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[Let's Read] The AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide (1e)

DavetheLost

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Going back to the beginning "Vrock" was the name of a Type I demon, Marilith was one of the Type V demons, etc. All of those names that are now the generic Ames of demon types used to be the personal names of individual demons of that type. Interestingly the devils only got identified by their types, except for the archdevils.
 

Ryric

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Going back to the beginning "Vrock" was the name of a Type I demon, Marilith was one of the Type V demons, etc. All of those names that are now the generic Ames of demon types used to be the personal names of individual demons of that type. Interestingly the devils only got identified by their types, except for the archdevils.
My understanding was that Vrock, Hezrou, and Glabrezu were in fact "species" as it were, while only Type IV-VI had specific names. In the MM, it lists them like Type I(Vrock) for the lesser ones, and like Type IV(Nalfeshnee, et al) for the more powerful ones, at least IIRC.
 

Sleeper

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The core books are a little ambiguous on the subject. Type I-III demons have a single name in parentheses after their entries in both the MM the DMG, e.g. Type I (Vrock), while the type IV-VI demons either have an etc. (MM) or a list (the DMG), e.g. Type IV (Nalfeshnee, etc.). But reading the demon and specific monster entries in the MM, there's just a mention that s"ome Type IV demons have names", which help with negotiation (using the right name "will make it 90% certain the demon will listen to offers of great rewards for some small service"); and that all Type V and Type VI demons have names. So it's not clear whether Vrock to Glabrezu are type names, a shared name, or something else; and it's not clear what an unnamed Type IV is called. The break between a single and many names also isn't consistent with other abilities. For instance, I-III can be affected by non-magical weapons while VI+ are immune, but I-IV can be slain permanently on the Prime while V+ can only be slain permanently on their home plane, and a magical circle keeps out types I-V but a special pentacle is needed for a VI or greater.
 

DMH

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If you walk up to a group of type I demons and ask for Vrock, they will all look at you. Go to a type IV that happens to be Johud and call it Bilwhr, be ready for a bruising.
 

David Howery

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If you walk up to a group of type I demons and ask for Vrock, they will all look at you. Go to a type IV that happens to be Johud and call it Bilwhr, be ready for a bruising.
well, they're demons... unless you are a bigger and meaner demon, just walking up to them guarantees you a bruising...
 

Felix

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APPENDIX M: SUMMONED MONSTERS
This section opens with a nice scene of a couple of perytons, which are a lot nastier than you’d expect deer-headed birds to be.

(Taken from here, on the Old School FRP Tumblr, which has some nice images.

In 3.x, casting a Summon Monster N spell was a full round action, which meant the monster appeared just before the caster’s next turn. In 1e, Monster Summoning N (I don’t know why the words got switched) only takes the normal number of segments to cast, but the monsters don’t appear for 1d4 rounds. Given the pace of 3.x battles, which were expected to last 3-4 rounds, that would have made the spell largely useless. But 1e didn’t handle damage scaling with level the same way, and Monster Summoning I is a third level spell, so presumably the caster was expected to be able to survive long enough for it to be useful. Actually, there’s nothing that says the caster needs to still be alive when the monsters appear, so maybe they could use it in overwhelming odds to hope they got revenge from beyond the grave.

But that’s the PHB stuff on Monster Summoning. Appending M deals with what monsters car called. A variable number are summoned based on the spell level, though whether to roll randomly or use judgement is up to the DM, so if a particularly nasty Level 2 Monster is called with Monster Summoning II, the DM may just have one or two show up instead of rolling 1d6. However, the book discourages choosing a type of monster, since some are better than others, instead saying you should roll randomly for it.

For some of the entries, what’s summoned depends on the if the casteer is evil aligned or not. Evil casters will summon halflings instead of kobolds, and blink dogs instead of gargoyles. Is this a form of psychological warfare? “I can’t fight elves. Some of my best friends are elves!”

Just to give you an idea of the power disparity you might find among monsters, here’s what you might call with Monster Summoning IV:
DMG p223 said:
01-07 Ape, carnivorous
08-15 Gargoyle (blink dog)
16-25 Ghast
26-35 Gray ooze
36-42 Hell hound
43-50 Hydra, 5 heads
51-58 Lycanthrope, werewolf
59-67 Owlbear
68-76 Shadow
77-86 Snake, giant, constrictor
87-93 Toad, ice
94-00 Toad, poisonous
There are also tables to use on both fresh and salt water, though the selections will be a lot more limited. (In fresh water, with Monster Summoning II, rolling 01-00 summons a lizardman, though most do have 2 or 3 possibilities.)

APPENDIX N: INSPIRATIONAL AND EDUCATIONAL READING
I won’t quote all of Appendix N because you can find it reproduced online several places, such as here.

So of course there’s a lot of thoughts.
  • Gygax cites “countless hundreds of comic books,” including “the long-gone EC ones.” While today EC is best remembered* for Tales From The Crypt, they also made a lot of fantasy and sci fi comics like Weird Fantasy and Weird Science. They often had ironic scary twist endings as well, through sometimes they took regular sci fi stories and illustrated them. My father bought reprints of some when I was a kid, and I got more when the TV series came out, and I could totally see their influence in D&D. (*Well, maybe it’s more accurate to say EC is best remembered for the comic book they saved by converting it into a magazine, Mad Magazine, but it feels like its own thing, doesn’t it?)
  • Andrew Lang, mentioned under fairy tales, is known for the series named by colors, like The Blue Fairy Book and Red Fairy Book. I always wondered if there was a method to the colors.


Inspirational Reading:
A handful of thoughts among these:
  • I note that Poul Anderson’s Three Hearts and Three Lions, and L. Sprague De Camp’s Lest Darkness Fall are both about people from the modern world thrown to an ancient one. I wonder if one of the influences both provided were about challenging the players with puzzles rather than characters, since both heroes have access to what is essentially OOC world knowledge.
  • While I don’t think of him as a fantasy author, I am happy to see Frederic Brown was an influence. (Well, not a traditional fantasy author. He did write about machines that could grant wishes and worms who were angels and stuff, but they were generally set in contemporary times.)
  • I see Lord Dunsunay is on this list. IIRC, Exalted cited Gods of Pegana as an influence for its world and flavor building. I think i see it more directly in Creation than D&D.
  • I have not read Philip Jose Farmer’s World of Tiers (and I am not totally sure why Gygax abbreviated his name as P.J., something I’d never seen), but River World and some of his other series would make excellent campaign settings.
  • Howard’s Conan series may be the most underestimated series in literature. It’s not the best, but everyone assumes that he wrote just like the Ah-nold movie version, or at best like a cheap Marvel comic, and dismiss it out of hand.
  • I misread the name of Sterling Lanister’s book on this list, and was about to make a bad joke, “Hey, everyone, forget Joseph Campbell and read this guy’s Hero’s Journey.” Then I saw it was Hiero’s Journey, but I’ll shade the bad joke which has probably been told a million times before anyway. (Have not read either.) :p
  • One thing that Fritz Leiber’s works do, which I’m not sure D&D could it it wanted to, is make magic mysterious. The Gray Mouser started as an apprentice wizard, and does cast a couple of spells in the series (one of which, cast from a scroll, may have gone horribly awry, probably giving the inspiration for thief scroll use). But he doesn’t recognize a lot of magic in the world. And Fafhrd and him have wizardly mentors who are more like extraworldly gods. But of course Gygax mixed and matched and you can see a lot of things were lifted.
  • Michael Moorcock’s law vs. chaos alignment system was interesting in the Eternal Champion series because neither side actually cared for humanity, and treated it as a disposable pawn in the war with their enemy. I think the 1e alignment system, which is much more humanocentric, fixes that, but later editions strayed.
  • I have not read Fred Saberhagen’s The Changeling Earth, but the Wikipedia synopsis tells me it’s one of those “the world becomes magical and technology stops working” series. It’s interesting how much science fantasy played a role in early D&D, and a bit of a pity it’s been forgotten. Also, to use another of his series, some sort of Berserker threat would be a good campaign.
  • Despite Gygax’s supposed dislike for Tolkien, The Hobbit and LOTR are on the list. Though there is no “et. al.” so I guess it’s a sign he didn’t care for anything else JRR wrote. :)
  • I never thought of Stanley Weinbaum as an influence on D&D, more as the originator of a certain style of SF. But I guess I can see it. Lots of fantastic creatures and exciting things happening, IIRC>
  • Since Roger Zelazny’s Amber series is on the list, I must say I don’t know why the roleplaying game based on it was diceless. To me it felt like Zelazny was using some sort of random encounter table to put the whole story together.


Obviously, there’s a lot more to say, since these are mostly just spur-of-the-moment thoughts. I don’t want to get too weighed down with this appendix.

Because next time, we’re going to be weighed down with an appendix related to encumberance.
 

DavetheLost

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  • I have not read Fred Saberhagen’s The Changeling Earth, but the Wikipedia synopsis tells me it’s one of those “the world becomes magical and technology stops working” series. It’s interesting how much science fantasy played a role in early D&D, and a bit of a pity it’s been forgotten. Also, to use another of his series, some sort of Berserker threat would be a good campaign.
The Changeling Earth, currently anthologized as Empire of the East is well worth a read. It is very much like our early D&D campaigns. It is not quite so simple as the world becomes magical and technology stops working. Technology still works, it's just that most of it was lost in the war which opened the rift that let magic into the world. I won't be more specific about it as I don't want to spoil the surprises. Definitely a blending of what we would today call science fiction and fantasy, but used to be lumped together as speculative fiction. It is worth noting that it is set in the same world as his later Books of Swords and Books of Lost Swords series, but long before those.
 

Marc17

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  • I note that Poul Anderson’s Three Hearts and Three Lions, and L. Sprague De Camp’s Lest Darkness Fall are both about people from the modern world thrown to an ancient one. I wonder if one of the influences both provided were about challenging the players with puzzles rather than characters, since both heroes have access to what is essentially OOC world knowledge.
Leigh Bracket, Andre Norton, ERB, Gardner Fox and some others I read when I made and effort to work my way through those on Appendix N that I hadn't read were also examples of earthmen on fantasy planets. They had lots of guns even (brought with them or fantasy spring loaded ones). I became surprised that earthmen and guns weren't a thing in D&D.

Also, while 3 Hearts & 3 Lions may have been a fairly NOT-Europe fantasy world with well known fantasy monsters, it was the exception. Most were strongly weird fantasy where evil spell casters were described how Erol Otus draws them, in sequined outfits showing their midriffs and bizarre headdresses. The monsters were always also bizarre and not from Earth's folklore.
 

Sirharrok

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  • Despite Gygax’s supposed dislike for Tolkien, The Hobbit and LOTR are on the list. Though there is no “et. al.” so I guess it’s a sign he didn’t care for anything else JRR wrote. :)
The Silmarillion was published in September 1977. Dragon magazine published its review in its December 1978 issue, and the following issue had a big preview of the 1e DMG.

So given publication deadlines and the likelihood that appendix N was written early, it's entirely possible that Gygax hadn't read the Silmarillion before he wrote the appendix. In fact, it may not even have been published.

The Dragon review of the Silmarillion was glowing, btw, but was not by Gygax. His contribution to that issue was evidently a long review and strategy guide for AH's _Rail Baron_
 
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