Approaches to Playing Advanced Dungeons & Dragons
Did You Mean: Aids to Playing Advanced Dungeons & Dragons?


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The Game - DMG.9 - DMG

A few brief words are necessary to insure that the reader has actually obtained a game form which he or she desires.
Of the two approaches to hobby games today,
one is best defined as the realism-simulation school and the other as the game school.
AD&D is assuredly on adherent of the latter school.
It does not stress any realism (in the author’s opinion an absurd effort at best considering the topic!).
It does little to attempt to simulate anything either.
AD&D is first and foremost a game for the fun and enjoyment of those who seek to use
imagination and creativity.
This is not to say that where it does not interfere with the flow of the game that the highest degree of realism hasn‘t been attempted, but neither is a serious approach to play discouraged.
In all cases, however, the reoder should understand that AD&D is designed to be an amusing and diverting pastime, something which can fill a few hours or consume endless days,
as the participants desire,
but in no case something to be taken too seriously.
For fun, excitement, and captivating fantasy, AD&D is unsurpassed.
As a realistic simulation of things from the realm of make-believe,
or even as a reflection of medieval or ancient warfare or culture or society,
it can be deemed only a dismal failure.
Readers who seek the latter must search elsewhere.
Those who desire to create and populate imaginary worlds with larger-than-life heroes and villains,
who seek relaxation with a fascinating game,
and who generally believe games should be fun,
not work, will hopefully find this system to their taste.


richardstincer wrote:
Gary and others, all I'm trying to do is emphasize the fact that ADandD 1st edit. should have a measure of 50% realism--the reality of real life--because if it doesn't, it would be extremely on the side of being an unbelievable fantasy game. Gary, when you decided to use some reality about female strength being lower than male strength, that was excellent because it shows that the game of ADandD 1st edit. is allowed to have--or can have--real life aspects to it and it is not just total fiction.


Pardon me...

...but I suggest that the "real life" you propose is quite contrary to heroic fantasy when set forth as rules. Any such elements are strictly up to the Game Master. Mixing high adventure with the need for the excretion of bodly wastes is an extreme example of the ludicrisness of such an amalgum. The object of the AD&D game was never supposed to elicit anything such as you purport, and happily it did not elicit such from the vast majority of its millions of fans worldwide. the game is about exploration, questing, derring do, and swashbuckling action, with such mix of roleplaying as suits the group.

I rest my case and shall not deal with this subject further.

Cheers,
Gary
 
 


Hi Jason,

The main assumption to follow is that a credible fantasy game does not seek to simulate reality beyond that stage necessary for the participants to immerse themselves in it.


Gary
 


serleran wrote:
Maybe a not-needed question, but curious nonetheless: how did things like Empire of the Petal Throne and the Judges' Guild stuff get to be official D&D products? I think that happened under your watch, but I dunno (and don't delve too deep into the histories of TSR.)
 


The Blumes met with the JG people and agreed to a license for them, ti use TSR copyrights and trade marks on products that TSR approved.

I, on behalf of TSR, contracted for EPT with Phil Barker, and the Corporation published the RPG, owned the rights to it, IIRR, and returned them to the author when ir was no longer in print by TSR.

Cheers,
Gary
 

Darius wrote:
How compatible is C&C with 1st edition? If for some reason I wanted to run one of your C&C adventures not suing LA do you think it would be easy to do?
 


The C&C game is very compatable with OAD&D.
One must get used to the armor class system whenr better armor is a higher number, and there is no THAC0...or ignore them and use the originals.

Cheers,
Gary
 


Julian Grimm wrote:
    Darius wrote:
    How compatible is C&C with 1st edition? If for some reason I wanted to run one of your C&C adventures not suing LA do you think it would be easy to do?
 

Coversion can be done as the adventure is being played out. In fact AD&D rules can easily beused in C&C with minimal effort. In fact my entire AD&D library had become a C&C resource.


Just so!

That is why Castle Zagyg is done in the C&C game system...
with my own additions such as a skill-bundle addition and special multi-classing rules to allow for less of a cookie-cutter sort of PC and NPC.

Cheers,
Gary
 
 


Julian Grimm wrote:
A couple of quick questions for you:

1. Did you have any imput on the D&D toy line that came out?

2. Concerning the climate of Yggsburgh and Greyhawk; I was wondering if this was done to facilitate adventuring easier or if the idea came about some other way?
 


The head of the bendy toy project was Duke Seifried.
Duke reported to Brian Blume.

The climate in the Yggsburgh region was meant to make the place more interesting for all sorts of reasons, including the environment for human inhabitants, regional flora and fauna, as well as facilitating adventures in the outdoors.

Cheers,
Gary
 


Quote:
Originally Posted by Drifter Bob
Let me first say, it's an honor to have a chance to chat with you Mr Gygax.


Greetings Drifter Bob,

Glad to be here to engage in a bit if discussion with you.

O have not seen "The Riddle of Steel", but from the sound if its name I should suppose it is a combat game rather than an RPG.

There is indeed a need for lethality in a single successful attack when simulation of actual combat is desired. That is why I have stayed away from it in the combat systems I have devised for my fantasy RPG designs, (On the old Boot Hill game one could get a character killed in a single exchange of gunfire.) As combat is the most popular activity in the RPG game form, it is pretty well necessary to allow for plenty of it, so...

Realism when one deals with magic, fantastic beasts, and all that makes up the FRPG seems a marginal concept to me.
Verisimilitude is another matter, but the basis for play is improbablity.
If the fantastic premises can be accepted, then quibbles about realism within the forum of play have more to do with perception than actuality.

When I wrote my parts of the Chainmail military miniatures rules (c.1969) I had done considerable historical research, and my interest in the subject of militray history, arms and armor, has not waned since...althouh my available reading time has.
I correspond with a fellow who is studying the old fencing manuals, fights thus. A
lso last year at this time I was a guest speaker at the Higgins Armory Museum, and gained a considerable insight into matters there.

Quote:
...while simultaneously, people outside of RPG's learned more and more about real period warfare (even though historical fighting isn't precisely the same as that in a fantasy setting) to such a degree that there ended up being this big gap, to where today hard core medieval fencing enthusiasts and weapon nuts are so very critical of any RPG. They site the 15 lb swords, seemingly nonexistant armor types, impossible double weapons and etc.
Perhaps they should reconsider the genre. It is fantasy. They blench at minor things and accept flying, fire-breathing dragons and working magic, which seems to me quite eccentric, like swallowing a camel whole, then straining at a gnat.


As you note, RPGs are for entertainment and fun. they are not meant to be simulations of something, for that something never existed 

Quote:
Anyway, I was wondering what you thought of specific ideas such as giving reach advantages to long weapons, allowing the defensive characteristics of weapons to come into play, allowing combattants to choose between aggressive, neutral, or defensive postures, giving armor an ablative or absorbing ability, and etc., with the dilemma of the natural weapons dealt with by some sort of close combat ("grappling", in current D&D parlance) mode...
 

<check>
Those are valid considerations, but they complicate and extend the time needed for combat. Why include them if a simpler system delivers the same geenral outcome in a shorter period of time?

As for armor, I have indeed gone to a system where it provided protection that absorbs damage, losing its "health" on the prosess. This is in the Lejendary Adventure RPG. In it there are basically four kinds of armor--cloth, leather, metal mesh, and metal plate, each in half or full. Well-armored Avatars in the game are indeed very hard to wound seriously, but attacks do bypass armor now and then, this reflecting the weak points in any protection.

Quote:
As to realism and survivability, I think you can always find good mechanics if one looks closely at real life. There is some reason why so many remarkable "heroic" indivudals from history survived so many battles and adventrues. One of the things they seem to be learning just very recently in a lot of the Historical fencing groups is just exactly how effective armor really was. Rivited mail, for example, worn with a padded coat, seems able to endure attacks from most period weapons, including longbows and lances. I imagine thats why people tended to wear the stuff! Nor was it as heavy and bulky as people thought, as you know.


Hmmm... Yes, I agree with the value of armor, how it protected well. However, I disagree about field plate being proof against lances and longbow arrows, or even heavy crossbow bolts at close range. There was a serious effort to ban the heavy crossbow from warfare, you know, because it could pierce plate. The French knights fell in droves from English (Welsh) longbow arrows, and there is an histotical record wherein examples are cited: an arrow piercing shield, armored arm, and then cuirasse, pinning the lot to the target sybject's chest; the same for a rider's leg armor being pierced on both sides, pinning the leg to his horse. I think this is in CWC Oman's work on medieval warfare. Somewhere, and I don't recall where, there is a study that shows the foot-pounds of pressure on a square inch of metal--the point of a lance being driven at a canter by a man in armor seated upon a heavy warhorse. Only a deflection could prevent it from penetrating the best of steel plate. There is also the example of Charles the Bold of Burgundy whose plate-armor-protected leg was severed, his horse wounded by a single blow from a Swiss halbred.

Quote:
Just a few thoughts, I'm not dogmatic about it like some people, I'd be fascinated to hear what you think.

DB


If that's just a few of your thoughts, I had better gird-up for some essay-lenght replies if you express many of there here <paranoid>

Cheers,
Gary

<EN.6.13>
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by howandwhy99
Hi Mr. Gygax,

In another thread around here some other posters and I are debating about how the D&D game came about. My own preference for running the game is as a modular, sort of "rules behind the screen" game where players learn as they go along. It's like using the core rules plus whatever additions the DM needs or group want to create based on actions taken by the players in the game. My thinking is D&D was created this way, that rules were added as to what was fun for the group and covered things as they became important throughout play. Things like overland travel, wandering encounters, new spells, magic items, and the like. At least this makes sense to me as AD&D grew from D&D and Mythus Prime led to many more rules.


Howdy,

As a matter of fact, I was in a design phase that sought great structure, direction, and verisimilitude when I wrote the Mythus game rules, and Mythus Prime was the result of me going back through the main work anbd extracting the essentials

Only after I got that out of my system did I return to the enlightened state where rules light is the pinnacle of FRPG rules systems...pretty much the way I was thinking when I wrote the OD&D game rules.

Quote:
Originally Posted by howandwhy99
The other side of the argument is better explained by others only that it is more of a rules focused game for the players vs. one based on simulating another reality. One of your famous AD&D DMG quotes was offered in defense of a game or rule oriented playstyle. I'm guessing you know the one, but here it is for your reference:

    AD&D DMG
    A few brief words are necessary to insure that the reader has actually obtained a game form which he or she desires. Of the two approaches to hobby games today, one is best defined as the realism-simulation school and the other as the game school. AD&D is assuredly on adherent of the latter school. It does not stress any realism (in the author’s opinion an absurd effort at best considering the topic!). It does little to attempt to simulate anything either. ADVANCED DUNGEONS 8 DRAGONS is first and foremost a game for the fun and enjoyment of those who seek to use imagination and creativity. This is not to say that where it does not interfere with the flow of the game that the highest degree of realism hasn‘t been attempted, but neither is a serious approach to play discouraged. In all cases, however, the reader should understand that AD&D is designed to be an amusing and diverting pastime, something which can fill a few hours or consume endless days, as the participants desire, but in no case something to be token too seriously. For fun, excitement, and captivating fantasy, AD&D is unsurpassed. As a realistic simulation of things from the realm of make-believe, or even as a reflection of medieval or ancient warfare or culture or society, it can be deemed only a dismal failure. Readers who seek the latter must search elsewhere. Those who desire to create and populate imaginary worlds with larger-than-life heroes and villains, who seek relaxation with a fascinating game, and who generally believe games should be fun, not work, will hopefully find this system to their taste.

My thinking is you are referring to the golden age of wargames and the hobby D&D via Chainmail sprouted out of. As posters showed me in the other thread, there were quite a few RPGs out by '79 besides D&D. It's just none of them really strike me as the "realism-simulation" school you mention above. Am I wrong? Wargames seemed to be far more realism than other RPGs at the time. IMO at least. Maybe it's a little of both? Any comments you have will be appreciated.

I hope you're doing well and enjoying life. I know I am one of the many eagerly awaiting the Castle Zagyg books. Take it easy though. I'm just glad to know they are on the way.

-howandwhy99


Many vocal individuals were lamenting the lack of "realism" in RPGs when I wrote that commentary you cite in the DMG. Whether that were playing another system or attempting to turn the D&D game into a simulation matters naught, eh? In any case I stand solidly behind my original claim that the game form is one not to be taken too seriously, as it is an amusement, at most a hobby.

As for the Castle Zagyg project, it is moving along as planned, with the detail modules of the Town of Yggsburgh and environs in the last stages of completion, the whole slated for publication of all 24 parts by the end of the second quarter of next year.

Cheerio,
Gary

<trim>
 


I'll say this once again:

D&D is a game for amusement and entertainment. It is a game and nothing more, save where the dedicated player group makes it into a hobby, then it becomes a hobby game.

It is fantasy, so any attempt to have it be realistic is quite off base. As it is a role-playing game, fixation on combat is also misguided. It was never meant to be a combat simulation.

If some players find the rules too deadly for the characters I suggest that the characters' players are not very skilled not given to thinking before acting.
That stated, PC death is meant to occur even when the best of players are concerned, but that is what cleric spells and wishes are meant to mitigate.

Cheers,
Gary