“Dungeons & Dragons” co-creator Gary Gygax fails his saving throw.

And another part of my childhood passes away:

Dungeons & Dragons co-creator dies at 69 – Yahoo! News

MILWAUKEE – 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.

He had been suffering from health problems for several years, including an abdominal aneurysm, said his wife, Gail Gygax.

Gygax and Dave Arneson developed Dungeons & Dragons in 1974 using medieval characters and mythical creatures. The game known for its oddly shaped dice became a hit, particularly among teenage boys, and eventually was turned into video games, books and movies.

I’ve not played D&D for years, but I spent years in my teens and early 20’s playing it along with a host of other pen and paper RPGs. I have many fond memories of hanging out with Bill, Bob, Tom, Mark, Daryl, Dan, and Herb rolling dice and consuming vast quantities of pizza and pop and arguing over rule interpretations. Probably explains my addiction to video games like World of Warcraft which is, in many ways, a pale imitation of those older days.

And, yes, I realize the title for this entry is a really bad joke, but you know I had to use it.

14 thoughts on ““Dungeons & Dragons” co-creator Gary Gygax fails his saving throw.

  1. I tried Les, I used my Cleric’s resurrection spell, but the percentile roll was just too low.  Knocked my cleric out for days….

    He will be missed.

  2. He was already more “Epic” than “actual” by the time I got into pen & paper, but yeah – what would our youths have been without all those great times! For me, game-mastering was one of the first steps out of a pretty shy shell (even – or maye especially – if they are your friends, “mastering” players takes some skill an wink

  3. I had an interesting conversation with him a while back about gaming. Considering the delinquents and flat-out criminals (seriously, one guy killed his ex-wife, and another’s in prison for armed assault) that I’ve gamed with in the past, Gary didn’t like my counterpoint to the “D&D;teaches kids to read and everyone turns out to be lawyers, engineers, and schoolteachers” vibe he liked to get into. I admired the fact he was attached to the game he helped create enough to get riled about the facts I was tossing into the pile even decades after he stopped having day-to-day input, and he was very gentlemanly about telling me to shut up. 😀 I have trouble putting anyone up on a pedestal (which probably went a long way in establishing my atheism), but he seemed like a genuine enough old man and I really think he contributed a lot to many hobbies and entertainment beyond “simply” D&D;.

  4. Gary Gygax helped start the gaming revolution.
    He will be missed

    I started gaming with my first set of Basic D&D;in 1979.  I believe that the game fueled my imagination, and that helped me grow to where I am today, …imagine everytime one pictures the seen that the DM created…that person can thank
    Gygax..

    but I also learned how to wargame…Back in 1981, my father played wargames with a group of maninly, military members, on Andrews Air Force base, and brought me along to become involved. “Tractics” for WW2 to modern wargaming, was my favorite, because it brought painted miniatures, and terrain out that made the game look like a real battle…and it was made by that guy who made D&D;….

    Gygax also added to historical miniature gaming.
    He helped create one of the quintessential, and well researched wargames “Tractics” back at about the same time D&D;was created.  This game is still referred to and used anocdotally by miniature games, and gamers. 

    When I look at my hordes of Fantasy minitures, or my props and medieval terrain, or my WW2 painted tanks and soldiers, I have to think of people like Gary, that helped get not only the RPG, and wargaming hobbies to where they are today….

    I hope we find many d20s on his tombstone…..if I am ever in the area I will put down one of my own, 20 facing up of course.

    Duane Cunningham
    SMG (SouthFlorida Miniture Gamers)

  5. Damn- the one board I could have done the ‘resurrect’ joke and someone beat me to it.

    Yes, he made RPGs big, and he effectively started the whole genre, but D&D;is like Pong- influential, but who plays it now.  I have nothing against him as a person, and my sympathy to his family, but I want to diovorce the man’ from the ‘myth’.  For history he had a lot to answer for. Triple barrelled names for pole arms, and (shudder) putting the word CHAINMAIL into general usage. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS CHAINMAIL. And the combat system is basically crap.

  6. I met my husband thru RPGs, D&D;among them.  We met thru Vampire: The Gathering, got to know each other thru Warhammer 40K, fell in love with D&D;, and the rest is history.  Since then he started his own game company, lost said game company, got a degree in computer game design, and is now in the interview process for a handful of companies.  If it wasn’t for RPGs, Dave and I might have been just two geeks who passed in the night.

    I can’t help but think of my favorite gamer t-shirt: Jesus saves – and takes half damage!!!  (almost as good: a pair of percentiles with the phrase: ‘Cause that’s how I roll.)

  7. Jesus saves – and takes half damage!!! 

    ROFL.  There’s a QR table for wargamers
    In cover +1
    Dug in +2
    Moved this turn -2
    Messiah +50

  8. /sigh- woe to nerds alike- the creator has fallen.  I was going to make an “animate dead” joke here, talking about “needing some black onyx gems” but it’s a little out of line.  At any rate- sadness indeed.  The day i type this i am going to play some D&D;3.5- and i will dedicate my cleric of olidimara’s actions (most likely drinking boosing, and pretty much causing chaos) to him. May the d20 always be with him!

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