Saturday, August 24, 2019

Some Thoughts About The Passing of the Founder Of Flying Buffalo Rick Loomis

Game designer Rick Loomis at Gen Con Indy 2014 on August 15, 2014

Its never easy to write about friends passing, Rick Loomis has died. I met and spoke with Rick numerous times at GenCon over the years. Tunnels & Trolls was a staple of my uncle's table for many years. I was introduced to  Nuclear War as a kid. But as an adult it was the 

Citybook I: Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker series 

 that set the standard for my campaign gaming. Not to mention all of the great contributors, artists,etc. I'm leaving out folks contributions  like Liz Danforth,  Jennell Jaquays & many others. 
 I'm sorry but Rick's passing took me by surprise.  As I'm writing these words the reality of Rick Loomis's passing hasn't set in yet. Tunnels & Trolls was/is a game that in many ways rivals or mirrors Dungeons & Dragons as the other game. Ken St.Andre's creation is still played to this day a great game from a great company. Rick Loomis was a down to Earth man who played & published games. He was so much the beating heart & soul of Flying Buffalo. The man was its center & there were so many great things about Flying Buffalo.

I really came into knowing & loving the company through Mercenaries, Spies, & Private Eyes rpg because of the catalog that was included in the Michael Stackpole game. This catalog opened my eyes to the world of system neutral rpg setting materials that was the Citybooks books. Those in turn gave me insight into Grimtooth's Traps. But The Citybooks gave me insight into how an rpg book should be made; "Stefan Jones reviewed Citybook I: Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker in The Space Gamer No. 54.[1] Jones commented that "This aid is a perfect example of how any game product should be done: clear descriptions, a wide variety of places and people, and possibilities for adventure easily playable. If you think the only place to have adventures is in a dungeon or the deep wilderness, pick up a copy of City Book and be amazed. If you want to see how descriptive and imaginative your game settings can be, get it. An excellent product that is worth every cent of its cover price.""  That's the standard that I try to adhere to today when it comes to buying rpg books & products.
The Grimtooth's books were/are some of the deadliest trap products ever to grace the stage. The author of the first book Paul O'Connor,  did some amazing books for Rick Loomis & Flying Buffalo. Not to mention the incredible artwork that Steve Crompton has done over the years.

So the incredible legacy that Rick Loomis leaves us is all the richer in the table top hobby from having felt his guiding hand in the world of gaming. From his serving as the president of GAMA multiple times to the incredible Kickstarter for  Tunnels & Trolls Deluxe & Nuclear War;
"In 2013, Flying Buffalo announced a new version of Tunnels & Trolls. This Deluxe version was done as a Kickstarter (which earned over $125,000) and was released in 2015. This new edition brought a lot of new interest in T&T and many of the old products as well as new adventures have been published in the ensuing years. Rick Loomis oversaw all the logistics and was the publisher of these new products. He also wrote a new section for his solo Buffalo Castle that was added to the deluxe version of that adventure."

"In 2015, Flying Buffalo announced the kickstarter for the 50th Anniversary edition Nuclear War Card Game. That Kickstarter earned over $156,000 and the 50th edition was released in 2016 and contained a new population deck and a couple of additional cards (designed by Rick) added to the main deck"

I do mourn the passing of Rick Loomis & I'm very sorry for the loss of the Loomis family is experiencing during this terrible time. Thank you to Rick for all the fun I have had playing your games over the years. RIP Rick Loomis publisher, designer, etc. & one of the lights of our hobby. 

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