# TSRQ&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.

#### optimizer

##### First Post
Howdy!

Now for a cmbat example... Wait! The LA game system is not one that stresses combat. It facilitates all forms of activity. Ah well, okay, back to the H&S then.

Nice example. Any chance of posting a copy of it over at www.lejendary.com?

Thanks again!

Mike

#### optimizer

##### First Post
Howdy!

Larcen said:

4) Some of the die ranges seem strange to me. How is "3-20" or "4-20" rolled?

This reminds me of a thread at www.lejendary.com a year or so ago!

IIRC, the LA rules doesn't go into detail on which dice to roll in this case -- the assumption is that the players know how to convert a range into the mix of dice needed to generate the specified distribution.

Mike

#### Larcen

##### Explorer
optimizer said:
Howdy!

This reminds me of a thread at www.lejendary.com a year or so ago!

IIRC, the LA rules doesn't go into detail on which dice to roll in this case -- the assumption is that the players know how to convert a range into the mix of dice needed to generate the specified distribution.

Mike

Ok, so 3-20 would be, say, 2d6 + 1d8 ? And 4-20 would be 2d6 + 2d4 ? That kind of thing?

##### Gary Gygax
Henry said:
Fascinating. I shall have to look for this further...

I noticed a few circumstances which added or took away a +10 or -10 from the percentile chance - roughly analogous to the +2 and -2 circumstances in the d20 system...

One thing that confused me, and I will really need to pop up around the Lejendary Boards for more info - but I noticed that some Avatars get certain abilities, at a percentage of their health, or precision, or speed, or such. Do other Avatars get any "default skills" for some things? For example, say an avatar with no skill at all in hiding wants to "get off the road," to paraphrase Elijah Wood. What would his chance be at this?

Right! The system uses percentile chances with adjystments that might range from 1 to 50 or more.

Assuming an Avatar was seeking to hide and didn't have any Ability that would facilitate this--Hunt, Ranging, Rustic, Waylaying--then it's up to the Lejend Master. Depending on the circumstances, I'd give a default of around 10 on the success, and that would be the penalty for any Avatar using a tracking skill to discover the matter.

Other things might have no default chance, or a mere 1% chance--a non-Extraordinary-Ability-possessing Avatar would likely have no chance for activating a Power (spell) from a Plaque (scroll), but in time one without Waterfaring Ability would likely be able to set a sail--a lot of d% checks beginning at 1 to see it if was right, adding 1 until a default of 10 was reaches through trial and error. Enough of that, and the Avatar might eventually get the Ability at 1.

Possessing an Ability allows up to a +30 bonus for doing ordinary things in calm surroundings.

Gary

##### Gary Gygax
Larcen said:
Thanks for the example. Sounds faster than 3E alright! But I happen to LIKE discussing rules and have been called a rules lawyer more than once, so I hope you don't mind being dragged into an in-depth analysis here. I know, I know, sorry. Anyway, being as I am, several questions popped into my head after reading the example:

1) What roll was made, if any, for the kru-krad to successfully grab the forester? It was not mentioned, so was it automatic?

Actually, I assumed an automatic hit for the kru-krad, as iot was laying in wait, aware of the intruding party. In normal attack situations a creature has its Precision Base Rating as its d% cance for successful attack.

I am not a rules lawyer, and I don't mind bending oor ignoring rules I have writted...if that suits the game at the time

2) If appears like a person's chance of successfully striking an opponent is not dependant on any kind defense value the target may have and that only the attacker's skills, bonuses and weapon play a part. What is the rationale for this?

Heh, well, maybe that armor doesn't really reduce the chance to be struck, but rather it absorbs damage (Harm in LA game terms) delivered by the attack. In the wash though, the effect of either system is much the same, so it's a mechanic, not a commentary on combat.

3) Along the same lines, is the Mage's chance of successfully activating a Power dependant solely on his Enchantment skill and not the magnitude (level?) of the Power he is attempting?

Quite so, it is a fucnction of Ability score, not of the power of the activation. Hovever, the more potent Powers, Spells, etc. have longer activation times and a greater Activation Energy CPoint cost. Thus, players soon learn that the low-Rank, fast-to-activate Powers are their best stock in trade when a fight is in progress.

4) Some of the die ranges seem strange to me. How is "3-20" or "4-20" rolled?

Oh, I just knew I should have explained that. The assumption of the game is that 20 is the standarg Health of a huiman, and that most weapons can deliver 20 points of Harm. In n-20 point spreads, the first number is the minimum Harm the weapon can do when it hits the target.

Many Extraordinary bonuses and Powers have Harm ranges from the following progression: 3-5 (d3+2), 6-8 (d3+5), 9-12 (d4+8), 13-16 (d4+12), 17-20 (d4+16), 21-25 (d5+20), 26-35 (d10+25), and 36-50 (d15+35). those at the upper limit are very, very rare.

5) I am still getting used to going from a combat round of 1 minute (1E) to 6 seconds (3E). Feels too constrictive somehow. No way I can ever play GURPS, their round is 1 second I believe! Have your players had any problems with a mere 3 seconds per ABC? Something along the lines of: Avatar: "Ok, I take my backpack off, find that potion, and drink it." LM: "No way you can do all that in 3 seconds." Would this action just carry over into more than one ABC then?

It should surprise nobody that all of the players, save Alex, my youngest son soon to hit the bit 16, are well-versed in all forms of A/D&D. Not a one has had any problems with the 3-second Activity Block Count. In fact, there are no arguments, as it makes it pretty easy to count seconds and figure for oneself how long an action or series thereof takes. This the LM adjusts mentally, of coourse fot the Avatar's Speed Base Rating as modified by protection factors--shiuled, armor, or Power.

Finally, as the system is rules light, the flow of action is the most important thing, so if a player hesitates, the Avatar is doing likewise, and if he is eagerly issuing instructions as to actions, then the Avatar is like a ball of fire.

6) Any particular reason why common RPG terminology was changed, like "rounds" to "ABCs" and "damage" to "Harm"? Was this just for flavor? (Not that after gaining familiarity it wouldn't become second nature I am sure.)

The principal rason for the new terminology is to move the mindset of the participants from A/D&D and like game systems to that of the LA one, for it plays quite differently, and getting into the spirit of the system aids greatly in understanding the game and enjoying it. Of course having a separate patoise, if you will, also sets the gamers using it apart when they describe some gaming actiivity in those terms. Needless to say, all LA gamers, myself included, quite frequently slip into the "rounds" and "damage" and "spell" terminology. Old habits die hard. however, once you begin to think using those gaming terms, then thinking within the LA system is easy.

PQUOTE]There may be more questions if I go back and read the example in more depth, but I know that one of LA's promoted strengths is that it's rules light, so I can understand if the answer to any and all of the above is something along those lines. Also, like I said earlier, if this is not the proper forum (literally) for all this, and you would prefer discussing it elsewhere (if at all) let me know. I would also accept it if your answer to it all was simply: "Buy the rulebook!" [/QUOTE]

The www.lejendary.com boards are where this discussion should continue I never urge anyone to buy the rule book unless they think they want to collect it for their libvrary--or better still see if they will like it in play. An unsatisfied buyer is not likely to promote the game, so better not to buy if unsure!

Cheers,
Gary

##### Gary Gygax
optimizer said:
Howdy!

I just wanted to say that this was a nice story on how you created a world. Any chance you will include this tale in your World Builder's Guide?

Thanks.

Mike

Mike, the coming book of that name is really more of a "descriptionary" reference for all that needs to be placed into the txt of a work on fantasy, not how to create the world.

Alan Kellogg is now working on how to create a fantasy nation/state, and that book will be done later on in the series. I'll have to consider the potential for a treatment of how to start from scratch, so to speak, fashion the planet, its terrain. It might fill a vast tome, or be only a slim volume, depending on how much detail were given. To be sueful, I think the former is called for, and I don't know how many gamers would really want to delve into such a detailed work.

Gary

##### Gary Gygax
optimizer said:
Howdy!

Nice example. Any chance of posting a copy of it over at www.lejendary.com?

Thanks again!

Mike

Consider it done I'll go back, copy my post, and then hit the lejendary website with it.

Gary

#### KingOfChaos

##### First Post
I'd just like to apologize to Gary if I scared him the other night with my fanboy tendencies.

##### Gary Gygax
KingOfChaos said:
I'd just like to apologize to Gary if I scared him the other night with my fanboy tendencies.

Your thought is appreciated, amigo, but not much scares me outside getting mail from the IRS...

To me the main thing in a chat is my read of a question and how to answer it properly--or not! working in a rather chaoric environment, with a time limit, is not so easy. If I weren't a "Columbis Method" typist, likely it would be easier, but...

Gary

#### Golem Joe

##### First Post
optimizer said:
IIRC, the LA rules doesn't go into detail on which dice to roll in this case -- the assumption is that the players know how to convert a range into the mix of dice needed to generate the specified distribution.

Mike,

Not so. The dice to use are both listed in the Lejendary Rules for All Players (hidden in the weapon notes unfortuantely) and also prominently in the Beasts of Lejend book.

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