First edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons lists the start combat order as surprise, distance, initiative, encounter reactions (for intelligent creatures), and finally actions. It's normally not too complicated, but, as seen here, it's made complicated by Michael (Subotai) in order to change the odds in his favor. I call this "player railroading the DM." Chris (Conan) then goes on to point out that the DM has skipped over the "surprise" part.

In case you couldn't tell, that's the snake talking, not the DM talking for the snake. It's an over-used joke, I know, but it strikes me as being rather appropriate here. "Bumming a smoke" is slang for taking a smoke without the expectation of repayment.

The picture of Arnold smoking a stogie came from the DVD extras; it was a still photograph taken during production.

Comments? Throw your words at the forum thread and see if it sticks.


Scene: Conan and Subotai do battle with a giant snake, deep inside the Snake Cult Tower.
DM:The snake rises up to strike at Conan!
Subotai:Wait! Just how big is the room?
DM:Circular, with a twenty foot radius.
Subotai:And the snake was coiled around the pedistal? How many rounds would it take to unwrap itself and move within striking distance?
DM:It has a movement rate of ninety feet.
Subotai:Right, but it's inside, and moving slowly. Have you rolled for combat distance?
DM:Five feet.
Conan:I'm at the entrance, getting the necklace.
Subotai:And I'm just outside the tunnel. I roll a five for initative.
Conan:I rolled a six.
DM:Hm. I'll give Subotai a chance to spot the snake moving. What's your wisdom?
DM:You'll need to make over a sixty-eight on a percentile.
DM:Your movement rate is reduced by half if you go through the tunnel.
Subotai:I'll get the graph paper and monopoly pieces.
Conan:Am I surprised?
Subotai:Oh, good gravy.
DM:I'll get my calculator.
Conan:I'll jump out for a smoke, then.
Snake:Can I bum a smoke?

Last updated: Sat, 12 Apr 2008 15:24:00 CST

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