back to article Dungeons and Dragons co-creator Gary Gygax dies

Dungeons & Dragons co-creator Gary Gygax rolled a natural one on his fortitude save today, dying at level 69 at his home in Lake Geneva. Best known for developing D&D with Dave Arneson in 1974, Gygax helped formulate a pen-and-pencil role playing ruleset that would become a touchstone for modern gaming across its genres. As …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Help! Cleric!

    With level 7 abilities to "Ressurect", preferably.

    Well - you'd already taken my immediate thought line of the Natural 1...

  2. Ed

    Shamelessly stolen but in good spirit...

    All D&D geeks everywhere shall observe 1D4 + 1 moments of silence.

  3. Scottie Taylor


    Rest In Peace Gary. You will be missed. Your game has brought joy and happiness to untold numbers and your addictive and entertaining ideas have passed days beyond measure.

  4. Andy Bright
    Thumb Up

    Dungeon Master

    "Gygax also published dozens of fantasy books and short stories, including the Greyhawk series and Gord the Rogue adventures."

    Unfortunately this is true. It's a shame really, because his original ideas for D&D and AD&D were not only great for the pen and paper version of the game, but lent themselves perfectly to computer role playing games.

    The Greyhawk series of scenarios for AD&D where particular favourites of mine - especially the City of Greyhawk set. Which is why I find it so unfortunate that he decided to tarnish this series with what I shall generously call books.

    Never mind, the original work was superb, and in honour of his memory I shall do my best to blot out the decision to pick up one of his books and actually read it. Sort of like a terrible road accident, you know it's going to be bad but sometimes you just can't help but look.

  5. Chad H.
    Thumb Up


    Thais one saveing throw we're all going to fail one day... RIP.

  6. Anton Ivanov
    Thumb Up

    Walk softly and carry a +6/+6 Two Handed Sword

    May he rest in peace proudly as one of the very few people whose creations will outlive them.

  7. k

    Thanks for D&D

    My friends & I enjoyed many hours of D&D in school clubs and our homes.

    He deserves a lot a credit for the industry he spawned, all the offshoots and eventually the role-playing video game industry.


  8. Anonymous Coward

    You encounter: Clogged Artery!

    Clogged Artery casts Restrict Bloodflow VIII!

    You pass your Fort save!

    You cast Exercise and Healthy Diet on Clogged Artery!

    Clogged Artery suffers 83 damage!

    Surgeon casts Coronary Angioplasty on Clogged Artery!

    Surgeon could not overcome Clogged Artery Spell Resistance!

    Clogged Artery casts Restrict Bloodflow IX!

    You failed your Fort save!

    You suffer 239 damage!

    You are dead.

  9. MTT

    you open the door and see, just beyond... two small lizard-like folk weeping

    I -I'm ... wait .... yes, I'm readying my wand ... and...

    [stop it, George, or we'll all be killed!!]

    Wha..? Well, why should I..err.. RagNar the mystical ... stop what he's doing?

    [ Scott's right, George. The last time you pulled that thing out, we nearly all burned to death in a bugbear den. Put it away, huh? ]

    Hey now, I don't see any of you doing anything positive! Scott's just flicking cheetos across the room at you...

    [DM: HEY! watch the couch... damn screen I can't see a damned thing!]

    ...while you try to stare at his Mom's gobblers while she's hangin' the laundry. We're going to be eaten by those lizard folk, I know it. I ready my wand.

    [DM: Larry! quit having a look at my mom, pervert. George, you're dead. Wand misfires and you go up in flames. Your horrible screams alert the kobold sentries. Larry and Scott, roll for initiative.]

    Wha-what just happened! I readied my wand this time!!

    [DM: Yeeeah... but, see, I just don't like you. Sorry. Go roll another character, though. After all, the party needs another level one wizard. And grab me a drink while your up, if you want to make level 2 this time.]

    *** ahhh ... I still miss those days... RIP Gary Gygax. Or don't , and go on some kick-ass hell raids against Slaads and tiefling wizard overlords! Just don't forget your dice, brother! ***

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    At Last

    At least people might be able to forget the awful Dungeons and Dragons film now.

  11. Kurt Lundqvist

    Hail to the Chief

    I heard this morning .. I'm really saddened, another icon from my youth gone .. some people get a country mourning for them .. a few get the whole world .. this guy has the flags lowered in worlds without number .. RIP Gary ...

  12. Antony Pearce

    Another life he touched

    Not only can I recall spending hours during my youth playing D&D and AD&D, I can also remember some of my early coding attempts such as different sided dice, character generators, random encounter generators etc.

    I guess all I can say is RIP.

  13. stephen pieraldi
    IT Angle

    Thank you Gary


    It was a chance meeting that gave us friendship. It was you who inspired so much and made us Champions. As one of the 4 Steve's I post this to remind us all how much of a friend, creator, mentor and general DM you were. You leave us, but I'll role my constitution and stand for another day. May the lights guide your path and may your family relish the man you were for the time you spent to give so many a childhood that never ended.

  14. James O'Brien
    Paris Hilton

    So with my +2/+2 Black hat

    and this Coffin of Everfrost plus my stunning good looks and natural ability of Communication this will be the best funeral ever.

    P.S Kudos to whoever gets that reference

    /Paris because she fails ALL of her Fort saves

  15. Paul
    Thumb Up

    Thanks Gary

    Thank you Gary for countless hours of fun over the years and the priceless gift of keeping in touch with my inner child.

  16. Bytus

    Another great man leaves our shores... it me or are we slowly but surely loosing all really creative and inventive people?

    In any case...RIP Gary!

  17. Magnus Egilsson


    Maybe a small silence across all game spheres would be appropriate for a person that made it all happen with a simple pencil and paper

  18. TeeCee Gold badge

    @Simon Holt.

    Nah, what we need here is either an MU or a Druid with Reincarnation.....

    <evil chuckle>

  19. Andy Costello
    Thumb Up

    Raise a glass.

    As a lifelong gaming geek it's sad to see ya go fella.

    RIP you imaginative fekker.

  20. Matthew

    And in related news....

    All nerd-dependent industries (IT, science, electrical engineering) shut down today in a sign of respect.

    RIP Gary.

  21. Jared Earle

    4d6, pick the best three.

    I owe a lot to Gygax, in a way. I worked for GW in the 80s and Nightfall and WotC in the 90s. Many of us geeks owe our careers and social skills to Gygax and Arneson's work. Our computer games wouldn't be the same and the cultural influences are wider than you'd at first imagine.

    Amazingly, D&D survived MADD, Pardue, teleporting Unicorns and Jeremy Irons. With this much thrown at it, we should be impressed by Gygax's work's longevity.

    I'll hoist a pint in a tavern tonight and see if there are any fellow adventurers looking for a new party.

  22. Slaine

    1d4 + 1 minutes of silence

    Thanks for helping me to free my imagination... RIP, amen.

  23. Chris Bamford

    Like many others here

    I played a lot of D&D in my youth with my mates and had a great laugh doing it. RIP Gary, thanks for a great game.

  24. Joe K

    If only i could have been part of it....

    .....but on my council estate childhood i could never find anyone geeky enough to play my fine set of Warlock of Firetop Mountain with me, those pre-internet days were hard for us wary of the sun.

    Remember this Dead Alewives D&D sketch, set to the long forgotten PS2 game Summoner:

  25. Anonymous Coward

    To Gygax

    I will turn my luck D20 on my desk from a 20 to a 1 out of respect for the passing of a man who has brough so much to my life.

  26. Aitor

    Roll a D20 for him..

    It is a shame that he died.. perhaps due to WOTC's D20 system ?

    Anyway, the world is now a darker place...

    but today I will roll a D20 on his honour.

  27. zappafrank

    Farewell to the King!

    Thanks Gary, to open a whole new world to me and my buddies back then in the eigthies. Filling my weekends with dwarfs, dragons and fire wands. Paving the way for a whole new era of gaming. You made the world a better least for a few hours at the weekends. Farewell...

  28. Anonymous Coward

    RIP Gary Gygax.

    Its a real shame,

    I cant help wondering if he will take the undead template.

    Mines the +5 coat of protection.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    Thanks and RIP

    I feel genuinely sad at his passing. I think his influence is still understated. It feels like some part of my childhood died. I doubt I'd be working where I am now if not for his influence on things.

  30. Bruno Girin
    Thumb Up

    Hours of fun

    Thank you Gary for hours of fun!


  31. alistair millington
    Thumb Down

    Them were the days

    I think a random number generator was the first thing any coder tries to do for just one reason.

    To work out character stats, I know my entire A level group did back in the day.

    I spent many a saturday night in my teens off the streets in a darkened dungeon or cellar or temple or old castle being hunted by something rather unpleasant because of this man. Kept me sane and off gangs, alcohol, drugs and doing bad things in a hoodie. Or all of the above.

  32. S Watts

    misspent youth

    I really enjoyed my misspent youth (and not-so-youth) thanks to E. Gary Gygax's legacy, and still play MMORPGs now, though they don't lived up to their tabletop antecedents (but more on that another time...).

    It is a sad day.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I will use my +1 hanky to wipe away my tears.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    Efros the twice cursed

    RIP Gygax, gave me many late nights toiling with all sorts of unspeakable creations. I still have the paperback rule books along with Greyhawk and Blackmoor kicking about somewhere. My nick is the name of my highest character, a level 12 Evil High Priest with one hand and a nasty disposition. I wonder if I invented Ballmer before Ballmer did?


    Mine's the plate armour with fish mail...

  35. John Dow

    Bye, then.

    I think I'll be cracking open the rulebooks and going on a dungeon crawl tonight. It shall be the Gary Gygax Memorial Adventure, and will take place on the 5th of March each year.

  36. Anonymous Coward

    A shame.

    Sad to see such an icon pass.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the horror of reading a preview of 4th Ed finished the job.

    "I owe a lot to Gygax, in a way. I worked for GW in the 80s and Nightfall and WotC in the 90s."

    Long time, no see, Jared :)

    Mike F.

  37. multipharious

    Basic, Expert, and AD&D

    And as a young kid on Christmas, I ran my Vic-20 out of memory entering attack tables... I scampered out the next day and bought an 8KB memory expander for $85.

    All the sleepless weekends, writing epic campaigns, modules, collecting dice, eating pizza, drinking two liters of coke and throwing candy, snarky comments, passing notes to the DM to make the other players paranoid. Learning that being greedy gets you killed. The tension of saving throws. Rolling to get hold of the pretty red rock just for a little private glance, then rolling to put it back...sometimes forgetting. Nomad's Best Treesap Ale with whole bits of barley still in it. Collecting and painting lead figures. Getting killed because you were annoying the DM. The DM ignoring the fact that you forgot to put the very important piece of rolled up paper with strange scribbles back when it came time for the mage to cast the mega importante spell...since it would have ruined the entire ending...and everyone would have died...and I would have gotten my ass kicked in real life for my impish ways.

    Another world, and it did not need a monitor.

    Thanks Gary! Sad day.

  38. Colin Jackson

    Cheers Gary

    "Don't flame the dwarf, he's not worth it!"

    For many of us, D&D was our Breakfast Club.

    So long Gary - HP:0.

  39. Matthew Johns

    Roll for surprise!

    Thirty years ago EGG sold me the tools that helped me to where I am today...sitting in a 10'x10' room with some troglodytes trying to get them to understand the problems they face and work out a solution.

    The debt that the world owes him is vast, his legacy is all around us and will continue long after he is forgotten.

  40. Andy Pellew

    Shame ...

    I met my closest friends thanks to Dungeons and Dragons, and I met my wife thanks to the game.

    He may have created a fantasy world, but it's all the people he brought together in the real world that is probably the best tribute anyone could ever want.

  41. Tim Jenkins

    Has anyone checked

    it isn't just paralysis caused by the touch of a ghoul?

    I seem to remember some unfortunate mistakes from my dungeon-crawling days ; )

    In memory of many happy afternoons avoiding rugby, cross-country runs and other 'healthier' pursuits...

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    He had the wrong DM.

    Get on their good side, and they'd never truly let you die, something suspiciously convenient would turn up at the last minute.


  43. teacake

    "Funeral arrangement are pending"

    Are they trying to find him a portable hole?

    Thank, E. Gary, for a youth spent not caring I was a geek.

  44. bambi

    Black Box Time

    Another hero progressed beyond the realms of the Black Box rules.

    A sad day for geekdom in general,.

  45. Chris Williams

    Very sad

    The text adventure that descended directly from D&D was what got me into computers many years ago so I add my voice to the lamenting collected of geekdom.

    R.I.P. Gary

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Tangine Dream: The Bootleg Box Vol. One

    "Despite his ill health, Gygax had still hosted weekly D&D games at his home until this January."

    Part of me wonders about the "despite his ill health" bit, because D&D isn't the most physically taxing pastime. But then again, given the amount of stress involved, and the shouting, and the nature of his illness, perhaps it's entirely appropriate.

  47. John Foo

    Funeral rites

    1D4 backups have been lost due to network congestion provoked by ettercaps

    1D6+2 strange mail have been sent to random users, from random users

    2D8 + 1 users have been disconnected from their session

    1D12 pints will be dropped on ground

    and 1D20 minutes of silence is to be observed

    rest easily mister Gygax, us nerds won't be forgetting you soon

    *wants weeping red dragon icon

  48. simon
    Thumb Up

    Sad to see him go ....

    His work has touched 20 million people, who else can say that ?

  49. Jamie


    I was ashamed to be a geek until I found that other people in my school also liked D&D. Wasted a lot of my youth playing and have not stopped even with time passing.

    I thinnk with this event it is time that THEREGISTER create a Geek Hall of Fame. And in here put the people who helped twist reality to allow geeks to prosper.

  50. Alan Paice
    IT Angle

    I.T angle?

    Nah just kidding.



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