Darren Waters

Farewell Gary Gygax - the Dungeon Master

  • Darren Waters
  • 4 Mar 08, 19:19 GMT

Sad news: Gary Gygax, the co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons, has died, according to reports in the US.

Gary GygaxHis creation - together with Dave Arneson - was an inspiration to millions and I spent many happy years rolling the dice with friends in search of a miscellaneous magic items.

I had the chance to speak with him on the 30th anniversary of D&D a few years back and it was a pleasure.

An estimated 20 million people worldwide have played D&D, with more than $1bn spent on game equipment and books.

"I thought we would sell about 50,000 copies," Gary Gygax told me back in 2004.

Without the creation of D&D, the video game landscape would be very different indeed. Would World of Warcraft be the global hit it is today, for example?

Time to dig out those rule books, I think.


  • 1.
  • At 08:08 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Jong-Won Kim wrote:

These are sad news. Thanks to his wonderful creation, I've met countless friends and enjoyed great adventures.

The world also owes him much: Games like World of Warcraft or Final Fantasy would not exist without Gygax.

He will be missed.

  • 2.
  • At 08:08 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Robin wrote:

I don't think it is an exaggeration to say that Gary Gygax influenced a massive chunk of popular culture, in addition to creating the most social form of gaming ever devised. His name may not be well known outside the Roleplaying community, but his influence stretches far.

  • 3.
  • At 08:54 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • chris wrote:

This man, has touched the lives of many, with his games bringing enjoyment to all who played.

His influence in the games we play today cannot be understated.

A true gentleman.

He will be missed greatly by all who knew him or knew of him.

Sigh....without him there'd be no MMORPGs. Lord of the Rings was a massive literary hit but, D&D was something else again, instead of war games, folk could *roleplay* as heroes.

Bet you, 500 years from now, he'll be regarded in the same light as Shakespeare, when MMORPGs will be *the* favoured form of entertainment ;)

D&D gave my life a heck of a lot of fun and pleasure in dark times. I owe you a pint or two!

*salute* mr Gygax, you rolled a "1" a at last on a saving throw, but I bet you can picklock the Pearly Gates ;)

  • 5.
  • At 09:12 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Mike wrote:

I am deeply saddened by the news - Gary you will be missed. Without you, my life would have been SO very different, and lacking in so much wonder, imagination & magic as a result. The Godfather of role playing has left us. Rest easy, Zagyg.

  • 6.
  • At 09:29 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Chris S wrote:

A very sad loss. I was VERY lucky to have played a game with him as GM at GenCon a few years ago. I still play every Friday night with a great group of friends. The last 30 years gaming have been great fun ...

Gary, we raise our glasses to you. May your dice roll well...

  • 7.
  • At 09:31 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Kamyn wrote:

Thanx for all the memories, god speed.

  • 8.
  • At 09:41 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Barry Cox wrote:

(kneels before the fallen)

Thank you for a lot of things, the games, the fun, the companionship, the exp....... so many things.

Farewell Gary.

The DM has died.

Rest in peace, weary adventurer. The tavern awaits.

  • 10.
  • At 10:06 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • conal wrote:

Thank you Mr Gygax.

The Party discovered treasure.

  • 11.
  • At 10:07 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • david picalila wrote:

I'd have to say Ad&d is the best game I ever played and I've been a gamer for over 20 yrs. the game that he created w/ dave arneson will be enjoyed by gamers for hundreds of years to come. A good man passed away today..

  • 12.
  • At 10:09 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Lucky Luciano wrote:

Wow. Sad indeed. RIP

Sad news indeed. RIP Gary.

  • 14.
  • At 10:22 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • ablackstormy wrote:

RIP, DM#1.

Our dice gleam less brightly today.

  • 15.
  • At 10:23 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Andy Pellew wrote:

Sad news ...

I met most of my friends, certainly the ones I'm closed to, because of games he either designed or inspired. I met my wife-to-be when I joined a new roleplaying group.

The world just became a little smaller.

  • 16.
  • At 10:42 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Doug wrote:

Rest in peace Gary.

I still have a photocopy (with the strange grey and glossy print quality of the relevant technology) of the original TSR D&D rules. The copy was from roughly 1974 and was revolutionary for us keen game players. For a couple of years we switched from poker and bridge to D&D at our weekly sessions. Earlier attempts at the same idea in which I was involved were mainly based on a literary (ie write a story) rather than a codified game play approach pioneered by D&D. Gary Gygax (an exotic name for us provincial Brits at the time) was an important source of inspiration and should be properly remembered.

  • 18.
  • At 11:14 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Keith Edwards wrote:

There's an empty chair at the table today. Farewell Gary. Thank you for a great time. You will be missed.

  • 19.
  • At 11:17 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Eric Stone wrote:

Dear BBC,

I was fascinated by Dungeons & Dragons from an early age, and mowed many lawns to earn money to purchase more books. Gary Gygax was one of my childhood heroes. He will be sorely missed! My condolences to his family.

Eric Stone
Chicago, IL

  • 20.
  • At 11:19 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Tom wrote:

My father and I started playing D&D when I was in college back in the late 70's and now my son is doing likewise with his college friends. It's a rare thing for a single person to touch so many lives across multiple generations.

  • 21.
  • At 11:22 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Allen wrote:

From the bottom of my heart, thank you Mr Gygax.

  • 22.
  • At 11:37 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • bret branon wrote:

The man is gone.
The adventures he gave us, live on within us all.

We will miss you Gary Gygax.

Thank you so very much for everything.

bret branon.

  • 23.
  • At 11:40 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • A Foster wrote:

Sadly Missed. :(

Am now a parent, and playing WoW, but spent many happy years playing D&D, reading the Livingstone/Jackson D&D inspired books, playing Dungeon Master, and painting the figurines. The master of escapism.. I agree... would any of it be here without D&D?

I still have my original dice and boardgames. I might dust them off an have another look, for old times sake.

  • 24.
  • At 11:51 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Pookie wrote:

Gary Gygax -- Roll in Peace.
His contribution to geek culture, to the fantasy genre, and to both the roleplaying hobby and the computer games industry is immeasurable.

  • 25.
  • At 11:55 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Neil M wrote:

It's not just WoW that was inspired by D&D, but a whole range of gamebooks (such as the Fighting Fantasy series), role playing games (e.g. Warhammer), trading card games (most famously Magic the Gathering) and the odd TV show too (Knightmare, anyone?)

This man was as important to the fantasy genre as fellow unsung hero Tim Berners-Lee has been to the internet.


Gary finally ran out of hitpoints. Sad to see the guy go. Next game I run will have a minute's silence.

  • 27.
  • At 12:07 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Terry Nutkins wrote:

I'm sure he has his level three mace with him in the afterlife - and a shiny set of new dice!

  • 28.
  • At 12:08 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Pookie wrote:

Gary Gygax -- Roll in Peace.
His contribution to geek culture, to the fantasy genre, and to both the roleplaying hobby and the computer games industry is immeasurable.

  • 29.
  • At 12:10 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • David wrote:

The passing of an icon...its a very sad day for those of us who were inspired to new heights of creativity by the product of this man's creative genius. The D.M. has left the table, indeed. :-(

  • 30.
  • At 12:10 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Mike Dymond wrote:

He will be missed. I had the pleasure of meeting him at Gencon a few years ago and he did not disappoint. Now he has rolled his final d20 and it has come up 1.

  • 31.
  • At 12:14 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Liam McCauley wrote:

Very sad indeed. I shall miss his Q&A threads on

The world is a little less brighter now. I can not express how much of an influence the game has had on my life. The friends i have made and the people i have met over the years are numerous thanks to the writings of THE DUNGEON MASTER.

  • 33.
  • At 12:23 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • David Witts wrote:

Thanks for the piece, Darren & thoughts over to his family and close friends. Sad news indeed. :/
Not that he ever forgot his wider circle of "friends", too, since up until a few days ago he was visible day-to-day and socialising/discussing with all of us he'd gathered together through that socio-cultural phenomenon.

Yes, there would have been roleplaying of both the pen-and-paper and computer-based types in 2008, but it's impossible to know in quite what way those would have been different without EGG. Have to make do with the current reality, I guess. ;)

Already have the rule books out here, but time to dig out the original maps Gary's own characters played on back in 1972/3. Rumor has it there's a dragon on the tenth level and he's overstayed his welcome...

Best wishes & +1 to save,

  • 34.
  • At 12:24 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Bb the Barbarian wrote:

Absolutely agree. I still have my AD&D rulebooks; not used for 20 years but so many happy memories; offered a bright shining escape from dull provincial teen years. Now complete WoW addict and Badgerbob lives again! ;-)

  • 35.
  • At 12:25 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Pieter Westbroek wrote:

Not only would World of Warcraft not be a hit it would not even exist. All fantasy RPG and strategy games owe their lineage to the grandfather of them all D&D.

Sure there was fantasy before D&D, fantasy which D&D itself drew on. However, D&D put the rules in place and made fantasy a gaming pastime.

When you begin to think of the spinoffs from D&D it truly is humbling how far reaching its impact is and was.

RIP Gary Gygax

Tonight I lift a pint in your honour!

  • 36.
  • At 12:32 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Gavin wrote:

I remember a few years back I ran a website that specialised in online gaming, specifically Never Winter Nights which was derived from DnD.

I had an idea to interview Gary Gygax for the site, and suprisingly he was more than willing. Sadly the interview never got published but I keep a copy of it for my self.

A very nice humerous and vastly intellectual man.

  • 37.
  • At 12:37 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Barry Cox wrote:

Farewell to a legend.

Thank you Gary for all that you gave. Without you my childhood would have been ... tedious.

Sleep well old friend.

Roll that D20 once more.

The DM is dead.
Long live the DM.

  • 38.
  • At 12:56 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Chris Romer wrote:

What people might not realise is that D&D inspired a whole hobby of roleplaying games, covering dozens of genres and thousands of different game systems, with millions of gamers worldwide, and a multi-million dollar industry. Not just kids stuff, rpg gamers are often now in their 30's but run the whole spectrum of ages, from teens to old age pensioner. E.Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson did not just create a single geeky fantasy game, but a whole hobby, and industry, and for gaming authors like me, a lifestyle. Our debt to him is incredible for his vision and enterprise for creating a whole new type of leisure activity.

God bless Gary's family at this time.
Rest in peace, E.Gary Gygax


  • 39.
  • At 12:59 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Thomas Jack Brown wrote:

I am deeply saddened by the passing of a literary, mathematical and inventive genius as Gary Gygax, especially since the release of 4th edition D&D is coming out so soon, it would have been nice if he had made it to then. Will always remember him in the episode of Futurama it was a **rolls dice** pleasure to have him in our world.

  • 40.
  • At 01:09 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Talwyn wrote:

Today's gaming industry owes a huge debt to Gary and his wonderful creation of Dungeons & Dragons.

The world seems a little less magical now that Gary has failed his final saving throw.

  • 41.
  • At 01:14 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Rian wrote:

A sad day for gamers everywhere. Farewell Mr. Gygax and thank you.

  • 42.
  • At 01:27 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Tim wrote:

I grew up on D&D. I started playing. Then I DMed. Then I wrote my own world. If it wasn't for Gary, there's a lot of friends that I have now that I just wouldn't. The world is a lesser place for gamers everywhere today.

I started playing D&D in 1978, and have played practically every week since (sometimes more than once). In fact, my involvement in Dungeons & Dragons has lasted longer than all of my relationships put together. In the busy hustle of jobs, families and endless responsibilities, D&D has been a constant source of entertainment and constitutes (this may be sad) most of my social life.
My thanks to Gary Gygax...D&D will never be the same.

  • 44.
  • At 02:07 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Brad Jacobs wrote:

:( The DM of DMs is no longer with us.

  • 45.
  • At 02:38 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Irene wrote:

Thanks for starting it all, Mr. Gygax. Rest in Peace.

  • 46.
  • At 03:44 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Terez wrote:

Here is to a man that sparked the imaginations of countless outcasts, and closet outcasts. Salute!

  • 47.
  • At 04:10 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Scott wrote:

Sad, the farther of RPG's gaming is gone.

It was a chance meeting that gave us friendship. It was you who inspired so much and made us Champions. As one of the 4 Steve's I post this to remind us all how much of a friend, creator, mentor and general DM you were. You leave us, but I'll role my constitution and stand for another day. May the lights guide your path and may your family relish the man you were for the time you spent to give so many a childhood that never ended.

  • 49.
  • At 05:24 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Harun Rashid Bhaijee wrote:

A loss to the role playing world and I'm (rolls a d20)sad to see him go.


  • 50.
  • At 07:18 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Roger wrote:

He will long be remembered as a great innovator and creator. A truly awesome intellect and a man who has given pleasure to millions.

  • 51.
  • At 07:50 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Phil Fenerty wrote:

Gary was active on a number of RPG Forum boards: his posts were a
delight to read, marked with a joie de vivre and a love of games (not
just RPG's). He answered some of my impertinant queries with wit and
aplomb and never seemed irked at my trivialities.

I know he had health problems over the last few years which slowed him
down, but he seemed to be making a recovery. Seems as if his dice have
fallen silent.

  • 52.
  • At 08:33 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Mark Dawson wrote:

It's a sad day, what a fantastic mind this man had to invent a game that allowed peoples Tolkienesk fantasies to come to life. From this man's game I’ve met many a good friend, I will have life long memories of slaying dragons, casting spells, and dethroning tyrannical wizards well in to the mists of the early morning.

Many, many thanks.

  • 53.
  • At 08:55 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Steve B wrote:

I was fortunate to be one of the very first players of D&D in the UK (grey imports notwithstanding) as a friend of my parents worked at the UK printers of the first D&D products released here. Sometime in the mid-70's, I think.
Anyway, he gave me a D&D starter set from the first print run which had some printing errors (some of the printing was out of register) and was to be pulped, as he thought a young man with an active imagination would find it interesting. How true!

Within a few months we had a club, which became a 'Guild', and thanks to some very imaginative DM-ing by a couple of the guys involved we had some fantastic fun, reaching a pinnacle with a real-time 24hr dungeon over a weekend. After that, it was full-on roleplay with rubber swords and full armour... oops, didn't mean to mention that.

Thanks Gary, never forgotten.

  • 54.
  • At 09:12 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Chaotic Good wrote:

Not played for years, but must have racked up hundreds of hours in my time, including mamouth weekenders where a group of us played 12 hour sessions and slept by the table.

My kids read the Monster Manuals now- they're instantly accessible to today's children as pokemon, yu-gi-oh etc owe a lot to D&D.

R.I.P. Gary Gygax.

Good point about World of Warcraft, and RPG's in general in fact. D&D was the great grandaddy of RPG mechanics just as Tolkien was for many games' fantasy lore.

It's quite staggering how close to the original rules games like World of Warcraft are - it goes to show just how well designed the original ruleset was.


  • 56.
  • At 09:48 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Lee Hadley wrote:

A sad sad loss for the Gaming/Roleplaying community. D&D has been a constant friend in my life for over 20 years and still delights as much as it did the first time I rolled up a new character.

69 is too young for such an icon.

RIP Garry Gygax, father of D&D

  • 57.
  • At 09:52 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • John wrote:

I am gutted.

I don't class myself as a 'roleplayer' but it has played such a huge part in my leisure time over the last 20 years.

It was social, articulate, co-operative and (important when you're 12) Free once you'd bought the books.

Thanks Gary! You've left a huge legacy would be a better world if kids rolled dice instead of lurking on street corners.

  • 58.
  • At 09:57 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Sarah Coughlin wrote:

Started playing with my boyfriend 1984, now my husband, and still play everyday. Next dungeon hero will adventure with a sad heart. Will miss your genius. GG. Thanks for the hundreds of hours of fun and complete absoption you have given us.
RIP. Gary Gygax.

  • 59.
  • At 10:45 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Steve wrote:

Been playing D&D since a kid (25+ years), and Live Role Play for about 8 years since. Met my wife at a role-play event, and now have a beautiful daughter - all due to Gary's wonderful invention.

RPGs are, to me, a salve for many ills in this world. If every family sat down and RPd together once a week, the world would be a more understanding, pleasant place to live.

Best wishes and condolences to the family. It may be small comfort, but Gary's invention brought joy and happiness to millions.

  • 60.
  • At 10:54 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Brian wrote:

Mr Gygax will be sorely missed. I think it's about time to dust of the AD&D books and have a game in his honour!

  • 61.
  • At 11:13 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Peter Brooks wrote:

I've been playing (or wishing I had the time to play) roleplaing games for the last 23 years having been inspired by my friends AD&D games. I can still remembering cycling to the next town as a twelve year old to buy my very first set of rulebooks and dice. Some of the characters I've played and the moments of joy, drama, pathos and downright silliness have stayed with me through the years.

Thank you Gary for all the joy and friendships you have given me and the countless like me through the years.

  • 62.
  • At 11:55 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Mark Buckley wrote:

Very sad news. I've been playing since 1975, still going strong, it's brought me hundreds of hours of fun, amusement and just having a good time with friends making stuff up. Many people that I still keep in touch with I met via D&D, and are some of my oldest friends.


  • 63.
  • At 11:57 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Rick Young wrote:

R.I.P. A sad day for the world, he set our minds free to roam other realms.

  • 64.
  • At 11:58 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Gary wrote:

This guys passing will be missed by a few, but his deeds will be remembered by many. Farewell Master DM, roll a 20 for me when you get there.

  • 65.
  • At 12:01 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Jim Patching wrote:

I'm gutted. RIP Mr Gygax.

  • 66.
  • At 12:02 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Stefan wrote:

Very sad news.

I've played D&D all my life, and many other forms of FRPG.
Without Gary's pioneering game in the 70's I have no idea what would have filled that gap in my life.

RPGs are a great way to meet people, have fun and increase your confidence and social interaction.

It has evolved so much from Gary's original concept but the whole genre owes everything to him.

  • 67.
  • At 12:03 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Stu wrote:

I think Mr Gygax acheived something very special in his life - he created something that connected us and let our imaginations soar.

I hope he's in the tavern at the Keep on the Borderlands now.

D&D was my first exposure to American literature. It took me years to work out what an ice storm was, and that # meant 'number'.

Now if only my cleric alter-ego could *really* get that resurrection spell to work...


  • 69.
  • At 12:12 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Gary wrote:

This guys passing will be missed by a few, but his deeds will be remembered by many. Farewell Master DM, roll a 20 for me when you get there.

  • 70.
  • At 12:16 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • David wrote:

I am devastated.

I thank you so much for everything you gave so many of us. I have such fond memories as a result of your work and without a doubt it contributed fundmentally to who I am today.

Few people can claim to have stimulated the imagination of so many teens and kept them so utterly engrossed in such a beautiful game open to such infinite possibilties.

RIP Gary Gygax and thank you.

  • 71.
  • At 12:19 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Paco Jaen wrote:

Needless to say his contribution will last for a very long time indeed, both inside and outside the gaming world, but Gary Gygax was an example of many remarkable things.

For one he truly made dreams come true for many. His inspired ideas and his commitment to his dreams gave the power and inspiration to millions to develop their own.

A remarkable man, a remarkable thinker and an even more remarkable dreamer.

May all the gods and goddesses of all the pantheons that your games have inspired give you their blessings and ours.

May you and your legacy never be forgotten.

  • 72.
  • At 12:23 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Glyn wrote:

I had great fun with D&D in the 80's - allowed me to find a few friends in the area I lived (Bridgnorth).

He helped create a game that allowed all kinds of people to use their imagination - certainly helped me be as creative as I am today.

Of course video games have somewhat replaced what he created, but I see elements of D&D in them all the time..

  • 73.
  • At 12:23 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • David wrote:

I am devastated.

I thank you so much for everything you gave so many of us. I have such fond memories as a result of your work and without a doubt it contributed fundmentally to who I am today.

Few people can claim to have stimulated the imagination of so many teens and kept them so utterly engrossed in such a beautiful game open to such infinite possibilties.

RIP Gary Gygax and thank you.

  • 74.
  • At 12:23 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Peter Dough wrote:

As an old D&D sessioner from way back I wanna pay my respects to Gary Gygax. D&D was a massive movement over the last few decades thanks to its inventive and imaginative genius, from whom we could catch a glimpse. The greatest game ever devised. Rest his soul.

  • 75.
  • At 12:28 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Ray Buckridge wrote:

A sad day. I played his game first back in 1980 I think. My brother still plays all the time. He's got a club with about 12 people that play - including women.

I spoke with Gary on the internet. I came up with an idea for a MMORPG he was trying to put together.
It was called Legendary Heroes or something like that. He said he proposed the idea and it was rejected by his people. Still a proud moment for me.

  • 76.
  • At 12:40 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Illumi-llama wrote:

I'm sorry to hear this. I had a lot of fun at school running campaigns (including for the entire 1st XV) and still play now, with an eclectic international group of friends. I think a glass will be raised in his memory on Monday.

  • 77.
  • At 12:41 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Illumi-llama wrote:

I'm sorry to hear this. I had a lot of fun at school running campaigns (including for the entire 1st XV) and still play now, with an eclectic international group of friends. I think a glass will be raised in his memory on Monday.

  • 78.
  • At 12:43 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Adam wrote:

Seems to me his influence goes beyond mmo's and role-playing - the concepts of hp, ap, xp, buffs, turn-based gaming - we all have D&D to thank for them. Where would the gaming industry be without these mainstays?

  • 79.
  • At 12:50 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • James wrote:

Yes a sad day yet as someone said a day to remember him as well.

Been playing for 25+ years, can still remember the first words my wife to be said to me across the table on her first gaming day...

"I don't trust you, you have an evil smile"..

A glass of whisky will be drunk in your honour tonight Mr Gygax

  • 80.
  • At 12:50 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Simon Jones wrote:

Exceptionally Sad news, I have been slapping the dice for nigh on 20 years, he will be sorely missed a man of imagination and wisdom.

RIP Gary Gygax, enjoy the celestial realms and I hopr the Solars are feeding you grapes

  • 81.
  • At 12:55 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Al wrote:

My condolences to Gary's family and friends. D&D played an important role during my teenage years, mainly keeping me out of trouble. 15 years later I got together with my old gaming buddies and we started up again.
Hugely sociable game in which life long friendships are formed.
His influence on today's entertainment industry is immeasurable.
RIP Gary

  • 82.
  • At 12:56 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Mark wrote:

I first played D&D back in the late 70's using the old blue book which I think topped out at third (or was it fifth?) level. We then moved on - as I suspect everyone did - to the big one: AD&D 2nd Edition. I cannot express how many happy days (and nights!) were spent with my mates around a table as we saved worlds and plundered dungeons.

As we grew older other things took over but I'll never forget those days.

Rest in peace, Gary. You gave us one of the greatest gifts ever - happiness and friendship.

  • 83.
  • At 01:09 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Martin wrote:

D&D was the catalyst than released the imagination of several generations and has been a core component of my leisure time for over 20yrs.

Cheers mate.


  • 84.
  • At 01:11 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Jay Knox-Crichton wrote:

I have been playing D&D in its various incarnations since 1982, now grey and in my 40’s I still play every week (and more often when I can).
All those that I have considered to be truly friends have played over the intervening years and I am still in touch with most.
My wife understands that it’s my ‘geeky’ thing, and my son is eager to learn to play.

I don’t know of any hobby or ‘tool’ that would have inspired me to read so much over the years, make me more articulate or improve my arithmetic.
To look at the vast number of games that fill the market and think that ultimately he was responsible is humbling.
I will never grow out of gaming and I hope to roll a dice (in many years) with GG and thank him myself.
A sad day RIP, Gary

  • 85.
  • At 01:25 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Neil Small wrote:

Still have all my AD&D books, although haven't really played in 20 odd years. Loved playing the game and still do albeit via the PC these days.

  • 86.
  • At 01:32 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Dean wrote:

Very sad news and best wishes to his family and friends.

D&D has been probably the biggest one thing to help me through my darkest times. When the real world knocked me back & made me feel small, I could become a hero and for a short time at least put all the problems with the real world behind me.

Although my friends and I have not managed to have a proper adventure together for a while, simply picking up the books and looking through a few pages bring back such wonderous memories of good times together.

Rest in piece, we all have to roll a 1 on a save at sometime, but the 20's we rolled are the stuff of legend.

  • 87.
  • At 01:33 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Bexie wrote:

A sad day indeed, He was a genuine enthusiast, travelling most years to the UK to attend the annual gamesfair and an inspiration for many people. I still keep all the scenario's and books, which should be a first stop for any who would write MMRPG's or adventure games.

I hope that Everquest, WoW et all place a memorial to him somewhere in their fantasy worlds.

  • 88.
  • At 01:34 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Adrian K wrote:

Gary Gygax's creation transformed my life - I was a shy, reclusive, schoolboy geek when I bought that infamous "blue book" in 1978 and in the thousands of hours gaming since I gained 2 lifelong friends, a wide circle of other friends who've come & gone over the years and an active social life. Playing and running D&D improved my social skills, my self-confidence and fired my imagination to such an extent I eventually became a published writer. To this day my friends and I still reminisce about the adventures we had over 25 years ago (including one massive 60 hour session played over an entire weekend!).

Other people can only read about their heroes or watch them on the silver screen. Not us gamers - Gygax made heroes of us all...

  • 89.
  • At 01:37 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Ant wrote:

A great deal of my childhood was spent playing this incredible gaming system. Thank you Gary for creating the greatest game this planet has ever known..

  • 90.
  • At 01:48 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Mikey wrote:

Saddened by his passing. His games gave me confidence and social skills when I was a shy teen. I'm pretty sure that it was due to his game I met my first girlfriend and my life has been as good as it is so far.

I hope he enjoys the astral plane.

  • 91.
  • At 01:51 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Adam Bouskill wrote:

Sad news, he will be remembered by gamers everywhere.

Millions of people around the world grew up enjoying his creations and exploring his worlds.

I started playing D&D with my big brother back in the late 70's, as well as expanding my imagination it really helped me with maths and reading.

The videogame industry today owes a lot to Gary Gygax and the business he started.

He leaves a big legacy, hopefully many years from now young kids will still have fun discovering these games, hoping that the next roll of the 20 sided dice goes their way!

Deepest sympathy to his wife, kids and friends.

  • 92.
  • At 02:53 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Wayne wrote:

Gygax has left an incredible legacy. He was a man who marked the world and changed it. He was a man who altered the face of popular culture. He was a man who inspired the burgeoning imagination of millions. He was a man who gave us hours of friends and fun. Gygax was a man who gave us entire worlds, entire universes, beyond our own - or really, enabled us to create them for ourselves.

This is the passing of an icon. Of a genius. Of... the founder of something which has left its mark on people everywhere and will be remembered far into the future as a great achievement of the 20th century. Something we can all look back on with fond memories, or continue to enjoy.

Gamers weep today. The man who has given them so much for so long has gone on. He will be sorely and dearly missed. I, for one, will always hold a place in my heart for his works and his loss.

RIP, Gygax.

  • 93.
  • At 02:54 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Mike D. wrote:

Very sad to hear the news. Started D&D in '82 and had some great times.

Add my condolences to the family.

  • 94.
  • At 02:55 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • M I L O wrote:

Sad news indeed- but lets celebrate a person who lived life fully, and influenced many.

R.I.P. dude

  • 95.
  • At 03:13 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Gordy wrote:

My first game of D&D was in 1982 when I was a snotty 8 year old and a kid round the corner played D&D and I was curious about it.

Fast forward character generation and a few turns, I was burning down an Orc fortress having discovered their flask of oil storage whilst swashbuckling my way out of the rampaging horde.

Great times.

I now run a wargaming club, I think it's time to perhaps dig out some old rulebooks and the first module I bought, B3 if I remember!

  • 96.
  • At 03:18 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Gene wrote:

D&D helped me build a stong circle of friends and gave me hours upon hours of entertainment and enjoyment. I believe I owe a huge amount of my creativity and imagination to Mr. Gygax's creation. Although we've never met, I thank him for his creation and my deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

"Well Met"

  • 97.
  • At 03:20 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Mike Huddart wrote:

RIP my friend, may your journey be safe.

  • 98.
  • At 03:39 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Ragnarok wrote:

Thank you for all the fun!

  • 99.
  • At 03:51 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Paul Marks wrote:

Rest in peace Mr Gygax.

  • 100.
  • At 04:01 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Ian Charman wrote:

While not directly in 1978 (as I was only 6) his creations did inspire me at Secondary School (Sondes Place in Dorking, Surrey) to join the RPG club and play my first AD&D module (involving Saltmarsh).

From there we started a home group and eventually went to GenCon (CryoCon LOL) and have met countless friends in the course of the hobby.

I have since moved to Houston (Texas) and have continued. At 35 I am still playing a weekly game and also playing Warhammer 40k. I even LARP - am a director of plot and in honor of that first module named one of our cities Saltmarsh (now Redmarch) :)

Gary will be sadly missed, and I hope that where ever he goes he'll be able to play 24/7 with all the epic loots that he deserves.

  • 101.
  • At 04:05 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Ant wrote:

A great deal of my childhood was spent playing this incredible gaming system. Thank you Gary for creating the greatest game this planet has ever known..

  • 102.
  • At 04:13 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Simon Holden wrote:

I've played RPGs for 18 years now, and our regular game is still Dungeons & Dragons. RIP, the DM of DMs.

  • 103.
  • At 04:15 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Stacey wrote:

69 is young, but like those of us he inspired he has lived many more lives in between those years.

Sad, sad news, and no hero can make it right.
RIP, Gary Gygax


  • 104.
  • At 04:16 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Simon Holden wrote:

I've played RPGs for 18 years now, and our regular game is still Dungeons & Dragons. RIP, the DM of DMs.

  • 105.
  • At 04:21 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • diesy Dog wrote:

Although I havnt played D&D for many a year, the influence of the game is still with me. Many a happy hour spent expanding our horizons and imagination. God bless you Mr G. Your hp is now 0. But your influence is unmeasurable. Sad day

  • 106.
  • At 11:51 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Ioannis Brilakis wrote:

I started playing D&D at the age of 12 in Greece, and it was such a fun experience that my friends and I were playing during the breaks or even during class time at school. Five years later I was being the DM for 25 players until my fellow DM's parents (he had 56 players) burned his 2 bookcases of books that he had. Gary's game taught us to imagine. No computer game can do that. Thank you for this wonderful gift.

  • 107.
  • At 01:37 AM on 06 Mar 2008,
  • Dylan L. wrote:

Rest well Gary. We owe you for a load of good nights around the gaming table. You'll be missed.

  • 108.
  • At 02:09 AM on 06 Mar 2008,
  • AJC wrote:

Gary Gygax changed the meaning of fantasy with his incredible imagination, I started D&D in 1975. Thank you Gary for the fantasty world you opened up to us all, RIP.

  • 109.
  • At 05:47 AM on 06 Mar 2008,
  • Michael wrote:

This is a shock, but let us admit, Gary Gygax will live on, within the memory of anyone who played D&D, and in my estimation, along side of J.R.R. Tolkien for the contribution to the generation that saw Star Wars (aka the original "Episode 4")in the theatres, laying the foundation for Role/Roll-Playing Games. While we all waited and dreamed of the computer based D&D, we found alternatives such as Ultima-Online, EverQuest and World of WarCraft; yet we still dream of depth of character and reaction from PC-NPCs and monsters.

For my own part: Gary, your rules and ideas will always hold true and original, modifing (not being modified by) the subsequent publications by the unnamed alphabetic corporation. Thank you again and again, for the dreams and teaching me to use my mind and imagination, for creating a refuge that sheltered many a teenager, and allowed many "geeks"-and-"nerds" to find and befriend one another.

Remember the Dwarven runes, 'speak friend and enter' led to greatness, ruin and, for some, even more greatness.

  • 110.
  • At 06:02 AM on 06 Mar 2008,
  • Debbie wrote:

I met my husband gaming. 14 or so of us gathered together and started a Larp loosely based on Mr. Gygax's game. Our Larp spawned others and so it goes.

May his family realize how much we the gaming public owe to him and may they tell his stories for generations to come.

He won't need to pick the locks. The Joy he spread is all the key he needs.

  • 111.
  • At 06:23 AM on 06 Mar 2008,
  • Mika wrote:

It is still hard to believe.
I've been playing 1st ed since I was 7 or 8.
I never thought he would die so young. His creation has played such a huge role in my life yet I was never able to meet him, which was one of my goals... Sadly that is a dream that will never come true.

  • 112.
  • At 07:13 AM on 06 Mar 2008,
  • Noel Caine wrote:

I was introduced to D&D by a female friend 25 years ago; the way she described the game made me wonder just what went on, so I joined the group she was running and took to it immediately. Our group (which numbers about 12, on and off) has been playing continuously for an average of 3 Saturdays per month since then, taking turns as players and DMs (running our own game) and as "mature age" players well over 50 (60 in a couple of cases) I think we'll still be playing in another 25 years. Thanks Gary and Dave.

  • 113.
  • At 07:47 AM on 06 Mar 2008,
  • Craig Mudie wrote:

I cannot count the huge number of hours of entertainment that Gary's creation has given me, and it has also been the source of a number of friendships, forged at the gaming table.

The fact that this applies to so many thousands around the world, and will continue to do so for many years to come, will definitely by Gary Gygax's greatest legacy.

  • 114.
  • At 08:50 AM on 06 Mar 2008,
  • Eric Pisch wrote:

Very Sad, news i group up on D&D a very long time ago eventually progressing to being a DM form many years. I still have all the original V1 rule books, monster manual etc. My thoughts are with his family.

  • 115.
  • At 10:08 AM on 06 Mar 2008,
  • Nick wrote:

I am pretty new to D&D, only six years now. I never knew him, but I feel a profound sense of loss.

I do find comfort, though, in knowing that he has a legacy in the form of a whole culture. Millions will carry on his legacy, whether they know it or not, because it is a beautiful one.

Thank you. I hope we are worthy.

  • 116.
  • At 12:05 PM on 06 Mar 2008,
  • Dave Sheridan wrote:

Rest in peace, sir. Modern gaming owes you the kind of debt which it can never repay. You gave to the world the first prototypes of an entirely new form of gaming, expanded now into untold thousands of varieties, transformed to computer and even to live-action play - and you gave to us geeks the grim and violent soap operas and period dramas, adventure shows, morality plays and occasional comedies that now define us.

From everyone whose dice-bag has needed patching from years of use, a salute. From everyone who's ever called themselves NightFlame ElfStar, and from everyone who thought themselves too cool, a salute. From everyone who spent their school lunchtimes being persecuted in Paranoia, or exploring the Planescape, or even just crawling dungeon after dungeon after ever-deadlier dungeon, a salute. You didn't create all these things, but without you they would not exist.

Neither, it must be said, would we who now play them.


  • 117.
  • At 09:03 AM on 07 Mar 2008,
  • Constantinos wrote:

Sad news indeed. Gygax, in my opinion, was a great innovator in gaming and as I understand a tough businessman, as seen from his constant rows with TSR in the mid '80s.
He provided structure and cohesion for many peoples gaming dreams through D&D, and gave them the opportunity to live alternate lives and experiment through their player characters and their adventures. He understood well enough that gaming is all about camaraderie (sometimes rivalry), communication between players and adventure ! Rules were important in the game, but more important was the story and the campaign itself. As in real life. Furthermore, indoor gaming on a rainy or snowy Weekend never looked the same after D&D. Finally, D&D was not a zero sum game and in my opinion there were no losers as in other games. Everybody won, not just treasure or XP but by having a good time in an escapist hobby.

I have tremendous memories from this game and developed a whole new way of looking at how things work in real life.

Gary will be remembered as a pioneer in gaming, as much as J.R.R Tolkien was in Fantasy literature.


  • 118.
  • At 07:52 PM on 07 Mar 2008,
  • neil frier wrote:

Without the hobby of role playing i wouldnt have met so many good friends! So from all role players whether its D&D, traveller, vampire or rune quest ,,, farwell and good luck on the greatest quest of all!

  • 119.
  • At 12:20 AM on 08 Mar 2008,
  • GF Muresu wrote:

I think that his influence goes well byond the realm of RPG's... In his own way he has affected popular culture in a way the masses will never (be willing to?Undestandibly?) acknowledge.
But it is amongst daydreamers and those with imagination to spare who found solace in the roll of a dice and the company of like minded frieds that this news will come as sadness. Sadly in this world there are no resurrection spells or fate points to expend.

I've just raised a glass to you, whilst writing this.

God Bless you

  • 120.
  • At 11:37 PM on 08 Mar 2008,
  • Bill Urwin wrote:

Sad the passing of such a monumental influence on children of the 70's is so quietly annouced...

I personally owe him & TSR a major dept of gratitute for the life friends created in the pits of the under city.

Good luck on your next adventure...

  • 121.
  • At 03:08 AM on 09 Mar 2008,
  • John B wrote:

The world is already a less fun place with Gary Gygax's passing. I started playing AD&D in high school, a fat geeky kid who had trouble making friends. The game, the Blessed Game, got me through some very tough times, and the best memories of my life involved the rattle of dice and the slaying of dragons. The man was a prophet, Moses for the geeks of the world, leading us onwards to the promised land. Vaya con dios, Zagyg. We will never forget you.

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