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Darrin Drader (born April 30, 1973) is a writer who works in the narrative, game design, and video game fields. He has over 50 published credits and has contributed to several noteworthy books for the Dungeons and Dragons game by Wizards of the Coast. He has also made notable contributions to gaming products by other game publishers, such as Paizo Publishing, Bastion Press, and Gun Metal Games. He later worked as a narrative designer for the video game company 38 Studios.
Early life, education, and writing
Darrin Drader grew up in Pullman, Washington, and remained there to attend Washington State University. He was an avid reader as a child, particularly of the fantasy genre. At age 11, he was introduced to Dungeons & Dragons and roleplaying games, and quickly became a regular player. He was also an avid video game player, and was influenced by games such as Pool of Radiance, Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar, and Bard's Tale. As a teenager, he became a fan of the D&D setting, the Forgotten Realms, and he was heavily influenced by novelists who wrote for the setting, including R.A. Salvatore, Douglas Niles, Elaine Cunningham, and others. Before graduating from high school, he had decided that he wanted to be a game designer and a novelist and began writing prolifically.
College and adulthood
Drader attended college at Washington State University from 1991 until 1995. In 1996, he moved to Seattle where he worked in the sales field selling electronics, furniture, and mattresses. In 1999, he became the store manager of a sleep shop. In 2000, the franchise he worked for was bought out by a competitor and Drader changed career paths. It was then that he began working for Wizards of the Coast. He left the company in 2004, expressing dissatisfaction with Seattle's traffic and climate. In 2008, he re-enrolled at Washington State University, where he completed his BA in English Rhetoric and Professional Writing.
While Drader was working for Wizards of the Coast, he credits the RPG R&D department with his education in game design. He has frequently credited Christopher Perkins as his most influential mentor. While employed at Wizards, Drader contributed to the Book of Exalted Deeds and Forgotten Realms: Serpent Kingdoms (in which he conceptualized the Sarrukh), and D20 Apocalypse, as well as several web articles. He became part of the development team behind the Oathbound Campaign Setting, and he contributed to the core book, as well as the support books Plains of Penance, Wrack and Ruin, Arena, and Wildwood.
After leaving Wizards of the Coast, Drader continued writing game content for the company's web team, and he was one of the contributing authors of the Forgotten Realms sourcebook Mysteries of the Moonsea. Since then, he has written the science fiction setting Reign of Discordia, and contributed to the Savage worlds edition of Interface Zero for Gun Metal Games. He has also worked for Paizo Publishing, writing the adventure Pathfinder 21: The Jackal's Price for the Pathfinder Adventure Path, as well as several support articles that have appeared in other volumes of that publication. He also joined the prestigious Weecabbages writer's Guild. In 2010 he accepted a Narrative Design position with 38 Studios in Maynard, Massachusetts.
Drader has also written the novel "Echoes of Olympus" and the serial "Heroes of Gracia".
- Berlant, Joseph (July 2004). "Buyers guide", Chronicle 26 (7): 47–49.
- Bray, Hiawatha (March 26, 2013). "High-stakes games: A beleaguered industry in need of a big hit to juice consumers' interest looks to a Quincy company's hotly anticipated video title, BioShock Infinite", The Boston Globe, p. B7.