Gary Con

March 8th - 11th, 2018

Ernie Gygax

Ernie the Barbarian has been a gamer nearly as long as he lived. He literally cut his first tooth on an Avalon Hill Panzer division, and went on from there to play many games, from board games to miniatures war games to, ultimately, role-playing games with his father and their many friends. One of the very first players, along with Robert J. Kuntz and his sister Elise, of the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, Ernest is better known as the player behind the very first magic-user, Tenser. As such, his collaborations to the game include the play testing of any material penned by his father during his time at TSR. You can blame Ernie for such game features as: Cone of Cold being 5th, not 3rd level, Haste spells aging their targets, different hit dice for different character types and classes, as well as multiple attacks for fighters in order to keep Tenser focused on his proper spell-slinging role in the game.

He later on became part of the company as well, participated to the creation of such game products as the Dungeon Geomorphs, the Monster & Treasure Assortment, created the Water Weird and even gave the young company a slogan to fit its new image: “The Game Wizards”, for which he was handsomely rewarded by his father with a large glass of single malt and a cigar in his private office at age 16. Ernie wore many hats at TSR, from shipping clerk to EVP of Consumer Services in charge of 22 employees broken down into the Dungeon hobby shop, the mail order catalog services, Gen Con and the RPGA. He later was VP Creative for Dungeons & Dragons Entertainment, and Associate Editor of the Strategy & Tactics magazine in 1986. He is the co-author with his brother Lucion and David Moore of Troll Lord Games’s The Lost City of Gaxmoor, and more recently the co-author of THE MARMOREAL TOMB OF GARN PAT’UUL in Gygax Magazine Issue 3 with partner-in-crime Benoist Poiré.

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