There has been much interest in E. Gary Gygax Day ever since it was posted on the KOSB events page. We've decided to create this page so that other groups can celebrate this holiday.
Gary Gygax Day is celebrated on or near July 27th, Gary's Birthday. Our group usually celebrates on the closest Saturday.
Setting a Place for Gary
Whether or not you believe that the spirits of those who have passed on are able to visit the living is up to you; however we always set a place of honor for Gary at the head of the table. Here are some essentials that should be laid out:
Gary's roots are Swiss so we begin with a fondue party. Alternatively you can celebrate with other Swiss cuisine like Raclette, Rösti, Zürigschnätzlet or you could research some of Gary's favorite foods (you will find melted cheese a recurring theme). If you choose to do fondue you should have no trouble finding the necessary books and equipment for a fondue party (pretty much anyone who was alive in the 70's has a fondue pot somewhere in their basement). Books and equipment are also common at thrift stores and garage sales. We usually go all out and have the cheese fondue, meat fondue and dessert fondue.
A cask conditioned ale is ideal, being one of Gary's preferred libations. Others are: Aquavit, vodka, and glug. Also, Gary once referred to Samuel Adams as "well-brewed" (non-sarcastically).
There should be a reading from one of Gary's texts. It could be a passage from a book, module, magazine article, internet posting or anything else scribed by Gary that you deem appropriate (or inapropriate).
The ToastsHere are the six toasts:
* Lorraine Williams, who despised gamers, took over T$R in 1985 and forced Gary to leave. Other possibilities include: The Blumes (who, according to Gary, grossly mismanaged TSR while he was in Hollywood), and Wizards of the Coast (for those who hate 3rd edition). In any case the 5th toast should be a hostile toast.
The toasts should be done in a traditional style (check the Internet) with yours or Gary's favorite drink. Here's how we do the toasts: Everyone raises their glasses (tankards, steins, etc.) and one member of the group proposes the toast; everyone repeats it, drinks, raises their glasses again and slams them down; repeat, taking turns proposing.
The Elephant Joke
Gary had a well rounded sense of humor that included bad puns (the worse the better) and elephant jokes. If you don't have an elephant joke of your own, go to Google and search for elephant jokes. Some are funny. Many are painful. You'll find enough jokes to last until the end of time.
The natural choice is an episode of the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon, produced by E. Gary Gygax in the 1980's. The entire series is now available on DVD. Some other alternatives are:
We hope that Gary Gygax Day will become an annual tradition for Role-playing groups all over the world. It would be a fitting tribute to celebrate the man who made possible our favorite hobby. If your group celebrates, please drop us a line letting us know how it went and if you did anything different.
If you've found your way here, the following links might be useful:
Photos courtesy of the Gygax family, Julien29, 30th Century Fox and Tactical Studies Rules. Other references include the Wikipedia, Charlie Brooks' History of Dungeons & Dragons, countless internet postings, the guys from Lake Geneva and the members of the KOSB.