Work

These days, I get paid mostly for crafting words.

I’ve done narrative design and development, word creation and building, dialog writing, technical and copy editing, art direction and marketing, indexing, and more. I know how to lead, how to collaborate, and how to follow.

You don’t have to take my word for it. My clients include Undead Labs, Wizards of the Coast, Fantasy Flight Games, Goodman Games, IDW Publishing, Nerdburger Games, Onyx Path Publishing, Paizo Publishing, Schwalb Entertainment, and Sly Flourish, among others. At Wizards of the Coast, on staff and as a freelancer, I have been the go-to guy for adventure and monster design and development.

My curriculum vitae can be downloaded here. I have numerous friends and contacts who’ll put in a good word via social media. References can be provided on request.

Publications

My CV includes my bibliography and credits. The following are the most recent projects my NDAs allow me to reveal.

Tales from the Yawning Portal

Wizards of the Coast employed me to develop several of the deadliest dungeons in D&D history for use with the game’s fifth edition. The product page has a list of those adventure sites. Of those, I developed Against the Giants, Dead in Thay, Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan, and Tomb of Horrors. You can order it on amazon.

State of Decay 2

Undead Labs hired me as part of a diverse group of writers to give voice to characters in the upcoming State of Decay 2 video game. Like its popular predecessor, State of Decay 2 is a zombie-survival shooter emphasizing community building and multiple playable characters. You can preorder it on amazon.

Volo’s Guide to Monsters

Wizards of the Coast asked me to update and design dozens of monsters for this upcoming release. The book’s product page mentions creatures I worked on, such as the froghemoth, neogi, orc, and vargouille. You can order it on amazon.

Scarred Lands Player’s Guide

Onyx Path Publishing brought me on to help with Scarred Lands Player’s Guide, a successfully kickstarted book compatible with Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition. I provided technical editing and conversion design on a significant portion of the game mechanics, and I consulted on the rest of the book. You can buy the PDF on DriveThruRPG.

Plans

With State of Decay 2 as a starting point, I’m pursuing more design and writing for games. I aim for an in-studio gig. However, freelancing from my home office, mostly for tabletop, has worked so far. In addition to my experience with Undead Labs, I’ve written several samples and designed some interactive fiction.

  • Illumination is a script proposal worked up for the Austrian Film Institute. The story derives from Mozart’s The Magic Flute.
  • Triskele is a short interactive fiction piece I wrote with the help of my friend and editor, Cal Moore. It won an award (see Plaudits below). I did much of the writing and scripting on this story. It has three endings with several variations. If you like, you can download Triskele as a choose-your-own-adventure ebook for Kindle.
  • Dem Bones is a Borderlands 2 quest script I cooked up for Gearbox Software during interviewing for a writing position. Randy Varnell, the Creative Director for Battleborn, and Aaron Linde, then Lead Writer for Battleborn, both praised the voice and tone as a match for Borderlands 2 characters.
  • Hyperborean Passage is another script I wrote for Gearbox. It includes some references and amalgamations of real-world elements of the period, such as Blavatsky and the captain of the pirate ship.
  • Unblooded is a prequel to Skyrim, referencing a tragic story that can be discovered in the game near Ivarstead. I wrote this sample for Bethesda. Then I promptly fired up Skyrim and made the protagonist of this short tale.
  • Over Here is an exploration of life after death.

Plaudits

My CV includes a list of awards for projects I worked on. The following are the most recent. Some of these publications received more awards than those shown here, but I’ve limited the list to those relevant to my contributions.

2017

Volo’s Guide to Monsters (Golden Geek for Best Supplement)

2016

Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide; Judge’s Spotlight ENnie

Volo’s Guide to Monsters (New York Times Best Seller)

2015

Wizards of the Coast; Gold ENnie for Best Publisher

D&D Player’s Handbook, fifth edition; New York Times Best Seller, Gold ENnies for Product of the Year, Best Game, and Best Rules; Silver ENnie for Best Writing; Origins Award for Best RPG, Origins Fan Favorite for Best RPG

D&D Dungeon Master’s Guide, fifth edition; Gold ENnie for Best Supplement

D&D Monster Manual, fifth edition; New York Times Best Seller (August to November), Gold ENnie for Best Monster product; Origins Award for Best RPG Supplement, Origins Fan Favorite for Best RPG Supplement

D&D Starter Set, fifth edition; Gold ENnie for Best Family Game

D&D Basic Rules, fifth edition; Gold ENnies for Best Electronic Book and Best Free Product

Triskele; runner-up, Write a Game Challenge, IGDA Game Writing SIG