Cias the Noble said:
Wow, this is great!! First I want to thank you, Mr. Gygax, for taking the time to answer our questions; not many people who build a fan base actually take the time to talk with them one-on-one on a regular basis!!
I have some questions about AD&D and was hoping you would answer a few of them (I have many questions, but for the sake of time and space I am only posting a few right now). These are all of those nit-picky questions about the rules that perfectionists like myself just have to ask.
Thanks, and okay, although I am not much for rules lawyering
1. In your opinion, should human fighters be able to change into the cavalier class or vice a versa? What about their respective subclasses?
A human fighter of cavalier should be able to switch to the other class. Not sub-classes in either regard. A cavalier is a knightly sort of figure, so a fighter might become one and vice versa.
2. The Monster Manual seems to indicate that dwarves, gnomes, and halflings have a lower base movement rate than their human counterparts (even after armor considerations) but the PHB and DMG say nothing of this. Was this the original intent?
Base movement rate for demi-humans is that shown for the race in the MM, and it was always used for such PCs in all the game material I did--my own campaign and in modules printed.
3. Page 101-102 of the PHB states the effects of encumbrance, but leaves the description rather vague. I believe this was done intentionally to allow the DM to allocate such situations as he or she saw fit, but I was wondering if you have any examples of how the effects of encumbrance besides reduced movement and slowing (if any) should be handled?
That sort of adjustment was left strictly to the DM managing the play. there are far too many variables to allow any easy rule of thumb, so the approach you noted was given. A PC carrying more than about 25% of his body weight, as adjusted by Strength, should be penalized in movement and reaction. Bulky materials that are light weight also have the same effect.
That's about all I care to offer in this regard, but I had many a PC moving along at half movement rate in my games...until they decided to be more practical. One player with a dwarf character was shamed when I described him as a mound of equipment with little feel poking out of the stack, and a helmet capping the pile. Much of the extraneous material was then dumped by that PC.
4. I have noticed in the PHB that composite long bows have a shorter range (for short or medium range, but the same long range) and worse armor class “to hit” adjustments than regular long bows (in reality composite bows are MUCH better than regular bows). In fact the only benefit that I can see to using a composite long bow over a regular long bow is that the composite variety weighs 80 g.p. instead of 100 g.p. Is there a reason the composite long bows seem to be inferior?
Composite bows of laminate horn, sinue, etc. are assumed to have a high velocity over a shorter range, thus the shorter initial ranges. They employ lighter arrows than do long self bows. From my reading they were inferior to the long self bow, just as the stats indicate. This is a judgement call, of course
5. How do you handle the attack/saving throw rolls for dual-classed humans? I know the Oriental Adventures book said that a dual-classed human always uses the best table, but the earlier books do not mention anything about this; I am coming to realize that some of the later AD&D books deviated from your original intent for the game on some issues. On a related note, when a dual-classed or multi-classed fighter/thief attempts a backstab, do you roll on the thief attack matrix or the fighters? Is the character restricted to using only weapons allowed to thieves when backstabbing?
I always allowed the most favorable saving throw number for dual/multu-classed PCs, just as is indicated in the OA book.
When a PC is acting in a way specific to one of his classes, the backstab you note being specific to the thief class, then the attack would be as a thief backstabbing. the multi-classed fighter-thief can use all the weapos of both classes, but class specific actions performed might well be hindered or impossible if such weapons (or armor) normally excluded are there to interfere with them. For example, a dagger or short sword is about all that can be used when backstabbing, nit a long sword, as one needs to be up close and aim. attack unnoticed.