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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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Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
rossik said:
[/I][/B]Queen of the Spiders was ranked the single greatest Dungeons & Dragons adventure of all time by Dungeon magazine in 2004, on the 30th anniversary of the Dungeons & Dragons game.[/I][/B]
:lol:

Somehow I don't believe that was done by the veteran OAD&D audience, for I have received far too many comments panning the Q1 module :uhoh: and it is worth noting that the rating was given for the module combining its predacessors, G 1-3 and D 1-3, not just Q1.

If the Abyss is a maze design on a towel, I am at a loss, completely overwhealmed :eek:

Cheers,
Gary
 
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zypherillius

First Post
Hello again Mr. Gygax

I just had another quick question for you.
If I ever had the opportunity to play in a campaign run by yourself, would you allow me to come in as a 10th level Vice President? Or would I have to start at first level and work my way up?

Thanks :)
Andy
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
zypherillius said:
I just had another quick question for you.
If I ever had the opportunity to play in a campaign run by yourself, would you allow me to come in as a 10th level Vice President? Or would I have to start at first level and work my way up?

Thanks :)
Andy
You could start as a 1st level Representative and work your way up, then switch classes to Senator or VP at about 8th level... :lol:

Cheers,
Gary
 

taliesin15

First Post
Mr. Gygax:
Let me echo all the sentiments prevalent in these threads thanking you for your work in creating D&D!

Here's a question that might be a bit controversial: what do you think of D&D campaigns using deities worshipped in the contemporary "real" world? In early D&D publications there are references to saints (Cuthbert's mace, I believe?) and especially when Deities and Demigods came out, my friends and I all thought that an Arthurian flavored milieu would have to at least have some Christian (also pagan, naturally) elements to it. One of my D&D playing buddies made a joke about "Jesus Christ, Major Deity, 400 hit points, Lawful Good," etc. And of course there are some Oriental pantheons in DEities and Demigods. And in the DMG you have references to Arab/Muslim civilizations; for that matter, there's the whole thing about Assasins coming from the Arab world. Of course all that's been synthesized greatly in the fantasy literature. And yet, it wouldn't seem that hard to do to create a milieu where people worship Jesus, Mohammed, and so on.
 

Ron

Explorer
Col_Pladoh said:
:lol:

Somehow I don't believe that was done by the veteran OAD&D audience, for I have received far too many comments panning the Q1 module :uhoh: and it is worth noting that the rating was given for the module combining its predacessors, G 1-3 and D 1-3, not just Q1.

If the Abyss is a maze design on a towel, I am at a loss, completely overwhealmed :eek:

Cheers,
Gary

I didn't liked Q1, but the previous adventures, especially the G series, were so good that I can easily understand why the compilation was so well rated.
 

grodog

Adventurer
Col_Pladoh said:
As we have not begun discussion of what I'll do there, it is not possible for me to supply an answer, speculate on the program I will have.

If you had your druthers, what would you want to do? Perhaps play a game under Arneson or Kuntz? Play Mordy in someone's homebrew dungeon? Pass the dice around the table in a rousing round of Settlers?

What could we do to make your 40th anniversay GenCon memorable?
 

haakon1

Adventurer
Col_Pladoh said:
At the last Milwaukee Gamefest I ran an LA game adventure where the participants were informed that their Avatars were meant to be slain. It was an hour before I managed the first, and at the end of the four session there was still one allive. Those were a great bunch of players, including the young lady who had her character climb a tree, beat the onrushing critters to it, and thus avoid the pack of ravening hyenas. She won the day for sure.

Ha! That's like how I play poker. Staying alive is good enough to make to the second last to die, most times. :\
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
taliesin15 said:
Mr. Gygax:
Let me echo all the sentiments prevalent in these threads thanking you for your work in creating D&D!

Here's a question that might be a bit controversial: what do you think of D&D campaigns using deities worshipped in the contemporary "real" world? In early D&D publications there are references to saints (Cuthbert's mace, I believe?) and especially when Deities and Demigods came out, my friends and I all thought that an Arthurian flavored milieu would have to at least have some Christian (also pagan, naturally) elements to it. One of my D&D playing buddies made a joke about "Jesus Christ, Major Deity, 400 hit points, Lawful Good," etc. And of course there are some Oriental pantheons in DEities and Demigods. And in the DMG you have references to Arab/Muslim civilizations; for that matter, there's the whole thing about Assasins coming from the Arab world. Of course all that's been synthesized greatly in the fantasy literature. And yet, it wouldn't seem that hard to do to create a milieu where people worship Jesus, Mohammed, and so on.
Saint is not a term that is exclusive to the Christian religion, and St. Cuthbert was more of a joke than otherwise. Consider the advicacy of pounding sense into someone's head by dint of blows from a club.

I do not advocate any use of actual religion in an RPG. Any references I have made to Arab-like civizilations do not include any hint of Islam in them. the same holds for Judaism and Christianity. As a matter of fact, I did not write Deities and Demigods, nor did I use it in my campaign.

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Ron said:
I didn't liked Q1, but the previous adventures, especially the G series, were so good that I can easily understand why the compilation was so well rated.
Ah well,

I had what I consider a much more interesting plan for the conclusion of the G-D series, one in which the PC party could loose the Elder Elemental god or send him into deeper isolation, thus assisting Lolth to become more powerful. By very astute play, they could have thwarted the designs of both evil entities. The Demonweb Pits were indeed envisioned as mze like, but there were to be no machines therein.

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
grodog said:
If you had your druthers, what would you want to do? Perhaps play a game under Arneson or Kuntz? Play Mordy in someone's homebrew dungeon? Pass the dice around the table in a rousing round of Settlers?

What could we do to make your 40th anniversay GenCon memorable?
Heh...

A change of pace from fantasy RPGing is refreshing, be it through playing in another's RPG campaign or through boardgames. About my favorite non-S&S RPG is Jim Ward's Metamorphosis Alpha game, and I should be playing in his campaign the next few Thursdays ;) I would really like to play an Avatar in my Lejendary AsteRogues Fantastical Science RPG, but that will have to wait for the rules to be published and someone local to decide to become the Lejend Master for such a campaign.

Of course I enjoy Settlers', as well as Puerto Rico, San Juan, ticket to ride Europe, Rail Baron, a whole host of Tom Wham's boardgames, etc. I get to play them at son Ernie's place when he has his weekly boardgaming session...today, in fact, this afternoon :D

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
haakon1 said:
Ha! That's like how I play poker. Staying alive is good enough to make to the second last to die, most times. :\
I really don't like gambling, but playing poker with a group of friends and associates is enjoyable aslong as the stakes are such that even the big loser for the night is not out more than he would normally spend on a night's entertainment.

Cheers,
Gary
 

rossik

First Post
Col_Pladoh said:
:lol:

Somehow I don't believe that was done by the veteran OAD&D audience, for I have received far too many comments panning the Q1 module :uhoh: and it is worth noting that the rating was given for the module combining its predacessors, G 1-3 and D 1-3, not just Q1.

If the Abyss is a maze design on a towel, I am at a loss, completely overwhealmed :eek:

Cheers,
Gary


well, thats not my opinion, i just found it at wikipedia...eheheh :heh:

mr gygax, what do u think was the best adventure u wrote? would u change anything about it? do you think it would have the same impact now?

(oh, the email you posted have returned! gggax@genevaonline.com ....
i even tried variations, but it didnt work. maybe its full, or something.
if u like, i can post my email to you :) )
 

Ron

Explorer
Col_Pladoh said:
Ah well,

I had what I consider a much more interesting plan for the conclusion of the G-D series, one in which the PC party could loose the Elder Elemental god or send him into deeper isolation, thus assisting Lolth to become more powerful. By very astute play, they could have thwarted the designs of both evil entities. The Demonweb Pits were indeed envisioned as mze like, but there were to be no machines therein.

Cheers,
Gary

Perhaps you could release such adventure, skipping references to WotC's IP, not much different from what your Castle Zagyg is. People will know what is about. I bet that even the panel that elected Queen of Spiders as the best adventure ever would buy it.
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
rossik said:
well, thats not my opinion, i just found it at wikipedia...eheheh :heh:
No reflection on you, certainly.

mr gygax, what do u think was the best adventure u wrote? would u change anything about it? do you think it would have the same impact now?
Ask me which of my childred is my favorite...

Why on earth would I spend time with such pointless speculation?

(oh, the email you posted have returned! gggax@genevaonline.com ....
i even tried variations, but it didnt work. maybe its full, or something.
if u like, i can post my email to you :) )
The correct addy is:

ggygax@genevaonline.com

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Ron said:
Perhaps you could release such adventure, skipping references to WotC's IP, not much different from what your Castle Zagyg is. People will know what is about. I bet that even the panel that elected Queen of Spiders as the best adventure ever would buy it.
I could, but it isn't likely. Not much market potential for as OAD&D product, And I don't write for new D&D.

Cheers,
Gary
 

rossik

First Post
Col_Pladoh said:
No reflection on you, certainly.


Ask me which of my childred is my favorite...

Why on earth would I spend time with such pointless speculation?

Cheers,
Gary

ow, i see....sorry about that :(
 

fusangite

First Post
Col_Pladoh said:
Saint is not a term that is exclusive to the Christian religion, and St. Cuthbert was more of a joke than otherwise. Consider the advicacy of pounding sense into someone's head by dint of blows from a club.
Once again, Gary, I see intentionality where it might not have been. I have been assuming that you based a chunk of the cleric class's spell list on the miracles performed by St. Cuthbert in Bede's Life of Saint Cuthbert. The Create Water, Flame Strike spells and various other seemed to indicate you were, at some point, deriving the cleric spell list from actual medieval miracles.
I do not advocate any use of actual religion in an RPG. Any references I have made to Arab-like civizilations do not include any hint of Islam in them. the same holds for Judaism and Christianity. As a matter of fact, I did not write Deities and Demigods, nor did I use it in my campaign.
This I'm very glad to hear; people focus on the Fiend Folio as the mistaken text in AD&D but I have to say that Deities and Demigods is the book that ultimately caused me to take a long sabbatical from AD&D in the mid-80s.
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Col_Pladoh said:
As for the chief antagonist, it was meant to be Exlavdra on behlaf of the EEG, with the minions of Lolth, not the demoness per se., being second and a counterweight to the former as noted. The latter will fight against the Eilservs and tolerate for a time the presence of a PC party that is discommoding their foes.

Heh. My explanation of Q1 is that it's a plot by Eclavdra to kill or weaken Lolth. Send a party of foolish surface-dwellers against the demon-spider and see what happens. Weaken her enough and perhaps the EEG can then take control... :)

Of course, I don't accord Lolth status as a deity, seeing her as a malign figure who has lured many disaffected elves away from their true gods; she's definitely slayable by groups of great power and intelligence. (Even if foolish enough to be tricked by Eclavdra).

D3 was the first module I ever bought. The GD series remains as a series I've yet to run or play. It's on my list of things to do, but there are lots of interesting things happening in my current campaign that spawn more adventures, of course!

Cheers!
 

gideon_thorne

First Post
Col_Pladoh said:
Anyway, I ain't hard to recognize, and I'll likely be at the Troll Lord Games booth pretty often. I am told that they'll have a four-space island next year, so the booth shoould be fairly easy to locate.

Cheers,
Gary

And you'll have to put up with me and my folks as well.. bwah ah ah ah. :D
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
rossik said:
ow, i see....sorry about that :(
Heh,

No need to apologise :D

If I didn't like something I wrote, I would have no business offering it for publication, having it in print.

The fact is I am essentially a pragmatist in regards to such matters as have passed. There is too much before to be looking back.

Cheers,
Gary
 

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