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
BigBastard said:
Gary, whats your take on the upcomming book "The Book of Erotic Fantasy"? Do you think this could hurt roleplayings image?

I sure do! Coming after the questionable BOOK OF VILE DARKNESS, the detractors of the RPG game form in general and D&D in particular have new ammunition.

As a concerned parent not knowing anything about D&D, what yould you think if shown oly the names of the two books, showing that such material was "promoted" for players of the game. then a look inside, and most parents would forbid their youngsters to play such a game.

This is a case of providing fuel to start a real fire, not just smoke as there was before, IMO.

Cheers,
Gary
 

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caudor

Adventurer
Hello Gary, I hope you are doing well. It is a pleasure to (virtually) meet you.

My question is about the uskfruit that grows just outside the Temple of Elemental Evil. For some reason, I've always liked the idea of the a pale blue fruit spotched with angry red patches. Was the fruit your idea or Mr. Mentzer's (or someone else). I realize this is a minor part of the adventure, so you may not remember it at all.

Would you believe that one of my players actually ate one? Later, he told me he did it because of the way my expression brightened when he picked up. Now days, anytime I smile or chuckle during an adventure (sometimes I can't help it), my group starts glancing at each other in alarm. I need to work on my poker face, I suppose.
 

mystraschosen

First Post
Hello once again gary of the gygaxian syllabisim....ok so I try but am not funny is that a crime? Moving on...
An older player in one of the games I play in asked me I f I would relay a question he had.DISCLAIMER I am not sure you will even know what I am talking about as his remembrances were very vague.

Ok he heard you mention once something about a whip and or fan of cockatrice feathers and it has been burning in his head ever since,do you perhaps remember what it was about ?

Sorry to bother you,but he has been bothering me for a while and now I can tell him I have asked. :)
Thank you sir gary!
 
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Melan

Explorer
mystraschosen: the golem wielding said armaments are in Mordenkainen's Fantastic Adventure, and as far as I know, EGG's Magic-User was turned to stone by them.
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
caudor said:
Hello Gary, I hope you are doing well. It is a pleasure to (virtually) meet you.

My question is about the uskfruit that grows just outside the Temple of Elemental Evil. For some reason, I've always liked the idea of the a pale blue fruit spotched with angry red patches. Was the fruit your idea or Mr. Mentzer's (or someone else). I realize this is a minor part of the adventure, so you may not remember it at all.

Would you believe that one of my players actually ate one? Later, he told me he did it because of the way my expression brightened when he picked up. Now days, anytime I smile or chuckle during an adventure (sometimes I can't help it), my group starts glancing at each other in alarm. I need to work on my poker face, I suppose.

Heh...

The usk is a tree that I created for the World of Greyhawk, and the description of the fruit is likewise my own. The blue of the description is a real blue, so Oerth has blue food;)

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
mystraschosen said:
Hello once again gary of the gygaxian syllabisim....ok so I try but am not funny is that a crime? Moving on...
An older player in one of the games I play in asked me I f I would relay a question he had.DISCLAIMER I am not sure you will even know what I am talking about as his remembrances were very vague.

Ok he heard you mention once something about a whip and or fan of cockatrice feathers and it has been burning in his head ever since,do you perhaps remember what it was about ?

Sorry to bother you,but he has been bothering me for a while and now I can tell him I have asked. :)
Thank you sir gary!

No Problemo!

Mordenkainen and Bigby faced an iron golem in Rob Kuntz's campaign. It could levitate and breathed fire. That construct was armed with a poisned sword and a whip tipped with cockatrice feathers. Mordenkainen was turned to stone and Bigby was slain when he failed his save:( Fortunately others of the circle came to their rescue, and as Rigby used a stone to flesh spell, Nigby used a wish to bring Bigby back to life.

Cheers,
Gary
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
G'day Gary!

Were many characters raised or otherwise returned from near-death experiences in those early days? I know some campaigns never allow the raising of dead characters, and others (such as my own) have it as almost commonplace. (You can draw your own conclusions as to how often characters die in my campaign. :))

One other matter that I've been wondering about recently: AD&D in tournaments.

Looking back on your writings about the time AD&D came out, it seems to me that one reason for the standardisation of the D&D rules in AD&D was to provide a 'stricter' set that could be used in competitive tournaments of the game.

Is this impression correct, or is my imagination just working overtime?

Thanks again, muchly, for your time, Gary!

Cheers!
 
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Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Hi Merric:)

MerricB said:
G'day Gary!

Were many characters raised or otherwise returned from near-death experiences in those early days? I know some campaigns never allow the raising of dead characters, and others (such as my own) have it as almost commonplace. (You can draw your own conclusions as to how often characters die in my campaign. :))

PC death was pretty common. Lower level ones were generally written off. Hioghtr level ones able to pay the cost, or with a Wish spell were brought back. Yrag died several times, and the same is true with most of the "famous" PCs from my campaign. Thus magic items enabling use of a Wish or Wishes were highly prized and generally reserved for bringing back a beloved character. The rule about being brought back no more than a number of timnes equal to the character's constitution was not fluff, but meant to restrain the more foolhearty players in risking their PCs.


One other matter that I've been wondering about recently: AD&D in tournaments.

Looking back on your writings about the time AD&D came out, it seems to me that one reason for the standardisation of the D&D rules in AD&D was to provide a 'stricter' set that could be used in competitive tournaments of the game.

Is this impression correct, or is my imagination just working overtime?

Thanks again, muchly, for your time, Gary!

Cheers!

You have it right, Merric;) There was so much variance of play in D&D that it was difficult to run large tournaments at cons. AD&D was indeed meant to give players more common ground, so that large competitions could be staged.

Cheers,
Gary
 

optimizer

First Post
Howdy!

Col_Pladoh said:
I did the Thief, Assassin, Monk, Cavalier, Barbarian all by myself, as I'd done the three basic ones in OD&D. Same for the demi-humans. Tim Kask had a hand in creating the Bard class.

Most of the new material was introduced into my campaign first, then done in DRAGON as articles, then appeared in the PHB or UA.

Thanks for the response!

Did you have trouble finding volunteers to try the new classes? Did any of them catch on so well that people decide to continue playing them beyond the playtest period?

Thanks again!

Mike
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
optimizer said:
Howdy!


Thanks for the response!

Did you have trouble finding volunteers to try the new classes? Did any of them catch on so well that people decide to continue playing them beyond the playtest period?

Thanks again!

Mike

Hi Mike:)

Well shucks! We weren't formal in play testing. When I had new material I'd just pass it sround to the guys, and let them decide what to do about it--or sit down and DM the adventure;)

Terry Kuntz played the first monk character, and he loved it. We had several assassins, but nobody played one for a long period of time. Tim Kask played the first bard IIRR. Druids were very popular, and he had been playing one regularly.

From the in-game experience I'd fine tune the new class and then get it into print so other gamers could have at it. Pretty much the same with adventure modules.

Cheers,
Gary
 
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