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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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Krieg

First Post
Col_Pladoh said:
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

All you had to do was click on the link....but would you do that simple task?

Nooo...Mr. High & Mighty thinks he is too good for free adult entertainment.

You wound me sirree.

*sniff*
 

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Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Krieg said:
All you had to do was click on the link....but would you do that simple task?

Nooo...Mr. High & Mighty thinks he is too good for free adult entertainment.

You wound me sirree.

*sniff*

And what about lower mortgage rates, prescription drugs sales, chances to get thousands for helping to free-up a foreign bank account, and winning national lotteries? Those are opportunities I pass up daily too :confused:

Heh,
Gary
 

From what I've read, a lot of (the more preferable) material written by Francois Macela Froideval for the 1st Edition Oriental Adventures was discarded by co-author David Cook. Could you render us a picture of what this material would have been like?
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
DeadlyUematsu said:
From what I've read, a lot of (the more preferable) material written by Francois Macela Froideval for the 1st Edition Oriental Adventures was discarded by co-author David Cook. Could you render us a picture of what this material would have been like?

Correct, Francois material was much better IMO. I don't know if it was professional jealousy or simply that Zeb actually thought his ideas and work were superior, but he ignored a virtually complete ms. from Francois. It would have needed polish because of Francois' being a native French speaker. After seeing what Zeb did to AD&D, I just think his design judgement is low.

Sorry, I can't recall the details after more than 20 years, and I returned the large three-ring binder that held his ms. to him about a decade ago.

Cheers,
Gary
 

jester47

First Post
Hi Gary,

I was wondering about how much creative input you had in the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon? What were your ideas in that?

The number of fantasy/scifi referenvces in that show are truely astounding. I recognised things from Dune, the Heavy Metal movie, and numerous other items. Just wondering how much of it came from your greymatter.

What did you like about the end product? What did you dislike? Was your vision for the cartoon what actually came to be?

Its odd, when I was a kid running around with the AD&D PHB and DMG with the new Easley covers, I always imagined you with a beard. The odd part was that part of what went into that image was the DM from the cartoon. So I imagined this short (but not that short) guy with a beard and long hair and maybe balding a little on the top.

Imagine my surprise when I finally saw a picture of you! Was the DM character in any way inspired by you?

If you have answered this already, just direct me to the appropriate thread.

Aaron.
 

Ourph

First Post
Hey Gary!

I'd like to start by thanking you for including the suggested reading lists in the DMG and Basic set books. Not only has the game you created led me to countless hours of fun and fellowship, it also helped me discover a lot of great fiction I might otherwise have missed.

One of the authors listed, John Bellairs, mentions The Collected Lectures of John L. Stoddard in his book The House With A Clock In Its Walls. Having recently acquired a set of this lecture series, it occurs to me that (while not the most gripping read) they would likely provide a DM with countless ideas and descriptions with which to inspire his own games (Stoddard's description of the fjords of Norway, in particular, was outstanding and really drives home how much geography shaped the Viking culture). I was wondering if you have ever read any of the Stoddard Lectures and if so, what you thought of them? On another related note, if you could go back and re-write your suggested reading list today, are there any new authors or works you would add?

Let me just add that I'm praying that God blesses you with many more years of happy and healthy living. Stay well. :)
 

BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
Col_Pladoh said:
And what about lower mortgage rates, prescription drugs sales, chances to get thousands for helping to free-up a foreign bank account, and winning national lotteries? Those are opportunities I pass up daily too :confused:

LOL no different from the rest of us i'm sure. that, and "natural male enhancment", video dating, and casinos.
 

Krieg

First Post
Col_Pladoh said:
And what about lower mortgage rates, prescription drugs sales, chances to get thousands for helping to free-up a foreign bank account, and winning national lotteries? Those are opportunities I pass up daily too :confused:

Heh,
Gary

All quality products from fine upstanding companies I am sure. ;)

Col_Pladoh said:
Sorry, I can't recall the details after more than 20 years, and I returned the large three-ring binder that held his ms. to him about a decade ago.

I would pay dearly to see the contents of that binder!
 

ptolemy18

First Post
Hello,

Wow, this is amazing. Well, let me throw my coin in the wishing well... ;)

When I was really young and playing AD&D for the first time, one of the things I appreciated was the suggested reading list of fantasy authors. Anyhow, I was wondering, would you say there was any Clark Ashton Smith influence on D&D?

I always thought of Smith as sort of an enjoyable cross between Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft... there's a somewhat Howard-ish element of swords and sorcery, but the stories always degenerate into everyone being killed by horrible alien monsters... ;)

Thanks for your time, and much more,

Jason
 

Gray Mouser

First Post
Hey Colonel, it's good to see you back on the Q&A thread!

I was just perusing the other threads of the forum and there's a "Write in the style of Gygax" contest going on. If you want to try your hand at rewriting a couple of 3e feats in the style of the originator of the game you might want to give it a look see ;) And this brings me to my question: Is it true that when you first posted here no one believed it was really you???

(OK, that's not a great question but it'll have to do until I have time to peruse my stuff and think of something to ask! It's good to see you back, Colonel!)

Gray Mouser
 

Gray Mouser

First Post
Hey Gary, here's my real question for the day ;)

I was wondering if the unique monsters that showed up in some of your monsters were ever sprung on your hapless players outside of their original settings. I am thinking primarily of the Drow, Kuo-Toa, Svirfneblin, and even the beasties from Barrier Peaks. Did these monsters ever make it outside their original confines making their way to Castle Greyhawk or other such places your players explored?

Gray Mouser
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
jester47 said:
Hi Gary,

I was wondering about how much creative input you had in the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon? What were your ideas in that?

The number of fantasy/scifi referenvces in that show are truely astounding. I recognised things from Dune, the Heavy Metal movie, and numerous other items. Just wondering how much of it came from your greymatter.

The best part of the cartoon is the after show credit roll where I am listed as co-producer. I assisted in creating some number of the springboards for the show, but i was mainly concerned with approvals. I had total creative control of the scripts, read and approved or made change suggestions for all the series.

I got to many of the writers, and they would come up to out place, hang out, swim in the pool, grab a sandwich from the kitchen, play Chainmail fantasy miniatures on the sand table out in the old barn that had been converted to a game room and a couple of studio spaces where they could set up and write if they liked.


What did you like about the end product? What did you dislike? Was your vision for the cartoon what actually came to be?

that there was any cartoon show was quite a feather in the cap of the D&D game. That it was somewhat too juvenille--Bobby and Uni, the magic items that propped up the team--was not much to my liking. That would have been changed in a spinoff that had been agreed to by CBS, Marvel, and D&D Entertainment. The final episode for the original show had been written, the intro to the new show done and okayed by me, and two more were in progress of creation when Lorraine Williams took over the company, and CBS and Marvel dropped the new show.

Its odd, when I was a kid running around with the AD&D PHB and DMG with the new Easley covers, I always imagined you with a beard. The odd part was that part of what went into that image was the DM from the cartoon. So I imagined this short (but not that short) guy with a beard and long hair and maybe balding a little on the top.

Imagine my surprise when I finally saw a picture of you! Was the DM character in any way inspired by you?

If you have answered this already, just direct me to the appropriate thread.

Heh, Aaron... I was once almost 5'11" but I am down about an inch now that I am an old fart;) sure am balding, and the remaining hair is in a pony tail.

I used to go to the Marvel building about once a month--was there a lot before the cartoon show got going, so who knows what inspiration the animators took from that?

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Ourph said:
Hey Gary!

I'd like to start by thanking you for including the suggested reading lists in the DMG and Basic set books. Not only has the game you created led me to countless hours of fun and fellowship, it also helped me discover a lot of great fiction I might otherwise have missed.

One of the authors listed, John Bellairs, mentions The Collected Lectures of John L. Stoddard in his book The House With A Clock In Its Walls. Having recently acquired a set of this lecture series, it occurs to me that (while not the most gripping read) they would likely provide a DM with countless ideas and descriptions with which to inspire his own games (Stoddard's description of the fjords of Norway, in particular, was outstanding and really drives home how much geography shaped the Viking culture). I was wondering if you have ever read any of the Stoddard Lectures and if so, what you thought of them? On another related note, if you could go back and re-write your suggested reading list today, are there any new authors or works you would add?

Let me just add that I'm praying that God blesses you with many more years of happy and healthy living. Stay well. :)

Hi Ourph,

While I have read a lot, I never did read the lectures of the Good Mr. Stoddard. however, we read a lot about Scandanavia and the fjords in grammar school, and I even had to do a color drawing of a longship;)

About the only additions I'd make to the recommended reading list in the old DMG would be the names of authors Glenn Cook and Terry Pratchett.

Thanks for your good wishes,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
BOZ said:
LOL no different from the rest of us i'm sure. that, and "natural male enhancment", video dating, and casinos.

Heh, and what with the number of solicitations for hooking up with cheating housewives that come in daily, I am wishing I'd have taken to the law and become a divorce attorney.

Grinningly,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Krieg said:
All quality products from fine upstanding companies I am sure. ;)

I would pay dearly to see the contents of that binder!

I suppose there was more merit than one would at first assume in P.T. Barnum's observation, "There's one born every minute."

There's no chance that Francois will reply to emails, and he threatens to assail me if I happen to reveal his addy. I'd urge him to publish his Orientsl material, but that would be done in French, so precious little help to us here...

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
ptolemy18 said:
Hello,

Wow, this is amazing. Well, let me throw my coin in the wishing well... ;)

When I was really young and playing AD&D for the first time, one of the things I appreciated was the suggested reading list of fantasy authors. Anyhow, I was wondering, would you say there was any Clark Ashton Smith influence on D&D?

I always thought of Smith as sort of an enjoyable cross between Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft... there's a somewhat Howard-ish element of swords and sorcery, but the stories always degenerate into everyone being killed by horrible alien monsters... ;)

Thanks for your time, and much more,

Jason

Howdy Jason:)

Yes indeed, I read all the authors associated with the Lovecraft mythos, including Clark Ashton Smith, August Derleith, Brian Lumley, Robert Bloch, etc. I recall having several nightmares after reading a collection of Lovecraft's yarns that included "Pickman's Model" and "Rats in the Wall."

You might enjoy "The Willows" by Algernon Blackwood.

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Gray Mouser said:
Hey Colonel, it's good to see you back on the Q&A thread!

I was just perusing the other threads of the forum and there's a "Write in the style of Gygax" contest going on. If you want to try your hand at rewriting a couple of 3e feats in the style of the originator of the game you might want to give it a look see ;) And this brings me to my question: Is it true that when you first posted here no one believed it was really you???

(OK, that's not a great question but it'll have to do until I have time to peruse my stuff and think of something to ask! It's good to see you back, Colonel!)

Gray Mouser

LOL, Amigo!

What is first prize for imitating myself, an autographed book? Heh-heh-heh...too much like admiring myself in the mirror. While I used to make faces and laugh, I never was one to spend time preening in front of a looking glass.

There were a few skeptics here who doubted it was actually me when I first started posting here, but ther were polite about it.

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Gray Mouser said:
Hey Gary, here's my real question for the day ;)

I was wondering if the unique monsters that showed up in some of your monsters were ever sprung on your hapless players outside of their original settings. I am thinking primarily of the Drow, Kuo-Toa, Svirfneblin, and even the beasties from Barrier Peaks. Did these monsters ever make it outside their original confines making their way to Castle Greyhawk or other such places your players explored?

Gray Mouser

'Mouser, it would be perfect if your actual anme were Harry Fischer :p

Anyway, while I was never loath to proliferate critters in my campaign, none that you mention were ever much outside the realm in which they were introduced. Of course. the vast labyrinth of the underdark means that drow and the rest might pop up in any subterranean place. I really liked mind flayers as the disguised evil manipulators of mankind, so they appeared in several places in my campaign.

Cheerio,
Gary
 

loki44

Explorer
alive and well.....

Gary,
Would just like to let you know that OD&D is alive and well in Atlanta and glad to hear that you are the same. I joined an OD&D game last May and it's still going strong. I've been playing D&D since 1979, though not much in the 90's, and it's been really refreshing to get back to the roots of the game. There are younger players in our group who were weened on later editions and they're just as hooked as I am. Having an excellent DM totally committed to the system helps as well.

Take care,
loki44
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
loki44 said:
Gary,
Would just like to let you know that OD&D is alive and well in Atlanta and glad to hear that you are the same. I joined an OD&D game last May and it's still going strong. I've been playing D&D since 1979, though not much in the 90's, and it's been really refreshing to get back to the roots of the game. There are younger players in our group who were weened on later editions and they're just as hooked as I am. Having an excellent DM totally committed to the system helps as well.

Take care,
loki44

Hi Loki44,

It is good to learn that diversity remains active in the ranks of D&Ders;)

It so happens that my youngest son Alex has just made contact with a group of computer gamers in the area, and they are also fans of 3E. As he isn't one given to rules heavy RPGs, Alex took a complete set of OAD&D over to the gathering, and he says that the group were much taken by the system. It looks as if he'll be DMing the G Series for them now. As Alex is familiar with OD&D, OAD&D and the Lejendary Adventure systems, not to mention Metamorphosis Alpha, likely he'll make a good GM and provide the group with a lot of fun.

Cheers,
Gary
 

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