Today, July 27th, is the birthday of E. Gary Gygax, the father of Dungeons and Dragons. I misspent a good number of teenage afternoons as a DM or shopping at the old Mr. Gameway’s Ark on Yonge Street just south of Bloor, and it’s all thanks to him.
I got my start when someone gave me the Basic Dungeons and Dragons set (the 1981 edition), which was simple enough to get you started:
It featured a set of dice (not all that hot, but okay enough for newbies) and the introductory module, The Keep on the Borderlands, written by Gygax himself:
There are still little details from this module that are still etched into my brain, such as the fact that “bree-YARK” is Kobold for “Hey, rube!” (And I’m not the only one.)
I graduated to AD&D, and this was my ever-present companion:
Ah, the Random Harlot Encounter Table. Good times.
Gary reached 0 HP four years ago. His influence still abounds today — you may even feel his presence at the upcoming Fan Expo taking place here in Accordion City in a few weeks. Let’s raise 1d20 ounces of our favourite beverage, and salute Gary!