Ray Winninger

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Ray Winninger
Winninger in 2008
Winninger in 2008
BornRay Winninger
OccupationWriter, game designer
NationalityUnited States
GenreRole-playing games, miniature wargaming, fantasy

Ray Winninger is a game designer who has worked on a number of roleplaying games, including the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy roleplaying game.


Ray Winninger was a competitive chess player as a child, and at age nine he discovered Avalon Hill games and Dungeons & Dragons while looking for chess opponents at a local hobby shop/game store.[1] He designed his first game as "a futuristic man-to-man miniatures system", and by age fourteen he had designed an enormous campaign world for the Dungeons & Dragons game system.[1] His first published work was an adventure called Countdown! for FASA's Doctor Who role-playing game.[1] He worked for TSR, including work on Dungeons & Dragons, throughout the 1980s and early 1990s.[1]

Winninger was the co-designer of DC Heroes and Torg.[2] He then worked at Mayfair Games, and became Mayfair's Editorial Director following the release of Chill.[3]:168 He resurrected the Role Aids line, determined to recreate it with AD&D material that was more sophisticated than what TSR was offering at the time.[3]:168 Winninger designed the Underground (1993) role-playing game for Mayfair Games.[3]:169 Underground was set in the year 2021 and "allowed players to assume the roles of superhuman, genetically enhanced soldiers fighting a patriotic war to take their society back from a corrupt government"; when Mayfair Games withdrew much of its support of the game despite its popularity, Winninger moved onto other projects.[1] Mayfair was also to produce a game called D.O.A. by Greg Gorden with major contributions by Winninger, but the game was never published.[3]:170 He worked for Dragon magazine, first taking over the "RPG reviews" column from Chris Pramas, before moving on to "Dungeoncraft", a column for guiding Dungeon Masters to create their own campaign worlds.[1] He also worked as a contributing editor of Dragon magazine.[2]

Winninger later became a senior platform strategist at Microsoft.[2]


Ray Winninger has worked for TSR, West End Games, Mayfair Games, Last Unicorn Games, and Pulsar Games. His "Dungeoncraft" column ran in Dragon from 1999-2002, during which time he also served as a contributing editor to the magazine.

He was the executive producer for Harebrained Schemes' 2014 Miniature wargaming game Golem Arcana.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Ryan, Michael G. (March 2002). "Profiles: Craftmaster: The Making of a Dungeoncrafter". Dragon. Renton, Washington: Wizards of the Coast (#293): 20–21.
  2. ^ a b c Winninger, Ray (2007). "Squad Leader". In Lowder, James (ed.). Hobby Games: The 100 Best. Green Ronin Publishing. pp. 288–290. ISBN 978-1-932442-96-0.
  3. ^ a b c d Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
  4. ^ Hsu, Dan (7 August 2014). "Golem Arcana: The hybrid tabletop/video game that's going to make a lot of money (but off just a few of you)". VentureBeat. Retrieved 3 October 2015.

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