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What is "grim and gritty" and "low magic" anyway?

WizarDru

Adventurer
Wulf Ratbane said:
Superhuman characters abound in mythology, but they still have a resonance (not to get to Jungian here) that you just don't get from high magic D&D.
Can't really argue with that, as I agree, for the most part. And, as you say, sometimes it's just about killing the bad guys and taking their stuff. :)
 

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I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
Now, be careful. It almost sounds like the DM is ready to change the rules of magic to railroad his players because he doesn't like it when they use magic to come up with creative solutions.

It does? Naaah, just that the DM is ready to be a rat bastard to actually get his plot done. You want the myth, I give you the Odyssey, By the Rules.

Why stop at 15th? You running a low magic game or something? Why aren't they 20th level? Are you afraid that 20th level heroes are capable of things that 15th level heroes are not?

Well, assuming that we're only using the core books and not going for the ELH for anything other than the occasional monster (but we could probably avoid it for that too), I tend to like to give my players opportunity to gain a few levels while adventuring. By the time these blokes make it back to Ithica, they've gone up a level or two. Otherwise, if we 'cap out' at 20th so we're only using the core, they don't have anywhere to go, and may as well retire right there on the battlefield, because a character who can't advance at all isn't any fun.

It's simply a matter of giving them room for XP. Your accusation is reaching at straws.

Besides, it's not as if they couldn't just plane shift away and back. That'll get you back within range of where you need to be.

Dude, PLANE SHIFT?! The spell is wildly inaccurate as a 'teleport substitute,' and there's no garuntee that in the bit of time you're on the planes you won't be harassed by some might outsider. In addition, it doesn't get the ship-mooks home. They try to plane shift to Olympus, then back to Ithica, they could wind up just as bad as when they started (or worse, because Posseidon could throw one of his best allies at them while they were on Olympus rather than attacking them through the sea). They have no idea where they'll end up when they shift back, they could manifest on some wacky foriegn land or such, and a portable hole doesn't contain enough air(one creature for ten minutes divided by thousands of creatures.....the math don't seem to favor that, even for 6 seconds).

So plane shift does not work. Even on the odd chance they decided to do exactly as you posit, and the DM overlooked the 'breathable air inside a portable hole' thing, they risk a TPK at TWO points in the quest, when they are in Olympus, and when they land again (Perhaps directly in the ocean, where some sea creature can swallow them up without so much as a ceremony)....so I just took it for granted that were such a thing proposed, Jozan or Mialee would've succeeded on their Intelligence check to Detect A Stupid Plan, and Regdar would've been beaten for trying to think.

If they don't have a portable hole, Mialee makes one. Or two. Only a damned fool of a wizard doesn't have Craft Wondrous Items.

Well, there's a few reasons she wouldn't or can't.

#1) they don't really have the time. They just sacked Troy, and the retainers are going to be back, and Mialee, being one of the heros, is really needed at the front lines and not locked away in a ship for months/weeks
#2) She *just* got 15th level....she can't craft anything until she's gotten slightly more XP, because she can't drop a level by spending it.
#3) Her character is playing a bit of a selfish wench, so of course she *wouldn't!* (why d'ya think Jozan had to cast all the spells before?) Aaaand Character Developing Plot +++!

Barring that, they send their crew off to enjoy a short vacation in paradise and cut off their ears, taking the ears home with them. On arriving home-- whether by teleport or wind walk, who cares?-- they cast true ressurrection on their crew members. Every crew member who prefers the real world to the afterlife comes back. (Hades starts to object, but realizes that the spell doesn't work that way and he doesn't get a say anymore.)

So now not only are you suffocating the crew in a hole, you're killing them....what kind of mook would agree to this?! It's disrespectful and decietful, and all too wicked.....NONE of the gods would be happy with it (though if we're using Deities and Demigods maybe Hades would be), and you'd get more than a storm coming down on their heads. On top of it being Evil to kill people for expedience (they still suffer the trauma of having been killed, after all). And even if they *did* try it, it would cost at the very minimum, 28,825 gold PER DEATH. At a bunch of thousand shipmen, this destroys the loot from Troy and more....what's the point in going to the Trojans and taking their stuff if you're just going to spend it on your mooks? In addition, these are HEROES! To kill staunch allies is reprehensible to them. Even if they were a party of complete evil bastards (not bloody likely, given most DM's and players, but still possible), who somehow managed to make it to troy, the other 15th+ level characters there wouldn't allow it. To kill the mooks, they'd have to fight a war against Heracles, Agamemnon, and all the other survivors, and their mooks, too. And they can *still* be killed at two points (plane shift), or blown off course (normally). And yeah, pissing of Hades is the least of their worries in that case (Zeus doesn't want to here Jozan's prayers anymore, at least, stripping him of all class abilities....and probably of the pull in the church needed to get these mooks resed for at price/cheap).

So no, Resurrection-transportation doesn't work, for moral quandries and logistical ones.

Perhaps they'd rather cast Gate. They're buddied up with Zeus (good buddy to have) so they open a Gate to Mt. Olympus, party with the nymphs for a while, then Gate home.

Can't cast Gate? Buy a couple of scrolls. Or summon something that can cast it for you.

Ooh! How about Teleportation Circle? That's a great way to move an army and its ill-gotten loot.

Gate: Possiedon (who has control in Olympus nearing Zeus's) puts the kibash on it, since opening a gate into a deity's realm can be forbidden by the deity there. Even if not, the spell is slightly more reliable than Plane Shift, but Possiedon can still axe them in Olympus, and then they'd be bringing trouble home with them (what do they fear more, killing the mooks on the ship with Pos's wrath, or killing their friends and family with it...). They still have the problem with transporting the whole army (the gate doesn't stay open forever). And, again the Int check to Detect A Stupid Plan succeeds, Regdar is beaten with sausages,a nd the peasants rejoice. This is assuming they are either higher level, or have ready access to the higher level, and want to spend the significant bling to get it done, which is no small feat in and of itself, though you seem to write it off as a given.

Teleportation Circle: It's a 5-ft radius, not a large enough area to get a ship by any means. And Greater Teleport has many of the same problems as Regular Teleport (no distance limit, but then there are problems transporting the entire army, and the bringing of the trouble of the gods home with them).

Any other ideas you want me to defeat, or will you rest with that and accept the fact that high-level, high-magic adventures can have all the elements of a classic mythical story? Heck, on the odd chance they do manage to circumvent the rules (not bloody likely), it just means that the planned adventure happens *after* their homes, friends, and children get destroyed by the earthquake Possiedon brings onto Ithica, and it happens with the entire population of the island instead of a portion of the troops from Troy, if you want to be a little less rail-roading (still preserving the same essential elements of plot, but certainly not being slavishly faithful to the myth anymore).

In Other News: I'm not sure it takes a potentially great DM to do this (though I'm flattered you think me in the realms of P-Kitty!). It just takes someone who's reading along, who knows the capabilities of the players, and who makes sure they know that no matter how powerful they are, there is *always* something more powerful out there, that can as handily whoop their butts as they can whoop the butts of goblins. To do this without railroading at all, it also takes a DM who is comfortable with allowing the players to script some of the plot, since they will be doing it, quite often. Which is why the inaccurate claim levied at some lm/gng DM's is that it means you're a control freak -- because your characters can't shape the quest as much as you can. In the higher-level games I've been a part of, I've never worried about railroading them to the adventure, I've worried about having the adventure follow them. No matter what Odysseus and his crew do, they're going to go on a long journey and meet strange people. If I have to make the traumatic event something a bit more personal than a storm at sea, I'm more than willing to do it, and if I have to adopt the map so that the lotus eaters are land-locked instead of an island, I'm willing to do it. Admittedly, not all DM's are -- they like to be able to almost 100% control the story. Which is fine, but is a different flavor from that of D&D....IMHO, it's less like playing a game, and more like writing a story, which is not something I'm interested in using D&D for at all, since I can get paid for writing a story without using my friends as the main characters.
 
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kamosa

Explorer
Odyssey

Sounds like that Odyssey campaign was a complete dud. Just proves a point about low magic. I mean the DM started out with a whole ship load of players. Then focused on just one character. By the end of the campaign there was no one left but Odysius. I think the players voted with their feet.

;)
 

Bendris Noulg

First Post
kamosa said:
Sounds like that Odyssey campaign was a complete dud. Just proves a point about low magic. I mean the DM started out with a whole ship load of players. Then focused on just one character. By the end of the campaign there was no one left but Odysius. I think the players voted with their feet.
Solo game. PC has Leadership. Followers and Cohort died.
 


Bendris Noulg

First Post
kamosa said:
And I was hoping I was on your ignore list. Oh well.
Yeah, you were... It's my soft heart. Some folks got a half-dozen chances before becoming a permanent addition through their own efforts. I'm sure if you try really really really hard, you might make it, too.
 

Piratecat

Writing Fantasy Gumshoe!
Wulf Ratbane said:
Well, again, I haven't said that high magic isn't fun, nor that it can't be challenging, just that it doesn't do a very good job of modelling the kinds of challenges which typically face the heroes of myth.

Very clear, very eloquent. Nice summary.
 

Dragonblade

Adventurer
Wulf Ratbane said:
Well, again, I haven't said that high magic isn't fun, nor that it can't be challenging, just that it doesn't do a very good job of modelling the kinds of challenges which typically face the heroes of myth.

I agree with this completely. The thing is people want high level D&D to be mythic. High level D&D is not mythic. Its superheroic. As in X-men.

Its a subtle distinction but a fine one. Once I recognized this, everything about high level gaming, especially all the stuff you don't see in fantasy literature, made much more sense to me. For example, PCs teleporting everywhere. Wizards with the power to shape reality, or warriors that are nigh invincible on the battlefield (at least against low-level foes).

However, when high level D&D is used in a world that tries to be mythic, it doesn't feel right, like the Midnight setting. And when its used in a world where it does fit, like the Realms, its unmythicness (is that a word?) is emphasized even more and turns off those who want it to be mythic.
 

ManicFuel

First Post
Inconsequenti-AL said:
I think I can? I quite understand that the good old fashioned block of flats has tradition, familiarity and fond memories for a lot of people. :)

Still, I think its a shame!

There's so many good systems out there that are very different from the 'block of flats'. It makes sense to me to dust them off if you want something different.

This is all pretty valid, and in fact I came back to D&D after some years of GURPS, HERO, and some others. GURPS does a good job of respresenting low magic and grim and gritty. The two things that brought me back were the feel, flavor and history of D&D (with more sensible mechanics this time), and the fact that it is easier to find players and DMs for D&D.

1)Rules mechanics can make a game feel and play very differently.
Quite right! My point exactly, about 50 pages up...


2)Professional/published game designers tend to make better rules than I do. If not better mechanically then at least the presentation is prettier! :)
Couldn't agree more. If only I could get a pro to fix and publish my house rules, then I'd be going to bat for the joys of the core rules. On the other hand, all RPGs are just house rules from someone better at making them and getting them published than I am. So official rules are just those rules accidentally found most fun by those who are best qualified to get them published. By that logic, my rules aren't automatically worse than something published, just my ability to cause them to be printed.


3)I'm way too scatty and disorganised to keep track of many complicated houserules! At least to do that and run a game properly. Without going slightly mad.
It can get this way, to be sure, but this is purely subjective from DM to DM. We all have to draw the line between "fixing" a system we like and jumping to another system (which usually also has to be "fixed"), and weigh how much effort it's really worth. Oh, and how much effort it is for the players.
 
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Felon

First Post
Dragonblade said:
I agree with this completely. The thing is people want high level D&D to be mythic. High level D&D is not mythic. Its superheroic. As in X-men.

It's beyond superheroic. Superheroes (and villains) do have a nasty habit of coming back from the dead, but the X-Men don't go into fight after fight knowing that 10 minutes and a bag of diamonds is all that it takes to defy death.
 

Dragonblade

Adventurer
Felon said:
It's beyond superheroic. Superheroes (and villains) do have a nasty habit of coming back from the dead, but the X-Men don't go into fight after fight knowing that 10 minutes and a bag of diamonds is all that it takes to defy death.

Sure they don't expect to be resurrected. But when was the last time an X-man or one of their foes actually stayed dead? ;)
 
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Bendris Noulg

First Post
Dragonblade said:
I agree with this completely. The thing is people want high level D&D to be mythic. High level D&D is not mythic. Its superheroic. As in X-men.
But this arguement, once again, rolls around to yet another misconception that low magic vs high magic debates keep turning back to: is it proper to compare a d20 fantasy game (home brew or professionally published) to D&D itself?

Every time someone says, "D&D is supposed to be [high magic/super heroics/any other description]", I can't help but wonder, "so friggin' what?" If anything, the mistake of viewing every fantasy-genre RPG by how it relates to D&D does little more than present a rather poor basis of measurement and comparison; It's using one example of how d20 can be set up and balanced to judge the worth of any other manner of set up and balance (and is, in fact, something I warned against when 3E was first released and everyone jumped on the balance wagon).

I mean, my game is dark and grim; insanity is common; ignorance and superstition are common; etc. Why not, instead of comparing it to D&D, compare it instead to Call of Cthulu d20? Now, here's yet another example of d20 set up and balance, and using it as a basis, my game is super-duper uber powered. Or we can compare it to Midnight. Similar dark mood, similar evil-has-the-upperhand themes at work. Yet, compared to that settig, my world isn't that grim; the good guys do have a shred of hope for victory and entire continents remain under the banner of Good.

D&D is just another d20 game, regardless of the fact that WotC holds most of the marketing cards; it would be a shame to see the possibilities the engine offers limited by the expectations of D&D rather than moving beyond it in every direction to include different facets of the genre instead of excluding them.

But every time someone chimes in with, "But D&D is supposed to be...", they are doing just that: limiting the possibilities due to a false assumption that d20 Fantasy must equal D&D when such isn't the case at all.
 
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WizarDru

Adventurer
Dragonblade said:
I agree with this completely. The thing is people want high level D&D to be mythic. High level D&D is not mythic. Its superheroic. As in X-men.
I think it would be more appropriate to say, "SOME people want high level D&D to be mythic." I know plenty of people who want to just lay down the smack, and that doesn't change from 1st level to 20th level, and it's as true now as it was in 1980, when I first started playing regularly.

Personally, I think the 'mythic feel' is more goverened by the DM than anything else. If I occasionally have a negative reaction to people describing high-level play, it's that they seem to ignore a lot of factors when determining its value. The idea that being brought back from the dead is painless and simple, when it rarely proves to be quite that way. Either you're loosing a level or a sizable amount of gold in the form of gems. Even a 20th level character balks at throwing 25,000 gp away, unless the DM is giving them away for free or ignoring the spell restrictions.

It also should be pointed out that there is a difference between making a 20th level character and leveling someone up, over time, to 20th level and beyond. Sub-optimal choices get made on the way, if you work your way up to it. Feats, skills and spells are chosen that are useful at one point, but become less useful later. Treasure gets spent or used that might have been used differently, had the player known what was to come. Many such balancing factors are sometimes ignored when examining high-level play, which can certainly throw off the impression of the game at that level.

I readily agree that high-level D&D lacks many of the elements of fiction and myth...the problem being that fiction and myth make for poor games, especially since most myth and fiction have the luxury of focusing on a viewpoint character, inequal representation of characters and total control over the plot. The various and sundry creators of the Arthurian mythos didn't have to face problems concerning Lancelot being a better swordsman than Kay, or the fact that Lancelot enjoyed a completely different style of play than Percival, or that Galahad would be killed when the Breuse sans Pite got two criticals in one round and Galahad failed his massive damage save. Does that mean the story is bad, or the game is faulty? Of course not, but it does highlight that they are different creatures, with different goals. The issue, of course, is that most gng proponents would like to emulate that feel much more closely than D&D does, at its default setting.

High-level D&D doesn't emulate that feel well, but that doesn't mean that said play doesn't feel mythic. I think my players would argue that they found that battle against a swarm of miniature gulthias horrors fun, but they were much more involved in the argument with the renegade members of a celestial host that occured just afterwards, or the negotiation with the demon princess or the encounter with the three deities avatars. Almost none of which required rolls, and with which spells had little or no part.

The nice thing about 3e D&D is that, since it's so consistent from a rules perspective, creating alternate rules variants to address these issues is much easier to accomplish.

At least, it would be if Wulf would get Grim Tales to the printer, already. ;)
(Either that, or change those banner ads, dadgummit!)
 

Wulf Ratbane

Adventurer
Kamikaze Midget said:
It does? Naaah, just that the DM is ready to be a rat bastard to actually get his plot done. You want the myth, I give you the Odyssey, By the Rules.

No, you are breaking the rules.

As I said before, DM Fiat is not a satisfactory solution to high magic gaming. Trumping the players' ingenuity with "higher magic" is the same thing as taking that magic away.

Dude, PLANE SHIFT?! The spell is wildly inaccurate as a 'teleport substitute,'

I'm beginning to suspect that your high magic game works because either you don't know the rules, or your players don't know them well enough to exploit them, or both.

Plane shift is wildly inaccurate, yes. But it is never more than 500 miles off target-- well within range of teleport. You plane shift out, you plane shift back, you teleport home. Piece of cake for a high level, high magic game.

and there's no garuntee that in the bit of time you're on the planes you won't be harassed by some might outsider.

So you threaten clever PCs with random attacks. Never mind that the outer planes are near infinite and the odds of running into something at random are slim, nor that the PCs can plane shift to a friendly plane, or a friendly demi-plane of their own creation.

and a portable hole doesn't contain enough air(one creature for ten minutes divided by thousands of creatures.....the math don't seem to favor that, even for 6 seconds).

[sigh] They HOLD THEIR BREATH. It doesn't matter how much air the hole holds. I think that veterans of the Trojan war can manage to hold their breath for 6 seconds or so.

So plane shift does not work. Even on the odd chance they decided to do exactly as you posit, and the DM overlooked the 'breathable air inside a portable hole' thing, they risk a TPK at TWO points in the quest, when they are in Olympus, and when they land again (Perhaps directly in the ocean, where some sea creature can swallow them up without so much as a ceremony)....

Plane shift works fine. You just don't WANT it to work. You don't want it to work so badly that you concoct ridiculous threats (such as a sea creature just happening to be in the right place at the right time, within one round's movement and attack, to swallow the party before they teleport home.

Well, there's a few reasons she wouldn't or can't.

She should have done this ages ago. But ok, we'll let it go. We have more DM fiat to get to!

So now not only are you suffocating the crew in a hole, you're killing them....what kind of mook would agree to this?! It's disrespectful and decietful, and all too wicked.....

Why is it wicked or traumatic? Off they go to Mt. Olympus. They've earned some shore leave, I would think. And they get a true ressurrection to come back safe and whole and none the worse for wear. That's how the spell works-- unless you want to arbitrarily stomp on this tactic, too.

So no, Resurrection-transportation doesn't work, for moral quandries and logistical ones.

Works just fine according to the rules. But again, you don't want it to work, and what the DM says, goes.

Gate: Possiedon (who has control in Olympus nearing Zeus's) puts the kibash on it, since opening a gate into a deity's realm can be forbidden by the deity there.

Ok, so Zeus, who's on the PCs side, allows Poseidon to take dominion long enough to put the kibosh on Gate. Well, ok, that doesn't seem arbitrary at all, but we'll throw you another one.

Teleportation Circle: It's a 5-ft radius, not a large enough area to get a ship by any means. And Greater Teleport has many of the same problems as Regular Teleport (no distance limit, but then there are problems transporting the entire army, and the bringing of the trouble of the gods home with them).

Feel like doing a little math? The teleport circle is live for 170 minutes, minimum. How many greek veterans can Odysseus hustle across a path in the nearly 3 hours the circle is live? A human hustle is 90 feet of movement every 6 seconds, which means every 6 seconds you can move 18 men, running single file, across the teleportation circle. That's over 30,000 men, give or take.

Any other ideas you want me to defeat, or will you rest with that and accept the fact that high-level, high-magic adventures can have all the elements of a classic mythical story?

I suggested that high level games are not mythic because of the existence of teleport and ressurrection, among others, and you proceed to show me how you go about nerfing the use of those spells in order to prove a point.

Unfortunately, you proved MY point.

If you want to impress me, show me how a high magic game can work WITHOUT arbitrarily curbing the abilities of the PCs. You were all over the abilities of the players like a cheap suit.

Taking away their abilities only proves the low magic argument.

In Other News: I'm not sure it takes a potentially great DM to do this (though I'm flattered you think me in the realms of P-Kitty!). It just takes someone who's reading along, who knows the capabilities of the players, and who makes sure they know that no matter how powerful they are, there is *always* something more powerful out there,

So you need to know how plane shift works, for starters, and how long a human can hold his breath, and you need to be able to do math, and when all else fails, you need to be able to threaten, cajole, or browbeat the players into forgoing the use of their most potent abilities.

I guess that sums it up.

Wulf
 
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Remathilis

Legend
I think another problem with the low/high magic debate is that people think that D&D = Fantasy Game Simulator. Its not. Its no easier to use D&D to create the Oddessy than it is to play Star Trek with the Star Wars d20 book.
Grim Tales seems to be what I was looking for when I said a generic toolkit. Heck, Unearthed Arcana was a step in the right direction for LM/G&G. Oddly, Wizards seems to be heading in the opposite direction on magic than (at least) Enworld seems to be, with Eberron's extremely high magitech. However, it also seems better laid out than Realms for explaining this, so we'll see if high magic and pulp can co-exist peacefully.

Which leads me to a question mostly hinted at, but never answered: The next supposed edition of D&D will come out in anywhere from 5-10 years. When it does, should it go to a lower magic more realistic style of game, or the more computer/anime/high magic style game some people envision it to be.

In other words, should 4th edition be more or less magical/grim and gritty?
 

WizarDru

Adventurer
Remathilis said:
In other words, should 4th edition be more or less magical/grim and gritty?
IMHO? Neither. It should be even more modular and faciliatate customization easier, to allow individual games to customize closer to whatever flavor that group enjoys, with recommendations for how to make it happen. I expect that some of Unearthed Arcana's material will make into the core as sidebar material, for example.
 

tauton_ikhnos

First Post
And... the Journey of Odysseus, writ large, 20th level.

Basic Plot:
Poseidon is angry. He curses Odysseus. Odysseus does not have the ability to fight off curse, so he goes long way around.

That is the ORIGINAL plot, mind you. The GM nerfed Odysseus' mighty sailing skills, right there in text. So I'm going to nerf one thing, just like Homer did: his ability to travel quickly and efficiently back home.

D&D: Dimensional Anchor. On Odysseus. There's the start of your mythic tale.

Is there a nerf? Yes. Just like there was in the mythic text. I can see Odysseus' player whining already: "But I put 23 ranks in Navigation, skill focus, ocean born feat, and I've got a WIS 23... plus that astrolabe +2... what do you MEAN I can't find the way home, much less aim the ship at it? I've got a freaking +36 check!"

The Journey
Odysseus travels the ocean, blown from port to port, encountering strange and terrifying things.

D&D: Interplanar river. Odysseus sails down it, fiercely seeking for the proper natural gates (which will ignore Dim Anchor) to take him home. In the meantime, he goes from plane to plane, encountering strange and terrifying things.

The Challenges & The Methods:
Odysseus uses cleverness, some few magic items, and the sacrifice of his many men, to defeat strange and terrifying things. His skills also come into play, particularly his seamanship.

D&D: Same thing, run by competent GM, but with more magic items than the above, and clever use of spells. This is GAMIST aspect - there are challenges that are challenging, and clever players to defeat them. Since Odysseus is dim-anchored, seamanship will be particularly important in this story arc, and even though the player may curse the necessity in character, he will probably find it cool that he gets to show off.

Now, that wasn't so hard, was it?
 

Bendris Noulg

First Post
Good work, Wulf...

Remathilis said:
In other words, should 4th edition be more or less magical/grim and gritty?
WizarDru said:
IMHO? Neither. It should be even more modular and faciliatate customization easier, to allow individual games to customize closer to whatever flavor that group enjoys, with recommendations for how to make it happen.
Now that would be a dream come true.
 

ManicFuel

First Post
WizarDru said:
IMHO? Neither. It should be even more modular and faciliatate customization easier, to allow individual games to customize closer to whatever flavor that group enjoys, with recommendations for how to make it happen. I expect that some of Unearthed Arcana's material will make into the core as sidebar material, for example.

Ditto
 

Have all of the Odyssey fans seen module M1, "Into the Maelstrom"? I have it up in my attic.
It's the Odyssey rendered for Master-level D&D (levels 26-36 IIRC). They did use various "Immortals interfere with your magic" ploys to nerf Create Food & Water and some other spells. But it looked cool.

One of the bits I remember is that there was a monster variant in the Companion set called "gargantuan." A gargantuan troll had 2x the height, 8x the weight and hit dice, 4x the damage and regeneration. Or something like that. Anyway, to replicate the island of the giants, they used gargantuan cloud giants. In the Expert set, your basic cloud giant did 6d6 points of damage per hit. These did 24d6. Ouch. And the maximum HP a 36th-level fighter could have was 153.
Sorry. Not meaning to ramble. Just reminiscing about the good old days of the black books and Weapon Mastery and tridents impaling one's foe...
 

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