Q&A

Makofan's Deep Dungeon Crawl PBP

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Post by acodispo » Mon Jun 15, 2020 2:07 pm

Re: Q&A

This is relevant to our current situation. :)

In DDv4, Gargoyles (and other monsters who are unharmed by "normal weapons") are vulnerable to the attacks of Heroes & Super-Heroes wielding otherwise-Normal weapons.
Gargoyles appear much as the sculptural depictions in gothic architecture. [...] They are fond of ambush and normal weapons do them no harm.
Normal-Weapons are all non-magical arms including swords, spears, axes, and maces wielded by normal man-types. An otherwise normal weapon wielded by a heroic/superheroic-type is considered heroic.
(emphasis mine)

This is not present in OD&D, where it is very clear (complete with an underline):
Only magical weapons/attacks affect Gargoyles.
(from the monster listing in Book II)

Given that (presumably) we're currently up against a gargoyle, may I ask which way you'll be ruling on this? or shall we find out via experimentation? :D
[f=32]Wiglaff the Elf, F3/MU2 (M 12", AC 9, HD 4+1, hp 14/14, N) cloak of elvenkind, battle-axe; light, colour spray (map)[/f]
[f=47]Wilibald "Willie" Whitfoot, F1/T1 (M 12", AC 6, HD 1+2, hp 9/9, L) gambeson+helm, shield+warhammer[/f]

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Post by Makofan » Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:15 pm

Re: Q&A

Wow - good catch. I should really play the rules as written, and allow your normal weapons to do damage. The challenge with that interpretation is it does not fit the source material. Heroes not being able to damage certain foes without the correct tools is a common trope in fantasy and mythology

Any other players have thoughts on this?

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Post by merias » Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:00 pm

Re: Q&A

I can see the point to this rule as far as giving FM an edge other classes don't have, but I don't think I'd use it for my own games. IMO it detracts from the fantastic nature of magical weapons in OD&D, especially swords.
[f=32]Aldbane the Cleric (M 6" AC 2/3 HD 3 hp 13/13) plate+shield+helm, silvered war hammer, sling, staff of healing[/f]

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Post by coffee » Tue Jun 16, 2020 1:31 pm

Re: Q&A

I think the word "fantastic" is the key here.

In the Chainmail Fantasy Combat Table, a Hero would be able to attack a figure of similar stature to a Gargoyle. There is no requirement there for a magic weapon, as I recall.

One may assume that a heroic figure would indeed have a magic weapon, but in this Chainmail system, Magic Weapons are virtually characters in their own right; you pay a separate point cost for them, indicating their worth to your army.

That being said, I'd say we should go ahead and try the rules as written and see. They may need to be rewritten, or Heros may just have that natural advantage.
[f=4]Karl the Fighter (M 9", AC 4/6, HD 1+2, FC Man+1, hp 9/9) mail+shield[/f]

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Post by acodispo » Tue Jun 16, 2020 2:08 pm

Re: Q&A

Yes, I think that in this specific instance DDv4 is making a choice to emulate Chainmail, rather than OD&D. In M&T it is pretty clear that gargoyles are only harmed by magical attacks & magical weapons, so if you're playing D&D in 1974 & don't have access to Chainmail, of course that's the rule you'd use. But if you did possess Chainmail (and I think DD tries to "fall back" toward CM when possible), you might expect fantastic combat to be different. Gargoyles don't specifically appear in Chainmail, but e.g. Balrogs do. They too "cannot be killed by normal missile fire or in normal combat". But of course, as coffee points out, in fantastic combat they are fair game.

I should make clear I'm only keyed in to this little wrinkle because it threw me for a loop when I started running DDv4 RAW. In my game I've grown accustomed to & now rather like the idea that Heroic figures are innately "more than human", and capable of engaging supernatural creatures, whatever armament they may possess. But of course, that's my game! ;)

I'm quite content whichever way you rule, makofan, and hope I haven't derailed the action at all! These areas of the DD rules are interesting to me, and I hope to others.
[f=32]Wiglaff the Elf, F3/MU2 (M 12", AC 9, HD 4+1, hp 14/14, N) cloak of elvenkind, battle-axe; light, colour spray (map)[/f]
[f=47]Wilibald "Willie" Whitfoot, F1/T1 (M 12", AC 6, HD 1+2, hp 9/9, L) gambeson+helm, shield+warhammer[/f]

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Post by kipper » Tue Jun 16, 2020 2:25 pm

Re: Q&A

Rhodan already told us that his sword had no impact on the gargoyle, so one (or more) of the following must be true:
1) Rhodan is below level 4
2) Rhodan just rolled poorly and thought his sword was having no effect (poor to-hit rolls and/or poor damage rolls, combined with the gargoyle not flinching or otherwise showing evidence of being damaged)
3) Rhodan was lying
4) Gargoyles are immune to normal swords (whether or not they're immune to all normal weapons has not yet been determined)
5) This particular gargoyle is immune to normal swords

I'd prefer one of those solutions to reconning what Rhodan has already said.

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Post by mushgnome » Tue Jun 16, 2020 2:53 pm

Re: Q&A

Back when I ran Chainmail-style games, my favorite interpretation of "heroic combat" was using your environment to defeat an otherwise invulnerable opponent, like pushing the monster off a cliff, dropping a portcullis on its head, or trapping it inside a burning building.

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