Q&A with Gary Gygax - Page 93
  1. #921
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    Hi Draxx,

    You are most welcome, and as I always hasten to point out, I've really had a great time creating and playing all these years. BTW, you've been playing RPGs about as long as my son Luke, asd he hits age 33 this coming autumn.

    And as for posting, heh, and a first time for everything

    I have a dual d20/LA game system module out now, THE HERMIT from Troll Lord games. It is not a short adventure, more of a mini-campaign, but it can be slipped into any campaign setting, likely.

    Coming this summner from the Trolls is a like dual-system super module, likely a year of play that's titled HALL OF MANY PANES. They are wrestling with its 700 + pages of ms, now, and it will likely be a boxed set when released.

    Other than those, Chris Clark and I have done a big dual-system campaign module, CASTLE WOLFMOON, but it isn't quite finished yet, and Chris hasn't told me what the publishing arrangement is to be. Its ms. has not hit over 500 pp...

    For the future I have a request to do an "old school" type module of around 24 pp. printed form length, but I haven't had time to so much as begin to plot it out yet.

    If things break right, Rob Kuntz gets back online and is willing to commit to a two-year project, we might well do a new version of my old castle and dungeons, "Zagig's Castle," in a generic format that will be compatible with as many systems as possible, including OA/D&D

    Cheers,
    Gary
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  2. #922
    Mr Gygax:

    First of all, greetings and salutations! One of the things I have always enjoyed about these baords is reading the various things you post within them. Although I disagree with you on many things, I find your opinions to be well thought out and interesting, at the very least. This goes for your regular Dragon Magazine gig as well. OK... now that the traditional apple-polishing is done, on to my question for you.

    Looking back over the evolution of the Role Playing Hobby in general and the Dungeons and Dragons game specifically, there are a lot of things that have changed, been dropped and added along the way and morphed into things they may not have been originally intended to be. So... given the vast array of things that decended from those early works of yours and those that worked/played with you -- I have two questions -- each in two parts:
    • Question 1, Part 1: Of all of the rules that have managed to survive the OD&D, D&D, AD&D, AD&D2e, D&D3e train, which one (that your originally wrote) would you have most liked to have seen disappear by now?
    • Question 1, Part 2: Of all of the rules that have managed to disappear somewhere on the OD&D, D&D, AD&D, AD&D2e, D&D3e train, which one (that your originally wrote) would you have most liked to have seen survive the journey?
    • Question 2, Part 1: Of all of the rules that have managed been added to the Dungeons & Dragons rules set, which one (that your did not originally write) do you look at these days and slap your forehead saying, 'Man, I wish I had thought of that one!'?
    • Question 2, Part 2: Of all of the rules that have managed been added to the Dungeons & Dragons rules set, which one (that your did not originally write) do you look at these days and slap your forehead saying, 'Man, what were they smoking when they thought of that one!'?


    Thanks, and good day sir!
    Last edited by KDLadage; Monday, 10th March, 2003 at 09:21 PM.

  3. #923
    Originally posted by Col_Pladoh


    At the risk of incurring the wrath of some of the folks who have given you their recollections:

    As far as I am aware, there was no RPG available before the D&D game was created. The closest thing to it, aside from gtames of "Let's Pretend" sort were psychological ones and the Inter-nation Sims that were run popularly for a time in the 1960s.

    There is no question that I wrote every word of the original D&D game. Dave Arneson has said so himself in an interview in the now-defunct magazine Different worlds (issue #3, as I recall).

    I sent the original 50 pp. ms. to about a score of other wargamers I was close to back in 1972. Most of them were college students. Indeed, these individuals game me a lot of feedback, so that in about two months of time after sending out the initial draft I rewrote the game so that the ms. was 150 pp length. That was likewise mailed out, this time to about twice as many persons for play-testing and input.

    Chalk up the false stories to envy and jealousy There isn't one person who can come up with a shred of evidence contrary to what I state forthrightly above, mainly because there isn't any. Rather like the post here some time last year that claimed I had bashed female gamers. That chap claimed he'd find and post the proof, and I'm still waiting

    Anyway, that said, I do hope you can discver Standing Bear's English name, as my curiosity is piqued.

    Cheers,
    Gary
    That's what I figured on both accounts. And, now that I think about it, you're right, the game Standing Bear played wasn't really an RPG. From what I've been told, he did have some rules or guidlines but it never was published. It more along the lines of "let's pretend."

    I chalk the stories up to either envy or jealousy or just as a game of "telephone." I can easily imagine Standing Bear way back in the day coming from Gen Con saying to people:

    "I played D&D with Gary Gygax! He's a really great guy. Very friendly."

    Then one of the those people says to somebody else, "Standing Bear met Gary Gygax and Gen Con. Then they became friends and they played D&D."

    And then the story gets passed from person to person, altering slightly, of course, till finally it gets to the current form of "Standing Bear was friends with Mr. Gygax and he helped make D&D."

    I find these stories very entertaining but I don't put much stalk into them. Even before now, I knew the truth that YOU were the one who created D&D.

    Yay!

    Thanks again.
    Last edited by Stelios; Monday, 10th March, 2003 at 10:19 PM.

  4. #924
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    Originally posted by Ulrick


    [snip]

    I find these stories very entertaining but I don't put much stalk into them. Even before now, I knew the truth that YOU were the one who created D&D.

    Yay!

    Thanks again.
    Heh, and me and all whole lot of others, beginning with my father's bedtime stories about magic rings and cloaks of invisibility, my mother's hours of reading to me, the local gang of boys I played with, Jim Rasch who was the director in "realistic cops & robbers type games I played when I was 10, and so many others I can't begin to name them--friends, authors, fellow gamers--who contributed to the process

    Cheers,
    Gary
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  5. #925
    KDLadage, those are some fine questions. I hope I don't presume in saying that, of all the rules in the 1974 D&D game, the ability of clerics to turn undead might be the one Good Sir Gygax wishes had vanished.

    Of course, that's only a guess, based on a paragraph in the original published version of Necropolis. (Sorry, I don't have it with me or I'd quote it.)
    Last edited by Geoffrey; Tuesday, 11th March, 2003 at 12:56 AM.

  6. #926
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    Greetings Gary, welcome here (if it hasn't been mentioned aplenty already).

    Unfortunately, I am one of the younger players here (tender age of 24) so I have only vague memories of my first edition playing experience. It was the second edition D&D that really made me aware of the game, even though it was hideously tortured under the dire treatment of a young and inexperienced player.

    Someone sent me the basic books (which were actually translated into Danish, something they completely gave up in 3 rd. edition for some reason) while I was living in Angola. Unfortunately, there wasn't any D&D community at all, so the game depended upon my interpretation of the rules and my introduction of these to the new players. Unfortunately, I had gotten something horribly wrong when reading them, and thought that the levels stacked.. Which means, I thought that if a 1 st. level fighter had 1d8 hitpoints and it said 2d8 for a second level fighter, that had to be 3d8 in total. I did the same for spells etc. (which actually made a spellsheet something 8-10 pages long for a relatively high level wizard).
    Off course, the monsters were very low-power once the characters gained a few levels. I ended up pitting the players against 22 Gold Dragons, 38 Silver Dragons etc. just to challenge them. As I mentioned, I really tortured the game...

    Fortunately, I actually went back to Denmark and encountered a Danish teacher that played it with his sons (he also explained the rules better to me). With him I also had one of the most memorable moments in my D&D carreer. We, as a group, entered a Wizards stronghold. We knew that the Wizard would have some henchment, but were still surprised when we entered a huge room with large tables and chairs. On these, 300 ogres sat and ate huge pieces of boar meat and drank from huge gallons of wine. Half of the ogres were males, other half was females. Instead of merely sneaking through the room, which was quite easy, our wizard explained that it probably was an illusion and he would dispel it right away. Or dwarf warrior simply nodded, didn't know much about magic anyways. The wizard cast his dispel magic which actually worked. Yet, all of the ogres werent illusions.
    The wizard, knowing the nature of ogres, had created illusionary female companions for them. The food, which had been magically created, had been made well-tasting and interesting with magic as well. Even the music playing was an illusion. So, suddenly, the 150 (real) ogres stand amazed, as all of their female companions dissappear, their food suddenly turns into something boring and bland and the music vanishes. As the ogres begin looking around, trying to find out why all their entertainment vanished, the Dwarf looks at the Wizard and asks; "Is this good or bad?"

    Anyways, thanks for the game Gary. And I hold you personally responsible for the fact that half of my childhood memories contains orcs...

  7. #927
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    Originally posted by Clay_More


    [snip]

    ... As the ogres begin looking around, trying to find out why all their entertainment vanished, the Dwarf looks at the Wizard and asks; "Is this good or bad?"

    Anyways, thanks for the game Gary. And I hold you personally responsible for the fact that half of my childhood memories contains orcs...
    Heh! Gotta love that dwarf!

    And Clay_More, you should be happy that those memories are of orcs, not orgre, right?

    When my son Luke was about seven years old two of his older sisters made him DM (OAD&D, of course) for them, and they dictated what treasure was found when opponents were defeated. Finally he came to me, and I invested him with the "DM's Crown," thus putting an end to that abuse. Young players do many odd things to an RPG, but all in fun

    Cheers,
    Gary
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  8. #928
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    Originally posted by Geoffrey
    KDLadage, those are some fine questions. I hope I don't presume in saying that, of all the rules in the 1974 D&D game, the ability of clerics to turn undead might be the one Good Sir Gygax wishes had vanished.

    Of course, that's only a guess, based on a paragraph in the original published version of Necropolis. (Sorry, I don't have it with me or I'd quote it.)
    Clerics turning undead was a needed ability that seemed to get out of hand. While I do not regret the ability, I must admit that I used many "fudge" methods to get around that, so my precious undead critters would not be so easily disposed of by the party's priest. In fact, here's one I never got around to putting in a module or otherwise writing about:

    Amulet of Magnification: A magic item made by an evil cleric to protect undead serving him this item functions so as to raise the negative energy of the wearer by one or more levels (up to three in the most potent form of the device). When a cleric attempts to turn the subject wearing the amulet, the magnification is triggered.

    I also had one that multiplied the negative energy of the undead, so that each one with such amulet was effectively equal to 2 to 5. It didn't work as well against high level clerics, though, with automatic destruction...

    Cheers,
    Gary
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  9. #929
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    Almost Missed this Post!

    Originally posted by KDLadage
    Mr Gygax:

    First of all, greetings and salutations! One of the things I have always enjoyed about these baords is reading the various things you post within them. Although I disagree with you on many things, I find your opinions to be well thought out and interesting, at the very least. This goes for your regular Dragon Magazine gig as well. OK... now that the traditional apple-polishing is done, on to my question for you.
    You have the hubris to admit that you often disagree with me, not treat my every word as canon, and then dare to fob that off as proper homage? See if I bless your dice :rolleyes:

    Looking back over the evolution of the Role Playing Hobby in general and the Dungeons and Dragons game specifically, there are a lot of things that have changed, been dropped and added along the way and morphed into things they may not have been originally intended to be. So... given the vast array of things that decended from those early works of yours and those that worked/played with you -- I have two questions -- each in two parts:
    • Question 1, Part 1: Of all of the rules that have managed to survive the OD&D, D&D, AD&D, AD&D2e, D&D3e train, which one (that your originally wrote) would you have most liked to have seen disappear by now?
    • Question 1, Part 2: Of all of the rules that have managed to disappear somewhere on the OD&D, D&D, AD&D, AD&D2e, D&D3e train, which one (that your originally wrote) would you have most liked to have seen survive the journey?
    • Question 2, Part 1: Of all of the rules that have managed been added to the Dungeons & Dragons rules set, which one (that your did not originally write) do you look at these days and slap your forehead saying, 'Man, I wish I had thought of that one!'?
    • Question 2, Part 2: Of all of the rules that have managed been added to the Dungeons & Dragons rules set, which one (that your did not originally write) do you look at these days and slap your forehead saying, 'Man, what were they smoking when they thought of that one!'?


    Thanks, and good day sir!
    Whoa! Those are excellent questions, but they subsume that I have complete familiarity with the versions of the game noted. Fact is that I played 2E only a couple of times, and never read through the books, and after my contractual read through the draft mss. for the 3E PGB and DMG, I've not read the final texts.

    Actually, I don't much enjoy drawing comparisons, so I am going to let this go at that

    Cheers,
    Gary
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  10. #930
    Here's a way off-topic question for you Gary -- how have you managed to balance family and gaming? I ask because I am one of the old-timers here who started gaming with the White Box set.
    I am about to be introduced to parenthood in a few weeks and its the first time in my quarter century of gaming that I've wondered if it might be time to hang up the dice for a while.
    How did you cope with both? I'm pretty heavily involved because aside from my weekly game, I'm also freelancing for a d20 company and planning to start up my own d20 company in the near future (as well as holding down a full-time career).
    Any tips?
    Cheers, Andrew
    Last edited by dreadnought; Tuesday, 11th March, 2003 at 02:06 PM.

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