TSR Q&A with Gary Gygax

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.

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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
diaglo said:
is Gary still in season?

what type of game are you?
One rigged in favor of the house, of course :D

Questions for Gary: How did you find time to organize games for yourself and your friends, while juggling a company? a family? and other interests/responsibilities?

What would you consider from your own experience to be a healthy balance?

Pretty eaisly. i just gave up about half my normal sleeping time and thus managed the lot. Quite a few folks have remarked that I had, and have, a life in addition to gaming ;) Admittedly of late that "outside activity" has been sharply curtailed by work demands, but winter is a time to be inside a lot anyway, at least for those of us who don;t enjoy snow and cold...

Cheers,
Gary
 

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Sir Edgar

First Post
What's your daily routine like? Do you tend to write more during the day or night? How many words per day do your write, on average? Are there any rituals that keep you going? What kind of resources do you use? How often do you take notes on paper before getting on the computer? Do you do drawings before writing up creatures, etc? How do you do all of this and at the same time, keep up on your reading? What books have you been reading lately? Do you finish each book you read or just read portions at a time?
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Baraendur said:


Thanks for the recommendation. I actually have it already, but haven't had the chance to read it over yet. I'm looking forward to the big mega-adventure you've been talking about recently. I also picked up a copy of Necropolis. It was good to have a copy of that adventure the I can run. I tried but could never get into Mythus.

Welcome. Do let me know how you found the play of THE HERMIT using 3E as the system. I have not had much feedback, and although long experience makes me pretty sure it will come out well, feedback is always most helpful.

The long module is just that. HALL OF MANY PANES should take about a year to complete assuming about 40 sessions of four-hour length during a typical gaming year. I am still running it for my group, and they are surprised by the variery of encounters, situations, and environments I managed to work into it :eek:

Troll Lord Games is play-testing it now too, and likely will package it as a boxed set due to its size.

Cheers,
Gary
 



Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Sir Edgar said:
What's your daily routine like? Do you tend to write more during the day or night? How many words per day do your write, on average?

I answered this in part in a previous post, but a quick recap won't hurt;) I rise pretty early, go to work between 6 and 7 AM after coffee intake. I work through, with regular,brief breaks this being one), until sometime in the evening, and seldom work after 6 or 7 PM. I don't keep track of output. What get's done gets done. On a good day I can produce 25 or so pages, while when dealing with concepts and research only a page or two might bet into files.

Are there any rituals that keep you going?
Other than coffee and Camels, a break to eat or speak to someone for a bit, and managing emails and board postings, noppers.

What kind of resources do you use? How often do you take notes on paper before getting on the computer? Do you do drawings before writing up creatures, etc?

I have a very large personal library, use online resources now and then, and my memory. When I am considering a new project I make notes on paper, then transcribe them to computer files. I am a poor artist, so most conceptualization of creatures is done mentally, followed by descriptive text for an artist to refer to.

How do you do all of this and at the same time, keep up on your reading? What books have you been reading lately? Do you finish each book you read or just read portions at a time?

In the dark of winter my reading drops off and my work output rises. I like to sit out on the front porch here to do most of my reading, so that means May-October is the main time for consumbtion of books. I am working my way, slowly, through a history of medieval Europe, a book on the American Indians before European colonists arrived, and an SF novel. I tend to read such books at the same time, picking up whichever appeals to me at the time I decide to do some reading. There are very few books that I start that I do not finish--even if they are not appealing to me I fight my way through to the conclusion. Skip reading is a last resort in such cases. I will read a Jack Vance novel. he being my favorite author, as slowly as i can force myself to go, but finishing one in a day would be easy. Non-fiction is always a slower read, as I am likely storing information in memory, taking notes too.

Cheers,
Gary
 

Sir Edgar

First Post
Thanks for the detailed response!

Are there any medieval history/culture books that you recommend? What are your all-time favorites in this category?

Can you share any insights into how you write and any "no-no's" or "dont's"? Like do you think people it is better to write during the day or does it just depend on the person?
 

diaglo

Adventurer
Col_Pladoh said:
Other than coffee and Camels, a break to eat or speak to someone for a bit, and managing emails and board postings, noppers.

not to come down on you too hard. but working in the public health field, i feel it is my obligation to ask you to cut back.

besides, the latest articles say that 2 drinks (doesn't matter what type of alcohol) are much better for your health.
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Sir Edgar said:
Thanks for the detailed response!

Are there any medieval history/culture books that you recommend? What are your all-time favorites in this category?

Can you share any insights into how you write and any "no-no's" or "dont's"? Like do you think people it is better to write during the day or does it just depend on the person?

Actually, any medieval history book is useful to the designer-suthor. The "See Inside" an "Everyday Life" series are generally excellent additions of solid material from C.W.C. Oman and Violette Le Duc, Burtons Book of the Sword, and Stone's Golssary of the Construction, Decoration and Use (etc.)

I write mainly because I have so much information inside I just have to. When I was in my 20s and 30s I was most productive at night, but after that I reverted to my younger says. I loved to rise with the sun and enjoy that again now. That's when the creative juices flow in spate.

The main "no-no' I have is not to ignore an urge to write. Ideas are ephemeral, slip away too quickly, so when the muse isthere go like hell. When it fades, thak a break, but keep thinking of the general subject being treated, even of only in the back of the head, so to speak.

A shower is a good way to revive flagging inspiraion. Strong black coffee is fine too--if you like that drink.

Thus endeth my short seminar;)

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
To Each his Own

diaglo said:


not to come down on you too hard. but working in the public health field, i feel it is my obligation to ask you to cut back.

besides, the latest articles say that 2 drinks (doesn't matter what type of alcohol) are much better for your health.

Well, amigo...

Seeing as I've been smoking Camel straights for 50 years and love it, and drinking for damned near as long, I reckon that, or something else, is bound to kill me :rolleyes: True about 30% of smokers die from a smoke-related cause, but the other 70% of them, along with 100% of all others, die of something in due course. Meantime, I want to have fun and enjoy life the way I like it. As for the "dangers" of second-hand smoke, I think the folks on SOUTH PARK got it right, so I don't fret about that either.

Appreciate the concerm though, for sure.

Cheers,
Gary
 

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