It’s 1983 and I was invited to play something called DnD with a couple of friends from Intermediate School. An afternoon was spent with dice and some paper and Presto, an elven fighter/magic-user was created. An alter ego with whom I could lob a magic missile and destroy a kobold, explore a dungeon and find lots of treasure! Being a scrawny, smart kid in a town full of rednecks it was an escape I sorely needed. It was a place where I could adventure and rescue the kidnapped princess and, for once, be the hero.
A little while goes by and my brother comes to live with us and, having only briefly met him on a handful of occasions, and Dungeons and Dragons establishes some common ground. It’s something we’re both interested in and instantly bridges this large gap of uncertainty between us. What did it mean to have a brother, anyway? But I knew what it meant to have a Dungeon Master running a game.
It’s now 2008 and Gary Gygax, the creator of that game that I spent so many, many hours playing has died. It’s a game that I still play, 25 years later. I just played it with a group of friends the other day. Mr. Gygax, while I never met you, the game you created had a profound effect on me. You helped me escape the hell that was growing up in that tiny town. You gave me a connection to a virtually unknown close relative and provided (virtually) the introductions to some of my best friends that continue to this day. Sleep well Mr. Gygax.