The Associated Press is reporting that Gary Gygax, one of the co-creators of Dungeons & Dragons, is dead today at age 69. He had been suffering ill health for several years, according to his wife.

Dungeons and Dragons birthed the idea of the modern RPG as we know it -- conventions such as hit points, character classes, leveling and countless others were shaped by the pen and paper game, if not outright stolen from it. The seminal game was an explicit influence for countless video game developers, from Ultima's Richard Garriott to Deus Ex's Harvey Smith.

We'll be sure to keep you updated with funeral details and other ways to pay your respects as soon as we hear about them.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.