It is will great sadness that we at the Sanctum Secorum report the passing of Jennell Jaquays. She wasn’t just one of game design’s greats, she was also a trans woman. Her status in the industry wasn’t just a victory for herself, but for countless others who could look and see themselves reflected in her. Jennell transcended being a designer, she was, and is, a true icon.
Jennell was an third party OG, having put out her own publication, The Dungeoneer, and having written for The Judges Guild. Her work was published by Chaosium, Avalon Hill, TSR, and others. Her adventure, Dark Tower is the only non-TSR product on the list of the Top 30 D&D Adventures of All Time. After leaving the RPG industry, she went on to work for companies like Colecovision and ID software. If you ever played Donkey Kong on the Colecovision, you’ve enjoyed her work. Her impact is far broader than can be summed up in a single write-up.
There are all number of tributes being posted today, and we encourage you to read every last one of them, so that you can come to better know this woman who was so fundamental in shaping the work of so many others. Her influence cannot be overstated, and the same can be said of her kindness.
We also urge you to donate to the Go Fund Me which has been set up to pay for outstanding medical, as well as funerary, costs.