Anybody wanna ask me shit about Ye Olde Dayse?

KrakaJak

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@Gronan of Simmerya Reading your preferences for play, did you ever check out Tunnels & Trolls? How do you feel about D&D's first ever "competition?";

What was one of your favorite in-game moments from ye-olde-dayse?
 

Gronan of Simmerya

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I talked about Tunnels and Trolls up thread.

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THE NIGHT WE SET ERNIE ON FIRE



No shit, there we were. (All D&D stories should start that way.)

Anyhow, we were somewhere down in Greyhawk castle, and we encountered some mummies. I vaguely remember my brother was playing a Cleric, but didn’t turn them… maybe he was too low level. Anyway, it was my brother, Ernie Gygax, and me; I don’t remember if anybody else was there. Ernie convinced us that we could fight the mummies with fire.

So we figured that my brother would pour oil on the mummy and I’d whap it with the torch to set it alight. My brother gets out some oil and moves to pour it on one of the mummies.

“Oh oh, you get hit,” Gary said. He and Rob Kuntz were co-reffing.

“Better check to see if he spills the oil,” Rob said. * roll dice * “Yeah, he spills it… does he hit anybody?” *roll* “Yes, check to see who.” *roll* 1,2,3… Ernie. Okay, Ernie, Chip just poured oil on you.”

“I’m going to hit the mummy with my torch anyway,” I said. Dice roll.

“Oops, you got hit too, for four points of damage.”

“Does he drop the torch,” Rob asked, ever helpful. * roll of dice *

“Yep.”

“Does it land on somebody?”

* roll roll * “Yep.”

“Who?”

* roll roll * “1, 2, 3… Ernie. Okay, Ernie, after he pours oil on you, his brother hits you with the torch.”

We managed eventually to defeat the mummies and extinguish Ernie. But some nights, you just can’t get a break.
 

Bunch

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So you were a bunch of flaming asshats! :hehe:
 

Spellslinging Sellsword

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I hope you do finish your book, but if you don't have the desire to do so, maybe you can just post your favorite parts piecemeal in this thread every so often.
 

AsenRG

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I think any self-aware DM who writes house rules or fantasy-heart-breakers will also tell you that most of what seems clever on the page never survives contact with play testing. Unfortunately, you can tell that a lot of material that makes it into official rules books is there because it never was play tested. A classic example mentioned in the thread above is the inclusion of the Chainmail combat system in the OD&D core books, which by all reports was never used for this purpose by the authors and their groups. And, of course, all that goes 10-fold for white-room arguments people present on internet forums.
Or as playtested poorly, like the D&D3e magic system:wink:.
 

Voros

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I talked about Tunnels and Trolls up thread.

```````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````

THE NIGHT WE SET ERNIE ON FIRE



No shit, there we were. (All D&D stories should start that way.)

Anyhow, we were somewhere down in Greyhawk castle, and we encountered some mummies. I vaguely remember my brother was playing a Cleric, but didn’t turn them… maybe he was too low level. Anyway, it was my brother, Ernie Gygax, and me; I don’t remember if anybody else was there. Ernie convinced us that we could fight the mummies with fire.

So we figured that my brother would pour oil on the mummy and I’d whap it with the torch to set it alight. My brother gets out some oil and moves to pour it on one of the mummies.

“Oh oh, you get hit,” Gary said. He and Rob Kuntz were co-reffing.

“Better check to see if he spills the oil,” Rob said. * roll dice * “Yeah, he spills it… does he hit anybody?” *roll* “Yes, check to see who.” *roll* 1,2,3… Ernie. Okay, Ernie, Chip just poured oil on you.”

“I’m going to hit the mummy with my torch anyway,” I said. Dice roll.

“Oops, you got hit too, for four points of damage.”

“Does he drop the torch,” Rob asked, ever helpful. * roll of dice *

“Yep.”

“Does it land on somebody?”

* roll roll * “Yep.”

“Who?”

* roll roll * “1, 2, 3… Ernie. Okay, Ernie, after he pours oil on you, his brother hits you with the torch.”

We managed eventually to defeat the mummies and extinguish Ernie. But some nights, you just can’t get a break.
This touches on something I was wondering: what other rpgs besides OD&D (and T&T) did you play?
 

Gronan of Simmerya

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D&D, a ton of TFT, Empire of the Petal Throne and other Tekumel systems, Villains and Vigilantes, Champions for almost 15 years, a fair bit of Fantasy Hero, a splash of Runequest, FASA Star Trek, West End Star Wars, Star Wars d20, Call of Cthulhu, and a ton of homebrews. A few sessions of Dungeon World. Now on the third adventure path campaign of Pathfinder. A number of one offs at conventions.
 

Bunch

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D&D, a ton of TFT, Empire of the Petal Throne and other Tekumel systems, Villains and Vigilantes, Champions for almost 15 years, a fair bit of Fantasy Hero, a splash of Runequest, FASA Star Trek, West End Star Wars, Star Wars d20, Call of Cthulhu, and a ton of homebrews. A few sessions of Dungeon World. Now on the third adventure path campaign of Pathfinder. A number of one offs at conventions.
Which edition of Champions is your favorite if any?
 

AsenRG

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I'm going to go exploring a modern dungeon in a heavily houseruled D&D3.5 game. How do I do it in true Old School style:devil:?

I'm already planning to take a "rich" class and arm myself lightly, but hire my own mercenary detachment with the money. We'd also have lots of tools and rope, and caltrops, iron spikes, flaming oil, and such.
What else would you advise us in order to gain the treasure and destroy or avoid any carefully planned Level Appropriate fights, preferably without fighting them:shade:?
 

Gronan of Simmerya

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I'm going to go exploring a modern dungeon in a heavily houseruled D&D3.5 game. How do I do it in true Old School style:devil:?

I'm already planning to take a "rich" class and arm myself lightly, but hire my own mercenary detachment with the money. We'd also have lots of tools and rope, and caltrops, iron spikes, flaming oil, and such.
What else would you advise us in order to gain the treasure and destroy or avoid any carefully planned Level Appropriate fights, preferably without fighting them:shade:?

Assuming that 3.5 is similar to Pathfinder, I don't think you can. Too many assumptions have changed (see note upstream about putting fighters in formation).
 

AsenRG

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Assuming that 3.5 is similar to Pathfinder, I don't think you can. Too many assumptions have changed (see note upstream about putting fighters in formation).
Actually Pathfinder is to 3.5 what the OSR is to TSR-era D&D...

So why wouldn't a formation work? I guess we'll see at the table whether some +2 bonuses from flanking couldn't offset the disadvantage of NPC henchmen not having 18 in their attack stats!
 

Gronan of Simmerya

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IN Pathfinder at least, more enemies have area of effect or multiple attacks; at higher level, almost by default. Close order formations are suicide when the enemy is lobbing artillery.
 

Gronan of Simmerya

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I don't know about 3.5E, but in PF it seems like after about 5th or 6th level, almost EVERY enemy has reach, or multiple attacks, or area of effect.

It gives me arse an 'eadache, it does.
 

AsenRG

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IN Pathfinder at least, more enemies have area of effect or multiple attacks; at higher level, almost by default. Close order formations are suicide when the enemy is lobbing artillery.
Yeah, in that case I'd guess that wouldn't be a smart move. I'm not really familiar with high-level PF, so thank you for the tip of having many ways to get AoE attacks.
If we play at a lower level, a shield wall should still work, though!

So I guess it would depend on how the GM has changed the 3.5 rules - or rather, whether he has gone in the same direction as Pathfinder. That he has changed them is beyond any doubt, since I'm waiting for him to send us his file with houserules...:grin:
But I'm actually planning to do something unheard-of and just ask him what we should expect in his rules:shock:!
 

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Did you eat during sessions? Who paid? What was consumed?
 

Arminius

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Yes. You’ve been pretty terse in your answers to technical questions so I thought maybe you’d like to talk more about the personal and atmospheric side of things.
 

Stevethulhu

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Yes. You’ve been pretty terse in your answers to technical questions so I thought maybe you’d like to talk more about the personal and atmospheric side of things.
Speaking of which, what was the pitch given to you to get you to sit down at the RPG table and who did it come from?
 

Gronan of Simmerya

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Yes. You’ve been pretty terse in your answers to technical questions so I thought maybe you’d like to talk more about the personal and atmospheric side of things.
If I've been terse, it's because I thought the question required no more. If you desire elucidation on a point, ask for it.
 

Gronan of Simmerya

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Speaking of which, what was the pitch given to you to get you to sit down at the RPG table and who did it come from?

One day in October 1972, outside Don Kaye's garage after a miniatures game, Rob Kuntz said "Gary's got this cool new game called Greyhawk. You're a bunch of guys exploring an old deserted wizard's castle full of monsters and treasure and stuff."

Boom. Done.
 

Quill

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Question: you seem most happy and comfortable with original edition D&D, though not averse to trying out other games. What makes original D&D the most pleasurable for you? Is it something beyond the Golden Hootercups of Athena? :smile:

Also, from other RPGs you've played/are playing, has there ever been any method of doing anything you liked enough to back-port to your D&D?

Thanks!
 

Gronan of Simmerya

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Simplicity, and familiarity. But mostly, simplicity. A younger friend of mine cut his teeth on 3.0/3.5 and after playing in my campaign a half a dozen times went out and got the OD&D reprint PDFs. When I asked him why, he said "Because if I want to sneak up behind the guard and knock him out, I say so, you roll dice, it happens or it doesn't, and we get on with the damn game."

Some other games are more interesting dueling games, but the drawback is that combat takes up so much time. A combat of 4-5 4th or 5th level characters against three trolls will take less than ten minutes. It gives you a lot of time to do other things.

Also, I like the fact that higher level combats take time. Since our typical adventuring group was 9 to 15 instead of 4 or 5, it means you really can do things like have your heavy fighters form a line to protect your magic users, and hold the line while your light armored characters move into a flanking position.

And after forty years of fiddlefucking around, I decided to leave the rules alone. OD&D works best when you accept it for what it is.
 

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How did people manage with large parties? (9 or more.) Was everyone satisfied with the amount of input/interaction they got?
 

Quill

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As a follow up, have you seen any of the OD&D clones like Swords & Wizardry, Full Metal Plate Mail, or Iron Falcon?

Also, aside from one exception*, I've found in my 42 years of gaming in D&D that the earlier I go in editions the more fun I have, as you said, with combat. I like every D&D published, but right now I'm loving DMing some B/X D&D. I wonder if I take another step back to OD&D if I'll like it even more?

Screw it, PDFs purchased. Going to go read now. :smile:


* I really enjoyed D&D 4th Edition. I found the combat system, which was not a quick thing, to be a joy to DM.
 

Quill

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The original Empire of the Petal Throne rules, for which I have the boxed set nearby, seem to be derivative of D&D but then go seriously off in their own direction. Did you know Prof. Barker when he was developing it, or have any input into the rules?
 

Bill Reich

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Pretty much what it says.

The only D&D I know is OD&D , three little booklets in a woodgrain box plus supplements.
About those three little booklets. When the people I hung out with, New Haven area, started playing, the rules as written (to the extent that we could figure out what they were) got left behind very quickly by all but one dungeon master. I played in four different campaigns, including the rules as written one, and they were all fun.
Now, you played with the people who created the rules as written. How much did they deviate from them? Also, did you know people who played from outside your area. Were we an exception or was rather massive house-ruling the usual thing?
 

Bill Reich

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Not Gronan obviously. But I've seen this exact question asked from him previously and I agree with him. It does not matter whether 4 inches of steel has been ran through you, or if it has been 40 inches. It is the same damage to your body, basically.
Not when you are a three-ton monster.
 

robertsconley

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Now, you played with the people who created the rules as written. How much did they deviate from them? Also, did you know people who played from outside your area. Were we an exception or was rather massive house-ruling the usual thing?
The 3 LBBs are fairly barebones and tersely written in the first places. My overall impression from reading various anecdotes, including Gronan, the various campaigns would be considered "house-ruled". However it wasn't arbitrary but based on history, and knowledge of the genre. So if you knew history, something about the genre and was smart about using that knowledge then a player had what they needed to figure things out.

For example pikes and halberds. No where it says that you can attack from the second ranks with these weapons. However in several accounts players do just that. Organize a party across a corridor with the first line of 2 or 3 fighters with sword and shield, and a second rank of 2 or 3 fighters with polearms. Basically doubling the number of attacks the party gets in a melee fight. Why? Because that how pikes and polearms work in history.

Gygax points this issue out on the last page of Book 3

There are unquestionably areas which have been glossed over. While we deeply regret the necessity, space requires that we put in the essentials only, and the trimming will often have to be added by the referee and his players.
Gronan has better firsthand knowledge than I do of what people knew back then and how it was applied. I can relate from my experience in the OSR starting in the mid 2000s, that a lot people were confused by trying to run 3 LBBs RAW until the above was pointed out.
 

Gronan of Simmerya

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As a follow up, have you seen any of the OD&D clones like Swords & Wizardry, Full Metal Plate Mail, or Iron Falcon?

Also, aside from one exception*, I've found in my 42 years of gaming in D&D that the earlier I go in editions the more fun I have, as you said, with combat. I like every D&D published, but right now I'm loving DMing some B/X D&D. I wonder if I take another step back to OD&D if I'll like it even more?

Screw it, PDFs purchased. Going to go read now. :smile:


* I really enjoyed D&D 4th Edition. I found the combat system, which was not a quick thing, to be a joy to DM.
I've never looked at any of the clones, and never did more than glance at B/X or Holmes or BECMI or whatever. Simply because I already had a game that did that.

I bought the supplements and the AD&D first edition books. But contrary to what Gary said, we treated AD&D as additional supplements, taking out bits and bobs we liked.
 

Gronan of Simmerya

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The original Empire of the Petal Throne rules, for which I have the boxed set nearby, seem to be derivative of D&D but then go seriously off in their own direction. Did you know Prof. Barker when he was developing it, or have any input into the rules?
Yes, and no.

Phil played in my D&D game for a year or so before disappearing for about six weeks and coming back with his first draft manuscript of EPT.
 
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