Q&A with Gary Gygax - Page 86
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    Originally posted by MerricB
    G'day, Gary!

    Back a while ago, you did that poll in Dragon on the various aspects of RPGs - very illuminating and thought-provoking, I must say!

    For those of us who don't have access to that poll, could you provide a summary?

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    Originally posted by Ulrick
    Mr. Gygax,

    Is it true that you knew and were friends with the late Chief Standing Bear here in Ames, Iowa?

    [snippage]

    Chief Standing Bear is a bit of a legend within the Guild. Some of the older gamers say he was the best DM they ever had and all around great guy.

    Ulrick

    Edit: Added the link.
    Hi Ulrick,

    The name doesn't ring an immediate bell. Did he ever use another name? It seems to me that I recall a gamer who was an American Indian, a very knowledgeable and articulate fellow who was from Iowa. Met him at a GenCon or two early on when D&D was just starting, and I think he played in a tournament I was DMing and was on the winning team.

    Going back a quarter-century and more tests the memory rather severely...

    Cheers,
    Gary
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    Originally posted by Nathal


    Oh, don't let 3.5 stop you, Gary. There are always many who are willing to aid in translating your adventure designs, or more generic "gygaxian fantasy" material into the specifics of the latest D&D incarnation.
    Thank goodness for such help, I must say!

    However, I was actually referring to the possibility of current material in editing having to go back to be revised to the new 3.5E rules, thus messing up the publishing schedule and release date

    Of course anybody who tires of keeping a strict catalog of errata and revisions to "official canon" can try out Lejendary Adventure with its emphasis on the Game Master's primacy as the final arbiter on which rules (or even updates) to use or toss.

    Granted there is such a "Rule Zero" written in the new D&D, and yet there remains a great concern with what is Official. This a common obsession, never discouraged by Wizards, regardless of conventional wisdom concerning DM fiat. LA hammers home the point that the Game Master is ultimately responsible for the success of the game, the fact intrinsic to its very design it would seem, based on its "rules-light" nature.
    Heh, and that's so. Being old and cranky, I have grown tired of arguing over rules, so I figured that doing a system that had as few rules as possible, just enough to facilitate easy play, and with mechanics that were "forgiving" in that they allow for some and just about any addition alteration without throwing the system out of kilter was the way to go. That way the GM can play the fast and easy way or add whatever else is enjoyable to him and his group without difficulty. It also gets me out of the "what does this mean," and "why isn't this done thus-and so," loop

    Heh,
    Gary
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    Originally posted by MerricB
    G'day, Gary!

    Back a while ago, you did that poll in Dragon on the various aspects of RPGs - very illuminating and thought-provoking, I must say!

    Which aspect do you find easiest, and which do you find hardest as a DM to handle properly?

    [snippage]

    As you note, roleplay, and even role-assumption, are the hardest elements of the RPG for me to get to if the player group is not so inclined. I include one encounter in the upcoming HALL OF MANY PANES that absolutely demands the group properly assume their character's role and then play that persona. Surprisingly, when so confronted, all of the group did well, including my young son Alex, age 16, who is uneasy in reagrds that (which is typical of most young persons not of a theatrical bent).

    Some problem solving can be a trial, for if the group isn't in the mood for serious lucubration at the time, they then to use the rule, "Don't use force; het a bigger hammer!"

    Focusing on strategy and devising tactics to accomplish the mission is another probem area at times. In the excitement of the adventure many a team loses its focus and goes astray.


    Conversely, finding quests for the players seems relatively easy to me, though at times it turns into quest overload. "Can't we have some down-time?" "But there's a dragon about to eat your castle, and you need to find the Sword of Magnificence to kill it! No, you can't rest, now!"

    Cheers!
    That you can easily manage the quests portion of the game is excellent. to the best of my knowledge many GMs don't do that with great facility. That's why short modules are pretty popular. A busy GM is often hard-pressed to devise an interesting scenario, for the quest must have more than the sheer mission, be given details in regards all sorts of things. Bening able to have a quest that's complete--a ready-made adventure that can be slipped into the campaign--is generally looked at as a great boon by harried GMs.

    The intermediate elements are intregue (quite demanding on the GM), politics, and economic ones--building, commerce, etc. In most groups I am familiar with these are not as popular as action aspects. When I play I love to get involved the lot of them. Jim Ward actually made a group called "The Vigilists" a part of his infrastructure of groups that characters will encounter in his METAMORPHOSIS ALPHA game

    BTW, the easiest RPG elements to manage all around are exploration and combat. Most players love both, so that's why they form the meat and potatoes of many campaigns.

    Cheers,
    Gary
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    Originally posted by johnsemlak


    For those of us who don't have access to that poll, could you provide a summary?
    Below are the questions I asked. i published the results in DRAGON, but I don't know which two nimbers the column ran in, so hopefully MerricB can suply that.

    BTW, had I been aware of this website I'd have posted the survey here too

    The questions:

    THE ELEMENTS THAT CONSTITUTE A ROLE-PLAYING GAME

    Rate each component of the game from 9, most, to 1, least, important to the RPG.
    If you believe any element listed does not belong in the game form give it a 0 (zero).

    1. Building (construction, land acquisition, etc.)
    2. Business (an occupation aside from "adventuring")
    3. Character Development (detailing game personaĺs ôhistoryö)
    4. Combat
    5. Economics
    6. Exploration (dungeons and for larger discovery)
    7. Intrigue
    8. Politics
    9. Problem Solving
    10. Questing
    11. Random Chance (encounters, resolution of combat, etc.)
    12. Role Assumption (staying "in character" in actions/thinking)
    13. Role Playing (ditto, and speaking thus when playing)
    14. Story (backstory and in play)
    15. Strategy
    16. Theatrics (occasional histrionics and sound effects)
    17. (You name it and rate it_________________________

    Cheers,
    Gary
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    Here's a question:

    How do you pronounce your last name?

    (Just to make sure. )

  7. #857

    Pronunciation, D-series

    There was an earlier post on pronunciation of Gary's surname - from memory, they now say "Ghuy-gax", although it was originally "Ghee-gax".

    I struggled with the lack of detail in the D-series modules... I'm now more grown up and feel more confident about tackling this sort of thing, and have actually recently pulled out the GDQ super series with a view to adding them on to my existing campaign in Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil (so the Hall of Many Panes is even further away - sorry about that, Gary! )

    In looking at this, it's clear that the chief "shadowy mastermind" of the G series is Eclavdra, head of the house Eilservs, who have turned away from Lolth to serve the Elder Elemental Eye... why then is the "final confrontation" with Lolth? Was something meant to happen in the Vault of the Drow that led to the destruction of Hosue Eilservs and the impending unleashing of the true worshippers of the Spider Goddess upon the surface?

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    I've wondered that in the past, myself.

    Here's my explanation of the incongruity.

    I'm sure Gary's talked about this recently - the explanation being relatively simple: Lolth is a threat. Though she is not the threat you thought you were pursuing, she nevertheless represents a grave threat to the upper world, and must be dealt with.

    Of course, it's also hard to predict the exact form of the adventure once it reaches D3...

    However, my memory is notorious for confusing reality with fiction, so perhaps Gary might like to confirm?

    John - the poll was first mentioned in Dragon Magazine issue 279, and then results examined in issues 280, 281, 282, 283 and 284. Issue 286 finall brought everything to a close with a discussion of the suggested '17th element' to RPGs as well as more analysis of the survey.

    Cheers!
    Merric Blackman
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    Lolth was a Diversion

    Recall a certain galley, the one 'manned' by undead? You got it, the party was supposed to take that boat and go in search of the true masterminds behind the giant raids that started the whole mess off.

    Even had a title for the adventure, A Sailor on the Sunless Sea. In it the party would take the ship and go off on adventure, over the course of time learning of the fell creatures who had 'inspired' the drows' decision to conspire with the giants. Those vile beasts known as mind flayers.

    It being the illithids' plan to cause a war between the surface dwellers and the drow that would weaken both and allow the mind flayer conquest of both the lands of sunlight, and the Underdark. After which they would rule the world and use the humanoids as food.

    Never ran it, but I might do an updated version later on for my fantasy setting.

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    Re: Pronunciation, D-series

    Originally posted by Caedrel
    There was an earlier post on pronunciation of Gary's surname - from memory, they now say "Ghuy-gax", although it was originally "Ghee-gax".
    Close The Swiss pronounce it as "Ghe-gox," and so do many others in the family here in the US, but my branch gave up and has adopted a more American "Guy-gax"

    I struggled with the lack of detail in the D-series modules... I'm now more grown up and feel more confident about tackling this sort of thing, and have actually recently pulled out the GDQ super series with a view to adding them on to my existing campaign in Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil (so the Hall of Many Panes is even further away - sorry about that, Gary! )

    In looking at this, it's clear that the chief "shadowy mastermind" of the G series is Eclavdra, head of the house Eilservs, who have turned away from Lolth to serve the Elder Elemental Eye... why then is the "final confrontation" with Lolth? Was something meant to happen in the Vault of the Drow that led to the destruction of Hosue Eilservs and the impending unleashing of the true worshippers of the Spider Goddess upon the surface?
    You gotta keep the players busy and happy! I surely do understand that

    As for Q1, Ask Dave Sutherland and Brian Blume about that. It was taken out of my hands by the latter when Sutherland discovered the "Demonweb" pattern in a hand towel and talked Brian into using it as the main theme for the concluding module. I had no creative control over it.

    I had hoped to get to the Elder Elemental god in a sequal to the ToEE, but...

    Bah,
    Gary
    Last edited by Col_Pladoh; Monday, 24th February, 2003 at 02:07 PM.
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