Wizard Gaylord, also known as the first Wizard of the Wood, is a human level 10 wizard. He is the first wizard player character to appear in a fantasy roleplaying game, and subject of the oldest known surviving character sheet. He his named for his player, Pete Gaylord.
Appearance and personality[edit | edit source]
The Wizard of the Wood carries a staff, without which his magic is significantly weakened. The source of his power is super berries, which he uses as spell components. He is good-looking, intelligent, and healthy.
History[edit | edit source]
The Wizard began his career as an adventurer before settling in a hut in the the woods east of Blackmoor. There he befriended many fairies and other woodland creatures, as well as a dragon named Tuffy. He also befriended Sophie, a dragon living in the Dragon Hills. He is also said to have kept a pet red dragon named Gertrude, also called Gerti or Tiger, who lives on Dragon Rock in the middle of Blackmoor Lake.
During the Great Invasion, when Vestfold was attacked by the Egg of Coot, the Wizard of the Woods and his army of pixies sided with the forces of good. The wizard disappeared, and some years later a wizard named Sildonis acquired the title of Wizards of the Woods.
Publishing history[edit | edit source]
The Wizard of the Wood was a player character in the prototypical roleplaying games of Dave Arneson which went on to inspire Dungeons & Dragons, and never officially appeared in a Dungeons & Dragons product. His original character sheet is thought to date back to 1972, two years before the release of Original Dungeons & Dragons.
According to Playing at the World, the Wizard of the Wood was played early in Arneson's Blackmoor setting, and survived for around two years. The surviving character sheet, which Jon Peterson dates to before the publication of D&D in 1974, names his pet dragon as Tiger, which would be renamed by anagram to Gerti, hence short for Gertrude.