Saturday, January 7, 2012

Epic D&D playtest battle makes me feel funny in my nerdy parts

Credit: BoardGameGeek
Holy crap, is that a triceratops!?
Jeffs Gameblog has a pretty interesting story from way back in the late 80s when some folks at TSR, Inc. playtested a supplement to Dungeons & Dragons called Battlesystem.
"Finally, we held the ultimate playtest - eight people each designed their own armies, using the recently developed "Creating Armies" rules. The TSR designers are a sneaky, underhanded bunch, and they all pored through the manuals trying to create the nastiest, most powerful, most outrageous armies they could find. The final battle took place on three planes (Ethereal, Astral, and Prime Material) with about 40% of the total forces invisible when the game began. There were devas, planetars, mezzodaemons, galeb duhr, and 10,000 gibberlings - each with a sword and a girdle of storm giant strength. There were catapults firing mirrors of life trapping that contained powerful monsters. There was a force of 220 invisible shadow dragons. There were three hundred-handed giants (see the Legends and Lore volume for details). There were drow cavalry on nightmares (they didn't last long). It took 8 hours of playing time (and 4 large deep-dish pizzas) to get through two turns . . . but it was an incredible amount of fun, and a lot was learned.

That led to the sixth draft . . . and eventually to the seventh."
Holy mother of Lord Ao; I don't understand most of that, but it sounds like the most awesome thing ever. The quote comes from Michael Dobson in the 100th issue of Dragon, a magazine dedicated to D&D.

Eight hours just for two turns.

(h/t The Society of Torch, Pole and Rope)

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