Richard Channing Garfield, PhD (born June 26, 1963, Philadelphia) is a game designer who created the card games Magic: The Gathering, Netrunner, BattleTech, Vampire: The Eternal Struggle (originally known as Jyhad), The Great Dalmuti, Star Wars Trading Card Game, and the board game RoboRally. He also created a variation of the game Hearts called Complex hearts. The development of Magic: The Gathering is credited with popularising the collectible card game genre.
Early life 
Garfield was born in Philadelphia, and spent his childhood in many locations throughout the world as a result of his father's work in architecture. His family eventually settled in Oregon when he was twelve. While always having an interest in puzzles and games, his passion for games began when he was introduced to Dungeons & Dragons. Garfield designed his first game by the time he was 13.
Education and career 
In 1985, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in computer mathematics. He joined Bell Laboratories, then decided to continue his education and attended the University of Pennsylvania, and studied combinatorial mathematics.
He began designing Magic: The Gathering as a Penn graduate student. A group of playtesters, comprising mostly fellow Penn students, formed around the developing game. While searching for a publisher for RoboRally, which he designed in 1985, Garfield found Peter Adkison of Wizards of the Coast, who expressed interest in Magic.
Garfield studied under Herbert Wilf and earned a Ph.D. in combinatorial mathematics from Penn in 1993. His thesis was The distribution of the binomial coefficients modulo p. He became a professor of mathematics at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington.
Magic: The Gathering launched in 1993. Playtesters began independently developing expansion packs, which were then passed to Garfield to edit. Garfield left academia to join Wizards of the Coast as a full-time game designer in June 1994. He was a primary play tester for the Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition bookset, released by Wizards in 2000. He eventually left Wizards to become an independent game designer.
He still sporadically contributes to Magic: The Gathering. More recently, he has created the board games Pecking Order (2006) and Rocketville (2006). The latter was published by Avalon Hill, a subsidiary of Wizards of the Coast. He has shifted more of his attention to video games, having worked on the design and development of Schizoid and Spectromancer.
Garfield created a custom Magic card to propose to his girlfriend Lily Wu in 1993. They married and had two children, a daughter (born in 1997) and son (born in 1999). He created further custom cards to commemorate the birth of his children.
In the December 1998 issue of Dragon Magazine, in an article on Garfield's trading card game patent application, it was reported that Garfield is the great-great-grandson of U.S. President James A. Garfield (1831–81), and that his great-uncle invented the paper clip.
Games designed 
A partial list of games designed by Richard Garfield:
- Magic: The Gathering (1993), collectible card game
- RoboRally (1994), board game
- Vampire: The Eternal Struggle (1994), collectible card game
- The Great Dalmuti (1995), card game
- Netrunner (1996), collectible card game
- BattleTech (1996), collectible card game
- Dilbert: Corporate Shuffle (1997), card game
- Filthy Rich (1998), board game
- Twitch (1998), card game
- Star Wars Trading Card Game (2002), collectible card game
- Pecking Order (2006), board game
- Rocketville (2006), board game
- Stonehenge (2007), board game anthology
- Spectromancer (2008), online card game
- Schizoid (2008), console action game
- Kard Combat (2011), iOS Game
- King of Tokyo (2011), board game
- SolForge (2012), iOS Game
- Vasel, Tom (2005-06-19). "Interviews by an Optimist # 49 - Richard Garfield".
- Zurcher, Christopher (1998-12-27). "Just like magic". PolkOnline. Archived from the original on 2012-02-16.
- Elias, Skaff (2002-03-08). "Legendary Difficulties". Latest Developments.
- Garfield's thesis
- Rosewater, Mark (2005-09-05). "City Planning, Part I". Making Magic. Retrieved 2007-04-27.
- Rosewater, Mark (2011-09-05). "C'mon Innistrad, Part I". Making Magic. Retrieved 2011-12-16.
- "Pecking Order". BoardGameGeek. Retrieved 2007-05-06.
- "AVALON HILL WELCOMES BACK RICHARD GARFIELD; Rocketville Set to Blast-Off on March 10". 2006-02-07.
- Richard Garfield at BoardGameGeek
- Richard Garfield at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
- "Immer für eine Überraschung gut: Richard Garfield: Der Mann hinter Magic" (PDF). Amigo Spiele (in German). 2004-01-30.