Q&A with Gary Gygax - Page 18
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  1. #171
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    It is dawning on me that I could well spend my declining years pleasantly engaged in answering posts here...



    Okay, back to the task at hand:

    Originally posted by Larcen
    Hi Gary,

    Glad to see your still answering questions! Sorry about the long message to follow, but an opportunity to question you is too good to pass up!

    After reading what you have said about Lejendary Journeys I was interested enough to go check out your website for more info.

    First, let me say that the free download, "Weyland Smith & Company", was hilarious. Leave it to you to crank out 59 pages of pure magic and creativity. I especially liked how you included generic, non-specific "rules" right in the body of the funny descriptions for each item. Where do you get the ideas for such great magic items?
    Heh, and that is also little booklet is available from Hekaforge so the GM can have it on hand when he wants to mess with the players

    Of course as a typical boy I used to get "joke and novelty catalogs in the mail--I'd send a dime to get them, in fact, esprcially the one from Johnson Smith & Company. Then I'd carefully read them, long for the many marvelous things therein, fron snapping gum packs to cigarette loads, even fencing foils. Yes, I did save up and buy "stuff" too. Luckily I was out of the house when my father's after-dinner cigar when KAPOW!

    Anyway, remembering fondly those days, I decided to do something like that for RPGs. Eventually I'll expand the work and add it to the "Gygaxian" Fantasy Worlds reference line, perhaps.

    However, I was disappointed not to find more information on the LJ game itself, other than the sample Avatars. I was kind of hoping there would be a sort of free "LJ Lite" (a la "GURPS Lite" available at the Steve Jackson site), or an introduction to some of LJ's mechanics, or at least more information on how to read the sample Avatar sheets themselves. At lot of the abbreviations on the sheets were meaningless to me. Can you post a sort of key on how to read the Avatar sheets? I hope I simply didn't miss it somewhere.
    Heh, and that's LEJENDARY ADVENTURES, amigo The website that has virtually all there is on the game system is www.lejendary.com Hekaforge does plan to do a primer for the game, a small book with a low proce point, so that those interested but not sure, can have a go without spending $30 or more to see if it is their cup of tea.

    There is a brief glossary of terms in the players' rules book, and I'll suggest to Gambit that this be posted on his website...

    (Just did that via eamil, so onwards and upwards.)

    On a different topic, here are a few off the wall questions:

    What kind of music do you enjoy listening to, and do you use atmospheric music for any of your gaming sessions?
    When I am really engrossed in work I prefer silence, and if there is some background noise and confusion, then classical or Spanish guitar music to muffle the intrusive noise. In general I enjoy classical and Spanish music, blues, modern jazz, old R&B, some electrinic classical compositions, even some opera. Mosic with lyrics I generally find distracting, as I want to listen to them, not concentrate on my work.

    When we game I don't play music, as I find it interfers with the conversation and roleplay.

    The anniversary of 9/11 is coming around so it's on my mind. Where were you, and what was your reaction, when you first heard of last year's tragedy?
    I was at the computer, and Gail happened to be taking a break, drinking coffee and watching FOX News. She called me in to see what was happening, so I saw the coverage of the second plane hitting. I immediately assumed it was a deliberate attack when I saw that horific scene. Unbelievable, heart-breaking, and absolutely infuriating!

    On a lighter note, do you think Al Quaida would loosen up if they gamed more?
    I've got a game for them...

    Finally, there is a project I have been hoping someone would do for some time now, and quite frankly am surprised no one has thought of it yet. And now that I think of it, YOU are the only person I would trust to do it justice. Here is the idea: A sourcebook for ROLEplaying. No rules. Just roleplaying. In it, there would be complete descriptions of how each and every monster (in whatever game system suits your fancy) talks, acts, parlays, etc. Right down to common words used, voice inflections, and accents. Obviously no one race can be pigeonholed into one stereotype, so I am talking the common mannerisms of average members of each race. For example, unless you read this new book, you would never know that kobolds speak in quick high-pitched voices and repeat themselves over and over again. Or you would not know about the fact that hobgoblins talk in slurred, almost drunken voices and have a habit of belching midsentence and using the word "Dunno" a lot. Hobgoblins also tend to slouch and hunch their shoulders and move their heads back and forth a lot. See what I mean? I am talking hard, fast stuff that the game master can use AT THE GAMING TABLE to make his roleplaying come to life. I think this would be extremely helpful to would be aspiring game masters everywhere, like me! What do you think of this idea?

    Anyway, thanks for giving me, my friends, and gamers everyhere a wonderful passtime and hobby like no other.
    The work you suggest would likely be helpful to many a gamer, GMs and players alike. However, I wonder who could possibly manage the task? To write such a book would require a couple of years time, I should think. Also, to be generally universal to FRPGs, a lot of publishers would have to give premission for use of their proprietary creatures, I should think. The upshot is I really kike your idea, but I am doubtful that it can be done. It's surely too much work for me to undertake....without a govrnment grant, that is :rolleyes:

    Gary
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  2. #172
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    Originally posted by Eternalknight
    Hey Gary, another question for you.

    What do you think of the future of paper based gaming? Where do you see RPG's being in 5, 10 or 50 years? Also, do you ever think we will see a computer game that represents D&D to the full extent? Neverwinter Nights was close, but not quite 100%.

    Speaking of computer games, have you played any of the old D&D computer games, such as pool of Radiance and Curse of the Azure Bonds? If so, what did you think of them?
    Happy to oblige!

    I am relatively certain that face-to-face RPGing is here to stay, much as live theater has survived a couple of millenia, remains still in the face of motion pictures and television. Of course the relative percentage of people playing P&P games thus will decline as technology improves and the online and computer RPGs come ever closer to the playing live with a group of friends. Short of the Starship Enterprise's holodeck, though, electroic RPGs will never be as good as the f-t-f experience.

    I don't play electronic games much. If I get started I blow a week or a month doing nothing but playing compulsively. I love such games, of course, and as W.C. Fields used to say about his gin, "Like blood to a vampire...yes..." Even a text-based game is compelling to me. If all people were like I am, the electronic gaming market would be larger still, and now it is bigger than motion pictures.

    As I've said before, I can hardly wait untill my "work" demands I be involved in the alpha and beta testing of the LA MMPOROPG If and when I "retire" I plan to spend at least 30 hours a week playing games, not 60 hours working on them.

    Cheerio,
    Gary
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  3. #173
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    Originally posted by ColonelHardisson
    Aww, jeez, Gary - I asked the same kind of questions back earlier on the thread, and you yelled at me (well, sorta)!

    Awww...

    I only used gentle admonishment when yoou asked the same thing in a different way, eh?

    Note how I answered the question in question

    Golly, if folks are really interested in my opinion of games, maybe they'll take my advice and switch en masse to the LA RPG as their main one... Being a gamer born and bred, I'd vener so much as hint at exclusivity, because I know damned well I like to try different RPGs and other games pretty regularly!

    Heh-heh-heh,
    Gary
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  4. #174
    Originally posted by Col_Pladoh


    Appreciate the interest. The HALL' is mant for experienced players, for there will be diverse approaches needed to manage the dozens of secnarios to be managed therein. I have used the LA game system to create it, so it's aa bit difficult to estimate the PC level as it now stands--Jon Creffield is adding the D20 material now. I should think average level 8-10 for, but the DM could easilt upgrade the encounters by including more opponents, or giving them more HD and damage potential, so as to handle PCs of 12-14 levels. Of course some places in the adventure level 20-30 PCs will be lost unless they are played properly, thinking is used rather than reliance on combat and magic.

    Ciao,
    Gary
    Hi all )

    Hope you don't mind me sticking my oar in here

    HOMP is a truly excellent adventure full of surprises and very inventive. While I've been doing the d20 work one of the problems I've had is determining the PC levels likely to be challenged by each of the many pane-portals through which the adventuring team will pass.

    If the Game Master wants to give the party a free hand when selecting which pane they will use then the team had best be on the large side and consist of adventurers of levels 9-11. If the GM carefully reviews each pane and then initially allows access only to those suitable for his players' characters then the band might begin play at level 8+

    As Gary notes some panes will provide a challenge to parties of <i>any</i> level. With just a little work on the GM's part characters of 14th level could adventure in the Hall.

    Cheerio!
    Jon
    Last edited by Noj; Saturday, 7th September, 2002 at 08:46 PM.

  5. #175
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    Originally posted by Col_Pladoh
    ... The upshot is I really kike your idea, but I am doubtful that it can be done. ...
    Gary
    Oh well. At the very least maybe my idea, and your approval of it, will inspire authors who write future monster stats to have a "Roleplaying Tips" section right below the usual stuff. I mean, come on WOTC, how hard would this have been to include at the end of every intelligent creature in the MM? (Gary, start a trend and put something like this in all YOUR future works, I implore you! Show 'em all what ROLEPLAYING truly means. )

  6. #176
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    Originally posted by Larcen


    ... (Gary, start a trend and put something like this in all YOUR future works, I implore you! Show 'em all what ROLEPLAYING truly means. )
    That is indeed something that all writers might well heed. some minor information is given here and there by me, but I have neglected giving intelligence for roleplaying races and creatures that are intelligent. Doing that for new ones won't be hard. Going back through all the current material for the LA game system and adding it will be demanding, but I think it would be worthwhile. Having that might mean a lot more interesting gaming

    Cheers,
    Gary
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  7. #177
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    O Mighty Gygax, who we implore not to sentence us to eternity in Rob Kuntz's "El Raja Key"...

    Would it be fair to say that a role-playing game (or indeed, any game) in your hands is never a "finished product" - that you're always tinkering with the rules, to make it suit your needs better?



    Cheers!
    Merric Blackman
    Merric's Musings - reviews, session reports, play advice
    The Great List of D&D 5E Adventures

  8. #178
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    Gary, I was thinking about your comments regarding the use of archetypes in RPGs, D&D specifically, and I think I see what you mean. However, let me present a thought upon which I'd like to see you comment. Please note that I'm not talking about anything to do with quality or how it relates to AD&D 1st edition, and D&D 3rd edition.

    I think you're right about 3e being a new game. I also agree that it has moved away from archetypes in its basic form. However, it has struck me that the archetypes will or will not be imposed upon the characters, depending on the players involved. That is, someone like me, a player from way back, will be inclined to impose the archetypes upon the game when playing 3e (almost without thinking about it), while someone who began playing RPGs more recently will be more likely to dispense with archetypes, or use them in a different way than D&D, in any edition previous, has used them. EDIT: Again, I just want to empahsize this isn't an anlaysis of relative quality or lack thereof.

    In essence, what I'm saying is that 3e can be played using those archetypes that were a main part of 1e. I also, see, though, that the use of these archetypes are not as strongly reinforced or encouraged in 3e. So, younger players will not be familiar with those archetypes, and will be less likely to use them (assuming they become familiar with them through some other medium, like reading fantasy fiction).

    What do you think about this? I'm not saying one is superior to another, or anything like that. I'm simply presenting this thesis on game theory for the sake of discussion. I also like the thought of coming up with a conversion document for 3e that can be used to evoke the "feel" of 1e (as Necromancer Games might say). That is, using 3e to play a 1e-type game, for those who like the basic game mechanics of 3e, but also like the mood and feel of 1e. Any thoughts or suggestions? EDIT: Basically, what mechanics, concepts, and archetypes of 1e AD&D do you feel are the foundation of that game?

    I realize this may be too much analysis of RPG theory, but heck, it struck me as interesting when it all occurred to me.
    Last edited by ColonelHardisson; Monday, 9th September, 2002 at 01:15 AM.

  9. #179
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    Just as an aside, ColonelHardisson:

    I've been slowly tinkering with the 3E rules to give more of a 1E feel; the big change should be the rate XP is given out at - I suggest:

    Levels 1-3: normal
    Levels 4-6: three-quarters
    Levels 7-9: one-half
    Levels 10+: one-third
    (optionally, Levels 13+: one-quarter).

    You can prevent characters from multiclassing EXCEPT as legal demi-human choices per 1E. I don't personally do so, because my players don't abuse the system, IMO.

    Keep a tight rein on Prestige Classes!

    Cheers!
    Merric Blackman
    Merric's Musings - reviews, session reports, play advice
    The Great List of D&D 5E Adventures

  10. #180
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    These were my house rules on the archetypes and multi-classing.

    Classes that subsume background or extensive training and cannot be multiclassed into, with few exceptions.

    Restricted

    Barbarian (no exceptions)

    Druid (except nature clerics or rangers)

    Paladin (except lawful good clerics or fighters chosen by the gods)

    Ranger (except elves, druids, nature clerics or Fighters with Wilderness Lore of +4 or better)

    Sorcerer (except with new Feat: Sorcerer’s Blood, allowing a character to muti-class into sorcerer and use magic items as if he had access to the sorcerer spell list.)



    Apprenticeship (PC) or Schooling (NPC) Required


    Bard: Perform +2; Spellcraft +2

    Cleric: Knowledge of Religion and Arcana at +2 and must be accepted by the god/goddess

    Monk: Concentration +2 and Knowledge of Arcana at +2

    Wizard: Alchemy +2, Spellcraft +2

    Schooling is 1 week per 2 levels + 1000 in gold per week. A haggling roll of Charisma opposing the instructor’s intelligence can result in the price staying the same or lowering. For each point succeeding above the instructors roll, lower cost by 100 gold (minimum 100 gp a week). Base time requirement is same for PC instruction, but PC becomes “apprentice level” first if taught by a PC while adventuring (see DMG).

    Non-Restricted

    Fighter : must be proficient in at least one martial weapon (feat required for those classes lacking access to martial weapons).
    Apprentice level is mandatory if multiclassed into fighter lacking any martial weapon ability.

    Rogue: Must have 4 Rogue class skills at +1 or better to qualify.
    Last edited by Nathal; Monday, 9th September, 2002 at 02:37 AM.

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