Gary Gygax Q&A: Part XII - Page 21





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  1. #201
    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    Tenser was conned by a hill giant, and I tried to dupe several PCs into get-rich-quick wagers. Sadly for me, the regulars were all too canny after being burned by my various ploys, so...
    By curious happenstance, I just a couple of months ago obtained a copy of the article from the Great Plains Game Players Newsletter which chronicles the tale. Slightly before my RPGing time, but only slightly. I was still plying my hand at SPI and AH hex-and-counter games at the time. But neato torpedo to se something from the very distant mists of time, when wilderness adventures were still played on the AH "Outdoor Survival" board.

    If you don't mind, I have yet more questions with which to pepper you. (And I will once again thank you for your previous replies to my doubtless-tedious questions, and thank you in advance for any information you are able and willing to give.)

    How does it feel to see characters who you have developed over the course of decades being, in essence, appropriated and developed by others? I refer specifically to TSR/WOTC's use of the famous such as Mordenkainen and Tenser, but I must humbly confess that I, too, have tried to breathe life into such famous figures as Melf, Biff, and so forth, based on their presentation in the 'Gord the Rogue' novels. Is there any sort of resentment? Or do you see it as a natural part of creating something and giving it forth to others to use?

    Speaking of which, a minor mystery; is not Melf (nee Prince Brightflame) a scion of the royal house of Celene?

    I am a great fan of the "From the Sorceror's Scroll" articles from the pages of Dragon magazine in the early 1980's, which detailed the movements of armies and such across the Flanaess. They were obviously written with the mind of a miniatures gamer. I was just wondering if any of the battles described therein were ever played out by the local crew up there in LG?

    Again, speaking of which, was the Battle of Emridy Meadows (which of course forms the backdrop to the venerable T1 "Village of Hommlet") ever actually played out? For that matter, where are the Emridy Meadows, anyway?

    And following the stream-of-consciousness post which I seem to inadvertently be making, I would ask you to clarify the rather curious statement found in T1, to the effect that if harm came to Lareth the Beautiful, the Demonness Lolth would take it ill. Was she somehow involved in the rise of the Temple? It's resurgance? It seems to be something of a contradiction with the Gord novels, which posit a link between Zuggtmoy and Graz'zt (and, by connection, Eclavdra), who if anyone is, is not in Lolth's good graces.

    And, last one for this post; do you have any philosophical take on the difference between adventures whose goal is to prevent depredations of the innocent (a la G1-3), as opposed to those whose goal is to kill things and take their stuff (a la Castle Greyhawk, S1, S4, etc.). I realize the nature of tournament modules makes the former somewhat easier to plot, but in a campaign setting, do you have any insights on the nature of those two sorts of adventures?

    Again, my thanks for reading my ramblings.

    Thulcondar

 

  • #202
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thulcondar
    By curious happenstance, I just a couple of months ago obtained a copy of the article from the Great Plains Game Players Newsletter which chronicles the tale. Slightly before my RPGing time, but only slightly. I was still plying my hand at SPI and AH hex-and-counter games at the time. But neato torpedo to se something from the very distant mists of time, when wilderness adventures were still played on the AH "Outdoor Survival" board.
    Did the hand-written portion, the note from the hill giant, appear in the GP2 version of the tale? (Blamed if I can recall, and Jim Lurvey isn't handy for me to querry him.) The reason I ask is that Grodog recently sent me a copy of that account, and I had to laugh again at the ploy I had the giant use to dupe his mark--then a young teenager, of course, so it was quite unfair of me

    If you don't mind, I have yet more questions with which to pepper you. (And I will once again thank you for your previous replies to my doubtless-tedious questions, and thank you in advance for any information you are able and willing to give.)
    I have a busy day ahead of me, so likely the replies will be terse.

    How does it feel to see characters who you have developed over the course of decades being, in essence, appropriated and developed by others? I refer specifically to TSR/WOTC's use of the famous such as Mordenkainen and Tenser, but I must humbly confess that I, too, have tried to breathe life into such famous figures as Melf, Biff, and so forth, based on their presentation in the 'Gord the Rogue' novels. Is there any sort of resentment? Or do you see it as a natural part of creating something and giving it forth to others to use?
    With regard to commercial exploitation, irritation in that the PCs names, as was so much else, were taken essentially by force from me by TSR. As for players using and expanding.differentiatinf, I find that quite proper, as I design for players, to make the material presented accommodating in that regard.

    Speaking of which, a minor mystery; is not Melf (nee Prince Brightflame) a scion of the royal house of Celene?
    Melf was the PC of my son Luke. He had no such fol-de-rol in mind when he created and played that PC...

    I am a great fan of the "From the Sorceror's Scroll" articles from the pages of Dragon magazine in the early 1980's, which detailed the movements of armies and such across the Flanaess. They were obviously written with the mind of a miniatures gamer. I was just wondering if any of the battles described therein were ever played out by the local crew up there in LG?
    Sadly, no. As a sort of military historian, board and tabletop wargamer, I used my imagation only to create those accounts.

    Again, speaking of which, was the Battle of Emridy Meadows (which of course forms the backdrop to the venerable T1 "Village of Hommlet") ever actually played out? For that matter, where are the Emridy Meadows, anyway?
    See above.

    And following the stream-of-consciousness post which I seem to inadvertently be making, I would ask you to clarify the rather curious statement found in T1, to the effect that if harm came to Lareth the Beautiful, the Demonness Lolth would take it ill. Was she somehow involved in the rise of the Temple? It's resurgance? It seems to be something of a contradiction with the Gord novels, which posit a link between Zuggtmoy and Graz'zt (and, by connection, Eclavdra), who if anyone is, is not in Lolth's good graces.
    I was intimating that Lolth had taken a shine to Lareth, as he was beautiful, regrrdless of where his loyalties, if you will pardon the misapplication of the concept, lay. Lolth too can covet another's property...

    And, last one for this post; do you have any philosophical take on the difference between adventures whose goal is to prevent depredations of the innocent (a la G1-3), as opposed to those whose goal is to kill things and take their stuff (a la Castle Greyhawk, S1, S4, etc.). I realize the nature of tournament modules makes the former somewhat easier to plot, but in a campaign setting, do you have any insights on the nature of those two sorts of adventures?

    Again, my thanks for reading my ramblings.

    Thulcondar
    Of course. the former are for heroic play, the latter sort of adventures are for sheer entertainment...and for building up PCs so as to make them more effective in heroic deeds of derring-do.

    BTW, S1 was a test of ability, not a module to kill things

    Cheers,
    Gary
    Last edited by Col_Pladoh; Monday, 18th September, 2006 at 04:13 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thulcondar
    By curious happenstance, I just a couple of months ago obtained a copy of the article from the Great Plains Game Players Newsletter which chronicles the tale. Slightly before my RPGing time, but only slightly.
    I'd be happy to compare notes, if you have similar goodies in your GH hoard, Thulcondar

  • #204
    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    Did the hand-written portion, the note from the hill giant, appear in the GP2 version of the tale? (Blamed if I can recall, and Jim Lurvey isn't handy for me to querry him.) The reason I ask is that Grodog recently sent me a copy of that account, and I had to laugh again at the ploy I had the giant use to dupe his mark--then a young teenager, of course, so it was quite unfair of me
    It does indeed have the hand-written note. Jim Lurvey was kind enough to send me a .pdf of the article. Ah, innocent days of yore.

    And yes, Grodog, I would be happy to compare notes any time; I would consider it an honor. I'll send you my email via PM.

    Thul

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thulcondar
    It does indeed have the hand-written note. Jim Lurvey was kind enough to send me a .pdf of the article. Ah, innocent days of yore.

    ...

    Thul
    Well,

    Quoting Bugs Bunny, "Ain't I a stinker?"


    Gary

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    I'm trying out a paladin in the original Temple of Elemental Evil, and am having a good time with both the module and the concept of the lawful good man who rides into an area beset by evil to cleanse it. Especially since my paladin isn't stuck in the latest canon. We have four characters that all worship Pelor: a cleric, a monk, my paladin, and the thief who really only worships Pelor because he wants to hang out with our group and get a share of that treasure.

    My paladin is a worshipper of Pelor, and he's a rough-and-ready type. He doesn't wear polished armor since he likes to try to sneak up on the enemy, if able, and he carries a battle-axe instead of the typical sword. Although he doesn't practice it, he tolerates shadier dealings such as his companions enjoyment of ladies-of-the-night, since it isn't against the law to do so. Also, he recently allowed the thief to take control of a large pirate boat we just captured in Nulb in order to convert it into a future floating guildhouse. This came about because we were supposed to question the pirate captain about the entrance to the temple, but my character couldn't take any more of the man's boasting of his evil deeds and all hell broke loose...(along with the DM's script). He did make the rogue promise to focus his guild on trading and the infiltration of evil organizations, and not stealing from the good locals, however. Now to the big moral question...

    We used to make an effort to take those that surrendered to us and bring them to Hommlet for imprisonment and trial, but they would either be released due to corrupt guards, or people on the outside would slay the guards and free them. The good people were frightened of the more corrupt ones in their midst, making a trial impossible.

    After a few incidents, my paladin came up with a solution. He has a speech ready when he enters a room full of low-lifes or when humanoids surrender after a few rounds of combat. It goes like this: "Gentlemen, you have three choices. First, you may surrender yourselves to me and I will place you under arrest in our fortress (converted Moat House now made into a fortress/temple to Pelor). There you will receive food and a cell to rest in, but will have no trial until we have cleansed this land of evil. This may be a long time, but afterwards you will be tried by the good people of Hommlet. Your second option is to agree to repent your evil ways and convert to Pelor. You will still be kept in a cell, but we will see to your religious education and free you when we are confident that you have seen Pelor's light (by using Detect Evil and testing their knowledge of Pelor). Finally, I can judge you here and now. I warn you that my judgement is harsh, and it will most likely end with your execution. You will have your say, and if I deem you guilty, I will allow you an hour to pray to your god before giving you the axe. What do you choose?"

    So far I have had a lot of surrenders, one conversion, and one execution. The execution shocked the party. I put the river pirate captain on trial and his only verbal defense (after he asked for the trial) was to spit at me. So I had him locked in his cabin to pray for an hour, drug him out to the edge of his vessel, tied him down, and told him to say his last prayers to his sea god and asked if he had any last requests. He asked to be thrown into the sea he loved, and we had a short dialogue of mutual respect, before I gave him a moment to make his prayer, chopped his head off, and kicked both pieces of his body into the river.

    The rest of the players stared wide-eyed and thought it a very un-paladin thing to do. Given the state of law in the area and the danger of keeping the really evil characters in the cells, the paladin thought it was for the best. The 'Three Choices' are now a running gag I use whenever I have the right opportunity with this character.

  • #207
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    I quite like the three choices. I personally do not find execution beneath a paladin, especially when it is done in such a lawful manner in such a lawless area. I think you did a fine job of roleplaying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by airwalkrr
    I quite like the three choices. I personally do not find execution beneath a paladin, especially when it is done in such a lawful manner in such a lawless area. I think you did a fine job of roleplaying.
    Thanks! I was trying to play a paladin that was 'true' to the paladin code, but against the stereotype.

  • #209
    Howdy Gary,


    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    Tenser was conned by a hill giant, and I tried to dupe several PCs into get-rich-quick wagers. Sadly for me, the regulars were all too canny after being burned by my various ploys, so...

    I did, though, manage to con Robilar into entering a cave with a sleeping red dragon, the "helpful" thief that brought him to the place waiting outside until Robilar was well inside, then yelling "LOOK OUT!" at the top of his lungs. Unluckily for dragon and thief, Robilar offed both although he was near death at the conclusion of the fray.
    My favorite con you pulled as a DM has to be Herb's research for Robilar in an effort to reach, Mars was it? I'll let you relate that story.


    Futures Bright,

    Paul

  • #210
    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce Traveler
    Now to the big moral question...
    I actually think that the sneakiness and toleration of fornication is much more out-of-character for a paladin-type than what you have described about surrender/conversion/execution (which is probably less "harsh" than typical mediaeval justice). In fact, it would probably not be out of character for the paladin to execute characters even after they convert to Pelor to prevent backsliding.

    Btw, I believe the "lawful" in "lawful good" does not refer to laws as such, since laws can be unjust, but the elevation of the good of the group over that of the individual. IOW, a paladin might fight against laws permitting prostitution, etc., as being bad for society as a whole.

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