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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Elfdart

Banned
Banned
RE: Trolls

I use trolls very similar to what Haakon1 described from Norse folklore. Since I never much cared for Lord of the Rings, I always made it a point to remove as many of the Professor's "brain bugs" as I could.

A great source is "An Encyclopedia of Fairies: Hobgoblins, Brownies, Bogies, and Other Supernatural Creatures". The collection of names, nicknames and story summaries is always good when you find yourself falling into a creative rut. You can use one of the creatures listed, or simply use one of the alternate names for an already existing creature. Players who know the "official" monsters like the backs of their hands are often caught flat-footed even though all you've done ismake a cosmetic change or two.
 

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Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Joël of the FoS said:
Bonjour Gary,

(happy Bday, if a few days late, and wishes for a long happy life)

This is my first post in these lengthy saga « ask Gary » threads (which I’ve read in total, took me about a week!). I learned many trivias from early D&D (and on dwarven female beard…)

I had no ideas about you and your private life before reading these. It seems we share the love of a good drink – French cru classé (ah, Cos d’Estournel…), and of course Sam Adams (have the same opinion on ordinary beer – it simply shouldn’t be called “beer”).
Hope your eyes recover from the workout.

there can no longer be any question about all female dwarves having hirsuit cheeks and chins, right?

Remember! Lips that touch liquor shall never touch mine. My liquor that is :mad:

Heh, and anyway, if you ever see any New Glarus beer or ale (preferably) give it a try. Excellent micro-brewery fare those.

Been D&Ding since 1981, so first, many thanks for creating this amazing hobby. I now game with my friends (ongoing campaign since 1987) and now with my kids. Thanks for those precious moments.

My question: I understand from the timing of your departure from TSR that the Ravenloft setting was launched after you left. So I guess you were not involved in this at all? (Or in the original I-6?). Bonus points for your opinion on the setting :)

Regards,

Joël
It is good to read that you are bringing up your progeny properly :lol:

I was still with TSR but had little imput in the corporate affairs when the Ravenloft materials began publishing. i was out in the Los Angeles area much of the time from 1982 through the end of 1984.

Cheerio,
Gary
 

Gray Mouser

First Post
Col_Pladoh said:
Oh what I would give to have Jeeves in my service!

If you read Kyril Bonfiglioni, his anti-Jeeves "Jock" is also a worthy treasure for the shady character--and Bonfiglioni obviously read Wodehouse :lol:

Cheers,
Gary

Heh, Wodehouse is one of the few authors that gets me laughing out loud when I read him :D

Gray Mouser
 

Joël of the FoS

First Post
Hello Gary,

Col_Pladoh said:
Hope your eyes recover from the workout.

Well, I cheated a little by reading only your posts – providing me with the question and answer. I read quickly but I don't really have those lenses of speed reading.

there can no longer be any question about all female dwarves having hirsuit cheeks and chins, right?

It clears the matter indeed. Lorraine can sue me because I asked ;)

Heh, and anyway, if you ever see any New Glarus beer or ale (preferably) give it a try. Excellent micro-brewery fare those.

I’m going to NC in a few days, and Boston and NY before that, and hunting gourmet wine and food stores, so I’ll be looking for that. Which state is it made?

And a good bitter ale over any other type of beer, indeed! If you go to Québec, try the St-Ambroise (micro-br.) – a very good quality Indian pale ale-type beer.

It is good to read that you are bringing up your progeny properly :lol:

Heh, what are parents for ? ;) When my daughter was 4, she could tell the various breath weapon of chromatic dragons :)

Another question, if I may, on roll-playing vs role-playing.

From personal experience and reading, it is my understanding that D&D went from roll playing to role playing with time. As the early books were 99% roll-playing mechanics, while role playing was introduced much later.

Am I wrong? Was it important for you from the start?

Joël
 
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Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Gray Mouser said:
Heh, Wodehouse is one of the few authors that gets me laughing out loud when I read him :D

Gray Mouser
Indeed!

I recall with great fondness evenings when my Grandmother Burdick read Wodehouse aloud to my Grandfather--his eyes were tired from his legal work, he being in his 80s then. Much mirth and laughter.

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Joël of the FoS said:
Hello Gary,

Well, I cheated a little by reading only your posts – providing me with the question and answer. I read quickly but I don't really have those lenses of speed reading.
Ah for the days of my youth when I read 500 plus wpm with a bit over 90% comprehension!

It clears the matter indeed. Lorraine can sue me because I asked ;)
A name that will never darken gaming again, after her debacle, eh?

I’m going to NC in a few days, and Boston and NY before that, and hunting gourmet wine and food stores, so I’ll be looking for that. Which state is it made?
New glarus is a Swiss community some 40 miles west of Madison, Wisconsin. Being mainly of Swiss descent, I make a pilgrimage there annually for some down-home food.

And a good bitter ale over any other type of beer, indeed! If you go to Québec, try the St-Ambroise (micro-br.) – a very good quality Indian pale ale-type beer.
toronto in less than a month, but no plans to visit Quenec--although i work with a computer game company based there--Alchemic Dream. Maybe they'll bring some St. Ambroise to the games expo...

Heh, what are parents for ? ;) When my daughter was 4, she could tell the various breath weapon of chromatic dragons :)
Excellent! :lol:

Another question, if I may, on roll-playing vs role-playing.

From personal experience and reading, it is my understanding that D&D went from roll playing to role playing with time. As the early books were 99% roll-playing mechanics, while role playing was introduced much later.

Am I wrong? Was it important for you from the start?

Joël

One can not effectively teach or regulate roleplaying, save by example and GM fiat. We tended to get into character in regards game play, and did some yacking instead of hacking whenever the situation seemed to call for it.

So you are not really accurate in your assessment, as you'll note when youy read my brief essays about the more amusing adventures I DMed or participated in.

A rule book for roleplaying would be a work dealing with amateur thespianism, you see :eek:

Cheers,
Gary
 

thufur

First Post
Joël of the FoS I’m going to NC in a few days said:
Northern California, or North Carolina? If you're heading to the Tarheel state, try jaunting through the Yadkin Valley - they have several nice regional vineyards.
 

Joël of the FoS

First Post
thufur said:
Northern California, or North Carolina? If you're heading to the Tarheel state, try jaunting through the Yadkin Valley - they have several nice regional vineyards.

That’s North Carolina! But I’m hoping someday I will be able to visit California and its vineyards.

Col_Pladoh said:
toronto in less than a month, but no plans to visit Quenec--although i work with a computer game company based there--Alchemic Dream. Maybe they'll bring some St. Ambroise to the games expo...

Ask them to bring you the best 6 pack you can find from Québec : 3 bottles of St-Ambroise and 3 of Boréale rousse (red). Amazing stuff. Or better, give me their address, and contact person, I'll bring them the six pack and make sure you get it.

That is cool about Québec, we are part French (and love French wine), part Brit (the love of port wine and good quality beer).

Quote: me - Heh, what are parents for ? When my daughter was 4, she could tell the various breath weapon of chromatic dragons

You - Excellent! :lol:

I have to say that my daughter is now amazingly proud that the creator of the D&D game said something good about her :) She wants you to know the monster book is one of her fave one.

One can not effectively teach or regulate roleplaying, save by example and GM fiat. We tended to get into character in regards game play, and did some yacking instead of hacking whenever the situation seemed to call for it.

So you are not really accurate in your assessment, as you'll note when you read my brief essays about the more amusing adventures I DMed or participated in.

A rule book for roleplaying would be a work dealing with amateur thespianism, you see :eek:

Cheers,
Gary

“yacking instead of hacking” :)

Ok, sorry for the misconception. I was under the impression that the first D&D books were not saying much about role playing. It is probably from my own experience then (I play mostly with engineers, the best optimizer people I know!).

I have to admit I didn’t these essays you mention. Can we find these online?

Joël
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Joël of the FoS said:
Ask them to bring you the best 6 pack you can find from Québec : 3 bottles of St-Ambroise and 3 of Boréale rousse (red). Amazing stuff. Or better, give me their address, and contact person, I'll bring them the six pack and make sure you get it.
Sounds great to me! My contact at Alchemic Dreams is Aurelean Merville, and the address is 21051 Succursale St. Marc, Shawinigan, Quebec.

That is cool about Québec, we are part French (and love French wine), part Brit (the love of port wine and good quality beer).
Excellent, French wine, British port and sherry too, along with their beer and ale...and maybe cheeses from both :eek:

I have to say that my daughter is now amazingly proud that the creator of the D&D game said something good about her :) She wants you to know the monster book is one of her fave one.
As the father of six children, three of which are girls, I am most happy to be of service to all children, Greatest thing in the world, those :cool:

“yacking instead of hacking” :)

Ok, sorry for the misconception. I was under the impression that the first D&D books were not saying much about role playing. It is probably from my own experience then (I play mostly with engineers, the best optimizer people I know!).

I have to admit I didn’t these essays you mention. Can we find these online?

Joël
Hacking is far and away the favorite occupation for RPG players.

the misconception is logical, as little effort was made to encourage roleplay and conversation. As with traps, we rather assumed the players would be astute enough to figure out on their own when it was appropriate to attempt conversation.

The series of generally humorous essays was run in Dragon magazine around 2002-3.

Rob Kuntz is completing a series of his own similar tales, and when he has done so, I'll expand on my work a bit and we hope to publish the compilation as a hardback book, possibly through Piazzo, although we haven't approached them on this yet.

Cheers,
Gary
 

francisca

I got dice older than you.
Col_Pladoh said:
Hope your eyes recover from the workout.
HA!

I hope your eyes recovered from last weekend, having nearly popped clean out of their sockets when you overheard Drawmij had dropped a genuine Starship Warden Red/Blue Security band on us in the MA game.

"YOUR WEIGHT IN DOMARS FOR DELIVERY OF THAT TO AILENE!!!", exclaimed the good Colonel.

I didn't get a chance to speak with you, when you looked like you might be free enough to have a quick chat, I was engaged in a game, and when I was free, you were engaged in conversation, and I didn't want to intrude.

Oh, BTW, I had planned on searching your character out, and giving you the band, but the devious Mr. Ward arranged for my personality to be supplanted by Lt. Commander Ahhh-nold, who was bent on invoking the nuclear option. :]

There is always next year.....
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Ciao, Francisca,

Indeed my eyes were distended when James M. mentioned that security band--a command bracelt for sure. The Vigilists, out faction on the old SS Warden have a command ring, but alas, we are now on the new starship :confused:

the con was just great, no? Please do come back for next year's show--and but in anytime. I am there to meet all my fellow gamers who care to make my acquaintance;)

Ernie just dropped in so I must close.

Cheers,
Gary
 

francisca

I got dice older than you.
Col_Pladoh said:
Ciao, Francisca,

Indeed my eyes were distended when James M. mentioned that security band--a command bracelt for sure. The Vigilists, out faction on the old SS Warden have a command ring, but alas, we are now on the new starship :confused:

the con was just great, no? Please do come back for next year's show--and but in anytime. I am there to meet all my fellow gamers who care to make my acquaintance;)

Ernie just dropped in so I must close.

Cheers,
Gary

Yes, had a great time. I am hoping to arrive early next year, hoping you see fit to offer up some more "front porch" hospitality.

--Rich
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
francisca said:
Yes, had a great time. I am hoping to arrive early next year, hoping you see fit to offer up some more "front porch" hospitality.

--Rich
Heh...

A number of the chaps with families are bound to bring them next year so that thay can enjoy the charms of Lake Geneva, a true tourist trap with plenty to amuse women and children not enthralled by the lure of gaming.

Gail does plan to have another "Open Porch," likely spreading out to the side yard as well if the weather is clement. All there should pray that the weather has been as dry as this year so that the mosquito population is minimal. That way some Yard Guard and bug candles will make the place reasonably safe and enjoyable.

Cheers,
Gary
 

francisca

I got dice older than you.
Col_Pladoh said:
Heh...

A number of the chaps with families are bound to bring them next year so that thay can enjoy the charms of Lake Geneva, a true tourist trap with plenty to amuse women and children not enthralled by the lure of gaming.

Gail does plan to have another "Open Porch," likely spreading out to the side yard as well if the weather is clement. All there should pray that the weather has been as dry as this year so that the mosquito population is minimal. That way some Yard Guard and bug candles will make the place reasonably safe and enjoyable.

Cheers,
Gary

My family enjoyed the beach quite a bit on saturday. Whether they come next year remains to be seen. That's good news about the open porch.
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
francisca said:
My family enjoyed the beach quite a bit on saturday. Whether they come next year remains to be seen. That's good news about the open porch.
there is a good water park at Timber Ridge, so the kiddies can be amused even more than is provided by the beach here.

One of the fellows on Dragonsfoot just volunteered to bring some bottles of the red wine vinted in his area, so there'll be a wine tasting next year here on the porch;) If only i could convince Francois Froideval to come over from France with some choice bordeaux and burgundies... :lol:

Cheers,
Gary
 

thedungeondelver

Adventurer
Col_Pladoh said:
One of the fellows on Dragonsfoot just volunteered to bring some bottles of the red wine vinted in his area, so there'll be a wine tasting next year here on the porch;) If only i could convince Francois Froideval to come over from France with some choice bordeaux and burgundies... :lol:

Cheers,
Gary

Uh oh, if these EN-oids begin to show up I may have to break out something more their speed - mountain dew spiked with MD20/20, coca-cola and muscatel, thunderbird mixed with Slurpees, etc. :lol:
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
thedungeondelver said:
Uh oh, if these EN-oids begin to show up I may have to break out something more their speed - mountain dew spiked with MD20/20, coca-cola and muscatel, thunderbird mixed with Slurpees, etc. :lol:
that sounds pretty much like what my crew prefer to drink during game sessions,,,leaving out the cheap wine :lol:

Cheers,
Gary
 

BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
gary, someone posted this in a thread that i started. any insight?

countgray said:
This guy is maybe the 3rd Demon Prince ever mentioned in D&D in supplement III Eldritch Wizardry (The same one that introduced us to Orcus & Demogorgon). On p.43 in the entry on the Codex of the Infinite Planes, it makes mention of the Demon Prince Nql.

Just a name, no stats, and I don't recall the fiend being mentioned anywhere else ever again.

Such a mystery that the 3rd named Demon Prince in D&D has never been seen again in print.
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
BOZ said:
gary, someone posted this in a thread that i started. any insight?
Nql is whatever DMs want him to be. I never developed that partoicular demon. Considering the name, I should think he would have powers of inibriation, sleep, and a false sense of security :lol:

Cheers,
Gary
 

haakon1

Adventurer
Col_Pladoh said:
that sounds pretty much like what my crew prefer to drink during game sessions,,,leaving out the cheap wine :lol:

Cheers,
Gary

Hmmm, gaming beverage choices can be amusing. I generally stay away from Coke, even though I love it, because gaming gets me wired already -- I generally can't sleep until 2-3 am after gaming as it is! Lamely, I tend to drink Diet rootbeer -- which has no nothing in it. Sometimes I'll go with Newcastle Brown Ale or Strongbow Cider . . . British stuff seems more medieval to me.

One of my fellow gamers likes to do about a six-pack of Rainer (local Washington State lager, not as good as Bud IMHO), another likes ridiculous quantities of Mountain Dew (like 40 oz.), but most are a reasonable mix of decent beers and soda.

As we've gotten older, we've moved from pizza and chips to carrot sticks and what we call "Scooby snacks" (a type of health food oat cereal). Once in a while, we'll go with Iron Rations -- Oberto beef jerky, Carr's Water crackers (close as you can get to hardtack), and dried fruit. Yummy! ;)
 

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