Happy Gary Gygax Day!

gary-gygax-day

“You are not entering this world in the usual manner, for you are setting forth to be a Dungeon Master. Certainly there are stout fighters, mighty magic-users, wily thieves, and courageous clerics who will make their mark in the magical lands of D&D adventure. You however, are above even the greatest of these, for as DM you are to become the Shaper of the Cosmos. It is you who will give form and content to the all the universe. You will breathe life into the stillness, giving meaning and purpose to all the actions which are to follow.” ― Gary Gygax (July 27, 1938 – March 4, 2008)

It’s hard to believe that Dungeons & Dragons’ co-creator and undeniable spokesperson has been gone for 10 years. The game has changed a lot since its inception. In the midst of a renaissance, D&D has found new life through actual play videos, virtual tabletops, and an edition that simplified the game and made it accessible to the masses.

I’m proud to say I will have been playing Dungeons & Dragons for 40 years come December. There was nothing “cool” about it then. But we did not falter in our passion. We weathered the ‘Satanic Panic’ and Edition Wars, the Rise and Fall of TSR, and the Horror of Courtney Solomon.

The game today is far different from when Gygax held court. Gone is the adversarial relationship between DM and Player. No more is the emphasis on treasure and dungeon crawls and xp. Now it’s all about character creation, collaborative storytelling, and roleplaying.

Not that those elements didn’t exist, but the emphasis has shifted and the game is better for it.

There is one simple truth and that’s we wouldn’t be enjoying D&D’s resurgence if not for Ernest Gary Gygax’s dream back in the early 70s. It is on his shoulders that today’s creators, celebrities, and players stand.

From all of us to all of you, Happy Gary Gygax Day! And Happy Birthday to the original Shaper of the Cosmos.

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