Saturday, October 24, 2020

R.I.P. Lenard Lakofka

I just read over at Grognardia that Lenard Lakofka has passed away. James makes the observation that Lenard may be

one of the most underappreciated contributors to the growth and development of Dungeons & Dragons.

I would have to agree, especially when it comes to understanding my own history with the game. Therefore, let me set the record straight. 

As much as I love Gygax, Arneson, Holmes, and Moldvay, none of them taught me as much about being a Dungeon Master as Lakofka did. He put to page blueprints for what I experienced as a young high school kid in a sandbox campaign run by a college student. That campaign opened my eyes as to what D&D could be and I wanted my campaigns to look and feel like that one did. The only TSR publications that ever came close to showing me how to duplicate that experience where Lakofka's The Secret of Bone Hill and The Assassin's Knot.

Though I never ran Bone Hill, I am always striving to make sure my campaigns have the feel that exudes from Bone Hill on paper. Though Assassin's Knot was one of my first true failures as a DM, I still make sure my worlds have factions and humans as the true villains and monsters. Yeah, of all the guys who ever wrote for TSR, Lenard is the one who really taught me to be the DM (or Referee as I prefer) I am today.

Thanks Lenard, and as we Orthodox say, may your memory be eternal.