Sunday, April 20, 2008

Bob Bledsaw, RIP

James Mishler has reported that Bob Bledsaw, founder of Judges Guild, one of the earliest and most prolific publishers of third party support for RPGs, including D&D, has died of cancer.
It is with great sadness that I must pass on the news that Robert Bledsaw, founder of Judges Guild, creator of the Wilderlands of High Fantasy, died this morning in Decatur, Illinois.

Bob was at his son's home, surrounded by family and loved ones, and passed on to the Great Adventure peacefully.

Bob was a good man, a creator of worlds, and a great friend.

I will have more details on services and memorials in the morning.
In a year that's already seen the loss of Gary Gygax, this comes as yet another blow. One by one, the titans of the Golden Age are leaving us and the hobby will be worse for their departure, just as it was better for the many, many contributions they made to it.

Bob Bledsaw was a pioneer, as Gary Gygax noted in the preface to the AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide. And while I'll be the first to acknowledge that many Judges Guild products were less than ideal, quite a few were classics that defined an era of gaming that I grew up with and that I long to see return. Judges Guild defines "old school." The Wilderlands of High Fantasy are the ultimate expression of sandbox style campaigning and the epitome of the "hexcrawl." It -- along with many adventures -- have, in my opinion, never been surpassed in their imagination, enthusiasm, and the reckless abandonment to the possibilities of fantasy roleplaying.

Mr. Bledsaw will be missed. This is a sad day for gaming.


  1. I just read about this over at the RPG Podcasters list. Wow... the giants are falling.

  2. I, as you probably know by now, am very sadden by this.

    It makes me glad that we are doing what we plan to do.

  3. If it had not been for Bob, roleplaying games would never had been what they became. If it had not been for gaming, my life would not have been what it became. Bob was one of the rare few people in the world who truly loved his fellow man with all his heart, and devoted himself to making people happy. Inspiration, hero, creator, mentor, and most of all friend ... I'm gonna miss him.