Gary Gygax Q&A, Part V - Page 13




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  1. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitey
    First of all, thanks so much for answering Whitey's earlier question - not only was this most kind of you, but it really illumninated some matters that have been raised in and that are key to our games.

    Here's another matter, more a trivia question. Someone asked what the first ever monster in a dungeon was (going back to the preliminary phases of the game ages ago) and what its final fate was. If this has been asked earlier, finding the appropriate post and response would be a boon.

    Again, many thanks.
    My pleasure

    The monsters first encountered, by son Ernie's and daughter Elise's characters, were a nest of scorpions in some rubble in the very first room of the dungeon they entered. The glint of coins was mentioned to lure the incautious hand into attack proximity, but Elise's PC used a dagger to poke around, and the scorpions were spotted. Eventually one managed to sting, but the poison saving throw was made. They next encountered and defeated a gang of kobolds with a chest of 3,000 copper pieces. Needless to say, they weren't pleased with the treasure.

    Cheers,
    Gary

 

  • #122
    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    My pleasure

    The monsters first encountered, by son Ernie's and daughter Elise's characters, were a nest of scorpions in some rubble in the very first room of the dungeon they entered. The glint of coins was mentioned to lure the incautious hand into attack proximity, but Elise's PC used a dagger to poke around, and the scorpions were spotted. Eventually one managed to sting, but the poison saving throw was made. They next encountered and defeated a gang of kobolds with a chest of 3,000 copper pieces. Needless to say, they weren't pleased with the treasure.

    Cheers,
    Gary

    Gary,

    Greetings! This brings to mind something that I have often thought about. My favorite column to read in Dragon Magazine is "Up On a Soapbox". When I pick up a back issue that's the first thing I look for. I love reading the exploits of Tenser, Robilar, Yrag or whoever else you would be writing about in the given month. My question is this, is there ever a chance of some kind of Greyhawk diary or journal beling released where you collect these kinds of tales. My guess is that you have 1000s of them that you could choose from. I for one would love to read that sort of thing. More so if it also contained some bits of campaign information that showed the early stages of Greyhawk and how and why it came together in the fashion that it did. I expect that there would be many others who would be interested in this sort of thing too.

    Sincerely,
    Rob
    Last edited by Jehosephat; Wednesday, 28th January, 2004 at 02:02 PM.

  • #123
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    A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jehosephat
    Gary,

    Greetings! This brings to mind something that I have often thought about. My favorite column to read in Dragon Magazine is "Up On a Soapbox". When I pick up a back issue that's the first thing I look for. I love reading the exploits of Tenser, Robilar, Yrag or whoever else you would be writing about in the given month. My question is this, is there ever a chance of some kind of Greyhawk diary or journal beling released where you collect these kinds of tales. My guess is that you have 1000s of them that you could choose from. I for one would love to read that sort of thing. More so if it also contained some bits of campaign information that showed the early stages of Greyhawk and how and why it came together in the fashion that it did. I expect that there would be many others who would be interested in this sort of thing too.

    Sincerely,
    Rob
    Hi Rob

    Pleased to learn you enjoy those old tales of the early D&D adventures we had. After so long a time it isn't possible to say how many interesting events have been forgotten, but surely there were some. However, as with all campaigns, we had far more unremarkable sessions than interesting ones. I wish there were even scores more to tell, but my list of springboards for columns is down to a handfull or so.

    Fortunately, Rob Kuntz has pitched in, written four accounts of adventures, and he assures me he has a fair number of additional ones. When all of my recollections are set down in print, and Rob's essays are completed, we plan to collect the lot and publish them in book form. That will be at least two years from now, The volume won't be large, but hopefully sufficiently so to make it worthwhile for readers.

    Cheers,
    Gary

  • #124
    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    Hi Rob

    Pleased to learn you enjoy those old tales of the early D&D adventures we had. After so long a time it isn't possible to say how many interesting events have been forgotten, but surely there were some. However, as with all campaigns, we had far more unremarkable sessions than interesting ones. I wish there were even scores more to tell, but my list of springboards for columns is down to a handfull or so.

    Fortunately, Rob Kuntz has pitched in, written four accounts of adventures, and he assures me he has a fair number of additional ones. When all of my recollections are set down in print, and Rob's essays are completed, we plan to collect the lot and publish them in book form. That will be at least two years from now, The volume won't be large, but hopefully sufficiently so to make it worthwhile for readers.

    Cheers,
    Gary

    Gary,

    thank you for the reply. I for one will be looking forward to that book. Right or wrong, those types of accounts are what seem to get my creative juices flowing and itching to play some D&D. In fact I am getting ready to launch a new Greyhawk campaign within the week.

    Just this morning I was rereading the account of Robilar's planned excursion to the moon. I would have payed money to see the look on Rob Kuntz's face when Herb the Sage presented his giant catapult. Gosh, that just gets more comical each time I read it.

  • #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jehosephat
    Gary,

    thank you for the reply. I for one will be looking forward to that book. Right or wrong, those types of accounts are what seem to get my creative juices flowing and itching to play some D&D. In fact I am getting ready to launch a new Greyhawk campaign within the week.

    Just this morning I was rereading the account of Robilar's planned excursion to the moon. I would have payed money to see the look on Rob Kuntz's face when Herb the Sage presented his giant catapult. Gosh, that just gets more comical each time I read it.
    Herb thought it was a good idea at the time, rather as some SF writers on opur world thought that firing a space vessel from a giant cannon to reach the moon would be workable.

    Rob took the whole thing quite calmly, all things considered, the huge outlay of gold pieces that Robilar had made. However, it soured him on Lunar exploration, which saddened me, because I was planning on having thre moon a place like "Hothouse World," with all manner of mutant plants and people on it, as well as some little sprite-like races dwelling around the verge of the vast central jungle.

    Ain't magic grand?

    Cheers,
    Gary

  • #126
    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    Herb thought it was a good idea at the time, rather as some SF writers on opur world thought that firing a space vessel from a giant cannon to reach the moon would be workable.

    Rob took the whole thing quite calmly, all things considered, the huge outlay of gold pieces that Robilar had made. However, it soured him on Lunar exploration, which saddened me, because I was planning on having thre moon a place like "Hothouse World," with all manner of mutant plants and people on it, as well as some little sprite-like races dwelling around the verge of the vast central jungle.

    Ain't magic grand?

    Cheers,
    Gary
    Hi Gary,

    thanks again for responding so speedily. I realize that in that particular article you mentioned that none dared try for the moon after that episode. Likewise, you mention that again here. However, and correct me if I am wrong, I seem to remember reading something somewhere about one of Ernie's characters having adventures on a world very similar to the John Carter of Mars series. Also, after years of looking through RPG products that bear your name, I get the distinct impression that you are a fan of having PCs explore alien type worlds; whether it be on another plane of existence (i.e. the EX series, the Demonweb Pits), another planet (like John Carter and the Mars series), or an alternante terran environment (such as Expedition to the Barrier Peaks; or perhaps another out of the norm location such as an undersea kingdom of sorts). Of course, I could be reading too much into your contributions to D&D. Like I say, though, I could swear that I have read that someplace about Ernie being a real fan of that series (ERB's John Carter of Mars) and ultimately adventuring in a similar setting.

    Sincerely,
    Rob
    Last edited by Jehosephat; Wednesday, 28th January, 2004 at 06:30 PM.

  • #127
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    Rob,

    Spot in in regards to having PCs adventure in different environments. I believe that keeps them, and the GM alike from growing complacent, or bored.

    Ernie's PC read a curse scroll and got sent to Barsoon--ERB's Mars, of course. He managed the non-magical world very well, became the first character in the campaign to posses dual class status as a M-U and Fighter when the character discovered the means of returning ot Oerth.

    In all of my campaigns, and in the modules I write, I try to give a variety of environments and situatiuons is that fits with the general setting and plot. the upcoming Hall of Many Panes is loaded with that sort of adventure material

    Speaking of which, I need to get back to my final editing pass on the ms. Only about 200 pages of the 500+ therein left to read through...

    Cheers,
    Gary

  • #128
    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    Pleased to learn you enjoy those old tales of the early D&D adventures we had. [...] That will be at least two years from now, The volume won't be large, but hopefully sufficiently so to make it worthwhile for readers.
    Two years! Argh! Those tales had really re-energized my desire to play (and DM), even though it wasn't really in need of re-energizing. I feel like those stories have given me some fresh and valuable insights into how to play the game, which seems to be awfully rare after 20 years of playing. Unfortunately, since I wasn't getting much else out of Dragon, I let my subscription lapse some time ago.

    When you do get around to making a book of them, you should try to include some of the other tales of the early days that have already been told. Like Rob's telling of the Robilar & Mordie's experience in Arneson's City of the Gods in Oerth Journal.

    Another couple of questions have come to mind (and I guess it goes without saying to please forgive me if they've been covered before):

    Before I encountered D&D, the word "dungeon" meant to me merely an underground cell (or maybe a few cells). Was there precedent for using the word for a complex or were the dungeons under castles in the games merely turned into complexes for the sake of having someplace to explore?

    If a new player in an OAD&D campaign says he wants a character like the Grey Mouser, would you just advise him to be a thief and accept that a PC can't easily combine the talents of the literary character? Would you suggest the dual class rules? Would you make up something special?

    Personally, I've usually opted for the first route. While games and literature can inspire one another, they are vastly different things. I've had players, however, that bristle at the fact that the TSR Lankhmar products had to "break the rules" to accommodate those iconic characters.

  • #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFisher
    Two years! Argh! Those tales had really re-energized my desire to play (and DM), even though it wasn't really in need of re-energizing. I feel like those stories have given me some fresh and valuable insights into how to play the game, which seems to be awfully rare after 20 years of playing. Unfortunately, since I wasn't getting much else out of Dragon, I let my subscription lapse some time ago.

    When you do get around to making a book of them, you should try to include some of the other tales of the early days that have already been told. Like Rob's telling of the Robilar & Mordie's experience in Arneson's City of the Gods in Oerth Journal.
    I just sent in my 28th and 29th colum essays regarding the old adventures in the Greyhawk Campaign. In checking my notes, i have only one more springboarded, but Rob is likely to have a fiar store of tales to recount, so the zine should be supplied with material through this year at least. Perhaps I can come up with a few more tales of adventuring that I think are worth retelling.

    If rob owns the copyrights to the account of Robilar and Mordenkainen in "The City of the Gods" it would be a worthwhile addition to the contemplated book. So too the story of "Tenser and the Giant's Bag," which i have recounted elsewhere. That sort of material, as well as some possibly theretofore untold stories of Castle Greyhawk, will certainly be hashed over when the project is ready to go forward.

    Another couple of questions have come to mind (and I guess it goes without saying to please forgive me if they've been covered before):

    Before I encountered D&D, the word "dungeon" meant to me merely an underground cell (or maybe a few cells). Was there precedent for using the word for a complex or were the dungeons under castles in the games merely turned into complexes for the sake of having someplace to explore?
    Underground mazes have been treated in mythology, fairy tales, and authored fiction (siuch as A Journey to the Centre of the Earth ) long before this device was made a central feature in the D&D game. (My favorite one from fairy tales is the one about the 12 princessess who danced holes in their slippers every night.) Anyway, the expanded underground environment featuring dungeons was indeed meant for exploration, mapping, and as a place for strange encounters.

    If a new player in an OAD&D campaign says he wants a character like the Grey Mouser, would you just advise him to be a thief and accept that a PC can't easily combine the talents of the literary character? Would you suggest the dual class rules? Would you make up something special?

    Personally, I've usually opted for the first route. While games and literature can inspire one another, they are vastly different things. I've had players, however, that bristle at the fact that the TSR Lankhmar products had to "break the rules" to accommodate those iconic characters.
    I would advise the player to develop a thief character that was of his own creation, albeit it one that was modeled after a fictitional hero. If the PC stats were good enough, I'd then point out that the character could begin play as a fighter, and then be switched to thief later on so as to have a dual class one akin to the Gray Mouser.

    Unabashed plug: This difficulty highlights the drawback of a class based RPG. Because I was unsatisfied with having disappointed players, the LA game system's skill-bundle base allows for the creation of just about any kind of character the player (of GM) wants, and at the same time retains archetypes.

    Cheerio,
    Gary

  • #130
    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    Herb thought it was a good idea at the time, rather as some SF writers on opur world thought that firing a space vessel from a giant cannon to reach the moon would be workable.

    Rob took the whole thing quite calmly, all things considered, the huge outlay of gold pieces that Robilar had made. However, it soured him on Lunar exploration, which saddened me, because I was planning on having thre moon a place like "Hothouse World," with all manner of mutant plants and people on it, as well as some little sprite-like races dwelling around the verge of the vast central jungle.

    Ain't magic grand?

    Cheers,
    Gary

    Hi Gary,

    I've been thinking about this a bit and actually it's not that far fetched. I mean what is a rocket or missile after all but a really big bullet/shell? Oh there's still some problems with the physics, I'm sure, so I'll leave that to the scientists to work out. But the line of thought certainly has merit. Certainly Wells and Vern entertained such thoughts, they wrote about it after all. Incidently H.G. Wells' first name was Herbert, perhaps Herb the Sage was a distant ancestor?

    Now switching gears a bit before I close, I am interrested in the Lejendary Adventure rpg. I am have trouble finding the titles of the core books. Likewise, I can't seem to find a website for the company I could order them from. I followed a homepage link in your profile but somehow ended up on a German site of some sort. Can you steer me in the right direction? Thanks.

    Sincerely,
    Rob
    Last edited by Jehosephat; Thursday, 29th January, 2004 at 03:26 AM.

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