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How would you definte "gygaxian"?

Elvish Lore

Hello!
Validated User
To me, Gygaxian means nonsensical mish-mash of fantasy tropes. Gutter fantasy, basically.

Not saying it wasn't fun -- it was usually a blast back when I was playing it as a kid.
 

UglyJimStudly

Unforgiven
Validated User
My recollection is far more of the latter than the former.

As far as challenging the players goes, I'm not really seeing it. Could someone give examples.
The "die, no save" stuff is supposed to challenge the players by way of ensuring the characters have no reasonable game-mechanical way to escape a deathtrap, it's up to the players to recognize it and then either avoid it or come up with an out of the box (and usually wildly anachronistic) solution. Whether this results in a good or bad play experience is pretty much 100% driven by factors unique to a given group, making it hard to talk about gygaxian traits in any kind of general sense.
 

Andurion

Registered User
Validated User
This is, of course, an example rather than a definition, but it's a very good one in that it captures several elements of what I consider quintessentially "Gygaxian" -- solutions coming the player's problem-solving ability rather than the character's stats, casual out-of-character/out-of-milieu anachronism, punning/word-play, and an affected appeal to a very old-fashioned "high cultural/literary" mindset.
This sounds right to me.
 

omnimpotent

Registered as Useless
Validated User
I've always heard of 'gygaxian' in reference to very bizzare maps laid out on a 10' by 10' grid. Rooms shaped like skulls, long passages to nowhere, and diagonal hallways done in 'steps' rather than straight sided.

It also brings to mind poking every bit of the dungeon with a 10' pole, lest your hands be disintegrated or severed, and prying up every floorboard lest there be a basket of 8,000 electrum pieces stashed there.

Old school good times.
 

Philotomy Jurament

Registered User
Validated User
...elements of what I consider quintessentially "Gygaxian" -- solutions coming the player's problem-solving ability rather than the character's stats, casual out-of-character/out-of-milieu anachronism, punning/word-play, and an affected appeal to a very old-fashioned "high cultural/literary" mindset.
This sums it up perfectly, in my opinion.
 

Old Geezer

Active member
Banned
This is, of course, an example rather than a definition, but it's a very good one in that it captures several elements of what I consider quintessentially "Gygaxian" -- solutions coming the player's problem-solving ability rather than the character's stats, casual out-of-character/out-of-milieu anachronism, punning/word-play, and an affected appeal to a very old-fashioned "high cultural/literary" mindset.
Well, having actually PLAYED with Gary, and not just once or twice at a convention, but as a regular player for several years...

Ding! Winner.

Plus the "Challenge the player, not just the character stats".
 

Requiem_17_23

Mrglglglgl
Validated User
I'd just like to add that the 1e AD&D books taught me a respect for the English language I have yet to lose. I had to go and buy a bigger dictionary.
 

Ratoslov

Exploding Murderer
Validated User
Also, uneven levels of thought going into something. For example, a given structure may have a whole dungeon ecology going on, with energy inputs and waste outputs thought out, but there won't be any thought put into why there's a skull-shaped room in the southeast corner and why the orcs apparently have to bypass three instant-death puzzle traps in order to get from their mess hall to the bathroom.
 

Ghul

Registered User
Validated User
This is, of course, an example rather than a definition, but it's a very good one in that it captures several elements of what I consider quintessentially "Gygaxian" -- solutions coming the player's problem-solving ability rather than the character's stats, casual out-of-character/out-of-milieu anachronism, punning/word-play, and an affected appeal to a very old-fashioned "high cultural/literary" mindset.
And here T. Foster elucidates precisely how I feel about how D&D should be played. Allow me to further clarify, lest I be accused of One-True-Wayism: That is how the game is played at my table every Tuesday night, and my crew of 8 enjoys it as well. ;)

--Jeff T.
 

T. Foster

Retired User
Wow, gratifying to see so many people agreeing with my post, especially considering that a couple of you are in a much better position than me to have an opinion on the matter. Too bad there's a word missing from the original post -- it should have said "solutions coming from the player's problem-solving ability..." :(
 
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