Archive for January, 2013

Lynn Willis, Chaosium designer and editor, dies

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Earlier today Chaosium announced that Lynn Willis, the man who influenced countless gamers and guided a veritable sea of gaming products into their grateful hands, has passed away. His work on the Call of Cthulhu line alone reads like a greatest hits list of roleplaying. Here’s the press release:

We are sad to announce the death of Lynn Willis, a pillar of Chaosium, Call of Cthulhu, and of the roleplaying community. Lynn had been combating aging and illness for several years, and passed while in a hospital for treatment. He is survived by his wife Marcia, and a community of friends and admirers.

Lynn began in gaming as a board game designer, and entered Chaosium with Lords of the Middle Sea. He was the third employee of Chaosium, first as an editor and then as the mastermind behind the entire Call of Cthulhu line, as well as other projects, for the decades that he was among us. He loved his work and brought all his abilities to the job. He was incredibly smart, astonishingly widely read, detail oriented, and capable. He is largely responsible for the high quality, playability, and popularity of the leading horror RPG in our field. A complete list of his gaming accomplishments can be found at

He will be missed. We trust that he is at peace. We give his wife Marcia our thanks and blessings for her devoted love and support for Lynn, and wish her joy and success in her future endeavors and memories of the past.

Charlie Krank, President Chaosium Inc.
Greg Stafford, Founder Chaosium Inc.

I only spoke to Lynn once or twice in my time working next door to Chaosium, but it was easy to get a sense of his passion for gaming – he was always tucked away in his office, cooking up more Chaosium goodness. He will certainly be missed. The staff of OgreCave wishes the best to the Willis family, and all the folks at Chaosium.

Forbidden Desert, sequel to Forbidden Island, announced

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

Earlier today, Gamewright officially announced the upcoming sequel to the hit cooperative boardgame Forbidden Island, entitled Forbidden Desert. As the press release (below) states, “In Forbidden Desert, players take on the roles of brave adventurers who must throw caution to the wind and survive both blistering heat and blustering sand in order to recover a legendary flying machine buried under an ancient desert city.” (Which, as you may have guessed, will be in four pieces, much like the four artifacts in Forbidden Island.) Designed once again by Pandemic creator Matt Leacock, the sequel game will release this spring, arriving first at the New York Toy Fair mid-February. Forbidden Desert will also imitate its predesessor with an attractive full-color tin while carrying a low price tag ($24.99).

If you missed it, our Gaming News Update podcast interview with designer Matt Leacock, from when Forbidden Island was released, is worth a listen for his insights on designing cooperative games.