Q&A with Gary Gygax - Page 194
  1. #1931
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    Quote Originally Posted by mistere29
    How often did you adventure with a cleric in the party. I ask because some players seem to think that all adventures are designed so that the cleric's powers are absoutley neccessary. Usally there is a npc cleric in every group if players don't like the class.
    Generally the parties I DMed had one or more clerics, or at least a Paladin PC able to use some cleric spells. My son Ernie's PC, Serten, got to be a fairly high level cleric. When I was playing I usually took along my own cleric, Rigby, sometimes playing him as my main PC and not merely a tag-along henchman. To me playing a cleric is more enhoyable that playing a straight fighter,

    Cheers,
    Gary
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    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    My favorite short module to play and DM alike is probably the generic The Abduction of Good King Despot, with plenty of problem solving and action packed into a short scenario.
    I've got the New Infinities release of this and it's one of favorite 'one-off' modules as well. As one of the former principals of NIPI can you shed any light on who currently controls the rights to the module -- the original authors or someone else? It's very ripe for reprint and IMO would be particularly well suited for Hackmaster (due to its prescient mixture of old-school action and problem-solving with abundant humor of dubious quality).

    ...and while I'm here, I suppose I'll ask some more questions about the Greyhawk Campaign: a lot of stories seem to involve only 1 or 2 players (with or without assorted henchmen and hirelings). How typical were these more 'intimate' adventures compared to the larger group efforts -- in your estimation was more play done in large groups or small groups? Was it assumed that once characters reached a certain level that they would branch off into these sorts of 'extracurricular' adventures? And also, how was it decided who would play when -- was it simply a matter of which players showed up on which nights (i.e. "Rob's the only player here so I guess Robilar's going solo tonight"), or would you figure in advance which players should come when and in what combinations?

    Regards,

    T. Foster

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    Quote Originally Posted by T. Foster
    I've got the New Infinities release of this and it's one of favorite 'one-off' modules as well. As one of the former principals of NIPI can you shed any light on who currently controls the rights to the module -- the original authors or someone else? It's very ripe for reprint and IMO would be particularly well suited for Hackmaster (due to its prescient mixture of old-school action and problem-solving with abundant humor of dubious quality).
    I can't say for sure who owns the copyright to the TAoGKD, likely WillNiebling or Russ Stambaugh IIRR. I agree that it is a great candidate for a reprint. However, as an inveterate punster, I take umbrage at: "abundant humor of dubious quality." Of course, if you meant that as being chock full of groaners, I must concur

    ...and while I'm here, I suppose I'll ask some more questions about the Greyhawk Campaign: a lot of stories seem to involve only 1 or 2 players (with or without assorted henchmen and hirelings). How typical were these more 'intimate' adventures compared to the larger group efforts -- in your estimation was more play done in large groups or small groups? Was it assumed that once characters reached a certain level that they would branch off into these sorts of 'extracurricular' adventures? And also, how was it decided who would play when -- was it simply a matter of which players showed up on which nights (i.e. "Rob's the only player here so I guess Robilar's going solo tonight"), or would you figure in advance which players should come when and in what combinations?

    Regards,

    T. Foster
    Back in those halcyon days we played in large groups on weekends, while during the week smaller parties were DMed by me, or another of the ones who had campaigns--Rob mainly (and thus he was made co-DM of my campaign late in 1974).

    Adventures with 10 to 20 PCs were fun, if hectic, and few of any of such mass forays were of memorable sort, other than perhaps for the number of low-level characters being done for and new one's hastily rolled up. Because of that, and the fact that the more skilled veterans with higher-level PCS wanted adventures of less chaotic sort, the sessions with smaller groups were much in demand. As Ernie, Don, Rob and Terry in my house or near to it, were family or friends, they came by often to play, rob more so than the rest, followed by Ernie and Terry, for Don had a day job and a family.

    As I was working at home I did not schedule play sessions, but when a gamer or two dropped in of a day, I made haste to finish immediate work and put on my DM's hat. Evening games with the regulars were generally schedules a few hours or a day or two ahead.

    In 1974 the veteran group had doubled in size,and as it was necessary for me to spend more time working on revising the game, Rob took over some of those sessions. The "wild bunch" showing up for weekend adventures was also larger, so Rob and I co-DMed those mass expditions.

    Cheers,
    Gary
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  4. #1934
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    Mr. Gygax, where did vampires level drain come from? Also, I just wanted to say that it's amazing to me that you are talking with the rank&file. Like someone else said somewhere, what other hobby is there where you can talk to the creator?

  5. #1935
    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    Depends on the subject matter and the character. Who can say what a PC knws and doesn't know aboit the world he lives in? if it's something that could be known, then there's no metagaming involved.
    Absolutely.

    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    Also, coming up with new ideas not common to the assumed society should not be labeled as metagaming is the PC is reasonably inteligent.
    I totally agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    Getting to the case of the wind walker, the PC I was playing had faced one before, also associated with a broad range of knowledgeable, high-level characters. Thus he (I) should have remembered how to attack the critter. It was a case player NUMBRAINING, NOT A HINT OF METAGAMING THERE
    Now that's reassuring. Not that I ever thought otherwise. I just couldn't resist the opportunity...

    If it's not too late, thank you for the game! And thanks for the great Q&A threads.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Q. Mayhem
    Mr. Gygax, where did vampires level drain come from? Also, I just wanted to say that it's amazing to me that you are talking with the rank&file. Like someone else said somewhere, what other hobby is there where you can talk to the creator?
    Ho John Q,

    the vampire's level drain came from me. I decided upon it as a way of simulating that monster's capacity to weaken and make helpless its victims. Once established, the level-draining attack power made all undead so able into most fearsome opponents

    Of course magical and clerical means of restoring lost levels were provided--excellent ways for DMs to be rid of wishes and to drain treasure from PCs hoards and into clerical coffers.

    The last special group of gamers to visit me from a distant place, summer before last, so as to go on a wild adventure across the Flanaess of Oerth had a run-in with some super-wights that drained one of their PCs. Luckily for them they were near Veluna, visited a temple there, and for only about 90% of the wealth they had acquired along the way, those lost levels were restored. If they'd have had a cleric in their party they would have been much richer at adventure's end...

    Cheers,
    Gary
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  7. #1937
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranes
    Absolutely.
    Now that's reassuring. Not that I ever thought otherwise. I just couldn't resist the opportunity...
    Hey, now don't get me wrong! I can get just as caught up in power gaming as the next guy. When so enthralled, all considerations of what the PC could or could not knnow about go by the board

    If it's not too late, thank you for the game! And thanks for the great Q&A threads.
    Not too late at all, for here I am. I enjoy taking a break from the more humdrum aspects of creative work to answer these questions. It's only when really into the toils of designing new material that I find interruptions irritation.

    Cheers,
    Gary
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  8. #1938
    Gary,

    I've got two questions about cavaliers and paladins in UA, and it's awful nice to be able to come to the author for the answers

    First, did cavaliers roll d12's for hit points after first level, or d10's? In the table where it summarizes what hit dice different classes have, it lists both classes as getting 1d10. But on the cavalier table for advancement, it says they roll 1d12. And under that, that they get 1d10+3 at first level. So which was the typo? Do they get d10's or d12's?

    Second, I've always been a bit confused by how to advance their ability scores. It says that they roll percentile dice at first level, and afterwards they roll 2d10. Personally, I take that to mean just that. However, others in my gaming group feel that by 2d10, you meant to generate a number between 1-100, as percentile dice, not 2-20. Which is the proper method?

    Ok, one more question In the assassin's matrix in the DMG, the footnote says that assassins should plan out their assassination. That gives me the impression that the percentage chance of success is based more on the whole event of assassination, rather than on a single attack roll. But in the PHB, it simply says that an assassin can attempt to assassinate a victim whenever the assassin has surprise. Lastly, the footnote in the DMG says that certain modifiers should be incorporated. Could you give me some examples of what types of modifiers for what types of circumstances should be used?

    Thanks very much,
    Rick, who feels like a giant fan boy

    EDIT: One more question! Where in the world did you come up with the title "Grand Master of Flowers"?
    Last edited by CombatWombat51; Wednesday, 11th February, 2004 at 03:54 PM.

  9. #1939
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    Quote Originally Posted by CombatWombat51
    Gary,

    I've got two questions about cavaliers and paladins in UA, and it's awful nice to be able to come to the author for the answers
    Hi Comabt',

    The questions call for quite a stretch of my memorY, BUT o'LL DO MY BEST.

    First, did cavaliers roll d12's for hit points after first level, or d10's? In the table where it summarizes what hit dice different classes have, it lists both classes as getting 1d10. But on the cavalier table for advancement, it says they roll 1d12. And under that, that they get 1d10+3 at first level. So which was the typo? Do they get d10's or d12's?
    The typo is the d12, that's one I have no trouble with, for only the Barbarian was to have a d12 for HPs.

    Second, I've always been a bit confused by how to advance their ability scores. It says that they roll percentile dice at first level, and afterwards they roll 2d10. Personally, I take that to mean just that. However, others in my gaming group feel that by 2d10, you meant to generate a number between 1-100, as percentile dice, not 2-20. Which is the proper method?
    Okay, a pause while I break out my worn copy of UA and have a gander...

    No problem with the question For their Str, Dex, and Con scores the player rolls d% as an addition to each at the beginning of character creation. For example Str 16 + 48 on d% = 16.48, Dex 17 + 11 on d% = 17.11, and Con 15 + 64 on d% = 15.64. When the cavalier reaches 2nd level, 2d10 are rolled for each ability score, the total added to the number following the decimal point. when that reaches 00, a whole point is added to the score, up to 18.99. If a cavalier had Ste of 16.99 and went up a level, his Str would be at minimum 17.01 and could be 17.19 with two 10s coming up on the 2d10 roll.

    Ok, one more question In the assassin's matrix in the DMG, the footnote says that assassins should plan out their assassination. That gives me the impression that the percentage chance of success is based more on the whole event of assassination, rather than on a single attack roll. But in the PHB, it simply says that an assassin can attempt to assassinate a victim whenever the assassin has surprise. Lastly, the footnote in the DMG says that certain modifiers should be incorporated. Could you give me some examples of what types of modifiers for what types of circumstances should be used?
    Play of an assassin where a kill was to be made by the PC was meant to require both a written plan delivered to the DM and then full expanation and roleplay on the part of the player where called for in the situation. If those were properly done, the DM would ajudicate the chance for surprise more favorably. The base chance for surprising an intended victim being 2 in 6 for the unsuspecting sort, as low as 1 in 20 for someone on guard.

    Modifiers are many and rather self-evident, but most apply only in the context of a planned assassinationas noted above. Of course, if the assassin is normally around the intended victim, that gives a bonus to surprise chance, and a greater one if the assassin is a trusted person.

    The attack roll might be a check for successfully insinuation of poison into the victim's food or drink, slipping a deadly scorpion into the subject's boot or bed, etc.

    The straight d% chance roll is meant mainly for the assassin striking by surprise in chance meeting of the intended victim.

    Writing rules for roleplay was something that just wasn't done at the time the DMG was published. Frankly, I fondly assumed that sort of thing would be understood by the readers...

    Thanks very much,
    Rick, who feels like a giant fan boy
    Welcome, and what sort of giant?

    Cheers,
    Gary
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  10. #1940
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    Quote Originally Posted by CombatWombat51
    EDIT: One more question! Where in the world did you come up with the title "Grand Master of Flowers"?
    Very sneaky! That one got me

    All of the titles for the Monk Class were taken unabashedly from mah jjong, one of my favorite games. As flowers are honors tiles, delicate and beautiful, I thought it fitted well with an Eastern aesthetic martial artist, the object belying his actual prowess.

    Heh,
    Gary
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