The Ongoing Campaign

by David Mattingly

Conducting the Game

While it might seem highly unlikely to those who have not been involved
in fantasy adventure gaming for an extended period of time, after the
flush of excitement wears off - perhaps a few months or a year,
depending on the intensity of play - some participants will become bored
and move to other gaming forms, returning to your campaign only
occasionally. Shortly thereafter even your most dedicated players will occasionally
find that dungeon levels and wilderness castles grow stale, regardless
of subtle differences and unusual challenges. It is possible,
however, for you to devise a campaign which will have a very minimal
amopunt of participant attrition and enthusiast ennui, and i t is not parparticualrly
difficult to do so.

As has been mentioned already, the game must be neither too difficult to
iurvive nor so easy as to offer little excitement or challenge There must
alwyas be something desirable to gain, something important to lose, and
he chance of having either happen. Furthermore, there must be some purose to it all.
There must be some backdrop against which adventures are
carried out, and no matter how tenuous the strands, some web which
connects the evil and good, the opposing powers, the rival states and
various peoples. This need not be evident at first, but as play continues,
lints should be given to players, and their characters should become
nvolved in the interaction and struggle between these vaster entities.
rhus, characters begin as less than pawns, but as they progress in experise,
each eventually realizes that he or she is o meaningful, if lowly, piece
in the cosmic game being conducted. When this occurs, players then have
a dual purpose to their play, for not only will their player characters and
henchment gain levels of experience, but their actions have meaning
above and beyond that of personal aggrandizement.

But if serious purpose is integral to a successfully ongoing campaign, there
must be moments of relief as well. Such counterplots can be lesser and different
themes within the whole, whether some side dungeon or quest, a
minor altercation between petty nobles, or whatever. Occasional ”pure
fun” scenarios can be conducted also. That is, moments of silliness and
humor help to contrast with the grinding seriousness of a titanic struggle
and relieve participants at the same time.
After all, AD&D is first and foremost a game, a pastime for fun and enjoyment.
At times the fun aspect must be stressed.
Thus, in my ”Greyhawk Campaign” I included an “Alice In Wonderland” level,
and while it is a
deadly place, those who have adventured through it have uniformly proclaimed
it as great fun because it is the antithesis of the campaign as a
whole. Similarly, there are places where adventurers can journey to a land
of pure Greek mythology, into the future where the island of King Kong
awaits their pleasure, or through the multiverse to different planets,
including Jack Vance’s “Planet of Adventure”, where they hunt sequins in
the Carabas while Dirdir and Dirdirmen hunt them.

<link: UA.Greece>
<link to wiki pages for sequins, etc.?>

Of course, such areas represent a consideroble investment in time and
effort. Many of you will not have hours to spend creating these diversions,
so i t might seem that your campaign is doomed to eventual stagnation.
Not so. The various prepared modules available commercially are ideal
for use as sidelights to the whole of your game. In addition, there are
many games which can be “plugged into” your AD&D campaign to serve
as relief. After all i s said and done, role playing is role playing and the setting
is not of paramount importance. The trick is to adapt one system to the
other so as to enable continuity of the characters from AD&D into the other
setting. This allows not only a refreshing change, but i t poses new
problems to participants and adds new factors to your campaign - new
abilities, new weapons, etc. TSR has many games and rules systems which
can be used with this game to expand and invigorate your campaign.
Space does not permit detailed explanations of how to do this with each
and every possible system, but two readily lend themselves to both the
spirit of AD&D and its systems: BOOT HILL and GAMMA WORLD.

Question: Will you answer questions about BOOT HILL, DIVINE RIGHT, GAMMA WORLD, etc.?

Answer: No, not on my own time. I don’t play those games much. I
have, but I prefer D&D/AD&D. To have any questions in those areas <OD&D>
answered, you will have to write to TSR and then they will see that the
correct person answers your letter.

Q: Why wasn't the STAR FRONTIERS
game included in the game-to-game
conversion section of the Dungeon
Masters Guide?

A: The STAR FRONTIERS game was published
after the DMG. Conversions
between the two systems are difficult,
since they are so dissimilar. Your best bet
is to assign AD&D game statistics to STAR
FRONTIERS characters and weapons (or
vice versa) on a case-by-case basis. Your
own judgment must suffice; just be as
consistent as possible.


Spot in in regards to having PCs adventure in different environments.
I believe that keeps them, and the GM alike from growing complacent, or bored.

Ernie's PC read a curse scroll and got sent to Barsoon--ERB's Mars, of course.
He managed the non-magical world very well, became the first character in the campaign to posses dual class status as a M-U and Fighter when the character discovered the means of returning ot Oerth.

In all of my campaigns, and in the modules I write, I try to give a variety of environments and situatiuons is that fits with the general setting and plot.
the upcoming Hall of Many Panes is loaded with that sort of adventure material 

Speaking of which, I need to get back to my final editing pass on the ms.
Only about 200 pages of the 500+ therein left to read through...


Sixguns & Sorcery:

Whether or not you opt to have a time/space warp throw BOOT HILL gunfighters into your AD&D world,
or the adventurers from your fantasy milieu enter a Wild West setting,
the conversions are the same.
Converting and discovering character stats is handled as follows:

<note: if you are using the original art, then incl. the art from the article in the Dragon.>

Strength as shown; 19 = 18/50, 20 = 18/75 Speed
DEX score = % score 
use 3d6 to determine 
Gun Accuracy
all have 01 initially, each 6 rounds 
fired add + 1 until a maximum of 25 
use 3d4 to determine
Throwing Accuracy
use normal attack tables for AD&D
6 base + 1 per 10% of BOOT HILL
speed rating to a maximum of 16 
as shown, 18/up to 51 = 19, 18/51 
and greater = 20 
use 3d6 to determine 
100 modified as follows: 
cleric = -2 X WIS
fighter* = -1 X WIS
magic-user = -3 X WIS
thief = -4 X WIS

* or monk 

use d8 + 4 to determine
initially NO experience, subject to later results 

<note: very minor changes in table headings, to enhance readability. readability = playability! game school!>

Hit Dice: Each BOOT HILL character is equal to a 2nd level fighter (2d10 +
constitution bonus, if any). In addition, for each category of gunfighting
experience a BOOT HILL character has, add one additional level of fighter
ability, i.e. add 1d10 + applicable bonus.

Armor Class: As in AD&D, so most BOOT HILL characters will have AC 10
(no armor) at least initially.

Saving Throws: BOOT HILL characters save at their fighter level as noted
above under hit dice.

Fighting Ability: BOOT HILL characters have fighter level as noted above
under hit dice.

Movement: Base unarmored movement for BOOT HILL characters is 12".
Horses are all light.

Turn Sequence: Use the normal AD&D turn sequence unless both sides are
using firearms, in which case use the BOOT HILL turn sequence and first
shot determination. When the AD&D turn sequence is used, then for
initiative give + 1 to BOOT HILL characters who are unarmored and using

Weapon Range: BOOT HILL inches convert to AD&D inches (").

Rate Of Firearms: Use the rate of fire shown in BOOT HILL as the number
of shots allowed per round, with NO penalty for firing more than 1 shot.
As the round is a full minute, you may optionally allow DOUBLE rate of fire,
with a -10% penalty for all shots fired above the standard rate of fire,
the penalty being cumulative, i.e. 3 extra shots = 30% penalty on each extra shot.
Reloading rate equals segments per round, so that any firearm can be completely reloaded in 1 round.

First Shot Determination Base Number Adjustments I:
= AD&D Missile Weapon
Rate Of  Fire
= Weapon 
8-13 = 1/2 = VS
6-7 = 1 = S
5 = 2 = BA
4 = 3 = A
2-3 = - = F
1 = - = VF

<8 pt. for the half>

<First Shot Determination Base Number Adjustments II:> Adjustment For Actual Armor:
Armor Class Due 
To Armor Worn
First Shot Determination 
Modifier (Penalty)
10 0
9 -1
8 -2
7 -3
6 -4
5 -5
4 -6
3 -7
2 -8

* All magic armor is classed as AC 7 for purposes of this determination.
Note that magic rings, bracers, and similar protections which are not armor
equate to AC 10 for this purpose.

Hit Determination Modifier:
Armor Class Modifier
10 0
9 -1
8 -1
7 -2
6 -2
5 -3
4 -3
3 -4
2 -4
1 -5
0 -5
-1 -6
-2 -6
etc. etc.

Special Note: Do not include dexterity bonus to AC for purposes of
modifying hit determination.

Wounds: Each hit causes damage as follows, several hits from the same
weapon being computed separately:

                                                                                                        Range Modifier
Weapon Damage S M L
tomahawk (hand axe), etc.
Derringer 1-4 +2 +1 0
Other Hand Gun 1-8 +3 +1 0
Shotgun 1-10 +2 0 -1
Scatter Gun 1-8 +1 0 -1
Other Shoulder Arms 2-8 +2 +1 0
Gatling Gun 1-8 +2 +1 0
Cannon (canister) 3-12 +4 +2 0
Dynamite (per stick)* 4-24 - - -

<add tomahawk to notes field for hand axe in PH>

* No saving throw allowed. You may optionally allow a save, treating the
explosion as if it were a fireball, but damage base must then be
increased to 6-36 hit points.


themattjon wrote:
Ahh, the pleasures of youth. The innocence of... wait, DYNAMITE? 

Sure enough.
O was in my mid-20s, and a friend and I picked up a case of 50% amonium nitrate dynamite, blasting caps, and fuse.
We thought about using it to ditch out the spring area, but my uncle did not like the idea, so we did...other stuff with it 


Originally Posted by Silver Moon
Hello Col_Pladoh,

A "Boot Hill" question for you. In the first Dungeon Masters Guide there are guidelines for Boot Hill/AD&D crossover games.
My question is, Did you or Buckshot Blume ever play or DM one?
I ask because my group is currently playing our third module in a D&D/Boot Hill hybrid campaign and we are having a great time with it.

Well, Pilgrim...

The short answer is no.
While we did some testing to see that the suggestions actually worked all right, we never did get to a real campaign.
That was due to Brian being involved in other things and not having time to devise the basis for a mixed D&D-BH setting.

I really like the idea of mixing magic and Wild West play, and it is great to learn you and your group have done it and are enjoying the result I don't know if this is the proper form for a recounting of your campaign, but I'd sure like to hear more!
Maybe an email to me at if you have time and inclination.


Any circumstances not covered here can be extrapolated from this work
and/or BOOT HILL. Referees might well find thot some AD&D monsters
and characters will prove interesting inhabitants for old mines or hidden
valleys. . .

Transferral Of Fire Arms To The AD&D Campaign: Unless you desire to
have gunpowder muddying the waters in your fantasy world, it is strongly
urged that BOOT HILL firearms be confined to specific areas, and when
gunpowder is brought into the fantasy world it becomes inert junk - ergo,
no clever alchemist can duplicate it. Likewise, dynamite and similar
explosives become inert.

Mutants & Magic:

Readers of THE DRAGON might already be familiar with the concept of
mixing science fantasy and heroic fantasy from reading my previous
article about the adventures of a group of AD&D characters tronsported via
a curse scroll to another continuum and ending up amidst the androids and
mutants aboard the Starship Warden of METAMORPHOSIS ALPHA. Rather
than go back over that ground again, it seems more profitable to discuss
instead the many possibilities for the DM if he or she includes a gateway to
a post-atomic war earth a la GAMMA WORLD. The two game systems ore
not alien, and interfacing them is not difficult. The challenges are very
interesting for AD&D characters, and it might get one of the participants
interested enough to get a separate GAMMA WORLD campaign going,
thus giving all of you a new field for gaming, and most important give you
a break from dming continually.

<link: wiki for MA?>

as shown, 
18 receives no percentile roll 
Strength (Physical) 
as in AD&D
with percentile bonus included 
as shown
as shown 
use mental strength
Strength (Mental) 
use wisdom 
as shown 
as shown 
as shown 
as shown 
as shown 
as shown 
Magic Resistance 
Radiation Resistance 

Hit Dice: GAMMA WORLD characters should be allowed to retain their total (based on their constitution),
while AD&D characters should retain their hit dice and bonus points gained by level.

Armor Class: Depending on whether the action is on a GW or an AD&D
world, convert the armor classes by using the following tables:
Shield only 9 Shield only 9
8 Leather 
Furs & shield 
skins & shield 
cured hide armor 

plant fiber armor 

partial carapace
7 Leather & shield / 
padded & shield / 
studded leather
ring mail 
Cured hide & shield /
plant fiber armor & shield /
total carapace 
6 Studded leather & shield / 
Ring mail & shield / 
scale mail (& shield) / 
chain mail
Sheath armor / 
piece metal armor / 
total carapace
5 Chain mail & shield / 
banded mail / 
splint mail
Sheath armor & shield /
piece metal armor & shield /
total carapace & shield
4 Banded mail & shield / 
splint mail & shield / 
plate mail (& shield)
Powered plate / 
plastic armor
0 Magic armors from AC 1 to -2 3
Powered alloy / 
energized /
inertia / 
powered scout / 
battle armor 
-4 Magic armors from AC -3 to -6  2
Powered attack / 
assault armor
-8 Magic armors from AC -7 to -10 1

<note: small changes in format for readability. readability = playability. game school!>
<unfinished, just format : two styles given above. use best>

Saving Throws: As noted, GW characters get no save against magic (spells), although some mental mutations will modify this rule (see below).
Likewise, AD&D characters are not allowed any radiation resistance.
Poison saves should use the GW matrix in a GAMMA WORLD area, otherwise the AD&D system is used.
All other saving throws are as per AD&D, with GW characters being considered as fighters
    (those with mental mutations approximating spell abilities should gain the benefit of saving as a 1st-5th level magic-user
        if the saving throw category therefore is superior to that of fighters).
Level of ability is based on the number of experience points the GW character has earned, each step equalling 1 level,
    i.e. 0 - 2,999 = 1st level, 3,000 - 5,999 = 2nd level, 6,000 - 11,999 = 3rd level, 12,000 - 24,999 = 4th level, etc.

Fighting Ability: GW characters in an AD&D world fight at the level
indicated by their accumulated experience points. AD&D characters in a
GW campaign use the latter system of resolution to hit, regardless of level.

Movement: Use the AD&D movement rates for characters, as the scales
are roughly equal.

Turn Sequence: Use AD&D, considering a search move as a round, and a
combat melee round as a segment.

Weapon Range: Outdoors convert GAMMA WORLD meters to AD&D
inches ("), the latter being yards. In an underground setting do NOT lower
"artifact" weapons from GW to AD&D inches ("), triple their ranges to
make up for the ground scale being reduced to one-third outdoor.

Rate of Fire: Use AD&D, converting GW combat melee turns to AD&D
round segments when applicable.

Initiative: Use the AD&D system.

"To Hit" Bonuses: Allow all bonuses normal to characters in each game,
except that strength of GW will give bonuses rather than dexterity (which
will improve armor class of GW characters not wearing "artifact" protection).

Damage: As shown in AD&D for all weapons except those found only in
GW. In the latter case, damage is as shown in GAMMA WORLD.

Fatigue: Ignore fatigue, or you may opt to use it only for GW characters. <Fatigue, SG>

Mental Combat: Unless AD&D psionic abilities are present use the GW
system (otherwise the AD&D psionic combat system). Wisdom indicates
mental strength. See also below.

Spells: Magic-users without their books will not be able to regain spells.
Clerics in a GW world setting will be totally out of touch with their deity or
deities, and so they will be unable to regain spells above second level.
Certain mental mutation powers resemble spells, and vice versa.
Mental defenselessness, for instance, will allow any illusion/phantasm or enchantment/charm spell to function automatically against him, her, or it.
A mental defense shield will give a bonus of +4 on saving throw dice rolls against the very same form of attacks, and detect both mental powers and magic.
Furthermore, characters with this ability would certainly have all five forms of psionic defense modes to use.
Mental control over physical state would enable override of hold spells and paralysis effects also.
Mental control used against any AD&D creature would be regarded as a magic jar attempt.
Likewise, certain AD&D spells would be very helpful
against GW characters, creatures, and weapons:
    minor globe of invulnerability, for example, would prevent mental attack forms which approximate spells of up to 3rd level (inclusive).
    Invulnerability to normal missiles would be effective against slug throwers, needlers, and fragmentation devices as well as medieval technology missiles.
    A wall of force would stop many beams and rays as well, but blasters and torc grenades, basically disintegration weapons, would bring it down instantly.
Whenever any case arises, use the examples and principles above to help you adjudicate the result.

Artifacts: The GW "artifacts" (except those with chemical bases which
could be reproduced) will operate in the AD&D world, just as most magic
items will function in a GW setting. AD&Dcharacters are limited in ability
with regard to GW "artifacts" to those operable under Chart A. Furthermore,
they receive a + 1 on their die rolls. Clerics and magic-users with an
intelligence of 15 or better may negate this restriction, and the penalty to
dice rolls as well, through practice or research. Each successful operation
of an "artifact" allows a 10% cumulative chance of negating the penalty.
Research on the obiect will allow a 1% cumulative chance of operating
Charts B  and C items as follows: Each day of research on type B objects,
with a 100 g.p. per day expenditure, each week of research on C objects
with a 1,000 gold piece per week cost. (Naturally, such study and research
must be uninterrupted and undisturbed.)

Any "artifact" or magic items which are demonstrated for characters with
usage instructions given will allow operation without the charts. AD&D
characters will, however, use "artifact" weapons which differ greatly from
weapons or magic items to which they are accustomed at 4 levels of experience
lower than they normally would. Each successful use allows a
25% chance for such characters to increase in expertise, (ie., lose a
penalty level) until they eventually reach normal ability. (Such characters
might also receive special consideration when handling firearms in a
BOOT HILL situation, being familiar with hand and shoulder arms, and
gaining a base 25 accuracy, for example, with a 50 maximum after

Q: Would blasters or lasers from GAMMA WORLD adventures be able to harm creatures
only affected by magical weapons, such as gargoyles?

A: Yes; such energy attacks would harm
nearly all AD&D monsters or characters.
Use the "Mutants & Magic" section of the
DMG to arbitrate details of such combat.

Q: What happens if a GAMMA WORLD® mutant hits an AD&D
character with the power de-evolution?

A: The AD&D character, unlike GAMMA WORLD characters,
has no resistance to mental attacks or radiation attacks from
GAMMA WORLD monsters or devices. De-evolution will automatically
strip an AD&D character of one level per GAMMA
WORLD combat round (10 seconds), meaning that 6 life levels
will be lost per AD&D round, no saving throw allowed. This was
confirmed by Jim Ward, the co-author of the GAMMA WORLD
rules. And you thought vampires were bad! AD&D characters
drained of life levels by de-evolution simply die and do not
become undead. If raised, the character so affected will be a zero level character.

S=Physical Strength
W=Mental Strength

Pure Strain Human
Mutated Animal

serleran wrote:
Do you like mixing genres together, something like Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, crossed with Boot Hill, for example... or do you prefer to stick to one element and see where that takes you? From reading some of the new material (Hall of Many Panes, for example. Not trying to give anything away about it, though, so don't sue me....) I'm curious. :) Do you consider that sort of thing to be "high magic" and not Conaneque "sword and sorcery?"


I have mixed genres since the OD&D game was published.

I do not think a magic-rich setting precludes swords & sorcery, although the pure "Conanesque" sort is pretty well out in such an environment.
that doesn't trouble me, as the only real roles in such a setting are permutations of the warrior and thief archetypes.


Wow, that's a great insight into alignments Gary. I have seen many discussion regarding alignments that would have gone much different if they had known this.

As i said, I blame blame myself for not fully elucidating the purpose of alignments, assuming that DMs would comprehend my thinking by some sort of osmosis :?


Ah, well...

As usual there are exceptions. I do enjoy reading about the Revolutionary War and the various Indian Wars.

I confess to rooting for the Indians, especially the Plains tribes. When i was a boy Crazy horse was a hero of mine, and I designed the Little Big Horn board wargame for TSR that reflected the possibilities well, even that of Custer managing to get Reno and Benteen into line and winning the fight. You know I must then have loved Dances with Wolves


Originally posted by Melan
Another question, if you don't mind.

In several early D&D adventures and supplements, there is a considerable number of futuristic elements: the whole Barrier Peaks module, Dave Arneson's Temple of the Frog and City of the Gods (not to mention a lot of Blackmoor). Judges Guild supplement have a ton of them, too. You also recounted a battle between an Evil High Priest and a division of nazis with tanks and all in The Strategic Review (which I read in the Dragon Archives CD-Rom).

How common were these in early play? E.g. did the players often find laser rifles, crashed spaceships and androids (they are, if I recall correctly, even recommended monsters in Monsters&Treasure)? How does this mesh with your insistance on gunpowder not working in D&D? Do you feel these elements have a vital role in the game, or should campaigns be more "pure"? If crossovers are good, were there other genres which appeared in your early campaigning?

Intense adventuring in the quasi-medieval fantasy milieu becomes staid without some variety. some campaigns manage this by bringing integue and politics into the mix. My group was too large and action-oriented to enjoy much of that...

Science Fiction is really no more than future fantasy, so that was a logical choice, and one that was popular with most players. The more daring (Rob, Ernie, Terry, etc.) loved to send their PCs into the "future" alternate world area based on Vance's "Planet of Adventure." This was the "Carabas" where the Dirdir hunted humans out seeking nodes bearing sequins.

Unlike gunpowder weapons, SF ones are "magical" in that their operational power is unknown and irreproducable by PC. PCs gaining laser-like arms in a SF setting had nothing more than a "wand" with limited charges, a weapon that was useless after those charges were expended. (I allowed 20 charges, less those expended by the former possessor, with usual damage based on 5d4 for pistols, 5d6 for rifles.)

When I devised a scenario in which the PC party were gated into out own world, entering NYC's subway system during the blackout there, the players caught wise and after wiping out a street gang and getting shot a few times thus, turned tail and hastened back to their own world rather than face police with more firearms 

The "curses" sent parties to places such as "Barsoom" and to (my favorite) the "Starship Warden" of Metamorphosis Alpha.

So I retained the fantasy base but offered opportunities to experience other milieux.
Overall, the group appreciated that greatly.
The main complaint came from Jim Ward who was much aggrieved when his elf fighter-mage ended up in his own RPG's setting.
The "Vigilists" there welcomed the "mutant" warmly, though, and his wanf of fireballs became the most potent weapon in that group's arsenal!


Originally posted by tieranwyl

You still have fans that play 1E AD&D, many of whom hang out at the dragonsfoot site. After all these years, some people have not been willing to move on to newer editions of D&D or other FRPG's. Partly they love the game because you wrote it, and mostly they just love Old AD&D. I think many of the "old schoolers" are hanging on to the hope that Old AD&D will make a come-back, that you would be in the creative lead of it and that their favorite classed-based game can be experienced by new gamers. There is still a lot of resentment by them toward the non-Gygax versions of the game. I could be wrong, but I don't think the old schoolers would accept a multi-genre D&D. Just an observation.

When 2E was released TSR lost about hald of its audience. That's according to inside information from someone then at the company. I suspect there was a much resentment about unnecessary changes and the cost of acquiring brand new core books as there was resistance to playing a game I didn't write...

My take on the matter is that those who hold fast to OAD&D do so because they like the system as it is, do not want any major revisions that alter its spirit and soul--other than those they have done for themselves to suit their group. Seeing as how I am quite unable to create a new edition because of legal reasons, speculating about it is indeed a fruitless exercise.

As for adding genres, that was generally directed in the ODMG, and what alterations I made in the rules would simply have made such facilitation easier.


Originally posted by Hadit
If original D&D had remained within your control over these long years, do you imagine that it's future incarnation would be as different in mechanics as LA is now?
In other words, would you have stayed with the original template or do you think such drastic evolution is inevitable?
(The wake of 3.5E brings up such meandering queries... )

I intended to revise OAD&D, but not into one that graftet skill-based play onto a class based vehicle. I think that brings the worst of both system types. In the long term I don't think I'd have made many changes in the AD&D game, only those necessary to allow the core rules to apply to more genres.

Originally Posted by grodog
On a module-related note, I recently dusted off my copy of GW1 Legion of Gold, which you co-wrote with Luke and Paul Reiche. This is the only TSR-era module that I recall you co-writing---was this effort one that you worked up from Luke's concepts, or vice-versa? I only know Paul Reiche from his OD&D books published with Erol Otus; what were his contributions to the final adventure?

Thanks again for the news on the Black Reservoir Gary---it makes my birthday morning brighter already
Happy Birthday, Allen

I was living in the big place near Clinton, Wisconsin, working in a little library-study there when Luck came in and told me about his ideas for a Gamma World module.
He dictated a lot of the content of the Legion of Gold adventure, so I listed him as author.
Darned if I can recall what Paul Reiche added to the work, perhaps some development to make it a longer one.

At least he didn't screw anything up as happened with one helpful editor who removed "Mignol Chorts, still fresh in their plastic wrapper," and "Grey modeling clay,' as well as "Package of firecrackers" from a long list of things to discover.
The idiot left in the C4 explosvive, but there was no fooler inert clay, and nothing to set off the plastique, since the flash crackers weren't there.
Worst of all, though, no character was able to find and consume the Mignol Chorts, a Tom Whamism for Twinkies


Originally Posted by Gray Mouser
Isn't "life leech" a power from Gamma World? I've never played MA (although it sounds pretty cool from what you and others have said).
Also, I assume PSH stands for "pure strain human", which, iirc, was also a GW race.
Was there overlap between these games?

MA was dne before GW, and IMO it was a much better game.
The Blumes "helped" Jim Ward to revise his MA game for GW, and thus much good material was lost.

Originally Posted by Gray Mouser
I know you designed a module for Gamma World, did you do any for MA? (I'm not even aware if there were any published scenarios!)

No modules were written for MA, sad to say...

Originally Posted by Gray Mouser
Oh, and if you want to share your PC character sheets for MA (or GW) feel free  (re: "You should see my Metamorphosis Alpha PCs.."  ).

Thanks, but no. I have them for my use when playing the game--although it has been almost three years since last I had the pleasure of visiting the Starship Warden with James M. Ward as Game Master.

Originally Posted by dead
Dear Gary,

How many years did you run your Greyhawk campaign?

From 1972 through 1985, rather sporadically after 1981. I still play it now and again.

Originally Posted by dead
Could you please list all the worlds/dimensions that players interacted with? Murlynd obviously travelled to a Wild West world (was this just Earth?) and, apparently, there was cross-overs to Rob Kuntz's campaign setting.

Good grief! I haven't the memory for that as most of such play was winged by me--such as Robilar's adventures in the City of Brass. We did WWII, modern city, and a bit of wild west as you note. SF action was common, and my players loved to go to the Carabas of the "Planet of Adventure," Tchai IIRR, to fight with the Dirdir.

Originally Posted by dead
Did the crashed space craft in "S3: Expedition to the Barriar Peaks" really take place in your own campaign?

sure enough, as my players were involved in the testing of the scenario

Originally Posted by dead
Were there a lot of genre cross-overs in the original GH?


About one session in every 12 would involve somethingfrom outside the fantasy genre. that was enough to keep things from getting too staid.


Originally Posted by Jdvn1
Anyway, I have an Origin of D&D question now. Nowadays, there's d20 Modern, d20 Future, et cetera. I don't keep up with all the different varieties. My question is this: How much of this did you think of at the beginning? When you made OAD&D, did you think, "Oh, we could make modern-day or futuristic classes too and have a different setting!"? Did you make plans for that sort of thing or were you trying to keep it fantasy-only?

The fact is I wanted to be able to mix genres--not use the A/D&D rules to play other genres, but means of mixing genres.
Thus we had fantasy forces comprised of orcs led by an Evil cleric meeting and fighting with a Nazi anti-partizan company, and fought the battle out on a table top.
I had PCs sent to the Starship Warden to tangle with Metamorphosis Alpha characters.
No need to go on, you get the idea.


Originally Posted by haakon1
That reminds me of a pre-crash topic . . . Boot Hill. I think I asked naively if you wrote it.

I should just look it up, I know, but my Boot Hill materials are in NY State, and I'm in WA State. :\

Boot Hill was a whole lot of fun for me and my friends, in the original and 2nd edition. ...
In the first edition campaign of BH I usually played the Mexican rancher and bandit Quinto Villa Lobos with a gang of four compadres--I converted 10 Airfix figurines so as to have the five characters in foot and mounted form, cmplete with sombreros and a couple wth ponchos.

When the second edition was being prepared I played ruthless rancher, Mr. G of the Rockin' G spread, I eventually had over 40 hands, a hired fast gun, an Indian tracker, and several Mexican vaccaros who bought cattle south of the border and saw to it that my half-iinterest in three border cantinas was properly repaid. The whiskey flowed freely for all my boys as I built and operated a distillery and eventually ran a stage line too so as to move my whiskey around to the ehole area.


Originally Posted by Geoffrey
Gary, I seem to remember reading that you had a hand in the original Gamma World rulebook. What parts did you write?

Gamma World was basically an expanded MA game. Jim Ward did not have control over what went into it, Brian Blume did. When I was given the opportunity to read the initial draft, I noted that there were no mounts for the characters to ride, so I supplied the names and stats for all that were in the game--pinetos, podogs, rakoxen, and whatever else...I don't recall now and am too busy to check the rules. I also did a couple of tables of objects to be found at random, but some jerk editor removed much of the interesting items therefrom.


Originally Posted by haakon1
Do you like Boot Hill and Top Secret more on the gritty historical side, or the glitzy Hollywood side?

However a good GM wants to present an operation. For the Wild West I favor something akin to the old cowboy movies mixed with spaghetti Westerns. For espionage I do like the settings of the Orient Express or an ocean liner...


Would you believe Wild Bill Cody or Red Ryder meets Clint Eastwood? As I grew up watching Westerns in the 1940s I had many a favorite cowboy back then...including The BLack Whip who I felt was much better than Lash LaRue.

Originally Posted by haakon1
And as you surely now, Gary, a section is what you could get for free from the US government for settling the American West, after the Homestead Act of 1862.

I believe the requirements to stake your claim were building a 10' x 12' dwelling and living there 5 years (or was it 4), before you got the title. I think you had to make your living off the land, but I'm not sure if that was a legal requirement or just what everyone did with 160 acres of Nebraska. 

So I figure 160 acres is a full-sized American semi-arid farm, what a man could work (with some horses) and run a few cows on, with a "back 40" and so on.

And I figure 40 acres is a decent sized small farm in a developed area with more rain, from the short lived policy of giving freed slaves "40 acres and a mule" at about the same time. I believe that happened in the areas the Union Navy took in 1862 -- the Sea Islands off Georgia and South Carolina, and maybe parts of Louisiana?

But I wonder how many acres a typical medieval peasant farmed? I'm guessing there's no real answer to that, as it would vary with geography (a lot smaller plots with productive land in the Netherlands or the Thames Valley, a lot bigger with rocky soil in Norway or dryer land in Poland).

I belueve the requirement for a homestead was working the land for five years.

More likley a 40 acre plot was suitable for dirt farming a cash crop such as tobacco.

Any farm that raised large livestock would need at least 80 acres, even in well-watered areas with fertile soil.