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TSR Q&A with Gary Gygax

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This is the multi-year Q&A sessions held by D&D co-creator Gary Gygax here at EN World, beginning in 2002 and running up until his sad pasing in 2008. Gary's username in the thread below is Col_Pladoh, and his first post in this long thread is Post #39.

Gary_Gygax_Gen_Con_2007.jpg
 
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Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Piratecat said:
Gary, it's wonderful to see you back. I'm going to give you Community Supporter status here - that'll give you a custom title (customizeable through "my account"), let you search (more useful in 2 months when the new server is up and running), and a few other things. Please consider it a small thank you from all of us for your kindness in answering a slew of questions. :D

Thank you kindly, Piratecat!

what i do wish would hapen is that the automated notice of poste being made to this thread would hit my inbox. I searched for the threat on a hunch, and sure enough, unanswered messages.

Sorry, and I have no idea what is causing the problem. I even turned my SPAM filter off.

Christmas cheer,
Gary
 

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Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
BradfordFerguson said:
Gary,

1) If you could REMOVE one thing about the 3rd Edition D&D rules, what would you strip out and why?

2) Eventually, down the road we will see a 4th Edition of D&D, if you could recommend one thing to WotC, what would you recommend and why?

3) How did Castles and Crusades work out when your group played it.

Howdy Bradford,

As someone not intimately familiar with new D&D, I do not feel qualified to comment. If I was overseeing a new version, I would surely alter the XP system, replace it with something a bit more contemporary, and thieves would surely gain points from treasure taken ;)

We played the C&C material for about two months and the crew had a blast. We stopped because I wanted them to get into my old D&D dungeon levels, so that's what we are playing now. After they have penetrated to the 5th level, the bottom of the abbrieviated maze, we will return to the Lejendary Adventure system.

Christmas best,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh said:
Thank you kindly, Piratecat!

what i do wish would hapen is that the automated notice of poste being made to this thread would hit my inbox. I searched for the threat on a hunch, and sure enough, unanswered messages.

Sorry, and I have no idea what is causing the problem. I even turned my SPAM filter off.

Christmas cheer,
Gary
I can field that one. E-mail notification has been turned off until the new server. Its supposed to be back once we get the new one, though. :)

And I don't have a question, just wanted to say thanks for doing these threads! I've followed them all and love it!

Thanks for doing all this!
-Graham
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
warlord said:
Gary, all I want to say is thank you for giving the world D&D and RPGs in general.

Thank you,

Nick Tschida, D&D gamer for life, age:16

Nick,

Welcome of course. You know that I had a whole lot of fun writing all that game material and related yarns. I still love the work, but old age creeping up has slowed me down to only a tithe of what I could formerly do.

Happy Christmas,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Ankh-Morpork Guard said:
I can field that one. E-mail notification has been turned off until the new server. Its supposed to be back once we get the new one, though. :)

And I don't have a question, just wanted to say thanks for doing these threads! I've followed them all and love it!

Thanks for doing all this!
-Graham

So!

Well, I will take my complaint directly to the giant turtle then, so expect trouble there on diskworld :eek:

Heh, and Christmas best,
GaRY
 

Michael Morris

First Post
Col_Pladoh said:
Thank you kindly, Piratecat!

what i do wish would hapen is that the automated notice of poste being made to this thread would hit my inbox. I searched for the threat on a hunch, and sure enough, unanswered messages.

Sorry, and I have no idea what is causing the problem. I even turned my SPAM filter off.

Christmas cheer,
Gary

The old server is straining to carry us one more month - and to keep the girl moving we turned the email functions off. They are slated to be turned back on after the upgrade.
 

Frost

First Post
Homp

Mr. Gygax,

I just wanted to say hello and thanks for giving us such a wonderful game. I'm greatly looking forward to the Hall of Many Panes. Any teasers you can toss out about that one?

Take care,
Frost
 

T. Foster

First Post
Hi Gary,

I've got another OD&D (1974) related question for you. Looking at TSR's original D&D character record sheets from 1975-76 (as posted at The Acaeum) I see that there's no space on the sheet to record the character's hit points. Is this just an error/oversight on those sheets, or is it evidence that (as some people have suggested) character hit points in those days weren't a permanent cumulative number like they are in later editions but were instead periodically re-rolled (either at every new level or every session or perhaps even every combat)? And if hit points weren't a transient number and were cumulative (like they are now) then how were anomalies like the fact that fighters go from 1+1 hit dice at Veteran (1st level) to 2 hit dice at Warrior (2nd level) resolved? Did the player roll 1d6-1 or what?

Regards,
 

ColonelHardisson

What? Me Worry?
Hi Gary -

Here's a question I haven't seen yet, but perhaps it's been asked and I haven't seen it. Is there a comprehensive bibliography of your work out there somewhere? It'd be great to see a fully updated list of your output.
 

Virel

First Post
A question about the 1st ed AD&D or OAD&D Sleep spell

Gary,

In early 1980's when my group started playing 1st ed AD&D or as you say OAD&D, we had the following question come up based on the way the sleep spell is worded. We were unsure of how the spell was intended to work. We scoured the Players Hand Book and the note in DMG on page 45. Most of us assumed this note meant the caster did not get to specifically pick which of the possible multiple targets were effected, that this would be determined by level/HD and baring that randomly. Others insisted the caster could pick and choose who was or wasn't effected as the caster desired mixing and matching among of the levels or hit dice involved as long as the total wasn't exceeded.

Say a sleep spell is cast at a group of ten characters, say four fighters all 1st level, two clerics both 2nd level, two magic users both 2nd level and two thieves both 1st level. The dice indicate a total of 6 one HD creatures or levels can be effected. All of the targets are with very close together and with in range and area of effect.

Can the caster specifically select the six creatures or six levels he or she wants to be effected?

Can the caster specifically designate: one wizard the one to the right, one cleric the one of the left, two fighters in the front rank he wants effect but declare the spell will not effect the two fighters in the rear rank, the wizard on the left, the cleric on the right, and two thieves?

Or would who is effected be determined by lowest level/HD first in the group until all of the levels effected were used up?

Allowing the caster to pick and choose who was and wasn't effect with in a group seemed too powerful for a 1st level spell to some of us (DM's) and about right to some of the others (players).

How do you resolve the effects of the sleep spell in the above circumstanse?

Thank You, and thank for 20+ years of gaming fun with 1st ed AD&D. Thank you for GreyHawk. My version of GreyHawk is nicknamed "the Celene Campagin" as my players tend toward playing elves. It was active between 1980-1995 and is back in full swing again now in 2004.

Looking forward to your new works with Troll Lords and adapting them to the campagin.
 
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dead

First Post
Dear Gary,

Have you been proud of *all* of your role-playing creations?

Were you proud of Dangerous Journeys? Are you disappointed that it didn't fully mature?

Dangerous Journeys was criticised as a very, very complex system. Is this one reason you decided to make LA a simple system?

Was DJ a learning curve for you? You state in the foreword of LA (I think) that you made the system simple to attract new gamers. Did you find new gamers a little intimidated by Dangerous Journeys and, thus, decided to develop a simple system?

Do you have a lot more rules in your home campaign for LA than is published. Dangerous Journeys and the 1E DMG would suggest that your game was (once) backed up by a lot of rules.

With the evolution of RPGs, do you play much differently *now* in style as opposed to the old days of 1E AD&D?

Do you use miniatures and a battlemat for your LA game?

Thankyou.
 

Anabstercorian

First Post
I'd like to get your opinion on something.

One of the trends I'm noticing - indeed, heavily and gleefully contributing to - is a whole new level of customizability in character concepts in 3e DnD. Wizards, rogues, fighters, clerics are being more or less discarded in favour of lashers, pugilists, shifters, duelists, dragon disciples, thaumaturgists, animators, golem sculptors, keepers of epics, bright sages of the high mountain, dark bearers of the six sinful secrets, and so forth.

On the one hand, this allows players to generally muck about with their characters until they're something they're very happy with. On the other hand, this can do catastrophic things to game balance if not done cautiously and makes every game of DnD VERY different from every other.

How do you feel about this? Do you think this level of customizability in theme and archetype is good, or bad, for a game?
 

RFisher

First Post
Col_Pladoh said:
now the lads are playing slightly modified OD&D rules exploring the five original dungeon levels of Castle Greyhawk.

Can you tell us a bit about those modifications?

Are you playing with just the original 3 booklets, or are you using stuff from the supplements as well?

Any particular reason why you choose OD&D & not OAD&D?
 

Sir Elton

First Post
Hello Gary,

I'm glad you're back. I got Gary Gygax's Insidae and your introduction was great! However, strangely, it's the same advice I got in other books, just written in a different style. The only thing missing, however, was the promised Value of Metals chart. Is there any chance of TLG posting the Chart on their website for download?

:)
 

khyron1144

First Post
Hello Mr. Gygax,

I think I posted a question earlier about your feelings on your name being used as an adjective and one regarding a ferret, but I'm having trouble tracking down the thread in question. That's an irrelevant side issue, but I believe in making sure that people remember me.



Thanks for your answers to those questions by the by.



I recently started rereading my 1e hardbacks and was looking at the Hammer of Thunderbolts/ Girdle of Giant Strength/ Gauntlets of Ogre Power combo. It looks like you can add together the damage bonuses for the Gauntlets and Girlde, even though they both provide a magical bonus to Strength. It also looks like you add those damage bonuses together to determine the Hammer's throwing range.

This brings up an interesting question:
In my campaign world there are magical pools that bestow permanent ability score increases (only usable once per character, only one pool per ability score in the whole world). What happens if a character who already has a "giant" Strength from a magic pool gets the Gauntlets/ Girdle/ Hammer combo?



I just bought a copy of Unearthed Arcana at the used book store for $12.50 on Monday. I've only just started reading it, but it is a most interesting book of additional rules. I would especially like to thank you (or whoever) for the Nomenclature of Pole Arms chapter.
 

EyeforanEye2

First Post
I been in the Marine Corps now 17 years and some change and I speak for those who continue to game within the enlisted rank structure. Despite the fact that D&D is frowned upon by the upper echelon in the Chain of Command, it is still one of the more popular past time hobbies of many a junior Marine or Sailor...

As a long time gamer of 27 years, i can only say thank you for what you have given the world. It was unique and still appreciated today by many.

Thanks...

A Marine 1stSgt who games...
 


grodog

Adventurer
Hi Gary---

Over on Dragonsfoot, we're having an extensive discussion about when a 1e invisibility spell/potion ends:

  1. The PC appears before the attack is physically attempted---hence drawing the sword, notching the bow, etc. cancels the invisibility and forces the PC to appear.
  2. The PC appears during/after an attempted attack, whether the attack is successful or not; whether the PC appears in the nanosecond the attack begins or anytime during the follow-through stroke seems to be the center of debate. In either case, a drawn sword or notched bow does not cancel the invisibility, which ends only when the physical attack is attempted.
  3. The PC remains invisible until after an offensive action has been attemped. This can be in the form of a spell or melee attack (or a pick pockets attempt??). The PC is invisible throughout the entire attack attempt. After the attempt is finished, whether successful or not, the PC becomes visible. If PC attempts an attack but misses, the PC still becomes visible. Or, after the offensive spell casting begins, the mage will become visible, whether the spell has any effect or not.
  4. The PC does not appear until a successful attack has been made. If the PC attempts the attack but misses, the PC remains invisible. The original query raised by Paul Stormberg was whether or not an MU's invisibility would end after his attempted fireball spell was interrupted by a giant's hurled boulder.

Can you please clarify which option is correct?

Thanks :D
 
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Steel_Wind

Adventurer
Hi Gary!

First off, thanks ever so much (may not be important for you to hear, but it's terribly important for me to say).

Secondly, I was wondering if you had the chance to read George RR Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series, and if so, what you thought of them?

If you have not, (seeing as I think I owe you one), please let me recommend them. I read so little fantasy these days as I find so much of it tedious and unoriginal. Martin's works, happily, are the exception to the rule and a true diamond-in-the-rough.
 

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