Robert J. Kuntz
|Robert J. Kuntz|
|Born||Robert J. Kuntz
September 23, 1955
Wisconsin, United States
Kuntz has authored or co-authored several iconic D&D publications, including the Maze of Zayene series, the original Greyhawk supplement, Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes, the first edition of Deities & Demigods, and Mordenkainen's Fantastic Adventure.
Rob Kuntz was born September 23, 1955 in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. His older brother is Terry Kuntz. Kuntz learned about miniature wargames at age 13 while skimming through an issue of Playboy; he saw a game called Dogfight listed in a section describing party gifts for Christmas. Kuntz began playing boardgames, miniatures and play-by-mail games.
Kuntz was TSR, Inc.'s 6th employee and served in the company in many positions, as designer, editor, Director of Shipping, columnist for the Dragon Magazine, Convention Chairman (Gen Con VIII & IX and Winter Fantasy 1) and oversaw the AD&D line's licensing to Judges Guild for a short time period.
As a D&D player, Kuntz developed the famous (or perhaps infamous) character of Robilar, the first character to successfully complete Tomb of Horrors, among other exploits. Because of Kuntz' imaginative play of this character, Gary Gygax awarded him co-Dungeon Master status for Gygax's original Greyhawk home campaign.
As Gygax's friend and co-DM, Kuntz influenced the development of the Greyhawk milieu. For example, Gygax adapted Kuntz' dark god "Tharzduun" into the entity known today as Tharizdun. The names of the characters Tzunk and Bilarro are anagrams for his or his character's names. Kuntz also contributed two of the adventures published in Fate of Istus.
Creations Unlimited RPG projects
Kuntz formed Creations Unlimited in 1986, and published five adventures/supplements before shutting its doors in 1988:
- The Maze of Zayene, Part 1: Prisoners of the Maze (1987)
- The Maze of Zayene, Part 2: Dimensions of Flight (1987)
- The Maze of Zayene, Part 3: Tower Chaos (1987)
- The Maze of Zayene, Part 4: The Eight Kings (1987)
- Garden of the Plantmaster (1987)
Kuntz had planned to publish a sourcebook on the City of Brass in 1988 (and commissioned cover art and flyers for distribution at game conventions), but it did not see print.
Later RPG projects
- Maure Castle: "The Statuary", DUNGEON #112, with Gary Gygax July 2004
- Return to Maure Castle: "Chambers of Antiquities", DUNGEON #124, July 2005
- Return to Maure Castle: "The Greater Halls", DUNGEON #139, October 2006
He kept the "Maure Castle" series alive on his Pied Piper Publishing web site (see below), where he published the GenCon 2007 tournament dungeon "Warlock's Walk" (also converted to d20 and published in "Oerth Journal #23"), and additional background and environs articles.
In 2006 he started a new company, Pied Piper Publishing, to publish his latest roleplaying adventure modules which were released on a limited-edition basis:
- Cairn of the Skeleton King (2006) with artwork by Jim Holloway, former TSR, Inc. artist.
- Tower of Blood (2007)
The following have since been published, including material from the original Lake Geneva Castle & Campaign:
- The Original Living Room (2008)
- The Original Bottle City (2008)
- El Raja Key’s Arcane Treasury with Eric N. Shook (2009)
- Daemonic & Arcane (2009)
- The Stalk (2009)
- Dungeon Set #1 - Levels 1-6 with Ramsey Dow (2009)
- Dungeon Set #2 - Levels 7-12 with Ramsey Dow (2009)
- Black Festival (fiction, 2010)
Kuntz closed Pied Piper Publishing in 2010. Since then, Kuntz has begun to work with Black Blade Publishing as well as Chaotic Henchmen Productions. Both publishers have 2014 titles by Kuntz slated for release.
- 1986, Charles S. Roberts Award, Kings & Things board game (West End Games)
- 2005, Golden ENnie for Best Adventure, Maure Castle in Dungeon Magazine #112 (Paizo Publishing)
- Kuntz, Robert J. (May 1973). "E. Gary Gygax and Rob Kuntz defending their 1965 D-Day revision". The General 1 (10).
- Kask, Tim (December 1975). "In the Cauldron". The Strategic Review (Lake Geneva, Wisconsin: TSR, Inc.) (#5): 2, 8.
- Gygax, Gary (Sep 1976). "Letter from Gary Gygax". Alarums and Excursions (Lee Gold) (15).
- Gold Winner. "ENnie Awards". enworld.org. Retrieved 2005.
- "A Partial, Annotated Bibliography of the Works of Robert J. Kuntz" from Grodog's Greyhawk Website
- "RPGGeek RPG Designer listing for Robert J. Kuntz"
- Pen & Paper listing for Robert J. Kuntz
- "Rob Kuntz's company, Pied Piper Publishing"
- "Lake Geneva Original RPG Campaign" Kuntz's current gaming blog
- "Lord of the Green Dragons" Kuntz's older gaming blog