Gygax Worship

I'm a fan of Gary Gygax.  He and Arneson pretty much invented RPGs.  AD&D First Edition will always be my favorite core rulebook for a lot of reasons (not favorite edition though).  I get why he is important and has a special place in the hearts of gamers.  But let's not forget that he was a human being, not some god from the outer plane of Elysium as much as some would hope.

I see many grognards who seem to quote his name every third sentence, throwing around the word, "milieu" left and right, quoting him for truth to add heft to an argument.  "Gygax's 97th game at GenCon #x ran module xyz and said abc, so that's why you're wrong" is something I commonly see among his fandom.

Let's not forget that there were a lot of other people that made D&D what it was.  D&D would not be the same to me without the art of Otus, Elmore and others.  The B/X rules are arguably the best written, most concise rules D&D ever published and Gygax had little to do with it.  And let's not forget that Gygax sold us down the river in the later years of 2nd edition, caught up in the business and politics of it all.

We owe a lot to him for his work, but his interpretation of the game was often very unstable.  You can make a case for almost any type of RPG argument by quoting something Gygax said depending on the time he said it.  Did he love using minis?  Depends when you asked.  Did he love surprise in combat?  Well he put it in his book, but didn't seem to use it much.  Was Tolkien an inspiration for the game?  He would say "yes" and "no".  The art of role-playing games is not found within one man, just as the art of fine music is not found only in Bach, for we'd be missing the contributions of Wagner, Bach and Beetoven.

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