Ended Q&A with Gary Gygax - Page 173


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  1. #1721
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    Howdy Jokamachi,

    Quote Originally Posted by jokamachi
    Hey Gary,

    I seem to remember reading that you enjoyed wargaming in the early days before D&D, so I'm curious as to what kind of experience you have with miniatures. How much effort did you and your friends put into miniatures at that time? Did you paint them with great detail or were they simply tokens for you to manipulate?
    I played military miniatures for many years--ancients, medieval, ECW, Napoleonics, ACW, Victorian, and WW II to 1956. I personally had 40 mm pre-painted medieval figurines, a small contingent of Turkish 20 mm troops, Brunswick Napoleonic figurines that I painted, and a large number of US WW II men and AFVs, the latter including many conversions I did.

    In addition I planned and refereed many games in various periods. Our WW Ii games would sometime last the whole weekend--about 20 hours of playing time.

    Finally, i had a sand table that we would spend hours preparing for a game, so that the terrain and buildings, if any, looked great.

    The spectacle added considerably to the enjoyment of the actual reason for playing--the exercise of strategic and tactical ability.

    Has that attitude changed? What about now? Do you still enjoy incorporating minis into your campaigns? Is it much harder since monsters have grown so fantastic in scope? How much attention/detail do these minis receive from you?

    Lastly, I'm curious if you've seen the new minis line from Wizards. It has displayed a fair degree of success and seems to be pulling in thousands upon thousands of new minis fans by the week. Do you think that's good for the game (D&D)?

    Sincerely, Jokamachi
    I don't usually employ miniatures in my RPG play. We ceased that when we moved from CHAINMAIL Fantasy to D&D.

    I have nothing against the use of miniatures, but they are generally impractical for long and free-wheeling campaign play where the scene and opponents can vary wildly in the course of but an hour.

    The GW folks use them a lot, but they are fighting set-piece battles as is usual with miniatures gaming.

    I don't believe that fantasy miniatures are good or bad for FRPGs in general. If the GM sets up gaming sessions based on their use, the resulting play is great from my standpoint. It is mainly a matter of having the painted figures and a big tabletop to play on

    Cheers,
    Gary
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  • #1722
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    Oops!

    I forgot to mention that I spent a lot of time painting and converting fantasy figures for the CHAINMAIL Fantasy game.

    We also used to play Napoleonic and WW II naval miniatures a fair amount.

    Gary
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  • #1723
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    G'day Gary!

    WotC are bringing out a new "Basic D&D" set out next year... hopefully that will help bring people into role-playing, whichever system they then choose to move to.

    Are you enjoying the preparing the Castle Zagyg project?

    Cheers!
    Merric Blackman
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    Quote Originally Posted by MerricB
    G'day Gary!

    WotC are bringing out a new "Basic D&D" set out next year... hopefully that will help bring people into role-playing, whichever system they then choose to move to.

    Are you enjoying the preparing the Castle Zagyg project?

    Cheers!
    Howdy Merric

    If they make the new Basic D&D a proper introductory product and puch it through mass-market outlets, it will indeed ba a boon!

    As for the Zagyg's Castle project, laying the groundwork for the main part of the multi-release series is demanding but quite enjoyable to me. I have been on hold for about a month, though, awaiting the roster of monsters to be included in the C&C rules. I'm not really complaining, though, as I have plenty of other work to keep me occupied, and have used free time to go back over the material I've written for the campaign-base module to detail and polish it.

    Cheers,
    Gary
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    Victorious German Arms?

    Hi Gary---

    A friend loaned me a copy of "Victorian German Arms: an alternate military history of world war two" by e. gary gygax & terry stafford (Baltimore, MD: TK Graphics, 1973).

    It's 76 pages long, about the size of the OD&D manuals (octavo), has a lightweight, white card stock cover, with a German eagle facing dexter with a wreathed swastica in it's claws, while the back cover only has a swastica and the publisher's contact info.

    Do you recall how many copies of this were printed? Did you used it in conjunction with Tractics? Who's Terry Stafford (any relation to Greg Stafford of RuneQuest fame)? Any other interesting tidbits?

    As always, thanks

  • #1726
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    Quote Originally Posted by grodog
    Hi Gary---

    A friend loaned me a copy of "Victorian German Arms: an alternate military history of world war two" by e. gary gygax & terry stafford (Baltimore, MD: TK Graphics, 1973).

    It's 76 pages long, about the size of the OD&D manuals (octavo), has a lightweight, white card stock cover, with a German eagle facing dexter with a wreathed swastica in it's claws, while the back cover only has a swastica and the publisher's contact info.

    Do you recall how many copies of this were printed? Did you used it in conjunction with Tractics? Who's Terry Stafford (any relation to Greg Stafford of RuneQuest fame)? Any other interesting tidbits?

    As always, thanks
    Yuletide Greetings!

    Grodog, you surely do manage to find some oldies. Next you'll be digging up my old "Baku" expansion for Avalon Hill's Stalingrad board wargame, my first boardgame, the Battle of Arsouf, or maybe the "Conanomacy" Dippy variant I did...

    Terry Stafford was the commander of the British Far East Squadron in the Ad Hoc Committee for the Reinstitution of WW II, the game directed by a group of wargamers at Standford U. back around 1962. I was living in Chicago, met Terry through the International Federation of Wargaming (a society I co-founded with Bill Speer and Scott Duncan, and Terry Joined). Thus I became the commander of the Chinese Communist forces in the short-lived WW Ii recreation (Don Kaye was commander to the Nationalists, BTW). Anyway, Terry used to drop in during lunch hour when I worked for Fireman's Fund Insurance Company in Chicago, and we'd talk military history. One day we got onto the subject of alternate history and decided to write one where the Germans won WW II. Between us we did about 30 maps and the text you have in Victorious German Arms.

    Ted Pauls was an active SF fan in Baltimore, published a fanzine, Kipple, to which I subscribed--as did folks like L. Sprague de Camp and Jack Chalker, then about as well-known as I was When Ted learned about the ms. Terry and I had done he asked to publish it, and we agreed. Sadly, the Good Mr. Pauls totally screwed it up, left out all the maps, lost them to boot! I think he printed 2,000 copies of VGA, maybe it was 3,000, and to the best of my recollection, I think all Terry and I ever received was a very small advance. My copies of that work are long lost.

    About a year ago Lauren Wiseman from SJG emailed and inquired if we would be interested in having SJG republish it. I got ahold of Terry, and we both agreed it would be okay. that's the last I heard, so I assume that Steve Jackson changed his mind.

    Terry Stafford is not related to Greg. Intersetingly, though, Greg Stafford was here in Lake Geneva for a time, a partner with another chap here and running a metal casting business doing 30 mm figurines. He left that enterprise about the time I moved back to Lake Geneva from Chicago, so I never met Greg here. His former partner hit is big with Bergamont Brass back in the 60s when large belt buckles were in vogue, and that company is still operating and doing well, having moved to Darien, Wisconsin where the rent is a lot lesds than spece in this tourist town.

    So there's a long response to a couple of short questions

    Holiday best,
    Gary
    Last edited by Col_Pladoh; Tuesday, 16th December, 2003 at 01:34 PM.
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    I don't really have anything to ask, I just wanted to say that I find all of this history fascinating. Thanks, Gary.

    Also, I did have the pleasure of meeting you one summer in Atlanta at DragonCon back in 1986 or 87 I think (when it was still a split affair between the Atlanta Fantasy Fair & DragonCon), where you graciously signed my OD&D box set and my 1st ed. DMG. I pulled them off the shelf just now to see if the date was inside, but alas...

    It was nice to meet you then and it's great to hear these stories now.

    Play on,

    Jay
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  • #1728
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    Hi Col...

    As someone who owned the red-box set, but never really got anything more out of it than waxing in the numbers on the dice (hey, I was 7) and who has only played casually and never been to Cons, fairs, etc... I just wanted to say that I am always glued to these Q & A threads with you.

    Two questions today:

    1. Can you let us in on any more "secrets" about the origins of different elements of GH? I really enjoyed learning, and have wow'ed some of my friends by pointing out, that the GH map is Northern Ill, Wisc. and Mich just turned like 270 degrees upside down.

    and 2. What do you think about stroytelling based games, like interactive fiction, or Rpg's with less number crunching and dice rolling? With your background, I have no idea whether those kinds of games interest you at all.

    Thanks for the great thread and the info.
    Just me...

  • #1729
    I was wondering about the cavalier class. He's pretty tough. You wrote a good article on why you did what you did when designing the Barbarian Class. I was wondering what your thoughts were when designing the Cavalier sublcass.

  • #1730
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mirth
    I don't really have anything to ask, I just wanted to say that I find all of this history fascinating. Thanks, Gary.

    Also, I did have the pleasure of meeting you one summer in Atlanta at DragonCon back in 1986 or 87 I think (when it was still a split affair between the Atlanta Fantasy Fair & DragonCon), where you graciously signed my OD&D box set and my 1st ed. DMG. I pulled them off the shelf just now to see if the date was inside, but alas...

    It was nice to meet you then and it's great to hear these stories now.

    Play on,

    Jay
    Aloah, Mirth!

    Glad to be supplying some enjoyment via this thread

    I did enjoy the DragonCons I was at. Sorry I didn't date my autograph...sometimes i do, sometimes I don't. Too bad about Ed, and thus a fantasy yarn I wrote for a Fritz Leiber's Nehwon compilation about Sheelba and Ningauble will never get published. I'ev misplaced my ms. for it too, a 40K words yarn :rolleyes:

    Yuletide best,
    Gary
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