Gary Gygax Q&A: part VII - Page 16





  1. #151
    Father of the Game
    A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)

    Col_Pladoh's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Lake Geneva, WI
    Posts
    4,756
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Ignore Col_Pladoh
    Quote Originally Posted by Mythmere1
    Actually, I do have a question. In the early days just after publishing the first hardback (I don't know if it was the MM or the PH - they were both out when I started playing, but not the DMG), how chaotic was it?
    The first hardbound AD&D book was the MM published in 1977.

    Things at the office were hectic but not chaotic. We were all crowded into an old house, a game shop taking up much of the ground floor, shipping in the former kitchen, inventory on the front porch and in the basement, and the offices upstairs on the first floor.

    There must have been a severe shortage of cash to get out the hardbacks and the little 1-3 level monsters and treasure books, while also funding Dragon. How did you manage that? Was new money coming in, or were you publishing new books with the proceeds of the published ones. At what point did you realize that the country was going to buy everything that you could afford to print, and how did you react to the realization that D&D was going to be a craze of nationwide magnitude? Fear? Excitement? Repeated glances at checkbook? Frenzied bouts of authorial effort? Did it affect quality control on any of the books or products in your opinion?
    At that time I was the actual CEO of TSR, and money was tight because we had to reprint D&D works and produce new material at the same time, even as we paid employees. Sales were good, so cash flow was key. We borrowed some short-term cash to produce smaller products, and raised funds by offering lifetime subs to the DARGON and also to new game products. While the zine was then a cash drain, the goodwill and advertising/promition were more than a counter-balance.

    It was in 1976 that we recognized that the game was going to be a growing one, and planned accordingly. I kept long term debt to about the amount of revenue the company generated in a month, and so the operation was very profitable. Not many customers were slow in paying, as they wanted to keep getting restocks and new product, so cash flow was good.

    The main thing that affected quality control was lack of personnel and the need to get product into the pipeline or face outraged consumers. In all, I believe we did a very fine job all things considered.

    Cheers,
    Gary

 

  • #152
    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    In all, I believe we did a very fine job all things considered.

    Cheers,
    Gary
    Me, too. Thanks for the reply and the visit to Castles & Crusades!

  • #153
    Registered User
    Acolyte (Lvl 2)

    scadgrad's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    381
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Ignore scadgrad
    Mr. Gygax,

    As so many have said before, thank you for this game. It has brought me so much joy over the past 27 years. Additionally, your list of suggested reading was invaluable to those of us with no peer group to make such recommendations in the dark days of 1980. East Tennessee in those days was not exactly chock-full of fantasy literature fans.

    I'm curious about the origins of a few of the original monsters from the MM; the Gnoll in particular and later, the Flind. I've heard that these have an origin in fantasy literature, but for the life of me I can't imagine which series one might find them featured in. As a follow up to that question, of the monsters in that early tome, and in fact quite a few beasties of OD&D and AD&D, there are a good number which were entirely made from whole cloth, name and all. Of those, is there one, or a group, which you're particularly pleased with? I've always found the idea of the Puddings to be just wildly imaginative and appreciate the way that such strange, original creatures have become part of our shared experience.

    And finally, one last question concerning level-draining, the latest edition makes this setback considerably less problematic than in the original. Personally, I prefer something closer to the original ruling, but I'm wondering, did your original players detest this rule as much as one might imagine (God knows my players always loathed it)? And, was this simply a very real method of instilling a sense of dread and fear into the players when confronted by powerful Undead? It always seemed cruel to me, but boy, it made those encounters tense and perhaps that was the point all along.

    Continued good health to you Sir and looking forward to what you and the Trolls do w/ Castle Xagyg.
    Gleefully slaying PCs since 1979

  • #154
    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    Okay Geoffrey,

    My comments are given below:



    Hope my input is of some benefit!

    Cheers,
    Gary
    Thank you very, very much Gary! By the way, my wife says to me, "Gary Gygax costs you more money than anyone else on earth!" I'm afraid she's right. What with all your LA, DJ, AD&D, and D&D products (and soon C&C products as well!) that I buy...

    Keep up the good work!

  • #155
    Father of the Game
    A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)

    Col_Pladoh's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Lake Geneva, WI
    Posts
    4,756
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Ignore Col_Pladoh
    Quote Originally Posted by scadgrad
    Mr. Gygax,

    As so many have said before, thank you for this game. It has brought me so much joy over the past 27 years. Additionally, your list of suggested reading was invaluable to those of us with no peer group to make such recommendations in the dark days of 1980. East Tennessee in those days was not exactly chock-full of fantasy literature fans.
    You are welcome, and I am happy to have provided some fun and enjoyment. i was fortunate to have several close friends who were great F&SF fans, so little escaped out notice back in the 1950s, and I remained avidly reading in the genres through the 1960. Thereafter I had less time to read, did more historical reading as well/

    I'm curious about the origins of a few of the original monsters from the MM; the Gnoll in particular and later, the Flind. I've heard that these have an origin in fantasy literature, but for the life of me I can't imagine which series one might find them featured in. As a follow up to that question, of the monsters in that early tome, and in fact quite a few beasties of OD&D and AD&D, there are a good number which were entirely made from whole cloth, name and all. Of those, is there one, or a group, which you're particularly pleased with? I've always found the idea of the Puddings to be just wildly imaginative and appreciate the way that such strange, original creatures have become part of our shared experience.
    I took the general name from a short story in The Magazne of Fantasy & Science Fiction, "The Man who sold Rope to the Gnoles". everything else i made up to suit the game

    The flind is not my creation, it was done by a Brit, and first apeared in White Dwarf magazine, then in the Fiend Folio.

    And finally, one last question concerning level-draining, the latest edition makes this setback considerably less problematic than in the original. Personally, I prefer something closer to the original ruling, but I'm wondering, did your original players detest this rule as much as one might imagine (God knows my players always loathed it)? And, was this simply a very real method of instilling a sense of dread and fear into the players when confronted by powerful Undead? It always seemed cruel to me, but boy, it made those encounters tense and perhaps that was the point all along.

    Continued good health to you Sir and looking forward to what you and the Trolls do w/ Castle Xagyg.
    How I detest namby-pamby whiners that expect to play a real RPG without threat of character death or loss of a level, stat points, or even choice magic items! Without such possibilities, what it the purpose of play, a race to see which character can have the greatest level, highest stats, and largest horde of treasure? That is just too flaccid for words.

    As an aside, level draining is less cruel that house rules I have heard about that cause loss of sight or appendages.

    You pegged the reason for my adding that to the system. The threat is potent, yet does not actually kill the PC. There is even a clerical restoration possible, that costing much in the way of monetary and magical items likely, thus getting them out of play and giving more reason to PC to keep adventuring.

    That said, when I was playing I dreaded seeing level-draining undead monsters, and thus they added as much excitement to the situation as might a death-dealing dragon

    Cheers,
    Gary

  • #156
    Father of the Game
    A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)

    Col_Pladoh's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Lake Geneva, WI
    Posts
    4,756
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Ignore Col_Pladoh
    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffrey
    Thank you very, very much Gary! By the way, my wife says to me, "Gary Gygax costs you more money than anyone else on earth!" I'm afraid she's right. What with all your LA, DJ, AD&D, and D&D products (and soon C&C products as well!) that I buy...

    Keep up the good work!
    UNFAIR!

    What about the amount of entertainment delivered by those same products. Compare the hours provided by games to the cost and time provided by going to the movies

    Cheerio,
    Gary

  • #157
    Registered User


    Napftor's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Hamburg, PA
    Posts
    1,387
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews
    Blog Entries
    4

    Ignore Napftor
    Greetings, Gary!

    I saw a few posts ago here that you mentioned lifetime subscriptions to DRAGON. Are the folks who bought into this deal still receiving the magazine, do you suppose (I know you aren't privy to concrete facts here, but how about a guess)? And how much did a "lifetime subscription" cost when it was offered?

    Thanks!
    --Bret
    Bret Boyd, TOP Owlbear-in-Chief

  • #158
    Father of the Game
    A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)

    Col_Pladoh's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Lake Geneva, WI
    Posts
    4,756
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Ignore Col_Pladoh
    Quote Originally Posted by Napftor
    Greetings, Gary!

    I saw a few posts ago here that you mentioned lifetime subscriptions to DRAGON. Are the folks who bought into this deal still receiving the magazine, do you suppose (I know you aren't privy to concrete facts here, but how about a guess)? And how much did a "lifetime subscription" cost when it was offered?

    Thanks!
    --Bret
    As I recall a lifetime sub to DRAGON was $300 and a like sub to game products was $700, about 30 people signed up for both, a few subbed only to the zine and likewise to the games offer. Each year the subber would have to complete and return a form saying that they wished to continue, and there was some considerable attrition that way.

    I can't guess how many were left after 1985, but around then I think there were only about a dozen or so still receiving the zines and game products.

    Cheers,
    Gary

  • #159
    Hey Gary, I have a question regarding the playtesting of the G and D series modules. Did you run these modules as part of your campaign or was it a separate set of adventures that didn't impact the Greyhawk campaign in any substantial way?

    Also, since Q1 was actually not of your original devising, how did you end the Giants-Drow series for those players who made it through the modules? Did they end up in the Abyss facing Lolth, face the Elder Elemental God (and be utterly destroyed, I am sure), hang out in the Drow's underworld wrecking havok, simply return to the upper world or something entirely different?

    Thanks in advance.

    Gray Mouser

  • #160
    Hey Gary, just thought of another question for you

    With the popularity of late of the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter movies which of your 1e modules would you most like to have made into a Fantasy/Sword and Sorcery movie? (BTW, as long as we're engaging in a little wishful thinking just assume the movie budget is comparable to that of the LoTR ).

    Gray Mouser

  • + Log in or register to post
    Page 16 of 50 FirstFirst ... 67891011121314151617181920212223242526 ... LastLast

    Similar Threads

    1. Gary Gygax Q&A, Part IX
      By Tuzenbach in forum Archive-threads
      Replies: 2234
      Last Post: Friday, 14th September, 2007, 02:06 PM
    2. Gary Gygax Q&A: Part X
      By Tuzenbach in forum Archive-threads
      Replies: 484
      Last Post: Thursday, 6th July, 2006, 08:39 PM
    3. Gary Gygax Q&A: part VI
      By Ranes in forum Archive-threads
      Replies: 216
      Last Post: Sunday, 4th April, 2004, 06:20 PM
    4. Gary Gygax Q&A, Part IV
      By Steverooo in forum Archive-threads
      Replies: 266
      Last Post: Wednesday, 10th December, 2003, 06:35 PM
    5. Q&A with Gary Gygax - Part I
      By thatdarncat in forum Archive-threads
      Replies: 715
      Last Post: Tuesday, 28th January, 2003, 02:19 PM

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •