Gary Gygax Q&A, Part V - Page 19




What's on your mind?

Closed Thread
Page 19 of 22 FirstFirst ... 910111213141516171819202122 LastLast
Results 181 to 190 of 214
  1. #181
    Father of the Game
    A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)

    Col_Pladoh's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Lake Geneva, WI
    Posts
    4,756

    Ignore Col_Pladoh
    Quote Originally Posted by Bloodstone Press
    That's not a dumb question. I've been in vociferous arguments with people who insisted his name is pronounced "Guy-Jax," and even "Jy-Jax." I continue to maintain it is "Guy-gax."

    Guess we'll finally find out for sure any minute... (anxiously holding my breath...)
    LOL!

    There's a standing joke amongst my sons and gaming fellows about those who claim, "Jerry Jyjax is a good friend of mine."

    Still chuckling,
    Gary

 

  • #182
    Registered User
    Minor Trickster (Lvl 4)



    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    2,371

    Ignore RFisher
    My communities:

    If I misrepresented your opinion, T.Foster, I apologize. In any case, I could probably have phrased things better. Thief skills and open doors--while not wholly unrelated--don't really qualify as ability checks to me.

    Thief skills: Look up base chance on a table by level. Look up modifier on a table by ability score.

    Open doors/bend bars/lift gates: Look up chance on a table by ability score.

    Ability check: Roll ability score or less on 1d20. (Or roll ability score -4 or less on 1d20. Or roll ability score less on 3d6. Or roll ability score or less on 4d6.)

    Now, possibly the tables can be replaced by a calculation. And certainly, the table lookup or calculation can be preformed once and kept on the character record.

    But ability checks--and now I realize the distinction to be made--are typically used for winging it. You don't have time to develop a table or calculation and--even if you did--you don't want to take time to use it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    That I don't believe that one size fits all in regards to ability checks is certainly true. That's why I prefaced my earlier post of approval of the concept as I did. The various checks for thieving abilities and assassination are also examples of how I view the concept.
    One thing that has struck me recently: These days there seems to be a strong feeling that RPGs need a "universal mechanic". A common criticism of OAD&D is that it lacked such. Reading OAD&D & classic Traveller these days, however, it seems to me that they did have a universal mechanic--which as a youngster I missed--though it may not be explicit.

    For OAD&D I'd say it was: Figure out what you think the odds are and pick a die roll/target number with those odds.

    (Look at the dwarf abilities in the PHB. Gary isn't concerned with what dice you roll, although he gives you suggestions. He's merely concerned about communicating the odds.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    Early in the developmental stage of OD&D I allowed non-mages to use wands, needing to rolll their Intelligence or less on 3d6 to make the device function. I dropped the concept as being incoingruous with the class-base of the game.
    Interesting.

    I guess what I really want to know from Gary is: When winging it while DMing, do you use this sort of direct ability check? Do you use it often? Is there any basic mechanic you fall back on, or do you just guesstimate the odds (informed by the character's ability scores, class, level, & situation) and pick a dice roll & target number to match?

    How about in the LA system: Do you usually have players roll directly against their abilities or do you figure the odds informed by their abilities?
    Last edited by RFisher; Friday, 6th February, 2004 at 04:17 PM.

  • #183
    Registered User
    Grandmaster of Flowers (Lvl 18)

    S'mon's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    London England
    Posts
    15,233

    Ignore S'mon
    My communities:

    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    Salut!

    After noting your sig, I have to say that as a 12-year-old "John Bloodstone" stories in pulp zines were very thrilling to me....

    I took a good deal of literary license in creating monsters for the D&D game. As I needed a humanoid tougher than a goblin but not as powerful as a gnoll, I simply used "hobgoblin",,,even though its name indicated a smaller sort of goblin. In short, only the name was drawn from folklore, and the rest was made up out of whole cloth
    & incidentally the big orcs in JRRT's The Hobbit are referred to as 'hobgoblins' (what are called Uruk Hai in LOTR), whereas the small orcs are called 'goblins' (LOTR's snagga orcs). Coincidence?
    ***Henry/S'mon Super Quick d20 NPC Generation System*** The Gods of the Copybook Headings With Terror and Slaughter Return!

    eriktheguy, on S'mon's latest idea:
    There are 2 major problems with your idea:
    1: It is far too awesome
    2: see 1

  • #184
    Father of the Game
    A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)

    Col_Pladoh's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Lake Geneva, WI
    Posts
    4,756

    Ignore Col_Pladoh
    Quote Originally Posted by RFisher
    Ability check: Roll ability score or less on 1d20. (Or roll ability score -4 or less on 1d20. Or roll ability score less on 3d6. Or roll ability score or less on 4d6.)
    That is system specific, and not applicable to all FRPGs.

    [snip]
    I guess what I really want to know from Gary is: When winging it while DMing, do you use this sort of direct ability check? Do you use it often? Is there any basic mechanic you fall back on, or do you just guesstimate the odds (informed by the character's ability scores, class, level, & situation) and pick a dice roll & target number to match?
    I use what seems logical for the situation, more or less as you set forth, and then have the player roll for the PC, or do it in secret of it's something that should not be known.

    How about in the LA system: Do you usually have players roll directly against their abilities or do you figure the odds informed by their abilities?
    Heh, as it happens, skill-bundles in the LA game are called "Abilities," have a %score for successful use--with various modifiers; so yes, players roll against the applicable Ability score, or perhaps one of their three Base Rating scores. I calculate the modifiers applicable, if any, and pass on the resulting outcome. Usually, though, the player has to make it clear that the character is actually using an Ability for it to function. Normal senses being a partial exception. One might see, hear, or smell something even when not concentrating, so in such cases there is either no bonus for the check or even a penalty.

    Cheers,
    Gary

  • #185
    Father of the Game
    A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)

    Col_Pladoh's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Lake Geneva, WI
    Posts
    4,756

    Ignore Col_Pladoh
    Quote Originally Posted by S'mon
    & incidentally the big orcs in JRRT's The Hobbit are referred to as 'hobgoblins' (what are called Uruk Hai in LOTR), whereas the small orcs are called 'goblins' (LOTR's snagga orcs). Coincidence?
    Ho S'mon

    I didn't know, or at least don't recall, JRRT using the term "hobgoblin" in his novels.

    If he too called larger goblins "hobgoblins," I am quite surprised, as the "hob" prefix in folklore indicates a smaller version of something.

    As I stated, I needed a name for a mumanoid larger than a goblin, that race having been detailed already, so I bit the bullet and used the namefor a smaller version of a goblin for a larger humanoid race in AD&D. If tolkien did the same for whatever reasons he had, then it is coincidence.

    Cheers,
    Gary

  • #186
    Registered User
    Grandmaster of Flowers (Lvl 18)

    S'mon's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    London England
    Posts
    15,233

    Ignore S'mon
    My communities:

    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    Ho S'mon

    I didn't know, or at least don't recall, JRRT using the term "hobgoblin" in his novels.

    If he too called larger goblins "hobgoblins," I am quite surprised, as the "hob" prefix in folklore indicates a smaller version of something.

    As I stated, I needed a name for a mumanoid larger than a goblin, that race having been detailed already, so I bit the bullet and used the namefor a smaller version of a goblin for a larger humanoid race in AD&D. If tolkien did the same for whatever reasons he had, then it is coincidence.

    Cheers,
    Gary
    Hi Gary - sorry to be sceptical, but are you sure you didn't read The Hobbit and just don't remember? AIR hobgoblins are only mentioned in the Battle of Five Armies section, as forming the Goblin King's bodyguard. It might have been an unconscious thing, but I do very much get the impression that D&D's goblins & hobgoblins are based off the ones in The Hobbit, and D&D's orcs are based off orcs in Lord of the Rings (rather than Celtic mythology, say), so in essence all 3 are the same monster. Likewise D&D's dwarves' attributes seem more directly akin to Tolkien's dwarves than most mythological representations, and D&D elves likewise. And halflings, of course (although Tolkien didn't invent 'hobbit', despite what his estate claims).

    Of the D&D Player-Character races, half-orcs are perhaps the least Tolkienesque in that the ones hinted at in LOTR seem to be sly, sneaky infiltrators rather than big dumb lunks, although I think he does have it that the big Uruk Hai/hobgoblins are the result of orc-human crossbreeding.
    ***Henry/S'mon Super Quick d20 NPC Generation System*** The Gods of the Copybook Headings With Terror and Slaughter Return!

    eriktheguy, on S'mon's latest idea:
    There are 2 major problems with your idea:
    1: It is far too awesome
    2: see 1

  • #187
    Gary,

    I have a question that has long puzzled me. It's about PC's acquiring Magic-User spells. IN the DMG (p. 39) it states:

    "Naturally, magic-user player characters will do their utmost to acquire books of spells and scrolls in order to complete their own spell books. To those acquired, the magic-user will add 1 (and ONLY 1) spell when he or she actually gains an experience level (q.v.). Therefore, most will be frantically attempting to purchase or cozen spells from non-player character magic-users, or even from other player character magic-users."

    OK, here's my question. When you say: "To those acquired, the magic-user will add 1 (and ONLY 1) spell when he or she actually gains an experience level." do you mean that the PC mage AUTOMATICALLY gains a new spell in their spell book whenever the rise in levels? For example, if my M-U is going from 1st to 2nd level do I get to add a brand new spell to my spell book even if I did NOT find a scroll or spell book in the dungeon I just explored?

    If this is, in fact, the case then how should you handle it when a M-U goes up levels and gets the ability to cast a spell of a new level AND gains the ability to cast more spells in a level in which he's already proficient? For example, my M-U goes from 6th level to 7th level and is now able to cast 4th level spells AND gains an additional 2nd level spell.

    Sorry for asking such an involved question, but you have no idea how long I've tried to figure this one out! BUt since I found this site I figured I may as well go straight to the horse's mouth (so to speak).

    Thanks in advance!

    Gray Mouser

  • #188
    Father of the Game
    A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)

    Col_Pladoh's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Lake Geneva, WI
    Posts
    4,756

    Ignore Col_Pladoh
    Quote Originally Posted by S'mon
    Hi Gary - sorry to be sceptical, but are you sure you didn't read The Hobbit and just don't remember? AIR hobgoblins are only mentioned in the Battle of Five Armies section, as forming the Goblin King's bodyguard.
    As a matter of fact I don't recall reading nything about hobgoblins in The Hobbit, or I'd have said so. As i have mentioned twice not, "hob" is a prefix indicating small or little, and disliked using it for the fourth in the humanoid races I was ranking--kobolds, goblins, orcs, hobgoblins, gnolls, bugbears, ogres, trolls, giants--but goblin state had been established before I set about that hierarchy.

    It might have been an unconscious thing, but I do very much get the impression that D&D's goblins & hobgoblins are based off the ones in The Hobbit, and D&D's orcs are based off orcs in Lord of the Rings (rather than Celtic mythology, say), so in essence all 3 are the same monster. Likewise D&D's dwarves' attributes seem more directly akin to Tolkien's dwarves than most mythological representations, and D&D elves likewise. And halflings, of course (although Tolkien didn't invent 'hobbit', despite what his estate claims).
    Of course I included names of humanoids that had been used in Tolkien's works. That was something done purpusefully in order to appeal to the JRRT fan base. however, goblin armies are hardly unique to his work. Those critters are written about a good deal in folklore and fairy tales. I believe that is why the Good Professor switched from goblin to "orc" so as to be more unique.

    I'll wager you are sad about being able to find any mention of gnoll or bugbear in his writings, so you can point to them too, eh? Heh-heh-heh. This reminds me of the novice editor for a large NYC publisher who when appearing on a SF panel with me asked why I had "stolen dwarves from Tolkien." I set her straight by informing the not-well-read young lady that I had done my research and stolen them from Norse myth, the same source JRRT used

    Anyway, it doesn't matter what goblin, hobgoblin, and orc are in JRRT'swriting, because they are different and not the same in D&D, are they not?

    As for hobbit, I found a single reference to that name, sans any discriptive material. The hobbits of Tolkien's writing are indeed unique to his authorship. The D&D halflings are not nearly as unique, as they are meant to fill in for those gamers who admire hobbits.

    Of the D&D Player-Character races, half-orcs are perhaps the least Tolkienesque in that the ones hinted at in LOTR seem to be sly, sneaky infiltrators rather than big dumb lunks, although I think he does have it that the big Uruk Hai/hobgoblins are the result of orc-human crossbreeding.
    That being the case, the proper term for such hybrids is half-hobgoblins, I suppose...

    What about elves? The D&D elf has little of JRRT's elf in it. they are shorter and not at all special as he had therace.

    Anyway, I have cleared up all such confusion in the LA RPG. Kobolds are tough and smart and good-looking in a devilish way. Hobgoblins are small and dangerous, goblins are bigger and more dangerous. Trolls are more like medieval trolls, turn to stone daylight. There are allsorts of elf-like races--alfs, lyfs, elfs, ilfs, and wylfs. Orgre are the baddest of regular giants--those of deital sorts not included, of course.

    Cheers,
    Gary

  • #189
    Father of the Game
    A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)

    Col_Pladoh's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Lake Geneva, WI
    Posts
    4,756

    Ignore Col_Pladoh
    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Mouser
    Gary,

    I have a question that has long puzzled me. It's about PC's acquiring Magic-User spells. IN the DMG (p. 39) it states:

    "Naturally, magic-user player characters will do their utmost to acquire books of spells and scrolls in order to complete their own spell books. To those acquired, the magic-user will add 1 (and ONLY 1) spell when he or she actually gains an experience level (q.v.). Therefore, most will be frantically attempting to purchase or cozen spells from non-player character magic-users, or even from other player character magic-users."

    OK, here's my question. When you say: "To those acquired, the magic-user will add 1 (and ONLY 1) spell when he or she actually gains an experience level." do you mean that the PC mage AUTOMATICALLY gains a new spell in their spell book whenever the rise in levels? For example, if my M-U is going from 1st to 2nd level do I get to add a brand new spell to my spell book even if I did NOT find a scroll or spell book in the dungeon I just explored?

    If this is, in fact, the case then how should you handle it when a M-U goes up levels and gets the ability to cast a spell of a new level AND gains the ability to cast more spells in a level in which he's already proficient? For example, my M-U goes from 6th level to 7th level and is now able to cast 4th level spells AND gains an additional 2nd level spell.

    Sorry for asking such an involved question, but you have no idea how long I've tried to figure this one out! BUt since I found this site I figured I may as well go straight to the horse's mouth (so to speak).

    Thanks in advance!

    Gray Mouser
    Howdy!

    I left all of your message up here so as to refer to it as I respond.

    The M-U going up a level is assumed to do so through training with a mage of higher level, or at worst the study of arcane lore. In this process the character gains knowledge of one new spell of the highest level he is able to cast.

    If by advancement the character is also able to casr one or more lower level spells, he will have to make do with those he has in his spell books. He does not gain any new ones in those lower levels, only the capacity to memorize more of them. Thus the M-U character should always to be seeking the acquisition of spell books (likely with new and different spells recorded therein) or else scrolls with spells on them that he can record into his library.

    Cheers,
    Gary

  • #190
    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    Howdy!

    I left all of your message up here so as to refer to it as I respond.

    The M-U going up a level is assumed to do so through training with a mage of higher level, or at worst the study of arcane lore. In this process the character gains knowledge of one new spell of the highest level he is able to cast.

    If by advancement the character is also able to casr one or more lower level spells, he will have to make do with those he has in his spell books. He does not gain any new ones in those lower levels, only the capacity to memorize more of them. Thus the M-U character should always to be seeking the acquisition of spell books (likely with new and different spells recorded therein) or else scrolls with spells on them that he can record into his library.

    Cheers,
    Gary
    Gary,

    Thanks so much for answering my question! That's basically what I thought, but I have debated this point with several people over the years and have played it where M-U's must find ALL of their spells and where they get a new spell when they gain the ability to cast higher level spells (the way you've described above). I'm just glad to have gotten a definitive answer.

    Thanks again!

    Gray Mouser

  • Closed Thread
    Page 19 of 22 FirstFirst ... 910111213141516171819202122 LastLast

    Similar Threads

    1. Gary Gygax Q&A: Part XII
      By Col_Pladoh in forum Archive-threads
      Replies: 904
      Last Post: Tuesday, 10th April, 2007, 09:00 PM
    2. Gary Gygax Q&A: Part X
      By Tuzenbach in forum Archive-threads
      Replies: 484
      Last Post: Thursday, 6th July, 2006, 08:39 PM
    3. Gary Gygax Q&A: part VI
      By Ranes in forum Archive-threads
      Replies: 216
      Last Post: Sunday, 4th April, 2004, 06:20 PM
    4. Gary Gygax Q&A, Part IV
      By Steverooo in forum Archive-threads
      Replies: 266
      Last Post: Wednesday, 10th December, 2003, 06:35 PM
    5. Q&A with Gary Gygax - Part I
      By thatdarncat in forum Archive-threads
      Replies: 715
      Last Post: Tuesday, 28th January, 2003, 02:19 PM

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •