Timothy M. Jiardini

The Collector's Trove Presents: the Timothy M. Jiardini Collection

Tim Jiardini acquired these items during his six years as an employee of TSR, the company that founded the roleplaying game industry, and a lifetime of playing RPG's.

Tim was employed, at a very young age, at TSR from 1978 (unofficially it was 1977 but he was still underage at the time!) until 1983. His mother worked at Graphic Printing in Lake Geneva and did the typesetting on all of the early TSR books that were printed there. It was this connection that got Tim welcomed into the world of TSR at the ripe old age of 14!

Tim was first employed at the Mail Order Dungeon Hobby Shop working for Ernie Gygax, and surrounded by shelves and pallets of all of the fantastic products at the height of TSR's heyday. Probably, one of the best jobs to be had by a teenage gamer in the late 70's! Oh, the envy!

Later Tim was employed in the TSR mail room, working for Joe Orlowski. From there he went to the shipping department to work for Ken Reek. After graduating from high school, he moved up to sales, working for Karen Ledger. Finally, he returned to TSR's shipping department in the early 80's where he worked at import/export of TSR products. When the layoffs came in 1983, Tim says, "They let me go in order to attend college instead of firing someone who had a family and kids to raise." So ended Tim's stay in the Camelot of our youth.

During his tenure at TSR, Tim was involved in various campaigns such as Rob Kuntz's World of Kalibruhn campaign. He was also involved in playtesting the original ranger and paladin classes with Ernie Gygax. According to Tim, "If there was any tiny contribution, it was that they learned through my playtesting that they had to punish you severely for acting out of character (I was never a very good paladin, more chaotic than lawful) or for switching character classes. They already had some penalties, obviously, but my chaotic play forced them to make the penalties more severe."

Of course, this segues in to Tim's major claim to fame in the RPG annals, his character Arrarat the Gifted (Lucky, Unfortunate, Foolish, Bold, and Avenger), the fallen ranger, who appeared in a Rogues Gallery NPC entry. The description tells us that Arrarat, "[…] was at one time a ranger, but after a time found that he could not live with the restrictions of the stoic group and so abandoned it […]". Sounds familiar!

While Tim modestly states, "I don't think I had much influence on the development of the game, other than as a bystander watching it all happen and hoping they would allow me to play once in a while", it is clear that he was part of the magical alchemy at TSR that produced the games that filled the imagination of our youth. Quite a legacy indeed!