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Gary Gygax (1938-2008)

It's being reported all over the place that E. Gary Gygax, the co-creator of Dugeons & Dragons, died this morning at the age of 69.

Like many others, I found D&D to be a wonderful creative outlet. I started playing the game at a very young age, because I was fortunate enough to have an older brother who brought it home with him from high school. I remember playing the game with the original boxed set, before the advent of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons with the Player's Handbook and the Monster Manual. We had to use copies of Dragon magazine to supplement the rules.

I remember many afternoons of going to the Compleat Strategist on 33rd Street to buy gaming equipment – books, character sheets, and dice.

I remember the day the Dungeon Master's Guide came out, and how excited I was to finally hold a copy in my hands.

I fondly remember the two characters I played the most: Pureheart the Powerful, a Lawful Good paladin whose name I shamelessly stole from the Archie Comics superhero; and Mr. X, a thief whose origins were a mystery, even to himself.

I remember hours of bonding with others, regardless of age, over a gaming session. I remember how D&D led to me to discover Champions, and Boot Hill, and Top Secret, and Traveller. (My very first attempt at a professional submission was a new alien to the Journal of the Traveller's Aid Society.)

All of us dreamers should be grateful for Gary Gygax. He invented a way for us to harness the imagination, and to do it together.

Comments

D&D provided me with so many hours of enjoyment, and bonding with my gaming buddies (many of whom, sadly, I haven't seen in almost 10 years, as life took us to different places). Gygax's creation opened up a whole new way of play and imagination.

Some of my favorite characters did not come from my writing, but from D&D campaigns. In fact, Del Kytlar began life as a D&D mercenary, only to gain a new life as a science fiction character in some of my online writings, which led to people and editors asking me to write more original work.

May Gygax rest in peace.
Well put. My early teen years in the Philippines were seriously enriched once my friends introduced me to the TSR games, and then the ones that came tumbling after in their wake. When I came back stateside to GA I played occasionally but not a whole lot through high school (TMNT, mostly.) Even hung out with RPG artist Josh Timbrook back in the day--wish the guy had a web presence so I could say hey and catch up!

Since then my RPG itch has been scratched by PC games, which aren't quite the same as sitting around a table with friends drinking too much sugar and laughing like a pack of maniacs Sorry to see him go. :(

Aw. This makes me sad. As someone who only started playing RPGs a year ago, my appreciation is maybe not as deep in time as the rest of you. Nevertheless, I really appreciate his contribution. I know for freakydimension his childhood was profoundly influenced by D&D.
Oh my. You brought back my College years and some memories of very good friends hanging out till dawn, GAMING!!!!

I do miss it. Gary Gygax we'll miss you!
Sad news indeed. I came rather late to D&D, as I wasn't introduced to the concept of an RPG until I was in college. But once I started playing, it opened new worlds to me and I made lots of friends.

Gary Gygax changed the world.
I started playing D&D in high school, from the blue book. It was all about hack-and-slash and crawling through dungeons looking for loot. We didn't even ask about dungeon economics and monster ecology.

My most recent campaign (chronicled in ralph_dnd) was about storytelling, character arc, and, yeah, beating up monsters and taking their stuff -- but in a grander, epic context.

There were lots of fun times in between, but I enjoyed this last campaign best.
Heh, I still remember our very first D&D game with your brother in 7th grade, and him trying to explain things on the subway ride home. :-)
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