Wednesday, March 05, 2008

In Memory Of Gary Gygax

By now, we all know -- Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons and, by extension, every dang thing that came after it, has died.

He have expressed our shock, we have mourned, we have wept...we've all done what we have been moved to do.

As an agnostic, I'm only certain of one type of afterlife: What you leave for others to experience. By this measure, E. Gary Gygax is pretty well assured immortality, and as others will derive joy from what he made, I guess that puts him in the, what? Neutral Good pantheon?

For my own part, I observed his passing by playing Castles & Crusades with my wife last night, and using his Castle Zagyg encounter tables to boot. Nothing fancy, nothing epic; just a dungeon crawl with some clever kobolds and insidious ancient traps of elven make. It was her character's third attempt to finish the dungeon, and she decided to make a tactical retreat for now. There's plenty of other world for her to explore outside of those dungeon walls, anyway, and at the moment, a missing cleric to track down and possibly rescue.

So here's how I will pay tribute to E. Gary Gygax: by doing what he did. By playing a fantasy game and sharing the joy it brings me and making stuff up and looking at everything as a possible adventure, a tale not yet told, by happily using anagrams and generally being master of the fun dungeon.

My world has no name yet, but it will have a few anagram-named NPCs. I don't know who Sire Cauvo is, yet; I just came up with the name a few minutes ago.

But the ladies will love him, or at least, he'll think they do.

Rest In Peace, Mr Gygax. I will treasure what you left me and honor your memory by sharing the joy.