More than 5000 men and three women, clutching dog-eared rulebooks and dice, have gathered outside Dungeons & Dragons creator Gary Gygax’s Wisconsin home this week, after learning the American game designer had died at the age of 69. Although official reports have blamed a heart attack, archmage Mordenkainen is claiming responsibility and demanding experience points for the kill.
According to his family, Gygax, who also created boardgames, chess variants and the phrase “goddamn rules lawyer”, was found in bed on Tuesday morning. After checking for a pulse, his daughter searched the body for loot, finding 2d6 gems, a potion of healing and a mysterious map.
His widow Gail issued a statement yesterday afternoon: “Until a high-level cleric of the sun god Pelor can be found to cast a resurrection spell, Gary’s body will be interred in the Tomb Of Horrors, near the Keep On The Borderlands, where it will be safe from vile necromancers.”
The funeral will be a quiet, private affair, with the family asking orcs, red dragons and Demogorgon, Prince Of Demons And Lord Of All That Swims In Darkness not to attend. “We’d also ask D&D fans to refrain from rubbing their dice on Gary’s corpse for luck,” said Mrs Gygax.
Apparently there has been some dispute over Gygax’s will, with a sum of 500 platinum pieces still to be allocated. In accordance with his wishes, and first edition D&D rules, Gary will be buried with his vorpal sword and plate mail +5.
With Gygax’s passing, George Lucas has officially assumed the mantle of “Most Influential Nerd Alive”.