Remembering Joe Dever
Joe Dever's Lone Wolf gamebooks were incredibly popular among my circle of friends in the 1980s. The 1980s were a great time for gamebooks - I remember devouring Bantam's Choose Your Own Adventure series but the Lone Wolf books were my favorite by far. Throughout the series Dever revealed more and more of the world of Magnamund. A simple combat system added an element of randomness to the tales.
An amusing irony about the books is though they were for solo play, they encouraged a lot of socialization among my peers. We discussed the world, used elements of it in our D&D games, traded books with each other, etc.
Dever passed away this week, far too young at the age of 60. I'm glad he got to see his creation endure beyond the gamebooks fad of the 1980s. Cubicle 7 recently released a beautiful adaptation of Lone Wolf as a fully realized RPG. It's nice to think his words and his creations will live on. There are probably people adventuring in Magnamund as I write this, either alone or as part of a gaming group.