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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francisca

I got dice older than you.
Gary-

Had you not developed and marketed D&D, do you think someone else would have come up with a fantasy role-playing game (or a roleplaying game of any other genre, for that matter)? Obviously, Arneson had something going on, but who knows what would have become of it without your colaboration. And SPI, etc were pretty cool the idea of D&D, if I recall correctly. I think I read that Traveller has deep roots as well, possibly as old as D&D, but I don't know that to be a fact.

Thanks again for taking the time to answer these sorts of questions, all of which must be repetitive and banal to you at this point.
 

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Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
francisca said:
Gary-

Had you not developed and marketed D&D, do you think someone else would have come up with a fantasy role-playing game (or a roleplaying game of any other genre, for that matter)? Obviously, Arneson had something going on, but who knows what would have become of it without your colaboration. And SPI, etc were pretty cool the idea of D&D, if I recall correctly. I think I read that Traveller has deep roots as well, possibly as old as D&D, but I don't know that to be a fact.

Speculation for sure, but in time someone would likely have come up with the idea for making "Let's Pretend" into a game and publishing it. When that might have happened is anyone's guess. However, I can say not a single hobby game company was in the least interested in the idea of a fantasy RPG.

As for TRAVELLER, it's chief creator told me he sat down with the three D&D rules booklets to design his game;)

Thanks again for taking the time to answer these sorts of questions, all of which must be repetitive and banal to you at this point.

Welcome. Some questions are old hat, some aren't. Rather like engaging in conversation...

cheers,
Gary
 

grodog

Hero
Gary, have you heard anything about the final module in the Castle Wolfmoon series---is it ever going to be printed??
 

Geoffrey

First Post
Gary, how complete a game is the new Lejendary Adventure: Essentials? Is there a point (as with the old Holmes-edited D&D basic rulebook) at which you have to have additional books to continue play? Or could a group use this boxed set (and nothing else) to run a campaign lasting years? What has been cut from the three main LA rulebooks?

Could one run your new Hall of Many Panes using only the Lejendary Adventure: Essentials rules? Or would one also need the three main LA rulebooks?
 

Virel

First Post
Col_Pladoh said:
Whew, 'Mouser!

That's a tough question, mainly because all of those adventures were designed with gaming in mind, not the telling of a dramatic tale. The fact is that I don't think any of them would serve as the basis for a major motion picture. About the only writing of mine that might be viable are the "Magister Setne Inhetep" fantasy mystery novels. and as they are each around 200 pages long, they would convert to a film script pretty handily. Thay they were written for the Dangerous Journeys FRPG system, Mythus, is of no matter, as the few game-specific portions could easily be altered. So too the world setting, the "AErth."

Cheers,
Gary

Tomb of Horrors!!! for the big screen. I think it would make an intense suspense movie like Alien. I know it would light years better than the drivel that HollyWood turns out. The natural sequel would be Return to the Tomb of Horrors. :cool:

Thank you for answering all the Sleep questions.
 

Virel

First Post
The Illusionist...

Gary, would you share your views on the Illusionist class regarding the following?

Per AD&D 1st ed PHB p100 in bold.

First Level Magic-user Spells

Level:7 Componets:*
Range:* Casting Time:*
Duration:* Saving Throw:*
Area of Effect:*

Explanation/Description: The illusionist gains four of the following first level magic-user spells at the 14th level of experience and an additional one as each additional level of expereince is gained. The spells are:

Affect Normal Fires...............Mending
Burning Hands......................Message
Charm Person......................Nystul's Magic Aura
Comprehend Languages.........Protection from Evil
Enlarge...............................Read Magic
Erase.................................Shield
Feather Fall........................Shocking Grasp
Friends...............................Sleep
Hold Portal..........................Tenser's Floating Disc
Magic Missile.......................Unseen Servent

The illusionist may learn any spell of spells from the preceding list. He or she must seek the spells in the same manner as a magic-user. If the illusionist choose to take this "spell", he or she actually takes four or more first level magic-user spells as a seventh level spell.


Per AD&D PHB in the Illusionist section

While being equal, or even slightly inferior, to magic-users in most respects, illusionist have different and highly effective spells to employ. A perusal of the number and types of spells by illusionist )see Character Spells) will reveal that they are at least as powefl as normal magic-users and possibly slightly more potent at very high levels. the power of illusionist due to their spells is offset, however, by the limitations placed upon the magic items they can use.

There were several ways this was viewed by the groups I knew back in the day. Many felt "take" meant memorize as in take that spell(s) into spell book & memory and "take" on the adventure! Others felt "take" meant learn as learn the spell and put in the spell book. The spell book & memory crowd would say well if that was meant then it would have said "learn" not "take" etc.

A) At 14th level the Illusionist can take 4 1st level Mu spell and gains another at each level. This was for learning spells and for casting. So a 23rd level Illusionist would be able to 13 1st level Mu spells at 23rd level ability.

B) At 14th level the Illusionist can take 4 1st level Mu spell and gains another at each level. This was for learning spells and NOT for casting. Each 1st level Mu spell took up a spell slot for a 7th level Illusionist spell. In other words, the Illusionist would take Weird, Prismatic Spray, Alter Reality (just short of a wish) or a 1st level Magic User spell like Read Magic or Sleep for a 7th level spell slot. The casting would be done at the Illusionist given level. ie 14th level Illusionist casts magic missile at 14th level mastery.

C) As B but the 1st level magic user spell is cast at 1st level ability for a 14th level Illusionist.

D) Something else entirely?

My group learned how to play from reading the books with no one to show us as we were all a bunch of wargamers that decided to try AD&D. In the end we house ruled (me as DM & my co-DM) that 4 1st level Mu spells could be taken as one 7th level Illusionist spell. Sort of like a better version of Rary's Neumonic Enhancer with 4 1st level spells instead of 3. We knew our ruling wasn't correct by the book but this seemed the "correct" balance point for the Illusionist in our games. The more experience folks playing AD&D we talked to at the time were split on the topic.

How was this supposed to work? Idea behind letting Illusionist cast some of the 1st level Mu spells? Did this work one way and then was changed to another?

Thank you again, for answer my prior question about sleep.
 

vortex

First Post
Hi Gary,

One of the great icons of D&D (and subsequent RPGs) is the polyhedral dice. The are the backbone of the ruleset and, i think, one of ther things that make the game stand out to newcomers

Where did you get the idea for using them, and did you decide on the specific ones we use today?

cheers,
 

Akrasia

Procrastinator
Good Colonel,

I thought I should mention that my parents are still angry at you for writing the AD&D books and corrupting me at the tender age of 10 (already 24 years ago -- sheesh! :eek: ).

Seriously, I cannot express what a huge influence your work has had on my life. I know AD&D is just a game, but it compelled me to read quite a bit as a tender child (and learn to use a thesaurus!), use math skills, write detailed notes, develop problem-solving (and problem-creating!) skills, and exercise my imagination in coming up with new worlds and adventures for my friends. At the time it was all 'just fun', but in retrospect, I see that playing those games served a vital role in my intellectual development. Plato states in The Republic that the key to educating young people is to make the process of learning seem like 'a fun game' and not about 'dry, important information' (or something like that -- I don't have the book here ;) ), and AD&D certainly did that for me.

It is a real pity that, as far as I know, the educational benefits of RPGs have never been explored in any detail. Was this something you ever considered in your years involved with RPGs?

I am looking forward to picking up the 'Hall of Many Panes' and the first book in the 'Castle Zagyg' series.

I know that you are introducing a few optional rules in the Zagyg book. Do these rules draw on Lejendary Adventures? How easy do you think it would be to combine aspects of LA and C&C in a single game?

One rather strange question: why is Lejendary Adventures spelled with a 'j'?

Anyway, thanks again for everything, and I hope that your health continues to improve.
:cool:
 

foehammerx

First Post
Oh man Gary, Out of 20 questions i have asked you have only answered 4. You dont make it easy do you. In anycase, out of 20 questions you have responded to 20. For that i am most grateful. Thanx indeed for your time and attention.

Robilar was totally evil. How or why did the other PCs in yours/robs campaign allow this and not seek to end him?

Where did Rary come from?

Where did Lemund come from, and what became of him?

Could you elaborate on what any of these guys were
Riggby, Felnorith, Siggby, Diggby (a dwarf), and the elves Vram and Vin

What did you think about Robilard and Rary turning evil and all that?

Have you heard Rob Kuntz story on what really happened (It was a Robilar clone)?

Another PC in a campaign with me got caught using weighted dice to roll stats yesterday. The worst cheating i ever saw. What would you do as Player or GM. ?

Are you sick of seeing the Patriot win superbowls?

Were you ever approached to COME BACK or do something with D&D when wizards then Hasbro took over?

Do you still deal with Rob Kuntz, it would seem only proper that he have a hand in the NEW CASTLE ZAGIG.


Did Mordenkainen ever visit any other published setting?


Is there anywhere to get a complete list of everything you have written. Books, games, adventurers, everything. If so WHERE?

Thanx EGG
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
grodog said:
Gary, have you heard anything about the final module in the Castle Wolfmoon series---is it ever going to be printed??

It is in chris Clark's court, so you'll need to ask him. The third part is larger than the first two adventures, so that's part of the hang-up. Also, I believe Chris is considering a revision and re-printing of the initial portions when the final part is done.

I'll send this URL to him in a minute;)

Cheers,
Gary
 

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