|Host of Angels|
So, I got the news of Gary Gygax's death last night just as we finished a session.
The players had just waded heroically through the goblins in the glassworks. Their reconnaissance was good, they knew where their foe was, they had a sketch plan of the interior. A classic, well organised raid. The ranger (goblin favoured) charging in pausing only to impale fleeing goblins with arrows, the half-orc dancing-girl monk laying down bladed scarf death to the left and right. The rogue, sneak attacking the surprised goblins and the wizard - well it had to be a magic missile.
The game is still the same one I started playing back in, what was it 1977? For sure it has changed, but the thief is still back-stabbing and the wizard has the same spells. What struck me last night, as I wound down from the game back home was how far Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax's idea had come, without being diluted - and what a powerful idea that made it.
As if to underline that thought - we took the game a step forward last night. For the first time, we used Skype to bring a player who could not attend to the table. He was stuck home with sick family and it took us the best part of an hour, two computers, two web cams and lots of fiddling to get it to work - but it did work for us. It was a bit odd, but we all settled into it OK. We pointed the webcam at the map and the party wizard went from an NPC to a PC for the night.
Another example of what a brilliant concept Dave and Gary came up with. How far it can be stretched and still remain true to its roots. Gary's presence in the gaming community will be missed. DnD has given me countless hours of pleasure, my condolences to his family and friends.
I guess we will now have another reason to remember GM's Day - when the community lost the first Dungeon Master.