On March 4, 2008 the gaming world lost a true pioneer of role-playing games. One of the creators of Tactical Studies Rules (TSR) and visionary behind the world renowned Role Playing Game, Dungeons & Dragons, Gary Gygax left us but his memory lives on. Through 40 years of adventure, the gaming community around Dungeons & Dragons has gone through many changes from edition to edition and I thought, what a better way to emphasize this legacy than to share my collection with you all.
40 Years of Adventure
In 1974 TSR released a box set of three pamphlet-like books titled Dungeons & Dragons. Each of these books had no more than thirty-five pages in them but the magic they possessed created hours and hours of entertainment for those brave enough to delve through their pages. These books, in a fashion, could well be considered zero edition. The writers of these powerful tomes, Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, could not have imagined the legacy they were creating at that time, but most likely caught on to what they started.
By the late seventies, Gygax had written and published what is now known as the first edition Advance Dungeons & Dragons. I remember when I first saw these books, they were sitting on the top of my dad’s office desk in our garage. I didn’t know what they were then I just loved the cover art. Little did I know that I would become the mad gamer that I am today. I have to admit, I like being a second generation gamer.
However, my love for the game began with second edition Advance Dungeons & Dragons. After the loss of my father my uncles took up the mantle of my upbringing in some aspects. At the age of nine is when I crawled through my first dungeon with my first character, Tarantus. In this edition I had many characters and enjoyed every minute of the game. I enjoyed it so much that I was hesitant about the next evolution of the game, you might say I rebelled against it in the beginning but soon saw the light.
The late nineties brought the birth of third edition Dungeons & Dragons. When I got to play this edition I came to understand this simple rule: all games need to evolve, that is how they get better… and it did! Third edition was a turning point for D&D. The rules were simplified to the point that younger generations could enjoy the adventure, even families could get in on the dungeon crawl and the hunting of the dragon’s horde. I remember thinking, ‘It can’t get any better.’ But it did.
Third edition, like a lot of good games, had some flaws but instead of ignore them Wizards of the Coast, the new publisher of all things D&D, gave to us 3.5 edition D&D. This edition solved many of the issues, though not all of them, that third edition had. It was nearing epic levels and we couldn’t get enough.
I may not play fourth edition D&D but 3.5 is one I happily continue to play with those that have not been enlightened by the greatness that is Pathfinder but I will always go back to it because it was a good game and to honor the memory of the great Gary Gygax. He may be gone but the game must go on.