Q&A with Gary Gygax - Page 36
  1. #351
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    Originally posted by ColonelHardisson


    Well, sure, Gary, I don't want this thread to fall off the page. I'd rather it was stickied to the top also, but that's beyond my control.
    I agree that the thread should still be "stickied" to the top of the page, but I imagine that once it has reached its conclusion, the moderators will put it in the archives for viewing.

    So, until then, let's *bump* and ask more questions.

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    Originally posted by Khan the Warlord


    So, until then, let's *bump* and ask more questions.
    Speaking of bumps, and now specifically to those in the night, I experienced a real poultergeist phenomonon one summer when I was about nine years old. It's a tad OT, so I'll refrain from details unless asked

    Gary
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    Originally posted by Col_Pladoh


    Speaking of bumps, and now specifically to those in the night, I experienced a real poultergeist phenomonon one summer when I was about nine years old. It's a tad OT, so I'll refrain from details unless asked

    Gary
    This is my official "asking Gary for more details" post.

    Seriously, I would love to hear it.


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    TRUE "GHOST" STORY

    Seeing as how I was asked

    One summer, likely 1947, when I had just turned nine, my parents were heading out to California whene my father had purchased some land (La Jolla). Me go on a trip with parents during summer vacation and miss the fun of freedom from scholastic incarceration? Whoa, and how could I weasel out of that?

    My parents being good and kindly souls, arranged for some friends to come up and stay at the house during their absence. Better still, those friends just happened to be the parents of my oldest friend, a lad who lived next door when we were in Chicago, whose mother had wheeled him in his carriage next to my mother with me in a like buggy. Hooray!

    My bedroom had bunkbeds, so Dave and I were really having a lot of fun the first night of his stay. Ignoring adult admonishment to go to sleep, we were horseing around at midnight. That's when his parents came up, heard the racket, and set things "right." David was escorted to another bedroom by his father as I was scolded sternly bu his mother. Ah well, all good things must end...

    Just as I was dozing off, perhaps 10 minutes after the dressing down, a tremendous crash shook the house. The noise came from nearly overhead, My room was near the front of the long house, and it had a full attic, six bedrooms on the second floor. A second after the terrible crash there followed six or seven great thumpings from the same location, the attic. These sounds came from the place of the initial one, moved from there north to the opposite end of the attic as if soneone with really long legs were stomping along up there.

    In a minute Dave's mother was in my room to see if I had anything to do with the noise. Of course she discovered me huddled under my sheet, quite unwilling to leave the "safety" of my bed. Meantime, Dave's father checked on David, found him fast asleep in his bed in the room across the hall frm my own--incidentally that was almost directly under the place where the initial crashing thump originated, but he slept through that ant the following noise quite undisturbed.

    Mr. Dimery, David's father, roused him, and the four of us proceeded down the hallway to the attic door. Mr. Dimery had picked up a baseball bat from my room, likely fearing the commotion was due to burglars of the like. Unkikely in the extreme, but who at that hour of the night, morning, properly, would think of anything but some such?

    As we three stood at the bottom of the steps, David's father turned on the lights, proceeded into the attic, had a cursory glance, then came back down. Too many dark corners and unlighted portions to manage. We locked the door, wedged the key fast, and retired.

    In the bright light of morning all four if us preceeded to thoroughly search the attic. Nothing was broken, no trunk or box or crate disturbed. All open windows were fully screened, and those screens fastened in place. In short, no possible physical cause for the whole bizarre series of sounds could be discovered.

    That was that. Needsless to say, I was thereafter somewhat charry about going up to the attic alone, even in daylight, but that didn't last too long, and soon I was back up there playing. That is until the next time the "ghost" manifested itself in the house--a year later and when I was absolutely alone.

    Cheerio,
    Gary
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    Re: TRUE "GHOST" STORY

    Originally posted by Col_Pladoh
    Seeing as how I was asked
    :P

    Entertaining story, Gary!

    Meantime, Dave's father checked on David, found him fast asleep in his bed in the room across the hall frm my own--incidentally that was almost directly under the place where the initial crashing thump originated, but he slept through that ant the following noise quite undisturbed.
    For a moment, I was considering the thought of powers from "Dave's" subconscious mind manifesting themselves, until I read:

    That was that. Needsless to say, I was thereafter somewhat charry about going up to the attic alone, even in daylight, but that didn't last too long, and soon I was back up there playing. That is until the next time the "ghost" manifested itself in the house--a year later and when I was absolutely alone.

    Cheerio,
    Gary
    So since I know you're wanting someone to ask, and I want to hear the next story...

    Would you care to tell us all of this next manifestation?


  6. #356
    Question: Most D&D adventures revolve around a fairly standard plot like retrieve item X from place Y or defeat NPC A and so forth. What kind of adventures or campaigns do you think haven't been given proper justice by the RPG industry or you would just like to see more of?
    Last edited by clockworkjoe; Saturday, 21st September, 2002 at 07:43 PM.

  7. #357
    A few quick questions:

    1) Where did the Mind Flayer come from?

    2) You've repeatedly said that 3e D&D is so far in design philosophy and rules from OD&D as to have essentially no link between them, and I agree with that, but do you think there are any parts of 3e D&D, rules-wise, that could be transplanted in to OD&D that would improve it without changing its old school flavor?

    3) How do you explain hit points, or do you even bother?

    4) In 3e, there's one big goal - Become the hardest bastard you can (I.E., gain power and lots of it.) What were the big goals in OD&D? Wealth? Land? Nobility?

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    Originally posted by clockworkjoe
    Question: Most D&D adventures revolve around a fairly standard plot like retrieve item X from place Y or defeat NPC A and so forth. What kind of adventures or campaigns do you think haven't been given proper justice by the RPG industry or you would just like to see more of?
    As with fiction, there are only so many plots. Unlike writing stories, though, the RPG medium is narrower, for only so many of the standard ones will fit the vehicle and entertain the target audience.

    Delving into the areas that I consider as untapped and potentially interesting to gamers is something I won't do, of course. Sort of like giving away my stock in trade.

    I will add that the upcoming HALL OF MANY PANES adventure module does treat a wide variety of adventure themes within the greater whole. Maybe afyer you've assessed that you might want to comment on some of the things i presented therein

    Cheers,
    Gary
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    Originally posted by Anabstercorian
    A few quick questions:

    1) Where did the Mind Flayer come from?

    2) You've repeatedly said that 3e D&D is so far in design philosophy and rules from OD&D as to have essentially no link between them, and I agree with that, but do you think there are any parts of 3e D&D, rules-wise, that could be transplanted in to OD&D that would improve it without changing its old school flavor?

    3) How do you explain hit points, or do you even bother?

    4) In 3e, there's one big goal - Become the hardest bastard you can (I.E., gain power and lots of it.) What were the big goals in OD&D? Wealth? Land? Nobility?
    Pretty good oones too, I add

    1) I was reading Brian Lumley's THE BURROWERS BENEATH, and the cover made me think" Now what sort of nasty bastard is that? So, without a qualm I made up the Illithid, the dreaded mind flayer, so as to keep the players on their toes--or have their PCs turn their's upwards

    2) To properly answer that I would have to sir down and re-read the final versions of both the PHB and the DMG. It's been a couple of years to so since I read the working drafts. Just from "design instinct," though, I'd say no, but some underlying ideas might be used. Then again, the same is true for a number of non-D&D games...

    3) That's easy. HPs represent not only the physical person, but that one's luck, skill in avoiding damage. As luck runs low, muscles tire, and reflexes slow their measure, HPs. are lost to reflect this. The last few remaining are the actual physical body being harmed. Okay, its rationalizing, but it works pretty well, I think

    4) In OAD&D there was plenty of play aimed at power, just as there is in 3E. Of course those that I knew as "good" players aimed first and foremost at having fun playing the game, regardless of rise in rabk and all the rest that goes with power gaming. The challenge of each session was enjoyed more from a group perspective, likely. As the team prospered, so too the enjoyment, cameraderie, and resulting stories. Many a group downplayed combat, developed campaigns in which roleplay was the key. Politics and economics? Sure. While OAD&D certainly focused on combat mechanics and rules, it did not hinder other sorts of play. The XP system in 3E does that with a vengence.

    Cheerio,
    Gary
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    Re: Re: TRUE "GHOST" STORY

    Originally posted by Khan the Warlord


    :P

    Entertaining story, Gary!
    Thanks, amigo


    For a moment, I was considering the thought of powers from "Dave's" subconscious mind manifesting themselves, until I read:

    So since I know you're wanting someone to ask, and I want to hear the next story...
    Truth to tell, I thought the same thing myself some years back, and came to the same place you did. Unless the various manifestations were totally unrelated to the initial one. there isn't any likelihood that friend David was responsible for the first.

    [B[Would you care to tell us all of this next manifestation?

    [/B]
    The next one really terrorized me. I have reconted it elsewhere, but I';ll do so again here.

    It was in the late fall when I was age 10. A bleak November day, and after school I returned home to an empty house. My mother had to drive into a suburb of Chicago, and she wouldn't return home until around 6:30 PM. So there I was alone. No playing outside because it was too nasty and no snow yet, my buddy next door and I were on the outs--typical kids' stuff--so I decided to read.

    I opened one of the bookcases in the living room, looked at spine titles, decided on something scary and so pulled out Edgar Allen Poe's "Tales of Terror" from the complete set of his works my grandfather had purchased before I was born. Taking it to grandfather's armchair, I switched on the floor lamp sat down, fliupped through the table of contents, and opted for "The Fall of the House of Usher." I started reading. My white tom cat, Queball by name, hopped up into my lap, settled down comfortably. All was well to that point and for some half-hour after.

    Just as I was reading the passage where the sounds from the crypt below the House of Usher were frightening the protagonist, the cat dug its foreclaws into my leg. Ouch! I looked frombook to cat. The cat was staring fixedly at the door to my left, some 15 feet distant. It was a bit ajar, lead into what had been the maid's room, in my time a day or sewing room. What on earth could that blasted cat be staring at?

    Horror of horrors! As I stared at the door trying to figure out just what might cause the cat to react thus, I saw out of the corner of my eye that Queball was now rising, ears laid flat, back arched, and tail up, fur horripilated in full "Halloween cat" fashion. Worse, my eyes saw the door move inwards into the totally dark room beyond. Had my short hair not bneen alteady been brushed upwards, it too would have risen as had the cat's. I was paralyzed with fear, and it got worse. The oak floorboards creaked as if someone was walking from the now-open door straight into the room and up to beside my chair, only there was nothing to be seen.

    I don't think my teeth chattered, but I'll bet my eyes were popping. All I could do was sit there in shock as the cat stood its ground hissed and growled in his most menacing fashion.
    After what seemed long minutes, but more likely was a few seconds, Queball ceased his defensive persofmance, settled back down on my lap, and started purring. Whew!

    With that I got up, unceremoniously dumping my benefactor in my haste. Immediately after turning on all the lamps in the living room, I illuminated the dining room chandalier, the kitchen lights, then the front hall. Making a dash to my bedroom upstairs, I turned on tthe lights there, got my bow and arrows, machette too, and ran back downstairs to sit in a chair at the front end of the living room, awwor ready, eyes fixed on the offending doorway at the far end of the room, maybe 30 feet distant.

    there my mother found me when she returned. She said little other than to reassure me that nothing like that in the house would harm me. Despite that I was more than a tad nervous when alone in the dark there.

    Of course when some years later my brother's fiancee had some concersn, and the experience of friends staying over, I took comfort in what mother had said. Nothing ever touched *me*...

    Cheerio,
    Gary
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