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
dreadnought said:
Here's a way off-topic question for you Gary -- how have you managed to balance family and gaming? I ask because I am one of the old-timers here who started gaming with the White Box set.
I am about to be introduced to parenthood in a few weeks and its the first time in my quarter century of gaming that I've wondered if it might be time to hang up the dice for a while.
How did you cope with both? I'm pretty heavily involved because aside from my weekly game, I'm also freelancing for a d20 company and planning to start up my own d20 company in the near future (as well as holding down a full-time career).
Any tips?
Cheers, Andrew

Hi Andrew!

Your query takes me back a lot of years--when I was working a full time job, writing on the side, playing some games by main, and gaming on weekends. I managed that and time with the family...barely. By doing my gaming work after 10 PM I could get in a couple of hours a night and thes spend a good part of the weekend with games too. I managed to get by on about 5 hours sleep a night then, and likely I should have spend a bit more time with family matters that I did...

These days I spend about 10 hours a day on game-related things, but that's my occupation, and when necessary I can drop almost anything to see to family affairs. With my youngest being age 16, dad isn't always wanted around--he gets in the way;) Most evenings are strictly family time, and son Alex plays in my weekly PRG game session too.

With young children around there is likely a need for more time spent with them, so maybe you'll need to cut back on both gaming time and sleeping hours as well.

Cheers,
Gary
 

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Clay_More

First Post
I was actually wondering about a few things as well though. I remember that I saw an episode of "Futurama" where you appeared, was that yourself that was doing the voice for that?
I really liked the episode, they make fun of people yes, but they do it in such a good-hearted manner.

"I am.... (rolls dice) .... happy to see you"

When you speak of your children playing as well, I cant help but to remember what I answered when my girlfriend asked me how many children I would want to have. I answered "5" and she asked "Why", to which I responded: "Well, I need two to play fighters, one to play a rogue, one to play a wizard and one to play a cleric".
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Supporter
G'day, Gary!

Early autumn here in south-eastern Australia is treating us fairly well; the weather is nice, though a bit more rain would be appreciated. I hope the weather is nice around you and your family! :)

Young Grace seemed to enjoy her first experience of D&D. On to the second experience this evening...

I was just wondering: has your development of the Lejendary Adventures game system altered your perceptions of roleplaying systems?

Cheers!
 

mythusmage

Banned
Banned
A Tale of the Days of Eld

Back when the Greyhawk supplement was a work in progress clerics used 2d6 to turn undead*. As I recall, you needed a 7 or better to turn skeletons, and an 11 or better to turn zombies.

One fine day a party entered the local gilded hole in search of treasure, experience, treasure, magic, and treasure. Along the way they kept running into skeletons and zombies.

On the first occasion the party's doughty cleric stepped forward with his holy symbol held high and intoned in stentorian tones (or as stentorian as a lad of 20 can muster), "Back to the depths of Hell, ye foul creatures of corruption and pestilence!"

Nothing. The skeletons marched on and the party fighting men had to chop their way through the calciate horde. (Is "calciate" a word… …I guess it is now.)

This was repeated again and again, until the fifth encounter when a discouraged, tired, and cranky cleric looked at the mixed bag of skeletons and zombies and mumbled dispiritedly, "Oh, go away."

They went away.

From that moment on in that group the magic words for turning undead became, "Oh, go away." Never failed.

*Everything back in those days called for a roll of 2d6 to determine success/failure. If not for Lou Zocchi and his decision to carry polyhedrals in his catalog (and his later decision to manufacture polies of higher quality than those then available) we'd now be talking about the 2d6 System.
 

satori01

First Post
Col_Pladoh said:
Hi Draxx,


If things break right, Rob Kuntz gets back online and is willing to commit to a two-year project, we might well do a new version of my old castle and dungeons, "Zagig's Castle," in a generic format that will be compatible with as many systems as possible, including OA/D&D;)

Cheers,
Gary

Not that you would have any direct control of the licensing aspects, but "Zagig's Castle" as the name for what EVERYONE knows will truly be Castle Greyhawk is an affront to the hobby and frankly poor buisness on WOTC end. How inclusive can the "castle" be? Would you be able to include in it sections or levels used in older modules?
(I have fond memories of an oAD&D module set in Castle Greyhawk,(it had Mord on the cover I believe), with a nasty demon, a Sword of Ebon Flame, a intelligent Purple Egg shaped stone that could impart information,(I love that egg btw and have blissfully resued it many times), and my favorite a mosiac pattern that would telport people to other worlds if the correct bronze plaque was found).

I wish you the best of health Gary, and leave you with one final question,(I'll ask the Egg if I need to):

Was Al Gore TRULY a 10 level VP, or was he more like 6th level?
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Clay_More said:
I was actually wondering about a few things as well though. I remember that I saw an episode of "Futurama" where you appeared, was that yourself that was doing the voice for that?
I really liked the episode, they make fun of people yes, but they do it in such a good-hearted manner.

"I am.... (rolls dice) .... happy to see you"

Heh, and yes, that was my voice. David X. Cohen is a former DM, and a great guy. It was fun talking with him and doing the VO for for the episode:)

When you speak of your children playing as well, I cant help but to remember what I answered when my girlfriend asked me how many children I would want to have. I answered "5" and she asked "Why", to which I responded: "Well, I need two to play fighters, one to play a rogue, one to play a wizard and one to play a cleric".

As good a reason as any I've heard. I've had six, but sadly all three girls gave up RPGing. the boys--two men now and living away from home, still play when they can find time. Young son Alex is heavily into computer gamingm but he is a regular in my weekly RPG campaign :D

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
MerricB said:
G'day, Gary!

Early autumn here in south-eastern Australia is treating us fairly well; the weather is nice, though a bit more rain would be appreciated. I hope the weather is nice around you and your family! :)

Young Grace seemed to enjoy her first experience of D&D. On to the second experience this evening...

I was just wondering: has your development of the Lejendary Adventures game system altered your perceptions of roleplaying systems?

Cheers!

Howdy Merric:)

Here in Wisconsin March held up to it's repute, came in like a lion with cold and snow. Yesterday things warmed to about 40 F., and the rest of the week looks to be fairly mild as well, so likely March will go out like a lamb as the old saw predicts.

As for the LA game's effect on my prespective, it's a horse and cart thing. My perspective was altered and thus I wrote the basic work. Now that horse is indeed carrying me along further ;) I find that the system enables more creative thinking for me and does not force perspective to alter to suit the rules.

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Hola Alan!

Great post:)

There was a method to the madness of the 2d6 chack, both the bell curve total for turning and the number of the undead turned by the cleric.

Lou and a lot of others sure hopped on the dice bandwagon, which is good, because TSR was producing lousy dice for sure. Another thing to be grateful to Kevin and Brian Blume for...

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
satori01 said:


Not that you would have any direct control of the licensing aspects, but "Zagig's Castle" as the name for what EVERYONE knows will truly be Castle Greyhawk is an affront to the hobby and frankly poor buisness on WOTC end. How inclusive can the "castle" be? Would you be able to include in it sections or levels used in older modules?

WotC surely holds the marks using "Greyhawk" as valuable properites, and so they will not allow use by others. That's no problem to me, as I believe that the name we've likely chosen is sufficiently well known to convey the correct information to the potential customer.

As for use of other material, other than some side adventures that one could get transported to from the dungeon levels of my original Castle Greyhawk, as expanded by Rob's inclusing as co-DM, none were ever published. That TSR released had nothing to do with my work--that product was bogus in respect to what the real dungeons we created were like, and the concensus amongst the knowledgeable was that the product was done to discredit the original material they had no rights to. The side adventures published were DUNGEONLAND, LAND BEYOND THE MAGIC MIRROR, and ISLE OF THE APE. Several more such adjunctive areas were never written up for publication.

I wish you the best of health Gary, and leave you with one final question,(I'll ask the Egg if I need to):

Was Al Gore TRULY a 10 level VP, or was he more like 6th level?

As a Libertarian, I'll have to concur with your assessment of Al Gore, somewhat lower than 10th level;)

Cheers,
Gary
 

BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
hi gary! i have a question. have you had a chance to see the Tome of Horrors by Necromancer Games? if so, what did you think of it? :)

Monte Cook said: "Having seen the 3.5 PH and the Tome of Horrors, if I could have only one of them, I'd choose the Tome of Horrors.

(This is not a slam against the 3.5 PH. It's praise for the ToH.)"
 

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