Sadly, he missed his CON check

March 6, 2008

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Gary Gygax, dead at 69.

To nerds everywhere, he’s THE original DM, the man most responsible for all those long Sunday afternoons spent in dark basements, rolling odd-shaped dice and drinking Coke. In the early 1970’s Gary Gygax co-authored “Chainmail” and “Dungeons & Dragons” by making several critical INT checks. His high CHA among medieval aficionados also allowed him to bring many friends together for the very first Gen Con, where he cast a Charm Gamer spell. Then he founded the “Game designer” class and accumulated a great deal of XP. The rest, as they say, is history.

With the advent of TSR, Gygax cemented his central role in the development of RPG’s. In those years he made several levels and gained many hit points in the process. He also opted for multi-class development, becoming a 10th level Corporate Manager and a 7th level Editor. In 1977 he acquired a Plume of writing +3, which greatly increased his output as a producer of modules which were impossible to survive. Unfortunately, not even his -2 Armor Class could protect him from the blows of competitors and partners in the nascent and cutthroat gaming industry. In 1983 Gygax had to Save vs. Corporate Takeover at a minus 2 penalty; he rolled a 3 and was forced out.

For years afterwards he wandered the Astral plane, teleporting randomly at conventions and casting Mass Nostalgia spells, or announcing he would conjure new game systems. His untimely death leaves a great power vacuum on several planes of existence.