26 June 2017
Publishers, designers and fans pay tribute to Stewart Wieck
Roleplaying veteran Stewart Wieck, known for his pivotal role in the creation of Vampire: The Masquerade publisher White Wolf and its World of Darkness series of games, has passed away.
As well as co-founding White Wolf alongside his brother Steve in the mid-‘80s, Wieck was heavily involved in the conception of influential RPG Vampire with creator Mark Rein-Hagen and the subsequent World of Darkness universe, which included Wieck’s original design, 1993’s Mage: The Ascension.
Wieck later departed from White Wolf in 2010, forming Nocturnal Games, which acquired the rights to Arthurian White Wolf roleplaying game Pendragon, publishing a new entry in the series.
Outside of roleplaying, Wieck authored several books and short stories, and co-edited a collection of stories based in the World of Darkness. While at White Wolf, he took charge of the company’s fiction output, which counted authors such as Neil Gaiman and Nancy Collins among its roster.
According to Steve Wieck, Stewart collapsed late last week following a light fencing workout. Attempts to resuscitate him failed. He was 49 years old.
“It's still unknown what caused it; we'll know more in a few days,” Steve wrote on Facebook. “Something catastrophic in his heart perhaps.
“Stewart was 49, ate right, exercised, a specimen of good health... it's all just.. stunning that he could possibly, suddenly be gone.
“He was my brother, my best friend, my business partner since we started White Wolf in high school. He was an incredible human being, full of kindness and empathy, fun and artistic passion.
“I was supposed to grow old drinking and gaming with him. Now that will have to wait for heaven or Valhalla or whatever comes next.
“And of course, leave it to Stewart to die with a sword in his hand.”
Roleplaying publishers around the industry have since paid tribute to Stewart, with Chaosium’s James Lowder writing: “Stewart treated all creators, whether novice or veteran, as comrades and as important. When news of his passing began to spread across social media tonight, so did the tales of his many kindnesses. Stewart’s creative contributions made hobby gaming more enjoyable and interesting. His actions as a business leader and an individual made the hobby gaming community a better, kinder place.”
Other designers, publishers, friends and fans expressed their shock and sadness via social media:
Simply crushed to hear that @stewartwieck has passed away. His work opened my eyes to the broader world of RPGs and what they could be.— Mike Mearls (@mikemearls) 24 June 2017
Very, very sad to learn of the passing of gaming legend @StewartWieck at the early age—my age—of 49. Gaming will not be the same again.— Mike Selinker (@mikeselinker) 24 June 2017
Deepest condolences to family, friends and colleagues of Stewart Wieck. A huge force in hobby gaming and a swell guy.— Robin D. Laws (@RobinDLaws) 24 June 2017
I'm flabbergasted, stunned, thunderstruck to hear that Stewart Wieck has passed at age 49. A real pioneer and visionary gone far too soon.— Kenneth Hite (@kennethhite) 24 June 2017
Just learned about @stewartwieck passing. I'm stunned and saddened.— John Nephew (@JohnNephew) 25 June 2017