Q&A with Gary Gygax - Page 644
  1. #6431
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xyanthon
    Colonel,

    Greetings from Okinawa, Japan! I just wanted to chime in with the others and say thanks for the 25 or so years of gaming you have given me. Your works have been a constant source of inspirtation and have fuled my imagination like nothing else. I can't wait to introduce my son Bear (he's 2 1/2) to the hobby when he gets older. He is already highly fascinated with dragons so I think he's off to a good start!
    Howdy,

    Your good words are appreciated.

    A good time to start a child playing a simple form of the RPG is around five to seven years, depending on attention span and interest in fantasy. In all events make sure the threat level is low, that the child overcomes challenges and is rewarded handsomely. Fairy tales such as the many written by andrew Lang provide excellent templates for adventures

    Cheers,
    Gary
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  2. #6432
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark CMG
    Hiya Poppa G!

    I wondered if you might be able to make it down to the next Chicago Gameday?

    http://www.enworld.org/showthread.php?t=172893

    There's still a slot open in the morning (there's always one available for you, of course) and I'd love to revisit my youthful days of 1974 with a game of OD&D, if you'd be so kind as to run one. Aside from the gaming, if I can sweeten the pot, I'd like to offer breakfast and/or lunch to compensate you for the drive down and the gas involved (might be $5 a gallon by then!) Anyway, you'd make an old, but young at heart, gamer's dream come true if you could swing it. I played in the D&D Opens in those early Gencon days in Lake Geneva, Parkside, and the Mecca but never was lucky enough to draw you as the DM. (I'm sure the whole gang at Games Plus would also enjoy seeing you once again, too.)

    Thanks and hope to hear good news!

    As always,
    Mark
    The invitation is most appreciated, but...

    My current work load (what is semi-retirement?) Keeps me here at the computer most every day. Many deadlines to meet and all that rot...

    I have no ready means of traveling to the get-together as wife Gail is busy with hew work demands too.

    My health is such that I get pretty worn out in traveling and gaming, so I can do only one or the other usually.

    :\
    Gary
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  3. #6433
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    Quote Originally Posted by haakon1
    How you do feel about xp awards for other "do the right thing" scenarios? After a very LONG adventure (slow over email!), I was thinking of toying with the idea of rewards for such things as I've listed below. Do you think these are worthy or unworthy, oh great sage of gaming?


    Note: Some spoilers, but I won't tell the module I used.

    - Immediate correct hunch as to the bizarre problem in a village, but without acting on it because the hunch didn't seem possible to the players.
    0 for a "Shoulda, coulda, woulda..."

    - Using a skill to understand bizarre magic talk the villain was using to distract them. Basically, I gave them a speech about particle physics, and the character came back with, "Yes, but did you check for fuzzy quarks for 11th dimension neutron fluctuations". something like on a modified 30+ roll on a D20. The PC's didn't put anything together from this, though it did related to the plot, but everyone thought it was cool at the time.
    Yes, XPs are in order.

    - Using a skill to figure out some accounting records didn't make sense and were probably fake. Again, the PC's did well -- sneaking in to get the records and figuring them out -- but they couldn't figure out what was behind it.
    Ditto

    - Surviving traps they set off accidentally.
    Noppers.

    - Disabling traps using clever ideas rather than thief skills.
    Absolutely deserves XPs.

    - Convincing a carytid column to let them pass, by using knowledge of its maker and the correct ancient languages, including druidic. I figure full XP as if it was defeated in combat?
    Ditto.

    - In a single combat fight of honor with an ancient nonevil undead, conceding and winning the info you wanted from him and his respect, by bashing the heck out of each other with a high damage hit each round, until you were both one blow from destruction. I figure 1/2 xp for not actually winning.
    Heh, and I'd give full XPs because of the end result. Loss of HPs in the process is immaterial; it is the success that counts.

    - Fighting a ghost who wanted to kill an NPC to a standstill, forcing it to retreat because it could do no more, but not destroying it. I figure maybe 1/2 or 1/3 xp?
    I would likely consider full XPs for the victory even though the ghost was not destroyed.

    - Figuring out a ghost is a good guy.
    Worth a moderate XP reward, certainly.

    - Finding the ghosts remains and properly burying them, thus freeing the ghost to go to its eternal reward. I figure the remaining xp up to its full value is about right, but maybe a little high?
    I think the fulkl XP awardis in order for the success and the good deed.

    - Knocking out and capturing an enemy. I figure full xp.
    Half to full depending on the foe and the circumstances. If the captured enemy is evil, loosed to return to working evil, no XPs at all are deserved.

    - Recovering friendly bodies and disposing of them properly. I figure no xp.
    Perhaps a modest award to encourage this sort of behavior...

    - Parlaying with an enemy (weird situation) and talking them into allying against the common enemy. I figure maybe full XP for the guy they initially parlayed with, and the leader?
    XPs of some amount are in order, but if the former enemy assists the party in defating others, gaining XPs, the award should be moderate.

    - Combat in which 2/3 of the combatants were PCs, 1/3 friendlies, all similar levels. I figure 2/3 xp for the PC's.
    I always divide up XPs equally between all of the victorious combatants. If some are henchmen of PCs, their award counts only 50% of the total XPs gained because of their status.

    - Combat with a really tough uberbaddy, who was basically toying with them, but when he took some hits and realized his plans were foiled by the destruction of his minions, decided to flee, getting away scot free with all his stuff. I figure something like 1/4 xp, or nothing?
    Full XPs for minions eliminated; a modest award for causing the big baddie to beat feet.

    - Rescuing from a burning building some records the fleeing uberbaddy was trying to burn, of no great value other than confirming the storyline and giving vague hints of future plotlines.
    A very modest reward to reinforce positive behavior.

    - Negotiating and intimidating a village into giving up allegiance to their previous, defeated ruler.
    Depending on the import of the success, anything from a few XPs each to a hefty award for causing a community to switch sides.

    - "Nation building". Taking a village of folks that had no skills (basically blank slate minds for magical reasons) and hanging around for a month or so to feed them and teach them to farm and otherwise fend for themselves.
    The good award for that act should be fairly generous, but not so much as to cause the PCs to gain considerably in their class levels, save for clerics of benign sort. Thar class is the one that should be fully rewarded for such an act. Paladins and druids and rangers moderately, others minimally methinks--save for receiving high repute for doing so good a deed.

    Cheers,
    Gary
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  4. #6434
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    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    The good award for that act should be fairly generous, but not so much as to cause the PCs to gain considerably in their class levels, save for clerics of benign sort. Thar class is the one that should be fully rewarded for such an act. Paladins and druids and rangers moderately, others minimally methinks--save for receiving high repute for doing so good a deed.

    Cheers,
    Gary
    Thanks so much, Gary, for your generosity in answering my long question. This is very helpful. I thought perhaps I'd gotten overly generous over the years with lots of awards for not quiet killing stuff. It's good to hear how you'd do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by haakon1
    Thanks so much, Gary, for your generosity in answering my long question. This is very helpful. I thought perhaps I'd gotten overly generous over the years with lots of awards for not quiet killing stuff. It's good to hear how you'd do it.
    Of course

    If you check the Lejendary Adventure game's experiece award system, the major awards are given for active and useful participation in the adventure session and fir successful completion of a mission. Very minor awards are constant for positive use of each Ability employed in the course of play, while minor ones are granted for proper decision making or positive action in regards success or weal.

    that said, in the O/AD&D games I DM, I hand out XPs for eliminating foes, using spells and skills, doing the thing called for, mission success, as well as for loot gained--the latter being the main reason for most adventuring

    Cheers,
    Gary
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  6. #6436
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    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    Welcome with or without potables

    The summer Lake Geneva Gaming Convention provides a fine excuse to travel here. I run the RPGs I Gm on my front porch too

    Cheers,
    Gary
    And for the first time in my 34 years (and with a hearty belly-laugh) I glimpse how the nutjobs of the 80's could have seen it all as a weird cult. I can just see you sitting on the porch with a handful of dice, waving whoever over. "Come on over and play. All are welcome, all are welcome."

    Even if it were a cult, at least we're too cool to pass around kool-aid.

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  8. #6438
    Dear Gary,

    I have to say, all the products that you and what came from you, have been very nice, over the many years, although that I have only been enjoying them for less then a fourth of the time they have been out. I started playing on 2e AD&D back in 90's (late I would assume having a memory flux) to 3.5 2-3 years back. From my time in the 'trenches of roleplaying' it would seem that the very attention of the game has shifted from well thought out fun characters to fairly well thought up characters that are rolled play. More and more playing has went from: I want to pick the lock, so I tkae out my tools, and stick them in the key hole picking around' to 'I pick lock, I rolled a 23, did it work?'

    Again, I dont blame the compaines that make the sytems and ideas but the players that are making it more and more acceptable to not 'act out' as I remember in games of old. Maybe it was this way the whole time, maybe I was just naive having only limited groups that I played in, but what ever the reason and when ever it statred, I would like to see it stop (or slolw down) soon.

    Personaly, I think there is a few reasons why this is happening. The first one of which is what I call: 'dead rules'. Dead rules are what simple rules in the game that most Dms leave out, and when playing with second generation or first time players, they new players will leave out when they start dming, not even knowing they are there. The Dead rules, which I cant remember at the moment (Ironic, isn't it?) take away role playing aspects. Oh wait, I do remember!

    1) Training to gain class levels and skills. This has turned into a assumbstion in 3.5 (that you do take the training) and now the assumtion is ignored so its: You kill the tribe of goblins. 'Ding' You know learned a item creation feat and have 3 more ranks in Profession (sailor).

    Ok, so that is the only one I remember off hand.

    Alot of the role playing reasons have been removed from the game, and are viewed simply as a 'mechanic' that is ethier 'too weak' or 'over powered' When I do think people really understand what that means anymore.

    Another think I cant say is that I know for a fact what the reasons behind the way you desisgned the game (which is to say: the role playing and mechanical aspects that entail the world) But I would like to think it was for role playing first. This is why I strongly disagree with game designers like Monte Cook. Most of Monte's ideas will make a role playing game feel more like a acrade game then a role playing. In a post that was well recieved on this forum, monte introduced a idea that I thought, ruined spell casters. Instead of spell casters having to be thoughtful in picking and choosing what spell to prepare and use for out the day, Monte's idea alowed casters a near infinite amount of spells, only limiting the spells per encounters. This is to say, a Wiz can can fireball 3 times in one battle, three times in another battle, three times again, and again and again. This ruins the wizard from being a thoughtful know-it-all to a magic powerhouse of firery death. I absoltely hate the idea of making D&D into a acrade just so a class can be thought to be more balanced, the idea is just wrong.

    So, to make my rant at least some one relavnt and not all a idealistic zealot rant: Yes or no- Will 4th ED be a point buy sytem like the other games that d20 is buying out?

    Sorry for any typos in advance.

    ---Rusty

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    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    Of course

    If you check the Lejendary Adventure game's experiece award system, the major awards are given for active and useful participation in the adventure session and fir successful completion of a mission. Very minor awards are constant for positive use of each Ability employed in the course of play, while minor ones are granted for proper decision making or positive action in regards success or weal.

    that said, in the O/AD&D games I DM, I hand out XPs for eliminating foes, using spells and skills, doing the thing called for, mission success, as well as for loot gained--the latter being the main reason for most adventuring

    Cheers,
    Gary
    This approach makes sense to me. I like the judgment-based nature of it, in contrast to the DM as computer approach of WOTC these days. Sticking to the mission rather than hunting down giant rats for their XP bounty seems a better behavior to reward.

    I've played with one DM who takes the approach of not bothering with the accounting at all, just saying, "Ah, it's about time you leveled up" once every few sessions. It works OK.

    What do you think of characters leveling up during adventures? I'm highly against this, as I can see little "in character" justification for a sudden change, and I prefer to do the accounting at the end of an adventure, when the PC's are on break of at least a week.

  10. #6440
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    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    The invitation is most appreciated, but...

    My current work load (what is semi-retirement?) Keeps me here at the computer most every day. Many deadlines to meet and all that rot...

    I have no ready means of traveling to the get-together as wife Gail is busy with hew work demands too.

    My health is such that I get pretty worn out in traveling and gaming, so I can do only one or the other usually.

    :\
    Gary

    Not to worry. I figured it was a long shot at best. I do hope, though, that you feel better.

    All the best!

    As always,
    Mark

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