Gary Gygax Q&A: Part XII - Page 54




What's on your mind?

  1. #531
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    Storm Raven,

    As it happens I was not only a director and officer of TSR back through 1985, but I also received royalty reports for AD&D sales, so there is no problem in me varifying them. Also, I have no reason to doubt what i have been told regarding sales of 3E--and 3.5E for that matter. Indeed distribution has changed since I was CEO of TSR. It is far worse today, and RPG sales are way down. There is great concern amongst many game publishers in this tegard. That said, I do not believe any further discussion of this matter will be fruitful, so I am dropping the topic.

    As for familiarity, I had the distinct chore of spending many sessions playing a 3E based module. The time wasted in looking up rules, typically by players, and then arguing with the two DMs about how to apply them, demanding thaey be applied, was tedious indeed. This happens in many groups I am informed. I never saw nor heard of an OAD&D DM that would tolerate such behavior.

    Now let us drop this subject and move on to something interesting.

    Cheers,
    Gary

 

  • #532
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    Quote Originally Posted by robertsconley
    Did Bob Bledsaw and Judges Guild have any influence on development of 1st Edition AD&D?

    Just curious

    Thanks
    Rob Conley


    Surely you jest!


    Gary

  • #533
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ardenian
    SR,
    ... - although there seems to be a increase in comments like "Gimme a sec i need to look something up..." than there was 20 years ago.
    LOL!

    I am guilty of that when mastering my own, rules-light Lejendary Adventure game. In my case it is mainly to keep from looking bad in front of my player group, When the action is fast and furious, or the role-playing innovative, I forget the books and wing it.

    Cheers,
    Gary

  • #534
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ardenian
    SR,
    i would offer that there are more rules now - and each Splat book released offer more rules to interlock with existing rules
    Most splat books have very little in the way of "rules". They mostly have prestige classes, new base classes, new spells, and new feats. Sometimes they have new races and new equipment. A very limited amount of the splat books is really what I would consider "new rules" (like the skill tricks in Scoundrel, for example). Of course, the 1e supplemental books were similar - Unearthed Arcana was basically a bunch of spells, equipment, and classes, with a few new rules here and there.

    And, more to the point, all of the splat books are explicitly optional. If you don't want to bother with them, you don't have to. That is entirely within the DMs purview (something the Col has said is lacking now, but the actual books contradict).

    - even if the core rule books have no mention of them... like in all RPG's there are rules that the "house" will modify, expound apon and eliminate - it's like that in every game setting - although in the 3.x rule set - you have a vast increase in ruels in comparison to the 1.0 rule set.
    Not even close. I think you are looking backwards with rose colored glasses here, and remembering what 1e looked like when you edited out the patchwork quilt of hundreds of rules that were little used in practice. Try looking at 1e with fresh eyes and really look at the rules. Look at how dense the rule set really is. It is not simple, and almost no one played them as written, taking shortcuts and leaving out huge chunks of rules to allow for playability.

    i'm currently playing the 3.5 rule set and having a good time - although there seems to be a increase in comments like "Gimme a sec i need to look something up..." than there was 20 years ago.
    I find that the rules now need far less lookup than the 1e rules did, primarily because the new rules are so regularized. Sure, there is a learning curve, and the first month or two with 3e we were really slow and had to consult the rules, but then again, we had to spend a lot of time climbing the learning curve when we started with 1e too - more time in my recollection.
    Last edited by Storm Raven; Wednesday, 21st February, 2007 at 09:12 PM.
    I don't know if I would consider being smashed into a pulp by a giant mace to be a "good result".

  • #535
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    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    As it happens I was not only a director and officer of TSR back through 1985, but I also received royalty reports for AD&D sales, so there is no problem in me varifying them.
    I have no doubt but that your figures are correct. That's not my concern in this.

    Also, I have no reason to doubt what i have been told regarding sales of 3E--and 3.5E for that matter. Indeed distribution has changed since I was CEO of TSR. It is far worse today, and RPG sales are way down. There is great concern amongst many game publishers in this tegard. That said, I do not believe any further discussion of this matter will be fruitful, so I am dropping the topic.
    This I think is in question. Many figures have been bandied about at various times, many times citing "industry insiders" and "knowledgeable sources", and almost all of them are mutually contradictory. I don't think that there is really any chance of getting a good handle on the "RPG market" overall, and we really don't know anything about the distribution of 3.5e. of course, there is also the additional problem of whether you include third party publishers in your "current edition" count - since several of them are counted (in various measures) among the largest publishers in the industry.

    I also think that it isn't really a valid comparison to simply mark off sales for one edition against another. I think it is ridiculously simplistic (and not worthy of you) to assert that the difference is the result of differing amounts of "DM power", especially since the 3e rules make clear that the DM has just as much authority as the 1e rules ever endowed him with. The current RPG market has to compete with options that the market in 1975 simply did not. CRPGs had not even been invented - not until the mid-1980s did they become any kind of competition, and that was trivial - one or two titles per year. Online RPG options weren't even on the horizon. The RPG market itself had almost no competition for D&D - Tunnels and Trolls and Traveller were pretty much it for a while; and although legions of imitators popped up quickly, most of them were shoddy efforts (Dragonquest, for example). There were almost no VCRs, and certainly no DVDs clamoring for a gamer-geek's budget. And so on.

    As for familiarity, I had the distinct chore of spending many sessions playing a 3E based module. The time wasted in looking up rules, typically by players, and then arguing with the two DMs about how to apply them, demanding thaey be applied, was tedious indeed. This happens in many groups I am informed. I never saw nor heard of an OAD&D DM that would tolerate such behavior.
    I have seen and heard of dozens of OAD&D DMs who not only put up with that behaviour, but expected it. And, to tell you the truth, I have seen almost no rules disputes in 3e, certainly far fewer that I had when playing 1e or (rarely) 2e. I'd say one adventure is a pretty weak foundation to base an argument on - after the first OAD&D adventure the group I started with still thought that "spells per level" for magic-users and clerics meant that was the number of spells they could cast until they reached the next experience level, and that fireballs were thirty inches across, and a host of other misconceptions and mistakes in the rules. Many misconceptions resulted in disagreements, and contentious arguments. As I said before, there is a learning curve for 3e. There was also a learning curve for 1e, but you, having developed the system as it grew, never saw it.
    Last edited by Storm Raven; Wednesday, 21st February, 2007 at 09:48 PM.
    I don't know if I would consider being smashed into a pulp by a giant mace to be a "good result".

  • #536
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    Quote Originally Posted by haakon1
    To the PC's, he's just some foreign dude (native language: Cold Tongue) in chainmail who hangs around in a big hospital ward with a fancy multi-colored lamp, healing the war wounded. I'm sure NOBODY here can guess what lamp that is.
    Well I didn't see an S listed in the modules but I would guess you got if from a Lost Cavern somewhere...

  • #537
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    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh


    Surely you jest!


    Gary
    Ok you got me , it was a obvious question.

    I just curious if you had any stories about it. I read accounts about those days from Bob, Bill Owen, etc and I was just curious in what details you could supply.

    Thanks
    Rob Conley

  • #538
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    Gary,

    I was thinking of running a West meet East campaign, something akin to my Portuguese ancestors exploring the orient in the XV-XVI centuries. As such, I just ordered a replacement copy of Oriental Adventures. I know that you were more a supervisor than a designer to that project. Still, I wonder if I will get in trouble mixing characters from both books and if it would hurt much to take out the Oriental Adventures' Non Weapon Proficiencies system?

    Best wishes,
    Ron

  • #539
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    Quote Originally Posted by Storm Raven
    I think you are looking backwards with rose colored glasses here, and remembering what 1e looked like when you edited out the patchwork quilt of hundreds of rules that were little used in practice. Try looking at 1e with fresh eyes and really look at the rules. Look at how dense the rule set really is. It is not simple, and almost no one played them as written, taking shortcuts and leaving out huge chunks of rules to allow for playability.
    Just to throw my support behind Storm Raven, I agree 100% with this comment. I recently went through some old 1E books in detail, reading passages I had never read when I actually played the game, and realized how many of the rules we simply ignored when we played.

    Take note: I am not arguing 3E is superior to earlier editions, I simply take issue with assertions that the reverse is true. Colour me unsuprised, however, that the creator of 1E considers it to be superior to 3E. If I had created the game, I'm sure I'd feel that way too, though the arguments to support this assertion provided by the Col are the same ones advanced (and discredited) in many other threads.

    It is perfectly fair to prefer one edition over another, as long as you realize it is a matter of taste. Advancing arguments to "support" your personal tastes is folly. Witness the "GM power" argument, which is simply, demonstrably false.

  • #540
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    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    Only WotC can estimate the actual number based on sales of the work, Imperical evidence is useless, as not 5% of the new D&D game audience posts here or on any other website

    My statements are based on the the rule books published, the contents of same, ans what I have heard imperically

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    (You need to imagine a fake spanish accent to get the right feel.)

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