Words from the Wise (Guys)

Copyright Nicholas HM Caldwell © 2004

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion


To the sixty-first issue of The Guild Companion. This issue is dedicated to the memory of Lowell Matthews.

Lowell R Matthews RIP

As many of you are undoubtedly aware, Lowell R Matthews passed away on February 7th 2004. The official obituary can be found at http://www.stwnewspress.com/obits_disp.php?id=1768, which includes a mention that Lowell loved to read and work on his computer. A simple sentence, a short sentence, but one that points to Lowell's love of gaming, his online life, and his years of working on The Guild Companion.

Like almost everyone in the online community of gamers, I never met Lowell face-to-face; instead we first crossed paths on the Rolemaster mailing list a decade ago. On that list and others, Lowell was a voice of wisdom and a genuine well-spring of knowledge on a host of subjects, bringing light, clarity, and uncommon sense to the debates on gaming issues and role-playing trivia, which occasionally raged on those forums. When the debates became overly heated or when list members found themselves trapped in potentially explosive exchanges on religion or politics, Lowell would always be among the first to step into the fray as a peacemaker, diverting the original argument to safer and more productive topics. Frequently he succeeded in defusing such situations.

His expertise in gaming ensured his early recruitment into the Guild of Freelance Writers to aid the new group of authors then writing RMSS sourcebooks. When the opportunity arose to establish a webzine to succeed the printed Portals magazine, I appointed Lowell to the Rolemaster 2nd Edition and Spacemaster Editorships. I remember his email accepting the posts - it was clear that he was overjoyed to be one of the editors, but that he had been too modest to put his name forward.

During his tenure, Lowell was reliable and conscientious in fulfilling all of his editorial duties, working on dozens of articles from the very first issue onward. In addition to being a fine editor, Lowell was one of our most prolific contributors, authoring or coauthoring several dozen articles and stories, to the delight of countless readers.

Lowell's writing and editorial work is celebrated in "Lowell R Matthews: a Retrospective" (published in this issue.)

Illness forced Lowell to retire from active editing duties last year, though he remained a member of the various online communities, occasionally enlightening the electronic conversations with his observations and knowledge. When his health worsened, messages fron his wife Jeannine kept us informed of his progress to the very end.

The news of Lowell's passing has dismayed everyone in the online world who knew him, with tributes being paid to him from every part of the globe. We have collected some of these and published them in this issue (see "Memories of Lowell").

I and the other members of the Guild are united in mourning the loss of a true friend and a stalwart colleague. Our world is a poorer place without Lowell, but it is a better place because of him.

Farewell (for now ...)

Our next issue will be published in April 2004, but until then ...

Keep the faith,
Nicholas HM Caldwell
General Editor for The Guild Companion