Robin Williams was a Tabletop Gamer

The late King of Comedy, Robin Williams, was a tabletop enthusiast

While folks know Robin Williams was a fan of gaming, naming his daughter Zelda, but there is an entire side to Robin many never knew. While Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda had him captivated he was also an avid fan of tabletop gaming. He’s even had multiple encounters with the author of Eon Legacy that we’ve got accounts of. However, while those stories are coming, Robin, was seen at many game shops back in the 90s and 2000s

Avid Dungeons and Dragons and Warhammer 40k Fan… Robin WIlliams!

The Encounters with R.A.G. Rankin from Eon Legacy:

  • “At age 16 my parents got me into one of Robin’s shows at the Hollywood Bowl. I was HOWLING with the jokes, especially the ones about the internet and the computer limiting his time on questionable content in the future (because I knew that kind of thing was the dystopian nightmare commented on often). After the show we went to a the side lot where my parents had their car parked with my mom’s handicapped plaque. Just so happened Robin was smoking behind a big cloth curtain barrier which I made a joke and did a goofy voice about smoking in the summer air with the heat. Robin, being Robin, pulled the barrier aside with his joint of weed and did a Dirty Hairy Impression “You got a problem, kid?”. My parents were shocked. I responded with a New York Accent “Aaah.. Ummm sir.. SIR… you can do WHATEVER you want to do, Haa, free country, right?!” and he walked up and sook my hand. “This kids funny!”, he said to my folks. I was elated and told him “I do your impressions when I’m running my Role playing game!” and he blinked. His head turned and asked “What class to you play in 3rd edition?”, he seemed a lot more reserved. I said “Monk, sir.” a little nervous, the joking was over. He smiled softly and said “The support. The silent leader. Good one. But remember to feel what you feel in game and outside of it!”, which was really strange but I got it. With that he clapped my shoulder and said “Keep your head up, you’re funny, do what you’ve got to do and take care of you.”, then he headed back to behind the curtain where his handlers were waiting. There was a lot of hushed talking but I didn’t think much of it. My dad hurried me to the car after that.” -R.A.G. Rankin’s first encounter with Mister Williams
  • “I was 21, weathering a divorce, so I was going around to various industrial and goth clubs around Los Angels and I was pretty bored all things considering. While I danced a little I was more interested in chatting with fellow nerds and many of the both gothic and industrial music crowd just happen to be perfect nerds (you know who you are). Well, I was chilling at a Vampire Club where folks were DEEP into the interactivity. I was given a bunch of PINS as the “guy who deals out weapons as a Geovanni” at the table that I was sitting at. Well, after only 2 people actually using in-game currency to get handgun pins Robin sat down at my table but he seemed totally different. He was very reserved and he leaned forward and told me “Out of character this kind of game kinda creeps me out.”, so I told him “Out of character I was sixteen when we met and I was making fun of you for smoking a joint.” and he smiled brightly “ITS YOU! KID! You’re around!”, I explained to him about my game and how I was going through a rough time. He listened really well and said “Put me in it! I won’t sue you trust me!”, then gave me a wink as he flashed a “Malkavian Clan Badge”, so I tossed him two of the “Handgun pins” and he was like “SCORE!”, then walked off to do whatever he was going to do (probably Rock, Paper, Scissors with the Gogo Nosveratu dancers).” -R.A.G. Rankin, meeting Robin at a Vampire: Los Angels by Night Game
  • “Woo, this one was something else. Next year, goth club in Northern Los Angels, probably one of my last times out to Los Angels because nothing could top it. Some various bands were at the event and I was sitting in the back taking an ENTIRE large booth. Robin and three other people just walk up and sit down. Robin calls me Bobby and introduces me to a sound engineer and grip operator from whatever project he was working on at the time. Robin fumbles in his jacket pocket and pulls out a map and he says “We’ll play freeform. You’re your monk, my friends here have their Fighter-Cleric and Druid. You meet in a clearing after following dark robed cultists who have been spiriting children from their homes in the night. Each of you from different directions, the center of the clearing is a pile of bones and atop of it a purple glowing portal which four small imps are dancing around in a circle. You have the initiative, who starts?”, and for the next half hour to 45 minutes I was a Dwarven Monk in a free-form tabletop session with Robin Williams and 2 other awesome players I’ve never met before. Robin went into voices, narrated the story of three unlikely heroes joining together to dive into a demonic realm and battle various dangers and horrors only to reach a cliffhanger for the next chapter which Robin said was for “Next time” but he didn’t show up the next few weeks and I was getting tired of driving eighty miles hoping to continue a pick-up-game. It wasn’t the last time though.” -R.A.G. Rankin on Playing Dungeons and Dragons with Robin
  • “Club Necropolis, La Mirada, I was 26 and I hadn’t seen Robin for a while. The guy running the club, Raven, also knew Robin but had taken off to go check on one of the employees that wasn’t feeling so well. Robin walked in the exit and walked right up to my table and asked if he could take the unopened bottle of water that was infront of me. I said “Sure, howdy stranger! Never saw you after our last game! Everything ok?”, he nodded and said “Yea, it’s a bummer but they switch crew on me and told me I shouldn’t hang with crewmembers on off hours due to liability. It really sucks man.”, I agreed with a nod. He asked “Where’s Raven?!”, and I pointed to the door-man/bouncer and said “One of the DJ’s wasn’t feeling so well so Raven went to check on them. We’ve got a few substitute DJs to handle it but when the headliner doesn’t show up it’s a mess.”, Robin shrugged his shoulders and rolled his eyes as he pounded down the whole 18 ounces of my water. He then clapped my shoulder and said “Finish that game! I see the website but I need more than just the one sourcebook! I’ll catch you later, Bob!”, then Robin disappeared into the crowd.” -R.A.G. Rankin at seeing Robin at Necropolis
Meeting fans- Robin would take a pic but it wasn’t often

Other encounters happened but those were the best ones we could cover. Robin Williams was an awesome advocate for creative work and cultivating the imagination. His body of work should speak for a lot of that. In the words of Robin Williams:

Remember to feel what you feel in game and outside of it!

Robin Williams