TSR Q&A with Gary Gygax

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.

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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
coz said:
Gary, I remember reading a Dragon magazine editorial from way back by you where you spoke of some new medieval live action group and you mentioned something about prior involvement in the SCA. Could you shed any more light on the subject of you in armor swinging rattan at another guy's head (for some reason I just picture you as a 'stick jock').

Just how many children do you have? Have any of them gone on to game design?

And who played those original Greyhawk adventurers who became famous NPCs?

Well, that's going back a ways. In the early 70s there were a few SCA members here in Lake Geneva, two of whom played in my D&D campaign. I did indeed wield a rattan sword with helmet and shield, but only in practise. I never did join the SCA or make armor and cistume. As is still the case, gaming kept me too busy for that. LAcking proper leg protection, I still sport the broken blood vessels where enemy swords impacked leg. Never felt the pain of impact at the time though--too worked up with battle lust :eek:

I have six children, Ernie, Elise, Heidi, Cindy, Luke, and ALex. All have played D&D. The three boys still game. Ernie and Luke combined to write the LOST CITY OF GAXMOOR module, D20 by Troll Lord Games. Ernie's work prevents him from doing more design, and it seems likely that Luke too is facing that same stricture--writing adventure material demands a lot of time and effort. Luke is going to try to get to a sequal, THE LOST UNDERCITY (of Gaxmoor), but it will be some months before he can begin. Neither son want's any interference from their father. Alex is only 15, soon 16. He is a good player and fair GM too, but I don't think he'll be a dedicated writer. Such is life.

Lastly, when I started the Greyhawk campaign, the initial playtesters were son Ernie (Tenser, Serten, Erac's Cousin) and daughter Elise. In a couple of days time Don Kaye (Murlynd), Rob (Robilar, Otto) and Terry (Terik) Kuntz joined the gang. Of course in a few months we had a crowd of 20 and more persons, and when some split off to form their own campaign new people were there to take their places.

As Rob had begun his own campaign, I played a lot in it with various PCs--Yrag, Mordenkainen, Bigby, etc. I enlisted Rob as co-Dm for my campaign too, as it took two of us to manage the large player groups, and also to run all the game sessions demanded by smaller parties. Often times there were two long sessions a day in 1974 and 1975. I had to write material, so Rob ran many of them.

A few years later son Luke played Melf.

That's it:)

Gary
 

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Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Upper_Krust said:


Hey Gary! :)

Celtic Pantheon you say...interesting. Too often sidelined in favour of the 'big three'.

Yes, and to rectify that I have devised 20 pantheons for the LEJENDARY EARTH World Setting, with vaqrious major and minor states thereon having one or another as the recognized one. Thus I hope to encourage greater diversity in this regard.

Incidently I caught the veiled musings of Tharizdun in Dance of Demons wherein he indirectly equates himself with the Celtic Deity Cernun/Cernunnos. ;)

Heh. Caught me! I was reading a lot of mythology at the time, so I couldn't resist slipping that into the novel.

I still want to see you do the definitive work on Egyptian Mythology of course! :D

I'm curious, have you ever been to Egypt?

I have a huge number of Egyptian deities identified and awaiting their appearance in the LEJENDARY PANTHEONS sourcebook--whenever it gets into print. The Egyptian Pantheon is the largest one, and that's saying something, considering the Greco-Roman one. The ms. has been done in rough for about three years time now, just needs polishing. Of course by treating 20 pantheons for a FRPG setting, no great details are given. That will have to await additional books that deal with a pantheon or several of them more minutely.

The problem in regards to the latter is details. There just aren't a lot of details, or any in some cases, for many pantheons, or deities therein. Additionally, where information is relatively abundant, much of it is pretty valueless when moving the deities to a fantasy world where they are active and potent, and the society is thus different and more technologically (and intellectually) advanced.

As for visiting Egypt, sadly no. Not likely to attempt a trip there anytime soon now either :( The only place in Africa I have managed to visit is Morocco, which I really loved.

I have been looking forward to it since you first mentioned it on these boards a while back.

As I recall didn't you say it can be utilised at myriad levels? After Gaxmoor and Necropolis are conquered it sounds like the Hall of Many Panes could be next on the agenda... ;)

Appreciate the interest. The HALL' is mant for experienced players, for there will be diverse approaches needed to manage the dozens of secnarios to be managed therein. I have used the LA game system to create it, so it's aa bit difficult to estimate the PC level as it now stands--Jon Creffield is adding the D20 material now. I should think average level 8-10 for, but the DM could easilt upgrade the encounters by including more opponents, or giving them more HD and damage potential, so as to handle PCs of 12-14 levels. Of course some places in the adventure level 20-30 PCs will be lost unless they are played properly, thinking is used rather than reliance on combat and magic.

Ciao,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
davidschwartznz said:
Gary, you've mentioned elements of 3E that differ from your original vision. Is there anything in the new rules that you think improves on that vision?

A valid query, and one that I wish I could answer properly. The fact is that as 3E is actually a different game from AD&D, both Original and 2E, there isn't any way to do so. That is, new D&D is a game unto itself, and in such case the axiom about comparisons being odious seems to apply.

Gary
 


Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
ColonelHardisson said:
Gary - would you like to see the Epic of Aerth see the light of day again? I think it's a great setting, and could easily be used for any number of game systems.

Yes indeed, Colonel Sir! :) The time and effort I spent getting the details into the EoA work were considerable. When I wrote it I hoped it would supply the sort of information that would benefit any fantasy campaign setting. What with the way things are going at WotC, likely it could be picked up pretty reasonably by some publisher.

Ciao,
Gary
 


Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
ColonelHardisson said:
Yes, let's hope somebody does get hold of it. It's one of the most underrated settings ever.

Heh, all I can say is that I spent about five years putting it together--not all the time working on it alone, of course. The set of Eleventh Edition ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA that my most honored maternal grandfather bequeathed to me was much used in developing the details given in the EoA. What I longed for was a set of the Third Edition to reruse so as to perhaps get closer to the actual area conditions, but never was I able to find one...

Gary
 

Rel

Liquid Awesome
Don't feel compelled to reply to this, Gary, but I just had to share it:

The other night when I got home from work, I told my wife that I had corresponded with Gary Gygax on the ENWorld boards. She is a very casual gamer and said, "Who's Gary Gygax?"

I explained your signifigance to the hobby to her and how cool it was to talk to you and she proceeded to give me a lighthearted ribbing about being a geek fanboy.

I responded with, "Well, you like horseback riding. Imagine you got to swap messages with the guy who invented horses."

She said, "You mean, God?"

I said, "Yeah."

She said, "I'm not sure it would be quite the same as you talking to Gary Gygax."

I said, "Of course not. God probably doesn't drink Martinis."


Anyhow, thanks again for taking the time to answer my (admittedly irrelevant to gaming) question.
:D
 



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