Now, please understand I am no expert in such endeavors. Trying to distill so many ideas into broad categories is complicated enough. trying ti discern whether an apparently disjointed comment deserves its own category or belongs in some category already established can be insanity provoking. That being said here is what I came up with. I am sure another person could come up with different results, but I am fairly confident the truly high frequency ones would still rise to the top. Without further ado, here are the categories, my description of them and the count of how many times something like them was mentioned in the previous data set.
|Tomb of Horrors: Mentioned dozens of times in last week's data|
as the archetypal Gygaxian Dungeon for a good reason.
31 Extremely lethal traps & puzzles. Puzzles was mentioned more than lethal puzzles, but without a doubt puzzles, traps and paradoxical conundra with extremely high stakes; includes instant Death / Dismemberment / Save vs death; and TPKs
27 Surrealism / Gygaxian Unnaturalism / Weird magic items, monsters and a bizarre underworld
22 Dangerous. The idea of simply being dangerous in whatever context.
19 Gonzo / Silliness / Illogical Dungeons / Humor / Whimsy
15 Drawing inspiration primarily from pulp fantasy, particularly swords and sorcery, planetary romance, etc. Expressing the idea of heroism not high fantasy superheroism. Action and adventure, lots of combat.
14 Magic is dangerous and often doesn't make sense. Trope of the evil insane wizard or sorcerer
14 Lethal adventures and killer dungeons
13 Adversarial gaming, DM vs Players
13 Characters don't start with detailed backstory but develop as you adventure. You become a hero, you don;t start as one. When you gain something you feel like you earned it.
12 Player problem solving vs character skills
12 GM Fiat/GM is all powerful, as a "god" / Players don't look at DMs Guide or MM
12 History/Mythology/background knowledge/hoplology/medievalist/classicism
11 Lack of linear plot in module/series of disconnected modules/no "epic" campaigns
10 Rules Light/flexible/improvisation; Improvisational gaming
Others, below 10:
Gamist/anti-political-psychological roleplay 9; Random 9; Paranoid caution 8; Naturalism / Simulationism 8; Baroque 7; Kill monsters take stuff/esp. gold 7; Dungeon Crawl 7; ; Tournament module "style" 5; Rules Heavy, lots of tables 4; Warriors are the pinnacle of heroism 4; Alignment 3; Low power/low magic 3; Let the dice fall where they may 2; Menagerie of Classic Monsters 2; Dungeon mapping on graph paper 2; 3-18 ability scores 1; Time keeping 1; Chintzy and irritating NPCs 1; Lack of concern with game/mechanical balance 1; 10' poles 1; Trapspringers 1; Wandering Monsters 1; Big Boss at the end/deeper levels are harder 1; Humanocentric/demihuman limited 1
|Gygax' Literary Roots|
Gygaxian Aesthetic could include Dungeon Crawl, Random, Naturalism/Simulationism, Baroque
Gygaxian Danger could include Paranoid Caution, let the dice fall where they may
Gygaxian Playstyle could include Gamist play, Kill Monsters take their stuff, Tournament modules, Rule Heavy, Warriors are the pinnacle, Etc., etc.
However, the fact is, most of the contradictory mentions are much less indicated. And thus one has to ask if it is so poorly represented should it be included as a component of the definition? I say no. Certainly these things might be experienced, and to one degree or another described as Gygaxian by our constructed definition. However, we will just consider items mentioned more than ten times in the data set we compiled.
|The Cloaker: A Classic D&D monster|
that is exactly in the spirit of "Gygaxian"