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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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YOu know the sell them in pdf right?
ken


ScottGLXIX said:
Yeah Mythus, spill the beans already. I'm currently in the process of tracking down copies of all of the DJ/Mythus material. I'd prefer a new set of Infinate Adventures books to the ok set of Dangerous Journeys/Mythus books I've been collecting.
I don't really know what's going on but, when Gary preferred Infinate Adventures, there was no Lejendary Adventures. Just something you might consider.
Scott
 

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ScottGLXIX

First Post
They sell some of them, and I have them, but I haven't seen the beastiary, Epic of Aerth, or Mythus Prime, and using a PDF in play is a pain in the arse.
Scott
 

ScottGLXIX said:
They sell some of them, and I have them, but I haven't seen the beastiary, Epic of Aerth, or Mythus Prime, and using a PDF in play is a pain in the arse.
Scott
Oh I agree i use the PDF to supplement my books, and to make hand outs as I am the only one in my group with the rules.
ken
 

optimizer

First Post
Howdy!

Joseph Elric Smith said:

Oh I agree i use the PDF to supplement my books, and to make hand outs as I am the only one in my group with the rules.
ken

I also like PDFs for the same reason. That is why I am willing to buy the old TSR ones, even though I have the books. Plus, I used to store them on my work laptop so I can access them on the road (in my previous job).

Mike
 

mythusmage

First Post
Geoffrey said:
Mythusmage, you're intriguing me! Spill the beans, will ya? :)

I just got the floor clean, it aint gonna happen.:p

Besides, this is Gary's thread, and I haven't approached Wizards or Hasbro about it anyway.

If they do say yes, then comes the rewrite and expansion leading to PDF publication, which may lead to print. But all this is speculative right now, so don't get your hopes up.
 

Son_of_Thunder

Explorer
An Alignment Question for ya EGG

Whew,

Page 10 before I found this.

Gary, I don't know if this has been asked before. My question is about the true neutral alignment. I believe I have the other alignments worked out in my head but I'm having trouble imagining the motivations or characteristics of someone of true neutral alignment.

How did you come up with the neutral alignment and; How do you represent someone with the alignment?

Thanks,

Son of Thunder
 

ColonelHardisson

What? Me Worry?
Gary, I'm guessing you are, or were, a Ray Harryhausen fan. After watching many of his films over the past weekend on Turner Classic Movies, many of the critters in them seem to have wandered their way into D&D - the giant crab and giant bee, for two striking examples from Mysterious Island.
 
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Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Re: An Alignment Question for ya EGG

Son_of_Thunder said:
Whew,

Page 10 before I found this.

Gary, I don't know if this has been asked before. My question is about the true neutral alignment. I believe I have the other alignments worked out in my head but I'm having trouble imagining the motivations or characteristics of someone of true neutral alignment.

How did you come up with the neutral alignment and; How do you represent someone with the alignment?

Thanks,

Son of Thunder

Heh....

I'd thought this thread had slipped even further back;)

The true neutral ethos is one that sees all as part of a whole. One must have evil to know good, disorder to know order, and so on. Looking at the cosmos as consiting of all permutations of that sort of opposition, the true neutral is convinced that these balancing forces are necessary for the whole to operate properly, allow people and nature and everything their freedom to be as they are meant to me--or opt to be.

In this light, if any one opposing force becomes too powerful, the whole system is threatened, so thus true neutral opposes the ascendency of law or chaos, good or evil. That is out of the harmony necessary in the cosmos.

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
ColonelHardisson said:
Gary, I'm guessing you are, or were, a Ray Harryhausen fan. After watching many of his films over the past weekend on Turner Classic Movies, many of the critters in them seem to have wandered their way into D&D - the giant crab and giant bee, for two striking examples from Mysterious Island.

Right, Colonel!

From my very early childhood I recall from the film THIEF OF BAGHDAD (I think), where Sindbad was swinging on a line from a giant spider's web, fighting it, sending it falling into a deep pit in which octopi were waiting to devour it. Don't know if that oldie was Harryhausen's work, but his skeletons were indeed what I visualized for the D&D monster of that name. Ray did some very good work using the technology available then.

The old film that holds up the best IMo is the original KING KONG, though. What a great movie that was!

Cheers,
Gary
 

Flexor the Mighty!

18/100 Strength!
Hello Gary!


Has Iggwilv ever been stated out in AD&D terms? If not what would you imagine her classes and levels to be? She must have been a 25th level magic user at least.
 


Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Flexor the Mighty! said:
Hello Gary!


Has Iggwilv ever been stated out in AD&D terms? If not what would you imagine her classes and levels to be? She must have been a 25th level magic user at least.

From my perspective, Iggwilv is a deital figure, a demi-goddess in rank, and with capacities in some areas, malign magic especially, more akin to those of a lesser deity. In that regard I'd rate her level more in the 30s.

Cheers,
Gary
 


Son_of_Thunder

Explorer
Alignment Revisited

Ok Gary,

While I can intellectually accept your reply, I have trouble internalizing it.

I've pondered your reply but as yet has not made sense to me. Take for example a gnome wizard we had in a high level game. He gave his alignment as true neutral, we were in 'A Paladin in Hell' by Monte Cook. We were facing some demons and winning. Now the player of the gnome says that he's going to join the side of the demons because it is unbalanced. His statement was met by incredulity around the table and if he would of went through with it he would of had five high level PC's attacking him.

The true neutral seems a self destructive life to me. Does the character believe in anything? Does he do good and then do evil to balance it out? It seems to me that one or the other would effect the soul to which one it truly likes to do.

I don't know, maybe I'm rambling but take a true neutral fighter, for example. What does he believe in? What motivates him?

Son of Thunder
 

ColonelHardisson

What? Me Worry?
Col_Pladoh said:


Right, Colonel!

From my very early childhood I recall from the film THIEF OF BAGHDAD (I think), where Sindbad was swinging on a line from a giant spider's web, fighting it, sending it falling into a deep pit in which octopi were waiting to devour it. Don't know if that oldie was Harryhausen's work, but his skeletons were indeed what I visualized for the D&D monster of that name. Ray did some very good work using the technology available then.

The old film that holds up the best IMo is the original KING KONG, though. What a great movie that was!

Cheers,
Gary

King Kong was done by Willis O'Brien, who was later Harryhausen's mentor and collaborator. Both Harryhausen and O'Brien (Obie, for short) appear as major characters in Greg Bear's wonderful book Dinosaur Summer, set in 1948 in a world where A.C. Doyle's Professor Challenger really lived, and really did find the Lost World. Anyway, Harryhausen worked on the effects for Mighty Joe Young, and worked with O'Brien on that film.

The Thief of Bagdad's, from 1940, might be the film you're thinking of. The effects, which were groundbreaking at the time, were done by Lawrence W. Butler and Tom Howard. The former worked on the effects on films such as Things to Come, as well as films whose effects were more subtle, such as Casablanca. The latter worked on many films also, such as 1963's The Haunting, and apparently was photographic effects supervisor on 2001. In addition, some of the matte paintings were done by Peter Ellenshaw, who is a famous matte painter - he worked on films like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and The Black Hole, and is the father of Harrison Ellenshaw, who did matte painting for many films, perhaps most especially Star Wars, but also worked on The Black Hole with his dad, and continues to work today.

I knew a lot of this stuff, but not all of it; I found the details over at IMDB.com.
 

Phebius

First Post
Read...entirety...of...all...three...threads

eyes....hurting...

ahem.

Hello Gary.
:D

I'm looking foreward to seeing you at the convention in Milwaukee next month (Whose name I am too frazzled to remember at the moment. Stupid third shift jobs.) As is my 12-year old stepson, Alex, who dug up the character sheet of his first OD&D character, that he is hoping you will autograph.

I have no question except, will you say something nice to me on my birthday. (Today) :cool:

Regards,
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Re: Alignment Revisited

Son_of_Thunder said:
Ok Gary,

While I can intellectually accept your reply, I have trouble internalizing it.

I've pondered your reply but as yet has not made sense to me. Take for example a gnome wizard we had in a high level game. He gave his alignment as true neutral, we were in 'A Paladin in Hell' by Monte Cook. We were facing some demons and winning. Now the player of the gnome says that he's going to join the side of the demons because it is unbalanced. His statement was met by incredulity around the table and if he would of went through with it he would of had five high level PC's attacking him.

The true neutral seems a self destructive life to me. Does the character believe in anything? Does he do good and then do evil to balance it out? It seems to me that one or the other would effect the soul to which one it truly likes to do.

I don't know, maybe I'm rambling but take a true neutral fighter, for example. What does he believe in? What motivates him?

Son of Thunder

Pardon me for saying so, but the play of the gnome PC was simply a sorry example of bending alignment information to suit a particular. disruptive, purpose IMO. The example isn't logical for someone believing in balance, as the party was in the midst of LE foes, and the gnome was supposedly a member of that group. A victory for them would hardly unbalance the cosmos... He was unbalancing things, not seeking to level the matter.

What that character could have done was to ally with a team of LE PCs bent on stopping the Good one. That would have been seeking a balance.

The TN character believes in the cosmos as a whole entity, one with many aspects, all of which are necessary to life and that which is greater. Perhaps Zen Buddahism is near to that concept.

Think of a world without contrasts, no loght and dark, joy and sorrow, etc. Each specific alignment would remove many of the contrasts that oppose their ethical viewpoint. the TN character does not want that to happen;)

What I really wonder is how the other party members knew that the gnome was a TN individual, as alignment is not meant to be announced. for characters it was a guideline for roleplay and a measure for the DM to use when judging the PCs actions.

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Hi ColonelHardisson!

Well, that takes me to school on the matter of special effects;)

Those we see today are soo good that they are hard to distinguish from reality, and no suspension of disbelief is necessary to accept them. the cinema has made a quantum jump with computer technology, has it not?

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Phebius said:
Read...entirety...of...all...three...threads

eyes....hurting...

ahem.

Hello Gary.
:D

I'm looking foreward to seeing you at the convention in Milwaukee next month (Whose name I am too frazzled to remember at the moment. Stupid third shift jobs.) As is my 12-year old stepson, Alex, who dug up the character sheet of his first OD&D character, that he is hoping you will autograph.

I have no question except, will you say something nice to me on my birthday. (Today) :cool:

Regards,

Happy Birthday, Phebius!

My own comes in about three weeks, the 27th.

Do make sure to stop and speak with me at MILWAUKEE GAMEFEST. I'll be at the Hekaforge booth a good deal, as will likely be my yongest son Alex, soon 17, who I hope to conscript as the LEJENDARY ADVENTURE Game demo guy;) Of course I hope to see you at the OAD&D tournament final...

Cheers,
Gary
 

Phebius

First Post
Holy Synchonicity, Batman. The stepson in question's name is Alex and his mother's birthday is on the 27th.

Weird.

You couldn't keep Alex and I away from the OD&D tourney. :D
 

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