Thursday, June 9, 2016

Blackmoor's "Wizard of the Wood" Peter Michael Gaylord (1943-2016) has passed away at the age of 73

Photo by Kevin McColl

I just got the sad news via the Castle Blackmoor page that Peter Michael Gaylord has passed away. Pete Gaylord played the Wizard of the Woods, a legendary character in the original Blackmoor Campaign that was organized by Dave Arneson in Minnesota in the early 1970s, a precursor to Dungeons & Dragons. In addition to being the first Wizard character in the game, he was the source of the super berry magic concept. His character was also known for keeping dragon pets (one named after Pete's cat) and being a  friend of Pixies and other woodland creatures. I wrote about the Wizard of the Wood back in 2010. It is clear to me that Pete Gaylord, like many of Dave Arneson's players made important contributions to what would one day become D&D.

"Always quick to give advice and always A friend to those he played with." says friend and fellow gamer Kevin McColl. Gaming seems to have been a big part of Gaylord's life through his life. He took part in the 2009 memorial gave held for Dave Arneson by Bob Meyer.  Friend's report that Gaylord was gaming untill May 11th this year as part of David Wesely's group. From what I understand, he was hospitalized for some time prior to his death.

My thoughts go to his friends and family.


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  2. Only one comment for ole Peter with the Australian camo hat, huh? He was always a chipper fellow at cons, always involved and always fun to be around. This industry doesn't seem to have remembered enough to forget, it seems. Too much "present" and not enough history as to who stood by dreams now come true in so many ways as they are taken for rnted. Much like Havard's dedication to Arneson at a certain forum being ignored until I jumped in. A terrible sign of the times to forget what and who made everything possible in their own ways and times, and without any reward other than good times and no expectations besides that. Keep adventuring in the "Wood" Pete!

  3. Thanks for commenting Rob! Peter is one of the Twin Cities Gamers that I never had a chance to talk to. Great hearing about what he was like in real life.

  4. No prob. He always went by 'Pete' in the gaming circles, just as I was affectionately referred to as 'Bob" by Dave.
    Pete was an active, involved and persistent gamer and a good guy like many of the Minneapolis gamers were. He will be sorely missed by his closet friends and family, all of whom have my condolences and well wishes.


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