I have been a gamer for many, many years. I remember the early days of gaming when it was all new and there were no clichés. Time, of course, marches ever onward, and slowly the people who gave us this wonderful hobby are starting to leave us.
Sadly, this page will only grow more crowded in time. Other gaming giants are now in their sixties and seventies which is itself a sobering thought. I own some game manuals that are older than many of my opponents. Now well into my 50s, I am something of a grey-bearded veteran myself. It is perhaps, for this reason, I felt it necessary to include this section of the site.
David A. Hargrave
(May 25, 1946 – August 29, 1988)
Aged 42 Years
Dave Hargrave, known as The Dream Weaver, was a prolific and sometimes controversial game designer and writer of fantasy and science fiction role-playing games. He was also an Army combat veteran of the Vietnam War with a six-year tour of duty (in-country). Hargrave’s most notable written works were based upon his own mythical world of Arduin.
From the mid-1970s through 1988 David A. Hargrave was very active in the role-playing community. He authored ten books based upon this Arduin game world. Hargrave also produced four Arduin Dungeon Modules and several fantasy item collections, which were published by Grimoire Games. Dave Hargrave died of complications stemming from exposure to Agent Orange.
J. (John) Andrew Keith
(August 31, 1958 – August 7, 1999)
Aged 40 Years
J. Andrew Keith, along with his brother William H. Keith wrote most of the Traveller canon for GDW under a variety of names. He died unexpectedly at the age of 40. He was very fond of cats and any donation to an animal benevolent society would be an especially appropriate gesture.
E. (Ernest) Gary Gygax
(July 27, 1938 – March 4, 2008)
Aged 69 Years
Gary is, of course, best known for co-creating the pioneering role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) with Dave Arneson, and co-founding the company Tactical Studies Rules (TSR, Inc.) Gary Gygax is generally acknowledged as the father of the role-playing game.
Gygax died on March 4, 2008, at his home in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. He was in semi-retirement, having almost suffered a heart attack after receiving incorrect medication to prevent further strokes after those on April 1 and May 4, 2004. He was diagnosed with an inoperable abdominal aortic aneurysm. Even while his health failed, Gygax was still active in the gaming community and had active Q & A forums on gaming websites such as Dragonsfoot and EN World.
(January 26, 1951 – June 7, 2008)
Aged 57 Years
Erick Wujcik passed away on June 7, 2008. He died from complications related to pancreatic and liver cancer.
Erick Wujcik designed The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles® RPG, Ninjas & Superspies™, Mystic China™, Revised RECON®, and many others. He is also famous for Amber® Diceless, the first truly “diceless” role-playing game, published under Erick’s own label, Phage Press. Erick also published Amberzine® and founded Ambercon™, a series of conventions celebrating gaming, friendship, and the world of Amber, hosted at numerous locations around the world.
(October 1, 1947 – April 7, 2009)
Aged 61 Years
Dave invented modern fantasy gaming. He was the principal developer of the original Chainmail rules that formed the basis of the original D&D (co-created with Gary Gygax).
Arneson suffered a stroke in early 2002 but recovered and continued his work. Arneson continued to play games, including D&D, military miniatures, and an annual meeting to play the original Blackmoor in Minnesota.
He received numerous industry awards for his part in creating Dungeons & Dragons and role-playing games.
On April 5, 2009, he entered hospice suffering from complications from cancer – he passed during the night on April 7, 2009.
Whether you’re a traditional paper-and-pencil RPG gamer, a fantasy/science fiction wargamer, or an online gamer, we all owe a great debt of thanks to Dave Arneson and his groundbreaking game designs
David F. Tepool
(October 20, 1954 – May 28, 2009)
Aged 54 Years
David F. Tepool, 54, of Newburgh, passed away Thursday, May 28, 2009, at Deaconess Gateway Hospital due to complications related to cardiac arrest.
David F. Tepool was co-author of the FASA Star Trek RPG and was the creator of the much-loved Star Trek Starship Tactical Combat Simulator. David’s work on Star Trek, particularly the creation of the ship combat game, was something of which he was very p/roud, and it always pleased him that so many people still play and enjoy the game, even though it is long, long out of print. David’s colleagues tried many times to coax David into returning to design work but never managed to talk him into it.
Charles S. Roberts, The Father of Modern Wargaming
(1930 – August 20, 2010)
Aged 80 Years
Charles Swann Roberts died on August 20, 2010, from complications of emphysema and pneumonia at St. Agnes Hospital. He was 80.
In 1958, he founded Avalon Hill Co., a Baltimore game publishing company that pioneered the ‘hex and counter’ wargame including such classics as “The Rise and Decline of the Third Reich,” “D-Day,” “Stalingrad,” “Battle of the Bulge,” “Midway,” “Freedom in the Galaxy,” “Gettysburg” and “Victory in the Pacific.”
Loren K. Wiseman
(1951 – Feb 15, 2017)
Aged 65 Years
Mr. Wiseman co-founded Games Designers’ Workshop (GDW) with Frank Chadwick, Rich Banner, and Marc Miller. Traveller set the standard for science fiction RPGs Mr. Wiseman set the early “feel” of the game. He edited GDW’s publications supporting Traveller and became line editor for the WWIII-themed Twilight 2000 RPG in 1984. His adventure module Twilight: 2000 Going Home won an Origins Award in 1986 as “One of the Best Games of the Year.”
He was inducted into the Origins Hall of Fame in 2003. He died on February 15, 2017, of cardiac arrest.
Bruce “Duke” Siefried, Founder of Custom Casting
(August 19, 1935 – September 29, 2018)
Aged 83 Years
Duke Seifried founded the Custom Cast company in 1972 releasing the Fantastiques (1974) line, which was among the first commercial 25mm fantasy figures made in the US. He created the idea of blister packs, to sell sets of figures rather than individuals and came up with the idea of including figures with slightly different poses in those packs. He is also credited with coining the phrase ‘adventure gaming’ to describe the whole RPG/Wargames hobby.
Duke Seifried was admitted into the Origins Hall of Fame in 2005.
(1944 – October 23, 2020)
Aged 76 years
Lenard (aka Leomund) was a writer for Dungeons & Dragons. Although never a formal TSR staff member, he was an influential voice in the development of the game. He was one of the playtesters of the game as it was being developed, an editor of early manuscripts, wrote a widely-read monthly D&D magazine column and two official D&D adventures, and had his home campaign setting of the Lendore Isles incorporated into the World of Greyhawk Fantasy Game Setting.