Saturday, June 30, 2018

AD&D Ghoul Paralysis, resolved

Remember how I couldn't find the duration of ghoul paralysis back when I ran White Plume Mountain with AD&D?

Well, Dave Brown did, and sent me this email (posted with his permission):

"I seem to recall you mentioning ghoul paralysis in your White Plume Mountain session a while back.

Today, while looking over a very old issue of Dragon Magazine (#39 July 1980), I found THIS:

Question: In TD-37’s “Sage Advice” there was a question
referring to the paralysis caused by ghouls, ghasts and
carrion crawlers. The reply stated that the duration of the
paralysis was not clearly defined in any of the rule books.
However, a duration for the paralysis inflicted by ghouls is
given on page 15 of T1, The Village of Hommlet. It states that
“Any human or demi-human must save vs. paralyzation or
become immobile for 3-12 turns.” I suppose this is the
official word. Still, what is the duration of the paralysis
caused by ghasts and carrion crawlers?

Answer: According to Lawrence Schick, Vice-President for
Production and Design at TSR Hobbies, the paralyzation caused by
carrion crawlers is of the same duration as that caused by ghouls—
3-12 turns. Paralyzation caused by a ghast takes twice as long—6-24
turns—to wear off.

I don't recall your table ruling, but I thought you might like to see that they eventually patched it."

So, as Dave pointed out in another email, it took several years - and the author of White Plume Mountain - to answer a question left wide-open by the Monster Manual back in 1977. Geez. So while I undershot the number by a lot, hey, I didn't think to read every Sage Advice column for several years of Dragon magazines until I found one.

And for those who don't read playtester lists too closely, Dave was a very helpful playtester on GURPS Martial Arts.

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