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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 3:09 pm 
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Lord of the Enchanted Wood
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I'm pretty sure that all three authors of Griffin Mountain wrote a short memoir about the product that was included in the republication. I've been asked to participate in the most recent republishing process for Dark Tower but simply don't have the time or availability for the type of involvement requested.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 11:02 am 
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Paul, may I ask what were your inspirations for your fantasy works? - It might be that I am spoiled through nineties fantasy literature and AD&D, but especially from today's perspective, it seems like your works has a very exotic touch. (Thinking of the Minotaur riding on a bull in EW, or the equally exotic black trees in the same module.)


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 2:46 pm 
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Lord of the Enchanted Wood
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Essentially, the availability of fantasy fiction in the early 70s was mostly reprints of pulp eara fiction and 19th century fantasy. Novels from the 60s were hard to find. In the mid-70s, the popularization of the Lord of Rings (special thanks to Ian Ballantine and the Brothers Hildebrandt) brought about a golden age of fantasy writing. But prior to my writing my game adventures, I read nearly everything sword and sorcery novel I could get my hands on.

My sources, were of course books written or available in the 70s. This would include Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit (of course), the early Xanth novels by Piers Anthony, Conan the Barbarian, King Kull, and several other novels by Robert Howard (and all the comic books), Edgar Rice Burroughs Mars, Venus, and Pellucidar series, The Chronicles of Narnia and the Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis, Elric and the other "Eternal Champion" novel series, the Fafhrd & Gray Mouser series by Fritz Lieber, Doomfarers of Coromande by Brian Daley, Stephen R. Donaldson's first two trilogies (Lord Foul's Bane, The Illearth War, The Power That Preserves, and The Wounded Land ... the later novels came out after I was pretty much done with writing game adventures).

EW would have a lot of "Xanth" influence in particular.

Of course, I also had a trick where I would roll up encounters on the standard encounter tables for a game and figure out how to combine them in unusual ways.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 7:42 am 
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PJaquays wrote:
Of course, I also had a trick where I would roll up encounters on the standard encounter tables for a game and figure out how to combine them in unusual ways.


Which, of course, you want to share with us, now? :D


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:35 pm 
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Lord of the Enchanted Wood
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OK. Make two (or three) rolls on the game's random encounter table. Write them down. Now, imagine the situations that could have brought these two monsters or creatures together and kept them together. Be creative and original or adapt an idea from popular fiction, literature or history. But change it enough to be fresh and your own. Come up with a reason for the encounter to be where it is. Build it into the history of the locale ... or modify the locale to fit the history of the creature.

Repeat. For each encounter, come up with ways that it might have interaction with, history with, or dependence on your major encounters.

In this way, you start building a setting that is exotic and appears random, yet has an entwined and shared histroy.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:19 pm 
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Hi Paul,
My connection to your work is totally different from everyone else on this forum. I had stopped playing D&D before your works were published. Do you remember back in 1983 and 1984 working for Coleco? You were the designer for Coleco's Tarzan game. I was a programmer for 4D Interactive Systems in Rochester, Minnesota at the time and did most of the programming for Tarzan. It was my first major videogame project. We talked many times in teleconferences during the project's life. I realize that Tarzan never came to market. I was to be paid partially with royalties. I received a whole $0.25 in royalties for the Tarzan project.

Did you work on any other video game projects?

Greg Svenson

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 11:02 pm 
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Lord of the Enchanted Wood
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@Greg ... what version of Tarzan did you work on? The Colecovision version definitely was completed and shipped. But I don't know how well it did in the marketplace, or how royalties were calculated for developers.

Lawrence Schick was actually the designer of record on the project. I was his boss. In a sense, as the design group manager/director, I worked on EVERY Colecovision and computer game project that Coleco shipped between 1982 and 1985 (with the exception of the educational projects).

I'd like to tell you that I remember everyone we worked with at our software vendors, but that's not the case. I know and remember 4D because we worked with them a lot. I ran into Dan, Dave, Dave, and Ross on occasion in later years (mostly at Gen Con), but not a whole lot of the other guys who worked for them. Sorry.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 4:44 pm 
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So you were involved with all of the projects. I didn't realize that. Thanks.

I worked on the ColecoVision version of Tarzan. It was my first major project for Coleco. I also did a lot of the work on SpyHunter. I had bit parts in Zaxxon and SubRoc as well. It's ok if you don't remember me, I was a minor player at 4D and was only there for a year and a half and about a third of that time was spent working on projects for other companies to boot. When I saw your name it triggered the recollection that you were in those teleconferences. I didn't realize that you were the manager rather than the designer. Mr. Schick's name doesn't ring a bell for me, so I guess my memory is pretty foggy, too.

The last time I saw any of the old 4D crew was around 1991 when I was back in the Twin Cities. I saw Dave Wesley, Dave Megarry and Ross. I think Dan was in Arizona at the time.

Thanks again.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 3:14 am 
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Hi Paul :D

Our group has been playing CoT since January or so, and it's been quite fun! I am enjoying the mapping this adventure presents a lot---all of the hidden levels, sublevels, inter-level connections, secret doors, etc., keep me very interested in the dungeon's physical space as we run through it.

We've got a site @ http://members.cox.net/caverns_of_thracia/index.htm where we've got our game maps and session logs, in case you or anyone else would want to check them out.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2007 11:24 am 
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PJaquays wrote:
OK. Make two (or three) rolls on the game's random encounter table. Write them down. Now, imagine the situations that could have brought these two monsters or creatures together and kept them together. Be creative and original or adapt an idea from popular fiction, literature or history. But change it enough to be fresh and your own. Come up with a reason for the encounter to be where it is. Build it into the history of the locale ... or modify the locale to fit the history of the creature.

Repeat. For each encounter, come up with ways that it might have interaction with, history with, or dependence on your major encounters.

In this way, you start building a setting that is exotic and appears random, yet has an entwined and shared histroy.


Thank you very much, and sorry for the late reply. Busy week at the university. :-? I'll make some rolls with that technique and look what I can construct out of them. :)

Maybe another question for you Paul: Do or did you have some sort of a pet character, or one particular character that you played for a long time, or a favourite NPC? :)


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