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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
Steverooo said:

That's such a load of manure that i wouldn't waste time responding. the fellow is either delusional or a congenital liar. Real spell components indeed! As if there were real spells... Of course, a legume does usually produce a gust of wind :lol:

The magic is the game is as real as the weapons, gold, and monsters. Talk about not being able to distinguish fantasy from reality!

Cheers,
Gary
 

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Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
grodog said:
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

Option #2 fits the bill perfectly. When in process of attacking, and that would include picking a pocket, the formerly invisible character appears, the dweomer of the invisibility spell being cancelled thus. the action takes place before anyne can do anything about it, but the attacker is visable and thereafter subject to counter-measures.

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
grodog said:
Hi Gary---

What's the status of your MMORPG for LA---any news on that front?


The Dreams Interactive team is working on the LA Online game. The delay is due to lack of major financing, so they are doing "side projects" to keep the income flowing. There is interest from a major producer, but such negotiations seem to take forever.

We hope that the beta test will happen this year.

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Steel_Wind said:
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.

Thanks for the tip:)

I am reading a book on Chuirchill's statesmanship and a David Drake SF novel after finishing all the "Judge Dee" mysteries.

Cheers,
Gary
 


Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
the_bruiser said:
Wow. I won't bore you by going on and on about how much joy I've gotten from D&D, but I do want to say thanks. It's affected my life in some great ways, including better confidence in speaking, quick-thinking, responding to interpersonal situations - in other words, it's been great not just while I'm playing but has indirectly but meaningfully improved the quality of my life. So, err, thanks :).

Anyway, this statement above grabbed my attention. The reasons might be widely known, so my apologies if I'm asking you to explain something for the 10th time. I've been playing since the early 80s, and to me 3E seemed such a clear improvement - standardized task resolution, clarified magic item creation processes, manageable skill ratings, ability to take character skill development in unexpected directions via new classes, linear attribute bonuses, etc. - that I wonder what it is that you dislike so strongly. Of course, maybe those are the same things you hate and it's simply a matter of taste? I've heard so many people talk about 'flavor' in denigrating 3E, but it's something I've never understood, as to me the DM has always been the determinant of that largely independent of the system - is this a part of your thought process?

Please be clear that I'm not putting early versions down, I've loved 'em all. Any additional color on your above point would be greatly appreciated. As always, best wishes in future endeavors and on your continuing health and prosperity.

Actually, I think it inappropriate to knock new D&D on a website designed to promote the game. Suffice to say it isn't my cup of tea. If you are at all familiar with the Lejendary Adventure game system, you'll be able to compare and contrast. know quite well what I find positive in a RPG and what I don't enjoy.

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Akrasia said:
Is the Colonel still checking this thread, or is he too busy working on Castle Zagyg? If so, please continue good sir!
(Wipes drool from face at the thought of it finally being published.)
:D

Heh,

What I am ding mainly of late is spending a lot of time reading and relaxing--working maybe an hour or two a day. However, I'd have kept up here, but I wasn't getting any emails calling my attention to poste being made here.

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Steverooo said:
Gary had computer problems, a while back, and is still offline, as far as I know.

Steverooo, you said it. I had my desktop loaded with working files, and that crashed my machine. I was offliine and computerless for two weeks as my date was being recivered, a backup put into place, firewalls, and an external harddrive to save everythng automatically. All worked well, though, and things are in fine shape now--save for the 100-200 SPAM emails I get daily. My Delete action is well exercised and very quick these days :uhoh:

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
fusangite said:
Welcome back Gary! I'm sure I'm just the first of a chorus of wishes for your good health.

Thanks, and i can use all such:)

I know you're quite backlogged in this thread but, when you get to it, I'm wondering if you would be willing to comment on how you saw the Monk class as working when it first appeared in the core rules.

Did you imagine monks living in the same societies as characters of classes like the Paladin and Druid or did you see the Monks as part of an Oriental civilization that was separate from but in contact with the civilization that produced Paladins and Druids?

I must say that I enjoy posting, for it is almost as much fun as shooting the breeze with fellow gamers in person...and I don't get out and about much these days...

Anyway, as to the original Monk class, I envisaged them mainly as wanderers from afar, some few being established in monestaries in the non-Oriental (or whatever nomer one might choose to describe a place of like cultures, states and societies). If you ever saw the TV series Kung Fu, that was rather the model I used for the monk PC as far as general interaction in the campaign--sans the racism.

So yes, the cultures and societies that produced Monk characters were quite different from the usual Western/Northern/Southern European models, but actually covered in the World of Greyhawk setting, for the far western states therein could well house some small number of such monastic warrior societies.

BTW, we never had more than about three Monk PCs in my campaign, those out of some 60-70 players over time, each with around two or three different PCs.

Cheers,
Gary
 



grodog

Adventurer
As always, Gary, thanks for the many answers you provide to the voracious appetite of we fans :D

I hope your health continues to improve, and that we'll be able to see you at some of the conventions this year: are you planning to attend the GAMA Trade Show, Origins, GenCon, or any other shows in 2005?
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
A Note for Steverooo

I noticed in another thread that you were looking for the email addy of Noj. Drop me an email, and I'll send it to you amigo. Jon is a great fellow, and he was offline for too long a time. It is good to have him back and writing adventure material again too :)

Gary
ggygax@genevaonline.com
 

Anabstercorian

First Post
OD&D

Dear Awesome Guy,
I'm considering starting an OD&D game, partly because I'm a little exasperated with the current edition of DnD (it's not you, Monte, it's me) and partly because I can download the Rules Cyclopedia and all the other supplements for the price of a new 3e book. However, there are a few house rules I'd like to check with you, and see what you think.
1) AC goes DOWN? What the frell? Reverse AC's so AC 0 = AC 20 and Thac0 is replaced with a base to hit bonus. I believe the 'base to hit' would be mathematically equivalent to 'Thac0' if the 'base to hit' were equal to 20, minus the Thac0, so that a Thac0 of 20 would be a +0 base to hit and a Thac0 of 0 would be a +20 base to hit, yes?
2) Is there any way you think I can beef up the value of Charisma, or do you think I'm incorrect in my presumption that it needs beefing?
3) Would I be inordinately wussing out if I allowed characters to re-roll stats until they got at least one 16 in a prime requisite score (or whatever is required for demihumans) so they can get a +10% experience bonus?
4) I'm planning to deal with the "well, there goes my Magic Missile for the day" problem of classes that suck a bit at lower levels by requiring everyone to have at least two characters, preferably of different classes, possibly more. Granted, they wouldn't all come out for every adventure, but it would give them the chance to round out their repertoire, and build a stable of 'spares' should some of their number fall to foolish play or bad luck.
5) Do you get experience points just for GETTING magical items? I remember something like that in the manual, but for the life of me I can't find it. The closest I can see is a warning not to give full XP value for the GP earned by people selling magical items to crazy rich people.
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Howdy Anabstercorian,

Hate to possibly disapoint you, but as the D&D game belongs to WotC, I really don't feel comfortable cmmenting on any aspect of it, from OD&D on through AD&D to the new version. About all I can offer is that whatever changes you make that seem right for you and your players are likely fine, but be prepared to alter things if something new doesn't work out in actual play.

Charisma can be made more meaningful by allowing it to function as a sort of limited Charm spell for humans and humanoids, perhaps with the one saving against its effect getting a +1 on the die for each point below 18 (to 15, or +3) of the character's score.

Cheers,
Gary
 

ColonelHardisson

What? Me Worry?
Col_Pladoh said:
Hi Colonel!

the only such list I know of is one I keep in my long bio--not all articles but the more substantial works. It is updated by me every few months, and there's still a lot of material in the publication pipeline, so i'll have to do that soon. It doesn't have LA Essentials, the Hall of Many Panes, or additions to the Gygaxian Fantasy Worlds reference book series that are coming this year. Fact is, I don't think it has the Castle Zagyg campaign module on it, but I haven't sent the bio out for some months.

Cheers,
Gary

Well, first, I just want to welcome you back and wish you good health. Second, thanks for the info. Let us know when an updated bio is available, please, if you would.

Y'know, I've been reading through Dave Hargrave's original "Arduin Grimoire" trilogy of late, and I was wondering what you thought of his work (assuming you're familiar with it, of course).
 

Anabstercorian

First Post
Quite alright, sir. I do have to say, it's a crying shame that you've been rendered so separated even from the editions of Dungeons and Dragons you had a direct hand in.

I may bother you for C&C advice at a later time, however, so do not lose heart! Your relevance is unscathed. :)
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
ColonelHardisson said:
Well, first, I just want to welcome you back and wish you good health. Second, thanks for the info. Let us know when an updated bio is available, please, if you would.

Y'know, I've been reading through Dave Hargrave's original "Arduin Grimoire" trilogy of late, and I was wondering what you thought of his work (assuming you're familiar with it, of course).

Thanks Amigo,

I get to the long bio seldom, about twice a year when I need to supply it to someone for their article or like sort of work.

I never read the Arduin Groimoire in toto, but from those parts I did peruse I must confess I held in in no esteem...especially the part about baby fat.

Cheers,
Gary
 

ColonelHardisson

What? Me Worry?
Col_Pladoh said:
I never read the Arduin Groimoire in toto, but from those parts I did peruse I must confess I held in in no esteem...especially the part about baby fat.

Hmmm...I must've missed that section!

By the way, I picked up a copy of the Lejendary Adventures "Essentials" boxed set recently released by Troll Lord. I'm intrigued. I put off picking up LA when I heard Troll Lord was going to release an edition of it. From what I gather, there will be a more weighty volume coming down the pike soon, is that correct? Does this edition vary much from the original?

Also by the way, I picked up the Castles & Crusades player's book, particularly because I had heard that you'd be doing some work for that game. It does harken back to D&D of old in many ways, and seems to be a fine game. I prefer a bit more rules detail in my games (you shoulda seen the phone-book thick house rules the guys I gamed with back in the early 80s had for 1e!), but C&C (and LA, at least "Essentials") seem well-suited for introducing newbs (of any age, but adults in my case) to RPGs. Anyway, I'm also looking forward to "Hall of Many Panes" and "Castle Zagyg," both of which sound like they're gonna be very much to my liking.
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
ColonelHardisson said:
Hmmm...I must've missed that section!

It was in spell components, as I recall from my reading back c. 1979

By the way, I picked up a copy of the Lejendary Adventures "Essentials" boxed set recently released by Troll Lord. I'm intrigued. I put off picking up LA when I heard Troll Lord was going to release an edition of it. From what I gather, there will be a more weighty volume coming down the pike soon, is that correct? Does this edition vary much from the original?

The LA Essentials game has the same rules as the complete system. Only some Abilities with many Powers, and spells for those Abilities included in the primer set are fewer too, and magic items are cut back because of space reasons.

The Trolls will be publishing a couple of core rules additions paperback books--adding game material, not more than a few pages of rules. Thereafter the five paperback books will be put together into a revised edition of the Lejendary Adventure game in three hardback books. Before that happens the supplement on Shamanism & Witchery, fun but optional to the system.

Also by the way, I picked up the Castles & Crusades player's book, particularly because I had heard that you'd be doing some work for that game. It does harken back to D&D of old in many ways, and seems to be a fine game. I prefer a bit more rules detail in my games (you shoulda seen the phone-book thick house rules the guys I gamed with back in the early 80s had for 1e!), but C&C (and LA, at least "Essentials") seem well-suited for introducing newbs (of any age, but adults in my case) to RPGs. Anyway, I'm also looking forward to "Hall of Many Panes" and "Castle Zagyg," both of which sound like they're gonna be very much to my liking.

Heh, and the C&C rules are about as rules light as the LA game, and that's why I play it as readily as I do--mostly from OAD&D memory;)

The HOMP is a campaign setting that should take no fewer than 50-70 game sessions to complete and stretch the players' skills to the meximum.

CZ, Yggsburgh, Part One is a complex campaign setting for even longer term play. If I can ever get to feeling well enough to pick up design work again, the whole of the castle and dungeons will be the centerpiece for dungeon-crawl adventuring, of course. However, the base has a lot of scenario material, including several dungeon areas.

Cheers,
Gary
 

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