Saturday, October 25, 2008

James Wyatt is Hardcore

I've acquired the habit of carrying a 1e Dungeon Master's Guide to meetings at work. James calls it the Gygaxian Bible, and I think there's something to that.

Anyway, while waiting for someone to show up to our meeting, I rolled up a 1e character using James' 1e Player's Handbook, which he had also brought to the meeting. Determined to delve into the full AD&D experience, I puzzled over the weapons vs. AC chart to pick out two weapons for good old, 7 Charisma, 7 Intelligence Algar the half-orc fighter.

As I looked over the table, James said, "I had a unified table that combined weapons vs. AC with the standard combat matrices."

So yes, my fellow gamers, someone did use those tables. James Wyatt: more old school hardcore than you.

(And as an aside, I found something rather interesting about the tables that makes me want to use them. It's kind of neat to kit out your fighter with a scimitar for orc hacking, and a halberd to pull out when a high AC or big monster shows up. OTOH, I once asked Gary if he used those tables, and he insisted he put them in AD&D only because some people on the TSR staff insisted gamers wanted that level of realism and detail.)


MikeLemmer said...

Doesn't that kind of tweaking remind you of people take a dozen types of weapons in 3E? Or does it differ because the advantage here is a small tweak in how often you can hit them, rather than a severe reduction in how much damage you do?

Geek's Dream Girl said...

For some reason, this really strikes me as James Wyatt as the Chuck Norris of D&D...

JD said...

The 1E DMG should be required reading for any Dungeon Master of any edition.

B.G. said...

I just found my 1e DMG, still one of the best books ever, even though I still have trouble with the psionics charts :)

Mike Mearls said...

I think the key is that while 3.5 had the differences based on materials, 1e bases more on the function and design of the weapon.

Halberds were designed to crack upon heavy armor, so they do well against low ACs. Same with two handed swords. Clubs and stuff work fine against light armor, but they bounce off metal gear. Chainmail does little to blunt a mace blow, but it can turn aside a slashing weapon.

I really like that it gives a good reason for having so many weapons. It'd be neat if, for instance, smart players carried long reach weapons for fighting big humanoids like ogres, a spear to handle mounted foes, that kind of thing.

It introduces a new dynamic that both varies fights and encourages players to think about gear in a new way.