Monday, October 10, 2016

Megarry's Blackmoor Characters II


Megarry Matrix
Gaylord Matrix
AiF equivalents



Brains
Brains
Intelligence
Looks
Looks
Charisma

Credibility

Sex
Sex

Health
Health
Health
Strength
Strength
Strength
Courage
Courage


Cunning




Riding/Horsemanship
Horesmanship
Horsemanship
Woodcraft
Woodsmanship
Forester/Hunter
Leadership
Leadership

Flying
Flying

Sailing
Seamanship
Sailor
Throwing


Loyalty


Miscellaneous





Weapons


Dagger
Dagger
Dagger
Hand Axe
Hand Axe
Axe
Mace
Mace

Sword
Sword
Sword
Battle Axe
Battle Axe
Two Handed Axe
Morning Star
Morning Star

Flail
Flail
Flail
Spear
Spear
Spear
Longbow
Longbow
Longbow
Composite Bow
Composite Bow
Composite Bow
Bow

Bow
Pole Arms
Pole Arms

Halbard
Halbear

Two handed Sword
Two handed Sword
Two handed Sword
Mounted Lance
Mounted Lance
Lance
Pike
Pike
Pike
Arquebus
Arquebus


Stone

Crossbow
Crossbow
Crossbow
Heavy Crossbow


Light Catapult
Light Catapult

Heavy Catapult
Heavy Catapult

Bombard
Bombard

Note: Bolded/italicized weapons are those of the more limited list on Megarry's second sheet. The order of items generally follows Gaylord's with some rearrangement for convenient comparison.


Previously, I've discussed Pete Gaylord's  character sheet in a short series of posts (please see  Character-Sheet-Clues  Character-Sheet-Clues-part-II  and  Character-Sheet-Clues-III ).

Now that Megarry's character sheets have been made available, we have a basis for comparison.  

One of our first concerns is relative dating.  It appears that Gaylords sheet may well be slightly older than Megarry's.  Although, as showh in the above table,  they are very nearly identical in the listed characteristics.  

Gaylord's character was a wizard and contains information on level and magic not on Megarry's sheet, so we will set that information aside for now.  Of greater significance may be the circle and square numbers mentioned in point three in yesterday's post.  Gaylord's sheet lacks these circle and square numbers, therefore seemingly placing the sheet at a time prior to Megarry's Hecebeiner chracters.  Admittedly, the circle and square numbers may have been irrelevant to a wizard, and so must be viewed with caution as a dating tool.  However,  Gaylord's sheet also lacks a Miscellaneous category, which we know was added to Megarry's.  It is therefore almost certain that at the least, Gaylod's sheet dates prior to the creation of the David "Diamonds" Balfour character.  Further, note that Gaylord lacks Loyalty, but has "Credability".  Loyalty is a trait we see mentioned in the FFC and is well known even in D&D.  I suggest that it is more likely for Credibility to have been dropped and Loyalty to have been added than the reverse.  It is likely also significant that on Megarry's sheet, Halbard is spelled correctly, "stone" is missing, and a new weapon "bow" appears.   The correctly spelled "halbard" in particular may indicate that Megarry's character sheet follows the publication of the second edition of CHAINMAIL in July of 1972, because the spelling in Gaylords sheet, "Halbear" copies a misspelling found in the first printing of CHAINMAIL.  Of course, it is also quite possible that Mr. Megarry simply corrected the spelling himself.

Notice on the above table I've included an AiF column.  Primarily, this was done as merely a useful reference and example of the extent to which AiF does, and does not, conform to the original Blackmoor game. 

There are 14 "non-weapon" skills on Megarry's sheet compared to 13 on Gaylords.  Eleven of these are shared in common.  The odd traits out are Credibility and Cunning on Gaylords sheet, and Throwing, Loyalty and Miscellaneous on Megarry's sheet. 
What remains is a core of  11 common "ability" or "non-weapon" traits, utilized reportedly and apparently as 2d6 roll under saving throws.

Likewise there is a great commonality in the weapon types.  That's hardly surprising since they are taken directly from the lists in CHAINMAIL.  However, Megarry's second page evidences an interesting change in the weapons list.  These are indicated in the table above by being bolded and italicized. Dave Megarry explains: "When we get to the shorter page 2, the number of items to roll has lessened as we determined we weren't using the mounted lance in the dungeon! And we would figure out what our ability was for a particular weapon if we bought or acquired it." Personal Communication, 2016

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