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Eric "Shade" Jansing (1971-2012)


Creature Cataloguer
Eric Jansing, the man you probably knew better here on the Creature Catalog forums and EN World in general by his nickname of "Shade", passed away June 13, 2012.

He was a friend of mine, at least as much as you can be a friend to someone you only know online or through e-mails. But we knew each other best from working together. When the Creature Catalog first started, it was Scott Greene's website, with Erica Balsley. Scott and Erica moved on, and left me in charge. Shade – the self-professed "Monster Junkie" – came around to the forums, and not only was he able to get a lot of work done, but he did it well, and so he helped me run the Creature Catalog until I moved on to other things a few years ago.

But it wasn't just the work on the Creature Catalog that we bonded over. We wanted to put our skills to good use, so we started writing articles for "Dragon" magazine. I spoke to his wife earlier this evening, and I told her that he really gave me the confidence to try, and to do something I wanted to do.

Eric passed away at age 40, which is still very young, but it seems to me like he had a good life. He was a family man, with two kids and another one on the way. And I can tell that his wife loved him very much. So don't be sad that he is gone, but instead treasure the time that you were able to enjoy with him.

And yes, Eric loved games, just like the rest of us. It's easy for people to see games (especially the kind we geeks enjoy) as silly or a waste of time. But games are just another part of the way people have fun, something we have been doing ever since people have been playing games. Before his own death, Gary Gygax said, "I would like the world to remember me as the guy who really enjoyed playing games and sharing his knowledge and his fun pastimes with everybody else." I would like to think that Eric would want us to remember him the same way.

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I'm sorry to hear that. My condolences, to his family and friends.

And yes, that includes you. I've made enough genuine friendships online to know they're meaningful.


Demon Lord
Damn that sucks. My thoughts are with his family. I was just thinking about Shade the other day. Stumbled across a couple of old emails from him. What the heck happened? And yeah, 40 is too young.


Shade's left us? That's terrible news.

I only knew him vie the boards here on Enworld, but he was a great guy.

Would it be presumptuous of me to ask if there's anything we can do to help out?


Extradimensional Explorer
These are going to be the most difficult words I've written on EN World, I can tell.

BOZ, thank you for looking into this. I think of all of us, you knew him best.

Even though I only knew him on EN World and exchanged just a handful of emails, Shade/Eric was a good friend and a constant presence in my life for half a dozen years. As I've been in a stage of my career when I and my work colleagues have to change employers fairly often, I think he's also the one person, outside my family, I've kept in touch with the most over that time. I can't recall the dates, sometime late 2007 to early 2008, I guess, but there were a few months when Shade and I were about the only people posting here. It's hard to think we won't have more conversations like that. It is really the Creature Catalog, under his direction, that has kept me involved in RPGs, too. So I will miss Shade and his writing quite a bit.

And the CC will miss his leadership. I think we should keep it going in his honor and memory. I'm going to need a few days' hiatus, though, before I can think about monster conversion again.


Shirokinukatsukami fan
Thanks for passing on this very sad news, BOZ.

Like many others in this thread, I considered Shade a friend, and this news of his sudden passing has hit me quite hard. Eric was always enthusiastic and friendly on the Creature Catalog threads, and in our occasional email correspondence, and he was also clearly committed to his family. His contributions to ENWorld are one of the reasons I've come to consider this one of my online homes.

Shade was one of a fairly small number of people on this planet with whom I share a hardcore enthusiasm for D&D monsters; I like to index them, Shade liked to design them. This being the Creature Catalog, many of the world's other hardcore monster enthusiasts have already posted in this thread. Eric's untimely departure from our group will leave an empty spot in ENWorld's community, and will make the future tapestry of D&D monsters a little less colorful and rich.

Shade, I will miss you. My thoughts are with your family and your other friends.

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