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interests / rec.games.frp.dnd / {Game Developer] Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer, died at age 72

SubjectAuthor
* {Game Developer] Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer, died at age 72kyonshi
+* Re: {Game Developer] Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer, died at agSpalls Hurgenson
|`* Re: {Game Developer] Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer, died at agkyonshi
| `- Re: {Game Developer] Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer, died at agJustisaur
+- Re: {Game Developer] Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer, died at agJustisaur
`* Re: {Game Developer] Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer, died at aggbbgu
 `* Re: {Game Developer] Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer, died at agkyonshi
  `* Re: {Game Developer] Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer, died at agJustisaur
   `- Re: {Game Developer] Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer, died at agkyonshi

1
{Game Developer] Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer, died at age 72

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From: gmke...@gmail.com (kyonshi)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc
Subject: {Game Developer] Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer,
died at age 72
Date: Fri, 22 Mar 2024 10:29:03 +0100
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 by: kyonshi - Fri, 22 Mar 2024 09:29 UTC

Source:
https://www.gamedeveloper.com/business/obituary-jim-ward-dungeons-dragons-designer-died-at-age-72

Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer, died at age 72

Ward joined TSR during Dungeons & Dragons' first boom, and worked on
several add-ons for the TTRPG, plus his own science-fantasy game,
Metamorphosis Alpha.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

March 19, 2024

Jim Ward, a longtime game designer for the Dungeons & Dragons tabletop
game, passed away on March 18 at 72 years old.

Born May 23, 1951, Ward began his game career in 1976 with his and Rob
Kuntz's Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes rulebook for TSR. That same year, he
created Metamorphosis Alpha, TSR's fourth role-playing game ever and its
first science-fantasy RPG.

At TSR, Ward worked on various modules and supplements. This was at the
same time D&D was in its first popularity boom, and the Ruins of
Adventure supplement he co-made with David Cook, Steve Winter, and Mike
Breault was adapted into the 1988 Pool of Radiance video game.

He'd also work his way up the executive ranks, becoming its creative
services VP before exiting in 1996 from disagreements with fellow
higher-ups.

For his work at the time, Ward was inducted into the Academy of
Adventure Gaming Arts & Design Hall of Fame in 1989.

After leaving TSR, Ward designed a collectible card game for Dragon Ball
Z by the late Akira Toriyama. He'd later help make similar games for
Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time, Core Design's Tomb Raider, and the TV
series Babylon 5.

Eventually, he'd go to co-found his own company, Fast Forward
Entertainment, with the likes of fellow role-playing designers like
Timothy Brown and Lester W. Smith. He'd later join Troll Games as a
writer for game supplements like Castles & Crusades.

"I appreciate everything Jim did to help me out when I was working for
Gary Gygax many years ago," wrote Hyperborea writer Jeffrey Talanian.
"He was so kind, generous, and patient with me. [...] A pleasure to be
around. A sad day, indeed."

"James leaves behind a legacy that transcends the bounds of time and
space, continuing to inspire future generations of writers, gamers, and
dreamers," reads his Facebook eulogy. "His spirit will forever dwell in
the worlds he brought to life and the hearts of those who knew him.

Re: {Game Developer] Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer, died at age 72

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From: spallshu...@gmail.com (Spalls Hurgenson)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd
Subject: Re: {Game Developer] Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer, died at age 72
Date: Fri, 22 Mar 2024 11:17:00 -0400
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 by: Spalls Hurgenson - Fri, 22 Mar 2024 15:17 UTC

On Fri, 22 Mar 2024 10:29:03 +0100, kyonshi <gmkeros@gmail.com> wrote:

>Source:
>https://www.gamedeveloper.com/business/obituary-jim-ward-dungeons-dragons-designer-died-at-age-72

>Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer, died at age 72

>Ward joined TSR during Dungeons & Dragons' first boom, and worked on
>several add-ons for the TTRPG, plus his own science-fantasy game,
>Metamorphosis Alpha.

Aww, not Jim Ward. He was involved in a lot of gaming projects that
brought much joy into our campaigns. Even if his name wasn't directly
associated with all that many products, he was an major character at
TSR who influenced how a lot of their products turned out

(not least of which was his controversial decision to remove demons,
assassins and half-orcs from 2nd Edition to assuage the "angry
mothers" of the world... which probably was the right decision to make
at the time).

"Ruins of Adventure" was a fantastic campaign-module. I encountered it
only after playing the computer game that was based upon it (in fact,
I bought the module as a 'strategy guide' to help me cheat through the
video-game ;-) and was surprised at how full of content it was. It was
a go-to book for whenever I needed to quickly steal an encounter or
mini-adventure into my main campaign.

His "Greyhawk Adventures" hardbound was interesting, but sadly lacked
the charm and accessibility of other D&D product lines. It was a
product I really wanted to get behind, but never could. But I think
that has more to do with the generally unappealing nature of Greyhawk
than any fault of Ward's writing.

On the other hand, Mr. Ward was also the guiding hand behind the
"Spellfire" collectible trading card game TSR produced. He also
apparently wrote episodes for the GI Joe (Action Force) cartoon too.

I was completely unaware that he was the man behind Fast Forward
Entertainment. I've a few of their d20 books but didn't notice the
"James M. Ward" name associated with them.

Re: {Game Developer] Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer, died at age 72

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From: gmke...@gmail.com (kyonshi)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd
Subject: Re: {Game Developer] Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer,
died at age 72
Date: Fri, 22 Mar 2024 18:34:31 +0100
Organization: Campaign Wiki
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 by: kyonshi - Fri, 22 Mar 2024 17:34 UTC

On 3/22/2024 4:17 PM, Spalls Hurgenson wrote:
> On Fri, 22 Mar 2024 10:29:03 +0100, kyonshi <gmkeros@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Source:
>> https://www.gamedeveloper.com/business/obituary-jim-ward-dungeons-dragons-designer-died-at-age-72
>
>> Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer, died at age 72
>
>> Ward joined TSR during Dungeons & Dragons' first boom, and worked on
>> several add-ons for the TTRPG, plus his own science-fantasy game,
>> Metamorphosis Alpha.
>
> Aww, not Jim Ward. He was involved in a lot of gaming projects that
> brought much joy into our campaigns. Even if his name wasn't directly
> associated with all that many products, he was an major character at
> TSR who influenced how a lot of their products turned out
>
> (not least of which was his controversial decision to remove demons,
> assassins and half-orcs from 2nd Edition to assuage the "angry
> mothers" of the world... which probably was the right decision to make
> at the time).

I mean, on the one hand it removed the bad D-words, on the other it gave
fiends actual character and plasticity they didn't have before.
I don't think it ever worked in getting the heat off the game though.
It's not like any of the angry mothers ever touched the game in the
first place. (except to toss it on the burning pile together with the
heavy metal CDs and whatever else they thought was the devil's work)
>
> "Ruins of Adventure" was a fantastic campaign-module. I encountered it
> only after playing the computer game that was based upon it (in fact,
> I bought the module as a 'strategy guide' to help me cheat through the
> video-game ;-) and was surprised at how full of content it was. It was
> a go-to book for whenever I needed to quickly steal an encounter or
> mini-adventure into my main campaign.

Totally am not aware of that one. I guess I should look into it?

>
> His "Greyhawk Adventures" hardbound was interesting, but sadly lacked
> the charm and accessibility of other D&D product lines. It was a
> product I really wanted to get behind, but never could. But I think
> that has more to do with the generally unappealing nature of Greyhawk
> than any fault of Ward's writing.

I do actually have Greyhawk Adventures. It's... kind of pointless. Sorry
to say.
Greyhawk in my opinion is not a bad setting, but it only makes sense in
the original folio/boxed set form. Once all kinds of people got their
hands on it and tried to fill it with stuff it just didn't work anymore.
This is a setting that delights in minimalism, both in the setting, and
the material produced for it.

>
> On the other hand, Mr. Ward was also the guiding hand behind the
> "Spellfire" collectible trading card game TSR produced. He also
> apparently wrote episodes for the GI Joe (Action Force) cartoon too.
>
> I was completely unaware that he was the man behind Fast Forward
> Entertainment. I've a few of their d20 books but didn't notice the
> "James M. Ward" name associated with them.
>
>

Re: {Game Developer] Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer, died at age 72

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From: justis...@yahoo.com (Justisaur)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc
Subject: Re: {Game Developer] Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer,
died at age 72
Date: Fri, 22 Mar 2024 14:15:24 -0700
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 by: Justisaur - Fri, 22 Mar 2024 21:15 UTC

On 3/22/2024 2:29 AM, kyonshi wrote:
> Source:
> https://www.gamedeveloper.com/business/obituary-jim-ward-dungeons-dragons-designer-died-at-age-72
>
> Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer, died at age 72
>
> Ward joined TSR during Dungeons & Dragons' first boom, and worked on
> several add-ons for the TTRPG, plus his own science-fantasy game,
> Metamorphosis Alpha.
>
> Justin Carter, Contributing Editor
>
> March 19, 2024
>
> Jim Ward, a longtime game designer for the Dungeons & Dragons tabletop
> game, passed away on March 18 at 72 years old.
>
> Born May 23, 1951, Ward began his game career in 1976 with his and Rob
> Kuntz's Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes rulebook for TSR. That same year, he
> created Metamorphosis Alpha, TSR's fourth role-playing game ever and its
> first science-fantasy RPG.
>
> At TSR, Ward worked on various modules and supplements. This was at the
> same time D&D was in its first popularity boom, and the Ruins of
> Adventure supplement he co-made with David Cook, Steve Winter, and Mike
> Breault was adapted into the 1988 Pool of Radiance video game.
>
> He'd also work his way up the executive ranks, becoming its creative
> services VP before exiting in 1996 from disagreements with fellow
> higher-ups.
>
> For his work at the time, Ward was inducted into the Academy of
> Adventure Gaming Arts & Design Hall of Fame in 1989.
>
> After leaving TSR, Ward designed a collectible card game for Dragon Ball
> Z by the late Akira Toriyama. He'd later help make similar games for
> Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time, Core Design's Tomb Raider, and the TV
> series Babylon 5.
>
> Eventually, he'd go to co-found his own company, Fast Forward
> Entertainment, with the likes of fellow role-playing designers like
> Timothy Brown and Lester W. Smith. He'd later join Troll Games as a
> writer for game supplements like Castles & Crusades.
>
> "I appreciate everything Jim did to help me out when I was working for
> Gary Gygax many years ago," wrote Hyperborea writer Jeffrey Talanian.
> "He was so kind, generous, and patient with me. [...] A pleasure to be
> around. A sad day, indeed."
>
> "James leaves behind a legacy that transcends the bounds of time and
> space, continuing to inspire future generations of writers, gamers, and
> dreamers," reads his Facebook eulogy. "His spirit will forever dwell in
> the worlds he brought to life and the hearts of those who knew him.

Damn, another one too early. I had hoped I might in some distant future
perhaps meet him or even play in a game of his at some Con (Texas I hear
he went to.) But not attending Cons, that's hard to do.

-Justisaur

ø-ø
(\_/)\
`-'\ `--.___,
¶¬'\( ,_.-'
\\
^'

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Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd
Subject: Re: {Game Developer] Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer,
died at age 72
Date: Fri, 22 Mar 2024 14:28:14 -0700
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 by: Justisaur - Fri, 22 Mar 2024 21:28 UTC

On 3/22/2024 10:34 AM, kyonshi wrote:
> On 3/22/2024 4:17 PM, Spalls Hurgenson wrote:
>> On Fri, 22 Mar 2024 10:29:03 +0100, kyonshi <gmkeros@gmail.com> wrote:
>> His "Greyhawk Adventures" hardbound was interesting, but sadly lacked
>> the charm and accessibility of other D&D product lines. It was a
>> product I really wanted to get behind, but never could. But I think
>> that has more to do with the generally unappealing nature of Greyhawk
>> than any fault of Ward's writing.
>
> I do actually have Greyhawk Adventures. It's... kind of pointless. Sorry
> to say.
> Greyhawk in my opinion is not a bad setting, but it only makes sense in
> the original folio/boxed set form. Once all kinds of people got their
> hands on it and tried to fill it with stuff it just didn't work anymore.
> This is a setting that delights in minimalism, both in the setting, and
> the material produced for it.

I have The World of Greyhawk setting boxed set, and frankly it's
probably the worst thing I ever bought when it was new. There just
wasn't anything particularly useful to someone not already familiar with
the setting (me at the time.) I couldn't figure out how to use it as a
setting as it was like reading a very dry text of what the people of a
particular region were.

The original FR was sooo much better.

--
-Justisaur

ø-ø
(\_/)\
`-'\ `--.___,
¶¬'\( ,_.-'
\\
^'

Re: {Game Developer] Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer, died at age 72

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 by: gbbgu - Mon, 25 Mar 2024 23:52 UTC

On 22 Mar 2024, kyonshi wrote:

> Source:
> https://www.gamedeveloper.com/business/obituary-jim-ward-dungeons-dragons-designer-died-at-age-72
>
> Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer, died at age 72
>

Damn, losing all the names that have been around the industry forever.

--
gbbgu

Re: {Game Developer] Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer, died at age 72

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From: gmke...@gmail.com (kyonshi)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc
Subject: Re: {Game Developer] Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer,
died at age 72
Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2024 09:38:13 +0100
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 by: kyonshi - Thu, 28 Mar 2024 08:38 UTC

On 3/26/2024 12:52 AM, gbbgu wrote:
> On 22 Mar 2024, kyonshi wrote:
>
>> Source:
>> https://www.gamedeveloper.com/business/obituary-jim-ward-dungeons-dragons-designer-died-at-age-72
>>
>> Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer, died at age 72
>>
>
> Damn, losing all the names that have been around the industry forever.
>

It's the unrelenting march of time. The hobby has been around for over
50 years now (when did the first fantasy campaign start? '71? '72?), and
the people who were involved in the beginning were not kids back then
either.
We'll have a constant stream of deaths coming up from now on. Well, we
had one already. That also is part of hobbies growing unfortunately.

Re: {Game Developer] Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer, died at age 72

<uu4993$3n8v5$1@dont-email.me>

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From: justis...@yahoo.com (Justisaur)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc
Subject: Re: {Game Developer] Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer,
died at age 72
Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2024 10:26:56 -0700
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 by: Justisaur - Thu, 28 Mar 2024 17:26 UTC

On 3/28/2024 1:38 AM, kyonshi wrote:
> On 3/26/2024 12:52 AM, gbbgu wrote:
>> On 22 Mar 2024, kyonshi wrote:
>>
>>> Source:
>>> https://www.gamedeveloper.com/business/obituary-jim-ward-dungeons-dragons-designer-died-at-age-72
>>>
>>> Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer, died at age 72
>>>
>>
>> Damn, losing all the names that have been around the industry forever.
>>
>
> It's the unrelenting march of time. The hobby has been around for over
> 50 years now (when did the first fantasy campaign start? '71? '72?), and
> the people who were involved in the beginning were not kids back then
> either.
> We'll have a constant stream of deaths coming up from now on. Well, we
> had one already. That also is part of hobbies growing unfortunately.

I always worry the fairly sedentary aspect of the hobby them all. We
lost a number of the greats long ago at relatively young ages as
compared to average lifespan of 80. Yes it's an average but it seems
very low.

Don Kaye, 36
Tom Moldvey, 58
Dave Arneson, 61
Jannell Jaquays, 67
Gary Gygax, 69
Jim Ward, 72
John Eric Holmes, 80

Dave "Zeb" Cook, couldn't find age - must be a vampire :)
Tim Kask, 75
Frank Mentzer, 74
Lawrence Schick, 69
Ed Greenwood, 64
Jeff Grubb, 64

So unless they're making it to around 100, the average appears rather
low (unless Zeb is raising it by being a vampire with a couple centuries
under his belt.)

- Justisaur

--
-Justisaur

ø-ø
(\_/)\
`-'\ `--.___,
¶¬'\( ,_.-'
\\
^'

Re: {Game Developer] Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer, died at age 72

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From: gmke...@gmail.com (kyonshi)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.misc
Subject: Re: {Game Developer] Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer,
died at age 72
Date: Fri, 29 Mar 2024 09:48:32 +0100
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 by: kyonshi - Fri, 29 Mar 2024 08:48 UTC

On 3/28/2024 6:26 PM, Justisaur wrote:
> On 3/28/2024 1:38 AM, kyonshi wrote:
>> On 3/26/2024 12:52 AM, gbbgu wrote:
>>> On 22 Mar 2024, kyonshi wrote:
>>>
>>>> Source:
>>>> https://www.gamedeveloper.com/business/obituary-jim-ward-dungeons-dragons-designer-died-at-age-72
>>>>
>>>> Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer, died at age 72
>>>>
>>>
>>> Damn, losing all the names that have been around the industry forever.
>>>
>>
>> It's the unrelenting march of time. The hobby has been around for over
>> 50 years now (when did the first fantasy campaign start? '71? '72?),
>> and the people who were involved in the beginning were not kids back
>> then either.
>> We'll have a constant stream of deaths coming up from now on. Well, we
>> had one already. That also is part of hobbies growing unfortunately.
>
> I always worry the fairly sedentary aspect of the hobby them all.  We
> lost a number of the greats long ago at relatively young ages as
> compared to average lifespan of 80.  Yes it's an average but it seems
> very low.
>
> Don Kaye, 36
> Tom Moldvey, 58
> Dave Arneson, 61
> Jannell Jaquays, 67
> Gary Gygax, 69
> Jim Ward, 72
> John Eric Holmes, 80
>
> Dave "Zeb" Cook, couldn't find age - must be a vampire :)
> Tim Kask, 75
> Frank Mentzer, 74
> Lawrence Schick, 69
> Ed Greenwood, 64
> Jeff Grubb, 64
>
> So unless they're making it to around 100, the average appears rather
> low (unless Zeb is raising it by being a vampire with a couple centuries
> under his belt.)
>
> - Justisaur
>

Yeah, I didn't want to say it like that. We generally are not as healthy
as the rest of the population. I do wonder if newer generations actually
get better in that regard. 5e got a lot of people in the hobby that seem
to be much more mainstream or even healthy in their approach to food and
that stuff.
I also wonder if anyone ever would do a study between those roleplayers
that do LARP as well and those that don't (and if it matters at all
considering the copious amounts of beer and mead that can be consumed at
these events).

On the other hand... you tend to remember those creators that have
stayed with the hobby for a long time, and maybe one forgets about those
that were just famous for a bit and then turned to other directions.

There's a few people who are still alive that used to be big names in
the hobby but now aren't anymore. First person coming to my mind is Lew
Pulsipher, who used to be everywhere (seriously, White Dwarf and Dragon
and his own stuff) but now mostly seems focused on teaching (game design
naturally).


interests / rec.games.frp.dnd / {Game Developer] Obituary: Jim Ward, Dungeons & Dragons designer, died at age 72

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