Erick Wujcik

This website is dedicated to Erick Wujcik, game designer, writer, artist, originator of ideas, thinker and kind soul. Friend to countless people and an inspiration to thousands upon thousands more.

He is one of my dearest friends, so it is with a heavy heart that I report Erick Wujcik, age 56, is dying of cancer.

Until a few weeks ago, Erick was healthy and doing fine. He was enjoying his work at Totally Games, a videogame company, when he thought he had come down with the flu. When he couldn’t shake it, he went to the doctors. The prognosis was unexpected, to say the least. Pancreatic cancer that had spread to his liver. There was no advance warning. It was a shock. Erick presses forward with the willful exuberance he has exhibited all his life.

We thought about letting people know after Christmas, but Erick’s time is, all too quickly, running out.

We thought it would be wonderful to give the millions of people who have loved the man and enjoyed his games, the opportunity to express their appreciation for him and his work. I have no doubt your comments and remembrances will put a smile on Erick’s face and help his spirit soar.

While this is sad news that weighs heavily on our hearts, we’d like this website, and the comments posted on it, to be a celebration of Erick’s wonderful life.

Just as you did when Palladium announced its Crisis of Treachery, let Erick know how much you have enjoyed his games and ideas. How Ninja Turtles (or Amber or whatever) turned you on to gaming or opened up your mind to new possibilities, and similar commentaries, thoughts and regards. I know your kind words and warm remembrances will put a smile on his face and warm his soul.

We’ve chosen to go with a blog style. Post as often as you’d like. Share your recollections about encounters with Erick, the first time you heard him speak or met him at a convention, what he and his work have meant to you, funny convention stories, and whatever else feels right.

The Erick I know

I’ve often said two things about Erick Wujcik, 1) that he is a true game designing genius, and 2) that he is a true Bohemian.

The game design genius. I’ve known a great many people who have claimed to be a genius at game design or covet the title, but Erick really is a genius, at least when it comes to game design. He mastered the art of storytelling and understands the dynamics of game design better than anyone I’ve ever met. Erick has created more great games that have never been completed and published than most game designers dream about.

That drives me and others a little crazy, because Erick’s quick mind leaps from one great idea to the next with the exuberance of a child lunging from one present to the next on Christmas Day. Like that child, he is enthralled with his new toy – new idea – until something else catches his attention. Unfortunately, that sometimes means his great ideas are left unfinished, but boy, are they exciting, and I’ve had the privilege of hearing many of them.

That’s the other aspect of Erick’s genius, his enthusiasm and hunger for new ideas, and desire to stretch the boundaries of convention, is contagious. He can get you (certainly me) excited and going with an idea faster than anyone I know. To Erick, there are no limits or boundaries. “Why not” and “what if” and “how about” are essential parts of Erick’s vocabulary. If you float an idea or notion of any merit, he seizes it and starts to postulate on its premise and potential. “That’s cool, but what if . . .”

I cannot tell you how often Erick and I would feed on each other, throwing out ideas and building on suggestions and excitement until we both collapsed laughing and exhausted. Sometimes those idea sessions (often impromptu) went nowhere other than fun, playful mental exercises. Other times they’d lead to new perceptions, new realms of possibility, and published works or a personal epiphany.

Erick helped me fine-tune parts of the Palladium role-playing game universal game system way back when. Not at some office (heck, we were both working out of our homes), but at a laundromat on Michigan Avenue in southwest Detroit. I was second guessing myself and frustrated. Erick had to wash his clothes. So we met at a place near my house and chatted about character creation, the elements that made them fun, which attributes were necessary, were eight too many, etc., while waiting for his clothes to wash and folding his shirts. The people around us must have thought we were crazy. So did my ex-wife when Erick would “drop by for an hour” at 8:00 P.M. to talk about a new idea or something he read, and at midnight he and I would be still be going strong, excitedly talking about . . . god only knows till the wee hours of the morning. Awesome. By then we would have moved well beyond the original reason he stopped by. I love talking to Erick about anything and everything. From game and story ideas or new concepts, to the application of psychology or technology or theology, to personal thoughts, fears, dreams and aspirations.

Erick the Bohemian. I call Erick a true Bohemian, because I don’t think I know anybody who enjoys life more deeply than Erick. He loves meeting new people, visiting new places, exploring new ideas, tasting new food, and taking in everything and everyone around him. Furthermore, his personal circumstances are always secondary to his enjoyment of his surroundings and the people in them. Erick’s sense of wonder is endless. We’re similar in that regard, as we both love new ideas and quickly see the endless possibilities they represent. But Erick simply immerses himself in them and floats along just enjoying wherever they may take him. He’s not necessarily looking to figure out how to apply them or exploit them, at least not at that moment of discovery, he’s simply adrift in them and soaking in all they have to offer.

Money, fame and recognition are nice, and Erick isn’t going to turn any of them away, but they aren’t necessities. Rich or poor, Erick has never changed. Maybe he enjoys a little more luxury, but it’s the experience of interacting with people, the exchange of ideas and sheer pleasure of experiencing something new that brings Erick joy. That, and creating and inspiring others to push the envelope and imagine beyond the known limits.

Gosh, there are so many stories I could tell, but I’ll stop here, for now. While I’m smiling, ear to ear, in the warmth of my friendship.

On behalf of Erick Wujcik and his many friends and admirers,

– Kevin Siembieda – December 22, 2007

Publisher and owner of Palladium Books® Inc., game designer, writer, artist and lucky son of gun for having Erick Wujcik as one of my dearest friends for nearly 30 years. Your light will live on, Erick, in your published works and in the hearts and minds of the multitude of people whose souls you have touched and made better for it. Love ya.

Comments (461)

  • Hi Erick

    So many people have said so many wonderful things about you. For me, while I never got the opportunity to meet you personally, I’ve been a fan of AmberDRPG for years now. Thanks for providing me with many hours of enjoyment.

    All the best.

  • There is so many people here saying so many wonderful things about you here in this forum.Unfortunatly I have never meet you but you have changed my life for the better and that I cant say thank you enough times.In my own trials I have had the guidence of a treasured friend that i trusted with my life when i was in NA.He was into roleplaying and gave me a book,the most important book that will ever be in my collection,Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,and simply said,”If you care about wanting to stop hurting the people that you love,read this and at my house at 5:30″ That was over 13 years ago and im still an avid TMNT and Rifts player to this day.I really dont want to face the future of roleplaying without you. I havent even meet you and yet your words are so inspirational to me.

    Make way for the Gamemaster…..
    Hail to you Erick….

    Robert Walsh
    (CS Special Forces)

  • Hi Erick!

    We’ve almost met a couple of times and I hope we’ll finally make that happen some day. Along with growing up reading Laurence Yep, your work on China for Palladium helped influence me to take Mandarin my sophomore year of high school and spend the next year abroad in Beijing. My life has never been the same since. I currently work as a China researcher for an independent think-tank in Boston and have just finished applying to PhD programs in Chinese history and religion. Thank you for helping make my life something that I never could have imagined.

    Granted, the real life China I encountered was often very different from the imaginative world that you created (and I spent time playing around in), but you took something culturally alien and made it accessible for kids with overactive imaginations. It is a real gift and I’m forever grateful that you shared it with all of us. Before Ben Lehman moved out to Seattle, I spent numerous occasions at his house, often eating his semi-authentic Chinese food, and it was a rare occasion that your name didn’t come up at least once, either in regard to China or game design.

    I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that your short Forge article on diceless play is one of the things I keep coming back to, over and over again. Basic stuff, definitely, but oh so important. Everybody’s been mentioning TMNT and Amber, of course, but I have to throw down for Ninjas & Superspies, a true classic of roleplaying, and Mystic China. The latter actually inspired me to write up a proposal for Rifts China when I was 19, but we’re all far luckier that you ended up writing those books, believe me.

    I’m glad to hear that chemo is going well so far. Stick in there. We’d love to have you around for as long as you can manage. You are surrounded by love, both near and far, and I wish you the best in all things.


  • I have juste learnt the news and I still wish the chimiotherapy goes well for you erick, a great guy like you cannot leave like this, If I were the Great Game Master, I would not allow it ! I wish you a lot of courage and perseveration Erick, Give tis bloody cancer his MDC correction 😉

  • While I do not know Eric personally, nor do I play his games heavily, I do play and have fond memories of many of the fine things he has given gamers over the years.

    However, you are one of us. A fellow gamer and a fellow human being and my wishes and thoughts go out to him, his family, and his friends.

    I wish him the best of luck in getting through this, even if all that can be done is to spend time with the people and things that matter most to him in what time is left.

    I feel like I should write more, but I am not sure what else to say. 🙁

  • This is stunning! I just found out about Erick’s news moments ago! I can’t express the depth of emotion that I felt upon reading this shocker.
    Erick, your work has been an impact on my life that can only be compared to Kevins work aswell. To this day, I still have extremely fond memories of the nights I spent playing the TMNT RPG with my friends and I have other countless tales of similar Amber experiences from other friends though I never played the game myself. You are a true master of your craft and there are too few of you in this world now as is.
    I have nothing to say that hasn’t already been said to you perhaps hundreds of times already over all these messages but I will repeat them none the less. Be strong, fight for the life you love so dear. Don’t cross to the next life in a whisper, but let it be a yell to the heavens! Here comes a true hero of his time, a true person worthy of recognition and respect.
    To you and your family. I bow and give a salute. You have earned your place among the stars. God bless you all.

    Gary H

  • Hey!!!

    Another comment…… One thing that Amber and your games did to change me as both a GM and a player was to re-focus both my GMing and my playing on character development. Now when I GM, my first concern is how to connect the story to the development and change that a character faces because of that conflict or crisis. Hope the the treatments that Kevin mentioned are going well. You are always in my thoughts these days.


  • I’m an avid gamer of five years, and despite the fact that I have been at this for such a short time, this is truly a traumatic moment for me as a fan of Palladium Games. The very first game that had got me interested in RPG’s was, in fact, Heroes Unlimited, and shortly after that, I had also delved into quite possibly the most famous (if not, close) work that has ever came from Palladium, and that is Ninjas & Superspies. It is quite possibly the greatest work that I have ever read from the Palladium archives. Furthermore, it is also a very accurate book in the terms of the martial arts, and that comes from someone that has been affiliated with the martial arts almost all of my life (going on 21 years.)

    I leave my praise with Erick Wujcik as one of the finest writers in all of the RPG world. And I’m terribly saddened of his condition. Let us praise his work, for very few are gifted with his skill in writing and resource. May God bless his final days, and may everyone know his greatness. God bless.


  • Erick,

    We knew each other back in the early 80s at the Detroit Gaming Center. I remember well playing Diplomacy via mail with occasional meetings of all the players for face to face Diplomacy. Thanks for that. I still have the map and all the communiques.

    Fight hard.

    Dan Cwiertniewicz

  • I was honored to meet Erick and be a part of the GenCon Amber playtest campaign. At the time, I thought I was a good roleplayer, but I learned a lot about the art through Erick and Amber (and the other Amber players and GMs I met along the way.) In a way, they spoiled me for lesser GMs and made me want to be a GM (and a better GM) all the more.

    In my mind, Erick was one of the best roleplaying game designers ever, and the inclusion of Amber in the “Hobby Games: The 100 Best” published by Green Ronin proves it.

    I guess it was fate that I was able to meet Erick last fall at WorldCon in Yokohama.

  • Mary Lou McGaffey
    it’s been too long, doubt if you would remember me. I used to come to the Gaming Center on Cass, thru the 80’s (if I ‘member rightly). Then, I started bringing my kids, Pascal, Fin & Thad. You were generous enough to include these preteens in your games. I loved it.
    I’m at a loss for words except to say – I hope you beat the sh__ out of that cancer. Sending prayer & energy your way.
    Mary Lou

  • My true name is SHI Qihang but I guess if you still remember me you know me by my nick. No matter.
    We met briefly in Beijing through one french friend of mine in 2005. It was in Tsinghua University where I graduated. I still remember those enlightning ideas you shocked into my head. I still remember when the princess turned and showed up as Kane. It was like the window of a beautiful new world opened to me and let me peek into it, and I saw so many exciting possibilities.
    I’ll pray for your recover, for this world still needs your big brain and santa-like beard. And I want to see those exciting possibilities come true.

  • erick,

    we’ve had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out a few times due to that lovable fellow kevin. people such as yourself who pave your own roads and chase your dreams are an inspiration to us all.

    i hope you beat this and can entertain and inspire the masses for years to come.

  • Erick, I have never had the opportunity to meet you yet, but I have had the pleasure of playing in your imaginations. I have had great fun playing a superhero with Revised Hero’s Unlimited, or defending humanity from unknown horrors in Beyond the Supernatural. Both games were supplemented with Ninjas and Superspies of course. I also own many of the other books the you have published and although I haven’t yet been able to play them, the story backgrounds continue to spark new ideas for adventures in the ones I do. So thank you for giving me so much enjoyment all of these years. I hope that you will beat your cancer so your family and friends will have your company for many years to come.
    Alexander Kiss

  • Damn Erick,

    I wanted to say something meaningful. Something that would bring comfort into your life. But now, as I see all these comments, I’m like everyone else here, a fan who just wants to show his support and thank you.

    So here goes…

    Thanks, Erick, for all the wonderful memories. Thank you for weaning me into the RPG world with TMNT. Those memories of being at the comic store…they’re magical. It’s a part of my life that I treasure. Your work brought that about.

    Honestly, words do not describe how I feel about hearing of your condition. Now, with a family of my own, I look to the past, and I wonder how you deal with everything you are going through.

    If there is anything I can say, anything I can do that is within my power (limited though it may be), then ask. We’ve never met, but you have touched my life.

    Thank you, now and forever.

    Timothy Rogers

  • I didn’t know Erick personally — just a 10 minute conversation about the Amber RPS at UCon in the 1990’s, and reading all of his Detroit News computer columns in the 1980’s.

    As fro the game “The Life of Erick Wujcik”: Well played sir — well played.

  • Erik,
    When I read about your condition I was trebly sadden have lost my father to cancer I know the trails that await you, your family, and friends. At first I choose to stay away from write you feeling I could not write anything that would give you joy or comfort in this time of tribulation. A few days later I set down with my books to work on an adventure. I flipped through the yellowed page dog-eared and bent from to many good reads, and I could not help but notice the sections and articles written by you. I looked on the shelf at the newer books, and open the cover to see your name hand written in most. I glanced over to the Rifter my newest love and addition to the collection which you have graced almost everyone them as well. Over the twenty plus years I played this game you have always been there write the story that awed and amazed me, give comfort and escape from the sometime curl realties. I at that point I knew I had to write you. For all that you given so many, I hope the letters and notes posted here will give you the joy that your writing has always given us for years past and the will for the years to come.

  • ShawnEntsminger-Ervin

    …so there I was, sitting down with Felicia and Brian, catching up with them since their move away from Iowa with my own move from Iowa pending within the next 4 days…

    We are sitting in the New Pioneer Co-Op, enjoying lunch when BrianGoudie asks if I had heard about Erick?

    …and then despite all of the fears and challenges which I am facing, the bottom drops out from under me.

    Well, hell.

    So, I must apologize for the delay in my searching out this site, but found it I have…
    In reading the (currently) 365 comments to Kevin’s news and presentation, I again am reminded of the influence which one life can have on the world. This out pouring of respectful wishes and memories is beautiful…

    All that I can provide for you in this Erick, and all those who will bear witness to my words, will be my impressions of the time in which I have known you and the impact which you have had on my own life. I hope that some of these impressions will stike chords within others for the shared times where they were present.. for those not present perhaps shadows of these images will let you understand.

    Age 16, reading a Science Fiction Book club yellow and green 2 volume edition of the _Chronicals of Amber_ before reading the newly released _Trumps of Doom_ and being completely blown away by a writer named Zelazney…sitting in college having found fellow fans of the books, reading the _Unicorn Variations_ given to me by a BBS friend named Fiona…attending my first GenCon in Millwaukee, WI with a gregarious man by the name of Ahmad and his brother Khalil, who were planning on spending a bit of time in the open gaming area with a man named Wujcik and his game….sitting in the cool noon time, watching geeks and gamers of all types move from MECCA to the Arena , watching this larger curly haired man with huge glasses talk loudly and quickly, using the full spectrum of his voice to create so many different characters…complaining to this same man later than I have to wait two more years for _Prince of Chaos_ to come out, and having him retort with having to wait 5 years since _Guns of Avalon_ for the next book to come out.baking in the afternoon sun as I attempt to describe to an Amber game master how my character would attempt to bypass Simone Cooper’s character to get into Amber…my first throne war….meeting Cathy Klessig for the first time…and many of the others in the then burgoning Amber community… Felicia….Joe Saul… Lisa…Eric Todd…Guy…Val “Chautue de Luc *ching*”…next year at the 25th Anniversary of GenCon…spending almost the whole convention clustered around those long rental tables, playing all the Amber which I wanted and enjoying my vacation…hearing more about the game and the continuing campaigns…playing my first Elders game as Llewella… the after con games at Erick’s room west of the convention in gawd knows where…making my first long standing character for Amber, a psuedo-sorcerer by the name of Jarmin….being able to attend the local Iowa gaming convention GAMICON with Guest of Honor Erick Wujcik.. who was running a special high tech game, in which he bullied me and my character out of following proper experimental procedure and created an AI which was attempting to provide enlightenment to the planet…being allowed to create a special and dear character for a “continuing campaign” named Amanda, with off-colour eyes and a psychopath for a mother named Battella…creating a Chaos based character and having Erick talk me out of bad stuff just for Power Words….playing more Elders games, generally as Llewella… my first AmberCon with a new experimental game called _Underworld_ playing with the smooth talking souther gentleman in the linen suit with Felicia and her “majick sammuriii a-sword”…being able to assist in a diceless experiement with players playing pagan dieties attempting to overthrow god with Joe Saul ad-libbing news reports of The Apocalypse every 30 minutes in between private sessions with players….train trips up to Detroit folding “The Church of Brand” pamplets…being able to hand one of those pamplets to Roger himself in Des Moines, then having him look at me and say, “you are one of those people with Erick, aren’t you?”….the GenCon the following August after Roger’s death and the memorial session which was held for him, Jane Lindskold and Erick talking about the friend who they lost and how he impacted the world…playing a one-shot cross-over with Erick in which he killed a 45 point artifact with Morgenstern in the first 20 minutes of the game, resulting in the player asking for the rest of the game, “Where’s m’dawg?”….playing Amber with Felicia using Whimsy cards… meeting Barthir (Mark Roemer) for the first time and recognizing each other from GenCon…being complimented on helping game-master an Elders game with Simone and providing small bit of information to a player of Benedict which was appreciated…Marvin the Martian, looking like Brand, standing at the center of the Primal Pattern with a PC trussed up, stuffed to the gills with dynamite trying to make his zippo work…trying to work on Fudge Amber with my best friend Tim, or talking he and others out of making Champions Amber…Chris having a character walk the pattern with a Super 8 Ball as the randomization mechanic…all hours gaming with Cathy after GAMICON with Jarmin as Caine’s lab mouse (and then having Caine correct him that he was a lab rat… much more honorable than being a mouse)…playing _Reseviour Hellhounds_ bringing Brand the Jewel of Judgement and having him scream his displeasure with me for not getting him what he wanted…having Cathy create _Things to Do in Amber when Your Dead_ for me as an experiment…Conrad the sherrif of Amber in the world in which Corwin was a facist, who placed the prisoners from Chaos in camps…preparing to watch Ahmad as Oberon tell a player to go scrub the Pattern with a regular toothbrush…

    Honestly Erick, I believe that I have one Zela-dollar available for you to try and beat this, just to be able to provide that many more happy memories to not only me, but all of the people whom you have touched over the years.

    Please take the Zela-dollar.. it might be my last, but you will know the best thing to do with it…

    Shawn Ervin,
    formally Shawn Entsminger.

  • Dear Erick,
    Thank you for providing me the door way in to your mind for these years, I have had fun runnign a muck through tmnt when a random rift sucks me there, your ideas in rifters have inspired me and led me to new heights in game concept, I have gone from table top RPG to computer games ( ask kev he is sitting on my E-mails till he finishes up robotech book ) and was hopping to be able to work with you during the creation of my current project.
    I dont have a lto of words right now im stilll trying to process the news… I will say that your contrubition to my favorite game setting Rifts has opend up worlds and new ways of thinking about life. U have left the “What IF” embbed in my mind like a splugorth talo mind worm harmless but pulsing wiht new ideas.

    Know u will be rembered with a smile, love and a fuzzy feeling in my heart every time i eat pizza..

    Kev knows hwo to get a hold of me would like to converse with you if possible.

    Jason Ross
    CEO Kaos Designs Studios™

  • Hello there Erick;

    I just read the news on Wikipedia – I must tell you I was immediately saddened. I actually just pulled TMNT out the other day from a giant stack of books, and remembered fondly playing it when I was young. It may sound silly, but this book very literally got me thru the hell of my parents getting divorced when I was young. Something about reading it, playing it, and just having it comforted me. It made me want to write my own RPG, which I did, at about age 14. I’ve never shown it to anyone, but I suppose now I might consider it. All I know is, you have done some great work, and I know that what you’ve done here is not finished. We are all rooting for you – and never, ever give up hope. While we may not know you personally, I think we can all say that you’ve reached us in some great way, and we are very, very lucky to have had that chance.

    Thank you.

    -brian botkiller,
    Albuquerque, NM

  • In tribute to his work, I still have a very much loved feeling for TMNT as a child. I purchased with my hard-earned cash at 12 years old from a bookstore in New Ulm MN. I couldn’t wait for it to arrive. When I did, I also ended up buying my first dice as well. While it wasn’t the RPG that started me into gaming (that goes to Basic D&D), it was the first one I ever owned. I’d sit for hours tinkering with all sorts of mutant animals and what kinds of abilities and skills they would have. I still remember it with fond memories. Sadly, I have since lost or misplaced the book after a few difficult moves. But that book itself made me one happy boy and happy gamer to be. I tip my hat to you Erick for the wonderful material and effort put into it. I hope that after you have left this world, that you will find comfort and love and happiness and maybe even a gaming session for eternity. Hehe.

    Thank you and live every day to the fullest.

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  • I met Erick only once, at DragonCon just south of San Francisco. It was sometime around 1989, give or take a year. Erick was the main reason I made the trek down from the North Bay, dragging the future Lovely Mrs Yister with me. I had been a huge fan of his Palladium work, and expected his presence to make the weekend worthwhile, but the real eye-opener still ahead of me.

    Erick ran a couple of games that weekend called, if memory serves, Neotech and Nanotech — one session a precurser to the other. I think for him they were easy, quick games to entertain conventiongoers, but for me they were a bright, shiny rollaway box full of kick-ass new tools for my own game sessions.

    See, NeoTech and NanoTech were diceless games, and I had never before been part of a game driven entirely by storytelling and player interaction. Those silly cubes were *always* there, driving stories along with their judgement: occasionally harsh and inexplicable, but always unimpeachable. Erick was a master, captivating everyone, making us all important to the story, keeping things moving, maintaining mystery, and even bringing one relatively shy player into the action with what seemed to be effortless ease. Not a rolling solid to be found among us — just energy, trust, and a shared desire for a good time.

    I’d never seen anything like it, and I haven’t since, but I sure am grateful for the two sessions. Of course, I picked up Amber Diceless as soon as it hit Santa Rosa’s game store and, of course, I loved it. The philosophy that it encapsulates — that RPG sessions are social events, and both can and should be driven by the creativity of the participants rather than random number generators — locked into my brain like a Tetris block and has never left. It just felt perfect. I still roll some dice here and there, and my players do too, but often I just pretend that the value on the die has any meaning. Instead I try to channel the Erick I met that weekend years ago. I dig down deep into my own creativity, lean on my preparation, try to stay nimble, and work to draw as much out of my players as I can.

    Inevitably, I fall short. It’s really too high a bar for most of us. The man’s brilliant. I expect to fall short, and when I do it’s all me. But when I’m at my best, when I’ve had a great time and so have the players, when my kids eyes are shining and they’re asking to go just a *little* bit longer, when the folks I’ve known and gamed with for 20 years and more now say “Man, it’s too bad we can’t do this every week any more. Good stuff…”, I owe it all to Erick.

    Erick, if you’re reading these — thank you.

  • Hello Eric-

    Like many other people here, I just want to thank you for adding such wonderful content to my gaming life, and for the richness, excitement, and humor that has brought to my daily life. I remember summers back in high school hanging out with friends playing TMNT&OS day after day, and a huge Palladium megacampaign in college… My mutant porqupine pacifist space shuttle pilot, Nelson Trefalgar, remains one of my most beloved characters today. You China books are things of beauty that I use frequently and always will. Thank you so much for being such an amazing force for the hobby I love!

    You are in my thoughts and prayers. Just know that there are lots of us who are cheering for you through your fight!

    Gavin Smith

  • Heya Eric

    Thank you is all I have to say but it doesn quite cover it, Your work has been a staple of my gaming for over 15 years (not bad considering im only 25!) when I found a moth eaten copy of ninjas and superspies tucked away in the corner of my local games shop, and from then on I was hooked! It opened a whole new world of roleplay freedom!

    With your works I was able to take my players away from the boredom of “My elf roll’s to strike–Oh I miss–” (Guess what system!) to them literally bouncing I mean players actually BOUNCING! they cant sit still waiting for their turn thinking up amazing hong kong action theatre like moves.

    Palladium Books changed the way I roleplay and you very much led the charge Eric, I will never be able to thank you enough for all the joy that has been mine because of your work.

    It was on my birthday literally a few days ago that I met up with my original gaming group, Ive moved on now in life and location from the sleepy valleys of Wales to Manchester and this was the first time in a year or so that I have seen them. As the evening progressed we all eventually started talking about the old roleplays and characters, and I informed them of your condition.

    Everybody out of the people attending didnt need to ask “Eric who?” They knew who you are(This may seem odd but our group used to and still does refer to our NASS book as Eric or mr Wujick). We all raised a glass to you and left one on the table for you Eric (Tho I dont know what your view Goliath ale is!).

    Rwy’n edrych ymlaen at gynnu tân ar hen aelwyd its welsh thats means Im looking forward to starting an old fire, Thats what im going to do, Once a week ninjas and superpies. Maybe my players will catch that dynamic frenchman yet, hes only een on the run for 12 years or so..

    Thank you Eric and God Bless.

  • Erick – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was the first game I ever played after graduating from AD&D as a young gamer. I had all the supplements and loved them all. In college I played AMBER Diceless and experimented with the cutting-edge storytelling techniques your game was the first to offer. Years later, I had the privilege of meeting you at E3 as a colleague in the video game industry. I think I tried not to let on what a fan-boy I was to avoid seeming unprofessional. Now you know. Fight the good fight, and thank you for making the gaming hobby a better one.

    Alexander Macris

  • Erick,

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness was my very favorite pen-and-paper game growin up (and remains so to this day). Transdimensional Teenage Mutant Ninja Tutrles features what is, in my opinion, the best time travel mechanic seen in a game (video or otherwise) to date. You are one of the influences that led me to become a game designer: Ever will you be a piece of my childhood – many childhoods – ever will your hand be felt in our games.

    My heart goes out to you,
    Scott Foe

  • Erick,

    I just wanted to thank you. TMNT & Other Strangeness was one of my first RPGs. Yes, I played D&D, but it wasn’t nearly as much fun. I also played Amber and Robotech. Some of my fondest memories are hanging out with my friends and playing the games you created.
    Thank you for all the good times. Thank you for teaching me that RPGs were about being imaginative and laughing with your friends and not about recalculating your encumbrance.

    You made a positive difference in my life Erick and I just wanted to thank you for it.
    So, Thank you Eric.

    Cyril VanKeirsbelk

  • The Baron vonClogg

    Your work on TMNT is what brought me into gaming, but more importantly it served as a way for me and my best friend to keep ourselves entertained. We brought in a few others to form a group, and branched out to other PB games, but it I think that it was TMNT that got us through a phase where many people grow apart. Even more amazing to me is the other truly lasting friendship I have with our most senior gaming partner. Without your game, there are two people in my life that I wouldn’t consider my brothers.

    I wish I could remember for sure, but I’m pretty sure that I met you along with Kevin at GenCon in Milwaukee… Around 1989 or so. Considering the sheer size of your setup, I was blown away by how personally everyone there treated a bunch of kids. My only other personal interaction with Erick was one of my first at the PB message boards, presuming to offer to send you drawings of what I thought mutant birds would look like. It’s funny to think back on, but no one reading my post reminded me that I was talking to the guy who designed the animals in the first place. Erick, you were gracious and friendly with a silly young fan.

    As an adult I’ve come to appreciate some of the incredible influence you’ve had on my life, and I’m proud to say that your spirit will live on in more ways than any of us can fathom. You’ve achieved what any man can hope to: you’ve helped others walk a path. The most personal tribute I can offer is to say that, given the opportunity, I would gladly spend a few hours chatting with you over a few drinks; you seem to get it.

    Thanks for producing quality work that influenced a growing mind, preserved old friendships and built new ones, and helped a socially stunted, overly “brainy” kid blossom into an adult.

    Dan Steiner

  • I thank you. Your imagination has provided so much enjoyment to myself and my friends. I wish I could have met you in person, but I know a piece of you through your work. I can only begin to imagine what influence you have had on the world and the imaginations of everyone. But I know that we are all much better for having had you in this world. Thank You.
    James Resetz

  • Fred_Frederickson

    Ninjas & Superspies was the first Palladium game I ever played. Thanks for all the fun memories.

  • Thank you. I love your rifts books! Thank for you wonderful imagination and spirit! I wish you all the best!!!

  • These are sad news indeed. Since I started playing roleplaying games in the early 80’s the Palladium Fantasy Roleplaying Game has been among those three that I like best. And, together with Kevin Siembieda himself, Erick Wujcik was always my favorite scenario-designer. “The Tombs of Gersidi” and “The Elemental Isle” (from the original “High Seas” supplement shall for ever stand out as high lights in my career as a gamer. They filled my teenage-years with fun and excitement as nothing else did (and that’s including girls!). I was G.M. when we played the Gersidi-scenario and I remember how my voice actually trembled with awe as I read the description of the runesword Deathkiss, when my gaming group had found it. Thank you for that and for many other moments like it.

  • First off,
    I want to thank you personally for giving all of us a piece of yourself through every work you have ever participated in. Your creations will live on in all those who carry to torch of gaming.
    I’ve been gaming since 1978, and was introduced to Palladium early on and have played it off and on since the mid 80s. I have know you vicariously since I encountered your genius as a player and GM. Loosing you will almost compare to loosing a loved on. You have never known me but I, and many others, have known you.
    We reap what we sow. The very fact you have this site and all the comments should give you a deep sense of satifaction and fulfilment in a life spent creating and inspiring others. The only things I can give back to you are words which cannot begin to express how you have impacted me as a gamer and a person.

  • I have a group of eight friends who have been been together since middle school (we turn 30 this year). Almost from the beginning we were playing RPGs. We started with an RPG club until our adviser moved. We then took up TMNT as our new staple. It was the first game we made our “own.” Who knows how much of a role TMNT played in our ability to stay together.

    Until recently I was unaware of your contributions to the gaming community. (I know, I was under a rock). I can only say, “Thank you!” I know the same goes for thousands of other players, but I can say 100% that the work you have done has greatly enriched my life.

  • thanks for all the great stuff over the years, your stuff really molded me as a gamer in my young days. i still have that two-hundred-year-old dog-eared copy of TMNT & Other Strangeness, and Transdimenensional TMNT is still the best time-travel resource out there. rock on, man. there is no defeat, there is victory!

  • Hi Eric,

    As so many others have done before me, I wanted to thank you for everything you have done for us as gamers and for Palladium. My friends and I have been fans of the Palladium books for 18 years and have always enjoyed the great ideas, stories, art and overall style. We started our following with TMNT and it just went on from there. For me personally, some of my favourite books have included titles where you have been involved in their creation, such as Rifts China books 1&2.
    I just wanted you to know that your input to the gaming world will be missed by everyone in our circle of friends. Thank you for all you have given us.

  • Hello Eric,

    My name is Jason. I had the pleasure of meeting my two best friends in 1989. They introduced me to the roleplaying game, not just any one but Palladium roleplaying games. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness, ahhhhhh. I remember the first character I made, his name was Rage, the Full bipedial (pardon my really bad spelling) rhino. Yeah, he had a bad temper and liked to run, errr, “horn first” into trouble. Ahhh what fun that was. Thus an outlet to my imagination was born. All your work for Palladium, has given me hours of enjoyment with my friends. When I got a great idea in my head I could pick up some Palladium books and flesh it out into something that I could show to friends and they could see what I was going for.

    I thank you for everything you have given to me from your hard work and incredible imagination and brilliant mind. I appreciate it. I give you my best, I send you my best, and keep on fighting.

    Humbly thanking you from the bottom of my heart,

  • Hello,

    I have to thank you for all you’ve done. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was the first game I ever played, and has since turned me into a devout Palladium fan, player, and collector. My poor first printing copy of TMNT has finally disappeared in one of my many relocations, but the poor book had been put through hell and back. I played that to death. Escaped into it wholly when my parents were getting divorced and through several other hard spots. Always gave me a comfortable place to go back to and get away for a while with a few close friends or family members. Or even on my own just brain storming what to put my players through next, or rolling up characters to pass the time. To this day I’ve still got an almost full set of Palladium’s books, and all the turtles books. Without you, and the work you put into that first title, I would never have gotten so thoroughly hooked into such a grand hobby. While I’ve never been able to meet you, it’s pretty obvious you’ve made great impact on many many peoples lives from the stories here and will be sorely missed by all.

    Thank you, for all that you’ve done. And I’m not fond of goodbyes, so, hopefully I’ll have a chance to meet you, and thank you in person in the next world. Take care.
    Michael Wolfe

  • Hi Erick,

    Remember Redford High School? We were classmate, if you recall. This week fellow classmate Sue Anne was visiting Seattle, where I live, and I met her downtown for the afternoon. We talked about the past, the present and the future. A few days later, well, today, actually, I got out my 20 year reunion pamphlet that gave an update on what everyone was doing in 1989. You’re on the last page, of course, being a ‘W’. Since it said you’re a writer/game designer, I thought I’d google you. Well, you know I found a ton of hits, right? But I was really saddened by the top message on your webpage. It stopped me cold. I am so sorry you’re going through this. I read on, and poked around, and I do believe you are one lucky fellow (hoping it’s not unforgivably crass to say so given your troubles). You have so many friends and fans wishing you well and celebrating your accomplishments and being there for you! And the snippets I read on your blog tell me you have had an incredibly rich life, full of fun and adventure. You seem to live life with grace and wit, and this has not abated during the last few trying months. The rest of us would be lucky to have a fraction of the friends, accomplishments and good attitude you have. I wish you the best; I know you will live life to the fullest.
    Take care,
    Nancy Rauhauser

  • There’s not much I can say, not really knowing you Erick.

    However, from one prospective video game maker to another:
    You’ve had a great run, inspired a lot of people, and really made a difference in everyone’s lives you’ve touched.

    We love you, and will see you again when we die.


  • Maybe I’ll design a mini-video game that you have to destroy pancreatic cancer cells.

    Final boss: The tumor!

    “It’s not a tumor!”
    – Arnold Shwartzenegger, Kindergarten Cop

    There’s also a Sealab 2021 episode where they have to be shrunk down and injected into the captain’s body to heal a tumor.
    Click my name to watch it!

  • Unfortunately I never got a chance to really meet you Erick, but you have helped inspire me and many of my friends. We love your work and it is partially because of your books that I have set my life’s goal to become a writer in the RPG industry.
    I believe we met briefly at the first Palladium Open House but I only wish I had gotten the chance to know you better. You sound like a shining example of what a person can be and do in this world.
    Thank you for everything you have given us, from the books to the inspiration to the support for Palladium that has helped keep the company going.

    I will keep you in my prayers;
    Kyle Bentley

  • Erick,
    I know you are struggling, but I hope what I have to say will help you a little. I have been married to my husband 14 years, but most people who meet us for the first time think we’re newly weds. They always want to know our secret, but we just smile at them & say we’re lucky.
    The truth be told Palladium games is our secret. My husband introduced me to the game when we met at 17 and we’ve been playing ever since. We have every system and an extensive universe. We play with our brothers, & sisters and just recently our children have joined. Your collective imaginations have keep our family close and happy for over 15 years. We have almost all the collection except for a few and two or three copies of our favorites. I can’t thank you enough for you sharing your ideas with us, and you are in our prayers.

    May God bless you,

  • Erick,

    Man, there is alot to say, but never having personally met you I really don’t know how to express myself in this situtation. You are responsible for my becoming a role-player, when I picked up the TMNT book back in 8th grade, and found a new passion. It was just on a whim that I got the first book, as I was a ninja turtle nut back in those days, but it was your ability to feed my imagination that kept me there.
    Even today I still have all those TMNT books, and have used them to role-play with my crew in The Gulf. It helped the time go by, when your there for a year or more.
    Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you for providing me with a life-time of entertainment, for giving me an escape while in a war-zone, and for showing me how much fun reading can be.

    For ending this everything sounds too corny, I mean really what do you say in an situtation like this anyway?

    Live Strong, Brother!
    Valhalla awaits,

    Robert McKavanagh

  • Erik,

    God bless you for all the work that you have contributed to this world. I can only hope that the next world is better for you, but while you are here, hang in there. TMNT was my first game and my first real chance for true friends and fun.

    Well for the next 20 years I have played and have loved it every for every minute. You have truely been a blessing to our lives. Currently I am raising 4 future gamers and I aim to cut their teeth on the very game that you wrote; TMNT.

    God bless you and keep you.


  • Erick, TMNT was the first game I played outside D&D, and was my gateway into Palladium Books. Thereafter, whenever my group played any Palladium game, I would try to work a mutated animal into my character concept.

    It’s been so long since I’ve done any tabletop gaming, but I still have your books on the shelf.

    Take care, and thank you.

  • I honestly never knew Erick until now, but he sounds like a great guy, and without Rifts I never would have starting playing any RPG. I am greatful for what he has done for the genre.

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