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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Wormwood

Adventurer
Re: Re: Q&A with Gary Gygax Pt. 3

Col_Pladoh said:
I haven't been musy inspired in regards creative writing--been watching the telly to keep track of the war in Iraq.
Tell me about it---I've been working for two weeks with a live Baghdad-cam in the corner of my screen. Almost blew out my pc speakers a few times.

Been off for a couple of days now...so now I have to work. :(
 

Melan

Villager
Greetings!

A new question: in your games, how often did the characters confront arch-devils and demon lords (if at all)? Were they successful in slaying these great evil powers, or did such a fight always mean irrevocable, painful death?

For example, did they come blow to blow with Zuggtmoy, did they spell an end to Lolth (maybe in a different way from Queen of the Demonweb Pits?), or was Kerzit's defeat an isolated event?

Plus: was demonkind limited to the base types found in the Monster Manual, or did you invent multiple demon variants to entertain and terrify the adventurers?
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Re: Re: Re: Q&A with Gary Gygax Pt. 3

Wormwood said:


Tell me about it---I've been working for two weeks with a live Baghdad-cam in the corner of my screen. Almost blew out my pc speakers a few times.

Been off for a couple of days now...so now I have to work. :(
Right...and I like that sig you have:)

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Melan said:
Greetings!

A new question: in your games, how often did the characters confront arch-devils and demon lords (if at all)? Were they successful in slaying these great evil powers, or did such a fight always mean irrevocable, painful death?

For example, did they come blow to blow with Zuggtmoy, did they spell an end to Lolth (maybe in a different way from Queen of the Demonweb Pits?), or was Kerzit's defeat an isolated event?

Plus: was demonkind limited to the base types found in the Monster Manual, or did you invent multiple demon variants to entertain and terrify the adventurers?
Heh! No PC in the group would ever have dared face a really big-time demomon of devi. I'll speak for Mordenkainen and Bigby in that regard;) When playing in what became the D3 module someone in the group managed to gate in Asmodeus, and another character called for some entity as strong as that to oppose that devil. Of course I brought in Orcus when the call for assistance was deemed successful. The two are actually opposed of course... They had a fine time laughing at the grovelling mortals, then failed to agree as to who got whose souls. The dispute escallated, and the party escaped.

Not a lot of demons and devils were encountered in my campaign, and when they were it was usually a major fight to get rid of them. They tended to keep gating in reinforcements.

I would sometimes create a unique sort of minor demon or devil for the party to deal with, but. with the plethora of other monsters available this was a rare and "special" thing.

Cheers,
Gary
 

saduff

Villager
In response to the Devil Q and A....

I find that alot of gamers under play the creatures. Namely dragons, powerful undead, and devils/ demons. Even without any roleplaying element to these types of monsters. They can cause a great deal of pain if played well.

Or maybe it is just my gaming style, but no player of mine is going to go dragon hunting in his spare time.







I have no real question. Im just stating an opinion....
 

Wormwood

Adventurer
Actually, I do have a question.

Why spiders?

Many years ago, we battled our way down down down to the Abyss and discovered that the dark heart of the Drow had eight legs.

We've been fascinated by the Dark Elves ever since, but I've always wondered what inspired their arachnophilia?

It's a wonderful touch which lent the race a uniquely creepy feel (that echoes to this day), but is there some story behind that decision?

Thanks.
 

Aeolius

Villager
another question...

Gary, in your mind, how old is Oerth? Is it millions of years old, thus capable of generating fossils, species evolution, and mass extinctions? Or was it whipped up by the gods 20,000 years prior to Oerth's recent history?

(Yes, I asked this on GreyTalk, as well)
 

Angcuru

Villager
Col_Pladoh said:


That question requires far greater knowledge of the system than I possess :rolleyes:

Gary
ok then we'll keep it simple. How do you picture yourself in-game? In terms of alignment and class, possible race. Quite a broad non-system-oriented question, I'd say.
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Wormwood said:
Actually, I do have a question.

Why spiders?

Many years ago, we battled our way down down down to the Abyss and discovered that the dark heart of the Drow had eight legs.

We've been fascinated by the Dark Elves ever since, but I've always wondered what inspired their arachnophilia?

It's a wonderful touch which lent the race a uniquely creepy feel (that echoes to this day), but is there some story behind that decision?

Thanks.
You put your finger on the matter nicely. Spiders lurk in dark places, attack savagely, are nasty and poisonous. That's the way most people think of them, so what better symbol for the Drow than that?

No, I don't like spiders in the least :eek:

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Aeolius said:
another question...

Gary, in your mind, how old is Oerth? Is it millions of years old, thus capable of generating fossils, species evolution, and mass extinctions? Or was it whipped up by the gods 20,000 years prior to Oerth's recent history?

(Yes, I asked this on GreyTalk, as well)
What a question! just between us it's one that I think the DM should decide;)

The long history with ages passing is great, but that means all manner of additional material needed for the campaign, including possible past races, gods, etc.

Enough of the past can be garnered in a history that spans only some tens of thousands of years, not billions or many millions.

I envisioned the Oerth, the World of Greyhawk, as a parallel earth far removed from out own probability, a much more recent one that was spun off by the deities that are found there. If another DM wants to have it as one as old as this world and can manage the details, fine.

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
8XXX{0}====> said:
A question for you...

Have you read George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series. If you have, what do you think of it?

Thanks,

Sword
Sorry, but I have not read the book, so I am unable to comment. As a rule of thumb if it is anything like the work of Anthony, de Camp & Pratt, Farmer, Leiber, Howard, Merritt, Moorcock, Saberhagen, or Vance I will likely enjoy it.

Cheers,
Gary
 

8XXX{0}====>

Villager
I think you would like the series. Its better written than Wheel of Time, but since I havnt read anything by the abovementioned authors, I cant really comment accuratly. But thanks for answering my question.

Its kind of intimidating to be 17 and ask questions of The Man.
 

Faraer

Villager
Col_Pladoh said:

Likely two large continents would have been added. The nearest would house cultures akin to the Indian, Burmese, Indonesian, Chinese, Tibetan, and Japanese. Another would likely have been the location of African-type cultures, including the Egyptian. A Lemurian culture would have been based off the Central and South American cultures of the Aztec-Mayay-Inca sort.
Ver' interesting. I note that Sea of Death seems to indicate Indian-like states (Changol, Jahind, etc.) in Oerik, west and south of the Sea of Dust/Suloise Empire...

There are some of Gary's ideas of elder ages of the AD&D multiverse, and by necessity the WoG, in The Slayer's Guide to Dragons, which I am much enjoying.
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
8XXX{0}====> said:
I think you would like the series. Its better written than Wheel of Time, but since I havnt read anything by the abovementioned authors, I cant really comment accuratly. But thanks for answering my question.

Its kind of intimidating to be 17 and ask questions of The Man.
Just remember that I was 17 once myself;) My buddy Tom Keogh's father was a freelance artist and inventor, a great fan of myster and SF fiction. I used to feel somewhat intimidated speaking to him about the authors I liked, but I was such a SF goob that I did it anyway. Funny thing about Mr. Keogh was that he had worked for Walt Disney and he looked a bit like him--made it ever more intimidating;)

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Faraer said:
Ver' interesting. I note that Sea of Death seems to indicate Indian-like states (Changol, Jahind, etc.) in Oerik, west and south of the Sea of Dust/Suloise Empire...

There are some of Gary's ideas of elder ages of the AD&D multiverse, and by necessity the WoG, in The Slayer's Guide to Dragons, which I am much enjoying.
Just the way a verbig would say that:D

Mthanks for the lauds, but make that Gary and Jon Creffield. Jon is a very talented writer whose work will be seen more and more, I think.

Cheerio,
Gary
 
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