Lloyd Metcalf – Gary made my dream

July 27, 2016 Off By LMetcalf
Lloyd Metcalf of Fail Squad Games

Lloyd Metcalf of Fail Squad Games

My life and the existence of Fail Squad Games is due to the creation of a game by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson – Then later Frank Mentzer got me hooked solidly!

As a young teen after some difficult home situations, my school work and attendance were dropping fast. I don’t know where I was headed, but it was nowhere pleasant. One summer my friends and I discovered the Red Box D&D, we played to level 3 many times. Not long after we pitched in to get the blue box just as we were given the AD&D Hardback books by someone’s cousin.

My friend’s grandmother saw the Satanic Panic on TV and demanded the books be burned or otherwise destroyed. I begged my friend to give them to me, $40 dollars later he acquiesced. He thought he had bilked me, but it was the best $40 I ever spent, and it likely saved me.

That next summer, things at home were so unstable that I went to stay with my grandparents at their camp on Gardiner Lake in “downeast” Maine. I brought the AD&D Gary Gygax books and absorbed every word that summer escaping my life and living in another world. The adventures I imagined were interrupted by long days on the lake fishing with my grandad’s dog Pinky. I became a reader, an imaginer, and was incredibly inspired by the art work and writing. I gathered some new friends when I got home and we played whenever we could manage it. I was not the same person, I was better, the roleplaying of problem solving affected my real world problem solving.

I thought the dream of living in the world of RPGs would always be a dream. In fact, I was recently asked to give a TEDx talk, and part of this story was at the center of my talk.

Now, because of Gary and his dream, I am living mine as a full time RPG creator and artist. I would have no words for him if we were to meet today, so I just thank him on my own.

My one wish that will never come true, was to play at his table one time. While I missed that dream, all the others have come to pass, and I am humbled and honored to contribute to the RPG community and Gary Con every year.

~Lloyd Metcalf