James Jacobs (game designer)

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James Jacobs
Born1972 (age 51–52)[1]
United States
OccupationGame designer
CitizenshipUnited States
GenreFantasy, horror, occult
Years active1988–present

James Jacobs is an American designer and author of role-playing games and texts in the fantasy, horror and the occult genres.


Jacobs has been involved in the role-playing industry since the age of sixteen, when his adventure "Scepter of the Underworld" was published in Dungeon #12 in 1988.[2][3] Jacobs grew up in Point Arena, California, and went to college at the University of California, Davis.[citation needed]

He moved to Seattle after graduating from college and worked his way into Wizards of the Coast's sales department.[citation needed] Jacobs has been the developer, lead designer, and sometimes cartographer on releases for Bastion Press, Green Ronin Publishing, Wizards of the Coast, and Paizo.[3] Jacobs has authored and co-authored several other products for the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy roleplaying game, including Dungeon Master's Guide II, Lords of Madness, Frostburn, and Red Hand of Doom.[4][5] He also wrote Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss with fellow Paizo editor Erik Mona.[5] Jacobs and Erik Mona co-wrote Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk (2007), a 3rd edition D&D remake of Greyhawk Ruins (1990).[6]

Jacobs became the associate editor for Dungeon magazine, and later became the managing editor for the magazine.[3] In the 2000s, Jacobs served as the editor-in-chief of Dungeon magazine, published by Paizo Publishing.[citation needed] Jacobs described himself as "one of the chief architects" of the Dungeon Adventure Paths, in addition to doing some work on all of the other adventures published in the magazine.[3] Jacobs became the Editor-in-Chief for Dungeon magazine in June 2006.[7] Jacobs is the Creative Director for the Pathfinder Adventure Paths-focused monthly publication from Paizo.[3] He also wrote "Burnt Offerings", the adventure featured in Pathfinder: Rise of the Runelords #1.

Among Jacobs' other writings is the "Demonomicon of Iggwilv" feature in Dragon magazine, and he has contributed a number of adventure stories for Dungeon. Jacobs has also created many notable Dungeons & Dragons creatures, with the ulitharid, draknor, and the kaorti among the most prominent.


  1. ^ "paizo.com - Off-Topic Discussions: >>Ask *James Jacobs* ALL your Questions Here!<<". Paizo.com. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  2. ^ "James Jacobs - PathfinderWiki". Pathfinderwiki.com. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Interview with James Jacobs". Archived from the original on 2015-01-20. in Kobold Quarterly #12
  4. ^ Berlant, Joseph (September 2004). "Buyers guide", Chronicle 26 (9): 25–29.
  5. ^ a b "Pen & Paper listing for James Jacobs". Pen-paper.net. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  6. ^ Appelcline, Shannon (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. p. 25. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
  7. ^ "paizo.com - Paizo / News / Archive / 2006". Paizo.com. Retrieved 3 January 2018.

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