Ramblings of General Geekery

Farewell Jennell Jaquays

It was sad to wake up this morning with an update from Rebecca Heineman, Jennell Jaquays’ spouse and organizer of the GoFundMe campaign to finance her latest medical treatments, announcing that Jennell had passed away.

Jennell is of course a legendary roleplaying games designer and artist, whom various people will associate with various famous adventure modules such as Dark Tower and Caverns of Thracia. Not being much of a D&D player, I mostly associate her with RuneQuest’s Griffin Mountain and Legendary Duck Tower & Other Tales. I was also looking forward to her current work revamping her old Central Casting books.

A few years ago I was also made aware of the term “Jaquaying the Dungeon“, which referred to emulating the non-linear aspects of the dungeons Jennell became famous for at the turn of the 1980s. I realized today that Justin Alexander went back and changed the term to “Xandering the Dungeon” a couple months ago, at Jennell’s request. The article that introduced this term has now been edited and renamed, and you can find the details and reasons of this renaming here… so, well, something to keep in mind.

ENWorld and DiceBreaker have some good eulogies, and we are already seeing a few new things pop up around the web, such as this interview with VintageRPG’s Stu Horvath (whose latest bit was included in Stu’s excellent RPG history encyclopedia book), or this transcript of a 2014 interview (“You may have been the first people to get Gregged” made me chuckle) on The Penultimate HârnPage blog.

Farewell Jennell.

Edit: a few more good eulogies have surfaced from Chaosium, of course, Steve Jackson Games, Gnome Stew, and Shannon Appelcline. Also note this important update, and check out the Jennell Jaquays Memorial Game Jam.