The Grey Elf
Results for tag: advanced dungeons & dragons
Posted by: the_grey_elf on Aug 6, 2012 at 08:02:57 AM
Congratulations! We're up to page 66 in the DMG...of 240. I hope I'm providing a comprehensive enough reading for everyone. Of course, some later sections such as Magic Items (pp 125-168) won't explore every single item; only a few iconics, and I'm not going to run down every critter in the monster tables from pp. 196-215, so we're further on that it seems....
Close to Striking Range: This just clarifies that if you move up to your base speed to engage an opponent, combat moves to the next round. A strange contradiction here; this section clarifies that if the opponent is over 1" (10 ft/yards) away, "Play goes to the next round after this, as melee is not possible, although other activity can, of course, take place such as that detailed above." But I seem to recall earlier
Posted by: the_grey_elf on Aug 1, 2012 at 08:12:38 AM
SPELLCASTING DURING MELEE
Believe it or not, here (along with "breaking off from melee," about 5 pages down the line) we see the roots of attacks of opportunity, all the way back in first edition.
In later editions, with their 6-second melee rounds (equivalent to a segment in AD&D), it was sometimes hard to reconcile spell disruption if you really took the time to think about it. After all, if a spell took one action to cast (and you could even move after), how can someone hit you and disrupt it?
In AD&D, most spells higher than third level had a casting time of at least one round, which meant they took a full minute of ritual to get off (Spells of third level and below, incidentally, mostly had casting times equal to their level in segments, which, as a side note, is why I use a d10...
Posted by: the_grey_elf on Jul 27, 2012 at 11:37:56 AM
Here we have the classic reaction system, which really (at least, up through 3.5) never changed much, save that it moved from % dice to a straight d20 roll in 3.x. And we have morale checks.
Oh, how I miss morale checks. So much fun to be had in morale checks.
Next, we have guidelines for avoiding encounters, mostly reminders that the DM should know his NPC's well enough to be able to determine whether or not they pursue a fleeing party who has been detected.
The single paragraph regarding attempts to Parley is amusing, and once again indicative of a certain come-and-go antagonism between DMs and players in the old days, particularly the following:
"It is common for player characters to attack first, parley afterwards. It is recommended that you devise encounters...
Posted by: the_grey_elf on Jul 19, 2012 at 10:18:59 AM
Encounters, Combat, and Initiative
This fairly well-done section gives us all the basics of AD&D Combat in less than two columns of text. It begins with a clarification that combat is broken down into one minute melee rounds (a serious change from later editions, wherein a melee round is equivalent to what would be a segment in AD&D). This also results in a far greater abstraction of events than appears in later editions of the game, and in other games that have followed. It's not that AD&D combat was not cinematic; it's that all those cinematic elements were on the impetus of the DM to describe. The old adage, "it's all in how good your GM is" was never truer than in the handling of combat in AD&D first edition. Your attack roll does not represent the fact that you only swing your
Posted by: the_grey_elf on Jul 18, 2012 at 11:57:03 AM
INFRAVISION AND ULTRAVISION...
This section has no introductory text; it just jumps right in. As a general comment, I've got to say, I miss infravision. Low light vision, while probably more realistic, just somehow doesn't have the flavor that infravision does.
Infravision: Mostly a reiteration of what the PHB says, Infravision is the ability to see heat patterns. Most of us who grew up in the 80's would come to call it "Predator vision" as, well, let's be honest, that's what it looks like. This section deals with all the things that spoil infravision, such as cold-blooded animals deep in a cave (their bodies are close to the same temperature as the rocks around them), fire, any light that gives off heat. It also allows for tracking of creatures by residual heat patterns, as in footprints,
Posted by: the_grey_elf on Jul 17, 2012 at 08:16:16 AM
TRAVEL IN THE KNOWN PLANES OF EXISTENCE
The real point of this section is to illustrate that the possibilities for play in AD&D are endless. We begin with a paragraph or two discussing exactly the fact that travel amongst the planes might leave fantasy and travel into the realms of science fiction, horror, "or just about anything else desired." In fact, TSR would later explore these elements with varying success in Spelljammer and Ravenloft. One could even argue that science fiction elements have been present in AD&D from the beginning with the crashed space ship and nukes in Blackmoor.
But I digress. Here Gygax discusses the multiverse that defines the AD&D cosmology. He goes on to illustrate that the planes are the ultimate "ticket to creativity" for a DM, who is free to change anything...
Posted by: the_grey_elf on Jul 13, 2012 at 11:13:39 AM
As with many sections of the DMG, this one begins with a cross-reference to Appendix C: Random monster encounters, waterborne encounters for determining monster encounters. Following this, we have a breakdown of the different general classes of naval vessels player characters may encounter. As with many games, these are abbreviated of necessity, but Gygax does a pretty impressive job of dividing different ships into classes. The classes he lays out are as follows:
Rowboat: 1-10 man small vessel, a lifeboat or canoe.
Barge/Raft: Long, flat craft capable of carrying 1-100 people.
Galley: Long, slender vessels with one or two masts and banks of oars. The type common in AD&D, he says, is similar to the Drakkar viking longship.
Merchant Ships: Cogs, carracks and caravels
Posted by: the_grey_elf on Jul 12, 2012 at 09:12:45 AM
ADVENTURES IN THE AIR
Frankly, this is one of my favorite sections of the DMG. I was absolutely floored at just how solid the aerial combat rules in first edition are, given that nobody since then can seem to come up with a really great set (SWSE being a possible exception, and hopefully my upcoming rules in the WWII book for AFMBE--cheap plug).
The section begins by making the (very true) point that aerial combat takes place in a far different environment than normal combat, which is why it needs its own set of rules. It goes on then to detail various Flying Mounts and the benefits and drawbacks of caring for and training each. Griffons, for example, are carnivorous and require "enormous amounts of food, especially after prolonged aviation." They cannot be stabled with normal horses, ...
Posted by: the_grey_elf on Jul 11, 2012 at 02:35:21 PM
This rather expansive section gets into a lot of really neat detail and systems regarding adventuring in both mundane (outdoor land and dungeon) and unusual (underwater and aerial) environs. Some of the stuff in here, modern game designers could learn something from reading.
Adventures in the Outdoors: This bit largely discusses establishing your campaign setting. It includes a brief mention of creating your party's base of operations and a nearby dungeon in which to begin. It then goes on to suggest that a detailed map of the surrounding area is essential to maintaining cohesiveness in your game, and provides a quick explanation of how to use a hex grid to measure scale. It also, naturally, recommends the World of Greyhawk campaign setting for those without the time to design
Posted by: the_grey_elf on Jul 10, 2012 at 08:35:10 AM
There is an amazing amount of utility in this section...for players as well as DMs. This is yet another section of the DMG that really belongs in the PHB. However, unlike some of the other areas I've pointed out, it seems that much of this section is reactionary, that is to say, it was written in response to player abuses of spells and magical powers. If Gygax had ever gotten to do his second edition, I've no doubt much of this would've found its way into the PHB.
Day-to-Day Acquisition of Cleric Spells: There's some neat stuff in here that I'd completely forgotten since my first edition days. I love that Clerics cast first and second level spells based on their own divine power; if a deity withdraws his or her favor from a cleric, she does not lose her first and second