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Author Topic: World of Greyhawk 1980, Combat Computer 1983  (Read 164 times)

Offline Shiftkitty

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World of Greyhawk 1980, Combat Computer 1983
« on: July 31, 2019, 03:40:54 PM »
Found at local game shop, 2nd edition Gamma World and 1980 World of Greyhawk folio, both in nice condition. Cover/box show a little wear, and one of the Greyhawk maps has definitely been opened and closed pretty frequently (small hole, maybe a millimeter, at one of the fold intersections), but overall in nice shape. The Greyhawk folio has a supplement inside, a "combat computer" from a 1983 Dragon Magazine, uncut. Can anybody tell me about this Combat Computer?
"Attack now! We can level up in Hell!"
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Offline sgtslag

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Re: World of Greyhawk 1980, Combat Computer 1983
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2019, 09:41:40 AM »
It is two circles, one smaller than the other, which are connected with a brass tack, in the center.  You rotate the upper circle to the number rolled on the attacker's d20, for To Hit.  Then look at the edges to locate the character's class, and level marking, to see what AC they successfully hit.   (I think...  Haven't used it since 1989!)

This was a device designed to free DM's from the 1e DMG tables and charts, for combat.  It actually did speed it up, but only marginally.  There is definitely a learning curve associated with using it.

I laminated mine, with Clear Contact Paper, from the hardware store.  It saw a lot of use in my games, during the latter half of my senior year in High School, and it saw limited use until 1989, when 2e rules were published.  It was much easier to hold it in your hands, rotate it to show the results, than to squint, lean over your tabletop to see the charts listed on your DM's Screen, or to look at the combat tables within your DMG...

It was published in Dragon Magazine, in color, on card stock insert pages, as something readers could cut out, and use.  It was a huge development, IMO.  Most DM's loved it.  I really hated looking up each and every combat roll, in my DMG, to see who hit what.  A great many of my gamer friends did not read Dragon Magazine, so they only heard about it when I showed it to them -- many tried to buy it off of me!  Remember, photocopy machines were not commonplace in 1983, and they were all B&W back then, when you did find one.

When THAC0 came out, it was a challenge to wrap your head around, but it was sooo much better than rolling dice, looking up class, level, and number rolled, on tables and charts, in the DMG.  Give me THAC0 over the Combat Computer, any day...  Cheers!
« Last Edit: August 01, 2019, 09:50:57 AM by sgtslag »
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Offline DMMike

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Re: World of Greyhawk 1980, Combat Computer 1983
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2019, 11:44:58 AM »
+1 on THACO.... Never understood the hostility some grogs have about it. <shrug>

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Offline Shiftkitty

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Re: World of Greyhawk 1980, Combat Computer 1983
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2019, 04:44:55 PM »
Thanks for the info on the Combat Computer. I was just happy to find that World of Greyhawk folio!

I started playing in 1981 when I got a Basic Set for my birthday. I like Thac0 as well, but I do find it easy to jump from Thac0 to d20 with a little math and artistic interpretation.
"Attack now! We can level up in Hell!"
~ My nephew getting carried away at his first D&D game

Offline DMMike

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Re: World of Greyhawk 1980, Combat Computer 1983
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2019, 05:44:13 PM »
I started playing in 1981 when I got a Basic Set for my birthday. I like Thac0 as well, but I do find it easy to jump from Thac0 to d20 with a little math and artistic interpretation.

Cool! Liz and I always like hearing about fm gamers who start on their own; without the usual BF or brother bringing them in. In 1981, did you run into any issues finding groups?

DM (Good at 1980s rettrospectives) Mike
 
The Save for Half Podcast: Old School RPGs Reviewed
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