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

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Drowbane said:
So, last night I rolled 3d6 in order as a way of "geek tribute" for our beloved Father of the Game. My results... S:10, D: 17, C: 10, I: 13, W: 12, Ch: 10. I think I'll use these as either my first 4e character or to make my first ever OD&D character. Either way, Gary, this ones for you!

The original order, IIRC, was S, I, W, Dex, Con, Chr. So that would be:
Str 10
Int 17
Wis 10
Dex 13
Con 12
Chr 10
a typical Magic-User, which seems only appropriate. :)


First Post
The Giants Are Fading...

The giants are fading into twilight. Their days dwindle as the sun sets on their glorious era. To some it seems that just yesterday these giants – Gary Gygax being chief among them, but also Arneson, Bledsaw, Trampier, Sutherland, Willams, Otis, and their cirle of associates - burst upon the world and brought a new day in gaming and entertainment. Rooted in the ancient and essential human trait of storytelling, and utterly reliant upon firing the ember of imagination that lurks within us all, Dungeons & Dragons arose from a small core of wargaming enthusiasts to usher in a new concept of interactive entertainment. Not satisfied with the status quo where entertainment was devised by the few and thrown at the masses to be digested and appreciated passively ‘as is’, these giants forged a venue where imagination, cooperative problem-solving, and human interaction, set within a framework of rules, would allow for entertainment created as much by the individual participants as by those who owned the license or published the retail products.

Almost immediately their spark took flame, and spread across the world as wide-eyed men and women soaked in the early concepts, images, places and characters which have now become legend: The Monster Manual, The Players Handbook, The Dungeon Masters Guide, The City State of the Invincible Overlord, The Keep on the Borderlands, The Tomb of Horrors, Greyhawk, Blackmoor, Tegel Manor, Dark Tower, the ‘Descent’ series, the ‘Giants’ series, The Village of Hommlet, and on and on and so it went. And these new, eager fans took the idea and ran with it, begetting the next generation of adventure and excitement: the ‘Slavers’ series, Dragonlance, Dark Sun,2nd Edtion, The Underdark, Forgotton Realms, Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, and on to 3rd Edition and D20 (Wizards of the Coast, the ‘Illithid’ series, EN World, Goodman Games, Troll Lord Games, Necromancer Games, Green Ronin, Paizo, etc,). And though the original genre for this concept was narrow (medieval fantasy), the idea was quickly adapted across genres such as science fiction, old west, modern civilization, and comicbook super heros (to name a few). Be assured, also, that Dungeons & Dragons served as a catalyst to launch the interactive video gaming industry.

For a window on the early days of Dungeons and Dragons, you need only go back and read the Prefaces from the AD&D Players Handbook (1978) and Dungeon Masters Guide (1979). These treasured passages relate some of the evolution of the game up that point, and they also set forth some of the guiding principles which Mr. Gygax hoped would carry forward with the evolution of the hobby. Through the simple candor and eloquence of Gary Gygax’s words, you may come to know the names of those who founded this movement, and you may also glean some of the significance of the moment.

The giants who developed Dungeons & Dragons (and with it the collaborative interactive gaming concept) have inspired thousands of minds in countries all around the world, and the game that they created has led to untold hours of enjoyment for over thirty years. They cut loose the shackles of limitation which had previously bound entertainment such that interaction is now the rule of the day and the key to the future. And though sadly they begin to fade, their twilight upon us, we walk upon the eternal bones of the fantastic worlds they imagined, we bask in the sunlight of the limitless ideas which they inspired, we breathe the air of freedom and inclusion which they refused to compromise, and we honor the balance which they steadfastly maintained: that while this pastime is entertaining, limitless, and belongs to each of us individually to make of it what we wish to, it is merely a game - a thing to be enjoyed, but which cannot replace the importance of life, family, home, friends, career, religion, community and country.

Some of the giants have already passed: Mr. Gygax and Mr. Sutherland among them. And Bob Bledsaw now faces a grave and serious illness. I sincerely hope that he recovers, and that the other remaining giants of this game/hobby/industry live long and happy lives for years to come. But certainly Gary Gygax’s death has brought home to me the idea that we witness the passing of an age. The torch has assuredly passed to subsequent generations to forge ahead as we may. Will the idea that entertainment can and should be collaborative and interactive, that participants can and should shape and mold their experiences rather than passively absorbing the ideas thrown at them by others, survive and thrive? Though technology and the internet serve as tools to enrich and expand interactive entertainment, they also pose grave peril to the guiding principals which made this movement what it is. The internet threatens to detach the critical human interaction which lies at the core of what is essentially an evolved form of storytelling, and technology threatens to squelch rather than fuel the imaginations of those who participate. For those of us who wish to perpetuate this game, this hobby, this industry, it is up to us to find a way to better market this idea to new participants of all cultures and age groups, and to ensure that the essential facets which made this pastime so memorable and enjoyable are not lost amid the waves of technology, corporate profiteering, and a misplaced obsession with rule-related minutia.

Amid the coverage of Mr. Gygax’s passing this week there have been many tired, stereotypical articles about how Dungeons & Dragons is a game played stricly by “nerds” and “geeks”. And there have also been some pronouncements of the death of the hobby as pen and paper gatherings give way to the online experience. Well, those of us who have any love for this game, hobby, or industry have a task ahead of us. We can let ‘them’ be right: we can remove the critical live human interaction that was/is/must be the soul of the game, and we can continue to mis-market the game so that it continues to be adapted only by an ever narrowing demographic which, unfortunately, lends substantially to the wider population’s mean-spirited dismissal of Dungeons & Dragons as a “pastime for geeks”. Or we can advance the game by listening to the words of Gary Gygax (as quoted in the recent New York Times Obituary): “The essence of a role-playing game is that it is a group, cooperative experience…There is no winning or losing, but rather the value is in the experience of imagining yourself as a character in whatever genre you’re involved in”. And in regard to online gaming: “There is no intimacy; it’s not live..It’s being translated through a computer, and your imagination is not there the same way it is when you’re actually together with a group of people.” According to the New York Times, Gary was “adamant that the game’s most important rule was to have fun and to enjoy the social experience of creating collaborative entertainment.” Now when you put it that way, it doesn’t sound very “geeky”, does it?

I hope that the team of people at Hasbro who are currently entrusted with the D&D brand use this moment of reflection to launch a new crusade to market Dungeons & Dragons to a new and wider audience, as well as to rejuvinate and encourage the spread of live pen and paper gatherings which make the D&D experience what it should be. And I hope that Hasbro will collaborate and partner with the independent publishing industry, because in so doing, the “pond” is expanded for all, the industry’s growth will be stronger, and all can prosper. I hope that the Paizos and Troll Lords and Necromancers and Goodmans out there will continue to put their heart and soul into producing quality products which advance the spirit of the game that the founders envisioned. And I hope that the role-playing gaming community in general finds ways to bring in more participants and to encourage more live gaming sessions while continuing to support the industry.

I join the entire industry and millions of fans in expressing my sorrow at Mr. Gygax’s passing, and my gratitude for his work. I will never forget the impact that his writings had on my imagination, and the many hours of great fun I’ve had experiencing the game, the setting, and the adventures that he created. I will always be grateful.

-Steve S.
Co-Author "Citadel of Fire"


First Post
Pardon the duplication if this has already been highlighted elsewhere...

An excerpt from a GameSpy interview with Gary in August 2004:

GameSpy: Last question. I hope this doesn't sound morbid, but what would you like to have written on your tombstone? How do you want the world to remember you?

Gygax: I was gonna say, "Better here than Philadelphia," but I think somebody already did that. [Laughs] I would like the world to remember me as the guy who really enjoyed playing games and sharing his knowledge and his fun pastimes with everybody else.

Mission Accomplished Mr. Gygax.


Deuce Traveler

I've been holding off on posting because I haven't been clear about what I wanted to say. I never met Gary, although I did have a plane ticket last summer to Chicago with the intent of visiting Lake Geneva and meeting the great one last summer. I then thought about going to the Troll Lords convention in early January. I missed out on both of those due to family and monetary concerns, but was intent on visiting this summer, hell or high water. Now I'll never meet my idol, but I don't have regrets about my previous decisions since they were the right call at the time. I still wish I could have met him, but I appreciate everything he has done for me on the boards and in business. He's the one that got the ball moving when I went to sell Troll Lords products at a military base in Germany a year and a half ago. I was able to sell both boxes of the Castles and Crusades and Lejendary Adventures in two days, often by talking about Gary. :)

So rest in peace, Col Pladoh. I'm glad that if I did not meet you like I had hoped, that I at least got to converse with you here. And thank you for the game that has meant so much to me, my friends, and my family. I celebrated your life last week with my best friend and his 8-year old son by breaking out the red box and going through Quasqueton. Next up is the Palace of the Silver Princess, and when his son is just a bit older we plan to go through your own Temple of Elemental Evil. So thanks once more. I will think of you often.


Over a month has passed since he left us.

I find, knowing Gary, it hurts more when you find yourself starting to write a note to him like you would do every week, or when you wonder when the next article you want to review and comment on will be published. Or when he'd give you advice on something in your life.

Time should heal all wounds. But it will take a while.


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