I met Gary Gygax once, at a Gen Con in the late 1990s. He was running a D&D game in-or-near the TSR Castle. I don’t know what edition. It doesn’t matter. A crowd of us were watching, Someone died (killed mysteriously in the darkness, having walked away from the campfire without a light). That player had to get up, and Mr. Gygax pointed at me and boomed “You want to play!?”
Of course I did.
A character sheet was slapped in front of me. My turn came soon enough. THINGS were circling our camp. I was a warrior of some type – I think a ranger, but I didn’t last long enough to get acquainted with my character. As my one action, I grabbed a burning log from our campfire and hurled it out at the multiple sets of red eyes stalking us. “Good!” Mr. Gygax shouted approvingly, and had me roll a d20. I have no idea what I rolled.
It wasn’t good enough to hit any of the red-eyed threats, but it was enough to illuminate them. Massive black wolves, snarling and, we realized *talking*.
“Kill that one!” Mr. Gygax said the biggest wolf growled to the pack.
And they did.
I lasted exactly one round.
Mr. Gygax smiled, told me I was dead, and I should let someone else play,
I got up, smiled back, and said “Thank you.”
I like to believe he understood I didn’t mean “Thank you for this one game, this one time.” I meant “Thank you for ALL the games, forever.”