Chris Perkins (game designer)

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Chris Perkins
Christopher Perkins

(1968-02-29) February 29, 1968 (age 56)
Other namesChristopher Zarathustra
OccupationGame designer
Years active1988–present
Known forStory design for Dungeons & Dragons

Christopher Perkins (born February 29, 1968[1]) is a Canadian American[2] game designer and editor who is known for his work on Wizards of the Coast's Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, currently as the senior story designer.[3]


Under the pen name "Christopher Zarathustra", Perkins got his career start in 1988 writing the adventure "Wards of Witching Ways" for Dungeon magazine #11.[4] He later officially started working for Wizards of the Coast in 1997, beginning as the editor for Dungeon.[5][6][7] A few years later, he was promoted to editor-in-chief of Wizards periodicals.[8]

Perkins later became the senior producer for Dungeons & Dragons, leading the team of designers, developers, and editors who make products for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game.[5][7] Perkins was the story manager for Dungeons & Dragons in 2007 before the release of the game's fourth edition.[9] Perkins was working on the Star Wars Saga Edition while Dungeons & Dragons fourth edition was being developed, and ideas were exchanged freely between Perkins and the fourth edition team.[10] He was also on the SCRAMJET team, led by Richard Baker, and including James Wyatt, Matthew Sernett, Ed Stark, Michele Carter, and Stacy Longstreet; this team updated the setting and cosmology of Dungeons & Dragons as the fourth edition was being developed.[10] Perkins was the Lead Story Designer of the Ravenloft fifth edition reboot Curse of Strahd, released in 2016.[11][12]

Perkins wrote a blog, "The Dungeon Master Experience", on the Wizards of the Coast website for over two years, where he shared tricks and advice about the challenge of "dungeon mastering" a campaign through the lens of his homebrew world, Iomandra.[13] However, in the penultimate posting of March 2013, he announced the following posting would be the last "at least for a while", whereupon the blog became inactive.[14]

Perkins at the Penny Arcade Expo in 2008, second from the left

He was also the longtime Dungeon Master for the Acquisitions Incorporated Dungeons & Dragons games at the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX), until PAX Unplugged 2018.[15][16][17]


From 2016 to 2019, Perkins was the Dungeon Master in the Twitch livestream Dice, Camera, Action, which was a live play-through of Dungeons & Dragons' latest story lines.[17][18][19] He has also guest starred twice on the Dungeons & Dragons-based show, Critical Role.[17][20]

Personal life[edit]

In his free time, Perkins runs a Dungeons & Dragons campaign set in his homebrew world of Iomandra.[5]


  1. ^ "Happy Birthday to Dungeon Master Chris Perkins". Dungeons & Dragons. 29 February 2016. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  2. ^ Perkins, Christoper (4 June 2016). "I was born in Canada..." Twitter. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  3. ^ Brodeur, Nicole (2018-05-04). "Behind the scenes of the making of Dungeons & Dragons". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2019-03-14.
  4. ^ Baichtal, John (5 March 2008). "Chris Perkins Answers D&D 4E Questions". Wired. Condé Nast. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  5. ^ a b c "Christopher Perkins - D&D Creative Manager". Dungeons & Dragons. Wizards of the Coast. 12 September 2009. Archived from the original on 14 August 2010. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  6. ^ "Christopher Perkins :: Pen & Paper RPG Database". Archived from the original on October 4, 2007. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Chris Perkins". Dungeons & Dragons. Retrieved 2019-03-14.
  8. ^ "The Magic Touch". The Seattle Times. 2000. Archived from the original on May 3, 2014. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
  9. ^ Villoria, Gerald (September 10, 2007). "Dungeons & Dragons: The 4th Edition Interview". GameSpy. IGN Entertainment. Archived from the original on December 7, 2008. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
  10. ^ a b Appelcline, Shannon (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. p. 298. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
  11. ^ "Chris Perkins and Tracy Hickman on Curse of Strahd". Dungeons & Dragons. 21 January 2016. Archived from the original on 2017-09-21. Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  12. ^ Whalen, Andrew (2018-12-03). "'D&D' roleplayers can alter reality with Worldbuilders boons from Critical Role, Patrick Rothfuss". Newsweek. Retrieved 2019-03-14.
  13. ^ "Article Archive". Dungeons & Dragons. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on 2014-10-12. Retrieved 2015-10-22.
  14. ^ Perkins, Chris (2013-03-14). "Until the Next Encounter". Dungeons & Dragons. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on February 18, 2015. Retrieved 2015-10-22.
  15. ^ Gabe (2011-08-01). "Acquisitions Inc". Penny Arcade. Retrieved 2015-10-22.
  16. ^ Haeck, James (2018-12-03). "Chris Perkins Steps Down from Acquisitions Inc.; Jeremy Crawford Named Successor". D&D Beyond. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved 2018-12-03.
  17. ^ a b c Hoffer, Christian (1 February 2019). "Chris Perkins Makes Hilarious Surprise Appearance on 'Critical Role'". WWG. Retrieved 2019-03-14.
  18. ^ "Dice, Camera, Action". Dungeons & Dragons. 17 February 2016. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  19. ^ "Dungeons & Dragons on Twitter". twitter. 3 December 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  20. ^ "Critical Role: Episode 55 - Umbrasyl". Geek & Sundry. 2016-06-06. Archived from the original on August 14, 2016. Retrieved 2016-06-15.