Farewell to the Father of Roleplaying

By Alec Meer on March 4th, 2008 at 6:25 pm.


Update – confirmations now trickling in from across the web.

Okay – this is oddly uncorroborated by larger news sources as yet, but as the sad tidings originated just hours ago as a posting from the head of Troll Lord Games, his current publisher, they’re very likely true.

Gary Gygax, the co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons, has passed away, aged just 69. He had been seriously ill for some time.

Would we ever have had PC RPGs without Gygax’s laying down of roleplaying foundations back in 1974? Oh, probably – in some form, anyway. But would we have had Ultima, Fallout, Diablo, World of Warcraft, even Deus Ex? Probably not. Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights and Planescape Torment? Definitely not.

This man gave a great deal to gaming. Bow your heads.

Photo by Alan De Smet.

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58 Comments »

  1. Steve says:

    Rest in peace.

  2. Scotti says:

    Holy Shit, sad news!

  3. Briosafreak says:

    Bows

    :rolls dice:

    Bows again

  4. Alonia says:

    :(.

    *clutches her dice in moment of silence for a great man*

  5. restricted3 says:

    Damn damn damn :-(

  6. Sucram says:

    Sad.

    That’s life, it’s all in the luck of the dice.

  7. ImperialCreed says:

    A talented guy who left a hell of a legacy, shame for him to go out so young.

  8. Acosta says:

    Rest in peace. He may be gone, but his legacy will always be among us. Thanks Gary.

  9. Piratepete says:

    Aw jeez, I wouldn’t have the imagination I have now if it wasn’t for that guy. I had lots of fun with D&D and their like when I was a teenager.

    Raises +1 Sword of Smiting in salute.

  10. Matu says:

    I have never played D&D but I feel I should do it now as a token of gratitude.

  11. Alex Grose says:

    :(

  12. Alex says:

    That is sad news.

    I was very much into D&D and AD&D as a lad.

  13. Crispy says:

    Hero Quest (the boardgame) was probably my first introduction to level design. I don’t tend to wear hats, but I’ll but one on especially in this case. And now I’m taking it off again.

  14. Fat Zombie says:

    Rest in Peace, Mr. Gygax. You did well.

  15. Larington says:

    Words cannot describe just how much of a loss this is to the world.

    Rest in peace.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/technology/2008/03/farewell_gary_gygax_the_dungeo.html

  16. Kieron Gillen says:

    Fucking hell.

    KG

  17. Electrohead says:

    Rest in peace!

  18. Mike says:

    Wow.

    It’s strange to think that one day we’ll mark many more deaths of gaming greats. It’s such a young industry that we hardly see it coming, but Wright will one day have an obituary. Meier. Newell.

    Not nice. Rest well, though I never managed to work out how your game worked. Rest well.

  19. Zeno, Internetographer says:

    Damn…

    :(

  20. Chris Charabaruk says:

    That totally sucks. D&D (that is, AD&D 1st ed.) was my gateway into RPGs, LARPs, and all sorts of fun stuff. The recent stuff from WotC pales in comparison to the classic role-play gaming that Gygax once provided us. In fact, it was the ability to play a game that let me make my own adventures that drew me towards the gaming industry.

    Good night, sweet prince.

  21. Okami says:

    Damn it, fumbled my Saving Throw Against Tears…

    Rest In Peace

    And thanks. You know what for..

  22. Tak says:

    Cheers mate, if you can read this in the great big unkown. Here’s hoping it’s as painless as can be for your loved ones.

    Not much else to say.

  23. Sum0 says:

    Let’s bow our heads in silence for 1d6 minutes.

  24. Monkfish says:

    *fondly remembers Gary’s appearance in an episode of Futurama*

    Respect, Gary. May you rest in… [rolls dice] …peace.

  25. FraggleRock says:

    Tips hat to the best name EVER!

  26. Fumarole says:

    Godspeed, Mr. Gygax. I am who I am today in part because of you and yours.

  27. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    *fondly remembers Gary’s appearance in an episode of Futurama*

    Oddly, that was where I’d first heard of him.

    RIP that man.

  28. Gray says:

    Thank you, Gary.

  29. ran93r says:

    From the original D&D boxes to AD&D, I then moved on to countless works of fantasy fiction and then to video gaming that cunningly obfuscated all those pesky rules. He pretty much started it all for me, respect to the man and best wishes for his family.

  30. Michael says:

    Roleplaying legends don’t die. They just re-roll and planeshift. =(

  31. Ian says:

    So long. Mr. Gygax, and thanks for all the memories.

  32. Volrath says:

    Gary Gygax failed his saving throw against heart conditions on March 4, 2008.

    R.I.P.

  33. Trina says:

    You will be sorely missed! Thank you so much for creating the world that opened up my life…and so many others.
    Rest in Peace.

  34. Some guy says:

    Gygax was the father of role-playing? As if.

    Everyone knows that the real father of role-playing is Richard Garriott.

    /waves good bye

  35. spot says:

    Good bye sir.
    But I would have thought his savign throw would have been higher.

  36. Kevin Lee says:

    Dungeons and what? I rocked the Chainmail, baby.

    In all seriousness, he probably will just re-roll elf and avoid silly human health complications.

    RIP

  37. Miles says:

    That man was responsible for many hours of fun I had with D&D a few years ago, and many more hours in video games since. RIP.

  38. Kast says:

    This man’s legacy is staggering. I feel I should do something to commemorate the loss but nothing seems quite right. Also, I’m trying to decide whether these jokes are in bad taste or the only right thing to do…

    Best of luck to him in whatever after-life he believes in.

  39. wyrmsine says:

    It’s been about a decade since I’ve played any PnP games, but today… today I go buy dice. The nuggets of chance may just come in handy at work. Many condolences to his friends and family.

  40. Edgar the Peaceful says:

    Boo! – that’s affected me way more than I thought it would. I played D&D for 10 years straight as a kid / adolescent and it got me through some tough times.

    Gary Gygax – in the years before the internet (1981) when I started playing D&D – it was as if Gary was a mysterious, obscure but benign god bringing an exciting and foreign culture to depressed, grey, early-eighties Britain. As an 8 year old his weird name alone was enough to transport me to Greyhawk or the Grand Duchy of Karameikos or The Keep on the Borderlands.

    Rest in peace Gary and thanks so much.

  41. Nick says:

    =(

  42. Alex says:

    Also, I’m trying to decide whether these jokes are in bad taste or the only right thing to do…

    They don’t seem to come from a ‘mean place’, so they’re alright, I’d say.

  43. Gulag says:

    /Raises a tankard.

  44. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    This man, in many ways, made the gaming world what it is today. His influence goes beyond any single medium, as D&D has inspired so many minds in so many industries.

    The creator of a modern cultural institution has passed. To hell with sunshine, I’m pulling out my dice.

  45. Kalain says:

    His creation, his legacy, will never be forgotten, only renewed into something different. Without him we would never have had the fantastic titles we have today.

    R.I.P.

  46. Caiman says:

    I spent hours poring over the D&D bestiary books as a young ‘un, which were certainly instrumental in getting me hooked on zoology. Reptiles in particular, of course, though I’ve yet to find any fire-, ice- or acid-breathing kinds yet. Another example of gaming having a much wider influence than it’s given credit for. Rest in Peace Sir.

  47. Robin says:

    I’ve never bought into the idea that computer games owe very much to pen and paper games, any more so than, say, pinball.

    A lot of enthusiast amateurs started trying to make simulations of them, which then evolved into a completely separate medium.

    I have no doubt that the games mentioned would have emerged without D&D. Games like Bioshock and Deus Ex would probably have more interesting things in the world and fewer things that boiled down to different percentages of effectiveness against different resistances.

    Pen and paper games are the Music Hall of the 21st Century.

    Um, R.I.P. Gary Gygax.

  48. Wozza says:

    Ohh man I loved D&D, Mr Gygax thanks for the fun&great times, R.I.P