Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sage Advice from Jean Wells, or, My Eyes Just Melted


More questioning goodness from the "Sage Advice from Jean Wells" column, appearing in The Dragon magazine, Issue #32, December 1979.

Question: I have been playing Dungeons and Dragons for several months, to the point where I have challenged Asmodeus and won! Is Asmodeus in lemure state now, until he can regain his former status, or is Baalzebul in charge? Answer: Several months? What took you so long? No, you're in charge now. Good luck with that.

Question: I have a female character who has gotten herself pregnant. How should I handle this? Answer: "Time passes. You give the child up for adoption and continue adventuring." Any questions?

Question: I am having a romance with a god, but he won't have anything to do with me until I divorce my present husband. How do I go about divorcing my husband? Answer: I presume your question relates to your D&D game, and are referring to your in-game husband ...

Reality check, reality check. Testing, testing, 1-2-3.

I have to go lay down now.

14 comments:

James Maliszewski said...

Those are superb replies.

Lord Gwydion said...

That's great. The sorts of people that would ask those kinds of questions deserve these kinds of answers.

And this is Jean Wells we're talking about--the inventor of the 3-headed hermaphrodite giant with Gary's head surrounded by two ugly chicks' heads (OK, that was the artist having a bit of fun, but still, the monster was hers...).

A Paladin In Citadel said...

I wish those questions had been atypical. Sadly, they were not.

I may go mining some additional Sage Advice from Jean Wells columns, although I will need to post a warning and disclaimer, to protect myself from lawsuits for pain and mental anguish.

myrystyr said...

"Time passes. You give the child up for adoption and continue adventuring."

If only I'd read this during my campaign of 1990, which ended with the 14th level magic-user trying to research and make a magical security blanket for her baby (I ruled it out on the grounds that all the spells poured into it amounted to 'protection from everything', although in hindsight the time requirement would have resulted in the child being old enough to go adventuring on its own by the time the item was made).

The Rusty Battle Axe said...

Sadly, I know of two cases where people had a major break of reality and could not separate the game world from the real world. In one case, a friend's wife totally lost it after getting involved in D&D. I don't blame RPGs, because in these cases there were pre-existing conditions, but I think RPGs are attractive to people who are troubled, particularly those with personality disorders.

Anytime I start think about making a saving throw when pulling into traffic I know that I need a break from the RPG scene. I'm only half joking about that.

All that being said, how cool would it be to have a romantic relationship with a deity or demigod? Maybe I need to have a conversation with my wife.

JB said...

@ Axe-Man: Romantic entanglements (divine or not) are often part and parcel to long-running and/or high level campaign play. Enjoy!

@ Pal: These are great. Even though we "sophisticated" gamers (realize we all have been playing for decades while folks playing in 1979 were still new to the whole "RPG thang") make think these are silly questions to bother asking, I think a) it's cool to see how far people were pushing the boundaries and b) the IMPORTANCE they placed on their games so much that they would pose these types of questions to an "official source."

Fascinating, really.

A Paladin In Citadel said...

I'm not altogether surprised by the questions, we were breaking new ground, and people often forgot that the game was theirs, not Gary's or Jean's.

I always had problems with "immersion" while playing D&D, so I never had difficulty separating myself from the game (at times to my detriment, I suppose, since I never got the rush that others did from being fully immersed in the game-moment)

A Paladin In Citadel said...

@Rusty: Sorry to hear about your friends.

As for having a relationship with a god, your wife tells me she already married one.

A Paladin In Citadel said...

@James: thanks for dropping by. Happy birthday by the way, from a fellow Octoberian.

Jean said...

I had forgotten how absurd a good many of the questions were, and how it easy it was to poke fun at them. I should have been more serious in answering questions, but I do have a sense of humor and I couldn't resist this, so I made Sage Advice more of an entertainment item.

Jean Wells

A Paladin In Citadel said...

I loved the Sage Advice column, and I was always surprised by the obviousness of the answer ... but sadly the mere asking of the question revealed where D&D was heading, away from a free-form, flowing game, and into the tightly regulated beast that it has become.

I know many old-schoolers (including me) are big fans of yours. We would be thrilled to hear your recollections of the early days of D&D. Appreciate your stopping by.

A Paladin In Citadel said...

Jean, those are MY answers to those questions, not yours. You were far more polite and serious in your answers than I ever could have been, faced with month after month of absurd fan questions!

A Paladin In Citadel said...

And no doubt you had a inexhaustible sense of humor, you had to in order to take on the task of answering that fan mail.

Jean said...

I could only take a year of it before Jon Pickens took it over. He loved to go into details. I love your answers. They are in my same vein of humor. James Maliszewski is doing an interview with me. Please look for it sometime in the future. I am having a good time with the interview and looking forward to seeing what it ends up looking like.
Jean