Monday, January 02, 2012

Warfare in the Age of Awesome

"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."

--Michael Dobson, describing his work on the original Battlesystem supplement, Dragon #100 (August 1985), p96.