Jim Ward (game designer)

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James M. Ward
Born (1951-05-23) May 23, 1951 (age 70)
United States
  • Writer
  • game designer
  • author
GenreFantasy, role-playing game
Notable worksDeities & Demigods, Greyhawk Adventures, Pool of Radiance, Metamorphosis Alpha, Gamma World

James M. Ward (born May 23, 1951),[1] is an American game designer and fantasy author. He worked as a game developer and writer for TSR, Inc. for more than 20 years.


Dungeons & Dragons and TSR[edit]

Ward was one of the players in Gary Gygax's early Greyhawk games as Gygax developed the Dungeons & Dragons game.[2]:24 The Dungeons & Dragons character Drawmij was named after him;[citation needed] "Drawmij" is simply "Jim Ward" spelled backwards. Rob Kuntz and Ward's Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes (1976) expanded the original D&D game by introducing gods.[2]:8 Ward designed Metamorphosis Alpha (1976), which was the first science-fantasy role-playing game, and published as TSR's fourth role-playing game.[2]:9 Ward co-authored Deities & Demigods (1980) .[2]:382 In the early 1980s, Ward and Rose Estes formed an education department at TSR, intended to sell classroom modules to teachers.[2]:14 Ward ran Kuntz's adventure "The Maze of Xaene" as the D&D tournament module at EastCon in 1983, although the module never saw print at TSR.[2]:240 Ward wrote Greyhawk Adventures (1988), a hardcover volume that presented new rules for the Greyhawk setting.[2]:19 Ward, with David Cook, Steve Winter, and Mike Breault, co-wrote the Ruins of Adventure adventure scenario that was adapted into the game Pool of Radiance.[3]

In 1989 he was inducted into the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design Hall of Fame.[4] When TSR produced a second edition of AD&D (1989), Ward instituted changes such as removing assassins and half-orcs from the game, explaining in Dragon #154 (February 1990) that "[a]voiding the Angry Mother Syndrome has become a good, basic guideline for all of the designers and editors at TSR, Inc"; Ward printed many upset readers' replies in Dragon #158.[2]:23 Ward can be glimpsed early in the Dragon Strike tutorial video playing the man who is slapped in the face at the king's party.[5] Ward designed the Spellfire collectible card game.[6] Ward was eventually made the VP for Creative Services, but left TSR over disagreements about how the company's crisis involving book sales in 1996 was handled.[2]:30

After TSR[edit]

Ward designed the Dragon Ball Z Collectible Card Game.[6] Ward founded the d20 company Fast Forward Entertainment with Timothy Brown, Lester Smith, John Danovich, and Sean Everett.[2]:351 From 2000 - 2005, he was President of Fast Forward Entertainment, an independent game development company.[citation needed] Ward wrote Sete-Ka's Dream Quest (2006), an adventure gamebook published by Margaret Weis Productions.[2]:353 He wrote the Halcyon Blithe novel Dragonfrigate Wizard (Tor, 2006), which he considered one of his better and prouder creations.[6] Ward joined Troll Lord Games, writing books such as the Towers of Adventures (2008) boxed set and the Of Gods & Monsters (2009) supplement for Castles & Crusades; Ward also became the editor for Troll Lord's C&C magazine, The Crusader Journal.[2]:382 Ward also wrote the horror fantasy game Tainted Lands (2009), based on C&C's "SIEGE" system.[2]:382

In 2010, Ward was diagnosed with a serious neurological disorder that required treatment at the Mayo Clinic. His friend Tim Kask has helped to establish a fund to help Ward offset some of the medical bills.[7]

Personal life[edit]

James Ward married his wife Janean in the early 1970s, and they have three sons together, Breck, James, and Theon.[6]

Selected works[edit]


Role-playing games[edit]



  1. ^ "Jim Ward". Eldritchent.com.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
  3. ^ The Dragon editors (September 1989). "The Envelope, Please!". Dragon (149): 20–21.
  4. ^ "The 1989 Origins Awards". The Game Manufacturers Association. Archived from the original on 2012-12-16.
  5. ^ Moore, Roger E. (October 1993). "Editorial". Dragon. Lake Geneva, Wisconsin: TSR, Inc. (#198): 14.
  6. ^ a b c d Ward, James M. (2007). "The Great Khan Game". In Lowder, James (ed.). Hobby Games: The 100 Best. Green Ronin Publishing. pp. 138–141. ISBN 978-1-932442-96-0.
  7. ^ Friends of Starship Warden: "the James M. Ward Relief Fund". Archived from the original on 2010-11-25.
  8. ^ "Dragon Magazine #42" (PDF). Dragon.
  9. ^ Ward, James M. (August 2008). Towers of Adventure. ISBN 978-1-929474-19-6.
  10. ^ Ward, James M.; Wham, Tom (2008). Dragon Lairds. ISBN 978-1-931567-60-2.
  11. ^ "The Crusader". The Crusader. Troll Lord Games. 4 (8). March 2008.

External links[edit]