Mike Mearls

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mike Mearls
OccupationWriter, game designer
GenreRole-playing games

Michael Mearls is a writer and designer of fantasy role-playing games (RPGs) and related fiction. He was the senior manager for the Dungeons & Dragons research and design team. He co-led design for the 5th edition of the game. He also worked on the Castle Ravenloft board game, and various compendium books for 3rd, 4th, and 5th editions Dungeons & Dragons.


Mearls is an alumnus of Dartmouth College.[1] While at Dartmouth he was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity, and became known for a satiric letter to the campus paper.[2]


Mearls wrote the adventure To Stand on Hallowed Ground/Swords Against Deception (2001) for Fiery Dragon Productions[3]: 226  and the last product from Hogshead Publishing, a Warhammer adventure titled Fear the Worst (2002) that Hogshead released for free on the internet.[3]: 307  He also designed the game Iron Heroes (2005) for Malhavoc Press.[3]: 226 

In June 2005, Mearls was hired as a designer by Wizards of the Coast; he came to Wizards through the community of third-party d20 designers.[3]: 301  At Wizards, he served as a lead developer for Dungeons & Dragons R&D working on the new 4th Edition.[4] Between the "Orcus I" and "Orcus II" design phases for fourth edition, Mearls spliced the encounter-power mechanics of fourth edition into Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords (2006), which was in process during development of the new edition.[3]: 298 

Along with Andy Collins, David Noonan, and Jesse Decker, Mearls was part of Rob Heinsoo's "Flywheel" design team for the fourth edition of Dungeons & Dragons, and did the final concept work from May 2006 to September 2006, before the first books for the edition were written and playtested.[3]: 297  After Heinsoo was laid off in 2009, Mearls stepped up to become the new D&D Lead Designer.[3]: 301  He co-designed the Castle Ravenloft Board Game (2010) with Bill Slavicsek.[3]: 302 

In 2014, Mearls was a senior manager for Dungeons & Dragons research and development.[5][6] Mearls was, together with Jeremy Crawford, Co-Lead Designer for the Fifth Edition of Dungeons & Dragons.[7][8][9] By 2018, Mearls had become the franchise's Creative Director.[10][11] He left the Wizards of the Coast tabletop RPG team in 2019 and was replaced by Ray Winninger as the Executive Producer in charge of the Dungeons & Dragons studio in 2020.[12][13]

Writing credits[edit]


  1. ^ "TheDartmouth.com | Graduation List as of June 5, 1997". Archived from the original on July 9, 2013. Retrieved April 10, 2009.
  2. ^ "College Should Look Into Robot Workers, Cloning and Zombies".
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
  4. ^ "Homepage". Wizards Corporate.
  5. ^ Frum, Larry (19 August 2014). "Digital-age 'Dungeons & Dragons' more than rolling dice". CNN. Retrieved 2020-05-06.
  6. ^ "Mike Mearls | Dungeons & Dragons". dnd.wizards.com.
  7. ^ Wizards RPG Team (2014). Players Handbook. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 978-0786965601.
  8. ^ Bolding, Jonathan (June 2, 2014). "Inside the Launch of the New Dungeons & Dragons With Designer Mike Mearls". The Escapist. Retrieved 2020-05-06.
  9. ^ Bolding, Jonathan (April 2, 2015). "An Interview With Jeremy Crawford, Co-Designer and Editor of Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition". The Escapist. Retrieved 2020-05-06.
  10. ^ Brodeur, Nicole (2018-05-04). "Behind the scenes of the making of Dungeons & Dragons". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2020-05-06.
  11. ^ Hoffer, Christian (June 7, 2018). "Exclusive: 'Dungeons & Dragons' to Announce New Settings for Fifth Edition Later This Year". ComicBook.com. Retrieved 2020-05-06.
  12. ^ Thomas, Jeremy (April 29, 2020). "Dungeons & Dragons' Design Team Has a New Head, Mike Mearls Exited Last Year". 411MANIA. Archived from the original on 2020-05-02. Retrieved 2020-05-06.
  13. ^ Crawford, Jeremy (2020-04-28). "He no longer works on the tabletop RPG team and hasn't since sometime last year". Twitter. Jeremy Crawford. Retrieved 2020-05-06.
  14. ^ Crawford, Jeremy; Mearls, Mike; Wyatt, James. "Contents". Player's Handbook 2. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on June 30, 2008. Retrieved 2011-10-05.
  15. ^ "Mike Mearls | Dungeons & Dragons". dnd.wizards.com. Retrieved 2017-10-08.
  16. ^ Mearls, Mike. "Playtest: New Hybrid and Multiclass Options". Dragon magazine #400. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on June 4, 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
  17. ^ Mearls, Mike (2007-09-21). "Encounter Design in 4th Edition". Dragon magazine #360. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on January 7, 2010. Retrieved 2012-08-23.

External links[edit]