Friday, September 11, 2020

Gary's "Pretty Germy Ideas"

Issue #2 (Autumn 1981) of the RPGA newsletter continues the interview with Gary Gygax it began in its inaugural issue. The second part isn't quite as revealing as the first part that I discussed in three previous posts. Still, there are a few intriguing tidbits, such as the following:

The Brian whom Gygax mentions several times throughout this interview is Brian Blume, who is frequently portrayed, along with his brother, Kevin, as a villain in the history of TSR. Whatever the truth of that assertion – and I happen to think the matter is complex – at this particular point in time, Gygax and Blume were friends and regular collaborators (co-authoring Warriors of Mars and Boot Hill, for example). As Gygax explains here, he and Blume were working on another game together, "a simple but fun card game" of some sort, though he does not elaborate.

In addition, Gygax mentions that he has been rethinking the character generation system of AD&D, specifically "a slightly different list of abilities." Sadly, he says no more, though he does make an aside, in which he teases that he might develop his ideas for "another role playing game." Gygax did eventually produce other RPGs, such as Dangerous Journeys for GDW in 1992 and Lejendary Adventure in 1999. Whether any of the thoughts he was having in 1981 would eventually make their way into either of these two games is a question with no answer. 


  1. What, no mention of Cyborg Commando? :)

    1. Believe it or not, I didn't forget about it. From what I recall, the design was actually by Frank Mentzer and (I think) Kim Mohan rather than Gygax himself. Others who know better are welcome to correct me.

  2. Hello,

    I just wanted to say that I find your blog very interesting. I started reading it from the start because I just connected back with RPG after 25 years. I must admit a lot of interesting things have occurred and it's great to read you in the past.

    I saw that your blog wasn't updated for some years and I suppose I'll know more when I come to it.

    I'll leave some comments probably from time to time because, even if I'm French and have a sometimes different way of seeing RPGs, your posts can be inspiring.