Brian R. James

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Brian R. James
BornBrian R. James
(1974-11-26) November 26, 1974 (age 45)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
OccupationGame designer, software engineer
NationalityUnited States
GenreRole-playing games, fantasy
SpouseToni James

Brian R. James (born 1974) is an award-winning[1] game designer and patent holding[2] software engineer. As a writer, Brian is best known for his online and print works for the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game published by Wizards of the Coast. In game design circles, Brian is highly regarded for his deep knowledge of the Forgotten Realms campaign setting and its extensive history. In 2012 Brian won a Silver ENnie Award for Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale and he has been nominated for other ENnie Awards and Origins Awards.

Personal life[edit]

Brian grew up in Arapahoe County, Colorado and attended Arapahoe High School where he led the computer club and lettered in cross country his senior year. Today, Brian lives in Orange County, California with his high school sweetheart Toni and their children.

Writing career[edit]

Brian got his first big break with the creation of his "Grand History of the Realms" timeline compilation that started in the late 90s. Utilizing his website at the time, he compiled lore from many disparate sources into easily referenced PDFs documents that allowed fans to reference each of his entries. This work eventually caught the eye of senior Wizards of the Coast developers, was purchased by the company and then published as a print sourcebook: The Grand History of the Realms.[3] Since then, Brian has gone on to co-author (and contribute) to many 4th Edition D&D products, including the award-winning sourcebook Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale (2011).

He later led the design of Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue (2012), covering the sinister underdark metropolis famous for birthing the drow Drizzt Do'Urden. Brian continues to contribute to Dragon and Dungeon magazines; focusing primarily on content for the Forgotten Realms and Planescape fantasy settings.

Vorpal Games / RED AEGIS Roleplaying Game[edit]

In 2013 Brian teamed up with his younger brother Matt James to form Vorpal Games.[4] Their first independent venture is the RED AEGIS Roleplaying Game.[5] A number of artists and designers have been linked to the project,[6] including industry legend Ed Greenwood.[5] RED AEGIS was funded via a Kickstarter campaign in August 2013 that raised $66,254 from 823 backers.[7]


  • 2013: Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue is nominated for an ENnie Award in 3 categories:
Best Setting, Best Supplement, and Product of the Year.[8]
  • 2013: Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue is nominated for Best Roleplaying Supplement by the 39th Annual Origins Awards.[9]
  • 2012: Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale wins a Silver ENnie Award for Best Monster/Adversary product.[1]
  • 2012: Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale is nominated for Best Roleplaying Supplement or Adventure by the 38th Annual Origins Awards.[10]
  • 2009: Brian's article Playing Dhampyr (Dragon Magazine #371) is selected to be published in the 2009 Dragon Magazine Annual
  • 2008: Grand History of the Realms is nominated for Non-Fiction Publication of the Year by the 34th Annual Origins Awards.[11]


RED AEGIS® sourcebooks, Vorpal Games[edit]

  • RED AEGIS Roleplaying Game [12] (2016), lead designer/publisher

Iron Kingdoms® sourcebooks, Privateer Press[edit]

  • Iron Kingdoms Unleashed: Wild Adventure [13] (2016), designer

Pathfinder® sourcebooks, Paizo Publishing[edit]

  • Giants Revisited [14] (2012), designer

Dungeons & Dragons® sourcebooks, Wizards of the Coast[edit]

Magazine articles[edit]

  • Corvis Codex: Plagues and Pestilence, No Quarter #52 (2014)
  • Ecology of the Modron, Dragon #414 (2012)
  • Demonomicon of Iggwilv: Shemeshka the Marauder, Dungeon #205 (2012), co-author
  • Chessenta, Dungeon #178 (2010)
  • Deities & Demigods: Torog, Dungeon #177 (2010)
  • Vaasa, Dungeon #177 (2010)
  • Monument of the Ancients, Dungeon #170 (2010), co-author
  • Sarifal, Dragon #376 (2009)
  • Ecology of the Sharn, Dragon #373 (2009)
  • Playing Dhampyr, Dragon #371 (2009)
  • Hall of the Frostmaiden, Dragon #367 (2008)
  • Cormyr, Dragon #365 (2008)
  • Spellplague: The Wailing Years, Dragon #362 (2008)
  • Grand History of the Realms: The Moonshaes, Dragon #362 (2008)
  • Ironfang Keep, Dragon #361 (2007)
  • Age of Sail, Part I, Candlekeep Compendium Volume IX (2007)
  • Reign of Dragons, Candlekeep Compendium Volume IV (2005)



  1. ^ a b c ENnies 2012 Winners (
  2. ^ Inventor: Web-Based Visual Development Environment (
  3. ^ Baker, Richard; Grand History of the Realms p.3 (Wizards of the Coast, 2007)
  4. ^ Vorpal Games ([permanent dead link])
  5. ^ a b Vorpal Games (
  6. ^ RED AEGIS Design Team ( Archived 2013-10-21 at the Wayback Machine)
  7. ^ "RED AEGIS Roleplaying Game". Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  8. ^ 2013 ENnie Awards Nominees ( Archived 2013-07-18 at the Wayback Machine)
  9. ^ Nominees for the 39th Origins Awards Announced! ("Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-01-27. Retrieved 2016-02-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link))
  10. ^ a b Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale (
  11. ^ Nominees for the 34th Origins Awards Announced! (, April 29, 2008)
  12. ^ RED AEGIS Roleplaying Game (
  13. ^ Iron Kingdoms Unleashed: Wild Adventure (
  14. ^ Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Giants Revisited (
  15. ^ Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue (
  16. ^ Demonomicon (
  17. ^ Underdark (
  18. ^ Dragon Magazine Annual 2009 (
  19. ^ Open Grave: Secrets of the Undead (
  20. ^ Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide (

External links[edit]