That Mythical Beast. Gary Gygax 27 July 1938 – 4 March 2008

I just thought I should share a quick memory. Back in the summer of 1989 my friends and I had had just started our journey into the world of roleplaying. We were playing Rolemaster but I was reading Dragon magazine on the side and really fancied trying Dungeons and Dragons but it would be another few months before we would get the chance.

Gary Gygax

As the year drew on my friend was given the old D&D set for his birthday and I sat telling them about everything I’d read. The one thing we always found strange was that our GM rarely gave us more than orcs and dragons to fight against but with D&D there were loads more to choose from with just as many unfamiliar tongue twisting names. Every day we played we would pick a new monster and the GM would find a way to fit them into the story somehow.

There was one monster we could never find in the books though. I’d seen the name mentioned in Dragon a few times when reading about D&D but the stats always eluded us. That monster was of course the Gygax. We could never find any pictures of the thing either so our imaginations ran wild. We thought of it as a giant Hydra like monster that could level whole towns in a second. Before long our GM drew up stats himself and for the rest of the year we ran a game where the culmination would be taking on the Gygax to free the kingdom and either win the princess’ heart or be rewarded with enough beer to drown in depending on which character you talked to. It was immense.

It was about 4 years later when we found out that the Gygax I had seen mentioned in the magazine was actually Gary Gygax and not some monster that had been made up for the game. I blame it on being from Scotland where most surnames start with Mc or Mac. We just didn’t stand a chance of beating our imaginations into submission.

Other thoughts and memories can be found at Unclebear’s website

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