[OD&D] Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry

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[OD&D] Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry

Post by Big Mac » Sat Nov 21, 2015 4:20 pm

I'm trying to learn some more about OD&D. I get that Supplement I and II gave us Greyhawk and Blackmoor. I've seen those settings expand over later editions of D&D (and I know that both Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax got products for Blackmoor and Greyhawk published by other companies). But I've not figured out how Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry relates to the rest of D&D yet.

Did everything in Supplement III get folded into the next version of D&D (is that Holmes?) or are there some interesting gems only found here that got dropped from later versions of D&D?

What exactly is "Eldritch Wizardry"? Is it the name of a specific type of magic (like the magical schools in 2e AD&D)? is there any sort of Eldritch Wizardry fluff that might be usable with other RPG rules? Or is the book pure 100 percent OD&D rules (not that that would be a bad thing)?

I don't really understand OD&D yet, so how did Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry change what was already there? Can you play with Men & Magic, Monsters & Treasure, Underworld & Wilderness Adventures and Supplement III or do you need Supplement I and II to get this work?

On, and last but not least, is there anything from the Spelljammer universe that was born in Supplement III? ;)
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Re: [OD&D] Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry

Post by DizzySaxophone » Sat Nov 21, 2015 7:26 pm

I'm not sure on Supplement III's influence on Spelljammer (Never read it).

Supplement III introduces Psionics and the Druid class. It also details something similar to segments in combat for 1e with tons of modifiers depending on your Dex & Armor worn. Monster additions include Demons and some of your classic Psionic monsters. Last but not least it introduces Artifacts & Relics.

Supplement III isn't so much a setting as I & II were (though even they are mostly rules additions than actual settings). Pretty much everything in Supplement III ends up in 1e AD&D. Really OD&D + Supplements + Some Strategic Review end up being the basis for AD&D. I'd say OD&D + Greyhawk + houserules are what become Holmes.

I'd say you don't need Supplement I & II to play using Eldritch Wizardry, but you'd probably want some of Greyhawk to understand the new Hit Dice, monster stats with different dice for damage, but you could easily run it like you ran the lbbs.

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Re: [OD&D] Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry

Post by ripvanwormer » Sat Nov 21, 2015 8:28 pm

Big Mac wrote:and last but not least, is there anything from the Spelljammer universe that was born in Supplement III? ;)
The mind flayer is the main thing, though it was technically first seen in The Strategic Review #1.

The description of the Mighty Servant of Leuk-O mentions "a visiting race of space travellers."
I get that Supplement I and II gave us Greyhawk and Blackmoor
As Dizzy mentioned, these are rules supplements, not settings. There's a little bit of Blackmoor detail in the "Temple of the Frog" adventure in Blackmoor, but almost no Greyhawk detail in Greyhawk. You can, perhaps, glean a few things about what the original Castle Greyhawk was like from the suggested dungeon features (the bas-relief where Fraz-Urb'luu was imprisoned is mentioned), and there's a picture of the Great Stone Face Enigma of Greyhawk, but that's it.
are there some interesting gems only found here that got dropped from later versions of D&D?
There's a little bit of flavor text in the artifact descriptions that didn't appear in the 1st edition DMG, particularly in the description of the Codex of the Infinite Planes, which gives us a unique quote from the writings of Tzunk. But not much.
What exactly is "Eldritch Wizardry"?
It's just a cool-sounding name, like "Unearthed Arcana." I suppose it's meant to signify that Supplement IV delves into mystical esoterica like psionics, druidry, demons, and artifacts. All of those things are eldritch wizardry, especially since "wizard" wasn't the name of a character class then.

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Re: [OD&D] Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry

Post by BlackBat242 » Sun Nov 22, 2015 4:06 am

Adj. 1. eldritch - suggesting the operation of supernatural influences; "an eldritch screech"; "the three weird sisters"; "stumps...had uncanny shapes as of monstrous creatures"- John Galsworthy; "an unearthly light"; "he could hear the unearthly scream of some curlew piercing the din"- Henry Kingsley
uncanny, weird, unearthly
supernatural - not existing in nature or subject to explanation according to natural laws; not physical or material; "supernatural forces and occurrences and beings"
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Re: [OD&D] Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry

Post by Big Mac » Sun Nov 22, 2015 4:10 pm

DizzySaxophone wrote:Supplement III introduces Psionics and the Druid class. It also details something similar to segments in combat for 1e with tons of modifiers depending on your Dex & Armor worn. Monster additions include Demons and some of your classic Psionic monsters. Last but not least it introduces Artifacts & Relics.
It sounds like it is a pretty important supplement for the OD&D player.
DizzySaxophone wrote:Supplement III isn't so much a setting as I & II were (though even they are mostly rules additions than actual settings). Pretty much everything in Supplement III ends up in 1e AD&D. Really OD&D + Supplements + Some Strategic Review end up being the basis for AD&D. I'd say OD&D + Greyhawk + houserules are what become Holmes.
I figure that OD&D is an essential part of D&D history and that my own preferred edition (3e) is "standing on the shoulders of giants" and all that. I bet that a large percentage of the SRD traces back to things in OD&D books. :)
DizzySaxophone wrote:I'd say you don't need Supplement I & II to play using Eldritch Wizardry, but you'd probably want some of Greyhawk to understand the new Hit Dice, monster stats with different dice for damage, but you could easily run it like you ran the lbbs.
So would Supplement I, Supplement I & II and then Supplement I, II & III be the most logical progression for an OD&D fan?
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Re: [OD&D] Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry

Post by Big Mac » Sun Nov 22, 2015 8:50 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:and last but not least, is there anything from the Spelljammer universe that was born in Supplement III? ;)
The mind flayer is the main thing, though it was technically first seen in The Strategic Review #1.
I guess the mind-flayer has evolved over the years since OD&D came out, but it is interesting to know it was there from the start.

Is there much backstory in OD&D and/or The Strategic Review? Do they have any storylines that were dropped later? (I know that 3rd Edition had a couple of competing storylines for the illithids (one being the time travellers from the death of the universe and the other being the Unbidden from Astromundi. Was there anything like that for OD&D...or were they just monsters to be fought?)
ripvanwormer wrote:The description of the Mighty Servant of Leuk-O mentions "a visiting race of space travellers."
That is worth a Mighty Servant of Leuk-O topic in the Spelljammer forum. :)
ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:I get that Supplement I and II gave us Greyhawk and Blackmoor
As Dizzy mentioned, these are rules supplements, not settings. There's a little bit of Blackmoor detail in the "Temple of the Frog" adventure in Blackmoor, but almost no Greyhawk detail in Greyhawk. You can, perhaps, glean a few things about what the original Castle Greyhawk was like from the suggested dungeon features (the bas-relief where Fraz-Urb'luu was imprisoned is mentioned), and there's a picture of the Great Stone Face Enigma of Greyhawk, but that's it.
Thanks. So I guess that someone wanting to use Eldritch Wizardry might want to raid 1e and/or 2e Greyhawk products for additional inspiration. :)
ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:are there some interesting gems only found here that got dropped from later versions of D&D?
There's a little bit of flavor text in the artifact descriptions that didn't appear in the 1st edition DMG, particularly in the description of the Codex of the Infinite Planes, which gives us a unique quote from the writings of Tzunk. But not much.
Anything that is cut would be the motivation for me to buy a copy of this. If there isn't much that is unique, I might be better off just borrowing a copy to see what the differences are.
ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:What exactly is "Eldritch Wizardry"?
It's just a cool-sounding name, like "Unearthed Arcana." I suppose it's meant to signify that Supplement IV delves into mystical esoterica like psionics, druidry, demons, and artifacts. All of those things are eldritch wizardry, especially since "wizard" wasn't the name of a character class then.
That's a shame. I thought it might be used as some sort of in-character thing.
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Re: [OD&D] Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry

Post by ripvanwormer » Sun Nov 22, 2015 9:03 pm

Big Mac wrote:Is there much backstory in OD&D and/or The Strategic Review Do they have any storylines that were dropped later? (I know that 3rd Edition had a couple of competing storylines for the illithids (one being the time travellers from the death of the universe and the other being the Unbidden from Astromundi. Was there anything like that for OD&D...or were they just monsters to be fought?)
There isn't any backstory. The one interesting thing is that they were lawful evil, even though the alignment system didn't work that way back then. There were only three alignments, but unlike other lawful creatures they were specifically singled out as being highly evil.

The closest thing to fluff is the line on the languages they speak: "They speak only their own arcane language and several other strange tongues purportedly those of terrible races which inhabit regions far beneath the ground."

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Re: [OD&D] Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry

Post by Big Mac » Sun Nov 22, 2015 9:06 pm

BlackBat242 wrote:Adj. 1. eldritch - suggesting the operation of supernatural influences; "an eldritch screech"; "the three weird sisters"; "stumps...had uncanny shapes as of monstrous creatures"- John Galsworthy; "an unearthly light"; "he could hear the unearthly scream of some curlew piercing the din"- Henry Kingsley
uncanny, weird, unearthly
supernatural - not existing in nature or subject to explanation according to natural laws; not physical or material; "supernatural forces and occurrences and beings"
It is certainly a good word...I was hoping it might be an organised type of wizardry.

Timothy Brannan told me that Eldritch Wichery (which DriveThru have flagged as NSFW) was his ode to Eldritch Wizardry.

Dragonhelm told me that there is also a 3e book out there called Eldritch Sorcery. I am not sure if that is supposed to be any sort of spiritual successor to Eldritch Wizardry, or if Necromancer Games just thought it was a cool name. (If Clark Peterson was still hanging around gamers I might ping him and ask him. I'm sure there is a story behind this book.)
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Re: [OD&D] Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry

Post by Big Mac » Sun Nov 22, 2015 9:08 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Is there much backstory in OD&D and/or The Strategic Review Do they have any storylines that were dropped later? (I know that 3rd Edition had a couple of competing storylines for the illithids (one being the time travellers from the death of the universe and the other being the Unbidden from Astromundi. Was there anything like that for OD&D...or were they just monsters to be fought?)
There isn't any backstory. The one interesting thing is that they were lawful evil, even though the alignment system didn't work that way back then. There were only three alignments, but unlike other lawful creatures they were specifically singled out as being highly evil.

The closest thing to fluff is the line on the languages they speak: "They speak only their own arcane language and several other strange tongues purportedly those of terrible races which inhabit regions far beneath the ground."
Hmm. The invention of Lawful Evil. :)

Do they have the lawful...or the evil...dropped for BECMI D&D or any other non AD&D variant?
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Re: [OD&D] Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry

Post by ripvanwormer » Sun Nov 22, 2015 9:14 pm

Big Mac wrote:Dragonhelm told me that there is also a 3e book out there called Eldritch Sorcery. I am not sure if that is supposed to be any sort of spiritual successor to Eldritch Wizardry, or if Necromancer Games just thought it was a cool name. (If Clark Peterson was still hanging around gamers I might ping him and ask him. I'm sure there is a story behind this book.)
In Monte Cook's Book of Eldritch Might, "eldritch" is a specific kind of 3rd edition feat. Eldritch feats are given the (eldritch) descriptor after their name.

Eldritch feats are defined this way:
These feats confer actual magical powers as spell-like abilities. They are often available only to characters with exceptional ability scores, as described in their prerequisites. If a class, such as a wizard, gains a bonus metamagic or item creation feat, you can choose to allow a member of that class to take eldritch feats also.

So if you want the word "eldritch" to have a mechanical meaning in your game, you might take a look at that book.
Do they have the lawful...or the evil...dropped for BECMI D&D or any other non AD&D variant?
They don't exist in BECMI D&D. Neither do psionics, or any creatures that are normally psionic. However, there are other lawful evil creatures in BECMI. For example, the hydrax, a crablike creature from the Elemental Plane of Water.

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Re: [OD&D] Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry

Post by Big Mac » Mon Nov 23, 2015 1:57 am

ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Dragonhelm told me that there is also a 3e book out there called Eldritch Sorcery. I am not sure if that is supposed to be any sort of spiritual successor to Eldritch Wizardry, or if Necromancer Games just thought it was a cool name. (If Clark Peterson was still hanging around gamers I might ping him and ask him. I'm sure there is a story behind this book.)
In Monte Cook's Book of Eldritch Might, "eldritch" is a specific kind of 3rd edition feat. Eldritch feats are given the (eldritch) descriptor after their name.

Eldritch feats are defined this way:
These feats confer actual magical powers as spell-like abilities. They are often available only to characters with exceptional ability scores, as described in their prerequisites. If a class, such as a wizard, gains a bonus metamagic or item creation feat, you can choose to allow a member of that class to take eldritch feats also.

So if you want the word "eldritch" to have a mechanical meaning in your game, you might take a look at that book.
Thanks for that. I wonder if Monte Cook was inspired by Eldritch Wizardry when he created that book. :?
ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Do they have the lawful...or the evil...dropped for BECMI D&D or any other non AD&D variant?
They don't exist in BECMI D&D. Neither do psionics, or any creatures that are normally psionic.
They dropped illithids and psionics from BECMI D&D? :shock:

Is that something that continued with Mystara into the 2nd Edition Era or was it a BECMI-specific thing?
ripvanwormer wrote:However, there are other lawful evil creatures in BECMI. For example, the hydrax, a crablike creature from the Elemental Plane of Water.
Very interesting (getting off the point of OD&D a bit, but interesting). Did they erase part of the lawful evil alignment (to make them either lawful or evil) when importing those OD&D critters to BECMI?
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Re: [OD&D] Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry

Post by ripvanwormer » Mon Nov 23, 2015 2:17 am

Big Mac wrote:Is that something that continued with Mystara into the 2nd Edition Era or was it a BECMI-specific thing?
I think there was a mind flayer in the Mark of Amber adventure, but generally illithids and psionics weren't a thing in 2nd edition Mystara. Mystaran gem dragons aren't psionic, for example, and the Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix didn't include psionic monsters. The Red Steel boxed set said that psionicists were "allowable, but not integral to the setting." There were some notes on using the kits in Red Steel with psionicists, though, and it said that in campaigns that allow psionic wild talents, lupins with wild talents should have white fur.
Very interesting (getting off the point of OD&D a bit, but interesting). Did they erase part of the lawful evil alignment (to make them either lawful or evil) when importing those OD&D critters to BECMI?
Hydrax first appeared in the Companion set, I think. They were listed as Lawful in their stat block, but the flavor text said "Although the hydrax are Lawful in behavior, most are evil." Horde creatures, insect-like creatures from the Elemental Plane of Earth also from the Companion set, were also described as Lawful, but evil, and djinn were considered "basically good-hearted, though their behavior is very Chaotic." The undines are "Chaotic in behavior, but (similar to djinn) have very good intentions and despise evil." The diabolus from the Immortal Set is another example of a creature that was usually Chaotic, but described as good.

The stat block only gave Lawful, Neutral, or Chaotic, but the monster's description could be more nuanced. This was true in OD&D too, though I think the mind flayer was the only example of this. The OD&D djinni didn't have a listed alignment that I can see, but it was implied that they were non-chaotic since the efreeti's chaotic alignment was supposed to contrast with whatever the djinni's alignment was.

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Re: [OD&D] Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry

Post by finarvyn » Mon Nov 23, 2015 11:32 am

I think that for my group, Eldritch Wizardry was the least interesting of the four supplements. The druid class was okay, but hardly anyone wanted to play it. The psionics rules were okay, but tough to understand. We did have a short "find an artifact and go battle demons and gods" stage in our campaigns, but overall the items and baddies in the book were far too powerful for our typical adventure level range. I've owned a copy since the 1970's but hardly ever actually look at it.

Greyhawk is by far the best, in my opinion. Thieves, expanded spell list and magic item list, stuff I can plug into my campaign right away. Blackmoor is decent if you like assassins and monks. Overall the supplements started out awesome and began to drop off from there, which I'm sure is a function of the cool ideas being progressively harder to come up with as time passed.

Oh, and I like the SR illithid better than the one in EW. Perhaps because it didn't need special psionics rules.
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Re: [OD&D] Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry

Post by Vile » Mon Nov 23, 2015 12:09 pm

Big Mac wrote:Did everything in Supplement III get folded into the next version of D&D (is that Holmes?) or are there some interesting gems only found here that got dropped from later versions of D&D?
Holmes was not really intended to be the next version of D&D, although it turned out to be its own version. Holmes was written to clarify and act as an introduction to OD&D. However, TSR then started work on AD&D and Holmes was edited to make it look like an introduction to AD&D, even though TSR didn't really know what AD&D would be like at that point. That's why it has oddities like a 5-way alignment system (LG, LE, CG, and CE, but only one flavour of Neutral).
Big Mac wrote:
ripvanwormer wrote:The one interesting thing is that they were lawful evil, even though the alignment system didn't work that way back then. There were only three alignments, but unlike other lawful creatures they were specifically singled out as being highly evil.
Hmm. The invention of Lawful Evil.
Holmes's 5-way alignment system was introduced in Strategic Review #6, which predates Supplement III (I believe), so maybe that's where the idea came from.
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Re: [OD&D] Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry

Post by Havard » Mon Nov 23, 2015 1:10 pm

Vile wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Did everything in Supplement III get folded into the next version of D&D (is that Holmes?) or are there some interesting gems only found here that got dropped from later versions of D&D?
Holmes was not really intended to be the next version of D&D, although it turned out to be it's own version. Holmes was written to clarify and act as an introduction to OD&D. However, TSR then started work on AD&D and Holmes was edited to make it look like an introduction to AD&D, even though TSR didn't really know what AD&D would be like at that point. That's why it has oddities like a 5-way alignment system (LG, LE, CG, and CE, but only one flavour of Neutral).
While this is correct, you also mention that the 5 way alignment system had already been introduced for OD&D in Strategic Review #6, meaning this example might not have been an example of AD&Disms. Perhaps its inclusion also was added because Holmes wanted to explain things like the Mindflayer?

I am also wondering if the main reason why the 5-way alignment system was dropped from later Classic D&D rulesets (B/X, BECMI and so on) might be because TSR wanted to emphasize on the differences between the two product lines (Classic and Advanced) in the years that followed...

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Re: [OD&D] Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry

Post by TBeholder » Wed Nov 25, 2015 2:59 am

Big Mac wrote:I'm trying to learn some more about OD&D. I get that Supplement I and II gave us Greyhawk and Blackmoor. I've seen those settings expand over later editions of D&D (and I know that both Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax got products for Blackmoor and Greyhawk published by other companies). But I've not figured out how Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry relates to the rest of D&D yet.
My hypothesis is that its cover created raging fetish on the word "Eldritch" someone in 3e team spammed out. :D

Also, that's where "FNA" model of psionics (adapted in AD&D1, and later streamlined, but not replaced in AD&D2) first appeared, AFAIK.
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Re: [OD&D] Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry

Post by Big Mac » Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:38 am

finarvyn wrote:Oh, and I like the SR illithid better than the one in EW. Perhaps because it didn't need special psionics rules.
Is SR, the Strategic Review magazine that Vile mentioned?

Was that a reboot of the Supplement III illithid (or did it come first)?

I've seen illithids done with and without psionics, in later versions of D&D. I have to say that I don't think there is a D&D monster that "sells" the concept of psionics better than mind flayers, but they are more "work" if you include psionics.

I meet plenty of D&D fans that don't think that psionics fit D&D very well (regardless of what edition they like and which of the psionics rules we are talking about). It's a shame that they couldn't just make something that worked in an identical way to divine and arcane spellcasting, and let people learn one mechanic that does everything.

I do think that psionics, and psionic mind flayers are a very awesome concept, so I'm very glad that Eldritch Wizardry "gave birth to them".

Would you say that the SR fix is the only way to go with illithids, or is there an alternative system of psionics for OD&D out there, that would allow for a full-blown psionic mind flayer that was easier to use?
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Re: [OD&D] Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry

Post by BlackBat242 » Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:46 am

Yes, SR = Strategic Review (TSR's predecessor magazine to Dragon).

Mind flayers first appeared in the official newsletter of TSR Games, The Strategic Review #1, Spring 1975. Here, the mind flayer is described as "a super-intelligent, man-shaped creature with four tentacles by its mouth which it uses to strike its prey." When it hits prey with a tentacle, the tentacle penetrates to the brain and draws it forth, allowing the monster to devour it. A mind flayer's major weapon is given as the Mind Blast, a 5-foot radius wave of "PSI force" which affects each opponent differently based on how intelligent it is; possible effects include permanent insanity, rage, confusion, coma, and death.

They were also included in the Eldritch Wizardry supplement, for the original (white box) Dungeons and Dragons game (1976), wherein they are described as super-intelligent, man-shaped creatures of great (and lawful) evil, with tentacles that penetrate to the brain and draw it forth for food.
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Re: [OD&D] Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry

Post by Big Mac » Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:51 am

Vile wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Did everything in Supplement III get folded into the next version of D&D (is that Holmes?) or are there some interesting gems only found here that got dropped from later versions of D&D?
Holmes was not really intended to be the next version of D&D, although it turned out to be it's own version. Holmes was written to clarify and act as an introduction to OD&D. However, TSR then started work on AD&D and Holmes was edited to make it look like an introduction to AD&D, even though TSR didn't really know what AD&D would be like at that point. That's why it has oddities like a 5-way alignment system (LG, LE, CG, and CE, but only one flavour of Neutral).
Big Mac wrote:
ripvanwormer wrote:The one interesting thing is that they were lawful evil, even though the alignment system didn't work that way back then. There were only three alignments, but unlike other lawful creatures they were specifically singled out as being highly evil.
Hmm. The invention of Lawful Evil.
Holmes's 5-way alignment system was introduced in Strategic Review #6, which predates Supplement III (I believe), so maybe that's where the idea came from.
Thanks for the clarification on Holmes.

I suppose that, if OD&D had continued, the entire system could have been reworked into a simgle book, or maybe into the B/X or PHB/DMG/MM split, that included errata and any improved rules from the magazines.

The 5-way alignment system sounds interesting. And I think that 3e's "clerics can be one step away from the alignment of their deity" rule, might have been some sort of attempt to make 3e clerics compatible with 5-way alignment deities. I am pretty sure I saw something about building pantheons, that said that you don't need deities of all 9 alignments.

And this is certainly a contrast to a G - E - L - C - N system of alignments, as it allows monsters to share being "good", "evil", "chaotic" or "lawful".

I think that neutrality is probably the hardest alignment to sell. Dragonlance has had a good shot at creating an important role for neutrality. I don't know if it is the best example out there.
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Re: [OD&D] Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry

Post by Big Mac » Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:58 am

BlackBat242 wrote:Yes, SR = Strategic Review (TSR's predecessor magazine to Dragon).

Mind flayers first appeared in the official newsletter of TSR Games, The Strategic Review #1, Spring 1975. Here, the mind flayer is described as "a super-intelligent, man-shaped creature with four tentacles by its mouth which it uses to strike its prey." When it hits prey with a tentacle, the tentacle penetrates to the brain and draws it forth, allowing the monster to devour it. A mind flayer's major weapon is given as the Mind Blast, a 5-foot radius wave of "PSI force" which affects each opponent differently based on how intelligent it is; possible effects include permanent insanity, rage, confusion, coma, and death.

They were also included in the Eldritch Wizardry supplement, for the original (white box) Dungeons and Dragons game (1976), wherein they are described as super-intelligent, man-shaped creatures of great (and lawful) evil, with tentacles that penetrate to the brain and draw it forth for food.
Thanks.

It seems that the thing of mind-flayers needing to get more than one tenticle onto a head to extract the brain is a later thing. (I guess extracting a brain is a coup-de-grace move for an illithid that is holding the head of a victim.)

There are a ton of follow up things that tie in with illithids, such as brain pools, the illithid tadpoles (that turn people into mind flayers), the yaggol of Dragonlance (basically devolved mind flayers), brain golems, the spelljamming empire thing, the Astromundi thing (where they are people who get some sort of curse), the "travel back from the end of the universe to take over the universe" thing and the "Mind Flayers of Thoon" thing. Have any OD&D fans raided these things (or some of the other illithid related things) from later versions of D&D and retro-converted them back to OD&D rules?
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Re: [OD&D] Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry

Post by BlackBat242 » Thu Apr 14, 2016 3:01 am

Strategic Review #1 Spring 1975 page 2:
CREATURE FEATURES
The Mind Flayer:

Number Appearing 1-4
Armor Class 5
Move 12"
Hit Dice 8+3
% in Lair 50%
Treasure F
Magical Resistance 90%

This is a super-intelligent, man-shaped creature with four tentacles by its mouth which it uses to strike its prey. If a tentacle hits it will then penetrate to the brain, draw it forth, and the monster will devour it. It will take one to four turns for the tentacle to reach the brain, at which time the victim is dead. A Mind Flayer will flee if an encounter is going against it. Their major weapon, however, is the Mind Blast, a wave PSI force with a 6" directional range and a radius of 5". All within the radius must save as indicated or will suffer the result shown:

Mind Blast:
Intelligence|Saving Throw at Range|Effect of of Opponent |l-2"/3-4"/5-6"| Mind Blast
3-4 .........| 19 | 19 | 17 | Death 5-7 ...........| 17 | 16 | 15 | Coma, 3 days 8-10 .........| 15 | 14 |13 | Sleep, 1 hour 11-12 ........| 13 | 12 | 11 | Stun, 3 turns 13-14 ........| 11 | 10 | 9 | Confuse, 5 turns 15-16 ........| 9 | 8 | 7 | Enrage, 7 turns 17 ............| 7 | 6 | 5 | Feeblemind 18 ............| 5 | 4 | 3 | Insanity, permanent

Magic users add +1 to their saving throws, and clerics add +2.
A Helm of Telepathy adds a +4 to saving throws, and when such saves
are made the attacking Mind Flayer is stunned for 3 turns.
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Re: [OD&D] Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry

Post by Vile » Fri Jun 10, 2016 5:50 am

Havard wrote:
Vile wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Did everything in Supplement III get folded into the next version of D&D (is that Holmes?) or are there some interesting gems only found here that got dropped from later versions of D&D?
Holmes was not really intended to be the next version of D&D, although it turned out to be it's own version. Holmes was written to clarify and act as an introduction to OD&D. However, TSR then started work on AD&D and Holmes was edited to make it look like an introduction to AD&D, even though TSR didn't really know what AD&D would be like at that point. That's why it has oddities like a 5-way alignment system (LG, LE, CG, and CE, but only one flavour of Neutral).
While this is correct, you also mention that the 5 way alignment system had already been introduced for OD&D in Strategic Review #6, meaning this example might not have been an example of AD&Disms. Perhaps its inclusion also was added because Holmes wanted to explain things like the Mindflayer?

I am also wondering if the main reason why the 5-way alignment system was dropped from later Classic D&D rulesets (B/X, BECMI and so on) might be because TSR wanted to emphasize on the differences between the two product lines (Classic and Advanced) in the years that followed...
The Holmes manuscript just had Law, Neutrality, and Chaos, same as OD&D. I suspect TSR added in the 5-way alignment system because they thought that would be AD&D's system - remember, the PHB hadn't been written yet so most of what TSR thought would be "AD&D-isms" were actually still in draft form.

As far as I can see, Moldvay went back to the source (OD&D) and completely ignored AD&D when creating his Basic rules. I assume this was, as you say, to keep the product lines separate (possibly because of the Gygax/Arneson legal issues, who knows). In some ways B/X is thus more OD&D than Holmes, at least as published. I'm currently hacking a Holmes Basic 'Zero Edition' based on the Holmes Manuscript to see how that plays - my gut feeling is that it will simply be Basic OD&D.

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