Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Questions Regarding Gail Gygax and the Gary Gygax Will

One of The Tavern regulars submitted the following questions regarding the Gary Gygax will Gail Gygax is disputing:

1) What does Paul Stormberg have to gain by alienating the Gygax family (minus Gail) by pushing through with these auctions?

2) It is known that Gary owned the original PHB painting and Paul Stormberg the original DMG painting. Where are these paintings now? If they were sold, who was the selling agent? (Rumor is that Australian Banker and TSR collector living in Hong Kong, Matthew Kodor owns both of these items. It is further rumored that he paid in access of $100k apiece for these paintings).

3) When Gary died Wisconsin required probate for all estates of $50k or more. There have been a number of Gygax auctions run by Paul Stormberg on Gail's behalf, was an access of $50k raised?

With the reported numbers on the animation auction running at over $40k it certainly looks like the physical assets of the estate alone (without valuing the IP) was well in excess of $50k.

4) Why does Paul Stormberg feel that these auctions need to be pushed through without pause? Is there a contract, memorandum, or letter of agreement binding him to complete these auctions?

5) If Gail has sold the original PHB painting and other, unique assets can it not be argued that her actions greatly diminish the overall value of the estate? Selling these items prevents the family from ever monetizing these items as well as diminishing Gary's legacy.

Case in point, the animation cells up for auction were hand-selected by Gary, in his very unique role with the D&D cartoon, as items to have and pass down via his estate. There is no finer single collection of animation cells from the cartoon. Is Gail acting in the best interest of the trust, Gary's legacy, or even herself?

6) Paul Stormberg has moved his auctions to his own bidding site, where there is no transparency. What other items might be up for sale that have not yet been discovered? Might this represent a final looting of Gary's estate?

The IP legacy of Gary Gygax has been squandered since his death. The longer the wait for the release of materials based on his IP, the more the value is diminished. Gary's fans are aging, and a majority of them now are in their late 40s and by the 20th anniversary of Gary's death, a large number of them will be in their 60s.

With the changing currents in the gaming industry, what will be left? What reason is there for not having released Gary's materials commercially, while squatting on trademarks and never using them?

Questions to ponder... Tenkar


  1. If you really want to know the "cunning plan"(BBC Blackadder). Look at the shared energy quotes left in a very neat page by page story of a woman my father wished me to understand, in no uncertain terms, was his wife. I have one really cool thing out of this though. I have a great diminutive Brother and a really excellent bartender, now that I don't drink.

    If we wish to best honor the Dad I knew, it would be to have his games and books being bought and USED, Yes a man who wanted to be remembered as a man who liked to play games. In reality he liked to talk about gamers by mail with others because he really found playing games to be stimulating and rewarding. Not a bad example to emulate and yes father was fun.

  2. Sorry I didn't have my "profile" made up. Come to my facebook page everything is Public. Hundreds of photos on early TSR and past and present gaming. Ernie

  3. Any update on how this all panned out?

  4. So 1 year later any resolution? How did this all turn out?

  5. bueller bueller bueller bueller ?


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