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Dr.Bedlam

Misconceptions in gaming

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I'm reading the fifth edition D&D stuff now. And I find myself drifting back in reverie to the gaming of years past.

My first experience with RPGs was the Holmes basic set and the first edition Player's Handbook. And I remember some of the serious confusion my friends and I had upon reading a lot of this stuff. We were isolated -- little bitty cow town in the middle of nowhere -- and consequently, we didn't have anyone to TEACH us. We had to figure this stuff out OURSELVES, with nothing more than an unabridged dictionary and the knowledge of clueless adults.

Our cleric wielded a Lucerne Hammer, because clerics could use hammers, yes? And the Lucerne kind did the most damage. We had no idea that it was actually a polearm with a piercing tip; we just thought it was a special kind of hammer. He wore his slung from his belt, and smote many an undead with it!

Our ranger had a crossbow. It shot arrows. We had no idea what "quarrels" were, but why would we want those when arrows were better?

Our warrior used his glaive-guisarme to carve his way out of a Purple Worm. We had no idea what it actually WAS, but it did some hefty damage, so he wanted one. We had no idea that the thing was twelve to fifteen feet long, and would have been a hell of a trick to wield in close quarters, much less inside a Purple Worm...

Eventually, bit by bit, we realized that we'd kind of messed up just a little. Bit by bit, we corrected things, and we had a good laugh. And nowadays, any kid who plays a game that doesn't quite explain all the cutlery can just look it up on Google Image, or the Palladium Guide To Weapons And Armor, or any number of things I didn't have when I was a kid.

Anyone else here have any misconceptions brought on by oddly written rules?

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My group made many of the same mistakes.  All cleric carried the Lucerne Hammer.  I remember finally finding a picture of pole arms in one of the books and going oops.

 

The biggest mistake we made dealt with experience.  In the back of the DMs guide was a table for figuring out how much xp each monster was worth.  It typically read something like 30 +1/hp or 400 +5/hp.  It was supposed to be 30xp + 1xp per hit point.  Unfortunately, we read it as gain 30xp and 1 hit point.  We leveled fairly slowly but ended up with a butt ton of hit points before we figured out what we were doing wrong.

 

The other thing was pronunciations.  To this day I still have to prevent myself from saying lycanthrope as "link-a-thrope".  I'm sure there were others, but that one still makes me cringe.

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Hadn't even thought about pronunciations..."otyugh" and "Asmodeus" were the source of much argument...

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The first few sessions of DMing, when I was just a lad of 11 or so, I thought I had to read off the stat lines for all the monsters to the players. They would sit there bewildered as the set up and description of the horrible, awful thing they were being confronted with, suddenly was interrupted by a long stream of abbreviated attributes and numbers.

 

I actually still clearly remember the moment I turned to my friend Gabe and said, "I'm not really supposed to be saying all of this out loud, am I?"

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I started playing D&D in 1976, with a group that had not played before, and working from the white box set. It had two different combat systems, one 2d6 and one d20, and it wasn't obvious which stuff was meant for which. Horrible mess.

 

One DM had a dungeon with a mirror of opposition. Nasty the first time. Then we figured out that the creature that popped out had whatever the person it was replicating had (no rule against it then, at least that we found, and the GM agreed). Then we figured out that if we first tied up the person and loaded him down with as much stuff as he could possibly carry, the risk went way down and the reward went way up. Exponential growth curves are a magical thing.

 

And then there were levels: I have a third-level wizard, so that means I get to use third-level spells, right?

 

AD&D wasn't well written, but it was a model of clarity and logical game design compared to white box D&D.

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Hadn't even thought about pronunciations..."otyugh" and "Asmodeus" were the source of much argument...

Let's not forget 'Drow'

 

Still lots of arguments about that one.

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Az-MO-dee-us? Or Az-mo-DAY-oose? I still remember the arguments.

 

As well as the difference between hit dice and hit points. Didn't get that right till the second session...

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 It's been established by the original authors - the pronunciation of "drow" is like "cow" or "Ow! I just hurt myself..."

This has been a vaguely common discussion on the D&D boards - there's actually an official pronunciation sheet floating around somewhere...

Edited by Mad Jack
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Hadn't even thought about pronunciations..."otyugh" and "Asmodeus" were the source of much argument...

Let's not forget 'Drow'

 

Still lots of arguments about that one.

 

 

Drow rhymes with bow.

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Hadn't even thought about pronunciations..."otyugh" and "Asmodeus" were the source of much argument...

Let's not forget 'Drow'

 

Still lots of arguments about that one.

Drow rhymes with bow.

Lol don't know if you are being evil or not, but I'll go with evil cause it's funny.

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 It's been established by the original authors - the pronunciation of "drow" is like "cow" or "Ow! I just hurt myself..."

This has been a vaguely common discussion on the D&D boards - there's actually an official pronunciation sheet floating around somewhere...

 

 

 

 

Hadn't even thought about pronunciations..."otyugh" and "Asmodeus" were the source of much argument...

Let's not forget 'Drow'

 

Still lots of arguments about that one.

 

 

Drow rhymes with bow.

 

See what I mean? :upside:

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