You have died! [Pixellated graphic of a beshrouded corpse being pulled away on a cart]

Well no doubt everyone now knows about the death of Gary Gygax, the co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons.

I was really surprised by how much I was upset by this. That isn’t to say I’ve been running around town looking for TV cameras into which I can theatrically wail and beat my breast, I’m not falling to bits over it, or anything, but it did make me a bit sad. I’ve been trying to work out why, and I think the answer might lie in a list of the “First Five Computer Games I played” which, in order, were

    Hillsfar [Completed as Cleric, stuck on everything else]
    Pirates! [Best retirement profession ‘Soldier’]
    Spellcasting 201 : the Sorceror’s appliance

[Finally completed 2007]

    Curse of the Azure Bonds [Bloody, bloody otyughs]
    Paperboy 2 [I made it to Week One, Thursday, once. At something like 0600h, because I got up early to play it before school. At the age of seven.]

I tend to think of myself as not being someone who’s ever been able to do RPGs, on account of I never had friends who wanted to tabletop. Or, eg, any money with which to buy any of the stuff, so I just watched Knightmare and read Barmey Jeffers books. But also I played a whole bundle of the computer AD&D stuff, and still do (often with childish delight if a passing NPC makes a reference to something I’ve previously done).

Hell, half of the stuff I pipe through DOSbox I still have the orignal boxes for (and the Espruar to Dethek translation wheels.) I carved the little JTA logo into a pub table once, just so on future visits to the place I could think to myself “You sit at your usual table, the one with your initials carved in it.”

And, somehow, I’ve carried on thinking I didn’t do much in the way of D&D, until today when I was suddenly trying to work out why I was so much more cut up than I’d expected to be. And I didn’t even have to look at the comments on El Reg to start making approximate jokes (I’d only read the headline and I’d come up with “Cleric!” and “Get his stuff”)

‘s a funny old world.

(Also can I just say that my favourite joke is “He will be critically missed,” which had me laughing for about twenty minutes. And my second favourite is “Please observe 1 d4 minutes silence”.)

Anyway, some of us have got to go eat food. Otherwise we’re going to start having to make fortiude saves against fatigue, and that sort of thing never ends well.

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  1. On March 05, 2008 The Pacifist says:

    At least there aren’t many “rolling in his grave” jokes yet….