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Jim Ward (game designer)

James M. Ward
Born (1951-05-23) May 23, 1951
Occupation Writer
Nationality United States

James M. Ward (born May 23, 1951),[1] is an American game designer and fantasy author. He is most well known for his game development and writing work for TSR, Inc., where he worked for more than 20 years.


  • Personal life 1
  • Career 2
  • Selected works 3
    • Fiction 3.1
    • Role-playing games 3.2
    • Other 3.3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Personal life

James Ward married his wife Janean in the early 1970s, and they have three sons together, Breck, James, and Theon.[2]


Ward was one of the players in Gary Gygax's early Greyhawk games as Gygax developed the Dungeons & Dragons game.[3]:24 The Dungeons & Dragons character Drawmij was named after him; "Drawmij" is simply "Jim Ward" spelled backwards. Rob Kuntz and Ward's Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes (1976) expanded the original D&D game by introducing gods.[3]:8 Ward designed Metamorphosis Alpha (1976), which was the first science-fantasy role-playing game, and published as TSR's fourth role-playing game.[3]:9 Ward co-authored Deities & Demigods (1980) .[3]:382 In the early 1980s, Ward and Rose Estes formed an education department at TSR, intended to sell classroom modules to teachers.[3]:14 Ward ran Kuntz's adventure "The Maze of Xaene" as the D&D tournament module at EastCon in 1983, although the module never saw print at TSR.[3]:240 Ward wrote Greyhawk Adventures (1988), a hardcover volume that presented new rules for the Greyhawk setting.[3]:19 Ward, with David Cook, Steve Winter, and Mike Breault, co-wrote the adventure scenario that was adapted into the game Pool of Radiance.[4] In 1989 he was inducted into the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design Hall of Fame. When TSR produced a second edition of AD&D, Ward instituted changes such as removing assassins and half-orcs from the game, explaining in Dragon #154 (February 1990) that "[a]voiding the Angry Mother Syndrome has become a good, basic guideline for all of the designers and editors at TSR, Inc"; Ward printed many upset readers' replies in Dragon #158.[3]:23 Ward can be glimpsed early in the Dragon Strike tutorial video playing the man who is slapped in the face at the king's party.[5] Ward designed the Spellfire collectible card game.[2] Ward was eventually made the VP for Creative Services, but left TSR over disagreements about how the company's crisis involving book sales in 1996 was handled.[3]:30

Ward designed the Dragon Ball Z Collectible Card Game.[2] Ward founded the d20 company Fast Forward Entertainment with Timothy Brown, Lester Smith, John Danovich and Sean Everett.[3]:351 From 2000 - 2005, he was President of Fast Forward Entertainment, an independent game development company. Ward wrote Sete-Ka's Dream Quest (2006), an adventure gamebook published by Margaret Weis Productions.[3]:353 He wrote the Halcyon Blithe novel Dragonfrigate Wizard (Tor, 2006), which he considered one of his better and prouder creations.[2] Ward joined Troll Lord Games, writing books such as the Towers of Adventures (2008) boxed set and the Of Gods & Monsters (2009) supplement for Castles & Crusades; Ward also became the editor for Troll Lord's C&C magazine, The Crusader Journal.[3]:382 Ward also wrote the horror fantasy game Tainted Lands (2009), based on C&C's "SIEGE" system.[3]:382

In 2010, Ward was diagnosed with a serious neurological disorder that required treatment at the Mayo Clinic. His friend, Tim Kask, has helped to establish a fund to help Ward offset some of the medical bills.[6]

Selected works


Role-playing games



  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d Ward, James M. (2007). " 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing.  
  4. ^ The Dragon editors (September 1989). "The Envelope, Please!". Dragon (149): 20–21. 
  5. ^ Moore, Roger E. (October 1993). "Editorial".  
  6. ^ Friends of Starship Warden: the James M. Ward Relief Fund
  7. ^ Ward, James M. (August 2008). Towers of Adventure.  
  8. ^ Ward, James M.;  
  9. ^ Troll Lord Games (March 2008). The Crusader 4 (8). 

External links

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