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A Freedom of Information Act request highlighted a 1995 FBI dossier that revealed some rather interesting facts about Dungeons & Dragons creator Gary Gygax as reported by Reason.

The report was sourced from a Freedom of Information Act request made by the article’s author C.J. Ciaramella last year regarding documentation surrounding the company TSR. Among the dozens of documents received by the author was a May 1995 FBI Report which featured several paragraphs on Gary Gygax, the creator of the classic Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game.

The first four pages of the documents go over the history of TSR as well as Mr. Gygax and other related parties including legal disputes, financial difficulties, and royalty arrangements. Page 5 is where the revelations about Mr. Gygax’s rather interesting private life begin.

To start, the documents reveal that Mr. Gygax was generated over $1 million per year in income in the 1980s. (Adjusted for inflation, that’s nearly $3 million a year in 2016 dollars.) He was said to have spent his money “frivolously”. On the darker side of things, he was said to have been involved in an “unpleasant divorce” and was allegedly a drug abuser according to information from an undisclosed source. Additionally, the report states that Mr. Gygax was “known to carry a weapon” and took some pride in a hobby of personally answering any letters he received with a prison as the return address. He had a holding company stationed in Liberia – ostensibly to avoid paying taxes – and was known to be a member of the Libertarian party.

Outside of these details, what may be the most interesting bit is that an undisclosed source considered Mr. Gygax “eccentric and frightening”. If that’s doesn’t say everything you need to know about the man who made the Tomb of Horrors, I don’t know what does.

Mr. Gygax aside, who is the most badass game developer that you know? Did you find any of the statements about him particularly revealing? What do you think of personalities who seem to live in a way that’s larger than life? Let us know in the comments below!


Robert N. Adams

Senior Writer

I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven't stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs - I've tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I'm always looking to try more!