Ended Q&A with Gary Gygax - Page 158


What's on your mind?

  1. #1571
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    Quote Originally Posted by LordVyreth
    Oh, one more quick question. Is talking about your campaign to Gary for the purpose of advice and opinions considered pandering to a degree that blows chatting about your character to random vendors at a Con out of the water, or not?

    Vyreth
    Short answer: YUPPERS!

    After about 25 years, the subject becomes a tad shipworn and trite, shall we say...

    Cheers,
    Gary
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  • #1572
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    Quote Originally Posted by S'mon
    I was going to ask Gary about this - Alignment, I already asked him about the prostitute table.

    I was looking at a 1981 copy of Basic D&D yesterday, thinking about how there were just 3 alignments - Lawful, Neutral and Chaotic. Very Moorcockian (which I like). Most literary fantasy worlds either don't have defined alignments - eg most sword & sorcery settings (Leiber, REH et al) or for high fantasy they have a clear good-evil split (Tolkien & his imitators). The 9-alignment system of D&D seems unique, and has a huge impact on the game with eg the Outer Planes' Great Wheel. Gary, I was wondering why you decided to create the 9-alignment matrix? How did it function in your own play - from the Gord books it seemed like 'Good' forces often came across as sanctimonius hypocrites, with Neutrality preferred. Yet 'good' by definition would seem to be the 'best' alignment. Did you define 'good' as something like 'current American moral values', or was it defined by the moral values of the setting, which for Greyhawk seem close to medieval Catholic Europe?
    Hopefully, the descriptions of the various alignments speak for themselves in terms of game ethoi.

    I devised the nine alignments in order to provide what I envisioned as the total spectrum of human and other-than human mores so as to offer players complete range of role-playing for their PCs, to guide DMs in their play of NPCs including the nether sorts--demons to devils.

    Good and evil have a lot of cultural and social relativivity, so I did my best to focus on features that are generally constant in moral and immoral cultures, leaving the grey areas open for the DMs' interpretation.

    I believe you are confusion Law with good, however. A Lawful good places LAw foremost, and Law is force.

    Anyway, the perspective I wrote from is basically that of the Judeo-Christian--my own background. I included all the other views i could based on my studies and readings of other major religions and social anthropology works. (Can you believe that one twit of a female book editor from a large NYC publishing firm once asked me in all seriousness why I wrote from the male perspective?)

    Finally, medieval Catholic Europe wasn't all that far off from the Bible in its professed morals and ethics.

    Cheers,
    Gary
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  • #1573
    Nah! It's a question I get asked a lot. Mordenkainen was my second PC, and I started playing him early in 1974 wanting a magic-iser to balance my fighter, Yrag. I still play Mordie now and again in very high-level scenarios where a mage of over 20th level doesn't over-power the opposition.
    Okay, how about just his level? That couldn't hurt :rolleyes:

    Hey, if you are ever in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area send me an e-mail (CERocco@aol.com) and I will let you game with us as a player. I know what it is like to always be the DM it sucks not being able to be a player because others are not good at crafting a story or don't have the desire to do so. This is an open invintation, any time, just let me know (just try and give me a little for warning so I can prepare something really good). My players would drop everything to be able to play with you, it would be fun.
    "Hey, you there, fetch me that gem encrusted skull from amongst that pile of bone and ash." - Robillard to his Half-Ogre henchmen.
    "Duh, OK." - Last words from Grogg, son of Grogg, as he reached for the Demi-lich's skull. - The Tomb of Horrors

  • #1574
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    Thanks for the invite, DM_Rocco. If we plan to get up in the Twin cities area I'll email you. It is indeed a chore to always be the GM.

    As for Mordie's level, he's 20-something, and that's all I'll say.

    One last comment. the quote is good, but you have Robilar's name musspelled therein

    Cheers,
    Gary
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  • #1575
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    Quote Originally Posted by DM_Rocco
    Three, okay, the lame question, is Mordenkainen your character that you play or just a high level mage you use as an NPC? Do you have any stats for him or the rest of the circle of eight for 3.0? Do you maybe know where I can find them? Told you it was lame.
    Hey Rocco. Nobody knows more than me how tight-lipped Gary can be regarding his PCs, but through many correspondences I have managed to wriggle out a bit of info on the nine characters that compromise the original Co8, and Gary has given me permission to share the material he has shared with me. Here's a link to where I currently keep the info posted online:
    http://empiregames.proboards12.com/i...num=1045285718

    Scott
    Last edited by ScottGLXIX; Saturday, 27th September, 2003 at 06:33 PM.

  • #1576
    One last comment. the quote is good, but you have Robilar's name musspelled therein
    Dear Gary,
    LOL, Robillard (a rouge with a few fighter levels) is one of my character's from the old school (whom I named after a local plumbing company in the Twin Cities area, sounded like a good name in spite of the profession for which it came, shh, don't tell my players he is named after people who deal with raw sewage ).

    It wasn't until the Epic level handbook can out that I learned of Robilar (Minus one L and the D) and that he was a fighter of great power, I picked up a used copy of Return to the Tomb of Horrors a few weeks later, I think that also mentions Robilar in the forward written by you.

    My own Robillard ran through the Tomb of Horrors with 32 henchmen and four other party members. By the time we got to the Demi-Lich at the end, we were down to 7 henchmen (14 died, 11 failed their morale checks and fled when the body count started, in spite of my high charisma) and 3 other party members. We pulled the scoop and run technique when souls started to disappear (once the Paladin bit the dust, no pun intended, we knew we were in trouble).

    Not to demean your Robilar, but I had this one, Robillard, since back when you wrote your first Greyhawk book staring Gord the Rouge, a huge inspiration for my character. I'm sure that Robilar has been around for longer, but until recently, when I started to do research to take my character's through the Vecna Lives module, I have not heard of Robilar. Kind of funny I think that we have two different characters with simular names.

    I did swipe a character name from Greyhawk, Kronn, my 16th level barbarian under the old unearth arcana rules, which was not very fair for XP, was named after the Kron Hills, sorry, but I love him and won't change the name

    Hey, when you do come to town, tell me a head of time and I will prepare something worthy of Mordenkainen to use his power in, and I promise I won't reveal his power to others, otherwise a nice simple high level 15-20 level adventure to get the blood pumping (my current party is level 15). Of course I am running a henchmen campaign right now too. That is to say, the henchmen of the higher level players, who are 4th level now, go on quests too for their masters. I thought this was a fun thing to do rather than just say, "Hey, your henchman just gained a level," I make the players earn it for their henchmen. It is more fun that way, it keeps the game fresh and you would be welcome anytime to play in any one you like.

    Also, there is a D&D game variant called Grim and Gritty. The rules are a bit more extreme and combat much more deadlier as you only get HP equal to your CON Plus up to one HP a level and instead of AC you roll a defense roll against there attack roll and armor doesn't give AC bonus but rather damagae reduction equal to the AC bonus for the armor, so a chain shirt would give 4 damage reduction to all wounds. Other than that, everything is the same, including the damage from weapons and magic (although in this style of play magic is low to none existent, much to my sadness since I enjoy play mages, otherwise a fireball could kill everyone because of the low HP of most of the characters). I don't run that one, it is the only one I get a chance to play in now, but I am sure they would not mind if you would like to throw your hat into the arena. Just let me know, anytime.

    Scott, thanks for the info, I am trying to track down copies of the Living Grewhawk issue #0 because I hear they have 3.0 stats for the circle of eight. I am expanding the beginning of the Vecna lives module, in which the players get to play the circle of eight mages, so the players can use the high level mages for a bit of fun before they die to Vecna and would like to get better stats then are listed in the current 2nd edition module. Your background information is helpful though, thanks for the help, and if you happen to know where I can score a copy of the Living Greyhawk issues, please cough up the info.

    "Hey, you there, fetch me that gem encrusted skull from amongst that pile of bone and ash." - Robillard to his Half-Ogre henchmen.
    "Duh, OK." - Last words from Grogg, son of Grogg, as he reached for the Demi-lich's skull. - The Tomb of Horrors

  • #1577
    Oh, of course we could always start out fresh with new 1st levels too. I would want to make your gaming experience as a player as fun as possible since you don't get to always do it, so I would leave it up to you. Hope to hear from you soon.
    DM_Rocco
    "Hey, you there, fetch me that gem encrusted skull from amongst that pile of bone and ash." - Robillard to his Half-Ogre henchmen.
    "Duh, OK." - Last words from Grogg, son of Grogg, as he reached for the Demi-lich's skull. - The Tomb of Horrors

  • #1578
    Scott,
    That is a good sight you have there. I didn't know a lot of that background info, good to here. I get the feeling you are in Lake Geneva too, if so, and you would like to sit in, you are also welcome to join in the fun if you ever get to the cities. If I knew how much detail and history was involved in Greyhawk I would have read more about it sooner.

    No offense Gary, but I was always a Forgotten Realms fan, manly because before that we always played our own worlds.

    Anyway, good to hear from both of you.
    DM_Rocco
    "Hey, you there, fetch me that gem encrusted skull from amongst that pile of bone and ash." - Robillard to his Half-Ogre henchmen.
    "Duh, OK." - Last words from Grogg, son of Grogg, as he reached for the Demi-lich's skull. - The Tomb of Horrors

  • #1579
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    That calls to mind my early days of wargaming. My ex-wife was convinced that I was carrying on an affair when I would be away all night. After much disputation, I agreed to have the games played at our place despite the childrens' presence (noisy) and her wanting to talk.

    So about eight o'clock my opponent showed up and we begin playing. At around 11 PM my ex-wife said loudly, "Do you know that neither one of you has said a word in over an hour?!" Grunted responses were all that was forthcoming, so she went off to bed, and we finished the game around 7 AM that morning. We all had breakfast together, then my opponent went home to get some sleep. The ex- never did like games, gamers...or me in actuality.
    HA !!!
    I know the feeling Gary.
    Ya'Know the old ex-wives just seem to not get the fine nuances of the game do they. Well as the old saying goes,................ exes come and go but D&D moves ever forward....... hehehe (I have 2 my self and each one hated my gaming)

    (Funny Story)
    One time I was on the telephone with one of my gaming buddies where we were talking about some PC's he wanted to use, one was named ariana and another Freya,... well ex wife #2 heard me talking about these PC's and thought I was setting up a date with my buddy for us. BOY OH BOY.... well to make it short when we divorced she told the judge about Ariana and Freya my 2 girlfriends..... HAHAHA Ya should have seen me trying to explain who they really were to a judge............ precious moment I tell ya,......... The judge actually beleived me.

    But alas,...... Ariana died killed by a Assassin, and Freya still jousts with me and avoids many a trap I have set for her...........

    But as it has been said on my boards, and in many many forms, I am impressed with someone like yourself to take time out of there busy schedule to post repsonses to the wee masses such as myself and others. Most authors, / game designers, etc,..etc,.. dont do that. And it shows the true character that bleeds through your games and makes them so enjoyable.

  • #1580
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    My communities:

    Col_Pladoh,

    Why all the secrecy about Mordenkainen's stats? This character has been written up previously in the old Rogue's Gallery, in Mordenkainen's Fantastic Adventure, and in the recent Epic Level Handbook. (I have them all, and there is only very little difference between the writeups, so they must be at least close to accurate.)

    I can understand not wanting to retype the character's stats everytime someone asks, or just not knowing the stats off the top of your head, but you have said several times that I've read, that you are adamant about not giving out the stats of your PCs -- especially one that you currently play.

    Why is this? It just seems overly protective of something that doesn't need protection. I mean, what do you fear someone is going to do with the stats if you announce them (beyond what has already been published)?

    Quasqueton
    Last edited by Quasqueton; Sunday, 28th September, 2003 at 04:17 PM.

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