With Great Sadness

It was with great sadness that I opened an email from my cousin Bob today. Bob forwarded an email sent by his brother (also my cousin) Mark. The email was about the passing of Gary Gaygax, the creator of Dungeons & Dragons.

D & D was a HUGE part of my youth.

For me, it all started with some grade school friends. D & D started as a "recess activity" for us, and spread to become the reason for, and primary focus of quite a few after school, weekend, and overnight get togethers.

Then (for me) the world of D & D spread to my neighborhood friends, and with my cousins.

D & D ate up a lot of my time, and even more of my money. I would scrimp and save for the next module, or manual. I would spend hours creating my own dungeons, filling them with monsters, treasures, and back-stories.

As with most "D & D geeks" (a badge I wear with honor!) - I became a computer geek. My first computer (a Texas Instruments TI-99/4A) hosted a game called "Tunnels of Doom" that was based on the RPG D & D.

I just cracked out my stash of D & D paraphernalia (yes, I still have all of it) and took inventory...

19 dice (4 of them still from the original D & D set I bought all those years ago)

The original Dungeons & Dragons Basic Rulebook
The Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Players Handbook
The Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Masters Guide (A personal Favorite)
The Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual
The Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeoneer's Survival Guide

6 Modules
B1 - In Search of the Unknown
C1 - The hidden Shrine of Tamoachan
S1 - Tomb of Horrors
S2 - White Plume Mountain
A4 - In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords
G1-2-3 Against the Giants

And a supplemental "aftermarket" 30 sided dice and matching Gaming Table book.

(I'll try to update this post with a photo of my "Childhood Treasures!")

Back in the day (early 80's) Dungeons & Dragons was associated with Satanic Rituals, and Devil Worship. I remember many people talking about it, and stories of "Dungeons & Dragons suicides" making the news. Many "religious" groups spoke out about the game. I'll tell you this - Dungeons & Dragons kept us busy and occupied for several years. And since "idle hands are the Devil's plaything" - I think the time I spent playing D & D played a part in keeping me OUT of trouble...

Well, Gary - wherever you are, you will be in my thoughts tonight.

As I fall asleep, I will undoubtedly do so to the thoughts and dreams of the many dungeons I have explored, the monsters I have slain, the treasures I have found, the worlds I have created, the friends I have made, and a childhood filled with happy thoughts of wonder, amazement, creativity, and imagination...

Thank you Gary.
God Speed.

5 comments:

  1. Ha! Figures.

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  2. My brother..the umm..cough cough...ex con, LOVED D&D when we were kids. I never did get it really. He was forever making up maps and characters and such, while I was forever killing off his characters with my inept role-playing abilities and an inherent bad luck with the dice.

    I wonder what Gaygax's coffin will look like though and who will inherit his character's surely mammoth hit points?
    (I SO don't know what I'm talking about!)

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  3. I KNEW IT, as soon as I heard this on the radio, I thought of you. You have my sympathies!

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  4. I never played D & D but it is amazing what connections we have with our childhood games.

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  5. ...I don't even know what to say....you turned OK pretty good considering..... :)

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