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Post Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 6:47 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:
Hey, Mike!

I missed this post somehow the first time around.

In addition to the three steps for slaying a dragon...

1)  Be immune to the breath weapon.
2)  Close to sword range.
3)  Slay

....there is also the basic tactical rule:

4)  Stay somewhat separated, but never more than one easy move from each other.

   As soon as I started reading about the mages flying up to meet the dragon in the air, I knew bad things were in store for the adventuring party.

5)  Never fly to meet the dragon.  Stay together on the ground and use projectiles.

6)  If the dragon refuses to land, allow him to stay aloft, have a good chuckle and move to loot his treasure horde.  He'll come down.

   Of course, a clever DM will have some sort of hazard guarding the horde...which is why you stay together while you do it.  Sooner or later the dragon must close...then apply Step 3 as necessary.  If the dragon has no horde nearby, steps 1-5 still apply.

    In 3.5 the dragon might even win the ensuing melee...since the rules allow for the dragon's incredible strength and striking power....rather than in AD&D, where an ancient huge white dragon might get in a claw hit for d4 (same as a dagger) or a bite equivalent to an average human holding a bastard sword.  *Insert derisive chicken noises here*

"Ha! Max damage! That's four to you, Sir Robilar...just under 4% of your total hit points!  Only twenty more rounds of that and I shall have you somewhat slightly concerned, perhaps!"

  However, for your amusement....an example of famous last words.  These were spoken on the 3rd level of G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King :

  "All of the dragons are always assleep in your campaign, Mark."  :lol:


Right before the red dragon had a BBQ, hey Mark?

Remember the damage bonus, though, of 2nd edition dragons (far, far superior to the 1st edition variety...at least one thing that was done right for that edition)...a lot of DMs completely forget the "Combat modiifer" chart under Dragons, General in the Monstrous Manual for 2nd edition....

Age                           Combat       
Category                          Modifier       
1 Hatchling               +1       
2 Very young           +2       
3 Young                       +3       
4 Juvenile                       +4         
5 Young adult          +5       
6 Adult                +6       
7 Mature adult             +7       
8 Old                          +8       
9 Very old                          +9       
10 Venerable         +10       
11 Wyrm                         +11       
12 Great Wyrm        +12       

Thus, even an old Dragon is going to do an extra 8 pts per attack...while an ancient (venerable) one is going to do a whopping 10 additional pts.  For a ancient white Dragon, for example, 11-16 per claw, and 12-26 per bite...not earthshattering, but a good deal more deadly than a 1st edition dragon/chicken....!  

In addition, a tail slap (2-12 +10 pts, or the equivalent to two claw attacks), can always deal with those pesky types trying to "get behind" said dragon...

Mike B.

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Post Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 8:14 pm 
 

G3 SPOILER ALERT!







In G3, on the third level, the sleeping red dragon is an illusion.  The real thing is invisible off to the side somewhere.  His treasure is hidden in a side cave, which is covered by a boulder.

That particular player was relatively new and had encountered one other dragon in my campaigns...that happened to be assleep.  

He failed his saving throw.


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Post Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 9:16 pm 
 

islestrike wrote:Can someone tell me if this material is being cooked up on the spot, or is it being based on some previous material that Gygax ran back in the day?  Is this like Castle Greyhawk with a new name, or is that something else completely?  Much obliged.

Cheers!


Hello Islestrike,

I'm afraid I'm not allowed to provide specifics, but basically, it's a little bit of everything you just mentioned, and more. Sorry I can't offer more at this time.

All the best,
--Jeff T.

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Post Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 9:31 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:Hey, Ghul and Serleran:

  I'm interested in how much the chatter on a website like this one, combined with places like Dragonsfoot and ENWorld, influences design decisions. Does it?


Hello FormCritic,

IMO, I think it would be unwise for any game designer to ignore the feelings of the most enthusiastic of fans, i.e. those who chat on sites such as this one and those others you mention. There are a lot of thought-provoking insights to be found, and I enjoy clicking about when time permits or when I need a break. I don't know that I would allow a forum post on the internet to directly influence a design decision, but I'm not above listening to what avid gamers have to say, because that's what I am, too!


   Ghul, I noticed that you voiced the same frustration with the Darlene map as I voiced in my review.  1)  Have you read my Yggsburgh review?  2)  Do you have the same frustration as me about the color map of Yggsburgh itself?

Mark


FC, I don't recall your review. Linkage? :)

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Post Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 9:37 pm 
 

Forums are a decent way to see what the most opinionated of people think, and to see general trends in terms of what's "hot" online (though that's not an indicator of the greater market, by any stretch of leaping imagination.) I have specifically designed things because enough people have asked for it, but it was not "official" and will not be, ever. There is also the whole "but that was my idea!" thing which is very worthwhile to avoid as often as possible. So, posts in general have little direct impact on design decisions, in the most basic of senses, but they do have an impact as a whole (like, "we need more dungeon adventures, or, some more shapechangers would be nice.") That's very different than, say, "can you put X creature in your monster book?"

In the end: if it was posted online first, it ain't going into anything official. There are some very rare exceptions.

Like Ghul, I would not consciously make an effort to duplicate someone else's idea, and if I even think I have infringed, I stop what I was doing and try to reinvent it wholesale.


Those who can, don't. Those who should not, do.


Last edited by copycat on Thu Jul 19, 2007 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  

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Post Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 9:43 pm 
 

Based on the GenCon products thread @ ENWorld, it looks like your Dungeon Engineering book won't be available at the show:  do you know anything definite one way or the other?


No, unfortunately. Steve makes all announcements regarding availability. There is something like 8 products to be ready for GenCon, but I cannot, for certain, say if mine is, or is not, part of that. I do hope it is, as the earlier it is out, the sooner I can hear if people like it. :)


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 4:40 pm 
 

Ghul wrote:
FC, I don't recall your review. Linkage? :)

--Jeff T.


viewtopic.php?t=4137&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=zagyg&start=40

Scroll around on this page and you will find the review.


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 6:54 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:
viewtopic.php?t=4137&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=zagyg&start=40

Scroll around on this page and you will find the review.


Okay, found it. Nice job! So, yes, it appears we are on the same page in regards to the wilderness map -- beautifully rendered by Darlene, but they should not have placed the encounter numbers on it.

As far as the town map goes, I have to assume that Gary and crew decided not to have individual buildings shown -- even in outline form as you suggest -- because of the subsequent Yggsburgh project of which I have taken part in. The Yggsburgh expansion project divides the town into 19 sectors, and its suburbs into 5 sectors, each of these having been or are being fleshed out by freelance designers overseen by Gary.

The bulk of these, as I understand it, have been turned in and are going through the editorial/layout process. Each module will be highly detailed, showing every building. This may explain why the original map was portrayed thus. In the future, there may be a huge double poster map that shows everything in Yggsburgh.

For an example, check out: http://www.trolllord.com/newsite/zagyg/8020.html

Hope that helps,
--Jeff T.

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Post Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 1:40 am 
 

The thing is...and this is the thing....

Yggsburgh was supposed to be about....Yggsburgh.

A big, expensive book about a city ought to be the last word about that city.

Not doing the map right so that it can be done right later sort of defeats the whole idea of an expensive hardback book.  :x

It would be like purchasing a copy of the first Greyhawk folio only to discover that the publishers planned to really, actually, truly, for real do Greyhawk in a later publication.  :?   :shaking2:

What if the Village of Hommlet had not been included in the Village of Hommlet module?  That's about the same thing.

Of course, I realize that it can't be changed now and that you guys probably had nothing to do with the first publication....but it is something to think about for future work.

Maps first!  Maps first!


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Post Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 7:33 am 
 

FC--

The map of the city indeed leaves a lot of the work to the GM. What you get is a grid that shows all the streets and surrounding walls. Street blocks do not show their buildings; rather they are shaded with a color to show their type: upper class, middle class, warehousing, industrial, etc. The GM isn't totally left in the lurch, however, as every city encounter detailed in the hardback provides a dimensional description of the location described -- its frontage, how many stories, and any other architectural notables.  For encounters or buildings  the GM would choose add in, there is the appendix in the back of the book that shows building examples for a variety of situations.  So what you have is a sort of guide for a do-it-yourself city. I'm not saying I agree or disagree with that concept, but I didn't become involved with the project until after the first hardback was released.

All the best,
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Post Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 10:47 am 
 

Ghul wrote:FC--

The map of the city indeed leaves a lot of the work to the GM. What you get is a grid that shows all the streets and surrounding walls. Street blocks do not show their buildings; rather they are shaded with a color to show their type: upper class, middle class, warehousing, industrial, etc. The GM isn't totally left in the lurch, however, as every city encounter detailed in the hardback provides a dimensional description of the location described -- its frontage, how many stories, and any other architectural notables.  For encounters or buildings  the GM would choose add in, there is the appendix in the back of the book that shows building examples for a variety of situations.  So what you have is a sort of guide for a do-it-yourself city. I'm not saying I agree or disagree with that concept, but I didn't become involved with the project until after the first hardback was released.

All the best,
--Jeff T.


I'm not going to be as shy.  I completely disagree with the concept, and the book as written has very marginal usability. However, i believe I paid about $5 for it on ebay so I am not going to complain too much.. I have to agree with Mark, though, Yggsburgh combined with the interminable wait for further Zagyg products is not an auspicious beginning for a project.  I've already decided that further products in this line are going to be purchased at discount on the secondary market, so as not to spend a large amount of money on something that, say, is about a dungeon level but doesn't include a map of the dungeon  8O
  Yggsburgh seemed like a very rushed and incomplete project for such an expensive price (we won't even get into the glaring spelling errors).  I know you guys had no hand in the earlier projects, but this sort of thing is going to dog later versions coming out under the same name.  I hope they are quality enough to intrigue buyers who might be on the fence due to the early Yggsburgh.

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 6:38 pm 
 

To be clear, guys, I'm not really dissing on the Yggsburgh maps just to blow off steam or be clever.

My motive is to give good advice for future publications so that Troll Lord Games can succeed and make piles of cash....piles and piles of it.

You will notice that there is an ENnie award for cartography.  That is because maps are the central piece of an adventure supplement.  The central jewel of the Greyhawk setting, for instance, was the huge, high quality, high color and high interest continental map.  No Darlene map, no classic Greyhawk setting.  Simple as that.


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