D&D Books by David Chart

Dungeons and Dragons is the original roleplaying game, the one that started the whole hobby, and the one that I started out playing, way back in 19mumblymumble. A lot of authors, including my boss at Atlas, got started by writing for it. I was just out of that generation (my boss isn't much older than I am...), so I finally wrote for D&D after over a decade of writing for other companies. Still, at least now when people say "Oh, like D&D?", I can say "Yes".

Monster Manual V

Wizards of the Coast, 2007. ISBN 978-0-7869-4115-5

This was my first chance to work for Wizards. I have to say that, overall, it was a really good experience; they pay well, and they pay early (before publication). They also seem to develop fairly heavily. My monsters are the Malastor, Scouring Constructs, Thrym Hound, and Tusk Terror. All of them are very close to the core mechanical concepts I designed, but only the Malastor and Thrym Hound really look like the monsters I designed. Still, that's fair enough; I designed from the mechanics, from the likely experience of fighting the monsters, rather than the look. This means, of course, that the bits I felt were most important are all there in the final book. I just had to read the whole thing before I knew that, because they changed the names and pictures.

Another interesting aspect of working for D&D was just how well they know what they are doing. The game is very focused, which makes it relatively easy to test components, and have them work together. This obviously has its downside; D&D is really not very good at handling things outside its focus. On the other hand, it has the upside that it's very good within that focus. As I write this, I'm really looking forward to the release of D&D4. They have a lot of good designers, and the design notes make it sound like they know what they are doing. They could still mess it all up in the application, but I'm optimistic.

I wonder if they'll let me write for the new edition?