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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Gray Mouser

First Post
Col_Pladoh said:
I'll hoist a pint to Dave and Shlump too this evening as we work on completing some game module work in liew of actually playing ;)

Ciao,
Gary

A sad day when Dave passed. His cover of the 1e DMG is cimple awesome.

Now for the question, Colonel. Is the game module you're referring to the one you and Frank Mentzer are working on, or something related to Zagyg's Castle?

Gray Mouser
 

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WyzardWhately

First Post
Gary,

I've been playing xD&D for over 10 years now. Started with second, went to third, recently discovered 1st & found I prefer it for a variety of reasons. You may credit your writing with being the primary one :).

1. I found a new meaning for 'gygaxian. "High Gygaxian" is the language which 1st ed. was written in. C&C also occasionally dips into High Gygaxian. I saw this in a review of C&C over at RPG.net.

2. You've mentioned that you omit the thief class when you're running. Why is that? How does the party find traps? Any related clarifications are appreciated.

3. Poison was mostly Save or Die back in the day, as I recall. Did you have it take effect immediately (it bites him and he falls over stone dead), or was there a grace period of gradual deterioration, cold sweats, and such? I'm curious about this, as I wonder if the cleric would have time to 'fix it.' (I"m also imagining rolling the save in secret, and gradually applying damage, where the player wouldn't *know* if the poison would kill him or not. Mwuhahaha.)

4. Have you ever seen the movies "Legend" or "Labyrinth?" Neither one is properly sword and sorcery, but they're fantasy films that are very popular amongst the locals where I am.

Thank you for your time, both these questions specifically and the thread in general. I've probably become somewhat insufferable to my friday night group, as I've taken to referencing The Master Himself (your august personage) to resolve various disputes, fill in setting details, &c.

5. Additionally, any thoughts you have on the True Neutral alignment would be appreciated. My character leans in that direction, and I've started taking crap from one of the other players who says no one would ever act that way (My defense that real people don't throw Fireballs either has shut him up, but it won't last. I swear this guy puts more effort into criticizing my characters than roleplaying his own. Sheesh.)
 


Thanael

Explorer
Hey Colonel, here's a Greyhawk question:

Is Iggwilve, the mother of witches, the same person as Louhi from finnish mythology (and 1E Legends & Lore)? (There is supposed to be a reference for this in your novel the Anubis Murders, which i havn't gotten to reread yet.)

And how do these two relate to Baba Yaga, the little grandmother?
Someone on canonfire speculated that both might have been taken in by Baba Yaga and raised as her daughters. (Baba Yaga was known for taking in little girls.)
 

Frank Mentzer

First Post
WyzardWhately said:
Gary,

3. Poison... Did you have it take effect immediately (it bites him and he falls over stone dead), or was there a grace period of gradual deterioration, cold sweats, and such? I'm curious about this, as I wonder if the cleric would have time to 'fix it.'

The Master Himself (your august personage)

Prolly depends on Gary's mood; he'll relish the gruesome details if he's irritable. But the angst is all the sweeter 'cause the cleric can't fix it in time. ;>

As to the last... I think it's still June...

F
 

oldschooler

First Post
OK, so experience is 1 per gold piece worth of goods, I got that. But what about monsters? If you're still using just the three original booklets to game with OD&D, do you award 100 XP per monster level defeated (as insinuated in said booklets), or do you use a more traditional table from the Greyhawk Supplement or AD&D's DMG?
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
DM-Rocco said:
Okay, two things.

One, the offer still stands that any time you are in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area, you can take a break as a DM and we will dust off the AD&D books for a bit of fun so you can be a player. Just try to give me a weeks notice to gather players :)

Two, under whatever rules you love, okay, AD&D 1st addition, in your world famous module, The Tomb of Horrors, I have a question. If you were DMing and a group of players went into room 27, THE PORTAL OF SCINTILLATING VIOLET, would you allow the player to cast an anti-magic shell to by pass the dancing swords?

...
Thanks for the generous offer of hospitality!

As for the animated swords, their attack is impelled by magic but not in and of itself something that an anti-magic shell would turn aside in my judgement. Nonetheless, I can't fault your ruling that allowed that to happen, As for what spells would affect these blades, you have a good list, and any Dm that thinks another might work is within his rights to have it so.

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Gray Mouser said:
A sad day when Dave passed. His cover of the 1e DMG is cimple awesome.

Now for the question, Colonel. Is the game module you're referring to the one you and Frank Mentzer are working on, or something related to Zagyg's Castle?

Gray Mouser

We toasted Dave on thursday last as four of us worked on getting the maps for YGGSBURGH into shape for a final pass.

The module Frank Mentzer and I will co-author is one that was originally done for AD&D and will be translated to the C&C game system in due course. It is not tied to the ZAGYG'S CASTLE project.

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
WyzardWhately said:
Gary,

I've been playing xD&D for over 10 years now. Started with second, went to third, recently discovered 1st & found I prefer it for a variety of reasons. You may credit your writing with being the primary one :).
That statement should send not a few of my detractors into frothing rage :lol:

1. I found a new meaning for 'gygaxian. "High Gygaxian" is the language which 1st ed. was written in. C&C also occasionally dips into High Gygaxian. I saw this in a review of C&C over at RPG.net.
Do real gamers still go to RPGnet? I'll be...

2. You've mentioned that you omit the thief class when you're running. Why is that? How does the party find traps? Any related clarifications are appreciated.
Well no, you are mistaking how i play OD&D for OAD&D. In the original D&D game there was no thief class, and the traps were not as frequent or complex. A 10' pole in cautious hands and a dward PC were usualy sufficient to spot most of them.

3. Poison was mostly Save or Die back in the day, as I recall. Did you have it take effect immediately (it bites him and he falls over stone dead), or was there a grace period of gradual deterioration, cold sweats, and such? I'm curious about this, as I wonder if the cleric would have time to 'fix it.' (I"m also imagining rolling the save in secret, and gradually applying damage, where the player wouldn't *know* if the poison would kill him or not. Mwuhahaha.)
As rounds were of one minute length, not much beyond a minute was given for poison to prove fatal. If a cleric was on hand to neutralize the toxin, then fine, it was allowed by me and all the DMs I knew.

BTW, there were a few poisons that did xdx damage, save meaning only 1/2 xdx damage was taken.

4. Have you ever seen the movies "Legend" or "Labyrinth?" Neither one is properly sword and sorcery, but they're fantasy films that are very popular amongst the locals where I am.
I have seen LEGEND but not LABYRINTH.

Thank you for your time, both these questions specifically and the thread in general. I've probably become somewhat insufferable to my friday night group, as I've taken to referencing The Master Himself (your august personage) to resolve various disputes, fill in setting details, &c.
As long as you are doing that with tongue in cheek, in proper Zagygian fashion, I approve :uhoh:

5. Additionally, any thoughts you have on the True Neutral alignment would be appreciated. My character leans in that direction, and I've started taking crap from one of the other players who says no one would ever act that way (My defense that real people don't throw Fireballs either has shut him up, but it won't last. I swear this guy puts more effort into criticizing my characters than roleplaying his own. Sheesh.)
Che true neutral sees all of the cosmos as a whole mechanism, the opposing forces necessary to keep the "mechabnism" running as it should. Daek balances light, death life, evil good, suffering pleasure, etc. that help?

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
dyx said:
Hey Colonel, here's a Greyhawk question:

Is Iggwilve, the mother of witches, the same person as Louhi from finnish mythology (and 1E Legends & Lore)? (There is supposed to be a reference for this in your novel the Anubis Murders, which i havn't gotten to reread yet.)

And how do these two relate to Baba Yaga, the little grandmother?
Someone on canonfire speculated that both might have been taken in by Baba Yaga and raised as her daughters. (Baba Yaga was known for taking in little girls.)
howdy!

Noppers, Iggwilv is purely from Oerth and has no connection to Louhi of the Kalevala and Finnish Mythology.

The Magister Setne Inhetep fantasy mysteries are based on the DANGEROUS JOURNEYS, MYTHUS RPG system, the world setting being Aerth, and so there is no connection between it and AD&D-based material.

The Russian witch Baba Yaga is well known to me from childhood stories in JACK & JILL Magazine and later reading, of course. I have her as a deital figure in three forms in the LEJENDARY PANTHEONS book ms.--Baba Jaga, Baba Jula, and Baba Yaga :D

Cheers,
Gary
 

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