Fantasy Author & Game Designer Joe Dever Passes Away

Joe Dever, creator of the world of Magnamund and author of the Lone Wolf series of game books, has passed away in hospital at the age of 60. He had suffered from health complications in recent months, and sadly had to cancel his attendance at the Lucca convention in Italy at the end of October. In recent years, Dever had been working with RPG company Cubicle 7 on the Lone Wolf Adventure Game. I had the pleasure of interviewing him a few years ago at the Dragonmeet game convention in London. The Lone Wolf game books were a series of books which started in 1984 set in Dever's world of Magnamund. His books sold over 11 million copies worldwide.

Joe posted the following on October 22nd:


It is with deep regret I must inform you that I am unable to attend Lucca next week due to ill health. I am being admitted to hospital tomorrow (Sunday) and I will most likely be kept in for 10 days or so for a series of intravenous treatments to correct side effects and ongoing complications following bile duct surgery I had in August.

I’ve had a very challenging few months health-wise that have made it impossible to maintain my usual busy work schedule. All of the complications I’ve had since July have two common symptoms: chronic fatigue and muscle weakness. Both have made it increasingly more difficult for me to concentrate and perform my work normally. Hopefully, the treatments I will receive next week shall fix the problems once and for all.

I can only apologise sincerely for the inconvenience this unavoidable decision will cause all my loyal Italian fans that have been looking forward to meeting and chatting with me next week at the show. Lucca is a big part of my life and it breaks my heart not to be able to be there to enjoy it with you this year.

For Sommerlund and the Kai!
Joe Dever

His family made the following statement:

We are sorry to be the bearers of such tremendously sad news, but our father passed away peacefully at 10:15 yesterday morning. This follows twelve years of an illness that he kept secret to all but those closest to him. We appreciate this news may be a shock to many.

He died as he lived - with colossal bravery and dignity - and held by those that loved him. He was working on the final three Lone Wolf books until Monday evening. His thoughts were with his work and thusly his fans until the last possible moments. His work clearly meant a lot to his fans, and your loyalty meant everything to him.

It is with enormous honour and great responsibility that these notes for the final three books of the saga, and the legacy of his incredible universe, are passed to us to complete.

Please allow us time to attend to the family, and his personal affairs. We will be in touch via this page and his website with further news about a memorial service that we hope to arrange for late January. We will also share how you can apply to attend the memorial, with full details of the time and location.

With love,
Ben Devere & family​

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Alas! It was impossible for a young kid to not be inspired by the lone Kai hero, alone against the forces of the Darklords. I got into those books about the same time I started playing D&D. I still have a bunch of them packed away, too. And the Mongoose Lone Wolf RPG, which I never got to run, for that matter.
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The Lone Wolf books had such a tremendous influence on my childhood, and by extension the rest of my life. Like so many other people, I made my first fantasy journeys through Mr. Dever's works. I am so glad he got to see Magnamund keep evolving and growing through the new RPG.
Thanks for starting me on a life of adventure, Mr Dever.


That's very sad news, indeed.

I always liked his articles in White Dwarf, and really, really liked the Lone Wolf books. I prefered them to the Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks by a huge margin. They had better stories and mechanics, and I loved how things from one book, might be useful several books down the track. Between his writing, and the wonderful Gary Chalk artwork, they had quite an influence on my early gaming.

I must check out the Cubical 7 version of the RPG.
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Age 60? Wow. I had no idea about his health problems. My sympathies for his family.

Next to Gary, Joe's Lone Wolf stuff really cemented my RPG passion, especially during some of my teen years when I didn't have a group.


*salutes* A fan of the Lone Wolf books in my early teens. Joe's books helped develop my love for the fantasy genre. Condolences to his family, & friends in these sad times.


First Post
This saddens me greatly. I'm almost shocked. His work has accompanied me through most of my life. In fact this year I have started playing through the entire Lone Wolf series of game books yet another time. The Magnamund setting has been a great inspiration for me and influenced several of my homebrew campaigns. What a loss!

My sincere condolences to the family.


My condolences, sad news.

I always preferred the Fighting Fantasy books written by Steve Jackson, but Dever's Lone Wolf was so famous even the general public knew about it (aka my parents) and I guess it drove hordes of new players to RPGs.


Very sad to hear of the passing of Joe Dever. I had no idea he was in poor health. My first ever 'geek' T-shirt was a Lone Wolf one I bought in the mid-'80s. I still have it along with my Lone Woolf books and miniatures.


Golden Procrastinator
Very sad news. I loved the Lone Wolf series, they really fired my imagination. I can still "see" in my mind the cemetery that you had to cross in order to reach the capital in the first book. In Italy the Lone Wolf series was very popular in the 80s and Joe always attracted crowds when he came to Lucca.



All the books are above for free:

Joe Dever has most generously offered to allow some of his books to be published on the internet thereafter to be downloaded free-of-charge. Rob Adams, Paul Bonner, Gary Chalk, Melvyn Grant, Richard Hook, Peter Andrew Jones, Cyril Julien, Peter Lyon, Peter Parr, Graham Round, and Brian Williams have also generously offered similar permission for their contributions to the world of Magnamund. Project Aon is a volunteer group of fans dedicated to publishing these works.

"I would be especially pleased if my granting of the rights to distribute my books in this way was seen as my 'millennium gift' to all those devoted readers who have kept the Kai flag flying high, through all the good times, and the not-so-good. It would make me very proud indeed if this enterprise laid the foundations of a lasting legacy, securing the longevity of Lone Wolf by making my creation freely and readily accessible to current and future online generations. For them, for us, for Sommerlund and the Kai.…"
Joe Dever 1999


Really sad news - damn this disease.
Great game books including the Freeway Warrior set. Still hoping to run a campaign in Magnamund.

Lost Soul

First Post
I still remember the first Lone Wolf book I read. It was called Shadow on the Sand. It was the 5th book in the series but I picked it up due to the great cover art and especially the beautiful illustrations by Gary Chalk. (His illustration of the broadsword was awe inspiring) Joe Dever did so much to inspire a believable game world. Giak (goblin/orc), Drakkarim, Helghasts, Vordaks, Kraan and crypt spawn are worthy antagonists that would feel right at home in any D&D game. May the light of Kai & Ishtar's light forever shine upon you Joe Dever. Rest in Peace

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