You are in the colloseum surrounded by 3 lions…

18 06 2008

…you roll your 20 sider to hit, an 8 sider for damage, and a 6 sider to determine which lion is the victim.

You think I’m kidding?

You thought all this time that Gary Gygax invented Dungeons and Dragons?

You would be mistaken! Gary was doing archeology one summer in Egypt and dug up some dice in a leather bag, including a 20-sider, and found a stone carved with hieroglyphics near by. He and some of the guys stayed up late translating the inscription on the stone and found that one side of the stone was directions of r a game that used dice, and the other had the start of a story about a guy named Conan who was fighting in a colloseum against 3 lions. So for the next 3 weeks they stayed up until 2 or 3 every morning playing this game. Eventually the crew boss caught on that they weren’t translating anything new, so he gave them an ultimatum: either get with the program or go home. Gary decided to go home, and on the plane he wrote out what he remembered from the inscriptions. When he got home he enrolled several of this buddies to do some research one weekend, after which he had the basics for the game, the monsters, what kinds of dice to use for which weapons, hit probabilities using the 20-sider, and how critical hits and fumbles worked with the 20 and 00 sides. The rest is history. Well, I guess the start was history. But Gary got the credit for the find, but not the way most people think he did, and not the find of that table in Egypt.

But Gary’s gone now, so we’ll never know exactly how the details got worked out.

The other guys he was playing with? They were working in a tomb one day when their battery died. Only one made it out, though on the way out he smashed the top of his head on a stone, rendering it completely flat; he said that the rest were eaten by a Grue, though there was never any evidence that they had been in the cave despite the crew boss’s record that that was their assigned work area for the day.

However, we do have 20-siders from Egypt and Rome, so we know that part is true.

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