The question is, why is it *more likely* that Gygax intended 6 second rounds in OD&D (10 rounds/per 1 minute "combat turn"), than one minute rounds, with 10 equaling a ten-minute turn?
*We've got Chainmail saying that "One turn of play is roughly equivalent to one minute of time in battle", and Gygax's 1975 letter upthread, indicating but a single melee round per turn in Chainmail.
*We've got OD&D adding "Two moves constitute a turn" and "There are ten rounds of combat per turn", with no other stated distinction between turns.
*We've got Gygax saying in 1978 that the 1 minute melee round in OD&D was what was intended:
...Movement was adjusted to a period ten times longer than a CHAINMAIL turn of 1 minute, as exploring and mapping in an underground dungeon is slow work. Combat, however, stayed at the CHAINMAIL norm and was renamed a melee round or simply round.
(Dragon #15, June 1978, "From the Sorcerer's Scroll: D&D GROUND AND SPELL AREA SCALE")
*We've got Gygax keeping the 1-minute round in AD&D, and defending it.
It's pretty easy from the above to draw a straight line from the Chainmail 1-minute turn through OD&D to the AD&D 1-minute round. It's possible to argue that shorter rounds were intended in OD&D Vol 3, but I think it requires a heavier burden to overcome the above than has been put forth so far. And it's harder now that there's evidence indicating that the Chainmail turn was not, by default, meant to include multiple rounds of combat.
Last Edit: Jul 25, 2021 16:13:16 GMT -6 by Zenopus
I was on the fence about it since I already have a nice copy of the hardcover 3rd edition, which includes the rulebook, 20s sourcebook and Companion all together. I mostly wanted the adventures, but wasn't sure about pdf or print. Then I read that the 2" size was chosen to replicate the size of the original 1981 box. Holmes reviewed the 1st edition back in 1983 for Gameplay magazine*, so the connection there was enough to put me over into the print column.
Thanks for your comment. Whether or not "Chainmail has an unlimited number of melee rounds in a 1-minute combat turn" is actually what this entire thread is about!
I replied to you on Grognardia. Here's part of what I wrote:
...In the modern internet era, [the "Chainmail has an unlimited number of melee rounds in a 1-minute combat turn"] has certainly been a popular interpretation of how Chainmail mass combat is conducted. But it is debatable whether the game was actually played that way in the 1970s. Earlier this year, a 1975 article by Gygax with an example of a Chainmail mass combat suggests that there is only one round of combat per Chainmail turn...
See the referenced article in my post upthread.
Last Edit: Jul 24, 2021 14:12:05 GMT -6 by Zenopus
There is a new blog post over on DONJON LANDS that cites this thread as part of an argument that D&D rounds are meant to be less than one minute long. The thrust of the argument, which I am not sold on, is that Chainmail's Man-to-Man combat sequence *must* occur at a shorter scale than the 1 minute rounds of Mass Combat.
The analysis on Donjon Lands doesn't appear to address the section in OD&D Vol 3 called "The Move/Turn in the Underworld", where turns are described as being 10 minutes long, and then followed with an explicit statement that "Melee is fast and furious. There are ten rounds of combat per turn." This is the main reason that the combat round is typically interpreted as 1 minute long in OD&D. Any argument to the contrary should address those statements. There is a line of argument that "move turns" should not be equated with "combat turns" that has been discussed in great detail on the ODD74 forums.
But for purposes of this thread, where we've now found contemporaneous evidence (see my post above) that the "second round" of Mass Combat occurs in the "second turn", meaning there is typically one round of combat per turn, how do you feel about the argument that Man-to-Man combat differs in that the procedures assumes multiple rounds of combat per turn if both combatants survive the first round?
The argument over there is long, so I won't repeat it all here, but a lot of hit hinges on the interpretation that the instructions for "2nd Round and thereafter" in Man-to-Man only makes sense if the rounds are all occurring in a single turn. Which, to me, remains debatable.
Last Edit: Jul 24, 2021 12:27:03 GMT -6 by Zenopus
Thanks for the heads up! From the preview, it's a 3rd Edition (1975), 7th printing (April 1979), and scanned from an original rather than re-typeset like the OD&D booklets.
The print plus digital version costs the same as the print version alone, $6.99. I just ordered a copy, will report on quality when it arrives. The total with tax and media mail shipping was $11.91.
I haven't owned a print copy of Chainmail in quite a while. I used to have this same edition (including the coiled rings mentioned above), which I ordered from the TSR Mail Order Hobby Shop in the late '80s, but I sold it on Ebay at some point in the late '90s.
Last Edit: Jul 22, 2021 22:20:55 GMT -6 by Zenopus
I remember Zenopus Zach wrote on his blog that the Lichway and Tizun Thane were originally written for Holmes.
I don't know if they were "written for Holmes", it's just that the intro to each said that it could be used with either "Advanced D&D or Basic rules", and Holmes Basic was the only Basic that was out at the time.
In CM's description of Trolls (and Ogres) 2nd Ed p30, 3rd Ed p34 we have it that:
<<Ogres are killed when they have taken an accumulation of six missile or melee hits in normal combat.>>
The next sentence qualifies this, adding: <<Elves can kill them in three hits, and Hero-types or magical weapons kill them with a single hit.>>
I can confirm that the 1st printing of Chainmail also has all of the above text, on page 41. I don't have a full copy of the 1st printing, just some auction images, but this is one of the pages that I do have an image of.
Last Edit: Jun 24, 2021 14:17:53 GMT -6 by Zenopus
10: Star Wars 9: The Empire Strikes Back 8: Return of the Jedi 7: Rogue One 6: The Rise of Skywalker 5: The Force Awakens 4: Solo 3: The Last Jedi 2: Revenge of the Sith 1: Attack of the Clones 0: The Phantom Menace
My rankings are pretty close to these, though I would place Rogue One lower and Solo higher.
Rewatching Episodes 1-9 with the kids last year, and all in order for myself for the first time ever, reinforced my views.
Original Trilogy > Sequel Trilogy >>>>> Prequel Trilogy. I just don't enjoy much of the Prequel Trilogy, while I find the Sequel Trilogy entertaining, with the chemistry between the leads much closer to the original trilogy, which goes a long way.
I used some pictures online to make this pdf of The Character Archaic (1975, 1st printing). It's fuzzy but can be read for the most part:
I appreciate your enthusiasm, but we should refrain from posting Wee Warriors material here. The intellectual property was acquired by Precis Intermedia a few years ago, and they sell digital copies now: www.pigames.net/store/default.php?cPath=145
"Wee Warriors, Palace of the Vampire Queen, The Dwarven Glory, The Misty Isles, The Embattled Trek, Labyrinthine, The Vanquished Foe, Dogtags, Dragonlord, The Character Archaic, The Endless Dungeon, The Village, and Dungeon Designer's Kit are game and game accessory trademarks of Precis Intermedia. All rights reserved."
They don't offer the Character Archaic per se for sale, but do have a free pdf download of a remastered version of the character sheet from it here:
I also thought of Black Puddings when I read At the Mountains of Madness, enough that I used them in the write-up for the Ancient Builders (Old One/Primordial One analogs, which Vile Traveller included in Blueholme). But I didn't note that the Shoggoths could also be an inspiration for the "clean-up crew" term. The Blob is another strong contender for the Black Pudding, so we need to consider both as possible sources for the idea of the "clean-up crew".
Gygax credited Arneson with the Black Pudding, but I don't know who coined "clean-up crew" term. See my speculation on the origins of the Ochre Jelly here for more discussion of this: Ochre Jelly Inspiration?
Back in 2006 on DF, someone actually asked Gygax whether the Shoggoths served as inspiration for the Black Pudding. His reply, which includes a very Gygaxian pun:
Dave Arneson evidentaly disliked English black pudding, made up an amoeboid monster of that name which I glommed onto..figuratively of course 8O
If he was thinking of Shoggoths when he envisaged the critter, only Dave knows...
The DR thing was definitely mentioned by Gary himself at one point, on the Troll Lord Games forum. Sadly, that's been flushed down the commode by the internet over the years. It's referenced multiple times, including an old thread here.
It's a shame the original TLG forum no longer exists, of course. There's still multiple archived internet threads of Gary talking about how he ran his home games, though, notably at ENworld and DF. I know he made some comments about his white box games there a time or two but I'm not sure how much those comments apply here and there's a ton of threads to dig through to find relevant Gary quotes. (That's a good problem to have!)
The Troll Lord Games forums, including Gary's original post, are still around; they've just moved in the intervening time which has resulted in broken links.
Here's the current link to the post with "Gary's OD&D House Rules" from August 2007. I also put that corrected link in the older thread here that you linked above.
For posterity, here's an exact quote of what Gary wrote there. I again stress that these are his 2007 rules for convention games. They aren't exactly the same as what was reported in 2005, and most certainly differ from what he used in the 1970s. As a followup to what you wrote above, I don't see anything about damage reduction here.
A hurried response:
Gary's OD&D House Rules:
For a score of 15 or over:
STR: +1 to hit and +1 to damage if a Fighter
INT: +1 1st level m-u spell
WIS: +1 1st level cleric spell
DEX: +1 to AC, and +1 to move silently
CON: +1 HP per HD (same as a Fighter class gets, +2 if a Fighter)
CHA: +1 (positive) on reaction checks
HPs: Characters are only unconscious at 0 HPs. For each level a character may have a minus HP total equal to the level, so a 1st level PC is dead at -2, a 2nd level at -3, etc.
I became aware of the 1st print when I noticed the extra mythos in the copy of D&DG at my local library! I already had my own non-Cthulhu/Melnibonean copy, received in mid-1983 (IIRC), so this was probably around '84. I'm surprised it survived in the stacks for that long!
I had my Gen Con XIII program handy and checked it. There's a full page ad on page 17 for D&DG that screams across the top: "JUST RELEASED from TSR HOBBIES INC".
So it was definitely available at that Gen Con, which was Aug 24-26.
Depending on when they had it ready, it may have also been available at the earlier Origins, but we would need to check the program book or con reports to see if there is any evidence for that.
* * * * *
Other Gen Con XIII ads for new TSR products include the Knights of Camelot boardgame and the World of Greyhawk folio, along with WoG Fantasy Figures by Minifigs. TSR also has ads for the Dungeon Hobby Shop and Dragon Publishing, and TSR artist Darlene has her own ad for Art & Calligraphy.
Other companies/products with ads include Valiant Miniatures, Balboa Game Company, SPI, Iron Crown Enterprises, Judges Guild, The Courier magazine, Martian Metals, International Team Games, Asteroid by GDW, Titan, Ral Partha, La Bataille D'Austerlitz, TA-HR miniatures, Tom Loback General Artworks, Lyles Hobby & Craft Center, Game Room Productions, Grenadier Models and, on the back cover, "New Fantasy Aids!" by Dimension Six.
Yes! I did grow up in the region. Some of my favorite places to visit growing up were the DC Zoo, the Smithsonian Natural History Museum and the Baltimore Aquarium. In the later '80s, I bought my OD&D "Collector's Edition" Whitebox at a game store that used to exist in the Harborplace Mall in the Inner Harbor.
That's as specific as I will be in a public forum.
No firm date , sorry. It was under the Xmas tree that year for me. But I had seen it much earlier at Crown Books behind the counter
As far as I remember, the first D&D book that I ever looked through was a Monster Manual at a Crown Books! This was before I got my Holmes Basic set. I remember the Bulette on the title page - which I recognized from my sandbox toys - and the ferocious-looking Carnivorous Ape.
And actually, 1st print on Giants states "ranging from 21 to 30 as compared to humans."
That's actually what it says in my copy of the Fiend Folio, so I think Turnbull just copied over the intro information from an early printing of the Monster Manual. I've also confirmed that this language was still present in the 3rd printing of the Monster Manual, which per the Acaeum is from around Dec 1978.
I wonder how the 21 to 30 was intended to correspond to the various Giants?
The Errata states that part about Orcus' tail should read:
Demon, Orcus: The information about his tail should read, “Additionally his tail has a virulent poison sting (-4 on all saving throws against poison), and his tail strikes with an 18 dexterity which does 2-8 hit points each time it hits.
Can you tell me what was said here originally in the 1st printing?
Last Edit: Apr 28, 2021 16:10:43 GMT -6 by Zenopus