Q&A with Gary Gygax - Part I - Page 51





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  1. #501
    Father of the Game
    A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)

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    Originally posted by bones_mccoy
    Hi Gary,

    Thanks for continuing to answer all our questions. I have a query regarding the OAD&D book Oriental Adventures.

    In the 2E years David "Zeb" Cook always talked as though he wrote the whole thing by himself. Now I know this is not true but I was wondering what his contributions really were. What parts of the OA book did Zeb actually write?

    To me it seems almost the entire book has the Gygax feel. The only area that may have been Cook-authored IMO seems to be the Kara-Tur bit at the end, but even that feels edited by you. Also, I must say I really love the martial arts rules in this book. So much fun, variety and imagination has been concentrated into those few pages it is quite amazing. It is also quite excellent how the whole book captures the feel of the Orient while still remaining an exceedingly playable OAD&D milieu. I for one feel you did a magnificent job on this tome and would have liked to see much more from you set in the Orient had you remained in charge of OAD&D. Did you have plans for continued exploration into the East?
    Fact is, and as little fondness as I have for Mr. Cook, he speaks the truth when he claims primary authorship for theOA work. I conceived and oitlines the work, Francois supplied a thick sheaf of material, and Zeb carries the ball from there, as Francois was not as able in English as he is in French (in which language he has been a best-selling author for about a decade now). As I was busy trying to keep TSR from forced bankruptcy, Zeb had his head, and I could manage only developmental editing at the end of the project. Frankly, had there been time, I would have had considerable rewriting done, as much of the material from Francois that I found superior to Zeb's, was not used.

    Ain't you glad?


    Additionally, if you don't mind my asking, how were sales of the Oriental Adventures and Unearthed Arcana books? I assume they were both considered successful? And although you left the company by this time, do you have any idea how the two Survival Guides sold, and the Manual of the Planes?

    Although I have heard a lot of criticism of UA over the years, I have always enjoyed it immensely. You added some classic concepts to the game with the Cavalier and the Barbarian, and my group had a great deal of fun with them. Thanks again
    While some "traditionalists were boo-hooing about US, it sold very, very well, blowing off the shelves and providing the cash flow TSR needed to get it out of immediate trouble. TheOA book sols less,but did very well nonetheless. In combination, those two books were what saved TSR as had been pared down and cleaned out.

    I was not involved in the company when survival guides were released. From what I heard from inside sources, they were not very successful, although they did not loose money for TSR. Manyal of the planes was said to have done better that the two survival guides, but how much better I can't say.\

    Cheerio,
    Gary

 

  • #502
    mistah G,

    ever written any under a pseudonym?

    just curious,

    alsih2o

  • #503
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    A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)

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    Originally posted by alsih2o
    mistah G,

    ever written any under a pseudonym?

    just curious,

    alsih2o
    Heh, and yes. Once or twice. The principal one was "Ernst Grumbold." This was done mainly for a series of articles in the zine that supported the DJ game system. Also, I think I used "Garrison Ernst" for a (bad) novel I wrote way back in the 1970s.

    Cheers,
    Gary

  • #504
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    Re: Black ice and Blackmoor? Valley of Mage?

    Originally posted by Zaruthustran

    about a space ship that landed in a place called Blackmoor. There were "iron golems" that were really robots, and "wands of magic missile" that were really ray guns. I don't know the details because I only read the back cover; I bought it so someone else could DM it. Alas, that never happened.

    So to the question: Mr. Gygax, what's up with Blackmoor? And the black ice that the new Greyhawk gazeteer says covers that area? Is there really a space ship? Are the valley elves actually space refugees? Was the Rain of Colorless Fire an orbital bombardment?

    Inquiring minds want to know. [/B]
    Here's what I've heard about this:

    Blackmoor was Dave Arneson's original fanatsy campaign that predates D&D. I think some of the D&D rules grew out of stuff Arnesons used in his own private game. Blackmoor is a smallish kingdom. To the North is the Land of Black Ice. Arneson took Gary Gygax (playing Mordenkainen) and Rob Kuntz (playing Robilar) through an adventure to "The City of the Gods." More details about that can be found at this URL.
    http://www.tc.umn.edu/~monax002/Council/OJ6/city.html
    The City of the Gods was also detailed in the module "DA3 The City of the Gods." It was a crashed spaceship or something like that. Don't remember the details.
    Most fans of Greyhawk don't think the Blackmoor in Greyhawk isn't the same one as in Arneson's campaign.

    I've never heard of those theories for the Rain of Colorless Fire and Valley Elves. I doubt they are true.

  • #505
    Hello Gary!

    Any chance we will see any more adventures from you for 3e? Not campaign length megadeals but a classic Gygax dungeon? Necropolis looks cool, but after running The Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil it's just too much. I'm looking for smaller mods at the moment. More flexability IMO. Either way thanks for 17 years of gaming.
    18/100 STR

  • #506
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    Howdy Flexor,

    Originally posted by Flexor the Mighty!
    Hello Gary!

    Any chance we will see any more adventures from you for 3e? Not campaign length megadeals but a classic Gygax dungeon? Necropolis looks cool, but after running The Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil it's just too much. I'm looking for smaller mods at the moment. More flexability IMO. Either way thanks for 17 years of gaming.
    Well, seeing as how I find the 3E system's rules very constraining and combersome in regards to design and innovation, I doubt I'll be doing much in the way of such adventure material--at least directly. I have finished a super module, HALL OF MANY PANES, using the LA game system as a base, and Jon Creffield is developing it for the 3E system. This is a long, campaign-type work, but it is not a "killer dungeon" as some have classed NECROPOLIS as being. (I thought of it as a highly challengng adventure for able players with strong PCs, nit as an exercise to exterminate characters. but I suppose the rash and inept will not likely survive such a test...)

    Have you had a look at THE HERMIT? It is fairly lengthy. has some unusual aspects, and will likely keep a team of adventurers bust over at least a dozen play sessions of four-hour length.

    Frankly, it is hard work to write new adventure material that is interesting, challenging, and quite different from what I have previously done, so I undertake such projects with deliberate care, not to say reluctance :rolleyes:

    Cheers,
    Gary

  • #507
    Originally posted by Col_Pladoh
    Howdy Flexor,


    <snip>
    not a "killer dungeon" as some have classed NECROPOLIS as being. (I thought of it as a highly challengng adventure for able players with strong PCs, nit as an exercise to exterminate characters. but I suppose the rash and inept will not likely survive such a test...)

    Cheers,
    Gary
    It is my duty as a DM to punish player stupidity. With death if necessary! And sometimes a group of PC's will come across something that is far beyond their ability to defeat. If they chose to try and battle it and the entire party is slaughtered so be it.
    18/100 STR

  • #508
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    Flexor,

    That's pretty well the way I run my campaigns. It is expected that players will use discernment and sound judgement when it comes to something that is out of the ordinary and seems particularly difficult, threatening, and potentially fatal,--because it most probably is

    Cheers,
    Gary

  • #509
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    In Castle Greyhawk, what is the living room?

  • #510
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    Originally posted by Col_Pladoh


    Some game shops stock the Hekaforge product line, but not many, I fear. It has a relatively small audience demand compared to D20. As the line is carried by a number of distributors, Alliance amongst them, most ships should be able to order whatever LA game product you desire. If for some reason they are not willing to do do, a number of online suppliers carry the line, notably RPGme. You can hook up to them easily from www.lejendary.com

    Cheers,
    Gary
    Thanks. Did you say there is a mailing list you post your group's sessions to?

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