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Sad day for old school Dungeons & Dragons fans.

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This harkens to the very beginnings of my fascination with sci-fi/fantasy. Horseman, you'll remember this along with a few others on the board. Before nintendo, before xbox, before playstation, there were hordes of us teen and pre-teen youths set up around a family supper table or on a basement floor, bleary eyed and anxious to hear the dungeon master tell us of the fates of our much traveled carefully sculpted characters we had built up from level 1. Migrating our characters from one D&D module to another, determining our characters's fate with a roll of the dice instead of the click of a joystick button. The anticipation of a late night weekend transformation from introverted school kid to fearless magic user who thought nothing of taking on 10 Orcs with nothing more than a magic staff, a set of D&D dice and a couple of good friends....maybe also a have eaten pizza and some pepsi sitting somwhere close if our parents were kind enough. Rest in peace sir, your invention dictated much of my youth and always gave me something to look forward to and something to blow my allowance on week after week..

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (AP) -- Gary Gygax, who co-created the fantasy game Dungeons & Dragons and helped start the role-playing phenomenon, died Tuesday morning at his home in Lake Geneva. He was 69.

He had been suffering from health problems for several years, including an abdominal aneurysm, said his wife, Gail Gygax.

Gygax and Dave Arneson developed Dungeons & Dragons in 1974 using medieval characters and mythical creatures. The game known for its oddly shaped dice became a hit, particularly among teenage boys, and eventually was turned into video games, books and movies.

Gygax always enjoyed hearing from the game's legion of devoted fans, many of whom would stop by the family's home in Lake Geneva, about 55 miles southwest of Milwaukee, his wife said. Despite his declining health, he hosted weekly games of Dungeons & Dragons as recently as January, she said.

"It really meant a lot to him to hear from people from over the years about how he helped them become a doctor, a lawyer, a policeman, what he gave them," Gygax said. "He really enjoyed that."

Dungeons & Dragons players create fictional characters and carry out their adventures with the help of complicated rules. The quintessential geek pastime, it spawned a wealth of copycat games and later inspired a whole genre of computer games that's still growing in popularity.

Funeral arrangements are pending. Besides his wife, Gygax is survived by six

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