The Seven Stages of Gygax

Joy: Wow, this is exciting. I’m having adventures in a magical world of gods, demons, and dragons. I love magic missile because it hits automatically! Weapon specialization? Cool. Double weapon specialization? Hell yeah! Hey, who’s behind these giant attacks? Drow? Awesome!

Discontent: How come in basic D&D;, elf and dwarf are classes? That’s really stupid. “What do you do, good sir?” “Why, stout yeoman, I am an elf, professionally!” Duh. And speaking of classes, why are they so restrictive? And why are so many fighters exactly alike? If psionics are so rare, why is there at least one character in every party who has it? And someone with an 18/00 strength for that matter.

Anger: I need a frickin’ dictionary just to read the DMG. This Gygaxian prose is killing me. And a harlot table? What the hell? That barbarian from Dragon Magazine should be called the super-fighter. And don’t even get me started on the cavalier. And what’s up with Greyhawk? It’s geography makes no sense at all. And why does magic missile hit automatically and get better as you up in levels? That’s totally broken. In fact, this entire game is broken!

Abandonment: Gygax was nothing but a hack with a thesaurus. Did you ever try to read one of his so-called novels? To hell with him and AD&D.; He screwed over Dave Arneson anyway. I’m off to greener pastures. I hear Runequest is skill based and Glorantha is so authentically mythic. And Champions has point build character creation with advantages and disadvantages. And in Traveler, you can die right in character creation!

Exploration: All popular games are crap! I need to go to the furthest reaches of the imagination to find the game best suited to the unique snowflake that is me. What, you can find it in a store? That’s not obscure enough! Keep on roll-playing, you drones. I am an artist and roleplaying is my form.

Nostalgia: Man, being artistic can be fufilling and all, but it’s also hard work. I’m coming out of sessions emotionally wrung out and tired. Isn’t this supposed to be my hobby? Remember when we used to play AD&D; and we took on those slavers? Yeah, that was fun back then.

Return: It’s true that Gygax could be a pompous ass at times, but whatever. He also took a tiny niche hobby helped spread it to millions around the world. And hell if playing some AD&D; isn’t still fun, even with its restrictive classes, arcane rules, and tortured grammar. Thanks for everything, Gary. We wouldn’t have gone on this journey without you.

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