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Ernest Gary Gygax (pronounced: /ˈggɑːksGY-gaks[1][2]), born July 27, 1938, in Chicago, Illinois; died March 4, 2008, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, aged 69 years) was best known as the author of Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), co-created with Dave Arneson and co-published with Don Kaye in 1974 under the company TSR, Inc.. Although not alone in contributing to the origins of the industry, Gygax is generally considered to be the "father" of the modern role-playing hobby.

Job titles[]

  • 1970-73 – Editor-in-Chief, Guidon Games (publisher of Wargaming rules and wargames)
  • 1973-83 – Partner of TSR and then President of TSR Hobbies, Inc.
  • 1983-85 – President, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS Entertainment Corporation
Co-Producer, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS Animated Television Show
  • 1983-85 – Chairman of the Board of Directors and President (1985 only) of TSR, Inc.
  • 1986-88 – Chairman of the Board of Directors, New Infinities Productions, Inc.
  • 1988-94 – Creator/author under contract to Omega Helios Limited
  • 1995-... – Creator/author under contract to Trigee Enterprises Corporation
  • 1999-... – Partner, Hekaforge Productions

Role-playing games[]

Boot Hill - role-playing elements in the Wild West, with Brian Blume, 1975

D&d original

Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set

Dungeons & Dragons[]

  • Supplements:
    • Greyhawk (with Rob Kuntz)
    • Eldritch Wizardry (with Brian Blume)
    • Swords & Spells
  • Accessories:
  • Adventures:
    • The Keep on the Borderlands

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons[]

  • Rule books:
  • Supplements:
  • Accessories:
    • Dungeon Geomorphs (3 sets)
    • Outdoor Geomorphs
    • Monster & Treasure Assortments (3 sets)
  • Adventures:
    • D1 Descent Into the Depths of the Earth
    • D2 Shrine of the Kuo-Toa
    • D3 Vault of the Drow
    • EX1 Dungeonland
    • EX2 The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror
    • G1 Steading of the Hill Giant Chief
    • G2 Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl
    • G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King
    • Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits (with Dave Sutherland)
    • S1 Tomb of Horrors
    • S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks
    • S4 The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth
    • T1 The Village of Hommlet
    • T1-4 The Temple of Elemental Evil (with Frank Mentzer)
    • WG4 The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun
    • WG5 Mordenkainen's Fantastic Adventure (with Rob Kuntz)
    • WG6 Isle of the Ape

Dangerous Journeys[]

  • Mythus – (with Dave Newton), Game Designers Workshop, 1992
  • Mythus Magick – Book II of the MYTHUS Game (with Dave Newton), GDW, 1992
  • Epic of Ærth – Companion Volume to the MYTHUS Game, GDW, 1992
  • Necropolis – Adventure Scenario, GDW, 1993
  • Mythus Bestiary, Ærth Animalia – (with Dave & Michele Newton), GDW, 1993
  • Changeling – Weird Science Fantasy Role-Playing Game, published in part in Mythic Masters Magazine (see Periodicals)

Lejendary Adventures[]

  • Rule books:
    • Lejendary Rules for All Players - Hekaforge Productions, 1999
    • Lejend Master's Lore - Hekaforge Productions, 2000
    • Beasts of Lejend - Hekaforge Productions, 2000
  • World Setting sourcebooks:
    • Legendary Earth Gazetteer - Part 1, Hekaforge Productions, 2002
    • Noble Kings & Dark Lands - Part 2, (with Chris Clark) Hekaforge Productions, 2003
    • The Mysterious Realms of Hazgar – Part 3, (with Chris Clark) Hekaforge Productions, 2005
  • Adventures:
    • Living the Lejend - Campaign Setting & Expansion for the LA Essentials Boxed Set, Troll Lord Games (2005)
    • Forlorn Corners - included serially as a part of the Author's and Collector's Editions of the three core rules noted above (1999-2000)
    • Hall of Many Panes – Module Boxed Set with D20 stats included, Troll Lord Games 2005
  • Lejendary Adventure Essentials - Primer Boxed Set for the LA RPG, Troll Lord Games, 2005

Castles & Crusades[]

For Castles & Crusades, the Castle Zagyg series is a planned series of seven sourcebooks based on the Castle Greyhawk from Gygax's original campaign. For trademark reasons they are not actually published under the name of Greyhawk.

Generic d20 System[]

  • A Challenge of Arms - (Chris Clark with Gary Gygax) generic adventure module, Inner City Game Designs, 1999
  • Ritual of the Golden Eyes - (Chris Clark with Gary Gygax) generic adventure module, Inner City Game Designs, 2000
  • The Weyland Smith Catalog - ("Joke" Magic Items), short version, Hekaforge Productions, 1999
  • Gygaxian Fantasy Worlds Series from Troll Lord Games. Volumes IV, V, VI are edited by Gygax.
    • Volume I Gary Gygax's The Canting Crew, explores the underworld of city life, "Gygaxian Fantasy Worlds, Volume II"
    • Volume II Gary Gygax's World Builder, a collection of organized definitions, lists, tables and charts, (with Dan Cross) – 2003
    • Volume III Gary Gygax's Living Fantasy, Everyday Life, – 2003
    • Volume IV Gary Gygax's Book of Names by Malcolm Bowers
    • Volume V Gary Gygax's Insidiae by Dan Cross 2004
    • Volume VI Gary Gygax's Nation Builder, by Michael J. Varhola – 2005

Non-RPG games[]

Rules for miniatures/table top battle games[]

  • Cavaliers and Roundheads (English Civil War, with Jeff Perren)
  • Chainmail (Medieval and Fantasy, with Jeff Perren)
  • Classic Warfare (Ancient Period: 1500 BC to 500 AD)
  • Don't Give Up The Ship! (Sailing Ship Battles c. 1700 to 1815, with Dave Arneson & Mike Carr)
  • Tractics (WWII to c. 1965, with Mike Reese & Leon Tucker)
  • Foreword to the 2004 Skirmisher Publishing LLC edition of H.G. Wells' Little Wars

Board games[]

  • Alexander the Great (Ancient, the Battle of Arbela) – Guidon Games and reprinted by Avalon Hill
  • Alexander's Other Battles – Panzerfaust Publishing, 1972 – a Supplementary Kit For The Guidon Game Alexander the Great
  • Baku (WW II, Extension of The Avalon Hill Company's Stalingrad board wargame), Panzerfaust Publications
  • Crusader (Medieval, Battle of Ascalon) – Panzerfaust Publications
  • Dunkirk (World War II) – Guidon Games
  • Little Big Horn (Western) – TSR Hobbies, Inc.

Chess variants[]

  • Another of Gary Gygax's creations was Dragon chess, a three-dimensional fantasy chess variant, published in Dragon Magazine #100 (August 1985). It is played on three 8x12 boards stacked on top of each other - the top board represents the sky, the middle is the ground, and the bottom is the underworld. The pieces are characters and monsters inspired by the Dungeons and Dragons setting: King, Mage, Paladin, Cleric, Dragon, Griffin, Oliphant, Hero, Thief, Elemental, Basilisk, Unicorn, Dwarf, Sylph and Warrior.
  • Fidchell[3] – Not to be confused with the historic board game of fidchell (various spellings) from Ireland.


Fantasy novels[]

  • Greyhawk Adventures Series of Novels (from TSR, Inc., featuring Gord the Rogue)
    • Saga of Old City (1985)
    • Artifact of Evil (1986)
  • Gord the Rogue Adventures (from New Infinities Productions, Inc., also published in Italian)
    • Sea of Death (1987)
    • Night Arrant (1987) – a collection of short stories
    • City of Hawks (1987)
    • Come Endless Darkness (1988)
    • Dance of Demons (1988)
  • released under publisher Penguin/Roc
    • The Anubis Murders (1992)
    • The Samarkand Solution (1993)
    • Death in Delhi (1993)

Misc books & short stories[]

  • Sagard the Barbarian Books (HEROES CHALLENGE Gamebook Series, co-author Flint Dille (with assistance from Ernie Gygax) - from Archway/Pocket books):
The Ice Dragon
The Green Hydra
The Crimson Sea
The Fire Demon
  • Role-Playing Mastery - instructional book, Perigee/Putnam (trade paperback bestseller)
  • Master of the Game - sequel to Role-Playing Mastery from Perigee/Putnam
  • "At Moonset Blackcat Comes" (Fantasy short story featuring Gord the Rogue appearing in Dragon Magazine #100)
  • "Pay Tribute" (Science Fiction short story in The Fleet anthology)
  • "Battle off Deadstar" (Science Fiction short story in Fleet Breakthrough anthology)
  • "Celebration of Celene" (Fantasy short story published in Michael Moorcock's Elric, Tales of the White Wolf anthology) - White Wolf, Inc., 1994
  • "Duty" (Fantasy short story in Excalibur, anthology) – Warner Books, 1995
  • "Get on Board the D Train" (Horror short story in Dante's Disciples anthology) – White Wolf, Inc., 1996
  • Evening Odds" (Fantasy short story with Gord the Rogue sharing Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champions universe) – White Wolf, Inc., 1997


  • The Crusader – magazine, column on the creation of the D&D game beginning 2005
  • Dragon Magazine - author to 1985, and a columnist therein 1999 to 2004
  • Journeys Journal (GDW) - contributor in each of six issues published through 1993
  • Lejends (Total Reality Studios) – magazine, major contributor, 2001 to 2003
  • Mythic Masters (Trigee) - magazine, primary author of entire 64-page magazine for each of six issues published through 1994
  • The Strategic Review (Tactical Studies Rules) – newsletter, primary author of entire magazine for each of the initial four issues, and a major contributor to the balance of all issues until DRAGON Magazine came into print.
  • La Vivandiere (Palikar Publications) – defunct wargaming magazine, contributing author (1974), significant contributions include "Fantasy Wargaming and the Influence of J.R.R. Tolkien", in which he defends D&D's inclusion of non-Tolkien fantasy into the game.


Further Reading[]

External Links[]


  1. Frank Mentzer (January 1985). “Ay pronunseeAYshun gyd”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #93 (TSR, Inc.), p. 30.
  2. Dungeons & Dragons FAQ (HTML). Wizards of the Coast. (2003). Archived from the original on 2017-07-09. Retrieved on 2018-05-22.
  3. Fidchell, The Chess Variant Pages, accessed August 19th, 2005