Thank you, Gary Gygax

The news that the creator of Dungeons & Dragons had died spread very quickly. And Geeks around the world have been expressing their feelings about his passing.

Order of the Stick had a nice send-off cartoon. Paul Tevis, Judd Karlman and others have shared their thoughts.

And now, a tribute song from Uncle Monsterface. Rock on!

Here’s my bit:

Dungeons & Dragons had a huge impact on me as a kid. I remember being in drafting class in seventh grade, and seeing a kid pull out the basic set box (red, I think, in 1981). I was immediately drawn to it, and asked the kid if he could teach me how to play. He said yeah, but I was new at the school and it never happened.

My parents were pretty hip, though, and got me the Moldvay Basic set and made an attempt to play with me, but I don’t remember playing more than once with my dad. 🙂 I did lots of solo play, and collected the expert set, and then some AD&D stuff. But I never found anyone to actually play with.

I didn’t actually play until college, when my friends Jim, Jeremy, and Brendan and I played through Castle Amber. I still have a crayon drawing that Jeremy did of our fight with a dragon. It was very cool.

Fast-forward almost fifteen years, and I’m married with a young son who taught himself to read when he was three. He loves stories, and we’ve read Harry Potter together. I still have a few D&D books and metal minis that I painted as a kid. NatureBoy is fascinated. Then I run across the 3.5 edition Basic set in Barnes & Noble.

The first day we had it, I ran NB and a very good-sport Beloved Wife through a few scenes. Then NB decided that he wanted to be the DM. Once he understood that the DM didn’t “win” if the monsters ate all the characters, he did a pretty good job.

Now gaming is a constant thread in our lives. We’ve been to several (very local) gaming conventions, played D&D, Faery’s Tale, Cat, and lots of board and card games. We’re in the third year of D&D group I run for some area young people. I’ve even made new adult friends and have grown-up gaming time, too.

All this is to say that the thing that Gary made had a big impact on me as a child, and now it’s enriching my adult life and my relationship with my son.

Many thanks and Blessed Be, Gary.

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