Q&A with Gary Gygax - Page 142
  1. #1411
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    Originally posted by AmerginLiath
    As a guy who got exposed to my older brother's 1st edition AD&D books as a youth and has been a crazy D&D fanatic ever since, its great to see you here, O' Creator!

    I apologize if I'm asking a question from an earlier thread, but (since you made some mention of your reactions to FORGOTTEN REALMS' release) what were your thoughts on the release of my perrenial favorite, DRAGONLANCE? Especially regarding the changes to the races and such in the new setting when it came out?

    Also, what's your thoughts on the current crop of 3rd edition books sporting old-school titles? First MONSTER MANUAL (and MONSTER MANUAL 2!), then MANUAL OF THE PLANES, ORIENTAL ADVENTURES, FIEND FOLIO and the others. I'm eagerly awaiting the eventual WILDERNESS SURVIVAL GUIDE and DUNGEONEER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE!

    (BTW, to this day, I still crack open the old UNEARTHED ARCANA and, my personal favorite, the original ORIENTAL ADVENTURES from time to time to read, and love to spring what original modules my brother had on my unsuspecting players, most of whom started with 2nd edition...
    Thanks for your comments and questions

    As I was playing and creating solely on the basis of the rules and the World og Greyhawk campaign setting, my view of all other settings was strictly from a business perspective. I was pleased that the DL material sold so well, disliked the changes and the lack or true role-playing presented in the forced-conclusion modules.

    As for the remakes and re-use of old materials and titles, it is a matter that gives me considerable satisfaction, of course

    Three cheers for the Red, White & Blue,
    Gary
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  2. #1412
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    Originally posted by MerricB
    G'day Gary!

    How popular was the haste spell in your games?

    It has been recently pointed out to me that, by the OAD&D rules, a recipient of it not only ages 1 year, but also must make a System Shock roll or die due to this aging.

    Ouch!

    Did you play it in such a manner? Or did the PCs quickly discover other less-risky spells?

    Cheers!
    Hoi Merric!

    Too popular until "fixed." The Haste spell, along with Speed potion consumption, was the subject of considerable abuse in not only my camopaign but in many others. Thus the strictures added to the spell.

    Most persons getting hasted were fighters with good constitution scores, so the system shock was not all that tough a challenge. Elf and dwarf fighters didn't care about the aging effect either. so the added demands didn't do more than cut the abuse by around 90%

    Cheers,
    Gary
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  3. #1413
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    Originally posted by Geoffrey
    Gary, good ol' Merric here recently told me that in your AD&D campaign, you didn't always require player characters to train in order to gain a level (as required by the DMG). How often did you allow PCs to go up a level simply because they earned enough XPs to do so? In what circumstances did you require 1-4 weeks of training in addition to the XPs?

    --Geof, who is impatiently awaiting the HALL OF MANY PANES module.
    Independence Day Greetings, Geoffrey!

    When the PCS gained their XPs mainly through adventuring, active combat, spell-use, thieving, exploration and the like I didn't usually require any extensive training, often allowing them to assume they trained "on the job," so as to goin a level immediately.

    Only when an adventure brought a great windfall of XPs so as to make a sudden jump in level possible did I demand that the PCs stop adventuring and find mentors to train them. That happened about once every three or four level gains even with my best players.

    Above a certain level, say 15th or so, who is around to train such PCs. In that case an enforced period of self-study was directed for the PCs in question.

    Cheers,
    Gary
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  4. #1414
    Wow, this is great!! First I want to thank you, Mr. Gygax, for taking the time to answer our questions; not many people who build a fan base actually take the time to talk with them one-on-one on a regular basis!!

    I have some questions about AD&D and was hoping you would answer a few of them (I have many questions, but for the sake of time and space I am only posting a few right now). These are all of those nit-picky questions about the rules that perfectionists like myself just have to ask.

    1. In your opinion, should human fighters be able to change into the cavalier class or vice a versa? What about their respective subclasses?

    2. The Monster Manual seems to indicate that dwarves, gnomes, and halflings have a lower base movement rate than their human counterparts (even after armor considerations) but the PHB and DMG say nothing of this. Was this the original intent?

    3. Page 101-102 of the PHB states the effects of encumbrance, but leaves the description rather vague. I believe this was done intentionally to allow the DM to allocate such situations as he or she saw fit, but I was wondering if you have any examples of how the effects of encumbrance besides reduced movement and slowing (if any) should be handled?

    4. I have noticed in the PHB that composite long bows have a shorter range (for short or medium range, but the same long range) and worse armor class to hit adjustments than regular long bows (in reality composite bows are MUCH better than regular bows). In fact the only benefit that I can see to using a composite long bow over a regular long bow is that the composite variety weighs 80 g.p. instead of 100 g.p. Is there a reason the composite long bows seem to be inferior?

    5. How do you handle the attack/saving throw rolls for dual-classed humans? I know the Oriental Adventures book said that a dual-classed human always uses the best table, but the earlier books do not mention anything about this; I am coming to realize that some of the later AD&D books deviated from your original intent for the game on some issues. On a related note, when a dual-classed or multi-classed fighter/thief attempts a backstab, do you roll on the thief attack matrix or the fighters? Is the character restricted to using only weapons allowed to thieves when backstabbing?

  5. #1415
    With the "winging it' style of DMing you were fond of, how set were the encounters in the Greyhawk dungeons? Would you adjust an encounter's strength based on the party's strength? When Robilar was creeping around by himself, would the encounters he faced be the same that a party of six or moe would face?
    Scott

  6. #1416
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    Originally posted by Col_Pladoh


    Happy 4th of July!

    From my perspective--and I have pretty poor eyesight--the current CGI SFX material is so good I have to remind myself it isn't real. that;s quite the opposite of my viewing of the old stop-motion stuff CGi has for the first time made it possible to do believable fantasy films and like productions from Jurassic Park and the "Harry Potter" movies to the LotR ones.

    Cheers,
    Gary
    I guess what I'm getting at is that photorealism doesn't always ensure that something will look "right" or "good" to an audience. The stop-motion stuff has a certain look or "feel" to it that evokes its own ambience. It lends a surreal quality that some people like because it creates an atmosphere of a different world. Again, The Nightmare Before Christmas is a good example, but so is Harryhausen's work on the first Sinbad movie, especially the skeletons. I guess it's along the lines of how some people love, say, Impressionist art as opposed to more realistic styles.

    All that said, I totally agree with you about the increasingly realistic nature of CGI. For the first time in film history, the SFX have begun to catch up with the fantasy and comic genres. SciFi, Fantasy, and the Comic Book genres benefit the most from this, because now the suspension of disbelief is much easier.

    On a related note, wouldn't it be cool if someone could produce a Conan film which looked, essentially, like all of Frazetta's paintings given animation? The same depth, the same detail, but actually moving? It wouldn't look realistic, exactly, but it would look fantastic. I think CGI would be the way to do it, which would help illustrate the technology could be used to do even more astounding things than even making the impossible look real.

    Now, I just need a studio to run...

  7. #1417
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    Originally posted by Cias the Noble
    Wow, this is great!! First I want to thank you, Mr. Gygax, for taking the time to answer our questions; not many people who build a fan base actually take the time to talk with them one-on-one on a regular basis!!

    I have some questions about AD&D and was hoping you would answer a few of them (I have many questions, but for the sake of time and space I am only posting a few right now). These are all of those nit-picky questions about the rules that perfectionists like myself just have to ask.
    Thanks, and okay, although I am not much for rules lawyering

    1. In your opinion, should human fighters be able to change into the cavalier class or vice a versa? What about their respective subclasses?
    A human fighter of cavalier should be able to switch to the other class. Not sub-classes in either regard. A cavalier is a knightly sort of figure, so a fighter might become one and vice versa.

    2. The Monster Manual seems to indicate that dwarves, gnomes, and halflings have a lower base movement rate than their human counterparts (even after armor considerations) but the PHB and DMG say nothing of this. Was this the original intent?
    Base movement rate for demi-humans is that shown for the race in the MM, and it was always used for such PCs in all the game material I did--my own campaign and in modules printed.

    3. Page 101-102 of the PHB states the effects of encumbrance, but leaves the description rather vague. I believe this was done intentionally to allow the DM to allocate such situations as he or she saw fit, but I was wondering if you have any examples of how the effects of encumbrance besides reduced movement and slowing (if any) should be handled?
    That sort of adjustment was left strictly to the DM managing the play. there are far too many variables to allow any easy rule of thumb, so the approach you noted was given. A PC carrying more than about 25% of his body weight, as adjusted by Strength, should be penalized in movement and reaction. Bulky materials that are light weight also have the same effect.

    That's about all I care to offer in this regard, but I had many a PC moving along at half movement rate in my games...until they decided to be more practical. One player with a dwarf character was shamed when I described him as a mound of equipment with little feel poking out of the stack, and a helmet capping the pile. Much of the extraneous material was then dumped by that PC.

    4. I have noticed in the PHB that composite long bows have a shorter range (for short or medium range, but the same long range) and worse armor class to hit adjustments than regular long bows (in reality composite bows are MUCH better than regular bows). In fact the only benefit that I can see to using a composite long bow over a regular long bow is that the composite variety weighs 80 g.p. instead of 100 g.p. Is there a reason the composite long bows seem to be inferior?
    Composite bows of laminate horn, sinue, etc. are assumed to have a high velocity over a shorter range, thus the shorter initial ranges. They employ lighter arrows than do long self bows. From my reading they were inferior to the long self bow, just as the stats indicate. This is a judgement call, of course

    5. How do you handle the attack/saving throw rolls for dual-classed humans? I know the Oriental Adventures book said that a dual-classed human always uses the best table, but the earlier books do not mention anything about this; I am coming to realize that some of the later AD&D books deviated from your original intent for the game on some issues. On a related note, when a dual-classed or multi-classed fighter/thief attempts a backstab, do you roll on the thief attack matrix or the fighters? Is the character restricted to using only weapons allowed to thieves when backstabbing?
    I always allowed the most favorable saving throw number for dual/multu-classed PCs, just as is indicated in the OA book.

    When a PC is acting in a way specific to one of his classes, the backstab you note being specific to the thief class, then the attack would be as a thief backstabbing. the multi-classed fighter-thief can use all the weapos of both classes, but class specific actions performed might well be hindered or impossible if such weapons (or armor) normally excluded are there to interfere with them. For example, a dagger or short sword is about all that can be used when backstabbing, nit a long sword, as one needs to be up close and aim. attack unnoticed.

    Cheers,
    Gary
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  8. #1418
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    Originally posted by ScottGLXIX
    With the "winging it' style of DMing you were fond of, how set were the encounters in the Greyhawk dungeons? Would you adjust an encounter's strength based on the party's strength? When Robilar was creeping around by himself, would the encounters he faced be the same that a party of six or moe would face?
    Scott
    You have it, amigo

    Encounters named only something like "9-16 gnolls," in an area. If it was a big party of PCs entering I'd make that 16 gnolls and have some sort of leader or leaders with them. If only a few characters of low level were exploring and entered the place they might encounter only 9 of those critters.

    Robilar sallied forth alone only after he was at 9th level or above. By then he had +3 armor and shield, a +3 sword, and amongst his magical equippage a girdle of storm giant strength. So in tha above example the gnolls would likely be the guards of an Evil Pigh Priest.

    As a matter of fact, Robilar did run into such a group, and the gnoll guards flanking the EHP managed to score a 20 and hit him virtually every round of combat. He finally managed to defeat the foe, but Robilar was about one solid hit from death when he wiped out the last of his adversaries.

    Cheers,
    Gary
    Last edited by Col_Pladoh; Sunday, 6th July, 2003 at 03:30 PM.
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  9. #1419
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    Greetings ColonelHardisson

    Well, no question that I am one of those who loved Impressionism in art, even some of the Post-Impressionist work. When it comes to the cinems, though, most SFX are not seen in "art" films, but rather in action-adventure ones, and the CGI does, as you note, facilitate the suspension of disbelief. I fond that particularly true in regards the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park...aside from the totally incredible abilities allowed to the velociraptors. Nature isn't so profligate in its advantages as was suggested in that picture--high intelligence, communication, pack hunting, prehensile forelimbs, planmning, and steel-cutting teeth.

    I agree about a Conan film as you suggest. Arnie could never play that role as REH described Conan, of course

    cheers,
    Gary
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  10. #1420
    Here's one that's been bothering me for a long time. In your original conception of the Temple of Elemental Evil, was Zuggtmoy the big baddie, or did you come up with her as a replacement for Lolth after Q1 was released and you were forced to rethink her involvement?
    Ciao,
    Scott

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