Q&A with Frank

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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by Zudrak » Sat Nov 28, 2015 3:55 pm

Buttmonkey wrote:
ExTSR wrote:We've quietly started a project with Troll Lords to do Castles & Crusades game versions of all our fantasy stuff.
I am a happy old schooler!
I missed this, but was happy to see it turn up in search results here.

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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by John_Drake06 » Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:51 pm

Hi Frank! Just discovered that you left DF. From what I understand of the situation was over there, I don't blame you. Just a quick question: have you read Empire of Imagination, the book about Gary and TSR etc...& what was your opinion of it if you have read it? Apologies if this has been asked before, as this is my first post here. Thank you, your time is very much appreciated!!!
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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by ExTSR » Thu Dec 24, 2015 8:19 pm

Havard wrote:BECMI related question. Have you ever considered using the Dominion Rules system for managing other things than proper Baronies? For instance, could it be modified to run a Thieves Guild, a religious organization, a Merchant House etc? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.
Meh. Math is math. It's a tool. I'd redesign the system entirely if it were to be a tool for other purposes.
Shouldn't be all that hard tho.

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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by ExTSR » Thu Dec 24, 2015 8:39 pm

John_Drake06 wrote:Hi Frank! Just discovered that you left DF. From what I understand of the situation was over there, I don't blame you.
Well heya old friend.
I found that DragonsFoot gradually lost all appreciation & fans of the original designers. I left because it was high time; I was fending off repeated attacks, no longer receiving questions. (The moderators even dissed Piazza in the process. They don't play well with others.)
have you read Empire of Imagination, the book about Gary and TSR etc...& what was your opinion of it if you have read it? Apologies if this has been asked before, as this is my first post here. Thank you, your time is very much appreciated!!!
Was interviewed for it. I observed with slight interest a review from a New York City book-scene critic, who knocked it as being shallow. He felt the author should have taken the opportunity to Write Deep Stuff. I disagree utterly, and told Michael so (we bump into each other now and then at cons); it's a wonderful visualized approach written by a roleplayer ("What if I were Gary at this point? What would I be feeling?"), and is very much appreciated by me and the entire Gygax family. :)

That said... if you want Hard history, read Jon Peterson's Playing at the World, the definitive history of RPGs thru 1979.

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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by Classicdnd » Mon Dec 28, 2015 1:41 pm

Hi Frank! Greetings from afar! I don't know if you recall, but a few years ago over at DF I wondered who had created the iconic D&D ampersand. You kindly dropped by and said, after consulting with Steve Sullivan, you thought it had perhaps been designed by Jim Roslof, and also speculated that Elmore or Easley might have done the final execution. But you weren't sure and said you might ask Larry and Jeff.

I was wondering if you ever had a chance to find out more? No doubt you've had better things to do, but there's no harm in asking. ;)
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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by Rhuvein » Thu Dec 31, 2015 2:31 am

Zudrak wrote:
Buttmonkey wrote:
ExTSR wrote:We've quietly started a project with Troll Lords to do Castles & Crusades game versions of all our fantasy stuff.
I am a happy old schooler!
I missed this, but was happy to see it turn up in search results here.

Image
Hey Frank.

Any further update on this?

:)
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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by ExTSR » Thu Dec 31, 2015 2:43 pm

Rhuvein wrote:Any further update on this?
Greetings Baron (former Count?).
I'd have to ask the trolls; haven't seen things yet. But it's in progress.

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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by rabindranath72 » Tue Apr 05, 2016 10:47 am

Hi Frank,
I am not sure this question has been asked already, and feel free to point me to the answer if so.
I was wondering what would have you done with a 2e of AD&D if you had been in charge? I know you have expressed appreciation for Zeb Cook's work as a game designer; do you agree with some of the choices he made for AD&D 2e? Care to name two or three things you would actually change in AD&D 2e?

Thanks in advance,
Antonio

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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by ExTSR » Tue Apr 05, 2016 5:14 pm

rabindranath72 wrote:what would have you done with a 2e of AD&D if you had been in charge?
I'd have been collaborating with Gary. His ideas were headed in new directions (see D&D Cartoon class-kits), including a better Skill Resolution system (combat and non-).

As usual I would've been the one to identify glitches (especially new vs canon) and address implications.

And I've always felt that Zeb was the best designer we ever had on staff.
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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by rabindranath72 » Fri Apr 08, 2016 3:49 pm

ExTSR wrote:
rabindranath72 wrote:what would have you done with a 2e of AD&D if you had been in charge?
I'd have been collaborating with Gary. His ideas were headed in new directions (see D&D Cartoon class-kits), including a better Skill Resolution system (combat and non-).

As usual I would've been the one to identify glitches (especially new vs canon) and address implications.

And I've always felt that Zeb was the best designer we ever had on staff.
Thanks for the reply!
If I may waste more of your time...Do you reckon Gary's 2nd edition would have been substantially different from OAD&D, to the point of incompatibility? Having come to OAD&D only many years "after the fact" (I started with your version of the game, and then "moved" to AD&D 2e) I can appreciate Zeb Cook's monumental effort in collating and condensing the material from the many sources of OAD&D; still the game played essentially the same so I could easily use most of the OAD&D stuff in my 2e games. Yet many OAD&D fans cried foul at 2e; I can only imagine the reaction to an incompatible game!

P.S. what do you mean with "better Skill Resolution system"?

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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by ExTSR » Fri Apr 08, 2016 7:15 pm

rabindranath72 wrote:Do you reckon Gary's 2nd edition would have been substantially different from OAD&D, to the point of incompatibility?
Of course not. :)
[btw, many tend to call it 1e rather than OAD&D... unless you're specifically citing OA ;> Is your acronym local/regional/national?)

In every phase of expansion through 2000 -- Holmes '77, 1e '77-79, Moldvay '80, Cook/Marsh '81, BECMI '83-86, 1e1.5 '85, 2e '89 -- everyone carefully considered the Work at it existed and tempered new creations accordingly. We now acknowledge that this 'rule' was negated with v3 and beyond.

(Gary considered flipping the AC system as early as Unearthed Arcana. That he rejected as being 'too much' of a change, and also peripheral math instead of serious conceptual innovation.)

Tradition adds boundaries, so 'breaking free' probably helped the game overall. And many prefer one of the out-of-print (OOP) versions to this day, rejecting change to some degree, and modify OOP rules by importing modern innovations.

Backward compatibility thus doesn't have the influence it once did. Fans do conversions all the time, while the Common language changes with the edition.
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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by rabindranath72 » Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:37 pm

ExTSR wrote:
rabindranath72 wrote:Do you reckon Gary's 2nd edition would have been substantially different from OAD&D, to the point of incompatibility?
Of course not. :)
[btw, many tend to call it 1e rather than OAD&D... unless you're specifically citing OA ;> Is your acronym local/regional/national?)
I use 1e and OAD&D (I think I saw Gary use this acronym?)

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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by Zudrak » Mon Apr 25, 2016 5:27 pm

Frank,

Do you miss the Delaware Valley at all? And do you still visit occasionally? I think it's cool our region was home to one of the "big names" of TSR. Finding that out was as enjoyable to me as finding out Greyhawk "sage" Grodog grew up a mere block from my aunt's house.

Also, any news on the Troll Lord front? I can go bug the Trolls at TLG.com, if need be. :D

Thanks!

Happy gaming,
Michael

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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by Falconer » Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:23 pm

OAD&D, standing for Original Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, was Gary’s preferred acronym for “his AD&D” (1977-85) that we used predominantly c. 2001-2003 on his mailing list gygax-games@yahoogroups.com and on Rob’s PPP boards. I.e., it is used by those of us who were old school before it was cool. :cool:
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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by Big Mac » Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:07 pm

Zudrak wrote:
Buttmonkey wrote:
ExTSR wrote:We've quietly started a project with Troll Lords to do Castles & Crusades game versions of all our fantasy stuff.
I am a happy old schooler!
I missed this, but was happy to see it turn up in search results here.

Image
This is awesome news!

I would love to see the Eldritch Ent stuff published under other rules too. :)
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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by Big Mac » Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:10 pm

John_Drake06 wrote:Hi Frank! Just discovered that you left DF. From what I understand of the situation was over there, I don't blame you. Just a quick question: have you read Empire of Imagination, the book about Gary and TSR etc...& what was your opinion of it if you have read it? Apologies if this has been asked before, as this is my first post here. Thank you, your time is very much appreciated!!!
Welcome to The Piazza John!

You might want to pop over to the Introduce yourself here topic and say hi to the community and let them know what sort of stuff you like.
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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by ExTSR » Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:41 pm

Question!

A friend will be in London later this month on business.
He's leaving a couple of days to go prowl game stores and such.

Recommendations please!
Thanx in advance...

F
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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by Havard » Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:02 pm

ExTSR wrote:Question!

A friend will be in London later this month on business.
He's leaving a couple of days to go prowl game stores and such.

Recommendations please!
Thanx in advance...

F

Orcs Nest near Leicester Square is a must!

Pinging Big Mac for more suggestions :)

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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by Ashtagon » Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:09 pm

Seconding Orc's Nest.

The only other "good" games shop in London I know of is Leisure Games. Nearest tube station is Finchley Central.
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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by Big Mac » Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:46 pm

Ashtagon wrote:Seconding Orc's Nest.

The only other "good" games shop in London I know of is Leisure Games. Nearest tube station is Finchley Central.
Here are the address details for Orc's Nest.

I went to a shop, called Dark Sphere, just south of Waterloo Station once (after seeing them listed on Free RPG Day, but when I asked about Dungeons & Dragons stuff (after finding nothing much but minis there) a shop assistant actually showed me a Ravenloft board game. :facepalm:

However, they do run D&D games in the store (when they are not running wargames). And if your friend likes minis, they have a fairly good range there.

There are also quite a few Games Workshop stores in London. (Although they are slowly being rebranded as "Warhammer" stores and the Warhammer product line has pretty much taken over from every other single product line they have ever sold.) I got my first D&D products at Games Workshop, but now I hardly ever see anything there that I like. The Lord of the Rings minis are about the only ones that don't look overly chunkified to me. But maybe your friend likes that sort of thing, so here are a few stores from the storefinder that are within 10 miles of the centre of London:
  • Warhammer - Tottenham Court Road (243 Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 7QW 020 7323 6408)
  • Warhammer - Chiswick (6 Chiswick High Road, Chiswick, W4 1TH 020 8994 5978
  • Games Workshop - Putney (195 Upper Richmond Road, Putney, London, SW15 6SG 020 8780 3202)
  • Games Workshop - Twickenham (16 Church Street, Twickenham, Middlesex, TW1 3NJ 020 8891 3936)
  • Warhammer - Kingston (33 Fife Road, Kingston, London, KT1 1SF 020 8549 5224)
  • Games Workshop - Croydon (Unit 2, Norfolk House, Wellesley Road, Croydon, London, CR0 1LH 020 8680 4600)
Games Workshop are pretty much of a muchness, so I wouldn't suggest your friend tries to visit all of these, but if they are going to stay in Outer London (which may be cheaper for them) they might want to visit one of the outer areas, that has a Games Workshop/Warhammer store, to see some other things. (There are weird tourist attractions all over Outer London, although the popular tourist stuff is mostly in the central area.)

These non-GW stores were also on the Games Workshop storefinder:
  • R.S. Currie & Co (105 Westbourne Grove, London, W2 4UW 020 7792 2236)
  • Toy Galaxy (Ealing) (42 High Street, Ealing, London, W5 5DB 020 8567 9197)
  • The Games Shop (79 Stonecot Hill, Sutton, Surrey, SM3 9HJ 020 8644 6660)
I know nothing about any of these stores.

If your friend likes other sorts of games (like computer games) they will find a lot more stores catering for them.

And if they like toyshops, then a visit to Hamleys might be a fun experience.

Is there anything else that you friend wants to see?

If they like Star Wars, they can visit one of the locations where Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was filmed. And if they like castles, WWII locations, steam railways or anything like that, they could probably fit in one or two trips to places they would enjoy. If you give me a few details, I might be able to help find some other places.
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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by ExTSR » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:19 pm

Info forwarded, thanks much!

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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by barna10 » Sun Dec 11, 2016 6:22 am

Any update on the updated Thief for BECMI? Thanks

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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by ExTSR » Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:12 pm

barna10 wrote:Any update on the updated Thief for BECMI? Thanks
viewtopic.php?f=64&t=17008

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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by Havard » Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:45 pm

Frank,
I am taking a new look at the monster section of your Immortal Set (Gold Box) in this thread.

Did you ever develop other Vortex Creatures besides the Blackball? Are Spectral Hounds considered to be Vortex Creatures?

-Havard

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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by barna10 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:51 pm

ExTSR wrote:
barna10 wrote:Any update on the updated Thief for BECMI? Thanks
viewtopic.php?f=64&t=17008
Thanks!

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