Add one one more name to the wall of remembrance; or, The World is a little less bright today


Organized Play General Discussion

Dark Archive 5/5 5/5

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Today, July 7 2023, Jack Brown, RVC extraordinaire, has died.

Jack was many things in his life: husband, brother, son, IT nerd, lover of fine spirits, gregarious, loving, kind, and he was my friend.

I don’t really remember the first time I met Jack. It didn’t really matter though, because as anyone who knew him will attest, within minutes of meeting him, his easy smile, quick wit, and hearty laugh you at ease. Only later did you realize an hour had passed and he was inviting you to a game. Jack was so generous of his time in general, but especially within our shared hobby. He was gracious when explaining a rule; patient when having to explain a mechanic; and always tried to include everyone at the table. Jack touched so many people from around the world in his short time on Earth. He was truly what a good human should be.

I have so many fond memories of Jack that it is hard to select just one. Although the origin of his ratfolk lust specialist wizard is near the top:
“I have a ratfolk boon that I want to make a wizard.”
“Jack. Thassilonian lust specialist.”
“I don’t know…”
“Jack. Lust. Specialist. Think about it. You know you want to.”
looks at a few rules and whathaveyou
“Oh gods… this might actually work.”

And Luscious Lucius Vizin’s Love Laboratory was born.
“Hey Jack, what’s Lucius’s AC?”
“Hey THUNDERLIPS! how many hit points you have?”
“Uh… 182.”
“That’s my AC.”

It is hard for me to accept that my friend is no longer with us. I miss him terribly already. Yet, because I carry his memory in my heart he will never be truly gone. Like most tragic events, his death had a profound impact on not just me, but everyone here in Minnesota and beyond. I’ve told more people I love them. I’ve slowed down to enjoy life more. I savor the little interactions with other people. And most of all I will live my life to the fullest extent I can. Jack would expect no less and demand even more. Goodbye my friend. I will love you forever.

Jack Brown
1966-2023

Spoiler:
a friend reminded me of something I wrote about Jack several years ago. I laughed at the rush of memories from that day and then cried so hard for the same reasons. Still one of the best descriptions of Jack, hands down.

Wayfinders 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 **** Contributor

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Cross-posted in the Flaxseed Lodge

I believe Jack would love to be remembered with laughter and gaming stories. He always had a twinkle of mischief in his eye, and boundless energy. He enlivened every table that he ever played or GMed at, and he often dressed in character -- when he played his ysoki, he would show up in glittery sunglasses and a feather boa.

He was a great ring leader and got numerous non-athletic locals to do 5K runs with him. Running was one of his favorite things to do.

The first game I ever attended with Jack as a GM turned out to be a Birthday party. Bret and I did not know this - we just came because we signed up for an Organized Play table. But it was the birthday of one of the other players, and Jack brought birthday hats, kazoos, and birthday cake for everyone. Bret and I felt awkward at first but Jack and the others made us feel welcome.

Jack brought the party wherever he went, no matter what he did. He was lively, loud and always, always present. As loud as he was, he always made time for other people's voices. He was one of the best listeners that I knew.

Hail the traveler.

Hmm

4/5 *

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Jack was one of a kind, in the best possible way. Always smiling, always trying to make the gaming table a better place (he and I talked many times about what it was like when the gamers were outcasts and how neither of us ever wanted to perpetuate that ostracization).

And (almost) always with a drink in his hand. I don't drink often, but I made an exception when Jack was around to share one of his passions. And I'll make an exception tonight, in his honor.

Rest in peace now, my friend.

Dark Archive 4/5

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I met Jack at Con of the North 2012. Though it wasn't for a short while after that we really spent time together - and the next decade just wrote itself.

Whether it was the time I could have ended Lucius in Golemworks; When he cast Insatiable Lust on his ally Lady Brokahn; or when we finally found our true selves in Lucky and Thorval, son of Thorval, son of Thorval.............

An amazing GM. A fabulous and creative player. A true ambassador to Pathfinder and Starfinder. A Gencon special onto himself.

We may never see his like again.

*tips the cap and the beer*

Liberty's Edge 4/5

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To the wall of names, we commemorate one of Caydan's finest.

Thorval, son of Thorval, son of Thorval, son of Thorval, son of Thorval, son of Thorval, son of Thorval, son of Thorval, son of Thorval, son of Thorval, son of Thorval, son of Thorval, son of Thorval, son of Thorval, son of Sven, son of Thorval, son of Thorval, son of Thorval, son of Thorval.... oh you get the idea.

Apprentice to a Fey Sorceress. Creator and Master of the Fey Spells "Hit real hard", "Diplomacy", "Get Real Mad", and of course "squeeze the Troll until his head pops off".

Wrestler of Krakens and Orcas, rider of whales. Pathfinder extraordinaire. Incapable of knowing leftie from rightie. We worship in the temple of Cayden and drink to his memory.

Thorval's Tombstone: "I punch him in the face. Are we friends now? I punch him again. Are we friends now?"

**

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I'm not sure if I ever met Jack in person; if we did, it was very quickly during a PaizoCon. That said, we became friends during pandemic gaming. He showed me how to GM on Roll20, and I was fortunate to get to play with him many times (as players together, or one of us GM'ing for the other). He was incredibly kind, and a blast to play with.

I'll miss him. May his memory be a blessing.

Grand Lodge 1/5

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I recall one PBP session several years ago that I got to play with him, Debt to the Quah; I distinctly remember his gnome cleric in that one as he was such a witty and quirky character. I can still recall his name: Glastor Gilderhoff III. His character and mine had some witty repertoire about seemingly missing vowels in my name…and he also saved my character in the big boss battle at the end. T’was a memorable session with a most fun and memorable character of his; very fun to play with…

Godspeed…

Liberty's Edge 3/5 5/5 **** Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

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I knew Jack only briefly but remember his ready smile and laugh.
Prayers for his family and friends.

4/5 *****

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:


He was a great ring leader and got numerous non-athletic locals to do 5K runs with him. Running was one of his favorite things to do.

Some of us are virtually running a 5k together and then drinking a beer in remembrance.

This Sunday, 1PM Pacific.

I'm gonna draw Ambrus Valsen's mutton chops with my route :)

If it helps anyone here process/grieve, please feel free to join and we'll run a 5k for Jack, together.

Wayfinders 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 **** Contributor

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That is just lovely, Doug.

Horizon Hunters 4/5 5/5 *** Venture-Lieutenant, Indiana—Indianapolis

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Jack was one of those people who you may not know very well, but couldn’t wait until you saw them again. I only saw Jack at Gen Con, and during the one visit I made to MSP to GM for Skal Con. He was just a fun guy to be around. He was always kind to me and had asked me to come back to Skal Con (and, one day, I will return, if for no other reason than I think doing so in his memory would be a small way to thank him.)

I can’t imagine how those who knew him so well are handling this news - I wasn’t a close friend of Jack’s, and I know how empty this feels to me.

So, let his name be written on the Wall of Remembrance, and may Pharasma guide him to his richly deserved reward.

Godspeed, Jack.

Wayfinders 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 **** Contributor

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If you want to come back to SkalCon in Jack's memory, this year will be the one to do it. I don't know what we'll do yet, but we know that we will be doing something there to honor Jack.

Grand Lodge 4/5

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If only I could be there. Maybe Cyzzane will make the trip in my stead. Next year was going to be the year for certain.

Dark Archive 5/5 5/5

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In true fashion, Jack has used his last hero point to give his organs to people in need so that they can have a better or second chance at life.

Until we meet again in Valhalla my friend, Skål!

4/5 *

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:
If you want to come back to SkalCon in Jack's memory, this year will be the one to do it. I don't know what we'll do yet, but we know that we will be doing something there to honor Jack.

Yeah, I've done the "gonna do that next time" too many years now. (The pandemic certainly was a part of that.) I need to fix that. THIS year.

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/5 **

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GenCon of 2018. Our group went to play at his table for the Starfinder special. He was having a bit of a rough time with the overwhelming amount of feedback from multiple directions all at once. I stuck with Jack afterwards to make sure he was doing alright.

Afterwards, he became a mentor to me. Helping me improve my GMing, learning responsibility better, and was always fun to discuss character ideas with. It was over google hangouts we were discussing over the course of this last year what our plans for GenCon were, and the conversation took a turn when he said that he couldn't go. I told him I'd wait til next year to go with him, and would help him carry things at Cons if needed.

Jack was encouraging and helpful. He oversaw my 5 Star evaluation table, and invited me to oversee another player's 5 Star evaluation as well. My first time eating at Fogo De Chao was GenCon 2022 as kind of a celebration to the new 5 star GM. At that table he used a bunch of saved boons from over the years to create a level 5 Sorcerer Bloatmage who could cast 8d6 fireballs several times to really overpower any fight we came across. I had my Oozemorph Shifter. It was an incredibly amusing run.

We've had our fair share of scenarios together with all kinds of odd ball characters. Some were a slug fest, some were a mess, and some were chaotic, but it was always fun. It felt good to keep getting brought along and invited back.

During Solstice Scar D he was the player to land the killing blow on the final boss at the tier 10-11 I ran for the convention at that time. We were finishing up March of the Dead a few weeks ago on Play By Post with a character I discussed making during the car ride back from Gen Con.

Its hard to accept that my bud is gone. In some ways, it feels like its just a bad dream and that I'll have a conversation with him again, just how unready I am to accept this news. Logically, I have come to terms with it, but emotionally there is having to accept it and learn to heal.

He was a mentor, and a friend. He will be sorely missed.
We poured out a Badger Hill Traitor IPA for you, my friend. Please, keep a seat warm for me.

Wayfinders 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 **** Contributor

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Doug Hahn wrote:
Some of us are virtually running a 5k together and then drinking a beer in remembrance.

I remember the first time that Jack asked me to do a beer run with him. I told him. "There are two problems with that for me, Jack. The word 'run' and the word 'beer.'"

I'm not a runner. I never have been a runner. But... I want to run for Jack, since now I can never again run with Jack. I so regret that I didn't run with him when I had a chance to do that.

I'm not in good enough running shape to run a 5K today, but I decided that I want to be in good enough running shape to run a 5K someday. So I downloaded the Couch to 5K* app, and I did the first baby steps run today in the program. And it was cool. If you can walk, you can do the first run because it is mostly walking.

Jack, you finally got me running.

___
* The app is great but expensive, around 40 dollars. But you can find other couch to 5k plans online for free and still do the program.

4/5 *

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:
Doug Hahn wrote:
Some of us are virtually running a 5k together and then drinking a beer in remembrance.

I remember the first time that Jack asked me to do a beer run with him. I told him. "There are two problems with that for me, Jack. The word 'run' and the word 'beer.'"

I'm not a runner. I never have been a runner. But... I want to run for Jack, since now I can never again run with Jack. I so regret that I didn't run with him when I had a chance to do that.

I'm not in good enough running shape to run a 5K today, but I decided that I want to be in good enough running shape to run a 5K someday. So I downloaded the Couch to 5K* app, and I did the first baby steps run today in the program. And it was cool. If you can walk, you can do the first run because it is mostly walking.

Jack, you finally got me running.

___
* The app is great but expensive, around 40 dollars. But you can find other couch to 5k plans online for free and still do the program.

FWIW, I'm also not a runner, so not running...but I will walk it.

4/5 *****

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

So inspiring to see Jack still getting people running and walking.

I tried to draw a Ambrus's mutton chops beardHere's to you Jack.

Scarab Sages 3/5 *** Venture-Agent, Wisconsin—Franklin

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It's been almost a year since Jack helped us rebuild our lodge here in Milwaukee. He recruited a new VC, helped me navigate dealing with players engaged in some pretty heinous behavior. He was in my life for half a dozen emails, but he's touched the lives of a dozen gamers here in MKE by helping to empower us make a safe community.

May many happy stories be told of his time among us.

5/5 **

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm shocked and saddened to get this news. Lots of fun times gaming and hanging out at various cons. He will be missed.

3/5

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Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:

I'm not in good enough running shape to run a 5K today, but I decided that I want to be in good enough running shape to run a 5K someday. So I downloaded the Couch to 5K* app, and I did the first baby steps run today in the program. And it was cool. If you can walk, you can do the first run because it is mostly walking.

Jack, you finally got me running.

I used that same app to get running last year. It's very helpful, and makes easing into running a possibility. Even after a break from running, it helped me enough that I was able do a (not fast) 5K run for Jack this past weekend (like Doug Hahn). I ran with the free version of the app. If you have questions around it, I'm happy to answer them. Feel free to DM me.

4/5 *****

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

If you run please PM me if you would like to share any pics for the family/friends. I am putting adding them to a private album which will be shared.

*

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I truly miss my friend Jack. I have known Jack for 35+ years and have played Advanced D&D, 2nd edition, 3.0, 3.5, Traveller, Star Wars, Champions and in fact I introduced him to Pathfinder 1st Edition when I bought it and raved to him much of an improvement it was over 3.5. I have slung numerous dice in his presence as well cards. I even lived with him for 2 years until he met his lovely wife Deb.
He was closer than a brother and someone to spend hours with in gamerspeak. He is leaving a big hole in so many lives.
Jack I know that gaming in Valhalla means you can only play Barbarians and drink mead but please keep the table going until we get there.


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I have never met or known of this person, but to see him spoken of so highly here by people I love and respect means I feel like I missed out on getting to know a true titan. My condolences to all.

Wayfinders 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 **** Contributor

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Freehold DM wrote:
I have never met or known of this person, but to see him spoken of so highly here by people I love and respect means I feel like I missed out on getting to know a true titan. My condolences to all.

One of the things you should know about Jack was that he was insanely helpful. Here are some map stories.

Bret and I share a flip-mat collection, which works great except when we're both GMing the same special at a convention. You know who always leant us our extra flip-mats? Jack.

The first time I ran a game in PBP I had no idea how to extract maps, and I was freaking out. I told Jack, and the next thing I knew, Jack had extracted all my maps for me, and placed them in my slideshow. So I said... "Okay, that was awesome. Now show me how to do it." So he carefully explained the process and I took notes and from that point I could extract maps.

When I was going to GenCon the first time I was flying in and I could not bring my map tube. How the heck was I going to draw the custom maps? I talked to Jack, and he said, "Don't worry, Hil. I've got a solution for you." He printed all my custom maps, cut them out as puzzle pieces room by room, laminated them and handed them to me in an envelope.

Yesterday, when looking for another map, I came across the laminated maps Jack made for me that year and I cried over them. He was always helping us. Always.

Jack, today I ran the second day in the Couch to 5K program. I can even hear your voice saying, "'Bout time, Hil."

I was always a little behind you.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/5 * Contributor

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I'm so sad to hear this. Jack was such a great guy. I met him and a bunch of the SkalCon crew at PaizoCon one year when I ran a table for swat. Truly a table I'll never forget.
I had the pleasure of running a table for Jack three times and playing at the same table as him three times as well. Wish it could have been more.

The Exchange 5/5 5/5

Pinstripedbarbarian wrote:

I'm so sad to hear this. Jack was such a great guy. I met him and a bunch of the SkalCon crew at PaizoCon one year when I ran a table for swat. Truly a table I'll never forget.

I had the pleasure of running a table for Jack three times and playing at the same table as him three times as well. Wish it could have been more.

”Hey! Ri’chard! Didn’t I see yer ma peddlin down in the Puddles?”

4/5 5/55/5

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I can't remember when I first met Jack but I'm pretty sure it was at a PaizoCon where I became an honorary member of S.W.A.T. Since then, I would always value time with the Minnesota Crew, at PaizoCon, GenCon, and SkalCon, a more-than-willing participant in the shenanigans of which Jack was usually a driver. I can't quite believe he's no longer with us physically but I know his spirit will always be with us at those events, and at our game tables.
Vale, my friend.

1/5 5/5

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I played with Jack at Paizo Con several times. He was always a light at the table. Some of my best table memories are sitting across from him and just making faces and laughing. He made things so much fun. He will be so missed.

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