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Although Dave Arneson and the guys over at Zeitgeist Games deny this, the myth (or slander?) about the EGG of Coots true identity spans the internet. This is an old posting, but I decided to include it here now, anyways. No disrespect! :) -Håvard

Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.misc From: mmcalees@cs16.UVic.CA (Michael McAleese) Subject: Re: Old time D&D reminiscing Summary: The Egg of Coot (by Dave Arneson) Date: Sun, 10 Jan 93 05:13:56 GMT

In article jacobus@symphony.cc.purdue.edu (Bryan J. Maloney) writes: >In article dhenry@plains.NoDak.edu (David R. Henry) writes: >>Will someone please tell me what the Egg of Coot is, already?

>The Egg of Coot?
>Why, it's E. Gary Gygax, oldest Coot of rpgs!! >I don't remember where I heard this, but I think it's true, actually.

For all the readers of rec.games.frp.misc that weren't around in the early 80's (or at least, weren't interested in RPGs then), and to allow all concerned to make up their minds from the only data we have available, I present to the net an unauthorised reproduction of Dave Arneson's original description of the Egg of Coot, straight from the "First Fantasy Campaign" supplement from Judges Guild (alas, sadly out of business and gone).
[note: the following is quite long. Also, the poster's comments within are enclosed in these nifty square brackets. What will they think of next?]

Egg of Coot

This all consuming personality lives off the egos of others to support his own ego. At one time (millennea ago) of humanoid characteristics, today, his exact physical description is unknown. In fact it is not even known for sure if he (it) has a physical appearance. Theories say that he is now a huge mass of jointly operating cells, a huge mass of Jelly, a giant thickly hided egg, pure energy, a man, a mass of living rock, etc. It is generally acknowledged that the physique of this creature is too horrible for any mortal to behold and that it carries out its activities through the use of surrogates which it controls or has programmed. All communications with this beast are through direct mental contact or via his throne-room which is dominated by a huge old world artifact said to be an ancient war machine, through which it communicates directly via voice transmission from some other area of its City-Palace.

1) Enjoys little jokes like scrawling obscene words and phrases on the walls of latrines and garbage cans (to show it's "power"), sky writing, pulling the wings off of flies, etc. General level of jokes indicates a Level II Intelligence with a mature age of 3 or 6, never having been denied anything!) [no, the text never said what a Level II intelligence was]

2) Has a huge Laboratory that turns out spells, for selling, which are (of course) perfection itself (30% chance of failure per level of spell, i.e. III = 50%, II = 40%, etc.). Of historical interest is when the Ran of Ah Foo served in the factory as a Spell Maker but was kicked out when he "surpassed" the Egg's standard of excellence, which, since the perfect standard is impossible to surpass, meant that he (the Ran) had committed the ultimate wrong and was forced to flee rather than become the newest human victim to be experimented on.

3) All close servants of the Egg, undergo mental conditioning that is aimed at crushing all their mental initiative. This is then replaced by the over- whelming desire to serve the Egg and do _exactly_ as it wished. Part of the standard conditioning has them believing that all the Egg does and communicates is good and right with all unbelievers being those jealous of the Egg's perfection and should be treated accordingly.

4) The Egg is known to hold an unshakable grudge against anything that has ever in any way caused it difficulty that was not immediately overcome. It will direct it's efforts exclusively towards the demise of this force even to the extent of ignoring past offenders in order to go after the newest threat. This is the result of the Egg's tremendous self-esteem which admits _no_ failings.

5) The best insight into the Egg's ambitions are in it's creed which is daily intoned by hundreds of conditioned followers, around his capital city: Might is Right. Might is Right. Don't Give a Sucker an even break. Winning _is_ everything. Get what you want by Hook or by Crook, but get it. The Ends always justify the means used to achieve it. The meek may inherit the Earth but that means the strongest will rule everything.

I fear the rest of the Creed is a bit too strong for our gentile readers and deal with certain "Breeding priviledges and customs". Let it suffice that when an area is captured by the Egg, it shortly undergoes a dramatic population decline and acquires a new and very unhuman population composition.
[yes, the original text had unmatched brackets, spelling and grammar errors. That was one of its charms, like everything from JG. Not polished and error- free like all the life had been beaten out of it by marketroids. But I digress...]

Hmm. Forgot the bit at the end about "gentile readers". It does look more and more like a poke at Gygax (who always talks about his "gentle readers"). I was going to comment on the points, but they pretty much speak for themselves.

Dave Arneson had an interesting sense of humour and it is all through the First Fantasy Campaign. This was, of course, back when we knew we were playing a game and not delving into epic fantasy. Hmph. If there is any demand I'll type in the truly classic "Marfeldt the Barbarian". That one still makes me laugh.

-- * mmcalees@csr.uvic.ca (Michael McAleese) : I speak only for me... * "Man can believe the impossible, but never the improbable." - Oscar Wilde (For snooping governments: heroin, cocaine, FBI, CSIS, CIA, albatross...)