Today, N. Robin Crossby, the creator of Hârn, died at the age of 54 in Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada. His death is the fourth of significance to the hobby to have occurred this year and it's a reminder of just how old roleplaying actually is. I first encountered Hârn through ads in Dragon in the very early 80s, but it wasn't until years later that I ever actually purchased a Hârn product. The level of detail -- and the gorgeous maps -- impressed me and you could tell that this fantastical world was a labor of love by Crossby. Although I never really got into Hârn (for reasons that aren't important here), I always regarded it as a fine example of world creation. I had a few passing dealings with Mr Crossby and he always seemed to be a very polite, thoughtful individual and his creativity was clearly of the highest order. His death today is a great loss not just to fans of Hârn, but to fans of fantasy roleplaying generally.
Here's hoping 2009 comes before we see the loss of any more of the hobby's great ones. We've already lost too many as it is.