Saturday, October 2, 2021

RIP: Terry K. Amthor (1958–2021)

Terry K. Amthor, one of the original founders of Iron Crown Enterprises, has died, according to the following announcement from the ICE website:

To all in the ICE family

It is with the greatest sadness that we must inform you that the incomparable Terry Amthor has died. We extend our most heartfelt condolences to his sister Tamara, his family and his friends.

The cause and circumstances of his death are still under investigation, so we cannot provide any details on this and will defer to his family on what they choose to disclose in due course.

Terry was a founder member of the original ICE and a cocreator of Rolemaster and Spacemaster, writing and contributing to many of its most iconic products, and to some of the most exceptional 1st edition Middle-earth modules. Most of all, he has shaped our imaginations with his masterful Shadow World epic fantasy setting. He continued to develop Kulthea through his own Eidolon Studio company, before joining forces with Guild Companion Publications to create new sourcebooks and adventures bringing ever more of Shadow World to life, and working as our layout guru for most of our other products.  

Author, designer, world builder, and friend, Terry’s genius has enriched our lives for decades. His creations will continue to inspire us all for years to come.

Rest in peace, Terry.

Nicholas, Colin, John and Thom

In recent months, I'd begun to delve into the Shadow World setting, which was largely the creation of Amthor, so this news is strangely affecting. I now wish I'd had been more familiar with his work and other contributions to the hobby over the years. I now have added impetus to correct this oversight in my gaming education. Rest in peace, Mr Amthor.


  1. Shadow World showed what a colorful creator he was, it's a fantasy setting with a bit of an edge all its own. I played Rolemaster before I got into D&D and had a lot of my first fantasy gamer experiences there. His passion for "his" world showed when he left ICE, secured the Shadow World rights and continued to create material for it under the Eidolon Studio banner. Terry Amthor was one of those truly creative guys that have helped shaping the RPG community with his visions. He will be missed.

  2. Damn. I'm a big fan of his work for Rolemaster but for some reason I never tried Shadow World. I'll have to remedy that.

    Thank you, Mr. Amthor.

  3. ICE games played a no small part in my teen-age and college years gaming, this is very sad news.
    Thank you, Mr. Amthor

  4. Truly unfortunate, and he was only in his early Sixties. Doing some further research I discovered he was also responsible for quite a few of my favorite Spacemaster adventures (under a pseudonym, weirdly) and worked as an editor, writer, and art director on the strikingly horrific Kult RPG back in the 90s. He also wrote a multipart Spacemaster mystery story under another pseudonym (Preston Eisenhower IV) for Alarums & Excursions, which I never did manage to find the entirety of.

    He'll probably be best remembered for his Shadow World, MERP, and Rolemaster output, but to my surprise I think I mostly bought his (pseudonymous) Spacemaster stuff, as well as pretty much everything from 1st ed Kult.

  5. He designed some of the best Middle-Earth modules - Lorien, and The Court of Ardor (evil elves in Southern Middle-Earth plotting the destruction of the sun) especially. He had a big hand in stirring my imagination in playing Tolkien's world.

  6. Sorry to hear about his death. It's a pity how many rpg writers seem to die relatively young.

  7. I've been running a campaign using Shadow World for quite some time (5 years this Summer) using Fantasy Grounds. The enormous and detailed history made this quite daunting to begin with but it has been so worth the effort. Terry joined in for a couple of sessions; his genuine love of roleplaying and the clear pleasure he took in seeing others enjoy his creation were palpable.