Based on the wording of the text, and some vague recollection that "complete" surprise was used as a reference to 2 segments of surprise, the way I read that is: the party can't avoid being surprised and the die roll is used to determine whether the party is surprised for 1 segment or 2. To add another wrinkle the party has a monk with a reduced chance of being surprised. Final ruling: the party is surprised for 1 segment on 1-3, 2 segments on 4-5, and no surprise on a 6. I rolled a 5, and encounter distance was a 1, so they were close enough to attack immediately and get 2 segments worth of attacks. The party entered. The snow leopards pounced from their ledge, and scored a few hits on two party members. The party won initiative and the monk was able to them from attacking again.
I did find a few references. Complete surprise was introduced in Eldritch Wizardry, and it does mean a 2 on the surprise roll, and it gives an initiative advantage. In AD&D it pops up in several places: crossbow of speed, phantasmal killer spell description, and the description of the catoblepas. Where it is again states it means 2 on the surprise roll.
Damn! I just wrote this giant post detailing the first 2 rounds of an encounter with frost giants, and Word crashed right after I cut it and erased my clipboard in the process. It had everything. Potion of speed, normal initiative, tied initiative, multiple attack routines, spells, wands, etc. and it's gone.
I have not DMed a capable, high level party in a long time. The party was in the 16 - 19 room cluster where a total of 18 giants came at them in waves, which has always caused them problems in the past, but they handled them pretty well. The monk saved them from being surprised from the rear, or things could have gotten ugly. 2 of the 3 fighters got taken down to 1 hit shy of death. So resource management will become a factor now.
Post by geneweigel on Nov 18, 2016 10:35:03 GMT -5
I recall running the G series in 1982 and it was a wagon train of characters. (24? PCs and NPCs.) Lots of dwarf players though which decreased in popularity over the years for some reason. I think there was one elf player and 5 players were dwarves. In addition there also dwarven henchmen. Around 5? I don't know specifically (the records are summaries of that period with the session notes lost.) there were a lot of dwarves who were all over the giants. My cousin Bill also had a hill giant he had coerced from another location (pre-G) who he brought with him as a trick.
I first played in the G series in 1981. It was great rollicking fun, with a lot of over-powered characters involved, often rolled up at higher levels or assigned by the DM. I had a 12th level ranger assigned to me named Arthur Hothtar who had a Ring of Flying, and I remember flying around the halls in G3... A magic-user in the party may have made me invisible, also.
Last Edit: Nov 18, 2016 12:21:20 GMT -5 by GRWelsh
Post by geneweigel on Nov 18, 2016 12:31:10 GMT -5
Everyone had at least one of each class so it was a lot of killing, player fighting and walk-on player characters either played by a player who just had a character die or people who heard about the game play and wanted to join in. By the time it was done no one to continue with the D series. I played as a player in D1 and D2. I had to do D 3 entirely separate from the events of the G series and the other Ds.
Post by foster1941 on Nov 18, 2016 12:35:11 GMT -5
We played through them around the summer of 1985 (so after we'd been playing about a year and a half). The main thing I remember looking back is that we used "He-Man" figures as minis for the giants. That and a lot of heavy combat and not much else. We definitely glossed over A LOT. Same thing with D1-2. We never played D3 (or Q1) because none of us owned them at the time (though I must have acquired them not long after, because I definitely already had both by the time the GDQ1-7 "supermodule" was released at the end of '86).
I just recently bought a bunch of Reaper miniatures and started painting again, myself. Last Saturday, Ray had a "paint night" at his house. Mark and I showed up, Eric couldn't make it. I also have a set up in my garage with an extendable magnifying glass light. If you ever want to paint up here, let me know.