March 4 2008 4:05 PM EST
Gary Gygax, who co-created the fantasy game Dungeons & Dragons and helped start the role-playing phenomenon, died Tuesday morning at his home in Lake Geneva. He was 69.
I remember my college days, the weekly D & D games at the student center.
Hail Gary!!! indeed...It's a big loss to the gaming world.
March 4 2008 4:07 PM EST
We can only hope that he is now in a realm of fantasy equaling his own creation...
when i was playing ddo, he did voice-overs for some of the quests. it was a special gaming moment for me.
he was definitely an icon and will be missed.
Very sad time for gamers everywhere... Hail Gary... We will miss you and the Genre you helped creat!
Brent, put something respectful in RPGBot for Gary. Question or a quote, seems only proper.
on a side note: a music legend
Jeff Healey dead at 41 on the eve of the release of his new album
Novice, your picture rocks. xD
I'll miss the guy and I never played DnD myself... watched it often, though.
Hail Gary! Your DnD creation has created such good times for me and my friends, we will pay tribute to you next session... because you rocked our worlds
Wow... just... wow....
I had no idea he was that old.. Somehow I envisioned him as 40 for life :)
you know the more I think about it, the more I realize how great this guy is, and how much he changed the world of gaming. He is the father of the RPG, coining the terms of classes and lvling, he created a game that brings an old sense of story telling and interaction that online games will never replicate. He is a special man, and I hope he will forever live in his beautiful dreams.
Can't think of anyone better than Monte Cook to express this:
Gary Gygax (1938-2008)
If you're reading this on this website, you don't need me to tell you who Gary Gygax is, or to list all of his amazing accomplishments. In fact, it's not hyperbole to say that, if it weren't for Gary, you wouldn't be reading this, and this website would not exist.
I had been introduced to Dungeons & Dragons through the original boxed set, but I did not own it. When I went to the bookstore to buy my own copy, the only D&D product they had was the 1st Edition AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide.
I remember that day like it was yesterday, even though it was thirty years ago. I was babysitting my nephew, which was a cinch job because he was very little and slept all day. So I spent that Saturday afternoon reading my new book and was awestruck. I can still reclaim that feeling just by opening up that book today. That Dungeon Master's Guide was arcane, complex, and wonderfully imaginative. It was immersive and sophisticated and inspiring.
I didn't realize it at the time, because I had no context for it, but it was pure Gary.
From that day forward, I knew that being a DM was for me. Soon after, I started a game that I'll never forget. I owe all my oldest friends to that game. It sustained me all through high school and set me upon the path of being a game designer myself.
Eventually, I ended up at TSR, the company Gary helped start, working on the game he co-created. It was a thrilling time. But even better, I met a wonderful editor there named Sue and we fell in love. Our wedding, with its castle-shaped cake, was attended largely by our coworkers and friends from TSR.
While working on 3rd Edition D&D, perhaps one of my proudest moments was when we received feedback from Gary on our new version of his game. He said nice things, and in particular praised the Dungeon Master's Guide with warm, generous words. I felt as though my life had just completed some sort of important arc. To this day, it meant more than I can express, because in some way I am still, and always will be, that ten-year-old boy lost in the intricacies and wonder of Gary's DMG.
Unlike many people I know, I cannot say that today I have lost a friend. Those who can, however, speak of a man of great wit, warmth, and fun. Gary and I met a few times, but always in a professional context. He was always good to me, when a lesser man would have scoffed and belittled the young upstart that I was. He held the door open for me and for other RPG designers who came after him. He beckoned us in with a nod and a knowing smile. I sincerely wish I had known Gary the person better. But I knew Gary the game designer very well.
Early in my career, as a young intern at Iron Crown Enterprises, I remember saying, "Shouldn't we all be giving back to Gary Gygax on some level?" It seemed to me that every person playing any roleplaying game owed the man some thanks, and surely the people making their living on it owed him more than that. I was, of course, told that I was being silly and naive, and perhaps I was. But that doesn't mean I wasn't also right. (I was glad, years later at Wizards of the Coast, that the company worked things out financially with Gary. Although I don't know the details, it meant that on some level, some portion of my work's proceeds was going to the man who started it all.) But more than that, I have decided to make a contribution in Gary's name to a literacy charity (Firstbook) to help inspire young readers the way he inspired me.
In addition to my friends and career, I am indebted to Gary for my love of words, particularly old words. I owe him for my sense of wonder and love of all things imaginative. With his help, I have traveled to unknown lands. I have created unknown lands.
The hours of fun, escape, and wonder given to me by Gary's work add up to weeks, probably months. I couldn't possibly come up with a complete list, but I am compelled to mention at least Vault of the Drow, Tomb of Horrors, Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl, Village of Hommlet, Expedition to the Barrier Peaks. . . the list is made up of awe-inspiring titles that roll off any gamer's tongue like familiar friends. So. Much. Fun.
As gamers, we sometimes fall into the trap of taking something that means so much to us personally -- like the very rules of the game we play each week -- and forgetting that someone actually labored over that creation. I think it just seems too big for us to take in. Do we all realize the monumental nature of what Gary Gygax helped create? It wasn't just another game, it was an entirely new pastime enjoyed by millions. An entirely new category of game (and, if you boil them down to their essence, there are only a handful of such categories). The foundation of his creations gave new life to fantasy fiction and spawned computer gaming as we know it. It's difficult to fully grasp all the ramifications of his work in our lives.
We are lessened by Gary Gygax's absence, but we are all the better for his creativity, his generosity, and his hard work.
March 11 2008 12:12 PM EDT
I very rarely (if ever) look in the Off-Topic forums, but today I am glad I did.
That post you found NS is epic. I had no idea that Gary Gygax passed away.
My and friends and I may be some of the last people who get together on Sundays (outside of Football Season) and play D&D (3rd edition). I have played Dungeons and Dragons from 1st edition and on.
Anyone remember 1st edition? Where you could pick from a fighter, cleric, elf, mage, or thief? I may be missing some, but there no races! You could either be a mage or an elf?! LOL Hilarious!
Then there was 2nd edition. THAC0... I'm pretty sure the game inventors didn't even know what that was. In retrospect I believe it was "To-Hit-Armor-Class-Zero". Needless to say, it was so confusing that people were rolling dice and making up a result.
When 3rd edition came out, it renewed my love for D&D and paper and pencil RPG's. Collectively, my group and friends and I have invested probably four-figures of USD into books and continue to make new adventures! And with our hundreds of dollars invested into books and whatnot now comes 4th edition!
4th edition?! It is great to know that the legacy of D&D continues to expand and develop.
RIP Gary Gygax, your gifts to world will forever be appreciated.
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