Gary Gygax has passed. RIP beloved father of RPG's. (merged)

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Iago Planetarius

First Post
I guess I shouldn't be surprised how sad I feel now.

Even though the path of life has only led me to play in just a few campaigns, D&D has been a big part of my life. Since the first time I perused my elder cousin's 1e MM, and then elatedly received the Red Box for Christmas, I've spent countless hours pondering the possibilities - both by myself, and with some of the coolest/weirdest/creativest/cleverest people alive.
To this day, some 25-ish years later, I still find myself mulling over adventures and characters, though they will likely never see the light of day; constantly seeking pen-and-paper groups in the far-flung lands I travel; and keeping abreast of all things RPG, if only as a quiet, distant ENWorld Lurker.


Just because it's the best fun imaginable.

So long, Mr. Gygax. Thanks for everything.


First Post
I can't say anything that has not already been said, but yet I feel the need to say it anyway.

I never met Gary in person, but yet I feel like I knew him anyway. His impact on my life as with others is immeasurable. When I was introduced to AD&D in 1981 at 18 in college, it was a truly life changing event. Here was an avenue to be creative, expressive, and was just a lot of fun all at the same time. I still have the most fond memories of those early games and friends. Those were up until then the best times of my life. Knowing they would not have existed but for this man is huge for me. I have had many fun times since then as well and am still thankful to him for his work.

When I came to EN World, I was dumbfounded to see that "THE" Gary Gygax was a poster here on this site, and not just a poster who put forth opinions or dissertations as he easily could have from "on high"; but rather actually did Q&A posts and talked to the regular gamer like just another regular gamer. This reinforced my already existing hero worship of this great man even more.

I will miss his posts, I will miss his humor, and even without meeting him in person I will miss him greatly! I wish his family all the best at this time and hope they are somehow comforted by the knowledge that he gave so much to so many.


Very sad news indeed!
A great man is no more. His legacy will live forever.

Fly away on the back of a mighty gold dragon to eternal rest, oh brave one!

Condolences to his familie and friends for their loss.


First Post
Sympathy from Bob Bledsaw

Dear Friends,

Gary and I have known each other practically all of our adult lives, and I have always held great admiration for his achievements. Beginning in 1975, we worked with phone calls and handshakes, and there were no contracts or lawyers, but the industry grew up around us and other people changed things. Yet, he and I remained friends throughout all the years, so I wish to say goodbye to one of the Great Leaders and the Hero of our industry... E Gary Gygax.

I send my deepest sympathy to his family and friends in this time of shadow.

Holding Many Fond Memories,

Bob Bledsaw

Via e-mail from his son, Bob Bledsaw Jr.


I really only knew him from the posts on ENWorld, and of course his AD&D stuff. But I feel shocked and very sad. I hadn't cried for a celebrity death since Freddie Mercury.

It's really hard to imagine how much he impacted the world as we know it, considering how much can be traced back to the roots of D&D. Besides AD&D and RPGs itself, I think he had a huge impact on the English language. Would words like "tome" really be in such common useage today if he hadn't used them?


First Post
Normally I wouldn't "me too" but Gary's death has affected me like so many others here. Like them, Gary changed the person I grew up to be, gave me friends and kept me entertained. I'm sure like many parents he must have been exasperated at times at the directions his offspring went in, but like a proud parent he remained always interested, always willing to offer advice. For all our differences, we are a lot alike, we gamers and we owe that to Gary.

My condolences to his family. I hope it helps them to know that Gary left behind a wider family, millions strong, who will always remember him.


Thank you Gary, for giving me a hobby that allowed me to be... me.

May you rest in peace, and condolences to your family.


Jeroen Klapwijk


Extradimensional Explorer
I'll just add my condolences to the list. I haven't been able to read all of it yet, but I think the length of this thread is a wonderful tribute.

Dragonmarked DM

First Post
R.I.P. to someone who changed a lot of lives for the better, and who's influence will be felt for many more generations to come. Anyone find it somehow appropriate that his passing fell on GM's Day. Kind of makes it seem like it should be a national holiday now.


First Post
I just found out about this today, and firstly I'd like to extend my thoughts and condolances to Gary's family and friends.

I can't count how many hours of enjoyment his creation has given me, and the fact that it will continue to do so, along with the number of friendships that I have forged over the gaming table, are the biggest compliments that I think I can pay to the man.

Thanks, Gary.


First Post
Steve Jackson, of SJGames, wrote a tribute to him in today's Daily Illuminator editorial:

March 5, 2008: Gary Gygax

Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons and a gaming icon for more than 30 years, died yesterday after repeated strokes and heart problems. He was 69.

Like the rest of my generation, I was introduced to roleplaying via Dungeons & Dragons because there wasn't anything else back then. My first, very lame, Dungeons & Dragons game was in college. Shortly after I became a (semi)professional and joined the Metagaming group, we started a D&D campaign, with Robert Taylor as the GM, and it was excellent. Decades later, I can still say that my biggest-ever thrill in roleplaying was when my first character got chainmail. No longer would I face certain death if I met an orc.

If not for Dungeons & Dragons, "adventure game" would still mean "cardboard chits on a hexmap." Which I love dearly, but would it ever have gotten out of the garage? And that's the least of it. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson didn't just remake a hobby. They impacted all of Western culture. Fantasy fiction would still be a backwater had not D&D built an audience and a new generation of writers. Lord of the Rings would be something taught in college English classes, not a blockbuster movie trilogy. And consider: The direct lineal descendant of D&D is Worlds of Warcraft, which is, all by itself, what? A billion-dollar business now?

For the last few years, roleplayers have celebrated March 4 as "GM's Day." And now it's the day when the best-known GM of all time put down his dice. Going forward, this should also be a particular date on which we recall Gary and his contributions.
-- Steve Jackson

Jackson's right. It's thanks to Gary Gygax that Fantasy became more then a small niche in fiction, and has shaped Western culture so much. We owe him a lot.


Condolences and sympathies to his family and friends. Tonight I raise a glass to Gary Gygax, in thanks for the entertainment, the friendship and the career I've enjoyed because of him.


First Post
A sad day at the passing of someone who most of us, probably, have never met yet touched our lives and thoughts.
I for one have been playing D&D for 25 years and still have a weekly session with great friends all of whom I have met through playing D&D.

What a legacy to leave behind, to have created so much enjoyment, to have taxed the minds, stretched the imagination and to brought together so many people as friends.

RIP Mr Gygax.


I'm very deeply shocked and saddened to hear of Gary's passing.

I never had the pleasure of meeting him in person but in the contact I did have with him via these boards and by e-mail, I found him incredibly approachable. I'm very glad now that I had the chance to return a tiny fraction of the pleasure he has brought me over 25 years of gaming when I informed him that "Dungeons and Dragons" (sic) had been accepted as an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary.

In Chinese and other Far Eastern cultures, they believe that you live as long as you're remembered. I think that Gary will live on in our hearts and minds for a very long time to come.

RIP, Gary.

Edit 1: Don't know if this has been posted yet but here's the obituary from the BBC site.

Edit 2:

----- Original Message -----

>To: <
>Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2003 3:26 AM
>Subject: D&D in Oxford English Dictionary!!

> Hi Gary!

> "Dungeons and Dragons" and "D and D" have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary. The additions were officially made 13 March '03. Here's the link:

> I don't know if they'll mention you by name. I hope they do. Even if they don't, congratulations are in order. You've joined the likes of J.R.R. Tolkien and Lewis Carroll as someone who's contributed to the English lexicon. Jolly well done! :~)

> All the best,

> Zander at EN World
>Alexander in real life

[Reply from Gary]
Greetings Alexander!

Whoa, and that's a surprising bit of news. Thanks for informing me:)

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First Post
I've been playing D&D since I was 11 years old when I got the red Basic set to keep me busy during a roadtrip from Texas to Idaho and back. That would be over two decades ago now. I started with that red box set and have been addicted ever since. Played through all of the editions between then and now and I currently sit here eagerly awaiting the 4th edition of the game which Gary helped to create so many years ago. To say that my life would be drastically different without it would be an understatement. And I would have many less friends in this life if not for the joy of that game which brought us together over the years.

Condolences to his family and friends.

RIP Dungeon Master. RIP Gary. May the next game you play be an even better one.


First Post
Melan posted this over on the Knight's and Knaves Alehouse, but I find to so true that I have to reiterate it here.

How many people could say that they impacted the lives of millions without bloodshed, political power or a global marketing machine - just a small game of gelatinous cubes, strange dice and 10' corridors? Gary did it just like this, and he did it out of his humble game room in Wisconsin. The context makes it all the more remarkable.

So true. I really can't think of anything more to say at the moment.

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