Status of Development

Whole of project topics (across booklets, versions, contributors, etc.)

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Post by dlsellers » Fri Feb 23, 2024 3:05 am

Re: Status of Development

I personally like the appendices and optional rules being included right there in the three books. In fact, not having a particular nostalgic attachment to the 3LBBs or their organization, I'm in favor of rearranging things to be more logical and practical. One of DD's main charms for me is that it takes the meat of the original game, which is already so dang solid, and presents it in such a clean, functional (but still flavorful) way. If I want just stream-of-conscious, I could just print out and use the 3LBBs instead. I like that DD forges its own path to a degree, while remaining faithful to the spirit and the solid bones of the original.

I don't know if that feedback is helpful or not. I thought the organization adopted in V4 was already very solid and made sense to me, so hewing closely to that wouldn't go wrong in my book.

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Post by cavalier973 » Mon Apr 29, 2024 12:24 pm

Re: Status of Development

I will begin by saying the two most harmful words in the English language: good job!

Seriously, I’ve been searching back and forth among each of your revisions, and the original white box booklets, and I really like what I see. I’ve also been comparing the rules in the S&W White box, and, right now, I like DD better. I’ve *also* been reading through the Rules Cyclopedia, so I have those rules rolling around in my skull.

Things I like:
>The cross section dungeon and first level sample dungeon, along with guidelines for creating dungeons, last seen in version 2. For some reason, the usefulness of designing a cross section of the dungeon levels didn’t click with me until I saw them in DD.

>The equipment list includes crowbars. These items weren’t in the original, and I was wondering if crowbars were in the Greyhawk supplement. Crowbars are in the Cook/Expert set, but none of the other “basic” books. I am disappointed to see they will not be included in v5.

> The weather chart in the v3 and v4 Wilderness Exploration sections. I would recommend that it be expanded to include cold weather, somehow. Maybe instead of “hot”, it would be “extreme temperatures” and instead of “rain”, it would be “precipitation”.

> That the “3-for-1” and “2-for-1” adjustments for characters’ prime requisites will be in v5. I think that idea makes better sense than “basic’s” lowering of one or more scores to raise the prime requisite score.

Things for which I have questions:
> the “fighting as” table. I looked this up in the original rules, and see that it is a reference to “Chainmail”. Does DD include “Chainmail” combat rules?

> Why are gnomes found in arctic climes (v4)? I looked in the original rules, and gnomes aren’t included in the monster list, although they are mentioned in the entry for gnolls.

>The rules seem to say that when higher level fighters are fighting normal level foes, they must use the multiple attack feature (attack a number of times equal to the fighter’s number of hit dice, but only attack as a single hit for fighter). Supposing a fifth-level fighter stumbles across a goblin. Must the fighter attack the goblin five times using the single hit die line on the attack matrix, or can the fighter attack the goblin once at the fifth level line?

I probably have other stuff to say, but I have to go to work, now.

Again, I am much impressed by your work on this project.

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Post by rredmond » Mon Apr 29, 2024 3:41 pm

Re: Status of Development

Welcome @pvoce, @dlsellers , and @cavalier973 - cool to see new "faces" jumping in!
Be well!
[f=47]Noh’won the Wiser[/f]
Kiplyn: ...no closer to pancakes and rest!
[f=59]Garamon [Hardy Hero, MV 9′′, AC 4, HD 4, hp 20, FC 4 men/hero, SV F4, L][/f]
Wraislin: arcane fire spewing from his fingertips and reaping barbeque death!

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Post by mushgnome » Mon Apr 29, 2024 7:36 pm

Re: Status of Development

Hi @cavalier973 I am an expert on gnomes! Here are a few reasons I can think of, why the party might encounter gnomes in the arctic:

1. Gnomes are right at home in the far northern pine forest and taiga regions. That twisted, gnarled, stunted tree clinging to life at the very edge of the tundra? A gnome lives in its roots!

2. Or maybe, just like you, the gnomes are visitors here. Maybe they are traveling by ski or snowshoe, or maybe a sled pulled by adorable animals. Or maybe they have a steampunk vehicle, like an airship or snow cat!

3. Finally (it is rumored) there is a secret workshop at the North Pole. The diminutive toymakers are sometimes erroneously referred to as "elves" but I think they might actually be gnomes!
[f=59]Stern (Strong Hero, MV 9′′, AC 3, HD 4, hp 20, FC 4 men/hero, SV F4, L)[/f]

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Post by waysoftheearth » Tue Apr 30, 2024 11:59 pm

Re: Status of Development

Hi @cavalier973 and welcome to the forum.

It's always nice to hear where DD has had, or continues to have, a positive impact. Thanks for your post :)

In reply to a couple of your specific comments/questions:

* Crowbars continue to be listed in V5's extended equipment list (currently Appendix E in Vol1). I prefer this list in my own games.

* V4's weather chart is a slight adaption from CM's weather system. It's true that has somewhat limited scope. I recall being tempted to extend it further but, as it stands, V4 is more-or-less similar to the original version. Perhaps an extended weather chart could be an opportunity for another appendix in V5.

* I'm not sure exactly which table you refer to as the “fighting as” table. Is this something in V5 or V4?
Either way, it's true the earliest iterations of OD&D lean on CM terminology, so the idea of "fighting as" as man or a hero remains relevant to early OD&D. It is open to debate exactly WHEN the switch-over to d20-based (alternative) combat became the universal way to play D&D. Certainly, this approach can be inferred from the (1975) SR1.2 FAQ article, despite Gygax still trying to explain the difference between normal and fantastic combat in the very same article. In any event, DD emphasises 1973-74 idioms and so retains a clear distinction between normal and fantastic combat, and therefore between fighting as a man, and fighting as a hero (or any other fantasy type).

* "Does DD include “Chainmail” combat rules?"
I assume you mean V5? I guess the short answer is "Yes, to the extent these are required to play D&D". That is, the basic structure of 1:1 scale combat including turns with moves, missile, and melee segments (that latter having melee "rounds"), and morale checks for is retained. But not mass combat with specific 1:20 scale rules. Moreover, combat is all distilled down to something quite familiar to D&D players, so it isn't anything earth shattering :)

* "Why are gnomes found in arctic climes (v4)?"
That was "an editorial" made to:
a) Intentionally deviate from any very OD&D-specific -isms in the original for copyright reasons (i.e., to clearly not duplicate OD&D's implied gnome-gnoll relationship),
b) Use such instances to add some unique flavour to the DD monster ecology,
c) Simultaneously attempt to fill out/touch on some of the underdone climates/biomes (i.e., related to the weather table observation above).
d) See also @mushgnome 's excellent explanation :)
FWIW, gnomes do appear in both CM and OD&D, but they are not clearly differentiated from dwarfs.

* "The rules seem to say that when higher level fighters are fighting normal level foes, they must use the multiple attack feature".
I assume you mean V5, but really both V4 and V5 are trying to achieve the same end. V5 will be clearer about it.
OD&D's "one attack as a normal man per HD" rule is not specifically a feature of high level fighters. It's a feature of all >1 HD figures.
It is also not in any way a player option or choice.
It is a referee decision whether to use NORMAL combat resolution (typically whenever normal types are involved) or FANTASY combat resolution (typically where fantastic monsters and heroic types are involved).
In NORMAL combat resolution all attacks are equivalent, and as-a-normal-man. Increasing combat prowess is represented by more attacks (as-a-normal-man).
In FANTASY combat resolution individual attacks are not equivalent, and are made as-a-hero, or as-a-giant, or as-a-whatever type using the higher columns on the d20 matrices. Increasing combat prowess is represented by improved THAC2 and damage of individual attacks.

So... "Supposing a fifth-level fighter stumbles across a goblin. Must the fighter attack the goblin five times using the single hit die line on the attack matrix, or can the fighter attack the goblin once at the fifth level line?"
To play this out BTB, the referee would (unless there was some compelling reason not to) use NORMAL combat resolution, because the goblin is a normal type.
Therefore:
-- The 5th level fighter would dice five times as a normal man (i.e., THAC2 17) because he has the fighting capability of 5 men (i.e., per the "Fighting Capability" column of the fighter statistics table, which aligns neatly with his 5 HD. Most monster types are not given an explicit FC stat, so are assumed to have 1 man of FC per HD).
-- The goblin would dice once only (as a normal man, THAC2 17). In fact, the goblin would adjust its first/only attack throw by -1 because goblins have 1-1 HD.
Each successful hit would cause 1--6 hp damage.

Of course, this is a fairly trivial situation. The more realistic scenario where NORMAL combat resolution comes into its own is where, say, a group of four heroes encounter 30 orcs. Now... instead of diddling around with who has what initiative, this and that THAC2, what adds, and who rolls what damage, it can more quickly be resolved as two sides of all equivalent attacks. The players would have 4x4=16 normal attacks, whereas the orcs would have 30x1=30 normal attacks (although, they probably couldn't all attack at once).
Thus, the ref and the players can each dice a big bunch of (equivalent) attacks and count up the hits. When I do this, I often randomise targeting and/or hits too. The whole idea of NORMAL combat is that it enables you to resolve a big combat involving lots of mooks relatively quickly (compared to FANTASTIC combat).

Hope that helps :)
[f=32]Golgildir the Elf Medium (MV 12", AC 9, HD 1, hp 1/1, AL N) great cloak, lantern; spells: color spray; scrolls: sleep, sleep, charm person
Hirelings: Georges; torch[/f]

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Post by cavalier973 » Wed May 01, 2024 2:59 am

Re: Status of Development

That does help.

Fascinating. So, would this make BECMI dnd’s “the war machine” unnecessary?

Should I procure a copy of Chainmail?

Edit: I see a description of combat over in another thread. I will continue my questions/comments over there.

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Post by bestial warlust » Sat May 04, 2024 11:06 am

Re: Status of Development

Long time fan that is still awaiting DD 5. Can't wait to finally see it! I've been a fan of DD since the Brave Halfling days I even have two of the boxed sets that were put out;

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Post by waysoftheearth » Sat May 04, 2024 11:34 am

Re: Status of Development

Thanks @bestial warlust. You and me both!

Good to see you around here :)
[f=32]Golgildir the Elf Medium (MV 12", AC 9, HD 1, hp 1/1, AL N) great cloak, lantern; spells: color spray; scrolls: sleep, sleep, charm person
Hirelings: Georges; torch[/f]

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