Whatever happened to....?

I was reading through some of the older posts because, I obviously have nothing else to do... and I was looking at some of the "big names" in the business, like Cook, Rouse, Baker, etc. and it got me to wondering, whatever happened to all the "other" big names from the olden days.

We all talk about Gygax and Arneson, but what about:
Erol Otis, Roger Moore, "Zeb" Cook, Lenord Lakolfka.? These were the big names, I mean what about the Blumes, sure they killed TSR but what happened next?

I for one know of one such "hero" personally - Dave Trampier (pronounced tram-PE-ay). Mr Trampier was THE artist back in the early days gaming. Before Foglio, before Easley, before Lockwood and even Elmore, Dave Trampier WAS Dungeons & Dragons brought to life by illustration. Most of the cover art of the 1st edition books, the DM screen and a lot of the interior work as well as Wormy was Dave's work. Sadly, his story doesn't end with a cushy retirement... it seems that Mr Trampier had some issues with his marriage and when his wife divorced him, he blamed Gary, TSR and his art. He left the business completely and began driving a cab. He is currently the night dispatcher for a local cab company here. He wants nothing to do with the life of his past and gets rather annoyed when people try to track him down. (So please don't)

Hopefully the other stories aren't as sad, and there are other names I didn't list, just because I'm sure I would forget some and didn't want to limit it. If you know of someone who, back in the day, shaped the hobby for future generations, that may...no longer be in the limelight... let us know what happened to them - but please be respectful of their privacy (don't give out contact info, unless they request it.) and no "I heard that..." rumors, only post what you know to be true. No Tom Wham didn't write "The Awful Green Things from Outer Space" because he is one... :eek:
 

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JimLotFP

First Post
Otus still does work for Kenzer & Co, Goodman Games, and others, so he hasn't disappeared.

Lakofka is still around, if not very involved. He's written some stuff for Dragonsfoot's Footprints zine in recent times.

That Trampier information is years old, but it could still be completely correct for all I know.
 

jamorea

Explorer
"Zeb" Cook was working in the computer gaming industry. I know he did some work on City of Villians (the City of Heroes evil side of the equation). He stopped working on CoV shortly after it came it but I think he moved on to another computer game. Not sure what his current project is.
 

diaglo

Adventurer
The Gygax Clan, Frank Mentzer, James (Jim) Ward, Tom Wham, Rob Kuntz, and Tim Kask were at Gary Con last year.

I'm guessing they will be again this coming one in March.

edit: also if you check Dragonsfoot you will find Q&A threads by a few of them and Steve Marsh.
i think Harold Johnson was only recently retired from WotC.

edit2: www.garycon.com

edit3: and of course some have passed on from this world. :( besides Don Kaye(1973), Gary(2008) and Dave(2009). Dave Sutherland III passed in 2005.
 
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JohnRTroy

Adventurer
Yeah, Tom Wham still lives in LG. He's a big boardgame geek and I got to play a few games with him, EGG, and Ernie Gygax. He and Jim Ward created a game a few years back called Dragon Lairds.

LL I believe stopped playing D&D and as Gary told me "went back to playing bridge". Although if he has written for Dragonsfoot maybe he's aware of the rise of "old school" gaming.

Roger Moore was mentioned in a recent thread here. He decided to change his life after being let go from WoTC. He sold his gaming collection and stopped playing or being involved in RPGs. You might see him at GenCon, but that's more for his son's benefit. (Erik Mona I think mentioned Roger was now into the model kit hobby).

Erol Otus was also involved in several computer games. The Orignal System Shock, for instance. He did some work and still hangs out at Toys for Bob, the people who created Star Control 2 (now open sourced and available for the general public as the Ur-Quan Masters). SC2 was created by Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III, both TSR alumni.

Speaking of artists, David C. Sutherland III was let go from TSR just before it became WoTC. He ended up becoming a truck driver and had suffered from alcoholism and diabetes and got divorced. When things got really tough, the word got out to sites like this, and he was able to auction some of his original art and was able to raise 22,000.00 for his daughters before he passed away.

Two sites you might want to check out if your really interested. Monte Cook did some interviews with 2nd edition alumi on his web site, back in 2004 and Grognardia is trying to interview as many old schoolers as he can. I really suggest checking out both sites.
 

Good stuff guys.

I wasn't aware Sutherland had passed away, that's kind of what I meant when I started this thread, a lot of these folks kind of flew under the radar since their names weren't Gygax and Arneson. Yes, the Trampier info is up to date, he's living not 15 miles from where I am currently living.

Also, thanks for the other links - diaglo, they may have been at garycon, but what are they doing? How about the Blume's, were they lynched, or didi Gary hit them with a Banishment spell? ;)
 




Nikosandros

Golden Procrastinator
LL I believe stopped playing D&D and as Gary told me "went back to playing bridge". Although if he has written for Dragonsfoot maybe he's aware of the rise of "old school" gaming.

Len Lakofka has indeed contribute quite a bit recently. He wrote several articles that have appeared in the e-zine Footprints.

He also wrote L4 (and I believe also L5) a huge follow-up in the Lendore Isles series... this material has unfortunately been in editorial limbo for years, but i believe that the Dragonsfoot production team has made progress on it recently.
 



goodmangames

First Post
Both Erol Otus and Zeb Cook contributed to our upcoming Dungeon Alpabet, along with Jeff Easley, Jim Roslof, and Jim Holloway.

GMG4385minicover.jpg


More info at Goodman Games
 

Nahat Anoj

First Post
I've always wondered what Graeme Morris (Night's Dark Terror, When a Star Falls) and Carl Sargent (Iuz the Evil, The Marklands) were up to. Those two did some excellent work.
 


I've always wondered what Graeme Morris (Night's Dark Terror, When a Star Falls) and Carl Sargent (Iuz the Evil, The Marklands) were up to. Those two did some excellent work.
Dragon #359 stated that Carl Sargent had some kind of accident while traveling on the road during the mid-90s and nothing was ever heard of him again since then, but I would like to know if anyone around here has any other bit of information gathered since the time that article was published (2007).
 

Dragonhelm

Knight of Solamnia
i think Harold Johnson was only recently retired from WotC.

I would like to know what happened with Harold Johnson. He helped to shape the world of Dragonlance. I'd love to interview him at some point. I don't think he's been with WotC since 2000, though. Last thing I can find credits for is the 3.0 PHB and DMG.

Whatever happened to Rick Swan?
 

Thanael

First Post
Dragon #359 stated that Carl Sargent had some kind of accident while traveling on the road during the mid-90s and nothing was ever heard of him again since then, but I would like to know if anyone around here has any other bit of information gathered since the time that article was published (2007).
Yep Carl Sargent vanished quite mysteriously... ;-) Sargent holds a PhD in psychology (or experimental parapsychology), and some of his experiments are hotly debated.

See:
Carl Sargent - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Where's Carl Sargent? (an interesting 13 page thread on gleemax which gets into Sargent's PSI research in the end)


Also, interesting info about Roger Moore up there. I hadn't known that.


Similarly Steven Kurtz who authored some Al'Qadim material and the awesome Complete Necromancer's Handbook also dropped out of the hobby. I once asked Wolfgang Baur if he knew what Kurtz was doind these days and if he wouldn't get involved in Open Design. Here's what Wolfgang answered:
Wolfgang Baur said:
Steve Kurtz and I still keep in occasional contact, but we are on opposite coasts. He lives near Philadephia, is restoring a very large Victorian house, and has 4 children and no time for writing. He did visit the Alhambra en familie, though, so he still has his interest in Arabic/Moorish culture and history.
(I hope it's ok to quote this here...)
 

mhensley

First Post
I'd like to know what happened to some of those great dungeon magazine contributors like Thomas Zuvich, Randy Maxwell, Ann Dupuis, and Willie Walsh.
 

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