James Ward Obituary: Dungeons & Dragons game designer died at 72

James Ward Obituary

James Ward Obituary: James M. (Jim) Ward, a game designer for Dungeons & Dragons, and a member of the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design Hall of Fame, passed away on March 18, 2024, at 72 years old.

Born on May 23, 1951, Ward embarked on his illustrious career in 1976 with the publication of Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes, a rulebook he co-created with Rob Kuntz for TSR. That same year, he introduced Metamorphosis Alpha, TSR’s pioneering science-fantasy RPG.

During his tenure at TSR, Ward contributed to various modules and supplements, coinciding with Dungeons & Dragons’ initial surge in popularity. His collaborative work on the Ruins of Adventure supplement became the foundation for the beloved 1988 video game Pool of Radiance.

Beyond his contributions to Dungeons & Dragons, Ward’s creative talents extended to designing the Dragon Ball Z collectible card game. He also played a significant role in the development of other notable games, including Tomb Raider, Wheel of Time, and Babylon 5 CCGs.

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Ward co-founded Fast Forward Entertainment, a pivotal d20 company, alongside Timothy Brown, Lester Smith, John Danovich, and Sean Everett. Later, he joined Troll Lord Games as a writer and eventually served as the editor for Troll Lord’s Castles & Crusades magazine, The Crusader Journal.

Throughout his life, Ward faced a series of health challenges, including a serious neurological disorder diagnosed in 2010 and a heart attack in 2014. Despite these obstacles, Ward remained dedicated to his craft and continued to inspire others in the gaming community.

Known for his warmth, humor, and unwavering passion for gaming, Ward leaves behind a lasting legacy in the world of tabletop and role-playing games. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his friends, family, and fans during this difficult time.

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