Tuesday this week held some rather depressing news, "Gary Gygax, ‘Father of D&D’, Dies at 69". There is a lot of that going on, bad news in the role-playing game industry. It wasn’t so long ago that Erick Wujcik (age 56), one on the madmen of Palladium Books, was diagnosed with a case of pancreatic cancer that had spread to his liver. It was just out of the blue with no warning. Erick is the mastermind behind RPGs covering such licenses–meaning turning someone else’s non-game working into a game–as "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness" and "Amber Diceless Role-playing Game". Going back to Gygax, it bears some repeating that without D&D the RPG landscape wouldn’t be the way it is today. Things could have turned out very differently.
It seems doubtful there would have been no industry at all. The seeds had already been planted. D&D did however cause the RPG scene to practically explode, and certainly with that explosion came a raft of inspiration that would fuel countless other games each having pulled within them varying amounts of inspiration from Gygax’s game and rules even if only by virtue of their connection to the games that came before them. To inject a personal note, I have had little direct contact with D&D. I have played only one short interrupted session of the game once upon the time, and the two or three books I picked up were more for collector reasons than to put them to use. Still, its impact is undeniable, and I’d rather not know what things would be like without it. So, here’s to you Gary Gygax!
Music: Glory to the Brave by Hammerfall.