Q&A with Gary Gygax - Page 634
  1. #6331
    Mr. Gygax,

    First off, let me offer my apologies if the questions I ask have been covered already; I've only recently discovered your Q&A threads here, and several hours of slogging through them have been absolutely engrossing, but I'm nowhere near having read them all.

    I'd like to start off with a question relating to one of my favorite series of modules penned by your good self; the Giants/Drow/Lolth series.

    In it, you set up a wonderfully complex internal political struggle within the Drow society. On the one hand is clan Eilserv, having broken away from the worship of the demonness Lolth and using the giants' attacks on the surface to increase their influence within the Vault, at the expense of the more "orthodox" elements of Drow society who still worship Lolth. A clever party of adventurers would surely be able to use that conflict to their advantage; since the Elder Elemental God-worshipping Eilservs are the instigators behind the giant depredations, does it not make sense that their rivals the Lolth-worshipping establishment, could be a natural ally for the party?

    However, that conclusion comes into question with the climax of the series of adventures, "Queen of the Demonweb Pits". Here, all of a sudden the big, bad villian seems to have been swapped out. Surely Lolth would have been pleased at the downfall of clan Eilserv (who had abandoned her worship and actively sought to supplant those loyal to her within the Vault) at the hands of the party. I'm curious as to how you envision the transformation of the chief villain of the piece from the Elder Elemental God to the demonness Lolth.

    Also, on a somewhat-related note, I am currently having the pleasure of re-reading "Sea of Death". I'm wondering what relation the Eclavdra therein has to the Eclavdra featured in G3 and the following modules. Is it possible that, once clan Eilserv's plans were undone, she switched her allegiance to Graz'zt in an attempt to regain some of her lost status? Was Graz'zt perhaps masquerading as teh Elder Elemental God all along? It's of course entirely possible that it's just artistic license on your part, but I do enjoy trying to suss out these sorts of apparent conflicts...

    And, last question for this post, I promise. Obmi the dwarf in G3 is listed as being Chaotic Neutral in alignment. Surely that's a typo, yes? He's really Chaotic Evil?

    My thanks for thirty some-odd years of entertainment.

  2. #6332
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    Quote Originally Posted by grodog
    As Guest of Honor for next year's GenCon, Gary, will you be hosting any special seminars/panels/retrospectives/etc.? It's been a few years since you were at GenCon, much less such a prestigious anniversary event
    Hi Allan,

    As we have not begun discussion of what I'll do there, it is not possible for me to supply an answer, speculate on the program I will have.

    heers,
    Gary
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  3. #6333
    You should run a huge AD&D game for the whole Con. A 25,000 man incursion into the Tomb of Horrors!

  4. #6334
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thulcondar
    Mr. Gygax,

    First off, let me offer my apologies if the questions I ask have been covered already; I've only recently discovered your Q&A threads here, and several hours of slogging through them have been absolutely engrossing, but I'm nowhere near having read them all.
    Understandable, there are a lot of posts on all the threads.

    I'd like to start off with a question relating to one of my favorite series of modules penned by your good self; the Giants/Drow/Lolth series.

    In it, you set up a wonderfully complex internal political struggle within the Drow society. On the one hand is clan Eilserv, having broken away from the worship of the demonness Lolth and using the giants' attacks on the surface to increase their influence within the Vault, at the expense of the more "orthodox" elements of Drow society who still worship Lolth. A clever party of adventurers would surely be able to use that conflict to their advantage; since the Elder Elemental God-worshipping Eilservs are the instigators behind the giant depredations, does it not make sense that their rivals the Lolth-worshipping establishment, could be a natural ally for the party?
    If the party trusts scorpions not to sting, that is an excellent idea. As best I would suggest the other clans of the Drow might ignore PCs attacking the interests of the Eilservs...if they were not bothered in the process.

    However, that conclusion comes into question with the climax of the series of adventures, "Queen of the Demonweb Pits". Here, all of a sudden the big, bad villian seems to have been swapped out. Surely Lolth would have been pleased at the downfall of clan Eilserv (who had abandoned her worship and actively sought to supplant those loyal to her within the Vault) at the hands of the party. I'm curious as to how you envision the transformation of the chief villain of the piece from the Elder Elemental God to the demonness Lolth.
    I did not write Q3, nor did I approve of it. complain to the Blumes, for they insisted on publishing it against my objections.

    As for the chief antagonist, it was meant to be Exlavdra on behlaf of the EEG, with the minions of Lolth, not the demoness per se., being second and a counterweight to the former as noted. The latter will fight against the Eilservs and tolerate for a time the presence of a PC party that is discommoding their foes.

    Also, on a somewhat-related note, I am currently having the pleasure of re-reading "Sea of Death". I'm wondering what relation the Eclavdra therein has to the Eclavdra featured in G3 and the following modules. Is it possible that, once clan Eilserv's plans were undone, she switched her allegiance to Graz'zt in an attempt to regain some of her lost status? Was Graz'zt perhaps masquerading as teh Elder Elemental God all along? It's of course entirely possible that it's just artistic license on your part, but I do enjoy trying to suss out these sorts of apparent conflicts...
    I can not speak to things related to the A/D&D game, but I can comment on the book's plot. When their efforts to free the Elder Elemental godfrom exile were thwarted, Eclavdra did indeed switch her allegience to a demon so as to remain powerful. The term Chaotic Evil suits all of the Drow well.

    And, last question for this post, I promise. Obmi the dwarf in G3 is listed as being Chaotic Neutral in alignment. Surely that's a typo, yes? He's really Chaotic Evil?

    My thanks for thirty some-odd years of entertainment.
    One of my favorite villians for sure! That is absolutely a typo. I would place Obmi in the Neutral Evil category, as he is willing to side with any faction to further his own ends.

    Cheers,
    Gary
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  5. #6335
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flexor the Mighty!
    You should run a huge AD&D game for the whole Con. A 25,000 man incursion into the Tomb of Horrors!


    There's a thought, but somehow the 24,992 whose PCs were eliminated in the approach to the tomb's entrance by the circling flock of red dragons would likely object to the brevity of their excursion

    Cheers,
    Gary
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  6. #6336
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    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh


    There's a thought, but somehow the 24,992 whose PCs were eliminated in the approach to the tomb's entrance by the circling flock of red dragons would likely object to the brevity of their excursion

    Cheers,
    Gary



    Thats a quick way to get the party down to a manageable size!


  7. #6337
    I don't think you would really need the Dragons though. You would lose a few thousand in the first false entrance, and another 15000-20000 or so in the second false entrance...

  8. #6338
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treebore


    Thats a quick way to get the party down to a manageable size!

    I have DMed a couple of sessions where the players were aware that theyr PCs were supposed to be lost in action, and that when that occurred, their record sheet would be so noted and signed by me. It is really more demanding that a regular adventure, because dreaming up ways to slay PCs quicky and surely without being too smarmy in the process is more difficult that one might suppose.

    At the last Milwaukee Gamefest I ran an LA game adventure where the participants were informed that their Avatars were meant to be slain. It was an hour before I managed the first, and at the end of the four session there was still one allive. Those were a great bunch of players, including the young lady who had her character climb a tree, beat the onrushing critters to it, and thus avoid the pack of ravening hyenas. She won the day for sure.

    Cheers,
    Gary
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  9. #6339
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flexor the Mighty!
    I don't think you would really need the Dragons though. You would lose a few thousand in the first false entrance, and another 15000-20000 or so in the second false entrance...
    No way! That would mean greatly enlarging those two false entrances, also likely require flashing signs to attract the PCs to them.

    Cheers,
    Gary
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  10. #6340
    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    I did not write Q3, nor did I approve of it. complain to the Blumes, for they insisted on publishing it against my objections.

    .
    Thulcondar, u can se more about in Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_o...emonweb_Pits):

    Critical reception

    Q1 was and remains very controversial for fans of First Edition AD&D. Unlike the six modules that lead to it, Queen of the Demonweb Pits was not authored by Gary Gygax, the creator of the game and genre. Instead, Gygax determined that the dungeon he designed for Q1 was too similar to the ones planned to be used in Module T1-4 Temple of Elemental Evil. When David Sutherland displayed a dungeon map he had created based upon a placemat design, Gygax suggested that it be used for Q1. Sutherland would go on to write the majority of the adventure. Many fans believe that the module, the climax of six prior adventures, each more difficult than the last, was too lighthearted and whimsical, especially when compared to its immediate predecessor, Vault of the Drow. Others were puzzled by the relative lack of demons or drow in the adventure, and were put off by the odd use of a massive steam-driven "Spider Ship" that serves as Lolth's base. Several fan-created "alternative endings" to the GDQ series have been posted on the Internet.

    Queen of the Spiders was ranked the single greatest Dungeons & Dragons adventure of all time by Dungeon magazine in 2004, on the 30th anniversary of the Dungeons & Dragons game.




    Mr Gygax, thanks for the help!

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