And So Hath Left The Master (by alex kinnan)

By Alex Kinnan

I had been trying to come up with some kind of simple tribute to Gary Gygax since his death last week, but have found myself unable to devise something that pays appropriate tribute to a person whose work has had a broader and more diverse impact on my life to this point than I fully realise or might admit.

My tardiness in posting this crude homage would be even more a source of unease for me were it not for what appears to have been, over this past week, a growing awareness in the media's consciousness of the impact of his work on our society as a whole. There's no shortage of literature, TV, films, and video games that would either not exist if it were not for Gary Gygax's work, or at least would not be as popular as they presently are.

Of course, I'm sure that none of the cool cats here have ever had more than a minimal awareness of what D&D is, and that fewer still have ever rolled a d20 in anger. Regardless, I apologise for the undercooked nature of this entry, especially in light of the impact of its subject's accomplishments.


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I played Dungeons and Dragons during recess in 6th grade. There was lots of bickering and the two guys in charge employed a set of rules which seemed to only benefit their own advancement. They had all of these weird allowances for their own characters in order to make them the strongest and most obvious leaders. Because of this, our games sort of fell apart not too long after they started. That and our 6th grade teachers thought we were worshiping the devil.

I imagine the game would have been a lot more fun later in life, with more creative individuals involved, but I also imagine playing D&D later in life would have seriously hampered my already difficult and awkward social life. Wizards and warriors don't exactly attract the ladies. That said, Gygax deserves much credit for creating what he created and he surely enriched the lives of many of my friends.

A side note: the two "leaders" of our 6th grade D&D slams went on to lead fairly interesting lives. One is now a Catholic priest (he was ordained just two years ago) and the other got married to a Japanese chick in Japan. The latter has also been known to write bad poetry about UFOs and the Doors.

"Wizards and warriors don't exactly attract the ladies."

1: Wizards got no time for nobody but wizards.

2: !!??

2a: "Shootin' at the walls of heartache, bang,
bang, I am the warrior
Well I am the warrior, and heart to heart
you'll win..if you survive
the warrior....the warrior..."


I played in that 6th grade game briefly. I was slain by an elf. I was a fan of the cool looking, many sided die(sp) though....

So, I just had to go home and find someplace else to draw my pentagrams, desecrate animal carcasses, and worship the Dark One.

By the way, you're right, Chris. The "Lizard King" is WAY overrated.

I never played D & D, and my first recollection of its existence came in about 4th grade, when some kid brought in the 20-sided die. He was a dick back then (and more then likely is one now), so I thought it was lame by association.

However, the cartoon was always a favorite of mine to watch, and I totally agree that it would be more fun later in life. Perhaps if they melded things in a more absurd way, it would catch my attention moreso. Like, White Trash Wizard (Level 9) casts Spell of Welfare on your Metrosexual Knight, thus effecting his ability to equip the Armor of Vuitton?

But yes, Mr. Gygax has certainly left a mammoth impression on the world. I wonder if his funeral will be/was a fan-filled sight to see?


Weave, you been back to "the region" of PA lately? There's tons of White Trash Wizards casting Spells of Welfare all over the place.
Schuylkill County alone is like a giant Fortress of Solitude for these particular Dungeon Masters.
(sorry to mix DC comics with fantasy RPG's, I'm sure hardcore fans will be pissed...)

If I, for some reason, ever were to get back into the care and feeding of a D&D campaign world, you guys have inspired me to have a major Dwarven city named Coal Township somewhere in it.

I would even feel compelled to establish Great Wizard Mifflin as being only one member of the fyne and ancient lineage that be ye House of Shamokin. he might even have a rogue brother of considerable, yet ill-used talent. I would likely call him Ralpho.

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This page contains a single entry by Alex Kinnan published on March 14, 2008 8:00 AM.

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