Dungeons & Dragons creator dies

Gary Gygax, cocreator of the pen-and-paper game that directly spawned Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights and influenced the entire RPG genre, has died at age 69.

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Before there were any role-playing video games, there were pen-and-paper role-playing games. This week brings the sad news that one of the founders of the most famous analog RPG has passed way. Gary Gygax, cocreator of Dungeons & Dragons, died on Tuesday at the age of 69. He had suffered from heart problems.

Gary Gygax: 1938-2008 (photo: Alan De Smet)

The news was first announced on the forums of Troll Lord Games, the publisher of Gygax's most recent works. It has since been directly confirmed by the company, which will post an announcement on its Web site later today.

Gygax was best known for helping create Dungeons & Dragons and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, and pioneered tabletop RPGs. The first D&D rulebooks were released in 1974 by TSR, Inc., the tabletop RPG company Gygax founded with Don Kaye the year prior. Since then, there have been three full-fledged reworkings of D&D, numerous revisions and updates, and dozens of additional rulebooks, settings, and campaigns.

Since TSR was purchased by Wizards of the Coast in 1997, the game has seen even more expansions and updates. The company released Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition in 2000, and Dungeons & Dragons 4.0 is scheduled to ship this coming June. Although Gygax hadn't had much direct involvement with D&D for many years, he developed and contributed to many RPGs, such as Gary Gygax's Fantasy Worlds from Troll Lord Games.

If not for Gygax's contributions, video games would look much different than they do today. D&D's systems and mythos led directly to many marquee video game RPGs, including the Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights series from BioWare. Its influence can also be seen in many other modern fantasy RPGs, including The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and World of Warcraft. Another of TSR's pen-and-paper RPGs, Star Frontiers, was the precursor to many science fiction RPGs, such as Mass Effect.

Discussion

684 comments
donaldcwilliams
donaldcwilliams

Man, at the age of 16, I was hoping that he would adopt me! Too bad, he created the COOLEST game that didn't require electricity to play. All you needed was your imagination. You will be missed Gary.

TheVGamer
TheVGamer

May the maker watch over his soul... Ups, wrong universe! rest in peace.

jefferson1964
jefferson1964

I used to play D&D all the time in early high school years...but stopped when I started driving/dating and had not time left for gaming in those days...I did play all the baldurs gate series and really enjoyed those games which brought back some good memories with friends and rolling the dice and using our imagination.....RIP

Meme_lon_chin
Meme_lon_chin

May he rest in peace I never got involved in D&D games until I played Neverwinter nights wich I one of my favs RPGs.

Dirael
Dirael

Dear Lord... He was a great man. Done so much... Rest in peace.

Mr_Versipellis
Mr_Versipellis

Awwwww... Tragic... He's done so much for RPGs...

lhasalovers
lhasalovers

Dear GameSpot Frazer Here I Am So So Very Sorry To That Mr Gray Gygax Has Passed away? email me at fjenkins10@aol.com ps agine I Am Verry Sorry

Australians
Australians

you have made gaming more fun by helping create a game that created a revolution in gaming history as you are one of the oldest games and most famous game creater may you Rest In Peace

tehpurplepills
tehpurplepills

the age that he died at is the closest a dungeion and dragons player will ever get to s**

Keitha313
Keitha313

Well he helped create one good game and that was it big whoop... Its a gaming site not a memorial site sort your prioritys out gamespot!!.

naysayers
naysayers

i cant speak...hmm'...see you on the next life'....you ROCK!!!!

Decardcain
Decardcain

you create a mythology ... we continue a legend ... R.P.G RULES bro....

gexicus
gexicus

sorry for bumpin this...but i only found out recently. Roll 'Ice Please

Star_Jump
Star_Jump

RIP Gary, your contribution to the world of games has been unquestionable and timeless.

CCyberDDemon
CCyberDDemon

so long gary ..thankyou for the fun. if you find tolkien arround there give him our regards. long live the phantasy world. lets slay some goblins

bladezguy
bladezguy

Rest in peace but some of his games are for losers that have no life. Mass effect is really good and oblivion is awesome. But I don't really like the others much.

migduvednok
migduvednok

An amazing effort, being a single young guy in the late 60's, founding such a large innovating entertainment concept. Deepest of respects.

Xeuton_Mojukai
Xeuton_Mojukai

It isn't just western RPG's that Gary influenced. It's hardly a secret that Final Fantasy's original system was heavily inspired by the D&D ruleset. Also, the entire idea of ability scores, which are seen in more games than one might care to count, from Lord of the RIngs: The Return of the King, all the way to Team Fortress 2. I hope he brings as much joy and innovation to the next world as he has to this one. Otherwise, it will feel very boring once we all get there.

Faith256
Faith256

Man thats really sad, D&D was the basis for all the roleplaying games of today...ahmmm 69.

Nocturnal_Speed
Nocturnal_Speed

Thanks for everything you've accomplished here on earth and how you changed the face of gaming. With out you i wouldn't have been able to enjoy all the great RPG's that touched me dearly. May god bless you and much love from all your fans.

cengi
cengi

RIP dude, hope you having fun up there

cheatcommando
cheatcommando

That's a darn shame. Almost every RPG I play was influenced by this guy. I'll continue to play them in his honor.

Count_MarCus
Count_MarCus

Oh dear, RIP. We people will never forget you and effort to continue your struggle! -Vz

WitteKraai
WitteKraai

4TH EDITION THIS SUMMER, LET US CAMPAIGN IN HIS MEMORY! Seriously, remember him in your next campaign somehow.

Revliv
Revliv

Game world lost one of his master. Without him, there's no DnD, Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, and other RPG game. GBU Mr. Gygax

d-rtyboy
d-rtyboy

I vote for a National Gary Gygax Day.

snakes3425
snakes3425

The world has lost a great artist and storyteller. RIP Gary Gygax:(

lt411
lt411

The original Dungeon Master has enriched my life. God bless you Gary Gygax. I hope to see you on the other side.

jacek007
jacek007

you made my life better and i wish you'r sole rest in peace

dvros
dvros

o.O "Oh noes!"

madaseyer
madaseyer

R.I.P.Gygax may his soul rest with god...

josh868
josh868

Gary's rolling critical hits in that big campaign in the sky. We have so much to thank him for.

cursedsolaris
cursedsolaris

We Gamers will forever be in your debt, Gary. Thank you for sharing your world with us and allowing us to explore it with you.

Wolfe13
Wolfe13

Thanks for making my life better, goodbye... Howl !!!

FatalErr
FatalErr

Thank you for making RPG's experiences possible, my condolenses to his family.

BloodMist
BloodMist

Damn that's too bad, RIP Gygax, you will live forever on in your appearance on Futurama.

sunilian
sunilian

may his soul rest in peace

godvigor
godvigor

may you live on in or hearts oh great god of rpg's

Darkanagar
Darkanagar

RIP Gary Gynax Thank you for bringing great rpgs to the world that touched my heart and gave me hours of entertainment that i will never forget.