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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Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
dead said:
...

To say, "No, your demi-human suddenly can't advance any more in levels," or, "No, you do not pick up another class for your magic-user even though he's been training in sword-play for the last campaign year," or, "No, your elf fighter/wizard cannot stop progressing in fighter and focus his talants on wizardry" -- to say no to all these things because "God saideth" lacks creativity to me...

Thanks.

So much for story telling. None of that should have any part in a work of literature.

On the other hand, if you are playing a game, the players should be well aware of the paramaters of the character classes and races before they create a PC with which they will PLAY A GAME.

If they want to tell stories, they might try hanging out somewhere where such people come to hear them, or else take up a career as authors of same.

Heh,
Gary
 

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mythusmage

Banned
Banned
You should keep in mind that Col. Pladoh is the person who insists that lady dwarfs wear chin wigs. :p

I prefer to keep the non-humans in check through in-game measures. Where elves are concerned...

Elves have a much smaller population than humans. They're also not as intellectually and culturally flexible as humans. Smarter, but not as flexible. They can think of an answer faster than a human, but they are not as adaptable. Think of it as a race-wide high functioning autism.

Elves are also aware of the human need to be in charge. So the elves have agreed to let humans think they are running things. Elves will take care of things behind the scene, using humans as cover for their activities. Something which greatly amuses the dragons, who have been very successful in convincing the elves that they, the elves, are running things.

Level limits are set not by a rule, but by the player. A player can advance a character for as long as adventuring with that character remains interesting. If adventuring with a character no longer has appeal, the character is retired and becomes a Game Master Character. A possible contact or patron for the players.

The Drow are another story.
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Hey Fellows!

I am quite bored with the subject of demi-human level limits, so I'll not answer any further posts pertaining to that subject for at least a few days.

Besides, tonight is game night, so I have to get ready to run the OD&D campaign in which we are currently engaged. Thankfully, all the PCs are humans :uhoh:

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
gideon_thorne said:
Ah. But by who's logic? When designing a game to fit a certain style the logical consistency is in the mind of the designer, and may not always agree with the logic of anyone else.

This is a purely subjective point.

Fantasy has its own internal logic that the person perusing it simply accepts (or not) as part of the over all story.

If the 'internal logic' of a given system/method doesn't work for a given person, change it.

Why is this so hard I wonder?

Don't faint, Peter!

For once I agree with what you state, right down the line. Of course this is gaming, not politics :D

Cheers,
Gary
 

dead

Explorer
Col_Pladoh said:
So much for story telling. None of that should have any part in a work of literature.

On the other hand, if you are playing a game, the players should be well aware of the paramaters of the character classes and races before they create a PC with which they will PLAY A GAME.

If they want to tell stories, they might try hanging out somewhere where such people come to hear them, or else take up a career as authors of same.

Heh,
Gary

To me, role-playing games are an amalgum of game and story-telling.

If I wanted to play just a GAME, I'd pull out Chess or Monopoly or play Poker.
 

gideon_thorne

First Post
Col_Pladoh said:
Don't faint, Peter!

For once I agree with what you state, right down the line. Of course this is gaming, not politics :D

Cheers,
Gary

*Busts out laughing*

Hey. Law of averages. I figure I could get at least one thing right? :D
 

T. Foster

First Post
dead said:
To me, role-playing games are an amalgum of game and story-telling.

If I wanted to play just a GAME, I'd pull out Chess or Monopoly or play Poker.

But that's the fundamental disconnect because, you see, a lot of us DO consider role-playing games as "just" another kind of game, not really any fundamentally different from Chess or Monopoly or Poker. It was with that attitude that D&D was originally written and to that group that original D&D and AD&D most strongly appeal. If you're not part of that group naturally you'll find yourself disagreeing with some things about how the game is designed and plays, and if so you can freely change those things in your own games.

Of course if you change too much eventually you'll have to ask yourself if you wouldn't be better off playing another game entirely (or creating your own game), but that's a question everyone must answer for himself. Some people have such an attachment to the idea of "D&D" that even if they've changed 90% of the rules and are playing something that would be totally unrecognizable away from their own table will still insist they're playing "D&D." I don't really understand that attitude -- when I want a game with different rules and assumptions from D&D I play other games -- RuneQuest, Pendragon, Warhammer FRP, Mythus, Lejendary Adventures, Amber Diceless, and that's just fantasy-genre games -- but when I sit down to play D&D I accept its rules and assumptions as-is and in fact am choosing to play it largely because of those rules and assumptions. But maybe that's just me...

Anyways,

P.S. This thread is getting pretty long (and has also been pretty effectively derailed by this latest tangent); perhaps it's time to close it up and start the Gygax Q&A Part VIII?
 

Davelozzi

Explorer
Col_Pladoh said:
I am quite bored with the subject of demi-human level limits, so I'll not answer any further posts pertaining to that subject for at least a few days.

Hi Gary,
Just a quick note to thank you for a lifetime worth of entertainment and inspiration

...and more immediately, for putting an end to that ridiculous argument. ;)
 

dead

Explorer
T. Foster said:
This thread is getting pretty long (and has also been pretty effectively derailed by this latest tangent)

Sorry for the derailment. Just asking Gary some Questions and hoping for some Answers.
 

tenkar

Old School Blogger
Henry said:
I can say that a 7th/9th level fighter-thief in 1E is DEFINITELY more capable across the board than a 7th level Fighter-Rogue in 3E. He can fight better, steal better, climb walls better, etc. Whereas the 3E character can specialize and do ONE of those things well, the generalist that is the AD&D F/T can doo them ALL equally well. I know because I made one up for a Gameday recently. :)


Guess my experience with AD&D was that multi-class characters fell far behind the rest of the party around name level (9-10) as their THACO and HP were usually substantiallly lower. The fighter-thief doesn't tank as well (lower ac and hp) as a fighter of equal XP, tho the thief abilities don't lag all that far behind.

In 3rd ed, if my cleric takes 1 level of fighter for the bonus combat feats, or my wizzie takes a level of thief first for extra proficiencies, weapons and abilities it like getting a major free bonus at little cost. You are right tho', in 3rd ed it is a liability to try and keep more then one class leveling.

Ah well, guess the topic has been done to death ;)
 

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