Fitting tribute

Does anyone else think we should start a fund to build a mausoleum for E. Gary Gygax (who died Monday), based on the layout of the Tomb of Horrors? I mean, building a gelatinous cube and the sphere of annihilation would be a challenge, but it would be so worth it. Plus, Lake Geneva could use a tourist attraction. So what if it would kill 98% of the people who went into it.

Image thanks to Mad Irishman, and is probably © Wizards of the Coast

Update: It also appears that EGG’s death is causing a number of people to break out their old, original D&D books to play “tribute” games. I suspect that people might wind up seeing how much better the original was in some ways (worse in others, of course). For example, people who have never played a D&D game that didn’t involve feats may be in for a surprise. It would be cool if this brought more people to the idea that simple rules sets are often better, and bail out on all these systems that are built around micro-rules, such as feats and charms and spells and so on, that really exist as a driver to sell more books.

For those itching for some original AD&D goodness, but who don’t have the books and can’t find them in a torrent somewhere (*cough*), there is an alternative. The Old School Reference & Index Compilation (OSRIC) is an open license version of what are basically the original AD&D rules, legally sanitized to remove “artistic representation” and trademarks owned by TSR Wizards of the Coast. Happy hunting.

Update 2: Looks like someone actually is building a Gary Gygax Memorial. Sadly, just a bust of the man, not a full on tomb.

6 Responses to “Fitting tribute”

1Adam Says:

Interesting that you bring up Tri-Stat as one of the simple systems — I always thought that while Tri-Stat was simple in play, character generation was so big and open to interpretation that I think many people get discouraged by it, and “mastery of chargen” has a lot of effect on the gameplay.

2Wordman Says:

I’d pretty much always trade up-front complexity at chargen for speed during play. The trick to systems like Tri-Stat is that you need good players. If the players are there to entertain each other, the looseness of the system works in your favor. If they are there to “win”, it’s hell. It does lend itself to “templates” during chargen, though, which can speed things up.

3Adam Says:

Yeah — adding templates to BESM Third Edition was one of the best things to happen to Tri-Stat. Unfortunate that it was also one of the last things to happen to Tri-Stat.

The problem with a bunch of up-front complexity, IMO, is convincing someone to stick through it so they can have fun later. People want satisfaction and fun right away, for the most part. Now, the obvious way to get around that is to have the more experienced people/the GM design characters for other players, to help them jump into the action, but that’s not a _game_ solution, that’s a _play_ solution.

4Grant in Australia Says:

Nice idea! Did you catch the latest XKCD comic? ( – hillarious 🙂

5McBlog » Best “Bye Bye Gary Gygax” Comment Says:

[…] Gygax, the inventor of the game Dungeons & Dragons, died recently. Wordman has suggested building mausoleum based on Tomb of Horrors – very amusing & original, but I think that the latest XKCD strip takes the […]

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