Recently I've finally read my first Michael Moorcock book, Jewel in the Skull. I loved it.
I purchased two Elric Compilations since I can't find more Hawkmoon at the local used bookstore.
I did finally come across the last three Hawkmoon books, and I swooped those up.
I'm digging Elric. The compilations are not organized by publication date, but it's all good stuff.
If you like those, I'd highly recommend the first Corum trilogy by Moorcock. He's another Eternal Champion, with some similarities to Elric, but more a straight hero rather than an anti-hero.
When I first picked it up in high school, the opening words hooked me:
In those days there were oceans of light and cities in the skies and wild flying beasts of bronze. There were herds of crimson cattle that roared and were taller than castles. There were shrill, viridian things that haunted bleak rivers. It was a time of gods, manifesting themselves upon our world in all her aspects; a time of giants who walked on water; of mindless sprites and misshapen creatures who could be summoned by an ill-considered thought but driven away only on pain of some fearful sacrifice; of magics, phantasms, unstable nature, impossible events, insane paradoxes, dreams come true, dreams gone awry, of nightmares assuming reality.
This could also be called "roll 3d6, replace lowest with 6". This sticks closer to the original terminology, and thus seems like less of a departure.
It could also be implemented for one ability score, e.g. prime requisite, as suggested above, while keeping 3d6 for the others. In which case it's just 3d6-in-order with one die roll replaced with a 6.
* * *
I included 2d6+6 in order (no further adjustments allowed) as the Arnesonian option for human characters in my Holmes Basic Ability Score Reference Sheet.
Another CM passage to perhaps add to consideration:
CM2 p33/CM3 p37 WIGHTS (and Ghouls) has this:
If they touch a normal figure during melee, it becomes paralyzed and remains so for one complete turn. A paralyzed figure is considered to be able to strike a blow at the Wight just prior to paralysis taking effect, so melee can occur but only one round.
Although this is in the fantasy supplement, it describes mass combat between wights and normal men.
It seems to me that if, ordinarily, there were "but only one round" during "one complete turn" it would not be necessary to include this passage at all.
The next question is then: If there is ordinarily one round of blows per turn, and wight paralaysis lasts for one turn, and a paralysed figure fights for one round in that turn, then what is the actual combat effect of wight/ghoul paralysis?
"If they touch a normal figure during melee..."
Some questions: ---When do you think this condition met? Is it automatic if the two figures are in melee range at the end of the movement?
---"One full turn". Does this mean that the paralysis lasts from the start of melee in the first turn until the start of melee in the second turn, or does it mean an entire turn, i.e., the entire second turn?
Regarding (1), increment gives the best answer on his blog here, where he concludes:
For all the reasons listed above, it's probably impossible to narrow in on one date and say with any certainty that this is when the game was released. But if we need to celebrate somewhere in the neighborhood of late January, then the last Sunday of the month (this year, the 26th) seems like the best candidate. As the El Conquistador advertisement above notes, Sunday was the day when Gary invited the world to drop by his house, at 1:30 PM, to have a first experience of Dungeons & Dragons. Since it's a weekend, many of us can clear our schedules to revisit some classic tabletop. So this coming January 26th, 2014, do take the time to celebrate the birth of Dungeons & Dragons and role-playing games.
Ah, that's too bad. I rarely looked at it, but I was interviewed in issue 32 after I put out the Tower of Zenopus conversion for 5E & got to write out all of the answers myself, which sort of fulfilled my youthful dream of getting material into Dragon magazine.
The 1st printing has the last one (Medium Horse) at 10%. Holmes used this in Holmes Basic as well.
The 20% error definitely first appeared in print in the 70s, and thus is the source of the PDF error. I have a later print copy - not sure which printing, but the Tolkien references have been removed - and it has the 20% error.
Last Edit: Aug 21, 2022 20:43:16 GMT -6 by Zenopus
I've been reading classic fantasy books with my six-year old daughter every night. We finished The Hobbit a couple of weeks ago and are now finishing off the Narnia series. I'm wondering where to go next. We've already read Chronicles of Prydain (my favorite children's book series) and several books of Greek mythology. What other classic fantasy is appropriate for a six-year old?
FWIW, I don't think Chris ever envisioned Boinger with a beard; he actually once indicated to me that he was surprised when Roslof drew Boinger with a mustache in Dragon. Chris' vintage (1970s) and modern (Tales of Peril) images of Boinger are all clean-shaven. Likely from that Tolkien conception that Hobbits are largely facial-hair free.
Last Edit: Apr 15, 2022 10:52:23 GMT -6 by Zenopus
This jaw-dropping dungeon map, tagged "Holmes 1977", is attracting a lot of attention over in the r/DnD subreddit, here. You can see a larger view of the map if you over there and click on the image.
Here are the comments that I posted over there:
I love the dense map and minimal key; it's even more extreme than Gygax's Castle Greyhawk dungeons! It demonstrates how you can set up an enormous level without the stocking getting out of hand.
The first edition of Holmes Basic set, released in July 1977, included Set 1 of the Dungeon Geomorphs and a Monster & Treasure Assortment, because the first Basic module had not been published yet. This wouldn't change until the second edition in late 1978. So, if this dungeon is from 1977 or 1978, the style probably reflects the influence of the Dungeons Geomorphs included in that set, which were similarly filled with rooms and corridors with paper-thin walls.
The notes mention the alignment "Lawful Evil", which was first properly introduced into D&D in the Holmes rulebook.
At least two monsters are mentioned that are not in Holmes, the Stone Golem and Succubus, so either the mapper also had either the Greyhawk (Golems) & Eldritch Wizardry (Succubus) OD&D supplements, or the Monster Manual, which came out the last week of 1977.
And my guess is that the "r" in the majority of the room is for "random"; i.e., random monster/treasure. Note the circled "r" is annotated at the bottom as "All creatures must be lawful evil"; i.e., the random monster here must be lawful evil.
The bowling alley in the Southwest corner may reflect the influence of Original D&D Vol 3, which mentioned that Castle Greyhawk included, among other things, "a bowling alley for 20' high Giants" (page 4).
The tiny "Dragon Lair", which is marked D on the map, is in the northeast quadrant (sort of a Where's Waldo on this map). Assuming the squares are 10' to a side, then the lair, which is laid out on the diagonal, is all of about 14' by 14' feet in size!
Here's a rundown of my Gary Con XIV gaming highlights:
Thursday: ---"Tower of Ulission", the first part of an OD&D tournament written by Dave Emigh for Winter War in the 1977, and then later published by Judges Guild, run by paleologos (Demos S, who blogs at the OSR Grimoire). skars played in this as well. Lots of riddles and problem-solving in this one, as well as combat. We finished our mission, but there was an unexpected twist at the end that I've never encountered in a D&D adventure before!
---"Hell's Highway", a Mad Max inspired miniatures racing game using modded matchbox cars. I like to play minis games between RPG sessions for a break. In this scenario we raced between checkpoints to earn fuel for our tribe while battling with the other contestants.
---"Lost Crypts of the Fire Opal", a fleshed out version of the AD&D DMG Sample Dungeon by Paul Stormberg (stormberg here). Great group, great gameplay and problem-solving despite ending abruptly with a near-TPK caused by use of Unseen Servant! We were too clever for our own good. scottenkainen joined in for part of the game.
Friday: ---"Expedition to Skull Stack Crater", the first game I reffed this year, and the first time I've run this one in public. paleologos, muddy, and GRWelsh played in this one. Fun group and they successfully recovered the intelligent Spear of Decree just before the time was up!
---The annual game of Don't Give Up the Ship, miniatures rules for ship-to-ship engagements in the Napoleonic era, refereed by co-author Mike Carr in the Legends of Wargaming Hall. I was the captain of a French frigate in a huge engagement agains the British fleet. Over 20 players at once!
---The annual Friday night AD&D Legends of RPG tournament organized by Paul Stormberg. My group's DM was Steve Winter, who I always enjoy playing with. The tournament turned out to be an expanded version of Alan Lucien's Tomb of Ra-hotep, which Paul plans to publish later this year (with permission from Lucien). I was with a clever group of players who ended up 5th out of 13 groups.
---Joining the last hour of a marathon 6-hour Tower of Zenopus game run by Dave W. (of RPG Retro Reviews on YT), taking over an 18 STR halfling (!) for another player who left early. The players essentially cleared out the entire dungeon! I always enjoy seeing how others run this ur-dungeon.
Saturday: ---"Sword of Hope", the 2nd round of the 1977 Winter War tournament, also run by paleologos. I was the only player continuing over from the first group, and got to play one of the same characters. Lots of riddles to solve again, and we successfully completed the quest. These two adventures by Dave Emigh are seriously underrated.
---Brief stop at the Vendor's Hall, where I met Doug Kovacs, DCC artist, and caught up with grodog at the Black Blade booth.
---A rough cut of the forthcoming Gygax documentary, "Dreams in Gary's Basement", plus Q&A with the director, Pat Kilbane. He started with Holmes Basic and is still a gamer, currently working on his own RPG system.
---"In Search of the Brazen Head of Zenopus", which I ran for the 6th time. As noted above howandwhy99 played in this. I also had two players who were in the game in 2019, having forgotten they played in it before! Once again the evil lurking beneath Portown was defeated by Boinger & Zereth & friends.
Sunday: ---TSR's Knights of Camelot. I watched paleologos play this game on a custom 7'-long board in the Legends of Wargaming hall. I had to leave before it was over, but he ended up winning the four-player game and received a trophy, a customized miniature.
Thanks for sharing, Jason. I met some of the Troll Lords for the first time late on Saturday night (or early Sunday morning?) at the bar, via Rich M. (who is in my home group), who has known them for years.
Yes on Hawklord's NPCs - that is the "Knights and Knaves" column. I hope so for Zenopus' dungeon - I very much want that - I have another thing from Zach but I'll check with him about that.
Wow, I had forgotten about that. Looks like I indicated I was working on a second level way back in 2012! I do still have my notes from that time, but I never finished it. I'm not sure I could get it done in a short enough time frame.
Last Edit: Mar 29, 2022 14:55:31 GMT -6 by Zenopus
Over 20 years ago, Gary Gygax returned once more to the World of Greyhawk for a D&D game, creating "The City on the Edge", a new adventure set in the far west. This is some of the last work that Gygax did developing the World of Greyhawk setting. Here's what we know about this forgotten & unpublished adventure: