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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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StupidSmurf

First Post
Zudrak said:
Edam it. Knockwurst it off.

I've beefed up the pun and added meat. I thought it would be a Brie-s to stay with cheese. I'd best retire to my Cottage. My pun may be rank, but it's not for a lactic of trying.
Maybe we should add bread too, that way we'd have a full sandwich! No loafing around, you crumbs! We're the upper crust! I just hope that, by adding bread, that this thread won't go a-rye.
 

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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Wheat a beefy string of puns! You hams are slinging the humor so swissly, its chapping my buns. Whatta bunch of turkeys!

With meats, breads and cheeses in play simultaneously, the font of bon mozzerellas will be virtually ceaseless. Of course, there will be bad ones sandwiched in there.

I'd better limburger up my brain & tongue if I intend to supply mostly gouda humor- I don't want to focaccia all this up!
 


Gray Mouser

First Post
Col_Pladoh said:
There were indeed plenty of underwater adventures in my AD&D campaign--and since then (see The Hermit for an example), but the action on the Nyr Dyv was confined to ships, the reason quite inexplicable now that I consider it.

Cheerio,
Gary
So where did the underwater adventures take place, Gary? I read a write up some time ago of an excursion to Castle Greyhawk where the party encountered a subterranean lake (and were pursued by a pteradon, IIRC). Was this the main underwater environ or were there others? Anyone ever make it to the Elemental Plane of Water, for instance?

As long as we're on the subject of water-based adventures, were there any memorable monsters for such excursions? Any Sahauagin (sp?) lurking about that the PCs ran into, for instance?

Gray Mouser
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
With meats, breads and cheeses in play simultaneously, the font of bon mozzerellas will be virtually ceaseless.
Should be "With meats, breads and cheeses in play simultaneously, the fontina of bon mozzerellas will be virtually ceaseless."

-sincerely, not the Management
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
StupidSmurf said:
I can't believe that I forgot the most classic taxi reference of all:

Groucho Marx (as Rufus T Firefly): You can leave in a taxi. If you can't get a taxi, you can leave in a huff. If that's too soon you can leave in a minute and a huff!
Groucho Marx is amongst the greatest of comedians :cool:

Next pun topic: Cheese!
Is that binding? I fear some of them would be rather smelly...

Gary
 


Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
mythusmage said:
I must agree. It is my swiss that people refrain from cheese puns, for I chedder at the thought of the rinding halt this could cause the boards.
The most classic cheese related pun I know was done long ago by Ben Franklin:

"Jack eating rotten cheese did say,
'I like Sampson my thousands slay.'
'Aye,' said Roger, 'so you do,
And with the selfsame weapon too.' "

Gary
 



Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Zudrak said:
Edam it. Knockwurst it off.

...QUOTE]
Speaking of which:

Charlemagne mustard his Franks
To assault and pepper the Saracens with relish,
But they couldn't catchup.
Some think that pun is the wurst,
But I think it is a wiener.

Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
StupidSmurf said:
Maybe we should add bread too, that way we'd have a full sandwich! No loafing around, you crumbs! We're the upper crust! I just hope that, by adding bread, that this thread won't go a-rye.
Now that wasn't half-baked.

Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Dannyalcatraz said:
Wheat a beefy string of puns! You hams are slinging the humor so swissly, its chapping my buns. Whatta bunch of turkeys!

With meats, breads and cheeses in play simultaneously, the font of bon mozzerellas will be virtually ceaseless. Of course, there will be bad ones sandwiched in there.

I'd better limburger up my brain & tongue if I intend to supply mostly gouda humor- I don't want to focaccia all this up!
Is that a wurst käse scenario? If so you are on a roll...

Gary
 


Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Gray Mouser said:
So where did the underwater adventures take place, Gary? I read a write up some time ago of an excursion to Castle Greyhawk where the party encountered a subterranean lake (and were pursued by a pteradon, IIRC). Was this the main underwater environ or were there others? Anyone ever make it to the Elemental Plane of Water, for instance?

As long as we're on the subject of water-based adventures, were there any memorable monsters for such excursions? Any Sahauagin (sp?) lurking about that the PCs ran into, for instance?

Gray Mouser
Actually, the PCs ddn't submerge much on the water level of the castle's dungeons. there was a pool with nixies in it, a transporter to an underwater adventure, and various outdoor adventures where most of this sort of thing took place.

The encounters were the typical mix of critters, including one where I had a dragon turtle. Sahauagin weren't included, IIRR.

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Dannyalcatraz said:
Should be "With meats, breads and cheeses in play simultaneously, the fontina of bon mozzerellas will be virtually ceaseless."

-sincerely, not the Management
Now that makes me green with envy, blu-s my mind.

Gary
 



Clangador

First Post
Col_Pladoh said:
As is with the case for my long-suffering son, Luke :lol:

Cheerio,
Gary
I share his pain. ;)

And now for something completely different.

I was looking at Rob Kuntz’s auction of the Castle Greyhawk Bottle City Level original manuscript. (I froze the page if anyone wants to look at it, Click here.) The map is huge and there are only eight pages for its write up. Grodog commented that when you and others wrote up your original dungeons, the descriptions tended to be sparse and you fleshed them out as you took people thru them. He also commented that large portions of the dungeon would be empty, so you don’t have to detail those areas. (I know this isn’t one of your levels, but it’s the only reference I have to an original manuscript of this nature.)

So, my questions are, how much detail did you put into your dungeons before you took people thru them?

After you took people thru them, did you make note of any details that you added during play to further the design of the dungeon?

After a party went thru it, did you make note of monsters slain, and treasure looted to adjust the level for the next group that went thru it? Or, did you play it again exactly as you had written it for the next group and chalked it up to it’s a game, it doesn’t have to make sense.
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Clangador said:
I share his pain. ;)

And now for something completely different.

I was looking at Rob Kuntz’s auction of the Castle Greyhawk Bottle City Level original manuscript. (I froze the page if anyone wants to look at it, Click here.) The map is huge and there are only eight pages for its write up. Grodog commented that when you and others wrote up your original dungeons, the descriptions tended to be sparse and you fleshed them out as you took people thru them. He also commented that large portions of the dungeon would be empty, so you don’t have to detail those areas. (I know this isn’t one of your levels, but it’s the only reference I have to an original manuscript of this nature.)

So, my questions are, how much detail did you put into your dungeons before you took people thru them?

After you took people thru them, did you make note of any details that you added during play to further the design of the dungeon?

After a party went thru it, did you make note of monsters slain, and treasure looted to adjust the level for the next group that went thru it? Or, did you play it again exactly as you had written it for the next group and chalked it up to it’s a game, it doesn’t have to make sense.
Very glad to see Rob get so generous a price for his creative efforts way back when :D

As to your questions, I usually made one-line notes for my duneon encounters, from around 20 to 25 of same for a typical level done on four-lines-to-the inch graph paper--a few more on five-, six, or seldom used 8-line graph paper. the other spaces were empty save for perhaps a few traps or transporter areas and the like.

I did indeed create details for the PC party on the spot, adding whatever seemed appropriate, and as Rob played and learned from me, he did the same, and when we were actively co-DMing we could often create some really exciting material on the spot, if you will.

When the encounter was elimiated I simply drew a line through it, and the place was empty for the foreseeable future. I'd give Rob the details of any session he was not at and vice versa, so we winged all of it. Sometimes a map change and encouunter kkey note of something special in nature was made, but not often. We both remembered things well, Rob very well and when necessary something was made up out of whole cloth for the sake of continuity of adventuring.

When new maps were made it was often nearly impossible to have the stairs and other connections line up with other maps, so a note or two and "fudging" served p[erfectly well. this was particularly true of the means of entering and exiting lower levels from secret locations surrounding the castle ruins.

Now you understand why the Castle Zagyg project is such a major design undertaking. If we handed over the binders containing the maps and the notes don't think even thge ablest of DMs would feel empowered to direct adventures using the materials...unless that worthy was someone who had spent many hours playing with Rob and me as DM.

I have laid out a new schematic of castle and dungeo levels based on both my original design of 13 levels plus sideadjuncts, and the "New Greyhawk Castle" that resulted when Rob and I combihned our efforts and added a lot no new level too. From that Rob will draft the level plans for the newest version of the work. Meantime, I am collecting all the most salient feature, encounters, tricks, traps, etc. for inclusion on the various levels.

So the end result will be what is essentially the best of our old work in a coherent presentation usable by all DMs, the material having all the known and yet to be discussed features of the original work that are outstanding..I hope :uhoh:

Cheers,
Gary
 

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