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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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Inzae

First Post
throwing this out

Hall of Panes may have dice in it. I am pushing hard, really pushing (I think Steve is going to hit me soon) for the dice. Special unique dice. A one sided die - hheheh

its late... what can I say. the module is stupendous and somewhat overwhelming to my little head, so it deserves dice.

Davis
 

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johnsemlak

First Post
Col_Pladoh said:


Actually, I was a gamer in the 1940s--cards and chess, from there added varius boardgames, chess variants, mah jongg. In 1958 I played my first board wargame, and was a military miniatures buff by the early 1960s. Having "1970" as the earliest decade one could vote for as being a gamer is discriminatory :D

Heh,
Hary

As the starter of that thread I'd like to apologize. I did however note that if you started before the 70's you could post so. By 'gaming' I was vaguely (perhaps too vaguely) referring to RPGs and D&D, which didn't exist before the 70s in the form they exist now.
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Baraendur said:


Not to disagree with you, but I'll play devil's advocate for a moment. :D

Couldn't participating in an RPG almost be considered an odd form of performance art? Just a thought. You don't have to answer that.

Heh, but I want to answer ;)

If there was an audience being entertained by the game play, say at a convention, then it might be a form of performance art. That feature would be incidental to the game, though, and it's play. By this measure football and other spectator sports are art forms :D

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
johnsemlak said:


As the starter of that thread I'd like to apologize. I did however note that if you started before the 70's you could post so. By 'gaming' I was vaguely (perhaps too vaguely) referring to RPGs and D&D, which didn't exist before the 70s in the form they exist now.

Sure:)

I was just having a little fun. Being an Old Fart must have some compensations, right?

:eek:

Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Re: Adding to the Art Topic

mythusmage said:
(If bad grammar was the mark of a great writer, Gary Gygax would be this generation's Shakespeare.)

My, my, Alan!

Aren't we precious?!

Perhaps your assessement is not as astute as you might think ;)

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Geoffrey said:
HALL OF MANY PANES sounds like it might be your best module yet, Gary!

Thanks kindly:) It is certainly different from any other I have done--or even heard about.

You might enjoy what's going on where I live (Pueblo, Colorado). On January 1st a city-wide smoking ban in ALL public places (including bars) went into effect. The heroic bar owners united and collected far and away enough signatures to get the ban suspended. Now the little orcs and Wormtongues on the city council have to decide whether to just drop the whole thing or send it to a general election.

Heh. One of my favorite parts of the Two Towers movie is the scene in which Gimli is eating and drinking beer in Theoden's hall, Aragorn is smoking, and they all are armed to the teeth. Weapons, alcohol, and tobacco: The good guys don't forbid these things! :D

Health Police are certainly Nazi-like. Of course the Nazis wanted to regulate all aspects of life, and disarmed the civilian population of Germany.

What I wonder is why restaurants and bars can't be "smoking" or "non-smoking" according to the owners' decision. As a smoker I will usually look for a place that allows a cigarette or cigar after dinner, but if it's a good place I'll eat there even if they forbid lighting up. Not a bar in the world I'd patronize, though, that was posted as no smoking. (And yes, I do own firearms.)

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
ScottGLXIX said:
Gary, I remember not too long ago you were trying to remember what a bit of the poem refering to Thrommel in the ToEE meant, the nine, On thre, in six, lies nine... Did you ever remember what the nine was for? Also, for many years, I was always curious about Lareth from the moathouse being a cleric of Lolth, it never really went anywhere in the published version. I'm guessing now that you had originally intended to go with Lolth, but because of using her in the GDQ series you wanted to come up with something new, and Zuggtmoy ended up being behind things at the temple, and Lareth could just be considered a cleric of Zuggy, or did you have bigger plans for Lolth?
Scott

Well Scott...

Thinking back, I believe that the "nine" was meant to refer to Thrommel being the ninth of his line in succession for the crown--and his level, which of course could not be "known" per se. the trouble is, one forgets to set forth all the information created as backstory.

As for Lareth, yes, I did plan to develop Lolth in a different direction. The Q1 module sort of shot that idea down in flames...
She would have made a comeback via the EEG, though, as he was planned as the central baddie in another adventure module...that I never got around to writing:)

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Re: throwing this out

Inzae said:
Hall of Panes may have dice in it. I am pushing hard, really pushing (I think Steve is going to hit me soon) for the dice. Special unique dice. A one sided die - hheheh

its late... what can I say. the module is stupendous and somewhat overwhelming to my little head, so it deserves dice.

Davis

One-sided dice are easy to make--Mobius strips ;) they will "roll" perfectly too, and have absolutely accurate chances for the random number generated! Stupendous, eh, Davis?

Anyway, we have someone who would likely prefer a sleeve-type packaging of the material and a vote for a regular box. So much for polls...

Heh, Gary
 

Troll Lord

First Post
Hello All

Hello all,

I see the formatting discussion of HOMP has left the Troll Dens and entered the halls and bars of ENtown (hey I just made that up, I want copy right and trademark on the name :D ).

This project is huge. Davis has the full thing on his desk so I don't know the final page count, but the ms is something like 390 pages I think. This equates to a huge book (after art, maps and so forth). Almost too big for one hard back. Books tend to reach a critical mass at certain sizes and the glue or weave binding the pages won't hold and it busts. I just finished reading John Tolands 800 page treatment of the Pacific Wa (WWII) and the book 'popped' about page 600. This is one thing we don't want to do.

So we've looked at several options and right now the boxed set looks the best. The box would be a tuck and fold box . . . I can't remember what those are called, but the lid tucks back into the box itself. It will contain one large main game book and a smaller book with supplementary rules and so forth. We are toying with a type of GM screen for it and/or at least several GM loose reference sheets and fold out maps (the likes of which you see in our Companion Books).

Davis is pushing hard for a mini pack and some dice. Both of which would be sweet, but we have to weigh that with cost. We don't want the puppy to fall into a bracket so expensive you can't afford to buy it.

The other option is to put our bag packing boots on and jam as much text per page as we can and try to squeeze it into one 300 page hardback. Again, I'm not sure where critical mass is, my Codex of Erde is holding up very nicely (256 pages) after a year's use. So one huge book may in the end be the way to go. But then there are the maps, screen and so forth.

As for a DVD collection of the GFW? Hmm, we hadn't thought about that. Wow. I'm not sure who posted that but that is a very good idea. ...........pause after long thought.... now you have my little noodle working. An interactive DVD where the rules and templates and charts supplied in the various books are brought together so that you can build yourself the environment without having to comb through the text. I don't know if that would work, but definately worth pursueing.
The wealth of knowledge in these books is mind boggling. Host of small giblets of information that really help one round out the game.

But wait, I'm yammering on about the GFW and that's for thed 20 publishers forum.

In short HOMP is gearing for TLG's first boxed set. In the coming days I will ask Davis to add a dicussion on our message boards http://pub83.ezboard.com/btrolllordgames
to give people feed on what we are doing and more about that project.

I'm also thinking Daniel Horne for the cover . . .

Steve
:cool: (why can't I get my smoking/hat man I use on other boards here!)
 

mystraschosen

First Post
Excuse me Gary ,hate to bother you about something you have obviously answered many times over,but I am in a bit of a bind.

I love to write.....about anything really,but sometimes it becomes very hard for me.I feel overwhelmed by my ideas and don't quite know where to start or how to structure the grand ideas I evision into a proper manuscript. This very well may have to do with the fact that I have no professional writing experience,and also never having taken a class or been taught per say could be a big part.

I humbly ask for ideas on how to go about this.How do you lay everything out?What do you do when you get bogged down or overwhelmed by the sheer flood of ideas that come faster than you can articulate them onto paper?Is there a certain way you have found easier to structure your outlines?

I have begun toying with a microrecorder to preserve my ideas before they flit out of my head and it has improved things considerably.However I still get overwhelmed pretty frequently and am at my wits end on how to get around this.

Thanks for your help.
Good day to you swammy.
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Re: Hello All

Troll Lord said:
Hello all,

...

Davis has the full thing on his desk so I don't know the final page count, but the ms is something like 390 pages I think.

...

Esteemed Publisher!

The ms. I sent was over 500 pages in length--around 530 IIRR--not counting maps. Davis is a nice guy, and you can talk to him, honest. After all, he is your bro, right? :eek:

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
mystraschosen said:
Excuse me Gary ,hate to bother you about something you have obviously answered many times over,but I am in a bit of a bind.

That's part of the reason why I am here, so no problem:)

I love to write.....about anything really,but sometimes it becomes very hard for me.I feel overwhelmed by my ideas and don't quite know where to start or how to structure the grand ideas I evision into a proper manuscript. This very well may have to do with the fact that I have no professional writing experience,and also never having taken a class or been taught per say could be a big part.

I humbly ask for ideas on how to go about this.How do you lay everything out?What do you do when you get bogged down or overwhelmed by the sheer flood of ideas that come faster than you can articulate them onto paper?Is there a certain way you have found easier to structure your outlines?

When i get an idea a write it down on scratch paper if I am not at the computer. Then I give it a title as close as possiible to what the idea pertains to--a name if it's a book or module concept, and put it into a file.

When i heve time I read the notes, expand them usually, and create an outline of the work to be done. Using that outline I develop separate files for the parts indicated, and write material for them as the ideas come.

When the body of the material is completed I go back and write the introductory portion based on what has developed. that introductory work might well necessitate the revision of some of the following work--it's a good way to check that you've done what you aimed at and said was done.

Just finding the time and energy to get the material into form can be a problem. As for lack of inspiration/ideas, if the work is divided into sections, skip to the section that appeals to you the most at the time. If that doesn't work, watch or read something that pertains to the subject, and that might trigger your creative muse :D

I have begun toying with a microrecorder to preserve my ideas before they flit out of my head and it has improved things considerably.However I still get overwhelmed pretty frequently and am at my wits end on how to get around this.

Thanks for your help.
Good day to you swammy.

The recorder is a great idea, and it will prove very useful, I am sure., Ideas come swiftly at times, and they leave just as rapidly, forgotten in the flood of others surfacing.

Hope what i noted above will be of some help to you.

Cheers,
Gary
 

diaglo

Adventurer
Col_Pladoh said:
Health Police are certainly Nazi-like. Of course the Nazis wanted to regulate all aspects of life, and disarmed the civilian population of Germany.

now wait a second. i never said stop. i said cut back.

speaking of Nazis and fiction, something tells me you have been reading too much

Philip K. Dick.
 

Melan

Explorer
This Hall of Many Panes looks like a campaign in itself... What is the level range and... Oh yes, when does it come out? (Must preorder ASAP - Gaxmoor took lots of months, much more than it should have...)
 

Geoffrey

First Post
Friend diaglo, I certainly wasn't and I'm sure Gary wasn't referring to you as a health Nazi. It's the governmental agents who seek to make smoking illegal in certain venues who are the health Nazis. You were just giving advice. The health Nazis issue orders.

Regarding HALL OF MANY PANES: I vote for a box. This sounds like a great excuse for diving deep into a Lejendary Adventures campaign!
 

mystraschosen

First Post
Geoffrey said:
Friend diaglo, I certainly wasn't and I'm sure Gary wasn't referring to you as a health Nazi. It's the governmental agents who seek to make smoking illegal in certain venues who are the health Nazis. You were just giving advice. The health Nazis issue orders.

Regarding HALL OF MANY PANES: I vote for a box. This sounds like a great excuse for diving deep into a Lejendary Adventures campaign!

Now that sounds like a excellent idea my friend,you have just got my creative juices flowing. Away with me to work on a project.
Thanks :D
 

Troll Lord

First Post
DOH!

Ahem! Okay, I just called Davis to clear up the page count of the ms.

The 391 pages I quoted earlier was only the body of the book. Apparently I failed to send Davis all the appendixes and what nots. LOL And, apparently, he's emailed me several times about not getting all of HOMP (he had some rather choice words to describe me as well... :eek: ).

Oh well hell.

So, it looks like Gary's right on. The submitted ms is actually closer to 500 pages.

Boxed set it is! ;)

My apologies to all. Ahem (bowing out slowly, watching all eyes...)

Steve
:cool:
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Dialgo,

Geoffrey is quite right, and sorry if I somehow made it seem as if I were referring to you as a Health Nazi. I was not and do appreciate words of advice...even if I fail to heed them ;)

Melan,

As i recall, the level range for beginning PCs for the HALL' module has been suggested as six of 8th level. I believe that three or four good players of that level could manage the encounters quite well. The Trolls alone know the release date, but my progonstication is late July...

Mystraschosen,

That's what I've been doing, working on a creative project, and my head is aching from the concentration, so this post is a "break" from that....

Geoffrey,

While I have played it using the LA game system, the HALL OF MANY PANES is set for d20 play also, so however you prefer will work.

Steve,

Right on! My page count for the main body of text in 12 point Times New Roman is 515. If that is put into 10 point Ariel, it will come down to about 400 pp, likely, so your 300 and something count makes sense. But as you note, all those sidebard and other separate bits add to the main text, as do the maps, so two volumes are a certainty for this work.

It is a long one, a campaign module that the GM can hasten through in under a year or spin out to a two year length if that's the desire. Plenty of room was left in the material for GM addition so as to draw out events. I used the shortest form as the base;)

Cheers,
Gary
 
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mythusmage

First Post
Aint I Horrible?:p

Col_Pladoh said:


My, my, Alan!

Aren't we precious?!

Perhaps your assessement is not as astute as you might think ;)

Cheers,
Gary

Here, good reader, you can see an old saying in action, "Familiarity breeds amusement.":)

BTW, I now take this opportunity to welcome Davis Chennault to the rarified world of those who've edited the good Col. Counseling is available from your local mental health clinic.

And, Gary, I was going to use H.P. Lovecraft instead, but at least he had a talent for overwriting.;)
 

Napftor

Explorer
General Appreciation

I don't really have any pressing questions, but just wanted to pop in and say THANK YOU GARY for doing what you've done, what you are doing, and what you will do. D&D is a vital part of my life and brings forth nothing but good memories and feelings. You are the man, as far as I'm concerned. And don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Game on!
 

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