Robert Bledsaw I (herein “Bob,” the only one worthy of the name) would not have put up with any of the filth his son and grandson cleave to, and would be ashamed and heartbroken to know what they have become.
In the 10 years of my friendship with Bob we spoke not only of games and gaming, but also of life, death, philosophy, politics… the full spectrum of human life. And I know he had no truck with any of his son and grandson’s beliefs. He was a gentle, kind soul, wishing harm to none and good toward all.
And so, I have chosen not to allow the gross moral and ethical failings of his son and grandson to taint Bob and his legacy.
After all, Judges Guild is not Bob’s Legacy.
Bob’s Legacy lives in every fantasy role-playing game campaign; is reflected in the glint in the eye of every player-character who sought fame and riches in strange cities and fantastic lands.
True, Blackmoor was the First Fantasy Campaign, and Greyhawk the second. But it was the City State of the Invincible Overlord and the Wilderlands of High Fantasy that spawned or most greatly influenced the development of Dungeons & Dragons campaigns at thousands of tables over the last five decades.
Far more campaigns, I’d wager, than even Dragonlance or Forgotten Realms.
And most folks never even know it.
In the early days, Blackmoor and Greyhawk were merely mysterious, legendary names – the Temple of the Frog all but a myth. Far more player characters in those days explored the streets and alleys, palaces and dives of the City State than ever even saw the walls of Greyhawk; far more adventurers earned fame (or infamy) and won riches (or death) in the wilds of the Wilderlands than ever explored the forests and swamps of Blackmoor.
From the judges who ran those games to the players whose characters experienced the City State and the Wilderlands, Bob’s creative “DNA” spread out to become the grandfather of far more campaigns and the ancestor of more adventurers than anyone can ever count.
No two damn fools can ever destroy that Legacy!
The Wilderlands has survived worse; the Invincible Overlord is, after all, invincible for a reason.
And so, while I will not have anything to do with Judges Guild so long as it is owned, operated, or benefits unrepentant Nazi- and Confederate- sympathizing, Holocaust-denying, Anti-Semitic Racist Misogynistic Dominionists, I will not let that stop me from enjoying Bob’s Legacy.
And that includes the City State, the Wilderlands, and everything in between.
Fortunately, my collection of classic Judges Guild materials is one of the few series of lines I own that remains essentially intact; and of course, I have almost 40 years of my own developments to fall back on, when I encounter lacunae in the canon (such as one can say there is “canon” for the City State and the Wilderlands).
Others may not be so fortunate. To you, I say, seek out those who run a City State and/or Wilderlands campaign; join in a campaign exploring Tegel Manor or the Glory Hole Dwarven Mine.
Take a sheet of blank hex paper and build a world; create a new region of the Wilderlands or generate something entirely new!
Judges, let your dreams run riot, build empires of imagination; players, seek out the rich kingdoms of your judge’s world, shining jewels each and every one, and crush them under your sandaled feet!
Take Bob’s Legacy and run with it; expand and build upon it; share your creations and discoveries; but above all, take what you find, and make Bob’s Legacy your own.
That’s what Bob always wanted you to do.