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[Column] Dungeons & Dragons Online: Wayback Wednesday: A Salute to Gary Gygax

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,596MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

It's hard to believe that it's been five years since the passing of one of the original minds behind the modern role playing game, Gary Gygax. Wayback Wednesday celebrated Gary's life with a great session of Dungeons & Dragons Online. Check out this nostalgic look back before leaving your thoughts in the comments.

E. Gary Gygax was born on July 27, 1938 and passed away on March 4th, 2008. Last week on Wayback Wednesday, to honor the fifth anniversary of Gary’s passing, we paid tribute to the man who is the father of the modern role playing game. Grab your sack of dice and gather up your friends. Its time to take a trip down the RPG memory lane.

Check out more of Rob Lashley's Dungeons & Dragons Online: Wayback Wednesday: A Salute to Gary Gygax.

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E. Gary Gygax (photo courtesy of Gamasutra)

Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • David_LopanDavid_Lopan Madison, WIPosts: 808Member Uncommon

    Nice write up. RIP Gary, you started something wonderful. However, the RPG genre (in its video game adaptations at least) needs a hefty renaissance age. It has become too simple and unimagitive. Would love to see a good adaption of table top gaming to the pc. More tools for those to create and become immersed in a fantasical world.

    Sadly, for this to happen again, I believe the genre would have to scale back and become much more niche again.

    My parents brought me up on 2nd edition and they actually acted as there characters (hence roleplaying). 4th ed has become more like a Workshop Games (which are awesome, but not really what Gary had in mind although he said make it your own) combat game instead of the rich, story telling experience, character development, and food for the imagination.

    Here's to the future. Hopefully these sandboxes will bring back more of that old feel, although I personaly love DDO and what they have done for the IP even if I dont care for the campaign setting. 4th ed to me is just a DnDish mmo on paper, finaly being made into a MMO, NWO (4th ed is by no means a bad game, just a much different and surprising path for the magical IP to take).

     
     
  • nolic1nolic1 Kingman, AZPosts: 687Member Uncommon
    I remember when I was 6 or 7 watching my brothers sitting around playing D&D this went on till I was 10 then they let me join I still play D&D pen and paper to this day now with my own kids and a few friends but I also play DDO and am waiting for Neverwinter. Gary Gygax brought to life my greatest adventures with D&D and thanks to him I had great childhood and a great imagination.

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    To me I enjoy gaming I dont play to be uber I play to have fun. If a game is not fun to me guess what I move on and play something else till I find one that is. When I find that great game and not sure if in my life time there will be one I hope it has everything I want in an mmo.

  • Storman1977Storman1977 Columbus, OHPosts: 207Member
    i had the honor of meeting E.G.G. back in 1988 at a comic book convention in South Charleston, WV.  I didn't realize the honor until much later, as I was only 11 years old.  I was just starting to get into the tabletop gaming scene and my step-brother (who'd been playing for a while) took me to the con to get some books and miniatures on the cheap.  I was at the D&D tables and there he was, signing DM guides and telling stories about games he hosted.  He signed my AD&D Second edition DM guide and my Wizards Manual and said something encouraging (exact words long since lost to time) before moving on.  I remember the look on my step-brothers face when he saw the signatures on my books.  He went to get in line, but was too late.  Stil have the books, but didn't realize until my late teens just who it was that signed them and his importance to gaming.
     

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  • NadiaNadia Canonsburg, PAPosts: 11,866Member Common
    Originally posted by GreenSpot

    Nice write up. RIP Gary, you started something wonderful. However, the RPG genre (in all its forms) needs a hefty renaissance age. It has become too simple and unimagitive. Would love to see a good adaption of table top gaming to the pc. More tools for those to create and become immersed in a fantasical world.

    its too much a generalization to say in all its forms for table top RPG

    what you said applies for D&D 4.0 but theres many other RPG game publishers beyond WOC

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_role-playing_games_by_genre

  • ignore_meignore_me Apple Valley, CAPosts: 1,987Member
    To a lot of people D&D is a punchline. I don't envy their inability to have enjoyed such a wonderful gift of the imagination. I'm glad I was able to tell Gary how much that game helped me enjoy my childhood.

    Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

  • David_LopanDavid_Lopan Madison, WIPosts: 808Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Nadia
    Originally posted by GreenSpot

    Nice write up. RIP Gary, you started something wonderful. However, the RPG genre (in all its forms) needs a hefty renaissance age. It has become too simple and unimagitive. Would love to see a good adaption of table top gaming to the pc. More tools for those to create and become immersed in a fantasical world.

    its too much a generalization to say in all its forms for table top RPG

    what you said applies for D&D 4.0 but theres many other RPG game publishers beyond WOC

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_role-playing_games_by_genre

       True. I should have said its video game adaptations really. Correcting it now.

  • steelheartxsteelheartx Biloxi, MSPosts: 432Member Uncommon
    /Salute Gary

    Looking for a family that you can game with for life? Check out Grievance at https://www.grievancegaming.org !

  • WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaPosts: 8,441Member Uncommon

    He is  definitely among the top 5 legends in gaming history.

     


    Samoan Diamond

  • TheBlueQueenTheBlueQueen La Crosse, WIPosts: 9Member

    And here is the story that should have been told the night I was hanging out in Delera's with Grak in honor of Gary...

     

    I discovered the wonderful world of Dungeons & Dragons initially through watching the cartoon as a kid in the 80's.  Over time, I learned about the game via borrowed books from a friend who finally admitted he played RPGs.  There was never any serious D&D gameplay on my part due to lack of knowing more folks who were interested and my lack of knowledge regarding gaming groups. Yet I kept reading any materials I could get my hands on and even began to delve into the novels later on, beginning with the Dragonlance books.  It is fair to say that occupying my mind with the various source books, novels, and even good old Dragon magazine got me through some really hard times growing up.

     

    It wasn't until I reached the tender age of 19 that I had my very first actual D&D session with a group of friends.  They were playing AD&D second edition and I was invited to join in their  already existing group.  I opted to create an Elven Mage who was super charismatic and really good at dancing.  I played with this group once a week for quite some time and always enjoyed myself.  There was much sorrow when everyone needed to go their separate ways due to real life getting in the way.

     

    One of my favorite stories from that group was when my Mage saw fit to whip out her Wand of Wonder in the hopes to dispatch the multitudes of angry orcs that were hemming the party in a room that was 10x10 feet.  The problem was the Wand of Wonder discharged a Fireball.  Yeah, it was a near party wipe yet a damn funny one.  :D

     

    For a while I would drift in and out of various D&D groups yet not really gelling with anyone.  It would seem the playerbase I kept encountering was more about min/maxing, being an evil douche, and fighting over loot.  It wasn't until about five years ago that I finally was able to settle into a great gaming group once again.

     

    This new group was a gathering of friends who met up once a week at our local game store.  The friend who was running the group decided we would focus on Forgotten Realms using 3.5 ruleset.  I was thrilled about this since I was a huge fan of Neverwinter Nights, most of the novels dealing with Forgotten Realms, and had a special spot for 3.5 since that is what my main MMO was loosely based on (DDO).  So much fun was had and many laughs were shared.  Eventually this gaming group faded away due to folks going different directions in life.

     

    Like the previous group of friends I had played D&D with, this group of friends had the lion's share of great adventuring stories.  One of my favorites involves my husband's Druid getting tired of waiting for the party to decide how to proceed and setting ablaze a houseful of bandits by way of a fire based spell.  Any survivors attempting to escape the flaming structure were picked off with ease.  Mission accomplished.  :)

     

    Sadly, I haven't been able to find a regular D&D group to hang with since.  Perhaps someday that may change.  Until then, I will have to be contented with video game versions and D&D related discussions with folks.

     

    What would this post be without further mention of the MMO that has held my interest for seven years?  DDO may not adhere completely to the rules, but it has always felt like D&D to me.  Even with Neverwinter on the horizon and the fact I enjoyed playing beta immensely, I don't think I could fully abandon DDO.  So many differences between the two to adequately compare.  Also, I have met some awesome people and created great memories in DDO that I am quite reluctant to chuck to the wind. 

     

    Despite my absolute love of all things Dungeons & Dragons, I have only been to one GenCon.  Situations in life just worked out in such a manner that I could never attend before or after this single visit.  This happened somewhere in the early 90's when GenCon was being held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at the MECCA.  I had gone with a few of my friends from my gaming group at the time.   I distinctly remember being completely blown away at all the wonderful games in progress, the costumes, and the array of wares available.  This was truly geek heaven and I had to keep pinching myself to ensure I was actually awake.  Good times.

     

    I suppose I should stop here since this post is already lengthy.  Thanks for reading this far and sorry for all my walls of text.  Feeling nostalgic is guaranteed to do that to me. ;)

     
  • catlanacatlana Houston, TXPosts: 1,677Member
    Originally posted by steelheartx
    /Salute Gary

    I was fortunate to meet him a few times. He was an inventor whose games have inspired a large number of people in multiple industries. R.I.P. E.G.G.

  • TsaboHavocTsaboHavoc PinheiralPosts: 351Member

    was dming an AD&D 2nd edition campaign with the warrior book in 1999-2000. A friend of mine was roleplaying a gladiator in a wasteland rocky region where goblin arenas were commom. in his first fight in the crude, dusty and crowded arena (with goblins, ogres, and shady characters beating the crap of each other as spectators when the matchs got good), his patron, a scoundrel of desert, gave him a ring "hei shcneider, if the things get ugly down there pronounce these magic words "katapimba!".

    so the fight began and the adversary was a boastfull orc warrior, after an evenly match, he decided to use the ring - KATAPIMBA! - for the delirious and joy of crowd he was turned into a chicken! lol. and had to escape the chaos as one........." Thanks gary cant say with words how much we apreciate ur art.

  • PaladrinkPaladrink SantiagoPosts: 47Member

    Indeed, I salute you great Master.

    Thanks for all the time on my childhood and for all the time today, there are nothing more fun on this world than a good D&D session, even today with D&D 4th, which may not be what you imagined, i still remember your wisdom, and i conclude. There is no bad game, just bad masters. Even this comes to the mmorpg, there is no bad game, just bad developers.

    What we do in life, echoes in eternity.

  • itchmonitchmon west islip, NYPosts: 1,714Member Uncommon

    i remember playing the Delara's tomb quests in DDO and having to stop periodically to wipe my eyes.

     

    Gary is one of the true "alpha nerds" and i mean that as the sincerest compliment.  he's one of the greats of our hobby and the world lost a little bit of "immersion" when he passed.

    RIP Ribbitribbitt you are missed, kid.

    Currently Playing EVE, DFUW

    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.

    Dwight D Eisenhower

    My optimism wears heavy boots and is loud.

    Henry Rollins

  • bcbullybcbully Westland, MIPosts: 8,275Member Uncommon
    Gary changed the world. 
  • NadiaNadia Canonsburg, PAPosts: 11,866Member Common
    Originally posted by TheBlueQueen

    Sadly, I haven't been able to find a regular D&D group to hang with since.  Perhaps someday that may change.  Until then, I will have to be contented with video game versions and D&D related discussions with folks.

    I recently relocated to pennsylvania and ive found that the site meetup.com is very effective w connecting people w local gamers, D&D fans, film fans etc  -- its not a dating site, altho it sounds like one

     

    the site is a nationwide resource for the usa

  • ZackxmZackxm West Palm Beach, FLPosts: 31Member

    Gary was a great guy. He was actually working on an online roleplaying game when he passed away. Lejendary Adventures. It was even on this site as "in development". I talked to him a few times in emails about that game. I wish that someone else would've continued on with that, and too bad kick starters weren't happening in games back then.

    Anyway, great write up, I enjoyed reading it.

  • TheBlueQueenTheBlueQueen La Crosse, WIPosts: 9Member
    Originally posted by Nadia
    Originally posted by TheBlueQueen

    Sadly, I haven't been able to find a regular D&D group to hang with since.  Perhaps someday that may change.  Until then, I will have to be contented with video game versions and D&D related discussions with folks.

    I recently relocated to pennsylvania and ive found that the site meetup.com is very effective w connecting people w local gamers, D&D fans, film fans etc  -- its not a dating site, altho it sounds like one

     

    the site is a nationwide resource for the usa

    Thank you so much for this information!  I'm going to give this a go and hopefully be able to find some nice folks in my area who appreciate D&D.  Ah, the wonders of the internet.   :)

  • Greyhawk4x4Greyhawk4x4 Eagle Mountain, UTPosts: 471Member

    Here is my video tribute to Mr. Gygax that I made last year on Gary Gygax Day.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YsCMM3LnoA

    Enjoy!

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  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    Originally posted by Wizardry

    He is  definitely among the top 5 legends in gaming history.

    Yet...you know the trash we talk about video game developers?

    Used to be Gygax and Arneson, secret cabals...and the rumors of who did dirt to whom.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

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