Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Requiscat in Pacem

Ernest Gary Gygax
27JUL1938 to 04MAR2008.

I am saddened to report that the original Dungeon Master failed his last saving throw this morning.

For those Gentle Readers who may not have heard of this man, E. Gary Gygax was the co-creator of the Dungeons and Dragons role-playing game -- the pencil-and-paper version -- and was probably the father of the whole Role Playing Game industry, both paper and computer versions.

Chris, Tole and I have spent literal ages wandering through various AD&D campaigns over the years, and I credit Dungeons and Dragons with improving not only my imagination, but also my writing skills.

I imagine they've already got the screens set up and the Mountain Dew and chips stockpiled and waiting for you, Gary.

Vaya con Dios.

LawDog

16 comments:

Anathema said...

It's incredible to think of all the people who may have never heard of him, or realize how much of their favorite RPG's owe their genesis to his genius.
The world is a little sadder to lose him, but so much better than it would have been if he had never been here.

TBeck said...

Yeah, G'Bye Ernie!

Last year my mother commented about how I used to get together with my high school buddies and play D&D.

Used to? We were still meeting twice a month for some pen & paper good times!

Later this year the 4th edition of the game will be released.

Brian Dale said...

Spent many hours with a group of friends playing pencil-and-paper D&D, years ago.

Farewell, Dungeon Master, and thanks...

Mark said...

*bounces D20*

... I'm so sorry. It's a 1.

Epic Fail.

*bows head, removes hat, does not apologise for wet eyes and face*

You left the world far richer than you found it, Gary Gygax. Thank you.

Valerian said...

Some of my favourite memories are of weekend all night games with a group of friends, too much junk food, the Dungeon Master's sugar (and power) crazed eyes rising over his screens, readying the next load of wandering monsters to throw at our weary band. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Mr Gygax.

Anonymous said...

He set my imagination free... and to this day it has not been recaptured...

Thank you, Milord Gygax!

tanksoldier said...

I bought the Blue Box basic D&D set in the mid-70s and never looked back. Looking forward to the 4th edition...

Cybrludite said...

Let us observe 1d4+1 minutes of silence at his passing...

Bryan said...

I picked up the AD&D habit in high school back in the early 80's. I haven't spent much time in the paper & pencil RPG world for a while, but I have fond memories of that world.

Thanks for the memories Mr. G.

BryanP

shooter said...

I claim his HP if no one wants them. RIP Ernie.

And to think all the time I lived in Wisconsin, he was right down the road always willing to play a game.

Stray-arc said...

I got my RPG career started on his original stuff (D&D). I never thought I would see that guy die. He was an original. He shall be missed by many.

Anonymous said...

When my son's home from college, he and a few friends from high school take over the family room - as they did in high school. My only rules have always been: no blood and no body parts. Oh, and be sure to let the dog out and in as needed.
Some of their pen and paper sessions went on for 36 hours.
OldeForce

Anonymous said...

E. Gary Gygax was only the *co*-author of the Dungeons & Dragons game system. When D&D hit the big time, Gygax desperately wanted to buy out Dave Arneson and make it look like only Gygax had come up with the system. And Gygax was definitely an egomaniac.

Gygax also tried to sue the Metro Detroit Gamers around 1980 because the MDG held a games convention in Detroit that Gygax felt was too close (date-wise) to Gygax's GenCon in Milwaukee. Gygax tried to get the MDG's cons canceled because he said that MDG was drawing paying customers away from his cons. Rubbish! Screw Gygax for trying to stifle his "competition."

Needless to say, after that episode, a lot of us in the Detroit area quit playing D&D and also boycotted TSR, which was Gygax's company. In fact, we in the MDG had two custom t-shirts printed then. One shirt had the TSR logo on it with a red circle and slash superimposed over the logo. The other shirt said "E. Coli eats s**t--so does E. Gary Gygax"!

Yeah--the Demons in Hell are awaiting E. Gary Gygax. Good riddance!

-- chicopanther

Jonas said...

I thought you would appreciate this, LawDog:
RIP, Gary

TBeck said...

Yeah, Gary's business acumen left a lot to be desired. You forgot about how he bankrupted another gaming company by selling it content that he worked on while still an employee of TSR.

And he really did try to screw Dave Arneson out of his share of credit.

And let's not forget his adversarial gaming style (save or DIE!).

But, he still helped launch a hobby that has now endured through generations. WoW wouldn't be wrecking marriages today if it wasn't for DnD.

Simeron said...

Well crap. *8(

Given I was on my back trying to convince the Almighty to give me a few more decades down here myself, I didn't know he passed on.

I suppose we all must face the man with the scythe (and no its not a sickle Ray..) someday...

Sure would have been nice to see him hang around a bit longer.

I believe he started out with a game called Chainmail and then moved to Tunnels and Trolls before the basic D&D and on.

He also had a game called Mythos I think for a time afterwards.

Farewell my friend I never met. You gave me (and many of us) far more then a pencil and paper game. You gave us worlds to explore in our hearts fantasy.