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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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Yeoman99

First Post
Hi Gary,

I have read the Sharpe books, and was suitably impressed with Cornwell's latest offering "The Last Kingdom" set in era of Alfred's defense of Wessex...gripping stuff. You may have commented previously on Pratchett - I find Discworld great for comic relief - does it make your reading list? On the other end of the scale I enjoyed the Memory, Sorrow & Thorn trillogy from Williams for its storytelling.

Excuse the rambling, all too easy with adecent malt whisky.

Good Health
John
 

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Gentlegamer

First Post
I just started Saga of the Old City, and of course, Artifact of Evil is next.

I have the following other Gord the Rogue books:

Night Arrant
City of Hawks
Sea of Death
Come Endless Darkness
Dance of Demons

What is the definitive order for reading the series?
 

Redwald

First Post
Gentlegamer said:
...Saga of Old City...
Artifact of Evil...
Night Arrant
City of Hawks
Sea of Death
Come Endless Darkness
Dance of Demons

What is the definitive order for reading the series?

I believe you've got it, but I'm not the world's most reliable source as I thought I was right earlier today, and Col. Pladoh had to correct me. :eek:
 


Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Yeoman99 said:
Hi Gary,

I have read the Sharpe books, and was suitably impressed with Cornwell's latest offering "The Last Kingdom" set in era of Alfred's defense of Wessex...gripping stuff. You may have commented previously on Pratchett - I find Discworld great for comic relief - does it make your reading list? On the other end of the scale I enjoyed the Memory, Sorrow & Thorn trillogy from Williams for its storytelling.

Excuse the rambling, all too easy with adecent malt whisky.

Good Health
John
As an amateur historian of Anglo-Saxon england, one who favors Wessex, the Cornwell novel sounds interesting, and I will probably pick it up.

Pratchett's "Discworld" series is amusing, and I love Rincewind and Luggage :D

For characterization and dialog I favor Vance.

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Gentlegamer said:
I just started Saga of the Old City, and of course, Artifact of Evil is next.

I have the following other Gord the Rogue books:

Night Arrant
City of Hawks
Sea of Death
Come Endless Darkness
Dance of Demons

What is the definitive order for reading the series?
Heh!

Just as you list them, but City of Hawks can be read before Night Arrant without any problem.

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Hi Deogolf!

Actually, I could relate the tale of your heroic action that saved the whole party in the HoMP, it being quite unusual for your Avatar, but then the saituation was unique, eh?

Cheers,
Gary
 

Deogolf

First Post
JRRNeiklot said:
What kind of game where you playing?

At1d6 per 10 feet fallen, what 9d10 hit point fighter could survive a fall from orbit? And wasn't falling damage originally exponential? Ie, 1d6 for 10 feet, 2d6 for then next ten for a total of 3d6 for 20 feet?

200,000 arrows = 1,000 hits on average, assuming you'd need a 20 to hit. What AD&D character can take 1,000 d6 damage?

And an armorless character in a medieval period is quite stupid, as he will be destroyed by the guy in armor, so I think it models it quiite well. Try picking up a stick and hitting your buddy dressed in full football pads and helmet, while he does the same to you while you wear jeans and a t-shirt. Sure, you might get lucky and bop him in the knee, but he can hurt you by hitting you ANYWHERE. And plate mail even had substabtial coverage of joints, weaker coverage, maybe, but better than nothing. You can always play an unarmored fighter, though, as long as he's an archer.

I'm no expert on medieval warfare by any means, but c'mon, what kid hasn't had backyard fights with wiffle ball bats and football helmets? Garbage can lids make excellent shields, btw. :)

Yeah, my parent's would get ticked off by our using the garbage can lids for shields!! ;) We
had our game of "Orc Wars!" where would get 6 to 8 guys and play rival orc clans and duke it out! We evolved to making shields out of plywood (a bit more durable and less noisy :heh: ) and would use hockey sticks with a maximum length of 30". If you wanted to use something longer, it would have to be used two-handed (no shield). One of our guys was a little more resourceful and made his own morning-star/flail (can't remember which - its been almost 15-20 years). Ah, the good ole days! Nowadays, they would have us commited!! :uhoh: )
 

dcas

First Post
Col_Pladoh said:
As far as falling damage goes I revised the damage to 1d6 per 10' per 10', so that it went 1, 3, 6, 10, 15 d6 at 50' distance. All the munchkins howled at the progression...as if the Law of Gravity doesn't dictatE accelleration of a falling body :uhoh:

Of course, if one really wants to get into the Law of Gravity then it is the time (not the distance) of one's fall that should dictate the damage taken, since velocity is a function of time (v = 32t). I think a simple method could be 1 point of damage per foot for the first 20 feet, two points of damage per foot for the next 50 feet, and 3 points per foot for the next 80 feet. (It only takes about 3 seconds to fall 150 feet.) A character falling 15 feet would take 15 points of damage; one falling 50 feet would take 20 + 60 (30 * 2) = 80 points of damage; one falling 100 feet would take 20 + 100 (50 * 2) + 90 (30 * 3) = 210 points of damage. One might allow a saving throw for 1/2 damage. ;) Anything over 150 feet would result in automatic death (barring really extraordinary circumstances).
 

Col_Pladoh said:
Gg, not GG, eh? Well, if so my apologies are in order, although I did enjoy making the ascerbic retort :mad:

Err, yeah, sorry about that. I could have been clearer. :eek:

G-little-g constantly harps about how I (and others) are not actually playing D&D with my (and our) friends in every thread in which it arises. Given that I'd come to ask for a little more clarification on your own views, it was something I really didn't need to be reminded of.

I thought you were rallying to his defense - which on the surface made sense, given the disgust you'd previously mentioned.

Sorry again for the confusion!
 

Deogolf

First Post
Col_Pladoh said:
Hi Deogolf!

Actually, I could relate the tale of your heroic action that saved the whole party in the HoMP, it being quite unusual for your Avatar, but then the saituation was unique, eh?

Cheers,
Gary

But, of course, master! Whatever you say! ;)

As it was one of my crowning moments in the adventure, I can pat myself on the back for that one!! :D
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Well Dang!

Back in chicago in the early 1940's we used wooden swords and garbage can or peach crate lits reinforced with cardboard shields to have "wars" against the "enemy gang" that were at the north end of the long alley that ran in an L-shape on the 4100 block of Kenmore Avenue. Out gang was in the middle of the block on both sides of the streets--the Pirates on my side, the east, the Indians across the way. Of course we'd team up is any "strangers" came around :]

My older brother was in high school, had some big friends, Jack Markam being the largest at around 6'4" and near 300 pounds. when cleaning the basement as was his usual Saturday chore, my brother put Jack in my old baby carriage and wrecked it, so mother had him take it out to the trash. thus came into possession our War Wagon.

I had gleaned a rug pole from the alley, that being about 9' long and around 2" diameter...a marvelout lance! I was elected to ride in the sprung baby carriage, and armed with the lance, two of my pals serving as the team pushing the vehicle, and another couple of stalwartf flanking it to right and left, we forayed up to the dogleg in the alley where the "enemy kids" held sway. They spotted us porming up, got their shields, swords and rocks ready, and formed up to drive us away. The war wagon was too much for them, though. We were at least 50' from them and charging when the lot of them broke and ran for it.

That bloodless defeat ended their challenging our right to ranging the alley even though the war wagon was soon gone with the trash pickup and the mighty lance lost who knows where.
The defeated forces made the circular park across from St. Mary's of the Lake their new domain, but they didn't challenge us in armed combat again :lol:

The year after that we got into a serious fracas with a big gang of boys from further north, there were at least 30 of them to out dozen, but that's a whole different story, and the main reason my father decided to move from Chicago :uhoh:

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Patryn of Elvenshae said:
Err, yeah, sorry about that. I could have been clearer. :eek:

G-little-g constantly harps about how I (and others) are not actually playing D&D with my (and our) friends in every thread in which it arises. Given that I'd come to ask for a little more clarification on your own views, it was something I really didn't need to be reminded of.

I thought you were rallying to his defense - which on the surface made sense, given the disgust you'd previously mentioned.

Sorry again for the confusion!
Heh...

Allow me to make one thing clear, just in case ;)

I am not prone to take actual offense at most anything relating to gaming, save a personal insult. I will return jibes and make caustic comments, but all in the spirit of fun. As a matter of fact I am not much given to thinking of myself as sacroscanct, not do I hold grudges against those who disagree with me :p In all, I view all gamers as fellows.

Cheers,
Gary
 

med stud

First Post
Heh we had those stick wars as well but we added fire wood as throwing weapons. One team had their fortress up a steep cliffside (maybe 15' high) and the other side stormed up. It ended when one of us got a stick 1" under the eye and another one got unconcious from another stick. ;)
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
med stud said:
Heh we had those stick wars as well but we added fire wood as throwing weapons. One team had their fortress up a steep cliffside (maybe 15' high) and the other side stormed up. It ended when one of us got a stick 1" under the eye and another one got unconcious from another stick. ;)
Quite!

Children do not consider the possible ramifications of their battles with sticks and stones.

The big battle I mentioned ended when the toughest kid in our band dropped the leader of the attackers with a clinker thrown that beaned him on the forehead and knocked him cold.

Alter on here in Wisconsin we used to use BB guns, slings, slingshots, and sharp cane limbs in our childish "wars." In the winter when things degenerated it was rocks in snowballs and iceballs... Nobody ever was seriously hurt, whether that was sheer luck or some busy guardian angels... :eek:

cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Deogolf said:
But, of course, master! Whatever you say! ;)

As it was one of my crowning moments in the adventure, I can pat myself on the back for that one!! :D
That instant correct decision indeed saved the party, for surely most would have dies instantly otherwise. good show :cool:

Cheers,
Gary
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
No matter where I lived (I was an army brat), our mock-combats used ranged weapons almost exclusively. In Tacoma, Washington, it was little rocks (!); in Stuttgart, Germany, it was Horse Chestnuts, either stripped of their outer casing, or with spikes intact (!!); and in Dallas, Texas, it was "spear grass"- a plant about 6-14" tall that, when plucked, had a hard, dart-like root-ball that if thrown, could draw blood at ranges up to 25'.

We were nuts.
 

gideon_thorne

First Post
Horse mounted combat with saber vs lance more or less comprised my 'teen' years. :cool:

Col_Pladoh said:
Well Dang!

Back in chicago in the early 1940's we used wooden swords and garbage can or peach crate lits reinforced with cardboard shields to have "wars" against the "enemy gang" that were at the north end of the long alley that ran in an L-shape on the 4100 block of Kenmore Avenue. Out gang was in the middle of the block on both sides of the streets--the Pirates on my side, the east, the Indians across the way. Of course we'd team up is any "strangers" came around :]
 

Deogolf

First Post
Col_Pladoh said:
Well Dang!

Back in chicago in the early 1940's we used wooden swords and garbage can or peach crate lits reinforced with cardboard shields to have "wars" against the "enemy gang" that were at the north end of the long alley that ran in an L-shape on the 4100 block of Kenmore Avenue. Out gang was in the middle of the block on both sides of the streets--the Pirates on my side, the east, the Indians across the way. Of course we'd team up is any "strangers" came around :]

My older brother was in high school, had some big friends, Jack Markam being the largest at around 6'4" and near 300 pounds. when cleaning the basement as was his usual Saturday chore, my brother put Jack in my old baby carriage and wrecked it, so mother had him take it out to the trash. thus came into possession our War Wagon.

I had gleaned a rug pole from the alley, that being about 9' long and around 2" diameter...a marvelout lance! I was elected to ride in the sprung baby carriage, and armed with the lance, two of my pals serving as the team pushing the vehicle, and another couple of stalwartf flanking it to right and left, we forayed up to the dogleg in the alley where the "enemy kids" held sway. They spotted us porming up, got their shields, swords and rocks ready, and formed up to drive us away. The war wagon was too much for them, though. We were at least 50' from them and charging when the lot of them broke and ran for it.

That bloodless defeat ended their challenging our right to ranging the alley even though the war wagon was soon gone with the trash pickup and the mighty lance lost who knows where.
The defeated forces made the circular park across from St. Mary's of the Lake their new domain, but they didn't challenge us in armed combat again :lol:

The year after that we got into a serious fracas with a big gang of boys from further north, there were at least 30 of them to out dozen, but that's a whole different story, and the main reason my father decided to move from Chicago :uhoh:

Cheers,
Gary

Now that would've been something to see on video! I just have to shake my head and laugh cuz I know that's something I can picture our group doing too!

It's amazing no-one was seriously hurt. Then again, we took precautions to limit the weapons we could use (no airborne missiles). The only time we had an airborne missile was when the ball of the morning-star flew off the plastic chain and landed at my feet. Thinking quickly, I picked it up and with a double-hand toss (had to be realistic, ya know!), bounced it off the side of one of our "enemies" head - quickly taking him out of the battle! (The ball was actually a rolled up sock wrapped in electrical tape). Or maybe it was because everyone was too busy laughing to keep the battle going!! :D
 

Gentlegamer

First Post
Patryn of Elvenshae said:
G-little-g constantly harps about how I (and others) are not actually playing D&D with my (and our) friends in every thread in which it arises. Given that I'd come to ask for a little more clarification on your own views, it was something I really didn't need to be reminded of.

I thought you were rallying to his defense - which on the surface made sense, given the disgust you'd previously mentioned.

Sorry again for the confusion!
Since in the discussions you remember you and others pointed out how much you didn't like "old" D&D and had left the game and only "returned" for "3e," I can't help but point out (by way of clarification) that "3e" and "3.5e" are not D&D, but part of the d20 System rules set. I don't understand why it upsets you so much.
 

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