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Gygax, Gary

(1938-2008) US Game designer and author, in the latter capacity almost exclusively of Fantasy novels [see Checklist below]; he also wrote as E Gary Gygax. His importance to sf and allied genres stems from his role in the progression from a Wargame with added fantasy elements – Chainmail (1971 Guidon Games; rev 1972; rev 1975) with Jeff Perren – into the seminal fantasy Role Playing Game Dungeons and Dragons (1974 TSR; rev 1977; rev 1980; rev 1983; rev 2000; rev 2003; rev 2008) with Dave Arneson, a co-operative game run under the control of a Dungeon Master or Gamemaster.

Of direct sf relevance is his Victorious German Arms: An Alternate Military History of World War Two (1973 chap) as E Gary Gygax, with Terry Stafford, an exercise in Alternate History in which – as indicated by the title – Hitler Wins. Gygax's Greyhawk fantasy sequences [see Checklist below] build on the "Castle Greyhawk" setting of his own early fantasy role-playing game scenario, which also gave its name to Greyhawk (1975 chap) with Robert J Kuntz, the first important supplement to the Dungeons and Dragons rulebooks [not listed below]. [DRL]

see also: Adventure; Computer Role Playing Game; Richard Garriott; Hypertext; Metamorphosis Alpha; Kim Mohan; Online Worlds; Postal Worlds; Strange Adventures in Infinite Space; Sword and Sorcery; Videogame.

Ernest Gary Gygax

born Chicago, Illinois: 27 July 1938

died Lake Geneva, Wisconsin: 4 March 2008



Sagard the Barbarian

Greyhawk: Gord the Rogue

Greyhawk: Greyhawk Adventures


collections and stories


Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 08:27 am on 27 June 2022.