer two nails at the same time with equal skill...

    Ah, if only that'd been in the rulebooks, I would have had a better childhood!
    The game if for thinking folks, eh

    You mean .01% of his life, surely. There I go again, rules-lawyering like a madman. Actually, I had only meant for this muti-speed thing to be a sort of "secret weapon". Afterall, where was he to get replacements for the spent potions on a regular basis? Hence, it was only ever used once.
    Yuppers, my bad. I had the wish spell in mind, a 10-year aging effect. and single-use with a year lost would not be a factor to any adventurous, long-lived demi-human, I agree,

    FWIW, I had worked the rules that mulit-speed (and/or haste) would equate to quadrupling the years of life lost. Thus:

    1 potion = 1 year lost
    2 potions = 4 years lost
    3 potions = 16 years lost

    Etc..............
    Just say NO to over-potioning!

    The bottom line was, if you had the years to spare and/or a healthy supply of potions of longevity/elixirs of life, this was the "secret weapon" for you. Or for me, anyway. The real tricky bit was figuring out how to store 9-score darts on your person!
    As for the latter, any PC that had such a thing in my campaign would have been continually besieged with parties of NPC adventurers and monsters seeking to loot his store of potions.

    In regards the darts, as the DM i'd have suggested that the PC with them was in "porcupine mode," darts feathers outwards

    Cheers,
    Gary
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