Jeff R. Leason



The 17th employee at TSR, Inc., and co-author of C1 "The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan," Jeff Leason has spent years in the gaming industry.

"I started (playing D&D) in '75. I learned D&D from two different people, a kid I went to high school with and Skip Williams, I was in Boy Scouts with."  Jeff remembers buying his original D&D boxed set from Gary Gygax in the basement of the 330 Center Street house. 

Gen Con IX (August of 1976) was Jeff's first Gen Con.  Jeff recalls not playing any games that year only walking around and watching.  "The next Gen Con I went to was in '77 at the Playboy Club. It was pretty overwhelming, with so many people. I don't recall anything I played."

1978 brought new opportunities.  "I met Ernie (Gygax) in the orchestra in high school.  When I graduated I was only 17, Ernie said if you want a job to come on down, and you can work at the hobby shop.  I turned 18 in July and in August I started working for TSR.  I was the 17th employee to be hired by TSR."

Jeff attended Gen Con XI (August of 1978) as an employee of TSR. "Went to/worked at every Gen Con as an employee, until the mass layoff."  Jeff fondly remembers the UW-Parkside years, "The only problem was that the dealers' area (the gym) wasn't air-conditioned."  And he remembers the game that caused a bit of trouble, "I always ran AD&D, so the only playing I did was the TSR assassination game. Each of us employees got a picture of another employee. Each had a piss-poor ping-pong ball gun. If you killed the person, you took his picture and hunted his prey. Games were interrupted, and we caught some guff for doing so (I was shot while running my AD&D adventure). It was short-lived, and if I remember correctly, Lawrence Schick was the guy who got me, and he won, I think, but he also got hollered at for interrupting gameplay."



Photos courtesy of Jeff's Facebook page.

Leason, Jeff, R.  Telephone interview.  9 Feb 2017

Electronic communications. 27 Feb 2017 +

Quoted material edited for content and clarity.