Gary Gygax Q&A: Part XI - Page 41

What's on your mind?

  1. #401
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffrey
    Gary and Steve:

    What sort of art do you have planned for the re-release of the Lejendary Adventure core rule books? I unfortunately never cared for much of the art in the original releases. I for one would be very pleased if the LA game could be illustrated in a more old-school fashion. My favorite FRPG artist is Erol Otus, and he seems to be a big favorite amongst my compatriots over at
    That is all up to the Trolls, but I for one much prefer artwork more along the lines of that done by Trampier, Elmore, and Easley. Sadly, Tramp is no longer doing illustrations.



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    Peter is a fine artist, plus he is very distinctive. I hope he remains the flagship artist for LA and C&C for a long time. He does gorgeous maps too!
    It is the spirit of the game, not the letter of the rules, which is important. NEVER hold to the letter written, nor allow some barracks room lawyer to force quotations from the rule book upon you, IF it goes against the obvious intent of the game. As you hew the line with respect to conformity to major systems and uniformity of play in general, also be certain the game is mastered by you and not by your players. Within the broad parameters give in the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Volumes, YOU are creator and final arbiter. By ordering things as they should be, the game as a WHOLE first, your CAMPAIGN next, and your participants thereafter, you will be playing Advanced Dungeons and Dragons as it was meant to be. May you find as much pleasure in so doing as the rest of us do.

    -1E DMG, page 230

  • #403
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treebore
    Peter is a fine artist, plus he is very distinctive. I hope he remains the flagship artist for LA and C&C for a long time. He does gorgeous maps too!
    Yes, I like Peter's work. I was addressing the matter of which of the original TSR illustrators whose art I most enjoyed.


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    Certainly can't argue with the main man's taste in art. ^_^

    But on to the rest of the matter. Steve and I were talking this morning, and probably will carry the conversation over to GenCon where we can have a quiet face to face. The Lejendary books should have about a half a dozen top artists working on it. Those familar with the C&C books will recoginze some familar names.

    Monster books, at least, ought to have more than one hand in them. The diverse amount of creatures that spring forth from the imagination of various writers certainly need as diverse an array of imagination to do such creations justice.

    C&C Art Troll

  • #405
    Peter needs to draw more women. I like his women.

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    Here's an article on FRPG art that I really like. I hope it can inform the new art for the Lejendary Adventure re-release. (The article starts on page 27.)


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    My own theory...

    Hey all,

    Here's the post Gary mentioned earlier... sorry for how late it is, been quite busy in the pre-Gen Con rush.

    Note that I have *no* inside information on anything haveing to do with 4E D&D... this is all speculation, based on my knowledge of the market. I could be way off base here...

    Most likely scenario IMO:

    D&D 4E is announced at Gen Con. It will, indeed, be miniatures-focused... WotC has steadily gained the upper hand in CMGs over the last year, and learned from the experience.

    A basic boxed set is released for Christmas.

    The "role-playing guide books" will be released starting in Spring, maybe a GTS-period launch. The "rpg guide books" will focus on "builds," so that players can maximize their characters on the field of battle.

    Dungeon Masters will be optional in the core rules, as it will all be scenario, or "delve" based. Like in MMORPGs, there will be no real secrets; think Talisman or that Warhammer game some time back. There might be some randomness, with monsters in random rooms. Each scenario will be designed for quick play, an evening at most, so that players don't need to worry about putting together an extensive campaign, though that will, of course, be an option.

    Organized Play will be a major factor, and characters will gain as much fame as players.

    Essentially, D&D 4E will try, in every way possible, to emulate the MMORPG experience in a tabletop milieu.

    As for the OGL and d20 System, well, they won't care. They can't stop it anymore, and, frankly, the market that remains for it is beneath their notice. They will be no more concerned with the players of 3.0/3.5 than they are for the 1.0 or 2.0 fans... and the small industry that remains, dedicated to d20/OGL offshoots, will be no competition.


    It has nothing to do with playability or design, and everything to do with the sales curve of a game. Games Workshop discovered this what, two decades ago? Most games have a very distinct sales curve that even the sharpest, widest marketing cannot break. This curve is such that when the game is new and released, it brings in the largest, widest variety of players possible; or perhaps, it peaks in this fashion shortly thereafter, such as D&D did when initially released (this post-release peak is usually experienced by the newest game types, such as when RPGs, CCGs, and CMGs were new, or with fad products, that hit small and then go big when the fad strikes).

    Either way, sales always go downhill from there, and sales inevitably decline as there will always be, in the long run, a net loss of purchasing players (i.e., those who have not dropped out of the game AND have not reached their satiation point on products, and still buy new products). Eventually, the number of purchasing players declines to the point where it no longer becomes profitable to publish the game; for a large company like WotC or GW, this number is vastly higher than the number for most other companies in the industry, as they are, of course, much bigger companies and need much bigger sales and revenue.

    This curve usually lasts for five to seven years. D&D 3.0 was released in 2000, six years ago this next week, more or less. 3.5 was not, under these kinds of considerations, a new game, which 3.0 very definitely was as compared to 2.0/2.5. While 3.5 gave D&D sales a slight bump, it was not enough to reset/restart the curve by any means, especially as a large- scale marketing push was not used along with the new edition -- and it didn't help that there were plenty of naysayers who wanted to stay with 3.0, and thus left behind more old gamers than would otherwise be normal.

    Take the numbers with as big or small a grain of salt as you like, but in C&GR, D&D is selling maybe 1/3 what it used to in the hobby trade, and I'd say it is probably selling even worse than that in the mass, as there is little to no mass market advertising going on to drive new, non-hobby trade players to the game. That is certainly unacceptable by the levels of sales that Hasbro and WotC are used to dealing with, ergo, a new edition... a new GAME, in fact, will be needed. A game adapted to the changing market, where board-style games and MMORPGs rule the roost. With a big marketing push in the mass and in the hobby, it will bring in plenty of new blood, younger blood, that will stay with the game for five years or more -- still the same old demographic, white middle-class teen and tween boys -- until they discover cars and girls, or college-age non-fraternity men, who want something beer-and-pretzely to do on those nights when they aren't out drinking and hanging out at the bar.

    Again, as for the current crowd of 3.0/3.5 players, any who make the jump will be icing on the cake... they will not, and cannot be the bread and butter of the new edition.

    And then, when asked why we never saw this kind of trend with the earlier editions of D&D/AD&D...

    In fact, D&D/AD&D have gone through new iterations quite regularly, though only rarely did TSR capitalize on the new editions with proper marketing... From 1981 through 1994, D&D went through three full-fledged editions (one ever 5 years or so), while AD&D rules went through four editions (officially, only two editions; I use the X.5 form to keep track with the official edition count) from 1977/1979 to 1999 (again, about every five years on average), while Third Edition Dungeons & Dragons had a major "tweak" after merely three years... and, I believe, will have a whole new edition announced at Gen Con, in time for 2007, if not Christmas 2006.

    Original Dungeons & Dragons
    1974 to 1979 (to AD&D) or 1981 (to B/X D&D)

    1974 0.1E Original Dungeons & Dragons
    1975 0.1E Greyhawk
    1975 0.2E Blackmoor
    1976 0.3E Eldritch Wizardry
    1976 0.4E Gods, Demi-Gods, & Heroes
    1977 0.5E Basic Dungeons & Dragons (Holmes Edition)

    B/X, BECMI, and Cyclopedia Dungeons & Dragons
    1981 to 1994
    Three distinct editions
    1.0 Edition, 1981 to 1983 (3 years)
    2.0 Edition, 1983 to 1990 (8 years)
    3.0 Edition, 1991 to 1994 (4 years)

    1981 1.0E Basic/Expert Set (Moldvay/Cook/Marsh B/X Edition)
    1983 2.0E Basic/Expert Set (Mentzer BECMI Edition)
    1984 2.2E Companion Set
    1985 2.4E Masters Set
    1986 2.6E Immortal Set (BECMI D&D Line Complete)
    1991 3.0E Cyclopedia (Allston Edition)
    1994 3.5E Final D&D Boxed Set, the last true D&D product
    Though not intentionally, AFAIK, each additional box in the BECMI series essentially *revised the whole game* (the Thief was the most specific example), but every set added something that altered something from a set before or vastly changed how everything was done from the ground up (War Machine, Weapon Mastery, the various classes one could "grow" into (i.e., perhaps the original "Prestige" classes), etc.).

    Advanced Dungeons & Dragons
    1977/79 to 1999
    Two distinct editions, two mid-point editions
    1.0 Edition, 1979 to 1984 (6 years from Complete to advent of 1.5E)
    1.5 Edition, 1985 to 1988 (4 years)
    2.0 Edition, 1989 to 1994 (6 years)
    2.5 Edition, 1995 to 1999 (5 years)
    Essentially, the game evolved at the mid point of each edition into a different game... many were the arguments in groups at the time (at least, to my experience) whether to adopt those new-fangled "Proficiencies" or to allow elements from the Options books... when players can't decide on the "core rules," that means there is a distinct "mid-point" edition had evolved, official or not...

    1977 1.0E Monster Manual
    1978 1.0E Player's Handbook
    1979 1.0E Dungeon Master's Guide (1.0E Complete)
    1980 1.0E Deities & Demigods
    1981 1.0E Fiend Folio
    1983 1.0E Monster Manual II
    1985 1.5E Unearthed Arcana (1.5E Begins)
    1985 1.5E Oriental Adventures
    1986 1.5E Dungeoneer's Survival Guide
    1986 1.5E Wilderness Survival Guide
    1987 1.5E Dragonlance Adventures
    1987 1.5E Manual of the Planes
    1988 1.75E Greyhawk Adventures ("Compatible with the AD&D and 2nd Edition
    AD&D Game Systems")
    1989 2.0E Player's Handbook
    1989 2.0E Monstrous Compendium I (Folder)
    1989 2.0E Dungeon Master's Guide
    1993 2.0E Monstrous Manual (Book)
    1995 2.5E Player's Handbook, Revised ("2nd Edition" dropped from logo, and
    even the "Advanced" section would slowly be de-emphasized)
    1995 2.5E Dungeon Master's Guide, Revised
    1995 2.5E Player's Option: Combat & Tactics
    1995 2.5E Player's Option: Skills & Powers
    1995 2.5E Dungeon Master's Option: High Level Campaigns
    1996 2.5E Player's Option: Spells & Magic
    1999 2.5E "Dungeons & Dragons" Boxed Set (actually an AD&D product)

    Third Edition Dungeons & Dragons
    2000 to today (6 years)
    Two distinct editions
    3.0 Edition, August 2000 to August 2003 (3 years)
    3.5 Edition, August 2003 to Today (3 years)
    With 3.0, of course, EVERY different group has its own "edition" of the game, based upon what other options are used from the near infinite number of varieties of d20/OGL books available. The 3.5 rule set, really, is not even a new "mid-point" edition, as it consisted of a host of rules tweaks, as opposed to a wholesale addition/kludging on of new rules. And, of course, as compared to the changes wrought between 1.5E and 2.0E, the changes from 2.5E to 3.0E were massive, essentially transforming it to a whole different game... Translating a character from 1.5E to 2.0E was like upgrading a document from MS Word 2000 to MS Word 2003, while converting a character from 2.5E to 3.0E was more like converting a Word document to a PDF...

    2000 3.0E Player's Handbook
    2000 3.0E Dungeon Master's Guide
    2000 3.0E Monster Manual

    2003 3.5E Player's Handbook
    2003 3.5E Dungeon Master's Guide
    2003 3.5E Monster Manual
    Last edited by Mystaros; Sunday, 6th August, 2006 at 01:47 AM.

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  • #408
    Question for Gygax:

    When I read the AD&D first edition DM's guide, I get the feeling that when coming to a new area, the PCs were expected to spend time gathering information before they went out to kill things and take their stuff.

    For example, a good-aligned party, upon hearing that there are goblins in the forest, should not have the immediate reaction of "Let's go kill them all!" More along the lines of "Huh, better not go through there unless we need to." They would need to wait until they confirmed news of said goblins raiding nearby settlements before they could go goblin-hunting. (Confirmation could consist of following tracks from a burned out farm back to the goblin cave, of course.) (All of this assumes that the goblins have not made a treaty requiring them to stay out of the forest, of course.)

    So, 1) Am I being coherent enough to follow, and 2) Was this the kind of attitude you expected of good-aligned PCs?

    -Albert the Absentminded

  • #409
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluSponge
    EDIT: DAMN! Scooped by Grodog!
    No worries Tom, your GT subscription date was still years before mine

  • #410
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    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    I do not comment on potential expansions of my old modules.
    That's understandable Did you use other pre-existing level maps in your publications over the years with TSR, TLG, etc., or, in general, did you create new maps for any adventures you were writing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    As a matter of fact I invited Rob to co-write the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth with me, after a couple of my PCs had adventured in his similarly mapped area. He declined, so I created a different map from that which he had made, and devised original encounters as well.

    That's that
    Thanks, as always, Gary. Would how you would approach a co-authored adventure be differnent than how you and Rob worked as co-DMs? My understanding from the various things you and Rob have written is that you would usually create levels and test them on each other, but that you didn't really collaborate on them, per se. Were there levels that you did in fact develop together vs. independently creating them, and then merging them into the joint schema?

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