Tuesday, April 12, 2016

J is for Jean Wells

I'd like to take a brief post to acknowledge the contributions made in the early years of the hobby by one Jean Wells. She was one of the earliest female employees at TSR, in an era where the industry was still almost totally male-dominated (one of the reasons that the class titles and level names in OD&D are all masculine). In addition to her editing contributions for such modules as White Plume Mountain and Tom Moldvay's Basic Rulebook, she was also an artist who contributed images to the original Monster Manual.

The product she's most known for, however, is the infamous Palace of the Silver Princess, which was recalled and redesigned (rewritten almost completely by Tom Moldvay) for reasons that vary from account to account. After this, she was sadly not able to get any of her design ideas off the ground, and left.

The original version with the orange cover.
Wells died in 2012, but her contributions to D&D remain with us. Fortunately, she was also willing to grant several interviews before her passing: a multi-part text interview with

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