D&D General Jennell Jaquays Appreciation

Spinning off from another thread, let's talk Jennell Jaquays and why her work is awesome!

Though I have become a big Judges Guild fan in the ensuing years, my first experience with her work has to have been the Campaign Sourcebook and Catacomb Guide. This was the first really good advice I came across about DMing. The advice in past editions had some good stuff, sure, but it was still very much rooted in the adversarial approach to gaming. This was advice that was predicated on the idea that the game was supposed to be fun, that different people enjoyed different things. It talked about DMing as an art and a skill. It talked about dealing with the problems that come out. And the solutions weren't just "kill their characters with a no-save trap."
 

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Lyxen

Great Old One
First encounter with Jaquays, very very scary in Runequest.

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jdrakeh

Hero
Dark Tower remains one of my all-time favorite adventure modules. When I think of the quintessential adventure module, my thoughts go immediately to Dark Tower. Also, as noted above, she's a great person whose contributions to the hobby have been largely positive (and, when they weren't, she took ownership of those issues and made living amends).
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Dark Tower remains one of my all-time favorite adventure modules. When I think of the quintessential adventure module, my thoughts go immediately to Dark Tower. Also, as noted above, she's a great person whose contributions to the hobby have been largely positive (and, when they weren't, she took ownership of those issues and made living amends).

I remember playing that and having a blast, but for me the best contribution is to this absolute masterpiece, one of the greatest TTRPG supplement ever, and the Cult of Thanatar has always been one of my favourite one - although one of the most terrifying ones as a player:

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Filthy Lucre

Adventurer
Spinning off from another thread, let's talk Jennell Jaquays and why her work is awesome!

Though I have become a big Judges Guild fan in the ensuing years, my first experience with her work has to have been the Campaign Sourcebook and Catacomb Guide. This was the first really good advice I came across about DMing. The advice in past editions had some good stuff, sure, but it was still very much rooted in the adversarial approach to gaming. This was advice that was predicated on the idea that the game was supposed to be fun, that different people enjoyed different things. It talked about DMing as an art and a skill. It talked about dealing with the problems that come out. And the solutions weren't just "kill their characters with a no-save trap."
I've studied her work a lot in pursuit of designing highly engaging and playable dungeons. Has she ever thought about publishing her thoughts on dungeon/map design??
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
Jennell's Dark Tower, published by Judges Guild, was my major introduction to her work. I was the primary DM in our group, but one of my players (Stuart) had gotten a copy of it and offered to run it. Stu not only gave me a much appreciated break, but I also thoroughly enjoyed playing in Jennell's adventure.
 


Yora

Legend
Caverns of Thracia and Dark Tower get all the glory, but Savage Frontier probably had the biggest and longest lasting impact by far.
The North in the original Grey Box Campaign Set is extremely sparse and broad strokes. Waterdeep had been covered before, but to my kowledge there really wasn't any specific content for the rest of the region before Savage Frontier. And since WotC took over, it's been pretty much the core region of Forgotten Realms, now with just a bit of Baldur's Gate and it's suburbs added for good measure.
And even on its own merits, The Savage Frontier is really good. A ludicrous density of actually useful content for running campaigns on such a tiny page count.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Caverns of Thracia and Dark Tower get all the glory, but Savage Frontier probably had the biggest and longest lasting impact by far.
The North in the original Grey Box Campaign Set is extremely sparse and broad strokes. Waterdeep had been covered before, but to my kowledge there really wasn't any specific content for the rest of the region before Savage Frontier. And since WotC took over, it's been pretty much the core region of Forgotten Realms, now with just a bit of Baldur's Gate and it's suburbs added for good measure.
And even on its own merits, The Savage Frontier is really good. A ludicrous density of actually useful content for running campaigns on such a tiny page count.

It was the focus early 2E/Late 1E. Eye of the Beholder Games were set there for example.

Then they started pushing the Dalelands.
 




BrokenTwin

Biological Disaster
And let us not forget "Jaquaying the dungeon"! Jaquaying the Dungeon
Wow, I've read that article multiple times, and my brain somehow never made the connection, even after reading the thread that originated this one. I only started playing in the D&D 3.5 era, I really should go take a look at some of her work...

Kinda nice to know my terminology has been honoring her work, even if I didn't know it.
 

pukunui

Legend
And let us not forget "Jaquaying the dungeon"! Jaquaying the Dungeon
So back in 2016, Justin got called out for deadnaming Jennell in that series of articles. He wrote a post about his thoughts on the matter of changing credits in past works and why he didn’t want to do it in this case.

Jennell actually commented on the post (see comment #8), not only asking Justin to change the way he referred to her in the articles but also pointing out that the series’ title should be “Jaquaysing the Dungeon”.

I love it!

 
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BrokenTwin

Biological Disaster
Regardless of how one might feel about him deadnaming her at the start, the fact that he kept his word and changed it once she asked is a positive.

To focus on the topic: I've never actually run or read one of her modules. The Jayquaying the Dungeon article mentions three, but they don't appear to be available in PDF format (my google-fu may be failing me here).
 

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