Sad news for geeks around the world today. One of the creators of the fantasy role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons, Gary Gygax, passed away. For anyone who struggled to fit in during high school, D&D was often one of the only safe refuges you could find. I mean, who would dare slam a half-orc fighter-mage with a strength of 18 and a +5 Sword of Ultimate Cleaving into a locker? Or knock their books out of their hand in the hallway? That's right! No one would! Um, not that any of those things ever happened to me, of course.
Anyway, while all the "cool kids" would be out drinking beer and partying on Friday nights, us geeks would gather in someone's basement, multi-faceted dice in our custom-designed dice bags, to slay umber hulks and bugbears. It was high adventure, I tell you. I still vividly remember some of the campaigns my friends and I went on. I even uncovered some old character drawings of mine. Delhanha and Elias were two of my favorite characters. Although if I remember right, Elias was met an untimely death at the hand of Vecna, the Arch-Lich. That was a particularly nasty bit of business. If anyone ever asks if you'd like to infiltrate your way into the Fortress of Drakmoor, destroy the Spider Throne and recover the Sword of Kas...as tempting as it may sound, say no.
Somewhere along the way I lost my original handbooks, but recently repurchased a 2nd Edition Players Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, and Greyhawk Adventures Manual, all on the off-chance I ever encounter a motley band of ex-geeks (or not-so-ex geeks) who want to dust off their Helms of Insight and scrape the rust from their Swords of Wounding and give it another go. Haven't found such a group yet, but I haven't given up my search.
For those of you still unfamiliar with what Dungeons and Dragons is really all about, watch this hilarious sketch called "Summoner Geeks". This short cartoon captures the essence of nearly every late-night campaign I ever played. I would usually alternate between being the dungeon master and the guy arguing about having previously cast a spell.
And, here's a great clip from Reno: 911 that demonstrates what can happen if you take your D&D playing a bit too far. Which I never did, of course. Well, except for that time some friends and I decided to build a forge and make our own swords. Yeah, that didn't work out quite like we were expecting. At least we put out the flames before they reached the house.