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  1. #91
    Can we stop talking ill of the dead, especially so recently.

 

  • #92
    I think Gygax would be honored and delighted that his ideas are still seriously discussed over three decades after he wrote them.

  • #93
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely_Dan View Post
    Can we stop talking ill of the dead, especially so recently.
    Who is talking ill of the dead? Most of the comments here are talking respectfully about his work? And what do you mean recently? He died four years ago.

    What we are talking about is his creations and his views - remembering him as the person and the game designer he was. That, to me, is far, far more respectful than putting up a marble statue and trying to sweep his beliefs, his creative skill, and his flaws under the carpet and therefore treat him as less than a person who was once alive.

  • #94
    Has anyone started a thread on this in meta?
    Last edited by rounser; Saturday, 8th September, 2012 at 02:09 PM.
    "They've taken all the fun out of slaying things and stealing treasure!"
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  • #95
    May I remind everyone.



    Eh Hem..........


    ITS A FREAKING GAME!

    YOUR PLAYING A GAME!!!!!





  • #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mallus View Post
    Bit of an eye-opener, that was. Now, 25 or so years on from my first reading of the AD&D core books, I see them in a different light, their language as Gary's love letter to the fiction he admired, particularly Jack Vance's and Fritz Lieber's. I can also see the humor in it, the self-awareness, the places where the tone slips knowingly in self-mockery -- it's a lot less pompous than I first thought.
    Yes, this. The 1e books differ from later editions not just in editorial tone and presentation, there's a vein of very conscious comedy running throughout that totally undermines the idea of D&D as a high-minded Serious Thing. A good deal of the artwork is literally humorous cartoons. And I think it's there in Gygax's writing. When I read Gygax's words about using earseekers to discourage listening at doors, I didn't read that as completely straight advice to new DMs for adopting an adversarial attitude towards players, I read it as a rather self-deprecating passage commiserating with other DMs reading the books: "Man, players will really screw up your plans, won't they? It's a constant idea arms race."

    You see the same kind of "piss-take" attitude in the potion miscibility table, the wandering harlot table, and other places.

    Quote Originally Posted by GreyICE View Post
    I'm not sure that Gygax really felt that way. He referred to AD&D several times as a groundbreaking system that would change everything, calling it something "like nothing that had ever come before," and generally raving about how good it is. Here's a few samples:
    It surprises me not at all that Gygax was raving about AD&D in pre-publication publicity. I just don't think that necessarily was a full and accurate presentation of his views on design. But I think your quotes support my position more than they contradict it. The Basic Set remains as a largely cleaned up presentation of the Original game (including Gygax's encouragement to change and modify the game to fit one's own group), while the Advanced line provides a place to satisfy other gamers' hunger for more and more rules.

    Quote Originally Posted by Celebrim View Post
    I feel like the realism debate is a total rehash, but I do want to say that over the years there has been a lot of times when I thought I was smarter than EGG - including over the issue of realism.

    And the more time I spend gaming and the older I get, the more credit I'm willing to give EGG. All the stuff that I used to think was 'obviously' stupid - like hit points, Vancian magic, alignment, AC, classes, etc. - turned out, after some experience of the alternatives, to be not so stupid.

    EGG created his game as he gamed, not with some deep vision, but organicly. It evolved as he learned and it grew. The result is typical of an organic system. It's messy. It's complicated. It's at times illogical.

    But it has something that almost all the attempts to replace it carefully crafted from elegant theories about fun and built with (or without) careful math generally don't have. It just works. The fundamental mechanical systems he created have never really been replaced on a wide scale. Lots of people try, but it never seems to work out. The design endures. You can pretty much find it everywhere now.
    Quote Originally Posted by S'mon View Post
    Hm... I have to strongly concur with this. And yet Celebrim is also right - since I dropped UA and a few of the esoteric 1e sub-systems, I'm finding that the 'OD&D+Greyhawk' chassis that remains is extremely elegant and effective! I'm finding all sorts of beneficial emergent properties. For instance, using DMG random spell acquisition, I get interesting Magic-User characters well balanced against other classes. Dropping UA Weapon Spec, suddenly the listed Armour Class values for armour and monsters feel 'right' - plate is genuinely hard to penetrate, troll hide is hard to hurt even at mid-level.

    Overall, I have to say that in retrospect the post-UA AD&D I grew up with is a 'decadent' game; the beauty of the original was severely degraded. I'm enjoying my PHB-only AD&D game more than I've ever enjoyed AD&D before.
    I enjoy all kinds of D&D, from B/X to 4e, but I also agree with S'mon and Celebrim that looking back at AD&D has given me a better appreciation for it. A lot of folks hate Vancian magic*, and while I never hated it, I can't say I particularly loved it, either. But now I think the 1e AD&D Magic-user is tremendously flavorful. And while, no, it is not designed so that it remains in full balance with the rest of the party from Levels 1 to 30, it has a different kind of balance, and one that leaves open the option for solo play, something very much a part of 70s and 80s D&D.

    *I should note that I'm thinking of Vancian magic in the AD&D/BD&D sense, rather than the overpowered/under-limited 3.x version.

  • #97
    Quote Originally Posted by rounser View Post
    Has anyone started a thread on this in meta?
    From the Meta thread:

    You all know he's being taken out of context, and that he wouldn't support what you're trying to use his words to support.

    ...

    Col Pladoh deserves more respect than even that, as he is no longer around to clarify his opinion with regard to the context you're trying to hijack his words for.
    Can I ask on what basis you consider that his words are being taken out of context to support things he wouldn't have supported? You certainly don't appear to have shown this. And what I now believe Gygax thought after reading his writings and listening to people who gamed with him explain the purpose of certain rules is very different from what I believed three years ago. I do not believe he's being taken out of context and would be fascinated to find evidence he was.

    <acronym>
    4E </acronym>and 5E fans/designers do not need to call on Gygax for legitimacy. Do it by designing a game which doesn't need to justify it's not-D&Dness after having gone too far out into left field. We know what D&D is - TSR showed us, and <acronym title="D&D 3rd Edition">3E</acronym> looked pretty passable too.
    Really? Because neither 2e nor 3e look much like Gygaxian D&D to me. Gygaxian D&D (whether white box or 1e) is a pretty well balanced game about the exploration of dungeons. D&D versions after Lorraine Williams hijacked TSR first deprecated then eliminated the most fundamental rule of the game. You gain XP in D&D for getting Gold Pieces. Your job is to explore the dungeon and carry off the loot and the game rewards this. You don't get much reward for killing monsters. 2e is an attempt to take D&D rules and make the game about something other than Dungeons and the dragons who live there.

    2e and 3e only look passable if you are comparing rule for rule rather than goal for goal. They are IMO about as passable as playing soccer on a rugby pitch using a rugby ball (or an American Football ball).

    Ironically, 4e looks at the playstyle 2e and 3e tried to replace Gygaxian D&D with and says "What if we had a system designed to do this?" And it therefore fits a lot of material written for 2e and 3e (or even 1e starting with the Dragonlance Saga - and just about every single Pathfinder AP I've looked at) much better than the original rules do. It, however, is a poor fit for dungeoncrawling - but most of the dungeoncrawling mechanics were removed edition by edition.

  • #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steely_Dan View Post
    Can we stop talking ill of the dead, especially so recently.
    There have been several comments, such as this one, insinuating that this thread is somehow inflammatory (never pointing to anything specific about it, so presumably its very existence is what is being questioned here). Ironically, those comments themselves have been easily the most inflammatory things posted here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    Really? Because neither 2e nor 3e look much like Gygaxian D&D to me. Gygaxian D&D (whether white box or 1e) is a pretty well balanced game about the exploration of dungeons. D&D versions after Lorraine Williams hijacked TSR first deprecated then eliminated the most fundamental rule of the game. You gain XP in D&D for getting Gold Pieces.
    This rule was controversial and widely criticized even "back in the day". The very first Forum letter I read in Dragon was a critique of this very thing, and that was (albeit just barely) when Gygax was still with TSR. Every circle of people I ever gamed with disliked this rule and actively sought alternatives. Even modern OSR folks are not universally fans of it (though some certainly are). So I certainly wouldn't call it "the most fundamental rule of the game"!
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  • #100
    Quote Originally Posted by jeffh View Post
    This rule was controversial and widely criticized even "back in the day". The very first Forum letter I read in Dragon was a critique of this very thing, and that was (albeit just barely) when Gygax was still with TSR. Every circle of people I ever gamed with disliked this rule and actively sought alternatives. Even modern OSR folks are not universally fans of it (though some certainly are). So I certainly wouldn't call it "the most fundamental rule of the game"!
    Oh, I know it was controversial. And it has no place in e.g. The Dragonlance Saga (1984 - or before Lorraine Williams) or certain styles of game. Which is why I specified Gygaxian D&D rather than the whole field that is D&D. D&D was written for a specific purpose (which is what I'm referrign to as Gygaxian D&D) and then hacked into other purposes. 4e takes the most common purpose D&D is used for and starts out by designing a game to play that using a D20 ruleset.

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