On weapon speed factors in melee; June 25th, 2005. Gygax Q&A thread #3 in DragonsFoot Forum. No need to use weapon speed factors.
Forget weapons speed factors. I must have been under the effect of a hex when I included them in the bloody rules
The first system for determining what happens is the best one, the only one I ever used. If the weapon-wielder has the initiative and strikes the spell caster, the spell is blown. If he mosses, or the spell caster wins, the casting time allows, then the spell is activated and takes effect.
On Spell Casting And Initiative: July 14th, 2005. Gygax Q&A thread #3 in DragonsFoot Forum.
A 1 segment casting time duration means that the spell is cast in the initiative segment indicated by the die roll. In your example of a 4, that's when the spell is cast. Each casting-time segment above 1 is added to the 4 to find the segment of casting, so a spell with a casting time of 3 segments would be cast in the 6th segment. all action begins at the start of a segment and just before the next spells being cast are active.
...a long spell can stretch into the next round. however, a 6-segment casting time would add 5 to the number of the initiative segment that casting began, as it covers 1 segment. in your example, the spell would be case in segment 1 of the following round (6 + 5 = 11, so that's the 1st segment of the next round.) If the caster isn't disturbed, that's often a good thing...
On Initiative in general: July 25th, 2005. Gygax Q&A thread #3 in DragonsFoot Forum.
"A fighter attacks a magic-user. The fighter rolls a 3, and the MU rolls a 6. If I understand you, the MU's spell will begin in segment 3, and take effect (casting time minus one) segments later. The fighter's attack will come in segment 6."
No, each individual's action begins in the segment indicated. the fighter will attack in segment 3, the M-U begin the spell in segment 6.
I have long ago switched to low roll is first action as the easiest.
On Rangers having Surprise Alone or in a Group: July 29th, 2005 Gygax Q&A thread #3 in DragonsFoot Forum.
Forget any special surprise in a mixed party. the ranger would have to be alone, or with only others that are stealthy, to get the special bonus.
Ever have the question of how much detail to go into during melee?
Now this is getting into the area of combat simulation...something an RPG is not
Gary Gygax Super Quote:
...the DM can do whatever he wishes, assuming that his player group generally agree and do not abandon the campaign because of such alterations.
That is indeed what every able GM should have firmly in mind. He is there to provide fun and entertainment to his player group, and himself as well, not to adhere slavishly to some game system that at times interferes with the group's enjoyment.
If a DM has no Players, is he/she still a DM? Can you hear them cry?