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Media => Games => Topic started by: mindme on June 01, 2017, 12:05:30 pm

Title: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: mindme 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!


Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: Halleyscomet on June 01, 2017, 12:07:55 pm
Obligatory:
(https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/ultimate_game.png)

http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=19257
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: PANTS! on June 01, 2017, 01:22:31 pm
Do I have a book for you man.

Playing at the World (https://www.amazon.com/Playing-at-World-Jon-Peterson/dp/0615642047).  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.
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: Morvis13 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.
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: PANTS! on June 01, 2017, 02:49:53 pm
I think you both might like 5e.  It is quite good.
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: Morvis13 on June 01, 2017, 03:25:32 pm
kinda sounds like we need to setup a game.
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: arthwollipot on June 01, 2017, 08:31:04 pm
kinda sounds like we need to setup a game.
Roll20? I'd be in on that.
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: mindme 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.
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: random poet 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!
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: SkeptiQueer 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
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: mindme 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.
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: SkepticalEsquire 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?
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: SkepticalEsquire 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.
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: SkeptiQueer 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.
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: SkepticalEsquire on June 02, 2017, 05:22:49 pm
Still love this....
(http://i1262.photobucket.com/albums/ii606/Stressmonkey70/s1CXwB2_zpsy41herus.gif) (http://s1262.photobucket.com/user/Stressmonkey70/media/s1CXwB2_zpsy41herus.gif.html)
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: arthwollipot on June 02, 2017, 10:23:49 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.
As others have said, that was a response to the Satanic Panic of the mid- to late-80s, and was corrected in the 3rd edition of the game which was published in 2000. I think most of us agree that the removal of demons and devils in 2nd edition was an error and that it was good that the problem was rectified quickly.
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: PANTS! on June 03, 2017, 12:01:36 am
I tbink you mean Tanarri and Bazeettu
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: random poet on June 05, 2017, 02:59:50 pm
Wizards revealed the next campaign, over the weekend. Apparently it's set on some lost island, and there are T-rexes. And also zombie t-rexes. Who vomit out more zombies. With Tesseract the uber-lich-lord being the final boss.
http://dnd.wizards.com/products/tabletop-games/rpg-products/tomb-annihilation

And also another cool book:
http://dnd.wizards.com/products/tabletop-games/rpg-products/xanathars-guide-everything
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: SkeptiQueer on June 05, 2017, 04:38:58 pm
There's also a redux book called Tales from the Yawning Portal which contains classics like Sunless Citadel and Tomb of Horrors for you old-school fans.

I am one of the moderators of Reddit.com/r/DnDNext (Next was the playtest name for 5th Ed) and recommend our sidebar resources and discussion for anyone interested in learning about the newest versions.

If you use Roll20, there's a free beginner adventure that's decent and serves as a good intro to the platform for everyone. My group spent about 5 hours and got through half-ish? An hour or more was me fucking with the roll20 interface and trying to remember what the tutorial said.
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: SkepticalEsquire on June 05, 2017, 05:50:36 pm
There's also a redux book called Tales from the Yawning Portal which contains classics like Sunless Citadel and Tomb of Horrors for you old-school fans.

I am one of the moderators of Reddit.com/r/DnDNext (Next was the playtest name for 5th Ed) and recommend our sidebar resources and discussion for anyone interested in learning about the newest versions.

If you use Roll20, there's a free beginner adventure that's decent and serves as a good intro to the platform for everyone. My group spent about 5 hours and got through half-ish? An hour or more was me fucking with the roll20 interface and trying to remember what the tutorial said.

Will check out the Reddit.  What's your overall impression of Roll20? Useful or would it be just as easy to play a Skype game and leave the visuals to the imagination of the players (and trust they don't cheat on their dice rolls)?
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: SkeptiQueer on June 05, 2017, 05:58:37 pm
There's also a redux book called Tales from the Yawning Portal which contains classics like Sunless Citadel and Tomb of Horrors for you old-school fans.

I am one of the moderators of Reddit.com/r/DnDNext (Next was the playtest name for 5th Ed) and recommend our sidebar resources and discussion for anyone interested in learning about the newest versions.

If you use Roll20, there's a free beginner adventure that's decent and serves as a good intro to the platform for everyone. My group spent about 5 hours and got through half-ish? An hour or more was me fucking with the roll20 interface and trying to remember what the tutorial said.

Will check out the Reddit.  What's your overall impression of Roll20? Useful or would it be just as easy to play a Skype game and leave the visuals to the imagination of the players (and trust they don't cheat on their dice rolls)?
Once I got the hang of using the maps and tokens, fantastic. If your players are artsy, they can create their own tokens (2D minis), you can purchase the official campaign books that have been converted to Roll20 by WOTC, write notes for props, direct whisper, roll dice, and if you can code java you can write macros for houserules or Homebrew stuff as well.

Better than Skype for a lot of stuff, but if you don't rely on board and minis, Skype would be fine.
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: SkepticalEsquire on June 06, 2017, 12:26:21 pm
kinda sounds like we need to setup a game.
Roll20? I'd be in on that.

Anyone interested in setting up a game, say a couple times a month?
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: PANTS! on June 06, 2017, 01:24:46 pm
I'm in - I'd really like to do Storm Kings Thunder.  I could DM it.
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: Morvis13 on June 06, 2017, 01:38:34 pm
depends on the day of the week and time. but yes.
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: random poet on June 06, 2017, 01:54:21 pm
I really want to say "Yes", but I already have 3 campaigns running (2 weekly, 1 monthly), and one of them is Storm King's Thunder. So… maybe? If you're lacking players? And only as a player, because I run 2 of those campaigns as DM already.
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: arthwollipot on June 07, 2017, 01:36:03 am
I'm in - I'd really like to do Storm Kings Thunder.  I could DM it.

I'm definitely in, but time zones are very much a bitch. That said, I'm almost always available for several hours on American Friday and Saturday nights (which are Australian Saturday and Sunday mornings). I already have a character. Heck, I have dozens. All I need to do is decide which one I want to use :D

Full disclosure: I own Storm King's Thunder and have skim-read a few sections of it, but not in depth and by no means the whole thing. I guarantee that it'll stay on my shelf for the duration.
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: PANTS! on June 07, 2017, 06:25:42 am
It makes no never mind if you have the module.  I  typically improv heavily when I DM.
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: arthwollipot on June 07, 2017, 07:05:38 pm
It makes no never mind if you have the module.  I  typically improv heavily when I DM.
That works for me. PM me the details when you get set up. :) I may even be able to rustle up some more players if you come up short.
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: SkepticalEsquire on June 08, 2017, 10:19:08 am
It makes no never mind if you have the module.  I  typically improv heavily when I DM.
That works for me. PM me the details when you get set up. :) I may even be able to rustle up some more players if you come up short.

Ditto.  I am on Mountain Time and generally available for Friday / Sat nights. Still working my way through 5th Ed rules so patience might be the watch word, for the first session or so. Would be good it we could get something set up, even just a couple times a month.
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: PANTS! on June 08, 2017, 10:26:52 am
I will ask SQ if we can use his Roll20 setup.
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: arthwollipot on June 08, 2017, 08:00:36 pm
I'm so excited.

I've had another group almost spontaneously form around me, so I might be running Out of the Abyss again. That is such a fun adventure.
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: PANTS! on June 08, 2017, 08:55:37 pm
Ooohhhh.. Can I play?
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: arthwollipot on June 09, 2017, 01:53:15 am
Ooohhhh.. Can I play?

I'd love you to. But this is going to be f2f only. When I moved into my house, my neighbour mentioned that he was looking for a game, so I kept a couple of slots open for him. Then the last time I tried to get a group together a friend of mine introduced a guy who is new in town and doesn't know anybody, so I kept one open for him. Then last night I posted on Facebook that this group seems to spontaneously be forming around me and I got two more people interested - one quite young lady (I think she's about 17) I know from the LARP group and one older woman I've gamed with before. So that's 5, which is the most I would want to use for this particular adventure. This last is the only one whose roleplaying style I already know - she was the ship's captain in a science-fiction game I ran years ago, and she's a great player.

So yeah... that's the group. The new-in-town guy is going to be overseas for a while though, so we might be starting without him.
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: mindme on June 09, 2017, 10:34:23 am
That Dead Games Society podcast was exactly what I was looking for!
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: Ron Obvious on July 12, 2017, 06:34:13 pm
Is the Gygax book "Empire of the Imagination" out of print already?  I ordered a copy from Amazon when I first read this, and I just now got their second email notice that they're still trying to get it for me, but I can cancel the order if I want to.  I'm about to cancel the order.

Anyone know the status?
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: amysrevenge on July 12, 2017, 11:58:37 pm
I briefly got to meet Gary in 2000 at Gencon when he was sort of officially welcomed back into the fold at the release of 3rd Edition.  Just thanked him for everything, and he was nice.
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: mindme on July 13, 2017, 08:55:56 am
Is the Gygax book "Empire of the Imagination" out of print already?  I ordered a copy from Amazon when I first read this, and I just now got their second email notice that they're still trying to get it for me, but I can cancel the order if I want to.  I'm about to cancel the order.

Anyone know the status?

My thinking is the book has gone viral. The author has been on a lot of podcasts, did a google talk, etc. So I wouldn't doubt the print edition has probably sold out quickly based on a lot of word of mouth. Lots of us D&D people are in our prime nostalgia years and this book hit at the right time.
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: John Albert on July 13, 2017, 07:23:46 pm
Would any of you be interested in an online D&D game? I'm thinking about hosting it on Roll20 (https://roll20.net/).
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: arthwollipot on July 13, 2017, 07:35:20 pm
Would any of you be interested in an online D&D game? I'm thinking about hosting it on Roll20 (https://roll20.net/).
Yes, absolutely. PANTS! was talking about hosting a game upthread also.
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: John Albert on July 13, 2017, 10:53:08 pm
Should I start a new thread to solicit players for my specific campaign?
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: mindme on July 14, 2017, 09:20:21 am
Should I start a new thread to solicit players for my specific campaign?

Only if you want to. I think it falls under "all things Gary Gygax".

"Hey, wanna see my vacation photos to Lake Geneva?" That fits too!
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: PANTS! on September 02, 2017, 10:58:12 am
More on me running a game here:

https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,49182.0.html
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: Ron Obvious on September 27, 2017, 09:57:37 pm
Is the Gygax book "Empire of the Imagination" out of print already?  I ordered a copy from Amazon when I first read this, and I just now got their second email notice that they're still trying to get it for me, but I can cancel the order if I want to.  I'm about to cancel the order.

Anyone know the status?

Status Update: I kept telling Amazon to keep on looking for it, but they've just now sent me a mail saying the order was now definitely cancelled because of unavailability.  Anyone know another site to order this from?
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: PANTS! on September 27, 2017, 10:08:09 pm
Is the Gygax book "Empire of the Imagination" out of print already?  I ordered a copy from Amazon when I first read this, and I just now got their second email notice that they're still trying to get it for me, but I can cancel the order if I want to.  I'm about to cancel the order.

Anyone know the status?

Status Update: I kept telling Amazon to keep on looking for it, but they've just now sent me a mail saying the order was now definitely cancelled because of unavailability.  Anyone know another site to order this from?

I got the Audio Book
Title: Re: All things Gary Gygax
Post by: John Albert on September 28, 2017, 02:59:09 pm
I got the Audio Book

I just got it too!

https://www.audible.com/pd/Bios-Memoirs/Empire-of-Imagination-Audiobook/B01973LBSK/