Everyone has heard of Gary Gygax, the creator of Dungeons & Dragons, but his friend and business partner Brian J. Blume has received far less fame and attention. We must give attention now to a sad turn of events, those of his passing.
The Lake Geneva Regional News reported that Brian J. Blume, a resident of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, “passed away Friday March 27, 2020 at the Lakeland Nursing Home in Elkhorn WI from Lewy Body Dementia and Parkinson’s disease.” He was born January 12, 1950 in Oak Park, IL and grew up in Wauconda, IL. He met and married the former Victoria Miller of Elkhorn, WI. They had been married forty years at the time of his death. After graduating as valedictorian of his high school class, he attended Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana. He did not graduate from Wabash, choosing instead to follow in the footsteps of his father, Melvin Blume, and become a tool and die maker.
Brian J. Blume was the co-founder of Tactical Studies Rules (TSR) with Gary Gygax (1938 – 2008), of Lake Geneva, WI. An avid gamer, “Blume co-authored D&D supplement Eldritch Wizardry with Gygax, worked on The Rogues Gallery, co-authored the Warriors of Mars miniatures wargame adaptation and the Boot Hill RPG with Gygax, and wrote the Panzer Warfare miniatures wargame.” He was instrumental in the development of the company and in helping to expand the details of the Dungeons and Dragons world. He was the author of several other TSR games. He later worked as a cartographer for White Wolf, a rival gaming company.
Gazettextra.com said “His creative work at TSR built on a lifetime of interest in, and enjoyment from, games that challenge the intellect, expand the player’s horizons, interests, and understanding, and are just plain fun. He could always be found with friends and family pursuing a new, challenging, and enjoyable game. His general knowledge was encyclopedic. He is remembered in the gaming world as being one of the sharpest players of any game, who always found the best and most innovative games, and who was one of the friendliest and fairest players who ever rolled a die, moved a token, or played a card. Despite being hard to beat, he always played for simple enjoyment. He is remembered by family and friends as generous, soft spoken, and always concerned about the well being of others. Even in the later stages of his disease he still had the quick wit and insight that was one of his many gifts throughout life.”
Brian J. Blume “is survived by his wife Victoria Miller Blume, his brothers Daniel, Keith, Douglas, Kevin, Gary, and Erick Blume, his brother-in-law George Miller, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brother Bruce Blume. In keeping with his lifelong wish to help others, his body is being donated for research. Also, in keeping with Brian’s wishes, there will be no memorial service. Please consider donations to the Parkinson’s Foundation or Lake Geneva Public Library.”
Our condolences to his widow, siblings, and nieces and nephews. Thank you, Brian, for the indelible mark you have left on the world and the lives you help uplift. You changed the world.
Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as 26 short stories, mostly fantasy in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, Swords &Sorceries Vols. 1, 2, & 5, “Cat Tails” “Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions, Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.