Author Topic: All things Gary Gygax  (Read 4994 times)

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Offline mindme

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All things Gary Gygax
« on: June 01, 2017, 12:05:30 PM »
I just finished a biography of (the late) Gary Gygax.

https://www.empireofimagination.com/

I'm reminded of how influential D&D was to my life (started playing when I was 13/14 back in 1980... AD&D was just fully released and my first issue of Dragon magazine was issue 32).

I dropped out of playing before 2E, 3E, THACO, etc.

Googling I discovered there's a long running con devoted to Gary Gygax called Gary Con:

http://garycon.com/

Looking at some blogs about it, it looks like a wonderful throw back to cons back in early days: half the people are old men with beards, the other half are 14 year old boys, and cos-play was at a minimum.

http://bruce-heard.blogspot.ca/2014/03/GaryConVI.html

I hope to convince my finance maybe Gary Con 2018 would be a good honeymoon!


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Offline Halleyscomet

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Re: All things Gary Gygax
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2017, 12:07:55 PM »

Offline PANTS!

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Re: All things Gary Gygax
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2017, 01:22:31 PM »
Do I have a book for you man.

Playing at the World.  It's a nostalgia kick in the ole babymaker.

You might also like the podcast Dead Games society.  They regularly interview all those 1st ed grognards, and do an annual wrap-up of Garycon.
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Offline Morvis13

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Re: All things Gary Gygax
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2017, 02:35:30 PM »
I have very much the same story as Mindme. Played through highschool and never got to the new updates.
I had a friend that worked with Gary on NeverWinter Nights. I still play that from time to time. The online community isn't what it use to be.
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Offline PANTS!

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Re: All things Gary Gygax
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2017, 02:49:53 PM »
I think you both might like 5e.  It is quite good.
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Offline Morvis13

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Re: All things Gary Gygax
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2017, 03:25:32 PM »
kinda sounds like we need to setup a game.
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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: All things Gary Gygax
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2017, 08:31:04 PM »
kinda sounds like we need to setup a game.
Roll20? I'd be in on that.
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Offline mindme

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Re: All things Gary Gygax
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2017, 09:45:42 AM »
The Empire of the Imagination is quite the rags to riches to rags story of Gary Gygax. He seemed to live the high life for a time, living like a star in Hollywood, breeding race horses. And then he got ousted by TSR. It was interesting how little his shares, despite owning 1/3 the company, were actual worth when he sold them. Something like less than $2 million. Sure I could retire on that but if you're breading horses, that's not going to last...

Reading through that Bruce Heard's blog, it's also interesting how many of the early RPG pioneers are in financial straights. Aging, shitty US health care. It's not like you can go from table top game designer to working in a fortune 500 company as a middle manager for health benefits... Lots of them seem to be interested in emptying out their basements and selling off their papers, notes, etc. to collectors.
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Offline random poet

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Re: All things Gary Gygax
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2017, 11:09:40 AM »
Yes, 5th Edition is pretty good. The rules have been made sleeker, in order to get out of the way of play, and somehow that makes the possibilities seem endless. Or, more endless than before.

I am actually celebrating the Stream of Annihilation by playing everyday for the next four days!
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Offline SkeptiQueer

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Re: All things Gary Gygax
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2017, 03:01:33 PM »
5th Ed is definitely more user friendly, and modular enough to be as complicated as you want
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Offline mindme

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Re: All things Gary Gygax
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2017, 03:47:59 PM »
Did they bring back the Assassin class and demons and devils? Nothing burned me up more than TSR getting rid of demons and devils in 2nd edition.
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Offline SkepticalEsquire

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Re: All things Gary Gygax
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2017, 03:48:30 PM »
What a well timed thread.  for the last few months I have been really nostalgic about D&D, to the point that I pulled out all my old First Ed stuff and even touched base with some high school friends about playing via roll20.  Picked up 5th Ed last week and I am pretty impressed with it, other than the whole Dragonborn and Tiefling stuff.

Hand't heard of that book Mindme, going to have to pick it up.

As a side question; any of you guys read his Gord the Rogue Novels? I remember loving then in my late teens, but tried re-reading them recently and they just didn't grab me.  Just me?
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Offline SkepticalEsquire

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Re: All things Gary Gygax
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2017, 03:49:23 PM »
Did they bring back the Assassin class and demons and devils? Nothing burned me up more than TSR getting rid of demons and devils in 2nd edition.
Demons and Devils are back, and Assassins are rolled into the "rogue" class, along with thieves.
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Offline SkeptiQueer

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Re: All things Gary Gygax
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2017, 03:54:49 PM »
Did they bring back the Assassin class and demons and devils? Nothing burned me up more than TSR getting rid of demons and devils in 2nd edition.
Demons and Devil's have been 'back' since 3rd Ed I believe.

Most classes have branches, and the 'private a feat at levels XYZ' has been replaced by the paths. For example, at 3rd level a rogue can choose the Assassin path, Their, or Arcane Trickster. Each emulates the prestige or specialty class of similar name from 3.5. The starter kit is free as is the SRD. Worth a look for sure. THAC0 is gone of course, and there are some new player races as well.
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Offline SkepticalEsquire

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Re: All things Gary Gygax
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2017, 05:22:49 PM »
Still love this....
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