Q&A with Gary Gygax - Page 642
  1. #6411
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thulcondar
    Mr. Gygax,

    I'm back with another question, and again apologies if you've covered this somewhere else.

    How do (did?) you view "witches" in Greyhawk? I am aware of the "witch" character class which appeared in the early days of The Dragon, but it seems to me that you've given witches a bit more status than a mere character class in your writings.

    I'm thinking specifically of Iggwilv, of course, who is variously known as the Witch-Queen, Greatest of Witches, etc. as well as the denizens of Grimalkinsham in your Gord story, "Revel in Rel Mord". In the latter work, witches as a group seem on a par with Hags and Annises... and universally old, powerful, and ugly to boot. That seems to imply they are inhabitants of the lower planes just as are the hags, but then again it doesn't sound completely convincing, as one of the witches is said to be the Baronness of the good thorp of Grimalkinsham, implying a human origin.

    I don't recall seeing anything from you in the Sorceror's Scroll to the effect that a class of witches was in the works a la the doomed-to-obscurity Mountebank. Any insights you might have on the subject, specific or general, would be most welcome. The scanty evidence is contradictory on the surface, but that has been the case before, and it usually turns out that you have had some holistic intent in your mind that, once explained, neatly ties together the disparate threads.

    My thanks for taking the time to listen to the query of a fan since the age of 12.
    To cut to the chase here, I envisage witches and warlocks as humans pledged to the evil and malign. some so excell that they become more than human...

    For details of this IU suggest you have a look at the Mythus game rules in which I had Witchcraeft skill detailed, or get ahold of the Shamanism & Witchery supplement for the Lejendary Adventure game system. Article material covering the latter is likely to be found at www.lejendary.com

    If it is no longer available, I believe that the Trolls will be publishing the book in the coming year.

    BTW, I was age 12 when I became a dedicated SF anf fantasy fan, reading a pulp zine or book about every day

    Cheers,
    Gary
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  2. #6412
    Which reminds me of what I did once to up the ante in my campaign. I arranged it so that female ogres, trolls, ettins and hill giants were in many cases the various hags (green, annis, sea). I got the idea from Marina Warner's excellent book No Go The Bogeyman, which mentions Italian fairy tales in which Ogres (Orcos) are married to female monsters (Orcas) who were smarter and more skilled with magic than their brutish husbands. The ancients used to blame storms at sea on female sea monsters (orcas) and is not only the reason the giant porpoise is named the Orca, but is also why (until pseudo-feminism came along) hurricaines and tropical storms were named after girls.

    So ogres and such who inhabit swamps will often have a Green Hag sort of like Grendel's mother. Those who live in hilly forests will have an Annis like Black Annie of the Dane Hills, and those near the sea will have Sea Hags (like Gentle Annie) for mates. Suddenly Ogres were no longer just 4 HD orcs, but feared opponents.

  3. #6413
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfdart
    Which reminds me of what I did once to up the ante in my campaign. I arranged it so that female ogres, trolls, ettins and hill giants were in many cases the various hags (green, annis, sea). I got the idea from Marina Warner's excellent book No Go The Bogeyman, which mentions Italian fairy tales in which Ogres (Orcos) are married to female monsters (Orcas) who were smarter and more skilled with magic than their brutish husbands. The ancients used to blame storms at sea on female sea monsters (orcas) and is not only the reason the giant porpoise is named the Orca, but is also why (until pseudo-feminism came along) hurricaines and tropical storms were named after girls.

    So ogres and such who inhabit swamps will often have a Green Hag sort of like Grendel's mother. Those who live in hilly forests will have an Annis like Black Annie of the Dane Hills, and those near the sea will have Sea Hags (like Gentle Annie) for mates. Suddenly Ogres were no longer just 4 HD orcs, but feared opponents.
    Good play, that.

    In the LA game I upped the ante with ogres, making them more like some found in fairy tales, big, bad, worse than giants

    Cheers,
    Gary
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  4. #6414
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    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    Yes! A captive artist there to illustrate as you direct. Waht a great boon that would eb to the GM and theplayer group alike...save for the enslaved artist
    Speaking as an oft-enslaved artist, I have to say it's not so bad, really.

    Okay, it depends on who's in the group, and how obnoxious they are. But on the whole it's not so bad. hehe

  5. #6415
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolv0rine
    Speaking as an oft-enslaved artist, I have to say it's not so bad, really.

    Okay, it depends on who's in the group, and how obnoxious they are. But on the whole it's not so bad. hehe
    Say...

    If you aren't otherwise engaged this Thursday, Jim Ward is going to GM our group in a Metamorphosos Alpha game session where we all play as androids. Some sketches by you from the ensuing adventure would be outstanding...

    Cheers,
    Gary
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    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    Say...

    If you aren't otherwise engaged this Thursday, Jim Ward is going to GM our group in a Metamorphosos Alpha game session where we all play as androids. Some sketches by you from the ensuing adventure would be outstanding...

    Cheers,
    Gary
    Oh look at him jest... if I weren't on the other side of the country I'd take you up on that, if only for the company it included.

    (Then again, for Gary Gygax, I might be willing to sketch in my semi-fictitious off-time from a decent transcript and basic character descriptions, even having never played Metamorphosos Alpha. <chuckles>)

  7. #6417
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolv0rine
    Oh look at him jest... if I weren't on the other side of the country I'd take you up on that, if only for the company it included.

    (Then again, for Gary Gygax, I might be willing to sketch in my semi-fictitious off-time from a decent transcript and basic character descriptions, even having never played Metamorphosos Alpha. <chuckles>)
    Well, I have a pal in Seattle that's an AD&D gamer... Maybe he can be a stand-in

    MA is a really fun game if you enjoy the surreal, and Jim Ward is an excellent GM too!

    Cheers,
    Gary
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  8. #6418
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    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    Well, I have a pal in Seattle that's an AD&D gamer... Maybe he can be a stand-in

    MA is a really fun game if you enjoy the surreal, and Jim Ward is an excellent GM too!

    Cheers,
    Gary
    You're just a cruel ol' bugger, aint'cha?

  9. #6419
    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    To cut to the chase here, I envisage witches and warlocks as humans pledged to the evil and malign. some so excell that they become more than human..
    Heh, I'll be sure not to mention that to my wife, who is IRL a pagan witch. Oh, the rants I hear every time Wizard of Oz comes on...

    I like your take on witches/warlocks; I was fooling around with ideas revolving around herbalism mixed with spellcraft and so forth, but it never really jelled. Any tips on how you would approach your vision of witches and warlocks in a 1st Ed. AD&D setting? Ordinary magic-users who enter into a pact with the denizens of the Lower Planes, and at certain levels gain new abilities in return? Or a new class unto itself?

    Thulcondar

  10. #6420
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolv0rine
    You're just a cruel ol' bugger, aint'cha?


    Nah! That's Jim Ward when GMing his MA campaign

    BTW, Joe from Seattle and a friend of his from the East Coast did visit here last year, and we gamed a bit, so it isn't as if travelers aren't welcome to come by

    Cheers,
    Gary
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